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Super Rugby | Bloemfontein
15:05 (GMT) | 14-03-2015
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Join us again next week for more live coverage of Super Rugby.
  • 80
The CONVERSION is good and the score is now 27-10 to the Sharks. The Cheetahs get the restart and go for one last attack but they lose it and it is FULL-TIME
  • 79
The Cheetahs take the penalty quickly but still can't find a way through before Venter bashes his way for the Cheetahs first TRY
  • 79
The home team goes for a driving maul and Kankowski is YELLLOW CARDED for collapsing
  • 78
The Cheetahs now go on the attack and wins a penalty in the Sharks 22 and Brussow gives his team an attacking line-out five metres from the Sharks tryline as the rain comes down at the Free Sate Stadium. They lose the line-out but get another opportunity after a poor kick from the Sharks
  • 76
Lambie misses the conversion and the Sharks lead 27-3
  • 74
The Cheetah's get another penalty on halfway and they take it quickly and the Sharks turn it over with Lambie and Pietersen making ground before it s passed to Wilson who is in for the fourth TRY!
  • 73
The Sharks, from the scrum in the home team's 22 give away a penalty for an early engagement and Brummer boots the ball towards halfway. From the line-out the Cheetahs win another penalty and they take it quickly with Sadie sending a chip kick. The Sharks run it back with Mvovo who makes his way in the Cheetahs 22 but his pass does not go to hand and the Cheetahs run it out
  • 71
The Cheetahs take a quick line-out in their 22 before Mahoje slips as the Cheetahs are playing deep in their own half. Brummer sends a monster kick down filed but it goes dead and the Sharks will have an attacking scrum in the Cheetahs 22
  • 69
From a line-out five metres from the Cheetahs line-out the Sharks give the ball away and the Cheetahs have a scrum five metres from there own tryline. Venter runs it before Blommetjies kicks it away. The Sharks counter with Ndungane but the away team loses the ball in touch in the Cheetahs 22
  • 66
Blommetjies now finds space with a good run over halfway before he passes to Venter. The Cheetahs lose the ball again in the next few phases and Lambie kicks down field. Hendricks sends a chip kick but does not get it and the Sharks win the penalty with Cheetahs players offside from the kick
  • 64
The Sharks win the line-out on the Cheetahs 22 but they cannot do anything with it and the Cheetahs win the penalty. Brummer finds touch near their own 10 metre line. The Sharks win the line-out again, but this time Brussow steals it and a kick down field gives a line-out to the Sharks near their 22 metre line
  • 62
The Cheetahs scrum is under pressure and the Sharks win the penalty, Lambie gives them an attacking line-out in the Cheetahs 22. They opt for a driving maul and make their way towards tryline and Marcell Coetzee gets the try, but its not as it was offside at the amul an the Cheetahs clear
  • 60
The Cheetahs can;t take the line-out cleanly and the Sharks gets the line-out now. They kick down field, before Le Roux and Rhule attempts to run it out from their own half but it is lost forward by a Sharks player and the Cheetahs have a scrum five metres outside of their 22
  • 58
From the line-out The Cheetahs go wide with Hebdricks nearly losing the ball. The Sharks turn it over and Pietesen loses the ball forward near the Cheetahs 22 after he evades Cook's tackle. The Cheetahs now have a defensive scrum. They get the penalty with Chadwick going down in the set piece and Brummer finds touch 10 metres from the Sharks 22
  • 56
The Cheetahs struggle to find a way past the Sharks defence until Le Roux finds a gap but a loose pass give tha ball back to the Sharks who clear, The Cheetahs mow get the penalty near their 10 metre line with Coetzee not rolling away for the Sharks. Brummer gives the Cheetahs a line-out near the Sharks 10 metre line
  • 54
The Cheetahs, from the scrum on halfway , takes it up with Brussow before Venter is smashed in the tackle. The home side make their way in the Sharks half with le Roux finding some space. It comes to nothing as the ball goes out in touch, but it is a Cheetahs' throw in near the Sharks 22
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From the restart Reinach sens a poor high ball and Brummer calls for the mark and finds touch close to the Cheetahs 10 metre line. The Sharks go in the midfield with Steyn, but the Cheetahs win the penalty. Pretorius takes it quickly and the Cheetahs will have a scrum on halfway
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From the lien-out Brummer goes wide and Rhule is through to the tryline but a forward pass from Le Roux brings play back fro a scrum to the Sharks on halfway. The Sharks go wide before Marais' grubber goes in the in goal area
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From the scrum in their own 22, the Cheetahs win the penalty with the Sharks wheeling it and Brummer finds touch on halfway.
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The Sharks from a scrum in their own 22 clears with Lambie find touch near halfway. From the Line-out the Cheetahs opt for the driving maul before Du Plessis kicks out on the full. The Sharks now with a line-out near the Cheetahs 10 metre line. They take it through the phases before Reinach is nearly through and is brought down in the Cheetahs 22. But the Cheetahs turn it over and will get the scrum
  • 43
The Sharks are under pressure at the restart and Reinach's kick is charged down. They will have a scrum deep in their own 22 now. The Cheetahs turn it over with Boom Prinsloo making ground in the Sharks 22 before it is lost forward,
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SECOND HALF: Cheetahs' flyhalf Willie du Plessis gets the second half under way!

Half Time

  • 40
From the five metre line-out the Cheetahs nearly make their way over the tryline but it is turned over and Lambie clears. Rhule loses the ball forward after good pressure from the Sharks chases and the away team has a scrum near halfway. From the scrum Reinach goes wide with Steyn staying strong in the tackle. A knock-on ends the half. HALF-TIME: Cheetahs 3-22 Sharks.
  • 38
Pieter-Steph du Toit is down injured now and goes off in what looks like a serious blow to his knee. The Cheetahs opt for a five metre line-out and form a driving maul and the Sharks defend it well. Willie du Plessis sends a cross kick, but play is brought pack for a penalty and the Cheetahs opt for the five metre line-out again
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From a line-out in their own half and kicks downfield and Marais kick out on the full again to give the Cheetahs an attacking line-out on the Sharks 22 line. Oosthuizen takes it up before Hendricks almost finds a gap. The Cheetahs have the penalty now 10 metres from the Sharks' tryline
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Lambie adds the CONVERSION and the Sharks lead 22-3
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The Cheetahs now wide with Sadie on halfway but he id driven back. Le Roux's chip is well read and the Sharks kick down field and get another penalty in the Cheetahs 22. They go for the five metre line-out and form a maul and Marcell Coetzee is over for another TRY!
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Lambie hits the post with the conversions and the Sharks lead 15-3
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The Sharks form a maul and Marcell Coetzee gets the TRY! with the Cheetahs having know chance of stopping the drive
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From a line-out on halfway the Cheetahs go on the attack before it is lost forward and the Sharks win another penalty just on their side of halfway. Lambie finds touch deep inside the Cheeetahs 22 for an attacking line-out
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Lambie sets up the kick about 35 metres from the Cheetahs tryline after that scuffle and he kicks the PENALTY to over to give the Sharks a 10-3 lead
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From an attacking line-out on the Cheetahs 10 metre line the Sharks go wide and they get a penalty after a high tackle from Cook as a massive scuffle breaks out between the teams.
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Marcel Coetzee takes the ball up before Lambie sends a cross kick. The Sharks get the ball back before Lambie and Le Roux get involved in a kicking duel. Venter takes the Cheetahs over halfway with a good step and Rhule is nearly through on the flanks but the Sharks win the penalty after he holds on
  • 20
Lambie sends a kick down field before Le Roux returen with interest. Frans Steyn steals the ball after a poor pass by Le Roux and Lambie kicks in the Cheetahs 22 which is gathered by Rhule. The Sharks have a line-out now on the Cheetahs 10 metre lien
  • 18
The Sharks from a defensive scrum Marais sends a kick out on the full and the Cheetahs have an attacking line-out just outside the Sharks 22. They win a penalty with the Sharks players offside and Willie du Plessis line up the kick and misses the penalty. The score remains 7-3 to the Sharks
  • 15
From a line-out in the Sharks half the Cheetahs go through the midfield before it is kicked down filed and Ndungane is tackled into touch. The Cheetahs from the line-out sends a kick over the to but JP Pietesen call s for a mark, The Cheetahs start again from the Sharks 10 metre line
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The Cheetahs now have possession on the halfway, but it is turned over and SP Marais kicks out on the full and the Cheetahs will have a line-out near the Sharks 10 metre line. The Sharks win it and Lambie kicks down field
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Lambie adds the easy CONVERSION and the Sharks lead 7-3
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The Sharks now from a scrum 10 metres from the Cheetahs 22 go to the short side with Lambie nearly through a half gap. Now in the Cheetahs 22 the ball goes to the midfield and Frans Steyn goes over for the TRY!
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Du Plessis converts the PENALTY and the Cheetahs lead 30-0
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From the scrum the Cheetahs get a free-kick and Pretorius take sit quickly. They make their way in the Sharks 22 and get a penalty with the Sharks offside. Willie du Plessis goes for the polls.
  • 3
Willie le Roux kicks down field, but play is brought back for a penalty to the Cheetahs and Du Plessis gives his team a line-out on the Sharks 22 metre line. the home team is met with strong defence and are tackled behind the gain-line before Mahoje finds space, but the Cheetahs cannot use it and the Sharks get a scrum just outside their 22
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KICK-OFF: Sharks' flyhalf Pat Lambie gets the game under way!
  • -10
Sharks' lock 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..
  • -20
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.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby with the Cheetahs taking on the Sharks in Bloemfontein.
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
Mc sharks logo 80x50
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 14 William Small-Smith
  • 13 Francois Venter
  • 12 Niel Marais
  • 11 Sibahle Maxwane
  • 10 Johan Goosen
  • 9 Tian Meyer
  • 8 Uzair Cassiem
  • 7 Oupa Mohoje
  • 6 Paul Schoeman
  • 5 Reniel Hugo
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 3 Johannes Coetzee
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche
  • 23 AJ Coertzen
  • 22 Clinton Swart
  • 21 Zee Mkhabela
  • 20 Henco Venter
  • 19 Reynier Bernardo
  • 18 Tom Botha
  • 17 Charles Marais
  • 16 Jacques du Toit
  • 15 Garth April
  • 14 Jacobus Van Wyk
  • 13 Lukhanyo Am
  • 12 Marius Louw
  • 11 Odwa Ndungane
  • 10 Curwin Bosch
  • 9 Louis Schrueder
  • 8 Daniel du Preez
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 6 Keegan Daniel
  • 5 Ruan Botha
  • 4 Tyler Paul
  • 3 Ross Geldenhuys
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 1 Thomas Du Toit
  • 23 Rhyno Smith
  • 22 Tristan Blewett
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 20 Jacques Vermeulen
  • 19 Jean Droste
  • 18 John-Hubert Meyer
  • 17 Juan Schoeman
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
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 cheetahs sharks oosthuizen

First-half blitz wins it for Sharks

Sat, 14 Mar 2015 16:40

The Sharks have got back to winning ways after scoring three tries in the first half to sink the Cheetahs 27-10 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Sharks took Super Rugby revenge for their loss against the Cheetahs in Round One by beating the hosts 27-10 at the Free State stadium on Saturday.
The Durban side dominated the first half and enjoyed a half-time lead of 22-3 after the Cheetahs failed to come to the party in the first 40 minutes.
The hosts got on the scoreboard first thanks to a penalty by flyhalf Willie du Plessis, who came in as a late replacement for the injured Joe Pietersen.
But it was to be the last time the Cheetahs would trouble the scorers in the first half.
The Sharks came alight, with Springbok flank Marcell Coetzee crossing the whitewash twice.
Springbok center Francois Steyn opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a good try, which flyhalf Pat Lambie converted.
That left Coetzee to score, dotting down in the 29th and 32nd minute, with Lambie converting one of those after adding a penalty earlier.
The Sharks took the foot off the pedal in the second half, but the Cheetahs also defended much better than in the first.
The Sharks still managed to score a bonus-point try in the last 10 minutes via replacement Jack Wilson.
Lambie could not convert, but the Sharks still left Bloemfontein with the bonus point in the bag.
A late try by center Francois Venter in the dying seconds for the Cheetahs was not enough as the Sharks walked away with maximum points.
Man of the match: Coenie Oosthuizen continued to impress this season, especially in the loser stuff. Heinrich Brussow returned to the Cheetahs and proved what a menace he can be at the breakdown. For the Sharks, Frans Steyn had an excellent all round game and showcased a number of skills while the two flanks, Renaldo Bothma and Marcell Coetzee, were outstanding - even replacment lock Marco Wentzel looked sharp. However, in the end Coetzee deserves the award for, among many things, his two tries.
For the Cheetahs:
Try: Venter
Pen: Du Plessis, Brummer
For the Sharks:
Tries: Steyn, Coetzee 2, Wilson
Cons: Lambie 2
Pens: Lambie 
Yellow Card: Ryan Kankowski (Sharks, 79 - offsides at the maul)
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)
Francois Venter (79min)
VENUE Bloemfontein
REFEREE Chris Pollock