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Super Rugby | Bloemfontein
15:05 (GMT) | 02-05-2015
  • 81
Join us for more live commentary of Super Rugby as the Lions take on the Bulls in a Gauteng derby up next.
  • 80
Coleman misses his 4th penalty as the Stormers can't claim a bonus point. That brings the game to FULL-TIME.
  • 79
Stormers earn a penalty from the scrum and look to the poles to try and secure a loosing-bonus point.
  • 78
Cheetahs secure the line-out and Pietersen hoists a high kick but Jones is solid. Schreuder plays left as Kolbe finds a hole with electric pace. Burger knocks-on and the Cheetahs earn a scrum.
  • 76
Meyer feeds the scum and Blommetjies puts a big kick down-field. Stormers try to counter but a loose pass from Jones ends up finding the touch-line 30m out from the cheetahs try-line.
  • 75
Pietersen hacks it forward after the line-out and the Stormers counter all the way to the Cheetahs 22m but the knock the ball on giving the Cheetahs a scrum.
  • 74
Meyer puts a box-kick in but Kolbe calls for the mark. Kolbe clears to the Cheetahs 10m, and Uys wins the line-out for the Cheetahs.
  • 73
Coleman clears for touch and the Cheetahs have a line-out in their half which they win. Pietersen kicks but doesn't find touch and the Stormers counter. Schreuder plays the short-side and De Allende makes a hash of the pass to Jones as it is forward. Cheetahs have a scrum near halfway.
  • 70
Pietersen adds the extras.
  • 69
Vermeulen again attacks from a deep restart running direct. Cheetahs have turned it over through Tienie Burger. Pretorius plays left and Blommetjies slices straight through the defence and runs in under the poles for a try.
  • 68
Coleman misses again, and the scores remain the same.
  • 67
Stormers right back on attack from the restart and are given another penalty for the Cheetahs not rolling away at the ruck. Another opportunity presents itself to Coleman to have a shot at goal.
  • 66
Poor kick from coleman as the ball sails way-wide of the poles.
  • 65
After many reset scrums the Stormers win another penalty as the cheetahs scrum crumbles. Coleman will look for poles to try and take the lead for the Stormers.
  • 63
Pretorius feeds ad this time they win the ball and Pietersen kicks it high, Kolbe counters stepping past defence and running 60m, but he is eventually brought down and looses the ball, Van der Spuy hacks the ball down field and De Allende counters this time. The Stormers are into the 22m of the Cheetahs and a poor pass from Leyds prevents an easy try for the Stormers. The Cheetahs are relieved with a scrum inside their 22m.
  • 61
Cheetahs send it wide from the line-out. Pietersen ends up kicking for touch for a Stormers line-out on the Cheetahs 10m, but the throw is not straight. Cheetahs scrum on their 10m. Its a tight-head scrum and the Stormers come away with it but a slight knock-on at the ruck results in another scum for the Cheetahs.
  • 58
Vermeulen claims the restart and Coleman hoists a high kick. A kick exchange from both teams ends with a Cheetahs line-out on their own 10m.
  • 57
Coleman converts the kick to add the extra 2 points.
  • 55
Stormers now 5m out and the Cheetahs are off-side. Groom takes the penalty quickly and pops to Vermeulen who is unstoppable from 5m out as he crashes over for the try.
  • 53
Stormers shove well in the scrum and earn another penalty. Coleman finds touch giving the Stormers a line-out on the Cheetahs 22m. Stormers manage to retain the ball and are attacking playing both sides of the field. They win a penalty and its quickly taken from Leyds.
  • 51
A forward pass results in a Stormers scrum.
  • 50
Cheetahs spread it wide to the wing from the restart and Prinsloo kicks deep, Kolbe collects and replies with a solid clearance. Cheetahs have a line-out on the 50m. They secure the line-out and are attacking on the Stormers 10m. 5 phases now as Pietersen is directing traffic. Carl Wegner makes another good carry but the Stormers defence is strong.
  • 48
Pietersen strikes it well but it is just to the right of the poles. Stormers dot down for a 22m.
  • 46
Blommetjies puts a big boot down-field after the scrum as Kolbe replies. Cheetahs now with the ball on the halfway. Vermeulen guilty of not releasing the tackler and the Cheetahs have a penalty 50m out and Pietersen will have a crack at poles.
  • 45
Pietersen restarts the 22m deep. Groom plays the forwards as Botha makes some carries. Stormers are stringing some phases together as Leyds finds some space on the outside of his defender, he passes to Kolbe, but Kolbe's off-load is forward resulting in a Cheetahs scrum.
  • 43
Coleman, from 40m out, misses.
  • 42
Stormers with an early line-out 30m from the Cheetahs line. Again the Cheetahs steal it and Van der Spuy kicks onto Kolby, as the Stormers attack. A powerful rin from Kolisi gets them over the advantage line. Prinsloo playing the ball on the ground gives the Stormers a penalty. Coleman will have a shot.
  • 41
SECOND-HALF: Stormers flyhalf Kurt Coleman gets the half underway.

Half Time

  • 40
Stormers win a penalty from the scrum, and they kick it out to bring the game to HALF-TIME.
  • 39
Free-kick for the Cheetahs is quickly taken and they spread wide but Venter runs laterally and is tackled into touch for a Stormers line-out. They butcher the line-out again and the Cheetahs are attacking in the Stormers 22m. Botha makes a steal and the Stormers try to run the ball out but Jones throws a loose pass and Cheetahs regain possession. Britz looses it forward for a Stormers scrum on their 22m.
  • 37
Stormers line-out is sloppy as Wegner does great work. Scrum to the Cheetahs on the halfway.
  • 35
After a number of resets the Stormers receive a penalty as Oosthuizen collapses. Catrakilis clears for touch.
  • 33
Cheetahs secure a line-out on the Stormers 10m and are attacking channel 1. 12 phases now for the Cheetahs but the Stormers defence is solid. Cheetahs have inched their way into the 22m now as Pretorius snipes to the blind looking for Benjamin but there is a knock-on after a long-passage of play. Stormers have a scrum inside their 22m.
  • 29
Catrakilis keeps his phenomenal record as he raises the flags.
  • 28
Stormers now on the offense as De Allende jinks past a defender from an inside pass by Catrakilis. Groom plays left and Burger finds some space down the touchline as he sucks in two defenders and off-loads to Leyds his outside. Leyds finishes off for the try.
  • 26
Pietersen's kick from the corner shaves the upright and he can't add the conversion.
  • 25
Cheetahs attacking from deep as Blommetjies puts and up-and-under in, but Leyds is cool under pressure. Groom is slowing things down and he puts a box-kick in. Cheetahs counter as Sergeal Petersen accelerates and puts a grubber though, Benjamin kicks again and collects with a fantastic pick-up as he dives over the line for a try.
  • 22
Pietersen makes the conversion.
  • 21
Van der Spuy makes a break down the field as De Jongh makes a feeble attempt at a tackle and the Cheetahs are in the Stormers 22m. After a couple of phases the Cheetahs are 10m out. Van der Spuy picks up a loose ball and he darts over the try-line for a try.
  • 20
Pretorius snipes down the middle of the ruck from the kick-off as the Stormers pillars are sold with a dummy. Van der Spuy kicks down field and Kolbe replies but it is a net gain for the Cheetahs, as they win the line-out and are attacking in the middle of the park. Pietersen shanks a drop-goal attempt and the Stormers will restart with a 22m.
  • 17
Pietersen strikes the ball cleanly as the ball sails through the middle of the sticks.
  • 16
Blommetjies finds a half-gap and he offloads to Pretorius as the Cheetahs find themselves at the Stormers 22m and Burger is penalised for not releasing the tackler. Joe Pietersen will have a shot at goal.
  • 15
Catrakilis's kick is good and the scores are level.
  • 14
Stormers play left from the line-out but Cheetahs defence is strong. Van der Spuy not supporting his body-weight at the ruck and the Stormers receive a penalty. Catrakilis will have a shot at goal to try level the scores.
  • 12
Uys is safe under the 22m but the Stormers turn it over. They attack with continuity all the way to the Cheetahs 22m but the Cheetahs turn it over before Blommetjies makes another kick-error as he puts one out on the full, and play will come back for a Stormers line-out inside the Cheetahs 22m.
  • 10
Stormers receive a free-kick and Groom takes it quickly. Catrakilis puts a high kick in but Petersen is safe. Blommetjies puts a kick in behind Kolbe put it rolls over the try-line for a 22m.
  • 8
Stormers first chance to attack with the ball and are looking dangerous as Burger crashes up, Groom sends it wide and Kolisi crashes over 2 players and he is over the line but Benjamin rips the ball from Kolisi to save a try. Benjamin clears downfield and Burger replies with a kick that has gone too far. Play comes back for a Cheetahs scrum from where Burger kicked it. Cheetahs scrum on the Stormers 10m.
  • 5
Pietersen clears after the restart, and the Stormers look to counter but Catrakilis puts a cross-kick out on the full and the Cheetahs have a line-out on the 50m. Quick ball for the Cheetahs after the line-out as Pretorious controls the breakdown. After a number of phases Vermeulen gets over the ball to win the penalty for the Stormers. Catrakilis finds touch and the Stormers have a line-out on the Cheetahs 10m.
  • 2
Pietersen raises the flags as the Cheetahs take a 3-0 lead.
  • 1
Cheetahs with early possession on the Stormers 22m. Ruan Botha guilty of a side-entry into the ruck and the Cheetahs have an early chance to put points on the board as Pietersen lines up a kick for goal.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Cheetahs flyhalf Joe Pietersen gets the game underway
  • -10
Steven Kitshoff and Eben Etzebeth will be rested today for the Stormers today, while the Cheetahs have rested Springbok wing Cornel Hendricks.
  • -20
The Stormers will be out to protect their lead in the South African conference against the unpredictable and very dangerous Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, where they haven't won since 2012. The last four meetings between these two sides have been won by the home side on the day (two wins each).
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby Round 12 with the Stormers taking on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
Mc stormers logo 80x50
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 14 Ryno Benjamin
  • 13 Francois Venter
  • 12 Michael van de Spuy
  • 11 Sergeal Petersen
  • 10 Joe Pietersen
  • 9 Sarel Pretorius
  • 8 Willie Britz
  • 7 Boom Prinsloo
  • 6 Tienie Burger
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 3 Maks van Dyk
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
  • 23 Danie Dames
  • 22 Francois Brummer
  • 21 Tian Meyer
  • 20 Carel Greeff
  • 19 Steven Sykes
  • 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen
  • 17 Rudolph Botha
  • 16 Stephan Coetzee
  • 15 Cheslin Kolbe
  • 14 Johnny Kotze
  • 13 Juan de Jongh
  • 12 Damian de Allende
  • 11 Dillyn Leyds
  • 10 Demetri Catrakilis
  • 9 Nic Groom
  • 8 Duane Vermeulen
  • 7 Siya Kolisi
  • 6 Schalk Burger
  • 5 Ruan Botha
  • 4 Jean Kleyn
  • 3 Frans Malherbe
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 1 Oliver Kebble
  • 23 Huw Jones
  • 22 Kurt Coleman
  • 21 Louis Schreuder
  • 20 Nizaam Carr
  • 19 Manuel Carizza
  • 18 Vincent Koch
  • 17 Allistair Vermaak
  • 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni
Mc article victor matfield bulls huddle 630

Preview: S15 Round 12, Part Two

Thu, 30 Apr 2015 23:18

It is getting tight at the front-end of the Super Rugby play-off race. Jan de Koning looks at Saturday's matches.

It is getting tight at the front-end of the Super Rugby play-off race.

Just 10 points separate teams one to six, the current play-off spots, with seven more rounds to go. And with another three teams just three points outside of that, it means every defeat now could be cataclysmal.

Saturday's action start with two teams already well out of the race and playing just for pride - the 14th-placed Blues hosting the last-placed Western Force in Auckland.

After that it gets real interesting.

The table-topping Hurricanes host a desperate Crusaders team - the latter three points off the play-off pace - in Wellington.

The Rebels, with nothing more than a mathematic chance of making the play-offs, could do some serious harm to the Chiefs' prospects when they meet in Melbourne.

The day concludes with two all-South African derbies.

The first is in Bloemfontein where the Cheetahs, playing for little more than pride, host the South African conference leaders, the Stormers.

The Bulls, who conceded first place in the SA conference to the Stormers with a two-point defeat last week, host the high-flying  Lions in Pretoria - the latter looking to extend their record-breaking five-match winning streak and improve their own play-off prospects.

We look at all Saturday's matches!

Saturday, May 2

Blues v Western Force

(Eden Park, Auckland - Kick-off: 17:30; 13:30 AEST, 05:30 GMT)

John Kirwan's name remains in the headlines.

That is because his team has failed to live up to their pre-season hype and the vultures are circling.

It emerged this week that Kirwan put a resuscitation plan on the table that includes luring Crusaders assistant coach Tabai Matson to Auckland next year.

Reports in the New Zealand media suggest Kirwan is pushing for Matson to come on board as an assistant next year, with an eye to taking the reins the following season - with Kirwan stepping into an overseeing high performance role.

However, all this off-field talk is doing little to help solve the current on-field troubles.

And they will be up against a desperate Force team stuck on bottom of the table with 10 points; one behind both the Blues and Reds.

The Force haven't won since beating the Waratahs in their season-opener.

The subsequent nine-match losing run is the equal worst in the Force's 10-year history, and the team is desperate to snap back to the winners' list this week.

The Force were plucky against the Chiefs last Friday, scoring three tries in the second half.

Coach Michael Foley said the signs are there that his team's fortunes are changing.

"There was some good improvement in our ability to identify and take opportunities against the Chiefs," Foley said.

"This week we take on an experienced Blues side that contains a number of dangerous ball runners.

"To that end, while maintaining our attack is a focus, our defence will be the foundation of a good performance."

Recent results:
2014: Blues won 40-14, Perth
2012: Blues won 32-9, Auckland
2011: Blues and Force drew 22-all, Perth
2010: Blues won 38-17, Auckland
2009: Blues won 25-19, Perth
2008: Force won 27-17, Albany

Prediction: The Blues have won 10 of their last 12 home games against Australian opponents. The Force have beaten the Blues just once in Super Rugby, however that win did come away from home (2008). Five of those six defeats have been by margins over 20 points. After defeat to the Chiefs last weekend, the Force are now winless in their last four against New Zealand sides by an average margin of 22 points. Defeat for the Force would signal their worst ever run of form in Super Rugby. They are enduring a nine-match losing streak, something which previously occurred at the beginning of their first campaign in 2006. The Blues' 29-15 loss to the Crusaders was their heaviest defeat in over a year, but their 11th defeat in 12 matches. In this dance of the desperates we are going with the home team and say the Blues will win by eight points.


Blues: 15 Charles Piutau. 14 Lolagi Visinia, 13 Francis Saili, 12 George Moala/Hamish Northcott, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Jerome Kaino (captain), 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis/Culum Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Hamish Northcott/Tevita Li.
Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Luke Burton, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman/Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp/Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Marcel Brache, 23 Junior Rasolea.

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Hurricanes v Crusaders
(Westpac Stadium, Wellington - Kick-off: 19:35; 07:35 GMT)

The Hurricanes will be under renewed pressure to hold on to their one-point lead over the Chiefs in the New Zealand conference, when they host the seven-time Super Rugby champions Crusaders.

The Hurricanes, beaten only once in nine games this season, have had some mighty tussles with the Crusaders at home in recent years and this will be another test of their credentials for a first-ever Super Rugby title.

The Wellington-based team will be boosted by the return from injury of hooker Dane Coles, fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder and wing Cory Jane.

However, captain Conrad Smith reckons the All Black-laden Crusaders are exactly the type of 'banana skin' that could spell trouble for the ambitious Hurricanes.

The match marks the start of a stretch of six New Zealand derby games in their last seven for the Hurricanes.

It is worth noting that the Hurricanes have a very poor record in derby matches, winning less than 50 percent of the time against their compatriots.

"All derby games, there's always a little bit more on the line," Smith told NZ Newswire.

"We're certainly excited about it but we're not in any way forgetting how much more work we've got to do.

"We know there are few Kiwi teams licking their lips at the chance of getting a crack at us."

Smith also knows that the Hurricanes have a huge target on their collective backs.

"In some ways you can be a victim of your own success."

Recent results:
2014: Hurricanes won 16-9, Wellington
2014: Hurricanes won 29-26, Christchurch
2013: Crusaders won 25-17-, Christchurch
2013: Hurricanes won 29-28, Wellington
2012: Hurricanes won 23-22, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 42-14, Wellington

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won nine of their last 11 home matches and have not lost two in a row (in one season) in Wellington since July 2013. The Canes have won four of the last five meetings between the sides after previously enduring a run of one win in 11 against the Crusaders. Those four wins have been by a combined margin of 12 points. The Crusaders won their last away fixture, however their previous two away wins were each followed by back-to-back away defeats. The Hurricanes (94.1 percent) and Crusaders (94 percent) rank first and second for scrum success rate this season. The Hurricanes (12) and Crusaders (10) have scored the most tries when starting out with the ball inside their own half. The Hurricanes' reinforced forward pack is what has changed them from pretenders to contenders and will see them edge the Crusaders in an arm-wrestle - by less than 10 points.


Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 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 Dane Coles, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 James Marshall.
Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 David Havili, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shane McDermott (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

Rebels v Chiefs
(AAMI Park, Melbourne - Kick-off: 19:40; 21:40 NZST, 09:40 GMT)

The Rebels see themselves as genuine play-off contenders, even though most pundits regard them as also-rans.

The Melbourne-based outfit is 11th on the standings with 20 points, only eight points adrift of the sixth-placed Highlanders.

They are keen to show they are not just all talk and feel the Chiefs are the perfect opposition to prove their credentials.

Wallaby back Dom Shipperley said the Rebels are determined to make amends for last week's two-point loss to the defending champion Waratahs.

"We see this week as a week to get back on track and square up our ledger," Shipperley told the Herald Sun.

"We really need a launch pad to win a few games in a row and move up the table.

"The middle of the table is congested right now and three wins in a row can really move you up.

"That's what we're setting out to do and getting our momentum going this week."

The Chiefs have won all three previous encounters with the Rebels, but want to address defensive shortcomings after conceding four tries to the Western Force last week.

"We've certainly done a fair bit of work on defence," coach Dave Rennie said.

"The boys understand it needs to be a hell of a lot better this week."

The Chiefs are fourth on the overall table, but are just one point behind competition leaders the Hurricanes in the New Zealand conference.

Recent results:
2014: Chiefs won 22-16, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 39-33, Melbourne
2011: Chiefs won 38-10, Hamilton

Prediction: The Chiefs have won all three meetings between these two sides, however the last two yielded a losing bonus point. The Chiefs have won four in a row; their best run in a single campaign since racking up six straight victories in June 2013. The Hamilton-based side has won three of their last four away games, whilst their last three losses away from home have all been by fewer than five points. The Melbourne outfit has lost five of their last six against New Zealand teams, scoring over 20 points in just one of those games. The Rebels have scored the fewest second half tries this season (six), less than half as many as the Chiefs (13). The Chiefs rank joint third in terms of tries scored this season (27), while no side has scored fewer than the Rebels (15). The Rebels talk a good game, but we feel the Chiefs have too much class and should with by about 15 points.


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 (captain), 7 Jordy Reid, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Tom English, 23 Bryce Hegarty.
Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 James Lowe, 10 Andrew Horrell, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Jamie Mackintosh, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Johan Bardoul, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Bryce Heem.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Cheetahs v Stormers
(Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)

The Stormers will be out to protect their lead in the South African conference against the unpredictable and very dangerous Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, where they haven't won since 2012.

The Cape Town-based Stormers leapfrogged the Bulls to the top of the conference with a 15-13 win last week.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said they will have the same mind-set as they do for all South African derbies.

"We understand how tough these games are and we know we need to pitch up," Coetzee told a media briefing in Cape Town.

"The Cheetahs pushed the in-form Lions in Johannesburg last week, they're a good side - especially in Bloemfontein - and we know this will be a tough match."

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské made several changes to his backline from the team that went down to the Lions in Johannesburg last week.

Scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius is the only player who retains his spot, while Joe Pietersen moves back to flyhalf after wearing the No.15 jersey last week.

The Stormers are familiar with the threat posed by Pietersen, who was based in Cape Town for a decade - before moving to Biarritz in 2013 and then joined the Cheetahs this year.

"Joe Petersen will always have a massive influence, whichever team he plays for," Coetzee said.

"However, we don't focus on Joe. It has been a long time since he has been at the Stormers - a lot of things have changed since he was here.

"When he was here we played a kick and chase game, based on solid defence, and it has changed since then."

Recent results:
2014: Stormers won 33-0, Cape Town
2014: Cheetahs won 35-22, Bloemfontein
2013: Stormers won 28-3, Cape Town
2013: Cheetahs won 26-24, Bloemfontein
2012: Stormers won 13-6, Bloemfontein
2012: Stormers won 16-14, Cape Town

Prediction: The last four meetings between these two sides have been won by the home side on the day (two wins each). The Cheetahs have scored fewer than seven points in three of their last five games against the Stormers. The Stormers have won nine of the last 11 meetings between these conference rivals. In the most recent meeting between the teams the Stormers rendered the Cheetahs scoreless. It was the only time the Cheetahs have been blanked in Super Rugby. The Cheetahs have won a lower proportion of scrum feeds (80 percent) than any other side while the Stormers have produced the most scrum steals (six). The Cheetahs have averaged the most turnovers won this season (9.6). However, opponents of the Stormers have averaged fewer turnovers won (5.6) than against any other team. The Cheetahs have the ability to comeback even when they are down by two scores or more. That makes them dangerous. However, it the Stormers remain composed they should win by at least 10 points.


Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Johannes Prinsloo, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen/Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Dolph Botha, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk/Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Carel Greeff, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Danie Dames.

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

Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha and Rodney Boneparte
TMO: Johan Greeff

Bulls v Lions
(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT)

The return of veteran Victor Matfield grabbed the headlines, but it is a match that is crucial to both teams' campaigns in the tightly-contested South African conference.

Just four points separate the Stormers - first in the conference - and the Lions.

It means by the end of the weekend the Lions could find themselves at the top of the SA conference - if they get a bonus point win at Loftus and the Cheetahs upstage the Stormers, while also prevents the Cape Town outfit from getting any points.

The Bulls just needs a win to reclaim their place at the top of the SA totem pole, but only if the Cheetahs win.

Despite last week's loss - when Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen charged down a last-minute drop-goal attempt by Handré Pollard - the Bulls feel they are playing well enough to remain in the play-off race.

"We are getting into the rhythm to play the type of match we want to play," Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said.

"Our defence structure is good and we are very competitive in every match we play.

"We need to tweak some aspects of our game though, but I am confident that we are creating a style of play that will make us contenders in the play-off stages of the competition."

The Bulls know they are going to be tested by a Lions team that is once again full of running and willing to go the full 80 minutes ... and then some.

Bulls captain Victor Matfield said they are facing a team that expresses their personality on the field.

"We are also a squad that are proud of being the most successful local franchise ever," Matfield said.

However, you are only as good as your last match though and we came up short then.

"We need a solid performance before we go on tour, so a win is pretty much non-negotiable."

Recent results:
2015: Lions won 22-18, Johannesburg
2014: Lions won 32-21, Johannesburg
2014: Bulls won 25-17, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 37-20, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 32-18, Johannesburg
2011: Bulls won 30-23, Pretoria
2011: Bulls won 24-20, Johannesburg

Prediction: After previously being winless in 11 games against the Bulls, the Lions have won the last two contests between these rivals. The last eight encounters between the Bulls and Lions have seen at least 40 points scored per game and an average of 50. The Bulls have lost just two of their last 24 home games in the regular season, with their back-to-back home defeats at the start of the season the only blemishes on that record. The Lions have won five Super Rugby matches in a row for the first time, though each of these wins came by margins of five or less. The Lions have scored the fewest first half tries (five) in 2015 and less than half as many as the Bulls (12). The Lions do have a very good chance of causing an upset, but this is at Loftus Versfeld and the smart money is on the Bulls to win a thriller by less than 10 points.


Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Pieter Labuschagne, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Andrew Beerwinkel, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Pierre Spies, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Jurgen Visser.
Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Andries Coetzee, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 20 Robert Kruger, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Alwyn Hollenbach, 23 Courtnall Skosan.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article cheetahs v stormers 630

Cheetahs upstage Stormers in Bloem

Sat, 02 May 2015 17:07

REPORT: The Cheetahs produced another upset on a weekend of Super Rugby surprises, beating the Stormers 25-17 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Cheetahs produced another upset on a weekend of Super Rugby surprises, beating the Stormers 25-17 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Without five of their Springboks - including Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, Heinrich Brüssow, Lodewyk de Jager and Coenie Oosthuizen - it was the youngsters that upstaged the more established Stormers stars.

They outscored the Cape Town-based outfit by three tries to two, but in the end it was goal-kicking that cost the Stormers.

Replacement Kurt Coleman missed three kickable shots at goal, all of them in the second half when the Stormers attempted to claw their way back from trailing 10-18 at half-time.

Although a try saw them close the gap to just one point (17-19) going into the final quarter, the Cheetahs held on - scoring a sublime try from a turnover to seal the win.

It dented the Super Rugby title hopes of their fellow South Africans.

Title hopefuls, the Stormers, started the match at Free State Stadium as favourites after three consecutive victories, but finished it pointless.

An injury-enforced half-time substitution played a crucial role in the outcome as Stormers flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis was replaced by Kurt Coleman.

In the opening half, Catrakilis slotted a penalty and a conversion to increase to 27 his consecutive successful kicks at goal this season.

But Coleman succeeded only with a conversion from almost in front of the posts, while fluffing four penalty shots - including a stoppage-time effort to try and snatch a losing bonus point.

Stormers dominated the scrums, with two sets of front row forwards giving endless problems to the Cheetahs.

But the Cheetahs stole the ball at three consecutive first-half line-outs, as the Stormers' problems in that area carried over from a narrow home win over the Bulls last weekend.

And the visitors struggled to contain the in-your-face attitude of the Cheetahs, who stayed 12th overall after a fourth victory in 11 outings.

This spirit was exemplified by young Sergeal Petersen, a former Southern Kings wing making his Super Rugby debut for the Bloemfontein outfit.

Barely recognisable from his Kings days with a clean-shaven look giving way to a bushy beard and flowing dreadlocks, brave Petersen was constantly involved in defence and attack.

He had a major role in the try of the match on 25 minutes, placing a grubber kick into the path of wing Rayno Benjamin, who booted the ball before grabbing it and sliding over.

That score gave the hosts an 18-3 lead that was trimmed before the break by a converted try from Stormers wing Dillyn Leyds.

Skipper and No.8 Duane Vermeulen barged over for a second converted Stormers try on 56 minutes to leave his side just one point behind.

It seemed only a matter of time before the visitors would forge ahead, but Coleman missed chance after chance and the Cheetahs snatched a third try 10 minutes from time.   

Fullback Clayton Blommetjies burst through a midfield gap and sprinted over under the bar for a try flyhalf Joe Pietersen converted.

Centre Michael van der Spuy was the Cheetahs' other try-scorer and former Stormer Pietersen contributed 10 points through two conversions and two penalties.

Joe Pietersen (two - second and 17th minutes) and Demetri Catrakilis (15th minute) exchanged penalties before the game burst into life in the second quarter.

It started with a powerful burst from former Stormer Michael van der Spuy, brushing off a feeble attempted tackle by Juan de Jongh, to get the Cheetahs into the Stormers 22. After a couple of phases by the Cheetahs Van der Spuy picked up a loose ball and he darted over for the first try of the match. Pietersen added the conversion - 13-3 after 22 minutes.

Three minutes later the Cheetahs attacked from deep, before Clayton Blommetjies produced a huge up-and-under and Nick Groom kicking it back. This time the Cheetahs' counter was a lot more effective - Sergeal Petersen accelerated and then put a grubber though, with Rayno Benjamin hacking it ahead and racing clear of the cover to get a second try. Pietersen's conversion attempt was wide, but at 18-3 it was a commanding position for the home team.

The Stormers needed a response and it came swiftly - Damian de Allende jinked past a defender from an inside pass by Catrakilis. Groom played left and Schalk Burger found some space down the touchline. He pulled in two defenders and then off-loaded to Dillyn Leyds on his outside. Leyds finished off the try. Catrakilis added the extras - 10-18.

That is how it stayed to the half-time break.

Kurt Coleman, on for an injured Catrakilis, and Pietersen both missed long-range penalty attempts, before the Stormers got back on the scoreboard.

From a scrum penalty, which became a line-out, the Stormers took the ball through multiple phases - going side to side - before Duane Vermeulen burst over from close range. Coleman's conversion made it a one-point game (17-18), as the game headed into the final quarter.

Coleman pushed two kickable shots well wide, before Clayton Blommetjies burst through a gap after Tienie Burger had won a crucial turnover. The conversion made it an eight-point (25-17) game with 10 minutes to go.

Coleman had a late chance to salvage a losing bonus point for the Stormers, but his radar was not functioning and the men from Cape Town went home empty handed.

Man of the match: Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Burger were the Stormers most productive players, by some distance. Ryno Benjamin showed his Sevens skills, Michael van der Spuy showed the Stormers that they may have been premature in letting him go and Joe Pietersen showed just how valuable he is to the Cheetahs at flyhalf. Willie Britz, Johannes Prinsloo, Tienie Burger, Francois Uys and Carl Wegner all worked very hard against the star-studded Stormers pack. However, our award goes to Cheetahs fullback Clayton Blommetjies - not just did he keep the Stormers pinned inside their own half with effective kicking, but his running lines were sublime. And he produced the try that put the final nail in the Stormers' coffin.

The scorers:

For the Cheetahs:
Van der Spuy, Benjamin Blommetjies
Cons: Pietersen 2
Pens: Pietersen 2

For the Stormers:
Leyds, Vermeulen
Cons: Catrakilis, Coleman
Pen: Catrakilis


Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Joe Pietersen, 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 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Dolph Botha, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Carel Greeff, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Danie Dames.

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

Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha and Rodney Boneparte
TMO: Johan Greeff


Michael van de Spuy (21min), Ryno Benjamin (25min), and Clayton Blommetjies (69min)
Dillyn Leyds (28min) and Duane Vermeulen (55min)
Joe Pietersen (22min) and Joe Pietersen (70min)
Demetri Catrakilis (29min) and Kurt Coleman (57min)
Joe Pietersen (2min) and Joe Pietersen (17min)
Demetri Catrakilis (15min)
VENUE Bloemfontein
REFEREE Craig Joubert (South Africa)