Unfazed Ludeke names unchanged side
Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke says he would not let comments by Brumbies coach Jake White faze him ahead of their Super Rugby match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The former Springbok coach told the Australian media at the weekend he expected underhanded tactics ahead of the match.
Ludeke said: "That is only talk; we just want to improve on last week's performance, we have goals that we want to reach on the field.
"We know what they are capable of, they are a team that plays good rugby, and they aren't the Australian conference leaders for nothing. They deserve to be there."
Ludeke said White's hand in the Brumbies was clear, and they were a good defensive team that would make them a tough side to beat on Saturday.
"They play much more directly, they have a good pack of forwards and their set phases are good," he said.
"They also have a strong kicking game and they play for field position."
The Australian media earlier this week reported that White told his players that they could expect a hostile reception in South Africa.
"Let me warn you it's going to be massive, they're going to go for me I'm going to tell you that right now," White reportedly said.
"They're going to try and unsettle the squad by having some sort of dig at me, perhaps it's that I've deserted them, I don't really know what they'll try and do."
Ludeke, however, said at the Bulls' team announcement in Pretoria on Wednesday that he and White were good friends and he had immense respect for the former Springbok coach.
"Me and Jake are good friends, I have a lot of respect for him as a coach, he's got his own thoughts on the game as well for us. We just focus on what happens between the four lines."
Ludeke came to the defence of flyhalf Morne Steyn who has recently been struggling with his famous kicking boot.
Steyn missed five out of eight kicks at goal in his side's 32-18 victory over the Lions in Johannesburg over the weekend.
"His (Steyn) all-round game was good this weekend. His tactical kicking, distribution and decision making was really good," said Ludeke.
"With his goal kicking there is a small technical issue they have identified and he is working hard at it."
Meanwhile, the Bulls have kept their run-on side unchanged for their Super Rugby match against the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Ludeke, however, was still sweating over the availability of prop Dean Greyling.
Greyling will be assessed by the Bulls medical team later in the week.
If the prop does not recover from a bruised shoulder in time, Ludeke will hand Dawie Steyn a Super Rugby debut.
Gerrit-Jan van Velze will replace flanker Dewald Potgieter on the bench.
Vodacom Bulls team: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (captain), Jacques Potgieter, CJ Stander, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Juandre Kruger, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling/Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Frik Kirsten, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Arno Botha, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouche, Johann Sadie.