Brumbies boss Jake White feels the Bulls' decision to decline three goal-kicking opportunities helped his side to victory.
Brumbies boss Jake White says the Bulls' decisions to decline three goal-kicking opportunities in the final quarter of the match assisted his team in securing a 26-23 victory in their Super Rugby semi-final at Lotus Versfeld, Pretoria on Saturday.
“The players said they grew a bit of a leg on the basis that they weren't going for poles, it almost I suppose helped us a bit because we kept saying 'they are leaving the door open',” White revealed after the match.
“I don't know what the reason for that was, considering that they took (Chiliboy) Ralepelle off and they had a new hooker, and then you have the best goal kicker in the competition on the field.”
After the Bulls obtained the lead for the first time in the match in the 60th minute, captain Dewald Potgieter opted to go for the sideline rather than going for the points on three occasions in a 10 minute period towards the end of the match.
All three times the Bulls failed in their attempt to score from the line-out and it ultimately backfired for the Pretoria side.
Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani scored with a minute to spare to ensure his side a place in next week's Super Rugby final against the Chiefs in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the logic behind Potgieter's decision was that the Brumbies had pinned his team in their quarter of the field and in going for the line-outs, his side kept the tourists in their half.
“He felt like keeping them down there and if you look at the whole evening getting out of our half – we weren't on top of that area of our game,” Ludeke said.
“His feeling was to keep them down there and the pressure is on them as they can't get out of their half.”
Brumbies captain Ben Mowen praised his side's fitness levels during the second half.
Mowen believes that, and a belief that they could win, helped them clinch a spot in a Super Rugby final for the first time in nine years.
“We're a very fit side – we trust our fitness so we knew we could be in it for the last 40,” he said.
“We love being away together as a group. Some of our best performances have been on the road and I'm just so proud.”