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Super Rugby | Cape Town
15:05 (GMT) | 12-03-2016
  • 80
The maul is repelled and the Storrmers are forced to go wide. They take it through the phases, bashing aimlessly at the Sharks till Schalk Burger knocks it on. That is FULLTIME and the Sharks strike the first big blow in the South African conference - an 18-13 win at Newlands
  • 79
Stormers have a short restart and win the ball back. They get a penalty for a high tackle and set up a line-out.
  • 77
Joe Pietersen can't add the extras -18-13 to the Sharks
  • 77
Stormers fails to find touch and JP Pietersen launches a blistering counter-attack, off-loading to Joe Pietersen - who goes over. The TMO had a couple of looks before confirming that the grounding was legel. SUBLIME stuff by Sharks' Bok flyer
  • 76
Stormers still under pressure in the scrum
  • 75
Now the Sharks' turn to cough up the ball inside the Stormers 22. Errors are going to decide this game
  • 74
Kurt Coleman, from 45m on the angle, levels the scores at 13-all
  • 73
Penalty to the Stormers on the Sharks 10m line- not rolling away quickly enough in the tackle.
  • 71
Le Roux puts another one directly into touch - momentum have shifted again.
  • 70
Kolbe fields a poor cross-field kick and launches a huge one downfield. Willie le Roux puts it directly into0 touch. Finally a break for the Stormers
  • 69
Stormers remain under pressure, as they fail to clear their lines - Sharks still non attack near Stormers 22
  • 68
Close call for the Stormers, as JP Pietersen just fails to hold onto a cross-field kick
  • 67
Sharks looking to apply the pressure inside the Stormers 22
  • 66
Another ball coughed up by the Stormers, moments after winning a crucial turnover near their 22
  • 64
Momentum certainly with the Sharks - another knock-on hands possession to the visitors deep inside the Stormers' half.
  • 62
Leyds no puts one directly into touch. Has momentum shifted to the visitors?
  • 61
Joe Pietersen, from the halfway line, p[uts the Sharks in the lead for the first time!
  • 60
Marcel Coetzee wins a breakdown penalty for the Sharks and Schalk Burger is then marched 10m for back-chat. The kitchen is getting hot ...,
  • 58
Call goes to the TMO about possible foul play and he says the elbows in the throats of opponents were 'nothing to write home about'. SHOCKING Call! Two players, Adriaanse and Ntubeni, should have been sent to the bin for their thuggery!
  • 57
Scrum penalty to the Stormers and then handbags at close range
  • 56
Stormers sending on the cavalry - an entire new front row. That was inevitable after the last scrum.
  • 55
This scrum has taken all of two minutes and then the Sharks shove the Stormers off their own ball. However, they cough the ball up again with an poor cross-field kick
  • 53
Sharks setting up an attacking line-out, but some poor passing just hands the ball over to the Stormers near the home team's 22
  • 52
Great defence by the Sharks win the visitors a penalty at the tackle
  • 51
Stormers looking to keep the ball in hand while they are a man down. Sharks again forced to make plenty of tackles.
  • 49
Kurt Coleman, from near touch, pushes one wide
  • 48
Sharks penalised just inside their 22 for not releasing the tackled player
  • 47
Joe Pietersen adds the extras and it is all tied up at 10-all
  • 46
Siya Kolisi will spend 10 minutes in the sin bin for his illegal act - a professional foul.
  • 46
The Sharks get a penalty TRY as Kolisi kicks the ball out of Reinach's hand.
  • 45
Sharks produce a sublime counter attack and win a penalty inside the Stormers 22, as the home team gets desperate on defence.
  • 43
Stormers produce a promising backline move down the left touchline, but a grubber and knock-on hands possession back to the Sharks just outside their 22.
  • 42
An early exchange of kicks, with Reinach winning the mini battle.
  • 41
Joe Pietersen gets the second half underway.

Half Time

  • 40
Sharks struggling to break through the Stormers' defence and Joe Pietersen eventually opts for a cross-field kick. They win the ball from the kick, but then cough it up again. Charnce wasted as the hotter for HALFTIME sounds. See you in 10 minutes.
  • 38
Sharks enjoying territorial advantage, but just not clinical enough to make it count
  • 36
Now the Sharks' turn to take it through the phases and they cough it up near the Stormers 22
  • 34
Sharks making a few too many unforced errors in Stormers territory - if they are a bit more clinical they will get some big rewards
  • 32
Joe Pietersen is just wide and fails to close the gap
  • 31
Sharks rewarded for some great pressure play and Pietersen has another shot at goal.
  • 29
Kurt Coleman adds the extras - 10-3
  • 28
A sublime cross-field kick by Kolbe finds Leolin Zass and he strolls over
  • 27
Sharks forced to make plenty of tackles on or around their 22m line
  • 25
Stormers again cough up the ball, this time inside the Sharks 22, after a few phases
  • 24
Referee now talks to both front rows about the continues problems at scrum time. Free kick to the Stormers
  • 23
Stormers conti nue to take it through the phases and make their way upfield, but near the Sharks 22 Kolbe knocks it on
  • 21
Sharks continue to flood the breakdown and the Stormers are struggling to get quick ball
  • 19
Joe Pietersen, from 40m on the angle, gets the Sharks on the board - 3-all!
  • 18
Now it is the Sharks- turn to earn a penalty in a kickable position, as they flood the breakdown again
  • 16
Kurt Coleman slots the penalty as the Stormers take the lead - 3-0
  • 15
Sharks penalised for a no-arms tackle by Daniel du Preez - TMO spotted that one
  • 13
Sharks penalised for offside near halfway
  • 12
Sharks take the ball through a few phases, before coughing it up near the Stormers 22
  • 11
Referee loses patience and penalises the Stormers
  • 10
Another scrum being reset -
  • 9
Plenty of aimless and shockingly poor kicking from both sides now
  • 8
Stormers under enormous pressure at the line-out and Jano Vermaak coughs the ball up
  • 6
Sharks driving the Stormers back from the line-out and then flood the ruck, but they are penalised again. Same situation - not many players on their feet and the referee decides Sharks infringed first/most.
  • 5
Sharks penalised at a ruck on the Stormers 22 - not too many players on their feet, the referee had a large selection to choose from
  • 4
Scrum reset and then reset again. It becomes a penalty to the Sharks.
  • 3
Sharks hold up a Stormers maul on the Sharks 22 and win a turnover
  • 2
Some big hits early on, with Eben Etzebeth in a particularly 'physical' mood
  • 0
Kurt Coleman gets us underway here at Newlands
  • -5
Teams getting ready to take to the field
  • -10
Perfect weather for rugby - just a gentle breeze
  • -15
The Stormers' star-studded pack looks to hold the key for the home team, while the Sharks will hope former Stormer Joe Pietersen can give them the direction that will secure the win.
  • -20
The spoils are split at three wins apiece in the six games since the Sharks beat the Stormers 26-19 in the 2012 semifinals.
  • -30
Welcome to Newlands, where we are gearing up for the final match of Super Rugby Round Three - the Stormers versus the Sharks, a delectable all-SA derby.
Mc stormers logo 80x50
Mc sharks logo 80x50
  • 15 Cheslin Kolbe
  • 14 Dillyn Leyds
  • 13 Johnny Kotze
  • 12 Juan de Jongh
  • 11 Leolin Zas
  • 10 Kurt Coleman
  • 9 Jano Vermaak
  • 8 Schalk Burger
  • 7 Siya Kolisi
  • 6 Nizaam Carr
  • 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit
  • 4 Eben Etzebeth
  • 3 Frans Malherbe
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
  • 23 Huw Jones
  • 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis
  • 21 Nic Groom
  • 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 19 JD Schickerling
  • 18 Vincent Koch
  • 17 Oliver Kebble
  • 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni
  • 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
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 joe pietersen sharks2 800

Pietersen show sends Stormers packing

Sat, 12 Mar 2016 17:23

REPORT: Joe Pietersen and namesake JP Pietersen combined to produce a rare moment of magic as the Sharks sent the Stormers packing - with an 18-13 win in their Super Rugby showdown at Newlands on Saturday.

What a marvellous game of rugby!  There was just so much to it as two excellent sides went hammer and tongs, intense from the first whistle to the last, with skill and heroic endeavour. It was engrossing.

The Sharks probably deserved to win. They were intense about what they were doing. They defended like Trojans, they won the 50-50 ball and they outscrummed the Stormers, a rare feat. They were clearly well prepared and highly motivated.

Everything that happened in the match seemed to happen at breakneck speed, and it lasted the full 80 minutes.

There were 31 372 spectators at Newlands, fewer than there were for the Bulls game but this in fact was a better game of rugby - disappointing to lose, but wonderful to watch and it was over in a flash.

And the winning score came like a bolt from the blue. just when things looked harmless and settled, there was JP Pietersen cutting the Stormers to ribbons with the one great run of the match. One careless kick, one poor chase, two poor tackle attempts and the match was won/lost. It happened in a flash.

The Stormers scored first when Daniel du Preez was penalised for one of those armless tackles at the shins of Eben Etzebeth, sometimes called a grasscutter and then, three minutes later, Joe Pietersen levelled the scores when Etzebeth was penalised at a tackle. Three-all after 19 minutes. Tied up, but in fact the Stormers were having the better of the game. They were the ones playing wide and doing so at speed, but the Sharks stood their ground and fought back. The try, when it came, was a surprise.

The Stormers were in the Sharks' half and going left when fullback Cheslin Kolbe chipped to his left. It seemed to be going too far. The ball was going to bounce out. Willie le Roux was covering but there was big, 20-year-old Leolin Zas racing down the left wing, his left hand up to the ball bouncing high. He managed to get it in front of Le Roux's nose and in a flash he was over for a try which Coleman converted. 10-3 after 29 minutes. And that was the half-time score.

In one incident before half-time Nizaam Carr won a turnover at a tackle and gave to Schalk Burger about 10m outside the Stormers 22. Burger kicked down to Willie le Roux who returned the kick. The upshot was a line-out to the Sharks inside the Stormers' 22 and they attacked. That was not a good kick but when Joe Pietersen kicked a high diagonal from left to right, Odwa Ndungane caught it. That was a good kick if you believe that a kick should be judged by where and when you next get the ball.

In the second half there was another example of a poor kick when Zas ran down the Stormers' left and chipped. The Sharks countered down their left with speed and vigour. The Stormers were penalised at a tackle about 12 metres from their line. Cobus Reinach tapped and charged at the line. He was stopped but the Sharks were hot on the attack and then Reinach ran at a diagonal towards the goal post. Tackled by Coleman, Reinach stretched for the post's padding but the ball was dislodged from his grasp and Jano Vermaak cleared.

This led to a TMO examination in which it was clear that Siya Kolisi's left boot had made contact with the ball, dislodging it. It has long been a serious infringement  to kick the ball from the grasp of a player stretching in a tackle to score a try, and this has been stressed recently.

The upshot was a penalty try, which also meant that Kolisi was off to the sin bin. During his absence the Sharks did not score but after his return Burger was penalised at a tackle and Pietersen goaled. 13-10 to the Sharks after 60 minutes.

The Sharks were on top until André Esterhuizen lifted Burger up in a tackle and dumped him. The Sharks were penalised and Coleman goaled from the Sharks' 10-metre line. 13-13 with six minutes to play.

Coleman then kicked downfield from with in his 22 and angled to the right. JP Pietersen caught the ball just inside his own half and, after a quiet game, burst into life racing downfield, past Huw Jones, handing off Nick Groom, and, confronted by Coleman, he passed to Joe Pietersen - Pietersen to Pietersen - who raced for the line, managing to get the ball down in Kolbe's tackle.

It was a pity that the match had to end.

Man of the Match: Marcell Coetzee, the captain who epitomised everything that was good about hsi team in the game - strong in carrying the ball, strong and determined in the tackle, brave and efficient at the breakdown - a great team man.

The scores:

For the Stormers:
Con: Coleman
Pens: Coleman 2

For the Sharks:
Penalty try, Joe Pietersen
Con: Joe Pietersen
Pens: Joe Pietersen 2

Yellow card: Siya Kolisi (Stormers, 46 - professional foul, kicking the ball out of a player's hand)


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)


Leolin Zas (28min)
Joe Pietersen (77min)
Kurt Coleman (29min)
Joe Pietersen (47min)
Kurt Coleman (16min) and Kurt Coleman (74min)
Joe Pietersen (19min) and Joe Pietersen (61min)
Siya Kolisi (46min)
VENUE Cape Town
REFEREE Mike Fraser (New Zealand)