In the last five Super Rugby matches between the Crusaders and the Bulls, the Crusaders have won just once and lost four times.
However all four of the matches that were won by the Bulls were played in South Africa and the one match that the Crusaders won was in New Zealand.
The Crusaders have played the Bulls four times in Super Rugby Semifinals but this is the first time the teams have played each other in a Super Rugby qualifier as it is officially called.
Home advantage has clearly played a big part in the clashes between these teams as 100% of the Semis between the teams have been won by the home team.
The Crusaders won the first Semi-final 35-15 in 2006 at Christchurch and then the next three were played on the Highveld (Pretoria and Soweto) and all there were won by the Bulls.
In 2007 the Bulls won 27-12, in 2009 the Bulls won 36-23 and then in the 2010 Semifinal the Bulls won 39-24.
The Bulls have always enjoyed the advantage of playing at altitude on the Highveld as visiting teams start to fade in the final quarter. Historically teams that have had to travel have suffered a similar effect due to the travel factor.
The Crusaders have played the Bulls 19 times and they have won 63% of their matches as they have won 12 and lost 7 times.
On average when the Crusaders play the Bulls they score 34 points and the Bulls score 24 points.
In New Zealand, the Crusaders have played the Bulls 8 times and worryingly for the Bulls they have lost all 8 matches.
The Crusaders therefore have a 100% record against the Bulls and the closest the Bulls have come to beating them in New Zealand was back in 1998 when the Crusaders won by 11 points at 31-20.
The average score between the Crusaders and Bulls in Christchurch (and once in Timaru) is Crusaders 38 Bulls 15.
The most recent match between the Crusaders and the Bulls in New Zealand was won 27-0 by the home team.
The Bulls have made one change to the team that beat the Lions last week as Flip van der Merwe returns from injury.
The Crusaders have made two changes as Wyatt Crockett starts loosehead prop and Adam Whitelock starts on the wing for Sean Maitland. The last selection appears a little strange but may be a rotation/impact plan.
The bog blow for the Crusaders is that Kieran Read was unable to overcome his rib injury and will sit out this weekend's match.
The Bookies have given the Bulls an 11 point start for this match - with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. The Bulls history of coming up short in New Zealand against the Crusaders is too strong to ignore. We have to back the Crusaders on this. Crusaders to win by 15.
This match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/ HD.
Average score: Crusaders 34 Bulls 24
Last five results
07 Apr 2012 Crusaders v Bulls 30-32 Pretoria
09 Apr 2011 Crusaders v Bulls 27-0 Timaru
22 May 2010 Crusaders v Bulls 24-39 Soweto
07 May 2010 Crusaders v Bulls 35-40 Pretoria
23 May 2009 Crusaders v Bulls 23-36 Pretoria
Crusaders overall record against the Bulls
Played 19 , Wins 12 , Losses 7 , Draws 0
Match No.121:Crusaders versus Bulls
Date Saturday 21 July, 2012
Venue : AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand
Kick Off local: (1935 local, 1935 NZT, 1735 NSW/ACT, 0935SAT, 0735 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Keith Brown
Assistant Ref 2:Glen Jackson
TMO : Garratt Williamson
1. Wyatt Crockett ,2. Corey Flynn , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Luke Romano , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. George Whitelock , 7. Matt Todd , 8. Richie McCaw (c) , 9. Andy Ellis , 10. Dan Carter (vc) , 11. Zac Guildford ,12. Ryan Crotty , 13. Robbie Fruean , 14. Adam Whitelock , 15. Israel Dagg
Reserves16. Quentin MacDonald17. Ben Franks18. Tom Donnelly 19. Luke Whitelock 20. Willi Heinz21. Tom Taylor 22. Sean Maitland
Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (captain), Dewald Potgieter, Jacques Potgieter Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling.
Replacements: Willie Wepener, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouche, Francois Venter.