Ockert de Villiers - Sport24
Johannesburg - Despite the pressure
mounting following their third consecutive defeat on their Australasian tour
and their subsequent slide to ninth place on the Super Rugby log, Bulls coach
Frans Ludeke said he could not afford to worry about his future at the
The Bulls faced their final match of the
four-week tour against the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday and would be
desperate to avoid a whitewash.
“My mind doesn’t want to go there (possibly
facing the axe), I am open minded about the whole thing but obviously I can’t
make the decisions, so I don’t give it the energy because I have a job at
hand,” an under fire Ludeke said on Wednesday.
“It is a must win for us and we owe it to
ourselves and our campaign with what we’ve done at home also where we pulled it
“We were second on the log when we came
here, so we were in a very good situation and we played well.”
Ludeke said a few results on tour could
easily have swung in their favour had his charges been more accurate and he was
adamant they were the same side that went on tour as the South African
In their tour matches against the Blues and
the Brumbies, the Bulls lost by a five and six-point margin respectively and
could have won those matches had the bounce of the ball favoured them.
The Bulls have two relatively easy matches
remaining in the regular competition against the Rebels and the Cheetahs in
Pretoria and can still clinch a playoff berth while also hoping for results
elsewhere to aid them in their cause.
“I didn’t change from four weeks ago, I am
the same person and the team is the same. We didn’t get the result and I will
take the responsibility for that,” he said.
A defeat against the Rebels would certainly
be the death knell to their campaign and even if they win both their last two
matches but fail to reach the playoffs, Ludeke’s position could be in jeopardy.
Ludeke, whose contract with the Bulls
expires in October 2016, said his fate lay in the hands of the Blue Bulls board
that would be meeting next Friday.
“I’ve got respect for the people that
appointed me and if they want to change there is nothing I can do about it,”
“My job is to ensure we finish well, we are
obviously in a situation that we don’t enjoy, we would like to be in the run
and make the playoffs.
“That is why we will fight ‘till the last
game to make sure because there is still hope, we need favours, but there is
Ludeke said he had positive discussions
with the board and his future and what was needed to make improvements at the
“We’ve got the board meeting on Friday in a
week and then we will know, so I don’t want to preempt what will happen at the
meeting,” he said.
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash at AAMI Park
is scheduled for 07:30 (SA time).
Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Travis
Ismaiel, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7
Jacques du Plessis, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der
Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling
16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20
Arno Botha, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Bjorn Basson, 23 Jurgen Visser