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Rebels

FULL-TIME
3     27

Highlanders

Super Rugby | Melbourne
08:40 (GMT) | 26-03-2016
  • 80
FULL-TIME: The Highlanders win this one easily. Thank you for joining us at Rugby365.com for this match be sure to join us for the next game as the Sunwolves take on the Bulls.
  • 79
Rebels attack from deep before Debreczeni loses the ball forward and the Ref blows for full time
  • 78
Coltman finds Wheeler and the Highlanders attack through Thompson, Emery then has a go but loses the ball forward. Scrum Rebels on their own goal line.
  • 77
Highlanders attack from the lineout and win another penalty. Parker will set up a 5 meter lineout .
  • 76
Highlanders penalty, Parker kicks for touch to set up a lineout just outside the Rebels 22
  • 75
Inman loses the ball forward and the Highlanders clear the ball into touch.
  • 74
Reid has a run for the Rebels followed by Inman. Defence rock solid from the Highlanders
  • 73
Rebels scrum 5 meters from the Highlanders try line
  • 72
Shipperley breaks the line , Rebels just 10 meters short from the try line.
  • 71
Rebels continue to bash at the defensive line.
  • 70
Hodge makes a run for the Rebels. Highlanders defence top quality as it refuses to break
  • 69
So many errors once again as Christie knocks the ball forward. Scrum Rebels on the halfway line. Not the greatest of games here
  • 68
Rebels attack from the scrum though Shipperley but he loses the ball forward and the Highlanders are on the attack through Ben Smith
  • 67
Highlanders on the attack again before Rob Thompson loses the ball forward and the Rebels have the scrum put in outside their own 22.
  • 65
Sopoaga adds the extras
  • 63
Aaron Smith clears the ball into touch. Lineout Rebels, Hanson throws finds his jumper and Jordy Reid makes a lovely run which busts the defence . A loose pass is thrown and Osbourne intercepts the ball and runs 90 meters to score a TRY!
  • 62
Rebels attack from the scrum before there is a knock on and the Highlanders have the scrum put in on their own goal line
  • 60
Scrum resets a couple times
  • 59
Inman breaks the line for the Rebels . Rebels just 5 meters from the try line. Ref blows for a Rebels penalty . They opt to scrum
  • 58
Rebels penalty on the halfway . Meehan decides to take it quickly as the Rebels look to speed up play
  • 56
Sopoaga adds the extras
  • 55
TMO in action for a potential try for the Highlanders. Rob Thompson puts the kick though and Jack Wilson dives on the ball. The decision is made and it is a TRY!
  • 54
Kick after kick as the crowd have had enough and the boo's ring around the stadium
  • 53
Highlanders on the attack before Sopoaga puts in another kick. Not much venom in attack from both teams today-rather disappointing .
  • 52
Penalty to the Rebels for the Highlanders prop Hohneck dropping his bind. Debreczeni puts the ball into touch
  • 51
Penalty to the Highlanders. Sopoaga sets up a 5 meter attacking lineout. Coltman finds his jumper but Whitelock loses the ball forward and the Rebels have the scrum put in
  • 50
Sopoaga attempts the drop goal but it hits the post and Ben Smith regathers it and the Highlanders attack 5 meters from the line. Aaron Smith puts in a cheeky grubber and the TMO is called into play for a potential penalty try for Shipperley intentionally knocking the ball over the dead ball line.
  • 49
Dixon finds his jumper and the Highlanders attack on the Rebels 22.
  • 48
Kicks back and forth again before Inman decides enough is enough and has a run. Highlanders win the penalty for Jones cleaning out the ruck with no arms. Sopoaga kicks for touch.
  • 47
McMahon with a lovely run from the kick off as he busts 2 defenders.
  • 46
Penalty to the Rebels. Debreczeni will have a shot at goal . He strikes the ball well and the ball sails through the middle
  • 45
Rebels on the attack inside the Highlanders 22 but defence is rock solid. Rebels have the penalty advantage but simply cannot penetrate the Landers defence
  • 44
Ball turned over by the Highlanders but winger Jack Wilson slices the ball into touch and the Rebels have a lineout in an attacking position
  • 43
Penalty to the Rebels on the 50 . Debreczeni sets up a lineout on their 22.
  • 42
Kicks back and forth before Shane Christie loses the ball forward and the Rebels have the scrum put in on the 10 meter line in their own half
  • 41
Second half underway

Half Time

  • 40
Not straight called as the Highlanders have the scrum put in. Smith plays Sopoaga who plays Ben Smith who has a go. Knock on by Placid as he attempts the intercept and the Ref blows for Half time. See you all in a bit for the second half
  • 38
5 meter scrum to the Highlanders. Smith plays Osbourne who is tackled well. Great defence once again as the Rebels win the penalty from great play by number eight Adam Thomson. Debreczeni kicks for touch.
  • 37
Highlanders attack from deep through Fekitoa but he gets shut down quickly.
  • 36
Couple kcks back and forth comes to nothing as the ball rolls out and the Rebels have a lineout
  • 35
Not straight called by the ref as the Highlanders have the scrum on the ten meter line inside their own half
  • 34
Placid breaks the line for the Rebels , 2 vs 1 Placid makes a loose pass that rolls into touch. A butchered opportunity
  • 33
Highlanders defence is top quality as the Rebels lose ground with ball in hand
  • 32
3 more points for the Highlanders as Sopoaga adds the penalty
  • 31
Highlanders awarded the penalty in a kick-able position. Sopoaga will have a shot
  • 30
Great defence by the Rebels as they force the turnover and Debreczeni boots the ball into touch. Lineout Highlanders 25 meters from the try line
  • 29
Lineout to the Highlanders on the Rebels 22. Dixon finds his jumper and the Landers attack through Edmonds who has a crack
  • 28
Meehan feeds the scrum and the Rebels attack through Inman who loses the ball forward and Aaron Smith pumps the ball up field. English tries to clear but the ball is charged down by winger Wilson but the ball goes out and we have a Rebels lineout inside their own 22.
  • 27
Scrum resets a couple times as the Ref has words with both front rows
  • 25
Rebels attack though McMahon who makes a good run before Meehan is forced to kick again . Play becomes messy with multiple knock ons and the ref calls for a Rebels scrum
  • 24
Knock on by Osbourne results in a scrum put in on the halfway line for the Rebels
  • 22
Sopoaga adds the extras
  • 21
Aaron Smith hoists the up and under which is fumbled by Placid and Thompson kicks the ball through and dives on the ball to score the TRY!
  • 20
Sopoaga strikes the ball well and the ball sails through the middle. Awesome kick!
  • 19
Penalty to the Highlanders at the scrum. Sopoaga will have a long range attempt at goal
  • 18
Scrum Rebels inside Highlanders territory
  • 17
Rebels on the attack again as Timani bounces winger Jack Wilson out the way but again defence is solid forcing Meehan to kick.
  • 16
Both sides defending well in the early exchanges forcing both teams to eventually put the ball on the boot
  • 15
Rebels on the attack through Placid. Into the 5th phase we go but Highlanders defence is rock solid
  • 14
Debreczeni lines up his kick from 45 meters out. He thumps the ball but the ball is off to the left and we have a 22 meter drop out for the Landers
  • 13
Rebels win the penalty and Debreczeni will have a crack at the three points
  • 12
Rebels finally on the attack inside Highlanders territory.
  • 11
Smith feeds the scrum and plays Jack Wilson has a run . Rebels turn the ball over and Debreczeni smashes the ball 60 meters upfield
  • 10
Rebels finally have their hands on the ball as they swing the ball to Placid who loses the ball forward. Scrum Highlanders.
  • 9
Siua Halanukonuka has a run for the Highlanders, 5 meters away from the try line but the Rebels defend well and the Rebels win the penalty for obstruction play from prop Brendon Edmonds.
  • 8
Wheeler steals the ball at the lineout and the Highlanders are back on the attack inside the Rebels 22
  • 7
Rebels win the penalty at the Scrum. Debreczeni kicks for touch but only chews off 20 meters as the kick slices off the side of his boot
  • 6
Highlanders lose the ball forward on the Rebels try line. Scrum put in for the Rebels
  • 5
Highlanders 5 meters from the try line , Squire has a go but is held up and the Ref goes back for the penalty for offside play by the Rebels. Sopoaga sets up another lineout .
  • 4
Dixon finds his jumper on the 50 and Aaron Smith hoists the Gary Owen , the up and under. It all comes to nothing as Timani is penalized and the Highlanders win the penalty and opt to turn down the three and kick for touch
  • 3
Highlanders attack though Thompson on the Rebels 22 but good defence by Ellison bundles him into touch and the Rebels have a lineout on their own 22
  • 2
Couple aimless kicks in the early exchanges before Debreczeni puts the ball into touch and the Highlanders have a throw in 40 meters from the Rebels goal line.
  • 1
First half underway! Sopoaga kicks off , this match should be a cracker!
  • -5
Almost time to get going here as the teams go through their last match preparations
  • -10
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.
  • -20
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.
  • -30
Welcome to this Super Rugby clash between the Rebels and the Highlanders taking place at AAMI Park in Melbourne
Mc rebels logo 80x50
Rebels
Mc highlanders logo 80x50
Highlanders
START LINE UP
  • 1 Toby Smith
  • 2 James Hanson
  • 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
RESERVES
  • 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
START LINE UP
  • 1 Brendon Edmonds
  • 2 Ash Dixon
  • 3 Siua Halanukonuka
  • 4 Mark Reddish
  • 5 Joseph Wheeler
  • 6 Luke Whitelock
  • 7 Shane Christie
  • 8 Liam Squire
  • 9 Aaron Smith
  • 10 Lima Sopoaga
  • 11 Patrick Osborne
  • 12 Rob Thompson
  • 13 Malakai Fekitoa
  • 14 Jack Wilson
  • 15 Ben Smith
RESERVES
  • 16 Liam Coltman
  • 17 Craig Millar
  • 18 Josh Hohneck
  • 19 Dan Pryor
  • 20 Elliot Dixon
  • 21 Josh Renton
  • 22 Hayden Parker
  • 23 Jason Emery
Mc article crusaders training 800

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 rob thompson highlanders tackled 800

Highlanders see off plucky Rebels

Sat, 26 Mar 2016 10:33

REPORT: The defending Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders, put in a defensive masterclass to claim a 27-3 bonus point victory over the Rebels in  Melbourne on Saturday.

Kicking and tackling beat the Rebels, who had a better second half when they kicked less but they still could not get past the Highlanders' fast defence.

The difference in the kicking was clear for all to see. The Highlanders kick more than any other side in Super Rugby and they do it better. If they are not kicking for touch, they kick to regain the ball, and here Aaron Smith is a master. The Rebels' kicking on the other hand was too long when it did not go into touch it went into Highlanders' hands - just a transfer of possession.

The Highlanders speed and efficiency in tackling meant that the Rebels seldom made any advance. They had three sessions of many phases - 41 phases in all - for no  real gain.

The Highlanders simply did all ordinary things extraordinarily well.

And that included the scrumming on the stadium's fragile turf. Every time the medics came onto the field to see to damaged players, so did the gardeners to see to damaged turf, getting divots back into place.

The Rebels put the ball into 13 scrums but only twice did the ball go in and come straight out. In all on their ball there were 12 collapses, 11 resets, three penalties and a free kick. The Highlanders put the ball into seven scrums and seven times it came straight out.

The Highlanders won every one of their ten line-outs. The Rebels lost one and threw in skew twice in their 11 throws. The penal;ty count was 11-7 against the Rebels.

The Highlanders attacked first through two penalties and an attacking line-out. Then the Rebels had a chance to attack. They had a rickety five-metre scrum but were penalised. Then when the Highlanders won a Rebels lineout, they attacked.

The Rebels had the first chance to score when, after  their 10 phases, the Highlanders were penalised but Jack Debreczeni's long kick failed. But when Lima Sopoaga had a kick from the Rebels' 10-metre line and five metres in from touch, he goaled it. 3-0 after 20 minutes.

Smith kicked a box kick which Jonah Placid, a reluctanbt dealer with high kicks, dropped it. Rob Thompson footed the ball ahead  and then footed it on carefully into the Rebels' in-goal where he fell on the ball for a try. 10-0 after 23 minutes.

The only other score in the half was a Sopoaga penalty when Lopeti Tomaqni was penalised. 13-0 after 32 minutes.

The Rebels had their best passage of first-half play after this when Placid came into the line and put Dom Shipperley away. He passed back inside to Placid who looked set to score but was caught from behind by Patrick Osborne and passed into touch as he went down.

An Osborne grubber was knocked back over his line by Shipperley but the Rebels survived, and the half-time score was 13-0 as the rain started.

The Rebels were first to score in the second half when after 13 Rebel phases Ash Dixon was penalised and Drebreczini goaled. 20-3 affter 50 minutes.

A Sopoaga drop attempt bounced back off the upright and the Highlanders attacked and, after a penalty for a deliberate knock over his dead-ball line by Shipperley - a debatable decision - they kicked out for a five-metre lineout and attacked going wide right where the ball ricocheted off Thompson's shin into the in-goal where Jack Wilson scored. 20-3 after 56 minutes.

The Rebels had a great period on close attack and opted for a scrum when the Highlanders were penalised. Adam Thomson broke away but Ben Meehan could not hold onto his short pass.

The Rebls were attacking on the right when 12 metres out Debreczini passed to his right but Osborne intercepted and ran 88 mertres straight down the field for a try in the left corner, which Sopoaga converted from touch. That was the bonus-point try with 16 minutes to play.

The Rebels were in charge of most of those 16 minutes without really looking like breaching the Highanders' eager defence.

Man of the Match: Aaron Smith who conducted the match till substituted with five minutes or so to play.

Scorers:

For the Rebels:
Pen: Debreczeni

For the Highlanders:
Tries: Thompson, Wilson, Osborne
Cons: Sopoaga 3
Pens: Sopoaga 2

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.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)

 
TRIES
Rob Thompson (21min), Jack Wilson (55min), and Patrick Osborne (63min)
 
CONVERSIONS
Lima Sopoaga (22min), Lima Sopoaga (56min), and Lima Sopoaga (65min)
Jack Debreczeni (46min)
PENALTIES
Lima Sopoaga (20min) and Lima Sopoaga (32min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Melbourne
REFEREE Andrew Lees (Australia)