Ludeke's Bulls job on the line?

    2015-06-02 16:03

    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 franchise.

    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 together.

    “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 Conference leaders.

    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,” Ludeke said.

    “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 still hope.”

    Ludeke said he had positive discussions with the board and his future and what was needed to make improvements at the union.

    “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).





    15 Jesse 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

    Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Bjorn Basson, 23 Jurgen Visser

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