Johannesburg - Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke won’t be underestimating the threat the Force pose to his high-flying team when the two sides meet on Saturday.
Ludeke’s Bulls are the only unbeaten side left in the Vodacom Super 14 at the moment, and are on a run of 11 straight Super 14 victories, but will face a challenge of a different sort in Perth on Saturday.
On the face of it, the Force’s lowly 14th position points to a one-sided game, but Ludeke is wary of what he saw in the Force’s narrow 14-10 defeat at the hands of the Waratahs and believes the Australian side is very much a threat to his charges.
The Bulls arrived safely in Perth on Wednesday afternoon, Australian time, and headed to their hotel to rest after their long flight, but will only take a decision on scrumhalf Fourie du Preez’ injured ankle later on.
Ludeke said while the Bulls had not been flashy in their victory over the Hurricanes, they were happy with the win. They are also preparing for a massive onslaught against the Force, who last year lost narrowly to the Bulls and beat them the year before in Perth.
“We’re focussing on our own game and we will continue to back our own structures,” Ludeke said, “And you are prepared to adapt as we did last weekend to grind out a result when things don’t go your way, then you will always be in with a chance.
“They have shown a massive improvement in the last two weeks and the return of some of their senior players has made a remarkable difference in the way they have played.
Ludeke has taken note of the Force’s defensive structures, especially at the breakdown where they are strong.
“Their defence is good, especially at the breakdown and around the fringes. This is why a lot of the teams don’t get their momentum going against them, because the Force are incredibly competitive at the breakdown.
“We need to be committed and accurate at the breakdown this weekend. They also have a good setpiece – and in this competition when a team has a good setpiece and good defence, they will always be a danger to anyone they play.
The Bulls will name their side after they have more clarity on Du Preez’ fitness.