Frans Ludeke must be wondering why he still bothers even going on these trips to Australia and New Zealand. Surely he’s growing tired of the pitchfork-toting crowds that always seem to be waiting for him at international arrivals on his return?
So, predictably, the Bulls are in crisis. Amazingly enough, so much of what we predicted a fortnight ago seems to be coming true. They hired a coach who has a proven track record at this level (a track record of proven failure, that is) and have already felt it necessary to haul out the dreaded “vote of confidence” in his abilities. This after the second week thrashing at the hands of the Crusaders. The equally laughable fiasco around the appointment of a backline specialist saw Bok winger Pieter Rossouw appointed after first coice Nico le Roux had been shown the door. le Roux apparently lacked hands-on coaching experience, which makes Rossouw’s selection seem even more ludicrous.
To compound the self-inflicted problems of poor coaching, they are beset with personnel issues both on and off the field. About the only positive to come out of last week’s humiliation in Brisbane was the fact that, for the first time this season, none of their players were cited for any foul play. It seems the fight had gone out of this team, quite literally. We know that some of them (like Bakkies Botha) quite clearly no longer want to be there. Others are woefully out of form (such as du Preez, Olivier, Hougaard and Habana). There is a further group whose potential is being stifled through being played out of position (Steyn, Rossouw, Kuün) and the reluctance to embrace the new laws is hurting them further still. Not to mention the fourth group (including Nel and Demas) who are just plain not good enough at this level.
Ludeke will not survive this tour. I guess it just remains to be seen whether the Bulls can be convincing enough to convince Heyneke Meyer to come in and do an ambulance job. Fourie du Preez will be stripped of the captaincy as well, with Wikus van Heerden the logical choice to succeed him. This latter change should be made as soon as possible, to give du Preez some space to start getting back into the sort of form that made him the best player in the world a few years back. Potgieter and Stegmann need to start, as neither Rossouw or Wannenberg are effective loose forwards under the new laws.
Getting Morne Steyn back to inside centre is also a must and yet again, the decision not to bring a fullback along on tour is really starting to become a huge problem for them. I see the latest plan involves paying Habana at the back – a position he has never played before. This would, of course, mean that the woeful Demas will be at wing again. I reckon Sivivatu, Masaga and the boys are rubbing their hands in delight.Tweet