A matter of inches separated the Bulls and the Hurricanes on Friday night, with the visitors coming away with a narrow 17-13 win.
The teams scored one try each, but four penalties by flyhalf Beauden Barrett edged the two penalties and a conversion by Bulls counterpart Handré Pollard.
Bulls captain Pierre Spies, who readily admitted that the Hurricanes deserved their win, felt aggrieved about “one or two” calls that didn’t go their way.
As justified as his grievances with Australian referee Andrew Lees may have been, his acknowledgement of his own team’s shortcomings were equally vital in the final outcome.
And as Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith said afterwards, somewhere down the season those calls may just go their way.
In the end it is a missed opportunity for the Bulls and a deserved win for the Hurricanes.
For the Bulls:
Pens: Pollard 2
For the Hurricanes:
Try: J Savea
Pens: Barrett 4