Bulls showing great growth

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:03
Large bulls backs training2 Large frans ludeke media Large morne steyn   lionel mapoe Large frans ludeke display Large bulls backs training

The Bulls may be coming off a disappointing Australasian tour, but coach Frans Ludeke is adamant the team is showing tremendous growth.

The Bulls may be coming off a disappointing Australasian tour, but coach Frans Ludeke is adamant the team is showing tremendous growth.

Speaking to this website ahead of the all-South African derby against the Cheetahs in Pretoria on Saturday, Ludeke said they are not too concerned about the last three defeats.

Following home wins against the Stormers and Western Force, the Bulls got their tour off to a brilliant start - a first-ever win over the Blues in Auckland.

Then they came down to earth with a bang, a big loss to the Crusaders, before heartbreaking losses to the Reds (18-23) and Brumbies (20-23) - both games in which the last play of the match decided the outcome.

"The tour, every week was a great challenge for us, but the team showed tremendous growth," Ludeke told this website.

"It is difficult for those not closer to the team to see, but those of us who are on the inside took a lot out of that tour.

"We may only have taken six points from the trip, but there are many other things that molded us together in a tighter unit."

The Bulls mentor said there are now many players who are beginning to establish themselves in the team.

Not even that injury-time loss to the Brumbies, the result of a very questionable refereeing decision, could dampen the Bulls' spirits.

"We are looking at the bigger picture," Ludeke said, adding: "There are plenty of games [10] remaining.

"We came very close and we are very positive.

"If you look at the Brumbies game, that 15 minutes just after the break we were very effective and put points on the board.

"We closed the gap very easily and got ourselves back in the game. Even late in the game, it takes character to come back like that away from home.

"That is a platform for us to build on."

He felt that winning against the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld will put the Bulls firmly back in the play-off race.

"It is important to be successful and get results [victories], that is why it is a vital game for us this weekend against the Cheetahs at home."

The Bulls mentor also felt that his team does have the ability to match the free-running backs of the Cheetahs, even though the Bulls are seen mainly as a team with a conservative approach.

"If we get the ball on the front foot, our backs showed what they can do," Ludeke said.

"It is still important for the forwards to do the hard work to get front foot ball for the backs - that is when they are dangerous.

"Look at the [two] tries we scored against the Brumbies - one from broken play and one off a scrum.

"We back ourselves to attack from set pieces.

"We do have players who have showed they can make good calls in pressure situations and rounded off great opportunities."

By Jan de Koning

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Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
EP Kings v Griquas 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 15h10 Johannesburg
Kings v Highlanders 17h15 Port Elizabeth
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
Thu, 07 July 2016
Griquas v Pumas 17h00 Kimberley
Fri, 08 July 2016
Blues v Brumbies 07h35 Auckland
Reds v Chiefs 09h40 Brisbane
Eagles v Free State Cheetahs 17h00 Outeniqua Park
Lions v Kings 17h00 Johannesburg
Sat, 09 July 2016
Jaguares v Highlanders 22h00 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 9 0 4 39
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 13 10 0 3 46
Crusaders 13 10 0 3 45
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9