Cape Town - The Blues know what to expect from the Bulls when the teams clash in a Super Rugby clash in North Harbour on Saturday.
Rolling mauls, strong set pieces and an astute kicking game are what make the Bulls a formidable outfit, Blues coach Tana Umaga has stressed.
The Crusaders pack rumbled over for two lineout-drive tries in their 33-24 comeback win over the Blues last weekend and Umaga expects the Bulls to also target his side in that area.
"Last week we learnt a bit there, and it's been a constant on our minds since," Umaga told the Stuff.co.nz website. "They've seen the blueprint of how teams have scored against us, and it's about us being on the same page in nullifying that. We know it's coming, and we're working hard to take the sting out of those areas."
Avoiding giving away midfield penalties that allow teams to kick for the corners will therefore be of essence for the Blues.
"We might as well just go line up there (on the 5m mark) because if we give away penalties we know where they're going, and we know what's coming,” Umaga continued. "We need to be better at doing what we can control and performing what we train."
Commenting on further strengths of the Bulls, Umaga continued: "They've got some dynamic runners and are very physical as successful Bulls team of the past have been," noted Umaga. "And with (Handre) Pollard they've got a good kicking 10, as well as some X-factor in their side. We've got to be very aware it's not just a case of turning up and it's going to happen for us."
The teams will be desperate for a win, with both outfits only boasting a solitary win in 2017.
After winning their first game against the Rebels 56-18, the Blues have suffered three successive defeats to the Chiefs (41-26), Highlanders (16-12) and Crusaders (33-24).
The Bulls lost their first two games on the road - to the Stormers 37-24) and Cheetahs (34-28) - before struggling to subdue the Sunwolves at home last week (34-21).
Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 08:35 (SA time).
15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu
Substitutes: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Nick de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboko
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 John-Roy Jenkinson