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Crusaders versus Bulls : Head to Head

Wynand Olivier tackles George Whitelock

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Article Published: Friday 20 July 2012|

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Attention turns to Christchurch to kick off the first week of the 2012 Super Rugby Finals Series for a battle between two teams that have combined for ten championships.

The Bulls three titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010 came with the prized scalp of the Crusaders in every one of those season's semi-finals - although those matches were played in Pretoria and Soweto. The Crusaders have never had a team derail their title ambitions of late as much as their incoming opponents.

The red and black team are a perfect thirteen wins from the same number of Finals Series matches at home since they first contested knockout rugby in 1998, while they are eight from eight against the Bulls in New Zealand.

So despite the Bulls iron grip over the Crusaders in the Republic, winning seven from eleven, the fourth placed wildcard qualifying New Zealand Conference franchise will look to home advantage to put them in view of what could be remarkable eleventh final.

Not only do the Bulls have to overcome the Crusaders brilliant record on home soil, the best in Super Rugby, they have to battle against the ledger of claiming just six victories in New Zealand in 37 matches.

Yet the Bulls play a brand of rugby that has always troubled the counter-attack conscious Crusaders, and they enter the Super Rugby Finals Series as the most effective try scoring team, with their 50 scored bettered only by the Eliminated Hurricanes (58).

Crusaders (4th placed wildcard) v Bulls (5th placed wildcard)
AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand
Kick off (1935 local, 1935 NZT, 1735 NSW/ACT, 0935SAT, 0735 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
AR Keith: Brown
AR: Glen Jackson
TMO: Garratt Williamson

HEAD TO HEAD:
Played 19: Crusaders 12, Bulls 7
Points aggregate: Crusaders 641, Bulls 455
Tries aggregate: Crusaders 73, Bulls 43
Last match: Bulls 32 - 30 Crusaders at Loftus Verfeld, Pretoria (2012SR, RD7)
Record in Christchurch - Played 7: Crusaders 7, Bulls 0
Record in Super Rugby Finals Series - Played 4: Bulls 3, Crusaders 1
Crusaders 2012 Record - Played 16, Won 11, Lost 5,
485 PF (2nd overall), 342 PA (3rd overall), 47 tries (3rd equal overall)
Bulls 2012 Record - Played 10, Lost 6
472 PF (3rd overall), 369 PA (7th overall), 50 tries (2nd overall)

TEAMS:

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Richie McCaw (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Sean Maitland.

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.

Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Deon Stegmann, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Francois Venter.

 
 
 
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