How the Bulls beat themselves

Sun, 16 Feb 2014 11:58
Large spies matfield630

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said that his team lost against themselves in their Super Rugby opener at Kings Park on Saturday.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said that his team lost against themselves in their Super Rugby opener at Kings Park on Saturday.

Last year's South African conference champions went down to Jake White's Sharks team 31-16, with the home side outscoring them by four tries to one.

It was an unconvincing start to the competition by the three-time champions who welcomed the return of Springbok legend Victor Matfield in the second half after he came out of retirement last month.

Ludeke said that the most frustrating part of his team's performance was the way they allowed the Sharks to dictate terms and control the game.

“This must be the easiest way the Sharks have ever beaten us,” the Bulls coach said.

He added that the flood of unforced errors from his side had virtually handed the Sharks the momentum in front of their home fans.

Ludeke pointed to soft turnovers and defensive lapses as the main culprits in his team's uninspiring first performance.

“We conceded so many soft turnovers and gave away two easy tries. That gave them the momentum for the game. So we lost against ourselves I feel, particularly in that first half," he said.

Ludeke, whose side scored a late consolation through Jonathan Ross, was also satisfied with Matfield.

“I thought that the longer he played, the better he became. But he's a classy player and had immediate impacts in the line-out. He will just get better as the competition goes on, that I have no doubt about.”

The Bulls travel to Bloemfontein next week to face the Cheetahs who are coming off a disappointing loss at home to the Lions themselves.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Suva
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9