Marais: Bulls' season has been ‘unacceptable’

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 16:05

REACTION: Bulls coach Nollis Marais knows his team's performances throughout the Super Rugby season have been below standard.

Their 30-31 loss to the Kings in Pretoria at the weekend added insult to injury in a miserable season.

The loss is the Pretoria-based franchise's 10th defeat in 14 games and their fourth defeat at Loftus Versfeld this season.

Loftus Versfeld was traditionally a fortress, but has become a place of doom and gloom for the three-time Super Rugby champions under the guidance of Marais.

The Loftus faithful can take heart from the mentor's acknowledgement that his side have to work really hard to regain fear factor that Loftus once held.

"We had big plans at the beginning of the season," Marais said.

"It doesn't matter what I'm going to say now, it will be turned in whichever way you want it to be turned," he told the media briefing.

"[We are] obviously disappointed. We have disappointed the fans and it is just unacceptable to lose at Loftus.

"It's not like we take a loss and just move onto the next game. Personally, I take it very hard, it's never what we planned at the beginning of the season," he added.

With John Mitchell's appointment as 'Executive of Rugby' at the Bulls in May and his formal introduction at the helm on July 16, this coming weekend's match against Stormers could be Marais' last one as Bulls Super Rugby coach at Loftus.

However, the coach was very reluctant to disclose his future involvement with the Super Rugby side.

"It is not about me, it is all about the team.

"Whether I'm going to be involved in Super Rugby next season, that is not my decision. It is John's decision," he said about Mitchell's arrival later this month.

"The only thing I can do is make sure they [the players] ready for the weekend's game [against the Stormers]," Marais explained.

Meanwhile, captain and hooker Adriaan Strauss added that his team owe it to their supporters to finish a disappointing season on a high note at Loftus.

"We will be up for it next weekend," Strauss said.

"The excitement will be there, the work rate throughout the week will definitely be there and we know what's coming.

"It's going to be a massive game.

"The Stormers also very physical just like the Kings [were], as well as being a good all around.

"The loss does hurt, so we will pick ourselves up on Monday," Strauss added.

By Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28