The Bulls have surprised everyone in this year’s Super 15 Rugby competition. After losing seven of their world-class stalwarts, they’ve done far better than expected.
This past Saturday, after a long season, they booked a place in the quarter-final playoff against seven-times champions, the Crusaders.
Travelling to Christchurch for any visiting team is a tall order.
But let’s not make excuses. The Bulls had as good a chance as any team this season to upset the Crusaders on their home ground.
Saturday’s game was not to be and the Bulls came up dreadfully short, again, exposed by a superior team that actually had a game-plan.
The last six Bulls give Bulls games paint a dismal picture of a team riding high earlier in the season that simply self-imploded at the final hurdle.
Rugby is a team sport and the team is to blame. But I have to be honest, I have never seen such a dismal lack of team skill or strategy as what we’ve witnessed from the Bulls over the past few weeks.
If the Bulls are ever expected to ascend again to the top of world rugby, then simply bullying their way forward, or spreading the ball wide to an unimaginative backline who run themselves into touch, is not going to do it.
The game has changed, and without a professional strategy and game plan designed for the specific opposition on the given day, the Bulls are destined for eternal mediocrity.
I like the Bulls, they’ve been the trendsetters of world rugby for a decade now, but they’ve lost their passion for innovative strategy and have once again become a predictable one-dimensioned team.