||Join us next week for more live coverage of Super Rugby with the Chiefs taking on the Crusaders first up in Round 10.|
||The Bulls win the line-out and Van Zyl plays Schoeman, a handling error in midfield sees the final whistle being blown. That brings us to FULL-TIME. The Bulls are victorious.|
||Van Zyl play Schoeman who throws a skip to Eneglbrecht but he can't hold on. The reds now on the attack as Hunt is looking dangerous but throws a skip pass to nobody into touch.|
||The Reds awarded with another scrum as Frisbee plays Hunt who passes to Kerevi running hard. Gill picks up and drives. Genia moves the ball right but it is lateral for the Reds and Turner knocks-on on the 50m for a Bulls scrum.|
||The Bulls lose it forward at the line-out and the Reds earn a scrum. Thompson picks up at the base and Genia passes to frisby who puts a chip over but Peyper stops play for an injury to Van der Merwe. Play is restarted with a scrum to the Reds on their own 22m.|
||The Reds attack from deep as Kurindrani runs down the wing. Frisbree is pushed into touch from the ruck and the Bulls receive a line-out. They secure the ball but loose it forward from Hougaard's miss-pass. The reds earn a scrum but are penalised. Schoeman kicks for the corner.|
||Schoeman makes the conversion.|
||Van Zyl feeds the scrum, and the Reds earn a penalty as Mellet is guilty of collapsing. Turner clears down field, and the Reds have a line-out on their 10m. Genia plays Frisbee who passes to Hunt as he kicks high. Hougaard counters but Van Zyk is dragged into touch. The bulls win the line-out and begin attacking as the yspread wide to Basson. Hougaard now breaks down the middle of his field as he comes off his wing.Gill makes another excellent try-saving tackle. Van Zyl throws a dummy and dives over for a try.|
||Kriel calls a mark in his 22, and he punts down field. After a kick exchange the Reds begin a counter. The ball has popped out at the ruck and Odendaal hacks it through and chases down towards the Reds try-line. Gill rescues the Reds at the back but is taken into touch. The Bulls form a drive off the line-out and Stegman breaks off but is held up over the line. The Bulls receive a scrum 5m out.|
||Schoeman makes the conversion to add a further 2 points.|
||Bulls restart deep as the reds clear for touch. The Bulls have a line-out on the Reds 10m. Paige passes to Schoeman who plays Odendaal flat and he slices straight through as Kerevi did earlier, Odendaal steps off his left and beats Hunt as he powers over for the try.|
||Turner again can't raise the flags from out wide.|
||Reds win the line-out and Hunt kicks down the throat of Hougaard. There is a kick exchange before Schoeman puts it out on the reds 10m for a Reds line-out. Slipper plays Genia off the top and Frisby plays Kerevi flat who slices straight through the Bulls defence, and hands off Kriel as he dashes for the corner. He is tackled 5m short but Kotze shows good follow up play as he picks up and dives over for the try. Poor defence from Kriel yet again.|
||The Reds restart as Hattingh controls for the Bulls. Paige plays Schoeman and he kicks safely into touch for a Reds line-out on the visitors 10m line.|
||Schoeman attempts the extra 2 points but his radar is off target.|
||The Bulls repeat their previous play as they kick for touch and set the line-out drive. Marcel van der Merwe forces his way over the line but Peyper goes upstairs as there may have been a double-movement. Peyper rules against the double movement and the try is awarded.|
||Bulls restart and the Reds return with a kick, Kriel breaks the line and finds Hougaard in support. Peyper awards a penalty for the Bulls. The Bulls opt for touch and win the line-out. They form a maul and drive over the line, but the maul is illegally pulled down by Thompson. Peyper shows him the Yellow card.|
||Turner can't add the extra points from the corner.|
||The Reds receive a penalty right off the restart and Tuner boots down-field for a Reds line-out on the Bulls 10m. They win it albeit scrappy. Genia spreads wide Kerevi straightens the line and finds space as he off-loads to Gill. The Reds get quick ball and Genia puts a sneaky grubber through and Frisby collects and scores over the try-line.|
||Turner adds the extras from in front of the poles.|
||Reds win the scrum as Thompson feeds Genia who shows a dummy and snipes through a gap showing strength to get over the line for a try.|
||Thompson wins the line-out for the Reds as Frisby swings wide to Hunt. The Reds spread the opposite direction as Gill finds some space. The ball not coming out and the Reds are awarded a scrum on the 22m centre field.|
||Reds immediately win possession off the restart and attack the Bulls line. The Reds are penalised for not releasing. Good work from Nyakane. The Bulls opt for touch and win the line-out on their 10m. Paige puts a box-kick up and an error from Genia gives the Bulls the line-out which is secured by Spies. The Bulls now penalised as Greyling comes in from the side.|
||SECOND-HALF: Reds win Lachie Turner gets the half underway.|
||Reds opt for a scrum as time is up on the clock for the half. Its a tight-head from the Bulls and Potgieter makes no mistakes as he kicks straight into touch to bring us to HALF-TIME.|
||The Reds have a scrum awarded after a break up the midfield from Kriel and Greyling, but Nyakane knocked-on. Genia feeds, and the Reds are given a penalty for Stegman offsides at the scrum. Turner punts down-field and the Reds have a line-out on the Bulls 5m. The reds secure the line-out and are trying to breach the Bulls defence but are again going backwards. Genia goes wide and is Hunt looking dangerous, but again stabs a nothing-grubber through. Bulls take a quick 22 restart and Frisbee launches a counter. The Reds have made some ground as Turner makes a line-break. 12 phases for the Reds. and they are awarded a penalty for the Bulls off their feet at the ruck.|
||Potgieter makes the conversion to extend the lead.|
||The Reds getting dominated in the collision and the ball pops out to Hougaard on the blind side as he sprints 60 meters to the try-line and dives over for the score.|
||Genia feeds the scrum, and the Bulls are penalised at the Scrum for Nyakane collapsing. Turner opts for touch and the Reds will have a line-out on the Bulls 5m line. The Reds secure the line-out as Browning breaks some tackles to make yards. Genia swings it wide and Hunt looks to dance his way forward. The reds have lost their shape and gone backwards.|
||The Reds now entering their 13th phase, but the Bulls are resolute in defence, and the Reds have gone backwards. Hunt as a result has had to kick the ball away. The Bulls have a line-out on their 22m. They set a driving maul and march forward. Paige spreads the ball but Kriel's pass to Basson is forward. The Reds will have a scrum.|
||Bulls still attacking as Potgieter takes it to the line but Gills legally steals the ball. Genia quickly boots down-field, and the Bulls reply with a counter but some illegal rucking gives the Reds a penalty. Turner goes for touch and the Reds attack after winning the line-out.|
||Paige feeds the scrum, and Potgieter goes high again, Basson wins the high ball, but Peyper brings the play back for a Bulls penalty as the Reds players were off-side. The Bulls opt for touch and have a line-out on the Reds 22m. Visagie misses his target but Odendaal tidies up.|
||Bulls line-out is stolen by Simmons and they attack in midfield. Genia puts a box kick in and it goes too far. Play will come back for a Bulls scrum where Genia kicked the ball.|
||Reds with a line-out on the 10m line but its stolen from Du Plessis. Bulls playing with their tails up as Kriel straightens the line and finds some space. Hattinghs pass almost intercepted by Frisbee and the Bulls have a line-out as the intercept attempt goes out.|
||Potgieter adds the extra 2 points.|
||Kriel puts another up-and-under testing Karmichael Hunt, and Basson chases hard and does well to tap it back. Spies picks up the scraps and runs over for a try.|
||Turner cannot raise the flags for the attempted conversion.|
||Frisbee identifies some space behind the Bulls and he chips and collects his own kick before throwing a great pass to Turner who canters in for a try for the Reds.|
||Hattingh collects the line-out and Botha crashes up after a pass from Potgieter. Potgieter decides to use the boot and look for territory. the Reds composed and Frisbee boots it down field. Hougaard returns the favour with a great clearance. The Bulls steal the line-out and Paige puts a box-kick in.|
||Reds now with the ball completing 9 phases on the Bulls 10m. Finding no way through though the Reds. Eventually Faingaa throws a pass into touch. for a Bulls line-out on their 10m.|
||Potgieter converts for the extra 2 points.|
||Reds with possession, and they are looking dangerous as they spread wide and Hunt puts a grubber through that hits the foot of a Bulls player. Kriel picks up the scraps and is sprinting to an open try line, he off-loads to Hougaard who powers his way over for a try.|
||Reds with possession in midfield as Genia snipes around the Bulls defence. The Reds make their way close to the Bulls try-line as Hunt puts a clever kick through which Thompson collects. Bulls manage a vital turnover.|
||Potgieter converts the penalty which puts the Bulls on the board.|
||Reds with the ball in midfield as Genia dictated from the breakdown. The Bulls defence standing strong. Frisbree eventually kicks down Hougaard's throat and he replies with an up-and-under. Hunt penalised for blocking a player and Potgieter lines up a shot at goal.|
||Turner collects the ball off the start for the Reds, and Frisbree kicks deep. Kriel begins a counter for the Bulls. The bulls shift the ball left and Spies is penalised for holding on - Liam Gill doing good work. The Reds opt for touch, but doesn't find it. Kriel kicks down field and Hunt replies with a punt of his own, but Kriel dots down for the 22m.|
||KICK-OFF: Bulls flyhalf Jaques-Louis Potgieter gets the game underway.|
||Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby Round 9 with the Bulls taking on the Reds from Loftus Versveld in Pretoria.|
There will be a lot of desperation on display in the second half of the weekend's Super Rugby matches. Jan de Koning reports.
There will be a lot of desperation on display in the second half of the weekend's Super Rugby matches.
We start this part of our preview in Perth, where the Cheetahs - on a five-match losing streak - will be chasing a first overseas win in 2015 when they close out their Australasian tour against the Western Force - a team who is on a six-match losing streak.
The Cheetahs know they have been well below par this season, with their leaky defence one of their biggest issues. The Force, in stark contrast, maintains the best tackling success rates (90 percent) this year.
The Lions, who still have play-off ambitions, will host a Sharks team in total turmoil.
The Lions have hit back since losing their first three matches in South Africa - winning three games on their Australasian tour and downing the Bulls at Ellis Park last weekend.
The Lions are 10th on the standings with 17 points, but only three points separate them and the sixth-placed Bulls.
The Sharks and Bulls lead the South African conference, with the Bulls facing the beleaguered Reds in Pretoria in the final match of the round.
The Reds have lost six of their seven games and left former Wallaby skipper James Horwill at home, after he received a one-match ban for punching an opponent last week.
We look at the second half of the weekend's matches!
Saturday, April 11
Western Force v Cheetahs
(nib Stadium, Perth - Kick-off: 19.45; 13.45 SAST; 11.45 GMT)
The Australians just love a bit of hype and the Western Force have wasted no time in trumpeting the significance of this match.
The Force entered the Super Rugby competition with the Cheetahs in 2006, with the Western Australian franchise recording their first tournament victory against the Bloemfontein-based side in Kimberley that same year.
This will mark the ninth Super Rugby encounter between the two teams since 2006. The Western Force is leading with five wins to the three wins of the Cheetahs. It will also be the fourth time the teams meet Down Under since the first Perth encounter on 27 April 2007.
The last time the Force hosted the Cheetahs, on 23 March 2013, the visitors won 19-10. The Force, however, won the last match between the two - in May last year in Bloemfontein, 23-16.
Force coach Michael Foley said the match is an important occasion for both the team and franchise.
"We're excited about returning home and starting the second half of our season," he said of their winless two-match tour of South Africa - where they suffered heartbreaking defeats to the Sharks (9-15) and Bulls (24-25).
"Having six of our final nine matches at home provides an opportunity to display the character of the team - as we strive to move our game up a level.
"While aspects of our performances against the Sharks and Bulls were pleasing, we know combining passages of good play into wins comes down to our attitude to retain and recycle quick ball at the breakdown and physicality in defence.
"Saturday is also an opportunity for the franchise to acknowledge those who have supported the Force over the past 10 years, and to recognise their role in providing us with the opportunities we now have."
The Cheetahs, who have been comprehensively beaten in their last five matches this season, are clinging to a glimmer of hope that they could still reach the play offs.
However, coach Naka Drotské admitted it will require significant improvements in many aspects of their game.
He spoke of the improvements in terms of their "discipline".
"I feel we have too many soft moments and we have to eliminate that," Drotské told rugby365 in an interview.
He pointed out that they have played the Sharks twice already, they have also faced the Chiefs, Crusaders and Brumbies, while they have also played the Bulls.
"Those are all teams in contention for a top six finish," Drotské said, adding that a win will go a long way towards getting their campaign back on track.
2014: Force won 23-16, Bloemfontein
2013: Cheetahs won 19-10, Perth
2012: Cheetahs won 17-13, Bloemfontein
2010: Cheetahs won 29-14, Bloemfontein
2009: Force won 16-10, Perth
2008: Force won 16-15, Bloemfontein
Prediction: After winning their opening game this season, the Force have since lost six in a row and have not lost seven in a row since losing the opening nine matches of their first season in Super Rugby. The Force have faced the Cheetahs eight times in total with six of those games being decided by fewer than 10 points; each of those six games saw fewer than 40 points scored combined. The Cheetahs have lost their last five and have not lost six in a row in a single season since the beginning of 2009. The South African side has shipped 180 points in those five defeats which have been at an average margin of over 21 points and no fewer than 10. The Cheetahs have averaged fewer carries (76.9) than any other team this season, while opponents of the Force have averaged the fewest as well (86.6). While the Cheetahs have averaged the most missed tackles (22.6) this term, opponents of the Force maintain the best tackling success rate (90 percent). Australian referee Rohan Hoffmann's tract record against South African teams this year and his grossly incompetent performance in the Hurricanes versus Stormers game last week suggest a very long day at the office for the Cheetahs. The Western Force will get back on the winning track and with Hoffman in the picture the margin could be well beyond 10 points.
Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 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, 19 Angus Cottrell, 20 Chris Alcock, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Marcel Brache.
Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Johannes Prinsloo, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Burrie Uys.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Tienie Burger, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Ryno Benjamin.
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant referees: Will Houston, Graham Cooper
TMO: Ian Smith
Lions v Sharks
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)
The reputation of Lions coach Johan Ackermann is growing with each significant win his team achieves.
However, he moved swiftly to play down talk of his team being play-off contenders or being favourites against the troubled Sharks outfit.
"We've achieved nothing yet,"Ackermann told a media briefing this week, when asked about his team's run of four wins in their last five matches.
"We've got to keep grinding out results, week after week.
"If you get ahead of yourself now then you're on the wrong path," Ackermann added.
Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold this week spent more time answering questions about his team's discipline and having to rest key Springboks than he would have liked.
The Sharks, despite their troubled and patchy season, are still just outside the play-off zone - with the same points as the South African conference leaders, the Bulls, but below them on points difference.
However, Gold knows the quality of their performances need to show a sharp improvement or they will quickly become also-rans.
"Our performance last weekend [a 10-52 loss to the Crusaders] was unacceptable and we have taken full responsibility for the result and are determined to fix it this weekend," Gold told a media briefing in Durban.
"The Lions are playing some fantastic rugby and have come off a great tour.
"We are under no illusions about the toughness of the task on Saturday.
"However, in saying that, we have worked extremely hard this week and are determined to get our campaign back on track."
The Lions coach, Ackermann, is aware that the Sharks will throw everything but the kitchen sink at them.
However, he is confident the character that has been a trademark of the Johannesburg-based outfit's campaign so far will again come to the fore.
"We are playing with good discipline in recent times and I am pretty sure the players will keep on doing that," he said.
"We have created a culture of responsibility in our group and players know what we expect from them. The best way to stay out of trouble is always to keep your focus on executing the gameplan."
2015: Sharks won -29-12, Durban
2014: Sharks won 25-12, Johannesburg
2014: Sharks won 37-23, Durban
2012: Lions won 38-28, Johannesburg
2012: Sharks won 32-20, Durban
2011: Lions and Sharks drew 30-all, Johannesburg
2011: Sharks won 27-3, Durban
Prediction: The Lions have beaten the Sharks just once in their last 11 attempts (which also includes a draw), with their average losing margin across those nine defeats sitting at 15 points. The Sharks have won just two of their last six away games, however both those away wins came in South Africa. The Lions have won four of their last five matches, though all of these wins came by
margins fewer than five points. The Sharks have scored the most tries in the second quarter of matches this season (seven), while the Lions have scored the joint-fewest (one) in the same segment of their games. The Sharks are the only side yet to score a try in a possession that has lasted seven-plus phases. They have conceded five tries when possession has gone seven-plus phases, only
the Reds (six) fare worse in this department. Nobody will laugh at you if you back the Lions. In fact the bookmakers have made the Lions favourites. However, this is more of an even match and all the turmoil may just galvanise the Sharks enough to sneak a win by less than 10 points.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Mark Richards, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Lohan Jacobs, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Howard Mnisi.
Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Jack Wilson.
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), Rodney Boneparte (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)
Bulls v Reds
(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - Kick-off: 19.10; 03.10 Sunday, April 12 AEST; 17.10 GMT)
The Bulls have been cautious this week, constantly talking up the Reds - despite the Australian outfit's dire situation.
They are second from last on the standings, with just one win in seven starts.
They've also had to deal with the Karmichael Hunt cocaine sage. In fact Hunt will make his first start for the Reds since his six-week ban, when he dons the No.15 jersey against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Bulls captain Pierre Spies is well aware just how "desperate" The reds will be to get their season going.
"Teams like that are always dangerous," Spies told a media briefing.
"They have some classy players in their team and if they are on song on the day, they can destroy you in a blink.
"We will have to play all the big moments well, but will also have to force our style of play on them and dictate the terms.
"That will require commitment and discipline."
The Reds' track record in Pretoria is not great. The last of their two wins at Loftus Versfeld happened over a decade ago - in 2001.
Reds coach Richard Graham remains confident they can put their poor form and troubled season behind then.
"Pretoria is always a fantastic challenge," Graham told a media briefing.
"The Bulls have made Loftus a fortress over the years and no Australian side has won there since 2007.
"That is a piece of history that the group would love to contest."
They will be without star Wallaby playmakers Quade Cooper (shoulder injury) and James O'Connot (calf strain), but the return of Hunt gives them some game-breaking ability at the back.
However, Graham said the collective will win the game, not individuals.
"We need to continue working collectively and the rewards will come," the coach said.
"The squad has trained well in the early stages of the week, the intensity has been very good. We need to continue that as we get closer to the game.
"Discipline is a necessity. The Bulls have kicked the highest percentage of penalty goals."
2013: Reds won 23-18, Brisbane
2012: Bulls won 61-8, Pretoria
2011: Reds won 39-30, Brisbane
2010: Reds won 19-12, Brisbane
2009: Bulls won 33-20, Pretoria
2008: Reds won 40-8, Brisbane
Prediction: The Bulls have lost just twice at home since the start of last year. The Reds have won three of the last four meetings between the sides. The Queensland side have lost their last five away to the Bulls, including their heaviest Super Rugby loss of all-time, and the Bulls' largest win (92-3, May 2007). The Bulls scored 61 points in their last home meeting with the Reds and in a run of
five consecutive home victories over the Queenslanders, they have mustered 257 points; an average of over 51 per game. Conversely,
the Reds have scored just 50 points in their last five games combined, all of which ended in defeat. Opponents of the Bulls maintain a better scrum success rate (95 percent) than against any other team. Opponents of the Reds average a 76.9 percent ball retention rate at scrum time, while only the Stormers (73.9 percent) and Chiefs (76.7 percent) have forced their opponents into losing possession more often. You will get good odds on a reds win, but it is likely to be wasted money. The Bulls to win comfortably - by 15 points or more.
Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Hanro Liebenberg, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Jurgen Visser.
Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Nick Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Dave McDuling, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Tom Murday, 21 Adam Korczyk, 22 Ben Tapuai, 23 Chris Kuridrani.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
Compiled by Jan de Koning
Statistical information provided by Opta Sports
REPORT: The Bulls ran in six tries to beat the Reds 43-22 in a high-scoring Super Rugby game at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.