This game was billed as a possible title decider before a ball was kicked in anger. While the Bulls have lived up to the hype and had a title defense that was much better than their 2008 effort, the Crusaders have been struggling to regain top form and were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at Newlands in week 12. This has the makings of an absolutely cracking match with SA’s only Super 14 winning team taking on the competition’s most successful franchise. Will the Crusaders and their playmaker, Dan Carter, find form and beat the Bulls at Loftus or will the men from Pretoria continue their march to a second successive topping of the Super 14 pile?
Ref: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
ARs: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19:10 SA time, 17:10 GMT
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Bees Roux, 18 Bakkies Botha, 19 Derick Kuün, 20 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 21 Stephan Dippenaar, 22 Pedrie Wannenburg.
Crusaders: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Chris Jack, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Ti’i Paulo, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Dan Perrin, 17 Owen Franks, 18 Sam Whitelock, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Kahn Fotuali’i, 21 Tim Bateman, 22 Jared Payne.