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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

John Mitchell © Gallo Images

Mitchell happy despite Bulls loss

Vodacom Bulls coach John Mitchell praised his team in the way they took on the challenge of facing the Chiefs in Hamilton, even though they went down 41-28 after leading 28-14 at halftime.

Mitchell said the big turning point in Friday’s game came when the try of Embrose Papier was disallowed, and took the wind out of the Bulls’ sails.

“I really enjoyed our mentality and I thought we had an outstanding first half. And the second half was punctuated by the big moment on that obstruction try. When you go back to the footage Lood looked like he didn't even change his line.

“So that was a huge moment because we could have been back to 14 points ahead. And there was one area where we got a bit untidy was in the attacking 22metres where we were impatient and got no conversion out of the three times that we were in there in the second half.

“And the yellow was from stupidity which you can't afford to do at this level. Get those things together then you can finish off a match in New Zealand because they are not easy to win.

Mitchell wouldn’t comment on the referee, other than the “double warning was ‘very kind’ to the Chiefs” but said his team would continue to play the way they have been playing under him even though the result didn’t go their way.

"Unfortunately we still got to continue to trust our skill sets but when you are with a new group that is trying to play against one of the best things in the competition you got to be patient with them as well.

“Unfortunately we had an opportunity that we could have nailed but we didn't nail. Sometimes failure gets in the road of growth so it is important that we recognise that there was actually a really good mindset and an exceptional approach.

“New Zealand is a hard place to play and when you try teach other teams who come here how to play the game and what's needed to win here, it doesn't matter how you talk about it you just have to get with the positive of winning. We'll be back again

"We fell short in the end and that's my job, it is not about John Mitchell even though I played a part at some stage in rugby here. Ultimately at the end of the day it is about my own team getting better and making sure that they continue to believe and trust their skill sets going forward."

"Ultimately at the end of the day when things are falling into place you just have to identify what's working and what we continue to do and where are the next adjustments. We still presented ourselves enough opportunity even though we didn't convert but I still maintain the obstruction try was still a big call.

Mitchell praised the team’s attack after their poor second half performance against the Reds.

"I guess the important thing is that it wasn't loose structure, there is actually an element of structure in how we play and we were really disappointed with ourselves with the looseness of our attack and inability to be connected in attack against Queensland Reds. So that's the reason why we went back to some of our priorities in the attacking structure and we had a good mindset. Clearly we would like to continue that but every team's defences are different so each week is a different situation."


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