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Super Rugby | Singapore
10:50 (GMT) | 12-03-2016
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Join us for the some more Super Rugby action and Six Nations
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Possibly the final scrum of the game, won by the Cheetahs and the ball is cleared to end the game
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The line is won by the Cheetahs and the ball cleared as they try to hold onto their pint lead for the final few minutes
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Cheetahs losing ground with the maul but the ref blows as the maul was being held up
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The Cheetahs doing well to keep the pressure forcing their way forward. The ball is cleared and the home team gets a line out in a good position just passed the Cheetahs' 22
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Another scrum around midfield, this time won by the Sunwolves but a penalty is awarded to the Cheetahs. The ball is plummeted forward for a line out passed the 10 meter area of the home team
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Scrum at the midfield. Won by the Cheetahs but they lose the ball with a cheeky kick forward
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Marias hits the upright and fails to add the extra 2 points
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Cheetahs finally break through to take the lead with a try by Boom Prinsloo
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Advantage for the Cheetahs again at the edge of the try line. And a yellow card gets awarded to Ed Quirk
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Cheetahs opt for the line out instead of the conversion. Pressure still building for the home side as Pisi is substituted.
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The Sunwolves holding firm but they give away a penalty to the crowds displeasure
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The ball again resting millimeters before the try line
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Scrum at the 5 meter area. Scrum reset. Advantage for the home team but the Cheetahs holding the line well.
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Cheetahs get awarded the advantage right outside the 5 meter area. Looking more resilient than they did in the closing minutes of the first half
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The Cheetahs now inches away from the try line
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Cheetahs come away with a line out after all the kicking at the home teams 10 meter area. They move forward strongly in the maul
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Penalty taken and some standard clearances by both teams as they move to get the ball away from their 5 meter areas.
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Sunwolves squander another 3 points with a missed PENALTY.
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The home team pressures the Cheetahs at a line out in the away teams half but the ball is eventually cleared
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The Cheetahs now under pressure from the Sunwolves. A late tackle by Raymond Rhule. Lucky to escape a yellow card as play is halted
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PENALTY against the Cheetahs now, and Pisi looking to add 3 points but misses the kick
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The Cheetahs right back in the game with the Sunwolves leading by a small margin.
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And he adds a full 7 points to his teams score with the conversion
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Shaun Venter made a quick dash but had his progress halted just before the 5 meter area. They move the ball to the opposite side of the field and Neil Marais gets the TRY!
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Sunwolves wins their own line out and moves the ball up field in the Cheetahs 22 meter area. The away team looking to play the ball out but having some trouble, they eventually do
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Line out for for the Cheetahs which they take with no real contest, they gain ground with the maul but then lose possession.
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Scrum around the Cheetahs 10 meter area. But PENALTY given for illegal scrummaging by the home team.
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The Cheetahs maintaining their momentum with a line out inside the Sunwolves 22 meter area but there is no real contest with the line out
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Marais converts for the Cheetahs
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Uzair Cassiem makes the break and gets the Cheetahs on the road to a possible victory.
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Cheetahs make a somewhat lucky break forward but the Sunwolves retain formation quickly, the turnover comes but possession is lost again just passed the home team's 5 meter area
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A penalty to the home team, Pisi looking to get them 3 points for his first penalty of the day. And he converts
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Scrum up the field at the Cheetahs 10 meter won by The home team.
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The half is get underway by Marais with a kick deep into the Sunwolves half

Half Time

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And the whistle for half time sees The Sunwolves ahead by some margin
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Pisi adds the extras
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Sunwolves pressing adamantly before half time, and looking promising right outside the Cheetahs 5 metre and they make the TRY
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Pisi adds the extra points
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Akihito Yamada managing the hatrick of tries after a splendid run and pass by Yu Tamura
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A somewhat desperate kick forward by the Sunwolves looking to make some ground but collected by The Cheetahs defense.
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A break in just outside Sunwolves 10 meter line. First scrum breaks down, the second subsequently won by the Cheetahs
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The Cheetahs lose the ball in the scrum again the Sunwolves are on the attack again. The Cheetahs get the penalty but nothing comes of it after a quick tap.
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Venter making a quick break after the penalty but fumbles the ball. Scrum inside the Sunwolves half around the 5 meter area
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Marais converts his own try and the score is now 14-13!
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There is a turnover for the Cheetahs and the ball is kicked ahead and Marais dots the ball down for the score!
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The home side have possession and are searching for through Cheetahs defence. There is knock on and the Sunwolves will have another chance from a scrum.
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The Cheetahs are shoved back in the scrum and there is a knock on. The Sunwolves will have an attacking scrum in the midfield.
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After and exchange of kicks, the Sunwolves are under pressure near their own 22 before the ball is kicked downfield. Shaun Venter kicks the ball away, but the Cheetahs get it back and they run it back. There is a knock on and the Cheetahs will have a scrum on halfway.
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The Sunwolves, from a scrum on halfway, takes the ball up through Quirk before going wide. The ball is lost and the visitors have the ball. Both teams can't hang onto the ball.
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Pisi converts the try and it is 14-6 to the Sunwolves!
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There is some obstruction from the Cheetahs and the Sunwolves get a penalty. Instead of going to touch, Tusi Pisi sends cross kick. The ball is gathered - Harumichi Tatekawa passes to Akihito Yamada who sprints in for another try!
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The Sunwolves have the ball in the Cheetahs half but they lose possession. The visitors get a penalty at the ruck and Marais give his team a line-out near the Sunwolves' 10m line.
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The Cheetahs get another penalty and Marais steps up again. From almost 45m out he converts the penalty and it is 7-6!
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The Cheetahs have a penalty now and Marais steps up from 35m for the attempt at goal. He converts it and it is 7-3!
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Tusi Pisi converts the try and the Sunwolves lead 7-0!
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The home side goes to the short side and Yasutaka Sasakura makes his way into the Cheetahs 22. The Sunwolves go wide again and Akihito Yamada steps past a defenders and sprints in for the try!
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The Sunwolves have the ball in their own half before the ball is kicked away. The Cheetahs try and go wide but the ball is lost forward and the Sunwolves will have a scrum on halfway.
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KICK-OFF: Tusi Pisi gets the game underway!
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It is a sweltering hot day in Singapore!
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The Cheetahs ended their 2015 campaign with an away win against the Bulls and will now be looking to score back-to-back away wins for the first time since Round 15, 2013.
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The Sunwolves first and only previous match in Super Rugby was a 13-26 loss to another South African side, the Lions.
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Welcome to the Singapore National Stadium for live coverage of this Super Rugby match between the Sunwolves and Cheetahs!
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
  • 15 Riaan Viljoen
  • 14 Akihito Yamada
  • 13 Harumichi Tatekawa
  • 12 Yu Tamura
  • 11 Yasutaka Sasakura
  • 10 Tusi Pisi
  • 9 Atsushi Hiwasa
  • 8 Ed Quirk
  • 7 Andrew Durutalo
  • 6 Liaki Moli
  • 5 Tim Bond
  • 4 Hitoshi Ono
  • 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga
  • 2 Shota Horie
  • 1 Keita Inagaki
  • 23 Mifiposeti Paea
  • 22 Derek Carpenter
  • 21 Kaito Shigeno
  • 20 Yoshiya Hosoda
  • 19 Shinya Makabe
  • 18 Takuma Asahara
  • 17 Masataka Mikami
  • 16 Takeshi Kizu
  • 15 Sias Ebersohn
  • 14 Sergeal Petersen
  • 13 Francois Venter
  • 12 William Small-Smith
  • 11 Raymond Rhule
  • 10 Daniel Marais
  • 9 Shaun Venter
  • 8 Henco Venter
  • 7 Uzair Cassiem
  • 6 Paul Schoeman
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 3 Johannes Coetzee
  • 2 Jacques du Toit
  • 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche
  • 23 Fred Zeilinga
  • 22 Tian Meyer
  • 21 Boom Prinsloo
  • 20 Hilton Lobberts
  • 19 Hugo Reniel
  • 18 Maks van Dyk
  • 17 Charles Marais
  • 16 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
Mc article singapore national stadium 800


Thu, 10 Mar 2016 21:10

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

Another piece of Super Rugby history will be written when the competition makes its first stop in Singapore this weekend.

Despite fears over extended travel times, tropical heat and a questionable pitch, the Japanese newcomers the Sunwolves - who have played only once so far - have made the nearly eight-hour trip from Tokyo to face the Cheetahs, who have flown 11 hours from Bloemfontein.

Saturday's game is one of three "home" fixtures in Singapore for the Sunwolves.

Brendan Morris, operations manager for Super Rugby organisers SANZAAR, admitted the shift to steamy Singapore wasn't easy for the teams, but he was confident the venture would be a success.

"Any expansion comes with both challenge and opportunity," Morris said.

"One of the biggest challenges is a little bit more travel into new markets and the teams will adapt to that.

"You've got to look at the commercial opportunities, the rugby opportunities and the logistical challenges around expansion. The combination of Japan and Singapore was very attractive."

Elsewhere the top-of-the-table clash in South Africa pits the Stormers against the Sharks, with both teams gunning to stay unbeaten.

The Lions, who have started with away wins in Japan and New Zealand, face reigning champions the Highlanders in Dunedin to get Saturday's action underway.

Then we hop across the Tasman Sea for an all-Australian derby between the Rebels and Reds in Melbourne.

It is off to Singapore next, Sunwolves versus Cheetahs, before we head to South Africa for a double header - the Southern Kings hosting the Chiefs in Port Elizabeth and the Stormers at home to the Sharks in Cape Town.

We look at the Saturday, March 12, matches below!

There is no doubt the Lions' character is going to be tested to the extreme this weekend.

The Lions have not had the most pleasant of travel schedules this season - over 40,000 kilometres from Johannesburg to Tokyo and then on to Hamilton in just over a week.

What was meant to be a short hop from the North Island to the South Island turned into another delayed, extended trip - as severe gales battered Otago - which left thousands of residents in the dark and numerous flights cancelled.

The Lions were eventually forced to sleep over in Wellington on Thursday and only flew out to Dunedin on Friday morning.

"We had a good week in Rotorua, it is just a pity about our travelling that was affected by the weather," Johan Ackermann said.

"We again spent many hours on the plane and we arrived in Dunedin later than planned.

"Although the weather is bad on the south island at the moment, the Dunedin stadium has a roof and I believe it will be an exciting game against the defending champions - with a lot of All Blacks in their side.

"We must just recuperate from the travel and give our best."

They may be left with limited preparation time, but there is no doubting the Highlanders are wary of a team that has already shown their ability to overcome the odds.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said the encounter with the Lions - to be played in controlled conditions under the stadium's closed roof - is likely to be "another hectic one".

"Last year when they played us, they came back from 20-odd points down within 40 minutes," he told the Otago Daily Times.

"It is going to be another quick game.

""I would like to see the early-season stats, especially here in this stadium, where you get an extra five minutes of play.

"So when you get two teams together like the Lions and Highlanders, you are going to get some good, quick rugby.''

The Lions pulled off what was arguably one of the best wins of Round Two when they beat the Chiefs on New Zealand soil for the first time in their history.

It gave them a perfect two-from-two start to the season.

However, the already testing tour became even more complicated and the men from Johannesburg will have to dig deep.

Recent results:
2015: Lions won 28-23, Johannesburg
2014: Highlanders won 23-22, Dunedin
2011: Lions won 26-22, Dunedin
2010: Highlanders won 39-29, Dunedin
2009: Lions won 27-22, Johannesburg
2008: Highlanders won 29-20, Dunedin

Prediction: The Lions have won five of their last eight matches against the Highlanders, though at no point in the last six matches between these sides has either team won back-to-back games. The Highlanders have won their last six matches on home soil, their longest such streak since they won 13 consecutive home matches from 2000 to 2002. Having dispensed of the last two New Zealand teams they've faced the Lions will now be hunting for three straight wins against NZ opponents for the first time. The Lions are undefeated in their last four matches away from home, double the length of any other such streak in their history. The Highlanders haven't lost a home match against a South African side since a 19-36 loss to the Cheetahs in Round Four, 2013. This will be an entertaining contest that is likely to go down to the wire. Given their additional travel hours, the Lions could run out of gas in the final quarter and allow the Highlanders to sneak a win by seven points or less.


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

Lions: 15 Jaco Van Der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois De Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand Van Der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Ruan Ackermann, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Andries Coetzee.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

This will be the first match under the new coaching regime for the Reds - Matt O'Connor and Nick Stiles taking over in the wake of the axing of Richard Graham.

The talk in Brisbane all week has been about the new set-up and whether it could end the dour run that has enveloped the Reds.

Stiles played down their role, saying it is about the players.

He added that the transition had been "seamless" and they now have just have one less member on the coaching panel.

It is not just on the coaching panel where the deck has been shuffled.

They have made significant changes to their team, including dropping high-profile Japanese import Ayumu Goromaru to the bench.

"We felt it was time for a change," Stiles said, adding: "We needed to get a bit of freshness in the squad to get a bit of a performance."

He suggested it will all start up front.

"We're all very proud Queenslanders and we let the players know we were disappointed," he said about the winless start to the season.

"We have drawn a line in the sand."

The Rebels will host their first match for 2016 and are looking to bounce back following their loss to the Bulls in South Africa.

Recent results:
2015: Reds won 46-29, Brisbane
2015: Rebels won 23-15, Melbourne
2014: Reds won 36-20, Melbourne
2014: Rebels won 30-27, Brisbane
2013: Reds won 33-20, Brisbane
2013: Reds won 23-13, Melbourne

Prediction: The Reds have won eight of the 10 clashes between these teams since the Rebels admission to Super Rugby, though the Melbourne outfit have recorded their two wins in their last four encounters against the Reds. The Rebels have led the Reds at the half-time break on four occasions, winning none, though both their wins against the Reds have come after being level at the major interval. The Reds have won only two of their last eight away matches within Australia, though the first of those two wins was a 36-20 defeat of the Rebels in Round 17, 2014. The Reds boast the best line-out success so far this season (97 percent) and are one of three teams yet to lose a scum on their own feed so far. The Rebels win an average of 12 turnovers per game, the most of any team in the competition. The Reds may well be sparked by the upheavals and the Rebels have travelled back from South Africa. The Reds may just edge the Rebels - by 10 points or less.


Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jonah Placid, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Sean McMahon (captain), 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Lopeti Timani, 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 Steve Cummins, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Dan Hawkins, 23 Kotaro Matsushima.

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

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)
With Super Rugby set for its Singapore debut Saturday, the hosts admitted the pitch of the city-state's National Stadium was "not perfect" - but insisted it was ready for the rough-and-tumble of the competition just days after a Madonna concert at the venue.

The head of the stadium complex said the playing surface, which was slammed by visiting soccer teams before undergoing a revamp last year, was "extremely playable" ahead of the clash between Japanese newcomers Sunwolves and the Cheetahs from South Africa. 

Saturday's match is one of three "home" fixtures in Singapore for the Sunwolves as rugby continues its bid for Asian fans, especially in the build-up to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Chief Operating Officer of Singapore Sports Hub Oon Jin Teik told AFP: "Because this stadium is multi-use and multi-purpose, it will undoubtedly be exposed to all the possible hazards.

"We have that assurance right now that we have a team of professionals working on it."

He said it was "extremely safe and extremely playable" before cautioning: "But, it's not perfect."

The Sunwolves have made the nearly eight-hour trip from Tokyo to face the Cheetahs, who have flown 11 hours from Bloemfontein.

The previous pitch drew flak from visiting soccer teams such as Italian heavyweights Juventus and five-time world champions Brazil, whose coach Dunga complained that "most of it is sand" and warned it could injure his players.

In late 2014, a match pitting the Maori All Blacks against Asia Pacific Dragons was also scrapped over the poor state of the playing surface.

A brand new pitch was unveiled just in time for the 28th Southeast Asian Games, which kicked off in June 2015.

Brendan Morris, operation manager for Super Rugby organisers SANZAR, expressed his confidence that the "world-class facility" will live up to expectations.

Morris told AFP: "I think it has been well documented, the troubles that the pitch has had.

"We've been conscious in the background that a first-class surface will be provided and it's been guaranteed by the Sports Hub."

He added: "The pitch looks in pretty reasonable condition, the big test will be Saturday night, but things look pretty good at the moment."

Recent results:
These teams have never met before!

Prediction: The Sunwolves first and only previous match in Super Rugby was a 13-26 loss to another South African side, the Lions. The Cheetahs have won only one of their last eight matches against teams from outside South Africa. The Cheetahs ended their 2015 campaign with an away win against the Bulls and will now be looking to score back-to-back away wins for the first time since Round 15, 2013. The Cheetahs have scored all five of their tries so far this season in the first half, no team has managed to cross the line more often in the opening stanza. The Sunwolves are the only team so far in 2016 yet to concede a penalty goal, though they've kicked two of their own. This marks the first ever Super Rugby match played in Singapore. The stadium's roof will be closed for the game. The Sunwolves are likely to give the Cheetahs a good run for their money, but the South African outfit should win by 15 to 20 points.


Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa, 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Edward Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Timothy Vond, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Keith Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Yoshiya Hosoda, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Derek Carpenter, 23 Mifiposeti Paea.

Cheetahs: 15 Sias Ebersohn, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Johannes Prinsloo, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga.

Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo, Aki Aso
TMO: Takashi Hareda

Kings coach Deon Davids said his team is on a "massive learning curve", given the limited pre-season preparation time and rag-tag nature of the squad assembled for him by the South African Rugby Union.

In their first outing, a heavy loss to the Sharks, 15 players in the matchday squad of 23 made their Super Rugby debut.

It was thus not a surprise to see SARU's mobi unit putting in some extra work to try and get the Kings up to par ahead of the encounter with the visitors from New Zealand.

Having coughed up six tries against the Sharks, SARU defence guru Jacques Nienaber was a prominent figure in Port Elizabeth this week.

He worked intensely with the Kings on Tuesday and Thursday.

Kings captain Steven Sykes said he expects a "quick" game from the Chiefs.

"They don't enjoy to have set pieces in their own half and don't kick the ball out," Sykes told a media briefing.

"They opt to kick downfield or attack as long as they can.

"That is why we have been working very hard with Jacques [Nienaber] on our defence  this week."

The coach, Davids, admitted his team lacks the experience of the opposition, with a team made up largely of Super Rugby rookies, but said they will grow with every outing.

"This is the situation we are in and we have to deal with it," Davids said, adding: "We learnt a lot from that game [against the Sharks], but each game will bring something different.

"We know New Zealand sides play the game at a very high tempo.

"It is going to be another massive learning cure for the boys," he said, adding they also need to ensure their set pieces are solid.

Previous result:
2013: Chiefs won 35-24, Port Elizabeth

Prediction: This will be just the second meeting between these teams after the Chiefs defeated the Kings 35-24 in Round Five, 2013. The Kings are hunting for their first win since Round 13, 2013, though two of their three wins have come when playing at home. The Chiefs have won seven and drawn two of their last 12 matches in South Africa, though after losing their last such match they'll be aiming to avoid consecutive defeats in South Africa for the first time since 2008. The Chiefs have averaged 15 offloads per game so far this season, the most of any team and triple the Kings average (five). CJ Velleman has won four turnovers to date this season, the equal fifth most in the competition despite his side only having played one fixture; no player has won more than four in a single game this year. This game may well get ugly for the home team. The Chiefs should win by at least 20 points.


Southern Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Sithembiso Sithole, 17 Martin Bezuidenhout, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Cyril-John Velleman, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Jaco van Tonder.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Glen Fisiiahi, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Johan Bardoul, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Mitchell Graham.    
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Atu Moli, 19 James Tucker, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Sam McNicol.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Rodney Bonaparte (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

The plaudits flew thick and fast between Durban and Cape Town this week, but the fake cordiality will fly out the window at Newlands on Saturday.

Derbies between the Stormers and Sharks are always testy, often spiteful.

The Stormers are among four unbeaten teams, with two wins from two starts - the others being the Brumbies, Lions and Sharks, all on nine points.

Sharks Director of Rugby said this is a significant game, the pecking order in the South African conference will sort itself out in the next few weeks.

"We believe this will be our sternest test," Gold told a media briefing.

He spoke of having lost key individuals like Patrick Lambie and Jean Deysel to injury.

However, he is confident the Sharks have the dept to deal with the disruptions.

"This weekend will be another step up, at a packed Newlands.

"We will have to play the right game and be on it for the full 80 minutes."

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck, who was in an equally magnifying mood, said that the Durban side should prove a good test for his team - as they have raised their game defensively, and will provide the usual physical challenge up front.

"I think they are a much-improved side, certainly defensively they are a much better outfit," Fleck said at his media briefing in Cape Town.

"They are looking well organised and well drilled in that regard.

"They have got a strong scrum, they have got a strong maul and they are looking to back themselves a bit more," he added.

Recent results:
2015: Sharks won 34-12, Durban
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

Prediction: The spoils are split at three wins apiece in the six games since the Sharks beat the Stormers 26-19 in the 2012 semifinals. Four of the Stormers' last five home matches have seen the losing side in the fixture being held to single figures in the opening half. The Sharks are aiming for a sixth consecutive win in Super Rugby; the last time they went on a longer run was between 2006 and 2007 when they won a club record eight straight games. The Stormers have missed an average of only eight tackles per game so far this season and enjoy a tackling success of 92 percent, making them the best tackling team in the competition. The Sharks have averaged 550 metres over the gainline this season, the most of any team and one of only two teams (Lions) to average more than half a kilometre. These are two teams with similar styles - relying on solid set pieces and determined defence. The Stormers have looked just a bit more clinical and should win at home - by eight points.


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

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 Andrew, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Garth April, 23 Sibusiso Sithole.

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

Compiled by Jan de Koning and additional reporting by AFP

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article yu tamura 800

Cheetahs fight back to sink Sunwolves

Sat, 12 Mar 2016 12:50

REPORT: The Cheetahs came from behind to secure a morale-boosting 32-31 win over the Sunwolves at the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday.

The second half of this match was not fun at all, and it got worse as the half plodded on in Singapore's heat.

The match officials wore Japanese referees' outfits; presumably it was a home match for the Sunwolves. It must be the remotest home match in the world. Tokyo, where they played their first home match, is 5 314 km from Singapore. By jet plane they are 6½ hours away. and it's not just about distance. The maximum temperature in Tokyo was to be 8°C, in Singapore 28°C. Some home game!

A lot of the problems of the desultory second half could well be laid at the weather's door as the players became increasingly sluggish and afflicted by cramp.

It was not fun.

There was another difference from the match against the Lions in Tokyo. The crowd was smaller but more aggressive. In Tokyo nobody booed, and the crowd applauded the good things the visitors did.

Also, at half-time the Cheetahs sent on their strong men, including their better front row and muscular Boom Prinsloo. They then changed from careless kicking to short-distance pick-'n-drive. Before they scored their winning try they were bashing at the Sunwolves' line for eight playing minutes, well over nine minutes' running time, a period in which the referee played advantage several times, gave a yellow card, had two scrums, took time off to chat to the impish scrumhalves, waited while cramp was ironed out, and had two line-outs and two mauls.

By way of a contrast the first half was far livelier, thanks largely to the enterprise of the Sunwolves and their dancing feet. The Cheetahs kicked a lot and the Sunwolves ran a lot and ended the half leading 21-3, three tries to none.

The first try came early in the half. From a scrum on their right, the Sunwolves went fast left and then came back far right with quick hands. Right wing Akihito Yamada danced inside hooker Jacques du Toit to score a happy try. From far out Tusi Pisi converted. 7-0 after 4 minutes.

Sturdy Niel Marais kicked two penalty goals to make it 7-6, and then Pisi played magician yet again.

The Cheetahs were penalised on the Sunwolves left and inside their half. Pisi shaped to kick out, what any normal flyhalf would do. Instead he tapped and set the match alight with a long diagonal kick towards the right touchline where Rian Viljoen beat Raymond Rhule to the ball. He gave to Yamada who skipped away from Sias Ebersohn and scored in Shaun Venter's tackle. 14-6 after 13 minutes.

The Cheetahs took advantage of a knock-on and went left where Sergeal Petersen put a brilliant, sympathetic little chip behind the defenders. Marais ran onto it and footed the ball into in-goal where he dived on it for a try. 14-13 after 25 minutes. And the Cheetahs could have taken the lead. Venter took a tap and raced down the right touchline with Petersen unmarked on his inside. Having beaten one he kept running where a pass inside would have produced an easy try. Instead he hung on, Pisi made contact at the touchline and Venter lost the ball forward.,

The Sunwolves went right and Pisi produced another of his delightful tricks, this time a short chip to his right, which inside centre Yu Tamura collected and played inside to Yamada on his left, and the flying wing went off to score under the posts, his hat-trick try. 21-13 after 34 minutes, the half-time score.

In that half the Cheetahs had missed 12 tackles and had played second fiddle to the eager Japanese side at the breakdowns. But the Cheetahs decided that scrums and line-outs were a priority and changed four forwards at half-time and the way they set about playing the game.

The second half looked like more of the same for the Sunwolves when Pisi broke and gave to hooker Shota Horie who bounced off Rhule and flung himself over under the posts. 28-13 which became 31-13 when Pisi goaled a penalty.

There were still 37 minutes top play and the Sunwolves did not score again, though they had two kickable penalty possibilities but failed to goal them.

Uzair Cassiem came in at an angle, took a short pass from Shaun Venter and burst over for a try. 21-20 after 46 minutes.

The Cheetahs attacked through their forwards when Marais picked up a poor pass, dummied and beat some feeble tackling to score. 31-27 after 54 minutes.

Then came the lengthy period of Cheetah attack along the Sunwolves' goal-line with brave tackles and multiple infringements to keep them out till the Cheetahs rushed a line-out maul over the line for a try credited to Prinsloo. Marais's conversion hit the upright and stayed out.

There were eight minutes to play, during which the Cheetahs were not in danger of losing.

Man of the Match: I have two, both Sunwolves - Tusi Pisi and Akihito Yamada who provided joyful excitement till logistics knocked it out of them.

The scorers:

For Sunwolves:
Tries: Yamada 3, Horie
Cons: Pisi 4
Pen: Pisi

For: Cheetahs:
Tries: N Marais 2, Cassiem, Prinsloo
Cons: N Marais 3
Pens: N Marais 2

Yellow card: Edward Quirk (Sunwolves, 70 - repeated infringements)


Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa, 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Edward Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Timothy Vond, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Keith Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Yoshiya Hosoda, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Derek Carpenter, 23 Mifiposeti Paea.

Cheetahs: 15 Sias Ebersohn, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Johannes Prinsloo, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga.

Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo, Aki Aso
TMO: Takashi Hareda

Akihito Yamada (4min), Akihito Yamada (14min), Akihito Yamada (34min), and Shota Horie (38min)
Daniel Marais (24min), Uzair Cassiem (45min), Daniel Marais (53min), and Boom Prinsloo (71min)
Tusi Pisi (5min), Tusi Pisi (15min), Tusi Pisi (35min), and Tusi Pisi (39min)
Daniel Marais (25min), Daniel Marais (46min), and Daniel Marais (54min)
Tusi Pisi (43min)
Daniel Marais (7min) and Daniel Marais (10min)
Ed Quirk (70min)
VENUE Singapore ( Singapore , Singapore )
REFEREE Quinton Immelman