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Crusaders

FULL-TIME
34     6

Lions

Super Rugby | Christchurch
03:30 (GMT) | 14-03-2015
  • 81
Join us again shortly when the Highlanders take on the Waratahs in Dunedin.
  • 80
The Lions now go on the attack before they lose it, the Crusaders kick but it poor and the Lions get it back with Mnisi nearly over for a try. The Crusaders get the ball back but it is knocked down and the Lions will get a scrum 10 metres from the Crusaders tryline. From the scrum the Crusaders get a penalty with the Lions front row angling in. Carter boots the ball out for FULL-TIME: Crusaders 34 - 6 Lions.
  • 78
Carter gets the CONVERSION over and it is 34-6 to the Crusaders
  • 77
From the scrum the Lions get a penalty and Jantjies gives his team a line-out on their own 10 metre line. The Lions go wide but Faf de Klerk's pass is lose and it is kicked forward before the Lions clear it. The Crusaders now from a line-out outside the Lions 22 takes it through the phases before it is lost forward. The Lions go wide before Read intercepts and gets the Crusaders bonus-point TRY!
  • 74
The Lions now make their way in the Crusaders half after a good run from Van der Merwe and they get a penalty and now have an attacking line-out on the Crusaders 22 metre line - they go to the midfield before they lose it forward and the Crusaders run it out from their own half and Nadolo sends a kick but can;t gather and Sam Whitelock loses it forward on the Lions 22. Lions have a defensive scrum
  • 71
The Lions win a scrappy line-out before Whiteley loses it forward from a poor pass from Moster and the Crusaders have a scrum in their 22 and they get a free-kick after an early push from the Lions and Carter clears towards halfway
  • 69
From the scrum the Lions get a free-kick and Mostert runs hard in the 22. It goes wide but Mnisi is tackled hard. The Liosn are now five metres from the tryline but the Crusaders turn it over before Slade kicks it down field. The Lions run it back with Vorster and Van der Merwe amkes good ground before Jantjies sends a chip kick and Taylor kick it out to give the Lions an attacking line-out in the Crusaders 22
  • 67
From the line-out the Lions get the penalty after the jumper was taken out in the air and Jantjies finds touch five metres from the Crusaders 22. From the line-out the Lions go with one off runners before Jantjies takes u. Whiteley takes it into the Crusaders 22 before it is lost forward and the Crusaders have a scrum.
  • 65
From the line-out the ball goes to Crotty who makes good ground in the 22 before the ball is spread to Nadolo who is in for the try, but it is not allowed as his foot was in touch. The lions now have a defensive line-out in their own 22. From the line-out Jantjies clears and Nadolo runs it back but the Lions get the penalty after the Crusaders held on. Lions have a line-out near halfway
  • 62
The Lions now attempt to run the ball out of their half with Mapoe nearly through, but the Crusaders get a penalty on halfway. Carter gives his team an attacking line-out near the Lions 22.
  • 60
Carter gets the CONVERSION over and it is 27-6 to the Crusaders
  • 58
The Crusaders go on the attack again and a strong run from Nadolo puts the Crusaders in the Lions 22 before it goes wide and Fonotia is in for the TRY!
  • 57
Carter gets the CONVERSION over and it is 20-6 to the Crusaders.
  • 56
This time it is a PENALTY TRY for the Crusaders with another penalty by the Lions!
  • 55
From the scrum the Crusaders get another penalty after the Lions front row collapses it and the Crusaders call for another scrum five metres out from the Lions tryline. Another penalty is awarded and the Lions get another waring as the home team goes for the scrum again
  • 53
Carter hits the post from the penalty kick and it is lost forward from the Lions and the Crusaders will get an attacking scrum in the Lions 22. From the scrum Read takes it off the back before his pass nearly puts Jordan Taufua over the tryline. Scrum to the Crusaders five metres out
  • 51
From the scrum the Crusaders get a penalty and Julian Redelinghuys gets a YELLOW CARD after going in on the angle
  • 50
The Crusaders now have the ball in the Lions half with Romano making good ground towards the Lions 22. The ball goes wide to Fonotia who makes his way in the Lions 22. Taylor loses it forward and the Lions counters before whitelock steals it before it is lost forward and the Lions will get a scrum outside their 22
  • 46
Jantjies lines up the kick from 40 metres out with a stiff breeze and gets the PENALTY over to make it 13-6
  • 45
From the scrum Cronje sends a grubber kick down field before the Crusaders run it back, but Funnel loses it forward from a poor pass from Slade. From the scrum the Lions go to the short side with Jantjies before Cronje sends a ball and the Lions get penalty near the Crusaders 10 metre line after a side entry from a Crusaders player
  • 43
Cronje sends a high ball from the ruck but Franks is offside and the Lions have an attacking line-out deep in the Crusaders half. Romano wins it for the Crusaders with a kicking duel ensuing between the teams before Tom Taylor gets a high ball, but the Lions get a scrum just outside their own 22 after a maul
  • 41
SECOND HALF: Dan Carter gets the second half under way!

Half Time

  • 40
Julian Redelinghuys is under pressure at scrum time as it is reset but the Lions get the free-kick which is take quickly, before Mastriet goes over the top to give the home team a penalty. The Crusaders have an attacking line-out in the Lions 22, The home team can;t do anything with it as the Lions steal the ball. The Crusaders get the ball back near halfway but Fonotia's pass goes into touch. The Lions go on one last attack in their own half but lose the ball forward and it is HALF-TIME: Crusaders13 - 3 Lions
  • 37
The Lions get the ball back from a kick in their own half before Andries Coetzee sends a kick down field. Fonotia kicks down field and the Lions have a line-out 28 metres from the own tryline. From the line-out read knocks on and the Lions will get a scrum just outside of their own 22
  • 35
Vorster runs hard from the midfield as the Lions make their way in the Crusaders 22, Mapoe and Kriel make some good runs and the Lions are just five metres from the Crusaders tryline, but Tecklenburg gets isolated and the home team gets the penalty. The Crusaders now have a line-out on their own 10metre line
  • 33
From the scrum the Crusaders win the penalty with the Lions not staying straight under pressure, Carter gives his team a line-out just outside the Lions 22. From the line-out Romano takes with McCaw driving it up. It goes wide before Crotty loses the ball forward, Cronje sends a high ball and the Crusaders run it back before Robbie Coetzee wins a penalty for the Lions. Jantjies finds touch on the Crusaders 10 metre line
  • 30
Ellis kicks from the line-out and it is lost forward by Fonotia trying to catch it and the will have a scrum near the Crusaders 10 metre line in a good attacking position.
  • 28
The Crusaders now have the ball in the Lions 22 but the Lions win the penalty with Fourie doing good work at the ruck and the Lions have an attacking line-out in the Crusaders half, The Lions go wide before Andries Coetzee sends a kick into touch just outside the Crusaders 22
  • 26
The Lions get a penalty now from the restart with Whitelock offside from the ruck. Jantjies sets up the kick for polls just outside the Crusaders 22 and gets the PENALTY over to make it 13-3
  • 24
Carter gets the PENALTY over and it is 13-0 to the Crusaders
  • 23
From the line-out the Lions keep the ball close and they get a penalty with Read not supporting his own body weight. The Lions now have an attacking line-out on the Crusaders 10 metre line. The Throw is terrible and the Crusaders get the ball and McNicholl gets the ball from a grubber kick but no one gets his pass in the 22 with the tryline open. The Crusaders win a penalty and Carter points to the polls
  • 20
A good kick from Ellis sends the Lions all the way back on their own 10 metre line for a line-out. Whiteley wins the line-out before Jantjie sends a kick down field. Taylor returns the kick before a good kick by Jantjies give the Crusaders a line-out on halfway. The home team goes on the attack before Franks is tackled into touch just outside the Lions 22
  • 17
Both props slip in the scrum and it is reset. From the scrum the Lions are put under pressure from Wyatt Crockett and the Crusaders get the penalty. Carter gets the PENALTY over and the Crusaders lead 10-0
  • 15
From the line-out the Crusaders get a free-kick with the half-back joining the line-out and the Crusaders now have an attacking scrum just outside the Lions 22. The home team goes to Slade before a pass into space for McNicholl is lost forward, Scrum to Lions in their own 22
  • 12
From the line-out the Lions form a maul but give away a penalty after being offside. The Crusaders cannot find touch, neither can Coetzee. The Crusaders run it back but Tom Taylor loses the ball forward near the halfway line. Lions now from an attacking scrum gives away the penalty and Carter gives his team a line-out just outside the Lions 22
  • 10
The Lions now go on the attack with a good break from Coetzee before Mapoe makes good ground, but lose the ball forward. The Lions get the ball bacl from a kick and start again in their own half and get the penalty with McCaw penalised for not rolling away. Jantjies gives his team an attacking line-out just outside the Crusaders 22
  • 7
Carter gets the CONVERSION over and the Crusaders lead 7-0
  • 6
From the scrum Read gives a short pass to Ellis who dives over for the TRY!
  • 5
The Lions win the line-out but a poor pass by Jantjies puts Andries Coetzee under pressure behind the goal line and the Crusaders will have an attacking scrum five metres from the Lions tryline. From the scrum the ball goes to Nadolo before Slade is held up over the tryline. The home team has another scrum
  • 3
Jantjies kicks the ball straight out from the kick-off and the Crusaders will have a scrum on halfway. From the scrum the ball is spread to Crotty who is tackled hard and the Crusaders win a penalty with the Lions not rolling away. Carter gives his team an attacking line-out just outside the Lions 22
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Lions' flyhalf Elton Jantjies gets the game under way!
  • -5
Conditions at AMI Stadium are perfect with clear skies and a light breeze.
  • -10
The Crusaders have won 34 of their 35 games at home against South African teams; a five-point defeat against the Sharks last season is the only blemish on the Crusaders' record during that run.
  • -20
The Lions have the opportunity to win on consecutive weekends in New Zealand for the first time since they went at it alone - in 2006. As they Cats they won back-to-back in April 2001.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby with the Crusaders taking on the Lions at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
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Crusaders
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Lions
START LINE UP
  • 15 David Havili
  • 14 Israel Dagg
  • 13 Tim Bateman
  • 12 Ryan Crotty
  • 11 Seta Tamanivalu
  • 10 Mike Delany
  • 9 Bryn Hall
  • 8 Jordan Taufua
  • 7 Matt Todd
  • 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis
  • 5 Sam Whitelock
  • 4 Scott Barrett
  • 3 Owen Franks
  • 2 Codie Taylor
  • 1 Tim Perry
RESERVES
  • 23 Manasa Mataele
  • 22 Mitchell Hunt
  • 21 Mitchell Drummond
  • 20 Pete Samu
  • 19 Luke Romano
  • 18 Michael Alaalatoa
  • 17 Wyatt Crockett
  • 16 Andrew Makalio
START LINE UP
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 13 Harold Voster
  • 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 11 Madosh Tambwe
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 9 Dillon Smit
  • 8 Hacjivah Dayimani
  • 7 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Albertus Smith
  • 5 Marvin Orie
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 3 Ruan Dreyer
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 1 Jacques van Rooyen
RESERVES
  • 23 Ashlon Davids
  • 22 Nic Groom
  • 21 Marnus Schoeman
  • 20 Cyle Brink
  • 19 Lourens Erasmus
  • 18 Johannes Jonker
  • 17 Dylan Smith
  • 16 Robbie Coetzee
Mc article messam v vermeulen 630

Preview: S15 Round Five, Part Two

Fri, 13 Mar 2015 00:18

SUPER SATURDAY: It is going to be a cracking day of entertainment and drama, as we look at five intriguing games.

It is going to be a cracking day of entertainment and drama, as super Saturday brings us five intriguing games.

It all starts in Christchurch when the Crusaders will look to put their campaign back on track against a Lions team fresh from a win over the Blues.

Then the Highlanders host the Waratahs in a trans-Tasman encounter that could be a good indication of the two teams' championship prospects this year.

Then follows a quick hop across the Tasman Sea where the struggling Reds host an impressive Brumbies in one of only two domestic derbies.

The match of the day will take place on the other side of the Indian Ocean, where the table-topping Stormers host the Chiefs, New Zealand's top team, at Newlands.

The day concludes in Bloemfontein when the Cheetahs will l9ook to bounce back from last week's disappointing loss to the Bulls when they host a struggling Sharks team.

We look at all Saturday's matches!

Saturday, March 14


Crusaders v Lions
(AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Kick-off: 16.30; 03.30 GMT, 05.30 SAST)

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has wasted no time in drafting in some big guns, as he looks to lift his seven-time champions from near the foot of the table.

Kieran Read, who missed the opening three games as part of New Zealand's broader World Cup plan, takes over the captaincy from regular skipper Matt Todd.

Throw in other big name All Blacks - like Sam Whitelock, also in his first game of the season, Richie McCaw and Dan Carter - an the enormity of the task facing the Lions becomes obvious.

Read spoke of the need to re-ignite his team's faltering Super Rugby and he is indeed one of the players that often provide the spark when the Crusaders need it most.

Read says the team need self-belief after losing to last year's cellar-dwellers, the Melbourne Rebels, in the opening round before a hard-fought win over the Highlanders and a record loss to the Chiefs before last week's bye.

"We've just got to back ourselves,"Read said in an interview with the NZ Newswire.

"I think we're lacking a little confidence in our ability," the All Black stalwart said.

"A few guys might have gone missing in our last game and we certainly don't want to be putting that on the track for our fans.

"It's a non-negotiable and it's about getting our skills up and playing the sort of rugby that the team and the individuals are capable of."

Read said the Crusaders respected the Lions, who toppled the Blues 13-10 in Albany last week and were unlucky to lose two games prior to that.

Their set piece had been particularly impressive, Read said.

Recent results:
2014: Crusaders won 28-7, Johannesburg
2012: Crusaders won 23-13, Johannesburg
2010: Crusaders won 46-19, Christchurch
2009: Crusaders won 32-20, Johannesburg
2008: Crusaders won 31-6, Christchurch
2007: Lions won 9-3, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Lions have the opportunity to win on consecutive weekends in New Zealand for the first time since they went it alone - in 2006. As they Cats (when they teamed up with the Cheetahs) they won back-to-back April 2001. Since the Lions beat the Crusaders in Christchurch in 2001, the New Zealand side have won 34 of their 35 games at home against South African teams; a five-point defeat against the Sharks last season is the only blemish on the Crusaders' record during that run. The Crusaders have lost their opening home game twice in the last three seasons, but have gone on to win their next home game on each occasion; the last time the Christchurch side lost their first two home games in a season was in 2004. The Crusaders have the best scrum success rate in the competition so far this season (96 percent); in their three games this season they have lost just one scrum on their own feed. The Lions are the only team this season to average fewer than one try per game (0.8); the Johannesburg team also average just 3.5 clean breaks per game; the lowest in Super Rugby this season. The Lions could push the Crusaders all the way, but it is unlikely they will cause another upset. The Crusaders to win by 10 points or more.

Teams:

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 David Havili.
 
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 Andries Ferreira, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Howard Mnisi.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)

Highlanders v Waratahs
(Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT; 17.35 AEDT)

Both teams won 'ugly' last week - the Highlanders having required a 80th-minute Marty banks penalty to steal victory from the Chiefs and while the defending champion Waratahs were more convincing against the Red, they were not as clinical as they would have liked.

The Highlanders may be catching the Tahs at just the right time.

Jamie Joseph has reshuffled his pack - among the changes first-choice flank Shane Christie making his season debut, after recovering from a knee injury.

The Waratahs named an unchanged side, but they will again be without the steadying influence of Adam Ashley-Cooper - who is struggling with a mysterious knee problem.

Highlanders Jamie Joseph, although pleased with last week's win, spoke of the need to eliminate the high error rate from their game against a Waratahs team very  well-equipped to exploit mistakes.

''It was a good result for us, but not entirely how we wanted to play," Joseph told the Otago Daily Times.

"We do need a bit more ball but to do that, we need to be a bit more clinical in our half and attack in their half. The first or only try we got started from under our own posts,'' he said.

''We can't rely on that sort of rugby every week to get across the line so that was the focus this week.

''We have got to be a lot smarter, do things a lot better - real basic stuff. Fortunately it did not cost us the result in the weekend but we come up against the opposition [Waratahs] that won the competition last year so we are going to have to be better.''

The Waratahs, in their first outing against a side from either New Zealand or South Africa, have weapons all over the park, and Joseph knows his side will have to be on its game to come away with a win.

''They're pretty strong. You do not stumble across the championship. They have X-factor players in the form of [Israel] Folau, [Kurtley] Beale and I'd put [Michael] Hooper in that.

"They've got a Wallaby tight five and a Springbok on the blindside that provide plenty of go-forward. You get a headache thinking about them, so we need to focus on our own stuff.''

Recent results:
2014: Waratahs won 44-16, Sydney
2012: Highlanders won 18-17, Dunedin
2011: Waratahs won 33-7, Sydney
2010: Highlanders won 26-10, Invercargill
2009: Waratahs won 34-16, Sydney
2008: Waratahs won 15-12, Dunedin

Prediction: The Highlanders have scored exactly 20 points in each of their three games so far this season with all three games being settled by a margin of seven points or fewer (won two and lost one). The 'Tahs have won their last four against Kiwi opposition; however they have lost eight of their last nine games in New Zealand. The 2014 champions have never won five in a row against sides from New Zealand. The Waratahs have gained the most metres (541), made the most clean breaks (10.7) and beaten the most defenders (25) on average this season. The Highlanders have the best line-out this season with the Dunedin-based side having success with 96 percent of their own throws so far. The Highlanders have conceded just one first half try this season, the lowest tally in the competition so far in 2015. Tough game to call, although on paper the Waratahs seem the better equipped. The Highlanders, at home, are always tougher and if they show the grit they did against the Chiefs last week they may well sneak a win - by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Pingi Ta'alapitaga, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 John Hardie, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery.
 
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/Ben Volavola.
 
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Reds v Brumbies
(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Kick-off: 18.40 local; 08.40 GMT, 19.40 AEDT)

There is always bad blood in these Australian derbies and the off-field verbal jousts usually suggest a brutal, ugly arm-wrestle.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham did not endear himself to the Brisbane franchise and their fans when - after a 47-3 win in Round One - suggested the Reds were not "up to the standard of Super Rugby".

It has been regurgitated by the Brisbane media this week, with Reds back row forward Jake Schatz saying his side would be using Larkham's comments as motivation ahead of the grudge derby.

Larkham has made a brave attempt to play down the impact by claiming he was quoted out of context and meant to say Queensland's performance level was not up to their usual high standards.

"I'm sure internally the Reds will focus on the game - they're not worried about external comments," Larkham told the Australian Associated Press.

"We're not trying to get into any war of words with coaches or players or anything like that.

"We're very focused on trying to take our game to the next level, which is, I'm sure, also their focus."

The Reds, who will be missing playmaker James O'Connor with a leg injury, will hope the return of veteran Wallaby James Horwill will spark the team after a shocking start to the season.

Horwill was a late withdrawal from last week's match due to back spasms, but has been declared fit.

"It is fantastic to have Kev [James Horwill] back in the team after a few weeks on the sideline," Reds coach Richard Graham said.

"His hand injury was a freak injury but a horrendous one at the same time. His withdrawal last week with a back spasm has allowed him an extra seven days recovery and he'll be fully fit this weekend."

The Reds' only win this season was a dour 18-6 triumph in an arm-wrestle with the Western Force in Brisbane in week two and they were also dire in their 5-23 loss to the Waratahs last week.

Graham hopes the team will turn it around this week.

"It's great to be playing at home again in front of the Reds faithful," the coach said.

"The team are upbeat and looking forward to the game against the Brumbies. The previous result [the 3-47 loss in Round One] has absolutely no bearing on this contest. We haven't even discussed it."

Recent results:
2015: Brumbies won 47-3, Canberra
2014: Brumbies won 23-20, Brisbane
2014: Reds won 27-17, Canberra
2013: Reds and Brumbies drew 19-all, Brisbane
2013: Brumbies won 24-6, Canberra
2012: Reds won 13-12, Canberra
2012: Reds won 20-13, Brisbane

Prediction: The Reds have lost five of their last six games at home to fellow Australian opposition with their last two defeats in that run seeing the Reds fail to score more than five points in either game. Of the 11 meetings between the two sides in Queensland, nine have been settled by fewer than 10 points. The Brumbies have lost just one of their last nine in Queensland (won seven and drawn one). The Reds are the only team so far this season to average fewer than 10 points per game, due in part to their 50 percent goal kicking success rate which is the joint-worst in the competition. The Reds have scored three of their four tries this season off first phase ball; no team in Super Rugby has scored as high a percentage of their tries from the first phase of possession. Adam Thomson has stolen a competition joint-high three line-outs for the Reds this season. It appear the Reds have been not recovered from the fall-out of the Karmichael Hunt cocaine saga, although the media are keen to point the finger at the coach. Whatever the reason, they appear unable to fight their way out of the wet paper bag. The Brumbies should win by at least 15 points.

Teams:

Reds: 15 Ben Tapuai, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Campbell Magnay, 10 Nick Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Marco Kotze, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Dave McDuling, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Johnson, 23 Tom Banks.
 
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, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Blake Enever, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Lausii Taliauli, 23 James Dargaville.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Stormers v Chiefs
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 15.00; 13.00 GMT; 02.00 Sunday, March 15 NZ time)

The match of the weekend - the table-topping and unbeaten Stormers against New Zealand's top tea.

The result of this match will be a good indicator of both side's championship prospects.

The Stormers, after many false starts, appears to be finally living up to the hype surrounding them.

Winning four from four, they couldn't ask for a better start with their steely defence the key.

The Chiefs should have the same stats, but for letting their match against the Highlanders slip in the dying minutes last week.

Despite having home ground advantage Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has been hard at work to keep his team grounded and is taking nothing for granted.

"We're in for a big one this weekend, of that there is no doubt," Coetzee told a media briefing.
 
"It's not for nothing that the Chiefs have won the Super Rugby title twice in the past three years and we need to be at our very best to win this one.
 
"They will test our defence in a different way, more so than before, as their biggest threat is the variety they bring on attack."
 
The loss of young Springbok firebrand Eben Etzebeth, has been offset by the return of experienced loose forward Schalk Burger, who is set to win his 99th cap for the Stormers if he comes off the bench.
 
Whilst Burger is on the verge of his 100th appearance for the Stormers, following in the footsteps of Andries Bekker, Jean de Villiers and Peter Grant before him, 23-year-old loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff will make his 50th appearance this Saturday.

* Look at an interesting statistical preview at the bottom of this article!
 
Recent results:
2014: Chiefs won 36-20, Hamilton
2013: Stormers won 36-34, Cape Town
2011: Chiefs won 30-23, Hamilton
2010: Stormers won 49-15, Hamilton
2009: Chiefs won 28-14, Cape Town
2008: Stormers won 35-26, Hamilton

Prediction: The Stormers have won their opening four games of the season, their best start since 2012 when they won their first six. The Chiefs have lost on just one of their last six trips to South Africa (W3 D2) however their one loss in that run came against the Stormers in March 2013. The Stormers have conceded the fewest metres and clean breaks on average this season, allowing their opponents to gain fewer than 300 metres and 3.5 clean breaks per game. The Chiefs have offloaded more than any other team on average this season, 18.3 per game; Sonny Bill Williams has made a joint competition-high nine offloads. No side has scored as many tries from inside their own half as the Chiefs so far this year (four). They have the star power and skills, but it is a tough ask for the Chiefs coming off a loss, travelling to the Republic and playing the top of the table side. The Stormers appear to have the desire and skill to go all the way. It won't be easy, but the Stormers should win by 10 points or less.

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Demetri Catrakilis, 23 Huw Jones.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Jamie Mackintosh, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Tom Marshall.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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

The Sharks will have revenge on their minds, not only because the Cheetahs beat them in Round One, but they have also lost three of their four matches so far this season.

The men from Durban have only played against South African opposition - the Cheetahs, Lions, Bulls and Stormers - with their only win having been against the Lions.

The Cheetahs have won three of their past four meetings, including their round one clash, but they haven't done it easily.

One thing is certain that between these teams, plenty of points will be scored. The Cheetahs have racked up 80 points in three games and the Sharks 106 in four.

Heinrich Brüssow returns for the Cheetahs off the bench, after missing the start of the season due to concussion.

Centre JP Pietersen insisted there is no crisis at the Sharks, despite their poor start to the season.

"I won't say we're in a crisis," Springbok star Pietersen said.

"A couple of good wins and then we're back in the competition.

"You can see by the results so far, there are a lot of away teams winning games, so Super Rugby is a long competition and there's a long way to go."

However, Pietersen admitted that one win out of four was unacceptable.

"I don't think one of four is acceptable for any team. So we need to step up."

The poor sequence of results under new director of rugby Gary Gold has meant that the Bok-laden Sharks are a lowly 10th position on the standings and with a lot of work to do in the coming weeks if they are to ignite their challenge for an elusive Super Rugby crown.

Recent results:
2015: Cheetahs won 35-29, Durban
2014: Cheetahs won 27-20, Bloemfontein
2014: Sharks won 19-8, Durban
2013: Cheetahs won 12-6, Durban
2013: Sharks won 29-22, Bloemfontein
2012: Sharks won 34-15, Durban
2012: Sharks won 34-20, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Cheetahs have won three of the last four meetings between the two teams, however all three wins yielded a losing bonus point for the Sharks. The Cheetahs have made fewer carries this season than any other team, an average of 70 per game, and have subsequently gained the fewest metres (277m per game). Only the Brumbies (3.3) have averaged more tries this season than the Cheetahs (three), however the Bloemfontein side also concedes the most points per game on average (30.7). Pieter-Steph du Toit has won more line-outs than any other player in Super Rugby this season, with 26 catches to his name in the set piece; he has also stolen a joint- high three line-outs. Willie Le Roux has assisted five tries so far this season, two more than the next-best performer in this category. The Cheetahs always seem to lift their game for the Sharks, who have looked disjointed since to off-season coaching revamp. The new boss, Gary Gold, may need a bit of time to get his message across - which will give the Cheetahs another chance of a win - by about 10 points.

Teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Johannes Prinsloo, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Teboho Mohoje, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 BG Uys, 17 Stephan Coetzee, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Steven Sykes, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.

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 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick / Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Marco Wentzel / Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Jack Wilson.
 
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com


Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article lions v crusaders

Crusaders overpower spirited Lions

Sat, 14 Mar 2015 05:14
The Crusaders reignited their faltering Super Rugby campaign with a 34-6 win over the Lions in Christchurch.
The Crusaders reignited their faltering Super Rugby campaign with a 34-6 win over the Lions in Christchurch.
 
The victory was built on the Crusaders' scrum dominance, and the bonus-point win was a welcome return to form for the seven-time champions, who had scored only four tries for one win in their opening three games.
 
The Crusaders looked rusty coming off the bye, and despite the return of big-hitters skipper Kieran Read and fellow All Black Sam Whitelock from extended leave, lacked composure in the first half.
 
All Blacks Dan Carter and Owen Franks also both were back from injury and suspension respectively, but the Crusaders couldn't seem to find any early fluency.
 
A combination of handling errors and an inability to build phases meant they managed only one try in the first half.
 
The Crusaders' scrum was on top early, and scrumhalf Andy Ellis made the most of front-foot possession in the sixth minute when Read slipped him the perfect pass off yet another attacking scrum five metres out.
 
The home team created plenty of chances after that, but it was only Carter's accuracy in sinking two penalties and a conversion which gave them a 13-3 lead at halftime.
 
The Crusaders looked a different team after the break, but it was the Lions who scored first, flyhalf Elton Jantjies sinking his second penalty after four minutes.
 
From then on, it was all Crusaders. Their dominance up front wore down the Lions, who had looked organised on defence and occasionally dangerous on the courterattack.
 
Prop Julian Redelinghuys was binned at the 50-minute mark, after he was warned earlier for infringing at scrum time. Five minutes later, after a series of strength-sapping scrums, referee Nick Briant awarded a penalty try.
 
Three minutes later, Kieron Fonotia crossed after good work from Jordan Taufua at the breakdown won turnover ball, and the Crusaders' ability to switch play and shift the ball wide stretched the Lions defence to breaking point.
 
Five minutes from fulltime, as the Lions tried to run the ball out from their own 22, Read swooped on a loose pass to cross unopposed for the bonus-point try.
 
Man of the match: The Lions loose trio lived up to their reputation with the hard-graft of Kriel balancing nicely with captain Warren Whiteley and the huge defensive effort of Warrick Tecklenburg (or 'Tacklingberg' as the commentator dubbed him!) Elton Jantjies also showed a new side to his game by fronted up massively in defense. For the Crusaders, the scrums were really powerful and special mention should go to Wyatt Crockett,  Nemani Nadolo also looked very sharp and dangerous, Kieran Read was a big presence but lock Luke Romano deserves the accolades for his hard work, good touches and carries.
 
Scorers:
 
For the Crusaders:
Tries: Ellis, Penalty try, Fonotia, Read
Cons: Carter 4
Pens: Carter 2
 
For the Lions:
Pens: Jantijies 2
 
Yellow Card: Redelinghuys (Lions, 51 - illegal scrumming)
 
Teams: 
 
Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 David Havili.
 
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 Andries Ferreira, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Howard Mnisi.
 
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)
 
TRIES
 
CONVERSIONS
 
PENALTIES
Elton Jantjies (26min) and Elton Jantjies (46min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Christchurch
REFEREE Nick Briant