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Super Rugby | Cape Town
17:10 (GMT) | 25-04-2015
  • 81
Joins us for more live commentary of Super Rugby as the Hurricanes take on the Reds on Sunday.
  • 80
The Stormers look for the push over try but the ball pops out and the Bulls pounce. They have to run it out from their own try-line. Pollard tries a chip over the top but Kolbe collects and hoofs it out to bring the game to FULL-TIME.
  • 78
Botha secures the line-out and the Bulls have worked their way into the Stormers 22m. Pollard has dropped into the pocket as he attempts the drop-goal, but Vermeulen charges him down and he chases the charge down all the way to the halfway line. Coleman kicks it deep to the Bulls try-line. Basson covers but knocks-on and the Stormers have an attacking scrum on the Bulls 5m line.
  • 76
Pressure on the Stormers line-out sees them loose 10m but the regather. Schreuder puts a box in and Kriels clearance comes off the side of the boot, the Stormers have a line-out but Hattingh steals it. The Bulls attacking from deep. The away side receives a penalty on their 10m. Pollard quickly looks for touch.
  • 73
Stormers win a penalty from the scrum on the halfway. Coleman with another error as he can't find touch. Hougaard boots it down field as Schreuder replies. Hougaard this time kicks it out.
  • 71
Coleman clears for touch. The Stormers win the line-out and Schreuder puts it high on Hougaard. He is instantly bundled into touch. The Stormers win the line-out but the Bulls swamp the attack and win a scrum from the ruck.
  • 69
Stormers botch another line-out and Kriel is released down the touchline but his pass is forward to Hougaard. The Stormers have a scrum 6m from their own line. Schreuder feeds and the Stormers receive a penalty at the scrum.
  • 67
Stormers win the line-out and De Allende takes it to contact hard and fast making meters. Coleman puts a chip over the backline but Van Zyl covers well as the Bulls look to counter through Hougaard. The ball is spread wide and Nyakane is eventually tackled into touch by De Allende.
  • 65
The Bulls with an attacking scrum on the Stormers 22m. Their backline is split with two first receivers. the Bulls get a short-arm which Van Zyl takes quickly. the Bulls looking dangerous 10m out. Pollard dictating play well. The Stormers defence is strong and Pollard has puts it high in the 22m. Kolbe takes it well and marks it. He takes it quickly and kicks behind the Bulls. Kriel is back and he clears for touch.
  • 62
Pollard pushes it wide and the Stormers will have a 22m drop-out. Coleman makes a rookie-error as he restarts into the stands.
  • 60
Botha collects and Van Zyl spreads wide to Pollard. The Bulls find some space on the touchline with Basson but he is bundled into touch by Etzebeth. The Stormers take it quickly from their own 22m and De Allende puts De Jongh away down the touchline. The Bulls regain possession and Du Plessis takes it forward. The Stormers a penalised on the halfway and Pollard will have along-ranged attempt at the poles.
  • 58
The game is opening up as both sides look to spread the ball, and after a couple of knock-ons the Bulls have a scrum 30m from their try-line. Pollard hoists it high but Howard is solid under the ball. Coleman puts a clearance in and Kriel replies, Kolbe then puts one out on the full giving the Bulls an attacking line-out outside the Stormers 22m.
  • 55
Pollard with a brilliant kick to give the Bulls 3 points.
  • 54
A Big scrum from the Bulls gives them a penalty as the Stormers can't square in the front row. Pollard will look for the 3 points from 40m out-wide.
  • 52
Pollard puts a high kick up and Kotze knocks it forward for a Bulls scrum inside Stormers territory.
  • 49
Stormers receive a penalty after a monster scrum. Catrakilis searches for touch and he sets a line-out on the halfway line. Hattingh steals the line-out and the Bulls form a maul. Pollard with an unforced error gives possession to the Stormers and Catrakilis kicks deep.
  • 47
Stormers run it out their 22m off the restart. Catrakilis puts it high and Kriel catches cleanly. Some errors from both sides but the Stormers have a scrum after Van der Merwe looses the ball forward.
  • 45
The Bulls find themselves offside in their own half and Catrakilis lines up the shot at goal 30m out and he converts it.
  • 43
Pollard converts the 2 points for the Bulls.
  • 42
Stormers with ball in the Bulls half. Groom keeping it with forwards. Groom finds some space but forces the pass in the contact and the Bulls come away with ball as Hougaard shows some electric speed as breaks the line, Basson is in support and he is released down the touchline showing his speed and gets the try.
  • 41
SECOND-HALF: Stormers flyhaf Catrakilis gets the half unerway.

Half Time

  • 40
Catrakilis will take a shot at goal, and he converts the attempt bringing us to HALF-TIME.
  • 39
Stormers with a great set move from the scrum which sees de Jongh dive over in the corner, but the pass was forward to Kolbe, play will come back for a penalty to the Stormers as Greyling collapsed at the scrum.
  • 38
Hattingh secures a pressure line-out and Pollard clears for touch, The bulls pinch the line-out but Van Zyl knocks-on. The Stromers have an attacking scrum outside the Bulls 22m.
  • 36
Van Zyl feeds the scrum and Spies picks up and drives forward. Hougaard puts a box-kick in and there is a kick exchange between the sides. The Stormers eventually come away with the ball. Etzebeth powers forward in contact and the Stormers are up to the 22m of the Bulls. 6 phases now for the Stormers and Groom puts a grubber through which finds touch 5m from the Bulls line.
  • 32
Groom slows it down after the line-out and he puts a box-kick in. Pollard replies with a high ball and the Stormers counter through Kotze. Vermeulen drops the pass and the Bulls have a scrum just inside the Stormers half.
  • 30
Bulls disrupt a stormers line-out and Spies steals it. The Bulls now in control inside the Stormers half. Schoeman throws a cut-out pass to Du Plessis who is effective in contact. Van Zyl plays Basson on the short-side and he breaks down the touchline but Kolby makes a good tackle. Vermeulen steals the ball on the ground and the Stormers receive a penalty. Catrakilis clears for touch, and the Stormers have a line-out on their 10m.
  • 28
Stormers give a penalty away for a side-entry at the ruck, and Pollard goes for touch to set a Bulls line-out. The Bulls lose it at the breakdown and Groom hacks through, the chase is on but Kriel covers well. Hougaard relieves the pressure as he kicks the ball out.
  • 25
Pollard puts the Bulls on the board as he converts the penalty from wide-out.
  • 24
Hattingh wins the line-out and the Bulls are on the offence in the Stormers 22m. Du Plessis loses the ball forward in contact and the Stormers will have a scrum on their 5m line. The Bulls receive a scrum penalty as Malherbe folds and turns-in on the scrum. Spies doesn't hesitate to go for poles.
  • 22
Stormers look to run it out of their 22m, but Catrakilis eventually goes high with the boot. Basson comes away and shows some pace down the touchline, he chips and gives possession away. The Stormers clear and the Bulls have a line-out on the Stormers 22m.
  • 20
Catrakilis converts the penalty from 30m out.
  • 19
Pollard doesn't find touch and Kolbe counters. Stormers in control on the Bulls 10m. Kitshoff finds some space and off-loads brilliantly, but Burger eventually knocks-on, and after a lengthy advantage Peyper brings play back for a penalty from illegal play by Stegmann.
  • 17
Van Zyl feeds after a number of resets and the Bulls receive the penalty this time from the Scrum.
  • 15
Bulls with ball-in-hand but Vermeulen has stolen it, Kolbe kicks one behind Hougaard but the wing is composed and he kicks for touch resulting in a territory gain for the Stormers with a line-out on the 22m for the Stormers. They win the line-out and Burger takes it up. Catrakilis spreads wide but Kitshoff can't hold on and he knocks-on for a Bulls scrum.
  • 12
Catrakilis adds the further 3 points.
  • 11
Greyling penalised again at scrum-time and Catrakilis will kick for poles.
  • 10
Stomers line-out is on the Bulls 22m and they just secure it. Catrikilis directing traffic for the Stormers as he plays de Allende who is looking strong. Malherbe finds a hole and the Stormers get into the 22m of the Stormers. Groom off-loads to Vermeulen, but he is smoked by his opposite number Pierre Spies resulting in a scrum to the Bulls.
  • 8
Bulls have a scrum on the Stormers 22m, they are given a free-kick and Van Zyl takes it quickly. Odendaal runs hard at the line, Van der Merwe takes a second phase crash but the Stormers steal the ball and counter up to the 50m. The home-side are given a penalty as Stegmann is guilty of not releasing the player. Catrakilis kicks for touch.
  • 5
Catrakilis makes no mistake as he raises the flags to take the lead for the Stormers.
  • 4
Greyling is penalised for collapsing and the Stormers will kick for touch. Etzebeth secures as Burger is at first reciever, he crashes at the line. Stormers awarded another penalty as their is no release on the tackled player. Catrakilis will have a shot at goal.
  • 2
Stormers with possession inside their 22m, and Catrakilis boots the ball into touch for a Bulls line-out on the 50m line.Messy throw and the Stormers receive a scrum.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard gets the game underway.
  • -10
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby with the Bulls taking on the Stormers at Newlands in a North-South derby.
Mc stormers logo 80x50
Mc bulls logo 80x50
  • 15 Cheslin Kolbe
  • 14 Johnny Kotze
  • 13 Juan de Jongh
  • 12 Damian de Allende
  • 11 Patrick Howard
  • 10 Demetri Catrakilis
  • 9 Nic Groom
  • 8 Duane Vermeulen
  • 7 Siya Kolisi
  • 6 Schalk Burger
  • 5 Ruan Botha
  • 4 Eben Etzebeth
  • 3 Frans Malherbe
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 1 Steven Kitshoff
  • 23 Huw Jones
  • 22 Kurt Coleman
  • 21 Louis Schreuder
  • 20 Nizaam Carr
  • 19 Jean Kleyn
  • 18 Vincent Koch
  • 17 Oliver Kebble
  • 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni
  • 15 Jesse Kriel
  • 14 Francois Hougaard
  • 13 JJ Engelbrecht
  • 12 Burger Odendaal
  • 11 Bjorn Basson
  • 10 Handre Pollard
  • 9 Piet van Zyl
  • 8 Pierre Spies
  • 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
  • 23 Jurgen Visser
  • 22 Tiaan Schoeman
  • 21 Akona Ndungane
  • 20 Pieter Labuschagne
  • 19 Arno Botha
  • 18 Trevor Nyakane
  • 17 Morne Mellett
  • 16 Callie Visagie
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 stormers v bulls 630

Stormers go top after brutal contest

Sat, 25 Apr 2015 19:07

REPORT: The Stormers held on in the face of a fierce second-half comeback by the Bulls to eke out a 15-13 Super Rugby win at Newlands on Saturday.

The Stormers held on in the face of a fierce second-half comeback by the Bulls to eke out a 15-13 Super Rugby win at Newlands on Saturday.

Stormers skipper Duane Vermeulen, who produced a man of the match performance,  blocked a late drop-goal attempt by Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard to help his team win a pulsating and at time brutal clash.

Bulls were pressing hard deep in Stormers territory to wipe out a two-point deficit as time ticked away.

Then opportunity knocked for the Pretoria outfit, when Pollard received the ball in a favourable drop-goal position just outside the 22-metre line.

But current Springbok No. 8, Vermeulen, charged at the flyhalf, blocked his kick, and hacked the ball to safety.

The win - in front of more than 50,000 vociferous spectators - not only gave the Stormers a season double over their arch rivals in the competitions biggest derby, but it also saw them claim first place in the South African conference.

After leading 12-3 at the end of a penalty-riddled first half, the Cape Town-based franchise desperately hung on in the dying stages as the Bulls launched several threatening raids.

The Bulls looked more likely to score tries that an intense second half and also got the game's only five-pointer, while the Stormers relied ever-more on their famed defence.

Hyped for days as a classic South African derby, the match lived up to expectations.

There was only one try - Bulls left-wing Bjorn Basson scoring after a wonderful counter-attack - but the match offered much for the capacity crowd.

The Stormers won a titanic scrums struggle and Bulls took the line-out honours partly because of several overly-long throws from the home team.

Every loose ball was ferociously contested with 2014 South African Rugby Player of the Year Vermeulen regularly in the thick of the action.

Among the backs, Bulls right wing Francois Hougaard continued excellent recent form and had a major role in the try.

Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis succeeded with all five penalty kicks for the Stormers, who dominated possession and territory for much of the opening half and turned over 12-3 ahead.

Rival playmaker Pollard slotted two penalties, converted the Basson try, and saw an ambitious 50-metre angled shot at goal drift right of the far post.

"A huge crowd, a wonderful atmosphere and a Stormers victory - what more do you want?" asked Vermeulen.

"It was a massive occasion and we were  lucky to come out on top. I knew it was going to be tough and I am thrilled that we won."

Bulls skipper and No. 8 Pierre Spies said: "I am proud of the way we fought back, having twice trailed by nine points during the opening half.

"We were often under pressure at scrum time, but we put the Stormers under pressure when it came to the line-outs."  

Catrakilis kicked three penalties as the Stormers spent virtually the first 20 minutes camped in Bulls' territory.

When the visitors applied sustained pressure for the first time, they were rewarded with a Pollard penalty only for Catrakilis to get another in first-half stoppage-time.

Basson sped down the left wing two minutes into the second half and dotted down for a try Pollard converted

Catrakilis and Pollard exchanged penalties to leave the Stormers 15-13 ahead and although the last 25 minutes were scoreless, there was no shortage of drama with the Bulls in the ascendancy.

Man of the match: Francois Hougaard again showed that he is a better wing than scrumhalf, while Bjorn Basson showed he is still a pure-bred speedster. Grant Hattingh worked hard and won a couple of crucial line-out turnovers. Jacques du Plessis was the Bulls muscle up front. Johnny Kotze and Damian de Allende kept the Bulls' defence honest. Siya Kolisi Eben Etzebeth and Schalk Burger were the Stormers' energiser bunnies. There should also be plaudits for Stormers tighthead prop Frans Malherbe for his powerful scrumming. However, our award goes to Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen, who again showed why he is rate the Best No.8 in the world at present  - a rock on defence and some crucial turnovers, not to mention his cover work and defence.


For the Stormers:
Catrakilis 5

For the Bulls:
Con: Pollard
Pens: Pollard 2


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 Burger Odendaal, 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

Bjorn Basson (42min)
Handre Pollard (43min)
Demetri Catrakilis (5min), Demetri Catrakilis (12min), Demetri Catrakilis (20min), Demetri Catrakilis (40min), and Demetri Catrakilis (45min)
Handre Pollard (25min) and Handre Pollard (55min)
VENUE Cape Town
REFEREE Jaco Peyper