The Vodacom Blue Bulls get the 2nd half of their Currie Cup campaign underway when thost Western Province in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Blue Bulls got their campaign back on track when they beat the Free State Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld last weekend in what was pretty much a must win match. They trailed 3-5 at the break and given their 2nd half showings against the Lions and Sharks there was every reason to be concerned, however the team stepped up and they totally outplayed the Cheetahs to win 26-10. It was their 2nd home win in 3 matches having also beaten the Griquas but losing to the Lions.
Western Province sit on top of the Currie Cup log having yet to taste defeat. They have drawn matches against the Blue Bulls at home and the Lions away in both cases letting the opposition come back from what looked like a match winning lead. WP played comfortably their best match of the season in beating the Sharks at Newlands this past weekend with only a late Sharks comeback restoring credibility to the score line. They have drawn to the Lions and beaten the Griquas by a point in their 2 away matches.
Head to Head
The Blue Bulls came back to snatch a thrilling 24-24 draw at Newlands in week 1, and but for a missed conversion could have won the game.
The home team has tended to dominate Currie Cup fixtures in recent seasons and the recent draw was the 1st time either host has failed to win in the last 3 seasons.
2013: WP 24 Bulls 24
2012: Bulls 26 WP 13
2012: WP 42 Bulls 6
2011: Bulls 28 WP 20
2011: WP 35 Bulls 7
2010: Bulls 36 WP 32
2010: WP 15 Bulls 12
According to Voltbet.com ahead of kickoff last week the Cheetahs started as favourites to beat the Blue Bulls. The young home side put in a performance not seen since the opening weekend in Cape Town and in the end made a mockery of the odds given they were by far the better side even in the 1st half where they were outscored.
The Blue Bulls are still very much in a must win position given they are currently in 5th place in a condensed Currie Cup log and they probably couldn’t ask for a tougher opponent on current form. WP are showing some good flair in the backline compliments of Kolbe and Aplon, and their defense remains resolute and the foundation on which they build their game.
The battle upfront should be key and based on what I saw last weekend it is hard to separate the teams. Home ground advantage and the partisan home crowd should swing it the Blue Bulls way though and I am taking them to edge it by a few points.
Rugby betting Odds: Bulls win by 1-12 points