SR: Force 15, Vodacom Bulls 9

April 26, 2014
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It is a game of contrasts – the Western Force aiming for a franchise record-equalling fourth straight home win and the Bulls chasing their first Australasian win of the season.

The Force – who have already beaten the Rebels, Chiefs and Waratahs in Perth this season – last have four in a row at home was in 2007. No South African side has won overseas yet, so this will be an ideal time for the men from Pretoria to make a statement as they aim to keep their play-off hopes alive. The Bulls will know about home ground advantage, given that they achieved three wins and a drawn in their four appearance at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria this season.

Force coach Michael Foley said his side is looking forward returning home. “In the last three weeks the boys have tackled one of the toughest sections of the season – three consecutive derbies, with travel across the country for each match . It was a significant challenge,” he said. “While we were disappointed in aspects of our game [in the loss] against the Rebels [last week], the win against the Reds away and our first ever win against the Waratahs at home were great signs of the progress the boys have made.

“This weekend marks the first of four consecutive games against South African opponents who present a different type of challenge to Australian and New Zealand teams. “South African sides use their set piece and kicking games as weapons and we will need to perform well in both these areas to achieve success in the next month.” World Cup-winning Springbok lock Victor Matfield, who will captain the Bulls in the absence of suspended skipper Flip van der Merwe, said the men from Pretoria are definitely still in contention for the play-offs – despite being winless on their Australasian trip so far.

He felt that they only need to change “small things” to get their campaign back on track. “If you look at the games on tour, we could have won the all three,” he said of the defeats to the Hurricanes (20-25), Highlanders (20-27) and Waratahs (12-19). “We got a bonus point in each of those games, which could be vital at the end of the season.”

He felt that if they make better decisions and are more accurate they can get that elusive win before returning home next week. “There is no magic potion,” the 36-year-old Matfield said in a teleconference call from Perth. “We must stay positive and stay focussed, then we could get the win at the weekend.

“Yes, there is a lot of pressure on the team, but if you want to be one of the top teams you have to be able to handle the pressure.”

Recent results:
2013: Bulls won 36-26, Pretoria
2011: Force won 26-21, Perth
2010: Bulls won 28-15, Perth
2009: Bulls won 32-29, Pretoria
2008: Force won 15-14, Perth
2007: Force won 30-27, Pretoria

Teams:

Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8  Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Chris Tuatara-Morrison.
 
Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johannes Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Jacques Engelbrecht, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers, 23 Morné Mellet.
 
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia) , Matt O’Brien (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

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41 Comments

  1. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Go Bongi, make the nr 2 shirt yours. Like Maku on the bench as well, both are better than Visagie IMO.

    Hope we pull this one off, so far 0 from 11 for SA teams on tour. GO BULLS!!!!

  2. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 11:33 am

    @Aldo: Ye one of my players I look to step up today…..Go Bulls….just sounds kak but ye Go Bulls

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Bulls with penalty and takes the lead 3-0

  4. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Ross start the game well with given away his first penalty in the ruck

  5. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Bulls 3-0 on a rainy day. Hope the Bulls uses the weather well and play a forward dominated power game with their kicks spot on.

  6. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Bulls lose high ball and only a knock one from Force prevents them from scoring their first try

  7. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Lovely that Willemse has allready stolen the first Force lineout. Only place a steal is not frowned upon! :-)

  8. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Bulls setpieces looking good in the rain.

  9. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Bulls build up a head of steam and gets a penalty straight in front…

    Bulls put second penalty over and lead 6-0

  10. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    6-0 Bulls with Force again going offsides close to their 22.

  11. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Bulls definitely winning the kicking game early on.

  12. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Bulls all over the Force in the first 10 min of the game

  13. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Yip Bunny, Force suckered into a kicking battle with the rain and constant Bulls pressure, not good for them. But lovely for the Bulls

  14. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    5 percent more power on that drop goal and wouldve been 9-0 Bulls. Off the cross bar

  15. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    This kicking is not my liking, Jacques kick the ball dead with support to his left…..you should know when to kick and when to attack the opposition……even in the rain

  16. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    We should play proper Bulls rugby with our big forwards…they will never be able to keep up

  17. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Force with first change to put points on the board as Force kicks a penalty …….

    OVER!!!

    Bulls lead 6-3

  18. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Allthough I understand your frustration bunny, that was stupid, rain playing comes down to pressure, Force lineout in shatter, Bulls needs to stay in force territory but should start kicking to the corners.steal their lineout on their own tryline.

  19. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    You see now Bulls, stay in their half.

  20. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Dont mean your comment was stupid bunny, I mean Potgieter’s kick.

  21. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    This looks like one of that frustrating games for the teams where their skills will have to be up their all the time…..Bulls should take this playing in their hands….

  22. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Bulls being put under pressure on the high ball and Force gets a penalty to level scores 6 all

  23. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Bulls needs to take these kicks….

  24. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    2 harsh calls from officials brought about the fact that the game is level. Visser stepped on the line, so not out of 22 and Greyling had no oppertunity to roll after that tackle. But still, Bulls reverting back to being their own worst enemy after starting really well.

  25. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Another Penalty to Force this time from the scrum for early leaving the scrum by the Bulls….

    Force going for points again …….

    Force take the lead on half time 9-6

  26. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    @Aldo: Just have to catch the ball Aldo and work their way back in Force half….they did it well in the first part of the half….

    Bulls should dominate this game in the second half

  27. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Stupid penalty given away by du Plessis, Force now leads 9-6. Bulls losing the plot. Force have had 70 percent of possession the last 10.

  28. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Force extend their lead with two penalties to 15-6

  29. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Bulls gets penalty from a good scrum and can get some points here and Pollard kicks his first kick over….

    Force lead 15-9

  30. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Bulls have the penalty and then stupid from Jacques Du Plessis as he cleanout with the shoulder stupid, stupid ……

  31. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    JJ not even half the player he was a year or so ago…

  32. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    What happened to kicking team not allowed to advance even if the ball is kicked out????

  33. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Force playing the Bulls game better than the Bulls

  34. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I know it is wet but for 5/6 catch the blerrie ball

  35. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Finally the Bulls with a scrum inside Force 22……

    Bulls starts pick an run….Force turn over the ball and Force kick out Matfield is screaming at the referee

  36. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Bulls maul into 22…..starts pick and go….they go wide and gets penalty against them for holding on…..

  37. avatar Boertjie says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Fugly game. Force deserved it – just.

  38. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Another lost for the Bulls…been beaten with their own game…

  39. avatar Aldo says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    So I really really dislike the Sharks, but here’s to a good Sharks tour. The Bulls are really an embarressment. Their handling is attrocious, they have no clue with ball in hand. A frustrating 4 weeks it’s been.

  40. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    If your backline is not used getting ball then you cannot suddenly expect them to turn it on. So close but giving away possession waiting for the other team to make the mistakes…smart rugby our achilles heel. Eish.

  41. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa:

    Been saying it for years. Only reason kiwi handling is better is because they are forced to do it more often in match situations.

    While SA sides have upperhand our backline does not exist, then once in kak we suddenly expect them to run riot.

    Cheetahs can score backline tries cause they also send the ball that way a bit more often.

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