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Bulls are ‘worthy’ of Unlocked trophy, despite disruptions, says Griquas coach Mathie – The Citizen

The Bulls are deserving of their new status as Super Rugby Unlocked champions, Griquas coach Scott Mathie believes.

Despite the competition being disrupted by Covid-19, with a total of three matches being called off, Mathie felt nobody could really dispute the fact that the Bulls were the top team in the series.

“We all knew going into this competition there were going to be complications and, regardless of the other affected matches, I believe if you finished on top of the standings that you are worthy,” Mathie said after his team lost their final Unlocked game 28-9 against the Cheetahs at a drenched Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

With Griquas preparing to open their Currie Cup campaign at home against the Lions this weekend, Mathie predicted there would be more disruptions to the domestic game in the form of postponed matches due to coronavirus.

“There will be a few more spikes in certain areas and I do predict there will be more games postponed, but you have to control the controllable,” he said.

Mathie pointed out that each union had protocols in place to try and prevent the spread as much as possible, in order to minimise disruptions.

“We spoke about being adaptable before the season started and the players have done that really well. They will have to continue with that, but it will be challenging,” he said.

“It will be great if there are not any more disruptions but I just can’t see it happening.”

Turning his attention to this weekend’s fixture against the Lions, Mathie believed it was tough for their opponents to play in Kimberley.

“I think if you asked the Sharks the previous week they would agree with that,” he said.

“I think we have turned that corner when it comes to home matches.”

Though they pushed eventual champions the Bulls in their opening game, losing by just 30-23, Griquas were defeated in all six of their Super Rugby Unlocked games.

Mathie admitted smaller teams like themselves and the Pumas were under pressure, however, with a lack of depth due to limited budgets.

“If you give me another R35 million in our budget that will be great, but it is what it is and for me it’s about the effort,” he said.

“We can also be a bit smarter in certain areas.”

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