Back to basics for Bulls

Mon, 22 Jul 2013 07:11
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The Bulls will have to go 'back to basics' this week as they start preparations for the Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Brumbies.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke spoke of the need to learn from their recent hammering at the hands of the Stormers and those 'lessons' will be applied during the build-up to their Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Brumbies.

It was the Stormers' superiority in the set pieces and at the breakdown that allowed the men from Cape Town to record a comprehensive 30-13 victory over the Bulls at Newlands.

Now, back on their home turf at Loftus Versfeld, the Bulls will look for an improved performance in the "crucial facets" of the game.

"I don't think our set pieces, scrum or line-outs, were good enough to play in a pressure game like that," Ludeke said about the hammering his team took at Newlands.

"[Also], penalties at the breakdown - you need to be smarter."

The Bulls equated Super Rugby play-offs with Test matches and said it is vital to "get the scoreboard going quickly" and then build from there.

"Also, getting out of our half, we couldn't release the pressure [against the Stormers]," the Bulls mentor said.

"The times that we applied pressure we also got points.

"We've said it a number of times, but there is a lot to take from that game [against the Stormers], we can only benefit from the game."

He said they will work hard on their basics, including the set pieces.

"It is a vital facet of the game. If you want to apply pressure, you need to make sure you get the ball when you are in good positions, to build that pressure," Ludeke said, when discussing their struggling performances in the line-outs and scrums.

"It is an area will focus on."

When discussing the other lessons learnt Ludeke kept making reference to the opportunities his team had, but just couldn't finish off, and penalties that put them under unnecessary pressure.

"You always go back and see what you can take from it," he said, adding: "It is now a new competition, the knock-out phases.

"It is a once-off and we will be ready for it.

"The players had a week off and there are plenty of positives that await us and we are determined to end the season on a high.

"We have a semifinal at home,  we will prepare for that game and then take it from there."

Despite the loss in their last league match, Ludeke feels the team can still feel confident going into Saturday's encounter with the Brumbies.

"We had a great season, we had nine wins in a row, we played great rugby with some good momentum. We had injuries and that was something that as a team we had to absorb."

He said all the things that went wrong against the Stormers can be fixed.

"A lot of things can happen in a week," Ludeke added.

By Jan de Koning

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