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18     11


Super Rugby | Perth
09:40 (GMT) | 09-05-2015
  • 81
Join us again later when the Lions take on the Highlanders at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
  • 80
The Waratahs run it out from Ebersohn's miss at polls, but Folau loses the ball forward. After a few resets at the scrum on the Waratahs 10m line, the Force wins another penalty with the away side angling in and Ebersohn kicks the ball out for FULL-TIME: Force 18-11 Waratahs
  • 78
Ebersohn, from 40m out, is unable to add the three points and the score remains 18-11.
  • 77
The Waratahs go wide from the scrum but the ball is lost forward by Naiyaravoro and the Force will get the scrum now inside the Tahs half. The home side wins the penalty at the set piece and they will go for the three points
  • 75
After a reset, the Force get the penalty and they are able to relieve the pressure. Ebersohn finds touch just outside of his 22. The Force wins the line-out and they form the maul. They drive it forward before Mathewson sends a box kick. The Waratahs run it back before it is turned over. The Force knock it on and the Tahs will have a scrum on their own 10m line.
  • 72
The Waratahs wins the line-out in the Force 22 and they form the maul and drive it towards their opponents tryline. They can't free the ball and the Force will get a defensive scrum 5m from their own tryline.
  • 70
The away side wins a penalty after obstruction by the Force after a high ball and Foley gives his team an attacking line-out 5m from the Force 22. The Waratahs go wide and they win another penalty. Hodgson gets a yellow card for a repeated infringement
  • 69
The Force wins a loose ball after a scrappy line-out and they kick it down field. the Waratahs run it back but are met with a brick wall defence by the Force. The Tahs lose it forward and Hodgson kicks down field. It goes into the in goal area and the Waratahs will restart,
  • 67
The Force gathers the restart before Cummins finds space and runs it out of his own 22. The Force lose the ball and the Waratahs does as well. The Force think they are through a gap but the ball was lost forward and the Waratahs have a scrum near the Force 10m line. The Force collapses the scrum and the Tahs will have a line-out inside the Force 22
  • 65
Burton is unable to add the extras, but the Force now lead 18-11
  • 63
The Force forms the maul and they get another penalty with Kepu coming infrom the side and Ebersohn gives his side a line-out inside the Waratahs 22. The home team forms the maul again and the charge towards the line and it is a try for Hodgson!
  • 62
The Force gets a free-kick at the scrum and they take it quickly and make their way into the Waratahs half. Ebersohn kicks but Folau's kick is poor and the Force will have a line-out 10m from the Tahs 22.
  • 60
The Waratahs continue to dominate possession in this half and after a kicking duel will have an attacking line-out on the Force 10m line. Foley sends a poor high ball from the line-out and it goes dead and the Force will have a scrum now near their 10m line
  • 58
Ebersohn is unable to land the penalty from 52m out and the score remains 13-11
  • 57
The Waratahs go on the attack again and are back inside the Force half with Palu bouncing out of tackles. Phipps then loses the ball forward at the ruck which was then played in an offside position and the Force gets the penalty. Ebersohn will go for polls
  • 54
Foley misses the conversion with the score now 13-11 to the Force
  • 52
The Force go wide from the scrum but Cummins is well marked. The Waratahs get the penalty after some good defence and Foley gives his team a line-out 15m from the Force 22.The Tahs are given go forward ball with Hooper crashing the ball up from the line-out. Naiyaravoro then gets the ball after a poor backline move and he beats about three tacklers on his way for the try in the corner
  • 49
The Waratahs takes the ball through a couple of phases before Foley finds touch just outside the Force 22 with a great kick. After a few kicks Cummins decides to run and he passes to Louwrens who makes a few metres, The Tahs lose the ball forward and the Force will have a scrum on halfway
  • 47
A maul is formed by the Force as they make their way into the Waratahs 22 and they win another penalty. This time it was against Robinson. Burton is asked to go for polls but he misses the penalty kick.
  • 45
Folau runs it back straight from the restart and he finds some space. Thw Warathas cannot do anything with it and give away a penalty deep inside the Force half. The Force gets the ball after a scrappy line-out on halfway and they win another penalty. This time Ebersohn gives his team a line-out 5m from the Tahs 22
  • 43
The Waratahs starts the better of the two teams and go on the attack in the Force half. They get a penalty and Foley misses an easy kick. The score remains 13-6.
  • 41
SECOND HALF: Force flyhalf Sias Ebersohn gets the second half under way!

Half Time

  • 40
Burton lines-up his kick from about 40m out and he converts the penalty and the Force now leads 13-6. The Waratahs wins the restart and they get a penalty themselves. Beales kick is short and wide. HALF-TIME: Force 13-6 Waratahs
  • 39
From the scrum, the Force gets the free-kick after an early shove from the Waratahs. The Force now have an attacking scrum near the Tahs 10m line. After two resets, The force finally gets the penalty and they will go for polls.
  • 36
The Force wins a Waratahs line-out after a over throw and the home side sends the ball wide but the ball is lost forward for a Tahs scrum.
  • 33
The Waratahs get a penalty straight from the restart after blocking from the Force players and Foley gives his team a line-out inside the Force 22. The Waratahs forms they maul and they make good progress. They go wide but a good tackle forces a knock on and the Force will get a defensive scrum inside their own 22. After a TMO referral for foul play, Kepu gets yellow carded for rucking and the Force gets the penalty
  • 31
Burton will go for polls from almost right in front and he converts the penalty with the Force now leading 10-6
  • 30
The Force now find themselves inside the the Waratahs 22 andthey decide to keep it close before going wide with Morahan tackled well. Brache loses it forward in the tackle, but play is brought back for a Force penalty.
  • 28
Foley lines-up the penalty kick and it goes between the uprights with the Force's lead cut down to one at 7-6
  • 27
An Ebersohn kick goes to far and rolls out behind the dead ball line. The Waratahs now have an attacking scrum on the force 10m line. They win the penalty with the Force collapsing the scrum and Foley will go for polls again
  • 25
The Waratahs form maul before taking it out wide to Folau and they win a penalty inside the Force 22. Foley sets-up the kick from in front and he converts the penalty, with the score now 7-3 to the Force
  • 23
Horne takes the ball up from a Waratahs line-out on halfway and the away team gets the penalty with a Force player not rolling away. Foley gives his team a line-out inside the Force 22.
  • 21
Burton adds the extras and the Force leads 7-0
  • 20
The Waratahs steal the line-out and they attempt to run it out before they lose it and the Force find themselves with the ball inside the Tahs 22. Louwrens picks the ball up from a ruck and sprints in for the try!
  • 19
The Force gets the ball back from the restart and they make their way inside the Waratahs half. Burton kicks before Foley finds touch inside the Force half. The Force keeps the ball close from the restart and after a kick was charged down, Cottrell is in space after a chip kick before the ball is loose and Copper kicks it out for a Force line-out in the Tahs 22
  • 16
The Waratahs go on the attack from a high ball before Latu loses the ball forward and Kepu picks it up from an offside position for a Force penalty. Burton is the man stepping up now for the kick which is about 40m out. He misses as well and it stays 0-0
  • 13
The Force forms the maul from the line-out and are just 5m from the Waratahs tryline. Louwrens loses the ball at the back of the ruck and after the Tahs run it out, the Force gets the penalty just outside the away team's 22. Brache goes for polls with Ebersohn going off injured. He misses the penalty and it stays 0-0.
  • 11
Louwrens kicks from the scrum and Beale is tackled into touch by Brache. The Force forms themaul from the line-out on their 10m line and they win a penalty after offside play by the Tahs. Ebersohn gives his team a line-out inside the Waratahs 22
  • 9
The Waratahs go wide from the line-out and they are back inside the Force 22 after good work by Foley. Folau then beats a couple of defenders before the ball is lost forward and the Force will have another defensive scrum inside their own 22.
  • 7
The Waratahs lose a line-out inside the Force 22 and the home side will have a defensive scrum. Rasolea takes it up before Ebersohn finds touch inside the Waratahs half
  • 5
The Force wins the line-out and Rasolea takes the ball up. Louwrens sends a high ball and it is a good chase by Brache. The Waratahs wins the penalty and Foley gives his team a line-out near the Force 10m line. Th Tahs go wide from the line-out but are back in their own half after some poor execution. They win another penalty with the Force offside.
  • 3
Waratahs have early possession in the match and Hooper is in a half gap as they are just 10m from the Force 22. Skelton loses the ball attempting a pass and the Force kick down field, Folau kicks the ball out for a Force line-out.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley gets the game under way!
  • -5
The Tahs have pieced together three wins in a row for the first time this season; but they have come at a combined margin of just 10 points.
  • -15
The Force has lost 10 in a row since beating the Waratahs on the opening weekend of the season; their worst ever run of form.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Round 13 of Super Rugby with Force taking on the Waratahs at the nib Stadium in Perth.
Mc western force logo 80x50
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
  • 15 Luke Morahan
  • 14 Marcel Brache
  • 13 Kyle Godwin
  • 12 Junior Rasolea
  • 11 Nick Cummins
  • 10 Sias Ebersohn
  • 9 Ryan Louwrens
  • 8 Ben McCalman
  • 7 Matt Hodgson
  • 6 Angus Cottrell
  • 5 Adam Coleman
  • 4 Steve Mafi
  • 3 Tetera Faulkner
  • 2 Nathan Charles
  • 1 Pek Cowan
  • 23 Mitchell Scott
  • 22 Luke Burton
  • 21 Alby Mathewson
  • 20 Kane Koteka
  • 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp
  • 18 Guy Millar
  • 17 Chris Heiberg
  • 16 Heath Tessmann
  • 15 Israel Folau
  • 14 Taqele . Naiyaravoro
  • 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper
  • 12 Kurtley Beale
  • 11 Rob Horne
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 9 Nick Phipps
  • 8 Wycliff Palu
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 6 Jacques Potgieter
  • 5 Dave Dennis
  • 4 Will Skelton
  • 3 Sekope Kepu
  • 2 Tola Latu
  • 1 Benn Robinson
  • 24 Peter Betham
  • 23 Matt Carraro
  • 22 Brendan McKibbin
  • 20 Tala Gray
  • 19 Mitchell Chapman
  • 18 Paddy Ryan
  • 17 Jeremy Tilse
  • 16 Hugh Roach
Mc article cheslin kolbe stormers run 630

Preview: S15 Round 13, Part Two

Thu, 07 May 2015 22:14

It is not often teams rest players when they face the Sharks, but the Hurricanes feel they can do without key backs Julian Savea and TJ Perenara.

It is not often that teams will rest players when they face the Sharks, but the Hurricanes certainly feel they can do without key backs Julian Savea and TJ Perenara.

The Sharks may well use the 'gesture' as motivation when the two sides meet in the Cake Tin in the first of Saturday's matches.

The Hurricanes, who lead the Chiefs by five points in the New Zealand conference and are nine points ahead of South Africa's Bulls in the overall standings, will also be without record points scorer and flyhalf Beauden Barrett - who is sidelined for a month with a knee injury.

Coach Chris Boyd said he has elected to hand wing Savea and scrumhalf Perenara a break under the rest requirement for All Blacks players in this World Cup season.

In Saturday's only derby the lowly Western Force host the defending champion Waratahs in Perth.

The Waratahs are just one point behind the Brumbies in the Australian conference and poised to jump into the top three if they beat the Force and the Canberra side slip up against the Stormers in Cape Town.

The Force are on the bottom of the standings following a 10-match losing run, but they have won their past two games against the Waratahs.

The match of the day is likely to be the contest between the Lions and the Highlanders in Johannesburg - two teams capable of scoring some scintillating tries and always willing to entertain.

The Highlanders, who put 48 points and seven tries past the Sharks last week, are fifth on the global standings and third in the New Zealand conference. They are six points clear of the eighth-placed Lions.

The Bulls have the weekend off, leaving the door open for the Stormers to leapfrog them back to the top of the South African conference if the Cape Town-based franchise can get a bonus-point win over Australia's Brumbies in Cape Town on Saturday - in the last of the weekend's matches.

The Brumbies, who lost to the Waratahs at home last weekend, have a good record at Newlands with four wins and a draw in their last seven visits.

We look at Saturday's games!

Saturday, May 9

Hurricanes v Sharks
(Westpac Stadium, Wellington - Kick-off: 19.35; 09.35 SAST, 07.35 GMT)

It is a fact that trouble Sharks simply can't escape: Two coaches they kicked out two years ago are coming back to haunt them.

The Durban-based franchise already face an enormous task when they take on the table-topping Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

However, the two faces they won't enjoy seeing in the opposing dressing room are Chris Boyd and assistant coach John Plumtree - who were involved with the Sharks previously, although it was in reversed roles.

Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold acknowledged the influence the duo will have in the Hurricanes camp.

"We understand what this weekend is going to bring," Gold said, adding: "There's a big personal element involved.

"I'm a good friend of Plum [Plumtree], but it doesn't help that he knows the intricacies of nearly all of our players."

As Gold admitted, they are up against a Hurricanes team on an absolute high.

"This is probably going to be a big challenge for many of our players at this moment in time, with our backs against the wall."

The positives for the Sharks are the return of some seasoned Springboks - Frans Steyn and Jannie du Plessis.

"It's wonderful to have a guy like Frans back," Gold said.

"Jannie will also make a difference for us.

"It's cruel how sport is -when things are bad they're particularly bad. We've had an injury crisis, but it is an opportunity for young guys to step up to the plate.

"We have some big challenges ahead, but other teams have also been in this position before and came out stronger.

"So it's exciting to have guys like Frans, Jannie and Renaldo [Bothma] back and it's important that we focus on the positives."

Recent results:
2014: Sharks won 27-9, Durban
2012: Hurricanes won 42-18, Wellington
2011: Sharks won 40-24, Durban
2010: Sharks won 29-26, Wellington
2009: Sharks won 33-17, Durban
2008: Hurricanes and Sharks drew 13-all, Wellington]

Prediction: The Hurricanes are aiming to become the first side to notch 10 wins this year. They last won 10 in a campaign in 2012, but did not claim that 10th victory until the final game of the regular season. The home side has won just one of their last seven against the Sharks. The tourists have lost four in a row, their worst run of form since May 2013 (when they lost five). Julian Savea (17; second) and Cobus Reinach (15; fifth) are amongst the top players for clean breaks this season, however the latter returned to South Africa early this week with a fractured hand. The Hurricanes have forced the most missed tackles from their opponents this season, an average of 22.7. The Sharks have averaged the most missed tackles (22.5). The Hurricanes may have lost some of their attacking sting - with Julian Savea, TJ Perenara (rested) and  Beauden Barrett (knee injury) missing. However, they still look a classy outfit and while the Sharks are likely to be more competitive than last week, the home should win by seven points or more.


Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Matt Proctor, 10 James Marshall, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 Reggie Goodes, 19 Callum Gibbins, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Frae Wilson, 22 Otere Black, 23 Rey Lee-Lo.
Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (Captain), 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Kyle Cooper, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Waylon Murray.
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe, Michael Lash
TMO: Aaron Paterson

Western Force v Waratahs
(nib Stadium, Perth - Kick-off: 17.40; 19.40 AEST; 09.40 GMT)

Like true champions the Waratahs are beginning to find form at a crucial stage in the season.

After losing two of their first four matches, including the opening round against this week's opposition, the defending champions have won five of their last six outings and are on a three-match winning streak.

Waratahs lock Will Skelton and outside back Rob Horne are confident that the team is building some serious momentum.

The Waratahs are in the top six on the standings for the first time in 2015 and are just a solitary point behind Australian conference leaders, the Brumbies.

After last week's determined and physical performance against the Brumbies, Skelton said the side enjoyed closing out last week's gutsy win even if it wasn't a complete performance.

"A win's a win," Skelton said in an interview on the Waratahs website.  "There are always things that we can improve on."

"I guess that's the satisfying thing, we'll look back from after a game and review it and say we've got a lot of things that we need to work on, but to still get the win is pleasing."

Horne echoed his forward teammate's comments by saying that confidence was building throughout the side.

"I think we're starting to put it together now," Horne said.  "We're earning some good tough wins and that self-belief is certainly starting to come back over the group."

This week sees the Waratahs travel across Australia determined to get revenge on a Force side that has managed to squeeze and frustrate the Waratahs in their last two encounters.

And while the Force have yet to post a second victory in 2015 since getting the jump on the Waratahs in this year's opening fixture, Horne believes that their opponents will be itching to inflict more pain on his side.

"How the Force play their game plan has I guess had the edge on us the last few times we've met," Horne said.  

"It's up to us to go out and execute as well as we can because if we don't we know that they'll capitalise on our mistakes.

"They brought a lot of intensity in that [round one] game and we weren't up for it and it's as simple as that.

"It's always tough going over there.  They've got a great home crowd that gets behind them when they get their tails up so I'm really looking forward to getting over there."

Recent results:
2015: Force won 25-13, Sydney
2014: Force won 28-16, Perth
2014: Waratahs won 43-21, Sydney
2013: Waratahs won 28-13, Perth
2013: Waratahs won 23-19, Sydney
2012: Waratahs won 23-18, Perth
2012: Force won 21-20, Sydney

Prediction: The Force has lost 10 in a row since beating the Waratahs on the opening weekend of the season; their worst ever run of form. The Western Australian side has been limited to single figures in the first half of 10 of their 11 games this year. The Force has won its last two against the 2014 champions; each by 12-point margins. The Tahs have pieced together three wins in a row for the first time this season; but they have come at a combined margin of just 10 points. Their first four victories this year each came by 10 or more points. Kurtley Beale (145), Israel Folau (140), Ben McCalman (135) and Bernard Foley (116) make up the top four for carries this season. Dane Haylett-Petty (108) and Kyle Godwin (107) are sixth and seventh on this list respectively. The Force rank first in average time in possession (17 minutes and 49 seconds), but second-last in points per game (16.5) - with only the Reds averaging fewer (13). Maybe it won't be as convincing as most pundits suggest, but the Waratahs have good form and too much class. They should win by more than 10 points.


Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Solomoni Rasolea, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 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, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Marcel Brache
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Dave Dennis (captain), 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: Hugh Roach, Jeremy Tilse, Paddy Ryan, Mitch Chapman, Tala Gray, Pat McCutcheon, Brendan McKibbin, Matt Carraro, Peter Betham.
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Lions v Highlanders
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 15.00; 01.00 NZ time, Sunday, May 10; 13.00 GMT)

The Lions may have been 'slow out the blocks' in a number of games this season, but they have shown an amazing ability to fight back and stay in the game.

In fact there has been just one blow-out all season, the 6-34 loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch in Week Five.

Since then they recorded five consecutive victories, with last week's 33-35 reverse against the Bulls their first defeat since mid-March.

The Highlanders, as they showed in putting 48 points and seven tries past the Sharks last week, are capable of running away with any opposition.

However, the Lions have a few things going their way.

The Highlanders had to travel across the Indian Ocean this week, they will play at altitude and the game will get underway at 15.00 with the temperatures in the mid-20s (°C).

Lions coach Johan Ackermann, who is looking for his bench to make a huge impact in the final quarter, welcomed the earlier kick-off.

"The Highlanders will be a nice challenge, but it is great to be at home with a 3-o'clock [15.00] kick-off," Ackermann told a media briefing in Johannesburg.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said the Lions have been a vastly improved side this year and will be formidable challenge at Ellis Park.

"They are one of the form South African teams," Joseph told the Otago Daily Times.

"They are a really sticky team to play, so we will have to work hard to acclimatise," Joseph said.

Despite their impressive form of the past six rounds, Lions captain Warren Whiteley said they are determined to avoid back-to-back defeats - following last week's loss to the Bulls.

"We still want to improve in a lot of areas, such as the scrums and line-outs, where we're not consistent enough," Whiteley told a media briefing.

"The way in which we start this weekend against the Highlanders will also be very important, because we didn't get a good start last weekend against the Bulls."

Ackermann made no secret of the fact that the final quarter is where he expects the game to be won or lost.

With Marnitz Boshoff starting at flyhalf and Ross Cronje at scrumhalf, Ackermann is looking for his form halfbacks - Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies and scrumhalf Francois de Klerk to make a huge impact off the replacement bench.

"Hopefully we can get that impact we selected them for," Ackermann said, adding: "Our first XV must start well so that those guys can play with freedom when they come on."

Recent results:
2014: Highlanders won 23-22, Dunedin
2011: Lions won 26-22, Dunedin
2010: Highlanders won 39-29, Dunedin
2009: Lions won 27-22, Johannesburg
2008: Highlanders won 29-20, Dunedin
2007: Lions won 11-6, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Lions have trailed at half-time in seven of their last eight outings but went on to win six of these games. The Highlanders have never beaten the Lions twice in a row, but did win the last encounter between these sides by a single point in a match that was 364 days prior to this one. The Highlanders' 48-15 defeat of the Sharks marked their largest Super Rugby victory in over 10 years and their seventh largest overall. The Landers have lost five of their last six in South Africa. Opponents of the Lions have spent the least time in possession per game this season (14 minutes and 19 seconds). Only the Cheetahs (13 minutes and 19 seconds) have spent less time in possession than the Highlanders (13 minutes and 41 seconds). The Lions have scored the fewest number of tries when starting out with the ball inside the opposition 22 (four), 10 fewer than the Highlanders (14). It is going to be a cracker between two very exciting teams. The Lions have a good chance of victory, in fact they may even start as slight favourites. However, we feel the Highlanders will sneak a win, by five points or less.


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Howard Mnisi.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain) 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Elliott Dixon, 20 John Hardie, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery

Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Rodney Bonaparte
TMO: Johan Greeff

Stormers v Brumbies
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 17.05; 01.05, Sunday, May 9 AEST, 15.05 GMT)

The Stormers will be looking to reclaim first place in the South African conference, while the Brumbies are desperate to hold onto the No.1 position in the Australian conference.

Trailing the Bulls by four points in the SA conference, the Stormers require a four-try bonus point and victory to reclaim a spot they occupied just a week ago.

The Brumbies, who lead the Waratahs by one point in the Aussie race, can afford to be a touch more conservative - a simple win will suffice.

However, victory is non-negotiable for both teams.

Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White, who has been out for the past month with an ankle sprain, said it is a "crucial week" for both teams.

"The winners give themselves a chance at the play-offs, while the losers will have a hard time from here on in," White said in an interview on the Brumbies' website.

"They [the Stormers] are playing at home and their playing with a lot of confidence. Any time you get a big game at home it helps you lift and I'm guessing they'll use that extra boost on Saturday.

"They've always been very strong at the set-pieces, their scrum and their line-out have always been at the top of the competition.

"But this year I think they've added an attacking flair which we haven't seen a lot of and that's going to be something we need to contain."

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said his team is determined to set the record straight, after last week's disappointing loss to the Cheetahs.

However, they are up against a "very good" Brumbies side.

"They're very structured and don't gift you any free possession," the Stormers coach said.

"They're well coached and well organised in all aspects of their game.

"They've got a great maul and line-out [attacking-wise and defensively] and we really have to be up for this one.

"We're bracing ourselves for one helluva clash. We have a good record at Newlands and we want to make things right - straightaway!
"We're obviously aware that we weren't good enough last week and although we've had a disrupted week of training, with a lot of our players having been with the Springboks [until Thursday], we're looking forward to being back at home in front of our supporters."

Recent results:
2014: Brumbies won 25-15, Canberra
2013: Stormers won 35-22, Cape Town
2011: Stormers won 16-3, Canberra
2010: Brumbies won 19-17, Cape Town
2009: Brumbies won 17-10, Canberra
2008: Stormers won 20-10, Cape Town

Prediction: The last three matches between these sides have all been won by 10+ points, with the Stormers picking up two 13-point victories, but losing the most recent meeting. The Stormers have won three of their last four games, while the Brumbies have lost three of their last four. Damien de Allende is set to become the first player to reach 50 for defenders beaten this season. He has beaten at least 12 more (49) than anybody else so far. Sam Carter has won at least eight more line-outs (46) than any other player this season. The Brumbies boast the best line-out success rate this season (91 percent), while the Stormers' is the second worst (78 percent). The Brumbies have scored 22 tries from possessions that started with a line-out, a competition high. The Stormers have scored five when starting with a line-out, a competition low. These are two of four sides to average fewer than 10 penalties conceded this season. The Brumbies have averaged the most penalties won this season (11.8). It is going to be a cracker, likely to be a real arm-wrestle, which the Stormers should win - although the margin will be in single digits.


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

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Quinton Immelman
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Some great interviews done this past week!

Mc article force v tahs 630

Force have Tahs' number ... again

Sat, 09 May 2015 11:32

REPORT: The Western Force did the season double of the defending champion Waratahs, beating them 18-11 in their Super Rugby derby on Saturday.

The Western Force did the season double of the defending champion Waratahs, beating them 18-11 in their Super Rugby derby in Perth on Saturday.

It is the Force's third straight win over the men from Sydney, including their last encounter last year.

The key factors were the Force's determination and energy - aspects that were missing for most of this season - and the Waratahs' own inability to close out games.

It is the fifth consecutive match this season the Waratahs did not score a single point in the final quarter.

The losing bonus point did allow the Waratahs to overtake the Brumbies at the top of the Australian conference and move into the top three on the global standings, but that may be short-lived - depending on the Brumbies' encounter with the Stormers later on Saturday.

The Waratahs suffered what could prove to be a crucial blow to their title defence with the loss to the embattled Force, who finally ended a club record 10-match losing streak.

Remarkably, their only previous win was in the opening round against the Waratahs.

Waratahs captain Dave Dennis was furious with the performance.

"I'm disappointed in the performance more than the result," he said.

"Our urgency in the attacking ruck and overall energy was poor.

"They wanted it more and got a result."

Force skipper Matt Hodgson said it was a much-improved defensive performance from his side that paved the way for the win.

"We fronted up and showed what style of football we can play and what we can do," he said.

"I asked the boys to aim up physically this week and we did.

"We won games off our defence last year and that had been lacking this year."

In a game where both sides left plenty of points on the field with inaccurate kicking, the Waratahs simply lost possession too many times.

Although the Force missed 17 points with the boot, spraying five penalties and one conversion, they ran in two tries to one.

The first of those tries came in the 20th minute when Ryan Louwrens capitalised on a ‘Tahs turnover to score in just his second start in Super Rugby.

The hosts led 13-6 at half-time and looked to be in control until a powerhouse try from Taqele Naiyaravoro, who bulldozed through four Force players in an unstoppable run down the sideline to close the gap to two points in the 53rd minute.

However, the Force steadied in the 63rd minute, with Matt Hodgson scoring his third try in as many matches since returning from a hamstring injury thanks to a surging rolling maul.

The Force missed a chance to seal the win when Luke Burton missed a late penalty in the dying seconds, but it was another knock-on by the Waratahs that handed the ball straight back to the home side.

Man of the match: Taqele Naiyaravoro made the most of his limited opportunities, including that powerful burst for his team's first try - a crucial second-half score. Michael Hooper is always good value, but for the rest the Waratahs were pretty uninspiring. Marcel Brache again showed his value to the Western Force, Nick Cummins had the odd good run, Ryan Louwrens is beginning to repay the investment made in him by the Perth-based franchise. Angus Cottrell was also great value on defence. But our award goes to Western Force captain Matt Hodgson - despite his yellow card, with was questionable at best, and a couple of other penalties, he made several carries, his tackle count was well into double figures, he was a constant menace at the breakdown and he scored a second-half crucial try.

The scorers:

For the Western Force:
Louwrens, Hodgson
Con: Burton
Pens: Burton 2

For the Waratahs:
Pens: Foley 2

Yellow cards: Sekope Kepu (Waratahs, 33 - foul play, stomping on an opponent), Matt Hodgson (Western Force, 70 - repeated infringements, killing the ball at the breakdown)


Western Force: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Solomoni Rasolea, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 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, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Mitchell Scott.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Dave Dennis (captain), 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Mitch Chapman, 20 Talalelei Gray, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Matt Carraro.

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Ryan Louwrens (20min) and Matt Hodgson (63min)
Taqele . Naiyaravoro (54min)
Luke Burton (21min)
Luke Burton (31min) and Luke Burton (40min)
Bernard Foley (25min) and Bernard Foley (28min)
Matt Hodgson (70min)
Sekope Kepu (33min)
REFEREE Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)