Bulls coach Frans Ludeke is adamant that his team can win games without the Loftus factor, but they still enjoy playing on their home ground.
Speaking to rugby365.com, in the build-up to Saturday’s trans-Jukskei derby against the Lions in Pretoria, Ludeke said it is not about the venue, but rather what happens between the four lines.
Earlier this week the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd and Free State Rugby Union, along with the South African Rugby Union, met with the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation to discuss the state of the pitches in Pretoria and Bloemfontein – both venues that will be used for the Soccer World Cup.
Reports had suggested that the meeting could decide that the Bulls and Cheetahs should no longer use their stadiums in order to deliver world class pitches for the global soccer showpiece.
However, it was decided that the Bulls – and Cheetahs – will play their remaining home fixtures at their traditional stadiums.
Ludeke said the off-field drama did not really affect the players.
“Luckily the problem was resolved before it became an issue in the team,” Ludeke told rugby365.com.
He added that while it is “always great” to play at Loftus, they are grateful that it was resolved.
“However, what is more important is what happens between those four lines,” Ludeke said.
“That is why it is important to have those systems and processes in place, so that you can play on any stadium and perform,” the Bulls mentor said.
He said at this stage of the season, with just four rounds of league action remaining, you don’t want to focus on any sideshows.
“It is important that our focus is on what we need to go and do as a team out there on the field.”
Ludeke also said they do not see the Lions, currently winless and at the bottom of the table, as a soft touch.
“We won’t treat them any different, we approach it like any other game,” the Bulls mentor said.
He added that despite their [poor defensive record earlier in the season, the Lions have made good progress and are now a real threat.
"If you look at their game against the Sharks [last week], they had already made huge strides on defence.
“We expect them to make further improvements this week, just like we hope to improve our game this week.
“The important thing is to be able to adjust in the game to what they produce. If you are able to adjust to the situation on the field, you will give yourself a chance to win the game.”Tweet