Former captain Anton Leonard believes the Bulls can still qualify for the semi-finals of the Vodacom Super 14 competition.
Despite dropping valuable points in the narrow loss to the Reds in Brisbane at the weekend, Leonard – who led the Blue Bulls to three consecutive Currie Cup titles – feels they can still make it with four wins from their last four matches.
“They are still a quality side and there is definitely a possibility of them qualifying,” Leonard told keo.co.za. “But that TMO decision (of Linston Manuels) can still cost them in the end.”
Leonard said that decision had rocked the team ahead of their overseas tour and sapped the confidence. “It would have made such a difference if it had gone the other way, but that said, the team have thrown away lots of points. I’ve counted 11 missed points so far,” he said.
Asked about the game plan, especially on the tour, Leonard backed his former coach and team-mates. “The game plan is good and Heyneke (Meyer) is a great coach, but we lost a lot of experienced guys at the end of last year. The whole front row – Richard Bands, Kees Lensing and Danie Coetzee have been missed. You can’t replace quality like that overnight.”
“Unfortunately I think we need to depend on the Brumbies dropping a few points if we want to qualify, but I still think they can do it.”
Leonard, who moved to George last year, runs a coffee shop and car wash between coaching at Outeniqua High School and writing for the local paper. “I’m still a huge Bulls supporter and watch them every weekend,” he said.
By Andrew Hollely