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    History not on Bulls' side

    2016-05-05 13:16

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - The last time the Bulls beat the Brumbies away from home, they did it via a single Pedrie Wannenburg try and 14 points from the boot of Derick Hougaard. 

    That was way back in 2007 - a 19-7 win seeing the Bulls on their way to the first of three Super Rugby titles in four years that would form part of a golden era. 

    Much has happened since then, and on Friday morning the Brumbies will face a Bulls side that is in the middle of a transformation. 

    Having abandoned the forward-driven, kick heavy philosophy that brought them so much success in the late 2000s, the Bulls are now a side looking to keep up to speed - quite literally - with the modern game. 

    "We want to play an all-round game of rugby and we want to play for the full 80 minutes," captain Adriaan Strauss offered this week.

    "We want to be able to have more in our artillery than just being one dimensional. We want to be good at set piece and make good decisions and play decision-making rugby."

    That much has been evident from performances in recent weeks. 

    While the result in 2007 was a memorable one for the Bulls, their next three trips to Canberra have seen them lose narrowly on each occasion. 

    In 2009 they went down 32-31, they lost 23-20 in 2013 and then last year they were on the wrong end of a 22-16 scoreline. 

    Coach Nollis Marais is aware of his side's poor record in Canberra, but if the Brumbies' recent form is anything to go by then the Bulls will fancy their chances on Friday. 

    Three losses in four matches have seen the Brumbies slip behind the Rebels on the Australian conference log, but Marais is not expecting that to affect Stephen Larkham and his charges too much. 

    "I think they’ll stick basically to what they do," said Marais.

    "They have got good set pieces and they’re one of the most structured sides in the competition.

    "They do certain things for a certain reason and I think they will stick to that.

    "They will target this game at home to bounce back, obviously because they’ve got a good record against us there. It’s always been a close battle … one or two points here and there."

    The Bulls' 42-20 win over the Force last weekend gave them their first win in Australasia in 12 attempts.

    Kick-off on Friday is at 11:45 (SA time). 

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