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Super Rugby | Tokyo
04:15 (GMT) | 19-03-2016
  • 80
The game runs its predictable conclusion. That is FULL-TIME here in Tokyo. The Rebels won comforbly against a Sunwolves team still way off the pace.
  • 79
Scrum reset. Sunwolves have plenty of work to do if they want to be competitive.
  • 78
Sunwolves looking t run from inside their 22, but another 50-50 becomes a knock-on and hands possession back to the Rebels.
  • 76
Rebels now playing with total freedom - game is over as a contest some time ago and they look a class above
  • 75
Eventually the turnover come - a knock-on, from a big hit, just inside the Rebels 22. Sunwolves are not going to win many games if their continue to cough uo ball like that
  • 74
Sunwolves now enjoying a period of possession deep inside the Rebels territory, but progress is slow
  • 73
Rebels still winning the collissions - the visitors' defence shutting down numerous raids
  • 71
Dan Hawkins adds the conversion - 35-9
  • 70
Sean McMahon scores his team's fourth try as the Sunwolves cough up the ball at a tackle inside their own 22
  • 68
Rebels are not flawless. They just coughed up a ball inside the Sunwolves' 22, after several minutes of phase play
  • 67
Then they have quality players like Adam Thomson, who just won them another penalty at the breakdown. The Rebels won the key areas - set pieces and breakdown - which is why they are in control.
  • 65
In contrast the Rebels look far more secure when they have the ball in hand. They are comfortable making ground, metre-by-metre
  • 64
Now add in some sloppy passing and it is clear why the Sunwolves are trailing by almost 20 points
  • 63
Sunwolves' option-taking also very ordinary - they keep kicking possession away and allowing the Rebels to relieve pressure
  • 62
The Sunwolves opt for a scrum, being a man up in the pack. Great wrap-around move by Pisi, but the Sunwolves are penalised for holding on in the tackle - just metres out
  • 60
Sunwolves awake from their mid-match slumber and launch a great attack. They win a penalty just metres from the line and Lopeti Timani is sent to the sin bin for a shoulder charge
  • 58
Jack Debreczeni adds the connversion and at 28-9 there is a mountain to climb for the home team
  • 57
Tom English goes over for a try that puts the Rebels in bonus-point range - a sublime wrap-around move from a line-out on the Sunwolves' 10m line.
  • 55
Rebels now stealing the Sunwolves' line-outs almost at will. In desperation the home team concedes a penalty near the Rebels' 10m line.
  • 54
Jack Debreczeni, from 42m out, stretches the lead to 21-9 - Sunwolves losing touch here!
  • 53
Scrum penalty to the Rebels on the Sunwolves' 10m line
  • 52
Sunwolves' error count is rising - not the way to get back into the game. That forward pass was a bit too obvious to ignore by the referee
  • 50
Jack Debreczeni adds the axtras - 18-9
  • 49
Placid slips another half-hearted tackle and offloads to Ben Meehan, who is over for the Rebels' second try
  • 48
Sunwolves starting to fall off the tackles now. Rebels inside the opposition 22
  • 47
Ben Meehan drives the Sunwolves back to their own 22
  • 46
Harumichi Tatekawa cuts the line, but a couple of phases later the Sunwolves cough up the ball near Rebels 10m line
  • 45
Rebels working their way towards the Sunwolves 22, better ball control here - but the referee rules a pass was forward. Not much in terms of consistency, because we've seen other let go
  • 43
Tusi Pisis, from bang in front, slots the penalty to narrow the gap to 9-11
  • 42
Rebels go to within 5m again, but a knock-on stops that attack. Referee brings them back for an offside penalty
  • 41
Second half is underway ...Riaan Viljoen the kicker. Rebels forced into touch on their own 22 - great start for Sunwolves

Half Time

  • 40
Sunwolves look to launch one last raid in the first half, but a knock-on brings that attack to an end near the halfway line. That brings the first half to an end. There were encouraging moments, but mostly a very scrappy half, See you in 10 minutes.
  • 39
Now Adam Thomson wins a turnover. Rebels seem to be playing with a bit more urgency now.
  • 38
Lopeti Timani wins a crucial steal just 5m from his line, as the Rebels escape this raid
  • 37
Sunwolves straight back on the attack from the restart.
  • 36
Jack Debreczeni stretch the lead back to five points - 11-6 - with another penalty.
  • 35
Rebels win a penalty, for offside, just outside the Sunwolves 22.
  • 34
Plenty of aimless kicking now. This game is hovering between small moments of entertaining rugby and long periods of scrappy aimless play.
  • 33
Some shocking high tackles overlook by the referee at the moment.
  • 32
Sunwolves get the ball and go wide to the left. They are a metre out, but get penalised for holding on in the tackle. Great defence by the Rebels
  • 31
Sunwolves look to set a drive, but the Rebels stop that in its tracks. The ball is put in the air towards the right win, but there is another knock-on. Scrum feed to the Rebels inside their 22
  • 29
The Sunwolves turn it into a scrappy kick-and-chase and the Rebels are forced to scramble inside their 22. They hack it into touch.
  • 28
Tusi Pisis makes it a two-point game again as he slots the penalty - 6-8
  • 27
From the restart the Rebels are penalised inside their 22. Only the referee knows what that was for.
  • 26
Jack Debreczeni, from just over 40m out on the angle, slots the penalty to stretch the lead to 8-3
  • 25
Now the referee speaking to the Sunwolves about repeated offside play.
  • 24
Rebels made good ground and worked their way into the Sunwolves 22, only to be penalised as the tackle.
  • 22
Another high bomb and Rebels win a penalty as Placid is played in the air
  • 20
Very scrappy game now - combination of the conditions and the players not being focussed enough
  • 18
Sunwolves attempt an elaborate line-out move inside the Rebe;ls 22, but only succeed in knocking on the ball.
  • 16
Rebels struggling to get out their half now - Sunwolves keeping up the pressure
  • 14
Sunwolves look to hit back straight and Rebels defence under pressure, but they hold out!
  • 13
Jack Debreczeni can't add the extras, but the Rebels lead 5-3!
  • 12
After a couple of bashes in the middle of the field the Rebels go wide to the right and Jordy Reid is over for the game's first try.
  • 11
Sunwolves forced to make plenty of tackles now.
  • 10
Jack Debreczeni hits the line and the Rebels go close. There is a pile of bodies on the line, but the referee brings them back for a scrum, 5m out.
  • 9
Scrum reset and the referee is talking to both teams now.
  • 8
Don't forget to join us as we head to Christchurch got the game between the seven-time champion Crusaders and the Kings - another team that has looked well off the pace this season.
  • 8
Neat grubber catches Riaan Viljoen offguard and he knocks on inside his 22. The Rebels win an attacking scrum feed.
  • 7
Ball kicked back to Rebels and there is a knock-on. Scrum free kick to the Rebels near the Sunwolves 10m line. They opt for another scrum.
  • 5
Sunwolves penalised for holding on in the tackle, but Jack Debreczeni doesn't find touch.
  • 4
Still plenty of kicking from both teams and it is to be expected in these conditions. Sunwolves win a mini battle there as they win a line-out feed just inside the Rebels half.
  • 3
Tusi Pisi, from 42m out, just to the right of the uprights, slots the fist penalty.
  • 2
Rebels penalised on their own 10m line for a breakdown offence
  • 1
In these conditions there will be plenty of high bombs and it will be important to hold onto possession
  • 0
Rebels gets us underway in Tokyo as the rain comes down
  • -3
Teams are taking to the field.
  • -5
Teams going through their final pre-match routines at an overcast Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium. Looks like it is going to be a game played in wet conditions
  • -10
Defence, or rather a lack of it, has cost the Sunwolves dearly at times - as was put on display in such inglorious fashion when the Cheetahs came from behind to edge them by one point last week.
  • -15
The Sunwolves are still looking for their first win in Super Rugby.
  • -20
The Rebels have won two of their three matches so far, s they look to finally inject themselves into the 'real contenders' category.
  • -30
Japan's Sunwolves continue to make history, hosting the Melbourne Rebels in Tokyo. The Rebels become the first Australian team to visit Tokyo for a Super Rugby game.
Mc rebels logo 80x50
  • 1 Keita Inagaki
  • 2 Shota Horie
  • 3 Takuma Asahara
  • 4 Hitoshi Ono
  • 5 Tim Bond
  • 6 Yoshiya Hosoda
  • 7 Andrew Durutalo
  • 8 Ed Quirk
  • 9 Atsushi Hiwasa
  • 10 Tusi Pisi
  • 11 Mifiposeti Paea
  • 12 Yu Tamura
  • 13 Harumichi Tatekawa
  • 14 Akihito Yamada
  • 15 Riaan Viljoen
  • 16 Takeshi Kizu
  • 17 Masataka Mikami
  • 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga
  • 19 Shinya Makabe
  • 20 Tomás Leonardi
  • 21 Kaito Shigeno
  • 22 Derek Carpenter
  • 23 Yasutaka Sasakura
  • 1 Toby Smith
  • 2 Pat Leafa
  • 3 Laurie Weeks
  • 4 Luke Jones
  • 5 Lopeti Timani
  • 6 Jordy Reid
  • 7 Sean McMahon
  • 8 Adam Thomson
  • 9 Ben Meehan
  • 10 Jack Debreczeni
  • 11 Tom English
  • 12 Mitch Inman
  • 13 Tamati Ellison
  • 14 Dominic Shipperley
  • 15 Jonah Placid
  • 16 James Hanson
  • 17 Cruze Ah-Nau
  • 18 Jamie Hagan
  • 19 Sam Jeffries
  • 20 Scott Fuglistaller
  • 21 Nic Stirzaker
  • 22 Dan Hawkins
  • 23 Sione Tuipolotu
Mc article agust n creevy   ra l p rez jaguares 800


Fri, 18 Mar 2016 01:01

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

There are two significant matches on Super Saturday - both historical events.

First there is Japan newcomers the Sunwolves, who host the Rebels at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium - the first Australian team to play a Super Rugby match in Tokyo.

The next two matches may well both be blow-outs - the Crusaders at home to the Southern Kings in Christchurch and the Reds under pressure to follow last week's maiden win for the season with a second triumph against a desperate Blues outfit.

Then there is the all South African derby between the Lions and Cheetahs in Johannesburg - with both teams having travelled back home this week after two early tour, the Lions from Dunedin in New Zealand and the Cheetahs from Singapore.

After that follows one of the matches of the weekend - the unbeaten Brumbies head to Newlands full of confidence after three rounds that have seen wins  over 2015 beaten finalists the Hurricanes and 2014 champions Waratahs.

The Stormers last week suffered their first loss of the year to the Sharks - the only other unbeaten side in the expanded 18-team competition this year.

The New Zealand conference leaders, the Chiefs, feature in Super Rugby's debut appearance in Argentina - where they play the Jaguares.

We look at the Saturday, March 19, matches below!
Japan's Sunwolves will continue to make history, this week by hosting the Melbourne Rebels in Tokyo.

The Sunwolves might be Super Rugby's newcomers, but there will be some familiar faces at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Rebels foundation player Laurie Weeks said the Japanese side will be an "exiting" team.

"Their games have been close, especially the one-point [loss] against the Cheetahs," Weeks said in an interview on the Rebels website.

"I know personally up front that I've got a battle against two very good international front row forwards in Shota [Horie] and Gaki [Keita Inagaki], good friends of ours so it will be very interesting."

Sunwolves captain Horie, who scored his new franchise's first ever Super Rugby try against the Lions in the opening round, made 18 appearances for the Rebels in 2013 after becoming the first Japanese international to sign with an Australian Super Rugby franchise.

Horie quickly became a fan favourite in Melbourne, going on to win the Rebels' People's Choice award in 2014.

"He's an excellent player, if you watch any of his games he's one of the best players on the field and Gaki is very physical and strong in the scrum so it's going to be a big challenge but looking forward to it.

"Shota is a very dynamic player, strong leader and one of those hookers you'll see very comfortable in the backline.

"He had the silkiest hands in our team when he was here and he doesn't mind a little kick or two so he's a very dangerous and exciting player."

Rebels coach Tony McGahan also struck a cautionary note ahead of Saturday's historic outing.

"We're expecting a very passionate, fast paced and technical game from the Sunwolves on Saturday," McGahan said.

"For a new side, they continue to impress with their development, and we expect nothing less again this weekend, so we're prepared for a difficult challenge in a new environment for many of the players."
Recent results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Sunwolves' 28 first half points against the Cheetahs in Round Three was the equal most points scored by any team in the opening half of any match across the first three weekends of Super Rugby. This will be the Sunwolves' first Super Rugby encounter with a team outside of South Africa. The Rebels become the first Australian team to travel to Japan to face the Sunwolves, though they've won only one of their 21 matches away from home outside of Australia. Mitch Inman has made 35 carries this season, the third most of any Australian player and the sixth most in the competition. The Sunwolves have won the fewest total line-outs (11) and have the lowest line-out success (73 percent) of any team in the competition so far this season. It is likely to be a close contest for at least the first hour, with the Rebels to sneak a win with a couple of late scores - by 10 to 15 points.


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

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 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Cruze Ah Nau, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Dan Hawkins, 23 Stone Tuipulotu.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Noriaki Hashimoto (Japan)
TMO: Takashi Hareda (Japan)
The Kings will feel insulted that the Crusaders are sending a team with a decidedly fringe feel to it into battle.

Nine changes, including 'resting' All Black Kieran Read, says it all.

Coach  Todd Blackadder has also given several other internationals - like Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Andy Ellis - a break ahead of the more demanding road trip to South Africa and Perth.

Like his coach injured fullback Marty McKenzie took the diplomatic route when fronting up to the media this week.

"We have tried to put the Kings' poor form in the back of our minds," McKenzie said - who withdrew from the team, after initially being named at fullback - on the advice of the medical team.

McKenzie had a tight hamstring after training on Thursday and has been withdrawn as a precautionary measure.

"We are really looking to have a massive game," the injured back said.

Kings coach Deon Davids produced the expected list of cliches when asked about his team of underdogs.

"The Crusaders are a well-balanced team and we are expecting this match to be an exceptional challenge for us as a team," he said.

Davids said the team was focused on improving on their performance game by game.

"We have only had one practice session so far this week, due to the long trip, so we have tried to cover some of the issues we identified from the last game.

"We have also spoken a lot about concentration, specifically in the 10 minutes before and after half time," he said.

Kings captain Steven Sykes also spoke about a "tough game" against the Crusaders.

"I told the team that this is probably going to be the toughest game of the competition," Sykes said.

"The Crusaders are a great team, In all my years playing, I have never played against a weak Crusaders team," he said.

Sykes said the forwards were confident in their set piece, having held their own in the first two games of the season.

"I think the guys are ready for the match, we just need to focus on cutting out some of the soft moments in the game and making less errors," he added.

Previous result:
2013: Crusaders won 55-20, Christchurch

Prediction: The only previous match between these sides saw 75 points scored with 55 of those points scored by the Crusaders in Round Six, 2013. The Crusaders have kept their opponents to fewer than 10 points in the opening half of four of their last five Super Rugby matches. This will be the Kings first foray away from home since their 2013 season - which saw them accrue just one win and one draw on the road, both of which came in Australia. Nemani Nadolo averages four defenders beaten per game so far in 2016, the third most of any New Zealand-based player behind Chiefs duo Damian McKenzie and Charlie Ngatai. Kings flank Chris Cloete has won six turnovers so far this season, the equal most of any player in the competition from only two games. It would be a surprise if the Crusaders do not put 50 points past the Kings.


Crusaders: 15 Ben Volavola, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jimmy Tupou, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Leon Fukofuka, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Jone Macilai.

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

Referee: William Houston (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)
It has been a season of disappointment for both teams.

The Blues started off like a house on fire - winning all their pre-season matches and the first match of the season proper. However, they have since gone off the boil.

The Reds lost their first two matches and then axed coach Richard Graham. They lost last week, but finally showed some grit against the Rebels.

Reds co-interim coach Matt O'Connor said they took some steps forward last week, but there's still a lot to work on.

"The two things we can address immediately are our discipline and how we start the game," O'Connor said.

"That let us down last week. We've certainly got some concrete elements we can improve on as continue to develop.

"We decided it was important to stick with the team, as combinations are important and we thought there was a marked improvement last week.

"We're trying to get the most mileage out of the combinations we've had.

"The players are really excited about being back at Suncorp Stadium and putting out a performance they're proud of."

Forwards coach Glenn Moore felt the conditions - as much as the opposition - is what could trip the visitors up.

The forecast for Brisbane is a hot and humid 31ºC on Saturday.

"We know it's going to be hot and that there is going to be high humidity over there," Moore told the NZ Herald.

As a result the Blues have loaded their bench with forwards.

"The forwards have had high workloads in those games and we want to have those options open to us to us that bench," Moore added.

Recent results:
2014: Blues won 44-14, Auckland
2013: Reds won 12-11, Brisbane
2012: Reds won 23-11, Auckland
2011: Reds won 30-13, Brisbane (semifinal)
2011: Reds won 37-31, Brisbane
2010: Blues won 27-18, Brisbane

Prediction: The Reds have won four of their last five matches against the Blues, including a 30-13 semifinal triumph in 2011. The Reds have won only one of their last nine matches against New Zealand opponents. The Blues have won twice in Australia since the beginning of the 2011 season, though their last win against the Reds across the Tasman Sea came in Round 3, 2010. The Reds (13) have conceded the most penalty goals of any team so far this season and have kicked fewer than half that many (6) in reply. George Moala made eight offloads for the Blues in Round Three, double that of any other player over the weekend to leapfrog straight to the top of the season table for offloads. It will be an arm-wrestle, with the Blues edging it - the margin in single digits.


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 Pettowa Paraka, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ben Matwijow, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Greene, 23 Ayumu Goromaru.

Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Rieko Ioane, 13 Male Sa'u, 12 George Moala, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jerome Kaino (captain), 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Hoani Matenga, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Akira Ioane, 22 Billy Guyton, 23 Matt McGahan.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
There were contrasting scenes as the Lions and Cheetahs faced the media during their build-up to Saturday's derbies.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann was confronted with questions over his decision to play his son Ruan and the Golden Lions Rugby Union hit back at 'unfounded' reports of a threatening player exodus.

This comes against the background of the Lions' first loss of the season - to the Highlanders last week.

The Cheetahs, who edged the Sunwolves for their first win of the season, were in a far more jovial mood.

The GLRU said it "took notice" of a article doing the rounds about the exodus of Lions players - which include stars like Warren Whiteley, Franco Mostert and Ross Cronje.
"The GLRU was not approached for comment on the story and is appalled that information is distributed without clearing the facts with the union," the GLRU hit back in a statement.

"Although some of the players mentioned in the article have asked to play overseas during the 2016 Currie Cup season, no contracts have been signed and we are still in negotiations."

Ackermann, who said his son Ruan deserves his chance on merit, is confident the off-field sideshows will not distract his charges.

Both teams have travelled back from aboard - the Lions from Dunedin in New Zealand and the Cheetahs from Singapore.

"Hopefully we have enough left in the tank, because the Cheetahs are a quality side," Ackermann told a media briefing.

He said they won't use the travelling as an excuse - despite having flown over 50,000 kilometres from Johannesburg to Tokyo, then to Hamilton, on to Dunedin and back to Johannesburg in just over two weeks.

"There is a bye next week where they can relax and recover - ahead of the next part of the campaign," the Lions coach said.

Cheetahs captain Francois Venter said the Lions can be beaten at Ellis Park, even though they have build an impressive record on their home ground in the last couple of years.

Venter said for the Cheetahs it is vital that they maintain the momentum they gained from the come-from-behind, one-point win over the Sunwolves in Singapore last week.

"Our defence will have to improve dramatically," Venter said of a match in which they leaked four tries before securing the late win.

"The soft moments that cost us last week can't be afforded this week," he added.

Recent results:
2015: Lions won 40-17, Bloemfontein
2015: Lions won 34-29, Johannesburg
2014: Lions won 60-25, Johannesburg
2014: Lions won 21-20, Bloemfontein
2012: Cheetahs won 26-5, Welkom
2012: Lions won 27-25, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Lions have won their last four matches against the Cheetahs and have scored 134 points in their last three encounters. After falling to the Highlanders in Round Three the Lions will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time since the corresponding round last season. The Cheetahs finished their 2015 season with an away win against the Bulldogs and will now be looking to back that win up for consecutive away victories against South African opponents for the first time since Round 15, 2013. The Lions have starved their opposition of possession allowing them an average of just 12 minutes and 15 seconds of time in possession, the least of any team. The Cheetahs have the lowest scrum success rate so far this season (76 percent), they also had the lowest rate last season (73 percent). The Lions were not as bad as last week's scoreline suggest - given that two crucial tries by the Highlanders just after halftime were both illegal. And the Cheetahs have struggle with their defence all season. The Lions should win by 10 to 15 points.


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 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 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Dillon Smit, Jaco van der Walt, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Neil Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 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 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Johannes Prinsloo, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck identified the breakdown as the area where his team's encounter with the Brumbies is likely to be decided.

The Canberra-based Brumbies have made an impressive start to the season.

The Australian outfit is equal top of the try-count with 15, the same as the Chiefs, and much of their success has originated from winning the battle of the breakdown.

"We understand that we are going to be under pressure in terms of our exits, at set-piece and at the breakdown," Fleck said.

"We have spoken about it for a number of weeks. It is the breakdown with [David] Pocock, [Scott] Fardy and Stephen Moore where they put teams under massive pressure."

Fleck made no secret of the fact that they have focussed on aspects like the breakdown in training this week.

"We have identified one or two things we need to work on this week, both in terms of ourselves and the Brumbies," the coach said.

The Brumbies are looking to continue their undefeated start to the Super Rugby season.

"This weekend will be another difficult game and will pose its own challenges," coach Brumbies Stephen Larkham told a media briefing in Cape Town.

"Things have worked out pretty well for us so far, but I expect from here on teams will start to challenge us more."

Larkham said that while the Stormers have been trying to "throw the ball around a little more", their defence remains the hallmark of their game.

Recent results:
2015: Brumbies won 39-19, Cape Town (preliminary play-off match)
2015: Stormers won 25-24, Cape Town
2014: Brumbies won 25-15, Canberra
2013: Stormers won 35-22, Cape Town
2011: Stormers won 16-3, Canberra
2010: Brumbies won 19-17, Cape Town

Prediction: The Stormers have won three of their last four regular season encounters with the Brumbies and haven't lost to them on home soil in the regular season since Rd 3, 2010. The Stormers have won five and drawn one of their last eight matches at home in Super Rugby but after defeat in Round Three will be aiming to avoid consecutive losses at home for the first time since the 2011 semifinals. The Brumbies will be looking to start a Super Rugby campaign with three straight home wins for the fourth time in the last five seasons. The Brumbies have scored 15 tries in their opening three matches this season, the equal most of any team in the competition (Chiefs). The Stormers' three tries conceded this season is the fewest of any team and they've not conceded more than one try in any single quarter. The Stormers can never be written off, but the Brumbies appear to have too much class and should win by at least seven points.


Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 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 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Leolin Zas.

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Robbie Coleman, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
The two-time champion Chiefs may just walk into an ambush in Buenos Aires.

The Jaguares - who are coming off a bye following their two games in South Africa, where they beat the Cheetahs (34-33) and then lost to the Sharks (15-19) - have named a shadow Test team.

There are six changes to the side that lost to the Sharks - with players like Thomas Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Juan Martin Hernández, Jeronimo de la Fuente and Joaquin Tuculet all back.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has also made six changes, but did not have the class of players to call on that the homes side brought into the selection frame.

The key for the Chiefs is 20-year-old unflappable fullback Damian McKenzie, who heads the individual points scoring list with 57 and tops the try-scoring list with three.

Jaguares Martin Gaitan, a member of the Jaguares' coaching staff, warned of the threats posed by a "good" Chiefs team.

"They look break you down all the time, in different ways - with the ball in hand, through kicking or on defence," Gaitan said.

"They are a team with great offensive intent and always play with great pace."

He said the key to denying the Chiefs those attacking opportunities is to dominate the set pieces.

"The Chiefs are good at creating opportunities by building momentum and winning the collisions," Gaitan added.

Recent results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Jaguares head home for the first time in their Super Rugby history and will also face their first ever New Zealand opposition after a win and a loss against South African opponents. The Chiefs' 58 point haul against the Kings last weekend was their fourth most points ever in a Super Rugby match and their most since the highest scoring match in Super Rugby history in Round 2, 2010. The Chiefs have won their last two away matches outside of New Zealand by a combined score line of 82-27. The Jaguares are one of only two teams (Sharks) in the competition who are yet to concede a try in the second half of a match. James Lowe has made seven offloads this season, the equal second most of any player and one more than Chiefs teammate Charlie Ngatai who is ranked equal fourth. This is one of the most talked about games of the season and certainly the game of the weekend. The Chiefs may just run out of energy in the final quarter, which could see the Jaguares sneak a late winner - five points or less.


Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 12 Juan Martin Hernández, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Santiago García Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Roberto Tejerizo, 18 Felipe Arregui, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Matías Moroni.

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

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article tatekawa sunwolves tackle 800

Rebels run Sunwolves ragged

Sat, 19 Mar 2016 06:00

REPORT: The Rebels travelled to Japan and ran the Sunwolves into the ground in the second half to claim a convincing 35-9 victory in Tokyo on Saturday.

There was a cheerful and generous crowd at the Prince Chichibu Stadium in Tokyo on a Saturday afternoon after morning rain and they had a good first half while the Sunwolves kept in close touch, but their enthusiasm waned as the second half played out and the Melbourne Rebels pulled away to a comfortable victory.

The Sunwolves promised so much. The Rebels kicked off and the home side started running from behind their own goal-line. They did so effectively and the Rebels were penalised and Tusi Pisi goaled from 41 metres out. 3-0 after two minutes.

Play was lively, and then from a scrum, on their right, the Rebels went left. Tall Jack Debreczeni forced his way into a halfgap and gave to right wing Dom Shipperley who sped for the line. He was tackled about five metres out but the Rebels bashed away with Adam Thomson close. They then went right and Jordy Reid was over for the try. The Rebels led 5-3 after 12 minutes.

From a line-out the Sunwolves had an excellent attack with quick hands and a variety of angles till Akihito Yamada, last week's star, knocked on.

Instead it was the Rebels who scored but the Sunwolves were penalised at a tackle and Debreczeni goaled. 8-3 after 25 minutes. From the kick-off the Rebels were penalised at a tackle and Pisi goaled. 8-6 after 27 minutes.

Then came the most remarkable passage of play in the match. The Rebels were attacking and kicked ahead. Pisi got the ball next to the touchline at his right cornerpost. He kicked and the kick was partly charge, putting the Sunwolves onside. They attacked down the left and only Shipperley's intervention prevented a try. And then, hot on the attack, the Sunwolves were penalised.

Penalties certainly affected the Sunwolves' efforts. The penalty count in the match was 12-5 against them. They were penalised twice when right on the Rebels' line, destroying gilt-edged opportunities.

Another tackle penalty gave Debreczeni the chance put his side 11-6 up after 36 minutes, after which the Sunwolves attacked. Harumichi Tatekawa was close but Lopeti Timani won a turnover and the Rebels survived.

From the kick-off the to start the second half, the Sunwolves attacked and Pisi kicked his third penalty goal. 11-9 after 42 minutes.

Not long after this the Rebels took over when strong Jonah Placid beat four would-be tacklers and have to scrumhalf Ben Meehan who skipped over for a try. 18-9 after 49 minutes. From now on the Rebels had their tails up and Sunwolf enthusiasm waned.

First Debreczeni goaled a penalty and then a penalty gave the Rebels a line-out some 45 metres out on the left. They went right and left wing Tom English came racing into the line. He sped through the defence on a 50-metre run to the line for a splendid try. 28-9 after 57 minutes.

In a last hurrah the Sunwolves launched a hectic attack from a turnover in their own half. Timani was sent to the sin bin for a shoulder charge at a tackle and the Sunwolves opted for a five-metre scrum instead of the penalty in front of the posts. Again they attacked but again were penalised almost on the Rebels' line.

the Rebels were deep in the Sunwolves' half when the home side tried to run out of their own 22. The ball squired out of a breakdown and Meehan picked it up to flick a reverse pass to Mitch Inman who thundered ahead before giving to Thomson who gave to Sean McMahon who was over for the final try, converted by Daniel Hawkins who was on for Debreczeni.

Man of the Match: The candidates are probably Jack Debreczeni, Sean McMahon and, our choice, Dom Shipperley for his world on attack and defence, especially in the first half when it mattered most.


For the Sunwolves:
Pens: Pisi 3

For the Rebels:
Tries: Reid, Meehan, English, McMahon
Cons: Debreczeni 2, Hawkins
Pens: Debreczeni 3

Yellow card: Lopeti Timani (Rebels, foul play - shoulder charge, 60)


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

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 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Cruze Ah Nau, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Dan Hawkins, 23 Stone Tuipulotu.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)

Jordy Reid (12min), Ben Meehan (49min), Tom English (57min), and Sean McMahon (70min)
Jack Debreczeni (50min), Jack Debreczeni (58min), and Dan Hawkins (71min)
Tusi Pisi (3min), Tusi Pisi (28min), and Tusi Pisi (43min)
Jack Debreczeni (26min), Jack Debreczeni (36min), and Jack Debreczeni (54min)
Lopeti Timani (60min)
REFEREE Mike Fraser (New Zealand)