One bad day does not a winter make

Thu, 27 Jun 2013 18:18
Large werner kruger bulls scrum Large chiliboy ralepelle bulls sc Large dean greyling bulls scrum

The Bulls scrum may be seen as the team's soft underbelly, but the men from Pretoria are by no means weak in the set pieces.

The Bulls have been heavily penalised at scrum time in certain games, but the pace-setters in the South African Super Rugby conference are not nearly as bad as some pundits have suggested.

In fact, while the Bulls have run foul of referees in some matches, their props are not penalised nearly as often as those of other teams - especially in the scrums.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke readily admits that his team has had some "bad days" at the office - such as their most recent outing, a 30-25 win over the Cheetahs just before the June break.

Prop Dean Greyling was penalised four times, as the Cheetahs dominated the scrums in the first half.

However, despite the perception that the Bulls transgress the most at scrum time, not one of their props are even in the top 10 of the most penalised front row forwards in Super Rugby.

Top of that dubious list of most penalised props is the Crusaders' All Black Wyatt Crockett, who has already conceded 27 penalties - more than half at scrum time.

He is followed by Greg Holmes (Reds - 23), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers - 20), Ben Franks (Hurricanes - 19), Ben Alexander (Brumbies - 18), Schalk Ferreira (Kings - 17), Laurie Weeks (Rebels - 15), Angus Ta'avao (Blues - 14), Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs - 14) and Coenraad Oosthuizen (Cheetahs - 14).

The Bulls - who face the Southern Kings in Pretoria on Saturday, when the Super Rugby season resumes after the June break - have worked hard on ensuring they are not on the receiving end of the referee's whistle again.

"We have great players, guys in every position who have succeeded at the highest level," Ludeke told this website, when asked about the perception that his team is a weak scrummaging unit.

"It is sometimes just a matter of concentration and that goes from No.1 to No.8," the Bulls mentor said, adding: "They must all be focussed and accurate in each and every scrum.

"That [concentration] has cost us at times.

"The referees have taken a much tougher stance when things are not working [at scrum time] and that is the right way to go, because we are getting a better shape in the game."

Ludeke said the Bulls have to make the adjustment when referees rule a specific way in a match.

"We are prepared to do that, we know where to make those changes," he told this website.

"Certainly it is just a concentration issue and one or two games where we did not have a good day at the office.

"We accept that those [performances] were simply not good enough."

The Bulls coach said he is confident that those bad days will not result in a bad season, where scrum penalties cost them a crucial game.

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19