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Bulls v Highlanders Super Rugby Preview

Arno Botha on the charge for the Bulls against the Highlanders

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Article Published: Thursday 16 May 2013






The Bulls will start this match wary of the Highlanders as the last two Super Rugby matches between the teams have both been won by the Highlanders.

Overall the Bulls have played the Highlanders 15 times and the Bulls have only won 4 times and drawn once.

That means the Bulls have won just 27% of their matches against the Highlanders.

The average score when the Bulls play the Highlanders across all venues is Bulls 23 Highlanders 31.

This weekend the Bulls have home advantage as the match is in Pretoria where the teams have faced each other 8 times.

In those eight matches the Bulls have won 3 and the Highlanders four times and they have drawn once. This translates to the Bulls winning 38% of their matches against the Highlanders at home.

The last time the Highlanders visited Loftus Versfeld they left as 28-35 winners and that was in March 2011.

When the Bulls play the Highlanders in Pretoria the average score is Bulls 31 Highlanders 31.

The Bulls are unbeaten in 2013 at home and have won their last seven matches at Loftus.

They had a wobble on their tour of New Zealand and Australia as they lost three matches in a row but they have turned that around and have now won their last four matches.

Two intercept tries helped the Bulls thrash the Hurricanes 48-14 before their bye last week. The intercept tries indicate that the Bulls are confident and backing themselves.

At the time of writing the Highlanders had not named their team but there have been no big news stories about injuries.

The Bulls have made five changes to their team for this week and these changes arguably make the team stronger than the one that beat the Hurricanes.

Two weeks ago the Highlanders ended their losing streak when they beat the Sharks but their performance against the Kings was one of their poorest. The Kings were in desperate need of a bye but the Highlanders were unable to match them.

Had the Highlanders beaten the Kings last weekend there might have been more people backing the Highlanders against the Bulls given their record in Pretoria.

The reality is though that if the Highlanders can't beat the last placed South African team at home it's highly unlikely they will beat the top placed South African team at home.

The Bookies have given the Highlanders a 16 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Bulls can be expected to win this relatively comfortably. The Bulls should win by 14.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 1 on the Red Button.

Average score: Bulls 23 Highlanders 31

Last five results
19 May 2012 Bulls v Highlanders 11-16 Dunedin
05 Mar 2011 Bulls v Highlanders 28-35 Pretoria
13 Mar 2010 Bulls v Highlanders 50-35 Pretoria
28 Mar 2009 Bulls v Highlanders 12-36 Palmerston North
19 Apr 2008 Bulls v Highlanders 47-17 Pretoria

Bulls overall record against the Highlanders
Played 15,Wins 4 ,Losses 10 ,Draws 1

Match No.87.Bulls v Highlanders
Date : Saturday 18 May :
Venue : Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick Off local: 17:05
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Attie Buitendag
TMO : Johan Greeff

Teams

Bulls

Jurgen Visser , Akona Ndungane , JJ Engelbrecht, Serfontein, Lionel Mapoe, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (c), Dewald Potgieter , Deon Stegmann, Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Frik Kirsten, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Morne Mellet.

Replacements: Callie Visagie, Werner Kruger, Grant Hattingh, Arno Botha , Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouche, Bjorn Basson.

Highlanders

1. Jamie Mackintosh ,2. Andrew Hore (captain),3. Chris King,4. Brad Thorn ,5. Jarrad Hoeata ,6. Joe Wheeler ,7. John Hardie,8. Mose Tuiali’i,9. Aaron Smith ,10. Colin Slade ,11. Hosea Gear (vice-captain),12. Shaun Treeby ,13. Tamati Ellison ,14. Tino Nemani ,15. Ben Smith

Replacements : 16. Liam Coltman ,17. Tony Woodcock ,18. Elliot Dixon ,19. TJ Ioane ,20. Fumiaki Tanaka ,21. Hayden Parker ,22. Jason Emery

 
 
 
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