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17     17


Super Rugby | Singapore
11:45 (GMT) | 14-05-2016
  • 82
Stay with us as we go to the Free State where the Cheetahs take on the Kings.
  • 81
Thomson ensures the 2 points saving the Stormers from an almost certain defeat. FULL TIME
  • 79
The Stormers showing resilient attacking prowess as they compose their attacks and find the space needed with Burger who sends it to the center of the field for Koch to score the TRY
  • 78
The Stormers get the turnover and de Allende makes it past 2 on his right wing. The ball lands in the hand s off Kolisi and they find themselves at half way. Kolbe makes a good 10 meters on the break but his leg is tugged.
  • 77
du Toit steals a line-out from the hosts and the ball is cleared. The Sunwolves come again at the 22 of the Stormers. Yatomi running the visitors ragged with his quick feet as they line up for the attack
  • 76
Pisi with a little chip over the top catching the away team off guard but they respond accordingly. The whistle is blown for a penalty to the Sunwolves.
  • 75
The hosts with a maul and they're making good ground entering the 5 meter
  • 74
du Toit looking to force his way through the shield of bodies of the Sunwolves. The turnover is there and then a penalty as well to the home team. Pisi kicks deep into touch at the 22 of the Stormers
  • 73
The Stormers make some ground in the scrum and then get the penalty. The ball is kicked into touch inside the 10 of the hosts
  • 72
du Plessis clears under pressure but play is called back for a scrum at the 22 of the Stormers.
  • 71
The Sunwolves maintain possession after the clearance. Pisi at the center of play for the Sunwolves as they look to get inside the 22
  • 70
The Sunwolves making ground inside the 22. Bond helping them to their 7th phase
  • 69
Penalty to the Stormers as Tim Bond is penalized for collapsing the maul. Play is called back for a scrum at the 22 of the visitors.
  • 67
The Sunwolves move forward at the half way but the turnover comes and the Stormers get close to the 22 but Viljoen with a brilliant clearance after the turnover. Line-out at the 22 of the away team
  • 66
du Plessis clears after the ruck at the line-out. Both teams favouring the boot as Viljoen clears as well
  • 65
Pisi clears into touch at the 22 of the Stormers
  • 64
The players standing around in confusion after the scrum as du Plessis kicks into touch. Play is called back and the scrum reset
  • 63
Line-out for the Sunwolves at their own 22 as the ball is cleared by the away team. They ensure some distance from their goal line by clearing as well. Play is halted as the Stormers move forward. Scrum at the half way
  • 61
Viljoen with a deep kick and cleared by Kolbe and then kicked forward by Viljoen again.
  • 60
du Plessis looks to close the gap to 7 points and he does
  • 59
The driving maul for a third time from the Stormers. They finally break the defence of the Sunwolves and du Toit gets the ball over the line to score the TRY
  • 58
The referee blows for another penalty to the away team and du Plessis again goes for touch at the 5 meter down field
  • 57
The driving maul struggling to make ground.The turnover is there and Carpenter clears. The Stormers come again now at the 22
  • 56
du Plessis kicks into touch at the 5. The referee blows as the Stormers played with an advantage. du Plessis kicks into touch again
  • 55
The Stormers make a good few meters with the driving maul and get in range of the 5. du Toit halted on the wing and the ball goes to the center of the field. Kolisi makes it inside the 5 skipping past 2 but the referee calls play back for a penalty
  • 53
du Plessis clears and Carpenter takes the catch. Penalty to the Stormers shortly after and du Plessis eyes his left side as he kicks into touch at the 22
  • 52
Another potential 3 points for Pisi to claim from behind the 10 meter. He's claimed 12 points from penalties in this fixture. He fails to get the points this time
  • 51
The home team in the 10th phase at the 10 meter, patiently building up and a penalty is conceded by Burger
  • 50
The Sunwolves get a scrum after the reset at the half way. The hosts moving the ball up field comfortable at the pace the game is going
  • 49
He secures the 3 points
  • 48
The referee calls play back for a penalty and Pisi lines up for a penalty kick from behind the 10 meter
  • 47
The referee disallows the try. Penalty at the 5 of the Stormers now and du Plessis clears into touch. The referee halts the Line-out of the Stormers. They eventually move forward with play and the away team clear but the Sunwolves defence opts to do the same and they find touch
  • 45
Pisi with a wonderful offload to Yamada and they squeeze into space on their right wing. Pisi gets it back and he finds a pile of bodies between him and the goal line. He stretches and gets the ball over but the referee refers to the TMO for a review as the conversion kick is being prepped
  • 44
Scrum reset. The Stormers doing well in the scrum and they send it down field but the pass is fumbled. The turnover is there by the hosts and they find themselves in the 10 of the Stormers now
  • 43
Both team fumbling the ball often due to the humidity inside the staduim. Carpenter the latest victim of the weather conditions in Singapore. Scrum at the half way for the Stormers
  • 41
du Plessis gets the second half underway with a deep kick down field which is caught by Viljoen. The referee blows shortly after for a penalty to the Sunwovles. Pisi looks around and opts to kick into touch on his left at the 10. Tatekawa gets the ball after the line-out and boots it upward at the half way. Stormers turnover and du Plessis decides to go for a kick of his own

Half Time

  • 40
  • 39
The Stormers looking to build something from the ground up but not finding anything. The horn sounds and the referee ends play
  • 38
The ball is cleared and the Stormers come again up field. The game is slowed down by the team in possession as they struggle to find anything
  • 37
Schrueder slips it in and the Stormers push the Sunwolves back. The home team looking to orchestrate a play to get some points back. Viljoen playing it dangerously at the back trying to let it bounce over the dead ball line.
  • 36
Scrum at the 22 of the away team
  • 35
du Plessis and Viljoen collide and the Stormers man is down receiving treatment. Line-out at the 22 of the Stormers. Knock-on shortly after play resets
  • 34
Penalty at the half way and Riaan Viljoen steps up to look for the 3 points. His kick is just short and Kolbe picks it up
  • 33
du Plessis with a deep kick into the Sunwolves' half but Pisi with a similar reply. The Stormers fumble it after the line-out at their 10 and Durutalo makes ground froward but is brought down. The Stormers playing out of their own half now in the 7th phase. de Allende looking to slip through on the left wing but the hosts defense holding firm
  • 31
Pisi steps up for the kick and ensures another 3 points
  • 30
The hosts playing with an advantage making good ground forward, but the referee blows as Carpenter is ruled offside. Play is pulled back as they played under advantage.
  • 29
Line-out for the Stormers and they clear without taking any chances. Line-out for the Sunwolves now at the 10 of the away team. The Sunwolves initiate their attack now
  • 28
Scrum for the hosts and Tatekawa with a smart kick forward allowing Yamada to chase but the bounce doesn't go their way.
  • 27
The reset kick is not deep and the Sunwolves take advantage. The Stormers turnover up field but seem to have no direction with their offensive tactics. Knock-on by du Plessis at his own 10
  • 26
Pisi secures the 3 points easily
  • 25
The Sunwolves applying immense pressure on the Stormers who seem to not have their defense organized as well as they would have liked. The referee blows for a penalty to the Sunwolves and Pisi eyes the posts before setting up from inside the 22
  • 22
The Sunwolves now trying to play out of their own 10. The ball is kicked forward and Kolbe brings it down but the referee blows to bring play back for a penalty in favour of the home team. Pisi kicks into touch at the 22
  • 21
The Sunwolves holding firm as the Stromers reach their 24th phase. The away team not much closer to the goal line as they struggle to move forward. The referee blows and the hosts finally get the turnover. Pisi clears into touch at the half way.
  • 19
The Stormers building patiently at the 15th phase, Janse van Rensburg taking down three players single-
  • 18
de Allende makes a good few meters helping his team forward as they progress into the 22 in the 9th phase
  • 17
Pisi clears but Kolbe keeps it out of touch. Stormers move the ball up field at the half way but the pass is too strong and the ball goes into touch
  • 16
Stormers take the scrum and Carr attempts to make a run but he doens't make more than a meter before he is tackled and loses the ball forward. Scrum inside the 10 for the hosts
  • 15
Scrum reset
  • 14
Line-out after the reset kick for the Stormers. Carr trying to muscle his way through at mid field but easily contained. The referee blows to halt play. Scrum inside the 10 for the away team
  • 12
Pisi fails to secure the extra points
  • 11
A brilliant kick forward by the Sunwolves and the Stormers rush to defend. Durutalo showing his hand in the buildup in the play as they make it to the 5 meter. The ball finds its way over the try line in the hands of Yamada. TRY
  • 10
The line-out is poor from the Sunwolves and the ball now in mid field. Both team struggling to find proper formation as they boot the ball upward almost aimlessly. The referee blows; scrum at the half way down field
  • 8
The Stormers again in possession now at the half way. du Plessis kicks forward looking for touch but doesn't get it into touch. Pisi opts for a clearance as well and finds touch in the visitors' half
  • 7
The Stormers making good ground along their right wing. The Sunwolves halt their progress at the 22. The referee blows for a penalty to the home team.
  • 6
The visitors at the half way line down field. du Plessis has his pass intercepted but also lost forward. Scrum at the half way
  • 5
He finds the middle of the sticks to give the hosts 3 points
  • 4
Penalty to the Sunwolves after the reset kick. Pisi decides to have a go at goal himself from behind the 10 meter line
  • 3
du Plessis steps up for the penalty kick and secures the 3 points
  • 2
Scrum reset. The Stormers win the scrum with a tighthead and get the penalty
  • 1
Kolbe clears immediately after the opening kick and the Stormers get a line-out at the 10 of the Sunwolves as one of the home team players steps into touch. The referee blows shortly after as the Kolisi loses the ball forward. Scrum at the 22
  • 0
Paul Williams blows and the game is underway off the boot of Pisi
  • -3
Both sets of players preparing to enter the field
  • -5
The Stormers have won 3 of their last 5 games
  • -10
The Sunwolves home games have averaged 55 points per game
  • -15
The last result between these two sides ended in a 49-19 defeat for the Japanese side
  • -30
Welcome to Singapore where the Sunwolves host the Stormers
Mc stormers logo 80x50
  • 1 Masataka Mikami
  • 2 Takeshi Kizu
  • 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga
  • 4 Tim Bond
  • 5 Fa'atiga Lemalu
  • 6 Liaki Moli
  • 7 Andrew Durutalo
  • 8 Ed Quirk
  • 9 Atsushi Hiwasa
  • 10 Tusi Pisi
  • 11 John Stewart
  • 12 Harumichi Tatekawa
  • 13 Derek Carpenter
  • 14 Akihito Yamada
  • 15 Riaan Viljoen
  • 21 Yuki Yatomi
  • 16 Shota Horie
  • 17 Ji-won Koo
  • 18 Takuma Asahara
  • 19 Yoshiya Hosoda
  • 20 Taiyo Ando
  • 22 Yu Tamura
  • 23 Mifiposeti Paea
  • 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
  • 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni
  • 3 Frans Malherbe
  • 4 JD Schickerling
  • 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit
  • 6 Rynhardt Elstadt
  • 7 Siya Kolisi
  • 8 Nizaam Carr
  • 9 Louis Schrueder
  • 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis
  • 11 Kobus van Wyk
  • 12 Damian de Allende
  • 13 Juan de Jongh
  • 14 John-Ben Kotze
  • 15 Cheslin Kolbe
  • 16 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 17 Oliver Kebble
  • 18 Vincent Koch
  • 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 20 Schalk Burger
  • 21 Nic Groom
  • 22 Brandon Thomson
  • 23 Huw Jones
Mc article cory jane hurricanes thumbs up 800


Fri, 13 May 2016 00:43

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Saturday matches in Part Two of Super Rugby's Round 12.

In a week in which the competition (read race for play-off places) is finally beginning to take shape and some excitement is building, SANZAAR bosses again started talking of expansion.

Bewilderingly they feel the already bloated and frightfully confusing competition is in need of more discombobulating.

However, the boardroom drama will soon be pushed to the background, especially on a six-game Super Saturday that includes several crunch matches.

It all starts when the Hurricanes, one point behind the Highlanders in the New Zealand conference, host the Reds - having axed five players for 'breaching team protocol' by partying a bit too hard while on tour in South Africa.

The players dropped from the matchday 23 include All Blacks Julian Savea, Cory Jane and Victor.

The trio, along with Ardie Savea and Chris Eves, have been punished for staying out late in breach of a team curfew before last week's loss to the Sharks.

The Waratahs, sandwiched between the Brumbies and Rebels, host the Bulls in Sydney with a lot at stake for both teams.

A win for the Waratahs - who like the Rebels have played one game less than the Brumbies - will keep them in contention for the important guaranteed Australian berth in the play-offs.

The Bulls, meanwhile, need the win to stay in touch with the Stormers - who are one point ahead at the top of the Africa One conference and should bank easy points when they play the lowly Sunwolves in Singapore.

Next up are the Cheetahs and Southern Kings, who - with only three wins between them - clash in Bloemfontein.

In the Africa Two conference the Lions will have to beat a resurgent Blues if they are to stay ahead of the Sharks.

The Lions, one point ahead of the Sharks in the Africa Two, host a Blues side rejuvenated by their 34-18 win over the Southern Kings last week to record their first win on the road in two years.

The Sharks are in Argentina for their return match against the Jaguares, having beaten them 19-15 in Durban in the second round.

We look at the Saturday, May 14, matches below!

The Hurricanes coaching staff this week drew a line in the sand, which may well be the turning point for last year's beaten finalists.

The now well-documented decision to slap a one-match ban on five frontline players for breaking a team curfew (reportedly by only 18 minutes) means the message is clear: discipline is key.

And disciplined teams are usually the ones that perform best.

Coach Chris Boyd admitted it was a 'major' punishment for a 'minor' offence.

However, there is no doubt the Hurricanes are determined to put last week's disappointing loss to the Sharks behind them and the Reds may just be on the receiving end of the backlash.

"The game against the Sharks was a poor performance that we were not happy with," Boyd told the New Zealand media.

"Is there are correlation between our preparation [in Durban] and our performance? I'm not 100 per cent sure, but I know we trained very well during the week."

The absence of All Blacks Cory Jane, Julian Savea and Victor Vito - along with Ardie Savea and Chris Eves - may rob the team of some star quality, but not necessary weaken the side.

Reds lock Rob Simmons will hope the off-field distraction could assist in making his 100th Queensland cap a memorable one.

However, Reds interim co-coach Nick Stiles believes it will strengthen the Kiwis' resolve.

"We've got another tough match this weekend against a very strong Kiwi team," Stiles said.

"The team recognises the significance of this match, both in testing ourselves against one of the competition leaders and in putting up a performance worthy of Rob Simmons' 100th cap for Queensland.

"It's a fantastic achievement for Rob and he joins an elite group of centurions who have represented this state. It's a just reward for his dedication and professionalism over a number of years.

"Injury has meant that we've had to make a couple of changes to the side, but the guys we're bringing in are familiar with what we're trying to do and we're confident in what they can offer.

"Being able to bring a guy of Ayumu Goromaru's experience straight into the starting side is a big benefit for us. This is a good opportunity for him to step up and demonstrate what we know he is capable of."

Recent results:
2015: Hurricanes won 35-19, Brisbane
2014: Hurricanes won 35-21, Wellington
2013: Reds won 18-12, Brisbane
2011: Hurricanes won 28-26, Wellington
2010: Hurricanes won 44-21, Wellington
2009: Hurricanes won 37-28, Brisbane

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won 11 of the last 13 meetings between these sides, averaging 30 points per game in those 11 victories. These two teams are the only two teams in Super Rugby to have success rates above 90 percent at both the scrum and line-out this season. Although he has successfully kicked the second most shots at goal this season (39), Beauden Barrett has missed the most as well (22). The Hurricanes have been the most ruthless side in the competition when it comes to scoring tries following winning a turnover this season (14 times).; only two teams have scored fewer than the Reds in this fashion (two). The Reds are the only side yet to score a try involving seven-plus phases of build-up play so far, no side has scored more tries of this nature than the Canes (seven). The Hurricanes are likely to put on display their championship qualities and record a victory of 15 points or more.


Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Callum Gibbins, 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 Loni Uhila, 18 Ben May, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Willis Halaholo.

Reds: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Campbell Magnay, 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 Matt Mafi, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Duncan Paia'aua, 23 Junior Laloifi.

Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Mabey (New Zealand), Brett Johnson (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

The Bulls this week spoke about avoiding getting dragged into a set-piece arm-wrestle, but the Waratahs are keen to use their strengths - impressive defence and powerful scrum - to lay the platform for victory.

Waratahs assistant coach Nathan Grey the players have been working really hard over a long period of time, to get consistency in the set piece.

"We took a step in the right direction against the Cheetahs," Grey said.

"We're certainly under no illusion that we're going to need a better performance than that, against the Bulls though."

He said that he expects the Bulls to be 'typical' South African, which is why there was a "really big focus" this week around consistency of their set piece.

"We have the belief that if we can give consistently good ball to our backs we're going to trouble teams.

"The way that we play on both sides of the ball puts opposition under pressure.

"Maintaining the balance of putting them under pressure with the ball, and without the ball, are the two main things we'll be working on this week."

The Bulls, still hurting from last week's loss to the Brumbies - which ended seven-match unbeaten streak - re determined to regain the form that saw them steadily move up the standings and into play-off contention.

"We did not perform to expectations last weekend and need to make a big step up this weekend," coach Nollis Marais said.

"The idea is to freshen up the squad a bit and go at the Waratahs with a slightly different team. They are formidable opponents and we owe it to ourselves to give it a good go in our final match on tour."

Captain Adriaan Strauss urged his team for a final effort.

"A win will make this tour a very successful one, despite last weekend's defeat," Strauss said.

"We know we have to deliver a classy performance if we want to outplay the Waratahs, but I think we can do it."

Recent results:
2014: Waratahs won 19-12, Sydney
2013: Bulls won 30-19, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 27-24, Sydney
2011: Bulls won 23-17, Pretoria
2010: Bulls won 48-38, Pretoria
2009: Bulls won 20-6, Sydney

Prediction: The Waratahs won their last meeting against the Bulls in 2014, however the Pretoria side won eight on the bounce against the Tahs before that. Despite losing three of their last four at home to the Bulls, the Waratahs have won seven of 10 when hosting the Bulls in Super Rugby. Of the 35 players to take 20-plus line-out throws this season, Adriaan Strauss has the best success rate (95 percent) despite only one player taking more throws (112). As well as a strong line-out the Bulls boast the best tackling success rate in the competition (88 percent). No side has conceded fewer tries in the final quarter of matches this season than the Tahs (3), whilst the Bulls have conceded the fewest first half tries (four). The Bulls have a realistic chance, but we feel the Waratahs will do enough to edge it with a late converted try.


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/Jack Dempsey, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Matt Carraro.

Bulls: 15 SP Marais, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Pieter Labuschagne, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboka. 
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Dries Swanepoel.

Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe, James Leckie
TMO: George Ayoub

With the Sunwolves having opted to 'rest' inspirational captain Shota Horie - and making a few other players - it may appear they have already thrown in the towel - for a match that is not a real home game anyway.

The Stormers travelled  just over 9,000 kilometres from Cape Tow, while the Sunwolves had to travel over 5,00 kilometres for this game.

It means the Stormers have an ideal opportunity to get back on the winning track - following a Round 10 loss to the Waratahs and last week's bye.

"It's always difficult coming back after a loss and a bye week," Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said.

"I would have liked to have carried on.

"However, the players enjoyed the break and the squad is fresh now."

Fleck said now might be a good time to "experiment" in terms of the way they want to play and how they play.

The Stormers coach warned his team against underestimating the Japanese side - which has just one win from nine outings.

"The Sunwolves, even though the results did not go their way, are side that puts every team under pressure in terms of their attacking game," Fleck said.

"They certainly showed that at Newlands at stages, when they kept ball in hand, and when they put us under pressure defensively," he said of a match the Stormers won 46-19 last month.

"We've got our work cut out.

"We respect every opposition that we play, but it does allow me to try a few things and we want to go there and embrace the challenge of playing in Singapore."

The Stormers know - with the Bulls just a point behind them on the standings in the Africa One conference - that defeat could have dire results with the June break just around the corner.

"Both Africa Conferences are really tight now, but we always expected that.

"We have to look forward and not behind us.

"Our focus is to keep improving and getting better and keep winning. This is the start of phase three now and it is important that we win this one, regardless of what's happening with the rest of the Africa conference."

Previous result:
2016: Stormers won 46-19, Cape Town

Prediction: This will be the second meeting between these sides, with the Stormers winning 46-19 in Cape Town in their Round Seven clash. The Sunwolves' home games have seen 55 points per game scored on average. The Stormers have won each of their last three games outside of South Africa, their best run outside of the country since winning four in a row across 2011 and 2012. Eben Etzebeth (not playing in this game) is the only player to make more than 50 tackles (57) this season without missing at least one. Of all teams in Super Rugby the Stormers have forced the lowest success rates from their opposition in both set pieces this season (scrum 71 percent, line-out 77 percent). It should be one-way traffic, with the Stormers winning by at least 30 points.


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

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

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Takashi Hareda (Japan)
The Kings' season is going south, literally, at a rate of knots.

Despite the narrow win over the Sunwolves in Week Six, they have conceded 190 points in the last four matches (an average of 48 points per match) and 29 tries (more than seven a game).

Then they lost a host of key players - including veteran captain Steven Sykes, along with star loose forwards Cyril-John Velleman and Chris Cloete, as well as midfielder Stefan Watermeyer.

Apart from the rapidly depleting player resources, the Kings have failed to produce an 80-minute performance.

However, Cheetah coach Franco Smith said there is no chance of underestimating the men from Port Elizabeth.

"They are unpredictable and they can get up for any game," Smith said.

He felt that despite the loss of those key players, they still have a good pack.

"I feel Tom Botha is an outstanding scrummager," the Cheetahs coach said, adding: "We also know [flyhalf] Elgar [Watts] very well and Jurgen Visser is doing a great job for them at fullback.

"We know they are under pressure to get some positive results and that makes them even more dangerous," he said, adding that the Cheetahs will "respect" the Kings.

Kings coach Deon Davids played down the loss of so many star players, saying it provides opportunities for others to put up their hands.

Like the Kings, the Cheetahs have had minimal success this season and re struggling to get some momentum going.

"They are desperate to put up a good performance having come off a tough tour," Davids said of a Cheetahs team that lost to the Rebels, reds and Waratahs in Australia.

"The Cheetahs are currently playing a brand of rugby that uses the width of the field and they like to attack from anywhere, where possible, so we will have to deal with that," he said.

Previous results:
2013: Cheetahs won 34-22, Port Elizabeth
2013: Cheetahs won 26-12, Bloemfontein

Prediction: This will be the third Super Rugby meeting between the sides with the Cheetahs winning the previous two, by margins of 14 and 12 points. The Cheetahs have lost their last two at home to fellow South African teams and have not lost more in a row to teams from their own country since losing three on the bounce across 2012 and 2013. The Kings' last six away games have all been settled by margins of more than 20 points. Sergeal Petersen has made an average gain of 11.8 metres per carry so far this season, the best rate of any player to make 10+ carries. The Kings are the only side this season with a tackle success rate below 80 percent (79.95 percent). The Kings are in for a long day at the office and the Cheetahs should by at least 20 points.


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

Southern Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Phillipus du Plessis, 12 Shane Gates (captain), 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 James Hall, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Juan-Pierre Jonck, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Cornell Hess, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Leighton Eksteen.

Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

The Lions are well aware they have to win this week to keep the pressure on the front-runners in the Africa conference - the Stormers and Bulls.

There is also the Sharks lurking, now just a point behind the Lions in the Africa Two conference.

For Lions coach Johan Ackermann the key is to avoid a repeat of the horror show they produced against the Hurricanes a fortnight ago.

And to complicate matter they face an erratic Blues team that have the talent to knock over any team.

"They are a tough team to prepare for, because you never know what you will get on the day," Ackermann said of the visiting Blues outfit.

"There is no doubt they have the talent to knock over any team - we saw that when they beat the Sharks.

"They may be last on the New Zealand conference, but it is so tight in that group that only our best will be good enough."

Like any Kiwi side the Blues are dangerous from broken play and have some powerful ball carries.

"Our defence will have to be a lot better than what it was against the Hurricanes ," Ackermann said,.

"They also make use of quick throw-ins and any opportunity to launch a sneaky attack.

"We will have to be alert for the entire 80 minutes.

"We are disappointed in our last outing [against the Hurricanes] at Ellis park and will have to fix that."

Blues coach Tana Umaga is also disappointed with his team's last outing, despite beating the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

However, it ended a long losing streak in away matches - stretching back to June 2014.

The Blues are well aware that the Lions at Ellis Park is a much taller order than the Kings.

However, Umaga's men have been buoyed by last week's victory.

"We know that if we play anywhere near as poorly as we did last week, then we won't get the result we're looking for against the Lions," Umaga said.

Recent results:
2015: Lions won 13-10, Albany
2014: Lions won 39-36, Johannesburg
2012: Blues won 25-3, Auckland
2011: Blues won 41-32, Johannesburg
2010: Blues won 56-14, Johannesburg
2009: Blues 36-12, Auckland

Prediction: The Lions have won their last two against the Blues, previously they had never won back-to-back games against the Auckland side, losing seven of the eight games between the two prior to that. However, the Lions have lost their last two at home; they've not lost more in a row on home soil since 2012 when they lost five consecutive games. The Lions are the most dangerous side in the 20 minutes before half-time this season so far, scoring the most points (97) and having the best points differential in this period (plus 55). The Lions (27.6) and Blues (27.1) have averaged the most defenders beaten of any sides in Super Rugby in 2016. No side has enjoyed more possession than the Blues this season, an average of 18 minutes, 10 seconds per game. The Blues do have a realistic chance to win, but the smart money is on a Lions win - by 15 points.


Lions: 15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

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 Hoani Matenga, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Kara Pryor, 20 Joe Edwards, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 Male Sa'u.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

The Jaguares are coming off a bye and the Sharks are still fresh from a morale-boosting win over the Hurricanes at home last Saturday, a win which has revitalised their hopes of qualifying for the play-offs.

However, Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold said last week's win - as impressive as the performance was - must be put in the archives and the focus must be on a dangerous opponent - who themselves had an important win over the Kings a fortnight ago.

"This is a week where we really need to stay grounded, we haven't achieved anything yet and we still have some really tough encounters ahead," Gold said.

"We're still in the fight in our pool and the games ahead are going to be critically important." he added.

"If we think the Jaguares will be easy in Buenos Aires, we have another thing coming. They're a team improving every week they play together, there is no doubting their passion.

"The Jaguares are very physical, they're going to come at you hard and they have a partisan crowd behind them, I think it's a very tough challenge for us.

"We must remain humble and rest. Those are the most important. We know what is waiting for us on Saturday."

The Jaguares' international loose forward Juan Manuel Leguizamón said they are under no illusion as to how tough the challenge will be.

"We know just how strong the Sharks are on defence," Leguizamón said.

"What is important for us is to avoid those lapses in concentration that have cost us so much already this season."

He spoke of the need to have the right "intensity, desire and attitude".

"The key is to ensure our defensive line is solid and ensure we do not miss any one-on-one tackles."

Previous result:
2016: Sharks won 19-15, Durban

Prediction: This will be the second meeting between the sides in Super Rugby with the Durban outfit emerging 19-15 winners in Round Two. The Jaguares won their last game by 46 points, although six of their eight games prior to that had been settled by eight points or fewer. The Sharks' last four away games outside of South Africa have all seen a losing bonus point picked up. The Sharks have averaged the most turnovers won per game so far (nine), Andre Esterhuizen has won a team high 12 but six other players have chipped in with five or more. The Sharks have benefitted from the poorest goal kicking from their opposition of any side this season (60 percent). It will be a close call, but the Sharks should sneak it with a late score - five points or less.


Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Santiago García Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Lucas González Amorosino.

Sharks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle/Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Garth April, 23 Sibusiso Sithole/Joe Pietersen.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Juan Sylvestre (Argentina), Damian Schneider (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)

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

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article akihito yamada sunwolves handoff 800

Koch saves sloppy Stormers

Sat, 14 May 2016 13:45

REPORT: An 80th minute Vincent Koch converted try helped save the Stormers from an embarassing defeat in Singapore as they drew 17-17 against the Sunwolves.

The Stormers failed to rock up and the Sunwolves took full advantage. But Koch rocked up just when it seemed that the home side would bag the morale-boosting victory. The Stormers looked lethargic and sloppy throughout the encounter while the Sunwolves feasted on those mistakes.

Jean-Luc du Plessis and Tusi Pisi traded penalties in the opening five minutes but both sides struggled to settle into any rhythm in the humid conditions. Seven minutes later and the Sunwolves launched their first meaningful attack.

The backline was brought into the game and a few passes later, found themselves within inches of the Stormers' try line. The visitors were scrambling to get numbers behind the ball and it was quick thinking by Akihito Yamada that handed the hosts the first try of the match as he touched down in the left corner.

Pisi missed the conversion but the Sunwolves had an 8-3 lead after 13 minutes.

The Stormers began to see more of the ball and built up an attack from inside their half of the field but lost possession on the Sunwolves' five metre line. The attack lacked creativity and the Sunwolves took full advantage.

The home side went on the attack and after sustained pressure, a Stormers error led to Pisi extending the lead to 11-3 after 27 minutes. The Stormers remained under immense pressure and found themselves 3-14 down as Pisi slotted his third penalty of the match five minutes later.

The Stormers were beginning to find their feet but the unforced errors remained and they spurned numerous attacking opportunities. The Sunwolves held onto their 11 point lead at the half-time interval.

The Sunwolves came out strong and nearly grabbed their second try through Yamada but he had too many attempts at placing the ball over the line and the try was denied. It mattered little though as Pisi extended the lead to 14 points with a 49th minute penalty.

The visitors brought on some fresh legs and dominated the next 10 minutes. The continued pressure on the Sunwolves led to the lock Pieter-Steph du Toit muscling his way over the try line. Du Plessis added the extras to reduce the deficit to seven points with 20 minutes remaining.

The remainder of the match was exactly like the minutes that went before it. The Stormers continued to make error after error and the Sunwolves just kept plugging away. However, Cheslin Kolbe got the Stormers onto the front foot with a trademark run.

A few phases later, and with mere seconds remaining, Koch picked the ball from the back of the ruck and barged his over the line. Replacement flyhalf Brandon Thomson held his nerve to add the conversion and ensure the Stormers claimed the draw.

Man of the match: Pieter-Steph du Toit was the only Stormers player to actually rock up at the match as carried his side through the 80 minutes. Akihito Yamada has a steady game when he was handed the ball and fullback Riaan Viljoen was once again at his best. However, the man who ran the show and kept the Sunwolves on the front foot is the one who gets the nod - none other than flyhalf Tusi Pisi.


For the Sunwolves:
Try: Yamada
Pens: Pisi 4

For the Stormers:
Tries: du Toit, Koch
Cons: du Plessis, Thomson
Pen: du Plessis


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

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

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)

Akihito Yamada (11min)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (59min) and Vincent Koch (79min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (60min) and Brandon Thomson (81min)
Tusi Pisi (5min), Tusi Pisi (26min), Tusi Pisi (31min), and Tusi Pisi (49min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (3min)
VENUE Singapore ( Singapore , Singapore )
REFEREE Paul Williams (New Zealand)