Ludeke happy despite Bulls loss to Cheetahs



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Bulls rugby coach Frans Ludeke would have preferred a win, but he is nevertheless quite happy with what he saw from his charges, despite their 20-16 defeat against the Cheetahs in Friday night’s warm-up match in Polokwane.

“Of course we would have preferred to get the result, but our first half was good. The guys lost a little focus in the second half and we still have plenty to work on, but the match served its purpose.

“We’re also losing too much possession in contact situations and at ruck time,” Ludeke admitted.

He is fairly happy with the structure showed by the Bulls – something they build their game on – and the scrumming in the first half also pleased the coach.

The tactical kicking and defence would have pleased him as well – and with the exception of a few scrums in the second half and the balance of his loose trio who came off second best, the Bulls were the better side. That said, however, Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske will feel more confident than last year at a corresponding stage.

Meyer Bosman was not at his best at flyhalf, but the form of Piet van Zyl as Jacques-Louis Potgieter’s centre partner, the scrummaging where Wian du Preez was outstanding, and the loose trio where Frans Viljoen has taken the step up to this level with ease, were contributory to Drotske’s satisfaction – with some reservations.

Viljoen has also added a new aggression to a Cheetahs pack that looked somewhat vulnerable before the break.

It was a tactical switch by the Free State side who started driving through the middle of the rucks with the Bulls fanning out on the side that brought the about-turn in the second half.

The big name Bulls were probably not as committed as they should have been, and the many smiles and relaxed atmosphere at the after-match reception indicated that the loss was not viewed as a disaster.



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