How the Bulls beat themselves

Sun, 16 Feb 2014 11:58
Large spies matfield630

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said that his team lost against themselves in their Super Rugby opener at Kings Park on Saturday.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said that his team lost against themselves in their Super Rugby opener at Kings Park on Saturday.

Last year's South African conference champions went down to Jake White's Sharks team 31-16, with the home side outscoring them by four tries to one.

It was an unconvincing start to the competition by the three-time champions who welcomed the return of Springbok legend Victor Matfield in the second half after he came out of retirement last month.

Ludeke said that the most frustrating part of his team's performance was the way they allowed the Sharks to dictate terms and control the game.

“This must be the easiest way the Sharks have ever beaten us,” the Bulls coach said.

He added that the flood of unforced errors from his side had virtually handed the Sharks the momentum in front of their home fans.

Ludeke pointed to soft turnovers and defensive lapses as the main culprits in his team's uninspiring first performance.

“We conceded so many soft turnovers and gave away two easy tries. That gave them the momentum for the game. So we lost against ourselves I feel, particularly in that first half," he said.

Ludeke, whose side scored a late consolation through Jonathan Ross, was also satisfied with Matfield.

“I thought that the longer he played, the better he became. But he's a classy player and had immediate impacts in the line-out. He will just get better as the competition goes on, that I have no doubt about.”

The Bulls travel to Bloemfontein next week to face the Cheetahs who are coming off a disappointing loss at home to the Lions themselves.

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Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
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Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9