Seven defeats in nine matches and second-last spot on the Super 14 points table do not add up to a crisis, says Bulls rugby coach Frans Ludeke.
Ludeke conceded here on Wednesday that his first season as coach of the 2007 champions had been a failure but denied there was a crisis, writes Morris Gilbert of Beeld
“If I said there was a crisis, it would have meant there was chaos in the Bulls camp. And that is not so, because we know exactly what is wrong and how to correct it,” Ludeke said.
With the exception of the matches against the Crusaders, the Reds and the Hurricanes the Bulls had been competitive and the scores close, he explained.
“We are positive about the road ahead. Now we must think clearly and remain patient.”
The former Lions coach agreed that shortcomings in their pre-season conditioning programme had been one of the reasons for the Bulls’ inability to perform well in the second half of most of their matches.
The fact that the Bulls were not fit enough to play according to the experimental laws made it even more difficult to keep up with the New Zealand teams.
“With a view to the Currie Cup season, we will have to make corrections to our conditioning programme. We have six weeks to do so,” Ludeke said.
Questioned about perceptions that his team played undisciplined rugby, the coach emphasised that no player went out with the aim to commit card offences.
Eight cards in nine matches could not be explained away because most of these offences were of a cynical nature.
“We have paid dearly for card offences,” Ludeke said. “It can become an illness, like cancer.”
There had also been additional factors, such as the absence of Victor Matfield, and Bakkies Botha’s negotiations with French club Toulon, that had had an influence on the team’s record.
“Losing Matfield meant we had to do without the services of a charismatic captain and a formidable lineout trump card,” Ludeke said.
Previously, Matfield’s lineout work had given the team an advantage against all other teams.Tweet