Ludeke a happy man

2010-03-29 09:43

J.J. Harmse

Pretoria – It may not have been vintage Bulls, but the important thing is that they are still unbeaten after Saturday’s Super 14 match against the Force in Perth.

That is why Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was a happy man after his side’s 28-15 win.

The Bulls still comfortably top the log after the victory and Ludeke believes they have an excellent foundation for the tour matches against the Blues, Chiefs and Reds.

“It was exactly what we needed. A victory in the first game of your tour gives momentum and confidence. We have that now, even though there were some areas of our game I was not happy with,” said Ludeke.

He was referring to the first half, in particular, when the Bulls dominated territory. They had the home side under big pressure, but could only score a try through Pierre Spies and five points via the boot of Morné Steyn.

“We played in the right areas, but did not always finish well,” admitted Ludeke.

“Fortunately the guys started playing with more patience in the second half. We got over the advantage line well, took the right decisions and scored the points.”

He referred to captain Victor Matfield’s decisions to rather opt for attacking lineouts and scrums than go for posts off penalties. It did not work for the Bulls as they were too impatient in their bid to get to the Force’s line.

Matfield started calling on Steyn in the second half and even though the flyhalf’s kicking was inconsistent, he still kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Two superb tries by Steyn and Zane Kirchner confirmed the inevitable to the Force.

Ludeke said the Bulls were very calm at half-time in spite of trailing 10-12.

“We felt in control throughout. Their flyhalf exploited poor positional play on our side in the second half, but we knew it was all about finishing. The guys kept their structure and we could wrap up the match.”

Ludeke warned the Stormers – who play the Force on Friday - that the men from Perth are “definitely on an upward curve and their commitment on defence is noticeable”.

The Bulls arrived in Auckland late on Sunday night (New Zealand time) ahead of their game against the Blues.

The team jetted in on two separate flights from Perth via Sydney and spent more time on the plane than when they travelled from Johannesburg to Perth.

The players will rest on Monday before a late-afternoon swimming session.

Ludeke has not yet analysed the Blues. “We will start preparing for them on Monday. We don’t have serious injuries. Derick Kuün too a knock to the hamstring, but I don’t think it’s serious.”


  • Blue Jake - 2010-03-29 09:47

    Since the Bulls have struggled to beat the Hurricanes (almost always semi-finalists) and the Force, all the anti-Bulls are saying they have peaked to soon or the wheels are coming off. Is this because they didn't score 50 points over anyone of them? We should take that as a complement.

  • Al - 2010-03-29 09:53

    The Bulls overshadowed their bottom-of-the-log opponents but something is still not right.They have not looked as good as last year, yet. The man of the match should have been Guthro Steenkamp or Pierre Spies and not Nathan Sharp. The Aussie commentators felt the Force was more or less equal to the Bulls on the day, with the latter scoring 3 tries to none.....

  • KB - 2010-03-29 09:57

    Top of the log......and going down... that the bottom of the log team can give the Bulls a run for their money shows that the Bulls are burning out. Or is it that their overconfidence got the better of them. I guess they thought it would be a wlak in the park... The Blues next week... Bulls better pull up their socks as i smell the Bulls first loss coming up. I have a feeling the Bulls will be lucky to secure 4th spot on the log. They have peaked and cannot sustain 80 mins anymore.....mmmmm

  • Steve - 2010-03-29 09:59

    @Blue Jake - Amen brother :)

  • Blue Jake - 2010-03-29 10:01

    @Al. I think the man of the match ajudicator got confused and thought that Nathan Sharp was a Bulls player. He spent more time on that side of the rucks & mauls than anywhere else.

  • Zullie - 2010-03-29 10:15

    I am a Sharks supporter, but as many Sport24 commentators have said, we have to show some support for the other SA teams. My Sharks are having a tough toime of it, but showing signs of coming good. However, I am a bit concerned about a few Bulls / SA players - Matfield is looking decidedly jaded and if they don't manage him, his form will fall off. I though Steenkamp was grwat in carrying the ball over the advantage line, but he is still poor at scrum time. Du Preez is also looking jaded, and showing signs of hiding an injury? Slap Chips needs to manage Van De Heever properly - this guy is the best prospect of the year. Lastly, when are the SANZAR management going to do something about the referees? It seems to be going from bad to worse. The comments from NZ/Aus commentators is a good gauge - listen carefully - they only heap praise on the SA refs. So, all Safricans - let's get behind all our teams and cut the negativity out. Go Sharks.

  • FAAN - 2010-03-29 10:16

    A win is a win, Al hit the mark, 3 tries to none, if Morne kicked better the score would have looked much better, so I geuss the Force fools thenselves thinkig they are on the same page as the Bulls. Go Bulls!

  • pomkiwibok - 2010-03-29 10:17

    Ludeke is right. Force showing some good improvements since Waratah game and Bulls, so Stormers must not take them lightly.

  • gmh - 2010-03-29 10:26

    Apologies to Frans for all the terrible things said when he left the Lion and the abuse he received when joining the bulls, certain Franchises are responsible not only for destroying players but also coaches. Well done Frans

  • KeepItReal - 2010-03-29 10:48

    Come on KB. The BULLS have won three games now coming back from being behind and were all over the Force in the last 20 minutes of the game. It was easy to see who gained ascendancy in the last 20 minutes - the BULLS. So who is playing the better rugby then for all 80 minutes - one thing not short on the BULL side this year is their fitness. Oh, and it is statistically likely that the BULLS will lose some games - so if you keep predicting it every week you will be right one of these days - just don't forget the majority of times you had egg on your face though. In similar vein to Blue Jake - BULLS can't win every game with a massive score - that is just not the way Rugby games go - yes, the BULLS could have had a better score but they were certainly the better team on the day and deserved to win. I see on rugga stats site that Spies is statistically the best No 8 in the S14 at the moment - not surprised :-)

  • Gtr - 2010-03-29 10:51

    Do you Anti Bulls, especially the Stormer fans think the Stormers only have to pitch for the match to pick up the 5 points? Why not, you are so good? I mean, the Bulls are on the way down, because they only just beat the 'Canes, and struggled against the Force. Ludeke issues a warning to the Stormers, I think you should take it to heart. If they gave the Bulls and the Waratahs a tough time, they 'could' very well beat, or at least scare the Stormers. But let's see if I'm crazy, delusional, or right. This is a warning, not a prediction, like some of you WProphets does.

  • Dingbat - 2010-03-29 10:55

    The Bulls did very well after the long travel. Had MS kicked all point scoring opportunities, they would have achieved close to the 50 point mark again. Good luck to the Stormers. Hope they do even better.

  • Blue Bull Hater/Anti-Blue Bull - 2010-03-29 11:00

    How can Frans Ludeke be happy ,when his team continues to struggele against week opposition? Dit was BROEKSKEUR soos teen die Hurricanes. So ek wil graag die Bulle herdoop, na BROEKSKEUR BULLE. We'll beat the HELL out of the BROEKSKEUR BULLE come 15 May on BEAUTIFUL NEWLANDS!! PRooooooooooooovincee!!

  • Jacques - 2010-03-29 11:23

    I am not surprised about the attitude of the anti Bulls crowd....apart from the Stormers no SA Teams have performed. The Bulls critics havent had any success in predicitng wins for their teams, now they hope to be more succesful at predicting the statistical probabilities of the Bulls having to lose at least one this forum for the "I told you so" brigade if the Bulls lose a

  • Priester - 2010-03-29 11:25

    I am an avid Bulls supporter and feel it necessary to raise my concern over the defense of the Bulls. Yes they did travel, which surely had a negative impact but I think they are complacent hence the good performance by the Force. The Bulls should never have allowed the Force to lead at one stage and even dominated the game at times. Crucify me but I personally think it is time for the Bulls to lose a game, get back to earth and instill a new spirit. Too many successive wins are not good and sooner or later they will lose a game, rather sooner than later! OPPIE BLOU and good luck to all SA Teams!

  • Al - 2010-03-29 11:31

    Some of the things that bother me in the Bulls play: 1. Steyn's intention to pass inside when they are close to the try line has now become predictable; 2. Is it necessary to use Olivier as a battering ram? 3. Forward play can be much improved if the ball is passed just before the tackled player goes to ground. That is: keeping the ball alive, something the Stormers have been doing brilliantly this season. About van den Heever: I wonder if he wil make it big. He is small and not quick enough to make up for his lack in size. Quick = Habana before his knee injury a few seasons ago. Habana also being on the small size, by the way. The Bulls miss another quick loose forward. Wannenburg has become a passenger and Kuhn is a better hooker than a loosie. Any ideas?

  • Priester - 2010-03-29 11:32

    I am an avid Bulls supporter and feel it necessary to raise my concern over the defense of the Bulls. Yes they did travel, which surely had a negative impact but I think they are complacent hence the good performance by the Force. The Bulls should never have allowed the Force to lead at one stage and even dominated the game at times. Crucify me but I personally think it is time for the Bulls to lose a game, get back to earth and instill a new spirit. Too many successive wins are not good and sooner or later they will lose a game, rather sooner than later! OPPIE BLOU and good luck to all SA Teams!

  • Solo - 2010-03-29 11:38

    Remember, the Bulls are the defending champs, and top of the log at the moment. Everyone playing them tries to prove a point, playing their best game of the year to try beat the Bulls as the benchmark. Everyone is gunning for them. Still they have come out on top in all their games so far. Every team will lose at least 1 game per season, it seems everyone is waiting for the Bulls to lose, just to say I told you so, while their teams are sitting nicely at the bottom of the log (except for the Stormers, well done to them so far). I support all the SA teams, regardless of where they are on the log. Bulls will finish top 4 at least, but might not go all the way this year to home semi/final. And to be honest, if one team can go all the way from SA it might be the Stormers, but we will only know after they have toured. Go boys, make us proud. Go BULLS!!

  • sido - 2010-03-29 11:53

    the bulls might be in the lead but the stormers have the best defence in the competition being the only team to not have exceeded triple figures in points against them - maybe the bulls can learn from the stormers

  • Carl Muller - 2010-03-29 12:10

    Why must the Bulls go all out and risk injury. That would be very stupid. To all the other S A teams, go for it. Give you best and make us proud. Very good Sharks. That was better. Come Stormers, you can do it. And some of the supporters, try growing up. I do hope you are not children, because with what I read I cannot think otherwise.

  • Bliiksem - 2010-03-29 13:10

    Last week a strong side like the Waratahs also only beat the Force with 4 pionts .. Force definitely getting stronger

  • dronkie - 2010-03-29 13:15

    Die BULLS se verdediging het so baie gate soos Joost se onderbroekies. Hulle gaan pak kry teen die Blues en Chiefs, maar is nog steeds goed genoeg om die Super 14 titel weer te lig

  • Hop - 2010-03-29 13:34

    Bear in mind that the Bulls were playing their first away game after doing a fair bit of travelling. The conditions they were playing under were completely different to their home stadium. Low altitude and wet ball etc.. so cut them some slack, they still won!!!! What will be more interesting than the Bull's losing a match is how the Stormers are going to fare against the Force.

  • hammerhead - 2010-03-29 14:08

    This is madness! How long have we had to watch NZ and Aus teams have one over us. All the years of suffering we have had to endure... But still we complain! We should be praising the Bulls and the Stormers for their excellent and consistently winning rugby this year. The guys are awesome! Yet, the negativity bred from provincialism persists. I am a fanatical Sharks supporter but I am really enjoying watching the two top teams on the log giving our Antipodean brothers a hiding. What a pleasure! Be supportive of success in this country, we're all Saffa's at the end of the day. It takes more of a man to acknowledge excellence in his opposition than to search for a reason to deride the foe.

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-03-29 14:21

    Blue Bull Hater/Anti-Blue Bull: From a Stormer fan - Who give a shit , they won , thats all that counts, as long as they win , things must be going right

  • The Godfather - 2010-03-29 14:46

    Well done to the boys for grinding out the win away from home. That being said, this was by far the worst performance I've seen from the Bulls this year. Handling errors from both sides and a ref who doesn't know his arse from his elbow made this match very unpleasant to watch. Hopefully we won't have to sit through another 80 minutes of that kind of torture this year. Pull it together boytjies. Bulls forever!!!

  • Jaco - 2010-03-29 14:54

    Aan al die suurgatte, word groot. Ondersteun bietjie die SA spanne wanneer hulle oorsee speel.@ Blue Bull Hater/Anti-Blue Bull - los liewer rugby ou maat, die spel het nie mense soos jy nodig wat dit ondersteun nie.

  • Stormer@WP - 2010-03-29 15:15

    The Bulls will hopefully lose only one game,15 May....I pray for a Bulls and Stormers final.The Bulls showed us all on Saterday,that they can come back from anywhere.Vic is their strong point,he is constantly motivating the team.I believe the Bulls and Stormers are going to have perfect tours.

  • Bloues - 2010-03-29 17:31

    This part worries me about their trip to Auckland: "The team jetted in on two separate flights from Perth via Sydney and spent more time on the plane than when they travelled from Johannesburg to Perth." Why? We already have a tougher touring schedule than NZ/Aus teams. Why was this relay neccessary?

  • andre - 2010-03-30 10:28

    And still undefeated heavy weight champion of the world – GO BULLS!! - Unbeaten in 23 months!!

  • Pieter (Bulle Bo) - 2010-03-30 11:09

    Gee whiskers everywhere i just hear about the Bulls bad defense so how do they manage to win games?? After the tiresome travel to Perth as far as i have seen they did not concede even 1 try against a Western Force outfit who tried to run out wide, in the middle and everywhere so where is this so-called bad defense? If the Force manage to score a try or two against the Stormers would the Stormers then say their teams defense is crap and worse than that of the not think so hey? The Bulls had a few missed tackles yes but as usual their cross-defense made up for it. Some so-called rugby supporters are really getting a bit delusional. Remember there are always 2 teams on a rugby field that try to score and when you score more than the other team it means your attack and defense was better than the other team and so far it is 6 out of 6 for the Bulls which is 100% in my book.

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