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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Sharks v Bulls 10 | 40
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 7 4 0 3 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Blues 7 2 0 5 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14
Jaguares 7 3 0 4 12