Andrew Brace. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)
- Without saying anything negative about him, Bulls mentor Jake White explained that the team was ruined by referee Andrew Brace in the URC final.
- By labeling the performance as “outstanding”, White assumes that officiating at the breakdown and off-side lines on defense is broken.
- But he acknowledged that the Bulls could have gotten more in a dominant first half.
In a vintage innuendo look, the Bulls mentor looks at Jake White’s intimate emotions in his displeasure at Andrew Brace’s performance without actually criticizing the United Rugby Championship (URC) final referee.
In fact, the franchise’s rugby director believes his allegations have no chance of reversing an 18-13 defeat at Cape Town Stadium regardless of what they throw at the Stormers.
“This is what. I don’t think we’re going to win that game,” White said.
“I feel like the referee is incredible. He sees what he’s looking at and we can’t control anything else.”
Stressed about the importance of a yellow card outside center Cornal Hendricks for a high punch to the shoulder against partner Ruhan Nel in the 56th minute, White denied the importance, as the decision proved to be the least problematic for the Bulls.
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“I don’t want to know everything. I’m just telling you, tonight there are things that can’t be controlled and won’t be controlled.
“I tell the players to keep up and when things change, we’ll be okay. The referee is really incredible, you don’t have to call me wrong.
“What you see, he blows. I’m happy. I can’t deny it. If you see it, blow it. No problem.”
To be fair, White and his coaching staff have reason to feel sad, especially when broken, where Deon Fourie’s influence – sometimes – can be allowed to rule freely.
There is an argument that needs to be made that the Bulls may be stuck more for portraying the kind of image that Brace feels even if the ethics of rugby can be questioned.
“Before half-time, he went in half and got a penalty for off-side. We went in half six times and never got a penalty for off-side. You can’t control that thing. The referee,” White said.
“There were a few times he found the ball, missed it, came back and got it back and got the prize. And if the referee sees that, it’s really good. The rest is out of control, we’ll never control it. If we control it, we’ll win. But it can’t be. ”
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Not surprisingly, White’s words about Fourie were limited.
“To be fair, I didn’t even watch the contest. He was a good player, but Elrigh Louw and Arno Botha also played well.
“As a coach, you don’t really see other players in a game like this. You just see your own team. I don’t want to sound like a frown because I have to teach players to be humble when they lose. But it really hurts,” he said.
However, he acknowledged that the Bulls ’dominance in the first half should have translated into more realism.
“We have a chance. From a rugby standpoint, I can’t complain. We had enough chances in the first half to finish the game. I’m not saying we won, but it’s done.”