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Lions

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Blues

Super Rugby | Johannesburg
17:10 (GMT) | 14-05-2016
  • 81
Thanks for joining us! Join us again at 20:40 GMT for our live coverage of the Jaguares v Sharks match!
  • 80
Ruan Combrinck sends the conversion wide as the final hooter goes
  • 79
The Lions have a lineout on own 10 and come away with it but the Blues turn it over. They gain a few metres before the Lions return the favour. They Lions get into Blues 22 and quick swerving by Sylvian Mahuza out wide puts Mapoe into space for his hat trick!
  • 75
West misses the conversion
  • 73
The Blues are having a late surge as they get into Lions territory and do well to hold onto possession and show some continuity. They take the ball through the hands and find Joe Edwards out wide who goes over for their first TRY
  • 70
The Lions are keeping the pressure on the Blues. A possible scroing opportunity after a good run by Armand van der Merwe goes awry after a handling error just outside the 22.
  • 66
Jantjies adds the extras
  • 65
The Lions have another scrum on the 5 and the backline take the ball through the hands and pass it to Mapoe who is over for his second TRY!
  • 63
The form another maul and drive it forward before getting the ball to Mapoe who dives over. The try is not awarded as the centre was offside
  • 61
They're offside and the Lions get the scrum feed on the 22. They move towards the try line and the Blues are caught off their feet at the breakdown. Jantjies finds touch and they Lions will have the throw-in on the 5
  • 59
The Lions have a scrum after another handling error by the Blues and make their way into opposition 22. Jantjies puts in another one of his clever kicks but it's caught by the Blues
  • 56
The Lions take the ball up but the Blues turn it over in midfield. Possession is kept short for both sides as the conditions seem to be making decent handling difficult
  • 53
The Blues are getting some more attacking chances now. They have an attacking line out on the 5 but it's stolen by the Lions
  • 50
Jantjies misses the conversion
  • 49
The Blues are penalised soon after the restart for not releasing the tackled player on own 22. The Lions are wasting no time as they again take positions for a lineout on Blues 5. They come away with it and form a maul and drive it over for the try
  • 48
Jantjies adds the extras
  • 47
The Lions have a lineout on Blues' 5 and come away with it. They form a maul and drive it forward before sending the ball to the openside where the ball goes through Jantjies and Skosan to Mapoe who is ver for the TRY!
  • 43
Tevita Li opts for touch after some kicking by both sides. The Blues take the throw-in in midfield and boot the ball upfield and the Lions return the kick.
  • 41
West gets the second half underway

Half Time

  • 40
The Lions regain possession but are penalised for a dangerous tackle and the Blues get an opportunity to get out of their red zone as halftime strikes
  • 38
The Lions come away with the ball and Kriel is busting tackles again as he breaks through defenders. The Blues turn it over just outside the 5
  • 35
The Lions have an attacking lineout on Blues 22 and the visitors are penalised for taking out the supporter at the back. They take the throw again and the Blues get to clear their lanes with a steal at the breakdown
  • 33
The Blues have a lienout on Lions 5 and the whistle goes for a breakdown infringement by the home side. The Blues have the throw-in again but the Lions secure the turnover after the set piece and Jantjies relieves some pressure
  • 32
The Lions are still enjoying the majority possession but the territorial battle is becoming more contested now
  • 30
The Lions come away with the ball at the lineout but don't hold onto it. Both sides are keeping the ball on the boot now
  • 27
The Blues come away with it and West boots it into touch to give his side the lineout on own . The Lions steal it at the set piece and but they pass it forward and it goes into touch. The Blues have the throw-in on the halfway mark and gain a few metres before West puts it on the boot
  • 25
The Lions concede a penalty on opposition 10 for being offside at the breakdown after the restart. West finds touch and gives his side the lineout in midfield. The Lions secure a turnover and Jantjies put up another brilliant display of strategic ply with a kick that finds touch on Blues 22
  • 23
The Blues are penalised this time for illegal scrummaging. Janjies sets up for the penalty kick just inside Blues 10 and strikes it well but it goes just right.
  • 21
The scrum is reset and the scrum collapses yet again. No one to blame there. Underfoot conditions are just making scrummaging difficult.
  • 18
The Lions turn it over and Lionel Mapoe runs a good line and offloads to Jaco Kriel who is tackled. They infringe at the breakdown and the Blues will have the put-in at the scrum on own 10.
  • 16
The Blues come away with it but the Lions secure a turnover after the set piece and Jantjies gets them out of their red zone. The Blues have the throw-in at the lineout on the 22 but the ball goes loose and they scoop it up to find touch just outside Lions 22
  • 14
The Blues get involved after the restart and make their into the Lions' territory. They break into opposition 22 and threaten the Lions tryline, but the hosts' defence is solid. Flyhalf Ihaia West puts in a kick of his own but it doesn't go as planned and they will have a lineout on the 5
  • 12
Jantjies adds the conversion
  • 10
Jantjies is having a remarkable start as he works his magic again after a great counter ruck by the Lions. He chips the ball again, this side to the right, from the 22 and it's neatly caught by Rohan Janse van Rensburg who is over for the TRY!
  • 7
Jantjies makes no mistake this time and adds the extras
  • 6
Jantjies finds touch and the Lions will have the lineout on the 22 after illegal binding by the Blues' back row in midfield. They set up two phases before they send the ball wide. They pass it back inside and Jantjies shows his class with a nifty kick from the centre of the 22 to the left corner where Courtnall Skosan gathers and scores!
  • 4
The Blues haven't seen much of the ball yet as the Lions have been in control since the kick off. The heavy rain is making playing conditions very unpleasant and that's evident by the early handling errors by the visitors.
  • 3
Jantjies sends the ball just wide
  • 2
The Lions waste NO time as they are over for the first TRY of the game after a lineout steal on own 22 and a brilliant clean-out by the forwards at the ruck!
  • 1
Elton Jantjies gets the game underway
  • -5
Jaco van Heerden will be the man in the middle and Jaco Peyper and Lesego Legoete will be his assistants, while Shaun Veldsman will be the television match official.
  • -10
The absence of enduring lock Josh Bekhuis is the notable omission from the Blues team to take on South African front runners. Bekhuis tweaked his calf in the win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth, with the injury not improving sufficiently to play. The aggressive Hoani Matenga will take the Super Rugby centurion's place for his third start in the last five games. With an expected major battle upfront, All Black Charlie Faumuina returns to start in the front row alongside the in-form Sam Prattley and skipper James Parsons. Robust loose forward Joe Edwards moves into the bench with Steven Luatua providing the lock cover. The backline remains unchanged from last week’s game against the Kings.
  • -15
Front row duo Malcom Marx and Julian Redelinghuys are back in the Lions starting XV. Marx is back to full fitness after picking up a soft tissue neck injury in their 29-22 win over the Stormers in Round Eight. Redelinghuys was also added to the injury list with a sprained wrist sustained in the same match. The duo replaces replaces Armand van der Merwe and Pieter Scholtz respectively in the front row. In the backline, Ross Cronjé gets the nod at scrumhalf with Francois de Klerk moving to the bench. At centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg will partner Lionel Mapoe in midfield with Howard Mnisi also moving to the bench. A new face among the reserves is new recruit Sylvian Mahuza who has been in action for the Golden Lions XV in the Currie Cup Qualifying round.
  • -20
Welcome and thanks for joining us at a very wet Ellis Park where we are getting ready for the meeting between the Lions and the Blues!
Mc lions logo 85
Lions
Mc blues logo 80x50
Blues
START LINE UP
  • 1 Dylan Smith
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 3 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 4 Ruan Ackermann
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 7 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 9 Ross Cronje
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 15 Jaco van der Walt
RESERVES
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
  • 17 Corne Fourie
  • 18 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 19 Robert Kruger
  • 20 Cyle Brink
  • 21 Francois de Klerk
  • 22 Howard Mnisi
  • 23 Sylvian Mahuza
START LINE UP
  • 1 Sam Prattley
  • 2 James Parsons
  • 3 Charlie Faumuina
  • 4 Patrick Tuipulotu
  • 5 Hoani Matenga
  • 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 Quentin MacDonald
  • 17 Nic Mayhew
  • 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi
  • 19 Kara Pryor
  • 20 Joe Edwards
  • 21 Billy Guyton
  • 22 Matt McGahan
  • 23 Male Sau
Mc article cory jane hurricanes thumbs up 800

S18 PREVIEW: ROUND 12, PART Two

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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.

Teams:

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
@King365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article lionel mapoe lions tackled 800

Lions drown Blues in treacherous game

Sat, 14 May 2016 19:01

REPORT: Three tries in the opening 10 minutes set the platform for the Lions to claim a convincing 43-5 against the Blues at a sopping wet Ellis Park on Saturday.

Rain in Johannesburg in winter is rare; rain in Auckland in winter is frequent. And yet it was the Johannesburg side that played as if it were a sunny day and the Auckland side that played as if all at sea as the rain poured straight down from the night sky.

The Lions were, to put it simply, stronger, faster, fitter, cleverer, more creative, more cohesive than the Blues. The scummed better as steam arose from the packed players, lineouted better, defended better, dominated the tackles and were generally much, much sharper. It may have been the weather that kept them from a high score.

The Lions had a bit of a setback when lock Andries Ferreira was injured in the warm-up and rookie Ruan Ackerman, more often a flank came into lock. Ackermann's first actin the match set up the Lions' first try, which came after 54 seconds.

Elton Jantjies kicked off for the Lions and the Blues had a throw-in to a line-out, but Ackermann, at No.2, stole the ball. The Lions went right with Jaco Kriel making good ground and then further right where Warren Whiteley spun out of two tackles and scored - after 54 seconds. 5-0, despite an easy conversion.

The Blues were finding high kicks hard to hold onto - commitment? courage?

The Lions had a line-out on their left and mauled. The referee allowed advantage and they went wide right. They came back left and Jantjies lobbed a light diagonal which Courtnall Skosan chased and miraculously grabbed in in-goal scoring a try a few centimetres from touch-in-goal. Jantjies converted from the touchline. 12-0 after 7 minutes.

The Lions came back on the attack and, going right, Jantjies chipped a kick off the outside of his left boot and two Lions were grabbing at the ball in in-goal. Rohan Janse van Rensburg got it and scored. 19-0 after 10 minutes.

Those who were there, enduring the rain and the bitter cold, warmed up by pinching themselves. After the horrible Hurricanes' defeat this seemed unreal.

In this match the Blues had four five-metre line-outs and did not score from any of them because the Lions were so aggressively secure on defence.

Twice the Blues went through 10 or more phases. The first time they were penalised; the second time they conceded a turnover.

Half-time arrived with the score 19-0.

The Lions went through their penalty, line-out, maul sequence and were stopped just short of the goal-line. They went wide right where Jantjies held the defence and gave Lionel Mapoe an eight-metre run to the line. He cut through, added his usual cockscomb to his shaven head and scored near the posts. 26-0 after 36 minutes.

Big Malcolm Marx intercepted a scrumhalf pass and made good ground down the midfield. He was tackled and the Blues were penalised.

Again it was penalty, line-out, maul but this time they got the maul over the line for a try credited to Warwick Tecklenburg. 31-0 after 50 minutes.

The Lions started making changes after this till everybody had a chance to join in the fiesta.

It didn't matter when Mapoe lost the ball over the line as the Lions opted for a five-metre scrum instead of a penalty and went right where Mapoe scored near the posts. 38-0 after 65 minutes.

Substitutes continued. Even Jantjies went off, replaced by young Sylvian Mahuza who went to fullback.

Still the Lions attacked.  And then the Blues had their best period of play as the game slid to an end.

They went through their phases, this time advancing, till out on the left wing substitute loose forward Joe Edwards had an overlap, then handed off Howard Mnisi and scored half-way in. 38-5.

The Lions did not rest but ended the match with the best try of the evening.

The Lions won a turnover about 12 metres inside their own half. Mnisi got the ball and ran down the right, sold a a dummy and accelerated. He agreed with Whiteley's suggestion that he grubber infield. Whiteley fell on the ball and the Lions went left. Just in from the touchline little Mahuza dummied, broke and gave inside to Mapoe who was over to complete his hat-trick.

The Lions warmed up and shone on an otherwise dank evening.

Man of the Match: That's hard, for so many did so well. There were exceptional performances by Ross Cronje and Rohan Janse van Rensburg amongst the backs. In the back there were dominant men in Julian Redelinghuys, Malcolm Marx, Warren Whitely and Jaco Kriel who ran 89 metres with the ball. made six tackles and won three turnovers. But our choice is the little general at flyhalf who did everything a flyhalf should do - caught, passed, kicked an tackled and "made" four of the seven tries - Elton Jantjies.

Scorers:

For the Lions:
Tries: Whiteley, Skosan, Janse van Rensburg, Mapoe 3, Tecklenburg
Cons: Jantjies 4, Combrink

For the Blues:
Try: Edwards

Teams:

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 Ruan Ackermann, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Robert Kruger, 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)

Warren Whiteley (2min), Courtnall Skosan (6min), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (10min), Lionel Mapoe (47min), Warwick Tecklenburg (49min), Lionel Mapoe (65min), and Lionel Mapoe (78min)
TRIES
Joe Edwards (73min)
Elton Jantjies (7min), Elton Jantjies (12min), Elton Jantjies (48min), and Elton Jantjies (66min)
CONVERSIONS
 
PENALTIES
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Johannesburg
REFEREE Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)