Highlanders to face embarrassed Bulls

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The Bulls are the only winless side in the competition and were outplayed 39-24 by the Jaguares at the weekend.

 

The Highlanders, who have only one win from their four games and who will be without skipper, and flanker, James Lentjes who has a broken leg that has ended his season, will be looking to repeat the Blues' achievements by winning at altitude at Loftus Versfeld.

 

However, the weight of criticism descending on the Bulls will make them all the more dangerous.

 

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett said the Bulls' performance against the Jaguares was a comedy of errors, both on defence and attack.

 

"Whenever they were on [the] attack, they would just use one-off runners, which is the easiest way for any defence to defend against.

 

"The attack was hopeless and their defence was embarrassing. There was a clear lack of understanding on how to defend a counterattack and how to defend a shifting centre," he told supersport.com.

 

What concerned Mallett most was that the experienced players who should be setting the example were 'utterly invisible'. The players concerned had been signed to provide aggression and leadership but were not producing.

 

"The lineouts were poor. I think they lost five out of 13 on their throw and that is inexcusable. And their discipline was really poor. So there wasn't a single thing that stood out.

"You cannot compete at this level playing like that," he said.

 

Mallett said the Bulls couldn't expect to win by relying on one or two players to win them games.

 

"You have to have a collective structure to your attack that creates opportunities. It's just a shambles," he said.

 

Coach Pote Human said he would be looking to keep his players motivated ahead of the Highlanders game.

 

"I will try to keep the players positive, but our performances have not been good enough, not for the Bulls. I will have a hard look at myself first and then the players to see what we can do so we can rectify mistakes. This is very, very disappointing," he said.

 

"I am disappointed with everything because I think we lost five lineouts and that is just not good enough. The scrums did not go as planned and the defence gave them easy tries," he said.

 

Compounding the Bulls' woes is that after the Highlanders game they head off on their Australasian tour with games against the Reds, Waratahs, Hurricanes and Chiefs.

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