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Super 14 Semi Final - Crusaders v Bulls



Top of the ladder and bookies favourite take on the Bulls for the second of the semi finals.
The Crusaders have the home ground advantage (as well as not having to fly half way around the world). The Bulls last week showed that if they are hungry enough the have the game plan to really open up an opposition.

The Crusaders showed that they can go on cruise mode and smash you in the last 10 to 15 minutes.

Fingers crossed that the Southern Heavens don’t open up to much and make this look like a game of mud wrestling instead of a good game of running. I expect the weather to play a part in the outcome of this game.

Someone should really buy NZ a dry stadium…
The weather forcast is for absolutely no showers during the weekend for the whole of NZ!
Fingers crossed, nothing worse than watching pro's look like ****.
Who's gonna win Gay Guy? going to hedge your bets?
And put on 20 points!

Nah... wide open, kind feel for the Bulls though... long way to travel and get your **** together with bugger all time to do it.
Wet weather might be the Bulls best chance, if it's dry the Crusaders could give the Bulls the beating of there lives.

Habana needs to lift

Go Bulls!!!
crusaders at home are unstoppable. they haven't lost there since 2004 and 17 games now or something. bulls will do well to stay in the contest. crusaders should win fairly easily I think
I think it will be very close, however the Crusaders should pull through in the last few minutes - only just though. Should be interesting, it would be even more so if the Sharks were playing.

I want the Bulls to win, but I can't see it happening.
did u hear about the bulls havin to travel 24 hours to get to Christchurch... that is a long f***in time for travelling!
bull's defo gonna lose, if they win I'm gonna murder evry bull dogs i can see!
Upsets are possible but I don't think the Bulls can match the depth style and flair the Crusaders have....talking from my head. I hope the Bulls don't let the Cheatsaders get to them as much as they did at Loftus....

Now for my heart....We're going to smash you in your own back yard just like you did to us, then I'm gonna dance the jig.

canterbury will rip through them again. will play outstanding rugby again.

as they normally do

canterbury rule :)
Three changes to Crusaders squad
18 May 2006 

Crusaders coach Robbie Deans has made three changes for his side's Super 14 semifinal against the Bulls at Jade Stadium, Christchurch, on Saturday.

Deans has reinstated wing Rico Gear, halfback Andrew Ellis and hooker Corey Flynn in the only changes to the starting 15 that beat the Brumbies last week.

Deans has also shifted skipper Richie McCaw back to his regular openside flanker spot with Johnny Leo'o reverting to No. 6 in a clear sign the Crusaders intend to try and run the big Bulls pack ragged.

Reuben Thorne remains at lock with Chris Jack, with Caleb Ralph, Kevin Senio and Tone Kopelani moving back to the bench.

Team: Leon MacDonald, Rico Gear, Casey Laulala, Aaron Mauger, Scott Hamilton, Daniel Carter, Andrew Ellis, Mose Tuiali'i, Richie McCaw (captain), Johnny Leo'o, Reuben Thorne, Chris Jack, Greg Somerville, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett

Reserves: Caleb Ralph, Cameron McIntyre, Kevin Senio, Tanerau Latimer, Ross Filipo, Campbell Johnstone, Tone Kopelani


Crusaders' lineout will be target for Bulls
18 May 2006 

Bakkies Botha has put the Crusaders lineout on notice.

Although the Crusaders beat the Bulls 35-17 in Pretoria on May 5, Bulls locks Botha and Victor Matfield won the lineout war and the South Africans again fancy their set-piece chances in Saturday night's Super 14 semifinal at Jade Stadium.

On their day, the Springboks second rowers can be the best lineout components in the world and especially made a mess of the Crusaders' set-piece in the first half by repeatedly plundering their throws.

"If they kick out or our flyhalf kicks out, we will back our lineouts 100 per cent," Botha said. "It doesn't matter, we know that our lineout is pretty much competitive with all other teams.

"Me and Victor, we've prepared for anything that will come this weekend."

In an effort to avoid defensive lineouts in Pretoria, the Crusaders opted to kick down field and use their solid defensive line to pressure their opponents into making mistakes.

"If you look at the Crusaders game plan of that match you see that Dan Carter won't kick it out at all because they know they are under pressure in the lineouts," Botha added.

"I think that will be their game plan this weekend as well. If they are under pressure in their 22, they will give the ball to Carter and make good defensive lines."

By using the mobile Reuben Thorne at lock and specialist opensiders Tanerau Latimer and Johnny Leo'o on the flanks in Pretoria, the Crusaders selected a fast pack that left few holes in the defensive screen and quickly moved up to suffocate the Bulls' attack.

That increased mobility also ensured the Crusaders could play the game at pace and run the Bulls' players around.

With the Crusaders again expected to start Chris Jack and Thorne at lock, their lineout will be considerably shorter.

It would be no surprise if they used short options to win their own ball and again keep the ball in play as much as possible, using Carter and fullback Leon MacDonald to hack the ball downfield from within their own half.

The return of lock Botha in place of Francois van Schouwenburg is the only starting change Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer has made from the side that thrashed the Stormers 43-10 in Cape Town.

That big win saw the Bulls sneak into the play-offs and make some hasty travel arrangements.

Within 24 hours of beating the Stormers, they had boarded a long-haul flight across the Indian Ocean.

It was a frenetic schedule but Botha said jetlag would not be an issue. "We're feeling good, feeling good for trainings and looking forward to the challenge against the Crusaders."

Bulls: Jaco van der Westhuyzen, Bryan Habana, JP Nel, Wynand Olivier, Frikkie Welsh, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Pedrie Wannenburg, Tim Dlulane, Jacques Cronje, Victor Matfield ©, Bakkies Botha, Danie Thiart, Gary Botha, Wessel Roux. Reserves: Jan Adriaan Strauss, Jaco Engels, Danie Rossouw, Pierre Spies, Francois van Schouwenburg, Heine Adams, Akona Ndungane.


both from stuff
crusaders will be way too strong and the travel factor does not favour the bulls at all. I was readin an articles I think on tvnz and the crusaders haven't lost at jade since febuary 2004. 17 games unbeaten at jade since then and proabbly 18 this weekend
and 19 the week later

also its yodas 100th game on sat night as well

and he is only 28
Here's a story:

I was talking to my mate who came to New Zealand from South Africa this year about the Bulls. We were discussing various Bulls players and I brought up Brian Habana. My mate says: "He used to beat me up." I thought this was interesting and asked for more detail. Apparently when my mate was a first year at his high school, Habana was a final year. And it was one of those schools where final year's [edit]give the first year's ****.

That's my story.
go bulls!!!...come on now habana...give us 3 tries and get ya goal kicker up to scratch and u cud win a close one

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