Vodacom Super Rugby
Bulls must use 'deadly' Basson
Pretoria – The Bulls are not blind to the attacking abilities of wing sensation Bjorn Basson.
They realise how dangerous a player he can be and will still look to create opportunities where he can cause havoc in opposing defences.
That was the assurance provided by Bulls coach Frans Ludeke from Perth on Monday. The Bulls play their final overseas game against the Western Force there on Saturday.
“We definitely aren’t keeping the ball away from Bjorn because we realise how deadly he can be. Unfortunately things did not work out in such a way that we were able to give him enough space against the Reds,” said Ludeke.
“We had two scrums where we could send him away, but we got penalties at both and kicked for goal.”
Basson showed with his two games against the Reds how dangerous he can be. His second try – when he beat the Reds’ defence and scored off his own kick – show how skilled and instinctive he can be.
The Bulls’ problem on attack can only be solved if they get Basson in space more often.
Up until now the Bulls have mainly concentrated on Basson’s world class aerial ability to win balls– as he did for his first try against the Reds.
However, they will be able to get more from him if he also gains possession through normal phase play.
He scored an excellent try against the Stormers – the team with the best defensive pattern in the tournament – when the Bulls created space for him.
The focus of the Bulls’ attacking play still remains the first two channels next to the set phases where Pierre Spies and Wynand Olivier are used to get go-forward and generate momentum.
The problem with that is that the two players are then in the sights of more than one defender and therefore this tactic is not as successful as in the past.
Spies was in possession 21 times and carried the ball 13 on 13 occasions, while Olivier made 7 carries from the 9 times he was in possession.
“We are aware of the quality of our outside backs. That is why we have them in the team. There is also room for innovation and players can express themselves within our pattern,” said Ludeke.
The Bulls are under heavy pressure.
“We don’t have a choice. We have to win. All we are focusing on is to win on Saturday,” added Ludeke.