Bulls geared for Crusaders duel
Cape Town - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says they will be up for the challenge of facing the Crusaders on Saturday (19:10 kick-off).
The Bulls host the seven-times champions in a Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld.
Last weekend, the men from Pretoria produced a stuttering performance when they narrowly beat the Western Force 25-24.
The Bulls know they have to step up this weekend if they are to emerge victorious against a team coming off a confident 57-14 win at home to the Cheetahs last weekend.
“We did a lot of things well against the Force, but our execution and defence were lacking. We failed to deliver the knock-out punch when they had 13 men on the field,” said Ludeke.
“It is a mind-set as well, but few challenges are greater than beating the Crusaders, so I am pretty sure the guys will be up for it. It certainly showed in this week’s training.”
Bulls captain Pierre Spies commented: “We did some good things, but also played poorly at times and that nearly cost us the match. It is just not good enough at this level. We need to show we are the championship side we believe we are.
“Hopefully we will have the crowd support this week. This Crusaders team is a good one, but this is our turf and we need to defend it. We have lost twice at home and we cannot allow it to happen again. I think we have turned the corner and are keen to lead the guys onto the field.”
15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Morne Mellet
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Hanro Liebenberg, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jurgen Visser, 23 Marcel vd Merwe
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes:16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Colin Slade, 23 David Havilli