Bulls must have the right 'attitude'

Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:54
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The Bulls may be at the back end of an arduous month-long Australasian tour, but with the right attitude they can end on a high.

The Bulls may be at the back end of an arduous month-long Australasian tour, but with the right attitude they can end on a high.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, speaking ahead of their tour finale against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday, said the team remains "positive" - despite defeats in their last two outings.

After an impressive start to the four-match expedition, when they smashed the Blues in Auckland, the Bulls were outplayed by a determined Crusaders outfit and then edged by the Reds in a heartbreaking loss last week when a sliver of grass with white chalk on it touched the boot of utility back JJ Engelbrecht to deny the tourists a famous match-winning try.

Ludeke admitted the Jake White-coached Brumbies will be on par with the most demanding of matches on tour, despite having to travel back from Cape Town where their unbeaten run was ended by the Stormers last week.

However, he felt it was more important for his team to focus on their own game, rather than worry if the Australian conference leaders will be affected by travel fatigue.

"It is more important what our attitude is going to be and the intensity we will take into the game," Ludeke said from the team's base in Canberra.

"We can't talk for the Brumbies," the Bulls mentor said, adding: "We have our own [game] plan and obviously we would like to be accurate in how we execute it this coming weekend."

He said there are some areas from last week where they would like to step up.

"We have to focus on ourselves. We can control the opposition, what their mindset is and how they travel. We must be ready for anything and we are looking forward to this game."

Ludeke said they prefer to get the Australasian tour out of the way early in the season, as it is good for team unity.

"It allows us to sort a few issues out and get combinations right," the coach said, adding: "Our approach has not changed at all and we have this weekend remaining and looking forward to the contest against the Brumbies.

"We were very positive before the tour, that we would be successful and get good results. We had a good game against the Blues, then ran into a determined Crusaders side and came close [against the Reds] this past weekend.

"We have one match remaining on tour and we are positive."

The Bulls mentor admitted it will require a concerted 80-minute effort to overcome the Brumbies, something that probably cost them the game last week - when they only played to their full potential in the latter stages of the game.

"We were close in the end [against the Reds], but it wasn't good enough. We should have created more opportunities to get our attack going. We do have the ability to score brilliant tries and that will definitely be something we will look at."

Asked about going up against the World Cup-winning former Bok coach, Jake White, Ludeke said the game is about the players - not the coaches.

"Jake and I have been friends for many years," the Bulls mentor said.

"I have a lot of respect for him, he did a fantastic job when he coached South Africa.

"However, the team that will deserve it this weekend will be the team that produces the best 80-minute effort.

"I don't feel it is the coaches, it is the players on the field on the day that make the calls and make things happen."

He said that White has a good understanding of the Bulls and they will be ready for this weekend.

"I don't think you can predict beforehand what will happen," he said, when asked if he is expecting anything different from the Brumbies.

"It is about decision-making on the field.

"It will again be the battle of the gainline. All teams would like to have go-forward, quick ball - that is the type of ball you can score tries from."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 30 April 2016
Border v Pumas 12h30 East London
Namibia v EP Kings 13h00 Windhoek
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Welford Road
Western Province v Golden Lions 14h15 Newlands
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h15 Franklin's Gardens
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 14h30 Millennium Stadium
Ulster v Leinster 15h00 Kingspan Stadium
Lions v Hurricanes 15h05 Johannesburg
Dragons v Scarlets 17h00 Millennium Stadium
Stormers v Waratahs 17h10 Cape Town
Jaguares v Kings 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 30 April 2016
Highlanders v Brumbies 23 | 10
Blues v Rebels 36 | 30
Fri, 29 April 2016
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 70 | 10
Munster v Edinburgh 27 | 19
Treviso v Connacht 22 | 21
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 11 | 12
Boland v Griquas 14 | 30
Force v Bulls 20 | 42
Chiefs v Sharks 24 | 22
Wed, 27 April 2016
Eagles v Leopards 26 | 21
Falcons v Griffons 26 | 49
Sun, 24 April 2016
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 16 | 19
Brumbies v Crusaders 14 | 40
Sat, 23 April 2016
Kings v Lions 10 | 45
Bath v Sale Sharks 32 | 26
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 7 3 0 4 17
Reds 8 1 1 6 8
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Hurricanes 8 5 0 3 26
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 28
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 6 0 2 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4