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Super Rugby | Melbourne
08:40 (GMT) | 28-02-2015
  • 85
Join us at 14.30 GMT when we head to Pretoria for the Bulls v Sharks match
  • 84
KNOCK-ON! They lose it forward and that's FULLTIME!!! Rebels denied a dramatic win
  • 83
Harris finds a half-gap and makes his way into the 22. Here come the Rebels! PENALTY! Brumbies faail to roll away at the breakdown. 7 metres to go for the Rebels
  • 82
Up to the 22 they go as they keep it with the forwards
  • 80
The hooter goes. PENALTY! Rebels win a scrum penalty. The run the ball up and have made their way to the Brumbies 10 metre line
  • 79
He strikes it sweet but misses to the right and the Rebels run the ball out. A kicking battle ensues. A Rebels attack is thwarted by a forward pass. Scrum feed to the Brumbies on the Rebels 10 metre line
  • 77
Rebels have the ascendency now. Line-out to them on the Brumbies 10 metre line. The throw goes horribly wrong. PENALTY! Brumbies win the penalty and White will have a shot at goal from about 53 metres
  • 76
Harris slots his fifth penalty and it's a 5-point game
  • 75
PENALTY! YELLOW CARD! Carter is sent to the bin for repeated infringements at the breakdown! Harris will have a shot at goal
  • 74
Game is getting scrappy again as passes fail to be caught. Line-out to the Rebels close to their 22
  • 72
Play resumes with a Rebels line-out on the halfway line. STOLEN. Brumbies in possession on their 10 metre line
  • 70
The forwards take the ball to the 22 but a poor pass sees the Brumbies kick the ball into the Rebels 22. Rebels run it back and are up to their 10 metre line. KNOCK-ON! Rebels lose the ball and Brumbies have the scrum feed
  • 69
KNOCK-ON. Brumbies cough up possession and the Rebels have a scrum close to their 10 metre line. Over halfway the Rebels go
  • 68
Brumbies set another maul from the line-out but opt to release the backline. Lealiifano takes the ball up to the 22
  • 67
Huge shove from the Brumbies but the Rebels manage to remain calm under the pressure and the ball is kicked into touch on the 10 metre line
  • 66
The maul is set and it rumbles towards the try line. NO TRY!!! Butler lost the ball forward inches from the try line
  • 64
PENALTY! The Rebels are caught offside from the restart and the Brumbies pop the ball into touch close to the Rebels 5 metre line
  • 63
Harris adds his fourth penalty of the match to make it an 8-point game
  • 62
Rebels in possession on the Brumbies 22. Harris makes a snipe but can't escape the second tackler. PENALTY! Brumbies are caught off their feet at the breakdown. Harris will have a shot at goal
  • 60
Lealiifano makes no mistake with the extra points
  • 59
Another line out for the Brumbies and another maul. They get over the line and there's no stopping the TRY! Butler emerges with the ball
  • 58
Brumbies set a maul from a 22 metre line out. They rumble their way into the 22. PENALTY! YELLOW CARD! Higginbotham is sent to the bin for collapsing the maul
  • 56
He slots his third penalty of the match to reduce the deficit
  • 55
PENALTY! Brumbies are caught offside. Harris will have a shot at goal from about 30 metres
  • 53
Huge shove from the Rebels but Tomane manages to scramble the ball into touch. Rebels line-out on the 22
  • 52
They ball is kept among the forwards but Higginbottom spills the ball and concedes the scrum on the Brumbies 5 metre line
  • 51
Into the 22 they go. Debreczeni gives an inside pass to Ellison and the Rebels are up to the 5 metre line. PENALTY! Brumbies fail to roll away at the breakdown and the Rebels opt for a scrum, 8 metres from the Brumbies try line
  • 49
Brumbies cough up possession and the Rebels boot it up to the Brumbies 22. The chasers get their in time to bundle the ball receiver into touch and hand the Rebels the throw-in
  • 47
Rebels clear the ball to their 10 metre line before a wayward line-out hands the Brumbies possession
  • 46
Brumbies in possession and have made their way into the Rebels 22. They edge their way closer to the try line. Arnold has a dig fr the line but is tackled just short. KNOCK-ON! The Rebels are let off the hook and will have the scrum feed on their 5 metre line
  • 43
The rain has an immediate effect on the start of the second half. Both sides cough up possession through handling errors. Scrum of the halfway line to the Rebels
  • 41
KICK-OFF! Toomua gets the second half underway as the rain begins to fall

Half Time

  • 40
The Rebels launch an attack as the hooter sounds. TURNOVER! Brumbies win the ball back but a pass goes array and rolls into touch. HALFTIME!
  • 39
Harris slots the kick as the thunder rumbles overhead
  • 38
Brumbies can't hold onto possession and the Rebels will have the scrum feed. PENALTY! Rebels finally win a scrum penalty of their own. Harris will have a shot at goal from the 10 metre line
  • 37
PENALTY! The Rebels concede another scrum penalty! White kicks the ball into touch on his 10 metre line
  • 35
Rebels set a maul but the Brumbies stand firm in defnce. the ball fails to emerge and the Brumbies will have the feed
  • 34
The Brumbies are driven back from the throw-in. PENALTY! Rebels get a penalty of their own and the ball is put into touch close to the 5 metre line
  • 33
PENALTY! The Rebels concede yet another scrum penalty as the front row buckles under the pressure. The ball is kicked into touch just outside the 22
  • 32
Rebels make their way into the 22. Jones breaks through a few tackles and gets over the line and it takes 4 players to hold him up from scoring
  • 31
Another successful kick from the centre to extend the Brumbies' lead. Tomane fails to claim the restart and hands the Rebels the scrum feed on the 22.
  • 29
Brumbies forwards rumble the ball up the field. PENALTY! Rebels fail to roll away at the breakdown and Lealiifano will have a shot at goal from about 30 metres
  • 28
Possession exchanges hands at the breakdown. PENALTY! Rebels are caught offside. White puts the ball into touch between the 10 and 22 metre lines of the Rebels
  • 26
It's been a scrappy game thus far as numerous handling errors are making for a stop-start affair. Brumbies will have a scrum feed on the halfway line
  • 23
Lealiifano adds the extra points
  • 22
TRY!!! Kuridrani gets the ball at first receiver and he trots his way through a massive gap, brushes off 2 defenders in the process
  • 21
Brumbies with an attacking chance through a line-out close to the Rebels 5 metre line
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He makes no mistake this time and levels the scores
  • 15
Rebels go on the attack straight away. PENALTY! They win the penalty inside the Brumbies 22 and Harris will have a shot at goal
  • 13
He sneaks in and that's the first points of the match
  • 12
PENALTY! Brumbies win the scrum penalty after the Rebels front row drives up. Lealiifano will have a shot at goal
  • 10
Rebels takes a qucik line-out but it goes wrong as the ball goes forward. Scrum to the Brumbies on the 22
  • 9
Brumbies with a rare visit into Rebels territory via a line-out on the Rebels 22 but it comes to nothing as the Rebels force them into touch
  • 7
He misses the kick to the right and the game will be restarted with a 22 drop out
  • 5
Brumbies concede a scrum PENALTY after the front row goes straight down. Harris will have a shot at goal from about 43 metres
  • 3
Rebels showing patience as they take the ball through the phases but are not making too many metres. Good defence by the Brumbies. PENALTY! Brumbies win the penalty as the Rebels seal the ball off at the breakdown. Touch is found close to the halfway line
  • 1
Rebels with an early attacking chance via a line-out just inside the Brumbies 22
  • 0
KICK-OFF! Debreczeni gets the match underway
  • -10
However, the Brumbies claimed a 37-10 victory in Canberra, on the last meeting between the sides
  • -15
Welcome to the Australian derby! The last time the Rebels hosted the Brumbies in Melbourne, they claimed a 32-24 victory
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  • 15 Jack Maddocks
  • 14 Tom English
  • 13 Reece Hodge
  • 12 Bill Meakes
  • 11 Marika Koroibete
  • 10 Jack Debreczeni
  • 9 Michael Ruru
  • 8 Amanaki Mafi
  • 7 Angus Cottrell
  • 6 Lopeti Timani
  • 5 Adam Coleman
  • 4 Matt Philip
  • 3 Jermaine Ainsley
  • 2 Anaru Rangi
  • 1 Tetera Faulkner
  • 23 Sefanaia Naivalu
  • 22 Semisi Tupou
  • 21 Harrison Goddard
  • 20 Colby Faingaa
  • 19 Geoff Parling
  • 18 Sam Talakai
  • 17 Fereti Sa'aga
  • 16 Sama Malolo
  • 15 Tom Banks
  • 14 Henry Speight
  • 13 Tevita Kuridrani
  • 12 Andrew Smith
  • 11 Chance Peni
  • 10 Wharenui Hawera
  • 9 Joe Powell
  • 8 Isireli Naisarani
  • 7 Tom Cusack
  • 6 Blake Enever
  • 5 Sam Carter
  • 4 Rory Arnold
  • 3 Allan Alaalatoa
  • 2 Folau Fainga'a
  • 1 Scott Sio
  • 23 Andy Muirhead
  • 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope
  • 21 Matt Lucas
  • 20 Lolo Fakaosilea
  • 19 Darcy Swain
  • 18 Ben Alexander
  • 17 Faalelei Sione
  • 16 Robbie Abel
Mc article brodie retallick chiefs

Preview: S15 Round Three, Part Two

Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:34

DERBY DAY: Two of Super Rugby's most successful teams - the Crusaders and Bulls - appear to be up the creek without a paddle.

Two of Super Rugby's most successful teams - the Crusaders and Bulls - appear to be up the creek without a paddle.

The seven-time champion Crusaders, without a title since 2008, travel to Hamilton to face compatriots and two-time champions the Chiefs.

However, it is trouble within their own ranks, as much as the opposition that could trip them up again.

After this intriguing opening to Saturday's derby-day action, we hop across the Tasman Sea where the Rebels host Brumbies in an all-Australian encounter in Melbourne.

Then it is the long trek across the Indian Ocean to Pretoria where the three-time champion Bulls take on the Sharks - the most successful team never to have won a Super Rugby title - in Pretoria. The Bulls, despite there array of superstars have been firing blanks this season and are winless after two rounds.

The last match on Saturday is another all-South African derby, just 50-odd kilometres down the M1 in Johannesburg - the winless Lions hosting the table-topping Stormers.

We look at Saturday's matches!

Saturday, February 28

Chiefs v Crusaders
(Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT)

The two teams' buildup could not have been more contrasting if they tried - the Chiefs getting a rash of All Blacks back, the Crusaders having to soldier on without a few of their most influential and experienced internationals.

All Blacks Dan Carter and Israel Dagg will miss the Crusaders' trip to Hamilton, as the seven-time champions' tough start threatens to worsen.

Injuries to flyhalf Carter and explosive fullback Dagg, plus New Zealand prop Owen Franks' suspension for striking, are the cause of coach Todd Blackadder's biggest headaches.

The depleted Crusaders face a Chiefs side buoyed by the return of code-hopper Sonny Bill Williams, fellow All Blacks Sam Cane and international player of the year Brodie Retallick.

Scrumhalf Augustine Pulu, another of the team's returning All Blacks, said it is now up top the internationals to maintain the momentum build up through the team's unbeaten start to the season.

"The boys have done a real good job of rowing the boat and we've just got to jump in and join them," he told the Waikato Times.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said Brad Weber had been great for the team in the opening two matches, which put pressure on Pulu.

"But [Pulu] is a good player and he's been working hard so we expect him to fire at the weekend," Rennie said.

Recent results:
2014: Crusaders won 18-17, Hamilton
2014: Chiefs won 18-10, Christchurch
2013: Chiefs won 20-19, Hamilton (semifinal)
2013: Crusaders won 43-15, Christchurch
2013: Chiefs won 28-19, Hamilton
2012: Chiefs won 20-17,Hamilton (semifinal)
2012: Crusaders won 28-21, Hamilton
2012: Chiefs won 24-19, Napier

Prediction: The Chiefs have won four of the last six contests between the sides, despite losing 16 of their 25 meetings overall. Fifteen of those 25 matches have seen the losing team end the game within the losing bonus point scope. The Crusaders have won all 18 of their scrum feeds so far. The Chiefs have managed the most clean breaks this season (20), almost twice as many as the 2014 finalists (11). James Lowe has made a competition-high 222 metres over the gainline so far, the Crusaders' Robbie Fruean is third on this list with 118 metres. The Crusaders look vulnerable and the Chiefs have some real firepower - especially among the backs. It will be a cracker, likely to be the weekend's most entertaining game, with the Chiefs winning a thriller by ;less than 10 points.


Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Liam Messam (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Michael Fitzgerald, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Mitchell Graham, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Sean Polwart, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Seta Tamanivalu.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Alex Hodgman, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Nathaniel Apa, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Rebels v Brumbies
(AAMI Park, Melbourne - Kick-off: 19.40; 08.40 GMT)

The Rebels and Brumbies will look to put last week's disappointing losses behind them. As with all of the teams in the Australian Super Rugby conference, the Rebels and Brumbies come into this game with a won one, lost one record.

After being pipped at the post by an Aaron Cruden penalty on the full-time siren - to lose 17-19, the Brumbies are determined to put their campaign back on track and reproduce the form that saw them put almost 50 points past the Reds in Week One.

Last year the Rebels beat an ill-disciplined Brumbies outfit 32-24 and Brumbies flank Scott Fardy, who was sin-binned, knows all too well the challenge which the Melbourne-based outfit will pose this Saturday.

"They've had a great start to the season," Fardy said.

"They were unlucky last week. I only caught the end of the game because we were obviously playing, but to knock off the Crusaders in Christchurch [in week one] is a huge effort and that's something we've struggled to do so they've been growing for the past few years and they'll get better."

Despite the Brumbies loss to the Chiefs last Friday, Fardy said that the side was happy with how the forwards played, and for the best part got the better of their New Zealand rivals, but was adamant that that's how the Brumbies pack should play each week.

"Our scrum's always been a big part of our game and the same with our line-out and rolling maul. Since 2012 it's been something we've been really proud of.

"It's had a good start this year, but we're two rounds in so it's going to be a big challenge this weekend against a good Melbourne pack," said Fardy.

"I think they've muscled up for the last few years. They've been growing as a forward pack and they're looking good and it's going to be a tough challenge for us to go down to Melbourne."

Making the trip down to Melbourne even more difficult is that openside flank David Pocock will again be missing from the side through injury.

The battle of the front row will play a big part in establishing who wins this game. Last week, the Rebels came up against another international front row and were impressive, and again they will need to be at their best.

Coach Tony McGahan said he was looking forward to the challenge of playing the Brumbies, a side he has great respect for.

"You're always in for a big challenge when you play against the Brumbies," McGahan said.

"They're the most successful Australian Super Rugby franchise ever, and are a formidable opponent who have impressed so far again this season. We have a lot of time for their senior playing group and way they get on with their business on the field.

"It's an exciting opportunity to again test ourselves against one of the competition benchmarks, and show we are continuing to move forward in the right direction following very tough opening games against the Crusaders and Waratahs."

McGahan also praised the work of his forward pack despite eventually suffering a narrow defeat to the Waratahs.

"I thought that our forward pack performed very well and showed great physicality against the Waratahs," McGahan said. "The performance and togetherness of the forward pack in our opening two games shows that they deserve to hold their spots in the squad moving into the game against the Brumbies."

Recent results:
2014: Brumbies won 37-10, Canberra
2014: Rebels won 32-24, Melbourne
2013: Brumbies won 39-17, Canberra
2013: Brumbies won 30-13, Melbourne
2012: Brumbies won 27-19, Melbourne
2012: Brumbies won 37-6

Prediction: The Rebels' largest ever Super Rugby victory (35-14 over Cheetahs) came a year ago to the day of this game. The Rebels have lost six of the last seven clashes between the sides. The Rebels (85 percent) have the worst tackle success rate in the league after two rounds. Consequently, opponents of the Rebels have gained more metres (1,066) than against any other side so far. The Rebels have scored exactly three points in the first half in each of the last three meetings between the sides (W1 L2); the Brumbies have scored 10+ first half points in all eight meetings with the Rebels. The Rebels' biggest ally is in their homeground advantage. The Brumbies, at least on paper, have the classier team and should win by at least 10 points.


Melbourne Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Sefanaia Naivalu.
Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Jesse Mogg.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Bulls v Sharks
(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)

Any team with 10 internationals must be rated a good bet to upstage the best.

However, the Bulls have been well-below par, with reputations taking bigger dents with every passing week - unlike the Sharks, who bounced back last week, after also losing in Week One.

"We have started poorly, no doubt and we have put ourselves under pressure, even if it is early in the competition," Bulls coach Ludeke said.

"One cannot really afford to drop any home matches if you have serious title aspirations, so nothing but a win will suffice.

"We realise the Sharks are one of the best teams in the competition, but we owe it to ourselves and the supporters out there to play to our potential.

"If we do that, we will be competitive as our squad is certainly good enough."

Sharks assistant coach Paul Anthony emphasised the importance of winning after a poor start - their loss to the Cheetahs in week one was every bit as poor as the Bulls' defeat to the Stormers on the same day.

"What is ideal is that we put in a better performance against the Lions after losing to the Cheetahs," Anthony said.

"We want our players to be accountable for how they perform. That game we lost, as with the Bulls against the Hurricanes [last week], those were both literally millimetres away from victories.

"Without a doubt the players felt accountable after the Cheetahs loss. They knew that they weren't on par, they were disappointed with themselves. But they all lifted their performances markedly and we're hoping to lift it even more, game after game."
Bulls captain Pierre Spies feels his team can turn the season around.

"We have lost to ourselves as much as our opponents so far," Spies said.

"We need to eliminate the soft moments from our game and make sure we execute. It is going to be a tough battle, a typical local derby, but we are ready for this challenge," Spies added.

Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis admitted his team will have t raise the bar considerably this week, as they are expecting the desperate Bulls to produce a determined effort.

"Last week, when we sat down, we were very disappointed in the previous game, but we picked it up and beat the Lions," Du Plessis said.

"You are only as good as your last game, so for us it is now about focusing on what we can change not focusing too much on the opposition, but you would be a fool if you think that they are not going to be storming out of the change room to be really physical, especially in the first half and even throughout the game.

"What is important for us is to be able to match that physicality and the intensity they will bring in the first few areas of contact."

Recent results:
2014: Bulls won 23-19, Pretoria
2014: Sharks won 31-16, Durban
2013:  Bulls won 20-19, Pretoria
2013: Bulls won 18-16, Durban
2012: Sharks won 32-10, Durban
2012: Bulls won 18-13, Pretoria

Prediction: Of sides currently in the competition, the Bulls are the only South African representatives to hold a positive win/loss record over the Sharks (won 13, lost nine, drawn two). That includes seven wins in their last 10 meetings. Meanwhile, their last 12 wins over the Sharks have been by single-figure margins. The Bulls have conceded the most turnovers so far (34), though the Sharks have coughed up 33 themselves. Pieter Labuschagne has made the most tackles so far this Super Rugby season (39). Matt Todd and Michael Hooper are ranked equal-second with 31. The Bulls last lost their first three games of the season in 2005. You have to be an avid fan to put serious money on the Bulls. The smart money is on the Sharks to win - by 10 to 15 points.


Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Hanro Liebenberg, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Travis Ismaiel, 23 Jurgen Visser.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 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 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga/Lionel Cronje, 23 Jack Wilson.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Ben Crouse (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Lions v Stormers
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT)

South Africa's unbeaten table-toppers, the Stormers, are wary of an ambush in Johannesburg for the second season in a row - when they face the Golden Lions.

The Stormers, who jointly lead the standings with the Hurricanes, were chastened 34-10 by the Lions last year and are on their guard for Saturday's clash, despite the Johannesburg team losing both their matches so far.

"It is a different challenge this weekend," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said at a media briefing - when asked if the Lions would pose a similar threat than the Bulls (in week one) and Blues (last week) did.

"It is another game that you have to be up for.

"That is the challenge in this competition. One week you have a physical encounter from a foreign team, the New Zealanders -  it was really physical last Saturday and the players did really well in that department.

"Yes, I know we have line-out issues we have to sort out, the execution wasn't that great.

"However, the discipline was outstanding. We could have been lured into a lot of off-the-ball stuff, but we didn't fall into the trap of retaliating - the team remained composed and we got on with the job.

"The challenge is different this week, with the width, passing game that the Lions bring.

"We just have to make sure we keep working hard."

Lions coach Johan Ackermann made eight changes to the starting line-up, after the team suffered their second consecutive defeat with a 12-29 loss to the Sharks in Durban last weekend.

He was at pains to explain that the changes were part of their player management policy, while it was also partly an audition for players ahead of the Australasian tour starting next week.

"Our thinking is, let's put these guys out there and give them the opportunity to stake a claim to go on tour," Ackermann said.

The Stormers will be without powerhouse flanker Rynhardt Elstadt, who broke his leg in last week's 27-16 win against the Blues at Newlands and is out for four months.

Recent results:
2014: Stormers won 18-3, Cape Town
2014: Lions won 34-10, Johannesburg
2012: Stormers won 27-17, Cape Town
2012: Stormers won 24-19, Johannesburg
2011: Stormers won 33-19, Johannesburg
2011: Stormers won 19-16, Cape Town

Prediction: The Stormers have won 12 of their last 13 matches between the sides. Their most recent meeting in April 2014 was the lowest scoring contest between these teams (21 combined points). The Stormers are one of two sides to win all of their scrums so far this season. Opponents of the Lions have spent the least amount of time in possession so far, an average of 11 minutes three seconds. The Stormers won their first three matches of the season in each of the 2011 and 2012 seasons and went on to win their first six games in each year, finishing first and second on those season-end logs respectively. There is no doubt who the favourites are - the Stormers. It is simply a case of what the margin will be - 15 to 20 points.


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 Howard Mnisi.

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 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports


Mc article kuridrani rebels630

Brumbies claim Melbourne scrap

Sat, 28 Feb 2015 10:27

The Brumbies scored the only two tries of the game to beat the Rebels 20-15 in a wet Melbourne on Saturday.

The Brumbies scored the only two tries of the game to beat the Rebels 20-15 in a wet Melbourne on Saturday.
In a scrappy game without many highlights the conditions had the biggest say after half-time as the Brumbies ground it out against a determined Rebels side who claimed a bonus point for their efforts.
The Canberra-based team had less possession and territory but seized on the Rebels' errors to keep in front of the home side.
They spent just 14 seconds in Melbourne's attacking quarter in the first half and still managed to lead 13-6 at half-time thanks to a 20th-minute try by Wallaby centre Tevita Kuridrani with a move off a line-out.
The Rebels were still in the match in the final 10 minutes and recycled the ball for 17 phases after the fulltime siren, but were unable to get across the tryline and instead earned a penalty.
The thrilling finale ended when they turned the ball over in the next play.
The Rebels put the Brumbies' defence under  pressure early on, but weren't able to capitalise.
Rebels wing Tom English was over the line but was called back after an earlier knock-on and then lock Luke Jones was held up over the tryline.
The Rebels closed the gap early in the second half to 13-9 through a penalty by Mike Harris.
However they lost Wallaby loose forward Scott Higginbotham to a yellow card for collapsing a maul. The skipper had been warned by referee Steve Walsh in the first half to "sort your penalties out".
Straight after Higginbotham left the field, Brumbies flank Jarrad Butler scored at the back of a rolling maul.
Butler almost got another try six minutes later in an identical move, but it was ruled he had dropped the ball across the line.
The visitors were reduced to 14 in the final stages when Sam Carter was sent to the sin bin, which gave the Rebels a chance to salvage a bonus point which they took gratefully. 

Man of the match: There was plenty of hard work done by both forward packs, but most impressive was Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani who made a big impact on attack and defence.
The scorers:
For Melbourne Rebels:
Pens: Harris 5
For Brumbies:
Tries: Kuridrani, Butler
Cons: Lealiifano 2
Pens: Lealiifano 2
Yellow cards: Scott Higginbotham (Rebels, 57 mins - Collapsing maul) Sam Carter (Brumbies, 74 mins - Repeated infringements)
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Sefanaia Naivalu.
Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Jesse Mogg.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)
Tevita Kuridrani (22min)
Sam Carter (75min)
VENUE Melbourne
REFEREE Steve Walsh (Australia)