Bulls ready to 'finish' the Force
The Bulls will not be in a charitable mood when they host the Western Force at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. Jan de Koning reports.
The Bulls will not be in a charitable mood when they host the Western Force at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Despite beating the Stormers in their opening Super Rugby encounter last week, the Bulls feel they are still some way from the standards they have set themselves.
The Force, still without a win this season and consistently one of the worst teams in the competition, are not expected to be much of a threat to the Pretoria-based outfit.
However, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke told this website they have their own goals.
"If we want to have any say in this competition [reach the play-offs], then our home games are vital," he said.
The Bulls mentor felt the Force's defeats this year - to the Rebels and Kings - will make the visitors more determined to end a losing streak stretching back to May last year.
"We are playing against and Aussie team that will provide a very different challenge," Ludeke said, adding: "They enjoy moving the ball around and keeping it alive, with lots of movement in the game.
"They also like to create broken-field situations and it will be a very different challenge."
However, the Bulls feel that they must focus on themselves and rectify their own shortcomings.
"There are also many aspects of our game from last week [against the Stormers] that we would like to improve on," Ludeke said.
He said that their finishing was one aspect that wasn't up to standard.
"We had plenty of opportunities, we got into the right areas and applied pressure, but did not always look after the ball well enough - we have to be more accurate," he told this website.
"Another aspect is the line-outs, where we lost a few [three] on our own throw.
"It came down to communication and that is an area we have to work on as well."
While many pundits expect the Bulls to bag a full-house five points from the match, Ludeke said they are going to stick to a system that has worked for them in the past.
"If you play well and lose, then it means nothing," the Bulls mentor said, adding: "We have to do what is necessary [to get the win].
"We need to make good decisions.
"All teams play to be successful, but at the end of the day it is all about tempo and workrate.
"The processes do get you there, but our focus is on ensuring we execute better and we are accurate in what we are doing.
"Last week there were some areas in which we were spot-on and that produced good results for us.
"When you do that, the result takes care of itself."
By Jan de Koning