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Sharks

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Lions

Super Rugby | Durban
15:05 (GMT) | 09-04-2016
  • 80
Thanks for joining us! Join us again for more Super Rugby action when the Bulls take on the Kings later this evening!
  • 80
The Sharks retain possession and take the ball up but a poor pass by Le Roux to Daniel du Preez puts the game to bed as the number eight loses it forward
  • 79
The Lions get a lineout on Sharks 10 and they go for the free kick. Jantjies sends it over the dead ball line and the Sharks will have the put-in at the scrum on the 10
  • 77
Not much continuity and both sides are struggling to hold onto the ball. Quite a boring encounter.
  • 74
The Sharks turn it over just outside own 5 and Garth April boots it into touch. The Lions get possession again and move into opposition half before the Sharks get a turnover. Things go awry at the ruck and the Lions get a scrum on Sharks 10
  • 71
The Sharks are on the attack but don't gain much ground. The Lions turn it over and a late tackle on Jantjies by Keegan Daniel sets them up for a lineout on Sharks 22 after Jantjies finds touch
  • 67
Jantjies sneaks it inside from an angle to stretch their commanding lead
  • 66
We have another scrum (which also collapses) and it's reset. It tumbles again and the Lions get penalised this time. The Sharks send it into touch and the Lions boot it back. The visitors have the throw-in outside Sharks 22 and get a penalty shot after a ruck infringement by the hosts
  • 62
A fresh body for the Lions as well as Armand van der Merwe takes over front-row duties from Malcolm Marx
  • 61
They have another go and the Sharks turn possession over at the resulting ruck. There's a change to their front row as Juan Schoeman comes on for Beast
  • 59
The Sharks could've easily come away with the lineout after a deep throw-in by Malcolm Marx but they clumsily lose the ball. The Lions feed the scrum and Gardner seems to be losing his cool with the struggling set-piece flaws
  • 57
Things are looking much better for the hosts but the Lions continue to limit their possession. A high tackle by JP Pietersen gives the Lions a chance to strech their lead but they opt to go for touch
  • 54
It' a Lions scrum and the set-piece is reset (again). Gardner threatening two punish both packs for their scrummaging flaws. The Lions retain possession and Jantjies relieves some pressure with the kick that gives the Sharks the throw-in on own 10
  • 52
The Sharks steal it at the ruck and Reinach boots the turnover ball. The Lions answer with a kick and the Sharks hold onto it. Le Roux makes the most of the front-foot ball and snipes through but their momentum is halted just outside the 5
  • 50
The scrum is struggling to set and the Sharks are the culprits once again. Jantjies finds touch just outside the 22 and they will have the throw-in
  • 48
The Sharks start a run and near opposition 22 before the ball is passed forward. No call from Gardner and play continues. They play wide to Lwazi Mvovo but the wing loses it forward and the Lions get the put-in just outside the 10
  • 45
He makes no mistakes and adds the three-pointer
  • 44
Etienne Oosthuizen has his hands in the ruck outside their 22 and Jantjies sets up for the kick
  • 42
The hosts get an early opportunity to add three points after a ruck infringement by the Lions just outside Sharks 22 and Pietersen gets it over from a left angle
  • 41
Pietersen kicks the second half off. The Lions seem determined to continue their attacking dominance while Sharks will be looking to see more of the ball in the last 40.

Half Time

  • 40
A bit of a brawl breaks out after time-out for a medical check. The Sharks get a penalty shot after a scrum infringement by the Lions and Pietersen sends it through from a distance to add three for the hosts
  • 36
Jantjies sends it wide
  • 35
Lionel Mapoe receives an outside pass from Jantjies and he's over! We have another TMO referral but there's nothing wrong there and the try is awarded!
  • 33
The Lions feed the scrum on the 5-m line after Pietersen's fumble. The Sharks collapse the set-piece and the scrum is reset. It goes the Lions' way but solid defence from the Sharks keep them out..
  • 31
He's taken off the field with what seems like a knee injury.
  • 29
The Lions run up after a lineout on their 10 and gain good ground. It's turned over but Pietersen loses it forward inside own 5 and the Lions will have a scrum. Time out as Marcell Coetzee is receiving medical attention.
  • 27
They put up a run and a break by Beast gets the crowd roaring. He's stopped and and the Lions infringe. Pietersen takes an easy penalty kick right in the middle from the 22 to put the Sharks on the scoreboard.
  • 24
Gardner has a few words with Tendai Mtawarira and the Lions launch their attack again. Very little attacking by the Durbanites so far.
  • 22
The Sharks take the ball up after an attacking line-out and play continues despite a forward pass. Nothing comes of it and possession is turned over. Jantjies punts from midfield and Willie le Roux returns the kick from the 5. The Lions keep ball in hand and take it up and the Sharks infringe in their red zone
  • 19
It has the distance and he adds three more to the Lions' tally
  • 18
The Sharks are penalised for collapsing the scrum on own 10 and Jantjies sets up for the penalty kick from a slight left angle
  • 15
Jantjies add the conversion right in front of the posts
  • 14
TRY! The Lions get the first points on the board
  • 13
A bit of back and forth kicking now and Pietersen delivers a poor kick to touch that gives the Lions the throw-in on Sharks' 10. The Lions gain a few good metres. Rohan Janse van Rensburg puts in a grubber but it's gathered the Sharks who lose it forward. They have a scrum on the 5 and Andries Ferreira dots it down but we will have a TMO referral to see if he was held up...
  • 8
The visitors regain possession and send the ball through the hands to Jaco Kriel on the outside who speeds through and dots the ball down in the right corner. Referee calls no try as the pass from Jantjies was forward and the Sharks feed the scrum on own 10
  • 5
The Lions come away with a free kick and Jantjies puts in a kick that could have gone better to find touch on own 10. They win the set piece and gain a few metres but possession is quickly turned over before Joe Pietersen boots possession away
  • 3
A beautiful break by Daniel du Preez just inside Lions' half sets up an attacking run by the hosts. The Lions do well to keep them out and prevent what seemed like a certain try, and the Sharks are penalised for not releasing the ball and the visitors will have the put-in at the 5-m scrum
  • 1
Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies gets the game underway for with a deep kick into Sharks 22!
  • -5
The teams are on the field! The meticulous Angus Gardner is our referee and Nicholas Berry and Rodney Bonaparte will be assisting him, while Marius Jonker is the TMO.
  • -10
For the Lions, Ross Cronjé will start at scrumhalf for the first time after sustaining a facial injury in the friendly in Polokwane against the Bulls while Rohan Janse van Rensburg starts at centre. Cronje's return sees Francois de Klerk dropping down to the bench, while Janse van Rensburg is promoted to the starting 15 with Howard Mnisi providing cover.
  • -15
Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold has made only one change his starting XV for the Kings Park fixture. Daniel du Preez comes in on the flank in the place of the injured Philip van der Walt - who suffered a neck injury in the encounter with the Crusaders a fortnight ago. Springbok Keegan Daniel takes du Preez's place on the bench in the only other change to the matchday 23.
  • -20
It’s a warm afternoon in Durban and the temperature is sitting at 26 degrees celsius. It’s quite humid and there is a light breeze but we have very little chances of rain.
  • -30
Welcome and thanks for joining us for our live coverage of the Round Seven clash between the Sharks and the Lions!
Mc sharks logo 80x50
Sharks
Mc lions logo 85
Lions
START LINE UP
  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
  • 4 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 5 Stephan Lewies
  • 6 Marcell Coetzee
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 8 Daniel du Preez
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 10 Joe Pietersen
  • 11 Lwazi Mvovo
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 13 Paul Jordaan
  • 14 JP Pietersen
  • 15 Willie le Roux
RESERVES
  • 16 Kyle Cooper
  • 17 Juan Schoeman
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 19 Hyron Andrews
  • 20 Keegan Daniel
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 22 Garth April
  • 23 Odwa Ndungane
START LINE UP
  • 1 Dylan Smith
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 3 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 7 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 9 Ross Cronje
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
RESERVES
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
  • 17 Corne Fourie
  • 18 Ruan Dreyer
  • 19 Ruan Ackermann
  • 20 Cyle Brink
  • 21 Francois de Klerk
  • 22 Howard Mnisi
  • 23 Jaco van der Walt
Mc article cyril john velleman kings 800

S18 PREVIEW: ROUND SEVEN, PART TWO

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 21:55

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

The match of the day is undoubtedly the all-South African derby between the Sharks and Lions in Durban.

Given what is at stake, it promises to be thrilling derby.

These two teams are currently occupying the top two spots on the Africa Conference Two standings.

It all starts in Wellington, when the 2015 runners-up , the Hurricanes, host the tournament newcomers, the Jaguares of Argentina.

The Hurricanes have finally worked their way into the play-off race, after starting with two defeats - while the Jaguares have lost four on the trot after a fortuitous win in the opening round.

Next we head across the Tasman Sea to Brisbane, where the hapless Reds host the defending champion Highlanders - one of the form teams in the tournament.

Then it is off to South Africa for the Sharks versus Lions.

We finish the weekend's action when the Southern Kings face the Bulls at home in Port Elizabeth.

Their match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is the second successive home game for the Kings, after their morale-boosting maiden win over the Sunwolves last weekend.

The Brumbies, Cheetahs, Rebels and Waratahs all have a bye.

We look at the Saturday, April 9, matches below!

The game has the potential to produce an upset - the Jaguares' first win since they scraped past the Cheetahs (34-33) in the opening week.

The talk around the Hurricanes camp this week was about the return of Julian Savea and Cory Jane's 100th game.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said Jane's achievement was a significant one for any player.

"Hopefully we can put in a performance against the Jaguares that makes it a memorable occasion for Cory and his family," Boyd said.

"I'm sure the players are highly motivated to do just that this weekend."

The Jaguares - still without a host of their frontline internationals - are into the second week of a three-match tour of New Zealand, desperate to end the losing streak that has seen them slide to well outside the top 10.

Having analysed last week's loss to the Blues, the Argentinean team believe they can turn the corner against last year's beaten finalists - who currently sit in the top eight.

"The main objective is to try to sharpen our attack and to be more efficient," assistant coach Martin Gaitan said.

"Last week, against the Blues, we have five scoring opportunities early in the match. Only one of those, a penalty, was turned into points."

The Jaguares are determined to salvage something from their tour - which will see them play the Hurricanes and Crusaders - before they head to Japan for an encounter with fellow tournament newcomers, the Sunwolves.

"It becomes more difficult with each match on tour," Gaitan said.

"However, it is vital that we focus on each game and not look too far ahead - to other games or where we want to finish on the standings."

He felt they are not too far off their next victory.

"Our attitude and the will to always attack is really very good.

"The players need to made some minor tweaks and improvement, then we can get that victory."

Previous results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won 11 of their last 13 matches against teams from outside of New Zealand, including the last two by a combined score line of 83-26. The Hurricanes have won their last six regular season home matches in Super Rugby having scored 139 points across their last three such fixtures. Despite having won only one match from their five so far in Super Rugby the Jaguares are yet to lose a fixture by more than eight points and have lead at half-time in two of their last four. The Hurricanes average 123 carries per game, the most of any team after five rounds this season, and they're one of only three teams (Chiefs, Lions) to average more than half a kilometre gained over the advantage line each match (541 metres). Martin Landajo has made eight breaks so far this season, the most of any scrum half in the competition. The Jaguares have a realistic chance of an upset, but only if they can improve their discipline and cut down on the number of penalties they conceded. We feel the Latin temperament will be their undoing and the Hurricanes will score a late winner.

Teams:

Hurricanes: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Willis Halaholo, 12 Julian Savea, 11 Ngani Laumape, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Blade Thomson, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Otere Black, 23 Matt Proctor.

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

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Brett Johnson (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

To say the Reds have under-performed this season would be an understatement.

Along with the Sunwolves of Japan, newcomers to the competition, the Queensland-based franchise is the only winless side.

There is a glimmer, just a glimmer, of hope they can end a streak that dates back to June last year. A draw against the Blues last month is the highlight for a team that has not finished higher than 13th since 2013.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph have made a raft of changes, some injury related.

The most significant of those changes are the loss of star All Black Ben Smith, who sits out as a result of concussion he suffered in the win over the Western Force last week.

The other is one the Reds will not enjoy.

All Black flyhalf Lima Sopoaga returns from a groin injury, to again partner with Aaron Smith.

The Reds also received some good news on the injury front - the most significant the return of captain and veteran prop James Slipper.

Slipper's return will provide a mighty lift for a relatively inexperienced team that has mostly shown fight, but is in desperate need of composure.

Rob Simmons has filled in as interim skipper.

"It's been disjointed, but Simmo's done a good job in difficult circumstances," Slipper said.

"I won't do too much different in terms of captaincy.

"The best thing I can do is hit the ground running. That's the way I can serve the team the best.

"We just need to control the game a little better."

Slipper said he has seen enough to be enthusiastic about the rest of the season.

"There's plenty to be optimistic about," Slipper said.

"I've had my ups and downs but I've been jumpy about playing since the trials.

"I've got a lot of pride in this jersey and want to play a game that our fans have been proud of.

"The fans have been the ones who are missing out and that hurts me. Our fans have been great but it's been tough for them.

"There's been a lot of things going on, but all we can do as players as put our heads down and get on with it. We can't afford to get bogged down.

"Our job's to play and, in my case, I feel like I can get back and hit the ground running in better nick than I was before surgery.

"We're confident in the way we want to play but it's just a matter of doing it."

Recent results:
2015: Highlanders won 20-13, Dunedin
2014: Reds won 38-31, Brisbane
2013: Reds won 34-33, Dunedin
2012: Reds won 19-13, Brisbane
2010: Reds won 38-36, Brisbane
2009: Highlanders won 24-19, Ivercargill

Prediction: The Reds have won four of their last five matches against the Highlanders, though none of the last seven matches between these sides has been decided by more than a converted try. Anything short of victory for the Reds would see them record their longest start to a Super Rugby season without a win, eclipsing the five game losing streak they opened the 1997 campaign with. The Highlanders are enjoying a five-game winning streak and a sixth straight win would equal the longest winning streak in the club's Super Rugby history set from Round 3 to Round 9 in 2005. The Highlanders are the only team so far yet to win a scrum penalty or scrum free kick on their own feed so far this season, though they've won 32 scrums outright, the fourth most of any side. Saia Fainga'a has made 27 successful throws from 28 attempts, giving him the second highest throw success (96.4 percent) of any player to have made more than 20 throws so far this season. The Reds, if they manage to drag the Highlanders down to their level and turn it into a scrappy slugfest, will have a chance. We feel the Highlanders have too much class and should win by about 15 points.

Teams:

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

Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Jack Wilson, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Pat Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Shane Christie (Captain), 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 23 Jason Emery, 22 Hayden Parker, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 20 Dan Pryor, 19 Tom Franklin, 18 Josh Hohneck, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 16 Ash Dixon

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Both teams are coming off defeats to the Crusaders, hoping to return to winning ways before they lose contact with the tournament pace-setters.

More intriguingly, it is a contrast of styles - the Sharks' defence-orientated approach to the Lions' all-out attack.

Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold admitted this is going to be an "incredibly tough" fixture.

"The outcome of this game is going to be significant to the status of this pool at a later stage," he said of an encounter between two teams separated by just two points on the standings.

"They are a fantastic team and we have a huge amount of respect for them.

"We know how good they are with ball in hand and the questions they ask on defence.

"We want to play with more ball in hand and ask questions of our own," he said of the vastly different tactics followed by the two sides so far this season.

"The set-piece battle is going to be important and it will lay the foundation for us to launch our attacks.

"It is important for us to put in a good performance before our overseas tour, which we hope will set the tone for a tough but exciting three weeks in New Zealand."

Lions coach Johan Ackermann admitted they have been suspect in the 10 minutes either side of half-time in both their defeats - to the Highlanders and Crusaders.

Ackermann said they have looked at the reasons for those lapses and have worked on rectifying those.

However, he felt pressure is on the Sharks, as it is a home game for them.

"We have to fix our mistakes and go there with a positive mindset," Ackermann said, adding: "The Sharks are a quality side with a lot of Springboks - it is a big challenge for us.

"However, we have to work on some minor details - the individual decisions - that will ensure we turn these close losses into victories."

The similarity between the Crusaders' and Lions' style makes the Sharks believe they have the ability to beat their up-country rivals.

Sharks lock Stephan Lewies said the Lions have a quality set-piece.

"We've done our homework and we're sure they've done their homework, so I think we know what we're getting," Lewies said.

"I'm sure the okes will be up for it.

"The Crusaders were a good practice for us. They're two teams that play a similar style and we play them in succession so we've almost had a training play against the Crusaders so we know what's coming up."

Recent results:
2015: Lions won 23-21, Johannesburg
2015: Sharks won 29-12, Durban
2014: Sharks won 25-12, Johannesburg
2014: Sharks won 37-23, Durban
2012: Lions won 38-28, Johannesburg
2012: Sharks won 32-20, Durban

Prediction: The Sharks have won nine and drawn one of their last 12 matches against the Lions, though the Lions will be looking for back-to-back wins against the Sharks for the first time after defeating them 23-21 in their last encounter. The Sharks average just 16.8 points scored per game across their last four Super Rugby fixtures, though they've managed to win twice and draw once in that span. The Lions have enjoyed some success on the road of late, winning three and drawing one of their last five matches away from home with each full-time result mirroring the half-time status. Elton Jantjies has kicked 23 goals so far this season, the third most of any player in the competition and the most of any South African-based player. Paul Jordaan has missed just three of 54 tackle attempts this season, giving him the second best tackle success (94.4 percent) of any player to have made more than 50 attempts. At home the Sharks must be fancied and given their low-risk approach against the Lions' high-risk approach, the home team should do enough to win - albeit by less than 10 points.

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 Daniel du Preez, 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 Keegan Daniel, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Garth April, 23 Odwa Ndungane.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylon Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Jaco van der Walt.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nicholas Berry (Australia), Rodney Bonaparte (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

The Southern Kings have been buoyed by their maiden win, over the Sunwolves last week.

And they have not been scared to express their confidence ion their ability to secure back-to-back victories.

The Bulls, who have not lived up to expectations this week, have been in a cautious mood during the build-up to the game this week.

"There is no doubt that the Kings will be tails up," Bulls coach Nollis Marais said.

"They really deserved the win against the Sunwolves, a team we battled to put away [in Singapore the week before].

"So with that as measure, it is clear that we will have to play very well if we want to leave Port Elizabeth with a win.

"We showed good grit against the Cheetahs, but will have to be more consistent at this level.

"We are playing in spurts and our second half effort is lacking."

The Kings' star loose forward Cyril-John Velleman said they are ready for the "physical nature" of the Bulls' game.

"You just need to put your body on the line and do your job," Velleman said.

Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss admitted that his team's set pieces have not been up to scratch this season and could be a target for the home side.

"No doubt," Strauss said, when asked the Bulls' wobbly scrums, adding: "We did not do well in that department last weekend, while they did very well - so they will see an opportunity to attack us there.

"We worked hard to fix the issues we had and I am confident that we can repel that attack.

"We have some weapons of our own and intend to use them."

Previous results:
2013: Bulls won 48-18, Pretoria
2013: Bulls won 34-0, Port Elizabeth

Prediction: The Bulls beat the Kings by a combined 82-18 in their only two previous encounters back in 2013, keeping the Kings scoreless in their maiden encounter. The Kings earned their first victory of 2016 against the Sunwolves in Round Five and will now be looking to snare consecutive wins for the first time in their Super Rugby history. The Bulls are undefeated (won three, drawn one) in their last four matches, the last time they went longer without a loss was in 2013 when they managed a run of nine straight wins. The Kings have the lowest tackle success rate in Super Rugby so far this season (79 percent), with Stefan Watermeyer individually missing more than any other player (15). Warrick Gelant makes an average gain of 8.9 metres so far this season, the most of any player who's made more than 40 carries. This could go either way and we feel the Kings will pull off a stunning win - by 12 points.

Teams:

Southern Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 James Hall, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Justin Ackermann, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Cyril-John Velleman, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Leighton Eksteen/JP du Plessis, 23 Jaco van Tonder.

Bulls: 15 SP Marais, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Pieter Labuschagne, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Dan Kriel.

Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article skosan lions tackled 800

Lacklustre Lions down sloppy Sharks

Sat, 09 Apr 2016 17:00

REPORT: The Lions were able to grind out a 24-9 victory over the Sharks at Kings Park in an unimaginative and dull 80 minutes of rugby.

There was absolutely nothing Super about this South African derby as scrappy play, countless handling errors and scrum resets contributed to the excruciatingly painful dreary affair.

Both sides showed their intentions in the opening minutes of the encounter, the Sharks happy to employ the kicking game while the Lions were set on running it from anywhere. The home side went on an earlier break and came within metres of breaking the deadlock, only to be denied by some dogged Lions defence.

The Lions thought they had grabbed the opening points of the match in the sixth minute when Jaco Kriel rounded off a brilliant team move, however, play was brought back for a forward pass in the build-up.

The Lions were not to be denied in the 13th minute when, after a five metre line-out and drive, the ball was recycled through a few phases. Andries Ferreira got his hands on it and bashed his way to grab the score, despite having three Sharks players attempting to stop him. Jantjies added the extras to hand the Lions a 7-0 lead.

The visitors extended their lead to 10 points in the 19th minute when Jantjies slammed home a long range penalty, after the Sharks' front row were penalised for collapsing a scrum. Another Jantjies penalty, in the 25th minute, stretched the lead to 13 points as the Sharks were caught in an offside position.

The Sharks finally got some good possession and began making in-roads into the Lions' defence. They were rewarded in the 28th minute when Joe Pietersen's boot secured them three points after the Lions were penalised for being offside.

Pietersen gifted the Lions a scoring chance a few minutes later when he knocked the ball on close to his try line. The Lions put in a powerful scrum but the Sharks somehow managed to recover. It failed to stop the visitors though, as after sustained pressure, Lionel Mapoe showed his strength to barge his way over.

Jantjies failed to add the conversion but the Lions' lead was now 18-3 after 26 minutes.

The match failed to produce any real excitement and after 14 minutes of scrappy play, the Sharks were awarded a penalty at scrum time. Pietersen stepped up to slot the 45 metre penalty as the Sharks trailed 6-18 at the half-time interval.

Pietersen and Jantjies traded early second half penalties as the Lions maintained their 12-point lead after 46 minutes of play.

The dreariness of the match continued and even though the home side were enjoying much of the possession, they had nothing to show for it as the Lions stood resolute in defence. The match just failed to come to life as neither side were able to create any meaningful try scoring chances.

A transgression inside their 10 metre line saw the Sharks concede a penalty and Jantjies took full advantage to stretch the Lions' lead to 24-9 after 67 minutes. Handling errors and scrum resets were the order of the day for much of the second half as neither side seemed to care about playing a decent game.

The Lions had a chance to grab a bonus point with the final play of the game but instead of finding touch, Jantjies ended up kicking the ball over the dead-ball line. The Sharks resumed play with a scrum and made their way up the field but handling errors from both teams brought an end to proceedings.

Man of the match: The du Preez twins continue to make their mark on the competition with some big tackles and hard work at the breakdowns while Stephen Lewies did much of the dirty work in the engine room. Franco Mostert did the hard work for the Lions while Julian Redelinghuys and Dylon Smith proved too hot to handle for Coenie Oosthuizen and Tendai Mtawarira. Our award goes to Malcolm Marx who is riding a massive wave of form with strong carries and the perfect anchor at scrum time.

Scorers:

For Sharks:
Pens: Pietersen 3

For Lions:
Tries: Ferreira, Mapoe
Con: Jantjies
Pens: Jantjies 4  

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 Daniel du Preez, 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 Keegan Daniel, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Garth April, 23 Odwa Ndungane.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylon Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Jaco van der Walt.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Rodney Boneparte
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

 
TRIES
Andries Ferreira (14min) and Lionel Mapoe (35min)
 
CONVERSIONS
Elton Jantjies (15min)
Joe Pietersen (22min), Joe Pietersen (40min), and Joe Pietersen (42min)
PENALTIES
Elton Jantjies (19min), Elton Jantjies (19min), and Elton Jantjies (67min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Durban
REFEREE Angus Gardner (Australia)