Head coach Dwayne Peel admitted the Bulls handed his side a lesson in how to be clinical as he reflected on the Scarlets’ 63-21 loss in the opening round of the United Rugby Championship in Pretoria.
“We had a lesson in execution,” said Peel after the match at Loftus Versfeld. “The Bulls were very clinical, especially in that first 25 minutes, they punished every error we made.
“We came back into it and I’m disappointed we didn’t get the bonus point for four tries, but at the end of the day we didn’t really deserve it.
“The reality is not many sides come here and win. Some good sides have been sent packing here.
“I thought we gifted the Bulls some soft tries early in the first and second half and there were a few execution things in attack we need to look at. We did get behind them on occasions, scored some nice tries, but we also wasted opportunities in their 22.
“We are obviously disappointed, Loftus is always a tough place to play, it was a scorching day as well which took its toll on us. We catch a plane down to Cape Town tonight and it’s back to work. We review and get on with it.
“For us, it is not the end of the world, we need to lick our wounds, stay tight and move on. We are not going to dwell on it. You get a lot out of these trips and this young group will learn a lot from that experience. There are a lot of young men here who won’t be the first to experience that coming to Loftus.
“You have to remember, we were also without a number of players, the World Cup boys with Wales, Josh Macleod, Vaea Fifita, Ken Owens, Steff Evans, Dan Jones, who are big parts of this group, who will boost us.”
Skipper Jonathan Davies echoed Peel’s comments, saying: “We probably gave them too much respect at the start of the game, we fought back, but we have to cut out the errors. A good team takes their chances and that is what the Bulls did. We have got to take a look at ourselves and be better.
“We knew if we kept ball we would cause problems, we always do that, but credit to the Bulls they put us under pressure and we need to be smarter. It is the first game of the season and a lot of rugby to be played.”