Rugby Union

License article

NSW Waratahs v Bulls

Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Friday 7.40pm (AEST)
Last meeting:
Round 16, 2011 - Bulls 23 bt NSW 17 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria.
Played 17 Waratahs 8 Bulls 9
In Sydney: Played 8 Waratahs 6 Bulls 2
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZL)
Live, FoxSports 3
TAB Sportsbet:
NSW $1.80 Bulls $1.95

Greg Growden writes: The Waratahs looks more threatening with Adam Ashley-Cooper at No 12, and the pack, even without Tatafu Polota-Nau, has an edge. Without several key players, the Bulls look vulnerable, and if the Waratahs are to show they are serious finals candidates, this is the night.

AAP writes: Waratahs skipper Rocky Elsom will make his first start of the season among seven personnel changes and three positional changes for this must-win match. Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau is missing after two head knocks with John Ulugia his replacement. The Bulls had to work hard to get full points against the Rebels but remained cool and composed under pressure. Five-eighth Morne Steyne did a superb job directing them around the park and four tries before halftime should have put the Tahs on notice. The loss of Jacques Potgieter in the backrow is a blow with Deon Stegmann to cover.

WARATAHS: Daniel Halangahu, Tom Kingston, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Atieli Pakalani, Berrick Barnes, Sarel Pretorius, Wycliff Palu, Chris Alcock, Rocky Elsom (c), Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, John Ulugia, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Josh Mann-Rea, Jeremy Tilse, Sitaleki Timani, Lopeti Timani, Dave Dennis, Brendan McKibbin, Tom Carter.

BULLS: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, Johann Sadie, Francois Venter, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (c), CJ Stander, Deon Stegmann, Juandré Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dawie Steyn. Reserves: Willie Wepener, Rayno Gerber, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Arno Botha, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouché, JJ Engelbrecht.