Bulls fight Crusaders jinx

2011-04-04 16:13

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - The Bulls, last year’s champions, could significantly re-announce themselves in Super Rugby if they upset the Crusaders in the small port town of Timaru on Saturday.

There is also the incentive of completing their first ever “sweep” on New Zealand soil, because they come off a 26-14 victory over the Hurricanes and then move on to Australian dates with the Reds and Force before their return to South Africa.

The team they beat in last year’s Super 14 final, the Stormers, beat off all New Zealand comers for the first time in finishing second, including a maiden 100 percent record there by winning against both the Blues and Chiefs.

Now the title-holders can follow suit on the road against the most formidable outfit in the NZ conference, even if the Bulls cannot complete the fullest “slam” of New Zealand conquests because they have already lost to the Highlanders at Loftus.

But if Victor Matfield’s men are to upset the Crusaders at the unfashionable Alpine Stadium - the 12 000-capacity venue is expected to be a sellout - they will also get a long-time monkey off their backs.

That is because you have to go back 15 years to 1996 for the last time the Bulls beat these opponents away.

It was a pretty convincing 34-18 at Jade Stadium in Christchurch then, at a time when neither team boasted a powerhouse reputation: the Crusaders finished rock-bottom of the Super 12 that year whilst the Bulls had not won the domestic Currie Cup since 1991 and would not do so again until 1998.

Since then it has been only heartache for the Bulls against the Crusaders abroad in seven subsequent meetings (including a 2006 semi-final), even if they have also knocked over the Cantabrians seven times on South African soil (once at Orlando Stadium, in the 2010 semi-final).

The Crusaders, it must be said, have found it easier to win occasionally in Pretoria, doing so four times.

The closest the Bulls have come in scoreboard terms to beating them overseas was in 2009, when the final score was 16-13.

It was an unusual outcome, at AMI Stadium, because the Bulls scored two tries (both Akona Ndungane) to one (by Isaac Ross) but played second fiddle in place-kicking terms, with Morne Steyn unusually landing just a solitary penalty on the day.

Especially after his highly influential showing in the game against the Hurricanes, the Bulls will surely be hoping for a better haul than three points by the Springbok pivot on Saturday ...



  • Brannas - 2011-04-04 16:29

    Geen probleem vir die Bulle nie, hulle is oppad terug en die Crusaders gaan les opse' die naweek, Wynand Olivier gaan kringe om daardie "showponie" SBW hardloop die naweek, ek sien die mannetjie is weer skerp.

      gooinat - 2011-04-04 16:45

      "One break and Olivier is sharp again",I think go and pour yourself another dop my vriend,maybe add coke for a change,that cheap imitation cooldrink has gone to your head:)

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-04 16:48

      Oh dear Saints......and this is it? Your knowledge of the game is this? "Meisiekind lyk weer skerp en gaan kringe om daardie showpony SBW hardloop"? You might have mentioned Carter (who does seem to be fit to play now...), Keiran Read (who will also be fit it seems), Robbie Freuen, Guilford, Franks etc etc etc, Richie possibly making a start from the bench-although I doubt it? You don't think these chaps will play a role in the game at all? It all boils down to Malibu Barbie running rings around Sonny Bill? You jest, surely?

      Priester - 2011-04-04 16:57

      @Brannas I sure do wish you are correct but I don't think the Bulls will win this weekend. They have the talent but their defense is pathetic, with Spies the main culprit and Olivier not passing the bal. Time for the Bulls to use Basson. Blou Bul Groete!!

      MrMojoRising - 2011-04-04 17:00

      Hahaha, hierdie Brannas is ook 'n anderste karakter.

      RJ - 2011-04-04 17:05

      SAFFA dont be so hard on the Guy, The Bulls won oversea's they are right to get excited, But I do agree unless Malibu Barbie get's some super powers he should be no match to carter and SBW

      mummford - 2011-04-04 17:06

      brannasI quote..."geen probleem vir die Bulle"You been saying that every week numb nut! What if the Reds beat you."Groot probleem manne"

      mummford - 2011-04-04 17:12

      brannas mark my words... Definite loss this weekend and i put money the Reds will take it .

      Brannas - 2011-04-04 17:44

      mumford, EK stem saam met jou dat die REDS die STORMERS gaan klop die naweek en dat die BULLE die CRUSADERS gaan pak slae gee,

      NouDieBlou - 2011-04-04 23:42

      W Olivier se dae is getel Brannas.Kan saam met DeWet Barry by d OP gaan senter speel.Ons kort nuwe dimensie in d BB span.Sit met uitstekende vleulels wat SLEGS bal kry as ons up &under skop want ek dink Fourie+Steyn het te min geloof in ons 2 senter pare wat Bostik in hul hande het(en moenie vimy se dis ons game plan week in en uit nie!).Sal tot oorweeg om Hougaard senter te speel.Ten minste kan hy ordentlik sidestep:)

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-05 08:43

      Paddy, .......die Stormers droom al vir 11 jaar sulke "nattes"... ......he he he he...!!

      PJ - 2011-04-05 09:59

      JOHNNY klink my jy het n nat hol ook!Gebruik jy en Aalwyn en Brannas Cortina olie?

      PJ - 2011-04-05 10:00

      Hey varknek daar is net 2 skouponies in S15.....Pierre Spies en Meisiekind Olivier ( 2 vd Stormers se bitches!)

  • RJ - 2011-04-04 16:54

    I don't underestimate the bulls, But I think the only team that can seriously challenge the saders is YOU know who Mountain Goats AKA Mountain BOKS

  • Brannas - 2011-04-04 17:03

    gooinat, Carter is nie daar die naweek nie en sonder hom is die Saders soos n' hoender sonder n' kop. Die naweek gaan die bulle hulle afslag.

      gooinat - 2011-04-04 17:07

      So ver as wat ek weet is daar 'n 90% kans hy gaan speel en by Vrydag is daai 90 na 100% toe.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-04 17:18

      @Brannas - Dan and Kieran are apparently 95% fit and giddy with excitement at playing the defending champs. Sonny Bill is itching as he has only ever played against '1 African team - the Sharks'. The only long term injury - Whitelock. Even Richie is fit - but they won't risk him....who knows they might still put him on the bench. But hey as you say - no problems for the Bulls, the whole game will be sorted with Olivier "running rings around SBW" - cool. I'm taking your word for it, and will put 10k on a Bulls win.

      Brannas - 2011-04-04 18:50

      Saffa, Jy moet by jou oorspronklike kommetaar hou ou pel, jy weerspreuk jouself en vergeet wat jy vroeer gese' het. net om jou geheu bietjie te verfris, en hou nou op om kak te dribble. SAFFA-CAT - 6 hours ago Report comment Carter is out for the Bulls is Whitelock, and uncertainty over Kieran Read as well....the playing fields have been levelled somewhat.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-04 19:33

      @Brannas - twerp. I did get an update between posting the 1st comment and the 2nd..... - um, injury statuses can change up to 5 times in the week.......I will give you no more updates friend. Find them yourself.....

      Brannas - 2011-04-04 19:52

      Saffa, Dankie tog dat jy nou jou bek gaan hou, dit is die beste nuus wat ek in n' lang tyd gehoor het. Ek is nou regtig siek van al jou " stront dribble'. as jy net "consistant" is sal dit nog alraait wees, maar jy verander jou storie nes die weer verander daar in die kaap.Ek dink nog steeds jy praat net omdat jy n' baie ongelukkige persoon is en jy kry jou Kicks uit die kommentaar wat jy hier lewer, gaan uit en kry n' lewe, dit is nogal fun daar buite, Try it.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-05 05:41

      Brannas : Lekker "COMMON" , Jy is erger as daai simpele "TWERP " van n ALWYN KRUGER met sy simpele " ROAD RACES" wat hy kamstig aan deel neem !!!

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-05 08:45

      Cliffie Bradley, ....dit moet seker maar moeilik wees on 'n VERLOOR-span vir 11 jaar te support...??? die prozak darem..?? .........He he he he he he he he ...!!!

  • RJ - 2011-04-04 17:08

    Goodluck to the Bulls the got some pace out wide with Basson and Hougart

      Paddy - 2011-04-04 23:00

      Platkop weet jy wie is die Saders wings?Hougaard....spoed!?

  • Ockie - 2011-04-04 17:10

    Kyk ek hoop dat enige span van SA vanjaar die Crusaders gaan wen, maar ek het dink dat dit maar sal lol. Die sharks het mooi probeer en dalk kan die Stormers en as die Bulls speel soos laasjaar, kan hulle ... maar kan hulle?

  • Danie - 2011-04-04 17:13

    I dont think the Bulls will win this incounter but they will give the Saders a run for there money!!!

      Robschele - 2011-04-04 20:29

      This run by the Saders? Is that to catch all the balls the Bulls will be kicking away.

  • Muzi Msimango - 2011-04-04 17:22

    What is up with the pierre spies bashing geez did pierre do somethng personal to you guys. The whole world knows spies is struggling to regain his form he looks a frustrated person right know everytime a bulls article shows up pierre has to be the subject of a discussion as you bloggers time and time and time say his defence is kak he has no committment he is useless ect. Even our so called patriotic bulls supporters are on his case spies has to carry the bulls loose trio by himself he does not have the luxury of a player like juan smith or willem alberts even Schalk burger to ease the pressure off of him. He is our main ball carrier he is not a willem alberts type of player he is a running number 8 who thrives on open space i have seen him do donkey work. Dewaldt Potgieter and Steggman are light weight and not effective like alberts...schalk or juan smith thus everything has to go through spies he is targeted by 2 to 3 defenders. I wish the bulls could play danie rossouw at 7 to carry the ball that would free up pierre look at kanko he has alberts who does all the dirty work kanko is roaming free because he knows he has a monster at 7 helping him out. That is why the coaches are not using spies properly he is an instinctive player he knows where the try line is.....sadly the bulls coaches with this kick and chase game are not utilising his strenghths properly i often wonder how spies would be like if he was a new zealand player they know how to use good players.

      Johan - 2011-04-04 18:07

      And what qualifies you to make the statements about Dewald Potgieter and Stegmann. In Fact, they are carrying Spies more often than not, so rather stick to something you know a bit about.

      RJ - 2011-04-04 18:11

      LOL at least you admit that schalk is the real deal

      Carl Muller - 2011-04-04 19:10

      Look very closely and see that every team up to now has 2 defenders going for Pierre when he touches the ball. And sometimes he went through them.

      Robschele - 2011-04-04 20:32

      @Carl Muller. Yea. He goes through them without the ball. Remember the ball must be carried. Not just touched.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-05 05:43

      Then the Bulls have got crap , potgieter & stegmann ( I don't rate either ) do more than double the work of "SPIERTJIES" Spies , and carry him more than their fair share !!!

  • gene lou - 2011-04-04 19:08

    hmmmmm ek amper gedog die artikel was deur ons ons getroue blou een oog monster JJ Harmse geskryf.

      Robschele - 2011-04-04 20:33

      Even Vodacom moved away from blue.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-04-05 00:29

    Why do people persist with making predicitions? I can't think of anything more stupid, unless you are taking a bet for commercial gain. Nobody has a clue as to the outcome of the game. Or any game for that matter. Amazing. Just read some of these assine comments.

  • Marx - 2011-04-05 07:56

    Safa, aren't you the meisiekind on this forum?? Jy praat te veel twak, Brannas sy en die ander bergbokke wat tog te lustig saam stront praat lei defnitief aan Verbal Diarrhoea !!

  • rugby_guru - 2011-04-05 08:07

    Hope you Bulls do well!!! Really do, will be good for South Africa.. Good luck..

      GraemeBB - 2011-04-05 10:20

      @guru - thank you. We gonna need it. I respect it when my fellow SA show good will, and not support other teams - it shows sportmanship, and Bok love - even though we know the Bulls are not your favourite team.

  • Potyster - 2011-04-05 11:03

    Saffa I think you hit the nail on the head. Bulls game plan is suicidal against the Saders. I will love to see the Bulls beat them and they will have my full support. I just can't see it happen though.

  • crocowild - 2011-04-05 13:44

    I hope the Bulls win this one.That is being optimistic.Being a realist,unlike Graeme BB,i also know there is a better chance of rain storms in the Atacama desert.Crusaders will hit the Blue Bulls like the Tsunami hit Japan.I believe this will be the final death blow to the struggling Blue Bulls.Wake up,smell the roses and start rebuilding your team.When the milk goes sour you must buy fresh milk. This is one of the best centre pairs i have ever seen and they just started out.The only hope that the Blue Bulls have is to start praying.For the Blue Bulls fans that actually expect the Bulls to win,it sounds like the Somalians has reached Pretoria and introduced you to Kat and i don t mean Kit Kat.Looking forward to reading Job J Harmse s klaagliedere in next week s newspapers. The road down the hill inevitably takes much less time than the road leading up.Now for the war of the Bull boy scouts against a real army.Let s enjoy the fare.

  • gerhardvorster - 2011-04-05 18:57

    Please remind me of last 2 years score lines, if you will? Statistics mean a lot, like the article is referring to the Bulls performances over there. But then you can look at the most recent history and see that the Bulls have won the last 3 games, 2 of them played in a semi final. This paints a different picture. The Bulls know how to beat them and they can win this game. It will be crucial to put pressure on 9, 10 and 12. Shutting them down at 13 and sticking to our basics. Morne’s got what we need in getting points on the board. How do you beat the Saders? Keep it tight, put pressure on the halfbacks and don't give SBW any space. We can do it. 15-10 for the Bulls Go Bulls.

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