After losing the first two Super Rugby games of the season at Loftus Versfeld, the Bulls were able to turn around their fortunes under immense pressure from their fans.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke strongly believes that their ability to dig themselves out of a rut earlier in the season will stand them in good stead for the remainder of their tour as they try to break an eight-match losing streak in Australasia and get themselves back into contention for the play-offs. The coach has acknowledged that nothing short of victory against the Brumbies will alleviate the uncomfortable position they find themselves in.
The Bulls are in dire need of a win if they are to have a say in where they finish on the Super Rugby log and with the Brumbies being two places above them in sixth, the Bulls have their entire season’s ambitions to salvage if they win.
On the flip side, the Bulls’ season could come crashing down on them if they lose and the remainder of the season becomes nothing but honouring the fixtures against the Melbourne Rebels and the Cheetahs.
“We were able to turn it around at the beginning of the season and you can see the focus and concentration on the face of the players right now. There is a different focus within the team because the guys know that there are no safety nets anymore. We will need to be spot on with our execution.
“I think the team is responding well to this pressure. You can never tell what is going to happen but we know we need a special performance on the weekend,” Ludeke said.
Bulls captain Pierre Spies is also under no illusion at the difficult task that faces his team. However, Spies also concurred with his coach’s utterances earlier in the week that they have a plan that should lead them to that all-important victory that will keep that glimmer of hope alive for a berth in the play-offs.
“I think they are a quality side from start to finish. If you look at their set-pieces they are strong there and they have a solid line-out drive. They have world class players all over the park. They execute their basics well and they also have a strong kicking game and a rushing defence,” said Spies.
“All of this makes it very difficult to play against them and I believe the game will be similar to a Test match and it will come down to execution and discipline.
“We believe we have our plan in place and we are working towards that,” said Spies. - The Star
Original source: Ludeke wants ‘a special performance’