Quick Hits: Ritchie, Lang and Blair on Bulls
Get the Quick Hits and further Vodacom Bulls reaction from Jamie Ritchie, James Lang and Mike Blair following Saturday's narrow Round 2 defeat in Pretoria.
Can you put Saturday’s result to one side and concentrate on all the things that went well?
“Yeah, I think so. They were pretty tough conditions, and before the game we spoke about getting our heads round that. I said to the guys in the huddle after the game that I couldn’t fault the effort.
“We went into that game with three pillars that we wanted to pride ourselves on: that was work rate, physicality and discipline. I think two of those three were probably spot-on – work rate and physicality – I just think we need to get our discipline a bit right.”
Did a slow start leave Edinburgh up against it?
“I guess it did, but you saw the position we were in at the end of the game. It was very much in our hands with ten minutes to go. That penalty we gave away which Morne Steyn kicked over – if we’d not given that away, I think we probably would have won the game.
“Hindsight is 20:20. If we hadn’t given them 15 points at the start, then we might have won by 15 points. You don’t know. You’ve got to play the game that’s in front of you.
“We had a slow start, but I think the way that we reacted to that was outstanding. We bounced back and we came back before half-time.
Disappointment but confidence from the overall performance?
“Yeah, I think so. I think we did a lot of things really well, a lot of things we spoke about during the week. Our week was slightly compromised with travelling at the start of the week but we’re not here to make excuses.
“I thought we played really well and there’s a lot to take into this week. That’s one of the great things about the game that we play – seven days later we get another opportunity to put some things right and get back to winning. That’s what we’ll be looking to do on Saturday.”
Was the Bulls match simply one that got away?
“Yeah, I definitely feel that it’s one that got away. We didn’t give ourselves the best start – we were a bit slow out of the blocks. The boys really dug deep to fight our way back into a really good position to win the game at the end.
“I think you can’t fault the boys’ effort. We did some really good things. It’s very exciting: it was the second game of the season and it’s definitely something we can build on through the next block of games. Hopefully we can put some things right.”
Stormers up next. How well placed will the boys be going into Saturday’s second tour match?
“I think the boys will be raring to go. We’re heading back to Cape Town, and we’ll park Saturday’s game and all the focus will be on the Stormers.
“We know what a difficult place it is to go – we lost there in the quarter-finals and we want to put things right from there, from that perspective and also from Saturday.
“The boys are disappointed, they’re hurting, but there are a lot of positives to take out of the Bulls game into this week and build on them in training. I’m very excited for this week’s challenge and I know the boys are too.”
On Darcy Graham’s hat-trick performance
“He is outstanding isn’t he. I have spoken to him already about putting the ball down with two hands because he gives me the heebiejeebies when he puts the ball down one-handed when it is sweating.
“He is outstanding. The third try with Bill’s pass, Henry’s pick up and Darcy’s score in the corner was just another of those brilliant moments. The first try he set off on his right foot, it looked like he was doing it at half pace the way he beat that last man. He is in some form at the moment.”