Five essential ingredients to get within Bulls' roar
Steady hand ... John Ulugia's accuracy at the lineout will be essential. Photo: Quentin Jones
Take advantage of any opposition leg-up
The Waratahs discovered last Saturday night how to hand victory to an opponent, wasting many excellent scoring chances in the opening 25 minutes where they could have taken a considerable lead. The moment was lost. Then a major defensive lapse just before half-time gave the Brumbies the momentum to win. The Waratahs coaching staff have all week been telling the squad that every chance has to be taken, and to ensure that, communication must improve. The team had become good talkers but, against the Brumbies, they went silent, with concerns that players lacked a real understanding of what to do when attacking breaks were made. The Bulls won't give the Waratahs as many potential easy points. This time around they cannot waste any.
Win the restarts
The Waratahs have caught the old Wallabies disease - messing up both their own and opposition kick restarts. Numerous teams, including the Crusaders, have been successful in comfortably taking the Waratahs kick-offs and shielding the player taking the kick. The Waratahs have failed to provide similar support. What happens at the restarts gives teams a psychological boost - including from the start. As Reds coach Ewen McKenzie explained in yesterday's Herald: ''If you are good enough, the kick-off can be a great strategic weapon, as you can give the opposition the ball in a way that causes maximum stress and confusion.''
Ulugia's lineout throwing has to be up to scratch
Tatafu Polota-Nau is not the world's best lineout thrower, but he has improved and will be missed tonight. In his absence, there is a lot of pressure on John Ulugia, who didn't help himself against the Brumbies when a poor lineout throw in the final minutes ruined any hope of the Waratahs making a comeback. It's not surprising that all week the Waratahs worked on their lineout, with Ulugia and Josh Mann-Rea throwing to a variety of jumpers. The Bulls are excellent lineout exponents, and will either gobble up anything that is misdirected, or moan to the referee.
Don't drop the bomb
The outcome could hinge on whether Bulls five-eighth Morne Steyn's radar is working. You can expect at least a dozen points from his goalkicking boot, and then there is the accuracy of his high kicks, aimed at putting a relatively raw Waratahs back three - Daniel Halangahu, Tom Kingston and Atieli Pakalani - under intense pressure. One fumble under the high ball and the Bulls could be seven points better off. Waratahs halfback Sarel Pretorius knows exactly what the Bulls will do and explained that the Waratahs had to do everything they could to protect their wingers. Steyn also knows how to attack the line.
Use the crowd to your advantage. Run first, kick next
You can usually gauge if the Waratahs are on song by the reaction of the Sydney crowd. They will accept some midfield kicks, but never a glut. Berrick Barnes showed against the Brumbies that attacking the line can work, and it is again an option the Waratahs can use to their advantage.