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Super Rugby | Brisbane
08:40 (GMT) | 19-03-2016
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Stay tuned and join us for our coverage of the Lions versus the Cheetahs at 15.05 GMT
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The away team finally make it through the 22. Penalty inside the 22. A chance to level the scores now for West and he secures the 3 points to level the scores
  • 81
The Blues can't get passed the 22 of the Reds but keeping the ball in play
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MacDonald trying to force his way through the defense. Blues stuck at the 22.
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A missed pass by the Blues. The ball is kicked into touch as the Blues receive a penalty. Line-out at the 22
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The ball is kicked into touch at the 22 line and Blues win the ball and clear
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Scrum now at the 10 meter. Scrum reset and the Reds push the Blues back and receive a penalty
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The Blues right back in it as they contest the ruck at their own 10 meter
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West adds the extras
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The Blues now making good ground and are just outside the 5 meter. Inches from the line and the referee calls for a TMO. McGahan gets the TRY
  • 72
The ball kicked into touch just outside the 10 meter and the maul pushing the Blues back.
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Scrum reset. The Reds make it out of the scrum with a penalty
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The Blues come close but they fumble the ball and the Reds come away with scrum and now an organised defense
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A sneaky kick forward but the ball is out for a line-out at the 5 meter line of the Reds
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Kerevi looking to step through the defense but is brought down quickly. Scrum at the center field
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McIntyre looking over the ball again now and fails to add 3 points
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The ball now in the 22 and the Reds get another penalty
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The try scorer fails to adds the extras
  • 60
McIntyre with the composed plays offloads and gets it back again to pass the line for a TRY
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Ruck inside the 22 and the Reds mustering the defense but the clearance is there
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The ball now in the Blues' side of the field at the 10 meter. Scrum now at the 10 meter. West with a chip across the field and the Blues now inside the 22
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McIntyre adds the extras
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Reds come away with the ball and the pass to Nabuli sees him take a quick step to break through the defense and offloads the ball to Kerevi who scores the TRY
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The scrum at a stalemate for a full 7 seconds as both team exert a tremendous amount of force. Scrum reset
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Frisby lobs the ball in the air and Ioane misses the catch. Scrum at the center field
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Scrum at the center field. The Reds pushing the away team back and they win the ball. McIntyre kicks the ball into touch in the mid field
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The Blues struggling to make it into the 22. They make it through but the referee blows for a knock on
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The referee blows as the line-out contest for the ball gets messy. Scrum at the Reds' 10 meter line and they come forward
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The Reds with the maul up field at the 10 meter
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The turnover is there and the Blues pushing forward now just outside the 22. The ball is out a line-out
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Reds come away with the ball but the turnover is there and as well as the clearance. Play resets and the Reds with the ball at mid field
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The ball now on the 22 and a crunching tackle against Kerevi sees the Reds lose possession. Scrum at the 22
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Line-out in mid field for the Reds. Their line-outs have been questionable lately. Penalty given to the the Reds and McIntyre kicks it into touch around the 22
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The second half is get underway

Half Time

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The horn sounds in the background and the Reds get the scrum underway. Reds get another penalty in the scrum. Kicked into touch but the Reds squander their line-out again. The referee blows for the end of first half. HALF TIME
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The referee calls the captain and has a word about his players causing problems. McIntyre kicks the ball into touch when the game resumes.
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McIntyre now looking for another 3 points. And he sends the ball straight down the middle
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Clearance by the Blues this time but not into touch as Hunt catches it just before it passes the chalk. Penalty against the Blues
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The Reds lose another line-out and the Blues now with the ball just outside the 22 but the clearance is there and now the ball is at the opposite end of the field
  • 35
Another penalty to the Reds. McIntyre clears and kick s the ball into touch at the center field
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Ioane fumbles the ball and gives Reds a chance to escape the pressure with a scrum.
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Play gets underway and and both teams lobbing the ball across the field. The ball finally drops in the Reds half and Hall makes a great run inside the 5 meter line but the defense is there
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McIntyre adds the extras
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Another penalty towards the Reds, the second given by the away team in a scrum
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The maul is there just outside the 22 of the Blues. Scrum, and scrum reset
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The Reds now in possession at the mid field. Another penalty towards the Reds. McIntyre kicks it into touch in a good area around the 22
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Penalty to the Reds, McIntyre looking to shorten the lead but misses
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Another line-out and the Reds get the ball this time. The ball now in the 10 meter area of the Blues. Scrum up field
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A cheeky kick forward by the Reds and the chase comes. Line-out at the 22 of the away team. But Blues come away with the ball
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The Reds trying to play their way from deep out of their half and succeeding. Penalty towards the Blues; Reds player not releasing the ball
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The Blues now inside the own half and the lob kick forward for them to chase. The turnover is there and McIntyre clears
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West misses the conversatin
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McIntyre with the restart and the Blues in possession at their 10 meter line. A marvelous break comes from Visinia and the offload to Hall to score the TRY
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Penalty to the Blues in a good position at the 22. He funnels the ball through the middle
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The game level again and the Blues with the ball now. The ball is kicked into touch at the 22 line of the home team
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McIntyre serves the ball to just make it between the posts
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A wonderful break by Sautia catching the ball out of the air and bursting forward
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And the extras are added by West
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Wonderful work by Ioane who makes the break into space and the offload comes to West or secures the TRY
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McIntyre intercepts the ball but fumbles it. Knock on and the referee blows for a scrum. Scrum reset. And the ball is in play outside the 5 meter line of the home team
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The turnover is there but an interception by the Blues sees them push passed the 22 now in the 7h phase
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Scrum up field outside the 22 of the Blues. The away team comes away with the ball and Gibson almost with the break but is just caught
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They finally win possession and the clearance comes. Reds right back at it in at the just outside the 22
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The Reds looking to enter the 22 but the away team holding firm
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The ball now with the Blues at center field but the turnover comes. Penalty towards the Reds and they kick the ball into touch
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The referee, Andrew Lees, gets the game underway
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The players now leaving the tunnel
  • -5
Welcome to Brisbane where Round 4 Super Rugby where the Reds take on the Blues
Mc reds logo 80x50
Mc blues logo 80x50
  • 1 Sef Faagase
  • 2 Andrew Ready
  • 3 Greg Holmes
  • 4 Cadeyrn Neville
  • 5 Rob Simmons
  • 6 Hendrik Tui
  • 7 Waita Setu
  • 8 Jake Schatz
  • 9 Nick Frisby
  • 10 Jake McIntyre
  • 11 Eto Nabuli
  • 12 Anthony Fainga'a
  • 13 Samu Kerevi
  • 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia
  • 15 Karmichael Hunt
  • 16 Mathew Mafi
  • 17 Pettowa Paraka
  • 18 Sam Talakai
  • 19 Ben Matwijow
  • 20 Curtis Browning
  • 21 Scott Gale
  • 22 Sam Greene
  • 23 Ayumu Goromaru
  • 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi
  • 2 James Parsons
  • 3 Charlie Faumuina
  • 4 Patrick Tuipulotu
  • 5 Josh Bekhuis
  • 6 Jerome Kaino
  • 7 Blake Gibson
  • 8 Steven Luatua
  • 9 Bryn Hall
  • 10 Ihaia West
  • 11 Tevita Li
  • 12 George Moala
  • 13 Male Sa'u
  • 14 Rieko Ioane
  • 15 Lolagi Visinia
  • 16 Quentin MacDonald
  • 17 Nic Mayhew
  • 18 Sione Mafileo
  • 19 Hoani Matenga
  • 20 Kara Pryor
  • 21 Akira Ioane
  • 22 Billy Guyton
  • 23 Matt McGahan
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 samu kerevi reds tackled 800

Late West penalty saves Blues' blushes

Sat, 19 Mar 2016 10:35

REPORT: An Ihaia West penalty after the final hooter handed the Blues a 25-25 draw with the Reds in Queensland on Saturday.

Just when it looked as if the Reds would win their first match of the season, the Blues came back in exciting fashion to draw the match which had some bizarre features that could  cause conversation with adamant thoughts and statements.

It was a match of fluctuating fortunes. In the first half it looked as if the Blues were sailing to victory. In the first half of the second half it looked as if the Reds were racing to victory. And then the Blues fought back and settled for a draw.

It was clear at the last penalty with the score 25-22 that the Blues' goal-kicker Ihaia West wanted to kick for a line-out and a chance to win but according to Steven Luatua, talking for the captain after the match, the call came from on high to kick for goal, which they did. Then the final whistle went.  This penalty was eminently kickable because the Blues were attacking. Down a man, they were still attacking.

They were down a man because prop Sione Mafileo had been sent to the sin bin after a team warning about scrum penalties.

That warning came after no fewer than eight penalties at scrums against the Blues. There was a penalty for standing up in the front row but most were for not pushing straight, wheeling the scrum, not 'earning the turn'. Yet there is nothing in the laws that suggests that  standing up in a scrum is an infringement and no clear and obvious law that says wheeling the scrum is of itself illegal, though it seems that there are referees' laws about running around and earning the turn. When the penalty count at scrums gets to nine against one side in the match's 15 scrums, there is something seriously wrong.

West kicked off for the Blues and they did the early attacking, doing a phase routine. Then suddenly as they went left from a line-out, teenager Rieko Ioane took a short pass from West and burst between Jake McIntyre and Anthony Fainga'a and gave back to West who swept over unimpeded for the try which he converted. 7-0 after 10 minutes. But the Reds were soon back on level terms with an excellent try.

Blues' fullback Lolagi Visinia kicked downfield and the Reds got possession. Flyhalf McIntyre hoofed a high ball to his left where bulky Chris Feauai-Sautia beat Tevita Li  for the ball. Feauai-Sautia easily ran round Luatua and just got past the attempts of Male Sa'u and George Moala to tackle him to score in the right corner. From touch McIntyre converted. 7-7.

When hooker Andrew Ready was penalised for being offside, West regained the lead for the Blues. 10-7  after 16 minutes. And two minutes later they went still further ahead with a great, 60-metre try.

They were going left when Charlie Faumuina gave a sympathetic pass to Visinia about 12 metres inside the Blues' half. The tall fullback dummied, ran and just short of the Reds' 10-metre line passed inside to Hall who raced some 40 metres to score. 15-7 after 18 minutes and the Blues looked in charge.

Frisby countered and kicked ahead, but Jerome Kaino saved. Then, for the second time in the match, the Blues were penalised at a scrum and McIntyre goaled.  15-10.

The Blues blew a great chance. Bryn Hall broke on the right and Sa'u was close, brought down by a great tackle by Nick Frisby. The Blues went wide but with a three-man overlap Rieko Ioane knocked on.

Frisby again got his side on the attack when he kicked a long way downfield and chased. West was penalised for being offside and McIntyre goaled. 15-13 after 38 minutes.

A neat try gave the Reds the lead. From a scrum on their left, they went right. McIntyre did a runaround with Frisby who gave to left wing Eto Nabuli. Nabuli burst between Sa'u and Moala andi passed inside to Samu Kerevi who sprinted to the posts. 20-15 after 55 minutes.

The Reds went further ahead with a great try. West kicked high into Reds territory and Karmichael Hunt counterattacked. He was tackled but the Reds went wide left where McIntyre broke and have to Nabuli who in turn gave to Frisby  who grabbed it one-handed and raced down towards the goal-line. Five metres out he gave to McIntyre who scored in the left corner. 25-15 after 61 minutes after the conversion attempt gave the goal posts a wide berth.

The Blues attacked and Rieko Ioane burst for the line but was abruptly stopped by  Hunt. Still the Blues were close. They bashed and bearded Billy Guyton, the substitute scrumhalf, surfed over for the try. 25-22 with six exciting minutes to play.

The Reds were penalised for a deliberate knock-on by Nabuli and kicked out for a line-out. They then went through 21 phases of close passes along the 22 till time was up and the Reds were penalised. West kicked the penalty that drew the match.

Man of the Match: Nick Frisby, the liveliest and most creative player on the field, brave, calm and effective.


For the Reds:
Tries: Feauai-Sautia, Kerevi, McIntyre
Cons: McIntyre 2
Pens: McIntyre 2

For the Blues:
Tries: West, Hall, McGahan
Cons: West 2
Pens: West 2

Yellow card: Sione Mafileo (Blues, repeated infringements - collapsing the scrum, 78)


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, 1 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)

Chris Feauai-Sautia (12min), Samu Kerevi (55min), and Jake McIntyre (60min)
Ihaia West (10min), Bryn Hall (17min), and Matt McGahan (73min)
Jake McIntyre (13min) and Jake McIntyre (56min)
Ihaia West (11min) and Ihaia West (74min)
Jake McIntyre (32min) and Jake McIntyre (38min)
Ihaia West (16min) and Ihaia West (83min)
VENUE Brisbane
REFEREE Andrew Lees (Australia)