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Brumbies

FULL-TIME
24     37

Crusaders

Super Rugby | Canberra
05:30 (GMT) | 13-06-2015
  • 81
We head straight to New Plymouth for a crucial match between the Chiefs and the Hurricanes
  • 80
Saders secures the ball form the restart as the hooter sounds. Carter gets the ball and kicks it into touch! FULL-TIME!
  • 79
Carter makes no mistake with the kick to add the three points!
  • 78
There's no maul this time and the Saders are happy to keep it among the forwards. PENALTY! Brumbies are penalised for taking out the scrumhalf. Carter will have a shot at goal
  • 77
PENALTY! Mogg knocks the ball on in his attempt to secure possession but Vaea catches it in an offside position. Carter kicks the penalty into touch inside the Brumbies' 22
  • 76
White finds touch on the Saders' 22. The throw-in is too strong and the Saders win back possession before booting the ball up-field
  • 75
It's another kicking battle form the restart that ends with the Brumbies in possession on the halfway line. PENALTY! Read is penalised for joining the ruck from the side
  • 74
Carter slots his first conversion of the match!
  • 73
Saders set a maul and have rolled their way all the way over the line! The Brumbies concede a penalty try of their own!
  • 71
PENALTY! Once again the Brumbies are penalised at scrum time. Carter pops the ball into touch just inside the Brumbies' 22
  • 70
Saders wins back the ball and a kicking battle ensues. After exchanging possession, play will resume with a scrum to the Saders close to the halfway line after Moore knocked the ball on as he was brought down in a tackle
  • 69
The Brumbies are in possession and looking to make their way through the Saders as the crowd gets behind the home side
  • 67
Lealiifano quickly adds the extra points to reduce the deficit to just 3 points
  • 66
The maul is set once again and they rumble their way over for yet another rolling maul score! Saders collapse the maul and the Brumbies are awarded a penalty try
  • 65
PENALTY! Saders fail to roll away at the breakdown. White finds touch on the Saders' 5 metre line to set-up a scoring chance.
  • 64
Brumbies find themselves in possession on the Saders' 10 metre line
  • 63
That's another three points from the boot of Carter as he once again extends the Saders' lead
  • 61
PENALTY! Brumbies fail to roll away at the breakdown and Carter opts to have a shot at goal
  • 60
McCaw peals off the back of a maul and finds Read on the short-side but his offload finds a Brumbies player and they are able to kick the ball up-field. Saders secure the ball and are back inside Brumbies territory
  • 59
Nadolo gets the ball at first receiver and puts in a kick that's collected by Mogg, who returns the favour for a Saders line-out on their 10 metre line. PENALTY! Brumbies are caught offside at the line-out. Carter finds touch just inside the Brumbies' 22
  • 57
Brumbies win back possession from a breakdown and finds Speight who breaks the line to get them over the halfway line. His attempt at an offload fails to go to hand though to hand the Saders a scrum feed just inside their territory
  • 55
Another kicking battle ends with Mogg putting a little too much on his kick as it rolls over the dead-ball line. Play resumes with a Saders scrum feed on the Brumbies' 10 metre line
  • 53
A kicking battle ensues and is eventually put into touch by Mogg on the Saders' 10 metre line
  • 52
Saders are happy to keep the ball among the forwards and have edged their way just inside the 22. Carter drops back into the pocket and attempts a drop goal but he miss-times it and the Brumbies come away with a 22 drop-out
  • 51
White's attempted clearance kick is charged down and the Saders nearly come away with a score. The Brumbies are able to scramble the ball away and find touch on their 22
  • 50
Lealiifano draws the kick in to add the extra points
  • 49
The maul is set and they are on a rumble. Butler has it at the back of the maul and they have forced their way over the line for another score
  • 48
Brumbies set the maul once again and Buttler breaks off the back, only to be stopped one metre from the line. Whitelock is sent to the bin for collapsing the maul. White opts for another 5 metre line-out
  • 47
White snipes down the short side but is stopped after making 5 metres. PENALTY! Saders are penalised for playing the ball off their feet. White kicks the penalty into touch for another line-out, 5 metres from the Saders' try line
  • 46
Brumbies set the maul but the Saders drive them back.
  • 45
PENALTY! Romano is penalised for slapping the ball down and the Brumbies players are up in arms as no card is shown. White kicks the penalty into touch inside the Saders' 22 for an attacking chance
  • 44
After a kicking battle from the restart, the Brumbies decide to hold onto the ball and make their way up the field but they can only go as far as the halfway line
  • 42
Carter opts to have a shot at goal and makes no mistake in extending the Saders' lead
  • 42
Nadolo gets the ball at second receiver and makes a few metres before offloading. The Saders get into the Brumbies' 22 but a pass from Havili to T Taylor is deliberately stopped by Mogg and he is sent to the bin
  • 41
KICK-OFF! Carter gets the second half underway and the Saders will be on the attack straight away after the Brumbies knock the ball on from the restart. Scrum to the Saders just inside the Brumbies' 10 metre line.

Half Time

  • 40
Saders secure the restart and have kept it among the forwards as they look to eat away at the clock. Ellis gets the ball and finds touch as the hooter sounds. HALF-TIME!
  • 39
Once again, Carter fails to add the extra points as he can't draw the ball enough to find its target
  • 38
Saders secure the line-out and sends the ball down the line to find Nadolo on the left wing. He sets off and breaks two tackles before placing a perfect grubber. He sprints after it and beats White to dot the ball down for his second try of the match
  • 37
Ellis knocks the ball on at the breakdown and hands possession back to the Brumbies. White gets the ball and decides to kick the ball up-field. The Saders returns the favour which Mogg collects and kicks into touch on his 10 metre line
  • 35
Brumbies finally get a good hit but the Saders are able to kick the ball up-field, only for the Brumbies to fumble the ball into touch on the Saders' 10 metre line
  • 33
It's a little scrappy at line-out time once again but the Brumbies have managed to secure possession. They take the ball through the phases and find themselves 7 metres from the try line. They are putting the Saders under severe pressure but knock the ball on in the process. Saders scrum 7 metres from their try line
  • 31
Brumbies secure the restart and the Saders are a little too eager in defence and give away a penalty on the half-way line. White finds touch just inside the Saders' 22 to set up an attacking opportunity
  • 30
Carter fades the ball a little too much as he misses his first kick of the match
  • 29
Todd takes the ball from the back of the breakdown and muscles his way over the line
  • 28
An attempted maul is well dealt with by the Brumbies but the Saders have kept it among the big boys and are just 2 metre from the line as they take it through the phases
  • 27
PENALTY! A massive shove by the Saders sees the Brumbies fold under the pressure. Carter pops it into touch for a 5 metre line-out
  • 26
A simple play from the line-out sees the Saders send the ball through the hands to find Macilai close to the right touchline. He hands an inside pass to Todd who spills it in his attempt to dot the ball down
  • 25
Brumbies are a bit too eager at the breakdown as they give away another penalty to allow Carter to ease the pressure and take the play closer to the half-way line
  • 24
Brumbies steal the ball at the breakdown and Lealiifano gets the ball to cross the advantage line. However, the Brumbies' attack comes to nothing as they knock the ball on to hand the Saders the scrum feed just inside their 22
  • 23
Another successful kick for Carter as he calmly splits the uprights
  • 22
PENALTY! Fardy is caught with his hands on the ball while being off his feet at the breakdown. Carter will have a shot at goal
  • 21
The forwards have taken the ball inside the Brumbies' 22
  • 20
Brumbies give away the first scrum penalty after their front row collapses. Carter finds touch on the Brumbies' 10 metre line to set an attacking platform
  • 19
It's gone scrappy after White drops the ball from the line-out. Play will resume with a Saders scrum feed just outside their 22
  • 18
Saders regains possession from the restart but are penalised for obstruction just inside the Brumbies' 10 metre line. White finds touch just outside the Saders' 22
  • 17
Lealiifano pops the ball over from right in front to restore the Brumbies' lead
  • 16
The maul is set but the Saders are standing their ground. PENALTY! Saders are once again caught offside but the Brumbies opt to have a shot at goal
  • 15
The Brumbies launch an attack from the line-out and have broken into the Saders' 22. PENALTY! Saders are caught offside and White opts to kick the ball into touch for a 5 metre line-out
  • 14
Mogg is happy to play the territorial game but fails to find touch. Taylor collects the ball for the Saders and finds touch on his 10 metre line
  • 12
Carter makes no mistake with his first kick of the match to hand the Saders the lead
  • 11
PENALTY! Brumbies are caught playing the ball off their feet at the breakdown. Carter will have a shot at goal
  • 10
Saders secures the ball and make their way into the 22. Its kept among the forwards before the backline is released and gets them 10 metres from the line
  • 9
Both sides showing plenty of energy and look to run the ball but the Brumbies are a bit too keen as they concede a penalty. Carter pops it into touch on the Brumbies' 10 metre line
  • 7
Taylor pushes the conversion attempt and fails to level the scores
  • 6
It's kept among the forwards and Read breaks the line before being brought down 2 metres short. The ball is quickly recycled and sent left to find Nadolo who scores in the corner!
  • 5
Saders secure the restart and Nadolo looks to go on a bulldozing run that takes the visitors up to the Brumbies' 10 metre line
  • 4
Lealiifano slots his first kick of the match
  • 3
The maul is set and it rumbles its way over! Pocock emerges from the pile
  • 1
Brumbies find themselves in possession on the half-way line but are making no in-roads. PENALTY! Crusaders are caught offside and White opts to put the ball into touch on the Saders' 5 metre line
  • 0
KICK-OFF! White gets the match underway
  • -3
Absolutely perfect conditions greets the teams as they make their way onto the field
  • -10
There is no way the Crusaders can qualify for the play-offs but they will be looking to give All Black legends Dan Carter and Richie McCaw a winning send-off. The Brumbies can secure the Australian conference if they win by a bonus point and hope another result goes their way
  • -20
The Crusaders will be looking to give All Black legends Dan Carter and Richie McCaw a winning send-of, the Brumbies are motivated by the need to secure home-ground advantage in the play-offs and also earn a bye in the first round of the knock-out stages.
  • -30
Welcome to Match 4 of Super Rugby's final round robin matches. The Brumbies are at home to the Crusaders
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Brumbies
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Crusaders
START LINE UP
  • 15 Jesse Mogg
  • 14 Henry Speight
  • 13 Tevita Kuridrani
  • 12 Matt Toomua
  • 11 Joe Tomane
  • 10 Christian Lealiifano
  • 9 Nic White
  • 8 Ita Vaea
  • 7 David Pocock
  • 6 Scott Fardy
  • 5 Blake Enever
  • 4 Rory Arnold
  • 3 Ben Alexander
  • 2 Stephen Moore
  • 1 Scott Sio
RESERVES
  • 23 Robbie Coleman
  • 22 Nigel Ah Wong
  • 21 Michael Dowsett
  • 20 Jarrad Butler
  • 19 Jordan Smiler
  • 18 Ruan Smith
  • 17 Allan Alaalatoa
  • 16 Josh Mann-Rea
START LINE UP
  • 15 Tom Taylor
  • 14 Jone Macilai-Tori
  • 13 Ryan Crotty
  • 12 David Havili
  • 11 Nemani Nadolo
  • 10 Dan Carter
  • 9 Andy Ellis
  • 8 Kieran Read
  • 7 Richie McCaw
  • 6 Matt Todd
  • 5 Sam Whitelock
  • 4 Luke Romano
  • 3 Owen Franks
  • 2 Codie Taylor
  • 1 Wyatt Crockett
RESERVES
  • 23 Nafi Tuitavake
  • 22 Colin Slade
  • 21 Billy Guyton
  • 20 Jordan Taufua
  • 19 Jimmy Tupou
  • 18 Nepo Laulala
  • 17 Alex Hodgman
  • 16 Ben Funnell
Mc article adam ashley cooper media 630

Preview: S15 Round 18, Part Two

Thu, 11 Jun 2015 22:42

The focus will be on the Australian conference as the defending champion Waratahs and the Brumbies chase maximum points.

The focus will be on the Australian conference as the defending champion Waratahs and the Brumbies chase maximum points in a race to lock down a home semifinal and an easier path to this year's Super Rugby Final.

Both teams are on 47 points heading into the 18th and final round of regular season play, with the Australian conference title up for grabs - and with it direct passage to a home semifinal in the play-offs on June 26 and 27.

The tournament's runaway leaders, the Hurricanes, and the second-placed team after this weekend will skip next week's first stage of play-offs.

The Waratahs face the lowly Reds in Sydney, while the Brumbies host seven-time champions Crusaders in the first match on Saturday.

After the drama of the day's opening match it gets even more intriguing, when Chiefs host the Hurricanes in New Plymouth- with the home team most likely going to need a bonus-point win to overtake the Highlanders in the race for the fourth place on the standings and home-ground advantage in the first round of the play-offs.

The Highlanders play the lowly Blues on Friday, which means the Chiefs will know exactly what is required come Saturday's kick-off.

Then the Waratahs get their chance against the Reds in Sydney.

After that follows the long trek across the Indian Ocean for a dead rubber between the Bulls and Cheetahs in Pretoria, before the Sharks bring the weekend's action to a close when they host the Stormers in Durban - the South African conference winners, the Stormers, sending a virtual B-team to protect their frontline players ahead of the play-offs.

We look at Saturday's games!

Saturday, June 13


Brumbies v Crusaders
(GIO Stadium, Canberra - Kick-off: 15.30; 17.30 NZ time; 05.30 GMT)

While the Crusaders will be looking to give All Black legends Dan Carter and Richie McCaw a winning send-of, the Brumbies are motivated by the need to secure home-ground advantage in the play-offs and also earn a bye in the first round of the knock-out stages.

After sealing their place in the play-offs last week the Brumbies know that only a bonus-point will be good enough to secure them top spot in the Australian conference and a passage straight into he semifinals.

The Brumbies, who are currently sixth, often struggle against the Crusaders and have won only two of their last eight meetings.

Playmaker Matt Toomua will make his return from the bench, having missed six of the Brumbies' last seven games with an ankle injury.

The Crusaders are out of the play-off race for the first time since 2001, but that's no comfort for Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham.

"A team with nothing to lose is sometimes the hardest team to play against," he said.

"They've had two wins in a row and so have we, so it should be a tough match, especially with [All Black greats] Richie McCaw and Dan Carter playing their last game for the franchise.

"Last week against the Western Force we executed our plays well and will be hoping for a similar performance on Saturday in front of a good home crowd."

Carter admitted 2015 has hardly been ideal, but when he peels-off his Crusaders jersey for the last time in Canberra it will be with few regrets.

"It's only just started to hit me that this is it," he told The Press newspaper.

"My last week of training - and my last game with the boys on Saturday. It's going to be a little bit emotional. Obviously it's been a frustrating year with the inconsistencies but if we can put in a performance to be proud of this week at least we can finish the season on a high.

"I wouldn't change anything throughout my Crusaders career."

The playmaker, who will become the world's highest paid rugby player when he takes up a contract with French outfit Racing Metro after the World Cup, mused that his only regret was he hadn't won a Super Rugby title in his final season.

"It's blown all expectations in what I've achieved, I was happy to play just one game and I've won three titles. I never thought I'd get to these levels and the Crusaders environment has been everything I expected and more."

Recent results:
2014: Crusaders won 40-20, Christchurch
2013: Crusaders won 30-23, Canberra
2011: Crusaders won 52-10, Nelson
2010: Crusaders won 40-22, Christchurch
2009: Brumbies won 18-16, Canberra
2008: Crusaders won 34-3, Christchurch

Prediction: The Brumbies have won their last three Super Rugby games and have not managed to win four in a row so far this season. The Crusaders have won the last four meetings between these sides, with three of those victories coming by 18+ points including one by 42 points. The Crusaders have averaged more points per game than any other team this season (30) while the Brumbies have conceded the fewest (15). The Brumbies boast the best line-out success this season (92 percent), however the Crusaders have stolen more line-outs per game than any other team (2.5). The Brumbies have scored the most tries in the opening quarter of their games this season (15) while the Crusaders have scored the most in the 20 minutes after half-time (20). The Brumbies have made a habit of looking like champions and then losing the plot at the business end of the season. They are also likely to run into a highly-motivated Crusaders team, that will win by at least 10 points.

Teams:

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 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 James Dargaville.

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Jone Macilai, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Matt Todd, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.
 
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Chiefs v Hurricanes
(Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth - Kick-off: 19.35; 07.35 GMT)

Skipper Conrad Smith will join centre partner Ma'a Nonu as the most capped Hurricanes players when the Wellington-based team faces a determined Chiefs outfit.

This will be Smith's 124th appearance for the Canes, a number Nonu brought up against the Highlanders in Napier the previous weekend.

Nonu is not playing against the Chiefs, with Sonny Bill Williams in the No.12 jersey.

Smith achieved a milestone earlier this year when he and Nonu became the most capped midfield pairing for the 'Canes, while last week he also became the most successful Hurricanes' captain, winning 33 matches in charge.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd doesn't attempt to hide from the fact his side doesn't have the intrinsic motivation of their opposites for a match that's become a tricky precursor to their home semifinal.

"You can't lie to each other," Boyd told The Dominion Post.

"At the end of the day we have to go to New Plymouth and try hard and put a credible performance out there, but the game assumes, from a ladder point of view, more significance to them than it does to us," he added.

Boyd likes the concept of a Hurricanes versus Chiefs rivalry in the Taranaki hinterland, but this year at least, he's not buying into the hype.

"They were historically with the Hurricanes, but at the end of the day it's more of a marketing thing than a rugby thing," he said.

"Our players are looking forward to playing up there and it should be close to a full house… However, we haven't talked about reclaiming our land or anything of that nature."

Boyd reckons Saturday's match won't be a fizzer and you get the feeling the Hurricanes wouldn't mind if the Chiefs missed out on a home quarterfinal.

"They'll know exactly what they need to achieve or do.

"The Highlanders game is on Friday and the Brumbies are before us in Australia, so they'll know if they need four or five points and they'll know what sort of margin they need. I'm assuming they'll come out chasing points."

Recent results:
2015: Hurricanes won 22-18, Wellington
2014: Chiefs won 24-16, Hamilton
2014: Hurricanes won 45-8, Wellington
2013: Chiefs won 34-22, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 17-12, Wellington
2012: Hurricanes won 28-25, Wellington
2012: Chiefs won 33-14, Hamilton

Prediction: The Chiefs are unbeaten in six at home to the Canes, with the Hurricanes last winning in Hamilton in 2007. The Hurricanes have won six of their last seven against fellow New Zealanders despite holding a half-time lead in just three of those games. The Hurricanes have averaged the most metres (557), clean breaks (11.6) and defenders beaten this season (24.2). The Chiefs have made more offloads than any other team this season, averaging 17.3 per game. The Canes are the only team in Super Rugby this season to have scored 100+ points in each quarter of their game. The Hurricanes look like they'll go out to 'enjoy' the occasion, which will open the door for a big win by the Chiefs - at least 15 points.

Teams:

Chiefs:
15 Tom Marshall, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 James Lowe/Hosea Gear, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Maama Vaipuu, 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Jamie Mackintosh, 19 Michael Fitzgerald, 20 Mitchell Crosswell, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Damian McKenzie.
 
Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 James Marshall, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Frae Wilson, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Sam McNicholl.
 
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shane McDermott (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)

Waratahs v Reds
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 19.40; 09.40 GMT)

With the Waratahs set to take the field just hours after the completion of their domestic rivals, the Brumbies, Adam Ashley-Cooper has said that the side is concentrating solely on their own performance.

Heading into the final round of the regular Super Rugby season, the Waratahs and Brumbies are equal on 47-points.

However, the Waratahs sit above the Brumbies after securing an extra win throughout the season, but both sides are desperate to secure a home semifinal.

"The only game we're keeping an eye on is ours, we've got a couple of days left to finish the [regular] season on a really good note and we control our destiny by the performance this weekend," Ashley-Cooper said in an interview on the Waratahs website.

"It's very important. It gives you an opportunity to play a semifinal in front of your home crowd and the support we've been getting here in Sydney has been immense for us and hopefully we can get that again."

However, Ashley-Cooper's teammate Michael Hooper took a different view on the overall competition standings said that he thought a select few members of the team should be aware of the outcome in the earlier clash between the Brumbies and Crusaders.

"I think it's important for a select few people to know depending on scores and how we want to go on with the game especially for the captain and those around him it's pretty important to know."

In his last season for the Waratahs before continuing the final chapter of his playing career in France, Ashley-Cooper said that he was feeling fresh and starting to hit his straps after a baker's cist kept the veteran utility back on the sidelines for six weeks earlier in the season.

Reds coach Richard Graham said his side was looking forward to the clash with their arch rivals from New South Wales, a fixture both sides will be highly motivated for.

"It is always a game full of expectation," he said.

"I spoke to the players earlier in the week about last impressions.

"It will be the last opportunity in 2015 they have to leave strong memories with their teammates, the rest of the competition and more importantly with the people who support them each week.

"We have a responsibility to make sure our performance is physical, is accurate and is 80 minutes."

Recent results:
2015: Waratahs won 23-5, Brisbane
2014: Waratahs won 34-3, Brisbane
2014: Waratahs won 32-5, Sydney
2013: Reds won 14-12, Sydney
2013: Reds won 25-17, Brisbane
2012  Reds won 32-16, Brisbane
2012: Reds won 25-21, Sydney

Prediction: The Waratahs have won their last three against the Reds, restricting the Queenslanders to five points or fewer in those three games. The
Tahs have won 15 of their last 17 games at home, allowing their opponents a losing bonus point in just three of those games. Only the Force have a worse goal-kicking success than the Reds (60 percent) and the Waratahs (66 percent). The Waratahs have scored the most first phase tries this season (22) while only the Cheetahs have conceded more than the Reds (22). Israel Folau (205), Kurtley Beale (204) and Bernard Foley (170) make up three of the top four ball carriers in Super Rugby this season; Folau (36) and Beale (30) also rank first and second for offloads. The Waratahs' South African-like tactics - the physical brutality with which they play - have proved to be too much in recent years for a Reds team that lost the attacking spark which made the men from Brisbane such a threat a few years back. The Waratahs should win by at least 10 points.

Teams:

Waratahs:
15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Matt Carraro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 David Dennis (captain), 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Mitchell Chapman , 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Stephen Hoiles, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Peter Betham.
 
Reds: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 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 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Pettowa Paraka, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Hendrik Tui, 22 Nick Frisby, 23 Jake McIntyre, 24 Ben Tapuai, 25 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Bulls v Cheetahs
(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)

Both teams made a valiant attempt this week to talk the game up as something of significance.

And while it is indeed a dead rubber, as far as Super Rugby is concerned, there is plenty to be gained from victory.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has been under pressure for some time, because of the Bulls' declining form and by kick-off on Saturday he will know what the future holds for him.

He has a date with the Bulls' board of Directors on Friday and Saturday may well be his last match as coach.

However, he remained defiant to the last.

"We would like to finish the tournament with a strong performance," Ludeke told a media briefing in Pretoria.

"We did not reach all the targets we have set for ourselves as a team, but I am proud of the way we have played at times during the season. Unfortunately our away-form again cost us."

Bulls captain Pierre Spies was signing from the same hymnbook, insisting that they will deliver a good, final performance.

"The Cheetahs team will have nothing to lose and will certainly attack from all angles, but we are also very keen to end our season on a high," Spies told the same media briefing.

"We are back at Loftus Versfeld for a last time this season and would like to give the supporters something to cheer about.

"That said, there is no time for emotional goodbyes, as we will have to play for 80 minutes to make sure we get the right result."

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith is at the start of a rebuilding phase in Bloemfontein, having taken over from Naka Drotské only last week.

Smith is adamant both teams have a lot to play for.

"I see it as preparations for the next step and I agreed to coach these two matches with a specific purpose and goals," Smith said.

"Although this competition has nothing to do with the next one [the Currie Cup], it is still important that we regain respect not for anyone else but for ourselves."

Recent results:
2015: Bulls won 39-20, Bloemfontein
2014: Bulls won 26-21, Pretoria
2014: Cheetahs won 15-9, Bloemfontein
2013: Bulls won 30-25, Bloemfontein
2013: Bulls won 26-20, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 40-24, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 51-19, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Bulls have won their last five on the bounce at home, while the Cheetahs have lost five of their last six on the road. The Bulls have only ever lost once to the Cheetahs in Super Rugby. The Bulls have averaged the fewest offloads per game this season (5.5) while the Cheetahs have made the third fewest (7.6). The Cheetahs have spent the least time in possession this season, averaging just 13 minutes on the ball per game. The Bulls have conceded the joint fewest tries in the final quarter of matches this season (6), while the Cheetahs have conceded the most (16). The Bulls seem to have the beating of the Cheetahs because they find it so easy to smother them. It will be another win for the Bulls, but by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Bulls:
15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Arno Botha, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Morné Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19 Roelof Smit, 20 Bjorn Basson, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jurgen Visser, 23 Werner Kruger.
 
Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Burrie Uys.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Gerhard Olivier, 21 Teboho Mohoje, 22 Renier Botha, 23 Coenie van Wyk.

Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Ben Crouse
TMO: Willie Vos

Sharks v Stormers
(Kings Park - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT)

The Stormers appear to have conceded any hope of finishing second in the Super Rugby standings and know they will most likely to play in next week's preliminary play-off - with home advantage.

The Stormers, who have sent a seemingly second-string side to Durban in order to rest their frontline players for the play-offs, are bracing for a fierce South African derby against the Sharks - who have confirmed that Springboks Willem Alberts, as well as the Du Plessis brothers Bismarck and Jannie will be playing their last match for the Durban franchise before leaving to join overseas-based teams

"I expect a brutal game to be honest," Stormers attack coach Robbie Fleck told the media in a teleconference call this week.

"There's going to be a lot of emotion for them as they have players leaving and they'll want to earn back the respect of their fans."

Fleck said despite resting a host of frontline players, the Stormers are determined to finish off the regular season on a good note.

"We want to go out there and win the game," the backline mentor said, adding: "Results can go either way over the course of the weekend and there is still a glimmer of hope that the Waratahs and Brumbies can fall short and we have an opportunity to get the home semifinal.

"The focus is to go out there and get the win and whatever happens outside of that is out of our hands."

Sharks backline coach Sean Everett sad they felt they have got ten better with each game since the disastrous start to their Australasian tour against the Highlanders.

"There has been regular improvement and we finished tour with beating Reds," he said, adding: "We then beat Rebels, who are not an easy outfit."

Everett admitted the result will make no difference to the standings, but felt they would like to show that they are up there and can beat the best in the country.

Recent results:
2015: Stormers won 29-13, Cape Town
2014: Sharks won 34-10, Cape Town
2014: Stormers won 21-19, Durban
2013: Stormers won 22-15, Cape Town
2013: Sharks won 12-6, Durban
2012: Sharks won 26-19, Cape Town (semifinal)
2012: Sharks won 25-20, Durban
2012: Stormers won 15-12, Cape Town

Prediction: The last five meetings between these sides have seen an average of less than 19 points scored by each team. The last two fixtures between the sides have both been settled by 15+ points, however the previous six before that were all separated by losing bonus point
margins. The Stormers have conceded the fewest second half tries in Super Rugby this season (11). The Durban-based side has the worst tackle success this season (83 percent), having missed more tackles per game than any other team this season (24). The Sharks' Marco Wentzel has won the most line-outs in this year's Super Rugby (64). The Sharks will have the greater desire and should win by at least a converted try.

Teams:

Sharks:
15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Heimar Williams.

Stormers: 15 Robert du Preez, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr (captain), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alister Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Seabelo Senatla, 23 Kobus van Wyk.

Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Marius Jonker

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com


Statistical information provided by Opta Sports
 

Mc article 476930666

Perfect send-off for Saders' legends

Sat, 13 Jun 2015 07:23

REPORT: The Crusaders sent two of their legends off with an emotional victory in Canberra as they beat the Brumbies 37-24.

The Crusaders sent off their All Blacks greats Richie McCaw and Dan Carter with a fitting Super Rugby win to end the Brumbies' hopes of winning the Australian conference on Saturday.
 
The seven-time champions will be missing from next week's finals for the first time since 2001 but they were too organised and strong for the Brumbies, winning 37-24 in Canberra. 
 
Carter, the top points-scorer in international rugby, will transfer to French club Racing Metro after this year's World Cup, while All Black captain McCaw has indicated he intends to retire after the tournament.
 
It was a painful home defeat for the Brumbies, who missed the chance to press for the Australian conference title ahead of the Waratahs' final regular round match with the Reds in Sydney later on Saturday.
 
If the Waratahs win they will condemn the Brumbies to a play-off next weekend against South Africa's Stormers in Cape Town.
 
But it was a crowning day for the two greats of New Zealand rugby - McCaw and Carter.
 
"It was good to finish on a win, it was a big motivating factor going into this week," Carter said.
 
"It's been a pretty inconsistent, frustrating year but to finish on a high here in Canberra is pretty satisfying."
 
McCaw said he finished the Super Rugby season with a smile after beating the Crusaders' great Australian rivals.
 
"To finish off tonight with a performance like that against the old rivals the Brumbies brings a big smile and some great memories and more than likely this will be the last one for me as well," McCaw said.
 
The Brumbies scored first with one of three tries all off rolling mauls in the opening minutes, but the Crusaders dominated for the majority of the match, finishing four tries to three winners.
 
It was always going to prove a tall order for the Brumbies to beat the Crusaders with a four-try bonus point and the Crusaders' win was their fifth straight against the Canberra-based side.
 
"We had a crack and I was proud of our effort but we were just not good enough," said skipper Stephen Moore, who was playing his 100th match for the Brumbies.
 
"The Crusaders put us under pressure, particularly with their kicking game. They turned us around all day and we couldn't get enough field position." 
 
Giant Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo terrorised the Brumbies' defence with his crashing runs and scored two tries, his second just before half-time coming after he left three defenders strewn on the ground and won the chase to his kick to score in the corner.
 
The Crusaders led 21-10 at half-time and the Brumbies' task become even harder when Wallaby flank David Pocock failed to return for the second half with concussion.
 
Man of the match: For the Brumbies David Pocock was everywhere while he was on the park, Henry Speight was a threat on the wing and Nic White was his usual tactical self. Matt Toomua made a strong impact off the bench.  Matt Todd's work-rate was high for the Crusaders while Luke Romano was strong with carries and clean-outs. Nemani Nadolo scored two awesome tries and Dan Carter dictated play well at flyhalf. The award goes to Richie McCaw for his tireless effort on the park making tackles and cleaning rucks all-day.
 
The scorers:
 
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Pocock, Butler, Penalty Try
Cons: Lealiifano 3
Pen: Lealiifano
 
For the Crusaders:
Tries: Nadolo 2, Todd, Penalty Try
Con: Carter
Pens: Carter 5
 
Yellow cards: Jesse Mogg (Brumbies, 42 - foul play, deliberate knock-down), Sam Whitelock (Crusaders, 47 - collapsing the maul)
 
Teams:
 
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 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 James Dargaville.
 
Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Jone Macilai, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Matt Todd, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.
 
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
David Pocock (3min) and Jarrad Butler (49min)
TRIES
Nemani Nadolo (6min), Matt Todd (29min), and Nemani Nadolo (38min)
Christian Lealiifano (4min), Christian Lealiifano (50min), and Christian Lealiifano (67min)
CONVERSIONS
Dan Carter (74min)
Christian Lealiifano (17min)
PENALTIES
Dan Carter (12min), Dan Carter (23min), Dan Carter (42min), Dan Carter (63min), and Dan Carter (79min)
66min
PENALTY TRIES
73min
 
DROP GOALS
Jesse Mogg (42min)
Sam Whitelock (48min)
 
 
VENUE Canberra
REFEREE Jaco Peyper