Sportal.co.nz 02.May.2013Getty Images
LAST TIME: Hurricanes 14 lost to Bulls 26, Round 7, 2012 at Napier
WALKING WOUNDED: Blindside flanker Deon Stegmann has recovered from bruised ribs and has been included in the side. Fullback Jurgen Visser, who pulled out before last week's game with the Waratahs, has recovered while centre Wynand Olivier, who had been out with a knee injury, also regains his place. And the reserves bench has been strengthened after Frant Hattingh has had the all clear after his broken thumb while Frik Kirsten has recovered from an elbow strain. Jan Serfontein has an injury and is being rested.
The Hurricanes have struggled with their hookers with Ash Dixon their only fit combatant when the team departed for South Africa at the weekend. However, Rob Foreman has been flown out to join the side at short notice from club rugby in Manawatu.
FORM: The Bulls, back on home soil, are quickly putting their disappointments in Australasia behind them. They've knocked over the Waratahs, Kings and Cheetahs in recent weeks and lead the South African conference. The Hurricanes by reputation are an attacking unit and all sides dig in for an extra defensive effort against. The Bulls will be no different and their intent will have an edge after disappointments in that area against the Waratahs last weekend. The Hurricanes, but for a conversion attempt charge-down, might be in a slightly better position. However, their form has been spasmodic, occasionally outstanding as in taking a 41-29 win over the Waratahs and a 29-28 win over the Crusaders. But then were disappointing when going down 6-28 to the Blues.
WE THINK: The Hurricanes have the job in front of them, one of their biggest tests of the year. They need their big guns firing this weekend and Julian Savea may be the biggest. But if they are in any way undisciplined within 60m of their posts they will be gifting points to the in-form Morne Steyn. The Bulls can't sit back, they have to take on the Hurricanes up front, and if they are able to achieve anything like their usual home ground form they should remain out in front in South Africa. Bulls by 7.