It would not be held against the Bulls to seek revenge against the Stormers after the Cape Town-based franchise won their season-opening clash at Loftus Versfeld, but Frans Ludeke said that nothing but victory is a priority for his team.
The Bulls will be buoyed by their win against the Sharks last Saturday but Ludeke remains wary of the momentum the Stormers have picked up from their two wins abroad in as many weeks.
“I think in that game against the Stormers at Loftus we had a lot of players who hadn’t played themselves in and we still had a lot of injuries. This Saturday will be a big test and challenge for us and we are looking forward to it,” Ludeke said.
“These are two teams who are playing well at the moment and are coming off good wins. They (the Stormers) had a tour win and we had an away win so it sets us up for a good clash,” he added.
Ludeke, though, doesn’t believe that the game will give an indication as to who will win the South African conference but said that for his team winning a second match away from home would set them up nicely ahead of their tour of New Zealand and Australia.
“There are still plenty of league matches remaining but it takes nothing away from the fact that this is a very important match. For us it is particularly important because it is an away game and we must continue to chase the process from our tactical approach to how we keep in the fight. Both teams will make mistakes but we must keep on putting points on the scoreboard because that is what matters at the end of the day and what won us the game last weekend against the Sharks.”
Ludeke lamented their loss of scrumhalf Rudy Paige to injury on Monday while intimating that Piet van Zyl would be starting at halfback with Francois Hougaard remaining on the wing.
“It is very sad about Rudy because he was playing really well and had made a huge contribution to the way we were playing tactically.
“We are fortunate in that we have a guy like Piet who has been waiting for his opportunity to play and we also have back-up in a guy like Hougaard.”
The Bulls will also face a selection poser at inside centre with Burger Odendaal struggling with a ham-string injury although Springbok centre Jan Sertfontein is back in the mix.
“Burger is in a race against time to get fit but we will wait and see how things go with him and then make a decision on whether he will play or not.”
Besides all the sentiment that will be carried in the hearts of both sets of supporters, the fact of the matter is that the teams are evenly matched and with so much on the line all of the duels from scrums, line-outs and individual battles can only make for an epic battle between the two sides.
“I think both teams use the scrum as a platform for what they want to do. But all of the set phases will be important for both teams. We want to have a good delivery base to launch our attacks but that will be the main thing to work on for both teams this weekend,” said Ludeke.
“I think what will ensure we have a sound foundation for our tour will be us being accurate, producing those special performances, and playing to our strengths regardless of where we are playing. That is what we are focusing on and that is what is important to us.” - The Star
Original source: Bulls want win, not revenge