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Super Rugby | Perth
09:40 (GMT) | 30-05-2015
  • 81
Join us for more live coverage of Super Rugby as the Waratahs take on the Lions next up.
  • 80
Time is up and that brings us to FULL-TIME.
  • 79
Wykes secures and they make some hard yards. The clock is ticking, and the Force are 7m out now. The ball becomes unplayable for the Force and O'Brian signals a scrum.
  • 78
Wykes secures the line-out and Burton clears deep. Turner makes another kick error as he punts out on the full. Force retain possession and Burton directs play through a number of phases. The Reds penalised for not rolling away. Reddy the guilty party. Burton finds touch, and the Force set a line-out 20m out.
  • 76
Reds secure the line-out and Genia finds touch. Force line-out on the Reds 10m is secured and they move it wide through the hands. The Force lose it in contact and Genia picks it up and puts a grubber through that finds the touchline.
  • 73
Mathewson takes a short-arm from the scrum and Moharan finds a gap. McCalman makes a strong carry and Mathewson shifts it wide, but Haylett-Pettys pass is poor and into touch.
  • 71
Burton clears from the line-out and Turners reply has gone too far, so play will come back for a scrum where Turner kicked it on the reds 10m.
  • 69
Reds receive a scrum penalty for Hodgson leaving his bind early. Turner kicks for touch and they secure the line-out on the halfway. Genia puts a grubber through that finds touch but the Force take it quickly. Haylett-Petty runs it up but the Reds get the ball back and Genia puts another grubber through to find touch deep in the Force half.
  • 67
Force showing some more urgency in the Reds 22m, but another knock-on hands the Reds a scrum in their 22m.
  • 65
Cooper converts his own penalty from in front of the poles.
  • 64
Genia picks up from the base of the scrum and he throws a dummy breaking the line, he finds Cooper in support who trots over gor his second try of the match.
  • 62
The throw is not straight and the Reds opt for a scrum.
  • 61
Reds given a short-arm and genia takes it quickly. Slipper takes it up, and Genia plays Kerevi who finds a gap. The Reds up to the 22m. Cooper moves it wide right with a well timed pass. Turner cuts in but the Force are over him winning the penalty. Haylett-Petty finds touch for a line-out on their 22m.
  • 59
Cooper clears from the restart and Haylett-Petty runs it back. A Reds knock-on hands the Force a scrum.
  • 57
Cooper raises the flags and extends the lead by 3.
  • 56
Reds now wit a line-out in Force territory. Schatz secures the ball. Cooper plays Genia on the loop and Hunt cuts in well. The Reds win a penalty as Brache is offside. Cooper will line-up a shot at goal.
  • 54
The Force kick out of their red zone, and Turner runs it straight back. Hodgson makes a turnover and wins the penalty. The Force kick for touch, and Wykes wins the line-out. Mathewson puts a box-kick in but it goes out on the full.
  • 52
Force are pinned in their 22m, and the Reds counter-ruck well and receive a penalty. Turner pops it in the corner to set the line-out for the Reds. Simmons secures the line-out and the Reds are 5m out. The Force make a turnover and the ball can't come out. The Force receive a scrum.
  • 49
Sautia runs it back from the restart and O'Connor puts a grubber through. Haylett-Petty kicks back and Cooper fires one back but it has too much on it and a 22m restart is the result.
  • 48
Cooper just misses from the corner.
  • 47
Reds steal the line-out and the Force a penalised for off-side. Turner finds the corner and the Reds secure the line-out. Genia plays wide and Cooper throws a skip pass to Simmons who makes metres. The Reds show some superb handling skills as they keep the ball alive , Cooper loops around and Thompson off-loads well. Tuner finishes off the play and dives in the corner for the try.
  • 44
Ebersohn cant find touch and the Reds run it back through O'Connor. Hanson now carries it up. Cooper goes wide and Sautia makes some yards. Reds now on their 8th phase and Coopers ball and all pass to Sautia sees the wing crunched into touch by Cummins.
  • 42
Gill charges down Moharans kick but Ebersohn cleans up and finds touch. Reds secure the line-out and Genia keeping it short. McCalman gets is hands on the ball in the ruck and Sautia is penalised for holding on.
  • 41
SECOND-HALF: Cooper gets the half under way.

Half Time

  • 40
That knock-on brings the game to half-time.
  • 39
Ebersohn puts a good kick in after the restart that takes play to the Reds 22m. They secure the line-out, but Thompson knocks on.
  • 38
Ebersohn converts from in front of the poles.
  • 37
Force use some good advantage after the restart as Charles finds some space down the touchline. The Force in the 22m of the Reds. O'Brian blows a penalty for the Force that Haylett-Petty takes quickly and drives over the line for a try.
  • 36
Cooper lands the conversion from the corner.
  • 35
Genia plays O'Connor short-side but the Force rush up quickly. The ball goes to Cooper and he throws a back-door off-load to Turner and he runs over for a try in the corner.
  • 33
Genia still keeping it tight as Holmes crashes forward. The ball becomes unplayable and the Reds have a 5m scrum. The Force showing good defence.
  • 32
Force penalised for a dangerous tackle, and Turner finds touch in the Force half for a line-out. Reds secure the line-out and attack wide. The force penalised again for Brache not rolling away, Turner finds touch again. This time the Reds are 8m from the try-line as the forwards take it on.
  • 29
Cooper lines up from 40m, and the direction and distance is good.
  • 28
Force penalised at the scrum, and Slipper opts for the posts.
  • 26
Force secure the line-out and Moharan crashes up. The ball can't come out again and the Reds receive a scrum on halfway.
  • 24
The ball is unplayable from the line-out and the Reds are given the scrum. Force win a penalty from the scrum for collapsing by the Reds. Ebersohn will find touch.
  • 22
Mafi makes a clean break from the line-out but he is tackled and Gill wins a penalty on the ground. Turner finds touch to set the Reds line-out.
  • 20
Reds run it out from the restart and show some great continuity with good hands and Thompson is released down the touchline as he runs 20m but is brought down in the 22m. The Force manage a turnover and kick down field. Turner takes the safe option and finds touch.
  • 18
Coopers curls the conversion over from the corner.
  • 17
Reds secure the line-out and Genia goes himself. The Reds in the 22m now and Kerevi takes the direct route making metres. Reds recive a penalty that Genia takes quickly, Genia plays Kerevi who takes contact and off-loads to Cooper who wraps around to score in the corner.
  • 15
Haylett-Petty finds touch and the Force secure the line-out. Deliberate obstruction against Cottrell hands the Reds a penalty and Turner kicks for the corner.
  • 13
Ebersohn kicks deep after the restart, and O'Connor runs it back. The Reds move it right and then back left as O'Connor hands-off his defender and sprints down the touchline. O'Connor is tackled just short of the try-line.The Reds pushing the line but the Force defense is strong. Genia plays short side to Kerevi and he dives over for the try in the corner. However play is brought back after a review for a penalty against the Reds for a dangerous clean out. No try.
  • 11
Erbersohn attempts a penalty kick for poles, and he converts from in front.
  • 10
The Force set the drive and rumble forward. Louwrens plays the forwards but another knock-on gets the Reds out of jail. force receive a short-arm penalty from the scrum and McCalman takes it quickly. Horwill is pinned for off-side and the Force have a penalty.
  • 8
Mafi picks and foes from the ruck and finds a hole as he runs 30m. The Force attacking just outside the 22m of the Reds. After 11 phases O'Connor gives a penalty away. Ebersohn kick for the corner.
  • 6
Force this time are penalised at the scrum and Turner will look for touch. The Reds secure the ball and Sautia is released in the backline, he looks for an off-load but the force turn it over.
  • 4
Mafi secures the line-out but a knock-on gives the Reds a scrum. A wasted opportunity.
  • 3
Reds penalised at the scrum for collapsing. Haylett-Petty finds touch amd the Force have a line-out 10m out.
  • 2
Force looking to run it early, and a miss fired off-load from Halyett-Petty hands the Reds a scrum on halfway.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Force flyhalf Sias Ebersohn gets the game underway.
  • -5
Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby Round 16 with the Force taking on the Reds in an Australian derby.
Mc western force logo 80x50
Mc reds logo 80x50
  • 15 Dane Haylett-Petty
  • 14 Luke Morahan
  • 13 Marcel Brache
  • 12 Kyle Godwin
  • 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 Patrick Dellit
  • 22 Luke Burton
  • 21 Alby Mathewson
  • 20 Kane Koteka
  • 19 Sam Wykes
  • 18 Guy Millar
  • 17 Chris Heiberg
  • 16 Heath Tessmann
  • 15 James O'Connor
  • 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia
  • 13 Karmichael Hunt
  • 12 Samu Kerevi
  • 11 Lachie Turner
  • 10 Quade Cooper
  • 9 Will Genia
  • 8 Jake Schatz
  • 7 Liam Gill
  • 6 Adam Thomson
  • 5 James Horwill
  • 4 Rob Simmons
  • 3 Greg Holmes
  • 2 James Hanson
  • 1 James Slipper
  • 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi
  • 22 Ben Tapuai
  • 21 Nick Frisby
  • 20 Beau Robinson
  • 19 Ed O'Donoghue
  • 18 Sam Talakai
  • 17 Pettowa Paraka
  • 16 Andrew Ready
Mc article lions training 630

Preview: S15 Round 16, Part Two

Fri, 29 May 2015 00:20

Saturday's action covers the whole spectrum, with Super Rugby action from the top to the bottom. Jan de Koning reports.

Saturday's action covers the whole spectrum, with Super Rugby action from the top to the bottom.

Not only do we have the pace-setters going toe-to-toe, but we also have an intriguing basement battle.

It all starts at Rugby Park in New Zealand's most southern city,  Invercargill, where the Chiefs and Highlanders will meet in a crucial conference encounter. They are fourth (Chiefs) and fifth (Highlanders) on the standings, with just one point separating them.

This is followed by the all-Australian basement battle between the Western Force and Reds in Perth.

We then make the long trek across the Indian Ocean to Cape Town, where the Stormers will be under pressure to maintain their winning form in their all-South African derby against the Cheetahs - to ensure they hold onto their conference lead.

The Lions, who could claim the SA conference lead should the Stormers slip up, will face a Waratahs team without suspended forward pair Silatolu Latu and Will Skelton. Both lost their appeals on Thursday - meaning Latu's four-week and Skelton's two-week bans remain in place.

We look at Saturday's matches!

Saturday, May 30

Highlanders v Chiefs

(Rugby Park, Invercargill - Kick-off: 19.35; 07.35 GMT)

There is plenty at stake, given that just one point separates the two sides.

The most significant aspect is the number of former Southland players in the Chiefs team that will 'return home' to Invercargill.

However, one who will not feature is former Highlanders prop Jamie Mackintosh.  He was captain of the Highlanders for two seasons, before he left after the side's disappointing 2013 season.

Mackintosh, who played one Test for the All Blacks in 2008, has had a stop-start season with the Chiefs this year. The loosehead prop played in the opening half of the season, but when the team got back from South Africa he had to go to Perth for a family funeral and has not got back into the team since.

Despite not being named in the matchday 23, he said there's still a very strong Southland connection.

"We've got the McKenzie brothers [Damian and Marty] in our side, and they're from Southland.," Mackintosh told the Otago Daily Times.

"Plus we have some special players in our side."

The man they call Whoppa, said this week the Chiefs were concentrating on making sure they did not give the Highlanders any opportunities on the counterattack.

The Chiefs have been forced to make some important selections as well, with Sam Cane taking over as captain from injured skipper Liam Messam, who will miss the match with a left shoulder injury that flared up following last Friday's win over the Bulls in Rotorua.

The injury is only expected to keep the All Blacks flank out for one game.

"This is the group that is hopefully going to propel us to the play-offs and then we'll worry about guys coming back later in the round-robin," Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie told the Waikato Times.

Recent results:
2015: Highlanders won 20-17, Hamilton
2014: Highlanders won 29-25, Dunedin
2014: Chiefs won 21-19, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 19-7, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 41-27, Dunedin
2012: Chiefs won 27-21, Dunedin
2012: Highlanders won 23-19, Hamilton

Prediction: The Highlanders have won their last two against the Chiefs, a feat they had not previously achieved since 2000, when they won four in a row (1997 to 2000). Two of the last three meetings between these sides has seen the side losing at half-time go on to win the match. The Chiefs have made more offloads per game than any other team this season (18.2) while the Highlanders have allowed their opponents the most in 2015 (13.3). The Chiefs have conceded a competition-high 17.7 turnovers per game this season while opponents of the Highlanders have conceded more than against any other opponent (18.4). The Highlanders have scored more tries than any other team in the 20 minutes leading up to half-time (14), however the Chiefs have conceded the joint fewest in the same quarter (three). Not much to choose between the teams and we feel the Highlanders will edge an exciting encounter - by five points.


Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Dan Pryor, 7 John Hardie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Bryce Heem, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Maama Vaipulu, 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Mitchell Graham, 19 Brian Alainu'uese, 20 Mitchell Crosswell, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Tim Nanai-Williams.
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant referees: Shane McDermott, Mike Lash
TMO: Glenn Newman

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

This basement battle is likely to have plenty of 'feeling', as neither side wants to finish last in the competition.

Quade Cooper will make his return from injury at flyhalf for the Reds in the most significant change.

The Force have named an unchanged side, as they look to register their third win of the season.  

"Quade [Cooper] was given the all clear 10 days ago, but we wanted to keep working on his strength and bulk just to ensure we didn't compromise his return," Reds head coach Richard Graham said.

"He has been training with the squad now for about three weeks and will have no problems returning to play at this level."

The Western Force have made no secret of the fact that they will do "whatever it takes" to win what is likely to be a brutal scrap.

"While we showed a lot of character last week [in a loss to the Highlanders], particularly in defence, it's important we bring that same intensity to finish off the opportunities we're creating in attack," coach Michael Foley said.

"It's exciting to finish with three derby matches - two of them in Perth - and the guys are very driven to finish the season well."

The Perth-based franchise were beaten 18-6 by the Reds earlier this season, and prop Pek Cowan said the team are eager to turn the tables on Saturday.

"You don't normally like to lose a derby game, so for us there's definitely a bit of revenge," Cowan told the Australian Associated Press.

"We're making it very personal. We're going to make sure we do the job.

"We're playing to win.

"We're playing all Australian teams [in the last three rounds] and there's no better way to take out a bit of frustrating than to play against guys that you know quite well."

Recent results:
2015: Reds won 18-6, Brisbane
2014: Force won 30-20, Perth
2014: Force won 32-29, Brisbane
2013: Force and Reds drew 11-all, Perth
2013: Force won 19-12, Brisbane
2012: Force won 45-19, Perth
2012: Reds won 35-20, Brisbane

Prediction: The Force have only ever lost at home to the Reds once before - in 2011. The Force have won just two games this season, both against 2014 champions, the Waratahs. The Force (17 minutes and 27 seconds) and the Reds (16 minutes and 36 seconds) rank first and second for average time spent in possession this season. Despite this, the Force have made the fewest clean breaks this season, averaging just 5.1 per game. Only the Force (53 percent) have a worse kick success this season than the Reds (58 percent). The Force players seem to rise to another level in all-Australian derbies and could sneak a win - by less than a converted try.


Western Force:
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 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 Sam Wykes, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Patrick Dellit

Reds: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Karmichael Hunt, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements - from: Andrew Ready, Pettowa Paraka, Sam Talakai, Ed O'Donoghue, Beau Robinson, Nick Frisby, Jake McIntyre, Ben Tapuai, Jamie-Jerry Taulagi
Referee: Matt O'Brien
Assistant referees: Damien Mitchelmore, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall

Stormers v Cheetahs
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)

The build-up to this game has all been about it being the final match for Naka Drotské and Os du Randt.

Drotské will retired, with Franco Smith taking over from next week, while Du Randt will head to Japan.

For the Stormers it is about maintaining their lead in the South African conference.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee admitted that it will be a fired-up Cheetahs team arriving at Newlands.

"One should never underestimate how important this game is for those guys," Coetzee told a media briefing in Cape Town.

"They are still a good side, they are a willing side and they want to play for each other.

"There is also the emotional thing where they want to have a good send-off for their coach."

However, the Stormers' motivation is completely different.

"We have got to focus on our processes," he said, adding: "We have got to make sure our work-rate is good, our defence is sound and our set-pieces function well.

"The rain is going to come down over the weekend so we have got to make sure our scrum is still strong and solid and our line-out has improved so that is a focus."

Coetzee also felt that the Cheetahs' lowly position on the standings - third from last with just four wins from 13 outings - is misleading.

"A lot of people will look at the Cheetahs and underestimate them, we have burnt our fingers and learned from that.

"It is the business-end and you want to get your game up and running in all departments and make massive progress going forward.

"That is where you get confidence through winning tough games like this in the latter part of the competition."

Recent results:
2015: Cheetahs won 25-17, Bloemfontein
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 Cheetahs have scored just three points combined in their last two away games against the Stormers, losing on their last six trips to their conference rivals. The Cheetahs have lost their last two games by more than 20 points; the last time they lost three in a row by 20+ points was in 2010 when they lost four by 20 points or more. The Stormers (81 percent) and the Cheetahs (80 percent) rank first and second for kick success this season. The Cheetahs have the worst scrum success this season (74 percent) while the Stormers boast the third best in Super Rugby 2015 (92 percent). The Cheetahs have conceded more metres (512) and clean breaks (11.8) per game than any other team this season, while the Stormers have conceded the third fewest in each category (389 and 6.5). The Stormers are unlikely to be caught napping again, as they were earlier this season. Also, the expected inclement weather will suit the Stormers' more structured game and they should win by about 15 points.


15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 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 Nizaam Carr, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
Cheetahs: 5 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Tian Meyer, 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 Burry Uys, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Coenie van Wyk, 23 Rayno Benjamin.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Francois Pretorius (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Lions v Waratahs
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 19.10; 03.10 AEST; 17.10 GMT)

The Waratahs have been labelled the 'bullies' of Super Rugby, in the wake of the double ban slapped on two players.

While Tahs coach Michael Cheika naturally defended his players and the team's tactics, he was unable to convince a judicial panel that they have not crossed that thin divide between physical and foul.

The result is that their appeal - against the bans of lock Will Skelton (two weeks) and hooker Tolu Latu (four weeks) - have been dismissed.

They will have neither of these 'enforcers' available at Ellis Park on Saturday - although Latu would not have played anyway, as he wasn't even named in the tour squad.

Cheika has publicly questioned the reasons for labelling his team as being "over the top" with their physicality and asked whether people wanted a "soft" Super Rugby team or a "hard" unit.

Cheika described the performance of the 23-year-old man-mountain, Skelton, as what's expected from a forward.

"He's just playing footy and he's playing footy hard and like we should," Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"The whole thing is a moot point. Will is a big guy and that's how he played on that day, it was the nature of things.
"We just want a game played with physicality, nothing outside of the rules - just play hard. That's what our goal is, as it is for every rugby team. People either want us to be softies or hard - I'm not sure what the issue is."
Lions coach Johan Ackermann sidestepped the controversy surrounding the Waratahs and suggested his team will be up against a team of 'international' standard.

Despite the absence of the part-time Wallaby lock, Skelton, the Waratahs still have superstars like Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale, Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley.

“They've been together for quite a while now and they've obviously been coached well," Ackermann told a media briefing at the team's base in Johannesburg.

"If you look at the number of Australian caps in that side it is almost like the Lions against Australia," Ackermann added.

“So that is the challenge that lies ahead for us, but it is a great one for the players and for the team, against a quality side."

Recent results:
2014 : Waratahs won 41-13, Sydney
2011: Waratahs won 29-12, Sydney
2010: Waratahs won 73-12, Sydney
2009: Waratahs won 38-33, Johannesburg
2008: Waratahs won 26-3, Sydney
2007: Waratahs won 25-16, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Johannesburg-based side's solitary win against the Tahs was in 1997 - although as the Cats (combined with the Cheetahs) they won in 2001. Since then they have conceded an average of 39 points per game and scored just 15 themselves. Since 2012, the Brumbies (twice) are the only Australian side to win in South Africa against the Lions. The Waratahs have averaged 22 defenders beaten per game this season, the second most in Super Rugby, however the Lions have the best tackle success in 2015 (88 percent). The Tahs have scored more first phase tries than any other team this season (19) while the Lions have scored a joint-high nine tries after seven-plus phases. These two sides boast three of the top six tacklers in Super Rugby (Warren Whiteley - 204 from 211, Warwick Tecklenburg -153 from 159 and Michael Hooper - 144 from 165). There is no doubt the Waratahs will start as favourites and should win - while the Lions will do well to keep it down to single digits.


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 Martin Muller, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1  Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Dillon Smi, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Nicolaas Hanekom.
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 Stephen Hoiles, 5 David Dennis (captain), 4 Mitchell Chapman, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Hugh Roach, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 David Porecki, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Matt Carraro.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lesego Legoete (South Africa), Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

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Reds win Perth snorefest

Sat, 30 May 2015 11:42

REPORT: The Reds took a small step away from the bottom of the Super Rugby table when they beat a dour Western Force 32-10.

The Reds took a small step away from the bottom of the Super Rugby table when they beat a dour Western Force 32-10 in an uninspiring Super Rugby match in Perth on Saturday.

The two teams showed why they are last, the Force, and second-from-last (before this match), the Reds, on the standings.

At least the Reds can celebrate a four-try bonus point and a move up to 12th, but it was not a performance that will give too many teams sleepless nights.

The biggest positive, other than the win and bonus point, was that Quade Cooper returned to the playing field and showed glimpses of the genius he can be.

Cooper returned after two months sidelined by a shoulder injury and sparked the struggling Reds, who went into the match with just three wins from 13 outings this season.

Cooper scored two tries and was in everything for the Reds, with his evasiveness and sure ball handling giving his side an offensive edge they have lacked all season.

He scored 22 points, missing with just one attempt with the boot, as well as creating several scoring opportunities with his passing.

He combined brilliantly with Will Genia and it was the latter's pass that enabled Cooper to score his second try in the 63rd minute.

Cooper also scored the opening try of the match, and his first of the season, in the 17th minute.

The Reds were able to spread the ball from side to side and constantly stretch the defence of the Force.

Lachie Turner scored a brace of tries, and both times Cooper was involved.

The first came after Cooper bamboozled the Force with a quick flick behind his back that left Turner with an easy job to score the try in the corner in the 35th minute.

A string of passes in the 48th minute, including two from Cooper, ended with Turner all alone in the corner again for a simple try.

That all but ended the Force resistance, after they trailed 18-10 at half-time, their hopes having been temporarily revived by a 38th minute try to Dane Haylett-Petty.

Reds captain James Slipper said it was a much-improved performance.

"We improved in most areas of the game," he said.

"We defended real well and our set pieces were very good."

Force skipper Matt Hodgson conceded his side was barely in the contest.

"It is disappointing, we were on the back foot for most of the game after the first five minutes," he said.

"They got the upper hand and we couldn't get it back."

Man of the match:  Other than lock Steve Mafi, who had the occasional burst of energy, and the tireless Matt Hodgson not many Western Force players looked remotely interested in this game. Karmichael Hunt looked to inject himself into the game, with limited success. Liam Gill was impressive at the breakdown at times. Will Genia also looked like he is continuing his upward curve. However, our award goes to Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper, who had a big hand in the final outcome - with some sublime moments. Flawless it wasn't, but the flashes of brilliance were indeed the standout moments in an uninspiring encounter.

The scorers:

For the Western Force:
Con: Ebersohn
Pen: Ebersohn

For the Reds:
Cooper 2, Turner 2
Cons: Cooper 3
Pens: Cooper 2


Western Force:
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 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 Sam Wykes, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Patrick Dellit

Reds: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Karmichael Hunt, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Pettowa Paraka, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Ben Tapuai.
Referee: Matt O'Brien
Assistant referees: Damien Mitchelmore, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall

Dane Haylett-Petty (37min)
Quade Cooper (17min), Lachie Turner (35min), Lachie Turner (47min), and Quade Cooper (64min)
Sias Ebersohn (38min)
Quade Cooper (18min), Quade Cooper (36min), and Quade Cooper (65min)
Sias Ebersohn (11min)
Quade Cooper (29min) and Quade Cooper (57min)
REFEREE Matt O'Brien