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Super Rugby | Sydney
09:55 (GMT) | 25-04-2015
  • 85
Join us again at 14.35 GMT for the match between the Lions and the Cheetahs live from Johannesburg
  • 84
The Rebels can't seem to find a gap as the Tahs keep their opponents pinned on the halfway line. Burgess knocks the ball on at the back of the ruck and the Tahs manage to hold on for the win. FULL-TIME!
  • 83
The ball pops out of the scrum and its a little scrappy but the Rebels manage t retain possession on the halfway line
  • 82
A huge shove from the Tahs but the scrum is reset after both front rows popped up. The pressure remains on the Tahs
  • 80
The throw-in is not straight and the Rebels will have the scrum feed as the hooter sounds in the background
  • 79
The Tahs claim the throw-in and have set a maul which rumbles its way up-field. The Rebels are forced to collapse it. Foley makes sure of finding touch close to the halfway line
  • 78
An early engage by the Tahs hands the Rebels a free-kick. Debreczeni finds a good touch close to the Tahs' 22
  • 77
Here come the Tahs now as they find themselves in possession close to the Rebels' 22 but they cough up possession to hand the Rebels a scrum feed just outside their 22
  • 75
Debreczeni slots another kick to bring the Rebels right back into the game
  • 74
Debreczeni gets the ball at first receiver and pops a pass to Inman on the left side of the field. The ball is quickly shifted to the right and finds Hegarty , who has an easy run-in
  • 73
It's their turn to lose possession but fortunately for them, the Tahs knock the ball on soon after. Play will restart with a Rebels scrum on their 10 metre line
  • 72
The home side wins back possession thanks to a Rebels knock-on but they too knock the ball on and the Rebels have run the ball up to their 10 metre line
  • 71
The Tahs launch an attack from the line-out but as the backline are let loose. However, the attack is stopped as Ashley-Cooper sends a forward pass to Naiyaravoro. Rebels scrum feed on their 22
  • 70
The Rebels manage to claim the throw and Debreczeni kicks it into touch on his 10 metre line
  • 69
The Tahs maintain possession and opt to run it at the Rebels. The ball is recycled to the left and finds Ashley-Cooper whose stab kick rolls into touch in the Rebels' 22
  • 68
A good scrum by the Tahs places the Rebels under all sorts of pressure and are awarded a penalty. Foley kicks the ball into touch for a line-out just inside the Rebels territory
  • 67
The throw-in is not straight and it hands possession back to the Tahs.
  • 65
PENALTY! The Rebels are awarded a penalty for a dangerous tackle by the Tahs. They opt for a line-out as the rain starts pouring down!
  • 64
The Rebels win a penalty at the breakdown and play will resume with a line-out to the Rebels on the Tahs' 10 metre line
  • 63
The Tahs are back in possession in Rebels territory as they go in search of the bonus-point with the loud sounds of thunder rumbling overhead
  • 61
Foley misses another conversion attempt as he pushes this one to the right once again
  • 60
A maul is set but as the momentum stops, the ball is flung to the left and finds Horne on the right touchline. He crashes into two tacklers who attempts to push him into touch but the Tahs wing kept himself in-field for a much needed score
  • 59
A mistake by Debreczeni sees him kick the ball directly into touch after the ball was taken back into the Rebels' 22. Tahs' line-out just inside the 22
  • 58
Debreczeni lands another monster kick to slot his third kick of the match
  • 56
Front-foot ball sees the Rebels make a few metres before possession is turned over by the Tahs and a Folau clearance kick is run back at the home side. Rebels in possession on the Tahs' 10 metre line. PENALTY! The Rebels will have another shot at goal as the Tahs joins the ruck from the side
  • 55
A Rebels attack seems them get the ball close to the Tahs' 22 via a kick-through. Folau cleans up at the back but loses the ball forward to hand the Rebels the scrum feed
  • 53
The Tahs keep it among the forwards before Reid wins a PENALTY for the Rebels. The ball is kicked into touch on the Tahs' 10 metre line
  • 52
Folau initiates a clever run-around move with Skelton that allows the fullback to take the play close to the Rebels' 22
  • 51
The Rebels regain possession from the restart and edge their way upfield before losing the ball on the halfway line and the Tahs go on an attack of their own
  • 49
He strikes it well and it sneaks inside of the left upright to land his second monster kick of the game
  • 48
Play remains in and around the halfway line with the Rebels in possession. PENALTY! The Tahs joins the ruck from the side to hand Debreczeni a chance to have a shot at goal from about 40 metres
  • 46
Scrappy play has made its way back into the game but the Tahs manage to hold onto possession despite losing some territory
  • 45
Debreczeni puts in a kick and is collected by Beale who runs it up to the Rebels' 10 metre line. It's taken through the phases and eventually goes into touch just for a Tahs throw-in
  • 43
It's taken some time to get a proper scrum before Phipps gets the ball to his backline. However, poor execution by Betham sees him being tackled into touch to hand the Rebels the throw-in
  • 41
KICK-OFF! Debreczeni gets the second half underway! The Rebels attempt to work the ball up with a few strong carries but they cough up possession to hand the Tahs a scrum on the halfway line

Half Time

  • 40
A massive kick splits the uprights to put the Rebels on the board just before half-time. The Hooter goes as the restart is taken and Debreczeni collects the ball and kicks it into touch for HALF-TIME
  • 39
The Tahs attempts to run the ball at the Rebels but they concede a penalty at the breakdown to allow Debreczeni to have a shot at goal through a penalty attempt
  • 37
The ball is shifted left but Higginbotham coughs it up to hand the Tahs the scrum feed close to their 22
  • 36
The Rebels' attack remains lateral as the Tahs keep them on the 10 metre line, thanks to some big tackles.
  • 35
The Tahs regain possession after the Rebels search for some territory but hand possession back to their opponents after an accidental offside
  • 34
Rebels go deep with the restart and Folau goes on a run. The pass finds Potgieter who attempts to muscle his way through the Rebels, however, he gets shoved into touch on the Rebels' 22
  • 33
Foley misses yet another kick to leave more points out on the field
  • 32
The scrum rumbles and makes a few metres. PENALTY! The Rebels concede another scrum penalty and Foley opts to have a shot at goal
  • 31
A solid scrum by the Rebels sees them in possession but they knock the ball on to hand possession back to the Tahs via a scrum
  • 30
The Tahs gets good line-out ball before sending it to the back line. Beale gives the pass to Folau but he fails to hold onto possession and the Rebels have a scrum feed close to their 10 metre line
  • 28
Play resumes with a Tahs scrum. Phipps peels off the back and links up with Beale. He is tackled and sets up the next phase. Skelton bursts through a few tackles to get the Tahs within inches of the try line but the Rebels scramble to win back possession and kick it into touch on their 22
  • 27
They opt to keep it among the forwards but have not made any ground. It's flung to the backline and Betham makes some metres. PENALTY! Naivalu intentionally slows down the play at the breakdown close to his try line and is sent to the bin
  • 25
The Tahs are putting the Rebels under all sorts of pressure and find themselves in an attack position on the Rebels' 22 with a line-out throw-in
  • 23
It's gone scrappy once again as first a scrum folds before Stirzaker attempts to grab hold of the loose ball but he fails to take it cleanly and the Tahs have the scrum feed on the Rebels' 10 metre line
  • 21
Foley fails to slot another conversion as he pushes this one wide of the right upright
  • 20
A beautiful backline move sees Beale put Hooper through a huge gap. He takes the ball to the 22 before making the pass to Ashley-Cooper who steps inside two players to score in the right corner
  • 19
The Rebels concede another scrum penalty for illegal binding to allow Foley to kick the ball into touch on the halfway line
  • 18
The Rebels go on the attack from the restart but another handling error stops them in their tracks and hands possession back to the Tahs
  • 16
Foley has the radar locked with this kick as he splits the uprights
  • 15
Beale gets the ball in hand and goes on a run to take the play into Rebels territory. It's quickly recycled and Polota-Nau carries it up to the 22. PENALTY! The Rebels are caught with their hands in the ruck and Foley will have a shot at goal
  • 14
The Rebels front row goes in on an angle and Foley kicks the penalty into touch on the halfway line
  • 13
Solid scrum from the Rebels allows them to get inside the Tahs' 22. They lose a few metres though from the recycle before the ball is shifted left. The pass goes to ground to hand the Tahs a scrum on their 22
  • 12
Beale looks to kick the ball up-field after collecting the restart but it smashes into Skelton and the Rebels will have the scrum feed on the Tahs' 22 as Skelton was in an accidental offside position
  • 11
Foley hooks the kick left to leave the try unconverted
  • 9
The Rebels are equal to the task in defence and have managed to snub the Tahs but they remain under pressure as they need to defend a five metre line-out. The maul is set and they rumble their way to the line with Hooper in possession at the back. They make their way over the line for the first try of the match
  • 8
Folau gets his first attacking chance of the match and takes the Tahs to the Rebels' 10 metre line. The ball is taken through the phases and they have made their way to the Rebels' 22
  • 6
The Tahs' are putting in some immense tackles and come away with a penalty at the breakdown. Foley kicks it into touch on the halfway line
  • 5
The Rebels are in possession on the Tahs' 22. They keep it among the forwards as they inch their way closer to the line
  • 4
It's a scrappy start by both sides as tackles miss their recipients and they fail to maintain possession at the breakdown
  • 3
The Tahs are awarded a penalty - which they put into touch for a line-out - after the Rebels were caught in an offside position
  • 2
The Rebels managed to maintain possession without making any metres before Harris slips on the right touchline to hand the Tahs a line-out on their 10 metre line
  • 1
Potgieter announces himself immediately with a huge tackle but the Waratahs are penalised for not rolling away at the breakdown. The Rebels kick the ball into touch for a line-out on the Tahs' 10 metre line
  • 0
KICK-OFF! Foley gets the match underway!
  • -5
In keeping with ANZAC day, the players acknowledge the efforts of those heroes
  • -10
This fixture has only failed to produce 40+ points once and averages 50. However, the Rebels' last six matches have produced over 40 points on just one occasion and have averaged 36. They have won their last two matches, but have never won three in a row.
  • -20
Eight of the nine contests between these state rivals have produced Waratah victories and just one losing bonus point for the Rebels.
  • -30
Welcome to the All-Australian derby in Sydney between the Waratahs and the Rebels
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
Mc rebels logo 80x50
  • 15 Israel Folau
  • 14 Peter Betham
  • 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper
  • 12 Kurtley Beale
  • 11 Rob Horne
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 9 Nick Phipps
  • 8 Dave Dennis
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 6 Jacques Potgieter
  • 5 Mitchell Chapman
  • 4 Will Skelton
  • 3 Sekope Kepu
  • 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau
  • 1 Benn Robinson
  • 23 Taqele . Naiyaravoro
  • 22 Matt Carraro
  • 21 Brendan McKibbin
  • 20 Stephen Hoiles
  • 19 Wycliff Palu
  • 18 Paddy Ryan
  • 17 Jeremy Tilse
  • 16 Tola Latu
  • 15 Mike Harris
  • 14 Dominic Shipperley
  • 13 Tamati Ellison
  • 12 Mitch Inman
  • 11 Sefanaia Naivalu
  • 10 Jack Debreczeni
  • 9 Nic Stirzaker
  • 8 Scott Higginbotham
  • 7 Scott Fuglistaller
  • 6 Sean McMahon
  • 5 Lopeti Timani
  • 4 Cadeyrn Neville
  • 3 Paul Alo-Emile
  • 2 Pat Leafa
  • 1 Toby Smith
  • 23 Bryce Hegarty
  • 22 Jordy Reid
  • 21 Luke Burgess
  • 20 Colby Faingaa
  • 19 Sam Jeffries
  • 18 Tim Metcher
  • 17 Cruze Ah-Nau
  • 16 Tom Sexton
Mc article stormers training general 630

Preview: S15 Round 11, Part Two

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:25

Saturday will truly be a derby day. However, it is at Newlands were the spotlight will shine brightest. Jan de Koning shares his predictions.

Saturday will truly be a derby day. However, it is at Newlands were the spotlight will shine brightest.

They don't come much bigger than this, the ultimate north-south derby - rich in tradition and steeped history.

When the Stormers and Bulls go head-to-head in Cape Town there will be plenty of passion and brutality, but most of all they will be playing for first place in the South African conference.

The Bulls, top of the SA conference and second in the global standings, are just two points ahead of the Stormers - second in SA and sixth overall.

There is plenty riding on the outcome of this one.

However, that is not going to be the only cracker on Saturday.

It all starts in Christchurch where the Crusaders host the Blues - two teams desperate to get their seasons back on track.

This is New Zealand's big north-south derby, although the waning fortunes of the two team have taken some of the gloss off this one.

We then hop across the Tasman Sea to Sydney, where the defending champion Waratahs take on an improving Rebels side.

Our next trip takes us across the Indian Ocean to Johannesburg for a real cat fight, the Lions - everybody favourite second team - hosting the hapless Cheetahs.

Only then do we get to watch the Stormers versus Bulls at Newlands.

We also have a match on Sunday - when the Reds host a Hurricanes team desperate to put last week's disappointing first loss of the season behind them.

We look at Saturday and Sunday's matches!

Saturday, April 25

Crusaders v Blues
(AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Kick-off: 19.35; 07.35 GMT)

There is no doubt that the Blues versus Crusaders once rivaled the Bulls versus Stormers as Super Rugby's biggest derby.

It is a traditional contest that has its foundation in the encounters between Auckland and Canterbury in the 1980s and 1990s.

While the Crusaders still make the play-offs every year - they were reduced to runners-up by a controversial late penalty in the Final last year - the Blues have been on the slide for the past four years, finish no higher than 10th.

The men from Auckland are currently second from last - with just one win from nine starts.

The Crusaders are not much better off this season, sitting 10th on 20 points - six points shy of the top six.

They have lost five of their nine games, a record that would be more respectable if they had stopped coughing-up so many turnovers, struggled with basic skills or been so predictable with their attack.

Blues coach John Kirwan, who's spent most of the year under the cosh, admitted both teams are under pressure to appease the growing band of disgruntled fans.

Spectators started leaving the stadium long before the final whistle in the Crusaders' demoralising 9-26 loss to the Chiefs last week.

However, Kirwan feels the Crusaders still have al the qualities to be play-off candidates.

"It's always going to be tough down there [in Christchurch]," he said.

"They're a proud side and they were embarrassed about last week.

"We're getting them on the hop, when they're hurting and that's a dangerous time to get them.

"It will be a classic derby. They're under pressure, we're under pressure, so it makes for an interesting match."

Recent results:
2014: Crusaders won 21-13, Christchurch
2014: Blues won 35-24, Auckland
2013: Crusaders won 23-3, Christchurch
2013: Blues won 34-15, Auckland
2012: Crusaders won 59-12, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 19-18, Auckland

Prediction: The Crusaders' 59-12 defeat of the Blues in May 2012 stands as the latter's record defeat. The home side on the day has won the last five instances of this fixture - three of those victories going to the Crusaders. The hosts are on a two-match losing streak and one more loss would equal their worst ever sequence. They have lost three matches in a row in a single campaign on just five occasions. Despite losing 10 of their last 11 matches, the Blues' heaviest defeat in this run was a 11-23 loss to the Waratahs and they have snared losing bonuses in seven of these games. The Crusaders have scored the most tries from scrums (8) this season, with the Blues ranking in joint-second with six. The winner will be the team most desperate to salvage something from a disastrous season. The Crusaders may just be that team, but won't win by more than 10 points.


Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 David Havilli, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 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 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.
Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Francis Saili, 12 George Moala, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Blake Gibson, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Tevita Li.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Waratahs v Rebels
(ANZ Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 19.55; 09.55 GMT)

The Waratahs received a timely boost this week withy the news that captain Dave Dennis had re-signed with the defending champions until the end of 2017.

Dennis will lead the Waratahs in Sydney when his side takes on an in-form Rebels team, sitting four points adrift of the Waratahs after consecutive wins against the Reds and Brumbies.

Dennis said his side was looking forward to putting in a strong performance in front of their home crowd, but was well aware that the Rebels would pose a significant test - especially after they pushed the Waratahs all the way in a Round Two fixture in Melbourne back in February.

"We've disappointed our home fans twice this year, which isn't good enough," Dennis said of the 18-32 loss to the Stormers a fortnight ago and the 13-25 loss to the Western Force in Week One.

"So it's very important that we show that style we showed last week and I'm really expecting the boys to perform to a high level this week," he said.

"It's a really good test for us.  The Rebels are playing really well as a team and they're playing consistently, so it's going to be a good test."

Saturday's match is the first time that the Waratahs have played at ANZ Stadium since their historic win over the Crusaders in last year's Super Rugby Final.

The Rebels are backing themselves to cause another upset on the road, having recorded three of their four wins away from home - including last week's 13-8 triumph over the Brumbies in Canberra.

Scrumhalf Nic Stirzaker, who will go head-to-head with former Rebels teammate Nick Phipps, admitted the Waratahs pose a much bigger threat than last week's opponents.

"They are starting to hit their straps, especially after that win last week over the table-topping Hurricanes," Stirzaker said.

"However, we go into it every week thinking we are good enough to win the game."

Recent results:
2015: Waratahs won 38-28, Melbourne
2014: Waratahs won 41-19, Melbourne
2014: Waratahs won 32-8, Sydney
2013: Rebels won 24-22, Melbourne
2013: Waratahs won 31-26, Sydney
2012: Waratahs won 30-21, Sydney
2012: Waratahs won 35-19, Melbourne

Prediction: This fixture has only failed to produce 40+ points once and averages 50. Eight of the nine contests between these state rivals have produced Waratah victories and just one losing bonus point for the Rebels. However, the Rebels' last six matches have produced over 40 points on just one occasion and have averaged 36. The Rebels have won their last two matches, but have never won three in a row. Michael Hooper (100) and Sean McMahon (96) are among the top tacklers this season. They are ranked fourth and fifth respectively behind Warren Whiteley (129), Warwick Tecklenburg (108) and Johannes Prinsloo (103). The Tahs have scored six tries from possessions that have gone seven-plus phases, a competition joint-high.  The Rebels have managed five. The Rebels have improved in recent weeks, but you still can't see them beat the Waratahs - who should win by at least 10 points.


Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Dave Dennis (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Mitch Chapman, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Wycliff Palu, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Matt Carraro, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.
Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Sefanaia Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (co-captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller (co-captain), 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Jordy Reid, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Referee: Rohan Hoffman
Assistant referees: James Leckie, Ed Martin
TMO: George Ayoub

Lions v Cheetahs
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)

The Lions are just one win short of beating setting a new franchise benchmark - five consecutive wins. They won four on the trot in 2007 and have equalled that with four victories in their last four games.

However, coach Johan Ackermann has warned his team to keep their eye on the proverbial ball and not get distracted by the sideshows.

The Cheetahs, ravaged by injuries, have won just one of their last seven matches.

Yet, Ackermann sounded a warning to those who suggest the men from Bloemfontein are easy-beats.

"These teams which people write off and on the table it appears they are not having a good season, they are the most dangerous," Ackermann said.

"However, if you look closer you'll see how unfortunate they were. They are certainly a team you can't write off."

The Lions mentor said the biggest threats come in the form of the Cheetahs' wings and centres, while they also possess a solid set of forward with plenty of experience.

"Francois Uys, Johannes Prinsloo and Willie Britz are first-class players," Ackermann said, adding: "The results don't always do them justice.

"If you analyse them you see the good things they do and what qualities they have as a team.

"If we are anywhere below our best we will be in for a long day at the office.

"We will have to play very well if we want to secure the win."

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské said made it clear his outfit is not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Springboks Coenie Oosthuizen (prop, back), Heinrich Brüssow (flank, fractured arm), Willie le Roux (fullback, ankle), Raymond Rhule (wing, hamstring), Lodewyk de Jager (lock, elbow) and Teboho Mohoje (flank, groin) are all sidelined with injuries.

Apart from the long list of international stars who have been ruled out, the Cheetahs are also without Coenie van Wyk (fullback, ankle), Jean Cook (flank, abdominal muscle) and Burry Uys (prop, back).

"There's nothing you can do about injuries, so we're not going to sit and worry about it," Drotské told a media briefing this week.

"It's a reality that guys like Willie [le Roux], Coenie [Oosthuizen], Oupa [Mohoje], Lood [de Jager] and Heinz [Brüssow] are key players, but we can't use it as an excuse.

"The Lions are playing very good rugby and have a settled group for the last three, four years now.

"They've also been lucky with injuries and therefore must be favourites.

"However, we're not going to lie down. We still believe 100 percent that we can beat them."

Recent results:
2014: Lions won 60-25, Johannesburg
2014: Lions won 21-20, Bloemfontein
2012: Cheetahs won 26-5, Welkom
2012: Lions won 27-25, Johannesburg
2011: Cheetahs won 53-19, Johannesburg
2011: Lions won 25-20, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Lions are on a club record-equalling run of four victories. The Lions' matches this season have averaged 37 points in total and are yet to produce 45+. The Cheetahs' last three games have produced fewer than 40 points each. The last meeting between these sides produced the Lions' largest ever victory (60-25). The Cheetahs' 59-10 defeat of the Lions in May 2010 represents their largest win. The instances of this fixture have either produced a losing bonus point (seven occasions) or a final points difference of more than 20 points (four occasions). There is no doubt the Lions are favoured to win. And if they keep their focus the winning margin could be 20 points.


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 20 Robert Kruger, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Howard Mnisi.
Cheetahs: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Johannes Prinsloo, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Carel Greeff, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Michael van der Spuy, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Ben Crouse
TMO: Johan Greeff

Stormers v Bulls
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT)

These encounters are always spicy, full of passion and worth every cent of the entrance fee.

It is likely to be sell-out affair.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said this big north-south derby will be similar to a Test match atmosphere.

The Bulls currently top the standings in the South African Conference with 28 points, with the Stormers narrowly behind on 26 points.

However, the Bulls still have to tour Australasia and only two of their final seven encounters are at home. The Stormers on the other hand play five of their remaining seven matches at home.

Saturday's clash could therefore go a long way in determining the winner in the SA Conference.

"I don't think there will be any lack of motivation for either side," Coetzee told a media briefing at Newlands.

"We have a proud record at Newlands and we want to keep it that way.

"There are still a lot of games to be played, in terms of our planning it is another home game and winning your home games is always important.

"Conference games are massively important, if you want to get to play-offs the first and foremost thing is that you have got to win your conference.

"We are on track, it doesn't matter what happens on Saturday which you can't predict, but we are well prepared and looking forward to this one.

"We all know a game against the Bulls is a battle of attrition, it is going to be physical and that is the first question before any tactical questions will be asked."

Bulls captain Pierre Spies also spoke of the importance of the occasion and the quality of the opposition.

"It will be a great game," Spies said, adding: "The Stormers are coming off a couple of great wins [over the Waratahs and Western Force]."

The Bulls No.8 said there is very little to choose between the teams at this stage.

He felt that, despite the importance of the occasion, there will be plenty of excitement.

"Both teams have shown they can play expansive rugby.

"However, it will be a game of opportunities.

"There won't be too many opportunities, so the key will be about using those that come your way.

"It is important that we pitch up on Saturday."

Recent results:
2015: Stormers won 29-17, Pretoria
2014: Stormers won 16-0, Cape Town
2014: Bulls won 28-12, Pretoria
2013: Stormers won 30-13, Cape Town
2013: Bulls won 25-17, Pretoria
2012: Stormers won 19-14, Pretoria
2012: Stormers won 20-17, Cape Town

Prediction: A losing bonus point has not been scored in any of the last five meetings between these South African rivals. The Bulls were to blame for the Stormers' record defeat (14-75; May 2005). The last time the Stormers hosted the Bulls, the hosts won 16-0; this marking the lowest scoring game either side has been involved in. That was the third time the Stormers had reduced a side to nil and the fourth time the Bulls had not scored a point. Prior to a 13-6 win in Perth last week, the Stormers' previous nine games all produced over 40 points in total. Jessie Kriel is the top metre-maker (877) this term, while Damian de Allende tops the charts for defenders beaten (38). Both these sides have conceded 17 tries this season. The Stormers have conceded the most second-quarter tries (nine, six more than the Bulls), while the Bulls have conceded the joint-most third-quarter five-pointers (eight). It is going to be a brutal, but entertaining contest in which the Stormers will sneak a late winner - by five points or less.


Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Akona Ndungane, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Jurgen Visser.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Francois Pretorius
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Sunday, April 26

Reds v Hurricanes
(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Kick-off: 16.05; 18.05 NZST, 06.05 GMT)

The Reds could be on the receiving end of an angry Hurricanes team, determined to make amends for their first loss of the season - a disappointing 24-29 loss to the Waratahs in Wellington last week.

For the The Hurricanes it will be their final Super Rugby round-robin match of the season outside of New Zealand.

The Hurricanes have made it clear this week they are determined to resume their winning ways and maintain their lead at the top of both the New Zealand conference and overall standings, after last week's loss.

The Reds are returning to Brisbane from South Africa, where they beat the Cheetahs by a point in Bloemfontein in the last round to keep their faint play-off hopes alive.

With just 11 competition points, this match appears to be a must-win for the 2011 Super Rugby champions, so with their desperation and the Hurricanes' hunger, this fixture will be one to watch.

The Hurricanes head to Brisbane with a good recent record against the Reds. They've won five of their past six games over the Reds, and won this fixture 35-21 in Wellington last year, scoring five tries to two.

The Reds won 18-12 the last time they met in Brisbane in 2013.

Hurricanes - Reds matches are always fast-paced and frenetic, with the contest for recycled ball often the decisive area, and the match-ups in the loose forwards and at halfback looking important.

Reds coach Richard Graham admitted the Hurricanes will take to the field as favourites.

"Everyone knows how capable they are with the ball in hand, but it is obvious they have worked hard on their defence and breakdown leading in to this season," Graham said.
"Their scrum is also improved and they are one of the best at providing quality ball to their backline.
"The game this weekend should be a cracker.

"The weather conditions look great, it is a Sunday fixture and we're playing the competition leaders.
"It doesn't get much better for the players involved or the people supporting."

Recent results:
2014: Hurricanes won 35-21, Wellington
2013: Reds won 18-12, Brisbane
2011: Hurricanes won 28-26, Wellington
2010: Hurricanes won 44-21, Wellington
2009: Hurricanes won 37-28, Brisbane
2008: Hurricanes won 23-18, Wellington

Prediction: The Reds are aiming for back-to-back victories for the first time since June last year. Since then, they have lost nine of 11. The Hurricanes have won 10 of the last 12 clashes between the sides. The Canes equalled their club record for consecutive victories (7) until defeat to the Waratahs in Round 10 but have not lost consecutive matches since March 2014. Only the Bulls (27.3) have averaged more points than the Hurricanes (27) this season. The Reds have scored the fewest, an average of 12.3. The Reds' try difference is -13 so far, compared to +14 by the Canes. Obviously the Reds have a chance to win, but the smart money will be on a Hurricanes victory and it won't be a massive surprise if it the margin is well into double digits.


Reds: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 James O'Connor, 10 Nick Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Faagase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Campbell Magnay, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Callum Gibbins, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Adam Hill, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 Cory Jane.
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Referees: Matt O'Brien, Damien Mitchelmore
TMO: Ian Smith

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article jacques potgieter waratahs

Waratahs edge Rebels in wet Sydney

Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:47

REPORT: The Waratahs held off a desperate late charge by the Rebels to edge their rivals 18-16 in a Super Rugby encounter in a wet Sydney.

The Waratahs held off a desperate late charge by the Rebels to edge their rivals 18-16 in a Super Rugby encounter in a very wet Sydney on Saturday.

The win, albeit fortuitous, kept the Waratahs in the play-off race.

The storm that hovered over Sydney most of Saturday turned the second half into lottery, with the rebels coming back from 3-13 at the half-time break to just fall short by those two points in the end - a knock-on ending their final charge.

The Waratahs looked in control of their Australian derby at Sydney's Olympic stadium with a 13-0 lead, but wayward goal-kicking by Bernard Foley and the never-say-die Rebels made for a gripping duel in the second half.

The Sydneysiders prevailed as the Rebels made an error with the ball in the fourth minute of added on time after the siren to trail the Brumbies by four points in the Australian conference.

The Waratahs scored three tries to one, but flyhalf Foley could manage only one penalty goal from five attempts as Jack Debreczeni kept the Rebels in the contest with three long range penalties and a conversion.

It was far from a convincing performance from the Waratahs, while the Rebels continue to prove a tough nut to crack after upsetting the Brumbies in Canberra last week.

Wallaby flank Michael Hooper scored behind a driving maul in the ninth minute and the Waratahs were in again when Adam Ashley-Cooper finished off a lovely set play involving Kurtley Beale and Hooper in the 20th minute.

But the Rebels fought back to trail 3-13 at half-time and continued to unsettle the Waratahs defence in the second half.

Debreczeni kicked the Rebels to trail 9-13 before Wallabies wing Rob Horne carried over three tacklers to squeeze inside the corner post in the 60th minute for an 18-9 lead.

But the Rebels continued to press for their first win in Sydney and replacement back Bryce Hegarty finished off a flowing move after a midfield break by Mitch Inman.

Debreczeni's conversion had the Rebels trailing by two points with six minutes left as the Waratahs avoided conceding a kickable penalty in the dying stages.

A bloodied Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis said his side had allowed the Rebels to play their way back into the ANZAC Day contest.

"We controlled the game well in patches, but we probably dropped our heads a little bit when we didn't have the ball and didn't stay at it and allowed them to play a bit too much rugby," Dennis said.

"I thought our game management in the last five minutes was good, we were smart about what we did and he [Debreczeni] kicked well, so we were cautious about it as well."

Rebels skipper Scott Higginbotham said it was bitter-sweet to settle for the losing bonus point.

"It's disappointing. After a woeful first half the boys did well to get their heads up and really give it a crack in the second half and it was just a lack of execution in the end," he said.

The Waratahs face the Brumbies in Canberra next weekend, while the Rebels host the Chiefs.

Man of the match: Jack Debreczeni kept the Rebels in the hunt with his boot, Nic Stirzaker was energetic, Scott Higginbotham worked hard and Jordy Reid made an impact off the bench - as he always does. Kurtley Beale had his moments in the first half, Michael Hooper was a constant threat at the breakdown and Paddy Ryan made a massive impact off the bench. However, our award goes to the Waratahs' South African import Jacques Potgieter - the kind of abrasive loose forward you just don't find in Australia. He was central to the 13-0 lead they build up in the first quarter, an advantage that proved crucial in the final wash-up.


For the Waratahs:
Hooper, Ashley-Cooper, Horne
Pen: Foley

For the Rebels:
Con: Debreczeni
Pens: Debreczeni 3

Yellow card: Sefanaia Naivalu (Rebels, 26 - professional foul, slowing down the ball)


Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Dave Dennis (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Mitch Chapman, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Wycliff Palu, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Matt Carraro, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.
Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Sefanaia Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (co-captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller (co-captain), 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Jordy Reid, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Referee: Rohan Hoffman
Assistant referees: James Leckie, Ed Martin
TMO: George Ayoub

Michael Hooper (9min), Adam Ashley-Cooper (20min), and Rob Horne (60min)
Bryce Hegarty (74min)
Jack Debreczeni (75min)
Bernard Foley (16min)
Jack Debreczeni (40min), Jack Debreczeni (49min), and Jack Debreczeni (58min)
Sefanaia Naivalu (27min)
VENUE Sydney
REFEREE Rohan Hoffman