After a cracking win in Durban last week the Bulls return to Loftus for a Super Rugby Round 10 clash with the Rebels on Saturday and there is plenty of confidence behind the home team.
Bulls v Rebels, Saturday 21st April, Pretoria, KO 15:05 (South African time)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Refs: Rasta Rasivhenge, AJ Jacobs
TMO : Willie Vos
The Bulls made a mockery of a 5.5 point start they had been allocated for last week’s visit to the Sharks as they came away with a 40-10 bonus point win, scoring 6 tries and conceding just the 1.
The Bulls had also seen off the Stormers 33-23 in an SA derby at Loftus in Round 7 and they now go in search of a third consecutive win and a fourth in total having turned the Hurricanes over in Pretoria early in the tournament. Their only meeting with Australian opposition this season ended in a 20-14 defeat to the Reds in Brisbane in Round 4.
The Bulls moved from fourth to second in the South African Conference on the back of last week’s win. They are 11 points behind the Lions who start their overseas tour this week and the Bulls have played 1 game fewer.
The Rebels returned from a bye to host Jaguares in Melbourne last week and despite starting as double digit favourites on the handicap they were beaten 25-22. After 3 straight wins at the start of their campaign the Rebels have now lost 3 of their last 4 including heavy defeats away to the Tahs and at home to the Canes. The only success in that recent sequence did come against South African opposition, a 46-14 home win over the Sharks in Round 6.
The Rebels have made 3 previous visits to Loftus and they have had precious little to shout about, losing by margins of 37 points in 2011, 33 points in 2014 and 20 points in 2016.
The Rebels have lost top spot in the Australian Conference with the Melbourne side now in second place, 3 points adrift of the Waratahs.
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Divan Rossouw, Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Duncan Matthews
Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Subs: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2016 Pretoria Bulls 45-25 Rebels (Tries 6-4)
2015 Melbourne Rebels 21-20 Bulls (Tries 3-2)
2014 Pretoria Bulls 40-7 Rebels (Tries 4-1)
2012 Melbourne Rebels 35-41 Bulls (Tries 5-5)
2011 Pretoria Bulls 47-10 Rebels (Tries 7-1)
Bulls -8.5 points 19/20 Playabets
Rebels +10.5 points 9/10 BetXchange
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change.
The Bulls are riding high after their 2 SA derby wins whilst the Rebels have hit a poor run and they have shown a tendency to fade which won’t be helped by altitude in this game. The visitors are also without Genia at 9 and the Bulls look very worthy of an early call with the line already moving.
Bet. 7 units Bulls -8.5 points, 19/20 at Playabets
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