Blue Bulls got beaten at the breakdown:Ludeke

After going down 16-12 to the Sharks in the first Currie Cup rugby semi-final in Durban on Saturday, Blue Bulls’ coach Frans Ludeke admitted that his men were not accurate enough at the breakdowns against a side that took special care of retaining possession.


“They were accurate at the breakdown points and held onto the ball for long phases and that is how they really won the game,” he said.


“We did everything we could and we had a solid plan on the table, but at the end of the day it is the way they kept the ball and attacked from deep.


“It wasn’t a surprise for us, but their execution was very good.”


The Bulls’ coach could not hide his disappointment, but gave credit to the Sharks for playing better rugby on the day.


He remained satisfied with his men’s achievements this year.


“There are a lot of boxes we ticked during the season and there were three vital games that we needed to win in order to give ourselves a chance of playing in the play-offs and we won those.


“The guys fought until the end and there are no regrets.”


Blue Bulls’ captain Victor Matfield said his men had enough opportunities to win the match.


“We still had our chances and with 10 minutes to go we were camped in their 22, but their defence kept us out and well done to them.


“They really played well and played with a lot of intensity,” he said.


Considering that the Sharks had only a four points lead after dominating territory and possession in the first half, it comes as no surprise that Matfield is proud of the way his men defended.


“I think we defended extremely well in that first half with the little possession we got,” he said.


“They really kept onto the ball. They looked after it and it was tough to get it from them. They didn’t make mistakes, so well done to them.”


The Sharks will meet Western Province at home for the final on October 30.

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