Ludeke: We need to finish well
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
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.”