Ludeke delighted with depth
Pretoria - Despite suffering a potentially disastrous series of injuries to key players, Bulls' coach Frans Ludeke said he was delighted with the players who stepped into their roles, as the Bulls thrashed the Southern Kings 48-18 in a Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening.
With the Super Rugby competition drawing to a close, the Bulls secured their four-try bonus point inside 34 minutes, before going on to out-score the Kings six tries to two, courtesy of standout performances by Jacques Potgieter and Francois Hougaard.
"I thought we were clinical in the first half," Ludeke said after the result, which took the Pretoria outfit to second in the overall standings.
"I thought there were a few guys who really stepped up to the plate and added a lot, and also the rhythm was good," he said.
Ludeke believed his outfit did not always have their way, and said he was happy to have performed well against a dangerous and unpredictable Kings side.
"I thought, all-in-all, we're satisfied with the result," he said.
"I thought we got exactly what we wanted out of the game. It was a tough contest: a typical South African derby, and we were tested.
"They also asked some questions, so we'll make a few adjustments for the next game, but we scored some lovely tries."
With skipper Pierre Spies ruled out for the rest of the season due to injury, Jacques Potgieter was named in the starting line-up, much to the delight of new captain Dewald Potgieter, who praised his namesake for his man-of-the-match showing.
"I think everybody who came into the side actually had a very good game," Dewald Potgieter said.
"A guy like Jacques, who hasn't played a lot this season came in, had a man-of-the-match performance and you can't ask for anything more."
Potgieter said the remainder of the regular season of Super Rugby would be a difficult assignment, but he was pleased to have won convincingly, following a three week layoff due to the international rugby break early this month.
"We did the job. The process wasn't without fault and we definitely have things to work on," Potgieter said.
"One or two things might be of concern, but we have enough time to work on those.
"Just a good performance tonight, which bodes well for the next game, but at the end of the day it's going to be tougher next week and we know that."
Kings' coach Matt Sexton was critical of his side's performance, citing poor defence and a lack of composure during set-piece play as the reason for the heavy loss, which guarantees his side face the Lions in a promotion/playoff fixture for finishing last in the South African conference.
"The effort's always there, I thought the execution was the issue and across the board, if we looked at every aspect, we didn't really perform," he said.
"Lots of mistakes from set-pieces, uncharacteristic defensive stuff and dropped ball, so I was pretty disappointed.
"We respect our opponents, but not having played for a month could have been a factor, but certainly it wasn't the main one."