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Five essential ingredients to get within Bulls' roar


The Waratahs believe they are still a Super Rugby finals chance. Yet the next three rounds playing South African teams will make or break them. Greg Growden provides five clues of what is required to beat the Bulls tonight.

Steady hand ... John Ulugia's accuracy at the lineout will be essential.

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.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
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