Ludeke lauds Steyn's effort
Pretoria – The two drop goals with which Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn helped sink the Hurricanes in Napier on Saturday were not part of the game plan, but rather good judgement and instinct from a terrific flyhalf.
That was the admission from Bulls coach Frans Ludeke following the team’s excellent 26-14 Super Rugby win over the Hurricanes.
The Bulls showed with the victory that it’s completely premature to write them off as contenders.
“Those drop goals were instinctive. We did not talk about it beforehand or train to play that way. It shows what a fantastic player Morné is and what a great temperament he has,” said Ludeke.
Steyn’s drop goals in the 13th and 23rd minutes were daggers in the hearts of the Hurricanes, who only managed to break the Bulls’ stranglehold on the game in the second half.
“Those drop goals, and the three penalties by Morné in the first half, were precisely what we needed. We never allowed them to play, got in the right areas of the field and turned pressure into points. Then we could run back and start building from scratch,” said Ludeke.
“Morné grabbed the initiative with those drop goals and it worked very well for us. It just goes to show what he’s made of. He felt the opportunities were there and turned it into something special.”
The Bulls arrived in picturesque Queenstown on Sunday and, according to Ludeke, the natural beauty there is a bonus for the team, who already have a lot of confidence following two good victories.
“It’s always good to start the tour on a positive note and the victory ensured precisely that. We had a good win against the Lions and followed it up with a good one against the Hurricanes. That was important for our momentum.”
Ludeke was particularly satisfied that the Bulls were tactically superior to their opponents.
“We controlled the game tactically, defended superbly, dominated contact and completely disrupted their lineout. They could never get on the front foot.”
The coach was equally satisfied with some of his big name players, who did justice to their reputations for the first time this year.
Pierre Spies, Wynand Olivier, Steyn and Victor Matfield were brilliant, to say the least.
“Yes, it was a hallmark of our game that the right guys made big contributions. It promises good things for the rest of the tour,” said Ludeke.
The Bulls will have two training sessions before arriving in Timaru on Friday for Saturday’s match against the Crusaders.
“There are good facilities here, the guys are up for it and it’s a big challenge to beat the Crusaders. It’s going to be a good week,” said Ludeke.
“The Crusaders are setting the pace and will provide us with a good test.”
Zane Kirchner (knee) is the only injury concern and the Bulls will make a call on his fitness on Tuesday.
Bulls 26 (15): Try: Francois Hougaard. Penalties: Morné Steyn (5). Drop goals: Steyn (2).
Hurricanes 14 (3). Try: Serge Lilo. Penalties: Daniel Kirkpatrick (2), Aaron Cruden.