Bulls look to cement top spot
Johannesburg - The Bulls will hope to build on their good winning record against the Waratahs in their Super Rugby match in Pretoria on Saturday as they aim to cement their position at the top of the South African conference.
The Pretoria-based side have not lost to the Australian franchise since their semi-final defeat in 2007 and will be buoyed by last week’s 34-0 victory over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, however, knows full well that Waratahs will not be a walk-over especially after their triumph over defending champions the Chiefs last weekend.
“They have all the right qualities for a winning team, good pack of forwards with a lot of experience and a 10 that is capable of taking the ball to the line and plays tactically,” Ludeke said.
“They also have outside backs that like to take the ball into space, they have a strong counterattack game attack from deep in their own half.”
The Bulls have recently had a good run of form coming out on top in their last two encounters which launched them into third place on the overall log.
As the competition enters a crucial stage the Bulls can ill-afford to slip against the Waratahs, who are currently occupying the 11th position on the log.
Ludeke said he expected a tight encounter as both sides were hungry for the victory to increase their chances of reaching the playoffs.
“They are definitely on the up so it is going to be a great clash over the weekend it is two teams that need to be successful I expect a great game of rugby, and there will be a lot of pressure which is good,” he said.
Bulls skipper Pierre Spies said while their match against the Kings last weekend indicated that they were on the right track, their focus was a 100 percent on the weekend’s clash against the Waratahs.
“It was a very good performance by our team and you work hard during the season and you never know what a game might unfold like,” Spies said.
“It was rewarding for us on the day but all the focus is on the Waratahs, who came off a win over the Chiefs at home.”
Spies said the Waratahs would pose a different challenge to the one they faced against their Eastern Cape rivals.
“They have a quality forward pack, great scrum, big forwards and experienced backs and they like to keep the ball in hand,” he said.
“They will ask different questions than what we faced against the Kings and it will take a huge effort from our guys to make sure we get that win.”
The Waratahs could find the going tough at Loftus Versfeld where they have not recorded a win since their 51-19 victory over the Bulls in 2002.