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Revealed: The reason behind the Super Rugby kit clash between the Highlanders and Bulls

(Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

SANZAAR officials have responded to the confusion surrounding why the Bulls and Highlanders were allowed to play each other in almost identical kits during the first half of their match at Loftus Versfeld last weekend.


The Bulls ran away as comfortable 38-13 victors in Pretoria, with a half-time kit change into their white and yellow away uniform propelling the hosts to overturn a 10-5 deficit at the break.

Much was made of the two blue strips that were seen in the opening 40 minutes of the contest, with many left wondering how Super Rugby’s governing body could allow such a conundrum to take place.

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Competition administrators have since admitted their error in letting both teams run out in similar colours and patterns.

“SANZAAR is disappointed that the jerseys for the Bulls versus Highlanders match on the weekend appeared to cause confusion,” they said in a statement.

“The Bulls changed strip at halftime to alleviate the issue and SANZAAR will endeavour to ensure similar confusion does not take place in the future.”

Speaking to Stuff, Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark added more context to the debacle.


“We get our jerseys when Adidas show us ‘this is what we’ve got’ as an away jersey,” he said.

“We get to tweak them a little bit but the jersey we’ve got is pretty similar to what they gave us.

“We then give our two jerseys to SANZAAR and they then put them on a sheet in a breakdown of who is going to play each other in each game.

“The explanation from SANZAAR was that they put them on a piece of paper and they looked different enough [to the Bulls jersey] that we were going to play in them.”

Clark said that he had concerns over a potential kit clash after seeing the Hurricanes take on the Stormers in similar strips in Cape Town earlier this year.

“The Hurricanes played over in Africa early on in one of these jerseys and the clash was bad,” he said.

“It wasn’t as bad as ours but it was bad and I thought, ‘this will be horrific’ because all the Kiwi teams, they’re all similar colours really. “

However, while the Bulls and Highlanders kits appeared similar on television, Clark said it was a different story at the coin toss.

“Normally the referee would pick it up [the clash] before a game.

“But interestingly enough, from what I’ve heard is that when you put them next to each other, like when they do the coin toss, they actually look quite different.

“But when you put them on the field and people are looking for at them from the TV perspective or the stands then obviously there’s a massive clash.

“If the referee had worked it out before the game he could have asked the Bulls to change at that stage.”

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