‘Bulls’ worst in 5 years’ – Ludeke


Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made it blatantly clear that he rated his side’s performance as one of the worst in his tenure as mentor of the side.

Ludeke’s calm demeanor did not change after the Super Rugby match, yet he could not hide his disappointment in the aftermath of a lacklustre showing from his charges.

“In the first half they kicked long and our kicking game from that wasn’t good enough,” Ludeke said.

“It was definitely our worst performance in the last five years, the way we almost absorbed the pressure they applied there.”

The Bulls went into the half-time break with a 14-9 lead although the Force made serious inroads after the restart to eventually enjoyed a 26-19 advantage with 25 minutes left on the clock.

While Ludeke bemoaned his troops’ performance he praised them in the same breath for eventually pulling through with full bonus points in the bag.

“The way we came back in the second half, the way players adjusted on the field, that was a special effort from the team,” he said.

“Last year against the Blues we were in exactly in the same situation, we couldn’t get out of that grip and tonight we got back.

“All credit to the captain for the way we got back to things that are working for us, the maul started working, we managed the high ball, we forced some turnovers and we converted pressure into points.”

While the performance was one the Bulls would like to forget they nevertheless lead the South African Conference in Super Rugby following two victories from two matches.

The Bulls will bank heavily on this positive momentum ahead of their tour of New Zealand and Australia, where they arguably face one of the toughest conquests of all the teams.

The Pretoria-based side depart on Tuesday for Auckland where they will face the Blues on Sunday. The tussle will be followed by matches against the Crusaders, Reds and Brumbies before their first bye.

“We will take a lot of confidence away, that is what we will need on tour as you will not always have the upper-hand and you will need to grind and stick to what you are good at,” the Bulls mentor said.


Ludeke will be crossing his fingers that the injuries to key personnel are not too serious and that he would be able to call on a full strength side.

Hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle and scrumhalf Francois Hougaard were early casualties, while Bjorn Basson and Jacques Potgieter also retired hurt.

Ralepelle could also be suspended after he was cited for dangerous contact after Saturday’s game.

The coach, however, was confident that the players would be fit by next week with Basson the only serious concern.

He will also be able to call on flankers Deon Stegmann and Dewalt Potgieter, who should return from injury.

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  1. “The Bulls will bank heavily on this positive momentum ahead of their tour of New Zealand . . .”
    Positive momentum?
    They now face Blues, Crusaders, Reds, Brumbies.
    Can they beat the Reds?

    The Sharks were also far from convincing.

    Lyk my HKGK vir die SA spanne . . .

  2. Arguably the most depressing performances from Japie teams I have seen in quite some time this season so far (early days though)…

  3. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 11:19 am:

    nee fok I think my concerns from last year are already valid. That Chiefs team last year were streets better than anything we had (oddly enough our best team, the stormers, never played the Chiefs last year) and it seems the Kiwi sides have all just stepped up that one gear.

    Skills levels, physique, fitness, discipline etc all just better than us right now.

    Can we bash and rolling maul our way to a victory or two? Sure we will. But I am suddenly not sure any SA team will make the semi’s.

    BLUES, CHIEFS, BRUMBIES looking red hot.

  4. :bangheadt: Second round in a 17 round tournament.. we getting ahead of ourself…

    If the Force moerd the Kings evryone would have had a different story, it rather looks like they think Force must be run over just because the Kings won them in round 1.

    Stormers vs Sharks….both teams were kak….all the changes but could do nothing with it. I agree with Oom Boertjie, overall teh SA teams have not settle in and they better do it fast otherwise groot hkgk for us.

    One thing I always remember from a wise coach I met years back. A good team will win even if they have an off day, so for the Bulls to have played so kak and still win with 10 points speaks volumes of them.

    Hougardt must go back to the wing he is one of the Bulls biggest problems behide the forwards.

  5. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 1:03 pm:

    you see but every year we get that one or two wins and suddenly we revert back to our comfort zone. Last year the Sharks ran into some great form and reached final. Playing schedule was rough but the Chiefs would have still given them 20.

    Our biggest single problem in SA, apart from our over-use of forwards to do everything, is the fact that we do nothing at pace. We stand flat. All our teams are guilty of this.

  6. You know what sucks? I missed out on predictions on the first 4 or 5 games of the super rugby, I am 20 points behind the leaders. Will have to sabotage the top 20 somehow. *Starts to look around and hope to find a sabotage switch somewhere*.

  7. I think, using the TMO to judge forward passes is a very bad idea. Do we want to see more tries or do we want to see more scrums? If we ask the TMO to scrutinize every pass in the lead up to a try, it’s going to be the latter.

    The “forward pass” is such a fuzzy concept and the camera angles are never in-line. They are simply replacing one referee’s poor sightedness and judgement with another referee’s poor sightedness and judgement.

    In this case the referee thought the last pass was forward, the commentators thought both were, and the TMO decreed that it was the second last pass.
    Three different opinions out of only four possibilities, is as close to random guessing as you can get.

  8. Bulls suffer Basson blow
    The Bulls have been dealt a major setback ahead of their Australasian tour with try-scoring sensation Bjorn Basson out injured.
    Suffered a blow?
    He never gets the ball anyway.
    Just put someone that can tackle
    in his place.
    :Boertjie GOM:

  9. Ja Jacques, I WOULD LOVE FOR hougaardt to move to the wing and Vermaak to play 9, but Hougaardt said last year that he wants to specialise at 9, even if it costs him his place in the team. Think it is time it does cost him his place. He is a special talent, no denying that, but he sucks as a scrumhalf.

  10. Half of the sixe teams in the play offs were South African

    You’re right Brenden we were super kak in SR last year…

    Had it not been for the strange pint scoring system there would not even have been an Aussie side in the play offs… only SA and Kiwi sides…

    You’re right, compared to Australia we are totally useless. We should fall back into the ESSA inferiority complex and howl “we’re not worthy” when other antipodean sides come here…

    So far only three SA sides have played overseas opposition.


    SA v overseas oppo 2-1…

    So the Cheetahs actually dropped their comrades.

  11. I saw only the last 6 minutes –
    Spies making 3 useful carries.
    More than he made the whole of
    last year.
    Is he actually becoming a worthwhile player?
    What were his tackles like?

  12. Reply to DavidS @ 9:34 pm: Stretching it a bit there, David but we know what you are saying. Cheetahs actually did their SA comrades a massive favour with that first half performance v the Chiefs. AC will surely have seen a recording of the game and must have designs on replicating that at Newlands this weekend. The Cheetahs had all kiwis worried by halftime – never seen the normal unflappable coach Smithy so angered on the halftime TV interview. He and Rennie must have put the blowtorch under the players as they came out a different side in the 2nd half sadly for the Cheetahs who were unable to match the intensity of their first half.

  13. Reply to out wide @ 12:03 am:

    I hope the other SA teams use the video as a, how not to play, instruction. The Cheetahs looked good for about 20 minutes or so, then I realized they were wearing themselves out, going nowhere. By min-30, it was pretty clear they were going to lose.