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Wounded Bulls face Crusaders test

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Sunday, March 18, 2018    Getty Images

Up 28-14 at halftime in Hamilton, the Bulls were scoreless in the second half while the Chiefs scored 27 points to claim an Investec Super Rugby win.

Mitchell felt a disallowed try and a penalty for obstruction by Lood de Jager when halfback Embrose Papier scored had been crucial to the outcome.

"I really enjoyed our mentality and I thought we had an outstanding first half. And the second half was punctuated by the big moment on that obstruction try.

"When you go back to the footage Lood looked like he didn't even change his line.

"So that was a huge moment because we could have been back to 14 points ahead," he told Supersport.com.

They were also forced to play for 10 minutes without replacement prop Conrad van Vuuren for his high and late tackle on Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie.

"The yellow was from stupidity which you can't afford to do at this level," he said.

They were also guilty of impatience on three occasions they were in the Chiefs' 22 in the second half.

"Get those things together then you can finish off a match in New Zealand because they are not easy to win," he said.

There was also a need to recognise that the Bulls were going through a transition in style.

"Sometimes failure gets in the road of growth so it is important that we recognised that there was actually a really good mindset and an exceptional approach.

"New Zealand is a hard place to play and when you to teach teams who come here how to play the game and what's needed to win here, it doesn't matter how you talk about it, you just have to get with the positive of winning. We'll be back again," he said.

Mitchell's job was to get his team getting better and making sure they continued to believe and trust their skill sets.

"We still got to continue to trust our skill sets but when you are with a new group that is trying to play against one of the best teams in the competition you've got to be patient with them as well.

"I guess the important thing is that it wasn't loose structure, there is actually an element of structure in how we play.

"We were really disappointed with ourselves with the looseness of our attack and inability to be connected in attack against Queensland Reds. So that's the reason why we went back to some of our priorities in the attacking structure and we had a good mindset.

"Clearly we would like to continue that but every team's defences are different so each week is a different situation," he said.

However, they will have to face the Crusaders with halfback Andre Warner and lock RG Snyman who have both returned to South Africa. Snyman suffered a facial fracture and could be out for six weeks while Warner suffered concussion.