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Spies 'motivated' against Crusaders

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thebulls.co.za     21 Jul 2012     Getty Images

Most local and international scribes believe the Crusaders will cruise past the men from Pretoria in their Super Rugby playoff in Christchurch on Saturday.

But Spies says they know they can do the job against the New Zealanders.

"It gives us all the motivation in the world," he told Beeld from Christchurch.

"As a group we understand who and what we are, and who brought us to this stage. We are definitely good enough to win here and progress further in the series."

The Bulls will also take heart from their recent playoff success against the Crusaders. They have beaten the New Zealanders in their last three playoff clashes, although all three encounters were played in South Africa.

In 2007 the Bulls won the semifinal 27-12 at Loftus Versfeld; in 2009 they won 36-23 at Loftus, and in 2010 they ran out 39-24 winners at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

The Crusaders won the 2006 semifinal 35-15 in Christchurch.

The teams:

Israel Dagg, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Richie McCaw (captain), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Ben Franks, Tom Donnelly, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Sean Maitland.

Vodacom Bulls: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Mornè Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (captain), Dewald Potgieter, Jacques Potgieter, Juandrè Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dean Greyling. Replacements: Willie Wepener, Frik Kirsten, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouchè, Francois Venter.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Television match official: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)

Bulls in Super Rugby playoffs:

Played: 9
Won: 6 (3 finals, 3 semi-finals)
Lost: 3 (all semi-finals)

Crusaders in Super Rugby playoffs:

Played: 24
Won: 18 (7 finals)
Lost: 6 (3 finals and 3 semi-finals)

Crusaders v Bulls in playoffs:

20 May 2006: Crusaders won 35-15 in Christchurch (semi-final)
12 May 2007: Vodacom Bulls won 27-12 in Pretoria (semi-final)
23 May 2009: Vodacom Bulls won 36-23 in Pretoria (semi-final)
22 May 2010: Vodacom Bulls won 39-24 in Soweto (semi-final)