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Super Rugby | Durban
17:10 (GMT) | 05-03-2016
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  • 80
The ball is put into touch and the referee blows for for time
  • 79
a line out won by the Sharks sees them grind their way forward into the Jaguares' half. The stale mate of the passed 10 minutes continues as neither team can successfully make a break.
  • 78
Play is broken down at the top of the field with Jaguares no nearer than they were a few minutes ago. The home team applying pressure and causing the Jaguares to clear
  • 76
The Jaguares with some swift passes but the Sharks with a disciplined defense matching each pass with the appropriate covers. The Jaguares take a scrum just inside their half and progress play to the top of the field but still just inside the Sharks' 10 metre line
  • 74
PENALTY for the Jaguares in their own half. Kicked out for a line out and the away side begins the pressure to try and pull this one back. They're finding it hard to make it close to the Sharks' 5 metre area
  • 72
PENALTY against the Jaguares. Pietersen fails to convert this time around
  • 71
The visitors using possession nicely now, maintaining the ball and slowly making ground up the Sharks side of the field
  • 69
And Pietersen converts the penalty after much tussling within the center of the field
  • 67
Jaguares win the scrum but again play breaks down. Another scrum ensues this time in center field. After the ball is released play is halted again
  • 64
Both teams struggling to make any ground with play breaking shortly after either of them get possession.
  • 63
Play is get underway with a scrum bordering the Sharks' 5 metre line. They maintain possession with an advantage and Pietersen sees the ball out for a line out well within the Jaguares' half
  • 60
Joe Pietersen almost sliding forward through the Jaguares' defense with great agility but is finally tackled before reaching the 5 metre line. They play the ball out and find themselves struggling to get passed the Sharks 10 metre area
  • 59
Play is reset with a scrum that sees Sharks win possession but lose it shortly after around the 22 metre line
  • 57
Sanchez with a deep kick into the Sharks half putting them into a good position.
  • 56
Coetzee breaks away from the Jaguares defense with a brilliant turn but is halted right before the 5 metre line. Jaguares reset their formation and play the ball out to the Sharks 10 metre
  • 54
Sharks with an exciting bit of play instigated by Joe Pietersen but nothing came of it
  • 52
PENALTY against the Sharks, they manage to retain possession and make ground quickly into the 5 metre area of the away team. le Roux makes use of the advantage and Pietersen converts the penalty for 3 points
  • 48
The away team using the same tactics as the Sharks did during the first half making good work within the mauls. A drop by Lanjado gives Sharks an opportunity to try and get control with a scrum, which breaks down almost immediately
  • 46
Sharks feeling the pressure as they clear the ball into touch again but the Jaguares can't make it close to the Sharks 5 metre line
  • 44
Jaguares powering forward with increased confidence after finding their team full again. Playing well from their own half and getting a line out at the Sharks 10 metre
  • 43
Baez and Matera both make their return to the filed from the sin bin.
  • 42
Sharks kick the ball into touch around their 10 metre line. Both teams just lobbing the ball around with their boots
  • 41
Sanchez gets the second half underway after shocking the Sharks in the closing minutes of the first half with a stunning try while having two in the bin

Half Time

  • 40
Here come the Sharks as they find themselves in possession on the Jaguares 5 metre line but they lose the ball forward and Sanchez is able to kick the ball upfield. Sharks recovers and are back on the attack on the Jaguares 10 metre line. The ball is somehow flung into touch and that's HALF-TIME!
  • 38
Sanchez fails to add the extras
  • 37
The Jaguares remains in possession but Sanchez opts to kick the ball away. Ndungane launches the counter attack and links up with the twins. The ball goes lose and the Jaguares are back on the attack! TRY!!! A long grubber kick is chased down by Santiago Cordero, who grabs the score!
  • 35
Senatore picks it up from the base of the scrum and goes on a run. PENALTY! Sharks are caught offside at the breakdown. Sanchez finds touch on the halfway line to release the pressure
  • 34
The Sharks opts for a line-out but their maul is quickly sacked. They knock the ball on though and the Jaguares have the scrum feed on their 5 metre line
  • 33
The Sharks takes the penalty quickly and Pablo Matera makes a desperate takcle without having retreated back far enough. He is sent to the bin for his troubles
  • 32
The Sharks continues to use the maul to good effect as the Jagueres give away a penalty! Rodrigo Baez is sent to the bin for illegally bringing down the maul
  • 30
The error count is certainly rising and the stop-start affair continues. Play resumes with a Sharks line-out on the Jaguares 10 metre line
  • 28
The flyhalf pops the ball over from right in front to hand the home side the lead
  • 27
It's taken an age for a scrum to be set. PENALTY! Jaguares are penalised for collapsing the scrum. Pietersen will have a shot at goal
  • 25
Sharks sets up another maul at a 5 metre line out but the Jaguares are up for the challenge this time. Sharks knock the ball on and their momentum is killed
  • 24
The Sharks definitely have the upperhand at line-out time as their rolling maul is simply blowing the Jaguares away!
  • 22
A kicking battle breaks out but its settled with the Jaguares opting to keep ball in hand as they look to attack from the halfway line
  • 20
PENALTY! The Sharks are penalised for scrumming illegally. Sanchez finds touch on his 10 metre line
  • 19
The Sharks launch a massive counter attack and Le Roux links up with Ndungane who races down the touchline. His inside pass goes forward though and the Jaguares have the scrum feed close to their 5 metre line
  • 17
The Sharks sets a maul from a line-out and makes plenty of metres. The ball is recycled and Pietersen looks for JP with a cross kick but it flies too far
  • 16
He has the distance and the direction to level matters
  • 15
A quickly taken short arm penalty by Senatore gets the Jaguares on the front foot. PENALTY! The Sharks are penalised for having their hands in the ruck. Sanchez will have a shot at goal from about 44 metres
  • 13
It has become a bit of a stop, start affair at the moment and the error count is rising by the second
  • 11
Pietersen makes a tough conversion look easy
  • 10
A massive maul by the Sharks and they are OVER! Marcell Coetzee emerges with the ball!
  • 9
Sharks have the possession. PENALTY! Sanchez is caught offside at the ruck. Pietersen pops the ball into touch to set up and attacking line-out
  • 8
Kicking battle ensues from the restart and ends with Pietersen finding touch on the Jaguares' 10 metre line
  • 7
Sanchez slots the easy conversion
  • 7
The broken play gets the Jaguares going as Emiliano Boffelli races down the left touchline to grab the first try of the match!
  • 6
After taking an age to set the scrum, the Jaguares gives away a short arm penalty. The Sharks fails to find touch and the Argentines are on the attack on their 10 metre line
  • 4
The Jaguares spoils quality ball with a handling error to hand the Sharks a scrum just outside their 22
  • 3
The flyhalf makes no mistake with his first kick of the match
  • 2
Sharks secure the ball. PENALTY! Creevy is penalised for having his hands on the ball at the breakdown. Pietersen will have a shot at goal
  • 1
Jaguares in possession inside their 5 metre line and are looking to run the ball out. They eventually decide to go for touch and Sanchez finds it close to his 10 metre line
  • 0
KICK-OFF! Pietersen gets the match underway
  • -5
Conditions are good for running rugby in Durban
  • -10
The Sharks have won 20 of their last 24 matches when hosting a team from outside of South Africa, though none of the last four of those wins have come by more than six points.
  • -20
After opening their 2016 campaign with a win, the Sharks will be aiming for a fifth win in a row for the first time since a run of five on the bounce across the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
  • -30
It is the final match of Round Two! The Sharks are at home to the Jaguares!
Mc sharks logo 80x50
  • 15 Willie le Roux
  • 14 Odwa Ndungane
  • 13 Paul Jordaan
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 11 JP Pietersen
  • 10 Joe Pietersen
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 8 Daniel du Preez
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 6 Marcell Coetzee
  • 5 Stephan Lewies
  • 4 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
  • 23 S'bura Sithole
  • 22 Garth April
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 20 Philip van der Walt
  • 19 Hyron Andrews
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 17 Juan Schoeman
  • 16 Kyle Cooper
  • 15 Santiago Cordero
  • 14 Matias Orlando
  • 13 Matias Moroni
  • 12 Santiago González Iglesias
  • 11 Emiliano Boffelli
  • 10 Nicolas Sánchez
  • 9 Martin Landajo
  • 8 Leonardo Senatore
  • 7 Rodrigo Baez
  • 6 Pablo Matera
  • 5 Matias Alemanno
  • 4 Guido Petti
  • 3 Ramiro Herrera
  • 2 Agustin Creevy
  • 1 Santiago García Botta
  • 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino
  • 22 Joaquín Paz
  • 21 Gonzalo Bertranou
  • 20 Facundo Isa
  • 19 Javier Desio
  • 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
  • 17 Felipe Arregui
  • 16 Julian Montoya
Mc article juan de jongh stormers huddle 800


Thu, 03 Mar 2016 22:19

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Saturday matches in Part Two of Super Rugby's Round Two.

It is not an exaggeration to call this Super Saturday.

There is a replay of last year's Final, some intriguing domestic derbies and a number of delectable cross-conference games.

First up is the two-time champion Chiefs against the Lions - a game that will test the resolve of the visitors.

They get the first taste of the additional air miles that come with the expansion of Super Rugby to 18 teams - having travelled from Johannesburg to Tokyo for a game against the Sunwolves and then a trip on to New Zealand, a trip of almost 45,000 kilometres, which also included a lengthy delay en route to New Zealand.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann put up a brave front when quizzed about the ridiculous travel schedule foisted upon his charges.

"It is definitely longer," he said, when asked if it is worse than previous seasons when they flew directly to Australasia, adding: "It is a challenge because of the time zones as well.

"We lost almost two days as a result of travelling."

However, he is adamant they will not be a soft touch when they face the Chiefs in Hamilton.

"We have a plan for the Chiefs and the players are excited about the plan, but we must execute it," Ackermann said.

"However, we will never completely change our brand, because we want to make people proud of the way we play."

From that we head into a re-run of last year's Final when the defending champion Highlanders host the Hurricanes in Dunedin.

Then we hop across the Tasman Sea to watch the all-Australian derby between the Reds and Western Force, before crossing Indian Ocean where the Bulls will host the Rebels in Pretoria, followed by a South African derby between the Cheetahs and Stormers, then conclude the weekend's dram with an encounter between the Sharks and tournament newcomers the Jaguares.

We look at the Saturday, March 5, matches below!

(FMG Stadium, Hamilton - Kick-off: 17.15; 06.15 SA time; 04.15 GMT)

Travel schedules aside, this could be one of the most entertaining matches of the weekend.

They have come a long way since their record-break 137-point basketball thriller in 2010, when defence was certainly not at a premium.

The Chiefs have since won two titles and the Lions have become genuine contenders for a play-off spot.

However, both teams still have that attacking DNA that makes them such a joy to watch.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann has no doubt about the enormity of the task awaiting his team.

"We have to look a lot better after our possession," he said, adding: "We conceded far too many turnovers against the Japanese [Sunwolves] team [last week].

"We need to show patience on attack, with ball in hand.

"The Chiefs are one of those teams that fight hard and are known for playing to the end. The opening may only come in the 79th minute, but we have to keep at it till the [defensive] wall breaks.

"And [when they have the ball] we will be tested on defence - it is no secret how dangerous the Chiefs are with ball in hand."

Having deliberately rested his frontline troops the week before the tournament kicked off, he believes they will be up for the intensity that will be required this week.

Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie described it is a "big game" for the home team.

"We play the Curry Cup Champions, a side who were unlucky not to make the Super Rugby play-offs last year," Rennie said.

"While we were happy with the attitude and effort against the Crusaders [last week], we know we can be more clinical and have learnt a lot about ourselves.

"It's nice to get a bit of continuity from a selection point of view for our first outing at home."

Recent results:
2014: Chiefs won 38-8, Hamilton
2012: Chiefs won 34-21, Pukekohe
2011: Chiefs won 34-30, Johannesburg
2010: Chiefs won 72-65, Johannesburg
2009: Chiefs won 36-29, Hamilton
2008: Lions won 33-27, Johannesburg

Prediction: These sides have faced each other in the second round of the competition once before, in a match that saw 137 points scored (Lions 65-72 Chiefs), the most ever in a Super Rugby match. The Chiefs have won 14 and drawn two of their last 18 matches against South African opponents including victories in their last two such clashes. The Lions have won their last three matches outside of South Africa, their longest streak in franchise history, and will be aiming to extend that streak to four matches after a win in Japan in Round One. Charlie Ngatai made four offloads in the opening round, more than any other player in the competition. The Lions were one of only three teams in the competition (Brumbies, Sharks) to score a try in each quarter of their opening round fixture. The travel factor may come into play in the final 20 minutes and the Chiefs should have the legs to secure a win - by at least a converted try.


Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Latu Vaeno, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Mitchell Graham, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Michael Leitch, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, Glen Fisiiahi.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Fabian Booysen, 21 Jaco van der Walt, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nick Brian (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

(Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT)

Both teams from last year's Final are coming off opening round defeats - the Hurricanes much more so than the Highlanders.

The home team's 31-33 loss could so easily have been a win.

However, the Hurricanes were a 'no contest' for the Brumbies - who put 50 points past them.

After a week of self-reflection, coach Chris Boyd said the Hurricanes were keen to put their flat opening performance in the rear view mirror.

"We didn't start the season how we intended to and I know the boys are hurting," Boyd said.

"They'll be going out to put in a performance they're proud of.

"We're up against last year's champions on their home ground, so it should be a great occasion."

The Highlanders, who won a thrilling Final 21-14 in Wellington last year, will need to be a lot more clinical than they were against the Blues last week.

Both teams have suffered injury blows in the lead up to Saturday's match - with Hurricanes scrumhalf TJ Perenara continuing to lead his side in the absence of season captain Dane Coles, whose tight calf has again delayed his first appearance of the year.

The Highlanders will be without wing Waisake Naholo, who suffered a fracture in his leg during his side's first up loss to the Blues at Eden Park in Round One.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said he expects an improvement from his side in all areas.

"I thought we were the cause of our own demise last week," he told the Otago Daily Times.

"We gave away far too many penalties in the tackle ball area. Whilst the desire and the attitude was great, we have got to be a lot more accurate in that area. We have been big on that this week.

"We have got an opportunity with the same referee to get it right and I'm looking forward to that. At times last week we felt like we beat ourselves.''

Recent results:
2015: Highlanders won 21-14, Wellington (Final)
2015: Hurricanes won 56-20, Wellington
2015: Hurricanes won 20-13, Dunedin
2014: Highlanders won 18-16, Wellington
2014: Highlanders won 35-31, Dunedin
2013: Highlanders won 49-44, Wellington
2013: Hurricanes won 23-19, Dunedin

Prediction: The meeting between last season's finalists sees the Highlanders aiming for a fifth win in seven matches against the Hurricanes, though none of their previous four wins in that run came by more than seven points. In fact, 14 of the last 15 meetings between these sides has seen the teams separated by seven points or fewer at the final whistle, the only exception being a 56-20 win for the Hurricanes in the penultimate round of the regular season last year. After suffering defeat in the opening round, the Highlanders will be looking to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in a single season since their final game of 2014. Aaron Smith contributed three try assists in Round One, the most of any player and his most in a single match since May 2014 against the Crusaders. The Hurricanes conceded an alarming 31 turnovers in the opening round of Super Rugby 2016, the most of any team and 18 more than the Highlanders. The Hurricanes have looked a pale shadow of the side that topped the standings last year and perhaps it has something to do with the senior All Blacks who departed. And unless something dramatic happened this past week that we are not aware of, the Highlanders should win by 10 to 15 points.


Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Shane Christie (co-captain), 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Jason Emery.

Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder/James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Blade Thomson, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Leni Apisai, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 James Marshall/Jason Woodward, 23 Willis Halaholo.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)

(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Kick-off: 18.45, 08.45 GMT)

Both teams are coming off disappointing defeats, but this week there can be no excuse of 'opening week nerves'.

The Western Force travel east this weekend for their second successive all-Australian derby desperate to avoid their season slipping off the tracks this early in the campaign.

The Reds, just as disappointing last week, will at least have the luxury of being able to look forward to their first home game of the year.

"This is an important game for us and we're pleased it is at Suncorp Stadium," Reds coach Richard Graham said.

"We are continuing to build and the support of our home supporters will be important," he added.

Saturday's clash with the Reds will be somewhat of a homecoming for new Western Force recruit Ben Tapuai, who returns to Suncorp Stadium to take on his old side for the first time.

Having playing seven seasons with the Reds before making the journey west, Tapuai admitted it would be a strange experience playing against his former franchise but is looking forward to the clash.

"Coming up against my old teammates had actually been on my mind a little bit," he said in an interview on the Force website.

"It will be a bit weird running out on to Suncorp Stadium and playing against the Reds, but I can't wait to get out there and compete against them.

"I had some great times with those boys, played some good rugby but when it comes down to the game there are no mates on the opposition, I know I'll be going hard and doing everything I can to help us get the win and I'm sure they won't be taking it easy on me either."

The powerful centre said he is expecting a bit of a hostile reception when he runs out to take the field and is intent on taking the points up against his former franchise.

"The Queensland crowd can be pretty vocal so I'm sure I'll cop it from them a bit but it will all be in good fun.

"We know that getting off to a good start is really important and this is a big game for us. After the Reds lost last week as well, I'm sure both teams will be desperate to get a win on the board on Saturday," he added.

And the Reds will have in their line-up a player they hope could be the catalyst to a successful run - Japan's World Cup star Ayumu Goromaru at fullback.

Recent results:
2015: Reds won 32-10, Perth
2015: Reds won 18-6, Brisbane
2014: Force won 30-20, Perth
2014: Force won 32-29, Brisbane
2013: Reds and Force drew 11-all, Perth
2013: Force won 19-12, Brisbane

Prediction: The Reds were victorious in both matches between these teams in the 2015 season, though they failed to find a win in the five matches prior (lost four and drawn one). Force won their last away game in the competition in the final round of 2015; however they lost six in a row on the road before that. Four of the Force's last six matches against Australian opposition in the Super Rugby have been decided by seven points or fewer. The Reds (19 minutes and 21 seconds) enjoyed almost 20 minutes of time in possession in Round One, the most of any team but only 24 seconds more than the Force managed. The Force were one of only three teams (Stormers and Bulls) to be faultless with the boot in the opening round as they slotted all five of their place kicks in the match (one conversion, four penalties). This is tough to call and will most likely be a dour arm-wrestle. It is about which team can pick themselves up the quickest and the Reds look the most likely - which could see them win by about eight points.


Reds: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Curtis Browning, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ben Matwijow, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Greene, 23 Junior Laloifi.

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Marcel Brache.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - Kick-off: 15.00; 00.00 Sunday, March 6 AEDT; 13.00 GMT)

The Rebels are chasing their first ever win on South African soil and many pundits see the Bulls as ripe for the picking.

After recording a six-point victory over the Western Force in last weekend's opening round, the Rebels are looking to break the franchise's South African hoodoo and record back-to-back wins to start their season for the first time.

Rebels captain Sean McMahon said they are optimistic about their prospects, but wary of a Bulls team that is minus a number of key players.

Apart from the Springboks who have moved on, Bok flyhalf Handré Pollard has also been sidelined with a knee injury.

However, McMahon, speaking in a teleconference from Pretoria, said the Bulls may not be as vulnerable as most people think.

"The Bulls are still a strong side and this is their home field," he said.

"The players they have put into the side will step up to the challenge.

"There are some impressive players that are missing, but they have players that can step up."

McMahon said the Rebels showed some promise in their win over the Western Force last week and they will have a "red-hot" crack at the Bulls this week.

"We have never had a win in South Africa and the Bulls are a very physical side, so it is going to be a big test for us.

"However, the team is up for it," he added.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais admitted his team is "under pressure to deliver", but said he is confident that they can turn things around, following last week's heavy loss to the Stormers.

"We performed poorly in some areas of our game and paid the price," Marais said.

"However, I am confident that we can deliver a much better result in our first home match of the season.

"The Rebels will certainly not make it any easier for us.

"They showed against the Force last weekend that they can win tough matches away from home and play for 80 minutes.

"They edged us [in Melbourne] last year, so they will travel here with a lot of confidence. In fact, I think they are the favourites."

Recent results:
2015: Rebels won 21-20, Melbourne
2014: Bulls won 40-7, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 41-35, Melbourne
2011: Bulls won 47-10, Pretoria

Prediction: This will be the fifth match between these franchises in Super Rugby and after a maiden win in their last meeting, the Rebels will be looking for their first back-to-back victories against the Bulls. The Bulls are now without a win in their last six matches, their longest streak since losing all 12 matches of the 2002 season. The Rebels won 15 turnovers in their opening game, more than any other side in the opening round of fixtures. Jannes Kirsten made 18 tackles in the opening round, the second most of any player behind Michael Hooper (21) and the most of any player who didn't miss a single tackle. Like so many of the day's matches there is no clear favourite. The Bulls are at home and should be able to use that advantage to sneak a win - with a late score and a margin that is in single digits.


Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Nic de Jager, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Dries Swanepoel

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Lopeti Timani, 7 Sean McMahon (captain), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah Nau, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Jonah Placid, 23 Dan Hawkins.

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

(Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 17.10; 15.10 GMT)

The Stormers have emerged as one of the early favourites in the wake of their demolition of the Bulls last week.

However, the challenges will not get any easier, even though Cheetahs captain Francois Venter is happy to pin the underdog tag to his team.

"The Stormers is the South African team everybody is backing in Super Rugby," he said.

"It is a huge challenge for us, but we are looking forward to taking them on."

The Cheetahs know they will have to raise the bar considerably from last week - when they lost 33-34 to the Jaguares of Argentina, after having built up a 24-3 lead inside the first quarter.

"We need to control the game better and maintain our intensity for the full 80 minutes," Venter said of his team's inability to kick on after opening up a big lead.

"We simply dropped off too many one-on-one tackles and we have worked hard on our defence this week," he added.

He said they can certainly take some confidence from those early exchanges against the Jaguares.

The Stormers will look to back up last week's impressive performance against the Bulls, but have to end a four-year drought in Bloemfontein.

"We made a good start against the Bulls, but we need to take that momentum from the second half of that game into this one to keep the ball rolling," co-captain Juan de Jongh said.

De Jongh said he was expecting a fierce onslaught from a Cheetahs side that will be determined to make amends for last week's lapses in concentration.

"They are going to come out firing and we know that, it is not something that is going to shock us.

"It is just important to make sure that we are focused and solid in ourselves because it is going to be a hell of a battle out there," he added.

Recent results:
2015: Stormers won 42-12, Cape Town
2015: Cheetahs won 25-17, Bloemfontein
2014: Stormers won 33-0, Cape Town
2014: Cheetahs won 35-22, Bloemfontein
2013: Stormers won 28-3, Cape Town
2013: Cheetahs won 26-24, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Stormers have won 10 of their last 13 matches against the Cheetahs though the spoils are split evenly at three wins apiece in the last six iterations of this fixture. The Cheetahs have lost their last four matches at home in Super Rugby, though they've managed to score 66 points over their last two home matches. Francois Venter and Raymond Rhule were the top two metre makers in Round One of this year's competition, both making 141 metres over the gainline in the Cheetahs' loss to new boys, the Jaguares. The Stormers missed only six of their 136 tackle attempts in the opening round, making them the most successful tacklers in the competition (96 percent). The Stormers are favourites for a reason and expect them to close the game out in the final quarter again - although the margin will be substantially smaller - between 10 and 15 points.


Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Boom Prinsloo, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Niel Marais.

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Siyamthanda Kolisi, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rodney Bonaparte (South Africa), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

(Kings Park, Durban - Kick-off: 19.20; 14.20 Argentina time; 17.20 GMT)

The Sharks had far less resistance in their win last week than the Jaguares, who had to come from behind to beat a determined Cheetahs outfit.

Despite dismantling the Southern Kings, Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold was cautious in the build-up this week - pointing to the experience that comes with the visitors from Argentina.

"There were a lot of positives to take away from our match last weekend," Gold said.

"I was happy with our intent, skill level and the way we executed our tries."

However, the Sharks this week are up against a brilliant team full of internationals.  

"Many of these guys are hugely experienced and had good success at the World Cup," Gold said.

"Last week against the Cheetahs, this Argentine side showed that they have adapted well to the competition."

Despite being up against a team of near Test strength, Gold said his charges are up for the challenge ahead.  

"This match is really going to test us to see how far we've come this year.

"The new generation of players we have right now are really putting up their hands.  

"They're bringing an unbelievable enthusiasm and excitement to the team environment.  We can most definitely use this to build on to something big moving forward," he added.

Jaguares rookie Matías Alemanno - set to make his debut in place of the suspended Tomás Lavanini - said the Sharks are a capable outfit that should not be underestimated.

"We knew their potential and after seeing the first match [against the Kings] we know they are dangerous," Alemanno said.

"They have a number of Springboks and look to dominate the contact situation.

"We have to go out and play our game, set the pace of the game and let our defence be our hallmark."

Recent results:
These teams have never played each other before.

Prediction: After opening their 2016 campaign with a win, the Sharks will be aiming for a fifth win in a row for the first time since a run of five on the bounce across the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Sharks have won 20 of their last 24 matches when hosting a team from outside of South Africa, though none of the last four of those wins have come by more than six points. The Jaguares beat 45 defenders in their historic victory in Round One, 17 more than any other team (Cheetahs, Waratahs). Lwazi Mvovo (4) made more breaks than any other player in the opening round. Santiago Cordero beat a league-best eight defenders on the first weekend of action. The Sharks will have to be at their best, because this Jaguares team can turn the game around in an instant. The Jaguares should sneak a late winner - by five points.


Sharks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Garth April, 23 Sibusiso Sithole.

Jaguares: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Matías Orlando, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Rodrigo Báez, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Santiago García Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Felipe Arregui, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Javier Ortega Desio, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Joaquín Paz, 23 Lucas González Amorosino.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article sharks v jaguares 800

Sharks lower Jaguares' colours

Sat, 05 Mar 2016 19:13

REPORT: The Sharks gave the Super Rugby newcomers, the Jaguares, a taste of reality - as they beat them 19-15 in Durban on Saturday.

It was an intense match in Durban on Saturday's evening. The Jaguars scored two tries to one and yet the Sharks dominated the territory by 73% to 27%. The Jaguares, bless them, were intent on playing with the ball in hand but against the Sharks they met a team of determined tacklers. They made many more tackles than the Jaguares and missed fewer.

Where the Jaguares were better was in their retention of possession. they ran straighter and had better support which their ball-carriers preferred using than holding onto till tackled. Especially in the first half the Sharks too often lost the ball in tackles whereas the Jaguares rarely did.

The Sharks were stronger than their opponents in the scrums, much stronger when they mauled and were about even in the line-outs.

Yet again the Jaguares suffered yellow fever. They had two players in the sin bin at the same time, which means that in their first two matches they have had four players sin-binned and one suspended after citing. And yet this time they did not suffer inordinately. In fact they won the sin-binning 5-0!

The Sharks scored first when Agustín Creevy was penalised and Joe Pietersen, who kicked well, goaled. 3-0 after two minutes.

The Jaguares were freekicked at a scrum and Pietersen opted to kick down into the Jaguares' 22, setting up a brilliant try as the Jaguares accepted the gift and started running. It looked harmless till the big Jaguares No.8 Leonardo Senatore went galloping down the left touchline. He played to Emiliano Boffelli and suddenly there were no defenders as Boffelli swept round to the posts. Nicolás Sánchez converted. 7-3 to the Jaguares after 6 minutes.

Wise me will tell you that the criterion for a kick is when and where you next get the ball. After Pietersen's kick, which could not be chased for any profit, the Sharks next got the ball to kick off.

A penalty gave the Sharks a line-out and they formed a maul and simply ran it at speed over the goal-line for a try credited to Marcell Coetzee. Pietersen converted from far out. 10-7 after 11 minutes.

After 15 minutes the scores were level through a penalty by Sánchez.

The Sharks had another running maul and then Willie le Roux came into the line to give Odwa Ndungane an overlap but he lost the ball forward in trying to pass inside.

Pietersen put the Sharks ahead and they were powerfully on the attack when first Rodrigo Báez for collapsing a maul, and then Pablo Matera for not retreating to his goal-line before tackling at a tapped penalty were sent to the sin bin. The Sharks then kicked out from in front of the posts for a line-out but knocked on in forming the maul.

The Sharks' attacked and Daniel du Preez burst downfield but at the Jaguares' 22 he was tackled and lost the ball forward. Santiago Cordero picked up, darted ahead and gave to Santiago González Iglesias who kicked a long way downfield. Cordero raced after the ball, got ahead of Ndungane and dived to take the ball over the line for the try. And, with two players in the sin bin, the Jaguares led 15-13.

The Sharks attacked but when Jean-Luc du Preez lost the ball the Jaguares broke out again.

There were no tries in the second half, just two Pietersen penalties, one on 50 minutes when Ramiro Herrera was penalised at a tackle, and one at a collapsed scrum, on 68 minutes.

The Sharks did have a promising  moment in between those two penalties - when Coetzee burst out of tackles and charged at the line till Cordero felled him.

Though the Jaguares played on with constructive intent they were not able to break the Sharks' hold on the match.

Man of the Match: Our choice is Marcell Coetzee, relentless on defence and powerful with the ball in hand. He gets it just ahead of Joe Pietersen.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:
Con: Pietersen
Pens: Pietersen 4

For the Jaguares:
Boffelli, Cordero
Con: Sanchez
Pen: Sanchez

Yellow cards: Rodrigo Báez (Jaguares, 31 - professional foul, cynically collapsing the maul), Pablo Matera (Jaguares, 33 - professional foul, tackling player without retreating 10 metres)


Sharks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Garth April, 23 Sibusiso Sithole.

Jaguares: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Matías Orlando, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Rodrigo Báez, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Santiago García Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Felipe Arregui, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Javier Ortega Desio, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Joaquín Paz, 23 Lucas González Amorosino.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Marcell Coetzee (10min)
Emiliano Boffelli (7min) and Santiago Cordero (37min)
Joe Pietersen (11min)
Nicolas Sánchez (7min)
Joe Pietersen (3min), Joe Pietersen (28min), Joe Pietersen (52min), and Joe Pietersen (69min)
Nicolas Sánchez (16min)
Rodrigo Baez (32min) and Pablo Matera (33min)
VENUE Durban
REFEREE Jaco Peyper (South Africa)