Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pote Human was unrepentant about the tackles of JP Nel that left two Sharks players injured.
The Durban-based side have been scathing in their criticism of the Bulls centre.
Sharks lock Wouter Moore’s season is over following a ferocious but legal tackle which resulted in him undergoing emergency abdominal surgery on Saturday evening.
The Sharks also feared they would be without Bradley Barritt, who was allegedly tackled off the ball by Nel, though video analysis proved inconclusive. Barritt passed a concussion test and will start against the Vodacom Cheetahs on Saturday.
Human was bemused by the criticism, and urged detractors of his team’s brutal defence to indulge in a moment of introspection.
“Those people who are complaining should have a look at the two incidents where Butch James failed to use his arms in the tackle,” he told Morris Gilbert of Beeld. “He should have been penalised but wasn’t.”
The Bulls are the third best defensive team in the Absa Currie Cup, and Human was adamant that they would not abandon the aggressive defensive approach. He did however temper that by stressing they would always strive to do so within the rules.
“We certainly don’t run onto the field with the purpose of of injuring our opposition through illegal means. Discipline is very important for us, especially because of the situation we find ourselves in. “One penalty too many could cost us a place in the semi-final,” he added.
Human also dismissed the suggestion that complacency following their win over the Sharks would affect his team’s performance.
“Our semi-final destiny is in our own hands. That’s why we can’t afford to slip-up against Griquas. It’ll be the highlight of their season if they beat us. It would mean that they would’ve beaten us, the Lions and the Sharks in Kimberley.”
Bulls captain Gary Botha, echoed his coach’s sentiments. “Each player knows the importance of winning this match and what my expectation of them is if we are to do that. We want to play constructive rugby and be clinical in our execution of the game plan.”