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Super Rugby | Johannesburg
15:05 (GMT) | 25-04-2015
  • 81
Join us for more live commentary of Super Rugby as the Bulls take on the Stormers at Newlands next.
  • 80
The Cheetahs are awarded a penalty, as they tap-and-go on the 50m line. The Cheetahs are up to the 10m line of the Lions now. Sadie makes a bust into the Lions 22m, but Cronje makes an excellent steal on the ground. Boshoff pops it into touch to bring us to FULL-TIME.
  • 79
The Cheetahs are running it out from their line but Pietersen's chip is to no avail and the Lions have the ball as they try to run down the clock.
  • 77
Pietersen's kick from the corner sails wide as he can't add the extra 2 points.
  • 75
Its end-to-end stuff as the Cheetahs run it out of their own line as Pietersen collects his own chip-and-chase. The Cheetahs are on the Lions 5m line after some continuity. They spread wide and Britz passes to Greef who busts his way through a tackle and stretches for a try in the corner.
  • 73
Jantjies extends the lead as he raises the flags.
  • 71
Pietersen clears after the scrum but doesn't find touch. Boshoff swings the ball to Combrinck who finds a hole on the counter, he swerves past 3 defenders and he passes to De Klerk on the 5m line, he forces his way over the try-line for a try.
  • 71
Kriel makes a break down the middle of the field off the restart, he passes to Mapoe who throws it back inside as he is tackled near the touchline, Kriel off-loads to Fourie but he drops the pass over the try-line. The Cheetahs receive a scrum on their 5m.
  • 70
Jantjies lines up a difficult kick for poles but he raises the flags to take the Lions into the lead.
  • 69
Lions receive a penalty from the Scrum for hinging, and Jantjies clears for touch. Lions have a line-out on their 10m and they secure it. De Klerk plays left and Vorster breaks the line again, he puts the chip over but Blommetjies is calm at the back. Cheetahs play left and Pietersen hacks one down-field. The Lions attack and after they play left they receive a penalty on the 22m on the left-hand touchline. Whiteley points to the poles.
  • 67
They kick it in the corner and set the line-out. Meyer spreads wide but Venter can't hold one at first receiver. Lions are relieved with a scrum.
  • 66
Good line-out by the Cheetahs, and the Lions are penalised for collapsing the maul. Blommetjies kicks for touch and what a massive kick it is, taking play to the 5m line of the Lions. Wegner claims the throw and the Cheetahs are playing under advantage, they are awarded the penalty.
  • 64
Lions in control of possession on the halfway. Jantjies dictating traffic for the Lions as Mnisis makes some ground. The ball goes wide to Mapoe but he is tackled into touch for a Cheetahs throw.
  • 62
Pietersen converts the 2 points from the corner to level the scores.
  • 61
A kick-exchange from the 2 sides, and Pietersen eventually launches a counter, he finds a hole and sprints 60m, Sadie is in support and Pietersen draws the last defender and puts Sadie away for a try.
  • 59
Pietersen has a relatively easy conversion attempt and he raises the flags.
  • 58
Meyer decides spread wide and Venter stretches and reaches for the line, he scores the try.
  • 57
Pietersen gains some territory as he kicks for touch. A sloppy line-out but the Cheetahs still come away with it, they kick onto the Lions and Mapoe tries another back door off-load but it is scrappy and Sadie hacks it through, the chase is on and the Cheetah have a line-out on the Lions 5m. They secure the ball and are 3m out, keeping it close.
  • 55
Lions win the line-out but a clumsy error sees them loose the ball forward. Ceetahs are relieved with a scrum in their 22m. They are rewarded further with a scrum penalty as Dreyer drops his bind.
  • 52
Lions wit a line-out on the Cheetahs 22m as they shift the contact point for a maul, and Prinsloo is penalised for collapsing the maul. Jantjies kicks for the corner.
  • 50
Lions with a line-out on their own 10m. Jantjies goes high but the Cheetahs solid under the high ball. Venter runs hard and breaks the line, but Kriel is all over him as he wins a penalty for the Lions. Jantjies kicks for touch.
  • 48
Whiteley opts for the poles and Jantjies extends the score by a further 3.
  • 47
After a thrilling start to the second-half, the Lions have a penalty on the 50m. Combrinck looks for touch as the Lions set for the line-out just outside the Cheetahs 22m. Mostert collects as they form the maul. Lions play wide and consolidate on the touch line. As they bring play back in field Jantjies finds a whole as he takes a flat pass from De Klerk, Jantjies off-loads to Van Der Merwe and Hendricks makes a try-saving tackle 5m out. Lions are awarded a penalty at the breakdown.
  • 45
Jantjies converts for 2 more points.
  • 44
Lions in control after the restart as De Klerk plays left again, Mapoe comes in on the switch from Combrink and he is clean through, he swerves past Pietersen again for a try under the poles.
  • 43
Jantjies adds the extras.
  • 42
Kriel makes a clean break from the restart and dashes 40m untouched. He puts an average chip over and Du Plessis covers and clears down-field. Lions have the ball on the 50m and De Klerk plays left to Mapoe who off-loads out the back door and Combrinck is clean through, he stepd Pietersen at full back to score a try under the poles.
  • 41
SECOND-HALF: Cheetahs fullback Joe Pietersen gets the half underway.

Half Time

  • 40
Cheetahs come away with the ball and are back in control of possession, Pietersen tries a snap drop goal but it is a miss-connection as it sails wide bringing us to HALF-TIME.
  • 39
A poor restart from Jantjies results in a scrum on the 50m for the away side. Britz pops it back to Pretorius who goes blind and plays Hendricks, he is bundled into touch for a Lions throw.
  • 37
Cheetahs clear for touch and win the line-out on the Lions 22m. Cheetahs in control of possession and its slow ball. Cheetahs inside the 22m now and still keeping it close with the forwards. Pietersen drops into the pocket after 12 phases and strikes a perfect drop-goal to put the Cheetahs in the lead.
  • 35
A power scrum from the Cheetahs as they receive a penalty.
  • 33
Pretorius feeds and he comes away with is as he plays Du Plessis, who immediately puts a grubber through to gain territory. Lions win the line-out on their 22m and receive a penalty as the Cheetahs line is off-side.Jantjies opts for touch and its a monster clearance taking play up to the Cheetahs 10m. Lions loose the ball forward after the line-out after big tackle from Prinsloo. Scrum Cheetahs.
  • 30
After a couple of restarts, De Klerk eventually gets the ball in and Pretorius is all over him forcing the the error from De Klerk, and the Cheetahs have a scrum in the same place.
  • 28
Lions now with a scrum on the 50m.
  • 24
Pietersen converts the extras to level the scores.
  • 23
De Klerk takes a quick tap from his own 5m and the Lions run it out all the way to the Cheetahs 22m as Jantjies side-steps his way into the 22m. But the ball pops out of the ruck as Pietersen busts his way 10 meters forward for the Cheetahs. Pretorious spreads the ball to Hendricks who steps inside and beats his defender as he sprints 60m for the try.
  • 22
Cheetahs secure the line-out as Venter crashes the line with a flat pass. Lions showing some good defence as the Cheetahs continue to attack. 23 phases for the Cheetahs now as they inch their way to the 5m line of the Lions. Resilient defence from the Lions results in a penalty for the home-side as Kreil makes a steal on the ground.
  • 19
Cheetahs restart deep and De Klerk sends one back. Du Plessis drops a sitter and the Lions have a centre-field scrum just outside the Cheetahs 22m. De Klerk feedsand Jantjies jinks his way to the line, but Britz earns the penalty on the ground as Jantjies is holding on. Cheetahs kick for touch.
  • 17
Combrinck pushes it just wide. The Cheetahs will restart with a 22m.
  • 16
Lions receive a penalty from the Scrum as Mienie scrums on the angle. Combrinck is going to attempt a long-ranged kick from 50m in the corner.
  • 14
Cheetahs secure the line-out and set the drive. Pretorius puts a box-kick in but Skosan is solid under the high ball. Coetzee kicks one cross-field to find touch for a Cheetahs line-out. Du plessis puts a up-and-under in but Hendricks knocks on as he tries to regain the ball. Scrum Lions on the 50m.
  • 11
Lions playing the ball through their hands well and Jantjies finds a half-gap. The Lions keeping continuity and Vorster recieves the ball wide as he tackled just short of the line. Burger makes a crucial steal and earns the penalty for the Cheetahs. They opt for touch.
  • 10
Coetzee kicks one down-field after the line-out and the Cheetahs have a line-out of their own on their 22m which they win. Du Plessis puts one high and Coetzee collects and counters.
  • 8
Lions loose the ball forward at the ruck and the Cheetahs have a scrum on their own 10m. Pretorius feeds and the ball finds its way to the touchline and there is a line-out to the Lions on the 10m.
  • 5
After a direct kick by Pretorius, the Lions have a line-out on halfway. They secure the ball and are on the offense in midfield.
  • 3
Jantjies converts the extra 2 points.
  • 2
Du Plessis clears from the restart and its a deep one resulting in a Lions line-out on the 50m. Lions secure the ball as Vorster carries to the line. After 2 phases the ball spreads to the right and Whiteley feeds Vorster with a short ball and Vorster brekas straight through cutting the defence, Benjamin tackles him just short of the line. Jantjies plays Tecklenburg and he breaks a tackle to score the try.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies gets the game underway.
  • -5
The Cheetahs have suffered injury blows to a number of their Springboks, including Coenie Oosthuizen, Willie le Roux, Raymond Rhule, and Heindrich Brussow.
  • -10
Conditions are clear at Ellis park which will hopefully lead to some running rugby from both teams.
  • -20
The last meeting between these sides produced the Lions' largest ever victory (60-25). The Lions have won 4 out of the 6 previous matches between the two sides.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby Round 12 with the Cheetahs taking on the Lions at Ellis Park.
Mc lions logo 85
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
  • 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
  • 7 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 3 Ruan Dreyer
  • 2 Armand van der Merwe
  • 1 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 23 Howard Mnisi
  • 22 Marnitz Boshoff
  • 21 Ross Cronje
  • 20 Robert Kruger
  • 19 Luvuyiso Lusaseni
  • 18 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 17 Corne Fourie
  • 16 Robbie Coetzee
  • 15 Joe Pietersen
  • 14 Cornal Hendricks
  • 13 Johann Sadie
  • 12 Francois Venter
  • 11 Willie du Plessis
  • 10 Ryno Benjamin
  • 9 Sarel Pretorius
  • 8 Willie Britz
  • 7 Boom Prinsloo
  • 6 Tienie Burger
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 3 Danie Mienie
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 1 Maks van Dyk
  • 23 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 22 Michael van de Spuy
  • 21 Tian Meyer
  • 20 Carel Greeff
  • 19 Steven Sykes
  • 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen
  • 17 Caylib Oosthuizen
  • 16 Stephan Coetzee
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 lions v cheetahs 630

Lions edge Cheetahs in Jo'burg thriller

Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:07

REPORT: The Lions held on in the face of a fierce comeback to edge the Cheetahs 34-29 in an eight-try Super Rugby thriller at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Lions held on in the face of a fierce comeback to edge the Cheetahs 34-29 in an eight-try Super Rugby thriller at Ellis Park on Saturday.

In what must rate as the best game of the season, the Lions twice took a commanding lead in the a second half that produced six of the eight tries.

However, as they did after going behind 0-7 down inside the opening five minutes, the Cheetahs came back from being 13-24 down to draw level at 24-all and then being behind 24-34 to close the gap to just five points with two minutes to go.

In the end the Lions held on as the Cheetahs ran from inside their 22 to inside the Lions 22, only for the home team to win a crucial turnover.

A much closer contest than expected ensued in a cool Johannesburg, before the Lions made it six victories in seven games and climbed one place to eighth on the combined standings.

The Johannesburg Lions, considered likely whipping boys before the Southern Hinter-provincial championship began two months ago, are just one point off the top-six play-off places.

After starting with two victories, the Cheetahs have imploded and this was their seventh defeat in eight outings.

But unlike some of those losses, the Bloemfontein outfit did not surrender meekly, and were within sight of the Lions' try-line in stoppage time when a turnover foiled chances of a dramatic triumph.

The willingness of both sides to run with the ball rewarded a good holiday-weekend crowd at Ellis Park.

Flank Warwick Tecklenburg, right wing Ruan Combrinck, outside centre Lionel Mapoe and scrumhalf Francois de Klerk scored a try each for the Lions, who are seeking a maiden play-offs appearance.

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies, displaying form that could see him challenge for a Springboks World Cup squad place, kicked four conversions and two penalties for a 14-point tally.

Right wing Cornal Hendricks, centres Francois Venter and Johann Sadie and replacement loose forward Carel Greeff were the Cheetahs' try-scorers.

Regular flyhalf Joe Pietersen, starting at fullback because of an injury crisis, slotted three conversions and a drop-goal.

The Cheetahs led 10-7 at half-time and then fell 14 points behind, before fighting back to give the Lions a scare and collect two bonus points.

Tries by Venter and Sadie levelled the match at 24-all with 17 minutes left and set the stage for a pulsating climax.

A Jantjies penalty nudged the Lions ahead again before a brilliant Combrinck break created the chance for diminutive De Klerk to shrug off two tacklers and dot down beside the post.  

Jantjies converted for a 10-point advantage, but a cheeky chip from inside his 22 by Pietersen created a flowing move that ended with Greeff going over in the corner.

Back came the Cheetahs and a Sadie break took play inside the Lions' 22 before the ball was turned over at a ruck and the relieved home side booted the ball into touch.

Man of the match: Cornal Hendricks showed his blistering pace in open play, Willie du Plessis had his moments and Joe Pietersen was the Cheetahs' X-factor man. Johannes Prinsloo and Tienie Burger were the workhorses up front, while Willie Britz was a real thorn in the Lions' flesh. Elton Jantjies produced some sublime creative form, even though he wasn't flawless.  Francois de Klerk was all energy, with a healthy mix of errors in judgement. Ruan Combrink's weaving runs deserve a mention as well. Warren Whiteley was all over the place, with great support from Warwick Tecklenburg, Jaco Kriel and Franco Mostert. However, the award goes to both teams - for the energy, commitment to the expansive cause and the sublime skills both the Lions and Cheetahs displayed.


For the Lions:
Vorster, Combrink, Mapoe, De Klerk
Cons: Jantjies 4
Pens: Jantjies 2

For the Cheetahs:
Hendricks, Venter, Sadie, Greeff
Cons: Pietersen 3
DG: Pietersen


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

Harold Vorster (2min), Ruan Combrinck (42min), Lionel Mapoe (44min), and Francois de Klerk (71min)
Cornal Hendricks (23min), Francois Venter (58min), Johann Sadie (61min), and Carel Greeff (75min)
Elton Jantjies (3min), Elton Jantjies (43min), Elton Jantjies (45min), and Elton Jantjies (73min)
Joe Pietersen (24min), Joe Pietersen (59min), and Joe Pietersen (62min)
Elton Jantjies (48min) and Elton Jantjies (70min)
Joe Pietersen (37min)
VENUE Johannesburg
REFEREE Jaco van Heerden