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Cheetahs

FULL-TIME
20     39

Bulls

Super Rugby | Bloemfontein
15:05 (GMT) | 07-03-2015
  • 81
Join us shortly for our next game when the Stormers take on the Sharks at Newlands in Cape Town
  • 80
The Bulls get a penalty at the scrum and Pollard gives his team a line-out just inside the the Cheetahs. The Cheetahs now get a penalty on halfway and they take it quickly. Rhule is met with good defence on the Bulls 10 metre line and after an accidental offside it is FULL-TIME: The Bulls win it 39-20
  • 79
Hendricks finds a half gap as the Cheetahs now find themselves on the Bulls 22 after good phase play. Venter tries a sniping break but is met with good defence and they lose the ball forward and the Bulls will have a defensive scrum on their own 22
  • 77
The Cheetahs making their way into the Bulls half after a good break with Mahoje making good ground before the Bulls turn it over. The Cheetahs lose it forward and the Bulls will get a scrum near their own 10 metre line. They go wide before Visser sends a kick down field, The Cheetahs go on the attack from their own 22 with Le Roux
  • 74
The Bulls, from a line-out near the Cheetahs 10 metre line lose possession after the throw is not in straight and the Cheetahs will get a scrum on their own ten-metre line
  • 72
Pollard gets the CONVERSION over and the Bulls lead 39 -20
  • 71
From the line-out the Nulls opt for the maul and they get a penalty with Torsten Van Jaarsveld coming around the side and Pollard gives the Bulls an attacking line-out in the Cheetahs 22 now. They go for the maul again before they go to Serfontein who bashes over for the TRY!
  • 70
The Cheetahs go wide but are tackled behind the gain line but they lose possession and the Bulls get a penalty after a break out from their own 22. Pollard gives his team an attacking line-out on the Cheetahs 10 metre line.
  • 68
The Cheetahs now find themselves with an attacking line-out in the Bulls half and they form a maul before Pietersen sends a cross kick. Play is brought back for a penalty and Pietersen gives his team an attacking line-out 6 metres from the Bulls tryline
  • 65
From a line-out on halfway, the Cheetahs for a driving maul but they make no progress and the Bulls gets the ball back after a Pietersen chip kick. They go wide with Engelbrecht and find themselves just outside of the Cheetahs 22 and Pollard goes for the DROP KICK and it is over. The Bulls lead 32 -20
  • 62
The Bulls now get a penalty deep inside the Cheetahs 22 for holding on and Pollard gets the PENALTY over and it is now 29-20 to the Bulls
  • 61
Pietersen gets the CONVERSION over and it is now Cheetahs 20 - 26 Bulls
  • 59
From the line-out the Cheetahs form a driving maul, Pietersen sends cross-kick which is well fielded by the Bulls, but play is brought back for another penalty and the Cheetahs get attacking line-out five mtres from the Bulls tryline. They form a driving maul and Boom Prinsloo goes over for the TRY!
  • 58
From the scrum the Cheetahs gets the penalty after illegal binding from the Bulls. Pietersen gives his team an attacking line-out inside the Bulls 22.
  • 56
The Cheetahs from a line-out just inside their own half goes wide to Sadie before Ooshuizen takes his team over halfway and they will get a scrum after Hattingh nearly intercepts before losing it forward, Cheetah scrum just on the Bulls side of halfway
  • 54
The Bulls form a maul and make their way towards halfway with a good drive before Paige sends high ball and the Bulls get the ball back with Stegmann and Serfontein taking their team over the Cheetahs 10 metre line and they get a penalty.at the ruck. Pollard gets the PENALTY over and the Bulls lead 26-13
  • 51
From the scrum the Cheetahs get a free-kick after an early engagement from the Bulls, The home side takes it quickly and find themselves seven metres from the Bulls 22 before Le Roux sends kick over the Bulls defence but it goes out on the full and the Bulls have a line-out just outside of their 22
  • 49
The Cheetahs are now in possession deep inside the Bulls half but they lose the ball forward after some good defence from Victor Matfield and Pollard and the Bulls will get a scrum near their own 10 metre line
  • 47
The Cheetahs gets a penalty near their own 10 metre line after Willie le Roux was infringed in the air and the Cheetahs will have an attacking line-out near the Bulls 10 metre line. They go wide from the line-out with Oosthuizen making good ground before the home team loses the ball forward
  • 44
Pietersen adds the CONVERSION and it is Cheetahs 13 - 23 Bulls
  • 43
The Bulls have front foot ball in the Cheetahs half and they go wide before they give away a penalty with a Bulls player going off his feet at the breakdown and the Cheetahs will get an attacking line-out near the Bulls 22. The Cheetahs go backwards after a poor line-out and they start gain near the Bulls 10 metre line before Rhule finds a gap and beats Kriel to dive over for the Cheetahs first TRY!
  • 41
Handre Pollard gets the second half under way!

Half Time

  • 40
From the scrum the Bulls go wide with Basson coming from his wing to take the ball up. Pollard finds a gap on halfway and sprints down field and is brought down just short of the Cheetahs 22 and the Bulls get a penalty. Pollard lines up the kick just outside the 22 and gets the PENALTY over! HALF-TIME: Cheetahs 6 - 23 Bulls
  • 38
Serfontein near finds a gap in the midfield from the scrum and the Cheetahs gets a penalty after Nyakane holds on to the ball. The Cheetahs, from an attacking line-out on the Bulls 10 metre line, give away possession after the throw is not in straight and the Bulls get the scrum
  • 36
From the scrum the Bulls are put under massive pressure before they kick down field and the Bulls will get an attacking scrum deep inside the Cheetahs 22 after Hendricks loses the ball forward from akick
  • 34
The Cheetahs are now on the attack near the Bulls 22 but Willie le Roux is held up and the Bulls turn it over and will get a scrum on their own 10 metre line
  • 32
Pollard gets the CONVERSION over and the Bulls now lead 20-6
  • 31
Pietersen fails to find touch from a penalty on his 22 and the Bulls return a deep kick which is well fielded, The Bulls now have possession before Strauss finds a gap and it goes wide to Basson who finds open space in front of him in the Cheetahs 22 and goes in for the TRY!
  • 29
The Cheetahs now get a penalty 10 metres from the Bulls 22 after Bulls forwards are blown up for obstruction. Pietersen lines up the kick to polls and he gets the PENALTY over and it is now Cheetahs 6-13 Bullsl
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Pollard gets the PENALTY over and the Bulls lead 13-3
  • 26
From a line-out on halfway the Bulls go to the midfield before Kriel loses the ball forward trying to break a tackle and the Cheetahs will have a scrum 7 metres in their own half and the Bulls get a penalty with Mienie over extending and Pollard points to the pols 47 metres out
  • 24
Pollard from deep inside his own half finds touch inside the Cheetahs 22. The Cheetahs from the line-out spreads the ball to Oosthuizen before it is kicked down field. The Bulls now from a line-out on their own 10 metre line forms a driving maul after a take from Matfield before Paige sends a high ball which is take by le Roux in his 22
  • 22
The Bulls get a penalty in their own 22 with Boom Prinsloo diving over the ruck. From a line-out on halfway the Bulls form a driving maul before they go to the blindside with Basson making ground. They lose possession and the Cheetahs kick down field in the Bulls 22 before Paige kicks down field.
  • 19
Pollard gets the CONVERSION over and the Bulls lead 10-3
  • 18
From the scrum the Bulls get the penalty with the Cheetahs going backwards and Pollard gives his team a good attacking line-out on the Cheetahs 22 metre line. Rhule returns from the sin bin as the Bulls form a driving maul before going to Serfontein in the midfield. Du Pessis makes some ground as they are just five metres from the Cheetahs tryline before Pollard stays strong in the tackle and dives over for the TRY
  • 15
The Cheetahs have possession on the Bulls 10 metre line and Mahoje spins out of a tackle after a good pass from Willie le Roux before Meyer sends a forward pass just outside the Bulls 22.
  • 13
The Bulls now go om attack from their own 22 and Kriel finds space on the flanks before Basson is brought down in the Cheetahs half. The Cheetahs get the ball after a loose pass. From a line-out on halfway the Cheetahs form a driving maul before Meyer sends a ball which is fielded by Basson in his 22
  • 11
From the scrum the Bulls get a penalty after Danie Mienie binds incorrectly and Pollard sets up a kick for polls. Pollard gets the PENALTY over and the scores are level at 3-3
  • 9
The Bulls go on the attack in the Cheetahs 22 but they give away possession with a chip quick which Le Roux marks. Kriel kicks down field and the Cheetahs will get a line-out in their own half. But the Bulls will get a scrum on the Cheetahs 10 metre line after a knock on
  • 6
The Cheetahs from an attacking line-out in the Bulls 22 lose possession with Stegmann stealing it at the back. The Bulls now have a penalty after Kriel is tackled in the air and Raymond Rhule gets a YELLOW CARD
  • 4
The Cheetahs get a free kick and they take it quickly with van der Spuy nearly through and they get a penalty with a bulls player slowing it down and Pietersen gets the PENALTY over and the Cheetahs lead 3-0
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The Cheetahs get an attacking scrum in the Bulls 22, after the Bulls forwards were held up from the kick-off (In a late change, Tian Meyer replaces Sarel Pretorius at scrumhalf)
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Cheetahs flyhalf Joe Pietersen gets the game under way in perfect conditions
  • -10
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.
  • -20
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.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby with the unbeaten Cheetahs facing the Bulls at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
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Cheetahs
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Bulls
START LINE UP
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 14 Craig Barry
  • 13 Nico Lee
  • 12 Niel Marais
  • 11 Makazole Mapimpi
  • 10 Fred Zeilinga
  • 9 Shaun Venter
  • 8 Uzair Cassiem
  • 7 Teboho Mohoje
  • 6 Henco Venter
  • 5 Reniel Hugo
  • 4 Justin Basson
  • 3 Johannes Coetzee
  • 2 Jacques du Toit
  • 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche
RESERVES
  • 23 Adriaan Coertzen
  • 22 Clinton Swart
  • 21 Mthokozisi Mkhabela
  • 20 Junior Pokomela
  • 19 Reynier Bernardo
  • 18 Tom Botha
  • 17 Charles Marais
  • 16 Joseph Dweba
START LINE UP
  • 15 Warrick Gelant
  • 14 Travis Ismaiel
  • 13 Jesse Kriel
  • 12 Jan Serfontein
  • 11 Duncan Matthews
  • 10 Tian Schoeman
  • 9 Rudy Paige
  • 8 Nick de Jager
  • 7 Jannes Kirsten
  • 6 Shaun Adendorff
  • 5 RG Snyman
  • 4 Jason Jenkins
  • 3 Conrad van Vuuren
  • 2 Adriaan Strauss
  • 1 Pierre Schoeman
RESERVES
  • 23 Burger Odendaal
  • 22 Tony Jantjies
  • 21 Piet van Zyl
  • 20 Ruan Steenkamp
  • 19 Ruben van Heerden
  • 18 John-Roy Jenkinson
  • 17 Trevor Nyakane
  • 16 Jaco Visagie
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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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
@King365ed
@rugby365com


Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article bulls v cheetahs

Bulls maintain winning momentum

Sat, 07 Mar 2015 16:51

The Bulls ended the Cheetahs unbeaten run this year with a 39-20 victory at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Bulls ended the Cheetahs unbeaten run this year with a 39-20 victory at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
 
The loss is the Cheetahs first this season and ends a three match winning streak in Bloemfontein.
 
The Bulls outscored the Cheetahs by three tries to two and led almost throughout the contest.
 
Handre Pollard had an exceptional game for the Bulls as he achieved a full house in scoring with a try, five penalties, thee conversion and a drop goal.
 
Following a victory against the Sharks last weekend, Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard spearheaded the Bulls to their second Super Rugby win this season.
 
The Cheetahs started well, with flyhalf Joe Pietersen slotting a penalty goal in the fourth minute as the Bulls flank Deon Stegmann got pinned for hands in the ruck.
 
Their joy was shortlived as wing Raymond Rhule was sin-binned shortly afterwards for taking out Bulls fullback Jesse Kriel in the air.
 
Pollard, who scored 29 points on the day, levelled the scores with a penalty in the 12th minute and scored the first try of the match which he converted.
 
He kicked another penalty to add to the Cheetahs woes, before Pietersen also got a shot at the posts, which he used to narrow the gap to 13-6.
 
Bulls wing Bjorn Basson scored a try shortly before half time, which Pollard converted and, after slotting another penalty, the visitors went into the break with a 23-6 lead.
 
The Cheetahs started the second half strongly and, only three minutes in, Rhule made amends for his yellow card by scoring a much-needed try for the hosts, which Pietersen converted.
 
Pollard stretched the gap again kicking a penalty in the 55th minute, but a good driving maul in the 60th minute led to a try for flank Johannes Prinsloo to bring the Cheetahs within striking distance.
 
Pietersen's successful conversion meant the hosts trailed by only six points with 20 minutes to play.
 
But Pollard slotted another penalty and drop goal and when Bulls centre Jan Serfontein broke through for his try in the 71st minute, which Pollard converted, the Bulls could not be denied an emphatic win.
 
The Bulls will now return home to Pretoria as they have a bye next week and then host the Western Force while the Cheetahs remain at home for a match against the Sharks in Bloemfontein.
 
Man of the match: For the Cheetahs Johannes Prinsloo looked lively, but was not always effective, while Teboho Mohojoe looked impressive. Coenie Oosthuizen could easily have been the man of the match - scrummed and carried well, worked hard at the breakdown and on defense. However, the real General of the game was Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard who was totally in control of everything he did.
 
Scorers:
 
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Rhule, Prinsloo
Cons: Pietersen 2
Pens: Pietersen 2
 
For the Bulls:
Tries: Pollard, Basson, Serfontein
Cons: Pollard 3
Pens: Pollard 5
DG: Pollard
 
Yellow Card: Raymond Rhule (Cheetahs, 6 - foul play, playing a jumper in the air)
 
Teams
 
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
 
TRIES
Jan Serfontein (71min)
 
CONVERSIONS
 
PENALTIES
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Bloemfontein
REFEREE Stuart Berry