Super Rugby

Bulls need to 'pitch up mentally' against the Rebels

Pretoria - Bulls coach Pote Human has called on his charges to “pitch up mentally” ahead of their Super Rugby tour opener against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.

Human laid it on the line that the Bulls were nowhere near where they needed to be mentally for the Crusaders game and it showed in the 45-13 scoreline, a mauling the team could not afford.

But this week the opportunity to break away and bond on tour, and get away from the pressures of home games he believes will allow his side to focus more on the job at hand.

“It’s difficult, but we had to have a hard look at ourselves son Monday and we went through clips and had a hard chat to everyone involved,” Human said from Melbourne.

“We definitely can’t play like that again. We weren’t good and our defence wasn’t good. We gave soft tries away and need to be more positive. We have to play more rugby and keep the ball in our hands.

“We have to score tries if we want to stay in this competition.”

Human hasn’t rung the changes after the Crusaders game, opting to keep the faith in the majority of the team that went down at Loftus Versfeld last weekend. To that end he has brought in Tier Schoeman at flank for Marco van Staden while Warrick Gelant returns to the side from his bout of tonsillitis that kept him from the last game.

Hanro Liebenberg’s return means that Jannes Kirsten will return to the bench with the former joining the loose trio.

“The Rebels are a very good side and can score from anywhere. They have a good kicking game and are in the same situation as us. They are second in their conference and it will be a huge game,” Human added, underlining the importance to setting the tone on the tour with a good start.

“We have to focus on ourselves and have to be better than we were in the past few weeks. We can click and we need to and it will be great for the tour if we do. It will be a long tour if we don’t make it on Friday night,” Human said.

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