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    Ludeke: We need to finish well

    2015-06-09 07:55

    Ockert de Villiers - Sport24

    Johannesburg - Fresh off their second consecutive whitewash on tour, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says his players were looking to shake off the disappointment and finish their season on a winning note when they face the Cheetahs in Pretoria on Saturday.

    “It is a vital game for us, we want to finish well and we would like to select our best available team,” Ludeke said at Monday’s training at Loftus Versfeld.

    “We are disappointed that we didn’t get the results that we were working for and everybody wants to finish well.”

    There were no serious injury concerns and Ludeke would be able to select his strongest team for their final hurrah with the exception of Victor Matfield and Handre Pollard who are due a break as per the SARU agreement.

    With the Bulls’ final log position riding on Saturday’s result, Ludeke was reluctant to make any selection experiments with an eye on the future.

    “If you want to win on the weekend you need to pick your best side, the future will look after itself, it is vital for us this weekend,” he said.

    A bonus-point victory over the Cheetahs would see the Bulls leapfrog the Lions on the log to seventh place which would give their season a healthier-looking façade compared to their current ninth place.

    However, Ludeke admitted the team did not perform up to standard and lamented the two opening defeats against the Stormers and the Hurricanes at home.

    “The match against the Hurricanes was a crucial loss and against the Stormers we weren’t at our best,” he said.

    Ludeke said had his side racked up two more victories before their tour of Australasia it would have given them enough of a cushion to take the pressure off the crucial matches abroad.

    “If we won one of the matches against the Stormers and the Lions it would have been a different story as you have a bit of a cushion,” he said.

    “If we had managed one win on tour we would still have been in the race, so the regrets are that there were games that we needed to win.”

    He said he was aware of the critique of the Bulls’ playing philosophy but he believed the side had made inroads in playing a more rounded game.

    “We are trying to move in the right direction by having a more all-round game because that is the only way you can win this competition,” Ludeke said.

    “Kick and suffocate is not going to get you there in Super Rugby because other teams just outplay you when they get the ball into space and the skill level of some teams keep you busy.”

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