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Chiefs

FULL-TIME
53     10

Force

Super Rugby | Hamilton
06:35 (GMT) | 26-03-2016
  • 82
We head straight to our next match which sees the Rebels host the Highlanders
  • 81
Donald fires over the conversion! and that's FULL-TIME!!!
  • 80
Chiefs have one last attack in them as they are in possession inside the Force's 5 metre line. The forwards inch their way closer before its spread to the backline. Ngatai gets the ball in a massive hole and he has four!!!!
  • 79
Donald takes over the kicking duties but his conversion attempt slams into the left upright
  • 78
It's taken some time for a scrum to be set after the Chiefs knocked the ball on close tot he Force's 10 metre line. TIGHTHEAD! The Chiefs are back in possession and are on the attack. The ball is sent through the hands and McKenzie gets the Chiefs on the front foot. The ball finds Ngatai, who gets a hat-trick!!!
  • 76
The Chiefs are firm on defence and force a maul. The ball fails to emerge and t possession is turned over. Chiefs will have the scrum feed just inside their half of the field
  • 75
The restart brings a kicking battle and it's gone a little scrappy but the Force are in possession on their 10 metre line.
  • 74
McKenzie may smile before he kicks it but that smile it wiped off as he misses another kick at goal
  • 73
A set play sees Donald go on a wrap around with Ngatai and the replacement flyhalf fires it wide to McKenzie. He gets the ball at pace and sprints 10 metres to get over!
  • 72
The Chiefs are brilliant at the breakdown as Leitch wins them a penalty! McKenzie pops it into touch on the Force's 22 and the Chiefs are looking dangerous
  • 70
The Force picks an interception and Junior Rasolea goes sprinting away. He gets to the Chiefs' 22 and fires a long pass to Masirewa but the Chiefs' scramble defence is quick enough to get back. A brilliant tackle from behind sees the Force knock the ball on. Chiefs will have the scrum feed on their 22
  • 69
Ngatai places a grubber and goes tearing after it but the Force's cover defence collects the ball on their 5 metre line. The Force looks to boot the ball away but its charged down. Play resumes with a Chiefs scrum feed on the Force's 5 metre line
  • 68
Force seem happy to kick possession away and the Chiefs are looking to punish them once again as they rumble their way up-filed and are in possession on the Force's 10 metre line.
  • 66
McKenzie lines it up from the left touchline and he manages to curl it through the uprights for the extras
  • 65
There is no stopping the Chiefs as they are back in possession and back on the attack. Superb hands by their forwards finds Lowe on the left touchline. The wing gets the ball on the Force's 22 and using his awareness as break through tackles and grab the score!
  • 64
McKenzie fails to add the extras once agin
  • 63
The Force clears the ball up field and the Chiefs are on the counter. McKenzie takes the high ball and hands it to Cruden. The ball is recycled and Ngatai gets it outside the Force's 22! He goes on an amazing run and displays tremendous power to get over the line! TRY TIME!
  • 62
Pryor gets the ball and launches a high ball that barely makes it out of the 22. Leitch is under it but he knocks it on, under some pressure. Scrum feed to the Force just outside their 22
  • 61
Pryor gets the ball and launches a high ball that barely makes it out of the 22. Leitch is under it but he knocks it on, under some pressure. Scrum feed to the Force just outside their 22
  • 60
After a spell if scrappy play, the Force has managed to settle things and are in possession on the halfway line. They lose the ball in the contact area though and Leitch has wrapped up possession. He attempts a grubber but it rolls too far and finds touch just outside the Force's 22.
  • 59
McKenzie once again misses the conversion to the right
  • 58
Chiefs opt for the scrum just inside the Force's 22 and right in front of the posts. The Chiefs shove their way forward with Leitch in possession at the back. A neat set piece is handed from Ngatai to McKenzie who flings it to Cruden - who collects it from his ankles and hands it to Toni Pulu on the right touchline and the replacement gets the TRY!
  • 56
The pressure remains on the Force as the Chiefs are camping in and around their 22. PENALTY! Force are penalised for a tip tackle on McNicol. Angus Cottrell is sent to the bin
  • 54
Chiefs remain in possession inside the Force's 22 but the visitors are standing firm and Grant's clearance finds touch just outside his 22. Sustained pressure from the Chiefs now
  • 52
Chiefs are pinning the Force in their 22 now. It's all going the Chiefs' way as the Force are forced to kick the ball away. They find touch just outside their 22. Cheifs with the line-out throw-in
  • 50
Chiefs secures the ball but a pass to the wing fails to go to hand and the Force are back in possession with the scrum feed about 8 metres from their line.
  • 49
Force secures the ball but they knock it on in the contact. The Chiefs looks to counter but they too knock it on. Play is brought back for the first knock and the Chiefs will have the scrum feed just outside the Force's 22
  • 48
Taleni Seu gets the ball from the restart and the lock goes on a blistering run that gets the Chiefs from their 22, onto the Force's 22. What a run by the big man. The Chiefs' momentum comes to a halt though as they knock the ball on at the breakdown. Scrum feed to the Force on their 22
  • 46
McKenzie pops over the easy conversion
  • 45
TURNOVER! The Chiefs counter at the breakdown and are on the attack. They quickly break up-field but are brought down 5 metre from the Force's line. A simple phase of play goes through the hands and Ngatai gets the ball in a hole and he is over! TRY!
  • 44
Masirewa gets the ball at first receiver and makes another huge charge up-field and gets the Force onto the Chiefs' 10 metre line. He has no support though and is brought down. The Force retain possession but the Chiefs' defence is standing firm and have pushed them back onto their 10 metre line
  • 43
Chiefs secures the line-out and are taking the ball though the phases. A cheeky grubber is knocked on by the Chiefs on the Force's 5 metre line. Momentum with the home side in the opening minutes of the second half
  • 41
KICK-OFF! Grant's restart is claimed outside their 22 by the Chiefs. Lowe is at first receiver and kicks the ball up-field. The Force attack and are on the Chiefs' 10 metre line. PENALTY! Leitch is brilliant at the breakdown and forces the turnover. Cruden finds touch on the Force's 22 to set up and attacking chance

Half Time

  • 40
Huge shove by the Chiefs but the Force manage to retain possession. Grant gets it and places a high kick. It's secured by the Chiefs and a deep kick is placed. Grant collects it and looks to run it out but is hit hard by Lowe! The Force secures the ball and pops it into touch! HALF-TIME!
  • 39
Chiefs looks to run the ball out of their 22 and Lowe goes on another sniping run. He gets the Chiefs to the halfway line but this time their offloading lets them down and a flick pass goes forward. Force will have the scrum feed just inside their 10 metre line
  • 37
Chiefs are certainly in the ascendancy now as they look more threatening with every play. A Cruden chip over the top is collected by the Force on their 10 metre line. Grant gets the ball and goes on a run that gets the Force over the halfway line. The support runner is there and pops it onto his boot. The ball rolls into touch on the Chiefs' 22
  • 35
He missed his first kick to the right. The second went left. But it's third time lucky for McKenzie as he adds the extras!
  • 34
Solid scrum that goes nowhere and Leitch breaks off the back. He spots a hole and gets over for the TRY!
  • 32
Chiefs awarded a free kick and it's taken quickly. They make their way to the Force's 22 but lose the ball forward. A kicking battle breaks out and the Force fails to collect a high kick on their 10 metre line. The Chiefs have their tails up now. A stabbing kick is chased by Lowe but the Force cover defence is there to dot the ball down inside their try line. Chiefs remain on the attack with a five metre scrum
  • 30
Chiefs are keeping it tight and working around the fringes of the breakdown as they edge their way to the Force's 10 metre line. They lose it forward and the Force looks to counter. They lose it on the Chiefs' 10 metre line and its mayhem. The match comes to a standstill as the Force, after being pinned back by a Chiefs kick, gives a forward pass. Play resumes with a Chiefs feed to the scrum on the halfway line
  • 29
Grant's restart is claimed by the Chiefs on the halfway line
  • 28
He strikes it and it certainly has the distance but he pulls this attempt and the Chiefs still trail by 5
  • 27
Chiefs finally have their hands on the ball and looks to make their way up-field. PENALTY! The play goes to ground just inside the Force's half and an infringement at the breakdown will see McKenzie try his luck from about 45 metres
  • 26
Grant adds the extras with an easy conversion
  • 25
The Force are once again enjoying a long period of possession and the Chiefs are forced to rely on a counter-attacking game. The Force in possession inside the Chiefs' 22. Mathewson goes on a snipe and Ben Tapuai is on hand to grab the offload and canter over the line. TRY TIME!
  • 23
It is too easy for Grant as he pops over a 20-metre shot at goal
  • 22
The forwards take over as they look to slowly make their way closer to the line. PENALTY! Chiefs are caught offside at the breakdown and the Force have opted to have a shot at goal from right in front of the posts.
  • 21
Masirewa gets the ball at first receiver and goes on a brilliant run through the Chiefs' defence and gets the Force inside the Chief's 22. The ball is taken through the phases and Mathewson goes on a sniping run.
  • 19
Cane breaks away from the line-out and the Chiefs' backline gains some metres. The Chiefs recycle it and looks to set up a driving maul from open play. PENALTY! The Force win the penalty as the Chiefs are blown up for obstruction. Grant finds touch on his 10 metre line
  • 18
PENALTY! The Force are penalised for not pushing straight. Cruden pops the ball into touch to set up an attacking line-out inside the Force's 22
  • 17
It's a solid scrum and the Force fling it wide. Huge hit by Lowe and the Chiefs look to counter-ruck. The Force somehow hold their own though but knock the ball on as they look to recycle. Scrum feed to the Chiefs on the halfway line
  • 15
The Force are in possession on their 10 metre line thanks to another successful driving maul. It eventually goes to ground and the box kick is placed. McKenzie collects and the Chiefs are back on the attack. It comes to nothing though as they knock the ball on just inside the Force's half
  • 13
McKenzie fails to add the extras as his conversion attempt fades away from the right upright
  • 12
Chiefs win back possession at the breakdown and the Chiefs look to go coast-to-coast. McKenzie starts the breakout and neat interplay between the backline sees them go all the way upfield. Superb offloading and support running! TRY time McKenzie!!!
  • 11
Weber feeds the ball under his flank's feet but the referee allows play to proceed. Cruden gets the ball and kicks it straight into touch. Line-out to the Force just inside the Chiefs' 22
  • 10
Force secures the line-out and looks to probe for a gap. They knock the ball on in the contact and we will have the first scrum of the match just outside the Chiefs' 22. Scrum feed to the Chiefs
  • 9
Force secures it and sets a rumbling maul that gets them to their 10 metre line. PENALTY! Chiefs are penalised for collapsing the maul. Grant once again goes for touch and finds it just inside the Chiefs' 10 metre line
  • 8
A kicking battle ensues and eventually comes to an end with McKenzie finding touch just outside the Force's 22
  • 7
The phase count goes into double figures but the Chiefs have forced their opponents into touch. The Chiefs takes it quickly and Cruden boots it up-field
  • 6
Force taking the ball through the phases and have finally inched their way over the 22. Chiefs are holding firm in defence though and have managed to push the Force back a few metres.
  • 5
Force are doing well at the line-out in the opening minutes. Their attacks remain lateral and have not yet been able to breech the Chiefs' 22.
  • 4
Force secures the line-out and are happy to throw it through the hands but it's very lateral. PENALTY! Chiefs are penalised for a high tackle close tot heir 10-metre line. Grant opts for touch and the Force with have the throw-in just outside the Chiefs' 22
  • 3
Force looks to run the ball out. PENALTY! Chiefs go off their feet at the breakdown and Grant is able to find touch on the halfway line
  • 2
A kicking battle ensues and Ngatai looks for some territory and finds touch just outside the Force's 22. Force with the throw-in
  • 1
Brache collects the ball on his 22 and after looking to initially run the ball out, Grant opts to pop it into touch. McKenzie takes a quick throw in and the Chiefs look to make their way back up field
  • 0
KICK-OFF! Cruden gets the match underway!
  • -5
It is cloudy overhead but no wind to speak of! Brilliant conditions for exciting, running rugby. Here come the teams!
  • -10
The Chiefs have won three of their four matches in Super Rugby 2016, though in each of those four matches they have trailed at half-time. The Force have won two of their last three matches away from home, though they've not won in New Zealand since Round Five, 2014 against the Highlanders.
  • -20
The Chiefs have won seven of the nine encounters between these sides, though the Force's most recent victory came in Round Six, 2014.
  • -30
Welcome to Round Five of Super Rugby this Easter weekend! We get started in Hamilton where the Chiefs host the Force!
Mc chiefs logo 80x50
Chiefs
Mc western force logo 80x50
Force
START LINE UP
  • 1 Mitchell Graham
  • 2 Hika Elliot
  • 3 Siate Tokolahi
  • 4 Michael Allardice
  • 5 Taleni Seu
  • 6 Tom Sanders
  • 7 Sam Cane
  • 8 Michael Leitch
  • 9 Brad Weber
  • 10 Aaron Cruden
  • 11 James Lowe
  • 12 Charlie Ngatai
  • 13 Seta Tamanivalu
  • 14 Sam McNicol
  • 15 Damian McKenzie
RESERVES
  • 16 Rhys Marshall
  • 17 Atunaisa Moli
  • 18 Siegfried Fisiihoi
  • 19 James Tucker
  • 20 Sam Henwood
  • 21 Kane Hammington
  • 22 Stephen Donald
  • 23 Toni Pulu
START LINE UP
  • 1 Pek Cowan
  • 2 Heath Tessmann
  • 3 Tetera Faulkner
  • 4 Ross Haylett-Petty
  • 5 Adam Coleman
  • 6 Brynard Stander
  • 7 Matt Hodgson
  • 8 Angus Cottrell
  • 9 Alby Mathewson
  • 10 Peter Grant
  • 11 Semisi Masirewa
  • 12 Junior Rasolea
  • 13 Ben Tapuai
  • 14 Marcel Brache
  • 15 Dane Haylett-Petty
RESERVES
  • 16 Chris Heiberg
  • 17 Nathan Charles
  • 18 Jermaine Ainsley
  • 19 Steve Mafi
  • 20 Ben McCalman
  • 21 Ryan Louwrens
  • 22 Ian Prior
  • 23 Albert Nikoro
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S18 PREVIEW: ROUND FIVE, PART TWO

Fri, 25 Mar 2016 07:28

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Tauriq Ebrahim looks at the remaining Round Five Super Rugby fixtures played over Easter weekend!

There is a bumper weekend of action ahead of us, with six matches on Saturday and a massive Australian derby on Sunday.

Most of the matches already seem like foregone conclusions on paper, however, we know anything is possible in this competition.

The main attraction on Saturday will be the huge encounter in Durban where the Sharks host the Crusaders. The Sharks remain the only unbeaten side in the competition and will want to keep that record going against a Crusaders side who are well known for being slow starters.

The other big match of the round is the all-Australian derby in Queensland where the Reds host the Waratahs. Both sides are yet to gain any sort of winning momentum and have somewhat struggled.

We look at all the Easter weekend matches below!

Saturday, March 26

The Chiefs have won seven of the nine encounters between these sides, though the Force's most recent victory came in Round Six, 2014.

The Chiefs have won three of their four matches in Super Rugby 2016, though in each of those four matches they have trailed at half-time. The Force have won two of their last three matches away from home, though they've not won in New Zealand since Round Five, 2014 against the Highlanders.

Matt Hodgson has won the most turnovers this season (nine) while teammate Pekahou Cowan has won four so far, the equal most of any player who's yet to concede a turnover. The Chiefs have scored 59 first-half points so far this season, only the Highlanders (65) have scored more.

Recent results:

Prediction: The Force will be plucky and highly determined but the Chiefs have too much class and will win by about 25 points.

Teams:

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sam McNicol, 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 Tom Sanders, 5 Taleni Seu, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Mitchell Graham.  
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 19 James Tucker, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Toni Pulu.

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

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: FMG Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (14.35 AWST; 06.35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Brett Johnson
TMO: Glenn Newman

The Rebels have won their last two against sides from New Zealand and are aiming for three consecutive wins against teams from across the Tasman for the first time, however they have lost three of four against the Highlanders.

Despite averaging 24.5 points scored across their four matches against the Highlanders, the Rebels have only defeated them once. The Highlanders have conceded only nine points in the first half of their last three matches, though they've conceded 48 points in the second half of those fixtures.

Lima Sopoaga has scored 42 points so far this season, the seventh most of any player but the most of any player who is yet to score a try. For the second week in a row, a Rebels player - John Placid - beat eight defenders in a single match, the equal most of any Rebels player since Tom English beat 11 in Round Three, 2014.

Recent results:

Prediction: The Rebels will certainly not roll over and hand the Highlanders the victory. Expect a tightly fought first half but the Highlanders' experience and class should shine through in the second half to run away with a 15-point victory.

Teams:

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 Scott Fuglistaller, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Dan Hawkins, 23 Reece Hodge.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Jack Wilson, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Shane Christie (co-captain), 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Dan Pryor, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Jason Emery.

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.45 (21.45 NZDT; 08.45 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner, Jordan Way
TMO: Peter Marshall

The Bulls haven't won a Super Rugby match outside of South Africa since Round Four, 2013, losing their last 11 such games. The Sunwolves may still be searching for their maiden Super Rugby victory
but they have led at half-time in their last two matches, outscoring opponents 39-19 in that period.

The Bulls have won only one of their last six matches immediately after a draw. Two of the Bulls' seven tries so far this season have originated from lineout steals, no team has scored more from that origin.

Shinnosuke Kakinaga has conceded seven penalties in the Sunwolves inaugural Super Rugby campaign, only three players have conceded more.

Recent results:

These sides have never met before.

Prediction: The Sunwolves have showed that they are capable of taking the game to any opponent and despite holding the lead for a long period, they have not been able to close out matches. The Bulls have bagged just one victory from their three matches but their draw against the Sharks should have a positive impact on their performance. Despite the travelling, the Bulls should claim a converted try victory.

Teams:

Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Viliami Lolohea, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa , 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Tomas Leonardi, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Yoshiya Hosoda, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Hitoshi Ono , 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Keith Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Futoshi Mori,17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Shinosuke Kakinaga, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Ed Quirk, 21  Yuki Yatomi, 22 Mifiposeti Paea, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura.

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20 Nicholas de Jager, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: Singapore National Stadium, Singapore
Kick-off: 18.50 (12.50 SAST; 10.50 GMT)
Referee: William Houston
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo, Aki Aso
TMO: Takashi Hareda

The Brumbies have won eight of the 11 matches between these clubs, including a 20-3 victory in their last encounter. The Cheetahs have lost each of their last five matches on home turf, their
longest streak in Super Rugby.

On the back of an away loss to the Stormers in Round Four, the Brumbies will now be looking to avoid consecutive defeats for the first time since their last regular season trip to South Africa (Round 13, 2015).

Two of the Brumbies' eight tries conceded so far this season have come from losing their own scrum, only one other team in the competition (Chiefs - 1) have conceded such a try.

At 70 percent, the Cheetahs have the least effective scrum in Super Rugby 2016 and they lose an average of two scrums per game so far.

Recent results:

Prediction: The Brumbies will be hurting from their defeat at the hands of the Stormers and would want to return to winning ways. They are showing signs of vulnerability and the Cheetahs need to exploit that. The Cheetahs have showed that they can push sides the full 80 minutes, however, they lose steam as the match progresses. The Cheetahs will certainly push the Brumbies but the Australian side will be too motivated and should claim a 12 point win.

Teams:

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

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Tom Staniforth. 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: Free Sate Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 15.00 (00.00 AEDT, Sunday, March 27; 13.00 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Willie Vos

The Sharks have won three of their last five home matches against the Crusaders, though the Crusaders won the last such clash by 42 points - the biggest margin in the history of the fixture in South Africa.

The Sharks remain unbeaten in their last seven fixtures, a win or draw against the Crusaders would equal the club's longest unbeaten run in Super Rugby history.

The Crusaders have won 16 of their last 20 matches against the Sharks, though three of their losses in that span have been in South Africa. The Crusaders have won 93 percent of their line-outs so far this season, the most of any team in the competition and they are one of only two teams (Chiefs) to lose fewer than one lineout per match on average.

The Sharks remain the only team yet to concede a second half try this season, though the Crusaders have scored seven of their 13 tries in the second stanza.

Recent results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prediction: This is probably the toughest call to make as the result can go either way. The Sharks are defending their unbeaten streak while the Crusaders are desperate for a victory to keep in touch with the Chiefs and Highlanders on the log. The Sharks are no pushovers at home though but history suggests the Crusaders are the favourites to walk away with a five point victory.

Teams:

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

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jimmy Tupou, 21 Tim Boys, 22 Mitchell Drummond, 23 Ben Volavola.

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.05 (04.05 NZDT; 15.05 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Johan Greeff

The Jaguares have already beaten South African opposition, and claimed a losing bonus point in their other encounter with a team from that country. The Stormers average just 15.5 points per game in their last four matches away from home, though they've gone on to win two of those matches.

In all three of the Jaguares' games so far in Super Rugby, the team trailing at half-time has gone on to win the match. The Jaguares have conceded five tries in the opening quarter of matches this season, more than any other team in the competition, though the Stormers have scored only one of their nine tries in that period.

Eben Etzebeth has made 44 tackles, the most of any player yet to miss an attempt.

Recent results:

These sides have not met before.

Prediction: The Jaguares will be looking to keep the game as unstructured as possible in order to use all their flair and unpredictability. Their fans make be behind them every step of the way and the environment could be hostile for the Stormers. The Jaguares side is filled with international stars and have to be the favourites, however, the Stormers proved they can overcome any side when they defeated the more-fancied Brumbies in Round Four. It will be a tight affair but the Jaguares should claim a three-point victory.

Teams:

Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Orlando, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Lucas González Amorosino, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Santiago García Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Roberto Tejerizo, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Santiago Cordero.

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

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 18.40 (23.40 SAST; 21.40 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Federico Anselmi
TMO: Santiago Borsani

Sunday, March 27

The Waratahs have won their last five matches against the Reds, conceded only 28 points across that period. Prior to that the Reds had also won five straight matches in this fixture.

The Waratahs have lost their last two matches and will be hoping to avoid a third consecutive defeat for the first time since a horror run of nine straight losses from 2012 to 2013. The Reds haven't gone two matches without a loss in Super Rugby since Round 17, 2014, and they'll be aiming to equal that after a draw against the Blues in Round Four.

The Waratahs' opposition have kicked an average of just 1.3 penalty goals per game this season, no team concedes fewer. League-convert Eto Nabuli has averaged 11.5 metres per carry so far this season, the most of any player who's made more than 20 carries in 2016.

Recent results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prediction: An Australian derby is always going to be a tough battle and the result can usually go either way. However, the Reds have gone through some boardroom troubles and it seems to be taking its toll on the players. The Waratahs have been under-performing and will be eyeing this encounter to get things back on track. The Reds will push the Waratahs for at least 40 minutes but the 'Tahs have too much class and should bag a 25 point victory.

Teams:

Reds: 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 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Sef Fa'agase.  
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ben Matwijow, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Greene, 23 Ayumu Goromaru.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 David Dennis, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Paddy Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz , 23 Matt Carraro.

Date: Sunday, March 27
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 15.05 (05.05 GMT)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper, Damien Mitchelmore
TMO: George Ayoub

Mc article charles ngatai chiefs run 800

Ngatai show demolishes the Force

Sat, 26 Mar 2016 08:36

REPORT: A massive second half performance by the Chiefs saw them score 41 unanswered points, including four Charles Ngatai tries, to claim an emphatic 53-10 bonus point victory over the Force on Saturday.

The Force were well in the match for 60 minutes but the Chiefs turned on the style to score seven tries in the final 40 minutes to hand the Force another defeat.

The Force began the match with plenty of enthusiasm as they dominated possession in the opening exchanges. The Chiefs were forced to defend with all their might and did so brilliantly as they kept the Force at bay.

The Chiefs finally got their hands on the ball in the 12th minute when sharp work at the breakdown saw the ball reach Damian McKenzie, who launched the counter-attack from inside his 22. Neat interplay between the Chiefs' backline saw them make their way up-field. Key to this phase of play was the support runners who were always there to collect the offloads.

The Chiefs went coast-to-coast with their attack which saw McKenzie dot down for the opening points of the match. He failed to add the extras as the Chiefs led 5-0.

The Force remained full of confidence with ball in hand and were camping inside the Chiefs' half of the field. They were plugging away for a gap but once again, the Chiefs stood firm in defence. An infringement at the breakdown in front of the posts saw the Chiefs' lead reduced to two points when Peter Grant slotted an easy penalty. 5-3 after 23 minutes.

Three minutes later and the Force took the lead. The Chiefs were caught in possession inside their 22 and the Force counter-rucked to regain possession. Scrumhalf Alby Mathewson when on a sniping run from the back of the ruck and centre Ben Tapuai was on hand to receive the offload and grab the score under the posts. Grant popped over the conversion to hand the Force a 10-5 lead after 26 minutes.

This sparked the Chiefs into life and they started seeing more of the ball. A stabbing kick from inside the Force's half was chased by wing James Lowe but Brynard Stander was on hand to snuff the attack. Although, he conceded a five metre scrum for taking the ball into his try area.

From the resulting scrum, Chiefs No.8 Michael Leitch broke off the back and spotted a gap. He went full tilt at it to grab the Chiefs' second try of the game. McKenzie finally found his range to hand the Chiefs a 12-10 lead after 35 minutes.

That's how it would remain until the half-time interval.

It was one way traffic in the second half and it started as soon as the 45th minute when Ngatai got himself over the line for his first try of the match, following excellent work at the breakdown by his forwards. McKenzie made no mistake with the extras to stretch the home side's lead to 19-10.

The Chiefs began to turn the screw and the Force were really up against it in the 56th minute when No.8 Angus Cottrell was sent to the bin for a tip tackle. The Chiefs took full advantage of the extra man as their backline showed their class to setup replacement wing Toni Pulu. McKenzie got the ball from a Ngatai inside pass before sending it wide to Cruden, who picked up the ball from his ankles before handing a basketball pass to Pulu.

There was no stopping the Chiefs from this point as two tries in three minutes saw Ngatai grab another and Lowe getting his name on the scoresheet. McKenzie could only manage one conversion though but the writing was on the wall.

Seven minutes later, the Chiefs were over the line once again, this time replacement flyhalf Stephen Donald with a wrap around set-play to find McKenzie on the left touchline and the fullback bagged his brace in the 73rd minute.

The final seven minutes brought a further two tries for the Chiefs, both going to Ngatai to round off his four scores. Donald slotted one of his two attempts as the Chiefs claimed maximum points from the encounter.

Man of the match: The Force were industrious in the opening half with wing Semisi Masirewa being their standout player. His pace and power gave the Chiefs plenty of headaches when he possession of the ball. Michael Leitch was a menace at the breakdown and on the attack for the Chiefs while Aaron Cruden showed glimpses of his former self with a commanding performance. Damian McKenzie is loving life at the moment and simply ran the show but his kicking off the tee cost hi the perfect game. Our award goes to someone who has just broken down the door to claim the All Blacks No.12 jersey. It is not often that someone bags four tries on a match and for that, Charles Ngatai gets the nod.

Scorers:

For the Chiefs:
Tries: McKenzie 2, Leitch, Ngatai 4, Pulu, Lowe
Cons: McKenzie 3, Donald

For the Western Force:
Try: Tapuai
Con: Grant
Pen: Grant

Yellow card: Angus Cottrell (Force; dangerous play - tip tackle; 56)

Teams:

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sam McNicol, 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 Tom Sanders, 5 Taleni Seu, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Mitchell Graham.  
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 19 James Tucker, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Toni Pulu.

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

Referee: Mike Fraser

Damian McKenzie (12min), Michael Leitch (34min), Charlie Ngatai (45min), Toni Pulu (58min), Charlie Ngatai (63min), James Lowe (65min), Damian McKenzie (73min), Charlie Ngatai (78min), and Charlie Ngatai (80min)
TRIES
Ben Tapuai (25min)
Damian McKenzie (35min), Damian McKenzie (46min), Damian McKenzie (66min), and Stephen Donald (81min)
CONVERSIONS
Peter Grant (26min)
 
PENALTIES
Peter Grant (23min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
Angus Cottrell (56min)
 
 
VENUE Hamilton
REFEREE Mike Fraser