Coach Ludeke lauds Bulls after Cheetahs victory

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has lauded his players after they earned their second victory of the 2015 Super Rugby season by beating the Cheetahs 20-39 at at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Ludeke and the had been under real pressure after they lost their opening two matches but victories over the Sharks and the Cheetahs have moved them up to second place in the South African conference and fifth in the overall standings.

Against the Cheetahs, the Bulls could not manage a bonus point for four or more tries, but Ludeke was more than content with the victory and singled out the role his Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard played in the team’s success.

“Handre has done really well and he is definitely one of our key players,” Ludeke said afterwards.

“He kicks really well at goal and has such good decision making capabilities that gets us on the front foot. He is also very good at creating space around him.

“That makes it easier for the players around him to do their thing.”

Pollard scored 29 points on the day and Ludeke said that he was also pleased with the way the Bulls performed as a unit.

“We knew it was going to be difficult against the Cheetahs. We played well in the first half and put them under pressure.

“We let them back a little in the second half, but we kept our cool and closed out the game.”

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske, on the other hand, was not happy with his side’s performance, particularly after his team managed two consecutive victories over the last couple of weeks and also lost their unbeaten status.

He admitted Pollard played a big role in their demise.

“We didn’t play well in the first half and the Bulls managed to put us under immense pressure,” Drotske said.

“To be that far behind at half-time wasn’t nearly what we wanted and that made it difficult in the second half.

“Combine that with the type of game that Handre Pollard had and it was nearly impossible to come back.”

Despite the loss, the Cheetahs still find themselves in third place in the South African conference and in eighth place on the overall log.

“We need to be better and this coming week we will definitely work on that,” Drotske concluded.

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