What the coaches say

2008-10-24 00:00

Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke is expecting a Test atmposhere for today’s final, while the Sharks’ John Plumtree is hoping that his players can harness the crowd’s support in a bid to end their 12-year Currie Cup drought.

Ludeke said yesterday that the Bulls squad were in a positive mood. “We have confidence in ourselves and in our structures, but this is a totally new game and we will work for the right result.

“There is a sense of urgency in the team. The players are focused and we all know there is going to be a Test atmosphere in Durban,” he said.

Ludeke emphasised the need for the players to remain focused in the pressure situation.

Plumtree admitted that playing at King’s Park was an advantage.

“But it’s not going to be the deciding factor. We need to make sure we play well enough so that the crowd actually gets behind us. We’ve spoken about what we’ve done lately and we have tried to build confidence and belief from that.”

Plumtree was not concerned about the Sharks’ failures in other finals.

“Worrying about the past is a waste of time,” he said.

Pumtree, who came off the bench to help Natal win their first Currie Cup title against the Bulls at Loftus in 1990 told the Weekend Witness that he felt the tension far more as a coach than a player.

“As a player, you are tied up with your own game; as a coach, there is so much more to be concerned about. There is so much expectation and you can’t help but feel the pressure.

“You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.”

The Sharks players spent last night safely tucked up in their own beds ahead of today’s final rather than staying together in a hotel.

One of the advantages of playing the final at home is that players have fewer disruptions by staying at home and sleeping in their own beds.

“We will meet at noon tomorrow for an early lunch and then watch the Sharks U19 play in their final,” he siad.

He said that for the Super 14 final last year, the players travelled to the ground individually.

“We all got caught up in the traffic, so this time we’ll travel to the ground by bus.”

The match promises to be a tight one, with the Sharks the slight favourites with the bookies.

Mark Andrews, the former Bok and Sharks lock, said the Sharks will win because they are a complete, well-balanced team. Former Bok assistant coach Eddie Jones was among those tipping the Bulls.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.

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