ad link


21     6


Super Rugby | Sydney
09:40 (GMT) | 07-05-2016
  • 80
Hooper breaks the tackle and plays Mumm with a well timed pass before the ball goes through the hands of Beale and Folau is in to round off the move as he dots down but the referee notices that there was a forward pass in the build up to the try and that will be the game. Cheetahs had plenty of opportunities but the Waratahs came up with the big moments when it mattered. FULL TIME: WARATAHS 21-6 CHEETAHS. Remember to join us as the Sharks take on the Hurricanes in Durban in an hours time from now which will be followed by the Kings vs the Blues from Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
  • 79
Cheetahs discipline letting them down as they concede the penalty deep in the Waratahs half for not releasing the ball at the breakdown and the Waratahs set the attacking line-out on the Cheetahs five meter line.
  • 78
Cheetahs concede the penalty on the Waratahs ten meter line, the Waratahs tap and play quickly before they spill the ball and the Cheetahs gather and go through the phases.
  • 77
The Waratahs are awarded the free kick at the scrum after the Cheetahs engage early. Waratahs look to run this.
  • 76
Cheetahs take the penalty quickly after they are awarded the penalty in the Waratahs 22, the Waratahs are doing all the tackling now but again the Cheetahs bring an end to a good attacking opportunity as they commit the handling error. Scrum to the Waratahs just short of their five meter line.
  • 74
Waratahs win the penalty now, they find touch on the Cheetahs ten meter line and have the line-out.
  • 73
Matt Lucas puts a high one up before the Cheetahs break down the wing and they are tackled into touch. Line-out to the Waratahs on their 22.
  • 72
Teboho Mohoje only looks ahead of him charges forward and is caught unaware by the tackle as he knocks forward. Scrum to the Waratahs just short of their 22.
  • 71
Rhule collects a high kick from Foley on the Cheetahs ten meter line and looks left and right for his support players as he looks to spark something.
  • 70
The scrum goes down again and this time the referee will have none of this and awards the penalty to the Cheetahs. Cheetahs set the line-out just short of the Waratahs ten meter line.
  • 69
Third reset in a row, this is not helping the Cheetahs cause trailing by fifteen with eleven minutes left on the clock.
  • 68
The referee orders a reset for the second time in a row, no team able to gain the upper hand at the scrum.
  • 67
As has been the case all night the scrum goes down and we will have another reset.
  • 66
Beale puts in a clever kick for Robinson to run onto on the wing and dot down but he is unable to ground the ball and knocks it on right on the line. Five meter scrum to the Cheetahs in their half.
  • 65
Foley sets the attacking line-out on the Cheetahs 22. and they win another penalty for offside at the ruck, Foley sets the attacking line-out on the Cheetahs five meter line.
  • 64
The Cheetahs find touch on the Waratahs ten meter line as Zeilinga kicks to touch and the Waratahs have the line-out. Waratahs take in the line-out and win the penalty as the Cheetahs go offside.
  • 63
The scrum is brought to ground and we will have a reset.
  • 62
The Waratahs lose the ball forward from the line-out and the Cheetahs have the scrum on their 22. Important that the Cheetahs clear their lines here.
  • 61
Cheetahs get blown up for the front row angling in at the scrum and Foley sets the line-out on the Cheetahs 22.
  • 60
Scrum to the Waratahs on halfway lets see what the strike runners can do from here.
  • 59
Robinson puts in a kick behind the Cheetahs defense but it goes too far and the Cheetahs dot down for a 22 meter drop out.
  • 57
Mumm is penalized for joining the maul incorrectly and Blommetjies sets the line-out on the Waratahs 22 with the kick to touch.
  • 56
The Cheetahs again are unable to hold onto the ball as the Waratahs come up with another turnover and Robinson sends a beauty into touch on the Cheetahs 22. Line-out to the Cheetahs.
  • 55
Waratahs win the turnover right on their line before Foley clears for a line-out to the Cheetahs five meters out.
  • 54
Blommetjies kicks to the corner after the Cheetahs win the penalty in the Waratahs 22. Line-out to the Cheetahs just short of the Waratahs five meter line.
  • 53
The Waratahs look to clear from the scrum but it's a charge down! Waratahs get their defense organised but Cheetahs controlling possession in the Waratahs 22.
  • 52
The Cheetahs spill the ball in a good attacking position and the Waratahs have the scrum close to their ten meter line.
  • 50
The Waratahs kick straight into touch from outside their 22 it looks like Beale was actually in the 22 when the kick was made but the referee disagrees and the Cheetahs will be happy with the line-out on the Waratahs 22.
  • 49
Beale puts in a quick grubber for his back three to run onto but it goes into touch and the Cheetahs have the line-out on their ten meter line.
  • 48
Foley puts one high on halfway, Blommetjies almost makes a mess of it but the Cheetahs claim possession before the Waratahs put a kick into touch on the Cheetahs 22. Line-out to the Cheetahs on their 22.
  • 47
Cheetahs concede the penalty at the scrum for the front row collapsing and Foley sets the line-out on the Waratahs ten meter line.
  • 46
The Cheetahs look to bring their runners into play as they attack the line before some good defense from the Waratahs forces the knock on. Scrum to the Waratahs deep in their 22.
  • 45
Blommetjies kicks to the corner and the Cheetahs have the attacking line-out five meters from the Waratahs line.
  • 44
The scrum goes down yet again and the referee asks for a reset. Cheetahs with a big push at the scrum and they win the penalty.
  • 43
Waratahs with the handling error from the restart and the Cheetahs have the scrum on the Waratahs 22.
  • 42
Cheetahs infringe at the scrum and the Foley lines one up at posts from the 22. Foley strikes it well and sends the ball sailing straight through the uprights. Waratahs lead 21-6 now.
  • 41
Bernard Foley gets the second half underway as he puts up a hanging kick into the Cheetahs 22. Francois Venter claims the ball before Meyer tries to set up the clearance but Dave Dennis gets his hand in the way and knocks forward. Scrum to the Cheetahs deep in their half.

Half Time

  • 40
The scrum goes down yet again and there will be another reset. Nick Phipps takes from the base of the scrum and kicks high into the stands. That will be the first half. The Waratahs have made use of all their opportunities while the Cheetahs have been wasteful at times and have made errors at crucial moments of the game. HALFTIME: WARATAHS 18-6 CHEETAHS
  • 39
Referee orders a reset at the scrum as both packs go down.
  • 38
Cheetahs not making use of the opportunities presented to them as they commit the handling error and the Waratahs have the scrum deep in their half.
  • 37
Andrew Kellaway claims the mark as he collects a kick on his 22 and the Waratahs put it into touch 25 out from their line. line-out to the Cheetahs.
  • 35
Foley converts his try from right in front and the Waratahs lead 18-6 with that.
  • 34
Foley shows and goes and he is through the tackle! It's Foley running hard and straight and he breaks the tackle and goes straight through for the try.
  • 32
Beale looks to be the Waratahs go to man for the tactical kicking as he kicks straight to Blommetjies who is under no pressure in the Cheetahs 22.
  • 31
It looks good and it's over! Zeilinga adds the extra three from thirty five meters out.
  • 30
Cheetahs win the penalty in the three points zone and Zeilinga lines one up from the kicking tee.
  • 29
Beale kicks into touch on halfway and the Cheetahs will look to take this into the Waratahs half from the line-out.
  • 28
Foley sends the conversion wide of the posts from the touchline. Waratahs lead 11-3 now.
  • 27
Waratahs with the five meter scrum in the Cheetahs half, the ball goes wide from the scrum, Reece Robinson is almost put into touch by Blommetjies who gets the ball underneath his arms but Robinson is able to place the ball on the try line before he goes into touch.
  • 25
Beale with a fantastic kick gains the Waratahs some valuable territory as the kick bounces just before the line and goes out for a five meter line-out to the Cheetahs.
  • 24
Beale puts the accelerator flat and almost breaks through before he is brought to ground. Waratahs attacking the line just inside the Cheetahs half.
  • 23
The Waratahs are awarded the penalty for pressure at scrum time and Foley sets the attacking line-out with a kick just short of the Cheetahs ten meter line.
  • 21
CHARGE DOWN! Folau looks to make the exit kick but the Cheetahs will not give the Waratahs any breathing space and it's a charge down. Waratahs spill the ball as they look to clear their lines. Attacking scrum to the Cheetahs in the Waratahs 22.
  • 19
Andrew Kellaway with a try saving tackle as Tian Meyer collects his neat chip kick and sprints straight through to the line before Kellaway comes up with a text book tackle and puts him into touch. Five meter defensive line-out to the Waratahs.
  • 18
Cheetahs look to attack the line as they have the scrum on halfway.
  • 17
Waratahs look to work the blindside, Sergeal Petersen gets beaten down the wing but the Cheetahs come across and bundle the Waratahs into touch. Defensive line-out to the Cheetahs on their 22.
  • 16
Waratahs win the penalty at the scrum as the scrum collapses and Foley set the attacking line-out just short of the Cheetahs ten meter line.
  • 15
Some aggressive defense from the Waratahs earns them a scrum as they stop the momentum in the Cheetahs rolling maul. Scrum to the Waratahs deep in their half.
  • 14
Foley is put under pressure to make a quick clearance, he can only manage to put it out on the full and the Cheetahs have the attacking line-out on the Waratahs 22.
  • 13
Foley has his kicking boots on as he has the distance and the direction. The flags go up and the Waratahs lead 6-3 now.
  • 12
Cheetahs infringe at the scrum for the front row angling in and Foley lines one up at posts from just outside the Cheetahs 22 center field.
  • 11
Both packs giving it their all as they match each other pound for pound, the scrum goes down again and we will have another reset.
  • 10
The scrum goes down and the referee asks for a reset.
  • 9
The ball does not come out of the ruck and the Waratahs are awarded the scrum deep in the Cheetahs half.
  • 8
Francois Venter is penalized for coming in through the side and the Waratahs set the attacking line-out deep in Cheetahs territory.
  • 7
Henco Venter looks to release his wings on the outside but he can only find the touchline, line-out to the Waratahs just inside their half.
  • 5
The flags are raised and the Ice man draws the scores level at three apiece with that penalty kick.
  • 4
Waratahs can draw the scores level as the Cheetahs get blown up for an infringement at the breakdown and Foley lines one up just outside the 22 on the touchline.
  • 3
Zeilinga strikes it well and it's over! Cheetahs take the early lead.
  • 2
Lee gets brought to ground on the Waratahs ten meter line before the Cheetahs win the penalty for the Waratahs going offside and Zeilinga will line one up from just outside the 22 center field.
  • 1
Tatafu Polota-Nau with a good flat pass to Folau who almost breaks through the line before the Cheetahs make the turnover and take play to the Waratahs half. Good positive start from both teams.
  • 0
Here we go! Nic Berry blows his whistle and we are off as Clayton Blommetjies kicks deep into the Waratahs 22. Foley makes the exit kick and clears up field before the Cheetahs return the kick.
  • -2
The players are on the field. Stay tuned as we await referee Nic Berry to get us underway.
  • -5
Nic Berry is our referee. Andrew Lees and Graham Cooper will assist him. Our TMO is George Ayoub.
  • -10
WEATHER: It is a beautiful evening here in Sydney. It is partly cloudy however showers are not expected and Conditions are perfect for free flowing attacking rugby.
  • -12
HISTORY: The last time these two met the Waratahs ran out with a convincing 58-33 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in 2015. Prior to that match the Cheetahs were on a three match winning streak against the Waratahs dating back to 2011. This one could be another high scoring encounter with two attacking teams going head to head.
  • -14
FORM, CHEETAHS: The Cheetahs have had a miserable tour of Australasia thus far losing both games on tour, which means that they have only managed two wins in their nine games up till this point- both wins coming against the Sunwolves. The Cheetahs have won two games and lost seven of their nine games which leaves them sitting in fifth place in the South African group with twelve points. A win is a must for the team from Bloemfontein if they hope to restore confidence and get their season back on track.
  • -15
FORM: The Waratahs sit in third place in the Australian conference with 21 points after eight games which includes four wins and four losses. The Waratahs have won two games on the trot against the Western Force and the Stormers and look to be running into form at the right time. Win with a bonus point today and the Waratahs will go one point ahead of the Brumbies at the top of the Australian conference with a game in hand.
  • -20
TEAM NEWS, CHEETAHS: Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith has made a number of changes for this clash as he seeks to come up with some wining combinations. Captain Francois Venter is back to lead his side into battle as he starts at centre after pulling out of last weekend’s game against the Reds due to injury. Ox Nche, Elandre Huggett, Luan de Bruin, Francois Uys, Willie Britz and Oupa Mohoje make their way into the starting team while Torsten van Jaarsveld, Charles Marais, Maks van Dyk, Lodewyk de Jager and Uzair Cassiem are among the replacements. Tian Meyer comes in at scrum-half for Shaun Venter who moves to the bench.
  • -25
TEAM NEWS, WARATAHS: The Waratahs have consistency on their side as they have only made one change to their starting team for this game with the Cheetahs. The change is in the front row as Tatafu Polota-Nau comes in at hooker after being out since round two.
  • -30
Hello and welcome to Rugby 365’s live commentary of Super Rugby round eleven as the Waratahs and the Cheetahs do battle at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
  • 1 Paddy Ryan
  • 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau
  • 3 Tom Robertson
  • 4 Dave Dennis
  • 5 Will Skelton
  • 6 Dean Mumm
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 8 Wycliff Palu
  • 9 Nick Phipps
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 11 Rob Horne
  • 12 Kurtley Beale
  • 13 Israel Folau
  • 14 Reece Robinson
  • 15 Andrew Kellaway
  • 16 Hugh Roach
  • 17 Jeremy Tilse
  • 18 Angus Taavao-Matau
  • 19 Sam Lousi
  • 20 Ned Hanigan
  • 21 Matt Lucas
  • 22 David Horwitz
  • 23 Matt Carraro
  • 1 Ox Nche
  • 2 Elandre Huggett
  • 3 Luan De Bruin
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 6 Willie Britz
  • 7 Teboho Mohoje
  • 8 Henco Venter
  • 9 Tian Meyer
  • 10 Fred Zeilinga
  • 11 Raymond Rhule
  • 12 Francois Venter
  • 13 Nico Lee
  • 14 Sergeal Petersen
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 16 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 17 Charles Marais
  • 18 Maks van Dyk
  • 19 Lodewyk de Jager
  • 20 Uzair Cassiem
  • 21 Shaun Venter
  • 22 Daniel Marais
  • 23 Michael van der Spuy
Mc article john plumtree hurricanes 800


Thu, 05 May 2016 20:28

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Saturday matches in Part Two of Super Rugby's Round 11.

The return of try-scoring machine Waisake Naholo has commanded the headlines this week, and has certainly spiced up this weekend's crucial New Zealand conference showdown between the defending champion Highlanders and this year's pace-setting Chiefs.

As the tournament goes into Round 11 of the 17-round regular season, Naholo has been named for his first run since he was injured in the opening game against the Blues at the end of February.

The All Black wing, Super Rugby's top try-scorer last year with 13, injured the same leg that saw him capture world headlines last year when he used a traditional herbal treatment to cure a fracture before the World Cup.

Without him this year the Highlanders have still fashioned an impressive six wins from nine matches, to lie fourth in the tightly-packed New Zealand conference.

The Chiefs have won eight of nine, but they have been off the boil in recent weeks and came close to defeat in their last two outings - edging the Hurricanes (28-27) in controversial fashion, with claims of manipulating the scrum rules, and also just escaping (24-22) against the Sharks last week.

The other BIG game of the weekend will see the Sharks looking to claim top spot in the Africa Two conference, when they host a Hurricanes team looking to back up last week's 50-17 thumping of Africa Two conference leaders the Lions.

And the Hurricanes do have plenty of inside knowledge when they play the Sharks in Durban.

Coach Chris Boyd and assistant John Plumtree have both been involved with the Sharks, with Plumtree sacked as the Durban side's head coach three years ago.

A straight win for the Sharks, after last week's narrow loss to the Chiefs, will see them draw level in their conference with the Lions who have a bye - while a bonus point win will see them go top of the pool.

The Waratahs will also fancy their chances of moving top of the Australia conference - depending on what happens in the encounter between the Brumbies and Bulls on Friday - when they play the Cheetahs in Sydney on Saturday.

The Waratahs go into the weekend equal on points with the Brumbies and only two behind the Rebels, who have a bye.

In the remaining Saturday matches, the Sunwolves are at home in Tokyo against the Western Force, with both sides looking for their second win, while the Southern Kings host the Blues in Port Elizabeth.

We look at the Saturday, May 7, matches below!

It is a historic week for the Western Force, as the team makes the journey to Tokyo to take on competition newcomers, the Sunwolves for the first time.

The Sunwolves, who have been treated like rock stars in Tokyo since their maiden win (36-28) against fellow newcomers the Jaguares a fortnight ago, will pose a massive challenge for the Force.

The plucky Japanese outfit will be fresh heading into this weekend, after enjoying the bye last weekend.

The Force will be just the second Australian team to take on the new Japanese side, after the Rebels defeated the Sunwolves 35-9 in Round Four.

Force coach Michael Foley said the side is looking forward to opportunity they have in front of them in Tokyo.

"Obviously there's always disappointment after a loss," he said of last week's 20-42 defeat at the hands of the Bulls.

"However, the team is more motivated than ever to respond this weekend.

"There's a sense of excitement about the chance to play in Tokyo and we feel we have an opportunity to pick up some wins towards the back end of the season if we attack each game for the 80 minutes without fear."

Although both teams - currently sitting 16th (Sunwolves) and 17th (Force) in the standings - have long since been reduced to also-rans, the match will have one of the tournament's more intriguing head-to-head clashes.

Arguably two of the toughest players in the competition, Ben McCalman and fiery red-head Ed Quirk, will face off at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.

Previous results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Sunwolves'  only previous experience against Australian opponents was a 26-point loss to the Rebels in Round Four. The Sunwolves, after a 36-28 win against fellow newcomers Jaguares, will now be searching for consecutive wins for the first time in their young history. The Force have won only two of their last 19 matches away from home and outside of Australia the most recent of which came in Round 13, 2014. The Sunwolves have conceded just one penalty goal in the final quarter of matches so far this season; only the Bulls and Lions (nil) have conceded fewer. The Force are one of only three teams in the competition (Sharks and Stormers) to average more penalty goals (2.4) per game than tries (1.2). The Force have been erratic, to say the least, but do have the potential to win. We feel the Sunwolves will be buoyed by their maiden win and should sneak it by a late converted try.


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

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Solomoni Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Ian Prior, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Harry Scoble, 1 Francois van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Sitiveni Mafi, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Semisi Masirewa.

Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Aki Aso
TMO: Takashi Hareda

There is no doubt this is THE biggest game of the weekend - both in terms of importance and the intensity that the two teams will bring.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph had no hesitation in labelling the Chiefs the best team in the competition.

"People start licking their lips over what sort of game it is going to be," Joseph told the Otago Daily Times.

"Both teams like to attack and if guys start slipping off tackles or make mistakes, kick poorly, then guys like Ben [Smith] and [Damian] McKenzie are going to run it,'' he added.

"That opens it up for a really open game of footy.

"But in saying that, it is really hard to play that type of footy for the entire game. So I think they'll have to take a breath of air.

"But for me the Chiefs have been by far the team in form and that is our challenge.''

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was equally complimentary of the opposition and labelled Saturday's showdown "a massive challenge" for his side.

"The Highlanders are very similar to us, they've got a group of guys who work hard for each other," Rennie told the Waikato Times.

"With game-breakers across the park, they are the type of team that will sting you if you kick poorly or turn the ball over.

"It'll be a hell of a spectacle with two very positive Kiwi teams on display."

Recent results:
2015: Highlanders won 24-14, Dunedin (preliminary play-off match)
2015: Highlanders won 36-9, Dunedin
2015: Highlanders won 20-17, Hamilton
2014: Highlanders won 29-25, Dunedin
2014: Chiefs won 21-19, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 19-7, Hamilton
2013: Chiefs won 41-27, Dunedin

Prediction: The Highlanders' current run of four straight wins against the Chiefs snapped a Chiefs run of four straight victories prior to that. Only two of the last five matches between these teams have been won by the team leading at half-time. The Chiefs have won their last seven matches in a row despite having only led at half-time in three of them (level once, trailing three times). Twelve of the past 16 matches when the Chiefs have hosted a fellow New Zealand team have been decided by fewer than 10 points; of those 16 matches Chiefs have won 12. The Highlanders have kept their opposition scoreless in the opening half of two of their last three matches away from home. No doubt it is going to be a cracker and in the end will be close, very close. The Chiefs to win by five points or less.


Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Mitchell Graham.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Kane Hames, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Maama Vaipulu, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Sam Vaka.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19 James Lentjes, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Teihorangi Walden.

Referee: Angus Garner
Assistant referees: Chris Pollock, Angus Mabey
TMO: Shane McDermott

The Waratahs still have aspirations of overtaking the table-topping Rebels and the Brumbies in the Australian conference race.

While travelling back from South Africa, they will no doubt be buoyed by their impressive win over the Africa Conference leaders, the Stormers, last week.

In contrast Cheetahs will be playing in their third away match in a row.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith certainly has no delusions of grandeur and repeatedly emphasised that his young team - on a massive learning curve - is growing each week.

Smith, speaking to rugby365 from the team's  base in Sydney, said that the first objective is always to win a match.

However, the Sydney encounter is also about continuing the team's growth.

"We will have to dominate the breakdowns and we have to dominate the linespeed," Smith said.

"We also have to ensure we don't get bullied in the set pieces."

The Cheetahs are "grateful" that they finally return home next week.

"We can use that as motivation to give it a full go this week," Smith said, adding: "We do want to improve our defence and look to score more tries.

"However, the key will be for us to retain possession for as many phases as possible and get that confidence that we are capable with ball in hand."

The Waratahs, after a very erratic start to the season, finally won back-to-back matches in the last fortnight - an impressive 49-13 demolition of the Force and last week's nailbiting (32-30) win over the Stormers - both on the road.

However, Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley said those wins don't count for much if they don't back it up Saturday.

"It's great for us to get those wins away, but we really want to come back and make Allianz [Sydney Football Stadium] a bit of a fortress, the way we have the last couple of years," Foley told the Sydney Morning Herald.

After chancing their arm a lot in the early parts of the season, the Waratahs look to have reined it in, in recent weeks - playing a more 'structured' game.

"The opposition are trying to lull us into a false sense of attacking play, so in that sense we have tried to be a bit smarter in our decisions," Foley said.

"I suppose also in the back field sort of thing, having a bit of a kick drill, but always looking to get the ball back when we're kicking. We're not just kicking aimlessly down the field, we actually kicking for a purpose and kicking for an outcome.

"That's really helped and guys have really bought into owning the detail.

"That's been a big focus for us the last couple of weeks is to really know the detail and for everyone in the squad from 1-23 are across what their role is for the team. I think over the last couple of weeks, guys have learned that and been able to go out and execute."
Recent results:
2015: Waratahs won 58-33, Bloemfontein
2013: Cheetahs won 27-26, Sydney
2012: Cheetahs won 35-34, Bloemfontein
2011: Cheetahs won 23-3, Sydney
2010: Waratahs won 40-17, Sydney
2009: Waratahs won 18-10, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Cheetahs have won three of their last four matches against the Waratahs, though two of those wins were by a single point. The Waratahs have lost their last three matches on home soil, all by less than a converted try, with their last home triumph coming in the opening round of the season. This will be the Cheetahs' third match in a tour of Australia in which they are yet to register a win; they've won only one of their last seven matches away from home against Australian opposition. On average the Cheetahs have seen one of their scrums per game stolen by the opposition, the most of any team in the competition. The Waratahs have scored 13 tries from possession originating within their own half of the field, the most of any Australian team and the third most in the competition. Travel may be a factor counting against the Waratahs, who travelled west to east across the Indian Ocean. However, the Cheetahs have taken baby steps in their growth this season and may find the Waratahs still have the edge - by 15 to 20 points.


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 Dean Mumm, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David Dennis, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan.       
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Matt Carraro.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Francois Venter (captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Willie Britz, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Michael van der Spuy.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

The Sharks mark their return from their overseas leg - which yielded one win and two narrow (18-23 to the Blues and 22-24 to the Chiefs) defeats - with a match against the high-flying Hurricanes.

Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold felt the Hurricanes will pose a similar challenge to the three New Zealand teams they faced on tour.

However, the fact that the Hurricanes are fresh from a match where they put 50 points past the Africa Two conference-leading Lions will give added confidence to the New Zealanders.

"We have a massive challenge coming up this weekend, against a star-studded Hurricanes team," Gold said.

"This team is lethal with ball in hand and we have a huge amount of respect for them.

"However, it's fantastic to be back home and to play in front of our home crowd.

"This is the fourth New Zealand team we are playing in succession and we are excited about the challenge that lies ahead.

"We want to build on our courageous performance against the Chiefs last Friday, and our focus is on being accurate and utilising our opportunities."

Gold made no bones about the fact that his team is willing to win 'ugly' if that is what it takes.

"We want to be a team that gets the balance a little bit better," he said, adding: "We are certainly not going to apologise for winning games in any way we need to.

"First and foremost you need to stop New Zealand teams scoring tries against you.

"Then, when you do have the ball, you need to be more clinical in how you look after it."

The Hurricanes are certainly not underestimating the Sharks, despite their massive win last week.

Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland said the Lions win was great for morale, but they had wiped that and were now getting ready for a bigger challenge against the Sharks.

"While we did a lot of things well, there are still a lot of things in our game that we know we can get better at," he said.

He felt the Sharks are probably one of the most improved of South African sides and definitely a challenge.

"It's been interesting seeing the Sharks try a bit more in the last couple of weeks.

"The Sharks in New Zealand could easily have come away with three wins.

"They've got their strength up front with their big boys and they've got a good maul and a good kicking game and Willie le Roux's left foot out the back."

Recent results:
2015: Hurricanes won 32-24, Wellington
2014: Sharks won 27-9, Durban
2012: Hurricanes won 42-18, Wellington
2011: Sharks won 40-24, Durban
2010: Sharks won 29-26, Wellington
2009: Sharks won 33-17, Durban

Prediction: The Sharks have won four of their last six matches against the Hurricanes, though the New Zealand side have won two of the last three including an eight-point win in their most recent encounter. The Sharks return home to where they have lost their last two games; the last time they lost more than two consecutive home games was across the 2009 and 2010 campaigns. The Hurricanes have won their last eight games against teams from South Africa, more than double their next longest streak (three games). The Sharks have scored the second fewest tries so far this season (17) behind the Force (11), but they have also conceded the fewest tries (15). Beauden Barrett has converted more tries this season than any other player (27) and is one of only four players so far this season to have scored more than 100 points. The Sharks have showed marked improvement in the last few weeks and also have a more pragmatic approach to games - which may just be to their benefit against the hard-running Hurricanes. It will not be a rout like last week, but the Hurricanes will win a nailbiter - by seven points or less.


Sharks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Garth April, 9 Michael Claassens, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Patrick Lambie, 23 Odwa Ndungane.

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 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 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Reg Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Jason Woodward.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Rodney Bonaparte (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

The Blues may still fancy themselves, with an outside chance, of making the play-offs.

But it is no surprise that the Kings are propping up the bottom of the table.

Mentally they never switched on against the Jaguares last week and the result was a 73-27 mauling at the hands of the Argentinean side.

Both coach Deon Davids and captain Steven Sykes this week admitted that it is a mindset change that individuals will have to make to avoid another big hiding.

Davids said that from a defensive point of view they really let themselves down.

"The players have taken accountability and they know how they must fix it," the Kings coach said in the build-up to the Blues encounter.

"What is lacking in our game is our ability to dominate contact, especially on defence.

"That is something we need to, continuously, work on."

Davids described the Blues as a very experienced team, with a few All Blacks in the side.

"They have very strong and tall backs, especially the outside backs," the Kings mentor said, adding: "As we all know, New Zealand teams like to play the game at a very high tempo.

"We are expecting a very tough game."

The Blues said their biggest problem this week is guarding against complacency.

Blues assistant coach Glenn Moore said they had addressed the complacency issue with the side after arriving in Johannesburg, where they were based early in the week before heading to Port Elizabeth.

"We're really focused on the job in hand and the boys have been working really hard on their analysis' stuff, we've been really diligent around what we're eating and how we're preparing," he said in an interview on

"Our expectation is that we'll go out there and put out a good performance."

Previous results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: This will be the first Super Rugby encounter between the Kings and the Blues, though the South African side have lost their last three games against opponents from New Zealand, conceding 157 points in the process. The Blues have won only one of their last 26 matches away from home and haven't won in South Africa since Round Three, 2012. The Blues are the only team yet to score a try after forcing a turnover from the opposition so far this season while the Kings have done so seven times. The Kings are the only South African team with more than one player having won more than 10 turnovers so far this season (Cyril-John Velleman 17 and Chris Cloete 12). The Kings have slowly digressed and the Blues have made some progressed. The Kings might be a bit more energetic on home soil, but the Blues should still win by 20 points or more.


Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 James Hall, 8 Cyril-John  Velleman, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Leighton Eksteen.

Blues: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 George Moala, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Hoani Matenga, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 Male Sa'u.

Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Christie du Preez

Compiled by Jan de Koning, with additional reporting from Agence France-Presse

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article waratahs v cheetahs match 800

Tahs go top with scrappy win

Sat, 07 May 2016 11:49

REPORT: The Waratahs moved to the top of the Australian conference with a 21-6 win over a hapless Cheetahs team in their Super Rugby showdown in Sydney on Saturday.

The Tahs, with a game in hand, join the Brumbies on 25 points - but go ahead on points differential, plus 44 (Waratahs) to plus 22 (Brumbies).

Dominating the visitors in almost all aspects of the game the Waratahs would be disappointed not to have also earned a bonus point - as typified in the forward pass that robbed them of a certain try (and the extra point for outscoring the opposition by three tries or more) after the full-time hooter had sounded.

The home side scored two tries to none and thought they had a third, which would have secured the bonus point, when Israel Folau crossed in the corner.

But the television match official ruled that Tahs captain Michael Hooper had thrown a forward pass in the lead up and the try was disallowed.

As for the Cheetahs, perhaps it is time they stop talking of being a young team that is 'learning' and 'building' and actually start showing some progress.

Their sloppy second half suggested they are stagnating and not learning or making any progress at all.

"It was a tough game, back and forth, back and forth," Hooper said.

"But we shut them out and had no tries scored against us for the first time this year, so it was a really huge effort in that regard."

The Waratahs always looked in control against a disappointing Cheetahs, who made five changes to the side that lost to the Reds last week.

Three of those were in the front row, but that move backfired as the Cheetahs scrum struggled badly throughout the first half.

The visitors opened the scoring after just three minutes with a penalty to Fred Zeilinga, but the Waratahs hit back with two of their own from Bernard Foley.

Despite being under huge pressure the Cheetahs were hanging in for much of the first half, but two tries in seven minutes to wing Reece Robinson and flyhalf Bernard Foley put the home side in control at the break 18-6.

Foley kicked his third penalty three minutes after the restart and the Waratahs looked like running away with the match.

But the Tahs appeared to fatigue badly after flying home from South Africa during the week and they couldn't secure the crucial third try.

Cheetahs captain Francois Venter said his young team was building for next year.

"I'm proud of the guys, they were always fighting hard," he said.

"There's a lot of our guys who are on tour for the first time. It's always difficult to travel and we must adapt for next year.

"We're still building a team and hopefully we can do better."

Man of the match: The only real classy player in a very ordinary Cheetahs team is Springbok lock Lodewyk de Jager and it was pretty obvious when he came on in the second half. Israel Folau asked questions of the Cheetahs' defence, Bernard Foley is running into some serious form, Michael Hooper was busy and Will Skelton bruisingly physical. However, the most influential and effective player was Waratahs centre Kurtley Beale - who took a giant step towards wearing the Wallaby No.12 jersey against England next month. He wins our award.

The scorers:

For the Waratahs:
Robinson, Foley
Con: Foley
Pens: Foley 3

For the Cheetahs:
Zeilinga 2


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

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Francois Venter (captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Willie Britz, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Michael van der Spuy.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Reece Robinson (27min) and Bernard Foley (34min)
Bernard Foley (35min)
Bernard Foley (5min), Bernard Foley (13min), and Bernard Foley (42min)
Fred Zeilinga (3min) and Fred Zeilinga (31min)
VENUE Sydney
REFEREE Nic Berry (Australia)