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Super Rugby | Sydney
05:05 (GMT) | 22-03-2015
  • 80
Brumbies have another bash at the line, but they knock on. One last scrum to defend for the Waratahs. The ball is hacked into touch and the whistle for FULL-TIME goes. The Brumbies were kept scoreless in the second half - a repeat of their loss to the Waratahs in lasdt year's semifinal at the same venue. The Waratahs arebeginning to find some momentum, after a poor start to te season. The Brumbvies have lost their momentum and will have to use next week's bye to regroup. Join us again next week whn we bring you lots more Super Rugby drama!
  • 79
YELLOW CARD - Tolu Latu goes to the bin for repeated offences - collapsing the maul
  • 78
Another penalty to the Brumbies, 5m out, and more handbags - this is getting boring, can't we just have a real fight please?
  • 77
Brumbies win an offside penalty 5m out - they opt for a line-out
  • 76
Brumbies getting desperate on attack, playing for a losing bonus point now
  • 74
Bernard Foley hooks the touchline attempt past the left upright - 28-13
  • 73
TRY - Isreal Folau goes on a run from inside the Waratahs 22 and makes good ground. Brumbies scrambled. Qucik recycling near the Brumbies 22 and quick hands find Tolu Latu on the left wing, the hooker getting his first Super Rugby try
  • 71
Hold-up for another injuury - the Brumbies have lost a couple of key players - including Kuridrani and Arnold earlier in the half
  • 70
Scrum is a mess again, but eventually the Waratahs get it out and win a penalty at the breakdown. More handbags at 10 paces
  • 68
The Brumbies go wide to the right from the scrum - White, Toomua and Henry Speight over in the corner. The call goes to the TMO, who has several looks at the finger-tip touch-down and rules that it was a knock-on .. another wasted opportunity.
  • 67
Scrums remain a mess and this time the penalty goes to the Brumbies. They opt for another scrum.
  • 66
Scrum free kick to the Brumbies. Nic White taps and go quickly, but after a few phases there is a knock-on metres from the line. The Brumbies are just not clinical enough in their execution and it is going to cost them dearly
  • 64
Brumbies set up a maul deep inside the Waratahs 22, Slow progress and it becomes scrappy, but a Tahs hands knocks the ball on and the Brumbies have an attacking scrum 5m out
  • 62
Brumbies win a penalty at the breakdown near the Waratahs 10m line and there is handbags at 10 paces after Will Skelton executes a hip-throw on Nic White
  • 60
Scrum reset again - this is taking ages and the referee is now talking to both front rows
  • 59
That becomes a scrum and the scrum is reset again.
  • 58
After a period of some serious helter-skelter stuff, the Brumbies wins a line-out feed near the Waratahs 10m line
  • 57
Some scrappy play from both sides, lots of spilled ball and turnovers at the breakdown
  • 55
Another breakdown penalty against the Brumbies - referee ruled that Sam Carter was offside
  • 54
Scrum free kick to the Brumbies. 5m out from their own lne
  • 53
Waratahs set up a maul, but metres from the line the Brumbies manage to hault the maul and win a turnover, as the Waratahs can't extract the ball from the pile of bodies
  • 52
Another breakdown penalty going to the Waratahs - the Brumbies protesting loudly, but they're not getting anything from the referee
  • 50
Brumbies again turning the ball over on attacking deep inside the Waratahs half. Waratahs win a penalty at the breakdown inside the Brumbies half - players off their feet
  • 48
Brumbies look to get back into the game, but their hands let them down as they look to go wide from the restart - knock-on just outside the Waratahs 22
  • 47
Kurtkey Beale, from just on 50m out, slots the PENALTY and the Waratahs lead 23-13
  • 46
Waratahs win a penalty at the breakdown just inside the Brumbies half.
  • 45
Btoth teams make use of the boot to get some territory, but it is a stalemate, with the Waratahs eventuaslly winning a line-out throw near halfway
  • 43
Brumbies look to set up a maul, but there are some brutal hits by the Waratahs and the ball is spilled just outside the Waratahs 22 - Tahs defence won that round
  • 41
Bernard Foley gets the second half underway. Brumbies win an early line-out penalty, near halfway, for playing a man in the air

Half Time

  • 40
Waratahs charging hard at the Brumbies inside their 22, but the hits are big and brutal. The Brumbies hold on and win a crucial turnoer as the referee signlas that it is HALF-TIME. It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing game, but it is intriguing and entrawling. Join us in 10 minutes for lots more drama!
  • 39
Scrum is reset and the second time round the Brumbies get the shove-on. The referee rules a collapsed scrum and the Waratahs have the scrum feed again.
  • 37
Lots of emotion now in this game, as the Waratahs pile into a ruck and win a scrum feed - the brumbies just can't control possession at the moment.
  • 36
Waratahs scrum get their own back and win a penalty with a brutal shove. The Brumbies get marched 10 metres by the referee. They now have a line-out deep inside the Brumbies half.
  • 34
Scrum reset, as both front rows go to the ground
  • 33
Matt Toomua was injured in a tackle and goes for a concussion test. The Brumbies win a scrum near the Waratahs 22, as the Tahs fluff the restart.
  • 32
Bernard Foley slots the CONVERSION and the waratahs lead for the first time - 20-13
  • 31
TRY- Waratahs win the line-out just inside the Brumbies 22 and starting bashing away with their forwards. The ball goes wide where Israel Foleu become both the creative force and support runner and he gets the five-pointer.
  • 31
TRY- Waratahs win the line-out just inside the Brumbies 22 and starting bashing away with their forwards. The ball goes wide where Israel Foleu become both the creative force and support runner and he gets the fibe-pointer.
  • 30
Michael Hooper sprints down the left touchline and the Brumbies are forced to scramble. He is brought down metres from the line, but the Brumbies counter the ruck and win the turnover.
  • 28
Waratahs having a pruple patch now, winning a penalty at the breakdown near halfway - the counter-ruck forced the Brumbies into the error
  • 27
Bernard Foley adds the CONVERSION and it is lebel at 13-all
  • 26
TRY - Israel Foleu breaks the Brumbis'line with a great hand-off and Bernard Foley is up in support to get the five-pointer
  • 24
Waratahs bashing awa at the Brumbies just inside the Brumbies'half
  • 24
Brumbies under pressure inside their 22 and the clearance kick doesn't find touch
  • 23
Christian Lealiifano, from 25m out, slots the PENALTY to make it 13-6
  • 22
Scra[ppy play from both teams, which eventually turns into a scrum penalty to the Brumbies
  • 20
Waratahs win a free-kick at the scrum, but Wycliff Palu has a brain explosition and slaps an opponent. It is turned into penalty to the Brumbies.
  • 19
Brumbies now looking to run it out their half but Tevita Kuridrani throws a shocker - two metres in front of his support runner. Waratahs scrum near halfway
  • 18
Christian Lealiifano slots the PENALTY to make it a four-point game - 10-6
  • 17
Waratahs look to run it out of their 22, but they are penalised near their own 22m line for a cynical offence - the call goes to the TMO. This time it is just a penalty against the Watayahs. This will be debated, for sure - is there consistency here?
  • 15
Bernard Foley slots the PENALTY to narrow the gap to 6-7
  • 14
Foley goes to the air and the Brumbies make a meal of it. They are penalised for playing the ball from an offside position after it was allowed to bounce just metres from their line.
  • 13
Brumbies defence still under pressure, but the Brumbies hold firm and win a line-out just inside their 22
  • 11
Bernard Foley kicks the PENALTY to get the Waratahs on the board.
  • 10
Waratahs bashing away at the brumbies line, with the visitors coming off the line very quickly - too quickly for the referee who issues a warning to the Brumbies for repeated offences.
  • 8
YELLOW CARD: Scott Fardy looks for the intercept and the call goes to the TMO, who wants to see if it was a deliberate knock-on. Fardy gets 10 minutes in the bin.
  • 7
Waratahs bashing away with the forwards inside the Brumbies 22. Brumbies defence holding firm for now
  • 6
Brumbies get penalised just inside the Waratahs half, at the breakdown, and the Waratahs have an attacking line-out just outside the 22
  • 4
Christian Lealiifano adds the CONVERSION - 7-0
  • 3
TRY: Brumbies have a line-out on the Waratahs 22. It is scrappy, but the Brumbie4s get the ball back and Matt Toomua cuts the Waratahs'defence with a sniping run. He gets the first five-pointer of the match.
  • 1
Bernard Foley kicks downfield and just inside the Brumbies half they pile on the pressure at the breakdown. Rob Horne intercepts, but is called back for offside.
  • 0
Matt Toomua gets us underway here in Sydney!
  • -5
The teams are ready to take to the field.
  • -10
Healthy crowd building up here for this all-Aussie derby. It is going to be a cracker
  • -15
There will be some onterest in the breakdown battle between Michael Hooper and David Pocock, when the latter takes to the field in the second half. It is a trial for the Wallabies' openside flank position - a spot currently occupied by Hooper.
  • -20
The Brumbies top the Australian conference and a win will also see themovertake the Hurricanes at the top of the global standings. The Waratahs, 10 points behind the Brumbies, can claim second place in the Aussie conference should they win and will move into the top six as well.
  • -30
Welcome to Sydney, where we are gearing up for one of the BIG games of the weekend - the all-Australian derby between the Waratahs and Brumbies.
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
Mc brumbies logo 80x50
  • 15 Bryce Hegarty
  • 14 Alex Newsome
  • 13 Curtis Rona
  • 12 Kurtley Beale
  • 11 Taqele . Naiyaravoro
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 9 Jake Gordon
  • 8 Michael Wells
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 6 Ned Hanigan
  • 5 Rob Simmons
  • 4 Tom Staniforth
  • 3 Sekope Kepu
  • 2 Damien Fitzpatrick
  • 1 Tom Robertson
  • 23 Lalakai Foketi
  • 22 Nick Phipps
  • 21 Will Miller
  • 20 Jed Holloway
  • 19 Nick Palmer
  • 18 Harry Johnson-Holmes
  • 17 Hugh Roach
  • 16 Paddy Ryan
  • 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 lambie v cruden 630

Preview: S15 Round Six, Part Two

Thu, 19 Mar 2015 23:06

The stage is set for two days of high drama in the Super Rugby arena, as we take a look at Saturday and Sunday's matches.

The stage is set for two days of high drama in the Super Rugby arena on Saturday and Sunday, with the presence or absence of several big-name players the main attraction.

Star flank David Pocock will return to the spotlight for the Australian conference leaders, the Brumbies, against the defending champion Waratahs.

In contrast All Black superstar Sonny Bill Williams will be missing when the Chiefs take on the Sharks this weekend.

The Sharks also suffered a setback, with Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit ruled out for three months after knee surgery this week.

However, it is the decision of the Sharks to not rest key Springboks Marcell Coetzee, Patrick Lambie and Cobus Reinach that caused the biggest stir in the Republic.

Saturday's drama starts when the seven-time champion Crusaders, 10th on the standings after just two wins from four starts, host the 11th-placced Cheetahs (also two wins from four starts) in Christchurch.

We then cross the Indian Ocean to South Africa, where the seventh-placed Bulls (two wins from four starts) host the Western Force (12th, with just one win in five outings) in Pretoria.

The Sharks (sixth, with two wins in five starts) are then up against the Chiefs (fourth, just one loss in five outings).

Sunday's only game is the big all-Australian derby - where the defending champion Waratahs (eighth after recording just two wins) and the table-topping Brumbies (four wins in five outings) go head-to-head in a match that is an early wallaby trial.

We look at Saturday and Sunday's matches!

Saturday, March 21

Crusaders v Cheetahs
(AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Kick-off: 19.35; 08.35 SAST; 06.35 GMT)

The Crusaders, notoriously slow starters, will be without one of their most iconic players, Richie McCaw when the dangerous Cheetahs arrive in town.

McCaw, who has been replaced as openside flank by Matt Todd, is being rested up so he can be fresh when the Crusaders arrive in South Africa next week - where they will face the Bulls in Pretoria and the Sharks in Durban.

Coach Todd Blackadder made no secret of the fact that McCaw is being held back to be unleash in the Republic.

"That was part of the plan for both Richie and Matt," he said of the decision to rotate the two flanks, adding: "Both wore worn out a couple of weeks ago, so it's just purely rotation."

McCaw's absence coincides with the Cheetahs' famed poacher Heinrich Brüssow, who will start his first game of the season - after recovering from concussion-related symptoms he suffered while playing in Japan.

The Cheetahs, who haven't won in Australasia since their successful 2013 tour, have managed just one win outside Bloemfontein in their last 11 matches on the road. That victory was in Round One this year, when they beat the Sharks in Durban.

The Crusaders, who won just one of their first three matches, looked to be showing signs of improvement when they dismissed an underwhelming Lions team 34-6 last week.

However, their coach, Blackadder, felt they played nowhere near their true potential.

"I still think we have got some work to do," the coach said.

The Cheetahs, who lost their last two outings after winning in rounds one and three, will have to improve their defence and cut down on the high error count if they are to stop the slide that has set in, in recent weeks.

Recent results:
2014: Crusaders won 52-31, Bloemfontein
2012: Crusaders won 28-21, Christchurch
2011: Cheetahs won 33-20, Bloemfontein
2010: Crusaders won 45-6, Christchurch
2009: Cheetahs won 20-13, Bloemfontein
2008: Crusaders won 55-7, Christchurch

Prediction: The Crusaders have won five of their last six at home, with four of those wins coming by more than 20 points. In contrast, the Cheetahs have lost 10 of their last 11 games away from home, including the last five outside of South Africa, averaging 39 points conceded per game during those five matches. The New Zealand side has conceded more tries (nine) than they have scored (eight) so far this season, however, at home they have scored five tries and conceded just two. The Crusaders have beaten the fewest defenders on average this year. They have evaded just 11.8 would-be tacklers per game. The Cheetahs have conceded 29.8 points and three tries per game on average this season; no team has averaged more in 2015. The Cheetahs do have a realistic chance of an upset, but then they will need to be on top of their game. Anything less than 100 percent will not be good enough. Heinrich Brüssow versus Matt Todd is going to be a key head-to-head battle. The Crusaders may just have enough in the tank to sneak a win by less than seven points.


Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Kieron Fonotia, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 David Havili
Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 BG Uys, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Johannes Prinsloo, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Rayno Benjamin.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)

Bulls v Western Force
(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - Kick-off: 17.05; 23.05 AWST; 15.05 GMT)

The Western Force - despite having suffered four straight losses - do not fear the Loftus Versfeld factor and are willing to broadcast their confidence to the world.

History also seems to suggest they are a team that always push the Bulls to the limit, with the biggest home win by the team from Pretoria a 10-pointer (36-26) two years ago.

In fact in 2007, the year the Bulls won the first of their three titles, the Force scored an upset (30-27) victory at Loftus.

Force scrumhalf Alby Mathewson this week said are "quietly confident" of causing another upset.

"It's not like we're worried about playing in Pretoria or anything like that," Mathewson old the media from the team's base in South Africa.

"We are confident we can go there and do the job. Confidence in the group is still high. We still believe in what we're doing and how we do it.

"It's just about getting rid of those little inaccuracies."

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke is well aware of the threat posed by the visitors, but felt his team - fresh from last week's bye - will be able to maintain the momentum they built through the victories over the Cheetahs and Sharks in their last two outings.

Bulls captain Pierre Spies was a bit more cautious in his approach.

"We always seem to be in tight matches against each other," he said of a rivalry in which the biggest winning margin - home and away - was 28-15 victory by the Bulls in Perth in 2010, the year that they won their third title.

"The trick for us will be to play the big moments better and to execute whenever we create scoring opportunities."

Ludeke said he had been impressed by the way his charges turned their fortunes around after the home defeats in the opening weeks.

"The impressive thing was the way the players changed and their accuracy suddenly changed, then the belief came, and with that the momentum came as well," Ludeke said.

"We would like to continue with what made us a dangerous side before the break, getting into the right areas, converting that opportunity, accuracy on defence and squeezing opportunities and hopefully winning that field position battle."

Recent results:
2014: Force won 15-9, Perth
2013: Bulls won 36-26, Pretoria
2011: Force won 26-21, Perth
2010: Bulls won 28-15, Perth
2009: Bulls won 32-29, Pretoria
2008: Force won 15-14, Perth

Prediction: In the regular season, the Bulls have won their last 15 at home to Australian sides, last losing in February 2007; however that defeat was inflicted by the Force. The Force have averaged more time in possession than any other side this season (16 minutes and 32 seconds). The Bulls have the best ruck success rate this year (96 percent). The Western Australia side have the worst tackling success rate this season, making just 83 percent of their tackles so far in 2015. The Force has also averaged the fewest clean breaks this season, making just 4.2 per game. The Bulls, along with the Brumbies, have averaged the most points per game this season (28); this is due in part to their goal-kicking success rate in Super Rugby this season (86 percent). Handré Pollard is the second-highest point-scorer so far this season (72) and has so far averaged the most points per game of any player (18). In the Bulls' last match against the Cheetahs, Pollard joined an exclusive club of just nine Super Rugby players to score at least a try, a conversion, a penalty-goal and a drop-goal in the same match. The other players in this club are Carlos Spencer (1996), Andrew Mehrtens (1998), Glen Jackson (2001), Andre Pretorius (2003), Morne Steyn (2008), Kurtley Beale (2008), Quade Cooper (2011 & 2013) and Johan Goosen (2014). It may not be a run-away win for the Bulls, but it is difficult to see the Force cause an upset, given their poor form. The Bulls should win by between 10 and 15 points.


Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Jurgen Visser.

Western Force: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Luke Burton, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes (captain), 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Oliver Hoskins/Guy Millar, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Solomoni Jnr Rasolea.
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Pro Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Sharks v Chiefs
(Kings Park, Durban - Kick-off: 19.10; 06.10 Sunday, March 22 NZDT; 17.10 GMT)

The focus during the build-up to this game has been mostly on which players are in and who was out.

Sonny Bill Williams has failed to recover in time from his concussion issues and has been ruled out, while fellow centre Tim Nanai-Williams has flown home to New Zealand with a fractured finger.

The Sharks lost Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, who will spend the next three months on the sidelines, after undergoing knee surgery.

But the real drama involved the Sharks Springbok trio of Marcell Coetzee, Patrick Lambie and Cobus Reinach '- who will all feature in this vital match, despite a request from the Bok coach and the South African Rugby Union that they do not feature in more than five consecutive matches.

This will be their sixth successive outing.

The off-field issues aside, the Sharks know they are in for a testing encounter against a Chiefs team that ended the Stormers unbe4aten run last week.

"The Chiefs' backline has shown they can score a lot of tries," Sharks assistant coach Sean Everitt.

"The most important thing for us is stopping them from getting turnovers, that is where they are really strong and that is where they have scored the majority of their tries from."

Even without big names like Williams-times-two, they can still fall back on All Black flyhalf Aaron Cruden to weave his magic.

"We are a talented group ourselves," Everitt said, adding: "We have internationals in our backline - we have Cobus [Reinach] and Pat [Lambie] and obviously Frans [Steyn] and JP [Pietersen] as well as Odwa [Ndungane] and Lwazi [Mvovo] who have all played international rugby."

The Chiefs fought back to end the Stormers' unbeaten start to the season with a 28-19 win last weekend and have won on four of their seven visits to Durban.

However, the Sharks' stuttering season took a turn in the right direction last week with a bonus point win over the Cheetahs.

Recent results:
2013: Chiefs won 37-29, Hamilton
2012: Chiefs won 37-6, Hamilton (Final)
2012: Chiefs won 18-12, Durban
2011: Chiefs won 15-9, Hamilton
2010: Chiefs won 19-18, Durban
2009: Sharks won 22-15, Hamilton

Prediction: The Chiefs are aiming to win on consecutive weekends in South Africa for just the third time; a feat they last managed in April 2012. The Sharks' Marcell Coetzee is the joint top-try scorer this season, and the top- scoring forward after crossing the whitewash four times in five games. The Chiefs' James Lowe has made the most clean breaks (11) in Super Rugby this season. Nobody else is yet to hit double figures. The Hamilton-based side has averaged the most offloads per game (18) this season.  Sonny Bill Williams has made 13 of those offloads and the most of any player in the competition so far. The Sharks will be without Super Rugby's top line-out winner this season, Pieter- Steph du Toit, who had won (28) and stolen (four) more than any other player so far this year. This is going to be one of the most entertaining games of the weekend, both in terms of the quality of the rugby and the intrigue of the encounter. It is a tough call to make, but we feel the Sharks' curve is on the up and they will edge an arm-wrestle by less than 10 points.


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 Marco Wentzel, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Waylon Murray.
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Mitchell Graham, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Johan Bardoul, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Tom Marshall, 23 Hosea Gear.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Sunday, March 22

Waratahs v Brumbies
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 16.05; 05.05 GMT)

This is going to be a Wallaby trial, whether the coaches say so in public or not.

Top of that list of head-to-heads is the Michael Hooper versus David Pocock openside battle, when the latter eventually is released off the replacement bench.

How much time Pocock is given will be crucial in the Brumbies. drive to cement their top spot on the standings and keep the Waratahs at an arms-length in the race for top spot in the Australian conference.

The Brumbies lead the overall standings after five games, while the Waratahs have had a difficult start to their title defence losing two of their four outings.

The Waratahs' shaky defence faces another test in Sydney, with the Brumbies having scored a tournament-best 19 tries in their surge to the competition lead.

Coached by Waratahs' Michael Cheika's newly-appointed Wallaby assistant Stephen Larkham, the Brumbies have also conceded only three tries in five games this campaign.

"The Brumbies are a very well drilled team," the Waratahs' injured hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau said.

"They do everything well and our focus on Sunday will be on playing consistently throughout the whole match and delivering a full 80-minute performance, which we haven't managed yet."

He is supported in this view by wing Rob Horne, who will be vying for a place in the Wallaby side with Brumbies wing Joe Tomane.

"They're going extremely well," Horne said of the table-topping visitors.

"They've got a style that is working for them at the moment and they always finish off games when they get into winning positions."

Returning to their home ground for the first time since round one, Horne said that he and the rest of the team were keen to play an entertaining brand of rugby in front of their supporters.

"It's nice to finally have a game at home, especially being a Sunday, and hopefully we can turn it on in front of a hostile home crowd, Horne said.

"We always try to play attractive rugby, no matter what the conditions, but it would be great if the track was dry and we can put on an impressive display."

Sunday's game will be the first time the two sides have met since the Waratahs ended the Brumbies campaign in 2014, when they knocked them out in last year's semifinal in Sydney, 26-8.  

Recent results:
2014: Waratahs won 26-8, Sydney (semifinal)
2014: Waratahs won 39-8, Sydney
2014: Brumbies won 28-23, Canberra
2013: Waratahs won 28-22, Sydney
2013: Brumbies won 35-6, Canberra
2012: Brumbies won 19-15, Sydney
2012: Brumbies won 23-6, Canberra

Prediction: The Waratahs have won eight of the last nine meetings between these rivals in Sydney and have limited the Brumbies to no more than eight points in three of their last four wins during that run. No side has averaged more points (28) or tries (3.6) scored per game this season than the Brumbies, who have also conceded the fewest (10.4 and 0.6 respectively). The Waratahs however have averaged more carries, metres, clean breaks and defenders beaten than any other side this season. The Brumbies have allowed their opponents fewer metres and clean breaks than any other team this season, conceding 330 metres and 3.6 clean breaks on average per game. The ‘Tahs have conceded more turnovers, and won fewer in defence, than any other side this season. Nic White has been directly involved in six tries so far this season (two tries, four assists), more than any other player in Super Rugby this year. The Brumbies can be beaten, after all, they were knocked over by the Chiefs in week two. However, it will take a special effort and coach Michael Cheika's attention is being split between the Waratahs and the Wallabies - with the results speaking for themselves. The Brumbies should win this, but it will be by less than 10 points.   


Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 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 (c), 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: Hugh Roach, Jeremy Tilse, Paddy Ryan, Sam Lousi, Mitchell Chapman, Stephen Hoiles, Brendan McKibbin, Jono Lance, Peter Betham.

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 Scott Sio, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 David Pocock, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Lausii Taliauli.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Stuart Berry (both South Africa)
TMO: George Ayoub

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article israel folau try waratahs v

Waratahs shut Brumbies out

Sun, 22 Mar 2015 07:13

MATCH REPORT: The Waratahs, after trailing early, produced a powerful second-half performance to beat the Brumbies 28-13 on Sunday.

The Waratahs, after trailing early, produced a powerful second-half performance to beat the Brumbies 28-13 in their all-Australian Super Rugby derby in Sydney on Sunday.

In a physical game that at times teetered on the brink of boiling over, the Brumbies took a 13-6 lead inside the first half-hour.

However, the Waratahs bounced back to lead 20-13 at the break and shut the Brumbies out in the second half - the only points coming from a penalty and try by the Tahs.

The win saw the defending champion Waratahs move to within a point of the top six on the standings.

The Sydneysiders won the contact skirmishes and Wallaby fullback Israel Folau was outstanding in attack, scoring one try and having a hand in the other two scored by Bernard Foley and hooker Silatolu Latu.

The Waratahs fell behind 6-13 after 24 minutes, but led 20-13 at half-time following Foley and Folau's tries.

The Brumbies took a physical battering - with lock Rory Arnold leaving the field with a back complaint in the 60th minute, Wallaby centre Tevita Kuridrani coming off a few minutes later with his right arm in a sling and scrumhalf Nic White led off minutes from the end looking dazed.

Matt Toomua scored the Brumbies' only try in the third minute, but despite plenty of possession in the second half they were unable to get anywhere near the Waratahs.

Wing Henry Speight looked certain to score in the right corner as the Brumbies pressed the Waratahs' tryline, only to be knocked into the corner post by a desperate covering tackle from Wallaby flank Michael Hooper.

The Waratahs have now won nine of the last 10 meetings with the Brumbies in Sydney and have moved to within six points of the Brumbies in the Australia conference.

Folau was outstanding in attack and broke a six-match run without a try when he scored late in the first half.

The Waratahs killed off the Brumbies when Latu dashed over wide out for his first Super Rugby try, after Folau was involved twice in a passing move.

"It's always physical against the Brumbies and we felt we needed to be to win the match," Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis said.

"We scored some really good tries and that's how we like to play rugby and we've got to be better at that."

Brumbies counterpart Stephen Moore said the Waratahs played with a lot of momentum.

"I thought the Brumbies were excellent around the contact, we were a bit disappointing there and that was pretty telling in the game, and Izzy [Folau] carved us up a bit out wide."

Man of the match: Henry Speight had the occasional run, Nic White was feisty without being too effective, Scott Fardy was a workhorse, Scott Sio was powerful in the scrums and David Pocock made a satisfactory comeback. For the Waratahs Taqele Naiyaravoro caused all kinds of problems with ball in hand, Kurtley Beale had a few sublime moments, Bernard Foley directed his team well, Michael Hooper did his usual damage at the breakdown and on defence and Jacques Potgieter was wild beyond belief. However, our award goes to Waratahs fullback Israel Folau, who made good use of the limited opportunities and produced the moment of the match that resulted in the try - to hooker Tolu Latu - that put the match beyond the Brumbies.

The scorers:

For the Waratahs:
Foley, Folau, Latu
Cons: Foley 2
Pens: Foley 2, Beale

For the Brumbies:
Con: Lealiifano
Pens: Lealiifano 2

Yellow cards: Scott Fardy (Brumbies, 8 - professional foul, deliberately knocking the ball down), Tolu Latu (Waratahs, 79 - repeated infringements, collapsing the maul)


Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 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 Tolu Latu, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Mitchell Chapman, 21 Stephen Hoiles, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Peter Betham.

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 Scott Sio, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 David Pocock, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Lausii Taliauli.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Stuart Berry (both South Africa)
TMO: George Ayoub

Bernard Foley (26min)
Bernard Foley (27min) and Bernard Foley (32min)
Christian Lealiifano (4min)
Bernard Foley (11min), Bernard Foley (15min), and Kurtley Beale (47min)
Christian Lealiifano (18min) and Christian Lealiifano (23min)
VENUE Sydney
REFEREE Craig Joubert