As much as there is talk over the immediate future of Ludeke, his management and some of the players at Loftus Versfeld, the Bulls remain under immense pressure to close off a rather disappointing season with something positive ahead of the Currie Cup.
But before casting their focus on what lies ahead for the remainder of the year, the Bulls remain wary of a Cheetahs team that is under transition and will come to Loftus on Saturday with absolutely nothing to lose after a painful but necessary change of coaching personnel from Naka Drotske to Franco Smith.
Ludeke highlighted the Cheetahs’ fetish for running rugby and said that they would further be fuelled by adopting Smith’s expansive game plan.
The Cheetahs will also have worked on their defence after they shipped 58 points against the Waratahs last weekend.
For Ludeke, it is not the boardroom antics that are occupying his mind, at face value, but rather what his team will play for and that is to make sure that they finish in a respectable position on the overall Super Rugby log with an eye cast on the future and what happens in the domestic competition without some of their Springboks and the stars who will be departing for greener pastures abroad.
As matters stand the Bulls are lying in a disappointing ninth spot on the combined log, however they could climb to a respectable eighth place at the end of the round robin stages, if not seventh place if they are able to beat the Cheetahs with a bonus point for four tries and the Crusaders are unable to beat the Brumbies in Canberra.
“There is still a lot to play for no matter what,” Ludeke said.
“Whoever goes to the Springboks, stays behind or moves on it is a start of new things for everybody. We’ve worked hard and we are disappointed that we didn’t get the results that we were working for so everybody wants to play well and finish well
“It is going to be a tough encounter from what we have picked up from the Cheetahs game against the Waratahs. Obviously they have a huge attacking mindset and their rushing off the line is a factor. They throw the ball around a lot and create plenty of turnovers but it will be an 80-minute battle and we are committed and in for that,” he added.
Ludeke will be forced to leave out the injured Springbok centre Jan Serfontein and probably flank Deon Stegmann with Springboks Victor Matfield and Handré Pollard also not eligible for the encounter against the Cheetahs because of their mandatory rest agreement between the South African Rugby Union and the five South African Super Rugby franchises. - The Star
Original source: Bulls wary of Cheetahs running wild