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Kings

FULL-TIME
18     34

Blues

Super Rugby | Port Elizabeth
15:05 (GMT) | 07-05-2016
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The whistle goes after the miss. FULL TIME
  • 85
McGahan fails to convert but the bonus point is secured
  • 84
The Blues showing good strength to push through the defence of the Kings and they find the space for the last TRY. Li making the plays at the final minute
  • 83
Line-out for the hosts and they move the ball down field then all the way up again but make little progress. The whistle is blown for a penalty to the away team and they opt to take it quickly and not end the game. The Blues pressing forward looking for more.
  • 82
The referee calling play way back and Visser kicks the ball into touch at the 10 of the away team for a final attack
  • 80
Velleman trying for a final carry and the referee blows for a penalty to the hosts. He runs over to his assistant to confirm his decision.
  • 79
The losing bonus point still a possibility for the Kings. Scrum at the 10 of the Kings. and the Blues drive them back but they still sneak the ball out
  • 78
The Blues with a last possible attack but the Kings hold at their 22. The ball is cleared and the away team press forward again now at the 10 meter but the ball is knocked-on
  • 77
Scrum at the 22 now. The referee blows; scrum reset
  • 76
Penalty to the Blues after the line-out
  • 75
Sau trying to run forward on his left wing but doesn't make more than a few meters. The referee blows for a penalty to the Blues. They kick into touch inside the 22
  • 74
West takes his time as he boots the ball into touch at the half way.
  • 73
The Blues get the turnover and clear. The Kings make their way forward again but the referee blows for a penalty to the Blues
  • 72
The home team kicks the ball into touch around the 22. Line-out to the Kings. They take it and push forward but lose it at the 5 meter. The Blues throw away possession by giving the hosts a throw inside their 22
  • 71
Line-out to the Kings at the 22 of the Blues after the reset. The referee blows for an offside to the hosts
  • 70
West's job could not have been made simpler with the kick in front of the posts. He converts
  • 69
Guyton finally finds space after the scrum, essentially drifting through the Kings defence.
  • 68
The Kings win the penalty at the 5 meter to the joy of the crowd. Intense attacks and defensive plays by both sides. Medical staff attending to players. Scrum at the 5 of the hosts
  • 67
The Blues staying in the 5 meter but not making it to the try line. The Kings resolute in their defence
  • 66
The Kings with some desperate defending at the 5 meter. The referee blows a penalty to the Blues and they kick into touch at the 5
  • 65
The hosts finally come away with the ball and make their way into the 10. West kicks forward and the ball goes into touch at the 5. Line-out to the hosts
  • 64
Advantage to the Kings again as the referee blows. Scrum reset
  • 62
Scrum at the half way and Bryn Hall slips it in. The whistle sounds as the Kings get the advantage. Another scrum
  • 61
Visser with a promising kick but it goes into touch a few meters behind the goal line. The referee calls the players back for a scrum
  • 60
The Blues now making the handling errors as the ball is dropped around the mid field. Scrum at the half way
  • 59
The Kings stumbling a bit as they find their lines are not in formation. They are saved by the referee as they receive a penalty. Visser lines it up from the half way line. He makes it over the line to get the 3 points
  • 57
Line-out for the Blues in their own half. They look to play it out of danger and the scrum half making the right decision by clearing
  • 56
West finds himself in space but doesn't make a decision and is tackled. The ball is turned over and then kicked into touch at the 22 0f the Blues
  • 55
The Blues restart wit ha kick deep and wide. The ball is kicked into touch at the 10 of the Kings as they look to reorganize
  • 54
Watts focusing as he lines up the shot from an angle favouring his left foot. He sends it wide
  • 53
Scrum at the 5 of the Blues. the Kings move it up then down again, confusing the Blues and Marutlulle makes it over the line to score the TRY
  • 52
The Kings relentlessly throwing bodies at the ball and they get a penalty at the 5. Medical staff running on to the field to treat a few players
  • 51
The ball is kicked into touch by Watts. Line-out at the 5 meter. The Kings not going for the maul this time but looking to play it over the line. They move the ball down field and make it to the 5
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Line-out at the 22 of the Blues for the hosts. They try the maul but find the gear is in reverse as they are driven back. The referee blows the whistle as tempers flare.
  • 49
The Blues with the turnover and the attack comes to nothing as the ball is cleared into touch by Bryn Hall
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Line-out at the 5 and the driving maul is assumed instantly. The Kings not moving forward and they make a new plan still inside the 5
  • 47
the Kings showing a stronger resolution after the break. Penalty to the home side and they kick it into touch at the 5 meter
  • 46
Another scrum for a forward pass, this time at the half way. Velleman takes it out from under and sends it up field. The Blues follow suit but the Kings finding space all over the field now as they enter the 22.
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The kick lands at the 22 and the Blues find possession. They clear and the Kings decide for a clearance of their own. The whistle sounds for a penalty. Scrum inside the 10 of the Blues
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He manages the distance and gets the points
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The Blues at the 10 of the Kings now and they move the ball down field. Parsons muscling into two players before handing over the ball. The away team making decent ground in the 9th phase but the referee blows for a penalty. West sets up to get the 3 points from the penalty.
  • 41
Watts with the reset kick and West returns it straight away

Half Time

  • 40
The Kings make a little ground forward but the horn sounds and the referee wastes no time ending the half. HALF TIME
  • 39
The Kings not understanding each others intentions as they move down field then up again into traffic and lose possession.
  • 38
Penalty to the Blues. West again sending the ball into touch at the 22
  • 37
The Kings making simple mistakes as they make ground out of their half. Handling errors costing them a good opportunity to break away on the right.
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The TMO is being referred to for possible dangerous play. Penalty to the Blues. West kicks it into touch. Line-out at the 10 of the hosts
  • 35
Line-out to taken well by the home team and they start a quick break down field but the Blues onto each runner like glue. The ball is turned over and the Blues clear
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Parsons powering through a few players disrupting the Kings defensive line. The referee halts play for a penalty tot he Kings
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Line-out at the half way now for the home team and they fumble it in the air. The Blues quickly organize themselves at the mid field to start their attack. The whistle is sounded for a penalty to the away team and West ensures it reaches touch at the 22 of the Kings
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The Kings running out of options as they move the ball to their right wing. They decide to move it down again after being swarmed. Watermeyer kicks forward but it just bounces into touch. The ball is cleared after the line-out by the visitors
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West's job made easy for him again with a conversion from in front of the posts
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Luatua jogs past his man and makes good ground before being brought down at the 22. The Blues settling in in the Kings half now with constant pressure. The ball is cleared into touch at the 22 of the Kings. A wonderful pass overhead and it's collected by Nanai as he scores his second TRY
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The Kings with a shorter kick this time but well chased. The Blues manage to clear the ball but the distance is focused on the height and not the length of the kick. Line-out to the Blues at the half way now
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West with an easy kick adds the 2 points
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Line-out at the 22 of the home team who find themselves holed up in their own half now. A really good pass catches the Kings off guard and Nanai Vai makes a quick break over the line to score the TRY
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The referee blows after the Blues attempt to rebuild their attack. Penalty to the visitors and the ball is kicked into touch
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Medical staff leaving the field after a few small knocks. Watermeyer looking to step at his own 5 but he is brought down. Visser gets it and takes no risks clearing immediately
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The hosts scrambling to defend and they hold their lines . The ball goes into touch down field and the Blues lose the ball forward at the 5 meter of the hosts. Scrum at the 5
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The Blues send the ball into touch at the 5 and they try for the maul but the Kings are prepared this time around. They send it back for a different approach but the referee blows. Line-out at the 5 again. The maul comes again and this time make it centimeters before the line
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The Kings give a good scrum but the visitors ensure they get the ball and clear the line. The Blues at the half way when the referee blows; offside Kings player
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The Kings with some clean play along their right wing, showing the right amount of determination. Line-out at the 22 as the ball is knocked-on into touch. The Blues decide to scrum
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Watts makes no mistake from 10 meters out
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Line-out at the 22 of the away team. Velleman at the center of every Kings attack as they push forward in the maul. The Kings with some quick decision making, Hall especially, as they find themselves at the 5 meter and he reaches against the padding of the post to get the TRY
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The turnover is there from the Blues and they move the ball up field but the Kings force them into touch. Smart defending by the hosts
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The Kings with a really deep kick and it pays off as they visitors aren't able to clear quick enough. They manage to get the ball away but it's a line-out at the 22. The Kings move the ball up field and Velleman picks up a short pass. The Kings making slow progress
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West with a slightly difficult angle. He doesn't make the extras.
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The Blues with the driving maul and they make it over the line easily for Parsons to score the TRY
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Velleman attempting to muscle his way through the Blues but the referee blows. Penalty to the away side and the ball is kicked into touch by West. Line-out at the 5
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Scrum at the 22 of the hosts.
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The Kings hold after the reset kick and they clear after finding the ball in the ruck. The blues with a missed pass but they compose themselves and try again. Latimer making it into the 10 for his side as they progress quickly to the goal line of the hosts
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Watts makes no mistake with his kick and secures the first 3 points of the game
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The Kings in possession now up field at the 10 of the Blues. Penalty to the Kings and with the ball well in range Watts lines it up.
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The Kings with a clearance after the starting kick. The Blues in possession and they start their attack from the half way line. Prattley trying to bomb forward and he almost loses his trousers along the way
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Federico Anselmi blows and West gets the game under way
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The players exiting the tunnels now. The home team desperate to show the fans something good this week
  • -8
Both team have not fully established their form and although the Kings have had a harder season, the panelists are split when deciding who will take the fixture
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The Kings have won only one game this season, struggling to find a sturdy footing in the tournament. The Blues have managed four wins in the tournament thus far
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Welcome to Port Elizabeth, home of the Kings as they prepare to take on the Blues
Mc copy of southernkingslogo
Kings
Mc blues logo 80x50
Blues
START LINE UP
  • 1 Sithembiso Sithole
  • 2 Edgard Marutlulle
  • 3 Tom Botha
  • 4 Steven Sykes
  • 5 John-Charles Astle
  • 6 Chris Cloete
  • 7 Thembelani Bholi
  • 8 CJ Velleman
  • 9 James Hall
  • 10 Elgar Watts
  • 11 Luzuko Vulindlu
  • 12 Shane Gates
  • 13 Stefan Watermeyer
  • 14 Lukhanyo Am
  • 15 Jurgen Visser
RESERVES
  • 16 Martin Ferreira
  • 17 Justin Ackerman
  • 18 Jacobie Adriaanse
  • 19 Schalk Oelofse
  • 20 Stefan Willemse
  • 21 Ntando Kebe
  • 22 Louis Fouché
  • 23 Leighton Eksteen
START LINE UP
  • 1 Sam Prattley
  • 2 James Parsons
  • 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi
  • 4 Patrick Tuipulotu
  • 5 Josh Bekhuis
  • 6 Jerome Kaino
  • 7 Tanerau Latimer
  • 8 Steven Luatua
  • 9 Bryn Hall
  • 10 Ihaia West
  • 11 Tevita Li
  • 12 Piers Francis
  • 13 George Moala
  • 14 Melani Nanai Vai
  • 15 Lolagi Visinia
RESERVES
  • 16 Matt Moulds
  • 17 Nic Mayhew
  • 18 Charlie Faumuina
  • 19 Hoani Matenga
  • 20 Kara Pryor
  • 21 Billy Guyton
  • 22 Matt McGahan
  • 23 Male Sau
Mc article john plumtree hurricanes 800

S18 PREVIEW: ROUND 11, PART TWO

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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 allblacks.com.

"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.

Teams:

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
@King365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article melani nanai blues run 800

Blues claim scrappy win over Kings

Sat, 07 May 2016 17:02

REPORT: The Blues outscored the Kings by five tries to two to claim a scrappy 34-18 bonus point victory over the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday in a match that failed to spark to life.

While seven tries may have been scored, the match was littered with numerous handling errors which contributed to a start-stop affair.

The Blues were penalised early in the encounter for taking out a line-out jumper and Kings flyhalf Elgar Watts made no mistake with the kick at goal to hand the home side a 3-0 lead after 4 minutes.

The Blues were on the board five minutes later when they got a maul rolling going close to the Kings' line. Captain James Parsons emerged with the ball from the bottom of the pile to hand the visitors a 5-3 lead.

The Kings looked confident with ball in hand and took the ball through numerous phases as they made their way up the field. After sustained pressure on the Blues' defensive line, James Hall sniped from the back of a ruck to score against the post.

Watts added the extras from right in front to ensure the Kings held a 10-5 lead after 15 minutes.

The Blues sparked back into life from that point and were once again camping inside the Kings' half of the field. The territorial dominance paid off with two Melani Nanai tries before the half hour mark.

First, he broke through the Kings' rush defence in the 24th minute and then benefitted from some poor Kings tackling in the 28th minute to grab two crucial scores. West added the extras on both occasions to hand the Blues a 19-10 lead.

The Kings looked to work their way back into the contest as the half drew to an end but a number of handling errors stopped their progress and they had to settle for a 10-19 deficit at the break.

The Blues began the second half on the front foot and extended their lead to 22-10 after 43 minutes when West slotted his penalty of the night.

The visitors seemed to take their foot off the gas from that point which allowed the Kings to build up some momentum. The home side camped in the Blues' 22 for a long period and all the pressure soon came to fruition as hooker Edgar Marutlulle bashed his way over the Blues' line.

Watts' conversion was unsuccessful, however, the Kings were now trailing 15-22 with 25 minutes remaining in the contest. The Kings brought themselves within five points of the Blues in the 60th minute when fullback Jurgen Visser slotted a 50 metre penalty.

Although somewhat subdued, the Blues kept grinding away at the Kings and grabbed their fourth try of the night through replacement Billy Guyton in the 69th minute. West landed his third conversion to extend the Blues' lead to 29-18.

The Kings did all they could to get themselves a losing bonus point as the match fizzled out but it would be the Blues who would have the final say. Tevita Li's magic break after the final hooter saw him score in the corner to cement the bonus point and hand the Kings yet another defeat in the competition.

Man of the match: Kings hooker Edgar Marutlulle continued his good form in the competition while CJ Velleman was certainly no slouch either. The Kings' standout player was certainly Chris Cloete, who was a menace in every facet of play. James Parsons set the tone for his side and Steven Luatua put his body on the line more often than not. However, for his brace and finishing ability, Melani Nanai gets our nod.

Scorers:

For the Kings:
Tries: Hall, Marutlulle
Con: Watts
Pens: Watts, Visser

For the Blues:
Tries: Parsons, Nanai 2, Guyton, Li
Cons: West 3
Pen: West

Teams:

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

James Hall (13min) and Edgard Marutlulle (53min)
TRIES
James Parsons (8min), Melani Nanai Vai (24min), Melani Nanai Vai (28min), Billy Guyton (69min), and Tevita Li (84min)
Elgar Watts (14min)
CONVERSIONS
Ihaia West (25min), Ihaia West (29min), and Ihaia West (70min)
Elgar Watts (3min) and Jurgen Visser (59min)
PENALTIES
Ihaia West (43min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Port Elizabeth
REFEREE Federico Anselmi