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Super Rugby | Hamilton
07:35 (GMT) | 13-06-2015
  • 80
Neither side were able to add to the scoreboard as the Hurricanes ran away with their 14th win of the competition.
  • 68
The ball is recycled and sent to the backline. D McKenzie finds Crosswell on the right touchline but he can't hold onto the pass as a perfect scoring chance goes up in smoke
  • 67
Chiefs have somehow managed to regain possession and have made their way into the Canes' 22
  • 66
Chiefs steal the line-out and are on the front foot with possession on the Canes' 10 metre line. It becomes scrappy once again as neither side are able to hold onto the hot potato
  • 65
Halaholo finds a gap and gets the Canes into the Chiefs' 22. It goes scrappy after that and the Chiefs are able to eventually put the ball into touch for a Canes line-out on the halfway line
  • 64
It's taken some time for a decent scrum to be set after numerous resets. Canes eventually secure possession and look to run the ball out of their half
  • 61
The maul is set once again but the Canes have managed to push them into touch one metre from the try line. Canes secure the line-out and allows J Marshall to kick the ball up-field. Lowe knocks the ball on in his attempt to secure the ball. Canes scrum on their 10 metre line
  • 60
The maul is set but the Canes have pushed the Cheifs back a little. The Chiefs finally gain some momentum and rumble their way close to the line. PENALTY! Canes are caught offside. Chiefs opt for another line-out, 5 metres from the Canes' try line
  • 59
Chiefs go on the attack from the line-out and Williams gives a good offload to Ngatai who breaks the line. The ball is recycled and shifted to the left. PENALTY! Canes fail to roll away at the breakdown to hand the Chiefs a chance to set-up a line-out 8 metres from the Canes' try line
  • 58
Solid scrum by the Canes sees them send the ball through the backline to find McNicholl close to the left touchline. He breaks a few tackles before sprinting to the try line! NO TRY though as he was brought down earlier and failed to release the ball. Chiefs opt to kick the PENALTY into touch on the halfway line
  • 56
Canes secure the restart and have taken the ball through the phases to make their way into the Chiefs' half of the field. The ball fails to emerge from the breakdown and play resumes with a Canes scrum
  • 55
Marshall picks himself up to convert his own try and extend the Canes' lead
  • 54
Chiefs have worked their way to their 10 metre line. the ball is recycled but J Marshall picks a McKenzie pass and sprints 35 metres to grab a score under the posts
  • 53
Canes secure the throw but hands possession back to the Chiefs after they fail to release the ball at the breakdown. Chiefs find touch just outside their 22
  • 52
PENALTY! Chiefs enter the ruck from the side to hand the Canes a chance to set-up a line-out 8 metres from the Chiefs' try line
  • 51
Lee-Lo gets the ball at first receiver and goes on an exciting run which takes the Canes into the Chiefs' 22
  • 50
The Chiefs take a quick penalty from the scrum but give away a penalty of their own for going off their feet at the breakdown. The Canes kick the ball into touch just inside their half
  • 48
Chiefs secure their line-out ball on the halfway line and have made their way close to the Canes' 22. The attack comes to nothing though as they knock the ball on to hand the Canes the scrum feed
  • 47
Chiefs turns the ball over on the halfway line and a kicking battle ensues. McNicholl eventually opts to run the ball and finds a huge gap which takes the Canes to the Chiefs' 22. PENALTY! Excellent work at the breakdown sees the Chiefs being awarded a penalty
  • 46
Chiefs dominate the scrum but a kick up-field rolls into touch to hand the Canes the throw-in on their 10 metre line
  • 44
After some scrappy play by both sides, the Chiefs are in possession through a scrum just outside their 22
  • 42
Canes have won back possession and are inside the Chiefs' 22. The ball is recycled and finds Coles on the left touchline who passes it on the inside to Smith but the captain loses the ball forward in his attempt to score
  • 41
KICK-OFF! J Marshall gets the second half underway

Half Time

  • 40
Williams absolutely smashes Smith on the Canes' 22! PENALTY! Smith fails to release the ball t the breakdown to hand the Chiefs a final attacking chance through a line-out. Matt Symons knocks the ball on 4 metres from the try line and that's HALF-TIME!
  • 39
Marshall makes no mistake with his conversion of the match
  • 38
Marshall gets the ball at first receiver and breaks two tackles before handing the ball to Smith one metre before the try line for an easy score
  • 37
Canes secures the restart and the ball is recycled to Coles who breaks the line and makes about 10 metres before giving it to Savea. The big man is brought down on the 22. PENALTY! Chiefs give away a penalty at the breakdown Canes opt for a line-out 7 metres from the try line
  • 36
James Marshall converts the penalty try
  • 35
Perenara takes a quick penalty and comes up inches short. The forwards look to have a go themselves before the ball is given to the backline. Milner-Skudder gets tackles 2 metres from the line but manages to give a brilliant offload to Savea, who is unable to hold onto the pass and knocks the ball on over the line thanks to Tom Marshall not using his arms in the tackle
  • 35
Marshall is sent to the bin for that infringement
  • 34
Canes secure the ball and keep it among the forwards. PENALTY! The Chiefs fail to roll away at the breakdown
  • 33
Lowe puts in a huge kick from inside his 22 which rolls all the way over the Canes' dead-ball line. Play is brought back into the Chiefs' 22 for a scrum to the Canes
  • 31
He makes light work of the kick to add another 3 points to the Chiefs' total
  • 30
Chiefs steal yet another line-out and are keeping it among the forwards, who gets them 10 metres from the line. PENALTY! Canes are penalised for joining the ruck from the side. McKenzie will have a a shot at goal
  • 29
The ball is taken through a few phases as the Chiefs look to probe down the short side. Lowe fails to hold onto a pass and the ball rolls into touch. Canes will have the line-out throw-in just inside their 22
  • 28
Chiefs have secured the ball from the restart and have run the ball all way to the Canes' 22 thanks to a kick ahead. Canes fumble the ball to hand the Chiefs the scrum feed
  • 27
He makes no mistake with his second kick of the match to extend the Chiefs' lead
  • 26
PENALTY! Canes are penalised as their front row collapses under the pressure. McKenzie will have a shot at goal
  • 25
Chiefs secure the line-out and have edged their way closer to the Canes' 22. Their momentum is stopped in its tracks as they knock the ball on to hand the Canes the scrum feed
  • 23
Chiefs win the ball at the breakdown and finds Lowe, who once again decides to kick the ball ahead but fails to find touch. Canes opt to kick the ball back and finds touch on their 10 metre line
  • 22
The Canes have made their w2ay into the Chiefs half and look to have built-up a head of steam. PENALTY! Chiefs are caught offside at the breakdown. Canes opt to kick the ball into touch on the Chiefs' 22 metre line
  • 21
Chiefs have stolen the ball at the breakdown but end up losing it immediately afterwards to hand possession back to the Canes
  • 20
Chiefs maintain their possession and have worked their way into the Canes' 22. Just as they look to threaten, the Chiefs knocks the ball on to hand the Canes the scrum feed just inside their 22
  • 19
Chiefs secure the ball from the restart and finds Lowe, who puts in another kick to find touch on the Canes' 5 metre line. Canes secure the line-out and sends a kick up-field only for the Chiefs to take a quick throw-in
  • 18
McKenzie makes no mistake in adding the extra points
  • 16
Perenara snipes down the short side and gets inside the Chiefs' 22 but he coughs the ball up to allow McKenzie to boot the ball up-field. Canes are back inside the Chiefs' half but Heem picks off an interception! He flies down the right touchline to grab the first score of the match
  • 14
After some scrappy play, the Canes will restart the match with a scrum just inside Chiefs territory
  • 12
Another line-out is won against the throw and the Chiefs boot the ball up-field. Milner-Skudder collects the kick and sets off for a run but only makes it as far as the halfway line. The ball is sent through the backline and finds Savea on the left touchline but he has the ball ripped from his hands
  • 11
Abbott hands possession back to the Canes as he intercepts a pass. PENALTY! Chiefs fail to roll away at the breakdown to allow the Canes a chance to find touch inside the Chiefs' 22 for an excellent attacking chance
  • 10
Williams gets the ball in his hands and breaks the line to hand the Chiefs some valuable momentum. The Chiefs keep it among the forwards but have made no extra ground as they take the ball through the phases
  • 8
PENALTY! Canes are penalised for scrumming on an angle. Cheifs find touch on the Canes 10 metre line
  • 7
Canes have been pushed back close to the Chiefs' 10 metre line but the Canes attack is stopped by an accidental offside. Chiefs will have the scrum feed on their 10 metre line
  • 5
Chiefs wins back possession at the breakdown following the line-out but McKenzie sends a wild pass which misses everyone. PENALTY! Chiefs are penalised at the breakdown and allows the Canes to set up a line-out just outside the Chiefs' 22
  • 4
Lowe gets the ball at second receiver after Marshall got the better of McKenzie. Lowe kicks the ball ahead and finds touch on the Canes' 22
  • 3
Chiefs have managed to pin the Canes inside their territory but the log leaders are in possession and have made their way to their 10 metre line before knocking the ball on to hand the Chiefs the scrum feed
  • 1
Both sides have had a chance to run the ball in the early exchanges. Chiefs have the scrum feed on the halfway line after Perenara was held up to force a maul turn-over
  • 0
KICK-OFF! McKenzie gets the match underway!
  • -10
The Hurricanes will be looking to go out and just enjoy themselves as they have sealed top spot on the log. However, the Chiefs will need a bonus point victory with a points difference of 37 if they are to leap the Highlanders and host a play-off match
  • -15
The Chiefs are unbeaten in six at home to the Canes, with the Hurricanes last winning in Hamilton in 2007
  • -20
Welcome to match 4 which sees the Chiefs host the Hurricanes in New Plymouth
Mc chiefs logo 80x50
Mc hurricanes logo 80x50
  • 15 Damian McKenzie
  • 14 Bryce Heem
  • 13 Tim Nanai-Williams
  • 12 Sonny Bill Williams
  • 11 James Lowe
  • 10 Andrew Horrell
  • 9 Brad Weber
  • 8 Liam Messam
  • 7 Sam Cane
  • 6 Michael Fitzgerald
  • 5 Brodie Retallick
  • 4 Matt Symons
  • 3 Ben Tameifuna
  • 2 Hika Elliot
  • 1 Pauliasi Manu
  • 23 Seta Tamanivalu
  • 22 Marty McKenzie
  • 21 Kane Hammington
  • 20 Michael Leitch
  • 19 Mitchell Crosswell
  • 18 Jamie Mackintosh
  • 17 Siate Tokolahi
  • 16 Quentin MacDonald
  • 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder
  • 14 Cory Jane
  • 13 Conrad Smith
  • 12 Reynold 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 Reg Goodes
  • 23 Sam McNicholl
  • 22 Willis Halaholo
  • 21 Frae Wilson
  • 20 Ardie Savea
  • 19 James Broadhurst
  • 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
  • 17 Chris Eves
  • 16 Brayden Mitchell
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article 476938558

Canes too strong for Chiefs

Sat, 13 Jun 2015 09:33

REPORT: The Hurricanes showed just why they are the tournament leaders as they fought-off a hopeful Chiefs team 21-13 in New Plymouth.

The table-topping Hurricanes closed out the Super rugby regular season with a 21-13 win over the Chiefs on Saturday, in a physical encounter in New Plymouth.
After struggling for most of the first-half, the Hurricanes turned the game in a three-minute burst when they scored twice to hit the front 14-13 just before the break.
They scored the only try in a second spell that swung from one end of the field to the other to confirm their domination of the championship by going into the knockout stages having won 14 of 16 matches this year.
The Chiefs entered the final round locked in a battle with the Highlanders for fourth place, but had to be content with fifth after the southerners opened the weekend with a 44-7 rout of the Blues.
To overtake the Highlanders and secure a home play-off, the Chiefs needed to score at least four tries and beat the Hurricanes by 37 points or more.
They started as if they believed the could succeed with a 70-metre runaway try by Bryce Heem in the 15th minute, converted by Marty McKenzie, giving them an early 7-0 lead.
The Chiefs were helped by the opposition's erratic lineout and a high turnover count, as well as two easy penalties gifted to McKenzie as they controlled the first 35 minutes.
But the Hurricanes' early errors were balanced by their trademark running game, and captain Conrad Smith said he knew they would come right.
"There was a lot of pride in that game. A lot of people said we had nothing to play for... Apparently we were underdogs," he said.
"We've got a lot of pride in the jersey and it doesn't matter who we're playing we want to play well."
When they found their rhythm just before half-time, the Hurricanes scored twice in quick succession to turn a 0-13 deficit into a 14-13 lead.
The first was a penalty try when Chiefs fullback Tom Marshall was yellow-carded for a shoulder charge on Julian Savea diving for the line.
Marshall's brother James, the Hurricanes' flyhalf, slotted the conversion and set up the second try when he broke through the Chiefs' defensive wall to put Smith over.
The Chiefs had a chance to regain the lead with a penalty on half-time but turned down a shot at goal in favour of a lineout drive, only to be held out by a determined Hurricanes defence.
James Marshall increased the lead to 21-13 when he intercepted a pass from McKenzie then ran 30 metres to the line. He converted his own try to complete the scoring.
The Chiefs will now travel to Dunedin to play the Highlanders in a play-off game next weekend, while the Hurricanes have a week off before a semifinal against the highest-ranked winner of the two play-off matches.
Man of the match: Sonny Bill Williams made a great return with some big hits and quality offloads. Liam Messam worked hard on the flank and Brodie Retallick was a menace in the line-outs stealing ball. Conrad Smith was solid for the Hurricanes as was Brad Shields who was all over the park. But James Marshall scoops the accolade for an 11 point contribution including a try to his name.
The scorers:
For the Chiefs:
Try: Heem
Con: McKenzie
Pens: McKenzie 2
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Penalty Try, Smith, Marshall
Cons: Marshall 3 
Yellow card: Tom Marshall (Chiefs, 35 - foul play, shoulder charge)
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)
Bryce Heem (16min)
Conrad Smith (38min) and James Marshall (54min)
Marty McKenzie (18min)
James Marshall (36min), James Marshall (39min), and James Marshall (55min)
Marty McKenzie (27min) and Marty McKenzie (31min)
VENUE Hamilton
REFEREE Chris Pollock