The result of the Cats and Bulls Vodacom Super 14 clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday was not a true reflection of the closeness of the contest.
That is the view of Calamity Cats coach Frans Ludeke, who said he believed his team was better at Loftus than in previous encounters this season.
Still the Cats were hammered 46-17 and conceded six tries. “The score isn’t a true reflection of the game,” Ludeke pleaded afterwards. “We played better today than in previous encounters.”
Ludeke admitted that the Cats “are making lots of mistakes”, but insisted the problem was not one of a lack of talent or skill in the Cats squad.
Cats captain Andre Pretorius, who was deputising for the injured Wikus van Heerden lamented the losing culture in the team and blamed that for their ongoing losing streak.
“Losing is a habit,” he said. “And it creates pressure. Once you are in a losing cycle you get more hesitant and that cost us on several occasions.”
The Bulls hardly looked like they got out of third gear, but still secured the bonus point to finish the weekend one spot off the semi-final placings in fifth. They trail the fourth-placed Brumbies by four points ahead of the crunch encounter against fellow play-off wannabes the Sharks at Loftus next weekend.
The loser of that match is almost certainly out of the running to advance and will have to rely on other teams dropping points if they hope to sneak in.
Meanwhile, the black kitten that interupted play just after the half-hour mark was escorted from the field by a match official and taken to safety. According to Bulls media liaison Dimeon van Rooyen the stadium doctor has decided to adopt the young cat.
It is, however, the Cats from Ellis Park that should be looking for somewhere safe to hide after suffering their ninth defeat of the season. Is this finally the the cats’ ninth life? Many fans will be hoping that it is.
By Andrew Hollely