Reds vs Bulls Super Rugby preview

This match puts the current top Super rugby team against last year’s Super Rugby Champions the Bulls against each other in Brisbane.

The teams go into the match on the back of hugely contrasting form. The Bulls were hammered 27-0 last week while the Reds ended the Stormers unbeaten run and took the top spot in the Super Rugby standings.

We said last week that Reds coach Ewen McKenzie’s selections were a big risk and that he would either come out of the Stormers v Reds clash as a mad man or a genius. The Reds won so this is where we pay our dues. Well done Ewen – and the Reds of course.

The Reds have a surprisingly good record against the Bulls having won 8 of the 13 matches between the teams. Their record against the Bulls in Brisbane very strong.

The Reds and Bulls have played each other 7 times in Brisbane and the Reds have won six times which means the Bulls have only once beaten the Reds in Brisbane which was back in 2004.

To illustrate how well the Reds play against the Bulls in Brisbane on average the Reds score 23 points and the Bulls score 25 points. However in Brisbane the Reds on average score 29 points and the Bulls 15.

Despite the record the Bulls might fancy themselves this weekend as the defending champions’ best try-scoring record against all the Australian Super Rugby franchises, is against the Reds.

In their 15 matches against the team from Queensland, the Bulls have scored 46 tries at an average of just over three per game. However it should be noted that this stat is slanted due to the Bulls 92-3 result in 2007.

The Bulls have lost seven times against the Reds in Australia, starting with a 25-18 loss back in 1996 and also including a 19-12 defeat last year.

However, scoring tries has not really been a problem for the Bulls against the Reds. In their 92-3 demolition of the Queenslanders back in 2007 at Loftus Versfeld – the biggest winning margin in the history of the competition – the team from Pretoria scored a massive 13 tries.

Their next favourite Australian opponents are the Brumbies, who have conceded a total of 44 tries from their 15 matches against the Bulls at an average of 2.93.

Against the Waratahs, the men in blue scored a total of 38 tries at an average of 2.38, while they have notched up 14 five pointers from their five matches against the Western Force at an average of 2.80.

This match was also played in Brisbane last year and the Reds won 19-12 by forcing the Bulls forwards to run everywhere and kicked very little ball. The Bulls did their best to conserve energy levels by walking slowly to each set piece. Both coach’s comments this week suggest that the same plan to be used.

Like last year the Reds arrived in Brisbane after the Bulls and the same happened this year. The Reds adapted their training schedule to accommodate the fatigue and it appeared to be successful.

The Bookies have given the  Bulls a 7 point start for this match – with an offer of Bet 10 and Get 10 in Bets. We think the Reds are better than they were last year and the Bulls are not as good. We think the Reds will win by 8.

Last five results.
17 Apr 2010 Reds v Bulls 19-12 Brisbane
14 Feb 2009 Reds v Bulls 20-33 Pretoria
15 Mar 2008 Reds v Bulls 40-8 Brisbane
05 May 2007 Reds v Bulls 3-92 Pretoria
15 Apr 2006 Reds v Bulls 20-19 Brisbane

Reds overall record against the Bulls.
Played 13 , Wins 8, Losses 5, Draws 0

Match Officials
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
Television match official:

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