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Super Rugby | Bloemfontein
15:05 (GMT) | 14-05-2016
  • 81
The Kings turn it over at the breakdown but a laudable comeback is all they're going to get from this game as the ref blows it up
  • 80
The Cheetahs enjoy the last bit of ball as the full time siren goes. The Bloemfontein side are going for the bonus point and do well to hold onto the ball
  • 78
Paul Schoeman gets his marching orders and leaves the Cheetahs at a 14-man disadvantage. The Kings retain possession after the scrum and the Cheetahs will now have the put-in after an unnecessary Oelofse cleanout at the ruck
  • 75
The Cheetahs now have the put-in at the scrum on own 5. It's reset and the Kings get the feed. The Cheetahs are doing well to keep the Kings out
  • 73
The Kings are starting to play with more confidence now. They come out firing after the restart and set Luzuko Vulindlu up for another possible try but he is taken into touch. The Cheetahs have a lineout on their 22 and come away with it before the Kings secure a turnover that takes them into Cheetahs 5
  • 71
Fouche adds the extras
  • 70
The Kings hit back and good interplay gets them into the Cheetahs 22. They do well to breach the home side's defence and the Cheetahs are penalised at the breakdown. Louis Fouche delivers a poor kick into the in-goal area and they go back for the penalty advantage. They use their runners and an outside pass sends Lukhanyo Am over for the TRY!
  • 66
Ntando Kebe puts the Kings first threatening run towards the tryline in quite some time but his momentum is halted and the Cheetahs are still in command in what is becoming a one-sided affair
  • 64
The Cheetahs get into Kings 22 but a fumbled pass sends the ball into touch. The Kings will have the throw-in at the lineout but the Cheetahs turn it over. The ref has a word with Venter regarding his side's discipline
  • 62
His side make a mess of it and the Cheetahs will feed the scrum just outside the 22 . The Kings are having a horrible day at the scrums and the ref issues a well-deserved warning.
  • 59
The scrum is reset and the Kings' Louis Alberste is off his feet. Blommetjies makes sure of the kick and secures a lineout on the 22. The Cheetahs move quickly but Marutlulle again secures the turnover!
  • 58
The Cheetahs seem ready to shit into gear. It's a Cheetahs scrum in midfield and the Kings get penalised at the set piece again as the home side continue their forward dominance.
  • 56
Zeilinga makes no mistake with the conversion and adds the extras
  • 55
There's side entry by the Cheetahs at the ruck but it goes unnoticed. Petersen receives a pass on the blindside and sprints to the tryline for their fourth try!
  • 53
The Cheetahs have a scrum on the halfway mark after the restart and the Kings collapse the set piece. Petersen finds touch and the home team have the throw-in on Kings 10. They win the lineout but Marutlulle is being a menace at the breakdown as he secures another turnover
  • 51
Watts adds the extras
  • 50
The Kings have scrum in midfield and gain good ground after the set piece. JP du Plessis gets the ball and beats two defenders as he sprints to the tryline for the Kings' first five-pointer!
  • 48
The Cheetahs get another shot at points after the restart as the Kings are caught off their feet at the ruck. Zeilinga sets up for the kick and boots it over from just outside Kings 22
  • 46
Zeilinga adds the extras
  • 45
They knock the ball on and the Kings get possession for a short while. The Cheetahs turn it over in midfield and Peterson sprints down the touchline and cuts to his inside. He slows down and waits for his support before finding Michael van der Spuy on his inside who is over for the TRY!
  • 43
It's a strong scrum by the home side but the Kings turn it over after the set piece. They kick possession away and the Cheetahs gain some ground before more poor handling puts them a few metres back
  • 42
The Kings have a lineout on the halfway line but lose the ball after the first phase. Mohoje makes a solid 20 metres but Shaun Venter knocks the ball on at the breakdown and the Kings will have the feed on Cheetahs 10
  • 41
Watts kicks the second half of the match off

Half Time

  • 40
Petersen knocks the ball on and they have a scrum just outside Kings 22. The Cheetahs come away with it and hustle to get into the Kings 22 but the visitors turn it over on the stroke of half time!
  • 38
A bit of aerial ping pong after the restart as the teams keep the ball on the boot. The Kings near the Cheetahs' 22 now but scrappy play gives the Cheetahs the opportunity to relieve some pressure. Blommetjies does exactly that and the Kings will have the throw-in on the 22. It's stolen by the Cheetahs and they set up a few phases but scrappy play again ruins a scoring opportunity
  • 36
A superb effortby the Kings' forwards gets them a turnover at the breakdown after the restart. They set up for the scrum on the 10 and come away with it. James Hall put in a box kick and Torsten van Jaarsveld is caught offside. Watts finds touch on the 22 and the Kings take the lineout. They take the ball through the hands quickly and Hall puts in a kick but the chasers are caught off guard. Mohoje grounds the ball
  • 33
Watts sets up for the penalty shot about 26 metres out after a breakdown infringement by the Cheetahs. He curls it in from a left angle and gets it over
  • 29
Zeilinga adds the conversion to put the Cheetahs in command
  • 28
The Cheetahs make a blunder of a scoring opportunity as Oupa Mohoje delivers a skip-pass to his inside that's intercepted by Visser just outside the 22. Visser loses it forward and the Cheetahs have a scrum on Kings 22. Good scrummaging by the home side retains possession for them and Uzair Cassiem dives over for their second TRY!
  • 26
The Cheetahs are setting the pace now and enjoying much more possession. The Kings aren't doing too bad either as they keep the Cheetahs' options to a minimum
  • 24
Zeilinga adds the extras
  • 23
The Kings get out of their red zone but the Cheetahs put them right back in there as secure a lineout on the 22. They put in a few quick passes and Rhule is again in good position as he receives an outside pass to cross over for the TRY!
  • 20
The home team are building good momentum now as they move up field. Good interplay from outside Kings 22 sets Rhule up for the try under the posts! Wait...we have a TMO referral for a possible forward pass to Rhule. Ref rules no try and the Kings have the scrum feed on the 5
  • 18
TMO referral now as Schalk Oelofse is caught pulling Sergeal Petersen's dreadlocks. Very dubious decision-making as Federico Anselmi rules that there was no intent. Zeilinga sets up for the penalty and boots it over to level the score
  • 15
Visser returns the kick and the Cheetahs keep it in hand. The keep distribution short and put in a wide pass to Raymond Rhule on the right but the whistle goes as the Kings are found offside
  • 14
The Cheetahs show intent after the restart but Edgar Marutlulle does well at the breakdown and the Cheetahs are penalised in midfield. The Kings take the free kick and set up a few phases but Marutlulle loses it forward and Zeilinga boots it upfield
  • 13
The come away with it but the whistle goes an Watts will have an opportunity to put the visitors in the lead with an easy kick on Cheetahs 22
  • 11
The home side knock on and the Kings exploit the advantage with a threatening run to the Cheetahs' 10. He's taken into touch and the Cheetahs take a quick lineout
  • 10
An early shove by the Cheetahs gives the Kings a free kick and Watts gives the Cheetahs the lineout on the 10.
  • 8
The Cheetahs steal the ball at the lineout and take the ball through the hands quickly. They gain good ground upfield with enterprising play and Blommetjies hits the line, cuts through on the blindside and offloads to Torsten van Jaarsveld on his inside. The big hooker goes over but the ref rules forward and they set up for the Kings scrum on the 5.
  • 7
Kings tighthead Tom Botha is receiving medical attention after the set-piece. He's good to go and they pack up for another scrum on own 10. The scrum goes their way and Zeilinga boots it upfield. Jurgen Visser returns the kick for the Kings and finds good touch on the 10
  • 5
The Cheetahs retain possession but it's soon turned over after a high tackle by captain Francois Venter. Elgar Watts finds touch for the Kings and the Cheetahs have another scrum feed after a knock-on by the visitors after the lineout
  • 4
This time the Cheetahs take it and Fred Zeilinga boots it a little too hard to find touch. The Kings have the throw-in and come away with it but they lose the ball forward and the Cheetahs will have the first scrum of the game on own 22
  • 2
Schalk Oelofse gets involved early on and gains a few metres before he is taken into touch. The Cheetahs get the lineout in midfield but the Kings come away with it. They get in a few passes before they set up for a lineout again as the ball goes into touch
  • 1
The teams are on the field! Clayton Blommetjies gets the game underway and the Cheetahs secure the throw-in on the halfway line
  • -10
Federico Anselmi from Argentina is our referee and Stuart Berry and AJ Jacobs will be assisting him. Johan Greeff will be our television match official.
  • -15
Kings head coach Deon Davids has had to make four changes to his starting line up due to injuries. Schalk Oelofse comes up from the bench to fill in for Steven Sykes, who picked up an injury during the game against the Blues at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last weekend, at lock. Juan-Pierre Jonck takes up the position at left flank in place of Cloete, who is out with a knee injury. Aidon Davis comes on at No.8 in place of Velleman, who is out with a fractured thumb. At the back Davids has brought Phillipus du Plessis in at outside centre to fill in for Stefan Watermeyer, who is out with a tendon injury to his foot. Cornell Hess comes up onto the bench to fill the spot opened up by Oelofse starting. In the front row, a late change sees Liam Hendricks start at loosehead prop while Sti Sithole drops out of the matchday squad. On the bench, Louis Albertse comes in for Justin Ackerman.
  • -20
For the Cheetahs, Charles Marais, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Nicolaas van Dyk, Lodewyk de Jager and Uzair Cassiem are all back in the starting line-up after starting on the bench in their 6-21 loss in Sydney. Flank Paul Schoeman also returns to the starting team after serving a one-week suspension for foul play. He replaces Willie Britz, who is out for up to six weeks with a knee injury. Retshegofaditswe Nche, Luan de Bruin, Henco Venter and Carl Wegner all drop down to the bench. In the backline, Shaun Venter and Tian Meyer will be switching places at scrumhalf with Meyer on the bench. Captain Francois Venter will be playing at outside centre with Michael van der Spuy starting in the No.12 jersey. Nico Lee drops down to the bench.
  • -30
Welcome and thanks for joining us at the Toyota Stadium for the meeting between the Cheetahs and the Kings!
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
Mc copy of southernkingslogo
  • 1 Charles Marais
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 3 Maks van Dyk
  • 4 Lodewyk de Jager
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 6 Paul Schoeman
  • 7 Teboho Mohoje
  • 8 Uzair Cassiem
  • 9 Shaun Venter
  • 10 Fred Zeilinga
  • 11 Raymond Rhule
  • 12 Michael van der Spuy
  • 13 Francois Venter
  • 14 Sergeal Petersen
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 16 Jacques du Toit
  • 17 Ox Nche
  • 18 Luan De Bruin
  • 19 Henco Venter
  • 20 Carl Wegner
  • 21 Tian Meyer
  • 22 Niel Marais
  • 23 Nico Lee
  • 1 Liam Hendricks
  • 2 Edgard Marutlulle
  • 3 Tom Botha
  • 4 Schalk Oelofse
  • 5 John-Charles Astle
  • 6 JP Jonck
  • 7 Thembelani Bholi
  • 8 Aidon Davis
  • 9 James Hall
  • 10 Elgar Watts
  • 11 Luzuko Vulindlu
  • 12 Shane Gates
  • 13 JP du Plessis
  • 14 Lukhanyo Am
  • 15 Jurgen Visser
  • 16 Martin Ferreira
  • 17 Louis Albertse
  • 18 Jacobie Adriaanse
  • 19 Cornell Hess
  • 20 Stefan Willemse
  • 21 Ntando Kebe
  • 22 Louis Fouché
  • 23 Leighton Eksteen
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 cheetahs maul 800

Kings push Cheetahs all the way

Sat, 14 May 2016 17:02

REPORT: The Southern Kings made the Cheetahs work hard for their 34-20 victory in Bloemfontein on Saturday as the visitors staged a mini comeback late in the second half.

The home side were in cruise mode after racking up four converted tries and two penalties to take a 34-13 lead after 56 minutes but then the Kings came back into the match as their replacements took centre stage.

The Kings began the game on the front foot and took the game to the Cheetahs but despite the dominance, the home side managed to keep the Eastern Cape franchise at bay in the opening seven minutes.

With virtually their first attack of the match, the Cheetahs raced up field and came within metres of scoring through Torsten van Jaarsveld. However, he received a forward pass from Clayton Blommetjies who broke through a half-gap, as the Kings were left off the hook.

The Kings were back on the attack from that point and were awarded a 13th minute penalty as the Cheetahs infringed close to their 22. Elgar Watts struck the penalty well to hand the visitors the 3-0 lead.

The Cheetahs got their hands on the ball and went on the attack. Sergeal Petersen made a good run, only to be brought down by having his hair pulled. The Cheetahs were handed a penalty for that infringement and Fred Zeilinga slotted the kick to level matters after 19 minutes.

It was all the Cheetahs from that point as they bagged two tries within five minutes of each other. First, Raymond Rhule crossed in the 23rd minute and then Uzair Cassiem got his name on the score sheet with a 28th minute score. Zeilinga slotted both conversions to hand the home side a 17-6 lead.

Neither side were able to add any further points as they headed into the shed for the half-time interval.

The home side came out firing after the break as Michael van der Spuy scored his side third try in the 46th minute. Zeilinga had an easy conversion as the Cheetahs stretched their lead to 24-6. The lead was stretched by a further three points when Zeilinga slotted his second penalty, two minutes later.

The Kings were not going to let the result get away from them and hit straight back with a try of their own when JP du Plessis beat two defenders to canter over for the score. Watts added the extras to reduce the deficit to 14 points after 51 minutes.

But the Cheetahs hit back four minutes later when a strong counter-ruck saw them turn possession over close to the half-way line. It was quickly sent to Sergeal Petersen on the right wing and the speedster raced away to score in the corner.

Zeilinga's conversion ensured a 34-13 lead for the home side after 56 minutes of action.

The match went into a bit of a lull for a few minutes but then the Cheetahs got going again and took the game to the Kings. However, some ill-discipline crept into the Cheetahs' game and with Kings replacement scrumhalf Ntando Kebe pushing the tempo, the visitors got themselves onto the board once again.

Sustained pressure on the Cheetahs' try line saw the Kings fire the ball wide to Lukhanyo Am, who made no mistake in getting the score in the corner. Fouche added the tough conversion to get the Kings 14 points behind the Cheetahs with 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

The Kings had their tails up in the final minutes and were camping inside the Cheetahs' 22. Paul Schoeman was sent to the sin bin with three minutes remaining after being caught off his feet at the breakdown.

The visitors failed to take full advantage as the match fizzled out.

Man of the match: Edgar Marutlulle was once again at his best while captain Shane Gates did all the hard work on defence. Ntando Kebe showed plenty of energy when he got onto the field as he drove the Kings forward in the latter stages of the match. Uzair Cassiem did the hard yards up front for the home side while captain Francois Venter was his industrious self. However, there was only one person who could not be stopped on the night and that was Lodewyk de Jager.


For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Rhule, Cassiem, van der Spuy, Petersen
Cons: Zeilinga 4
Pens: Zeilinga 2

For Southern Kings:
Tries: du Plessis, Am
Cons: Watts, Fouche
Pens: Watts 2

Yellow card: Paul Schoeman (Cheetahs, repeated infringements - off feet at the breakdown, 77)


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 Liam Hendricks.
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Louis Albertse, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Cornell Hess, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Leighton Eksteen.

Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)

Raymond Rhule (23min), Uzair Cassiem (28min), Michael van der Spuy (45min), and Sergeal Petersen (55min)
JP du Plessis (50min) and Lukhanyo Am (70min)
Fred Zeilinga (24min), Fred Zeilinga (29min), Fred Zeilinga (46min), and Fred Zeilinga (56min)
Elgar Watts (51min) and Louis Fouché (71min)
Fred Zeilinga (18min) and Fred Zeilinga (48min)
Elgar Watts (13min) and Elgar Watts (31min)
Paul Schoeman (78min)
VENUE Bloemfontein
REFEREE Federico Anselmi (Argentina)