Bulls: Maul makes it a 'special' game

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:44
Large frans ludeke wide eyed

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke believes rugby should remain a game for all shapes and sizes and the maul is an integral part of the game.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke believes rugby should remain a game for all shapes and sizes and the maul is an integral part of the game.

Ludeke, speaking in a teleconference call after his team arrived in Napier on Thursday, defended his team's extensive use of the rolling maul as an attacking weapon.

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett fired the first verbal barrage in the build-up to their Super Rugby showdown at McLean Park on Saturday when he told the New Zealand media that the Bulls' rolling maul is "illegal".

"The rolling maul is completely illegal in terms of how it's set up," Hammett told NZ Newswire.

"I've talked to refs numerous times, and numerous coaches have done as well, but it's something they're not prepared to change."

However, Ludeke said, the rolling maul is a key element of the game.

"The maul is part of rugby," he said from Napier, adding: "That is what it makes it such a special game, a game for all shapes and sizes, a game for all styles.

"Teams that like to carry the ball from all over the field, they can have a go.

"[Some] New Zealand sides, like the Crusaders and even the Highlanders, maul pretty well - that is part of the game."

Ludeke said he accepted Hammett's point about it having to be a 'fair contest' when you defend the maul.

"However, at the same time, teams that are effective at the maul would also like referees to make good decisions in terms of when you have set your maul and you are going that it can also work in your favour.

"It is a way of getting go-forward."

The Bulls mentor said they spend many hours on practicing mauls.

"Just like other teams spend hours on their attacking shape and running lines," Ludeke said.

"It is all about having a balanced gameplan as well.

"Sometimes it is wet and raining, then you can't carry the ball and you need to have an alternative option.

"You do need the maul in the game, you can't just always carry and run it - weather conditions don't always allow it."

Ludeke is adamant that his team is no one-dimensional and do have an allround game.

"We haven't been accurate in that [executing our game plan] and hopefully on tour we can be better in those areas - like carrying the ball, shaping the defence and having a go," he said.

The Bulls coach said his charges have coped well with the travel.

They left South Africa late on Tuesday, stayed over in Auckland on Wednesday and arrived in Napier on Thursday afternoon (New Zealand time).

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
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