It’s been nine years since South Africa’s most successful Vodacom Super Rugby franchise, the Vodacom Bulls, have had to endure three successive defeats at Loftus Versfeld.
That disappointing run occurred back in 2002, when the Pretoria team fi nished last in the Vodacom Super 12 competition, as it was called back then.
The Highlanders recently ended the defending champions’ record run of 20 consecutive home victories (including two games in Soweto) when they beat the Vodacom Bulls by 35-28 in Pretoria during round three of this season’s competition.
Last Saturday the Vodacom Bulls’ traditional rivals from the south, the DHL Stormers, consigned them to their second home defeat of the year when they recorded a 23-13 win at Loftus Versfeld.
Back in 2002, the Vodacom Bulls lost all their Vodacom Super Rugby games – an unwanted record that was only surpassed by the Lions last year. The Pretoria side’s home defeats in that season came against the Sharks (10-23), Highlanders (17-54), Brumbies (35-46), Waratahs (19-51), Hurricanes (18-37) and Lions (31-44).
That was also the last time that the Lions managed to beat the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria.
This weekend, the defending champions’ rivals from the other side of the Jukskei River, the Lions, are in Pretoria and will be aiming to consign their Gauteng neighbours to a third consecutive home defeat when these teams collide on Saturday at 17h05.
The Lions came close to upsetting the Vodacom Bulls in round one of this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby competition when they went down narrowly by 24-20 at Coca-Cola Park, finishing the game strongly