ad link


0     29


Super Rugby | Brisbane
08:40 (GMT) | 14-03-2015
  • 81
Join us again later for more coverage of Super Rugby when the Stormers take on the Chiefs at Newlands in Cape Town
  • 80
The Reds go to Chris Feauai-Sautia from the scrum before Frisby is nearly through. However nothing comes of the attack as Speight intercepts and Coleman boots it out for FULL-TIME: Brumbies 29 -0 Reds
  • 79
The Reds now have possession deep in the Brumbie half but Speight turns it over and the Brumbies go wide, The Reds have an attacking line-out on the Brumbies 22 after a loose pass. They make their way into the 22 and take it through the phases before a grubber by Frisby is nearly gathered by Thompson and it is a scrum five metres from the Brumbies tryline for the Reds after a knock on
  • 74
Christian Lealiifano adds the CONVERSION and the Brumbies lead 29-0
  • 73
James Dargaville finds some space for his team now as the Brumbies go over halfway before it is kicked down field. The Reds run it back and loose pass by Tapuai is picked up by Christian Lealiifano who races away for the fifth TRY!
  • 72
James Dargaville finds some space for his team now as the Brumbies go over halfway before it is kicked down field. The Reds run it back and loose pass by Tapuai is picked up by Christian Lealiifano who races away for the fifth TRY!
  • 70
The Reds go wide with Chris Feauai-Sautia breaking through three tackles as they make their way in the Brumbies half. The Brumbies turn it over but Whites kick goes out on the full and the Reds start again from a line-out. Chris Feauai-Sautia make another few metres before Tapuai find space on the touchline. Th Reds are just outside the Brumbies 22 now
  • 67
The Reds clear their lines through Frisby who finds touch near the Reds 10 metre line. From the line-out the Brumbies go to Speight in the midfield before it is lost forward a few phases late and the Reds will get a scrum on their own 10 metre line
  • 64
From an attacking line-out in the Reds 22, The Brumbies opt for a driving maul before White sends it wide. Coleman finds space and the Brumbies are now just five metres away from the Reds tryline. They get a penalty and Moore takes it quickly and Kuridrani is nearly through before Speight loses it forward. Scrum to Reds five metres from their own tryline
  • 62
The Reds are now on attacking near halfway but they can't find away past the Brumbies defence and they kick it away. The Brumbies now go on the attacking with Fardy finding space over halfway before it is spead to Speight. The Brumbies get the penalty after a high tackle by Saia Faing'a on White
  • 59
Christian Lealiifano misses the conversion and it is 22-0 to the Brumbies
  • 57
This time it is a penalty for the Brumbies with the Reds front row collapsing and Moore asks for another scrum with the Reds under pressure. The Brumbies get another penalty, this time the Reds front row were angling in. After another scrum Vaea picks it up at the base before Arnold takes it up and then Ita Vaea dives over for the fourth TRY!
  • 54
With the Reds down to seven men in the pack the Brumbies pile on the pressure in the scrum, but the Reds hold out and the Brumbies will get another opportunity. This time the away team gets a free-kick with Slipper not square enough and the Brumbies go for another scrum
  • 51
The Reds are now on the attack in the Brumbies 22, but they give away a penalty after Schatz holds onto the ball after taking a quick tap. The Brumbie now from a line-out on halfway goes to the midfield with Fardy and Arnold taking the tackles. Speight takes his team over halfway with Alexander getting the break before James Dargaville gets a pass and is over the tryline but is held up. Scrum for the Brumbies five metres from the Reds tryline
  • 48
Christian Lealiifano adds the CONVERSION and it is 17-0 to the Brumbies
  • 47
And Liam Gill gets a YELLOW CARD for lifting White in the air at the ruck
  • 47
From the scrum the Brumbies win the penalty with Talakai not pushing straight and White gives his team an attacking line-out in the Reds 22. The away team goes to the short side with Moore brought down short before Alexander gets his second TRY! of the game.
  • 45
The brumbies now keep the ball before Coleman breaks and finds himself on halfway. The Reds win the turn over but it will be a scrum for the Brumbies on halfway after Genia's kick goes dead behind the goal
  • 43
The Brumbies try and run it out from their 22 before Coleman gives the Reds an attacking line-out just outside of the Brumbies 22. The Reds win a penalty after a Brumbies player tries to play it in the ruck and Frisby from 40 metres out misses another penalty kick, with the score remaining 10-0
  • 41
SECOND HALF: Reds' flyhalf Nick Frisby gets the second half under way!

Half Time

  • 40
From the restart Frisby sends a high ball but it is easy taken by Coleman in his 22 before calling the mark. He boots the ball into touch for HALF-TIME: Brumbies 10-0 Reds
  • 39
Moore over throws and the Reds will have a scrum just inside the Brumbies half. After a long chat from the ref to sort out the scrums, the home team wins a free-kick and Anthony Fainga'a takes it up and the Reds win a penalty after Frisby is taken in the air after a chip kick. Frisby line the kick from 40 metres out and misses the penalty and the score remains 10-0
  • 36
The Reds, from the 22 metre line-out, set up a driving maul but good work from Carter wins the Brumbies the scrum after they Reds don't use it with the maul collapsing. From the scrum, after a number of resets, the Brumbies get a penalty after a collapsed scrum and White gives his team a line-out between halfway and the Brumbies 10 metre line
  • 33
Thompson takes the ball up before Frisby sends a kick down field. Speight loses the ball forward and Kuridrani takes his team into the Brumbies 22. The home team is met with some stern defence before Toomua intercepts and is tackled into touch. The Reds have an attacking line-out on the Brumbies 22
  • 31
Both teams are in a kicking duel now before Tapuai sends a chip kick and the Brumbies run it from their own 10 metre line through Toomua. Toomua sends a kick down field after a number of phases and after another duel, White finally find touch near halfway
  • 28
Christian Lealiifano misses the CONVERSION and it is 10-0 to the Brumbies
  • 27
White goes wide before Speight bulldozers his way in the 22. Christian Lealiifano almost finds a gap and are just a metre short now and Ben Alexander bashes his way past two defenders for the TRY!
  • 25
The Brumbies get a penalty from the lien-out and White gives his team an attacking line-out in the Reds 22 as Frisby goes off for a concussion test. The Reds steal the line-out through Horwill and they go wide before it is lost forward as they try to run it out. Scrum to the Brumbies 10 out from the Reds 22
  • 23
The Brumbies keep the ball deep in their own half before White sends a box kick. Frisby returns the kick and Toomua send a big one before Genia finds touch on the 10 metre line
  • 22
Christian Lealiifano misses the CONVERSION and the Brumbies lead 5-0
  • 20
From a line-out just outside their 22, the Brumbies form a maul of their own before White sends a high ball and Frisby is tackled into touch near halfway. The Brumbies go through Speight to get them over the advantage line in the Reds 22 and Toomua is nearly through before Stephan Moore is in for the first TRY! of the game
  • 18
The Reds form a maul before giving it to Gill who is met with some hard defence. Anthony Fainga'a is nearly through and they get a penalty. They opt for a line-out five metres from the Brumbies tryline. They lose the line-out and the Brumbies get a penalty after Kotze is offside
  • 15
The Brumbies counter rucks and White kicks into touch, The Reds start again from a line-out just outside the Brumbies 22 and they form a driving maul as they make their way in the 22. The Ball is given to Tapuai who is nearly through, The Reds get a penalty after a Brumbies kick down field and will have a line-out in the Brumbies 22
  • 13
The Brumbies keep the ball close before Coleman finds touch just outside the 22. From the line-out the Reds lose it but Horwill turns it over and Genia send a grubber kick in touch the Brumbies play it quick and the Reds have a line-out in the Brumbies 22
  • 11
From the scrum the Reds win the penalty with Alexander collapsing for the Brumbies. Frisby caanot find touch and Kuridrani is over the halfway for the Brumbies. The Reds turn it over before Genia sends a high ball which is take well by Coleman. White;s kick is charged down by Frisby and the Brumbies will have a line-out five metres from their own line
  • 7
White finds a good touch finder deep in the Reds 22 and the home team has to defend the set piece. They go wide but are met with good defence before Frisby kicks down field. the ball is given to Tomane who knocks the ball on and the Reds will have a scrum on their 22
  • 5
Christian Lealiifano misses the penalty and the score remains 0-0
  • 4
From the line-out the Brumbies go to Tomane who runs into the Reds defence, but they lose the ball after they could not use it from the maul. The Reds now have a scrum in their own 22. The Brumbies wins the penalty after Talakai collapse and the Brumbies want the 3 points
  • 2
Genia clears from the restart and the Brumbies run it back with Arnold making progress over halfway. The Brumbies get a penalty and will have an attacking line-out on te Reds 22
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Matt Toomua gets the game under way!
  • -5
Of the 11 meetings between the two sides in Queensland, nine have been settled by fewer than 10 points.
  • -10
The Brumbies have lost just one of their last nine in Queensland (won seven and drawn one).
  • -15
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.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Supper Rugby with the Reds taking on the Brumbies at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Mc reds logo 80x50
Mc brumbies logo 80x50
  • 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 Tom Banks
  • 14 James Dargaville
  • 13 Tevita Kuridrani
  • 12 Christian Lealiifano
  • 11 Chance Peni
  • 10 Wharenui Hawera
  • 9 Matt Lucas
  • 8 Isireli Naisarani
  • 7 David Pocock
  • 6 Tom Cusack
  • 5 Blake Enever
  • 4 Rory Arnold
  • 3 Allan Alaalatoa
  • 2 Folau Fainga'a
  • 1 Scott Sio
  • 23 Andrew Smith
  • 22 Kyle Godwin
  • 21 Joe Powell
  • 20 Michael Oakman-Hunt
  • 19 Sam Carter
  • 18 Leslie Leulua'lali'l-Makin
  • 17 Nic Mayhew
  • 16 Robbie Abel
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article reds brumbies moore

Brumbies do the double over Reds

Sat, 14 Mar 2015 10:24

The Brumbies' front row played a starring role in a convincing 29-0 victory over the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.

The Brumbies' front row played a starring role in a convincing 29-0 victory over the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
Prop Ben Alexander touched down twice as the visitors ran five unanswered tries past their Aussie rivals, provisionally moving to the top of the overall standings in the process.
The loss leaves the Reds languishing second-last in the standings ahead of their bye next weekend.
A pretty poor first half, punctuated by kicking and conservative tactics failed to capture the imagination. 
The Brumbies led 10-0 at the interval thanks to tries from Wallaby front row forwards Stephen Moore and Alexander.
The visitors really should have been further ahead having ruled both the possession and territory stats but a combination of missed chances and below-par kicking from Christian Lealiifano kept the Reds in the hunt.
The Brumbies' domination of the scrum battle provided the platform for three more tries after the break as Alexander grabbed his second before No.8 Ita Vaea added his name to the scoresheet and Christian Lealiifano rubbed salted into the wounds.
It took almost 20 minutes for the first points to be scored as Moore charged over from short range following a good build up and half-break from Matt Toomua.
Alexander rumbled over just before the half-hour mark, profiting from some terrible defensive spacing from the Reds to double the lead.
Lealiifano sent both conversion attempts wide, but it mattered little as Reds flyhalf Nick Frisby was way off target with long-range penalty attempts on either side of the halftime break.
Alexander bagged his second try as he muscled his way over after catching the Reds napping around the fringes of a ruck. This time Lealiifano landed the conversion to stretch the lead to 17-0.
To make matters worse for the hosts, flank Liam Gill was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Nic White in the build up to the try.
The Reds were lucky not to cough up a penalty try after a series of scrums 5m from their line, but the Brumbies still got their reward as Vaea bundled over.
Lealiifano missed the conversion - again - but made amends somewhat as he raced home for an intercept try from 40 metres out in the dying minutes. He added the easy extras from in front of the sticks.
The Reds came desperately close to snatching a consolation try at the death, but a comedy of errors summed up their dire night.
Man of the match: The Brumbies No.8 looked impressive with his bustling runs, as did Stephen Moore as he continues to pick up form after a major injury suffered last year June. The award however goes to another front row forward in Ben Alexander for his two tries and impressive scrumming performance.
For the Reds:
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Moore, Alexander 2, Vaea, Lealiifano
Cons: Lealiifano 2
Yellow Card: Liam Gill (Reds, 47 - dangerous tackle, lifting the man beyond the horizontal)
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)
Christian Lealiifano (73min)
Christian Lealiifano (48min) and Christian Lealiifano (74min)
VENUE Brisbane
REFEREE Andrew Lees