Super Rugby champions the Crusaders have lost their last two matches and they will be looking to stop their losing run especially since they will be playing at home.
The Bulls are also on a losing streak and they have lost their last three matches. In 2018 the Bulls have played four and won one (they beat the Hurricanes in Rd.2).
In comparison, the Crusaders have played four matches as well but they have won two and lost two. The Crusaders have yet to lose to a non-New Zealand team.
- The Crusaders have won four of their last six games against the Bulls, including a 62-24 win in their last encounter; the second biggest win in the history of the fixture.
- The Bulls won their first ever meeting against the Crusaders in New Zealand (1996); however, the Canterbury side has won all 10 such iterations since by an average margin of 22 points.
- The Crusaders come into this game on the back of consecutive defeats, the last time they lost more regular season games in succession was a three-game stretch in April-May 2010.
- The Crusaders have won their last eight regular-season games against South African opposition, scoring an average of 48 points per game in that span.
- The Bulls have lost their last eight games in New Zealand, a stretch which began with a 22-point loss to the Crusaders.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at a wet AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
2.00: Ball security is going to be paramount. Both teams lose the ball forward, the home team from an up-and-under, and the Bulls after Ryan Crotty hits Handre Pollard.
3.00: The scrum has been reset twice before Michael Alaalatoa is pinged for collapsing the set-piece.
5.00: The Bulls go to the driving maul, go six phases and win a penalty. Pollard kicks to the corner, again.
6.00: The Bulls boast the best lineout success rate in Super Rugby at 95%. The visitors set up the maul, but Codie Taylor holds up the ball and man; scrum to the home team.
8.00: Another penalty goes the Bulls’ way. They should take the three because it’s right in front of the posts. Pollard kicks to the corner, yet again.
10.00: The Crusaders must stop giving away penalties inside their 22. It’s four already and the referee Federico Anselmi calls Samuel Whitelock and gives him a warning.
11.00: Another driving maul is sacked by the Crusaders. The home side has defended the Bulls driving maul, excellently. Scrum is reset.
15.00: Taylor goes to the boot, but Warrick Gelant is back to clear, however, the Saders have the lineout, five metres out.
16.00: TRY! Scott Barrett is awarded the score after a TMO referral. One lineout, one driving maul, one try. 5-0
17.00: CONVERSION! Mitchell Hunt makes no mistake with his first kick. 7-0
19.00: Some more good defending by the Crusaders; they’ve held up another Bulls maul.
21.00: The Bulls are pinged at the scrum. Hunt kicks to the Bulls’ 10 metre-line.
24.00: The Bulls are playing in their Sundowns kit, again. As with last week’s loss to the Chiefs, the Bulls are not in their traditional blue. So much for die Blou Bulle (the Blue Bulls).
26.00: YELLOW CARD! Tim Perry is off for a high shot to Pierre Schoeman.
27.00: Mitchell Drummond’s superb box-kick gives his team another attacking lineout, five metres out.
28.00: TRY! Codie Taylor is awarded the try after another driving maul. That’s two from two from the lineout set-piece for the home side. 12-0
29.00: CONVERSION! Hunt slots another. 14-0
30.00: The Crusaders are 14 points up after two driving mauls. They have only had 30 percent possession and territory inside the opening half hour but have a two-score lead.
31.00: TRY! Travis Ismaiel beats five players to give the Bulls some points. It came from an eight v seven scrum where the ball squirted out. Embrose Papier gathered and popped to the winger, who cut inside two defenders and beat three more with some fancy footwork. 14-5
32.00: Conversion! Pollard adds the extras. 14-7
36.00: Wyatt Crockett’s midfield break has the Crusaders in an attacking position inside the Bulls’ 22.
37.00: Perry returns to the field and Crockett will get a rest after his brief cameo.
38.00: The referee is talking to both hookers after another reset scrum.
39.00: TRY! Jack Goodhue is over after several pick-and-drives by the Crusaders. Too much leg strength by the centre, who powers between two props. 19-7
40.00: CONVERSION! Hunt kicks his third. 21-7
The half-time score was Crusaders 21 Bulls 7
41.00: PEEEEP! we are back underway in Christchurch.
44.00: The Bulls have a defensive scrum after Hunt knocks on. They win the free-kick after another shambolic scrum.
47.00: Hunt kicks a penalty to the Bulls five-metre line.
48.00: TRY! Goodhue has his second, beating two defenders to score under the sticks. It came from Pollard giving away a silly penalty and a lineout drive after Hunt’s excellent kick. 26-7
49.00: CONVERSION! Hunt is four from four. 28-7
51.00: Both teams are starting to empty their benches.
53.00: CONGRATULATIONS! Adriaan Strauss is on for his 148th Super Rugby cap, equalling the great Victor Matfield for most games in the world’s premier rugby competition.
56.00: Hanro Liebenberg is isolated and Crotty wins the penalty at the breakdown because the flank did not release.
60.00: The Crusaders get out of jail, again. Their defence of the driving maul has been outstanding.
63.00: The Bulls cannot go away from their forwards-style approach (which seemed to have disappeared under John Mitchell).
65.00: Instead of spreading the ball, the visitors are keeping it tight, however, nothing is coming from the attacks which are easy to defend.
69.00: TRY! Marco van Staden is in for his first Super Rugby try. After being tackled in midfield, he released the ball, picked it up and ran through a huge hole in the ruck to score under the posts. 28-12
69.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds the two. 28-14
73.00: TRY! George Bridge! That was quick. Manasa Mataele beat Divan Rossouw in the air and Bridge gathered the loose ball and stretched for the score. 33-14
74.00: MISS! Hunt misses his first kick of the night. 33-14
79.00: The Crusaders will hold on to their record of only losing once to the Bulls at home, back in 1996, with a clinical performance in the rain.
80.00: The Crusaders get the bonus-point win and break their two-game losing streak. The Bulls have lost their last four.
In the meantime why not have a look at the match preview.
To refresh this page click HERE. Live In-Play Betting.
The final score is Crusaders 33 (21) Bulls 14 (7)
Tries – Barrett, Taylor, Goodhue (2), Bridge
Con – Hunt (4)
Cards – Perry (Yellow, 27th’)
Tries – Ismaiel, Van Staden
Con – Pollard (2)
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2: Richard Kely
TMO: Aaron Paterson
15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8, Jordan Taufua, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Braydon Ennor,
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze.