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Super Rugby | Perth
09:40 (GMT) | 23-04-2016
  • 81
Thank you so much for joining us, please join us later as we will continue to bring you all the action between the Stormers and the Reds.
  • 80
That is it for the match between the Waratahs and Force. the visitors goes home with a score of 49-13.
  • 79
Bernard Foley has the last say as he adds the extras.
  • 78
Bernard Foley with a crisp pass to Israel Folau take to steps and pass to Jed Holloway who has nothing to do but just place the ball behind the line.
  • 77
Matt Carraro kicks the ball down field.
  • 76
Line-out to the Force. The home side is on the attack. advantage being played as the Force makes up the yards, but lost forward.
  • 75
Waratahs is penalize and the Force kick to touch.
  • 73
Force trying to conjure some sort of attack. Great run from Brynard Stander as he break into the Waratahs 10 meter.
  • 71
Bernard Foley adds the extras.
  • 70
Waratahs is on the attack, Bernard Foley as the instigator. Matt Lucas receive a nice pass and give it to Angus Ta'avao who goes over for the try.
  • 68
Nick Phipps is replace by Matt Lucas. Even the changes does not stop the attack.
  • 67
Referee comes back to the advantage and Waratahs opt to kick at poles. Foley steps up and it is over.
  • 64
Line-out to the Waratahs. They are on the attack inside Force's 22. Nick Phipps opt to go left and pass to Kurtley Beale, who pops it to Andrew Kellaway who lose it forward in a tackle
  • 63
Force make some changes and send it some fresh legs.
  • 61
Bernard Foley with his first miss of the game, as he fails to convert.
  • 60
The Waratahs has open the flood gates. Bernard Foley with a pass to Nick Phipps, who gives the ball to Reece Robinson to go over the line.
  • 57
Ben Foley adds the extras, 27-13 to the Waratahs
  • 56
Waratahs need to regroup and they on the attack, Phipps gives to Foley, who gives a great ball to Andrew Kellaway and he pops the ball to Israel Folau goes over the line!
  • 53
Ben Tapuai steps up to covert !
  • 52
Line-out to the Force, the maul is well establish Waratahs can not defend and Harry Scoble is over to score his first try.
  • 51
Force is on the attack
  • 50
Phipps pass Foley who breaks through defenders. Foley pass and the ball gets booted up field but fail to reach the touch line
  • 49
Alby Mathewson break though two defenders but has no support with him. Scrum to the Waratahs near they 5 meter.
  • 47
Dane Haylett-Petty with a run, the Force is on the attack debutant Harry Scoble with his first touch on the ball. Trying to break though the defense but tackle to touch for a line out.
  • 46
Harry Scoble come on as a replacement to make his debut appearance for the Force.
  • 44
Force's scrum inside the Waratahs half. Force on the attack but lost it forward.
  • 43
Penalty to the Waratahs and Bernard Foley slots in an easy kick
  • 42
Kurtley Beale kicks to touch it as a line-out on the Waratahs 22, won the ball but ruled the trow in was not straight and its a scrum.
  • 41
Bernard Foley get the second half underway

Half Time

  • 40
The visitors take the lead 17-6, as that conclude the first half of this encounter.
  • 39
Bernard Foley adds the extras
  • 38
Ball fails to reach the touch line. Waratahs is on the attack again, Nick Phipps scrape though the defense, and the TMO give the ref the go-ahead to award the try!!!!
  • 37
Waratahs in on the attack, find themselves in deep in the Force's 22. Foley's pass is intercept and Peter Grant kicks the ball up field
  • 35
Force is on the attack, with a box kick the home team fail to regain possession
  • 33
Waratahs on the attack, chip by Foley and pass it to Beale, but is lost forward by Jack Dempsey
  • 32
Both teams are attacking but can not seem to break through the advantage line. Teams set for a scrum in the Force's 10 meter.
  • 30
Waratahs scrum and Nick Phipps with a kick to touch, and it is a line-out in the Force's 22 but it stolen by the Force who lost the ball forward.
  • 28
Waratahs goes wide, it is overturn and Force is on the attack with Dane Haylett-Petty making a break but has no support.
  • 27
Force on the attack, but lost it forward on the 10 meter to give Waratahs the scrum.
  • 25
Waratahs gives away another penalty. The home team opt for the shot at goal and Peter Grant steps up and makes it 10-6.
  • 24
Force's scrum inside the 50 meter.
  • 21
Bernard Foley adds the extras
  • 20
Waratahs on the attack, and Waratahs has a line out on the 5 meter, Kurtley Beale with a pass to Rob Horne to send him on his way over the try line
  • 18
Rob Horne get penalize for and the Force opt to kick to touch
  • 16
Force is on the attack, already on the 6th phase and forward pass from Dane Haylett-Petty to Heath Tessmann.
  • 13
Waratahs scrum in the 22, Force is penalize and Bernard Foley kick to touch for a line-out on 10 meter
  • 11
Penalty to the Waratahs and Bernard Foley steps up to add extras
  • 10
Force is on the attack, Peter Grant kick it over the defense and Andrew Kellaway recieve it but an ugly tackle by Semisi Masirewa and he is shown yellow.
  • 8
Line-out to the Force on they own 22, kicked to touch for another line-out.
  • 6
Home team opt to kick at poles near the 50 meter and Peter Grant steps up but fails to add the extras
  • 4
Force scrum near they own 22. Peter Grant kicks it up field, but Kurtley Beale return the favour.
  • 3
Waratahs on the attack, with captain Michael Hooper making a break
  • 1
Penalty, to the Force right on the 10 meter line of the Waratahs. Peter Grant steps up and it is over.
  • 0
Kick-off! Peter Grant get the game underway
  • -3
Captains leading the teams out to the field to prepare for the Anzac ceremony. Moment of silence!!
  • -5
Before heading to South Africa, Waratahs who is third in the Australian conference will hope to secure a victory.
  • -10
In recent years the Force have had the upper-hand over the Waratahs, walking away with the last three wins.
  • -20
Having had a bye, Western Force will be well rested for the Australian clash. The Force has two changes to the starting line-up. Francios van Wyk replace Pek Cowan, while Marcel Brache will replace Luke Morahan.
  • -30
Welcome to NIB Stadium for the Super Rugby encounter between the Western Force and Waratahs.
Mc western force logo 80x50
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
  • 1 Francois Van Wyk
  • 2 Heath Tessmann
  • 3 Tetera Faulkner
  • 4 Steve Mafi
  • 5 Adam Coleman
  • 6 Angus Cottrell
  • 7 Matt Hodgson
  • 8 Ben McCalman
  • 9 Alby Mathewson
  • 10 Peter Grant
  • 11 Semisi Masirewa
  • 12 Junior Rasolea
  • 13 Ben Tapuai
  • 14 Marcel Brache
  • 15 Dane Haylett-Petty
  • 16 Harry Scoble
  • 17 Chris Heiberg
  • 18 Jermaine Ainsley
  • 19 Rory Walton
  • 20 Brynard Stander
  • 21 Ryan Louwrens
  • 22 Kyle Godwin
  • 23 Albert Nikoro
  • 1 Paddy Ryan
  • 2 Hugh Roach
  • 3 Tom Robertson
  • 4 Dave Dennis
  • 5 Will Skelton
  • 6 Jack Dempsey
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 8 Jed Holloway
  • 9 Nick Phipps
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 11 Rob Horne
  • 12 Kurtley Beale
  • 13 Israel Folau
  • 14 Reece Robinson
  • 15 Andrew Kellaway
  • 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
  • 17 Jeremy Tilse
  • 18 Angus Taavao-Matau
  • 19 Dean Mumm
  • 20 Wycliff Palu
  • 21 Matt Lucas
  • 22 David Horwitz
  • 23 Matt Carraro
Mc article aaron cruden chiefs ball 800


Thu, 21 Apr 2016 22:09

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

Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett go head-to-head in the battle to succeed Dan Carter as All Black flyhalf in the weekend's main match - when the when the Hurricanes host the Chiefs in Wellington on Saturday.

Carter's mastery in the No.10 jersey made him a three-time world player of the year and his departure from the international scene has created intense competition in New Zealand - with Cruden and Barrett the front-runners.

The Chiefs have been the pace-setters in Super Rugby this year and with Cruden returning to his peak, after missing last year's World Cup through injury, the Hamilton-based unit have won six out of seven matches.

Barrett's Hurricanes have also recovered from a woeful start to the season to win five consecutive games after losing the first two.

Sandwiched between the two in the New Zealand conference are the Crusaders, who are in Canberra on Sunday to play old Australian rivals the Brumbies.

The Stormers and Lions, who lead the two African conferences, play the lowly Reds and Southern Kings respectively.

The Jaguares, following a disappointing three-loss swing through New Zealand, will be looking to notch their second win when they play fellow Super Rugby newcomers the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

In the other match on Saturday the Western Force host the Waratahs in Perth.

Saturday, April 23

This is truly a basement battle - the Sunwolves in last place, winless and with just three losing bonus points from sevens starts; the Jaguares in 15th place with just one win from seven outings and a handful of losing bonus points.

For the Sunwolves the match represents a chance to regain some lost pride after their embarrassing 17-92 loss to the Cheetahs last week.

The biggest loss for the Jaguares, whose only win was a one-point squeaker over the same Cheetahs in Round One, was a 22-40 defeat at the hands of the Hurricanes a fortnight ago.

The Argentinian players took some time out this week to take in the sights and sounds of Tokyo, a place were very few had visited before.

"However, we quickly moved on and started to focus on the match this coming Saturday," captain Agustín Creevy said.

"We are aiming to improve significantly on out recent performances," he said of the defeats to the Blues, Hurricanes and Crusaders.

"We are looking to cut down on the unforced that cost us so dearly in those games.

"Obviously we are striving for the win, but also to play our own game."

They have had "to good sessions" this week, according to the skipper.

"We have a lot of confidence in ourselves and as long as we execute out game plan, we can win."

Previous results:
These teams have never met in Super Rugby before.

Prediction: These two competition newcomers will meet for the first time in Super Rugby with only one win between them so far this season. Only once in their last four matches have the Jaguares been outscored in the second half (against the Hurricanes in Round Seven). The Sunwolves come into this match on the back of the third biggest loss in Super Rugby history (75 points) have conceding the joint second most points (92) in the competition. The Jaguares have turned the ball over more than any other side so far this season, conceding an average of 19.7 per game. Of the 14 players to have attempted 25+ kicks at goal this season, Tusi Pisi (85 percent - 22/26) has the best success rate. The Sunwolves seem a disjointed and discouraged bunch, lacking motivation and direction. The energy from the opening weeks are gone and the lack of skills have been cruelly exposed. The Jaguares should win comfortably, by about 20 points.


Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Viliami Lolohea, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Mifiposeti Paea, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Yoshiya Hosoda, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Faatiga Lemalu, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura.

Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 12 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Lucas González Amorosino, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Juan Cruz Guillemaín, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Felipe Arregui.
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Rodrigo Báez, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Joaquín Paz, 23 Emiliano Boffelli.

Referee: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant referees: Chris Pollock, Noriaki Hashimoto
TMO: Takashi Hareda

The Chiefs head to Wellington refreshed after a bye and with Aaron Cruden commanding the competition's most potent backline, where he is developing a strong partnership with fullback Damian McKenzie.

The pair mix their roles on the field in a way that has helped McKenzie become the tournament's top try-scorer and overall leading points-scorer.

"Our game plan allows us to both get into first receiver and jump around a bit so I think it's going well," said McKenzie, whose flyhalf skills have also been rated highly by All Black coach Steve Hansen.

With the departure of veteran All Blacks Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith at the end of last year, Beauden Barrett does not enjoy the same level of support as Cruden.

But he has been able to keep the Hurricanes competitive as evidenced by his two tries and four conversions last week, when he oversaw a 38-13 win against the Rebels.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said there was no doubt the Chiefs represented a significant step up for the squad

"I won't have to say a lot this week," Boyd said.

"The team knows this is a big match and the Chiefs form and team sheet speak for themselves.

"They are a well-coached side that poses threats across the park.

"We will have to be at our best at both ends of the park if we want to compete."

Recent results:
2015: Hurricanes won 21-13, New Plymouth
2015: Hurricanes won 22-18, Wellington
2014: Chiefs won 24-16, Hamilton
2014: Hurricanes won 45-8, Wellington
2013: Chiefs won 34-22, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 17-12, Wellington

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won nine of their last 10 home matches against the Chiefs, with the Chiefs' only victory in that run coming in a 17-12 tussle in Round 14, 2013. The Hurricanes have won their last five matches; the last time they recorded more consecutive victories was when they won seven on the bounce at the start of the 2015 season. The Chiefs have also won their last five matches, their longest streak since winning six in a row across the 2013 and 2014 campaigns, including their final win against the Brumbies in 2013. The Chiefs have scored 98 points in the final quarter of matches so far this season, the most of any team, and they are just two points away from becoming the first team this season to score 100 points in any single quarter of matches. Aaron Cruden has assisted nine tries so far this season, three more than any other player in the competition and the only player to average more than one assist per game. The biggest game of the weekend and probably also the toughest to call. Home ground advantage will count for something, but the Chiefs' greater try-scoring ability will see them score a couple of late tries for a 12-point win.


Hurricanes: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Blade Thomson, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Reg Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 James Marshall.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Sam McNicol, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Allardice, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Mitchell Graham.   
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siate Tokolahim, 18 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Glen Fisiiahi.

Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Nick Briant, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Glenn Newman

Both teams have disappointing and well below the expected standards - especially the Wallaby-laden Waratahs, who are sitting well outside the top 10 with just two wins in six starts.

Waratahs captain Michael Hooper is hoping for a less physical encounter, as the Waratahs have been beaten in every arm-wrestle they have been dragged into this year.

With the Waratahs' backline showing some promise in recent weeks, an open game might just suit them.

"They've played some great strategy against us," Hooper told the Sydney Morning Herald, when asked about the Force.

"They made us play a lot of rugby in our own half and put us under pressure.

"We haven't cracked them yet. They're good players, they really stuff your ball up.

"We've talked about playing an attacking game, an attacking brand of rugby and they're good at shutting that down."

Having had a bye Western Force coach Michael Foley said the side is well rested and looking forward to the challenge the Waratahs pose.

"We took some time to recover during the first part of the bye week and began preparing for this match last Thursday," Foley said.

"The break has allowed us to address some key areas that we're looking to improve for the next three games before our next bye.

"While the Waratahs have a number of strike weapons that we need to pressure,  we're looking forward to the challenge of playing one of the leading teams in the competition," Foley added.

Recent results:
2015: Force won 18-11, Perth
2015: Force won 25-13, Sydney
2014: Force won 28-16, Perth
2014: Waratahs won 43-21, Sydney
2013: Waratahs won 28-13, Perth
2013: Waratahs won 23-19, Sydney

Prediction: The Force have won their last three matches against the Waratahs, more wins than they accrued in the 12 prior iterations of this fixture. The Force haven't won a home match since Round 13, 2015, however that was the last time they faced the Waratahs. The Waratahs have won two of their last three matches away from home and have not trailed at the break in any of those matches (leading twice, level once). The Force have kicked eight penalty goals in the 20 minutes immediately after half-time, the most of any team. Matt Hodgson has averaged 14.7 tackles per game this season while Michael Hooper has averaged 12.7, the most and third most of any players in the competition respectively. The lack of form from both teams make this a tricky call, but the Waratahs may just sneak a late winner - by seven points.


Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Solomoni Rasolea, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sitiveni  Mafi, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Francois van Wyk
Replacements: 16 Harry Scoble, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Rory Walton, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 Albert Nikoro

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

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant referees: Will Houston, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall

The Stormers are somewhat apprehensive and with good reason - as the Reds' only win in the first half of the season was against the defending-champion Highlanders.

The Capetonians are leading the African Conference at the moment, but they are aware that the men from Brisbane can be more than a handful when they get it right.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said his team would look to "keep growing and learning" from their experiences - which include a disappointing loss to the Lions last week.

"It is important that we make another step up against a competitive Reds side," Fleck said.

"They are certainly a dangerous side.

"They were very structured early in the season and the change in management [coach] has freed them up a bit.

"Now, in broken play, they are extremely dangerous and that is where we need to watch them."

The Stormers' set pieces have been solid all season, but Fleck was wary about the Reds' scrum.

"They have gained the most penalties at scrum time," the Stormers coach said, adding: "They are a very good scrum, but we faced a very good scrum last week as well and I felt that we started gaining ascendancy in the last quarter."

Reds co-interim coach Matt O'Connor said his team understand the challenge in front of them.

"There will be no hiding places, but there is an opportunity to come up with an historic victory," O'Connor said.

"We need to make it hard for the Stormers to get over the gainline.

"If we can disrupt their possession it should be an entertaining fixture.

"The Stormers have been the most consistent South African team over the last couple of years and we know how good we'll have to perform to get the result at Newlands on Saturday."

Recent results:
2014: Reds won 22-17, Brisbane
2013: Stormers won 20-15, Cape Town
2012: Stormers won 23-13, Brisbane
2011: Reds won 19-6, Cape Town
2010: Reds won 16-13, Brisbane
2009: Stormers won 27-24, Cape Town

Prediction: The Reds have won three of their last five matches against the Stormers, including the most recent iteration, though neither team has scored more than 23 points in any of the last five of these clashes. The Stormers have won five of their last seven matches, though a three-match winning streak was brought to an end in the last round in a seven-point loss to the Lions. The Reds' only win in their last nine matches in South Africa was a one-point victory against the Cheetahs in Round 10, 2015. The Stormers are one of three teams (Crusaders, Rebels) who are yet to concede a try after defending for seven or more phases while the Reds have conceded six tries after seven or more phases, the most of any team. Only Damian McKenzie (96) has made more carries than Samu Kerevi this season who has carried 89 times in total. The Reds do have a realistic chance of a win, but the smart money will be on the Stormers to win by 15 points.


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

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 Curtis Browning, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ben Matwijow, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Duncan Paia'aua, 23 Ayumu Goromaru.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

It was not a week of celebrations for the Lions, despite the significance of their victory over the Stormers last week.

Coach Johan Ackermann started the week on a cautious note, warning his team against complacency.

However, the news became increasingly negative as they not only lost two key players to injuries suffered in the victory over the Stormers - prop Julian Redelinghuys (wrist) and hooker Malcolm Marx (neck) - for the next few weeks, but then suffered a further setback when fullback Andries Coetzee (ankle) was ruled out of action for six to eight weeks after a training ground mishap.

Still, most pundits would fancy them in their first Super Rugby encounter with the Southern Kings.

The two sides did meet in a promotion-relegation series back in 2013 - which the Lions won by a two-point aggregate score - but Kings will be aiming for their first-ever win against South African opposition in the competition.

Both teams made numerous changes - Kings coach Deon Davids making nine of them to his starting XV.

Like the Lions the Kings lost a key front row player when Edgar Marutlulle was ruled out with a knee injury, while Sithembiso Sithole is batting with an elbow injury.

The return of veteran lock and captain Steven Sykes is a big boost for the home team.

The Lions coach, Ackermann, on Thursday repeated his statement from earlier in the week - when he suggested it would be the team's biggest mental challenge.

He said they tried to ensure that, despite the lowly position of the opposition, the week was no different to any other week.

"We've prepared the same and the intensity of our training was the same," he said.

The coach made it clear that his team could not afford to ease up and said they must "respect" the opposition.

"You don't want to be that team that allows them to get going and fall behind. We must maintain the same high standards we have all season.

"Although we have made changes to the team, the players in the starting XV must play with the same passion and pride."

Previous results:
These teams have not met in an official Super Rugby match before. They met in a two-match promotion-relegation series in 2013.
2013: Lions won 26-19, Port Elizabeth
2013: Kings won  23-18, Johannesburg
* Lions reclaimed their Super Rugby status with a 44-42 aggregate score.

Prediction: The Kings will face the Lions for the first time in Super Rugby and will be aiming for their first ever win against South African opposition in the competition. The Kings have lost five of their last six at home with their only positive in that run being a 33-28 win against the Sunwolves in Round Six. The Lions have won four and drawn one of their last six matches away from home with the full-time result mirroring the half-time result on all six occasions. The Kings have scored all but one of their tries from possession originating from either a line-out (six) or after winning a turnover (five). Elton Jantjies has kicked 34 successful goals so far this season, the most of any player, with an accuracy of 77 percent. Complacency is indeed the Lions' biggest enemy and they should win by 20 points or more.


Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Shane Gates, 11 JP du Plessis, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 James Hall, 8 CJ Velleman, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Steven Sykes (captain), 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Tom Botha, 18 Justin Ackermann, 19 JC Astle, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Stefan Watermeyer, 23 Leighton Eksteen.

Lions: 15 Jaco Van Der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois De Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Armand Van Der Merwe, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacques Van Rooyen, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 John-Wessel Bell, 23 Rohan Janse Van Rensburg.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Christie du Preez

Sunday, April 24

The Brumbies will provide a measure of where Australian rugby is at when they host a Crusaders side brimming with confidence after posting six wins on the trot.

The Brumbies and Crusaders were the competition's leading rivals in the early 2000s, but it has been nine years since the Australians last tasted success.

Co-captain Christian Lealiifano is looking forward to the challenge and hopes to gain momentum through the season starting with this game.

The Crusaders are in excellent form and the 28-year-old is aware of their positive performances.

"We know how big this game is for us against the Crusaders and they're in red hot form, they've won six straight so they've got all the momentum," Lealiifano said in an interview on the Brumbies website.

"We've got a little bit [of momentum] coming off the win on the weekend so we've just got to try to build on that."

The New Zealand teams have been extremely difficult to beat - with the Chiefs, Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders all having won five or more of their games.

Only two Australian sides have beaten New Zealand opposition and the Brumbies are one of them, with their win over the Hurricanes in Round One.

"For the team, the focus is playing well in front of our home fans and putting on a good performance."

"They've been the best New Zealand franchise for a long time, they've won the most championships and they keep breeding some good depth.

"When they lost Richie McCaw and Dan Carter everyone thought they'd probably drop a little bit and they've just gone into another gear."

Recent results:
2015: Crusaders won 37-24, Canberra
2014: Crusaders won 40-20, Christchurch
2013: Crusaders won 30-23, Canberra
2011: Crusaders won 52-10, Nelson
2010: Crusaders won 40-22, Christchurch
2009: Brumbies won 18-16, Canberra

Prediction: The Crusaders have won their last five matches against the Brumbies, scoring an average 39.8 points per game in the process. The Crusaders have won their last six matches, not since 2008 have they strung together more wins. The Brumbies have led at half-time in four of their seven matches so far this season (level once), although they have not led at the break in consecutive matches since Round 17, 2015. The Brumbies have conceded just one try this season when the opposition has obtained possession by winning a turnover, the joint fewest of any team (level with Sharks and Stormers). Nemani Nadolo has made 15 offloads this season, more than any other player, while his 15 clean breaks are the second most this season. The Brumbies are Australia's best team by some distance, but they are also way behind the pace being set by the New Zealand franchises. The Crusaders will win by 10 to 15 points.


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 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Jone Macilai, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: , 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Tim Boys, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Sean Wainui, 23 Marty McKenzie.

Compiled by Jan de Koning, with additional reporting by AFP

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article nick phibbs waratahs try v force 800

Waratahs blow clueless Force away

Sat, 23 Apr 2016 11:40

REPORT: The Waratahs put their Super Rugby campaign back on track with an emphatic 49-13 win over a hapless Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

The six tries to one victory was every bit as comprehensive as the scoreline suggest, with the Force hardly firing a shot in anger - giving the appearance of a clueless, uncoached bunch of players.

The win eased some pressure on the Tahs - their third win from seven matches, as they fight to keep their play-off hopes afloat.

In contrast the defensively inept Force are already also-rans with just one win in eight outings.

With a three-match losing streak against the Force and their season slipping away, the Waratahs could easily have been nervous heading into the clash.

However, they were far too good for the hapless home side in a lopsided match.

The Waratahs ran in two first-half tries to seize the ascendancy against a Force side which relied on penalties to keep them in the game in the first half.

Although Peter Grant kicked two early penalties for the Force, and sprayed another attempt badly, the Waratahs had the game in their control when they led 17-6 at half-time thanks to tries from Rob Horne and Nick Phipps.

In his first game back from injury, Horne crossed under the posts in the 21st minute, while Phipps reached over right on half-time.

Although the Force briefly revived their hopes with a 54th-minute try to Harry Scoble, the Tahs put the game beyond doubt with two more tries in four minutes as they posted their highest score of the season.

Israel Folau became the greatest try scorer in Waratahs history in the 58th minute, with his fifth of the season and 30th of his time with the team.

In the 61st minute, Reece Robinson killed off the Force when a Phipps pass sent him racing down the sideline.

Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said it was a win which was some time coming.

"That was what we talked about a - full performance," he said.

"It was a great result."

Force skipper Matt Hodgson admitted his side was thrashed.

"Our defence let us down and they took their opportunities," he said.

Man of the match: Ben Tapuai had a couple of decent runs, Ben McCalman worked hard and Matt Hodgson also earned his salary. Kurtley Beale seems to be running into some form and was particularly when acting as an alternative first receiver,  and Rob Horne was also looking good after coming back from injury. The forwards, as a collective, laid a solid platform. Our award goes to Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley, who had his best performance of the season - directing the show in a manner that suggested he is still Australia's premier flyhalf.

The scorers:

For the Western Force:
Con: Tapuai
Pens: Grant 2

For the Waratahs:
Horne, Phibbs, Folau, Robinson, Ta'avao, Holloway
Cons: Foley 5
Pens: Foley 3

Yellow card: Semesi Masirewa (Western Force, 11 - foul play, tackling a player in the air)


Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Solomoni Rasolea, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sitiveni  Mafi, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Francois van Wyk
Replacements: 16 Harry Scoble, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Rory Walton, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 Albert Nikoro

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

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant referees: Will Houston, Michael Hogan
TMO: Peter Marshall

Harry Scoble (52min)
Rob Horne (20min), Nick Phipps (38min), Israel Folau (56min), Reece Robinson (60min), Angus Taavao-Matau (70min), and Jed Holloway (78min)
Ben Tapuai (53min)
Bernard Foley (21min), Bernard Foley (39min), Bernard Foley (57min), Israel Folau (71min), and Bernard Foley (79min)
Peter Grant (1min) and Peter Grant (25min)
Bernard Foley (11min), Bernard Foley (43min), and Bernard Foley (67min)
Semisi Masirewa (10min)
REFEREE Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)