Battle of Bloem will be like a Test

Thu, 30 May 2013 20:51
Large morne steyn rubber band Large jj engelbrecht bulls traini Large bjorn basson bulls hands on

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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 25 September 2016
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Argentina v New Zealand 17h10 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9