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Super Rugby | Canberra
08:40 (GMT) | 02-04-2016
  • 81
Join us later today when we head to South Africa for two more Saturday games - the basement-battle between the Southern Kings and Sunwolves, as well as the all-SA derby between the Bulls and Cheetahs.
  • 80
Mckenzie adds the extras and the ref blows for Full Time! Thank you for joining us at for this match!
  • 79
Anton Lienert-Brown has another go. Chiefs 2 meters from the try line as McKenzie throws the dummy and crosses the line ! Try time!
  • 77
Tight-head from the Chiefs, they attack through center Anton Lienert-Brown who is held up over the line. Scrum Chiefs 5 meters out.
  • 76
Maul was set by the Chiefs but the ball did not come out and the Brumbies are awarded the scrum put in on their own try line.
  • 75
Maul set by the Chiefs , they also win the penalty and opt to kick for touch to set up a 5 meter lineout.
  • 73
Chiefs win the penalty as Maama Vaipulu forces the penalty. Cruden kicks for touch.
  • 72
Chiefs steal the lineout and Cruden clears the ball into touch . Brumbies lineout on the Chiefs 22.
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Penalty to the Brumbies . Toomua sets up the lineout 5 meters from the try line.
  • 70
Scrum for the Brumbies in the Chiefs half
  • 69
Sam Carter makes a lovely run for the Brumbies
  • 67
McKenzie pulls the conversion attempt
  • 66
Another try as the Chiefs attack from deep through Lowe who plays McKenzie who plays Weber who runs through and scores!
  • 65
McKenzie adds the extras
  • 64
Weber feeds the scrum plays the ball to Cruden , he cross kicks for Lowe who scores the try!
  • 63
Chiefs scrum for the ball not coming out the ruck. Dangerous attacking position.
  • 61
Chiefs turn the ball over inside the Brumbies 22. Lowe has a run but is tackled well. Here come the Chiefs
  • 60
Moore opts to go for goal. Lealiifano lines up his kick. Strikes it well and adds the three points.
  • 59
Brumbies win the ball on the Chiefs put in. Coleman is put in the gap by Toua and kicks forward but appears to be taken out after kicking the ball. TMO in action. Penalty to the Brumbies
  • 58
Toua takes a quick lineout and isolates himself resulting in the ref awarding the Chiefs a scrum in Brumbies territory.
  • 57
McKenzie slots the penalty
  • 56
Chiefs win the penalty. McKenzie will have a shot at goal.
  • 55
Lealiifano adds the extras
  • 54
Brumbies crash over for the try! Scott Fardy! What a game we have on our hands here!
  • 53
Brumbies win the penalty at the scrum. Toomua kicks for touch . Brumbies lineout inside the Chiefs 22.
  • 52
Toua kicks for touch, Lowe has a run from the quick taken lineout before throwing a loose pass and the Brumbies have the scrum put-in.
  • 51
Chiefs on the attack , Ngatai puts a grubber kick into touch. Brumbies win the lineout but are pinned in their own 22 forcing Lealiifano to kick for touch
  • 49
Brumbies lose the ball again . Scrum to the Chiefs in Brumbies territory
  • 48
Penalty to the Brumbies for Michael Leitch being offside. Toomua kicks for touch to set up the lineout.
  • 47
Chiefs turn the ball over and Lowe puts in a lovely kick that rolls out 5 meters from the Brumbies try line. All Chiefs here.
  • 46
Brumbies on the attack but without much venom
  • 45
McKenzie adds another penalty
  • 44
Successful lineout from the Chiefs as they swing the ball down the backline. They are just 5 meters from the try line. Brumbies caught offside and the Chiefs win another penalty. McKenzie will have a shot at goal
  • 43
Cruden clears the ball from the kickoff and the Brumbies attack wide before Kuridrani loses the ball and Lowe clears the ball upfield forcing Toua to kick the ball into touch. Chiefs on fire
  • 42
Pulu has a go as the Chiefs are 5 meters from the Brumbies try line. The Chiefs are awarded the penalty. They opt to have a shot at goal. McKenzie lines up his kick , strikes it well and the ball sails through the middle.
  • 41
Second half underway as Cruden kicks off.

Half Time

  • 40
McKenzie misses the conversion and the ref blows for halftime. See you all in a bit for the second half!
  • 39
Ngatai makes a lovely break after selling the defenders with a lovely dummy. Cruden gets the ball from the second wave of attack , breaks the line and throws a lovely pass to Sanders who scores!
  • 38
McKenzie slots the penalty
  • 37
Straight from the kick off , Stephen Moore is penalized for incorrect entry at the ruck. Chiefs opt to have a shot at goal.
  • 36
Lealiifano adds the extras from the tee
  • 35
Sio picks up from the base and drives over the line and scores the try for the Brumbies!
  • 34
Smiler has a crack from number 8 but is tackled well.
  • 33
Chiefs attack from their own line before Kuridrani smashes Cruden who loses the ball and the Brumbies have an attacking scrum. Awesome defense.
  • 32
Cubelli breaks the line from a sniping run. Brumbies 5 meters from the try line as Alexander has a crack but is shut down. The next attack results in Pocock throwing a forward pass that rolls into touch. Scrum Chiefs.
  • 31
Brumbies win the penalty and set up a lineout deep in the Chiefs half.
  • 30
McKenzie adds the extras
  • 28
The attacks continue from the Chiefs as Cruden does well and offloads to Lowe who scores. Simply spectacular play from the Chiefs
  • 27
McKenzie with some magic as he breaks the line then throws the magic ball to Weber who makes 30 meters before the Brumbies get the ball and clear up field. Fantastic run
  • 25
Toomua clears the Brumbies lines and James Lowe takes a quick lineout. McKenzie has a go before he is penalized at the breakdown and the Brumbies opt to kick for touch but Toomua doesnt find touch
  • 24
Pocock does brilliantly again as he steals the ball and Cubelli clears the ball upfield. Mckenzie whacks one upfield which is an absolute beauty as the ball rolls over the touchline 5 meters from the Brumbies try line.
  • 23
About 5-6 kicks back and forth before Toua slices one off the side of his boot and the Chiefs have the lineout just outside the Brumbies 22
  • 22
Sam Cane does brilliantly as he forces the penalty for Toomua holding on. Cruden kicks for touch
  • 21
Ngatai clears the ball and Toua breaks the line from the back. Brumbies looking good
  • 19
Couple kicks back and forth before Tomane does brilliantly and offloads to Cubelli who plays Lealiifano who loses the ball forward. Terrific run from the Brumbies winger.
  • 18
Lealiifano slices his penalty attempt. 22 dropout for the Chiefs
  • 17
Chiefs take the restart well and attempt to attack from deep before Pocock forces the penalty at the breakdown.
  • 15
McKenzie misses the conversion attempt.
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Lienert-Brown has a run for the Chiefs. Cruden clears the ball and Coleman has a run from deep before the Chiefs turn it over swing the ball to Ngatai who plays Pulu who scores in the corner!
  • 13
Brumbies destroy the Chiefs pack and win the penalty. Toomua kicks for touch. Chiefs will be worried about their scrum
  • 12
Scrum resets at the first attempt. Weber feeds the scrum and Cruden attempts a cross kick that is fumbled by Pulu and the Brumbies have the scrum put-in
  • 10
Lealiifano clears the ball up field and McKenzie has a run from deep before there is a knock from a Brumbies players hand and the ref blows for a Chiefs scrum near the halfway line
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Lealiifano slots the penalty
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Brumbies win the penalty, Lealiifano will have another shot at goal.
  • 7
Brumbies attack from deep through bigman Vaea. Brumbies on a roll here as the attack gains momentum
  • 6
Lealiifano slots the penalty
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Brumbies win the penalty inside the Chiefs 22. Moore chooses to have a shot at goal.
  • 4
Sam Carter has a run, second wave of attack sees Fardy throw a big dummy and break the line. Good play all round
  • 3
Cruden has a go before Sam Cane goes off his feet and the Brumbies win the penalty. Toomua sets up the lineout in Chiefs territory
  • 2
Chiefs take the kickoff well before Ngatai's kick is charged down and theres a knock on from the Chiefs . Brumbies scrum in a dangerous position. Cubelli feeds and plays Leiliifano who plays Toua who gets the ball ripped away from him and the Chiefs win the penalty.
  • 1
First half underway. Brumbies kick off
  • -5
Teams come out. This should be an absolutely cracking match
  • -20
Welcome to this Super Rugby clash between the Brumbies and the Chiefs
Mc brumbies logo 80x50
Mc chiefs logo 80x50
  • 1 Scott Sio
  • 2 Stephen Moore
  • 3 Ben Alexander
  • 4 Rory Arnold
  • 5 Sam Carter
  • 6 Scott Fardy
  • 7 David Pocock
  • 8 Ita Vaea
  • 9 Tomas Cubelli
  • 10 Christian Lealiifano
  • 11 Robbie Coleman
  • 12 Matt Toomua
  • 13 Tevita Kuridrani
  • 14 Joe Tomane
  • 15 Aidan Toua
  • 16 Josh Mann-Rae
  • 17 Allan Alaalatoa
  • 18 Les Makin
  • 19 Tom Staniforth
  • 20 Jordan Smiler
  • 21 Joe Powell
  • 22 James Dargaville
  • 23 Nigel Ah Wong
  • 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 Anton Lienert-Brown.
  • 14 Toni Pulu
  • 15 Damian McKenzie
  • 16 Rhys Marshall
  • 17 Atunaisa Moli
  • 18 Siegfried Fisiihoi
  • 19 James Tucker
  • 20 Maama Vaipulu
  • 21 Kane Hammington
  • 22 Seta Tamanivalu
  • 23 Shaun Stevenson
Mc article christian lealiifano brumbies looks 800


Thu, 31 Mar 2016 22:53

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

Super Rugby's leading scorers Damian McKenzie and Christian Leali'ifano go head-to-head on Saturday when the Chiefs and Brumbies promise a points-laden trans-Tasman showdown in Canberra.

The table-topping clash in the Australasian arm of the championship is only matched for intrigue by the polar opposite game in the African group, where winless newcomers the Southern Kings and the Sunwolves will be battling for their first victory of the season - the odds favouring an historic maiden triumph for the Japanese side.

The Sunwolves are at least on the board after their bonus points for narrow losses against the Cheetahs and Bulls, while the Kings, with no points so far, also have the travel factor against them as they return from their two-match road trip to New Zealand.

New Argentine side the Jaguares open their New Zealand swing resting several big names - including Agustin Creevy, Santiago Cordero and Juan Manuel Leguizamon - for Saturday's match with the Blues.

The Bulls have suffered a setback ahead of their match against the Cheetahs with fullback Warrick Gelant out for at least six weeks after breaking his jaw against the Sunwolves last weekend.

The Cheetahs have just one win so far, but will be feeling good after picking up a bonus point for their close finish against the Brumbies.

In the remaining weekend game the Waratahs are at home to the Rebels who currently lie second in the Australia conference.

We look at the Saturday, April 2,  and Sunday, April 3, matches below!

Blues coach Tana Umaga admitted his side is down on confidence - following two defeats and a draw in their last three matches, which leaves them well outside the top 10 on the standings.

After starting so brightly with a win in the opening week against the Highlanders, the Blues crashed to the Crusaders in Christchurch, lost to the Hurricanes in Auckland and managed an equally disappointing draw with the hapless Reds in Brisbane.

Like all the coaches of losing teams, Umaga was grabbing at straws of positivity.

"For us it's to re-focus on what we're doing," Umaga told the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

"We can't lose sight of that, we must keep faith in it," Umaga said.

"It [Blues game plan] has created a lot of opportunities for us. If we do go back to that Reds game we just missed a lot of opportunities.

"Good sides take those. Being a young side, confidence is a big thing and if we can hold some of those passes and take some of those opportunities our confidence will grow."

They will be up against a Jaguares side equally despondent, having also only won their opening  match - a fortuitous one-point victory against a Cheetahs team that let a 20-point lead slip.

The result was that a host of frontline players were left at home - supposedly 'rested' for the first two matches of their three-match New Zealand tour.

Among those left behind are captain Agustin Creevy, Santiago Cordero and Juan Manuel Leguizamon.

Rodrigo Báez, one of the players who are back in the side after missing the defeats to the Chiefs and Stormers on home soil, said "rotation is a good thing".

The loose forward said this Saturday is a chance for the Argentinean side to get their campaign back on track.

"We are coming off three straight defeats and the team has a great desire to win, "said Báez.

The Jaguares have focussed a lot on turning their defence into attack this week - to make their turnovers count.

"We know we have to score points with each and every opportunity we get," he said.

"We are creating many opportunities on attack, but we are not turning them into points.

Recent results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Blues have won three and drawn one of their last five matches against teams from outside of New Zealand. The Jaguares have scored 32 of their 49 points in the opening half when playing away from home and they failed to score a second half point in their last away fixture against the Sharks. The Jaguares beat an average of 29.3 defenders per game so far this season, the most of any team and 9.3 more than the Blues (20). Blake Gibson has made 59 tackles so far this season, the third most of any player, and he's missed just seven further attempts. Matias Moroni has won nine turnovers for the Jaguares so far this season, the third most of any player in the competition and more than any New Zealand-based player. Both teams are due a good performance, but the Blues come off a bye and the Jaguares have travelled. The Blues should the game with a margin in the single digits.


Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Rieko Ioane, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Joe Edwards, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Hoani Matenga, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 George Moala.

Jaguares: 15 Ramiro Moyano, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Santiago González Iglesias, 9 Martín Landajo (captain), 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Rodrigo Báez, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Roberto Tejerizo.
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Juan Cruz Guillemaín, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Nicolás Sánchez, 23 Joaquín Paz.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Two of the game's premier playmakers will go head-to-head on Saturday, with Christian Lealiifano and Aaron Cruden set to lock horns.

Lealiifano has been a stalwart of the Brumbies for almost a decade, making his debut for the side in 2007 after moving to Canberra as a teenager from Melbourne.

Since his debut Lealiifano has made 106 appearances, scoring 693 points. He is now becoming the Brumbies seventh most capped player and second highest point scorer.

During his time at the Brumbies, Lealiifano has also made 16 appearances for the Wallabies, scoring 124 points for the national side.

Equally as comfortable at flyhalf or inside centre, Lealiifano's ability to pick a gap or find space with his accurate boot have made him a valuable member of the Brumbies squad.

Lealiifano's opposite number Aaron Cruden has been one of the world's best throughout his career since bursting onto the scene in 2010.

Cruden's Super Rugby debut was met with much fanfare, he was a highly touted prospect having led the Junior All Black's to IRB Junior World Championship in 2009, as well as being named IRB Junior Player of the Year for 2009.

He made his Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes in 2010, impressing immediately and earning a call up to the All Blacks.

In 2012 Cruden moved to the Chiefs, helping the side win its maiden Super Rugby title after a comprehensive 37-6 victory over the Sharks in the final.

The following year the Chiefs successfully defended their title with Cruden a key cog, defeating the Brumbies at Waikato stadium. On that occasion though, Lealiifano was almost the star of the show - scoring all of his side's 22 points in the narrow 29-22 loss in Waikato.

Lealiifano says the team wants to deliver a performance to make fans proud.

"Hopefully we can get some momentum and get things clicking. We don't need to change our shape or make drastic changes, we just have to stick at it," Lealiifano told the Canberra Times.

"The more we can get a consistent set piece and stay in our shape, the better our attack will be.

"The Chiefs are red hot at the moment, they can punish you from everywhere so we have to control that as best we can.

"Last week was a frustrating one for the backs and it was scrappy, but we've spoken about it as a backline in terms of getting our hands on the footy, especially to our danger men.

"We've got guys who can really light it up, so we have to take opportunities when we get them and make the most of them."

Recent results:
2015: Chiefs won 19-17, New Plymouth
2014: Brumbies won 32-30, Canberra (preliminary play-off match)
2014: Brumbies won 41-23, Canberra
2013: Chiefs won 27-22, Hamilton (Final)
2012: Chiefs won 29-22, Hamilton
2011: Brumbies won 28-20, Canberra

Prediction: The spoils are split at two wins apiece in the last four matches between these teams; of those four matches two have been post-season with each team notching one win. The Brumbies have won eight and drawn one of their last 10 home matches against the Chiefs. The Chiefs have won their last three matches away from home and a fourth straight road win would equal their second longest streak in club history (2007), just one behind the club record (five wins - 2011-12). The Chiefs scored twice from the scrum in Round Four, taking their season tally to six tries from that origin, the most of any team so far this season. Damian McKenzie leads the competition in points (85), tries (six) and goals (24) scored after five rounds; Charlie Ngatai is the second top try scorer (five) after his four tries against the Force. The Brumbies have travelled back from South Africa, so they will need a significant lead going into the final quarter. We feel the Chiefs will edge ahead in the last 20 minutes and win by two tries.


Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 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 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Joe Powell, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 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 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Seta Tamanivalu, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: William Houston (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

With two teams looking for their first win of the season, this game has a very different feel.

Despite their lowly positions on the standings, there is an edge and an air of expectation to the game that have not been present in any of their previous outings this season.

Kings coach Deon Davids said his team has made significant progress on their just-completed two-match tout of New Zealand - which saw them lose 24-57 to the Crusaders, but then stayed in touch with the Hurricanes for more than an hour before a couple of late scores saw the Kiwi team win 42-20.

"We are also aware that there is a lot for us to work on," Davids told a media briefing in Port Elizabeth this week.

He felt that if they can improve on the weaknesses they identified and add it to what went well the scoreboard will have a positive reflection for the men from PE.

"These Japanese teams always bring something different and our defence is a key component that we worked on," Davids said.

"We definitely want to shut down their space and time."

While the Kings struggled to get any moment in the early rounds of the competition, last week they players like centre Stefan Watermeyer, flank Stefan Willemse and hooker Edgar Marutlulle to get go-forward ball.

"We also have to improve in terms of our discipline and ensure we don't give away kickable penalties."

He said the Sunwolves are a stereotypical side.

"They will change up their tactics, look for space and look for opportunities to isolate your defenders.

"If you are slack in terms of defence and allow the game to become unstructured they will punish you."

Recent results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Kings have conceded 157 points combined in their last three matches against teams from outside of South Africa. This will be the Sunwolves first ever match away from home turf in Super Rugby. Both of the Kings two wins at home in Super Rugby history have come against teams from outside of South Africa (Force & Highlanders). The Sunwolves have conceded eight tries on the opening phase of opposition possession, only the Kings (nine) have conceded more. Tusi Pisi kicks at an accuracy of 94 percent, the highest of any player who's attempted at least 15 shots at goal so far this season. Unless it is a draw, one team will finally have a 'W' in their results column and we think - despite travelling back from New Zealand - the Kings will have an edge over a Sunwolves team that travelled from Tokyo. Kings by 10 to 15 points.


Southern Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Cyril-John Velleman, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22. Elgar Watts, 23 Jaco van Tonder.

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

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Rodney Bonaparte (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)

Expect this to be a typical South African derby - physical and at times brutal. It won't be pretty, but it will be intense.

While the Cheetahs' only win so far has been a one-point victory over the Sunwolves, they showed promise against the Brumbies last week - coming back with a determined second-half showing.

The Bulls have also made steady progress since their opening round defeat to the Stormers, and they have won two matches and drawn one since that defeat.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais said the Cheetahs are a "dangerous" team with good set pieces.

"They have great maul and line-out and an incredible scrum," Marais told rugby365.

"If you give them broken-field [play] they will hurt you badly."

The Cheetahs' biggest problem this season has been that they start slow and then have to come back in the second half.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith spoke of his side's ability with ball in hand and also reflected on the quality of their set pieces.

"My main aim is to compare us to previous Cheetahs teams," Smith said, adding: "So there is progress and from there we can compete with the rest."

Marais said a big focus for the Bulls this week was to ensure they play from minute one to the 80th to avoid falling prey to the Cheetahs' famous second-half rallies.

Then he also wants his team to work on their "game management" - the ability to close out games.

"[That shortcoming was illustrated] in our last two games," Marais said, adding: "Against the Sharks [in Pretoria] we were leading 13-3 and in then end played to a [16-all] draw and against the Sunwolves [a week later] we were leading 23-10 and made it difficult for ourselves at the end of the day [allowing the Sunwolves back in to win just 30-27].

"We will have to produce an 80-minute performance.

"At least some of our senior guys [like Pieter Labuschagne, Deon Stegmann and Dean Greyling] are returning, so that will help down the line."

Recent results:
2015: Cheetahs won 42-29, Pretoria
2015: Bulls won 39-20, Bloemfontein
2014: Bulls won 26-21, Pretoria
2014: Cheetahs won 15-9, Bloemfontein
2013: Bulls won 30-25, Bloemfontein
2013: Bulls won 26-20, Pretoria

Prediction: The Bulls have won 13 of their last 15 matches against the Cheetahs, though the Cheetahs will be on the hunt for consecutive wins against the Bulls for the first time in history after a 42-29 win in their last encounter. The 16 matches between these sides have seen 56 points scored per game on average. The Bulls have conceded only nine points in the opening halves of their two home matches this season. The Bulls have conceded only one of their 11 tries in the first half of games this season, the fewest of any team in the competition; the Cheetahs have conceded the joint most in that time (12). Francois Uys has won 27 line-outs so far this season, the third most of any player in the competition while he's stolen two more in the process. It is Loftus Versfeld, so the Bulls should be favourites (if only ever so lightly), but this game could go either way. We feel the Bulls will edge it with a late score.


Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Rudolph 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 Pieter Labuschagne/Nic de Jager, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 SP Marais.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain) , 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Johannes 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.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Ben Crouse (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Sunday, April 3

In a week when questions were raised over Australia's ability to sustain five Super Rugby teams, this game may just showcase both the best and worst of Australian rugby at present.

To say the Waratahs have been a disappointment this season would be an understatement.

The Tahs' are barely holding onto a top 10 spot and assistant coach Chris Malone said there are a number of areas they need to improve on ahead of Sunday's match against the Rebels.

"We had a lot more possession last week [a 15-13 win over the Reds], but we didn't take advantage of it," Malone said.

"Taking the opportunities when they're presented in the game whether that's from a scrum, line-out, kick, turnover is important.

"We know that we can get into our game, we just need to be more accurate with our skill execution."

Discipline is another issue the Tahs focussed on this week.

"Discipline is very important," Malone said, adding: "The week before [against the Highlanders] we were really good in terms of our discipline and only gave away four penalties.

"This past week [against the Reds] we gave away quite a few more.

"It just puts you under pressure for longer periods of the game. It means you don't have the football for long periods of time.

"The pleasing thing for us was that we defended our way out of a lot of those situations. So we can take that as a positive moving forward."

The  Rebels feel that despite their loss to the Highlanders last week, they can take some valuable lessons into the all-Australian derby.

"We'll take a look over things like our attack, but our scrum and defence was really good," Rebels prop Laurie Weeks said.

"The Highlanders' tries came off a few freakish little things so we'll take that [positive] going into the Waratahs game.

"The confidence is still here in the team so taking that to the next game is crucial."

Along with local rivalries renewed, the local derby has the added importance of Super Rugby points with the Rebels and Waratahs jockeying for positions in the Australian conference.

Despite last weekend's defeat the Rebels, with three wins and two defeats after their opening five games of the season, remain three points ahead of the Waratahs, who have two wins and two defeats, in second place in the local conference.

"We don't want to struggle at the end of the season to get points so we'll take everything we can get now," Weeks said.

Recent results:
2015: Waratahs won 18-16, Sydney
2015: Waratahs won 38-28, Melbourne
2014: Waratahs won 41-19, Melbourne
2014: Waratahs won 32-8, Sydney
2013: Rebels won 24-22, Melbourne
2013: Waratahs won 31-26, Sydney

Prediction: The Waratahs have won nine of the 10 previous encounters between these teams including a current streak of four wins.
The Waratahs average more points per game against the Rebels (31.8) than against any other team in the Australasian Group. The Rebels have won two of their last three matches away from home and, after a 35-9 win over the Sunwolves in Round Four, will be looking for back-to-back away wins for the first time since Round Five, 2015. At 55 percent the Waratahs goal kicking success is the lowest in the competition, although the Rebels are the fourth worst team (67 percent). Sean McMahon (20) has beaten more defenders than any other forward in Super Rugby this season. Both teams have shown promise this season, but are coming off disappointing performances last week. We will give it to the home team, the Waratahs, but by less than 10 points.


Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 David Horwitz, 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 Hugh Roach, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Sam Lousi, 21 Wycliff Palu, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Andrew Kellaway.

Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Cam Crawford, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Sean McMahon, 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 Ben Meehan, 22 Dan Hawkins, 23 Sera Naivalu.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Compiled by Jan de Koning, with additional reporting from AFP

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article brumbies v chiefs match 800

Chiefs teach Brumbies a harsh lesson

Sat, 02 Apr 2016 10:38

REPORT: The Chiefs again displayed their championship potential when they taught the Brumbies a harsh lesson in Canberra on Saturday.

The Chiefs, two-time champions, outscored the home side by six tries to two in a sublime display of pace, power and precision - resulting in a 48-23 blow-out..

This was achieved despite a wonky scrum, the only aspect of the game where the Brumbies had the edge.

The result means the Chiefs reclaim first place on the competition standings, which they conceded to the defending-champion Highlanders 24 hours earlier.

There was great anticipation for this match - the top of the Australian conference against the top of the New Zealand conference.

But really it was a one-sided match, especially as the game wore on.

As against the Stormers at Newlands, the Brumbies fell away as the game went on.

But also it was significant that in both matches David Pocock was nullified. In this match the Chiefs enjoyed many turnovers. And then their attacking was wonderful, their tries a delight.

The game started slowly. The match in Johannesburg started like the popping of a champagne cork; this one screwed off the top of a battle of flat beer. After a quarter of an hour the score was 6-0 to the Brumbies' from two penalties, both kicked by Christian Leali'ifano, the first when Same Cane was offside, the second when Aaron Cruden tackled late.

Then came the first try and it started with a turnover, which Taleni Seu won off Robbie Coleman. Quickly the Chiefs went right where Charlie Ngatai kept the defenders in check till he passed to unmarked Toni Pulu who accelerated over in the corner. 6-5 after 16 minutes.

That is how the score stayed for ten minutes while Joe Tomane burst throw four would-be tacklers, Aidan Toua counterattacked form a kick and Damian McKenzie got to five metres from the Brumbies' line. But it was two kicks that did not find touch that set the Chiefs whooping down the field. The first was a long kick from a penalty by Matt Toomua and a counter by James Lowe. Then 20-year-old McKenzie broke astonishingly when any forward movement seemed impossible and Brad Weber and Cruden carried the attack on. The Brumbies won a turnover but Tomás Cubelli chose to kick the ball to Lowe instead of into touch. The Chiefs slowly built their attack till McKenzie gave to Lowe who put life into the attack by darting down the left. Lowe gave to Cruden who sped ahead before passing back to Lowe who enjoyed scoring, but then he plays the game with a chuckle. McKenzie converted and the Chiefs had the lead, but not for long.

Cubelli broke through a line-out to set the Brumbies on the attack. The Chiefs had a defensive scrum but decided on passing, which came unstuck when Tevita Kuridrani thumped into Cruden. This gave the Brumbies a five-metre scrum from which they bashed till Scott Sio scored under the posts. The Brumbies had the lead back at 13-12, but not for long.

Stephen Moore was penalised for obstruction at the kick-off and McKenzie goaled. 15-13 to the Chiefs. And the lead grew immediately.

From the Brumbies deep kick-off Ngatai broke fast and long on the left. He gave to Lowe who managed to fling the ball inside as he was nudged into touch. The Chiefs went right and Cruden shot through a gap before passing a long pass to unmarked Tom Sanders on his right who scored with Pulu free on his outside. That made the half-time score 20-13 after 15 points had been scored in the last four minutes of the half.

The Chiefs owned the second half.

From the kick-off to start the half, Jordan Smiler, who was outside his 22, knocked the ball back to Toua who kicked directly into touch, giving the Chiefs a line-out well inside the Brumbies' 22. The Chiefs bashed, the Brumbies were penalised and McKenzie goaled. 23-13 after 42 minutes and three minutes later, when Sio was penalised for offside, McKenzie goaled again. 26-13.

But the Brumbies do not lie down. They kicked a penalty out and Pocock broke infield from the line-out and gave to Kuridrani. This set the Brumbies bashing at the line till tall Scott Fardy picked up with one hand, dived over the mass lying at the line and stretching scored a try. 26-20 after 54 minutes.

Three minutes later McKenzie goaled a penalty when Fardy was offside and four minutes after that Leali'ifano did in like manner when Pulu tackled late. 29-23 in 61 minutes.

The Brumbies did not score again but the Chiefs certainly did.

The Chiefs attacked and had a scrum six metres from the Brumbies line. Weber got a pass to Cruden who ran up to the Brumby defenders and then left-footed kicked a diagonal which Lowe caught on the full and scored. It was a try exquisite in its simplicity. 36-23 after 65 minutes.

From the kickoff Lowe chipped from five metres inside his 22, gathered the bouncing ball and gave inside to McKenzie who gave further inside to Weber who raced away for a try. 41-23 after 66 minutes.

The Chiefs can do things quickly!

A penalty gave the Brumbies a five-metre line-out but Seu won their throw. Two penalties gave the Chiefs a five-metre line-out which they mauled at the front. The maul was stopped which gave the Brumbies a scrum, five metres from their line. The Chiefs won a tighthead and bashed but were held up which gave them another five-metre scrum, and this time McKenzie cut through for his seventh Super Rugby try. The final whistle went on 48-23.

Man of the Match: The most obvious candidates are Sam Cane, Brad, Weber, Damian McKenzie, James Lowe and our choice, Aaron Cruden whose judgement, skill, attack and defence were excellent.

The scorers:

For the Brumbies:
Sio, Fardy
Cons: Lealiifano 2
Pens: Lealiifano 3

For the Chiefs:
Pulu, Lowe 2, Sanders, Weber, McKenzie
Cons: McKenzie 3
Pens: McKenzie 4


Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 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 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Joe Powell, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 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 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Seta Tamanivalu, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: William Houston (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Scott Sio (35min) and Scott Fardy (54min)
Toni Pulu (14min), James Lowe (28min), Tom Sanders (39min), James Lowe (64min), Brad Weber (66min), and Damian McKenzie (79min)
Christian Lealiifano (36min) and Christian Lealiifano (55min)
Damian McKenzie (30min), Damian McKenzie (65min), and Damian McKenzie (80min)
Christian Lealiifano (6min), Christian Lealiifano (9min), and Christian Lealiifano (60min)
Damian McKenzie (38min), Damian McKenzie (42min), Damian McKenzie (45min), and Damian McKenzie (57min)
VENUE Canberra
REFEREE Angus Gardner (Australia)