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Super Rugby | Durban
17:10 (GMT) | 13-06-2015
  • 81
Join us again next week with the first round of play-offs. The Stormers will face the Brumbies in Cape Town, while the Highlanders will welcome the Chiefs in Dunedin
  • 80
The Stormers go on one last attack as the hooter sounds. They go wide and Jones sends a grubber. Mvovo gathers before the Sharks go wide. Chadwick says that is enough and boots the ball out for FULL-TIME: Sharks 34-12 Stormers
  • 79
Zeilinga adds the extras and the Sharks lead 34-12
  • 79
The Sharks have the ball in their own half and Sithole is in space. He passes to Ndungane who sprints passed Kolisi to go in for another try for the Sharks!
  • 78
The Stormers find themselves with the ball near halfway before Jones is tackled into touch. From the line-out, Zeilinga kicks and Kotze runs the ball back. Coleman is tackled back hard by Coetzee as teh Stormers are deep inside their own half.
  • 76
The Stormers win a scrappy line-out before Kobus van Wyk makes some good ground inside the Sharks 22. The Stormers go wide again and Van Wyks loses the ball forward, Du Preez is yellow carded fro a dangerous tackle on Mvovo
  • 74
The Sharks win a scrum penalty with Vermaak scrumming in at the angle. Zeilinga gives his team a line-out on their own 10m line. The Sharks go wide from the line-out and the Stormers turn it over after a counter ruck. Taute takes the ball up before the away team is awarded a penalty Coleman gives his team a line-out in the Sharks 22.
  • 72
The Stormers win a penalty deep in their own 22 and Coleman finds touch near his own 10m line. Masimla spots some space around the line-out before the ball goes wide. Van Wyk kicks down field. The Sharks kick is charged down and Taute kicks ahead and loses the ball forward over the Sharks tryline.
  • 70
Zeilinga continues the chip and chase from halfway. After both teams lose the ball forward, Coleman kicks down field before Mvovo sends a high ball. The Stormers decide to run it, but again they lose it and a chip from Alberts goes into touch 5m from the Stormers tryline.
  • 68
Taute takes the ball up after the Stormers won the line-out. The Stormers cannot do anything with it and lose the ball forward. After both team exchange kicks, the Sharks keep ball in hand and Zeilinga is in space. The Sharks , now in the Stormers 22, sends a cross kick through Zeilinga, but it goes in the Stormers in-goal area.
  • 66
From a scrum on halfway, the Stormers spread the ball with Jones making good ground. Ndungane hacks a loose pass ahead, but Sithole was offside. Coleman gives his team an attacking line-out
  • 64
Cronje adds the extras and the Sharks lead 27-12
  • 63
The Sharks win the ball at the Stormers scrum and they go wide. Mvovo gets the ball from a Cronje chip runs in for the try!
  • 61
Ungerer sends a highball from the line-out and Ndungane's pressure sees the ball fly out into touch for a Stormers throw in. the Sharks steal it and go wide. Cronje's kick is charged down and Coetzee loses the ball forward trying to gather.
  • 60
The Stormers go to Kotze from the scrum and the wing bulldozers his way into the Sharks 22. Taute beats a defender before they hold onto the ball after a few phases and give away a penalty. Cronje gives his team a line-out 10m from halfway.
  • 58
The Stormers win a scrum penalty in their 22 and Coleman gives his team a line-out about 10m from halfway. The Stormers opt for a maul before Schreuder sends a high ball. The Sharks lose the ball forward and the Stormers will have an attacking scrum 10m out from the Sharks 22
  • 56
The Sharks form the maul from the line-out before Coetzee break free. the ball is lost forward and the Stormers attempt to run it out before play is brought back for the knock on. The Stormers will have a scrum in their own 22.
  • 54
From a line-out on halfway, the Stormers go wide but Cronje intercepts. After a kick the Sharks will get a 5m line-out after it comes off a Stormers player
  • 52
Cronje adds the extras and the Sharks lead 20-12
  • 51
The Stormers win a penalty in their own 22 after Alberts went offside at the ruck and Coleman gives his team a line-out in the Sharks half. The Sharks steal it, but Willemse dives on the loose ball. The Stormers lose it forward. Bismarck grubbers and it is regathered. Ndungane sprints down field and passes back to Bismarck who runs in for the try!
  • 49
The Stormers go wide from the line-out and they win another penalty with the Sharks offside and Coleman will go for the three points with a kick on the Sharks 22m line. He converts the penalty and it is now 13-12 to the Sharks.
  • 47
Schreuder kicks down field from the line-out and finds touch near the Stormers 10m line. The Sharks opt for the maul before Cronje drops a pass. The Stormers get a penalty on their own 10m line. Coleman gives his team a line-out near the Sharks 10m line.
  • 45
Cronje gives his team an attacking line-out in the Stormers half from the penalty. The home side goes wide with Esterhuizen. Ungerer kicks and is gathered by Pietersen. the Sharks go wide again, but the ball goes out into touch for a Stormers throw in 5m from their own tryline
  • 44
The Stormers get the ball back from the restart. They go wide before Botha is in a half gap. The Stormers win a penalty and Schreuder takes it quickly, but the Stormers give a way a penalty in the Sharks 22 for holding on.
  • 43
The Sharks have the ball on halfway before the Stormers get it back. Coleman kicks and Mvovo finds touch, giving the Stormers an attacking line-out. The Stormers forms the maul before Schreuder's kick goes out dead after a race between Sithole and Kotze.
  • 41
SECOND HALF: Kurt Coleman gets the game back under way!

Half Time

  • 40
The Sharks form the maul from the line-out before Coetzee and the Beast puts the Sharks in a good position in the Stormers 22. Pietersen is tackled short before Ungerer spins over for the try! Cronje misses the conversion and at HALF-TIME the Sharks lead 13-9
  • 39
From a line-out just outside the Sharks 22, The Stormers loses the ball forward and go wide to Sithole. He kicks and Coleman gathers and is tackled into touch.
  • 38
Cronje, from 40m out, converts the penalty and it is 9-8 to the Stormers.
  • 37
The Sharks get a free-kick on the Stormers 10m line and they call for a scrum. After a reset, the Sharks push the Stormers back and they win a penalty. Cronje will go for polls.
  • 34
Coleman lines-up another penalty kick and adds another three points, Stormers 9-5 Sharks
  • 33
The Stormers go wide from the scrum but Taute cannot hold onto a poor pass from Kotze and the Sharks now get a scrum 10m from their 22. Ungerer sends a high ball and the Stormers win a penalty with Bothma offside from the kick. Coleman will go for polls.
  • 31
From a line-out 10m from the Sharks 22, The Stormers over throw and the Sharks win the ball. the Sharks go wide to Sithole but it was a forward pass and the Stormers will have a scrum about 10m from the Sharks 22
  • 29
The Sharks get a penalty after forming the maul at the line-out and Cronje finds touch inside the Stormers half. The home side opts for the long throw before going wide with Pietersen taking the ball up. Now on the Stormers 10m line, Coetzee makes a half break before he is tackled. The Stormers get the penalty after the Sharks hold on.
  • 27
Coleman finds a good touch finder from his 22 towards half. The Sharks go wide with Sithole taking the ball up. Cronje sends a low kick out into touch 10m from the Stormers 22. Schreuder breaks from the maul but is tackled into touch and the home side gets a line-out near their own 22
  • 25
Coleman line-up a kick to polls from the Sharks 10m line. He converts the penalty and the Stormers lead 6-5
  • 23
The Sharks go short side to Sithole but he is well covered before high ball is sent down field. Du Preez finds touch inside the Sharks half. Cronje sends a high ball from the line-out but Pietsersen was in front of the kicker and the Stormers get a penalty
  • 21
The Stormers run the ball back from a kick and Kotze kicks out into touch in the Sharks 22. The Sharks take it quickly before they kick. The Stormers counter but lose the ball forward through Howard and the Sharks have a scrum on halfway
  • 19
Cronje misses the conversion but the Sharks lead 5-3
  • 18
Schreuder goes wide from the scrum before the Sharks kick a loose pass down field. The Stormers cannot gather the loose ball and both Howard and Cronje seems to dot the ball down at the same time. It goes to the TMO and the try is awarded to Cronje!
  • 17
Taute takes the ball up from the scrum, but holds onto the ball and the Sharks get the penalty. Cronje cannot find touch and Du Preez kicks down field and Ungerer loses the ball forward. The Stormers will have an attacking scrum in the Sharks half
  • 16
The Stormers go long with the line-out before they go wide and Kotze is in space. The ball is lost in the Sharks 22, before the Stormers come away with it and will have a scrum just outside of the Sharks 22
  • 14
After another scrum reset, the Stormers win a penalty and Coleman gives his team a line-out 15m from the Sharks 22.
  • 13
The Sharks forms the maul from the line-out and make little ground before Bothma sets a phase. They go wide and Pietersen loses the ball forward and the Stormers will have a scrum on their own 10m line.
  • 12
From a line-out in the Sharks half the Stormers go wide with Rhodes making a few metres. The Sharks however get the penalty and will have a line-out deep inside the Stormers half.
  • 10
The Stormers run the ball out of their 22 from the restart and play is stopped for what looks like a dangerous tackle on Rhodes. Esterhuizen gets a yellow card for a tip tackle.
  • 9
Coleman converts the penalty and the Stormers lead 3-0.
  • 8
The Stormers form the maul from the line-out and they make their way into the Sharks half. Kotze takes the ball up before Coleman is in space. The Stormers get a penalty 15m from the Sharks 22 and they will go for polls.
  • 7
After a reset, the Sharks get a penalty at the scrum with Kebble coming in at the angle. From a line-out in the Stormers half the Sharks go to the midfield with Esterhuizen. The Stormers are defending well with Sithole going into contact and not space. Cronje's pass goes straight into touch and the away team has a line-out on their 10m line.
  • 4
The Sharks get a free-kick at the scrum and they take it quickly with Pietersen taking the ball up. Wentzel and Cronje is tackled back before the Beast loses the ball forward. The Stormers go wide but they loses it forward as well and the Sharks have a scrum on their 10m line.
  • 2
The Stormers forms the maul from the restart before Schreuder sends a high ball. Mvovo gathers for the Sharks before Ungerer kicks. The Stormers counter with Jones before Du Preez loses the ball forward on halfway
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Lionel Cronje gets the game under way!
  • -5
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.
  • -15
The last five meetings between these sides have seen an average of less than 19 points scored by each team.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Round 18 of Super Rugby with the Sharks taking on the Stormers at Kings Park in Durban
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  • 15 Lwazi Mvovo
  • 14 Odwa Ndungane
  • 13 JP Pietersen
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 11 S'bura Sithole
  • 10 Lionel Cronje
  • 9 Stefan Ungerer
  • 8 Renaldo Bothma
  • 7 Willem Alberts
  • 6 Marcell Coetzee
  • 5 Marco Wentzel
  • 4 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 3 Jannie du Plessis
  • 2 Bismarck du Plessis
  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
  • 23 Heimar Williams
  • 22 Fred Zeilinga
  • 21 Cameron Wright
  • 20 Khaya Majola
  • 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 17 Dale Chadwick
  • 16 Franco Marais
  • 15 Cheslin Kolbe
  • 14 Dillyn Leyds
  • 13 Juan de Jongh
  • 12 Damian de Allende
  • 11 Seabelo Senatla
  • 10 Demetri Catrakilis
  • 9 Nic Groom
  • 8 Nizaam Carr
  • 7 Siya Kolisi
  • 6 Schalk Burger
  • 5 Manuel Carizza
  • 4 Eben Etzebeth
  • 3 Frans Malherbe
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 1 Steven Kitshoff
  • 23 Jaco Taute
  • 22 Kurt Coleman
  • 21 Louis Schreuder
  • 20 Michael Rhodes
  • 19 Jean Kleyn
  • 18 Vincent Koch
  • 17 Alistair Vermaak
  • 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni
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 tl 1202694

Sharks blow Stormers away

Sat, 13 Jun 2015 19:16

REPORT: The Sharks were too strong for the Stormers as they ran out 34-12 winners in a fitting send-off for departing Sharks' players.

South African hard man Bismarck du Plessis cried after his final Super Rugby appearance for the Sharks ended in a 34-12 home victory over Stormers.
Du Plessis, a 31-year-old rated among the best hookers in the world, is moving to France with elder brother and Sharks prop Jannie to play in the Top-14 competition.
While the brothers have not disclosed who they are joining, reports link them with Montpellier, where 2007 World Cup-winning Springboks coach Jake White is in charge.
"Durban has been a very special place for me," said a tearful Bismarck at Kings Park after his 130th appearance for the Sharks, "and I will never forget my 11 seasons here. 
"I will miss my teammates, the supporters and everyone who helped me develop my career.
"I was once the seventh-choice hooker at the Cheetahs and now I am told I am among the best in the world," Bismarck added after receiving the official man-of-the-match award.
Du Plessis recalled how he joined the Sharks after several seasons with the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs.
"I remember writing my last examinations and packing everything I owned into a little Volkswagen Beetle.
"It took me about 12 hours to drive from Bloemfontein to Durban in a car that could not go much faster than 80 kilometres an hour.
"I had to fill up about six times because it had only a small petrol tank," he said.   
Du Plessis and Bulls hooker Adriaan Strauss are considered certainties to be included in the 31-man Springboks squad for the World Cup in England this September and October.  
Du Plessis scored the third of five tries as the Sharks romped to victory over a second-string Stormers side after leading 13-9 at half-time.
Sensing they were going to finish third whatever the result, the Cape Town outfit rested their first choices ahead of a home quarterfinal against the Brumbies next Saturday. 
Flyhalf Lionel Cronje, scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer, fullback Lwazi Mvovo and wing Odwa Ndungane were the other try scorers for the winners.
Cronje kicked two conversions and a penalty and his replacement, Fred Zeilinga, slotted a conversion.
The bonus-point victory had no effect on the Sharks' final placing, though, as they came 11th, 13 points adrift of the last play-off position.
Stormers flyhalf Kurt Coleman shrugged off woeful recent place-kicking form to succeed with his four penalty attempts.
Man of the match: For the Stormers Michael Willemse debuted like a champion and Nizaam Carr had a strong game. Lionel Cronje had a good day with the boot and Ndungane was prominent on attack. However the award goes to none other than Sharks legend Bismark du Plessis for a courageous effort topped off with a try.
The scorers:
For the Sharks:
Tries: Cronje, Ungerer, Du Plessis, Mvovo, Ndungane
Cons: Cronje 2, Zeilinga
Pen: Cronje
For the Stormers:
Pen: Coleman 4
Yellow cards: Andre Esterhuizen (Sharks, 10 - foul play - dangerous tackle), Robert du Preez (Stormers, 75 - foul play - dangerous tackle)
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
Lionel Cronje (18min), Stefan Ungerer (40min), Bismarck du Plessis (51min), Lwazi Mvovo (63min), and Odwa Ndungane (79min)
Lionel Cronje (52min), Lionel Cronje (64min), and Fred Zeilinga (79min)
Lionel Cronje (38min)
Kurt Coleman (9min), Kurt Coleman (25min), Kurt Coleman (34min), and Kurt Coleman (49min)
Andre Esterhuizen (10min)
VENUE Durban
REFEREE Glen Jackson