Coach left shaking his head after Bulls' meltdown
Jaguares capitalise on Pretoria team's missed opportunities as they complete a double with their first victory in Tshwane
Bulls coach Pote Human was at a loss for words to describe his team’s last 10-minute meltdown that saw them surrender a 10-point lead to lose by two points against the Jaguares at Loftus on Saturday.
The Bulls had Tim Agaba and Conraad van Vuuren yellow-carded in the frenetic closing session as the Bulls succumbed to a 22-20 defeat through Domingo Miotti’s dream debut that saw him score two late tries and a conversion.
“I really thought we had them,” said Human. “They had one opportunity to score in the first half and they used it while we had so many opportunities that we had and didn’t finish.
“Then there was the disciplinary matter that cost us because you can’t play with 14 and 13 men against these guys. It was the stupidity of the players. We have to rectify that and come back harder. It’s a huge disappointment and huge setback for us. We let it slip.”
Human was correct in his assertion that this side should have wrapped up the game early, however the last two tries scored by Miotti had suspiciously forward passes that were not picked up by referee Brendon Pickerill, whose officiating was also blighted by inconsistencies with scrum calls. There was also a deliberate knockdown that Pickerill missed.
Human avoided criticising the match official. “That’s rugby and those decisions are part of the game. I also thought those two passes were forward, but they got away with them‚” he said.
Jaguares coach Gonzalo Quesada could not hide his delight at the Jaguares’ first Super Rugby win in Tshwane. They absorbed pressure well and put in a resourceful performance that taught the Bulls a lesson in making the most of their opportunities.
Significantly‚ the Jaguares completed a season double over the Bulls, after beating them in Buenos Aires.
“When we were 9-7 down at half-time‚ that was the first big merit of the team because we were still in the game,” Quesada said. “We did not give up after being down 20-10. In those last 15 minutes‚ we had our opportunities and the character that was shown by the team isn’t something we’re used to‚”
“We used the little opportunities we had to create momentum to go for the game. I’m proud of the guys. At times we can play better than what we did, but we needed a win.”