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Force vs Bulls Super Rugby Preview

Francois Hougaard will move back to scrumhalf from the wing this week

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Article Published: Thursday 24 April 2014|

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Out of the last five Super Rugby matches between the Western Force and the Bulls the Perth-based Force have won two matches and the Bulls three.

Overall the Western Force have played the Bulls 7 times since they joined Super Rugby in 2006. In those seven matches the Force have won three times and the Bulls four matches.

That gives the Force a record of winning 43% of their matches across all venues against the Bulls.

The average score when the Force play the Bulls is : Force 23 Bulls 27.

This weekend the match will be played in Perth which is home for the Force and where the teams have met four times since 2006.

From those four matches the Force have won two and lost two which gives them a record of winning 50% of their matches against the Bulls in Perth.

The average score when the Force play the Bulls is : Force 19 Bulls 23.

In terms of form the Western Force lost last week but they had a five match winning streak before that. The Force are in fifth place overall while the Bulls are in 9th place.

The Force have played 8 matches so far this season and they have won five. At home they have played four matches and won three. The only team that managed to beat them was the Brumbies who lead the Australian Conference.

The Bulls have had a difficult tour which has been made all the worse by injuries to key players. The Bulls have played nine matches so far and they have won three matches and lost five.

Away from home the Bulls have played five matches and they have yet to win one away match. This weekend will be the Bulls fourth match on a month long tour.

The Bulls will have to be wary of making another slow start as they have scored one and conceded seven tries in the opening 20 minutes of their matches so far this year.

They will also have to be sharp even when defending in their opponents' half, as the Force have scored more tries (nine) than any other side when it comes to possessions that originated within their own territory.

The Bulls have made five changes to the team that finished strongly but lost to the Waratahs in Sydney last week. Three of the Bulls changes are in the backs and there are two changes to the forward pack.

Jurgen Visser has recovered from the foot injury that ruled him out of the Waratahs clash shortly before kick-off and slots in at fullback, where he replaces Ulrich Beyers.

Francois Hougaard moves back to the base of the scrum following the knee-injury sustained by Piet van Zyl and a fit-again Akona Ndungane returns to his regular spot on the wing.

Flip van der Merwe has been suspended for three weeks following a citing for striking an opponent in last weekend's match against the Waratahs and will be replaced by Paul Willemse and Victor Matfield will take over the captaincy.

The Force have named Sam Wykes and Jayden Hayward in tehir starting line up for this week. Hayward returns to his customary fullback position with Dane Haylett-Petty, who started in the '15' jersey against the Rebels, moving to the wing.

The Bookies have given the Bulls a 2 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $250.00 Bet. The Bulls are at the end of a long tour and will no doubt be looking forward to getting this match behind them and getting home. The Force should edge this match by 3.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD

Average score: Force 23 Bulls 27

Last five results
02 Mar 2013 Force v Bulls 26-36 Pretoria
23 Apr 2011 Force v Bulls 26-21 Perth
27 Mar 2010 Force v Bulls 15-28 Perth
02 May 2009 Force v Bulls 29-32 Pretoria
04 Apr 2008 Force v Bulls 15-14 Perth

Force overall record against the Bulls
Played 7 , Wins 3 , Losses 4, Draws 0

Match No. 66: Force v Bulls
Date :Saturday 26 April
Venue : nib Stadium
Kick Off local: 17:40
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: James Leckie
Assistant Ref 2: Matt O'Brien
TMO: Peter Marshall

Teams

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan,2. Nathan Charles,3. Kieran Longbottom,4. Adam Coleman,5. Sam Wykes,6. Angus Cottrell,7. Matt Hodgson (c),8. Ben McCalman,9. Ian Prior,10. Sias Ebersohn,11. Nick Cummins ,12. Kyle Godwin,13. Marcel Brache,14. Dane Haylett-Petty,15. Jayden Hayward

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 J J 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 , 4 Paul Willemse , 3 Werner Kruger , 2 Bongi Mbonambi , 1 Dean Greyling

Replacements : 16 Bandise Maku , 17 Marcel vd Merwe , 18 Jacques Engelbrecht , 19 Willem (Wimpie) van der Walt , 20 Rudy Paige , 21 Handre Pollard , 22 Ulrich Beyers , 23 Morne Mellet

 
 
 
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