Super Rugby

Force v Bulls Rd.10 Super Rugby Preview



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The second Super Rugby match in Round 10 on Friday is in Perth where the Australia’s Western Force host South Africa’s Bulls.

The Force are having a difficult season as they have played 8 matches and won one. Half of those matches were played at home and they have yet to win at home this season.

The Bulls on the other hand have been slipping under the radar as they have played 7 matches and only lost one match. They drew one match as well. Much of the talk in South Africa has been on the Lions and the Stormers but the Bulls have been gaining momentum.

The Force have played the Bulls 9 times in Super Rugby since 2006 and the Force have won four and lost five. This gives them a record of winning 44% of their matches against the Bulls.

The Force have played the Bulls 5 times in Perth and three of those matches have been won by the Force. That gives the Force a record of winning 60% of their matches against the Bulls at home. The average score when the Force play the Bulls in Perth is Force 18 Bulls 20.

Force coach Michael Foley has shaken things up in Perth and made seven changes to the matchday 23 for this week. In the starting team Harry Scoble has been promoted to the starting line up for the first time after impressing in his 35-minutes off the bench last week.

Ian Prior and Luke Morahan return to the side after a week on the sidelines and Nedlands’ Ammon Matuauto has been named for his Super Rugby debut at outside centre.

In the changes to the reserves Guy Millar and Ross Haylett-Petty return while Nedlands and Perth Spirit hooker Anaru Rangi comes into the side for a potential debut. The props remain unchanged with Tetera Faulkner at tight head and Francois van Wyk at loosehead while in the only change to the starting forward pack Harry Scoble will look to stand strong against a powerful Bulls front row.

Adam Coleman and Steve Mafi will again partner in the second row. While the formidable backrow of Angus Cottrell, Matt Hodgson and Ben McCalman will look to take the challenge up to Bulls. In the halves, Alby Mathewson will partner with Ian Prior who comes into the starting No.10 jersey to replace Peter Grant who suffered an eye injury in Round Eight.

In the centres Junior Rasolea will start at inside centre with Ammon Mautauto named to make his Western Force and Super Rugby debut when he runs on at outside centre. Matuauto was strong for the Perth Spirit in the National Rugby Championship and will be keen to make his presence felt at the next level.

Speedster Luke Morahan is a welcome return to the left wing while Marcel Brache and Dane Haylett-Petty round out the starting line-up. Coming off the bench, Ryan Louwrens and Kyle Godwin will both look to inject some pace into the backline.

The Bulls had settled on their team earlier this week but then Jason Jenkins had to withdraw from the match day squad due to a peck muscle injury. Bulls coach Nollis Marais has started Arno Botha at No.7 – he was originally named in the second row at 4 – and Marvin Orie comes in for his first start in the No.5 jersey and RG Snyman moves over to the No.4 jersey.

Jannes Kirsten drops to the replacements bench. Elsewhere Hanro Liebenberg to start at No.8 for the first time since last year. Liebenberg takes over from Arno Botha and at scrum half Piet van Zyl will start, with Rudy Paige moving to the bench.

The Bulls have a habit of traveling poorly but this young side could be different and respond to the challenge differently. The Force look like they are still trying to find their game and the coach Michael Foley is coming under pressure for his position according to some reports.

The Bookies have given the Force a 7 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Bulls should win this by three.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 1.

Average score: Force 22 Bulls 25

Last five results
21 Mar 2015 Force v Bulls 24-25 Pretoria
26 Apr 2014 Force v Bulls 15-9 Perth
02 Mar 2013 Force v Bulls 26-36 Pretoria
23 Apr 2011 Force v Bulls 26-21 Perth
27 Mar 2010 Force v Bulls 15-28 Perth

The Force’s overall record against the Bulls
Played 9 , Wins 4 , Losses 5, Draws 0

Match No.72: Force v Bulls
Date : Friday 29 April 2016
Venue : nib Stadium, Perth
Kick Off local: 19:05 local
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 1:Rohan Hoffman
Assistant Ref 2:Damien Mitchelmore
TMO : Ian Smith


Western Force

1. Francois van Wyk , 2. Harry Scoble , 3. Tetera Faulkner , 4. Sitiveni (Steve) Mafi , 5. Adam Coleman , 6. Angus Cottrell , 7. Matt Hodgson (C) , 8. Ben McCalman , 9. Alby Mathewson , 10. Ian Prior , 11. Luke Morahan , 12. Solomoni (Junior) Rasolea , 13. Ammon Matuauto , 14. Marcel Brache , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Chris Heiberg , 17. Anaru Rangi , 18. Guy Millar , 19. Ross Haylett-Petty , 20. Brynard Stander , 21. Ryan Louwrens , 22. Kyle Godwin , 23. Semisi Masirewa

Bulls (revised)

SP Marais , Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Francois Brummer, Piet van Zyl, Hanro Liebenberg, Arno Botha, Lappies Labuschagne, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman , Marcel van der Merwe, Adriaan Strauss (c), Trevor Nyakane.

Replacements: Bandise Maku, Lizo Gqoboka, Werner Kruger, Jannes Kirsten , Roelof Smit, Rudy Paige, Tian Schoeman, Dries Swanepoel

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