Ludeke: The Bulls come first

2012-06-01 10:45

Pretoria - Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has no concerns over his players' mentality going into their vital Super Rugby fixture against local rivals the Stormers at Loftus Versveld on Saturday.

The Springbok squad for the home tour against England will be named after the match, but Ludeke is confident his charges will have their heads in the game.

"We have given focus to the Super Rugby, which is our priority," Ludeke said this week.

"We have a big meeting this weekend against the Stormers so the players know what needs to be done and that the Bulls come first.

"The players understand that Springbok places are up for grabs but at the same time, the focus is on getting the top spot in the conference.

"Going into the [Super Rugby] break, we need to be in the best possible position in this tournament."

The Bulls returned from their four-week tour of Australasia with two wins from four matches, having beaten the Melbourne Rebels and the Waratahs, but lost to the Highlanders and Chiefs in consecutive weeks.

The losses have meant a break in momentum and Bulls skipper Pierre Spies believed the Pretoria side had to make home advantage count in their favour to get back to winning ways.

"We played well against the Chiefs and then we just fell short at the end but we are sitting with another opportunity this weekend," Spies said.

"It's a tough task playing against the Stormers but we are glad we are playing at home and we will throw all our energy behind a good result this weekend."

Meanwhile, the Stormers beat the travelling Waratahs at Newlands a fortnight ago, before losing 25-20 to a spirited Sharks outfit in Durban.

The Stormers will be without several of their key players for the Loftus clash, including Joe Pietersen, Schalk Burger and Springbok lock Andries Bekker, who has been ruled out for five weeks with a recurring back injury, leaving the Bulls with an opportunity to reclaim the top spot in the SA conference.

The Bulls are fourth on the overall log with 48 points, two behind the Stormers and three ahead of the Sharks, who are up against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Heyneke Meyer hinted last month that he would watch Saturday's north-south derby with both eyes closed, fearing injuries to some of the players pencilled into his first squad as Springbok coach.

"I understand that Heyneke might not be keen to watch the match because of injuries," Spies said.

"Hopefully we can finish the game without too many serious injuries and SA Rugby can put a proper team together for the following week."


  • Tokolos - 2012-06-01 10:50

    GO YOU SUPER BULLS.... Time for reckoning has come. Revenge will be sweet. Teach them a rugby lesson!!!

      René - 2012-06-01 11:11

      @Tokkie and now the latest rumour is that JdV (sniffles) & Etzebeth (AC Joint) might not even play! Hope its just a rubbish story! Go Bulls 5 points will be good yes!!

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-06-01 11:32

      Bulls by 15 Sorry Province, but you're about to get whipped by a team in pink !!!

      Sean - 2012-06-01 13:50

      We need Etzebeth next weekend! AC will definitely play him if can walk. Worrying

  • Japjapjap - 2012-06-01 11:01

    Ons glo ALMAL sal di woorde weer lees oor 'n paar weke- aan di einde van di S15?? "The Bulls come first!" hoo haa

  • Andrew - 2012-06-01 11:02

    Lions to beat Sharks by 3+

      Jed - 2012-06-01 11:22

      Can anyone believe that the Lions supporters still comment here. LOL

      Nathan - 2012-06-01 12:14

      Andrew klink meer soos n pienk koei supporter

      Sean - 2012-06-01 13:52

      Vallemj do you expect us to stop supporting the team? That's not what a supporter does. Unless you support a side like Man City all of a sudden after they won the League? Support doesn't stop when your side doesn't win trophies. If it did there would only be Vodacom Cup supporters in the Western Cape!

      Sean - 2012-06-01 13:53

      Maestro, the Lionsand Cheetahs still have to play each of the top three sides still! And SA sides play above themselves in the derbies! Things can still get messy this season.

  • PienkMasjien - 2012-06-01 11:06


  • TruetotheBlue - 2012-06-01 11:42

    Bonus point win coming up for my beloved Bulls!

  • niel.roos - 2012-06-01 12:14

    It would be a joke if the Bulls end up losing this one against the Stormers B-Side.

      niel.roos - 2012-06-01 15:05

      Just remember, when the Bulls were without one of their star players (Hougaard), they lost against the Blues.

      niel.roos - 2012-06-02 21:01

      14-man, 2-de span... wat kan ek sê. Wie laaste lag...

  • Nick - 2012-06-01 12:34

    ludeke said it conference cup very important for bulls

      Priester - 2012-06-01 12:53

      Nick, read in it what you want, the cup is a nice to have but the benefit for being on top of your conference is the home game advantage. "Top spot in the conference" was his words and to most rugby connoisseurs this means home game advantage for the semis and the ultimate prize the S15 championship. Never settle for less. Blou Bul Groete!

      Nick - 2012-06-01 13:07

      priester exactly my point centain bulls supporters been going on about the conference cup for months and how that's the only thing stormers will ever win etc etc and how it doesn't mean anything to them BUT the players and management etc actually in the comp and not on a couch somewhere knows the value of ending on top getting a coffee mug or big ass trophy is not the reason for wanting to finish on top it's like you said a massive advantage going further in the comp and knock out rugby bulls only SA side that knows how to handle the pressure esp at home

      PienkMasjien - 2012-06-01 13:50

      @nick, I don't think you understand,"Top spot in the conference" gives you the advantage for the semis and the finals, but if you don't win the trophy, it means nothing at all.The conference cup is a consolation-prize,nothing more.

      Sean - 2012-06-01 13:56

      With the Crusaders looking to finish in 4th or 5th position, second place in the SA conference could be the kiss if death. So Ludeke make sense, it's more about getting a home semi than about winning the Conference Cup.

      Nick - 2012-06-01 14:05

      pienkes don't think you understand my statement for fans it seems to be this big thing winning the cup THAT is not important for the players , coaches etc to finish in pole position is what its about that thing is just an accessory like winning miss sa you get the sash not like you going to parade around town with it why there is a cup for winning the conference is a bit ridiculous

      PienkMasjien - 2012-06-01 14:32

      In Schalk Burger's own words ,"the conference cup is not a real trophy!

      Nick - 2012-06-01 14:36

      haha exactly should just give each a nando's voucher tomorrow will decide the conference bit of an anti climax with all the injuries etc bulls will win this 1 comfortably

  • Emile - 2012-06-01 13:32

    Don't know what the fuss is all about. Kolisi is playing better rugby than Burger, Steenkamp will be a significant improvement on Bekker and the Stormers team has an equally good replacement for Petersen. What is the fuss about? What about the injuries to the Bulls for that matter? This is rugby not ballet. Squeezing every bit of sensation out of this game.

      Sean - 2012-06-01 13:58

      Emile, the problem is not replacing Pietersen it's replacing Gio who's replacing Pietersen. The guy was very bad last week.

  • arnold.pekeur1 - 2012-06-02 00:25

    Bulls First!

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