The Bulls’ Super 14 campaign has not ended even though they are second last on the points table after the weekend’s rugby.
Morris Gilbert reports for www.news24.com.
Coach Frans Ludeke says his team will go flat our in their remaining five matches “to show why we were the champions last year.”
Conceding that the Bulls were out of contention for the semi-finals, Ludeke said on Sunday there was still much at stake.
“A lot can still happen and we won’t dwell on our log position. This is certainly not where we will finish. I expect a strong run.”
Ludeke did not want to comment on calls, even on the Bulls’ own website, that he should be fired.
“The team’s supporters are fanatically proud and therefore also mercilessly critical when the Bulls lose. The only way for me and the players to reply to criticism is by starting to win,” he added.
The turn-around is expected to begin when the Bulls play the Hurricanes in the first of four consecutive home fixtures at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
“We have a high regard for the Hurricanes but our performances in our last two tour matches provided a solid base on which we must now build,” the coach said.
The Hurricanes played a similar game to that of the Blues, whom the Bulls should have beaten in Auckland, he said. “We will have to use a similar game plan against them.”
Ludeke said the drastic improvement in the team’s competitiveness was largely due to the way the seniors had begun to play to their potential against the Blues and the Western Force.
He was hesitant when he was asked whether he could start introducing younger players to Super 14 rugby, given the present circumstances.
“It is certainly something to contemplate but such a mind shift will be made only after much deliberation.
“In the interest of continuity I’d like to make as few changes to the starting lineup as possible. Only once we start winning again will I consider giving some of the stalwarts a rest and to make changes with a view to the future.”
He also announced that Stephan Dippenaar, Danwel Demas and Hilton Lobberts, who were in the team that toured Australasia, would not be considered for the match against the Hurricanes.Tweet