Bulls unchanged for Crusaders
Pretoria - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says his players have put last weekend’s narrow defeat to the Stormers behind them and are eager to face the Crusaders in their Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
“We are looking forward to this contest against the Crusaders," Ludeke said after he named his team on Wednesday.
"They are a side that get the best out of us as a team and we respect their ability.
“Ball movement will be vital this weekend, to make sure we are disciplined and control the ball for 80 minutes.”
Ludeke, for the third consecutive week, kept his starting XV unchanged.
He blamed a lack of discipline for his side’s 20-17 defeat to the Stormers in Cape Town last week when they conceded 14 penalties and a yellow card.
“On Saturday discipline cost us, and penalty kicks were the major difference between the two sides," Ludeke said.
"Fourteen penalties (conceded) was not good enough.
“Win or lose we address that at our previews on a Monday. There is accountability.
"We look at it and we help players to make better and more accurate decisions.
“There were some silly penalties and it is a thing that we need to totally get out of our game.”
While Ludeke talked tough on Wednesday, he believed his troops would make up for their transgressions against the Stormers.
“This weekend it will be vital again and I believe the players will clear up their act at the breakdown, scrum time, wherever in the game,” he said.
A mere two points separate the Bulls and the Crusaders on the Super Rugby log, with both teams having lost two matches of their five so far this season.
The Crusaders got their two-match South African tour off to a good start with a 23-13 win over the Lions in Johannesburg last week.
The New Zealand side's coach, Todd Blackadder, however, was not impressed with his squad’s performance and the Bulls can expect an improved Crusaders outfit.
The seven-time Super Rugby champions have been firing hot and cold this season but Bulls skipper Pierre Spies still had immense admiration for them.
“The Crusaders are another quality team, who have been a championship side for the past few years,” Spies said.
“One has respect for the Crusaders as a team and for what they have achieved. They have a couple of All Blacks, so they will be settled.
“It is a quality side against who we will play this weekend and they would like to keep the momentum on their tour.
“It is going to be a tough match and we will have to prepare ourselves for that.”
Kick-off is at 17:05 SA time.
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 JJ Engelbrecht