The Bulls host the Blues at Loftus in Round 4 of Super Rugby on Saturday and the match result betting suggests there won't be much between the sides.
Bulls v Blues, Saturday 22nd February, Pretoria, KO 17:15 (South African time)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Refs: Cwengile Jadezweni , Divan Uys
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans
Weather Forecast – Pretoria
The Bulls were on a bye in Round 3 and they return to action looking for a first points return of the season after losing 2 South African derby matches. The Bulls started with a 23-15 defeat away to the Sharks and in Round 2 they were beaten 13-0 by the Stormers in Cape Town. They were worth opposing on the handicap in both those matches and have yet to score a try this season. This is the first of 3 consecutive home games although none are easy with Jaguares and the Highlanders due at Loftus in the coming weeks.
The Bulls have a poor recent record at home to New Zealand sides with just 1 win in the last 7 and in 2019 they lost heavily at home to the Chiefs (56-20) and the Crusaders (45-13)
The Blues were no match for the Crusaders in Auckland last week, losing 25-8. They now have a record of 1 win from 3 games and that victory came in Round 2 when they picked up a bonus point, 32-12 away to the Waratahs. In their opening game of the season the Blues were beaten 37-29 by the Chiefs.
In 2019 the Blues played 1 match in SA which ended in a 26-7 defeat to the Sharks. They did beat the Stormers (24-9) in Auckland last season whilst the Bulls visit to Eden Park ended in a draw.
This is the Blues first visit to Loftus since 2014.
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Jeandre Rudolph, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Subs: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenkamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Ruan Steenkamp 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw
Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Tony Lamborn, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Jacob Pierce, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 James Parsons, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Aaron Carroll, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Sam Nock, 22 TJ Faiane, 23 Matt Duffie
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2019 Auckland Blues 22-22 Bulls (Tries 3-3 )
2017 Auckland Blues 38-14 Bulls (Tries 6-2 )
2015 Auckland Blues 23-18 Bulls (Tries 2-2 )
2014 Pretoria Bulls 38–22 Blues (Tries 4-1 )
2013 Auckland Blues 21-28 Bulls (Tries 2-3 )
2012 Pretoria Bulls 23–29 Blues (Tries 3-2 )
2010 Auckland Blues 32-17 Bulls (Tries 2-1 )
Bulls 1/1 at GGGaming
Blues 21/20 at Sunbet
Note: Odds quoted are subject to change
I set this handicap at Bulls -2.5 during my weekly Sunday handicapping exercise and so am not surprised to see they have gradually shortened to favourites on most books. It is hard to back either team with confidence though and my main focus here will be the points lines with bets posted in the forum thread.
One bet I do think offers sone value is the Blues to lead at Half Time only for the Bulls to storm back to win the game. The Blues have delivered some disappointing 2nd half performances this season and the Bulls should be able to take advantage of the altitude in the 2nd half. There was some 8/1 earlier in the week but it is now generally priced at 6/1.
BET: 2 units Blues/Bulls HT/FT at 6/1 at Sunbet
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