ad link


29     22


Super Rugby | Johannesburg
17:10 (GMT) | 16-04-2016
  • 81
Thank you for joining us!!! Until next week for the drama to continue! Rugby365
  • 80
Line out to the Stormers. They are on the attack. De Jonge break though the 22, Stormers unable to get the points and Francois de Klerk kicks the ball to the stand. The Lions send the visitors home with a 29-22 loss!!!
  • 79
Stormers scrum and they are on the attack. Penalty awarded to the Stormers just inside they 10 meter. They have to get inside the Lions' 22.
  • 78
Jean-Luc du Plessis knock on the ball. Scrum for the Lions inside the Stormers' 22. The Lions on the attack and lost the ball forward.
  • 76
Just outside the 22 meter of the Stormers, Elton Jantjies op for a drop and adds the extra points.
  • 75
In a hunt for more points, the Lions is on the attack.
  • 73
Penalty awarded to the Lions. Elton Jantjies does not miss from just outside the 22, he adds the three points 26-22 to the Lions
  • 71
Lions attacking scrum just outside Stormers 22 meter. Lions on the attack, Stormers ruled offside and advantage to the Lions.
  • 70
10 minutes to go and it is still anyone game. Jantjies kick to touch to give his team breathing space.
  • 68
Three resets to the scrum on the 50 meter line. Louis Schreuder with a pass to Jean-luc du Plessis who opt to kick for an up and under and Jaco Van Der Walt receive it.
  • 66
The game is again on a one point deficit. Stormers scrum on the 50 meter line.
  • 64
The flyhalf adds the extras
  • 63
Stormers on the attack again as Juan de Jonge offloads to Groom and he pass to Siya Kolisi who gives a little side step and score the try.
  • 62
Stormers on attack. Damian de Allende with a break. Peter-Steph du Toit offload to Zas, but he is tackle to touch
  • 60
Frustration building up with a little bit of pushing between Kebble and Mapoe. Penalty awarded against Kebble and Lions opt to kick to touch.
  • 57
Jantjies makes no mistake and converts
  • 56
TRY!!!Francois de Klerk opt for a tap and go and the small man goes over for the try.
  • 55
Just one point separating these two sides. Lions is on the attack. Lions inside the Stormers 5 meter , advantage to the Lions. Mapoe lose it forward and Barry return for the advantage
  • 53
Stormers gets a penalty and Jean-luc du Plessis adds the points for his team
  • 51
Jantjies kick to touch and Lions has an attacking line out on they 10 meter line.
  • 50
Stormers on the attack, the away side find themselves in the Lions 5 meter, but fails to convert the possession to points.
  • 49
Stormers on the attack in the Lions 22 and the team is rewarded with a line out.
  • 47
Jaco Kriel gets a stern word from ref Barry. Stormers kick to touch and gets a line out on the LIons 22
  • 46
Stormers scrum in the Stormers 22. Nic Groom pass to Kolbe who kicks the ball to touch for a line out on the Stormers 10 meter.
  • 45
Malcolm Marx taken from the field by the medical staff, does not look good as the player seem to clinch his neck.
  • 44
The last handling errors see the Stormers on 3 and Lions on 5, as the Lions is on the attack again. Jantjies with the offload to Combrink, but the try scorer is unable to hold onto the ball.
  • 43
Stormers with a defensive line out and kicked it to touch but only reach they own 22, for Lions line out.
  • 42
Lions on the attack in Stormers 22 meter line, with three players seeking medical treatment on the field.
  • 41
Elton Jantjies gets the second half underway. Lost forward by Stormers and opt for an early scrum in the second half

Half Time

  • 40
Halftime score is 16-12 to the Lions.
  • 38
Lions on the attack, Zas with a potential interception but could not reach the ball. Stormers goes wide and Burger is tackled and wins a penalty for his team. Jean-luc du Plessis just out side the 10 meter fails to add the extras.
  • 38
Line out have not gone straight and it is a Lions scrum inside they own 22. The teams re-adjust for the second scrum and the Stormers gets penalise for illegal scrummage.
  • 36
Jantjies converts to add extras
  • 35
The Lions on the attack inside Stormers 22. Jantjies goes wide and find Ruan Combrinck who gets the first try of the game
  • 33
Jantjies with a pass wide and Kobus van Wyk touch the ball as he made the tackle and gives a line out to the Lions
  • 31
Jean Luc du Plessis with a 43 meter kick gives his team the three points
  • 30
Lions on the attack but is ruled off they feet and gives away a penalty just inside the 50 meter.
  • 29
Elton Jantjies with a clearance, but fails to find touch and Kolbe pass it to Jean Luc Du Plessis who takes his shot at a drop goal but fails.
  • 28
Lions opt for the kick just out side the 22 and again he levels the score 9-9.
  • 26
A line for the Lion on the Stormers 22 meter. Advantage to the Lions. Whitley with a knock on and Barry returns for the advantage.
  • 23
Stormers penalty and Jean-Luc du Plessis gives the visitors the lead
  • 22
Stormers on the attack. Burger try to break through the defense but can not make it though. Pieter-Steph du Toit tackle by Whiteley who fails to roll away.
  • 20
penalty to the Lions and they opt for the kick. Jantjies make no mistake to level the score
  • 19
Lions is on the attack. Cronje opt to go himself and is tackle by Burger.
  • 17
Attacking scrum for the Lions on the Stormers 10 meter line.
  • 15
Whiteley penalise for a high tackle on Burger. The distance of 31 meters Jean-Luc du Plessis steps up and the visitors take the lead
  • 14
Line out to the Stormers on the 22 of the Lions.
  • 11
The Lions is on the attack. Jantjies offload and the penalty awarded to Lions for a high tackle on the Mapoe. Jantjies put the home side on the score board
  • 9
Jean-Luc du Plessis with his first kick to the poles. He puts the Stormers on the board, 3-0
  • 8
Obstruction on the 10 meter line and the Stormers opt to go for a kick at goal.
  • 6
Jantjies tackle by De Jonge, a knock on and its a scrum with Ruan Dreyer replacing Julian Redelinghuys.
  • 5
Kobus van Wyk pass to Cheslyn Kolbe as he kick to touch for a Lions line out on the 50meter.
  • 4
Line out just on the 10 meter line of the Stormers with the Lions eager to attack. Good tackle on Jantjies by JD Schickerling.
  • 2
Game started on a high tempo. A Lions scrum just outside the Stormers' 22.
  • 1
Courtnall Skosan chip the ball but the ball find the touch for the first lineout.
  • 0
Kickoff Jean-Luc du Plessis gets us on the way.
  • -3
Moment of silence for the Ellis Park disaster on 11 April 2001
  • -5
Final words in the change room as the teams prepare for the showdown.
  • -10
Coming from a strong win over the Sharks the Lions attack would all looked to take on the Stormers defense.
  • -15
Head-to-head the Stormers appear to be favourites giving that they faced each other 13 times with the Stormers winning 11, Lions just once and draw once.
  • -20
The Lions is currently the leaders of the Africa Two conference, while Stormers lead the Africa One conference.
  • -30
Welcome to Johannesburg for the South African derby between the Lions and Stormers.
Mc lions logo 85
Mc stormers logo 80x50
  • 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 Jaco van der Walt
  • 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 Andries Coetzee
  • 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 3 Vincent Koch
  • 4 JD Schickerling
  • 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit
  • 6 Nizaam Carr
  • 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 8 Schalk Burger
  • 9 Nic Groom
  • 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis
  • 11 Leolin Zas
  • 12 Juan de Jongh
  • 13 John-Ben Kotze
  • 14 Kobus van Wyk
  • 15 Cheslin Kolbe
  • 16 Michael Willemse
  • 17 Oliver Kebble
  • 18 Frans Malherbe
  • 19 Rynhardt Elstadt
  • 20 Siya Kolisi
  • 21 Louis Schrueder
  • 22 Damian de Allende
  • 23 Huw Jones
Mc article ackermann v fleck 800


Thu, 14 Apr 2016 21:25

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

Allister Coetzee's appointment as the new Springbok coach has certainly added spice to Saturday's Super Rugby showdown between South African glamour sides the Stormers and the Lions.

The two African conference leaders - Stormers in Africa One and the Lions in Africa Two - will battle it out at Ellis Park in what could be a thrilling finale to a gripping weekend of Super Rugby.

It is already being billed as a Springbok trial, with Coetzee set to take a keen interest in the first weekend since his appointment (done some weeks ago) was made public.

A week ago, the Stormers and Lions knew they were battling for South African supremacy as the leading sides in the two Africa conferences.

Now they have the added pressure of impressing the new Bok coach, who has laid out his blueprint for reviving South Africa's fortunes and needs the backing of the Super Rugby franchises.

With Coetzee preaching an attacking philosophy - and with only seven weeks before their first Test against Ireland - the game will offer him a glimpse of the Stormers' famed defence against the Lions' exciting attack.

"It is great to see that all coaches at Super Rugby level have this awareness that we need to brush up on our attack," he said, while adding that did not mean an end to South Africa's trademark physical game.

The Stormers, with five wins from six games, remain strong defensively - having leaked only eight tries this year compared to 18 by the Lions, who are four from six.

Attacking statistics favour the Lions, who have scored 21 tries to 17 by the Stormers.

The day's action starts when the Sharks, beaten at home in the past two weeks by the Crusaders and Lions, head to New Zealand to face the Blues - who put on a much improved display last weekend when they went close to upsetting the Chiefs.

Next we have the Brumbies, fresh off a bye and a thrashing by the Chiefs the week before that, facing the Waratahs in Sydney.

The Bulls, second to the Stormers in the Africa One conference, are at home to the Reds - who knocked over defending champions the Highlanders last weekend for their first win of the season.

The Chiefs, Force, Highlanders and Southern Kings have byes this weekend.

We look at the Saturday, April 16, matches below!

The Blues have turned back the clock 20 years in the hope of getting their campaign back on track.

They are stuck outside the top 10, with just one win and a draw in their last five matches.

Captain James Parsons spoke of how the original Blues team, that beat the Sharks (then still Natal) in the inaugural Super 12 Final, has inspired a new generation of Blues players - especially in the lead-up to this week's Blues versus Sharks encounter.

"A lot of our franchise is built around those 1996 and 1997 seasons," Parsons said of the back-to-back Super Rugby victories.

"It is something we strive towards.

"If we can go half as good as those blokes, we can go deep into the competition," he said.

Sharks coach Gary Gold sees the match-up as ideal for his side to unleash their attacking credentials, in a season where they - just like the Blues - showed early promise before losing their way.

The Sharks, who are in 10th place on the standings just one above the Blues, have a draw and two defeats in their last three matches.

"When we have possession, it's for us to make the very best of it, to build the phases and put them under pressure," Gold said.

"One thing about the New Zealand teams is that they don't want to come out and defend, they prefer being on the attack."

"It's vital for us it to try get some parity at scrum time," the Sharks mentor said, adding: "It's really important from that point of view to give ourselves enough opportunity to be able to launch attacks against them.

"We need to be a lot neater and accurate at set-piece time, we need to get a lot more set-piece ball.

"And we've spoken long and hard about our discipline, we can't give penalties away.

"The Blues have some massive ball carriers up front, a good set-piece and some electric backs who are renowned steppers who use the width of the field very well.

"They will pose a massive challenge for us and we'll have to have our wits about us to be able to deal with their attacking game."

"The players are upbeat and are excited as well as optimistic about this three-week tour.

"We are confident that we will tour well and hoping we can really surprise a few people with some improved performances."
Recent results:
2014: Sharks won 29-23, Albany
2013: Sharks won 22-20, Durban
2012: Sharks won 29-23, Auckland
2011: Sharks won 26-12, Durban
2010: Sharks won 23-10, Durban
2009: Sharks won 35-31, Auckland

Prediction: The Sharks have won their last 10 matches against the Blues, though six of those 10 wins have been by seven points or fewer. The Sharks are undefeated in their last four matches away from home in Super Rugby. However, the Sharks have lost on each their last three trips to New Zealand with two of those defeats coming by more than 30 points. The Blues have averaged 17 minutes and 54 seconds in possession of the ball so far this season, the most of any team and over four minutes more than the Sharks (13:51). The Sharks have conceded just two second-half tries this season, three fewer than any other team. This is tough to call, as it is literally a case of who wants it most. We think the Blues will sneak this by five or sevens points - with a late score.


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 Tanerau Latimer/Kara Pryor, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Hoani Matenga, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Namatahi Waa, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Kara Pryor/Joe Edwards, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 George Moala.

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 Daniel du Preez, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Garth April, 23 Odwa Ndungane.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert, Paul Williams
TMO: Ben Skeen

After forcing their way to the semifinals in 2015 - after a stellar season which saw them accrue 52 competition points, the third most of any team - the Waratahs have started their 2016 campaign disappointingly slow.

Both of their wins this campaign have been against the Reds and the New South Wales side will be looking to buck a string of tight results when they host the Brumbies.

The Waratahs opened their campaign with a convincing 30-10 win against the Reds on home turf, but have struggled from then on.

They were beaten 15-32 by the Brumbies in the nation's capital in Round Two and have won just one match since. They have struggled so far to impose themselves in the opening halves of games, forcing themselves to chase leads and fall agonisingly short.

This has not gone smoothly for the Brumbies either - having been forced to reorganise their back row, following the two-match suspension of David Pocock and the retirement of Ita Vaea over a life-threatening blood clot condition.

Brumbies prop Scott Sio said the side is confident they can return to form ahead of Saturday's Australian Conference blockbuster.

The Brumbies are coming off a 23-48 loss to the Chiefs two weeks ago.

Despite the defeat Sio says he is looking forward to an intense local derby.

"They'll come out firing this week. They'll be up for it," Sio said in an interview on the Brumbies website.

"They're back at home and they'll be wanting to put on a good show for their crowd.

"It's a big game obviously, but all the games are big for us. From now on, it's just ‘must win' every week so that's the approach we're taking into it."

Another player desperate to overcome a disappointing run in the season is the Waratahs' Wallaby lock Will Skelton. He was instructed by coach Daryl Gibson to go back to club rugby, to regain his fitness and recapture form.

"I had a slow start to the season and I don't think I was efficient enough with my ball carrying, defence and ruck stuff," Skelton told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I wasn't really using my strengths to my advantage. He [Gibson] thought a week or two in club rugby would freshen me up and hopefully it pays dividends this weekend.

"I didn't see it coming," he said of his axing, adding: "Hopefully this week I can really put my hand up for the team and really lead in that physicality front and be dominant with my carries and defence."

David Pocock will miss the Waratahs clash as part of his three-week suspension and Sio says it will be a chance for some of the other players to shine.

"He's a massive loss for us. One, being a world-class player, but he provides a lot of leadership in what he does," Sio said.

"What that means now is there's an opportunity for a lot of the guys to step up. Jarrad [Butler] has been hard away at his rehab and Wellsy's [Michael Wells] been doing well.

"We've got capable guys to come on and fill that void that he's left."

Recent results:
2016: Brumbies won 32-15, Canberra
2015: Waratahs won 13-10, Canberra
2015: Waratahs won 28-13, Sydney
2014: Waratahs won 26-8, Sydney (semifinal)
2014: Waratahs won 39-8, Sydney
2014: Brumbies won 28-23, Canberra

Prediction: The Waratahs have won four of their last five matches against the Brumbies, though the ACT side snapped that streak with a 32-15 win in their last encounter. The Waratahs have won nine of their last 11 home matches against teams from within Australia, keeping their opponents to eight points or fewer in five of those matches. In the Brumbies' last 12 games, the side leading at half-time has gone on to win each time (excluding one tied game at half-time). The Brumbies have conceded only 14 points in the opening quarter of matches so far this season, only the Stormers (nine) have conceded fewer. Waratahs' Nick Phipps and Brumbies' Tomas Cubelli have each assisted three tries this season, the joint most of any players in the Australian Conference. This will probably not be very pretty, perhaps brutal - given how much is riding on the result. We think the Brumbies will win a close contest - the margin in single digits.


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

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Robbie Coleman, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano (co-captain), 9 Tomás Cubelli 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (co-captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Joe Powell, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill, Michael Hogan
TMO: Ian Smith

The Reds have been at the receiving end of a couple of big hidings at Loftus Versfeld and it has been 15 years since the Reds last won in Pretoria.

However, they may find a different animal opposing them this week - a Bulls team in the process of evolving from a one-dimensional bash-it-up side, to a team determined to play an expansive game.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais said despite the Reds' obvious threats - a team playing with good width - they will continue to evolve their own game and not retreat into their shells.

"They knocked over the defending champions last week, so will have faith in their game plan and structures," Marais said, adding: "We need to be ready."

Marais feels that the Reds will pose a different threat to what the team were exposed to in their last two matches.

"Local derbies are just different. It is a more physical match-up with lots of collisions.

"It is no co-incidence that people talk about a typical derby match.

"Playing a team from Australia will present challenges elsewhere to what we were used to and we need to be ready to embrace them."

Reds scrumhalf Nick Frisby said playing the Bulls at Loftus is probably one of the hardest assignments in Super Rugby.

"You can't want to go to Loftus with any doubts in your mind, because they [those doubts] will be exposed," Frisby said.

"It is another good opportunity this week for the team against the Bulls, following last week's win over the Highlanders.

"Just like last week we are coming up against quality opposition."

However, for many in the Reds team this is their first visit to South Africa.

"Youngsters can get caught up in the excitement of coming to South Africa for the first time and playing at Loftus ," he said of the intimidating Pretoria venue.

"Obviously altitude is a factor, but you just have to put that to the back of your mind.

"It is an interesting one for the kickers, especially if you haven't been here before - the ball tends to hang in the air.

"You just have to judge and get used to. Then the back three have to be on their toes, as there will be a lot of high balls and long kicks coming.

"If you play the Bulls you know they will be big and physical, that's their strength. Our forwards must front up and deal with the big boys."

Recent results:
2015: Bulls won 43-22, Pretoria
2013: Reds won 23-18, Brisbane
2012: Bulls won 61-8, Pretoria
2011: Reds won 39-30, Brisbane
2010: Reds won 19-12, Brisbane
2009: Bulls won 33-20, Pretoria

Prediction: The Reds have won three of their last five matches against the Bulls, though the South African side earned victory with a 43-22 win when they last met in Round Nine, 2015. The Bulls have won seven and drawn one of their last nine matches at home in Super Rugby. The Reds have won just two of their last 11 matches away from home, though one of those two wins came in South Africa against the Cheetahs in Round 10, 2015. Samu Kerevi made 164 metres over the gainline in the last round, the most by any player in a Super Rugby match this season. SP Marais made a competition-high six offloads in Round Seven, while it was the second most in a single game this season (George Moala - eight, v Hurricanes). Another tough one to call and rather than sit on the fence we are leaning towards the home team. The Bulls will do well if they win by more than 10 points, so we think it will be by eight points.


Bulls: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Rudy Paige, 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 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Deon Stegmann, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23  Dan Kriel.

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

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: TBC, AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

The two form teams in South Africa go head-to-head in what most pundits see as a 'conference decider'.

Yes, we are only approaching the halfway stage of the league action, but there is no doubt the winner could take a significant psychological advantage into the second half of the season.

The Stormers, currently second on the global standings, head the Africa One conference and is five log points clear of the Lions, the leaders of the Africa Two conference.

Unlike last week - when both came away with comfortable wins - this is set to be desperate battle between two teams with vastly different philosophies.

While the Stormers are trying to change from a defensive-minded culture to a more expansive game, they have long way to go before they are as creative as the Lions.

The difference may well be found at flyhalf. The Stormers have for years relied on a player like Demetri Catrakilis and while Kurt Coleman is somewhat more creative, it was only last week when young Jean-Luc du Plessis started in the No.10 jersey that they had a clear vision of what an expansive game can look like when it comes off.

The Lions, with Elton Jantjies now a fixture at flyhalf, have been patiently evolving their game for the past three years and are finally beginning to reap the rewards.

The question is, in a crunch game - when the pressure is really on - will the Stormers revert to what their instinct tells them?

Lions coach Johan Ackermann believes defence is still the Stormers' most effective tactic.

"Defensively you always have to praise the Stormers," Ackermann said, adding: "They've done well this whole season.

"If you look at points difference on the standings, they have given away less points than anyone."

The Lions mentor admitted there has been a shift in the Cape Town outfit's approach.

"They will take more risks with those x-factor players they have.

"They also have those structures in place that have been there for a number of years.

"Their scrums are strong, the line-outs are strong and they are a good mauling side - as well as defence."

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is determined to build on the winning momentum they have gathered so far this season - with five wins in six starts.

"We know that every game is an opportunity to improve on what we have done before, and that is our aim up in Johannesburg," Fleck said.

"We have prepared well for this match and the players are focused on giving their best for 80 minutes this weekend," he added.

The Stormers' Springbok centre Damian de Allende pointed to shutting down Jantjies as the key to stopping the Lions' attack.

"He is a good player and when he gets on the front foot he can be devastating," De Allende said, when quizzed about the Lions' Bok flyhalf.

"Hopefully our loose trio can sort out their rucks and we can slow down their ball a bit - that is where we can expose him.

"It is tough to defend against, especially if they have guys with skills running off him and running short angels.

"It is just about how we manage our defence against that."

Recent results:
2015: Lions and Stormers drew 19-all, Cape Town
2015: Stormers won 22-19, Johannesburg
2014: Stormers won 18-3, Cape Town
2014:  Lions won 34-10, Johannesburg
2012: Stormers won 27-17, Cape Town
2012: Stormers won 24-19, Johannesburg

Prediction: These teams have faced each other 13 times with the Stormers winning on 11 occasions and the Lions just once; the two played out a 19-all draw in their last encounter. The Lions have won six of their last eight matches at home, while they haven't lost a home match to a South African team since they last hosted the Stormers in Round Three, 2015. The Stormers have won their last two matches away from home, although they have lost two of their last three matches away to South African teams. The Lions have scored nine of their tries after gaining possession from a line-out win, the second most of any team in the competition (Brumbies 11). This is a game that will be decided by one incident - a missed tackle, a skew or stolen line-out, a collapsed scrum, a penalty at the breakdown or even a refereeing call. We think the Lions will sneak it with a late score - five points or less.


Lions: 15 Jaco Van Der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan 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 Andries Coetzee.

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Damian de Allende, 23 Huw Jones.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lesego Legoete (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning, with additional reporting from AFP

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article elton jantjies lions v stormers 800

Lions win Ellis Park thriller

Sat, 16 Apr 2016 19:10

REPORT: The Lions put down a big marker in the South African conference with a thrilling 29-22 win over the Stormers at Ellis Park on Saturday.

This was rugby. It was not basketball or Twenty-20 cricket. It was not a match dependent on frequent scoring but it most certainly was rugby of a high calibre, as intense in the last minute as it was in the first minute and every minute in between.

It was totally absorbing. You had only to listen to and look at the crowd of 30 443. They lived every minute of the game, its ebb and flow, its ups and downs, the prospect of glory and the sudden prospect of disaster. They stayed right to the Saturday night end. The final whistle suddenly ended it all and reality came via glee on the one hand and disappointment on the other - both reactions to the result, not to the wonderful game  played by heroes.

As the players had lost themselves in the game with absolute concentration, so had the spectators.

There were just three tries in the match but each one was special - Elton Jantjies's special skill for the first one, Faf de Klerk's daring for the second and Siya Kolisi's outrageous sidestep for the third.

And in the end the team that deserved to win, did so.

It was a game to savour and no amount of picking it apart or recalling the 'highlights could replace the whole. It was a highlight of a game.

It started with a sombre silence for those who suffered in the Ellis Park disaster of 11 April 2001. That was a miserable memory.

Then the whistle went and two teams started going flat-out at each other with an intensity bordering on ferocity.

The Lions ran and ran and the Stormers tackled with determination till the Stormers got into Lion land and young Jean-Luc du Plessis kicked a penalty goal when the Lions were guilty of obstruction. 3-0 after 10 minutes.

From a line-out Courtnall Skosan broke. He was knocked down but got up heading for the goal-line till Cheslin Kolbe brought him down five metres from the line. The Lions attacked, the Stormers tackled high and Jantjies goaled. 3-3 after 12 minutes.

Du Plessis, then Jantjies kicked penalty goals till the Stormers led 12-9 after 32 minutes.

Then came a try born of genius.

The Lions were going right and Jantjies was in the face of the opposition when with the outside of his left boot he chipped a soft chip over the defenders, which sturdy Rohan Janse van Rensburg caught. He was tackled but the ball came back to Jantjies who threw a long pass out to Ruan Combrinck, unmarked on the right wing, and Combrinck scored right in the corner.  Jantjies converted from far out. 16-12 after 36 minutes.

That was the half-time score.

Early in the second half the Lions attacked at speed and Jaco van der Walt was over in the right corner but he had tiptoed on the touchline. But the Stormers survived and got downfield. Du Plessis kicked his fifth penalty. 16-15 after 54 minutes.

The Stormers kicked. Van der Walt countered and the Lions attacked. Jantjies was stopped right at the line. The Stormers were penalised and the Lions tapped and attacked again. The Stormers were penalised again and this time De Klerk tapped and darted for the line, scoring with an outstretched hand between Du Plessis and Nizaam Carr. The Lions led 23-15 after 58 minutes.

In the Stormers' half, Kobus van Wyk took a quick throw-in to Kolbe who ran back towards him and they attacked the Lions. The Stormers carried the ball forward with Carr and Nic Groom prominent till Groom gave to Kolisi who had just Jantjies to beat. Kolisi shaped to go right but sidestepped left and went past Jantjies to score near the posts. 23-22 to the Lions with 16 minutes to play.

The Stormers went offside and Jantjies goaled. 26-22 with 6 minutes to play.

The Lions got down into Stormers territory. De Klerk passed back to Jantjies who kicked a soaring drop from in front of the posts. 29-22 with 4 minutes to play.

Time was up but the Stormers started moving from near their line with two penalties and lots of passes till De Klerk won a turnover off Van Wyk and kicked the ball out, suddenly ending a wonderful match.

Man of the Match: Elton Jantjies.

The Scorers:

For the Lions:
Combrinck, De Klerk
Cons: Jantjies 2
Pens: Jantjies 4
DG: Jantjies

For the Stormers:
Con: Du Plessis
Pens: Du Plessis 5


Lions: 15 Jaco Van Der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan 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 Andries Coetzee.

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Damian de Allende, 23 Huw Jones.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lesego Legoete (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Ruan Combrinck (35min) and Francois de Klerk (56min)
Siya Kolisi (63min)
Elton Jantjies (36min) and Elton Jantjies (57min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (64min)
Elton Jantjies (11min), Elton Jantjies (20min), Elton Jantjies (28min), and Elton Jantjies (73min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (9min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (15min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (23min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (31min), and Jean-Luc du Plessis (53min)
Elton Jantjies (76min)
VENUE Johannesburg
REFEREE Stuart Berry (South Africa)