Brumbies unchanged for Bulls

Wed, 24 Jul 2013 10:09
Large clyde rathbone   jake white Large clyde rathbone runs out Large clyde rathbone   jake white Large clyde rathbone h s 630 Large clyde rathbone brumbies 630

Brumbies coach Jake White named an unchanged team for his side's Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

Brumbies coach Jake White named an unchanged team for his side's Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

That means former South African Under-21 captain Clyde Rathbone will again start on the wing ahead of Joe Tomane.

The Bulls have been one of the toughest road trips in the 2013 competition and are yet to drop a game at Loftus this year.

But none of that will matter to the Brumbies.

The Brumbies will make their first semifinal appearance since 2004, when they won the last of their two titles, when they take to the field at Loftus Versfeld.

White said his team would be taking its opportunity.

"The Bulls present us with a huge challenge this weekend," the Brumbies mentor said.

"We know they will play through their forwards and use Morné [Steyn] to finish with points," White added.

"They have a good record here at Loftus and for our players to experience running on in front of a full house of more than 50,000 people will be fantastic.

"They are a typical South African side, very big and physical with some quality finishers out wide so it's up to our players to combat that with our own game."

Saturday's clash with the Bulls is the second time the Brumbies have faced off against the Pretorians this season.

In Round Seven the Brumbies narrowly avoided a draw when they were awarded a penalty after the siren, eventually winning 23-20.

Last time the Brumbies played at Loftus was in April 2012 when despite outscoring the Bulls five tries to two, the Brumbies still went down 36-34. S

Steyn booted 23 points - including seven penalties - leaving the Brumbies under no illusion as to how important infringements will be in this upcoming fixture.

Along with the Brumbies who have a record of winning seven from eight finals matches at home since 1997, the Bulls have emerged as another side difficult to move during post-season rugby and are undefeated at home with five from five.

Should the Crusaders be able to knock over the Chiefs on Saturday, the winner of the Brumbies versus Bulls encounter will host the Grand Final next Saturday.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Andrew Smith, 22 Joseph Tomane.

Date: Saturday, July 27
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT; 01.05 AEST, Sunday, July 28)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Marius Jonker (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9