The Bulls will take a leaf out of the success recipe that the Stormers used against the Western Force last weekend when they meet the Australians in a Super 14 rugby match in Perth on Friday.
Morris Gilbert writes in Beeld that Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said on Tuesday the Stormers had beaten the Force convincingly by defending brilliantly, getting the upper hand tactically and finishing well.
Ludeke said they expected the Force to produce a better performance than last week “but the Stormers showed how they could be beaten.
“What is encouraging, is that we are now much more at ease with the experimental laws and that we are more successful from broken play,” the coach said.
Bulls captain Fourie du Preez suspects that the Force dropped their guard last week after an outstanding tour of New Zealand.
“They won’t make the mistake of underestimating their opponents for a second consecutive week,” Du Preez said.
“But we know after our solid performance against the Blues that we’re still good enough to take on any team on equal footing.
“One of the reasons that we played so much better against the Blues than we had done against the Reds was that we were at full strength for the first time this season.
Stretch the game at all costs
“The return of Zane Kirchner, Bryan Habana and Pierre Spies made a world of difference to our confidence.
“We also managed to vary our game to launch counter-attacks against the Blues,” Du Preez said.
He added, however, “Against opponents such as the Force, who try to stretch the game at all costs, it remains important to keep playing within a structure.”
Du Preez and Ludeke were unwilling to comment on the performance of Australian referee James Leckie in their match against the Blues.
However, Ludeke said he was happy that the experienced New Zealander Steve Walsh would be in charge on Friday.
“Steve has not handled many games in which the experimental laws were in place but he is undoubtedly one of the best in the world. We like his decisiveness and consistency,” the coach said.
Ludeke has, as was expected, made no changes to the starting line-up. There is only one change to the 22 that did duty against the Blues. Jaco Engels takes the place of Hilton Lobberts on the bench.
The team: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JP Nel, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Derick Hougaard, Fourie du Preez (capt), Pierre Spies, Wikus van Heerden, Pedrie Wannenburg, Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha, Rayno Gerber, Derick Kuün, Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Substitutes: Bandise Maku, Werner Kruger, Jaco Engels, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Heini Adams and Morné Steyn.Tweet