The Blues will go into their match this weekend against the Bulls on Sunday full of confidence as they have won both of their opening matches with bonus points.
The Blues will also know that in their last two meetings with the Bulls they have been the winners and out of the last five matches between the teams the Blues have won three.
Worryingly for the Bulls the Blues have been a vastly improved team this season and if they beat them last year in Pretoria the Bulls will have to take a massive step up to win this weekend.
The Blues have played the Bulls 14 times in Super Rugby since 1998 and the Blues have won 9 times or 64% of the matches. There have been no draws so the Blues have only lost five times to the Bulls.
The average score when the Blues play the Bulls is Blues 35 Bulls 26. When the Blues are at home the average score makes for painful reading for the Bulls as it changes to Blues 42 Bulls 19.
The Bulls have never beaten the Blues away from home. The Blues have played their home matches against the Bulls in Auckland, Albany and Pukekohe and in total they have won 7 out of 7 matches.
On average the Blues score five tries against the Bulls who only score two tries against the Blues in New Zealand so a four try bonus point seems unlikely as they have only done it once.
In contrast the Blues have won try bonus points in four of the seven matches. In 2002 and 2004 the Blues ran in 9 tries against the Bulls while in 2000 they scored 8 tries. The Bulls are really going to have to be on their toes this weekend.
The Bulls have made seven changes for this match but they still have a fairly strong team. The most glaring change is that of Francois Hougaard being dropped to the bench for Jano Vermaak.
The Blues have delayed naming their team until Friday as the match is on Sunday but massive changes would come as a surprise so a similar line up is expected to the one that beat the Crusaders. At the time of writing the Blues had not yet named their team.
The Bookies have given the Bulls a 9 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Bulls have a bad record against the Blues in New Zealand and this current Blues team are running hot so a Bulls victory seems unlikely. The Blues to win by 14.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA but not in the UK.
Average score: Blues 35 Bulls 26
Last five results
10 Mar 2012 Blues v Bulls 29-23 Pretoria
03 Apr 2010 Blues v Bulls 32-17 Auckland
21 Feb 2009 Blues v Bulls 26-59 Pretoria
29 Mar 2008 Blues v Bulls 23-21 Auckland
27 Apr 2007 Blues v Bulls 19-40 Pretoria
Blues overall record against the Bulls
Played 14 , Wins 9, Losses 5 , Draws 0
Match No.22. : Blues v Bulls
Date : Sunday 10 March
Venue : Eden Park, Auckland
Kick Off local: 16:05
Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri
TMO : Ben Skeen
15. Charles Piutau,14. Frank Halai,13. Rene Ranger,12. Francis Saili,11. Waisake Naholo *,10. Baden Kerr,9. Piri Weepu,8. Steven Luatua,7. Luke Braid,6. Kane Barrett *,5. Ali Williams,4. Liaki Moli,3. Charlie Faumuina,2. Quentin MacDonald,1. Tim Perry *
Replacements :16. James Parsons,17. Angus Ta'avao,18. Ronald Raaymakers *,19. Brendon O'Connor ,20. Jamison Gibson-Park *,21. Marty McKenzie *,22. Albert Nikoro *
* Super Rugby debut
Zane Kirchner , Akona Ndungane , JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Lionel Mapoe, Morne Steyn , Jano Vermaak , Pierre Spies ( c), Arno Botha, Deon Stegmann , Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Frik Kirsten , Willie Wepener, Morne Mellett.
Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle , Werner Kruger, Grant Hattingh, Jacques Potgieter, Francois Hougaard, Louis Fouche, Jurgen Visser.