||Join us again in a few hours for the match between the Stormers and the Blues at Newlands!|
||Genia boots the ball into touch and the Reds bounce back after an opening round loss|
||PENALTY! Reds penalised at the breakdown again! Force opt for the line-out! KNOCK ON! An attack at the line comes to nothing! A scrum will be the last play of the match|
||Reds steal the line-out and Genia launches a high ball up-field. PENALTY! Reds fail to roll away at the breakdown and the Force takes a quick one. Into Reds' territory they go.|
||No reset needed this time as Genia kicks the ball into touch on the 22|
||The throw-in is not straight and we will have a SCRUM! Let's see if this one gets reset|
||It's with the forwards now as they rumble the ball to the 5 metre line. PENALTY! Reds slow the ball down at the breakdown. The ball is kicked into touch a line-out|
||Force attempt anther attack but Turner is there to clean up a grubber. Line-out to the Force 12 metres from the Reds' try line|
||Here come the Force! 7 metres from the try line as the forwards rumble the ball up. KNOCK ON! The best chance for the Force to get a try goes abegging|
||Reds are accidentally offside! And we have another scrum! Force with the feed on the Reds' 22|
||Yet another scrum! Force with the feed on halfway! And it's reset|
||The match had fizzled out somewhat as repeated scrum resets has killed the momentum of the match|
||The maul is set and they make their way close to the line. Genia snipes the blindside and ends up 4 metres from the line. TURNOVER! The Force win the ball back and clears it into touch|
||The Force are under all sorts of pressure at scrum time! PENALTY! Turner kicks the ball into touch 10 metres from the Force try line|
||Kicking battle time but the Force opt to run the ball back at the Reds from inside their 22|
||Here come the Force! Into the Reds 22 they go! PENALTY! Force holds onto the ball at the breakdown and the Reds get a chance to launch another attack|
||Turner slots the conversion to increase the Reds' lead|
||Another scrum reset before the Reds put in a huge shove! PENALTY TRY!!!! One too many penalties against the force at scrum time|
||Reset after reset after reset!!! The ball finally comes out the back of the scrum. Feauai-Sautia runs onto a pass from Frisby and there's no stopping him from 6 metres out but the pass is FORWARD!!!|
||The Reds edge the scrum forward! PENALTY! Reds choose to have another scrum|
||Another big scrum form the Reds! Genia takes a quick PENALTY but is held up. Another scrum to the Reds|
||The ball hits the right post and the Force knocks the ball on! Scrum to the Reds, 6 metres from the try line|
||Solid scrum from the Reds! PENALTY! The Force buckles under the pressure and the Reds opt to have a shot at goal|
||The Reds have a scrum on the Force 5 metre line after they were forced to touch it down by the Reds!|
||Morahan collects a high ball and goes on a big run to the Reds 22! PENALTY! Force enters the ruck from the side and the Reds relieve the pressure by kicking the ball into touch. Line out on halfway|
||KICK-OFF! Frisby restarts the match|
||HALFTIME! The hooter goes and Genia pops the ball into touch as the half draws to a close|
||The half seems to be fizzling out a little as halftime approaches. Both sides seem happy to kick the ball too-and-frow|
||Turner picks himself up, brushes himself off but fails to convert his try|
||Kuridrani goes on a run! The ball goes through the hands! TRY!!! Turner gets over the line for the 1st try of the match.|
||The Force continue to peg the Reds back in their own 22!|
||Ebersohn slots another penalty to level the scores!|
||The Force are in possession inside Reds territory! Seems like the Reds are playing with a man down! PENALTY! Force gets a penalty as the Reds fail to roll away at the breakdown! Ebersohn will have a shot at goal|
||PENALTY! Great defence by the Force! They now have a chance to clear the pressure!|
||PENALTY! YELLOW CARD! Chris Heiberg is sent to the bin for deliberate knock on|
||It's with the forwards now as the Reds inch their way closer to the line! Kerevi snipes through a gap! PENALTY! Force fail to roll away at the breakdown and the Reds pop it into touch for a line out|
||Holmes spills a high ball inside his 22 and the Reds have front-foot ball. Nothing comes of the possession and the scrum will be taken|
||Ebersohn calmly slots his first kick of the match!|
||Force in possession inside the Reds 22! PENALTY! Reds are caught offside! Ebersohn will have a shot at goal|
||It has the legs and it's good! Turner slots another penalty|
||It's all Reds at the moment! PENALTY! Force go straight off their feet at the breakdown! Turner will have a shot at goal from about 40 metres|
||No problems for Turner as he easily pops over the penalty to hand the Reds the lead|
||Best attacking chance for the Reds so far. The forwards are making the hard yards and gets the ball to the 5 metre line! PENALTY! Force are caught offside in front of the poles. Turner will have a shot at goal|
||Force probe for gaps but the Reds are standing firm in defence! PENALTY! Force fail to release the ball at the breakdown and the Reds boots the ball into touch on the Force's 22! HUGE KICK! 22 to 22!|
||Force on the attack from inside their own 22! The ball is kicked forward but Frisby does well as cover!|
||Force have driven the Reds all the the way back and have a line-out 10 metres from the line! STOLEN! Thomson steals the throw!|
||2 minutes of scrum resets and no action at all before the Force manage to get their hands on the ball|
||Few scrum resets and a knock on by the Reds have handed the Force the feed inside Reds territory|
||PENALTY! Reds collapse an early maul and the Force put the ball into touch just short of the Reds' 22|
||KICK-OFF! Ebersohn gets the match underway!|
||The teams are making their way onto the field|
||Extraordinary work from the Suncorp ground staff to ensure the pitch is ready despite the harsh conditions|
||LATE CHANGE for the Reds! James O'Connor failed a late fitness test! Nick Frisby comes in at flyhalf!|
||Welcome to the game that was almost postponed! Th Reds are at home to the Force!|
It is going to be an interesting Saturday, because most of the teams in action will be chasing their first win of the season.
It is going to be an interesting Saturday, because most of the teams in action will be chasing their first win of the season.
Only two of last week's winners will be in action on the day -the Stormers, who host the Blues in Cape Town, and the Western Force, who travel to Brisbane to face the reds.
The Highlanders, who are at home to the Crusaders, had a bye in Round One. The Crusaders lost to the rebels.
The second match of the day is another derby, the Reds - massacred by the Brumbies - will look to bounce back against a Force team that beat the defending-champion Waratahs.
After that it is across theIndian Ocean to the Republic, where the Stormers will loom to repeat the impressive form that saw them beat the Bulls last week when they host a Blues team that narrowly lost to the Chiefs.
The final match will see the Sharks, upset by the Cheetahs last week, looking to bounce back against a Lions team that was just as disappointing in their loss to the Hurricanes.
We look at all Saturday's matches!
Saturday, February 21
Highlanders v Crusaders
(Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT)
The Crusaders will be the 'desperate' team, given their loss to the Rebels last week.
However, the Highlanders will be the side under pressure - as they are coming of a first-week bye and may just be a touch undercooked.
Also, after making the play-offs last season for the first time in 12 years, the Highlanders are keen to not slip back into the pack of also-rans.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph is on high alert and with good reason.
The Crusaders never take kindly to a beating and his Dunedin-based franchise might be on the receiving end of that backlash.
"Yes, I am wary," he told NZ Newswire.
"Where are they weak? They're not. They just played well below their best last weekend.
"We know they will be better and we can't do anything about that. It's up to us to play well."
The other factor is the Week One bye, making an extended pre-season for his players.
"They just need to get out there and play now," he said.
"It's about putting in a performance on the track and hopefully getting a win."
2014: Crusaders won 34-8, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 32-30, Dunedin
2013: Crusaders won 40-12, Dunedin
2013: Crusaders won 24-8, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 51-18, Christchurch
2012: Highlanders won 27-24, Dunedin
Prediction: There is no Dan Carter, but with Israel Dagg back Colin Slade started at flyhalf. It gives the Crusaders a very different dynamic and while Slade is no slouch, there's a certain magic missing from the seven-time champions. The Highlanders' biggest problem could be that they are a touch underdone, as they come into the competition a week later than everybody else. We are convinced the Crusaders will bounce back and sneak a win by less than 10 points.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Jason Emery, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (captain), 7 John Hardie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Marty Banks.
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)
Reds v Western Force
(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane -Kick-off: 19.40; 08.40 GMT)
Having signed two of the most high-profile players in the off-season - code-hopper Karmichael Hunt and unwanted Wallaby James O'Connor - expectations were high for the Reds.
They could not have flopped more spectacularly if they tried and there will be a steely determination to silence the detractors which have crawled out the woodworks in the last week.
Reds head coach Richard Graham said his side was looking forward to returning to Suncorp Stadium for the first time since July 2014.
"It is great to be back in Brisbane and playing in front of our own supporters at Suncorp Stadium," Graham said.
"Last weekend was a poor performance, the group recognise that and they are determined to deliver a strong performance on Saturday," he added.
"Our focus this week has been mainly around getting our set piece and defence right.
"The game usually flows on the back of controlling the collision zone and they start with those two areas."
Western Force coach Michael Foley is well aware there will be some kind of backlash and said his side is ready for another physical encounter against the Reds.
"Our goal is to maintain the same intensity and attitude, while we keep working on certain aspects of our game," he said of last week's win over the Waratahs.
"To that end, we've worked hard in preparation knowing the challenge posed by a determined Reds team."
2014: Force won 30-20, Perth
2014: Force won 32-29, Brisbane
2013: Reds and Force drew 11-all, Perth
2013: Force won 19-12, Brisbane
2012: Force won 45-19, Perth
2012: Reds won 35-20, Brisbane
Prediction: There has been a remarkable rise in the Force's form the last couple of years. The reds, in stark contrast, have been in a steady decline since their championship win in 2011. That suggest there could only be one winner, although in Super Rugby it is never that easy. Still, we have our money on the Force to win by 10 to 15 points.
Western Force: 15 Zack Holmes, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Solomoni Rasolea, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes (captain), 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Francois van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Mitchell Scott.
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
Stormers v Blues
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 17.05; 5.05 GMT; 04.05 Sunday, February 22 NZDT)
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is never shy to use words like great and big, especially when describing the quality of the opposition.
It is, of course, the politically correct and polite thing to - be respectful to your rivals.
However, when he said the Blues will pose a "very different" challenge to the Bulls, he was not just throwing out the usual collection of media clichés.
"We play just once a year against a side like the Blues, where we play the Bulls three times in the Currie Cup alone,"Coetzee told a media briefing this week.
And that is the 'big' difference - they know the strategies and the players in the Bulls team, which they easily dispatched with last week.
The Blues, with a much-changed roster from when the two sides last met in 2013, will indeed present a completely different challenge.
However, they are not going to go into panic mode because they now face a team, in the Blues, that plays a much-more up-tempo game.
"For us it is not about the tempo the opposition brings," Coetzee said.
"You can only control the tempo once you are in possession of the ball," the Stormers mentor said, adding: "We will be much more comfortable playing at home, but we have to ensure our set pieces function like they functioned up there [Pretoria], then you an control the game."
He added that the key is to being accurate and clinical at scrum time and line-out time.
The Blues are not to be scoffed at, as they showed in running the Chiefs close last week.
"They have good runners, good steppers and forwards that can pass the ball as well," Coetzee said.
"They don't run directly at you, so we will have to defend from tight, close in, to wide as well.
"Yes, there are challenges, but, as I said, you can only control the tempo of the game if your source of possession is taken care of.
"That is the difference in playing against New Zealand team, hey have good broken-field players and steppers. If you don't look after the ball and you turn it over, then you defence is unstructured then you will miss a lot of tackles.
"If these guys have space and time on the ball they will punish you."
2013: Blues won 18-17, Albany
2012: Stormers won 27-17, Cape Town
2011: Stormers won 28-26, Auckland
2010: Stormers won 33-21, Auckland
2009: Blues won 14-8, Cape Town
2008: Blues won 17-14, Auckland
Prediction: This could be the match of the weekend. The Stormers have two advantages, albeit small - they are coming off a good win and will be confident, while they are also at home. They also have one of the best defensive systems in the competition. While the Blues will pose a major threat, you simply can't look past the Stormers for a likely winner - but by less than 10 points.
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Hamish Northcott, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Jerome Kaino (captain), 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Lolagi Visinia.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
Sharks v Lions
(Kings Park, Durban - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT)
Games between these two sides are always intriguing and high-scoring affairs.
And with both coming off defeats last week, Saturday is sure to be as entertaining as any of their encounters the last five years.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann, speaking in the build-up to his team's trip to Durban, said patience was the key ingredient from their game last week - when they lost to the Hurricanes.
Having dominated possession (66 percent) and territory (more than 70 percent) the Lions are still smarting from the many errors that robbed them of the numerous opportunities they created.
"We need to show patience in that attacking zone," Ackermann said, adding: "If it takes us a few more phases to score then we have to be able to build that pressure.
"We are confident that the guys will be better than the week before and if they can keep that patience and that accuracy when we get those opportunities hopefully we can get the scoreboard going."
The Sharks were just as sloppy in their loss to the Cheetahs and while they will no doubt raise the bar, Director of Rugby Gary Gold said he was expecting another tough battle against the Lions.
"We are looking forward to a physical battle against a very good Lions team," the Sharks boss added.
"So we need to be more accurate, particularly in our own half.
"We made a lot of errors in execution, we didn't exit correctly out of our 22 which then put pressure on us and the Cheetahs were able to put points on us because of the mistakes we made. '
"We certainly didn't exit as well as we did against Toulon.
"We're looking for a big improvement this weekend, which we will do."
2014: Sharks won 25-12, Johannesburg
2014: Sharks won 37-23, Durban
2012: Lions won 38-28, Johannesburg
2012: Sharks won 32-20, Durban
2011: Sharks and Lions drew 30-all, Johannesburg
2011: Sharks won 27-3, Durban
Prediction: Patience is indeed the key word. You know the Lions will attack and do so for most of the match. The Sharks prefer a territory-based game, although they can give the ball air. The difference is they have more senior players that can calm their teammates down when it gets too hectic. That is why we feel the Sharks will win by about 10 points.
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Andre Esterhuizen.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Harold Vorster.
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)
Compiled by Jan de Koning
The Reds scored the only two tries of the game to secure an 18-6 victory over the Force in Brisbane on Saturday.