Super Rugby

Bulls coach agrees SA teams aren't fit enough

Nollis Marais (Gallo Images)
Nollis Marais (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bulls coach Nollis Marais agrees with the notion that South African teams are not as well-conditioned as their New Zealand counterparts.

Marais was responding to comments made by Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, who said after his side’s 62-24 mauling of the Bulls in Pretoria that he felt the South African teams aren’t fit enough.

“I think we are not up to the level of New Zealand teams with fitness and intensity and you can see that in all the matches,” Marais said in Pretoria on Tuesday.

“I don’t want to talk about other provinces but you can see it in all the matches, they just have a different reaction speed and breakdown intensity. That is something we’re experiencing for the first time this year, last year we only played Australian teams and we have fallen behind there. That is the area where we have to adapt, the whole of South Africa has to adapt and that will be a challenge for us.”

Robertson said after last Saturday’s match at Loftus Versfeld that the Bulls struggled with the tempo at which they played the game.

“For me, clearly, the South African teams need to be fitter. Super Rugby is a fast game, it’s a tempo game. It’s a game with a high skill level and you make errors when you’re fatigued,” Robertson said.

“And I think it showed (against the Bulls), we got momentum and played with speed... they struggled to stay with us. That’s clear, that picture’s clear for everyone to see...”