Pretoria - The Bulls return to Loftus Versfeld on Monday not only licking their wounds from a poor display in their 27-12 defeat the Jaguares this past weekend, but also with the knowledge they may have lost two big names in the process.
According to SuperSport.com, talk from the camp is that both Springboks Trevor Nyakane and their captain Lood de Jager are set for lengthy spells on the sidelines after picking up injuries this past weekend in the match, with the medical diagnosis to be confirmed when they return home.
Both would be massive losses if the injuries are as bad as initially suspected, and would be a major setback ahead of Saturday’s local Jukskei derby against the Lions in Johannesburg.
And the Bulls will need to address the sharp turnaround in form after their sensational win over the Stormers, before playing a horrid game in Buenos Aires where they miscalculated in the wet and slippery conditions and played way too much rugby instead of choosing a tactical option.
For a large part of the game they seemed frustrated and out of sorts, and while the Jaguares capitalised on their mistakes, they were also unable to deal with a defensive system that was offside for large parts of the game.
Coach Pote Human though is not looking for excuses and made sure that the clear message from the management was one of ownership of their poor result.
"We played too much rugby in the conditions and therefore made too many mistakes. They put us under huge pressure with their rush defence which we struggled to cope with," Human said.
"We just were not good enough on the night."
Human said the offside line problem was one they should have adapted to.
"There are no excuses - we have to adapt to the referee. It is a huge disappointment for the team. We know that we are better than this. The conditions weren’t good but they were the same for the Jaguares. We as a team let ourselves down tonight."
Human promised hard work to make sure they are a different team on Saturday and believes his side can and will bounce back.
"We will have to work hard on our set-piece this week because we know the threat that the Lions will bring on Saturday. I still believe in my team and I know we will be much better this coming weekend. Tonight really hurt us and I know we will bounce back."
But the Buenos Aires hoodoo continues and after the excitement of week one of the competition, their away trip brought them hard back down to earth.
As reality checks go, this was a harsh one.