Bulls v Reds preview


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Loftus, Pretoria, 19.10 (17.10 GMT)

The Bulls will smash the Reds. There is very little doubt about that.

The Reds are just too young and inexperienced to challenge the powerful cohesion and aggression of the Bulls at Loftus.

The Reds are definitely in a building phase – well, one hopes they are after years of under-performance – and the Bulls are peaking after three years of systematic planning which has been capped off by a new-found ability to score tries out wide.

Heyneke Meyer has been meticulous in his coaching of his side, and has laid the foundations for a challenge to the Crusaders’ crown this season and the next where his settled combinations are seemingly finally ready to add a touch of attacking dynamism to their rugged approach upfront.

As usual, they are peaking at home after a slow start, and are sure to be challengers in the play-offs.

Prediction: The Bulls, as said above, will smash the Reds. Bulls by thirty.

Bulls: 15 Johan Roets, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Heinie Adams, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Engels, 17 Danie Thiart, 18 Bakkies Botha, 19 Derick Ku’n, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Morn’ Steyn, 22 Jaco van der Westhuyzen

Reds: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Andrew Walker, 13 Ben Tune, 12 Quade Cooper, 11 Brando Va’aulu, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Nic Berry, 8 Tom McVerry, 7 David Croft (c), 6 Mitch Chapman, 5 James Horwill, 4 Ed O’Donoghue, 3 David Te Moana, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Tama Tuirirangi
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Herman Hunt, 18 Cam Treloar, 19 Geoff Abram, 20 Will Genia/AJ Gilbert, 21 Andrew Brown, 22 Peter Hynes

Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Schalk Walsh (New Zealand), Pro Legoete (South Africa)
Television match official: Sean Veldsman (South Africa)
Assessor: Tappe Henning, Sandy MacNeill

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