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Frans Ludeke

Frans Ludeke

On the right track, Frans Ludeke

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says they will keep backing their processes in order to get their game plan right.

The Bulls suffered another disappointing loss at the weekend when the Sharks beat them 26-15 at Loftus Versfeld.

Ludeke said they have no excuses for the loss and have to learn to handle the pressure situations better.

“It was especially our decision making which cost us. There were times when we needed to play tactically, but then carried the ball and lost it at the breakdowns instead,” Ludeke said.

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Frans Ludeke

Frans Ludeke

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has laid it on the line. Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup showdown with neighbours the Xerox Golden Lions is almost a season-decider for his team.

Having won just one out of four games thus far, the Blue Bulls desperately need to reverse their fortunes and while their performance against Western Province was a lot better than their opening three games, they still couldn’t get a win in the game, despite dominating possession.

Ludeke has made it clear that the Bulls need to up their finishing, something that has been a difficult thing for them this season, and they need to take the points on offer when they are in control.

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Frans Ludeke

Frans Ludeke

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says his side showed encouraging signs in their defeat to Western Province that they are on the right track.

It has been a tough start to the season for the Pretoria side, with just one win from their four games so far, and they were left disappointed again at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday as the unbeaten Cape side beat them for the second time in a few weeks.

However, despite the frustration of coming up short again, Ludeke was upbeat and took some positives from his side’s performance.

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Frans Ludeke

Frans Ludeke

It may have been a close shave but Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke believes their nervous 30-25 victory over the Eastern Province Kings in Pretoria on Saturday was the perfect remedy to their woes.

The Light Blues turned in an unconvincing performance as they came up against a tenacious Kings side that nearly tasted a rare victory at Loftus Versfeld.

Ludeke admitted that the result could easily have favoured the visitors but it was a victory they would take nevertheless.

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Vodacom Blue BullsInjuries, rotational policy and the availability of players from suspension all played a role in Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke’s decision to make seven changes to his starting team to face the EP Kings at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

This will be the Vodacom Blue Bulls first home match in the Absa Currie Cup following two away defeats against the Golden Lions and Western Province.

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Frans Ludeke

Coach under siege: Frans Ludeke

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named fit-again flank Jacques du Plessis in his starting line-up to face DHL Western Province at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

This round two match in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division will see two new faces in the Blue Bulls starting pack that lost their season opener against the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.

Du Plessis comes in at flank after recovering from a broken jaw sustained in a pre-season match, with Jono Ross moving to no 8 and replacing Jacques Engelbrecht, who moves to the bench with Wiaan Liebenberg dropping out of the match 22.

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Derick Minnie

“Cheers vir eers!” Derick Minnie op pad vorentoe Saterdag teen die Bloubulle op Ellispark.

Niemand wil dit hard sê nie, maar almal weet dit: Suid-Afrikaanse rugby is in die #2%$.

Vir diegene wat onlangs uit ’n diep slaap uit ontwaak het, hier is die feite: Net een Suid-Afrikaanse span kon dit tot in ’n Super Rugby semi-finaal maak. En daar het hulle ook in die pomp geduik. Die ander klomp – die Bulle, Stormers, Leeus en Cheetahs het redelik swak gedoen.

Hoe kan ’n land soos Suid-Afrika, wat meer spelers as Nieu-Seeland en Australië saam het, so sleg uit die bus uit bliksem?

Om daardie vraag te beantwoord, moet ons teruggaan tot ons terugkeer tot internasionale rugby in 1992.

Dan sal ons sien dat ons intussen nooit pasaangeërs was nie. Nie met taktiek nie en nie met afrigting nie.

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Panic StationThe Vodacom Blue Bulls are already in crisis mode – and it’s only the first round of the Absa Currie Cup season.

Coach Frans Ludeke called in the players to Loftus Versfeld on Sunday night for an emergency meeting – following their humiliating 41-13 opening loss to the Xerox Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday – where players were read the riot act.

Following a disappointing Vodacom Super Rugby season, and this start to a much-vaunted Currie Cup campaign, the players were told to either shape up or ship out as Ludeke vented his anger after the loss.

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Marnitz Boshoff

Marnitz Boshoff

The Golden Lions’ comprehensive 41-13 defeat of the Blue Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday could prove costly after star flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff left the field with an arm injury.

“We are a bit concerned but we don’t want to jump to conclusions before he’s had his scans,” Lions coach Johan Ackermann said after the match.

“Jaco van der Walt (replacement) is a talented player but obviously Marnitz is also a match winner and it will be a big loss if he is out.”

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Frans Ludeke

Frans Ludeke

As the well-worn idiom goes: ‘The tallest trees catch the most wind.’ In the case of Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, that has come in the form of harsh criticism.

While there was some critique over his ‘management’ of veteran Victor Matfield and numerous barbs over his backline choices, it was the selection of his loose forwards that attracted the most fiendish and frightful comments.

The Bulls were particularly vulnerable at the breakdowns, where the absence of a specialist openside flank – in the wake of injuries to Deon Stegmann and Dewald Potgieter – cost them dearly.

Ludeke persisted with Jono Ross, who by his own admission is more suitable on the blindside or at No 8.

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Frans Ludeke

Frans Ludeke

BullsBrumbiesThe Bulls won’t have revenge on their minds when they face the Brumbies in a Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.

The Brumbies broke the Bulls hearts when they beat the men from Pretoria 26-23 in last year’s semi-final at Loftus, with centre Tevita Kuridrani’s late try sealing the win for the men from Canberra.

While it would be important to have a look at what cost them in that game, coach Frans Ludeke said revenge would not be on their minds.

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Frans LudekeBullsVodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admits he will be again looking for reasons why his side dominated the possession stakes against the Highlanders and didn’t get the reward.

The Bulls had more than enough ball in their Vodacom Super Rugby game on Friday but defensive lapses and a lack of execution cost them as they went down 27-20 in Dunedin.

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BullsFrans LudekeThe Vodacom Bulls may be putting a brave face on their poor start to the Vodacom Super Rugby season, but is clear that there are glaring problems in the team at the moment that need to be sorted out.

The alarm bells may not be ringing in coach Frans Ludeke’s ears after two losses in as many games, but they certainly are loud as the team struggle to find their feet after losing a mass amount of players last season.

To expect the Bulls to face such a mass exodus – much of it their own doing – and not suffer much of a setback is too much. Add to that the loss of Arno Botha and captain Pierre Spies to injury and the problems seem bigger.

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BullsFrans LudekeBulls coach Frans Ludeke has identified three areas of concern as they prepare for their Super Rugby opener against the Sharks in Durban on 15 February.

The Bulls lost a pre-season match in Polokwane 26 / 19 to the Stormers last weekend and according to Ludeke they must improve their scrums, tactical kicking and work ethic before the season-proper starts.

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BullsAs the Super Rugby season draws nearer, the teams will be trying to get their injury lists as short as possible, to go into Super Rugby with real war machines.

At the Bulls it was last weak feared and speculated that the Bulls would go into the Stormers warm-up with 3 key players not available. That fear is now eased with the news that only one player, Morné Mellet, won’t be ready to play on the weekend.

The Bulls also expressed their confidence in their all-round props after last year’s Super Rugby season saw them struggle in the scrums at times.

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Super RugbyIn December 2013 and January 2014 we looked at Squad Contenders in the SA Super Rugby participating franchises. This tiime we will focus on the SA Conference Coaches for Super Rugby 2014.

We’ll have a look at all the head coaches and briefly their assistant staff, for the various South African Super Rugby franchises.

We look at their history and discuss their coaching styles and speculate about what can be expected.

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BullsThis article is written by a worried Bulls supporter. The heading could just as well read “Wake up Frans Ludeke” or “Frans fall on your sword please and save us this embarrassment”.

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