Bulls backing their 'all-round' props

Mon, 27 Jan 2014 09:41
Large werner kruger bulls scrum Large dean greyling bulls scrum2

The Bulls scrum may have lost the 'fear factor', but coach Frans Ludeke is confident they will not be shunted around this season.

The Bulls scrum may have lost the 'fear factor' it once held for opposing teams, but coach Frans Ludeke is confident they will not be shunted around this season.

Ludeke, speaking to this website ahead of their pre-season Super Rugby outing against Stormers, at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday, said some of the law adjustments will also be of value.

"What is most pleasing - from a coaching, player and administrative point of view - is that good decisions were made that will improve the game," Ludeke said about the decision to simplify the communication from referees to the teams at scrum time.

Added to that, the Bulls mentor said, is the fact that the right areas were addressed when they looked at their own shortcomings.

"This included the scrum," he said, adding: "We required one or two adjustments, such as No.9 and his communication with the referee."

Ludeke said the scrums remain a huge contest, but the decisions made by the referees are getting to a stage where everybody has confidence in it and it makes it an easier facet of the game.

He admitted that all teams would have focussed on the scrums in the off-season.

"Mistakes will be punished with penalties and then you can lose valuable territory," the Bulls coach told this website.

"Last year in Super Rugby there were times we were under pressure [in the scrums], so it was definitely an aspect we focussed on.

"We need to ensure we are technically more accurate.

"Obviously brute strength will have an impact, but it is more important to be technically more accurate [in scrums].

"You have to focus on things like making sure the ball is put in on the ref's call, put in straight and ensure you work as a unit."

There were some critics who feel the Bulls' props are not up to standard, but Ludeke feels there is more to playing at prop than just scrumming.

"You have to take it on the chin sometimes," he told this website, when asked about the trouble experienced in 2013.

"There were games where the opposition got the better result [in the scrums], but we know what the challenges are and we have been working on those.

"We know some of our performances were not good enough, but that is what you work on in the pre-season - to ensure you can put your stamp on the game in those facets.

"We certainly back the players [in our squad], because we feel they have the allround game.

"The scrum is an important facet for us, and a major focus point, to ensure we create a solid platform."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
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
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
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