“It was a bad day at the office”

A look at some of the reaction from the captains and coaches of the Super Rugby teams who took to the field to in the weekend’s warm up games …

Lions 32 – 38 Bulls
Bulls Tries: Jan Serfontein, Jurgen Visser (x2), Grant Hattingh
LionsTries: Franco Mostert, Jaco Kriel (x2), Anthony Volmink

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was careful not to attach much significance to his young team’s hard fought 38-32 victory against the Lions after a fantastic start to the match saw them score two tries in the first 20 minutes:

“We had a very good preseason so the expectations on the players this weekend were big.

We could do better at retaining the ball in contact situations because there were a few chances we wasted and we would like to be more accurate in our execution in general. But it was the first game of the year so one expects that.”

Lions captain JC Janse van Rensburg was disappointed about suffering their first defeat of the season, although he recognised the positives.

“There was some good running rugby, but unfortunately we made too many mistakes, many of which were on the Bulls’ 22. I also felt that we were hungrier to win last week (against the Cheetahs) and as a result we used our chances better. But I am glad that the team played until the end and it was a good experience for many of our players because it was the biggest game they have played up to now.”

Cheetahs 27-26 Stormers
Cheetahs Tries: Sarel Pretorius, Frans Viljoen, Rocco Jansen Conversions: Elgar Watts (3) Penalties: Riaan Smit, Hansie Graaff.
StormersTries: Nizaam Carr (2), Damian de Allende Conversions: Coleman Penalties: Kurt Coleman (3).

The return of a few injured players like Springbok flanker Juan Smith and Frans Viljoen left captain Adriaan Strauss smiling:

“The players showed some real character. We were under pressure after losing to the Lions last weekend, but we came back and beat the Stormers. This means a lot for our preparation going into our first official game against the Sharks. It was good to see the likes of Juan and Frans showing they’re still hungry to play”

“We didn’t have a good first half. We just couldn’t stop the rolling maul when the Stormers utilised it. And we played too much in our own half. We made mistakes and they caught us there. Luckily it’s a warm up game and we now get the opportunity to rectify these mistakes. We did much better in the second stanza and for that I am very proud of the boys.”

Stormers captain Duanne Vermeulen admitted a few problem areas needed to be rectified:

“This was our first game of the season and a tough one against the Cheetahs. We were in control for a good period of time, but we made some silly mistakes and the Cheetahs capitalised on them. They played very well and it is clear that we still have much work to do before we take on the Bulls.”

“There are a lot of new things in the scrums, but we as players must adapt to those situations. The referees do their bit and so must we.”

Kings 29-13 Franchise XV
Kings: Tries: Grey 2, Peterson 2, Leonardi, Cons: Dunlop 2
Franchise XV: Try: Parks, Con: Taljard, Pens: Taljard 2

Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons:

“In the first half the line-outs were appalling. We lost possession in about nine of the 11 line-outs. This meant we had no possession, which made it difficult to play”

“We also received two yellow cards, which meant at one point we were down to 13 men on the field. It was a bad day at the office”