Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett was disappointed by the Bulls' performance during their 22-10 loss to the Brumbies in Canberra at the weekend.
The defeat - the Bulls' sixth in 13 games this season - left the men from Pretoria third in the SA Conference and seventh overall.
But with two games in New Zealand lying in wait, Mallett fears the Bulls' title hopes could be over.
Speaking in the SuperSport studio over the weekend, Mallett said: "This game summed up the difference between the Australasian teams and South African teams. We saw the Brumbies' ability to score from first-phase attack. South African sides in general have all forgotten how to score from strike moves.
"We're just as good as anyone at scrums, lineouts and mauls and our defence, kicking game and physicality are good, but our strike moves are very, very poor. Our understanding of timing, when to pass and deception just hasn’t been coached well.
"Losing Handre Pollard and Duane Vermeulen didn't just affect the Bulls' leadership ability negatively. A No 8 and a flyhalf basically control the game and to lose that calibre of experience there is tough. Now they are going to New Zealand and it's very hard to see them beating two Kiwi sides without Pollard and Vermeulen. I think they've run their race."
The Bulls tackle the Blue in Auckland on Friday (May 31 - 09:35 SA time) and conclude their Australasian tour against the Highlanders in Dunedin on June 7.