Bulls eyeing top spot again
Johannesburg - Bulls mentor Frans Ludeke is confident his side will once again return to the summit of the SA conference in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition, provided they execute well in their match against the Hurricanes in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Bulls relinquished top spot ahead of this week's clash when the Cheetahs banked four points for their first bye of the season.
“They (the Cheetahs) did well to get into that position and it sounds like a cliche but that is exactly why you need to run your own race and focus on your game,” Ludeke said.
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“The bonus points will come. You set yourself up for that as soon as you work hard enough to get control in a game and you are getting things working because you are executing well.”
The Hurricanes go into the encounter with last week's narrow 18-16 defeat to the Stormers still fresh in their memory and will hope to set the record straight against another South African side.
“They can vary their game depending on what their decision makers see,” Ludeke said.
“We are playing against a New Zealand side on tour, so we have to make sure we use that to our advantage, but at the end of the day it's about what happens between the four lines.”
The Bulls are showing signs of maturity, having won all three of their matches since returning from their tour of Australasia.
Lineouts have historically been a strong point for the Pretoria team, and they dominated this area of play in their 30-19 victory over the Waratahs last week.
Bulls captain Pierre Spies hoped they could exert the same pressure against the Hurricanes.
“The lineouts bore fruit for us against the Waratahs and we would like to build on that and put pressure on the Hurricanes with that," Spies said.
"We hope it comes off this weekend. We've done our preparations."
The Hurricanes have the best record of the New Zealand franchises against the Bulls in Pretoria, boasting a record of four victories out of seven matches in the South African capital, and Ludeke said the hosts would not get bogged down by their home-ground advantage.
“There is always talk about home and away but when the whistle blows nobody thinks about that and it is about the process," he said.
"You want to execute the plans and put the points on the board and try to neutralise their strong points."