Force v Vodacom Bulls

The Vodacom Bulls’ Australasian tour concludes in Perth on Saturday morning when they take on the high-flying Force. No South African side has won overseas yet, so this will be an ideal time for the Pretorians to make a statement as they aim to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Vodacom Bulls will not only be aiming for the first South African Vodacom Super Rugby victory abroad in 2014, but also to become the first non-Australian team to topple the Force when they square off in Perth on Saturday morning.

The Force are enjoying a superb season and apart from defeats in three Aussie derbies, of which only one was played in Perth, they’ve not yet lost to any other team in 2014.

But the Vodacom Bulls will have to ensure they get a good start against the Western Australians. The men from Loftus Versfeld have scored one and conceded seven tries in the opening 20 minutes of their matches thus far this year.

The visitors will also have to be sharp even when defending in their opponents’ half, as the Force have scored more tries (nine) than any other side when it comes to possessions that originated within their own territory.

For Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke the message this week is straight forward, for a team that last won a match more than a month ago.

“We have to get back to winning ways and this is a final opportunity to turn our tour into a positive,” said Ludeke.

“If we can bag a win here and add the losing bonus points we collected earlier on tour, the reward would justify the hard work we have put in.”

The teams are:

  • Force: Jayden Hayward, Dane Haylett-Petty, Marcel Brache, Kyle Godwin, Nick Cummins, Sias Ebersohn, Ian Prior, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson (captain), Angus Cottrell, Adam Coleman, Sam Wykes, Kieran Longbottom, Nathan Charles, Pek Cowan. Replacements: Heath Tessmann, Tetera Faulkner, Oli Hoskins, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Brynard Stander, Justin Turner, Zack Holmes, Chris Tuatara-Morrison.
  • Vodacom Bulls: Jurgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Francois Hougaard, Grant Hattingh, Jacques du Plessis, Jono Ross, Victor Matfield, Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Bongi Mbonambi, Dean Greyling, Replacements: Bandise Maku, Mornè Mellett, Marcel van der Merwe, Wimpie van der Walt, Jacques Engelbrecht, Rudy Paige, Handrè Pollard, Ulrich Beyers.

Date: Saturday, 26 April
SA Time: 11h40
Venue: NIB Stadium, Perth
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Matt O’Brien (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)

About Alan

My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

You will always find me standing on the side of the underdog OR HERE.