2 minute read
28 Nov 2014
8:40 am

Blue Bulls flirting with attacking rugby


For long the bastion of a structured approach to rugby, the Blue Bulls are flirting with an attacking mindset.

Pierre Spies of the Bulls. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Bulls captain Pierre Spies suggested as much at the launch of their latest jersey for the Super Rugby season on Thursday.

“You want to create an attacking mindset within the players, and in a lot of ways the guys have felt restricted and also bound themselves to the plan that was on the table,” Spies said in Pretoria.

“That is never how it should have been, the plan is to create an environment where we can go out and play rugby.

“The big thing is to cultivate and attacking mindset and an enjoyment of the game.”

The Bulls have been the pace-setting South African team in the previous decade where they won an unprecedented three Super Rugby titles.

Key to their success was what Bulls coach Frans Ludeke refers to as a kick and suffocate game.

Ludeke said on Wednesday that the side would be looking to employ a more balanced approach.

He said emphasis would be placed on improving the players’ skill-set while they needed more players on their feet to give them attacking options.

“If we are carrying extra weight it’ll slow the game down and the way want to play,” Spies said.

“So we want to put some speed on the ball, we want a lot more of a running game, we want to put a lot more running metres on our legs.

This approach would require a greater level of fitness and the Bulls had already started to with their pre-season training to get the squad up to standard.

“This is a vital stage of our training because you really build your fitness base,” Spies said.

“Because Super Rugby is going straight through next year we will not have that break.

“You want to give yourself the best start possible, so if you want to be the best you have to be the fittest.”

Spies had been sidelined during the 2014 season after he injured his biceps after only featuring in the first Super Rugby match against the Sharks back in February.

The Springbok eighthman was confident that he would be fully fit for the start of next year’s competition and he would once again captain the side.

“It’s been a long year, so in many ways I am excited about the year ahead and I am slowly fazing myself back in,” Spies said.

“It is obviously going to take some time to find my feet but I am really excited and I am looking forward to a great year with the Bulls.

“I don’t want to rush it with the risk of getting injured again but at this stage the plan is to be back by the first Super Rugby game.”