The success or failure of the Vodacom Bulls tour hangs in the balance as they take on the table topping Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.
The Bulls gave the Reds a real scare in Brisbane last week but in the end the home team prevailed leaving them with one win from three starts on tour. A victory over the Brumbies would make it 2-2, a result that coach Frans Ludeke would gladly have taken when they flew out from OR Tambo. A loss would be disappointing in that after the opening win over the Blues so much was expected.
The Brumbies tasted defeat for the first time last weekend going down by 13 to the Stormers at Newlands and they now face the challenge of travelling back to play at home against a side that has been in the country longer than they have. Jake White has proved to be one of the shrewdest coaches around though, and they will no doubt be fired up and keen to get their season back on track.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Bulls and Brumbies have met six times in Canberra with the Brumbies winning five and the Bulls one. The three most recent outings have seen solid performances from the Bulls with a two point defeat in 2005, a 12 point win in 2007 and a single point loss in 2009. The sides have met twice at Loftus since the 2009 match with the Bulls winning high scoring encounters on each occasion.
The fact that the Brumbies have had to travel is a positive for the Bulls but this is largely offset by the number of injuries in the visiting squad particularly in the pack and the fact that the Bulls have been on the road for a better part of a month.
The Stormers showed last week that the way to get on top of this Brumbies side is through sheer physicality and the Bulls will no doubt look to assert dominance upfront, something that one would certainly have backed had they been injury free.
A victory is a big ask against the table toppers but nothing is guaranteed against the Bulls. They definitely should not be underestimated.
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