Super Rugby 2019: Blues coach Leon MacDonald left fuming at costly mistakes in Bulls draw

Blues coach Leon MacDonald is lamenting the same mistakes which continue to cost his team victory after their 22-22 draw against the Bulls at Eden Park.

The Blues led for large portions of the match and held a seven-point lead with five minutes remaining, but a converted try to Bulls first-five Manie Libbok levelled the scores in the dying stages.

The home side then had a chance to win the match with a penalty goal after the fulltime siren, but Harry Plummer's shot at goal was well wide of the mark.

The result means the Blues must win their remaining two games on the road against the Reds and Hurricanes, and hope other results go their way if they want to scrape into the playoffs.

"It was a tough watch. We were our own worst enemy for the majority of that game - good play and then error," said a disappointed MacDonald.

"It's where we're at just at the moment. We just can't shake a team because we constantly make errors that keep them in the game. They were hanging in there and hanging in there and got that try near the end and that was it.

"At times we see good gains and then just a kick out on the full or a dropped ball, and it rears its head again.

"We need to be better. We did enough to win the game, and I've said that a lot of times this year. But that doesn't count for anything on the scoreboard."

Harry Plummer after his missed shot at goal.
Harry Plummer after his missed shot at goal. Photo credit: Photosport

MacDonald defended the decision to kick for goal after the fulltime siren, despite the torrential conditions and Plummer's below-par goal-kicking stats.

In his first season, the 20-year-old is converting 56 percent of his kicks at goal (17 from 31) while as a team, the Blues' percentage at goal is in the low 60s - the lowest percentage in Super Rugby.

Plummer also missed two shots at goal, which would have given the Blues their first win over the Crusaders since 2014 back in round one.

"It's a tough kick from the sideline with a wet ball. The other option was the corner but he backed himself.

"He'd been kicking the ball really well, and he backed himself there and unfortunately didn't quite make it."

While the Blues saw the result as a loss, Bulls coach Pote Human was treated the draw as a win due to their horrendous record in New Zealand.

Their only victory in Auckland over the Blues came in 2013, which is also the last time they won a match in New Zealand.

"A draw is not nice, but for us coming to New Zealand, the last six years we couldn't win a game here. This is better than a loss," he said.

"We had our opportunities, we played the perfect game against the Blues and really put them under huge pressure. Unfortunately, we couldn't finish it, but we'll take the two points."

The Blues travel across the Tasman to face the Reds next week while the Bulls head south to face the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Newshub. 

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