Bulls must produce 80-minute effort

Fri, 17 May 2013 06:06
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The Highlanders may be stuck at the foot of the table, with just one win from 10 starts, but they still pose a major threat to even the best teams.

The Highlanders may be stuck at the foot of the table, with just one win from 10 starts, but they still pose a major threat to even the best teams.

Their only win this season has been over a badly out-of-sorts Sharks team and even the lowly Kings - who surrendered a record 72 points to the Waratahs the week before - managed to take a full-house five points off the Highlanders.

However, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke is adamant his team will require an 80-minute effort from the top shelve or face the ignominy of becoming only the second team not to beat the men from Dunedin.

Speaking to this website ahead of their Round 14 encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, Ludeke said the Bulls will have to work hard to impose their game on the Highlanders.

"They are at their most dangerous when they [are allowed to] get their strengths into the game," the Bulls mentor said.

"We have the utmost respect for them, they are a good team - despite their results," Ludeke added.

"Throughout the season they have been competitive and in the game right to the end, with just one or two minor calls going against them."

The Bulls mentor felt the Highlanders - a side littered with All Blacks in key positions - are capable of beating anyone on the day.

Players like All Blacks Tony Woodcock, Andrew Hore, Brad Thorn, Hosea Gear, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Colin Slade and Tamati Ellison make them such a threat.

At some stage this season those players will get it together and it could be at Loftus on Saturday.

"It will be a huge battle, but we are looking forward to it," Ludeke said, adding: "It is also a very important game for us."

The coach felt his team will need an 80-minute effort of the highest order.

"It will be all about our workrate," he said, adding: "We need to get the basics right, but mainly the workrate and [the] tempo [at which we play].

"They are a team that likes to retain the ball for lengthy periods and counter from broken play.

"We will have to be very disciplined."

Ludeke said the Bulls, fresh from their second bye week, will again look to apply pressure through tactical kicking.

"We will have to be very accurate with that, to control the type of possession they get and close the space down so they can't counter."

Asked if he felt the break last week might stop their momentum - given that they managed a four-match winning streak between the two byes - Ludeke said it is a mindset.

"You do need the break, it is a very long season.

"Near the end of the season a bye is vital, to ensure you get some balance in your approach.

"We are determined to continue building on that with what we were successful in the last four weeks [before the bye].

"We are confident that the rest will stand us in good stead and that we will be full of energy this coming weekend."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 57 | 14
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10