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Bulls vs Blues Super Rugby Preview

Wynand Olivier is tackled by the Blues in the team's last meeting

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Article Published: Thursday 6 March 2014|

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Both the Bulls and the Blues won their first Super Rugby match last weekend at their respective home venues and both will be looking to keep the momentum.

While the Bulls ended their two match 2014 losing streak last week against the Lions the Blues were arguably the more impressive team in their victory over the Crusaders.

Tactically both teams got it right. The Bulls forced the Lions to play the match in the Lions half which prevented Marnitz Boshoff from scoring easy drop goals. In fact the Bulls used the tactic in the first half when Jacques-Louis Potgieter sent over a drop goal.

The Blues let the Crusaders score two first half tries but then scored two quick tries of their own and kept the visitors out of the match until almost the end. Whilst scoring 29 unanswered points the Blues picked up the bonus point.

The Bulls have played the Blues 15 times in Super Rugby since 1998 and the Bulls have won just six times. That gives the Bulls a record of winning just 40% of their matches against the Blues.

The average score when the Bulls play the Blues across all venues is : Bulls 27 Blues 34.

This weekend the match will be played in Pretoria at Loftus Versfeld which is home for the Bulls. The teams have played at Loftus 7 times and the Bulls have won 5 times and lost twice.

That gives the Bulls a record of winning 71% of their home matches against the Blues.

Interestingly the last time the Blues visited Loftus was in 2012 and they finished as the winners.

The average score when the Bulls play the Blues at home is Bulls 34 Blues 28.

In terms of selection the Blues have given starts to All Black veteran duo Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock. The only other change to the starting team is in the second row Liaki Moli has been selected ahead of Patrick Tuipulotu.

Blues coach John Kirwan has dropped Benji Marshall from the match day 23 with Chris Noakes named as the back up number 10.

The Bulls have named Akona Ndungane to win his 100th Super Rugby cap and they have made three changes to the team that played last week. All of the changes are in the forwards.

Werner Kruger coming into at tighthead for Frik Kirsten, who is suffering from a sore back and flanker Deon Stegmann returns from injury to make his first start this season replacing Jono Ross at number six. Ross moves to number eight in place of Grant Hattingh.

The Bookies have given the Blues a 4 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. We think we have seen better form from the Blues this season so we are going against the Bookies and predicting a Blues victory here. The Blues should edge this by four.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD.

Average score: Bulls 27 Blues 34

Last five results
10 Mar 2013 Bulls v Blues 28-21 Auckland
10 Mar 2012 Bulls v Blues 23-29 Pretoria
03 Apr 2010 Bulls v Blues 17-32 Auckland
21 Feb 2009 Bulls v Blues 59-26 Pretoria
29 Mar 2008 Bulls v Blues 21-23 Auckland

Bulls overall record against the Blues
Played 15,
Wins 6, Losses 9, Draws 0

Match No. 21: Bulls vs Blues
Date :Saturday 8 March
Venue : Loftus Versfeld
Kick Off local: 17:05
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: Sieg van Staden
TMO: Johan Greeff

Teams

Bulls

Jurgen Visser , Akona Ndungane , JJ Engelbrecht , Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Francois Hougaard, Jono Ross, Jacques du Plessis, Deon Stegmann, Victor Matfield , Flip van der Merwe (c), Werner Kruger , Callie Visagie, Dean Greyling.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Morne Mellett , Marcel van der Merwe , Paul Willemse , Jacques Engelbrecht , Piet van Zyl, Handre Pollard , Ulrich Beyers.

Blues

15. Charles Piutau,14. Frank Halai,13. George Moala,12. Jackson Willison,11. Tevita Li,10. Simon Hickey,9. Piri Weepu,8. Peter Saili,7. Luke Braid (C),6. Steven Luatua,5. Tom Donnelly,4. Liaki Moli,3. Charlie Faumuina,2. Keven Mealamu,1. Tony Woodcock

Replacements :16. James Parsons,17. Sam Prattley,18. Angus Ta'avao,19. Patrick Tuipulotu,20. Brendon O'Connor,21. Bryn Hall,22. Chris Noakes,23. Pita Ahki

 
 
 
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