No more 'soft moments' for Bulls

Wed, 03 Jul 2013 20:23
Large francois hougaard bulls run Large morne steyn looks Large jacques potgieter bulls cha Large chiliboy ralepelle  bulls t

The Bulls will need to be switched on for the full 80 minutes if they hope to add another W to their three-month unbeaten run.

The Bulls will need to be switched on for the full 80 minutes if they hope to add another W to their three-month unbeaten run.

With a much-improved Sharks team arriving at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, the Bulls will not be able to get away with any 'soft' moments.

Their last loss was a 20-23 defeat to the Brumbies in Canberra on March 30 - a result pundits on both sides of the Indian Ocean agreed was daylight robbery.

Since that unfortunate Saturday, the Bulls have won eight games on the trot - with two byes and the June break thrown in for good measure.

If they win at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday and the Crusaders upstage the table-topping Chiefs in Christchurch on Friday, the Bulls will claim prime position in the standings.

However, they are focussed on the Sharks and not the table.

"We don't look at it like that," Bulls coach Frans Ludeke told this website, adding: "We are facing a good team that has been a huge challenge for us in the last few years.

"We will have to be on top of our game and very accurate on Saturday."

The Bulls mentor said that despite a good result, a six-try (48-18) demolition of the Southern Kings last week, there were still a number of areas of their game that were not spot on.

"Against the Sharks you need good set pieces, a good base from which you can get out of your area and launch attacks - that [setting a good platform] will be vital on Saturday," Ludeke said.

He felt that this is one of those games that bring out the best in the players from both side.

While the Bulls have been good this year at avoiding lapses in concentration, Saturday an 80-minute effort will be even more crucial - as the Sharks are past masters in exploiting lapses.

"I feel that most of the games we were competitive for the full 80 minutes and there were no real soft moments," Ludeke told this website.

"Last week we made a couple of errors and the Kings never stopped playing. There was a period just before the break - when they scored a good try - and they asked some tough questions of us.

"That is something we welcome as a team, because we know it will take an 80-minute effort [against the Sharks] on Saturday.

"In our last encounter against them in Durban [an 18-16 win for the Bulls in atrocious conditions] the guys were switched on for 80 minutes and it will need to be the same this Saturday."

Despite the big win the Bulls feel their finishing let them down in the second half.

"It was a reasonably disciplined performance [just nine penalties], but the scrum was an issue again," the coach said.

"We made that a focus this week.

"It is all about the quality of the possession we make available [to the backs]. It is vital to deliver quality possession [to the backs].

"Then, on defence we would like to be a more accurate [with only a 76 percent success rate in the tackle execution last week]. On the advantage line we will have to work very hard for 80 minutes - we have to stop their momentum."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
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 Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
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
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
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 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 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