VIDEO: Mitchell: Lions exposed Bulls' ‘system’

Sun, 04 Mar 2018 16:21

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: Bulls coach John Mitchell believes Lions dominant maul exposed his side's vulnerability during their Super Rugby defeat in Pretoria.

The Bulls produced a good game, with a lot of pundits expecting John Mitchell's new-look Bulls ending the Lions' dominance in South Africa rugby.

However, despite the spirited and entertaining efforts of the Bulls, the Lions scored seven tries to four for the bonus-point victory that puts them back at the top of the standings.

One area where the Lions took control was in the forward's department. The Johannesburg-based scored five of their seven tries from the back of the maul and set-pieces.

Furthermore, Bulls went down to 13-man after Conraad van Vuuren and Nic de Jager, were yellow-carded within a minute of each other - the score was 28-21 to the Lions. When they returned the score was 42-21.

Mitchell explained that the Lions' pressure and accuracy in general play especially amongst the forwards forced the Bulls to play unstructured rugby.

"It was a disappointing performance. Firstly, the Lions deserved their win. I thought their forwards were outstanding and they got us in one area.

"They exposed one system that we’ve been developing and doing pretty good at but that one system conceded four opportunities and led to two yellow cards which influence the rest of the game," Mitchell said.  

"It was an amazing game, you only have to get one area going wrong, from a forward aspect, and it can feed into so many other aspects of the game.

"But ultimately the result of their pressure in that one system and us not paying attention to that detail and getting it right forced us to not to stick to the structures,"

Handre Pollard - originally named to start at flyhalf - ran out at inside-centre for the Bulls after captain Burger Odendaal was forced to withdraw from the matchday squad.

The captain was unable to recover from a rib injury which he suffered during the win over the Hurricanes last weekend.

However, Pollard looked comfortable in number 12 jersey - he scored a try and assisted in Johnny Kotze’s try with an accurate kick - a phenomenon which Mithcell will be keen to test again.

"He will play at 12 again, he was good there but a lot of his work was from fractured play.  We were in good structure and he saw the space for Johnny Kotze which was outstanding. But that was probably more of a flyhalf decision,"

The Bulls next match is against Reds in Brisbane which is followed by clashes with Chiefs and Crusaders, respectively.

By Josh Isaacson

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Mon, 12 March 2018
Wits v UJ 17 | 29
CUT-Ixias v UP-Tuks 26 | 54
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 0 | 19
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4