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Super Rugby | Port Elizabeth
15:05 (GMT) | 23-04-2016
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For more analysis and reports, stay on Rugby365. Join us tomorrow for live commentary when the Brumbies host the Crusaders, as well as the European Cup semi final when Tigers take on Racing 92
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The horn sounds and the Lions don't hesitate in clearing to end the game. FULL TIME
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The Kings winning the scrum with a tighthead. The Lions defending as the Kings try to pull one back
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The Kings at half way in possession now moving forward in the early phases but knock it forward
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The Lions looking for more even though the bonus point has been secured. Jaer with some desperate defending; 16 side steps but moving only 3 meters forward
  • 75
Scrum at the half way
  • 74
Lions with a neat break along their right wing but the Kings' defence take care of the runners. De Klerk kicks forward for Combrinck to chase but he doesn't make it there
  • 73
Line-out for the Lions at the 10 of the Kings. They send it up field but the interception is there from the Kings to the crowds delight. They find themselves inside the 22 but the Lions get the turnover and De Klerk sends it up field
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Lions showing no signs of slowing down after the reset. The ystart their attack again but the referee allows the Kings some breathing time by blowing his whistle for a penalty
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Jantjies adds the extras
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Jantjies gives the final pass to Janse van Rensburg after a patient buildup to score the TRY
  • 68
Scrum reset
  • 67
The Lions cross the try line but the referee sends them back. Scrum at the 5 of the Kings
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Mnisi making it to the 5 meter and the referee blows for a penalty to the Lions. Jantjies kicks into touch at the 5
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Jantjies looking to avoid contact as he tries for a break. De Klerk at the center of the move forward and the Lions making it to the try line patiently.
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Scrum at the half way
  • 63
Kings starting their trek forward but are being driven back while in possession. The referee blows as they make it to the half way line
  • 62
The ball goes into touch after a tackle and is taken quickly. Ackermann with a good offload but the ball is left behind and then knocked-on. Scrum at the 10 of the home team
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Scrum at the half way
  • 60
The Kings disorganised at best. Line-out at the 22 of the hosts. They win the throw and clear. The Lions start their attack from mid feild but lose the ball forward.
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The Lions with a penalty after the reset. They kick but it doesn't find touch. The Lions get the ball again and they start another attack.
  • 57
Jantjies' kick fades away after first being in the right angle. He misses the kick
  • 56
The restart sends the Kings amlsot into disarray as they scramble to form a defensive line. The Lions take advantage of the situation and go forward with Jantjies going into space. They move the ball along the wing and Combrinck finds his second TRY of the game
  • 54
Fouche misses another kick. 0 of 4 kicks now. All things considered none of the angles were favourable
  • 53
The Kings with the driving maul but it goes nowhere. The Kings fumble it along their lines and the Lions lose it too. The Kings pressing forward inside the 22 again and Jaer offloads to Cloete. He steps one and makes it past the line to score the TRY
  • 51
Mnisi stopping any progression of the Kings play as they try to make it through but the referee calls it back for another scrum since they were playing under advantage. Fouche kicks into touch instead of taking the scrum
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Scrum reset
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Jaer trying to be too cheeky stepping back into traffic and he is brought down outside the 5. Medical staff attending to Kings captain, Sykes. Scrum at he 5 of the Lions
  • 48
The Kings pushing forward with the drive and the ball now on the Kings left wing as they make it to the 5 meter
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Penalty to the Kings after the reset and they opt for the scrum at the 22
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Jantjies focusing but misses the conversion
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van der Walt making good with the ball after the reset passing 2 in the mid field area. The kick forward comes from the Lions and Skosan chases but it it's out. They go forward with the driving maul after the line-out and they get their second TRY in 5 minutes, credited to van der Merwe
  • 42
Jantjies with a kick at a tight angle. He assumes the prayer position and gets the 2 points
  • 41
Fouché with the kick starting the second half. The Lions not going for the clearance of their own but playing it out of danger instead as they make it to their 10. The Kings get the ball and move forward but the ball is tackeld into touch. The hosts still playing with a player locked in the bin. The Lions with the throw and van der Walt with a smart pass to Combrinck who goes all the way running past three to score the TRY

Half Time

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The referee breaking up a tussle after the reset. Scrum at the 22 of the Lions and the Lions moving forward swiftly with Jantjies. The horn goes and the referee blows as a foul is committed ending the half. HALF TIME
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Jantjies does not disappoint and adds the 2 extras
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Lions muscling their way over the line after the penalty and Armand van der Merwe showing his strength as he makes it over the line to score the TRY
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The reset kick from Fouche not the best. Scrum at the half way and the Lions manages to get the ball. Mapoe and Mnisi teaming up nicely and they move it down field but the referee blows for a yellow card to Bholi
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Jantjies ensures the 2 points from a difficult angle
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Lions moving the ball up field without hesitation, Jantjies beats one and offloads and gives it to SKosan for the TRY
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Peanlty to the Lions as Fouche fumbles it at his 5. He is not having a good game. Scrum at the 5
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Fouche with another miss
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Jantjies with a short restart and the Kings pounce and they make a quick break after the ruck along their right wing with Vulindlu scrurrying to the line to score the TRY
  • 28
Fouché sets up again form the 10 meter of the Lions this time around as he looks to add three. This time it's wide instead of short
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Line-out at the halfway and Hall tries to slip away after it's brought down but he is tackled down. The turnover is good for the Lions but the referee blows seconds after for a penalty to the Kings
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The Kings get lucky with a fumble by the Lions and they press forward but the referee blows for a dangerous tackle. Fouché kicks it post way looking to add three from his own half but it's short.
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Penalty to the Lions inside the 22. The referee has a chat with Sykes concerning his teams' discipline. Jantjies in a good position to add the 3 points and misses from roughly 10 meters away from the posts
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The Lions sending the ball into touch at the 22 after the reset and they look to increase their lead with their current momentum.
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Jantjies with the conversion to make it seven
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The Lions muscling their way closer to the try line and Skosan with the swift offload to Whiteley who bursts down the wing over the line to score the TRY
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Scrum at the 10 of the Lions. Lions get the advantage and clear into touch at the 10
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They clear but the Kings rush straight back. The turnover is good for the Lions and the move forward but lose it again. The Kings lose it forward
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Medical staff retreating from the field with a few less bandages and straps as the players prepare for a scrum at the 5 of the Lions
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The Kings moving forward with Fouche as they play it down field. Sykes guiding his team towards the line and the referee blows for a knock-on by the captain
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Advantage to the Kings and they kick into touch around the 5 meter of the Lions
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Scrum at the half way line now for the Kings. The referee blows and resets the scrum
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The Kings move forward now for the first time this game after the scrum but Am panics and gives a poor pass. Line-out at the 10 of the hosts
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A good line-out from the Kings and it's kicked forward again but the Lions clear their lines not allowing any territory for the home team. Scrum at the 10 of the Lions as the referee calls play back
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The away team inside the 22 and de Klerk with a quick take after the referee blows and he offloads to Mnisi who crosses the line but the TMO is called upon for a second time and the try disallowed again as the ball was lost forward due to a fine piece of defending by du Plessis. Scrum at the 5. Kings take the scrum and clear into touch at the half way line
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The Lions win the scrum taking it from the Kings.
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The Lions reset their early aggression but the turnover is there from the Kings as the referee blows for a penalty to the hosts. Scrum inside the 10
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Hall slides it in and the Kings clear their lines. The ball goes into touch at their own 10 meter
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The Kings pushing the Lions back in the maul. They escape with the ball and Combrinck makes the most of the confusion and slips over the line to score the try. The referee referring to the TMO for a possible knock-on. The referee disallows the try. Scrum at the 5 of the home team
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The away team attempting to force their way over the goal line but the Kings golding. The referee blows for a penalty and Jantjies kicks into touch at the 5 again
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The Lions in the 10 meter now and Jantjies with a lob kick forward but the referee stops pay and calls them back. Penalty to the visitors. Thye kick into touch at the 5
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Scrum reset.
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Penalty straight off the bat to the hosts and they clear into touch at the mid field. The Kings squander the throw by wasting time. Scrum at the half way line
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Rasta Rasivhenge sounds his whistle to get the game underway and the Lions with the opening kick
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The players are now exiting the tunnel
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The Kings' last victory was by a margin of 5 points. The Lions' last victory was by a margin of 7points.
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The Lions won two of their last three fixtures in Super Rugby while the Kings has won one of their last three.
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These two sides have never met in Super Rugby. They faced off in a two-match promotion-relegation series, Both teams taking a piece from the series
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Welcome to Mandela Bay Stadium where the Kings host the Lions
Mc copy of southernkingslogo
Mc lions logo 85
  • 1 Schalk Ferreira
  • 2 Martin Ferreira
  • 3 Jacobie Adriaanse
  • 4 Schalk Oelofse
  • 5 Steven Sykes
  • 6 Chris Cloete
  • 7 Thembelani Bholi
  • 8 CJ Velleman
  • 9 James Hall
  • 10 Louis Fouché
  • 11 JP du Plessis
  • 12 Shane Gates
  • 13 Lukhanyo Am
  • 14 Luzuko Vulindlu
  • 15 Malcolm Jaer
  • 16 Martin Bezuidenhout
  • 17 Tom Botha
  • 18 Justin Ackerman
  • 19 JC Astle
  • 20 Jacques Engelbrecht
  • 21 Ntando Kebe
  • 22 Stefan Watermeyer
  • 23 Leighton Eksteen
  • 1 Corne Fourie
  • 2 Armand van der Merwe
  • 3 Ruan Dreyer
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Cyle Brink
  • 7 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 9 Francois de Klerk
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 12 Howard Mnisi
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 15 Jaco van der Walt
  • 16 Ramone Samuels
  • 17 Dylan Smith
  • 18 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 19 Ruan Ackermann
  • 20 Jaco Kriel
  • 21 Ross Cronje
  • 22 JW Bell
  • 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
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 ruan combrink lions try v kings 800

Lions run riot against willing Kings

Sat, 23 Apr 2016 17:01

REPORT: The Lions continued their rise up the Super Rugby standings with a 45-10 bonus-point demolition of the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Outscoring the home team seven tries to two, the Lions ensured the willing Kings are still looking for their first win against South African opposition.

Despite missing a few key players and struggling to get going in the first half, the Lions cruised to eased in the second half - after leading 21-5 at the break.

As Lions wing Ruan Combrink said in his post-match reaction: "We are cruising at about 70 percent of our capacity."

The Lions used a 10-minute numerical advantage to score three of their sic tries.

The Johannesburg outfit were 14-5 ahead as half-time approached at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, when Kings flank Thembelani Bholi was sin-binned.

His yellow card stemmed from the referee losing patience with the Kings for repeated infringements during the Round Nine match.

While Bholi watched from the touchline, the visitors scored a try before half-time to turn over 21-5 ahead, and notched two more early in the second half for a 28-point advantage.

From then on the only issue was how much the Lions would win by as they consolidated their leadership of the Africa Two conference standings.

Lions have 27 points, fellow South Africans the Sharks 21, the Argentine Jaguares seven and the Kings four.

Lions skipper and No. 8 Warren Whiteley, who scored the opening try of the match after 22 minutes, said his team achieved the twin objections of winning and securing a bonus point.

"We could have been more clinical, though, against a Kings team that I have a lot of respect for," Whiteley said.

"Next weekend we face a huge challenge at home to the Hurricanes from New Zealand.

"They are a quality side and we are going to need our 'A' game against them."

Kings skipper and lock Steven Sykes said the sin-binning and some soft moments cost his team dearly as they suffered a sixth loss in seven outings.

"I thought we matched the Lions for 35 minutes and then came the yellow card, after which we conceded a few soft tries.

"Our tackling needs to improve before we face the Jaguares in Buenos Aires next weekend, but we did well in the scrums and that is encouraging," said Sykes.

Hooker Armand  van der Merwe and wing Ruan Combrinck scored two tries each for the Lions and Whiteley, wing Courtnall Skosan and centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg one apiece.

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicked five conversions, raising his season total to 114 points, six less than charts-topper Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs.

Wing Luzuko Vulindlu and Cloete scored a try each for the Kings, while flyhalf Louis Fouche had an off-day with his goal kicking, missing four attempts.

Man of the match: Thembelani Bholi and Chris Cloete were among a handful of Kings who showed their class. Francois de Klerk was, as usual, the energy behind the Lions pack. The angry warthog, Lions hooker Armand van der Merwe, was his usual bruising self. Ruan Combrink was a real handful with ball in hand and was rewarded with two great tries and had a third denied by the TMO. Warren Whiteley showed that his form is rising rapidly. However, our award goes to Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies, who - despite missing a few kicks at goal - was the man that directed the show and what a show it was.

The scorers:

For the Southern Kings:
Vulindlu, Cloete

For the Lions:
Whiteley, Skosan, Van der Merwe 2, Combrink 2, Janse van Rensburg
Cons: Jantjies 5

Yellow card: Thembelani Bholi (Southern Kings, 36 - repeated infringement, offside)


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

Luzuko Vulindlu (29min) and Chris Cloete (53min)
Warren Whiteley (20min), Courtnall Skosan (33min), Armand van der Merwe (37min), Ruan Combrinck (41min), Armand van der Merwe (44min), Ruan Combrinck (56min), and Rohan Janse van Rensburg (69min)
Elton Jantjies (21min), Elton Jantjies (34min), Elton Jantjies (38min), Elton Jantjies (42min), and Elton Jantjies (70min)
Thembelani Bholi (36min)
VENUE Port Elizabeth
REFEREE Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)