No changes for Brumbies to take on Bulls at Loftus

July 24, 2013
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The University of Canberra Brumbies have named an unchanged side to take on the Bulls this weekend at Loftus Versfeld as the ACT-based club fights for a spot in the Super Rugby Grand Final.

The Bulls have been one of the toughest road trips in the 2013 competition and are yet to drop a game at Loftus this year.

But none of that will matter to the Brumbies during the early hours of Sunday morning (AEST). It’s been nine years since the club last tasted finals rugby and Head Coach Jake White said his team would be taking its opportunity.

“The Bulls present us with a huge challenge this weekend. We know they will play through their forwards and use Morne [Steyn] to finish with points,” White said.

“They have a good record here at Loftus and for our players to experience running on in front of a full house of more than 50,000 people will be fantastic.

“They are a typical South African side, very big and physical with some quality finishers out wide so it’s up to our players to combat that with our own game.”

Sunday’s clash with the Bulls is the second time the University of Canberra Brumbies have faced off against the Pretorians this season. In round seven the Brumbies narrowly avoided a draw when they were awarded a penalty after the siren, eventually winning 23-20.

Last time the Brumbies played at Loftus was in April 2012 when despite outscoring the Bulls five tries to two, the Brumbies still went down 36-34. Steyn booted 23 points that night – including seven penalties – leaving the Brumbies under no illusion as to how important infringements will be in this upcoming fixture.

Along with the University of Canberra Brumbies who have a record of winning seven from eight finals matches at home since 1997, the Bulls have emerged as another side difficult to move during post-season rugby and are undefeated at home with five from five.

Should the Crusaders be able to knock over the Chiefs on Saturday night, the winner of the Brumbies v Bulls encounter will host the Grand Final next Saturday night.

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4 Comments

  1. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    July 25th, 2013 at 5:31 am

    The Bulls should win and even with Jake I don’t think the Brumbies have it. Then again I said that about the Cheetahs too so Mugs again.

    Steyn better turn around the worrying trend in RSA with crap goal percentages. 3 points cost you a game.

    The Bulls better get the scrummaging right. They will need to drive through the hit with the locks and keep pushing even if the ball is not been put behind the 8th mans feet.

    Sorry different ref so different rules again.

    Jake will target the kick and chase on the wings again so poor Odd-one should getting his jumping shoes on.

    Not sure what will happen on the deck and I hope all the Bulls can fetch and compete.

    I certainly hope the all South Africans get behind the Bulls.

  2. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 25th, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Very much doubt Jake will target Basson with the high-balls mate… he’s one of the best in the business, as is Kirchner… Speight/Odwa maybe… but I reckon he’ll be trying to keep ball in hand and get the backs going… so it’s up to how much pressure the Bulls can put on Toomua (Tahs did well there). Although both Rattles and Speight do put in huge hits which could ‘rattle’ air displays.

    As for Steyn… he’s currently @ 85.6% kicking strike-rate… which is exceptional.

    You use that word ‘fetch’ again (ho-hum)… more like with the magician Smith there they need to commit numbers to rucks, clearing out at pace to neutralise them. I’d like to see the quick ‘pick-n-go’ around the fringes as a unit too (something the Tahs could not do) by the Bulls… first half of the season they, with Spies leading… were the best in RSA in this dept… sucking in defenders and scoring some great tries with the quick ball and defenders on back-foot.

    Nothing in the current history books suggests Brumbies are even in with a chance including bookies… methinks with JW there and everyone on the same page (currently winning games at 50%) they’ll come up closer than many think.

    -Brumbies might have played their final last week
    -Brumbies will be knackered after that game, the travel and the altitude
    -Brumbies haven’t won there since 2004
    -Bulls have not lost a semi there
    -Bulls are unbeaten at home this year
    -7 Bulls players have been in a semi to just Smith
    -Morne to continue breaking every Bulls record there has been in the history of the game

    Ludeke has done an exceptional job with the players he’s had this year… as has JW weaved magic over the past two… not sure who I want to win… probably Bulls and Saders… but I’m hedge-betting on the two (Bulls/Brumbies) to win 1-12pts… with one win giving money back plus a wee bit and on the flip-side doubling money and a wee bit…

  3. avatar Craven says:
    July 25th, 2013 at 7:17 am

    “You use that word ‘fetch’ again (ho-hum)… more like with the magician Smith there they need to commit numbers to rucks, clearing out at pace to neutralise them”

    ^
    This!!

    No fetcher is going to stop George in his pilfering ways.
    First players to the ruck going in with low body position to clean out Brumbies players before they get their hands on the ball is the only way to combat opposition stealing your ball.

    The breakdown will be key this weekend, and this is where the Bulls will have to up their game as they were properly outplayed in this area by the Stormers two weeks ago. Yes their scrum is important, but compare the amount of scrums against the number of breakdowns and you will see where their efforts should be directed.

    Bulls to take it, but like Bryce said, I do not expect a runaway victory.

  4. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    July 26th, 2013 at 5:49 am

    bryce_in_oz
    oddone is Odwa like last week he targeted weak link winger in the air against the Cheetahs. Kirchener is not that great under the high ball as with Oddone too.

    How many turnover will the bulls get? Its not like Smith is their for pace or link playing really? He is their because…

    You still read with your Jappie glasses on.

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