robdylan

Bulls humbled by fired up Kings


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, EP Kings, Original Content, Super Rugby on 30 Jan 2011 at 13:39
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Frans Ludeke’s Bulls side lost their first Super Rugby warm-up game against the Southern Kings on Saturday, with the home side scoring a convincing 23-7 victory over the Super 14 champions. While it must be remembered that the Bulls fielded a vastly weakened side, the inability of his backup players to produce any sort of a performance worthy of the blue jersey will have the coach scratching his head a little.

While one should never read too much into the results of a warm-up game, particularly when one side (in this case, the Kings, fighting to claim a place at the Super Rugby table) has far more incentive to win than the other. Those who saw the match, though, tended to remark that the Bulls didn’t really look like they were trying and were certainly nowhere near as fired up as their coastal rivals. That, to me, would be a worrying sign if I were in the Bulls camp, particular given that Ludeke packed his side with young players who should, surely, be eager to stake a claim for Super Rugby selection?

Let’s not beat around the bush here – the Bulls, at full strength and on song, are a formidable outfit. They have proved as much by winning three Super 14 titles in four years but if there were to be a slight chink in their armour, one feels it must surely be the over-reliance on a core of senior players who seem absolutely fundamental to the success of the game plan on the field. Blessed with experienced leaders all over the park, the Bulls real strength is that they trust their structure and their system and everyone knows his place in it. Guys like Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez, backed up by a host of other seniors, know the script so well that they can facilitate the gradual introduction of one or two younger players without losing any momentum.

We’ve seen though, over the course of the last few Currie Cup campaigns, particularly during the under-strength phase, that without this core of players, the Bulls look very vulnerable. Yesterday’s result, against a Kings side that is well coached and not short of talent – but also nowhere near world-class, will have added another string to the bow of those starting to question exactly how healthy the depth in Bulls rugby is. Perhaps more concerning than the lack of stand-out individual performances is the fact that the team as a whole seemingly couldn’t get anything going. These are all players who have been in the Bulls system for a while and must surely know the plans and structures inside out. Why are they not able to execute the game without the like of Matfield to lead the way? That, to me, would be the one question that I would take out of this game – the one that needs a serious answer.

Let’s not take anything away from the Kings, though. You can only beat what’s in front of you on the day and with Monty Dumond keeping the scoreboard ticking over in the first half, and Darron Nell and his mates in the loose trio keeping the visitors on the back-foot at the breakdown, Alan Solomons’ side did all they needed to do to run out worthy victors, ad they will take much confidence from this outing, which took place in front of a vocal home crowd at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, who are obviously all incredibly excited about the potential return of top-flight rugby to the region. Perhaps the next Super Rugby franchise to face the Kings will now pay them the compliment of sending a stronger team…

Kings(23):
Tries: Siyanda Grey, Matthew Tayler-Smith
Cons: Monty Dumond (2)
Pens: Monty Dumond (3)

Bulls (7):
Try: Courtnall Skosan
Con: Louis Fouché

Teams:

Southern Kings: 15 Tiger Mangweni, 14 Norman Nelson, 13 Siyanda Grey, 12 Matthew Tayler-Smith, 11 Paul Perez, 10 Monty Dumond, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Darron Nell, 7 Mpho Mbiyozo, 6 Devin Oosthuizen, 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 Rory Duncan (captain), 3 André Schlechter, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels.
Replacements – from: Jaco Fourie, Ronnie Uys, Riaan Vermeulen, Ross Kennedy, Lungelo Payi, Marlon Lewis, Shane Gates, SP Marais, Frank Herne.

Bulls: 15 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Stephan Dippenaar, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7 CJ Stander, 6 Derick Kuün (captain), 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Fudge Mabeta, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Henry Bantjes, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements – from: Hans van Dyk, Frik Kirsten, Andries Ferreira, Tendayi Chikukwa, Okkie Kruger, Dustin Jinka, Louis Fouché, Bradley Moolman, Courtnall Skosan.



36 Comments

  • It’s still great to see the Bulls lose :twisted:

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.01.11 13:52:29 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • That bulls team does not look that weak to me especially in the backs! This is our it will look in 3 or four seasons times minus they fullback theses guys will be 1st team players! I think. They lost not coz of a lack of incentive or drive to win they just got beat by a better team full stop.

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.01.11 13:59:38 by Poisy Reply
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  • @Jarson – indeed, and to a team like the Southern Kings makes it all the more sweeter!! :twisted: :twisted:

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.01.11 16:27:22 by Caratacus Reply

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  • @Poisy (Comment 2) : In short, I reckon the Bulls will do well this year – perhaps even win again. But I think 2012 will be a lean year for them.

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.01.11 16:47:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : u think rob..I think playin the likes of the crusaders n hurricanes away might cause problems for them…

    Don’t think they going to top our group this year…

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.01.11 17:32:12 by shaniboi Reply

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  • Well, considering that the Ep’ers were far more experienced than the Bulls team, then I really don’t think this is anything to write home about. I think it was great experience for the young Bulls and no dooubt they will learn from it. Gotta say not impressed with the Ep’ers tactics in the red zone, and the fact the Craig Joubert kept coaching them….
    Southern Kings definitely my least fav. team – even after the Snoil’s…

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.01.11 17:40:37 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • @shaniboi (Comment 5) : I agree with you here I just don’t think the bulls will have a great season. They might just snatch a playoff spot but don’t think they will end top of the SA conference.

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.01.11 17:54:44 by Ben Reply
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  • @Just a Fan (Comment 6) : what have the Kings done to make you like them less than the Lions?
    @shaniboi (Comment 5) : I have learned my lesson about writing off the Bulls in Super Rugby

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.01.11 18:10:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : I haven’t learnt a lesson yet so this season I’m writing the bulls off! :)

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.01.11 23:05:15 by Ben Reply
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  • I think besides the loss, which would obviously concern the Bulls management as they would have wanted to create a winning atmosphere ,is the fact that the key areas they would have been looking at didnt go very well. Brummer was terrible. Ndungane looked more like a spectator than a player. The Bulls pack got eaten alive. I think the only positives they could take out of this game is the replacement flyhalf,Louis Foche, looked quite decent and did Skosan who scored the try. Stefan Watermeyer was also solid at inside centre. But other than that the Bulls cant seem to transform good juniors into quality senior players.

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.01.11 07:58:47 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Dont think I am allowed to say…something to do with Springbok jerseys and puking though…saying that I like Monty Dummond….

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.01.11 08:43:04 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • @Just a Fan (Comment 11) : And Alan Solomons…haven’t forgotten his part in the Gary Tiechmann/Bobby Skinstad debacle either.

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.01.11 08:46:45 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • After watching the game I realised the Bulls are in trouble if they get a few injuries in key positions. The front row and 10 is where they are in trouble. The backup Bulls frontrow couldn’t keep their shoulders up and constantly got penalised at scrum time. An average Monty made Brummer look poor, so the Bulls better wrap Morne in cotton wool, or else they are in trouble. The Sharks buying JLP was like getting a 14 point try. Not only have they boosted their depth at 10, they have weakened their toughest opposition. My gut feel is Sharks to top the conference table (second on overall)and Bulls and Stormers to fight it out for a playoff spot. My prediction is Waratahs and Sharks home semis and Crusaders, Stormers, Reds and Hurricanes/Blues fighting for the remaining two spots.

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.01.11 09:00:51 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 13) : I like your finalists but I think the Bulls will definitely make the play-offs.

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.01.11 09:08:30 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 13) : It is still early days yet….I wouldn’t read too much into that game. You are right about getting JLP though. The Bulls seem to have a problem with a back up no 10. and as the Sharks proved last year…you can’t play in Super rugby without a decent 10 and a back up to that 10.

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.01.11 09:08:37 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 15) : @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 14) : you guys are right it is too early to decide the finalists. but it is more fun to come back in 3 months time and see how close you were.

    but i do think it is going to be waratahs, sharks and crusaders at the top in that order. but my prediction relies on the sharks getting their heads out their… in the easier games. they must break the weak teams down in the first quarter, then rip them apart in the second half. going in like they have done in the past, with the belief the points are theirs before the game starts, has killed them far too many times in the past.

  • Comment 16, posted at 31.01.11 09:19:59 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 16) : What happened with rather being negative and then you can’t be disappointed? ;-)

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.01.11 09:25:53 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 16) : It is fun, here goes: :razz:
    1. Crusaders
    2. Waratahs
    3. Sharks
    4. Bulls
    5. Brumbies
    6. Blues

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.01.11 09:31:54 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 17) : remember last year i did the same. had all this hope and then watched it burn. i am only positive cos i haven’t seen the sharks play yet. things change fast when rugby starts. :lol: expect the worst, hope for the best.

  • Comment 19, posted at 31.01.11 09:36:19 by try time Reply

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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 18) : the reason i put waratahs on top is because they play the weakest teams in the competition twice. that is an automatic 20 points advantage. sharks and crusaders have tougher conferences therefore won’t get as many points out.

  • Comment 20, posted at 31.01.11 09:38:15 by try time Reply

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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 18) : and you reckon brumbies ahead of a wallaby laden reds team?

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.01.11 09:39:39 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 21) : i suppose it also depends on whether cooper can stay out of jail or not. :lol:

  • Comment 22, posted at 31.01.11 09:40:57 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 20) : @try time (Comment 21) : Waratahs play the weakest teams but they are all derbys, so more likely to be low scoring. I’m actually torn between Reds and Brumbies so I went alphabettically. I’m not sure if the Reds can repeat last years success. Have to wait and see.

  • Comment 23, posted at 31.01.11 09:44:59 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 22) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 31.01.11 09:45:38 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • See the Rebels seem to be doing pretty well in their warm ups…Cipriani fitting in well and performing and Mortlock – the best is yet to come. The play the ‘Saders next week, will be interesting.

  • Comment 25, posted at 31.01.11 09:48:33 by Just a Fan Reply

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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 23) : good point.

  • Comment 26, posted at 31.01.11 10:03:28 by try time Reply

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  • The Bulls fall from grace this season will be spectacular !

    Just a gut feeling :|

  • Comment 27, posted at 31.01.11 10:11:05 by CSB Prince of the Concrete Jungle ;-) Reply

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  • @CSB Prince of the Concrete Jungle ;-) (Comment 27) : Not this year I think but certainly next year when a lot of their big guns will be leaving

  • Comment 28, posted at 31.01.11 10:19:14 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 28) :

    Perhaps .. The senior players have been there done that ..they’ll play for Bok selection and aviod injuries.
    Struggle to see where the incentive will come from after winning it 3 times in 4 years.

  • Comment 29, posted at 31.01.11 10:24:46 by CSB Prince of the Concrete Jungle ;-) Reply

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  • @CSB Prince of the Concrete Jungle ;-) (Comment 29) : i agree. also they will protect morne too much putting him too far back. so breaking the game line will be difficult.

  • Comment 30, posted at 31.01.11 10:28:09 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 30) :

    Agreed ! the only senior player that I can see giving it horns would be FDP.

    Ofcourse all speculation on my part..

  • Comment 31, posted at 31.01.11 10:40:48 by CSB Prince of the Concrete Jungle ;-) Reply

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  • @CSB Prince of the Concrete Jungle ;-) (Comment 31) : another position they might struggle in is fullback. both tiger and jaco weren’t great, and zane hasn’t been top of his game.

  • Comment 32, posted at 31.01.11 11:10:01 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 32) : I also heard a rumour that they want to try Zane at 13 this season.

  • Comment 33, posted at 31.01.11 11:17:19 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 33) : They`re gonna go with Hougaardt at 13.

  • Comment 34, posted at 31.01.11 12:00:34 by Original Champion Reply
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  • seems sharks supporters are getting as arrogant as the bulls.
    After the bulls poor show against the kings, the sharks didnt fair any better by getting whalloped by the worst team in SA, i.e. the Lions for the last two seasons.
    Interesting to know that the current currie cup champs lost the first 5 S14 games last season and also lost their first game to a John Mitchell coached side….is this a repeat of last year? Funny enough EP was a support base for the old regional rugby system in the super 10/12.
    Thats why my support moved to the Cape as an ex eastern cape man myself

  • Comment 35, posted at 04.02.11 11:57:15 by bobbyj Reply

     
  • @bobbyj (Comment 35) : Howdy, and who do you support sir? We do get carried away, but just when we reach the Bulls’ level, we are brought back to earth. :smile:

  • Comment 36, posted at 04.02.11 12:01:50 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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