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Super Rugby | Durban
15:05 (GMT) | 26-03-2016
  • 81
Join us for our next game when the Jaguares host the Stormers at 23.40
  • 80
Line-out at the 5 meter for the Sharks. Penalty to the Crusaders and they look to run down the clock and do. FULL TIME
  • 78
Sharks win the scrum and play with the advantage, but the whistle goes eventually.
  • 77
The ball goes into touch at the 22 of the home side and the kick is there for Ndungane to chase but the referee blows. Scrum at passed the 10 meter of the Crusaders
  • 75
Line-out won by the home team but the Crusaders steal the ball and clear. JP Pietersen looks to make a run but the away team brings him down
  • 74
Sharks now up against it as the Crusaders look to keep the pressure pushing passed center field but the referee blows
  • 73
Nadolo adds the extras
  • 72
Sharks up against it as the away side push them back to their 5 meter line. The Crusaders TRY in the 15th phase. Read gets the credit with some brilliant play by the Crusaders
  • 70
Crusaders now inside the 22 of the Sharks down field but change play to the upper side
  • 69
Sharks get the ball and they clear. Crusaders get possession this time but find themselves in their own half, but moving forward.
  • 68
The referee blows, Willie le Roux is offside and it's a penalty to the Crusaders.
  • 67
Both teams clearing the ball
  • 66
Scrum now at the 10 meter of the home side after the try being disallowed. Penalty to the Sharks
  • 65
And a cheeky kick forward sees Willie le Roux outrun the Crusaders defence to but the referee refers to the TMO and the try is not given
  • 64
The Crusaders played back to their own half but they make the break up field with Havili. The away side pushing to get into the 22
  • 63
Line-out at the 10 meter of the home team and the ball is fumbled and the Crusaders pick it up, the ball moved up field by the away side looking for space
  • 62
Sharks win a penalty and Pietersen clears the ball
  • 61
The ball being played inches from the touch line and the Crusaders doing well to keep it out of touch inside the 22 of the Sharks but the line-out eventually comes
  • 60
Penalty to the Crusaders. Line-out to the inside the 22 for the Crusaders now and the Sharks holding firm in the defence for now
  • 59
Penalty to the Sharks and Pietersen kicks the ball into touch. Line-out at the 10 meter of the home team. le Roux clears. The ball finds itself flying back to the Sharks half with another clearance
  • 57
Scrum outside the 5 meter of the home side. Scrum reset.
  • 56
Crusaders pushing the Sharks back outside the 5 meter. Whitelock looks for the gap but knocks the ball on. Philip van der Walt down with a neck injury and looks to need a stretcher
  • 56
Crusaders pushing the Sharks back outside the 5 meter. Whitelock looks for the gap but knocks the ball on
  • 54
Scrum at the 5 meter of the Sharks. Scrum reset
  • 52
Crusaders make a break straight after the kick off running from the center field with a brilliant offload to McNicholl but the referee pulls back the try as a Crusaders player's foot just touched the line during the offload
  • 51
Mo’unga misses the conversion
  • 50
Kick forward by the Sharks but it's cleaned up by the away side. Crusaders now moving forward and Nadolo passes the try line but the referee refers to the TMO and the TRY is given
  • 49
Sharks with the ball now and they move the ball down field and then up again at center field. Line-out at center field.
  • 48
The Crusaders shifting play up field but can't get into the 22 of the Sharks. The whistle goes for a penalty and the referee refers to the TMO. Yellow card for Havili
  • 47
Line-out at the 5 meter for the Sharks but the referee blows. The ball is kicked into touch by Pietersen at his own 10 meter
  • 45
Pietersen secures the 2 points
  • 44
Play resumed and Sharks contest the ball in the mid field and another interception by Mvovo sees him run straight through the defence to score the TRY
  • 43
Penalty towards the Crusaders and makes his way to the ball, kicking from the 10 meter and misses by some margin
  • 42
Sharks with another clearance and the Crusaders with the ball outside the 22 of the home team
  • 41
Pietersen gets the second half underway and the Sharks start their attack from the 22 of the away side but the clearance is there. Both teams kicking almost aimlessly

Half Time

  • 40
Crusaders win the scrum. Penalty awarded to the Crusaders and they look to get 3 points before the referee blows for half time but misses. HALF TIME
  • 39
le Roux clears from his own 5 meter into touch at their own 10 meter. The referee blows. Scrum at the 10 meter now down field
  • 37
Pietersen gets another chance from his failed kick and secures the extras
  • 35
Line-out for the Sharks and they clear again. Line-out just a few meters form the initial line-out. Crusaders get the ball but the interception is there and Mvovo makes a swift run and TRIES between the posts
  • 33
Scrum at center field and the referee blows for a penalty to the Crusaders. The clear the ball for a line-out inside the 22
  • 31
Scrum at the 10 meter of the Sharks. The home team come away with the ball but the referee blows as JP Pietersen is at the end of a forward pass
  • 29
Line-out to the home team and Crusaders steal the ball. Both teams at a stalemate at center field but the clearance comes
  • 28
The Sharks with another clearance and Mo’unga does the same but his goes into touch passed the 22 of the Sharks
  • 25
Mo’unga adds the extras
  • 24
Crusaders try to move forward with the maul but it breaks down. The away side now inside the 5 meter and Havili finds the the offload right in front of the TRY line to get the 5 points
  • 22
Scrum at the 10 meter for the Sharks and the Crusaders get the tighthead and a penalty. The ball is kicked into touch at the 5 meter
  • 21
Sharks try to move forward from their 5 meter and again clear. The Crusaders running forward but the referee blows just as the visitors reach the 22
  • 20
Sharks squander possession with another clearance and the Crusaders are back in the home team's half. The ball is kicked into touch at the 5 meter
  • 19
Crusaders try to play on with an advantage but the referee blows. Scrum outside the 22 of the Sharks.
  • 18
Line-out at the 22 of the home team for the Crusaders but the Sharks steal the ball and it's cleared
  • 17
Crusaders win the scrum and run down field but still in their own half. The Crusaders with some cheeky passes at the 10 meter line of the home team
  • 16
Scrum at the 10 meter line of the Crusaders. Scrum reset
  • 15
The Sharks bombing forward with Esterhuizen
  • 13
Le Roux makes a kick and it just reaches touch. Line-out at the 10 meter of the away team and they make ground quickly
  • 11
Crusaders lose possession but make their way back into the home team's half. Line-out for the Sharks and they clear
  • 9
Sharks come away with it but the tackler is there. The referee blows again for a penalty and the ball is kicked into touch
  • 8
Penalty towards the Sharks as the referee blows for a forward pass. Scrum at the center field. Scrum reset
  • 7
The Crusaders move forward after Pietersen resumes play with his boot. The away side kicks the ball into touch at the 22 line
  • 6
Mo’unga steps up and looks to start the scoring for his team but misses
  • 4
Scrum outside the 22 of the home side now. Scrum breaks down and is reset. Penalty to the Crusaders
  • 3
The referee blows. Crusaders player down; Crotty
  • 3
Crusaders making good ground at the 22 but the turnover is there. Crusaders get the ball and clear immediately
  • 2
Pietersen clears and the Crusaders come again now at the 10 meter of the Sharks
  • 1
Both teams making a show of kicking the ball away. The ball eventually finds touch at the 22 of the home side
  • 0
Jaco Peyper blows and the game is underway
  • -5
The Crusaders are the first to make their way to the field
  • -10
Sharks enter this fixture with a seven unbeaten run
  • -30
Welcome to Kings Park in Durban for live coverage of this Super Rugby match between the Sharks and Crusaders!
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  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
  • 4 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 5 Stephan Lewies
  • 6 Marcell Coetzee
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 8 Philip van der Walt
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 10 Joe Pietersen
  • 11 Lwazi Mvovo
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 13 Paul Jordaan
  • 14 JP Pietersen
  • 15 Willie le Roux
  • 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
  • 1 Joe Moody
  • 2 Codie Taylor
  • 3 Owen Franks
  • 4 Scott Barrett
  • 5 Sam Whitelock
  • 6 Jordan Taufua
  • 7 Matt Todd
  • 8 Kieran Read
  • 9 Andy Ellis
  • 10 Richie Mo’unga
  • 11 Nemani Nadolo
  • 12 Ryan Crotty
  • 13 Kieron Fonotia
  • 14 Johnny McNicholl
  • 15 David Havili
  • 16 Ben Funnell
  • 17 Wyatt Crockett
  • 18 Michael Alaalatoa
  • 19 Luke Romano
  • 20 Jimmy Tupou
  • 21 Tim Boys
  • 22 Mitchell Drummond
  • 23 Ben Volavola
Mc article crusaders training 800


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 nemani nadolo 800

Crusaders edge Sharks in bruising encounter

Sat, 26 Mar 2016 17:27

REPORT: Kieran Read scored a late try as the Crusaders edged the Sharks 19-14 in a tense and bruising encounter at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

Intense. Agonisingly intense. It had all the intensity of Test between South Africa and New Zealand, this match between the Sharks and the Crusaders. There was courage out there and brave men playing to the extreme of their bravery.

Of course, it was not a pretty match but one that kept you alert and absorbed and unaware of the passing of time until the final whistle announced reality.

The reality was that the Crusaders had won, not by much but deserving of their victory for playing better rugby.

The Crusaders ran better, kicked better, scrummed better, were better in the line-outs, ran more metres, had more possession and most of the territory, won more breakdown ball and made more passes. That all suggests that the Crusaders' would have won by more, and they would have against a less resilient team. The one stat the Sharks won was the tackle. They made 108 tackles to 44. They made them because they had to, because they wanted to, because they were determined to.

Both teams deserve great admiration from all. It was a splendid rugby match, showing the world many of rugby's virtues.

Of course, the closeness of the scoring and the late hour at which the Crusaders finally went ahead added to the tension, building it into an agony. And yet had Richie Mo'unga kicked at all well, the Crusaders would have stretched out to a comfortable victory, but he missed three penalty kicks at goal and a conversion. 11 points in such a match could have altered the nature of the match.

His first miss was at the first scrum near the start of the match. In that early part the Crusaders dominated territory and possession. The Sharks could simply not shunt them out of their half. The nature of the Sharks' kicking did not help. Whereas the Crusaders kicked to grass, the Sharks kicked to hand, a Crusader hand.

But it took 25 minutes before the game broke its duck.

The Crusaders kicked a penalty into an attacking line-out and they made a maul. But the Shark defenders tore into them with much zeal and repelled them. The Crusaders then went wide right. There massive left wing Nemani Nadolo forced his way ahead in a half gap and sent a short, one-handed pass to his right where David Havili sliced through for a try which Mo'unga converted. 7-0.

Penalties were punishing the Sharks, They were penalised six times in the first half, four times at scrums. This also kept them on the defensive.

And then luck - good judgement rather - was on their side. The Crusaders were moving right from a line-out inside the Sharks' half, somewhere near their 10-metre line. Mo'unga threw a long skip pass out to his right and there was Lwazi Mvovo to intercept it and off the fast, sturdy win raced, chased by  Johnny McNicholl. Mvovo got home for the try and Joe Pietersen converted. The conversion was interesting. Pietersen missed the first time but was given a second chance as a Crusader had charged early. The second time he got it over. 7-7 after 37 minutes.

That was the half-time score after Mo'unga had missed another penalty attempt.

Incredible as it seems, the Sharks went ahead early in the second half. Again the Crusaders were going to the right and this time it was their hands that let them down. Kieron Fonotia passed to Ryan Crotty, an awkward pass that ended up on the ground. Mvovo stooped, picked up the ball cleanly and ran some 36 metres to score his second try. 14-7 to the Sharks after 45 minutes.

The Sharks made a gigantic mess of the kick-off and it seemed that the Crusaders had to score as they went left but Matt Todd grubbered to his left, presumably for Nadolo but the ball went off into touch and the Sharks survived.

There was a bit of a dispute between André Esterhuizen and Andy Ellis when Havili can flying into Esterhuizen's back, shoulder first, for which he was sent to the sin bin.

There was no sign that the Crusaders were missing their fullback as they launched an attack down the right with Todd prominent. They then went wide left where Nadolo got over right in the corner despite the desperate efforts of Tendai Mtawarira and Willie le Roux to stop him. The TMO confirmed that Nadolo had grounded the ball on a bit of goal-line, just before touch. 14-12 after 52 minutes.

The Crusaders thought they had scored from the wayward kick-off. It sailed directly into touch where McNicholl got the ball and ran up towards the half-way line with it. On the way he passed inside to Crotty who immediately gave to Fonotia who set off down the touchline. As Philip van der Walt tackled him he passed inside to McNicholl who was over, but the TMO saw that just before he passed the ball Fonotia had a heel on the touchline.

The Sharks also thought that they had scored.

The Crusaders were intent on attacking when Havili lost the ball forward. Jaco Reinach picked it up and hoofed it downfield. Le Roux set off after the ball, got it and was over for what every Natalian thought was a try. But the TMO declared that Le Roux had been just a fraction in front of Reinach and so offside.

And so the battle raged on with the Sharks just two points ahead.

McNicholl broke to set the Crusaders attacking and they went through 14 phases. Many phases usually end up with no scoring but not in this case as Ellis put Kieran Read into a gap and the big man stepped out of Esterhuizen's tackle to score at the posts. Nadolo converted. 19-14 with seven minutes to go.

Those seven minutes were a 0-0 draw and the final whistle went with the Crusaders delighted victors.

It was a match of high standard.

Man of the Match: There was a case for Johnny McNicholl who created opportunities for his side but in the end our choice is the big Fijian Nemani Nadolo. He was always a man for the Sharks to reckon with and whenever he was involved he drew more than one Shark to him. He scored a vital try and made a vital try. His fielding of the ball and his return of kicking was exceptional.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Tries: Mvovo 2
Cons: Joe Pietersen 2

For Crusaders:
Tries: Havili, Nadolo, Read
Cons: Mo'unga, Nadolo

Yellow card: David Havili (Crusaders, 48 - dangerous play, shoulder charge)


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.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Johan Greeff

Lwazi Mvovo (35min) and Lwazi Mvovo (44min)
David Havili (24min), Nemani Nadolo (50min), and Kieran Read (72min)
Joe Pietersen (37min) and Joe Pietersen (45min)
Richie Mo’unga (25min) and Nemani Nadolo (73min)
David Havili (48min)
VENUE Durban
REFEREE Jaco Peyper (South Africa)