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.
The 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.
Frans Ludeke answered questions sent in to Sport24.
Vodacom 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.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said that a few key ajustments made by Victor Matfield have been central to their recent success.
The Bulls beat the Sharks in their return match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, handing the visitors their first defeat of the season.
The 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.
Bulls 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.
As 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.
In 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.
The Bulls may have the highest player turnover of all the franchises, but coach Frans Ludeke believes he still has the core of a successful team.
The Vodacom Bulls are set to announce a two-year contract extention to head coach Frans Ludeke’s contract on Wednesday.
This 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”.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke does not regard it as a crisis yet, but he is certainly keen to have a look at the reasons for his team’s ongoing scrum issues.
It wasn’t the stronger team that won this match, there wasn’t one. It was a little bit of perhaps slightly better planning by the Stormers, and a little bit of luck.
Springbok giant Victor Matfield says that Andries Bekker has the ability to be an even better lock than him, and that the Stormers are very close to winning an elusive Super Rugby crown (clearly at this point he had just inhaled a bit of that ‘mountain baccy’).
The big man Os du Randt answers questions on how to combat the Welsh scrum; when and why to get which shoulder; why unity as well as technique is critical; and what he thinks of criticism of his own scrumming.