Vodacom Bulls running in Napier

Vodacom Bulls running in Napier

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The Vodacom Bulls will be the first domestic franchise to take the field on Saturday when they line up against the Hurricanes at McLean Park in Napier. The Pretoria team has had a decent run against the New Zealand teams so far this season, with a victory against the Blues and a draw against the Chiefs.

This week they face the added challenges of adapting to the vastly different time zone and recovering from the long journey to New Zealand. However, should they register a victory it would mark the first win by a South African side on tour this season.

The Vodacom Bulls have not lost to the Hurricanes since the 2008 season in which they were on the receiving end of a heavy 50-22 defeat in Pretoria. They have won four on the trot since then, including two wins in New Zealand in 2011 and 2009.

With three back-to-back victories followed by a draw at home, the Pretoria side will look to build on this form against the Hurricanes who have had a stuttering start to the season with two wins in six outings. However, the hosts will also draw confidence from their narrow victory against the Crusaders in Christchurch last week.

Pace out wide and quick interchanges between the Chiefs players allowed them to score three tries in the final 11 minutes against the Vodacom Bulls last week, and the Hurricanes may be well placed to try and emulate their countrymen, as they are the most dangerous attacking side in the competition.

They currently occupy joint first place for tries scored (20), and they are the top team in clean breaks (52), defenders beaten (146), carries (736) and total meters gained (2928).

In contrast the Bulls are in 10th, 14th, 15th, 13th and 14th place in these respective categories.

The Pretoria-based side, meanwhile, have relied heavily on their powerful pack to stamp their authority, with flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter kicking down field in their search for victories.

Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke made two personnel changes to his starting team for the clash with Springbok and captain Flip van der Merwe returning from injury, while Jacques Engelbrecht comes in at No8 and Dewald Potgieter moves to the side of the scrum in place of Jacques du Plessis.

Van der Merwe replaces stand-in captain Victor Matfield, who is dropped from the match-23 to fulfil a coaching role on tour.

“We are looking to start rotating players from now on and with the depth we have in the squad, it is something I don't mind doing,” Ludeke said.

The teams are:

Hurricanes: Andre Taylor, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (captain), Alapati Leiua, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen/John Schwalger, Dane Coles, Ben Franks. Replacements: Ash Dixon, Chris Eves, John Schwalger/Reggie Goodes, Blade Thomson, Brad Shields, Billy Guyton, Hadleigh Parkes, Marty Banks.
Vodacom Bulls: Jurgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Francois Hougaard, Jacques Engelbrecht, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Flip van der Merwe (captain), Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Callie Visagie, Dean Greyling. Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Marcel van der Merwe, Morné Mellett, Grant Hattingh, Jacques du Plessis, Piet van Zyl, Handré Pollard, Ulrich Beyers.

Kick-off SA Time: 09h35
Venue: McLean Park, Napier
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant and Ben O’Keefe (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Vodacom Bulls record against Hurricanes since 1998:

Won 8, Lost 7
Points for: 395
Points against: 388
Tries scored: 38
Tries conceded: 45
Average score: 26-26

Credit: SARU Corporate Affairs

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Apr 04, 2014
Jan Serfontein

(2) Vodacom Bulls running in Napier

  1. Die gaan n baie harde game wees veral omdat die Canes al hulle groot name terug het vir die een. Dink ouens soos Vito en Jane gaan n groot verskil vir hulle maak. Hulle agterlyn is baie gevaarlik so ons sal die game voor moet wen soos ons gewoonlik doen.

    Go bulle met 3 punte.
  2. gravatar Kudu says:
    sharko, jy is reg, die sharkies het 'n blapsie gemaak teen die BULLE, maar moenie worry nie julle gaan dit(die blapsies) elke keer weer regkry.

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