Vodacom Super 14
Ludeke a happy man
Pretoria – It may not have been vintage Bulls, but the important thing is that they are still unbeaten after Saturday’s Super 14 match against the Force in Perth.
That is why Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was a happy man after his side’s 28-15 win.
The Bulls still comfortably top the log after the victory and Ludeke believes they have an excellent foundation for the tour matches against the Blues, Chiefs and Reds.
“It was exactly what we needed. A victory in the first game of your tour gives momentum and confidence. We have that now, even though there were some areas of our game I was not happy with,” said Ludeke.
He was referring to the first half, in particular, when the Bulls dominated territory. They had the home side under big pressure, but could only score a try through Pierre Spies and five points via the boot of Morné Steyn.
“We played in the right areas, but did not always finish well,” admitted Ludeke.
“Fortunately the guys started playing with more patience in the second half. We got over the advantage line well, took the right decisions and scored the points.”
He referred to captain Victor Matfield’s decisions to rather opt for attacking lineouts and scrums than go for posts off penalties. It did not work for the Bulls as they were too impatient in their bid to get to the Force’s line.
Matfield started calling on Steyn in the second half and even though the flyhalf’s kicking was inconsistent, he still kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Two superb tries by Steyn and Zane Kirchner confirmed the inevitable to the Force.
Ludeke said the Bulls were very calm at half-time in spite of trailing 10-12.
“We felt in control throughout. Their flyhalf exploited poor positional play on our side in the second half, but we knew it was all about finishing. The guys kept their structure and we could wrap up the match.”
Ludeke warned the Stormers – who play the Force on Friday - that the men from Perth are “definitely on an upward curve and their commitment on defence is noticeable”.
The Bulls arrived in Auckland late on Sunday night (New Zealand time) ahead of their game against the Blues.
The team jetted in on two separate flights from Perth via Sydney and spent more time on the plane than when they travelled from Johannesburg to Perth.
The players will rest on Monday before a late-afternoon swimming session.
Ludeke has not yet analysed the Blues. “We will start preparing for them on Monday. We don’t have serious injuries. Derick Kuün too a knock to the hamstring, but I don’t think it’s serious.”