Cape Town - It’s been four years since the Bulls last played the Brumbies in Canberra, when the home team scored 10 unanswered points in the last 10 minutes to win 32-31.
The Bulls, in six visits to the Australian capital, have won only once - in 2007, when they beat the Brumbies by 19-7. Twice they were edged by the Aussies (the defeat in 2009 and 21-19 in 2005), while the team from Canberra massacred the Bulls in 2003 (64-26) and 1999 (73-9).
Their winning record in Australia is a dismal 28.6% - or eight victories out of 28 matches since the Bulls started playing as a franchise in 1998. But since 2004, when they recorded their first win in Australia over the Reds in Brisbane, the Bulls have won eight from 19 - a much better return.
With the Bulls having won only one of their three tour games to date this year, they will be hard-pressed to leave Canberra victorious against Jake White
’s Brumbies, a team that only lost their first match of the season last weekend against the Stormers
in Cape Town.
“We need more points and we need to get it in Canberra. If we want to finish this tour the way we planned, we cannot afford another match full of slipped opportunities," skipper Pierre Spies
said from the Australian capital.
His comments were echoed by coach Frans Ludeke
, who was full of praise for the Brumbies.
“They are well-coached, well-structured and have a number of players that can kill you off,” said Ludeke. “We will have to be at the very best of our game, something I feel we are getting close to.”
Play starts at 10:40 (SA time) on Saturday.Teams:Brumbies:
15 Zane Kirchner
, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 JJ Engelbrecht
, 12 Jan Serfontein
, 11 Jürgen Visser, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak
, 8 Pierre Spies
(captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter
, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger
, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle
, 1 Morné Mellett
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Francois Venter