Game is played between four lines

Wed, 24 Jul 2013 21:58
Large frik kirsten bulls tackle b Large frans ludeke   dewald potgi Large frans ludeke bulls look

Loftus Versfeld may be billed as a near impenetrable fortress for the Bulls, but coach Frans Ludeke is not buying into any of the sideshows.

Loftus Versfeld may be billed as a near impenetrable fortress for the Bulls, who also have more play-off experience, but coach Frans Ludeke is not buying into any of the sideshows.

He feels it is what happens on the pitch, not in the record books, that will determine the winner when they host the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld in a Super Rugby semifinal on Saturday.

"In situations like this you don't often have real advantages ahead of the game," Ludeke told this website in an interview, when asked about the fact that the Bulls have never lost a play-off match at home.

They have beaten the Crusaders three times in the semifinals (even though one of those were in Soweto in 2010), as well as the Chiefs and Stormers in successive Final appearances (the 2010 win also in Soweto).

The Brumbies have also not beaten the Bulls at Loftus since 2006. And their only wins since 2006 were both fortuitous squeakers in Canberra - 23-20 in March this year, courtesy of a dubious last-minute penalty, and a one-point (31-30) win in 2009.

The Bulls also have far more players, 14 in total, with Super Rugby play-off experience - Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Bjorn Basson, Morné Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling, Frik Kirsten and Jano Vermaak.

That is far superior to the Brumbies' two - George Smith and Clyde Rathbone.

However, Ludeke is adamant this does not guarantee his team anything on Saturday.

"Both teams are professional enough and both teams' management [staff] have enough international experience within to know how to handle the players and what to say to them," the Bulls mentor said.

"I believe that on the day, between those four lines once the whistle has blown, both teams will be tested - despite all the plans you devised.

"That is when players need to be able to adjust - they need to work hard, even when things don't work for them all the time."

Ludeke said there will be mistakes made by both sides.

"It is about how the team reacts to the momentum you lose and the momentum you gain in the game, how you can round off the opportunities," he told this website.

"In any play-off game you will get your opportunities and then you have to be good enough to round it off.

"The whole year's planning and preparation, the way you played, all that must come together on the day, on the pitch."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 20 April 2018
Blues v Highlanders 07h35 Eden Park
Waratahs v Lions 09h45 Sydney
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 21 April 2018
Crusaders v Sunwolves 07h35 Christchurch
Reds v Chiefs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Bulls v Rebels 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Scarlets 14h30 Dublin
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Durban
Zebre v Ospreys 16h45 Parma
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 17h05 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 06h05 Canberra
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 7 5 1 1 24
Rebels 6 4 0 2 20
Brumbies 7 3 0 4 14
Reds 7 3 0 4 13
Sunwolves 7 0 0 7 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Crusaders 7 5 0 2 24
Chiefs 7 5 0 2 21
Highlanders 6 4 0 2 19
Blues 7 2 0 5 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 5 0 3 25
Bulls 7 3 0 4 14
Sharks 8 2 1 5 14
Stormers 8 3 0 5 13
Jaguares 6 2 0 4 8