Vodacom Bulls 38, Blues 22

March 8, 2014
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imagesIt is likely to be two very contrasting styles, as the Bulls hope to rain on the Blues’ parade.

In their four-try demolition of the Crusaders last week the Blues showed just how dangerous they can be.However, the weather predictions suggest conditions may not favour their free-running game – mostly cloudy, with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm late in the afternoon.

The Bulls’ set pieces have been solid – a 92 percent success rate at scrum time and 90 percent in the line-outs.In stark contrast, the Blues have not started the season well in the set pieces – 57 percent in the scrums and 78 percent in line-outs. However, the men from Pretoria have scored only two tries in three matches and the Blues seven in two.

“Defence will definitely be very important,” Bulls coach Frans Ludeke told this website in an interview.

He pointed out that against both the Highlanders in Round Two (even though they lost after leaving the charge a bit late) and the Crusaders last week the Blues came back strongly after trailing by some margin early in the game. “They may have left it a little late in that game against the Highlanders, but against a quality team like the Crusaders they showed just how dangerous they can be in broken play,” Ludeke said.

“We have to control possession, tactically we have to be very good – play in the right areas and ensure we have good defensive lines.” The Bulls mentor spoke of requiring “an enormous team effort”.

Blues coach John Kirwan said that after playing two games against New Zealand opposition this season, the Bulls would pose a completely different challenge and that his team needed to brace themselves for a bruising encounter. “The difference when you play in South Africa is the brutality of the contact,” Kirwan said.

“They’re big men, they drive sometimes in twos, when they’ve got the ball they love the physicality of the rucks so they’ll fly into them and you just need to be ready for that. “They play a very simple game that they know very well – lots of mauling, lots of high kicks and lots of pressure underneath that so we just need to be ready and make sure we can combat that.

“I think the game plan and the way we play will challenge them, we just need to be up for the physical battle.”

Recent results:
2013: Bulls won 28-21, Auckland
2012: Blues won 29-23, Pretoria
2010: Blues won 32-17, Auckland
2009: Bulls won 59-26, Pretoria
2008: Blues won 23-21, Auckland
2007: Bulls won 40-19, Pretoria

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid (captain), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Brendon O’Connor, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Chris Noakes, 23 Pita Ahki.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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30 Comments

  1. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Bulls score through Potgieter and converted it as well
    Score:Bulls 7, Blues 0

  2. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Drop by Jacques

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Ross score for Bulls

  4. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Steggman cost the Bulls more than the good he done on the field

  5. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Looking good these Bulls!!!!

  6. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Serfontein score for Bulls

  7. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    25-12 after 46. Need one try for BP.

  8. avatar Aldo says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    This type of performance might even convince Americano to support the Bulls. Brendon is a lost case, he just wants heltor sceltor at all times, they are really suprising me this Bulls team, amasing what a change at lock, flyhalf and 6 can do. Shows just how undervalued Stegmann is.

  9. avatar Aldo says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    We must be the only team on earth that doesnt want to give Basson space outwide? Jees it’s frustrating how many rucks he has to clear cos the centres runs the ball into his space.

  10. avatar Aldo says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Hasie hoekom gee jy so baie score updates as die stormers speel maar nie die bulle nie? Shees klink my ek moet meer hier kom post

  11. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    27-22 after 63. We may still get a surprise result.

  12. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    30-22 after 66.

  13. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    31-22 – oops.

  14. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    77: Blues are playing one off rugby and seem to have run out of ideas as they keep bashing against the Bulls solid defensive wall.

  15. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    78: The ball breaks loose and Piet Van Zyl hacks it down field it has to be carried over the line by the Blues to set up a 5 metre scrum for the Bulls – this should be the game.

  16. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Get the bloody BP!!!!

  17. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    79: Bulls striving for a bonus point as Marcel van der Merwe stretches for the line – the referee want the TMO to have a look.

  18. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    TRY – Marcel van der Merwe gets the BP try with what could have been seen as a double movement try – but the points stand.

  19. avatar Aldo says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Wow this ref was poor. After making me swear for most of the second half because he has to wait for Assistant referee to make a decision, he goes and gifts us a BP on what should be a penalty to the Blues.

  20. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Wonder were are those that said the Bulls and Stormers will end last and will not win games….

    Great Bulls game and got their 5 Points.

  21. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Would also love to see those idiots on Sport24 comments now

  22. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Andrew Lees (Australia).
    Can’t wait for Dawie’s comments.

  23. avatar Aldo says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Lees didnt lees the rules before reffing this game, but no complaints, the Bulls played really well.

  24. avatar biltongbek says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Amazing what the Bulls can do when their get the ball wide.

    Forwards ckearing the ruck with urgency and the backs running the ball at pace.

    Best game for them in a while.

    Lucky eith the fourth try though, double movement as clear as day.

  25. avatar DavidS says:
    March 9th, 2014 at 10:56 am

    @Boertjie:

    I give up…

    And then to have Biltong say stuff like “Bulls shifted the ball wide and that is why they won”

    I give up…

  26. avatar biltongbek says:
    March 9th, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    @DavidS: i take it you missed the game?

    You didn’t see the variation in attack?

  27. avatar DavidS says:
    March 9th, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    @biltongbek:

    I watched the game….

    You …. well I don’t know what you did…

  28. avatar Timeo says:
    March 10th, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Most ironic is how the pundits over estimate the Blues and underestimate the Bulls, year after year.
    The Blues have a reputation for running, Bulls for kicking.
    “Running is better than kicking”, goes the preconceived idea.
    Decades of evidence to the contrary be dammed.

  29. avatar Timeo says:
    March 10th, 2014 at 2:03 am

    @biltongbek:

    I think you have cause and effect confused.

    Against the Sharks and the Cheetahs, their runners never crossed the advantage line, going wide becomes ineffective under such conditions. Kicking being the only option left and the kicking was poor.

    Witness how ineffective the Blues’ 2-dimensional running game was this game.

    Better set-pieces, crossing the advantage line, accurate kicks – and going wide is the result, not the cause.

  30. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    March 10th, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Bulls of old – only difference was that they were going forward and their game plan works best when going forward.
    JLP had another good game!

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