Potgieter must 'embrace' the moment

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:03
Large dewald potgieter bulls look Large frans ludeke   dewald potgi Large frans ludeke media

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke feels his team has a "better balance" heading into their second meeting with the Sharks this season.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke feels his team has a "better balance" heading into their second meeting with the Sharks this season.

The Bulls were well below their expected standards when they went down to Durban in Week One and the result was a drubbing at the hands of the Sharks.

However, a number of personnel changes - the most recent the inclusion of Japan-based Springbok Dewald Potgieter at No.8 this week - has given the Bulls a very different look for the return fixture at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The most significant backline change will see Jacques-Louis Potgieter start at flyhalf, after Louis Fouché was at No.10 in Durban. The other is Sampie Mastriet on the right wing for Akona Ndungane, who is on compassionate leave after the death of his father.

Up front there are also some key changes - Potgieter at No.8, after Pierre Spies played in Durban before injury ruled him out for the rest of the season, and Victor Matfield at No.5 lock, with Flip van der Merwe moving to his preferred position at the front of the line-out.

Ludeke, speaking to this website ahead of Saturday's Loftus showdown, said the addition of Potgieter brings a different dynamic to the team.

"When Arno [Botha] and Pierre [Spies] were injured, we immediately contacted him," he said, when asked about the selection of Potgieter.

The Bok loose forward did not hesitate, but a few administrative hiccups delayed his return - with injury insurance at the heart of the issues.

"He brings a lot to the team, an experienced player that has a huge workrate- both on attack and defence," the coach said, adding that experience will be vital in a game like this.

"It is a local derby between two very good teams that are in good form.

"You need players that can embrace the moment. You need players like that, who are up for the occasion."

Ludeke admitted that seasoned players like Potgieter and Matfield will have important roles to play if the Bulls are to reverse their last result against the Sharks - which was a 16-31 loss.

"We feel that our combinations, since that first game [in Durban] have improved dramatically.

"The team is more settled and everybody has a better idea of what we want to do.

"We have achieved some good results in the last two matches and want to build on that."

The Bulls know that Saturday will be a different and bigger challenge and they will have to be at their best.

"We had a good break [last week's bye] and made some minor adjustment [to the game plan]," he said, adding that they hope the long-term weather prediction of a dry day is realised.

"We will have to adjust to whatever happens on the day," Ludeke said.

"Our balance is much better when it comes to the decision-makers in the team, among the forwards and backs and those [changes made] are players who we feel can adjust and make good calls that will benefit the team."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19