Opening Vodacom Super Rugby tour matches have traditionally suited the Vodacom Bulls as they depart South Africa for New Zealand or Australia.
The defending champions have won four of the last five opening games of their Australasian tours, only losing in 2008 to the Reds in Brisbane, by 40-8.
In 2006, the Vodacom Bulls started their tour with a game against the Western Force, then in their first season of Vodacom Super Rugby. The team from Pretoria won 30-21 in Perth, which was also their only victory on that tour.
A year later, the Vodacom Bulls kicked off their Australasian tour with a 19-7 victory against the Brumbies in Canberra. In the lead-up to their first Super Rugby title later in 2007, they also beat the Waratahs (32-19) in Sydney and Highlanders in Dunedin (22-13).
The 2008-season was not a good one for the Vodacom Bulls, when they lost all four their tour matches, but they were back to winning ways in 2009, kicking off their tour with a 19-14 win against the Hurricanes in Wellington – their same opponents in their tour-opener this wekeend.
Also in 2009, the year of the Vodacom Bulls’ second Vodacom Super Rugby title, they beat the Waratahs 20-6 in Sydney in their fourth match on tour.
The team captained by Springbok lock Victor Matfield won two games on their 2010 Australasian tour – the opening game against the Western Force in Perth (28-15), as well as against the Chiefs in Hamilton (33-19).Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.