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Super Rugby | Brisbane
08:40 (GMT) | 07-03-2015
  • 82
Join us again at 14.40 GMT for the next match as we head to Bloemfontein for the first of 2 South African Derbies between the Cheetahs and the Bulls
  • 81
O'Connor misses the conversion and the hooter sounds! FULLTIME!
  • 80
TRY!!! Marco Kotze smashes his way over the line to grab some points for the home side
  • 79
Reds could snatch a consolation ty as they have a line out on the 'Tahs 5 metre line
  • 77
The Waratahs get possession back and launch another attack. But cough up possession just 3 metres from the line. Counter attack is on as the Reds spread it wide and sprint their way up to the Waratahs 22. PENALTY! The Waratahs win the penalty after the Reds fail to release the ball at the breakdown
  • 74
The Waratahs with all the momentum now as they run the ball up the field. after a 70 metre gain, they come to within metres of the try line. PENALTY! Reds breathe a sigh of relief as they get the penalty and clear their lines. Line-out to them close to their 10 metre line
  • 73
Turner gathers a kick and goes on a run! He is absolutely smashed in a tackle by Dave Dennis and he stays down. The stretcher comes out. Hopefully it's just as a precaution. He waves and gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he is stretchered off the field
  • 72
Reds on the attack on the 'Tahs 10 metre line. INside the 22 they go but they once again cough up possession. 'Tahs in possession
  • 68
No mistake from Foley as he adds the extra points
  • 67
Hanson goes on a blistering run down the right touchline and gets the Reds into 'Tahs territory. Once again they cough up possession and Betham launches a counter-attack. TRY!!! He runs is all the way up the field from inside his 22, without a hand on him
  • 64
It's just not happening for the home side as they cough up possession which allows the 'Tahs to kick the ball back into Reds territory. Horne charges down a kick and goes on a run, he hands it off to Phipps who fails to hold onto the ball. Scrum to the Reds just inside their 22
  • 62
Reds are looking to pick up some points with the 'Tahs down to 14 men. They have a line-out 10 metres from the 'Tahs try line
  • 60
After a few resets, the 'Tahs put in a huge shove and wins a PENALTY! Foley boots it into touch on the halfway line
  • 57
A promising Reds attack is stopped in its track by a forward pass. Waratahs scrum just inside their 22
  • 56
An attempted maul is quickly dealt with by the 'Tahs. PENALTY! YELLOW CARD! Polota-Nau is sent to the bin for taking out the legs of a Reds player
  • 55
The Reds get a rolling maul going following a line-out and make their way into the 'Tahs 22. PENALTY! 'Tahs collapse the maul. Genia pops it into touch. Reds line-out on the 5 metre line
  • 53
A pass slips through the hands and the 'Tahs fail to punish the mistake. Line-out to the Reds on the halfway line
  • 51
Reds can't seem to get over the advantage line. PENALTY! 'Tahs are caught offside and TURNER decides to put it into touch 10 metres from the try line
  • 50
Foley pops the kick over to extend the Waratahs lead
  • 49
5 metres to go as the forwards inch closer to the try line. It's sent to the backline. PENALTY! Reds are offside and Foley opts to have a shot at goal from right in front.
  • 47
The ball pops out the back of the scrum and Genia is quickest to react but the Reds can't keep possession long enough before they cough up possession. Waratahs just 10 metres from the try line now
  • 46
Handling errors are letting both sides down at the moment. PLay resumes with a Waratahs scrum on the Reds' 22
  • 44
Reds look to launch an attack but fail to release the ball at the breakdown and hands the 'Tahs a chance to get into Reds territory with a line-out
  • 43
Palu charges down a Foley kick but is hit square in the crown jewels and he drops like a sack of potatoes! Play will resume with a Reds line-out inside 'Tahs territory
  • 42
The Waratahs turn the ball over on the halfway line. Betham attempts a chip and chase but the ball goes directly into touch. Reds line-out just outside their 22
  • 41
KICK-OFF! Frisby gets the second half underway. Foley collects and kicks the ball into touch on his 10 metre line.

Half Time

  • 40
The hooter goes as the Reds retain possession 4 metres from the 'Tahs try line. The ball is sent down the line and is nearly intercepted. PENALTY! 'Tahs are offside and O'Connor decides to have a shot at goal. It's a horrible kick as he pulls it left this time. HALFTIME!
  • 39
Potgieter enters the ruck from the side and hands the Reds a penalty on the halfway line. Turner finds an excellent touch on the 'Tahs 5 metre line
  • 38
The Waratahs eventually clear the ball but their players fail to retreat after the kick. Genia attempts a quick-tap but he fumbles it and hands the 'Tahs a scrum on their 10 metre line
  • 34
Reds with an ideal attacking chance now through a line-out on the 'Tahs 22. NOT STRAIGHT! The throw goes astray
  • 33
The fullback strikes it well but misses the posts by a mile to the right
  • 32
The Reds win back possession and launch an attack of their own. Up to the 'Tahs 10 metre line they go. TURNOVER! The Waratahs win back possession. PENALTY! Waratahs have their hands in the ruck and the Reds. O'Connor will have a shot at goal
  • 29
Turner fails to find touch and the ball rolls over the dead-ball line. Scrum to the Waratahs on the Reds 10 metre line. PENALTY! The Reds hand the 'Tahs a scrum penalty and they opt to put it in touch to set up a line-out on the Reds 22
  • 28
Potgieter runs at the defence but loses the ball after a huge hit from the Reds defence. The ball is flung to the left and Turner gets the ball. PENALTY! Waratahs are penalised for being off their feet at the breakdown
  • 26
He picks himself up and converts his try!
  • 25
The Waratahs launch an attack form inside their half. Beale spots the room on the outside and sends a long pass. Carraro goes streaking down the right touchline and finds Foley on his inside who gets an easy TRY!!!
  • 23
It's a simple kick for Foley as he extends the Waratahs lead
  • 22
Reds ill-discipline continues as they concede yet another penalty! This time for having their hands in the ruck. Foley will have a shot at goal from about 20 metres
  • 21
Kuridrani looks as though he slips and drops to the ground. Folau goes tumbling over him. PENALTY! Foley kicks it into touch just inside the Reds 22
  • 20
Genia puts the kick in and pegs the Waratahs inside their 22. Foley puts in an ugly kick that finds touch on the halfway line. It's a quick take from the Reds, who have lost some metres before losing the ball forward. Waratahs in possession now
  • 17
Reds are conceding penalties with almost every play at the moment. Foley kicks this one into touch to hand the Waratahs a line-out on the Reds 10 metre line. It's STOLEN and the Reds regain possession
  • 16
Foley strikes it well but the kick lacks direction
  • 15
A patch of scrappy play from both sides ends with a PENALTY to the Waratahs about 40 metres from the Reds' try line. Foley will have a shot st goal
  • 13
He strikes it well and it sails between the uprights for the first points of the game
  • 12
PENALTY! After a few reset scrums, the Reds concede a scrum penalty close to their 10 metre line. Foley will have a shot at goal
  • 9
Big shove from the Waratahs hands them the PENALTY! Foley kicks it into touch just inside Reds territory
  • 8
Folau's nightmare start continues as he trips over his own feet and knocks a high ball on. Scrum to the Reds just outside the Waratahs 22
  • 7
PENALTY! Waratahs front row goes to ground on the hit. Turner kicks the ball into touch. Line-out to the Reds on their 10 metre line
  • 5
Hooper goes on a run down the left touchline! They get to the 5 metre line but spill the ball once again and the Reds will have the scrum feed
  • 4
Beale goes through a half-gap before giving it to Polota-Nau but he spills the balls
  • 3
Folau spills the ball in a tackle and the Reds manage to kick the ball into touch to hand the Waratahs a line-out
  • 2
Reds with early possession inside Waratahs territory but they spill it. PENALTY! Reds are caught offside. Foley opts to kick the ball into touch. 22 metre line-out
  • 0
KICK-OFF! Foley gets the match underway!
  • -10
Not only is there the rich history of the rivalry between the two sides, but the Queenslanders are desperate to put the unsavoury Karmichael Hunt cocaine saga behind them by knocking over the defending champions.
  • -20
Welcome to the Australian derby! The Reds are at home and welcome the defending champions, Warartahs, to Brisbane
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  • 15 Aidan Toua
  • 14 Filipo Daugunu
  • 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia
  • 12 Samu Kerevi
  • 11 Izala Perese
  • 10 Jono Lance
  • 9 Ben Lucas
  • 8 Caleb Timu
  • 7 Liam Wright
  • 6 Angus Scott-Young
  • 5 Kane Douglas
  • 4 Izack Rodda
  • 3 Taniela Tupou
  • 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa
  • 1 James Slipper
  • 23 Jordan Petaia
  • 22 Hamish Stewart
  • 21 Moses Sorovi
  • 20 George Smith
  • 19 Harry Hockings
  • 18 Ruan Smith
  • 17 JP Smith
  • 16 Alex Mafi
  • 15 Bryce Hegarty
  • 14 Alex Newsome
  • 13 Curtis Rona
  • 12 Kurtley Beale
  • 11 Taqele . Naiyaravoro
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 9 Jake Gordon
  • 8 Michael Wells
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 6 Ned Hanigan
  • 5 Rob Simmons
  • 4 Tom Staniforth
  • 3 Sekope Kepu
  • 2 Damien Fitzpatrick
  • 1 Tom Robertson
  • 23 Lalakai Foketi
  • 22 Nick Phipps
  • 21 Will Miller
  • 20 Jed Holloway
  • 19 Nick Palmer
  • 18 Harry Johnson-Holmes
  • 17 Hugh Roach
  • 16 Paddy Ryan
Mc article keven mealamu bow and arrow

Preview: S15 Round Four, Part Two

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 22:20

Saturday will be a day of milestones for front row forwards - with Keven Mealamu and Benn Robinson in the spotlight.

Saturday will be a day of milestones for front row forwards - with Keven Mealamu and Benn Robinson in the spotlight.

It will be minor sideshows to the bigger events - a day of intriguing Super Rugby encounters.

However, they will be afforded their respective moments in the spotlight.

Mealamu, the 35-year-old hooker will contest his 163rd Super Rugby match when the Blues host the ions in Albany in the first match of the day, surpassing the mark set by former Reds and Force lock Nathan Sharpe.

Mealamu, who is also the second most capped All Black with 123 Test appearances, made his Super Rugby debut in 2000, when the competition was still known as the Super 12.

Then, as we once again hop across the Tasman Sea, Robinson, 30, will overtake his idol and past captain, Phil Waugh, when he plays his 137th match for the Waratahs against traditional rivals, the Reds, in Brisbane.

After that it is the long trek across the Indian Ocean for two all-South African derbies.

First the Cheetahs host the Bulls in Bloemfontein, before the Stormers and Sharks go head-to-head in Cape Town.

We look at Saturday's matches!

Saturday, March 7

Blues v Lions
(North Harbour Stadium, Albany - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT; 08.35 South Africa time)

You wouldn't call either team 'desperate' just yet, but after three rounds neither have been able to record a win.

Not that they were far off.

The Blues lost (24-25) to the Cheetahs after a contentious last-minute penalty last week, while they also pushed the Chiefs all the way in week one, before going down 18-23.

The Lions had a similar experience last week - centre Howard Mnisi having dropped a ball over the line in a late rally, the butchered try resulting in a 19-22 loss to the Stormers. They also dominated for 60 minutes against the Hurricanes, but they dropped their heads and concentration in the final quarter - the Canes eventually winning 22-8.

The Blues, after the disappointment of a loss in Jerome Kaino's 100th appearance, will be looking to give Keven Mealamu plenty of reason to celebrate his record-breaking 163rd Super Rugby match.

Together, Kaino and Mealamu have brought a level of discipline, integrity and resilience to the Blues.

Forwards coach Glenn Moore said that as a unit they are going pretty well.

"The set piece is going well, but I still think there is a bit left in us yet," Moore said of the losses in the first three weeks.

"We're all aware that we are creating opportunities and we've just got to convert those, that's all there is to it," Moore added.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann is banking on scrumhalf Ross Cronje - one of two changes to his team - to provide the spark that will get his team over the line.

"There are certain characteristics that Ross brings as a starting No.9 that we will need and we feel Faf [Francois de Klerk] can bring his sniping and energy later in the game," Ackermann told rugby365 in a teleconference call from Auckland - when asked about the change at No.9, Cronje for De Klerk.

"We feel we will need Ross's steadiness from the start."

Captain Warren Whiteley said they have put the defeats behind them and have worked hard to change their fortunes.

"We learnt some good lessons from the last few weeks and the guys are still very positive,"Whiteley said from Auckland, adding: "We have shifted our focus to the Blues this week."

Recent results:
2014: Lions won 39-36, Johannesburg
2012: Blues won 25-3, Auckland
2011: Blues won 41-32, Johannesburg
2010: Blues won 56-14, Johannesburg
2009: Blues won 36-12, Auckland
2008: Blues won 55-10, Johannesburg

Prediction: Ihaia West has the best goal-kicking success rate (14/15; 93 percent) of any player to attempt more than two shots at goal this season. The Lions rank joint-last for average clean breaks (4), while the Blues rank joint-first in this aspect (nine). The Lions (85) and Blues (89) have averaged the lowest number of completed tackles per game so far, however no team has missed fewer than the Lions (10). The Lions scored more points against the Blues (39) in their meeting last year than in any of their previous 15 meetings with the Auckland-based outfit. This fixture has seen an average aggregate score of over 57 points, with three of the last four clashes between the two yielding 70 or more. Two teams who have an expansive approach and favour the high-risk game over a dour kicking contest. It will be entertaining, with the Blues sneaking it by less than 10 points.


Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Charles Piutau, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Brendon O'Connor, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Hamish Northcott.

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

Referee: Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Glen Newman (New Zealand)

Reds v Waratahs
(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Kick-off: 19.40; 20.40 AEDT; 08.40 GMT)

The Reds may have only one win from three starts, but the Waratahs should not be expecting a walkover.

Not only is there the rich history of the rivalry between the two sides, but the Queenslanders are desperate to put the unsavoury Karmichael Hunt cocaine saga behind them by knocking over the defending champions.

Coach Richard Graham said his team had focused on their own preparations all week, but could not look past the great history of rivalry between Queensland and New South Wales.

"We continue to drive change in our game and are progressing areas each week," Graham said.

"The outcome of the game will be determined by the collective effort of the group, not the actions of an individual.

"The rivalry between the two states goes back over a 100 years. We cannot forget all those past players who have represented Queensland, only 1,300 in total.

"Before Super Rugby this fixture would have been the biggest game most of them played in during their careers and while the current group of players have the opportunity to play a lot more games against many other teams we cannot forget the tradition of this game and those players who put Queensland Rugby on the map.

"It wasn't until James Slipper and I talked after the recent Force match I truly understood how passionate, how devoted Queenslanders are to supporting their teams. After a less than average start against the Brumbies and a week of rain and wind - rusted on supporters, older folk, younger folk, parents with kids all turned out in their Reds kit to cheer the team to victory.

"Their commitment to be there and passion struck me that night as being something special, something Queensland."

The Waratahs are indeed preparing for a hungry and improved Reds outfit.

Coming off a win before last round's bye, the Waratahs will face their traditional adversaries, the Reds, who after beating the Force at home in Round Two, fell seven points shy of the Highlanders in Dunedin last Friday.

In that match, off-season signing, James O'Connor, showcased a number of nice touches in the No.10 jersey in his much anticipated first start for the Reds since signing from French side Toulon.

Not only did the five-eighth register eight points with the boot, but in first Super Rugby match in 18 months, the wiry outside back highlighted his flair when he stormed past three defenders, before eventually being pulled down just short of the try-line.

And despite some rust in O'Connor's overall performance, his efforts in combing with halfback, Will Genia, was enough to put the Waratahs on notice of things to come despite the Hunt drug controversy continuing to cloud the Reds preparation leading into the match.

"I thought for a first hit-out they were relatively good.  They're both world class players and the more they can get front foot-ball, the more you'll likely see them shine," reserve scrumhalf Brendan McKibbin said.

"He's [O'Conner] a threat every time he touches the ball and the more he can play with the guys and the more they can learn their combinations, the more comfortable he'll feel.  We've got to shutdown his time and space and limit his options in that area."

Recent results:
2014: Waratahs won 34-3, Brisbane
2014: Waratahs won 32-5, Sydney
2013: Reds won 14-12, Sydney
2013: Reds won 25-17, Brisbane
2012: Reds won 32-16, Brisbane
2012: Reds won 25-21, Sydney

Prediction: Liam Gill has won at least three more turnovers than any other player so far (nine). Reminiscent of 2014, the 'Tahs rank top for carries, metres, breaks, defenders beaten and passes so far this year. Opponents of the Reds have had a lower scrum success rate (54 percent) than they have against any other team so far. However, opponents of the Waratahs have lost five scrums in two matches. The aggregate score of the two meetings between these traditional rivals in 2014 was 66-8 in favour of the eventual champions. The Waratahs' 34-3 win at Suncorp Stadium was their largest ever win over the Reds. It will be a hard-fought affair tat will go right down to the wire - with the Waratahs winning by about 10 points.


Reds: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Dave McDuling, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Sam Johnson, 23 Campbell Magnay.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 David Dennis (captain), 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: Tolu Latu, Jeremy Tilse, Paddy Ryan, Sam Lousi, Mitchell Chapman, Stephen Hoiles, Brendan McKibbin, Jono Lance, Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffman (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Cheetahs v Bulls
(Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)

It is amazing to think that the Cheetahs have only once before beaten the Bulls in Super Rugby.

That rare feat was a 15-9 triumph in an arm-wrestle in dire conditions in Bloemfontein two years ago.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted his team - who got their first win of the season in a brutal encounter with the Sharks last week - would be facing a host side with their tails up following two confidence-boosting victories, against the self-same Sharks and the Blues.

"We finally found the momentum we were looking for in the opening rounds of the competition - against the Sharks - and managed four tries," Ludeke said.

"We will need the confidence and rhythm picked up on the weekend against the Cheetahs. They are one of the early front runners and will be full of self-belief."

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské spoke of the need to raise the bar Eben higher, despite their impressive start.

"We are working to better all aspects of our game that did not work as planned against the Blues," Drotské said.

"We want our defence to be better at stopping guys because the Bulls are one of those sides you can't give an inch on attack.

"If they get momentum, they are nearly impossible to stop. If you want to beat the Bulls, you have to be physical in your approach."

Drotské said against the Bulls it is always important to ensure you stop their driving mauls and be up to standard in the set pieces.

"Defence is also important. If you allow the Bulls to get over the advantage line and get momentum you will have trouble.

"Our one-on-one tackling will have to be vital and we will have to be on top of our game on defence."

Bulls captain Pierre Spies said they will have to duplicate last week's effort against the Sharks.

"We did front up last weekend and for the first time this season, managed to finish when we created try-scoring opportunities," Spies said.

"Training was much easier this week as the belief came back. We had a good week and are again looking for a good result. It will not be easy. They won in Bloem last year, something we need to change."

Recent results:
2014: Bulls won 26-21, Pretoria
2014: Cheetahs won 15-9, Bloemfontein
2013: Bulls won 30-25, Bloemfontein
2013: Bulls won 26-20, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 40-24, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 51-19, Bloemfontein

Prediction: Willie le Roux has assisted at least two more tries (five) than any other player this season, despite playing only two matches so far. The Cheetahs have scored 60 points in two outings, despite an average of just 10 minutes 26 seconds in possession of the ball. No other side has averaged less than 13 minutes. The Bulls are yet to cause their opponents to lose a scrum after three outings this season, failing to win the ball on any of the 18 feeds they have faced. The Bulls have won 12 of the last 13 contests between the sides, however their last three wins have been by margins of fewer than seven points. The Cheetahs' sole victory in this run, in Round Two last year, produced fewer points in total (15-9) than any other fixture between these rivals. The Bulls always seem to come up with something special against the Cheetahs, but this year they will arrive in Bloemfontein as underdogs - with the Cheetahs likely to edge a thriller by less than 10 points.


Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Petersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 BG Uys, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Tienie Burger, 20 Steven Sykes, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Johann Sadie.
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 Piet van Zyl, 23 Jurgen Visser.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Lourens van der Merwe
TMO: Johan Greeff

Stormers v Sharks
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT)

Brutal is one way to describe some of the recent encounters between these teams.

There is simply no love lost and Saturday will be no different, given what is at stake in this coastal derby.

The return of some key Springboks in both teams will add further spice to a game that is a marketer's dream.

The return of Bok lock Eben Etzebeth from injury - to get a spot in the starting XV - and veteran flank Schalk Burger to the bench are the most significant selections this weekend.

Three Springboks - JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn (like Burger both are back from club duty in Japan) and Willem Alberts (back from injury) - return to the Sharks starting XV.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee felt home ground advantage could be important.

"First and foremost, it's great to be back home at Newlands, where we will be for the next two weeks before our bye-week and tour," Coetzee said.

"For us, it's all about improving on last week's performance against the Lions, as we were unhappy with a lot of things that came out of the match," he added.

"We're expecting a ferocious onslaught from a powerful and experienced Sharks team, who were unlucky to lose away last weekend.

"We're certainly not reading anything into that defeat to the Bulls, in fact, we know that will only make the Sharks more dangerous."

The Sharks have won just one of their opening three matches, while the Stormers were currently second on the standings - having won every game this season.
 "The Stormers are the in-form team in South Africa at present and we are playing them in front of their passionate home crowd," Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold said.
"We are under no illusions about how tough the challenge is going to be.
"This is probably going to be a tougher battle than last week.

"Our squad has had a good training week and are determined to get our campaign back on a winning track."

Recent results:
2014: Sharks won 34-10, Cape Town
2014: Stormers won 21-19, Durban
2013: Stormers won 22-15, Cape Town
2013: Sharks won 12-6, Durban
2012: Sharks won 26-19, Cape Town (semifinal)
2012: Sharks won 25-20, Durban
2012: Stormers won 15-12, Cape Town

Prediction: Dillyn Leyds, Marcell Coetzee and Jacobus Reinach are three of 12 players to score two tries so far this season. Patrick Lambie has notched 58 points in three games, more than anybody else. He has kicked 20 from 24 - more than anybody else. Demetri Catrakilis has kicked the second most goals (15 from 19). The Sharks have averaged more points scored (31) and conceded (30) per game than any other side this year. The last 15 games between these teams have each produced an aggregate score that is less than 50 points. The Stormers are aiming to win their first four matches for the first time since 2012 when they won their opening six. The Sharks have lost two of three matches this season, but have scored 93 points in three matches and no less than 29 in any of these outings. The Stormers have shown some ominous form and the Sharks appear to lack the discipline and tactical presence to overcome the Cape Town team's structured approach. The Stormers to win by about 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 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Jack Wilson.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article reds v tahs

Waratahs demolish rabble Reds

Sat, 07 Mar 2015 10:32

MATCH REPORT: The Waratahs won their fourth straight match on the road against Australian opposition, as they demolished the Reds 23-5.

The Waratahs won their fourth straight match on the road against Australian opposition, as they demolished an ordinary Reds team 23-5 in Brisbane on Saturday.

And the Reds' points, a try by South African lock Marco Kotze, came right on the full-time hooter - when the game was long over as a contest.

The Waratahs were far from perfect. In fact they were pretty sloppy themselves in a match that at times resembled amateur hour at the local club.

However, they took four valuable points to move back into the play-off zone.

As for the Reds, it didn't help that they made numerous late changes - the most significant seeing James O'Connor moving from flyhalf to fullback and Nicholas Frisby, a reserve scrumhalf, playing at flyhalf.

This, coming on the back of the Karmichael Hunt cocaine saga, leaving the Brisbane franchise in dire straits.

The defending champions, the Waratahs, deserve some credit for being able to carved out a win in such an error-match.

In a game that was hardly a good advertisement for Super Rugby, both sides committed a welter of passing and handling errors in a derby that never reached any great heights.

The Waratahs scored two tries to one and should have crossed for more only for the final pass to go to ground.

It was the Sydneysiders' second win in three games, while the injury-hit Reds slipped to their third defeat in four outings and trail at the bottom of the Australian Conference.

Flyhalf Bernard Foley finished with 18 points from a try, two conversions and three penalties.

A couple of Foley penalties gave the Waratahs the early advantage and the No.10 finished off a nice break from Matt Carraro in the 25th minute.

Former Wallaby James O'Connor, playing for the Reds this season, missed both his penalty kicks as the Waratahs went to half-time leading 13-0.

The Waratahs physicality dominated the Reds and they went further ahead with another Foley penalty minutes after the resumption.

They lost hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau to the sin bin in the 57th minute for taking out the legs of a rival line-out jumper, but the Waratahs looked more likely to score.

Scrumhalf Nick Phipps put down Rob Horne's pass with the try-line beckoning before wing Peter Betham scored a runaway try from his own quarter-line with 13 minutes left.

The Waratahs threatened to post a record winning margin over the Reds, but were unable to add to their tally despite plenty of possession.

Reds wing Lachie Turner was taken from the field with his neck in a brace after colliding with Waratahs back row forward Dave Dennis, but gave the thumbs up as he made his way to the sidelines.

The Reds finally scored in the final minute when lock Marco Kotze crashed over.

Skipper Dennis was not enthused by the Waratahs performance.

"The most pleasing thing was that we kept trying to play our attacking game, but we turned over a lot of ball which isn't good enough," he said.

"We kept it physical and to get four points up here is really good."

Reds counterpart James Slipper said: "We knew they were going to come out very physical and they did that and we were inconsistent tonight, which was disappointing.

"We've had a few drop outs, a few injuries this season, but we're not going to use that as an excuse."

The Waratahs are away to the Highlanders in New Zealand next week, while the Reds face the Australian Conference leaders Brumbies at home.

Man of the match: Will Genia tried hard and Adam Thomson had his moments, but for the rest the Reds were pretty ordinary. Israel Folau, as always, kept the Reds' defenders on their toes. Kurtley Beale also looked threatening at times, while Wycliff and Michael Hooper were the team's most productive forwards. However, our award goes to Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley, who gave the Waratahs the initial momentum - putting them up 13-0 at half-time. From there, there was no coming back for a very ordinary Reds team.


For the Reds:

For the Waratahs:
Foley, Betham
Cons: Foley 2
Pens: Foley 2

Yellow card: Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs, 56 - foul play, playing a jumper in the air)


Reds: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Nicholas Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Marco Kotze, 4 Dave McDuling, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19Tom Murday , 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Sam Johnson, 23 Campbell Magnay.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 David Dennis (captain), 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: Tolu Latu, Jeremy Tilse, Paddy Ryan, Sam Lousi, Mitchell Chapman, Stephen Hoiles, Brendan McKibbin, Jono Lance, Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffman (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Bernard Foley (25min)
Bernard Foley (26min) and Bernard Foley (68min)
Bernard Foley (13min), Bernard Foley (23min), and Bernard Foley (50min)
VENUE Brisbane
REFEREE Glen Jackson