News24

Bulls won't get excited

2012-02-13 10:29

Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Johannesburg - While Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was well-pleased with his team’s 39-16 pre-season demolition of the Toyota Cheetahs on Saturday, it was more than understandable that he wasn’t going to get over-excited at the victory.

It was, after all, a warm-up game and as dominant as the Bulls were, they certainly haven’t earned any points for their efforts.

Instead, it was a welcome confirmation for the coaching staff that they are on the right track, and an important signal for those out there watching, that the Bulls are far from a spent force.

The hit-out in Polokwane did more than answer a few questions. It showed that without a Matfield and Du Preez, the Bulls are more than capable of controlling and dominating a game.

It showed that while they were rusty, they have loads of strikepower when needed and while they had lost half an international pack (close to a full one if you count the withdrawals before the game), they still had enough muscle and grunt to subdue their opposition.

The Bulls answered at least one question in the match – confirming they wouldn’t be moving away from their strengths of a strong pack and good halfback pairing. But in the second half, the shuffles in the backline gave them a number of potential options that could come in quite handy in the coming months.

You could hardly blame them at times for not varying things too much. The Cheetahs were allowed to camp offside for much of the first half, and with the strict interpretation of the breakdown by referee Jaco Peyper, it seemed almost as if carrying the ball was a liability. Time and again the attacking team was penalised, either for going off their feet, or for sealing the ball off in the ruck. If this is to be the trend of Super Rugby in 2012, the Bulls much-maligned aerial game may make a comeback to Super Rugby.

Still, there were more than enough ticks in boxes to make Ludeke and co happy, but just as much work to do.

At least four tries were butchered in the first half, mainly due to wrong options as the Bulls enjoyed more than their fair share of possession. At halfback too, Francois Hougaard’s return to the position was not his best match in a Bulls jersey.

At times Hougi was laboured, hesitant and took the wrong option, but then showed it all when he found a blindside break that led to the first try.

There aren’t too many concerns about his form though, given that this was the first outing on the park for the Bok gamebreaker, but it will continue the debate about whether his best position is wing or halfback, as the extra space on the outside certainly has a way of accentuating his danger on attack.

While Ludeke spoke about looking at combinations, it was clear that the day went very much better than he had expected. The impression made by Francois Venter and CJ Stander in standing in for Wynand Olivier and Pierre Spies respectively speaks volumes about the depth in the squad, while Chiliboy Ralepelle’s contribution on the field as captain was very much leading from the front.

New acquisition Johann Sadie didn’t quite get the space he deserves, but was solid nonetheless, while JJ Engelbecht made an immediate impression with some tough defence and slotting into the backline like a charm.

The Bulls this year will rely very much on their tried and tested formula, but showed enough width and space in Polokwane to remind everyone that they will be a factor this season.

On the one hand Ludeke is extremely pleased with the performance, but the reality that the competition is a marathon and not a sprint certainly plays a bigger factor here.

For that reason Ludeke was measured in his praise, knowing that while everything went well on the weekend, the massive tests are still up ahead.

At least now the Bulls know they have some firepower to face them with.

SuperSport

Comments
  • Saffa - 2012-02-13 10:32

    The ACTUAL Bulls will remain grounded, but the supporters are already perming their hair, buying new crocs and jean pants in anticipation of a super successful season......

      Brycie - 2012-02-13 10:39

      Don't worry Saffa, leave it to me and I'll see what I can do

      Brycie - 2012-02-13 10:39

      Don't worry Saffa, leave it to me and I'll see what I can do

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 10:42

      looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool @Brycie.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 10:42

      looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool @Brycie.

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 10:57

      Morning All:):):) Blue,If I was Ludeke I would stick with Sadie and Venter as he's centre pairing and meisiekind to cover the bench. Saffa,crocs and jean pants.......lol

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 10:57

      Morning All:):):) Blue,If I was Ludeke I would stick with Sadie and Venter as he's centre pairing and meisiekind to cover the bench. Saffa,crocs and jean pants.......lol

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:04

      @Raven - the Bulls did look good. No denying that....They also looked fantastic in the 1st half of the 1st game of the S15 last year (Lions....at the Coke shack) - and then I believe it went downhill from there until they returned from the overseas leg :) Only pulling your jean pant laeg @Raven - they looked pretty slick at times (there seems to be a new mindset...) That all said - I am chuffed the unions are at least trying to stand together RE: the Kings and the Super 15 next year.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:04

      @Raven - the Bulls did look good. No denying that....They also looked fantastic in the 1st half of the 1st game of the S15 last year (Lions....at the Coke shack) - and then I believe it went downhill from there until they returned from the overseas leg :) Only pulling your jean pant laeg @Raven - they looked pretty slick at times (there seems to be a new mindset...) That all said - I am chuffed the unions are at least trying to stand together RE: the Kings and the Super 15 next year.

      Jason - 2012-02-13 11:10

      Lovely Saffa. Got a nice monday laugh out of me

      Jason - 2012-02-13 11:10

      Lovely Saffa. Got a nice monday laugh out of me

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 11:15

      Raven,Frans spoiled for choice hahahaaha,thats a good one!!!!

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 11:15

      Raven,Frans spoiled for choice hahahaaha,thats a good one!!!!

      Shane - 2012-02-13 11:24

      Jason, you make us all laugh everyday.

      Shane - 2012-02-13 11:24

      Jason, you make us all laugh everyday.

      Rene - 2012-02-13 11:34

      @Saffa, now that you mention it, apparently all perm & peroxide sold out in Bulls country. The lost Stormer supporters apparently bought it all going for the Schalk & Habana look. Sorry don't know what 'crocs' are!! (Sure you don't mean the 4 legged ones)... Let the games begin already!!!

      Rene - 2012-02-13 11:34

      @Saffa, now that you mention it, apparently all perm & peroxide sold out in Bulls country. The lost Stormer supporters apparently bought it all going for the Schalk & Habana look. Sorry don't know what 'crocs' are!! (Sure you don't mean the 4 legged ones)... Let the games begin already!!!

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 11:43

      Raven,Sadie and maybe one decent prop,rest you can keep,specially Spies and meisiekind!!!!

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 11:43

      Raven,Sadie and maybe one decent prop,rest you can keep,specially Spies and meisiekind!!!!

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:48

      @Lionel, we will take Wynie Strydom....then DHL can cancel all the entertainment (clowns, dancing girls, halftime races etc) they have lined up for the coming season......

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:48

      @Lionel, we will take Wynie Strydom....then DHL can cancel all the entertainment (clowns, dancing girls, halftime races etc) they have lined up for the coming season......

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 11:51

      LOL@ Saffa,true he is a clown on he's own!!!!!

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 11:51

      LOL@ Saffa,true he is a clown on he's own!!!!!

      Rene - 2012-02-13 11:51

      @Raven, what can I say: They cannot see talent even if it bites them in the butt! Besides who wants to go 'there' anyway!! No one in his right mind - imho!!!

      Rene - 2012-02-13 11:51

      @Raven, what can I say: They cannot see talent even if it bites them in the butt! Besides who wants to go 'there' anyway!! No one in his right mind - imho!!!

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 12:21

      @Rene and Raven: I will tell you Bullies one thing. Even though I don't hold the Balls in the highest regard.....and I reckon the world would be a safer place without them.....I do NOT like the vibes coming from the Tswane Sports Shmucks council (or whatever they are called) about removing the B daisy from the Bulls jersey and enforcing a specific 'colour' on all Tswane sports teams. It is absolutely BS and I would hope you folk up north are ready to fight that tooth and nail.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 12:21

      @Rene and Raven: I will tell you Bullies one thing. Even though I don't hold the Balls in the highest regard.....and I reckon the world would be a safer place without them.....I do NOT like the vibes coming from the Tswane Sports Shmucks council (or whatever they are called) about removing the B daisy from the Bulls jersey and enforcing a specific 'colour' on all Tswane sports teams. It is absolutely BS and I would hope you folk up north are ready to fight that tooth and nail.

      Rene - 2012-02-13 12:29

      @Saffa, I doubt very much that will indeed happen. The TSC tried it a year or so ago and only wasted tax payer's money in the process. All they do is flippen stir - I really hate those buggers, they always scratch where its not itching! Why on bloody earth do we need a Tshwane Sport Committee??? Job creation??? brainless farts!!!

      Rene - 2012-02-13 12:29

      @Saffa, I doubt very much that will indeed happen. The TSC tried it a year or so ago and only wasted tax payer's money in the process. All they do is flippen stir - I really hate those buggers, they always scratch where its not itching! Why on bloody earth do we need a Tshwane Sport Committee??? Job creation??? brainless farts!!!

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 12:36

      Thank goodness the Cape is still run by the DA!!!!!!

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 12:36

      Thank goodness the Cape is still run by the DA!!!!!!

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 12:42

      Who are they @Rene? Serious question? Are they a provincial body?

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 12:42

      Who are they @Rene? Serious question? Are they a provincial body?

      Rene - 2012-02-13 12:44

      @Lionel, now you make sense! The crap we have to deal with!!!!

      Rene - 2012-02-13 12:44

      @Lionel, now you make sense! The crap we have to deal with!!!!

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 13:14

      @Raven - thats the whole point. SARU (the supposed protectors and custodians of SA rugby = ALL the unions) are more limp wristed and politically motivated than the WPRFU (and thats saying plensch....). SARU are responsible for this KINGS mess - not the Kings, and NOT the other 5 unions. They are amateurs playing tennis against the great Rafa Nadal..........Jurie Roux is a professional, and it does seem as though the man is desperately trying to 'keep it real', but he is p#ssing in the wind IMHO. The Kings cr@p should have been finalised wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back, but NO, once more its chaos on all fronts. SARU would not know how what professionalism was if it sodomised them = end of. All these little 'issues' are where SARU needs to stand firm, hang tough and open their traps, maar NEE - hulle vergader en vreet en suip en kuier en glo werklik alles sal ok wees..........The time will come when those who hold the purse strings (THE FANS - if one is honest) will revolt - just hope it is sooner, rather than later, or else we will have nothing to 'save'.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 13:14

      @Raven - thats the whole point. SARU (the supposed protectors and custodians of SA rugby = ALL the unions) are more limp wristed and politically motivated than the WPRFU (and thats saying plensch....). SARU are responsible for this KINGS mess - not the Kings, and NOT the other 5 unions. They are amateurs playing tennis against the great Rafa Nadal..........Jurie Roux is a professional, and it does seem as though the man is desperately trying to 'keep it real', but he is p#ssing in the wind IMHO. The Kings cr@p should have been finalised wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back, but NO, once more its chaos on all fronts. SARU would not know how what professionalism was if it sodomised them = end of. All these little 'issues' are where SARU needs to stand firm, hang tough and open their traps, maar NEE - hulle vergader en vreet en suip en kuier en glo werklik alles sal ok wees..........The time will come when those who hold the purse strings (THE FANS - if one is honest) will revolt - just hope it is sooner, rather than later, or else we will have nothing to 'save'.

      Rene - 2012-02-13 14:01

      @Saffa, who are 'they'? Who knows, I don't even think they know who they are, but they are (I think anyway) a representative 'body' who wants to replace the sporting body who assign colours based on performance e.g. Gauteng colours, Northern colours achievements. Its only Tshwane who are a bunch of wannabee 'know nothing much' who are stirring with emotions. They have done nothing good, also achieved nothing much - however they draw, I'm sure, huge salaries every month.

      Rene - 2012-02-13 14:01

      @Saffa, who are 'they'? Who knows, I don't even think they know who they are, but they are (I think anyway) a representative 'body' who wants to replace the sporting body who assign colours based on performance e.g. Gauteng colours, Northern colours achievements. Its only Tshwane who are a bunch of wannabee 'know nothing much' who are stirring with emotions. They have done nothing good, also achieved nothing much - however they draw, I'm sure, huge salaries every month.

      Rene - 2012-02-13 14:05

      @Saffa, also there are various bodies (all over SA provincially) e.g. that governs Swimming, Tennis, Cricket, Soccer etc that have been in place for years. My understanding is that TSC to 'manage' the local committies/bodies. WTH???? Like I said, 'job creation'. Bunch of fatties eating KFC all day long

      Rene - 2012-02-13 14:05

      @Saffa, also there are various bodies (all over SA provincially) e.g. that governs Swimming, Tennis, Cricket, Soccer etc that have been in place for years. My understanding is that TSC to 'manage' the local committies/bodies. WTH???? Like I said, 'job creation'. Bunch of fatties eating KFC all day long

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 14:18

      @Rene,now you know why everybody wants to go "there" as you put it:):):):) It just sickens one to the bone when politics gets mixed in sport. They should stick there noses in soccer!!!!

      Lionel - 2012-02-13 14:18

      @Rene,now you know why everybody wants to go "there" as you put it:):):):) It just sickens one to the bone when politics gets mixed in sport. They should stick there noses in soccer!!!!

      Bootman - 2012-02-13 15:56

      @Saffa You gave such constructed, interesting factual comments last year. What crap are you writing lately? Totally boring and just bashing other teams like the rest of the bloggers. Believe me, your Stormers will once again fail this year

      Bootman - 2012-02-13 15:56

      @Saffa You gave such constructed, interesting factual comments last year. What crap are you writing lately? Totally boring and just bashing other teams like the rest of the bloggers. Believe me, your Stormers will once again fail this year

  • rudilemmer - 2012-02-13 10:32

    Anyone know the score of the "B" team match?

      Ho3n3r - 2012-02-13 10:37

      32-29 to the Blue Bulls.

      Ho3n3r - 2012-02-13 10:37

      32-29 to the Blue Bulls.

      rudilemmer - 2012-02-13 11:33

      Appreciated.......

      rudilemmer - 2012-02-13 11:33

      Appreciated.......

      Rene - 2012-02-13 11:37

      Bulls 33 - Cheetahs 29

      Rene - 2012-02-13 11:37

      Bulls 33 - Cheetahs 29

  • Shane - 2012-02-13 10:34

    The boys know it's still a long way to go, unlike you know who.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 10:37

      Dozey you actually look very familiar......now THAT is scary.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 10:37

      Dozey you actually look very familiar......now THAT is scary.

      Will - 2012-02-13 11:06

      unlike the bulls supporters

      Will - 2012-02-13 11:06

      unlike the bulls supporters

      Shane - 2012-02-13 11:06

      I get that a lot.

      Shane - 2012-02-13 11:06

      I get that a lot.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:24

      Unless this is also a fake pic - and I have yet to 'recognise' the celebrity or character......

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:24

      Unless this is also a fake pic - and I have yet to 'recognise' the celebrity or character......

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:37

      Dunno who that is Dozey? It's Monday, Whitney is dead and I have spent hours sobbing to the melodies of "I will always love you".........so my visual brain ain't awake yet...not by any stretch.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:37

      Dunno who that is Dozey? It's Monday, Whitney is dead and I have spent hours sobbing to the melodies of "I will always love you".........so my visual brain ain't awake yet...not by any stretch.

      Shane - 2012-02-13 11:40

      It's really me. You can google all you like. Why so shocked?

      Shane - 2012-02-13 11:40

      It's really me. You can google all you like. Why so shocked?

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:46

      You don't have a tache.........shocked is an understatement.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:46

      You don't have a tache.........shocked is an understatement.

      Shane - 2012-02-13 11:52

      I'll see if I can find a full lenght pick, then you can see my Noord-Transvaal socks and veldskoene.

      Shane - 2012-02-13 11:52

      I'll see if I can find a full lenght pick, then you can see my Noord-Transvaal socks and veldskoene.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 12:12

      ROTFLMAO.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 12:12

      ROTFLMAO.

      Bootman - 2012-02-13 15:57

      @Will Are you gay?

      Bootman - 2012-02-13 15:57

      @Will Are you gay?

  • Will - 2012-02-13 11:05

    Bulls wont get excited because the rugby they play is nothing to get excited about. Its boring, like cricket test matches. When will the bulls learn how to play running rugby? Never because they lack the skills to do so. Teams like the Sharks and Stormers are blessed with pure skill.

      Pierre - 2012-02-13 11:22

      HAHAHA... when will the Stormers/Sharks learn to win trophies? That is what its all about!!! And please, the only reason the Stormers did good, was cause of their defense... score 1 or 2 tries, and defend the rest...

      Pierre - 2012-02-13 11:22

      HAHAHA... when will the Stormers/Sharks learn to win trophies? That is what its all about!!! And please, the only reason the Stormers did good, was cause of their defense... score 1 or 2 tries, and defend the rest...

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:38

      @Pierre, your use of grammar is as good as your namesakes tackling...........

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:38

      @Pierre, your use of grammar is as good as your namesakes tackling...........

      Koos - 2012-02-13 11:46

      So how many Super Cups did the Sharks and Stormers win again???? Please if you wanna play with the big boys don't p!$$ like a puppy

      Koos - 2012-02-13 11:46

      So how many Super Cups did the Sharks and Stormers win again???? Please if you wanna play with the big boys don't p!$$ like a puppy

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:53

      @Nitro - using a quote from the P Divvy 'book of wisdom' doesn't make you any "cleverererererererer" old chap.

      Saffa - 2012-02-13 11:53

      @Nitro - using a quote from the P Divvy 'book of wisdom' doesn't make you any "cleverererererererer" old chap.

      malcolm.molver - 2012-02-13 14:00

      Bulls supporters shooting their mouths off again. You idiots had to rely on cheating in order to win your first Super rugby title. Tell me, which SA side other than the Lions lost all their Super rugby matches in a season? Played 11, lost 11, 1 lonely point

      malcolm.molver - 2012-02-13 14:00

      Bulls supporters shooting their mouths off again. You idiots had to rely on cheating in order to win your first Super rugby title. Tell me, which SA side other than the Lions lost all their Super rugby matches in a season? Played 11, lost 11, 1 lonely point

      malcolm.molver - 2012-02-13 14:22

      Blue, you seem really content to win titles through cheating? You had to rely on a drunk ref to win the first one. I'm sure your team promised Steve Walsh a brandy and coke if they won, hence the result. Second one was deserved and the last one, well, admit it, you were up against a team of chokers...

      malcolm.molver - 2012-02-13 14:22

      Blue, you seem really content to win titles through cheating? You had to rely on a drunk ref to win the first one. I'm sure your team promised Steve Walsh a brandy and coke if they won, hence the result. Second one was deserved and the last one, well, admit it, you were up against a team of chokers...

      Bootman - 2012-02-13 15:58

      @Saffa You gave such constructed, interesting factual comments last year. What crap are you writing lately? Totally boring and just bashing other teams like the rest of the bloggers. Believe me, your Stormers will once again fail this year

      Bootman - 2012-02-13 15:58

      @Saffa You gave such constructed, interesting factual comments last year. What crap are you writing lately? Totally boring and just bashing other teams like the rest of the bloggers. Believe me, your Stormers will once again fail this year

  • Pierre - 2012-02-13 11:07

    We did not get excited either.

  • MarkSchrade1980 - 2012-02-13 11:11

    Looks like the Sharks and the Bulls gonna carry the flag this year for the SA conference. I was very impressed by the performance, however the 1st half they struggled to get over the try-line. Cheetahs looked poor by comparison, look likely contenders for the wooden spoon.....

  • Robsschele - 2012-02-13 12:57

    I see he read my comment over the weekend when I said the Bulls mustn't read too much in the win over the Cheetahs.

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