Crusaders vs Bulls Super Rugby preview

The stand out point in this match is that the Crusaders will face the Bulls in Timaru without the help of star number 10 Dan Carter.


The Bulls chances of winning the match must have risen with the news that the world’s best 10 would miss the match.


The Crusaders once had an admirable record over the Bulls but since 2007 the Bulls have four out of six matches.  However the Bulls have had home advantage in five of those matches due to a mixture of play offs and the draw which worked in the Bulls favour.


Overall though the Crusaders record against the Bulls is still respectable as they have played 17 and won 11.


Whilst the Bulls have won the last three matches in a row against the Crusaders they have never beaten the Bulls in New Zealand. In seven attempts they have lost on all occasions and the average score between the two teams in New Zealand is 40-17 to the Crusaders.


In fact, it’s been 10 years since a South African Super Rugby team managed to beat the Crusaders in New Zealand and 15 seasons since the Bulls, then still known as Northern Transvaal, last secured an away victory against the seven time champions.


The Bulls and the Cats are the only South African teams that have tasted victory away from home against the Crusaders.


Northern Transvaal, later renamed the Bulls, beat the Crusaders by 34-18 in Christchurch in 1996. In 2001 the Cats, which later split up into the Lions and the Cheetahs, beat the Crusaders by 32-31 in Nelson.


Since 1996, the Bulls have lost all seven away matches played against the Crusaders, their best performance coming two years ago when they lost by 13-16.


The Cantabrians have an amazing home record against South African opposition.


They have hosted SA teams on 37 occasions and have won 33 for a winning rate of 89 percent. Apart from the two defeats (under different franchise names), the Crusaders have also drawn two home games, in 1996 against Western Province (16-16) and in 1997 against the Sharks (26-26).


The closest the Bulls have come to the Crusaders in New Zealand is 11 points.


It feels like much longer but the Crusaders have not played Super Rugby since that Twickenham match two weeks ago. They had the bye last week while the Bulls beat the Hurricanes.


Ordinarily we expect teams to start slowly after a bye but the Crusaders had no such effects when they faced the Waratahs after missing a week of Super Rugby due to their match being cancelled.


The Bookies have given the Bulls a 10 point start for this match – with an offer of Bet 10 and Get 20. We think the Crusaders are the form team on attack and will severely test the Bulls. We think the Crusaders should win by 14.


Last five matches.
22 May 2010 Semi Crusaders v Bulls 24-39 Soweto
07 May 2010 Crusaders v Bulls 35-40 Pretoria
23 May 2009 Semi Crusaders v Bulls 23-36 Pretoria
03 Apr 2009 Crusaders v Bulls 16-13 Christchurch
22 Feb 2008 Crusaders v Bulls 54-19 Pretoria


Crusaders overall record against the Bulls.
Played 17 , Wins 11 , Losses 6, Draws 0


Match Offrcials
Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)
Assistant referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)


Teams


Crusaders : 1. Wyatt Crockett,2. Corey Flynn,3. Ben Franks,4. Brad Thorn,5. Chris Jack,6. George Whitelock,7. Matt Todd,8. Kieran Read (c),9. Andy Ellis,10. Matt Berquist,11. Zac Guildford,12. Sonny Bill Williams,13. Robbie Fruean,14. Sean Maitland,15. Israel Dagg


16. Quenti

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