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Preview: Vodacom Bulls vs. Hurricanes

The Vodacom Bulls are all set for Saturday's match at Loftus Versfeld against the Hurricanes and they will be hoping for their first victory against an overseas' team in this year's competition.

The Bulls are desperate to get back on the winning track and they would like to continue to improve in their last couple of games.

The fixtures between these two teams have been very close over the last couple of years and it is interesting to note that the 'Canes surprised the Bulls at Loftus in 2006 but the Bulls on the other hand beat the Hurricanes twice in New Zealand during the last five years.

Key match-ups:

Wynand Olivier vs. Ma'a Nonu

The Hurricanes selected Nonu at inside centre for Saturday's clash and that means Olivier and Derick Hougaard will have a lot of tackling to do. Nonu is one of the most effective ball carriers in the Super 14 and his hard straight running lines have caused numerous problems for various teams. Olivier is starting to play his best rugby again and much will be expected from him on defence as well as attack.

Fourie du Preez vs. Piri Weepu

Weepu is just as dangerous from broken play as Du Preez and he is one of the better kicking scrumhalves in the tournament. He is one of the key players in the Hurricanes' set-up and he gives his team a lot of direction.

Eddie Jones said during the Live Chat that Du Preez is the best scrumhalf in the world and if he can get quick, clean ball from the forwards he will control the match from the base of the rucks.

Derick Kuün vs. Andrew Hore

Hore is a very strong ball carrier and is especially effective when he "pick and go." That means he can create momentum for his team from a slow ball and the fact that he can side-step makes him an even more efficient attacker. Kuün is one of a few hookers in world rugby that is able to cover the width of the field and the way he supports in the wide channels is of utmost value to the Bulls.

The battle of the loose forwards

The Bulls selected three Springboks in Pierre Spies, Wikus van Heerden and Pedrie Wannenburg in their loose trio and they will be up against three All Blacks in Rodney So'oialo, Chris Masoe and Jerry Collins.

All six are ball cariers, they can all defend very well and they are all streetwise on the subject of loose play.

This all ads up to a massive contest and the loose trio that will be able to dominate will gain a colossal advantage for their team.

What the players and coaches said:

"The Bulls are twice as physical and emotional when they play at Loftus because their fans get them really charged up. They haven't had a flash season so far and now that they are back home we can see them holding nothing back." – Hurricanes hooker Andrew Hore

"The Hurricanes is a team that is able to disrupt the opposition in the loose but the Bulls have come a long way since the beginning of the season. I would like us to use our possession better on Saturday and be more clinical when we execute our moves. We played a lot better in the last two matches and we are creating opportunities but I think at certain stages we weren't patient enough. Things will definitely change for us and the players are all taking responsibility. They are a tremendously proud group of players and we as a team need to be a lot smarter in the future in order to ensure that we get the right results on the scoreboard." – Bulls coach Frans Ludeke

"This is probably the toughest we have had it as a team over the past four or five years. I think we have been unlucky in the last two games not to get a result. It is a tough process but one we have to go through it. It will make us stronger for next year. We are confident that we will be back on top again. It is a tough and cruel competition but it is something we have to go through. It is a learning curve for all of us." – Bulls captain Fourie du Preez

What the media said:

"This is another tough one to predict. The Bulls haven't been too far off the pace in recent weeks but their inability to win a game on the four match Australasian tour has ended their semi final hopes. The big question is whether their minds will be on the job? They play four of their last five games at home so their fans will demand success, but they could cop a backlash from the Hurricanes this week. The Canes were robbed of a win last week against the Sharks and they should be fired up for this. I'll stick with the Hurricanes because they have more to play for." – Greg Clark on

"The Bulls won't be able to keep up with the pace of the Hurricanes on this occasion. The Canes are one team who do enjoy travelling, especially to South Africa. The Bulls forward-oriented approach will be found wanting once again. Hurricanes by 10." - Robbie Kempson on

"The Bulls are back at fortress Loftus after a nightmare tour but whether they can raise their game remains to be seen. Nine times out of ten, you would back the Bulls at Loftus, but they Bulls will somehow contrive to lose this one. 'Canes by ten." – Steve Farrell on

Recent results:

2007: Hurricanes won 17-9, New Zealand

2006: Hurricanes won 26-23, Pretoria

2005: Bulls won 21-12, New Zealand

2004: Bulls won 40-19, Pretoria

2003: Bulls won 46-36, New Zealand

The teams:

Vodacom Bulls: Zane Kirchner; Akona Ndungane, JP Nel, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana; Derick Hougaard, Fourie du Preez (captain); Pierre Spies, Wikus van Heerden, Pedrie Wannenburg, Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha, Rayno Gerber, Derick Kuün, Gurthrö Steenkamp.

Replacements: Bandise Maku, Werner Kruger, Jaco Engels, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Heini Adams, Morné Steyn, Deon Stegmann.

Hurricanes: Cory Jane; Hosea Gear, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Shannon Paku; Jimmy Gopperth, Piri Weepu; Rodney So'oialo (captain), Chris Masoe, Jerry Collins, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Tim Fairbrother, Andrew Hore, John Schwalger.

Replacements: Hikawera Elliot, Neemia Tialata, Jacob Ellison, Craig Clarke, Scott Waldrom, Alby Mathewson, Tamati Ellison.

Venue: Loftus Versfeld

Kick off: 17: 05 (SA time) 15:05 GMT

Referee: James Leckie (Australia)

Touch judges: Geoff Acton (Australia), JC Fortuin (South Africa) Match day program: 12:30 Gates open 13:00 Cullinan vs. Dragons 14:30 TUT vs. Pretoria 16:10 Bulletjie rugby 17:05 Vodacom Bulls vs. Hurricanes


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1. Ek hoop Frans Ludeke het nou mooi met die ref gepraat.
Posted by Bulletjie 1 (Bulle gaan Gaffel!) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 13:41
2. Hou baie van die preview, baie beter uiteengesit, nou kan ons mos opinie gee.

Frans, ek hoop jy het baie tyd afgevat om met die ref te flirt, ons kan nie bekostig dat hy weer homself soos 'n aap gedra nie
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 13:47
3. Hallo ald Blou bloed mense

Ja, dit is 'n goeie span, maar hoekom is p3 nogsteeds daar. Hy is te stadig en spuit Spies sal nou sy kant moet bring.
Posted by Rustig (Centurion) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:03
4. P3 is nog goed, stadig, maar hy bring altyd sy kant, hy is een van die min spelers wat 'n konstante reeks gehad het tot dusver, Stegman is nog te windgat, hy moet nog 'grootword'.
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:10
5. Tellings vir Saterdag:

Bulls 20 - 24 Hurricanes - Realistix
Bulls 28 - 15 Hurricanes - Ligblou Baron
Bulls 46 - 24 Hurricanes - Rustig
Bulls 35 - 28 Hurricanes - BBS
Bulls 27 - 22 Hurricanes - Larry
Bulls 37 - 20 Hurricanes - Chloe
Bulls 22 - 15 Hurricanes - Bulletjies Bo
Bulls 35 - 32 Hurricanes - bBs
Bulle 29 - 21 Hurricanes - LLH
Bulle 52 - 17 Hurricanes - ASSKICKER
Bulle 32 - 20 Hurricanes - Little BB
Bulle 21 - 20 Hurricanes - Joe-ZA
Bulle 18 - 06 Hurricanes - BBindB
Bulle 45 - 22 Hurricanes - Stegman
Bulle 30 - 24 Hurricanes - BBK
Bulle 25 - 17 Hurricanes - Bloubefoeterd
Bulle 28 - 20 Hurricanes - rissiepit
Bulle 21 - 18 Hurricanes - P2
Bulle 21 - 22 Hurricanes - BB
Bulle 24 - 16 Huriicanes - Bergbok
Bulle 22 - 14 Huriicanes - Axeman
Bulle 30 - 10 Hurricanes - BLOU.GENTLE
Posted by Ligblou Baron (Pretoria) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:17
6. "Man-of-the-Match" vir Saterdag:

Pierre Spies - LB
Posted by Ligblou Baron (Pretoria) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:18
7. Hi LB

Ek dink Wynand gaan Saterdag sy beste game die seisoen he- so my " man-of-the-match."
Posted by Velle (Secunda) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:31
8. Onthou julle moet vir Pierre Spies kans gee. Hy't nog net twee weke kontak gevat...Mens kan soveel as jy wil in die gym werk dus nie dieselfde nie...en die Bulle gebruik hom ook verkeerd...hy bly in die vastelos waar p3 hoort...

die bulle het ook bietjie gesukkel in die skrums (wat onverstaanbaar is) so daai droom om pierre te sien van die base van die skrum te hardloop het ook nog nie gerealiseer nie.....

Posted by origin-0 (WORcester) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:39
9. O my flok, julle het weer daai Leckie idioot as ref, sterkte ouens, maar met hom in die omtrek weet mens nooit

O, Ja. Hallo almal
Posted by strepies (twee trofees beter as een) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:45
10. Man of the match

Wikus van Heerden.....
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:53
11. of ek, afhangende van of ek genoeg brannas gan inkry van nou tot dan
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 14:53
12. /// die ref beter hom gedra of ons ondersteuners mag dalk net iets onbetaamlik doen
Posted by lieflingaanhanger_pe (Centurion) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 15:09
13. Wat is julle score predictions vir vanaand se game

Bulle 65 - 10 Puppies
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 15:36
14. Tipies Bulle!!!!!!!!!!
Die game is nog nie eers gespeel nie dan kla hulle al oor die ref!!!!!!!!!!!
How stupid is that????????
Bulle is klaar vir die jaar, fire die coach en begin volgende jaar van voor af.
Posted by charlie100 (Pretoria) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 16:16
15. Dit gan nie oor wat is verby of wat nie, ons hou daarvan as ons span wen, en ons sal hulle ondersteun tot in die afgrond in,

Dit is net nie ons wat alewig oor die ref kla nie, die WP, Cheaters, en Sharks ok, ons het darm rede om te kla, ons is al vele kere ontwrig agv. refs.

!!!GO BULLE!!!
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 16:27
16. Buls 2v15Hricane3970864TotAg.
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 16:39
17. Of folk, daai is nie reg nie, foetsek brandewyn!!!!
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 16:39
18. Average

Bulls 28 - 18 Hurricanes

Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 16:40
19. Rissiepit is die naaste, sy gan 'n vakansie saam FL wen
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 16:42
20. Advantages en Disadvantage vir morê se oorlogs wedstryd:


-- Goeie bal jagter in Wikus
-- Skopwerk in eerste 20 min van Hougaard
-- Losbal spelskeppers in Fourie, Brian en Zane
-- Sterk verdediging wat gewys het in laaste 2 wedstryde
-- LOFTUS!!!


-- Innability om 80 min te speel
-- Swak besluit neming in rooi sone
-- Ondersteuning in wegbreek situae
Hcn:Advg- Nonu met sy goeie verdediging en baldra vermoë
-- Weepu wat so goed is op loskakel as skrumskakel maak opsies groter in die losbal situasies
-- Goeie bal draers om die los skrums
-- Laas week se gelykop speel teen die sharks.


-- LOFTUS!!!
-- Middel matige verdediging op die vleuels en heelagter.
-- Tialata wat op bench begin maak opsies om die skrums meer vir veral Spies
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 18:21
21. Blou bloed seun. Hou op droom en ruik die koffie. As jou ma en pa dom is, is die kanse goed dat jy ook n dom do@s is, soos ek uit jou gekrabbel hierbo verstaan. Waarvan praat jy??? Kry n lewe man, hou op heeldag sinnetjies tik op die computer en doen iets positiefs, bv. gaan draf sodat die gewone mens met 3 breinselle nie na jou nonsens moet luister nie.
Posted by Groot blou seun (pretoria) Friday, April 11, 2008 - 22:47
22. Ja, as load-shedding my nie rond gef@k het nie sou ek julle verduidelik het waar die goed vandaan gekom het, moenie oordeel as jy nie weet nie, ek het die K@k direk van 'n selfoon chat site af gehaal en oor getik om te wys wat die donderse Cheaters actually van rugby af weet, ja jy kan op selfone ook chat Groot blou seun, wie het nou net een brein sel
Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 07:13
23. Good luck bulls. We still have a few games left to show what we are really made of.
Posted by SammyS (Mokopane (Potgietersrus)) Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 09:18
24. Groot blou seun

Ek vra innig om verskoning oor my uitlatings oor jou, seker daarvan jy het rede om kwaad te wees oor die post. Ek het maar net gevoel dat dit sal 'n bietjie perspektief oor sekere ondersteuners gee, jammerte ek kon nie die res gepost kry voordat krag drade rond begin neuk het nie.

Jy is sekerlik 'n goeie rugby kenner, en ek hoop ons kan dit nou maar net los by wat dit is.

Posted by Blou_Bloed_Seun (Pretoria_(Loftus)_oppie_middel_lyn) Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 10:30
25. good luck for the canes game. Hope bulls luck changes and the ref plays his role. Depending on the mental condition of the players and their confidence bulls should win. Bulls by 5
Posted by WP!!!! (Uitenhage) Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 13:42