ad link

Bulls

FULL-TIME
29     42

Cheetahs

Super Rugby | Pretoria
15:05 (GMT) | 13-06-2015
  • 81
Join us again shortly when the Sharks take on the Stormers in Durban
  • 80
Schoeman misses the conversion. The Bulls go on one last attack from the restart with Basson making a few metres. Hougaard makes his way inside the Cheetahs 22, but he is in touch. That is FULL-TIME, Cheetahs 42-29 Bulls
  • 79
The Bulls take the penalty quickly and make their way towards halfway. They get another penalty and Schoeman gives his team a line-out inside the Cheetahs 22. They form the maul before going wide to Hougaard who is in for the try!
  • 77
Schoeman chips and gathers as the Bulls make their way inside the the Cheetahs 22, They get a penalty and opt for a line-out. They loses the ball and the Cheetahs kick down field, The Cheetahs have a line-out inside the Bulls half. The Cheetahs go wide and Marais is nearly through. the Bulls get a penalty.
  • 76
The Bulls get a penalty in the Cheetahs half, they opt for a line-out in the Cheetahs 22, but lose the throw in. The Bulls get the ball back inside their own half and attempt to throw the ball wide.
  • 74
Marais adds the extras and the Cheetahs lead 42-24
  • 73
The Cheetahs find themselves with the ball in the Bulls half before Mahoje is through a gap. the Cheetahs goes wide and Benjamin makes good ground in the Bulls 22. The Cheetahs go wide again and Benjamin is put into space and scores the try in the corner!
  • 71
Schoeman converts the try and it is 35-24 to the Cheetahs
  • 70
After a reset at the scrum, the Bulls go wide and Engelbrecht is nearly through on the cut inside. The Bulls are just 3m short before Spies bulldozers his way over for the try!
  • 67
The Cheetahs go wide from the line-out before the ball is lost forward. The Bulls run it back inside the Cheetahs half. Schoeman goes for the break and passes to Paige. Paige gives the ball to Spies who loses the ball. Its a penalty to the Bulls who takes it quickly. They are over the tryline but are held up.
  • 65
After a reset, Pretorius goes short side before the ball goes wide to Blommetjies. Marais kicks down field and Kriel runs it back inside the Cheetahs half. Paige goes for a quick snipe and makes his way inside the Cheetahs 22. The Bulls lose the ball forward and Benjamin races away. The Cheetahs are in the bulls 22 before Le Roux's cross kick is lost forward. The ball is kicked out into touch for a Cheetahs throw in
  • 62
The Bulls form the maul from the line-out before they break loose. The Bulls are just 5m short of the Cheetahs tryline before they get a penalty. They take it quickly before the ball is lost forward and Coenie van Wyk clears. The bulls run it back but Hougaard sends a forward pass to Ismaiel. The Cheetahs will have a scrum 15m from their 22
  • 60
After a great break from the restart the bulls get a penalty and they opt for a line-out inside the Cheetahs 22
  • 58
Schoeman adds the extras and the score is 35-17 to the Cheetahs
  • 57
The Bulls opt for a maul from the line-out but go nowhere before Paige goes wide. The ball finds its way to Hougaard after some wonderful play from Kriel and Hougaard runs it in for the try!
  • 56
The Bulls go wide but Olivier is well marked. The ball goes to Kriel who loses the ball forward after a good step and the Cheetahs kick down field. The Bulls run it back before kicking. Marais kicks out on the full and the Bulls will have a line-out deep inside the Cheetahs half
  • 54
The Cheetahs are full of running and Francios Venter is in space in his own half before his pass goes out into touch. The Bulls takes a short throw, but the Cheetahs are aware of it. Spies takes the ball up as the Bulls are 5m short of the Cheetahs 22.
  • 52
Marais adds the extras and the Cheetahs lead 35-10
  • 51
After another reset at the scrum, the Bulls go wide with Engelbrecht in space. The ball is lost again and the Cheetahs counters with Van Wyks in space. The Bulls turn it over before the Cheetahs get it back. The ball finds its way to Sykes who canters in for an easy try!
  • 48
The Cheetah forms the maul before going wide from the line-out. Pretorius passes to Marais who loses the ball forward and the Bulls will have a scrum near halfway.
  • 46
The ball goes wide from the Bulls from the line-out, but it is turned over and Blommetjies kicks down field. The Bulls run it back towards halfway before it is turned over again. The Cheetahs go wide and kick down field and the Bulls are under pressure in their own 22. Potgieter relieves the pressure with a touch finder near the Bulls 10m line.
  • 44
The Bulls, from the scrum on halfway, gives away a free-kick and the Cheetahs take it quickly with Prinsloo taking the ball up. The ball is lost and Engelbrecht kicks it down field and into touch
  • 42
The Bulls form the maul from the restart before Paige sends a high ball. The ball goes out into touch after it was lost forward from Le Roux near halfway
  • 41
SECOND HALF: Marais gets the game back under way!

Half Time

  • 40
Marais adds the extras and at HALF-TIME the Cheetahs lead 28-10
  • 40
After a reset at the scrum, the Cheetahs make a metre after Prinsloo take the ball up. Play is brought back for another Cheetahs penalty and they opt for a scrum again 5m from the Bulls tryline. After a reset, The Cheetahs get a free-kick and Pretorius takes it quickly. After a few more phases, Pretorius darts for the tryline and scores his team's fourth try!
  • 38
Le Roux sends a cross kick from his own 22 and Benjamin collects and kicks. The Bulls are under pressure in their 22 and give away a penalty. The Cheetahs take it quickly and go wide before a grubber kick comes to nothing. Play is brought back for a Cheetahs penalty and they opt for a scrum 5m out.
  • 35
Marais adds the extras the Cheetahs lead 21-10
  • 34
The Cheetahs form the maul from the line-out, but it collapses. Pretorius goes wide and Benjamin is nearly through. Play is brought back for a Cheetahs penalty at the line-out. The away team opts for another line-out 5m from the Bulls tryline. The Cheetahs form the maul before going wide and Blommetjies is in a huge gap for the try!
  • 34
The Cheetahs form the maul from the line-out, but it collapses. Pretorius goes wide and Benjamin is nearly through. Play is brought back for a Cheetahs penalty at the line-out. The away team opts for another line-out 5m from the Bulls tryline
  • 32
From the scrum, the Cheetahs go wide, but play is brought back for a penalty to the away side. Marais gives his team a line-out deep inside the Bulls 22
  • 31
Sykes puts in a high tackle from the restart and Potgieter gives his team an attacking line-out in the Cheetahs half after a great kick. Botha takes the ball up but is held up and the Cheetahs get a scrum near halfway.
  • 29
Potgieter gather after another poor throw in. The Bulls go wide and they get a penalty after the Cheetahs were found offside. Potgieter will go for polls from right in front. He converts it and it is 14-10 to the Cheetahs.
  • 28
As Wegner leaves the field, play is restarted with a scrum on the Cheetahs 10m line. The Bulls go wide and Odendaal makes a few metres with a good run. The Bulls opt for pick and goes before Strauss takes the ball up with a run. The ball is lost forward but play is brought back for a Bulls penalty . They o[t for a line-out in the Cheetahs 22.
  • 25
From the line-out the Cheetahs go wide and Odendaal is tackled hard. It is turned over and after kicks by both teams Le Roux dots the ball down in his own in-goal area. Ismaiel runs the ball back from the restart. Spies drives the ball up towards the Cheetahs 10m line. Play is stopped for and injury to Wegner.
  • 23
The Bulls opt for a line-out inside the Cheetahs 22 from the penalty. The throw is too long and the Cheetahs get the ball back and clear the pressure with a good kick
  • 21
Coenie van Wyk finds touch on halfway from the restart. The Bulls form the maul and drive in the Cheetahs half before Du Plessis takes the ball up. The Bulls get the penalty on the ground
  • 19
Marais adds the extras and the Cheetahs lead 14-7
  • 18
The Cheetahs go wide wide again but Venter loses the ball just short. Play is brought back for a Cheetahs penal and Marais finds touch 5m from the Bulls tryline. The Cheetahs form the maul and Henco Venter is over for the try after a good drive
  • 16
The Bulls steal the line-out and form the maul in their own half before going wide with Hougaard taking the ball up. Prinsloo steal the ball with Le Roux going wide and Henco Venter is in space. The Cheetahs are 5m short of the Bulls tryline. Blommetjies tries to eveade some tackles.
  • 14
Hougaard loses the ball from a high ball from Le Roux and the Cheetahs will have a scrum near halfway. The Bulls get a free-kick and Paige takes it quickly. The Cheetahs turn it over and go wide and win the penalty with the Bulls going off their feet.
  • 11
Marais adds the extras and the scores are level at 7-7
  • 10
The Cheetahs form the maul from the line-out and Prinsloo breaks away, The Cheetahs go wide and Petersen is in the Bulls 22 before his pass cannot find Le Roux. The Cheetahs get the line-out and they form the maul again before going wide and Petersen again is in space. The away team gets a penalty. It is taken quicky and sent wide where Jordaan gets and dives over for the try!
  • 7
Potgieter finds touch inside the Cheetahs half from the restart. The away team wins a penalty at the line-out after Wegner is taken out in the air and Marais gives his team an attacking line-out
  • 5
Potgieter converts the try and the Bulls lead 7-0
  • 4
The Cheetahs get a free-kick from the scrum. Pretorius takes it quickly and run it out but give away a penalty for holding on. The Bulls opt for a line-out in the Cheetahs 22. They form the maul and are stopped just short of the tryline. After a few pick and goes they go wide and Kriel dives over for the try!
  • 2
The Cheetahs drive the ball up from the restart before Le Roux kicks down field. Kriel runs it back with intent. The Bulls go wide to Kriel after two phases but the fullback loses it forward. Scrum to the Cheetahs near their 22m line
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Jacques-Louis Potgieter gets the game under way!
  • -10
The Bulls have only ever lost once to the Cheetahs in Super Rugby.
  • -20
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.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Round 18 of Super Rugby with the Bulls taking on the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
Mc bulls logo 80x50
Bulls
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
Cheetahs
START LINE UP
  • 15 Jesse Kriel
  • 14 Francois Hougaard
  • 13 JJ Engelbrecht
  • 12 Burger Odendaal
  • 11 Travis Ismaiel
  • 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter
  • 9 Rudi 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 Morne Mellett
RESERVES
  • 23 Werner Kruger
  • 22 Jurgen Visser
  • 21 Tian Schoeman
  • 20 Bjorn Basson
  • 19 Roelof Smit
  • 18 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg,
  • 17 Trevor Nyakane
  • 16 Callie Visagie
START LINE UP
  • 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 Boom Prinsloo
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 3 Maks van Dyk
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 1 BG Uys
RESERVES
  • 23 Coenie van Wyk
  • 22 Renier Botha
  • 21 Teboho Mohoje
  • 20 Gerhard Olivier
  • 19 Steven Sykes
  • 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen
  • 17 Danie Mienie
  • 16 Elandré Huggett
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 tl 1202542

Cheetahs outclass Bulls at Loftus

Sat, 13 Jun 2015 17:11

REPORT: The Cheetahs won a Super Rugby match in Pretoria for the first time with a 42-29 triumph over the Bulls.

The Cheetahs won a Super Rugby match in Pretoria for the first time with a six-try 42-29 triumph on Saturday over a Bulls side suffering their fifth consecutive loss.
 
The final round match in the regular season had an end-of-campaign feel to it with neither team in contention for a top-six finish and a play-offs place.
 
Underdogs Cheetahs recovered from conceding an early try to score four, secure a bonus point and lead 28-10 by half-time at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
 
A try by Bulls skipper and No.8 Pierre Spies narrowed the gap to 11 points with 10 minutes to play before a small crowd in chilly early winter conditions.
 
But any hopes of a dramatic come-from-behind victory for the hosts were dashed just three minutes later.
 
Replacement Oupa Mohoje, a Springbok loose forward who came off the bench for his first appearance after a long injury absence, burst down the middle.
 
The momentum was continued by several other Cheetahs in a side prepared to run from any position and centre Rayno Benjamin scored in the corner.
 
Flyhalf Niel Marais added the extra points for a perfect six-from-six conversions record in only his second start for the Bloemfontein outfit.
 
Cheetahs other try-scorers were No.8 Niell Jordaan, flank Henco Venter, wing Clayton Blommetjies, scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius and replacement lock Steven Sykes.
 
Diminutive Pretorius, who is moving to Welsh side Newport Dragons, gave another outstanding performance full of sniping runs and clever passes.
 
Japan-bound wing Francois Hougaard scored two tries for the Bulls and fullback Jesse Kriel and Spies one each.
 
Flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter slotted one conversion and one penalty and his replacement, Tian Schoeman, kicked two conversions for the three-time champions.
 
Bulls finished a disappointing ninth after seven victories and nine defeats while Cheetahs ended 12th with five wins and 11 losses.
 
Man of the match: Jesse Kriel was by far the Bulls most dangerous player and Francois Hougaard scored a double. Pierre Spies was valiant with carries in his last game at Loftus. For the Cheetahs Ryno Benjamin was evasive on the wing but the tireless Hencu Venter was all over the field, carrying on attack and making 14 tackles on defence. He was a thorn in the breakdown for the Bulls and he scored a try.
 
The scorers:
 
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Jordaan, Venter, Blommetjies, Pretorius, Sykes, Benjamin
Cons: Marais 6
 
For the Bulls:
Tries: Kriel, Hougaard, Spies
Cons: Potgieter, Schoeman
Pen: Potgieter
 
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
Jesse Kriel (4min), Francois Hougaard (57min), Pierre Spies (70min), and Francois Hougaard (79min)
TRIES
Niell Jordaan (10min), Henco Venter (18min), Clayton Blommetjies (34min), Sarel Pretorius (40min), Steven Sykes (51min), and Ryno Benjamin (73min)
Jacques-Louis Potgieter (5min), Tian Schoeman (58min), and Tian Schoeman (71min)
CONVERSIONS
Niel Marais (11min), Niel Marais (19min), Niel Marais (35min), Niel Marais (40min), Niel Marais (52min), and Niel Marais (74min)
Jacques-Louis Potgieter (29min)
PENALTIES
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Pretoria
REFEREE Craig Joubert