Bulls loss will motivate Waratahs



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Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie hopes that his team’s loss to the Bulls will serve to refocus his side for next weekend’s critical match with the Stormers in Cape Town.

The Waratahs picked up a bonus point for finishing within seven points of the Bulls which lifted them back up to second place.

Losing 16-13 to the Bulls was however an important opportunity missed where they could have shored up a play off place.

The loss was their first in six matches and left them only one point clear of the third-placed Hurricanes, with the Stormers another point behind them.

“Sometimes you need a loss to just get focused again and we will take this opportunity to learn some lessons,” McKenzie told AAP.

The Waratahs looked to be on track early on leading 7-0 and dominated the opening quarter but couldn’t build on an early Rob Horne try.

Then halfback Luke Burgess crossed the Bulls line but had the ball knocked out of his hand by prop Werner Kruger.

The Bulls had patience and worked their way back into the game from being just 7-6 down at the break.

The Bulls hooker Derick Kuun swung the game in their favour after the break with a try.

Kurtley Beale evened things up with a penalty and a drop goal but his opposite number Morne Steyn produced a match winning drop goal of his own to break the deadlock with just over five minutes remaining.

“It was a game we could have won, probably should have won but didn’t,” McKenzie said.

“You’ve got to give credit to the Bulls, they bustled us and made us play at the wrong end of the field.”

“We defended very well, some of the tackling was outstanding at times. The effort of the team was quite good.

“The guys worked hard, but I don’t know if we worked smart.”

McKenzie said he also took no issue with Lote Tuqiri taking the long distance penalties instead of Beale, despite the winger skewing two 40m plus attempts well wide of the posts.



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