Battle of Bloem will be like a Test

Thu, 30 May 2013 20:51
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Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said Saturday's decisive Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs will have the intensity of a Test match.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has no doubt Saturday's decisive Super Rugby encounter with the Cheetahs will have the intensity and produce the tactics of a Test match.

Ludeke, speaking to this website ahead of the Bulls' trip to Bloemfontein for what is effectively a South African Conference decider, said nothing less than a committed 80-minute effort will be good enough.

"The Cheetahs are a team in good form, while we are determined to build on our recent run [of six victories]," Ludeke said.

"No doubt it will be [like] Test rugby on Saturday."

Ludeke said both teams make good use of tactical kicking.

"While the stats show the Cheetahs have kicked the most this year, we also use 'tactical strategies' to get into the right areas and then put the opposition under pressure with defence," the Bulls mentor told this website.

"They [the Cheetahs] do the same.

"It will place enormous pressure on the set pieces, which means we have to be accurate."

Asked about the quality of his team's set pieces, especially the scrums where they have been under pressure this season, Ludeke confirmed that the team has spent some additional time this week looking to eradicate any problems.

"We definitely were not happy with last week's [scrum] performance, [against the Sharks], we were not accurate enough," the coach said.

"With that early hit [in the first scrum] we put ourselves under pressure - after that we were on the back foot the whole game.

"It is like missing your first serve in tennis, the next one must be in [or you lose the points].

"That really put us under pressure.

"Technically there were a couple of things we worked on, to ensure we are more accurate [in the scrums].

"We know what we are capable of in the scrums, so we want to be more accurate [against the Cheetahs] this weekend."

He admitted it won't get any easier, as the Cheetahs are just as powerful as the Sharks scrum and probably more dynamic.

"They [the Cheetahs] have been competitive the whole season," Ludeke said, adding: "One of the reasons they have been so successful is that they have good set-piece play. They have been accurate in their line-outs and teams have struggled to put them under pressure - they get quality ball, get out of their half and set up great attacking opportunities."

Ludeke knows his team can do themselves a huge favour by beating the Cheetahs, especially ahead of the three-week June break.

A win could put the Bulls as much as 10 points clear of the second-placed Cheetahs in the SA conference race - depending on the bonus points gained or not by both teams in the match.

Defeat could have the opposite result, even allowing the Cheetahs to take first place in the conference - again depending on bonus points.

"We will have a number of players involved in the June Tests and you never know in what shape they will come back," Ludeke said, adding: "We need to put ourselves in the best possible position before the break and a win in Bloemfontein will do that."

By Jan de Koning

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Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
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
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 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
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 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
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14