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    'Tahs brace for Bulls' forward challenge

    2016-05-09 09:00

    Cape Town - The surging Waratahs are preparing to adjust to a third different South African challenge in as many weeks as they seek to maintain their mid-season Super Rugby momentum.

    Three straight wins have propelled the Waratahs back into Australian conference contention.

    The Sydneysiders are level on points with the conference-leading Brumbies and have a game in hand, with the Rebels two points back.

    After thrashing the Force, the Waratahs cracked the defensively strong Stormers and nullified the attack-minded Cheetahs.

    They will face another style next Saturday in Sydney when the Bulls bring their forward-based power game.

    The Bulls' three highest scores of the season were against Australian sides and they will be facing Aussie opposition for a fourth straight week after defeating the Rebels 45-25 in Pretoria early in the season.

    Over the past three rounds they beat the Reds 41-22 at Loftus Versfeld and smashed the Force 42-20 in Perth, before losing 23-6 to the Brumbies in Canberra last Friday.

    "Good set-piece team, big, strong guys and we've copped a few injuries," Waratahs captain and openside flank Michael Hooper said.

    "The Bulls have had a great start to the year and are going to be a really tough outfit, especially after Friday night, not getting the points there.

    "So they'll come out firing. They've had a few weeks in Australia and they'll be good to go."

    The Bulls have always been renowned for an uncompromising and intensely physical approach and the ‘Tahs expect more of the same at Allianz Stadium.

    Waratahs pivot Bernard Foley insisted there was still a lot of improvement left after they struggled to score against the Cheetahs in the second half.

    "The Bulls are a dangerous side and we definitely have to match them up front. They've got some big guys across the park," Foley said.

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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