ad link


52     24


Super Rugby | Johannesburg
13:00 (GMT) | 21-05-2016
  • 82
Stay with us as we go straight to Durban where the Sharks take on the Kings
  • 81
The final kick of the game sees the Lions gain 3 points. FULL TIME
  • 80
Combrinck decides to go for the penalty from outside the 10
  • 79
Scrum at the 10 of the Jags now. Only seconds remain as the horn sounds
  • 78
Sanchez adds the extras
  • 77
Boffelli with a good run stepping past 2 finding his way into the 22. He offloads and the attack continues. The Jaguares move forward to the 5. Their pressure pays off and they get the TRY credited to Desio
  • 74
The reset kick is there and the chase is not the most enthusiastic. Scrum at the 22 of the Lions. They get the penalty and de Klerk takes it quickly. Thye make ground quickly down field with Skosan but the Jags finally hold in defence. They get possession and start moving forward themselves from their 22
  • 71
Combrinck misses the conversion again
  • 70
The reset kick by the Jags go deep but the Lions quickly move forward after bringing the ball down. Some smart passes in their own half gives Skosan the space he needs to make a break from his own half after the offload from Marx. TRY
  • 69
Again the try-scorer fails to add the extras
  • 68
Combrinck all afternoon.The ball moved up field by the Lions. Combrinck offloads for a good runner but gets it back and goes all the way to score another TRY
  • 66
Sanchez fails to add the 2 extras
  • 65
The Jags make quick work of the scrum and show the Lions that they have not rolled over. Swift passing and changing of direction sees Sanchez go over the line to score the TRY
  • 64
The reset kick is deep and the Lions struggle to find a way out without clearing. They manage to find a gap and the break is there but the referee calls play back for a forward pass. Scrum at the 5 of the Lions
  • 63
The try-scorer steps up to make the kick but he fails to add the extras this time
  • 62
Penalty after the restart. Scrum at the half way. Combrinck gets it from de Klerk after the scrum and makes a run from the location of the scrum to the goal line to score a wonderful TRY
  • 59
Combrinck adds the extras
  • 58
The Lions with some smart plays be tween Skosan and Kriel. Breaking down the wing and with the supporting run. Kriel makes it over the line to score the TRY
  • 56
They send the ball up field but the ball is knocked on by Combrinck. Scrum at the 22 of the Jags. The Lions take the scrum with a tighthead. They send it down field then change direction. The referee halts play and slows things down. Penalty to the Lions from only a few meters out and he does not disappoint
  • 54
The visitors finding possession but throwing it away by kicking far forward. The Lions decide to return the favour. de Klerk sends the ball beyond the dead ball zone. The reset sees the Lions start their attack afresh
  • 53
Scrum outside the 5 of the Jags now. They away team get the ball and clear. The Lions move forward making their way into the 10. The Jags get the turnover with an advantage.
  • 47
Sanchez secures 3 points for his team narrowing the gap with a penalty kick
  • 44
Combrinck steps up to take this kick, he lines it up seemingly well but the flags stay down
  • 43
Brink gets the ball after a swift but lengthy attack by the Lions to score the TRY
  • 41
The second half is initiated by the boot of Jantjies. He starts off with a short kick. Van der Merwe unable to hang on to the ball despite the short range. The Jags in possession . Both teams trying to gain territory by kicking now. The ball finally goes into touch around the half way line. Line-out squandered by the Lions but the Jaguares fail to take advantage

Half Time

  • 40
The referee blows for HALF TIME straight after the kick
  • 39
Jantjies secures the extras
  • 38
Van der Walt with a good run shimming a few times. They move the ball up field and start muscling their way forward after a handling error by the Jags. Erasmus secures the TRY
  • 37
Both teams tussling for the ball trying to disrupt the ruck. The Lions get the advantage . Scrum at the half way
  • 36
Line-out at the 10 of the Jags. Taken well by the Jags. and immediately into a ruck. The ball is cleared
  • 35
The Lions on constant attack now, giving the visitors no time to compose themselves. The clearance is there and the Lions decide to clear themselves
  • 34
The Lions moving forward after the reset and the Jags finding it hard to contain them. Van der Merwe shoving his way through everyone along the left wing. Mapoe trying to force his way through as well now inside the 22, but stopped by his opposite number. Jantjies finds a second of space and goes for the DG but misses
  • 32
Jantjies steps up to take the penalty from outside the 10. He has the distance but not the direction
  • 31
The Lions in possession making their way forward from the center when the referee blows for offside by the away side
  • 30
Scrum at the 22 of the Lions. They take the ball and try to play themselves out of danger but the referee blows as they get themselves into trouble at the ruck. Penalty to the away side. Sanchez taking the penalty kick and he gets the 3 points
  • 28
The referee blows for a handling error by Montoya as the Jags were making ground inside the Lions half
  • 27
The line-out at the 22 is taken by the away side but the Lions find possession again. They move the ball down field and try for a cheeky kick forward. The referee halts play with his whistle; penalty to the Jags
  • 26
The Lions with aggressive plays straight after the restart. Van der Merwe almost making it to the 5 on his own along the wing but tackled into touch.
  • 25
Jantjies finds the middle of the sticks for the first time this game
  • 23
The Lions with some good play after the line-out. Mapoe with the supporting run chasing after van der Walt. He finds the ball after the offload to score the TRY
  • 22
Line-out at the 5 of the Lions. The Jags try to pressure a mistake but the clearance comes. de Klerk with a good kick and a lucky bounce sees the ball go into touch at the 22 of the Lions
  • 21
The away team putting up more of a fight in this scrum. The ball is cleared by the Jags and cleared again by de Klerk. Hernandez kicks it into touch in a good position
  • 20
Scrum at the 10 of the Jags now
  • 19
Hernandez sends a high pass down field but it's intercepted. Sanchez stealing the ball in the ruck but from an offside position. The ball is cleared into touch at the 10 of the Jags. Jantjies with a smart kick overhead but easily read. The referee blows for a penalty to the Jags
  • 17
Scrum at the 5 of the Lions. The Lions pushing them back and the Jags now in possession around the half way. The turnover is there and the Lions start their attack from their 10. Jantjies with another break but the referee blows for a penalty to the away team. The ball is cleared into touch inside the Lions 10
  • 15
The referee awards a penalty to the visitors and Sánchez clears but de Klerk ensures it doesn't reach touch. The Jaguares get the ball and now they're on the front foot. They press forward and make it to the 5 but slip up with the final offload
  • 14
The restart kick is taken down by Kriel and the Lions move forward again coming from the half way. Jantjies finds a break past 2 but the supporting run is not there. The referee blows as the Lions make it into the 22 for a possible dangerous tackle
  • 12
The Lions pushing the Jaguares back and getting the penalty. Jantjies sets up the ball for a penalty of his own. He fails to get it between the posts
  • 11
Scrum reset again as it collapses.
  • 10
Scrum at the 10 of the away team. Scrum reset
  • 9
The Lions with a line-out after the reset kick. They get the ball at mid field and send it down field to Combrinck. He makes it inside the 10 but the referee blows to halt the attack
  • 8
Penalty to the Jaguares as Jantjies tackles from an offside position. Sánchez lines up the kick again from inside the 10 and he gets it to give the Jaguares the lead
  • 6
Scrum at the half way after the kick. Jaguares come away with the ball and they make their way into the 10 meter on their right wing
  • 5
The Jaguares get a penalty inside the 10 after the reset kick and Sánchez opts to go for the kick; he secures the points
  • 3
Jantjies lines up the kick and fails to add the 2 extra points
  • 2
The Lions find the break with Combrinck. They send the ball up to Mapoe and the offload is there for Skosan who makes a break on the line to score the TRY
  • 1
The kick is deep and Mapoe finds it from de Klerk in his own 22. Some pressure applied by the Jaguares but the Lions compose themselves and they find the clearance into touch. The Jaguares come again down field. Sánchez leading the charge with his nimble feet. The ball now at the half way
  • 0
Stuart Berry blows and the game is underway
  • -2
The players now exiting the tunnel
  • -5
The Jaguares have won one of their last five while the Lions have won four of their last five
  • -10
The Lions' largest winning margin in this competition this year was 38 points against the Blues. The Jaguares' highest margin was 46 against the Kings. Both teams showing they are capable of offensive plays
  • -15
The Jaguares made four changes to their starting side. The changes in the team as a whole are result of their poor discipline
  • -20
These two sides have never faced off before. The Lions come into this clash as the fan favourite.
  • -30
Welcome to Ellis Park, Johannesburg. Home of the Lions, who will be tackling the Argentinean Jaguares.
Mc lions logo 85
  • 1 Corne Fourie
  • 2 Armand van der Merwe
  • 3 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 4 Lourens Erasmus
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 7 Cyle Brink
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 9 Francois de Klerk
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 12 Howard Mnisi
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 15 Jaco van der Walt
  • 16 Malcolm Marx
  • 17 Dylan Smith
  • 18 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 19 Ruan Ackermann
  • 20 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 21 Ross Cronje
  • 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 23 Sylvian Mahuza
  • 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
  • 2 Julian Montoya
  • 3 Ramiro Herrera
  • 4 Matias Alemanno
  • 5 Tomas Lavaninni
  • 6 Pablo Matera
  • 7 Lezana Tomas
  • 8 Facundo Isa
  • 9 Martin Landajo
  • 10 Nicolas Sánchez
  • 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino
  • 12 Juan Martin Hernandez
  • 13 Matias Orlando
  • 14 Emiliano Boffelli
  • 15 Joaquin Tuculet
  • 16 Facundo Bosch
  • 17 Facundo Gigena
  • 18 Nahuel Chaparro
  • 19 Guido Petti Pagadizaval
  • 20 Javier Desio
  • 21 Gonzalo Bertranou
  • 22 Santiago González Iglesias
  • 23 Ramiro Moyano
Mc article loftus versfeld media briefing general2 800


Fri, 20 May 2016 01:32

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the last four matches in Part Two of Super Rugby's Round 13.

Let's start with the BIG match of the weekend, the north-south derby - the Bulls hosting the Stormers in Pretoria.

It is always a special occasion, even when one of the teams is in a slump.

The Stormers lead the Bulls by a mere three points at the top of the Africa One conference, with both sides having won six of 10 games and the difference on the table coming from the Stormers' ability to regularly pick up a losing bonus point.

The Stormers will have to make do without co-captain Juan de Jongh, who has a hamstring injury.

However, the silver lining for coach Robbie Fleck is the news that Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth is ready to play again.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back from last week's hammering at the hands of the Lions when they stop off in Perth - on their way home to Auckland - to play a Western Force team fresh from a win in their last outing (40-22 over the Sunwolves) with a bye sandwiched in between.

The Lions, leaders in Africa Two conference, will fancy their chances when they play a depleted Jaguares side - who have both captain Agustin Creevy and back row forward Leonardo Senatore suspended.

The Sharks, who lie second in that conference, play the bottom-placed Southern Kings.

And then, of course, it is the Loftus showdown - the Bulls against the Stormers.

Saturday, May 21:

The Blues are desperate to end their three-match road-trip with a win, on a winning fashion note - especially after last week's embarrassing loss to the Lions.

However, they face a Force team coming off a bye and with a morale-boosting win over the Sunwolves the week before.

Force coach Michael Foley said the team is well rested and looking to carry their form from Tokyo back to Perth on Saturday.

"We used the first few days of the bye week to recover and the back end of the week to reinforce some of the positives from the Sunwolves match," he said.

Foley believes his team found the formula for success that had eluded them earlier in the season - when they lost seven matches on the trot.

"In Tokyo, we played the type of rugby we've been working towards," the coach said.

"The biggest difference came as a result of us focusing on enjoying the game and attacking every contest without fear.

"Without doubt, there have been times where our disappointment as a result of not getting things 'right' held us back, but I believe the boys now have not only a clear picture of the type of game we're chasing, but also the attitude that allows us to enjoy games while we continue to improve."

Blues captain James Parsons said the embarrassment of their 5-43 loss to the Lions would be a key tool in turning the result around.

"There's a natural edge obviously," he said of the team's build-up towards the Perth outing.

Parsons, and assistant coach Glenn Moore, re-emphasised the point that the week's build-up to the game had been the best of the season.

Parson said they had plans in place to cover any eventuality in terms of the weather - it rained throughout the game in Johannesburg.

"We certainly didn't institute the plans we wanted and I suppose there was that disappointment, but flip that on its head it was a great learning curve for us, we're a young group and I think we can feed off that experience," he said.

Recent results:
2015: Blues won 41-24, Auckland
2014: Blues won 40-14, Perth
2012: Blues won 32-9, Auckland
2011: Force and Blues drew 22-all, Perth
2010: Blues won 38-17, Auckland
2009: Blues won 25-19, Perth

Prediction: The Blues are undefeated in their last six games against the Force and have lost to the Western Australian team only once in Super Rugby history (2008). The Force have lost their last four games at home when hosting a team from New Zealand, scoring an average of just 12 points per game in that span and conceding 31. The Blues have won only one of their last 14 games away from home, though they are yet to lose consecutive away games this season. Ihaia West has kicked 21 successful penalty goals so far this season, the most of any player, and has missed eight further attempts. Matt Hodgson has made 145 tackles so far this season and is five shy of becoming the first player to make 150, he currently sits 26 tackles above second ranked Michael Hooper. It is difficult to fathom who has been more dire - the Force or Blues. The home ground factor will give the Force hope, but the Blues should win by 10 to 15 points.


Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Ian Prior, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Harry Scoble, 1 Francois Van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rang, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Rory Walton, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Semisi Masirewa.

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

Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

The Lions will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of the African conference.

However, they have to overcome a stiff challenge from a much-improved Jaguares team - which went down fighting when they lost 22-25 to the Sharks last week.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann warned his team against complacency - which cost his team dearly against the Hurricanes earlier in the season.

Ackerman spoke about the quality remaining in the team, despite the ban of two key players - captain Agustin Creevy (one-week ban for dangerous tackle) and No.8 Leonardo Senatore (10-week ban for biting).

"You would be a fool if you take this Argentinean side lightly," Ackermann said.

"They have a large number of their World Cup players in the squad and you don't play for your national team unless you are a very good player."

Ackermann said he felt the Jaguares were unlucky not to get a win in some of the games.

"They were never really humiliated in any games," the Lions mentor said, adding: "There were one or two games where they lost with more than seven points, but they were always in it.

"If you look at their No.9 and No.10 combination, the locks and the front rows, it is all guys we will see soon in the international season.

"It is a quality side and we have to play to our highest standards."

Jaguares No.8 Facundo Isa - in for the suspended Senatore - said Johannesburg's high altitude of 1,700 will be a factor.

"It is a topic which we have discussed and hopefully we will all adapt," Isa said.

The loose forward pointed to the Lions' record of seven wins from 10 starts and their 43-5 humiliation of the Blues last week as indicators that it will be a tough day at the park.

"Our analysis made it clear they like to play from everywhere and are very strong ball carriers.

"In many ways they are a team like Sharks. We know that when we get opportunities we must make them count and score."

He felt they have shown this season - and particularly against the Sharks last week - showed the Jaguares can compete with the best.

Previous results:
These teams have not met before.

Prediction: This Jaguares' only away win so far in Super Rugby came in Round One when they visited South Africa to play the Cheetahs. Each of the Lions' last 14 matches have seen the full-time result mirror the half-time results. The Lions have won only one of their last four games against teams from outside of South Africa, though that win came in their most recent such fixture in Round 12. The Lions have won nine turnovers per game this season, the most of any team and 2.3 more per game than the Jaguares who average the third fewest. Elton Jantjies has kicked 44 goals for the season, the most of any player, and is one of only five players (all of whom are South African based) to have kicked a goal from beyond the halfway line. It will be tough and the Jaguares will push the Lions all the way, but in the end the home team will win by eight points.


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

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

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

The Sharks - just two points behind - will look to keep the pressure up on the Lions in the race for Africa Two conference honours.

With Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie now back to full fitness and starting at flyhalf, the KwaZulu-Natalians will be looking to continue their recent resurgence - with three wins in their last four matches.

The Kings have some serious firepower back and Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold struck a very cautionary note for his team this week.

"We had work to do after our performance against the Jaguares [a fortuitous 25-22 win last week], but we are happy with the character shown to dig deep and find a way to win in tough conditions," Gold said.

Gold dismissed the notion that the Kings - with just one win from 10 starts - is a guaranteed win for his side.

"Every week you need to be at your best in this competition and our match against the Kings is no exception," Gold said.

"They have been working hard and improving each week and they will be ready for the fight this weekend.

"We as a group are very determined to improve each week and it is critically important for us to continue doing so."

Kings coach Deon Davids spoke about the need to focus on getting the basics right and making the right decisions throughout the game.

The Kings have been inconsistent all season, but were bolstered by the return of captain Steven Sykes and veteran prop Schalk Ferreira, two of the most experienced players.

However, Davids said it would require a team effort, rather than individual brilliance to beat the Sharks.

"I think all the players have the ability to make an impact," Davids said.

Previous results:
2016: Sharks 43-8, Port Elizabeth
2013: Sharks won 58-13, Durban
2013: Sharks won 21-12, Port Elizabeth

Prediction: This will be only the fourth clash between these teams; the Sharks have won all three previous meetings by a combined 122-33 score line. The Sharks have won three and drawn one of their last five games against South African opponents, though they've not scored more than 18 points in any of their last three such fixtures. The Kings have lost their last three games on the trot, conceding 141 points in the process. The Sharks have been forced to make 127 tackles per game so far this season, the second most of any team in the competition, yet they still boast the third best tackle success of any side (86 percent). The Sharks have averaged the fewest carries of any team this season (85.2 per game), however the Kings have gained the fewest metres on average (324). The Sharks will win, it is just a matter of the margin. Don't be surprised in the winning margin exceeds 50 points.


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

Southern Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Stefan Willemse, 5 Schalk Oelofse, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Martin Ferreira , 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Tom Botha, 19 John-Charles Astle, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Leighton Eksteen.

Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Rodney Bonaparte, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Marius Jonker

The Bulls and Stormers are both coming off disappointing trips abroad - the Bulls having lost their last two matches in Australia and the Stormers playing to a 17-all draw against the lowly Sunwolves.

The Bulls are hoping to avoid a record fifth straight loss against their fierce southern rivals, the Stormers.

Not that matches between these two are even in need of additions motivation - but with just three points separating them it is a conference decider.

Tradition dictates that it will be another bruising derby.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais was quick to accept the underdog for a game where there is never any love lost.

"They're travelling up north with a point to prove after their draw [against the Sunwolves] in Singapore last week," Marais said.

"When we met in Cape Town earlier in the competition, they used their bench to good effect, so we have to be prepared for that.

"A match between the two sides is always very tough and tense and I expect the same on Saturday."

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck all week spoke of his team's desire to set the record straight after last week's dire effort .

"Week-in and week-out we want to be in a position where we have to compete and be at our best," Fleck said, adding: "We certainly weren't against the Sunwolves and we need to cop that, understand it and learn from it.

"It is now a real situation where every single game counts."

Fleck knows that his side are in for a serious test against a competitive Bulls side.

"Our backs are against the wall, but so are theirs, they are coming off two losses and are playing in front of their home fans, so it is going to be a helluva game and we are excited about making amends for last week," Fleck said.

"The players know that we have to make a big step up in terms of our performance, and we have worked incredibly hard this week to ensure that we are at our best"

Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss said he expected a typical arm-wrestle.

"We always have massive clashes with the Stormers," Strauss said.

"It is one of those matches everybody wants to play and to be part of.

"This team have a great opportunity to deliver a proper performances in front of our fans against a formidable foe. We will be ready," Strauss added.

Recent results:
2016: Stormers won 33-9, Cape Town
2015: Stormers won 15-13, Cape Town
2015: Stormers won 29-17, Pretoria
2014: Stormers won 16-0, Cape Town
2014: Bulls won 28-12, Pretoria
2013: Stormers won 30-13, Cape Town
2013: Bulls won 25-17, Pretoria

Prediction: The Stormers have won their last four games against the Bulls; a fifth straight win would be their longest victory run in the history of this fixture. The Bulls are the only team in the competition who are still undefeated at home. The Bulls have scored only 14 points in their last two Super Rugby games, never before in the history of the competition have the Bulls been restricted to single figures in three consecutive games. The Bulls have conceded just 6.8 clean breaks and 6.5 offloads per game, the fewest of any team in the competition in both categories, while they have also missed the fewest tackles per game this season (13.7). No player has stolen more line-outs than Stormers' pair Eben Etzebeth (nine) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (seven) so far this season. The Stormers, based on their superior set pieces, will ease to a win of 15 points or more.


Bulls: 15 SP Marais, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Pieter Labuschagne , 5 Rudolph 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 Grant Hattingh, 20 Deon Stegmann, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Dries Swanepoel.

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

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Johan Greeff

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article lionel mapoe lions 800

Lions cement top spot

Sat, 21 May 2016 14:52

REPORT: The Lions cemented top spot in the Africa Super Rugby conference with an eight-try rout of the Jaguares in Johannesburg on Saturday.

If you don't love the Lions, you don't love rugby. Here we have a squad of players who clearly are happy to be together, happy playing rugby, brave and skilful, determined and smiling, ambitious and honest, creative and effective. What's not to love? They are what is best in rugby.

And we saw it again this afternoon at Ellis Park when they played the Jaguares and won 52-24. If they had kicked as they should have, they would have scored over 70 points. That may not matter in this match but there may be occasions when it will be crucial. They missed five conversions, two penalty goals and a drop goal from in front. That adds up to 19 points. While Elton Jantjies and Ruan Combrinck were missing kicks at goal, Nicolás Sánchez scored 14 points, missing just one conversion.

But that sounds niggardly at a time when we should be celebrating a rugby fiesta - ten tries and several other exciting occasions which could and even should have been tries.

In fact it was all fun - not the fun of a comedy or a circus - the fun of seeing rugby played with skill and romance, in a spirit of adventure.

And remember, too, what the Jaguares  brought to the party, happy as they were to run from anywhere on the field.

The Jaguares kicked off and attacked but they suffered throughout the match from a disease called turnovers. The Lions broke their attack with one and then from the next one had Howard Mnisi breaking and running hard till he was tackled. But the Lions kept it going and out on the left wing flank Cyle Brink forged ahead and in a gap passed to Courtnall Skosan who raced over for a try. 5-0 after 3 minutes.

The Jaguares have the worst disciplinary record in this year's Super Rugby but they won the penalty count 12-7 on this afternoon. Sánchez goaled two of them at this stage and after 8 minutes the Jaguares led 6-5. This lead lasted for 17 minutes.

There were promising activities by Mnisi, Warren Whiteley and Jaco van der Walt. Then at a line-out some 10 metres outside the Lions 22, Whiteley slapped back the Jaguares throw-in. The ball bounced about well inside the 22 but Jaco Kriel went to fetch it  and gave it to Skosan and the Lions were going right on the attack. Lionel Mapoe threw a long pass to Van der Walt who beat two Jaguares with the touchline right next to him and gave the ball inside to Mapoe who raced 41 metres and over the fullback to score at try which Jantjies converted. 12-6 after 25 minutes.

There was a lot more activity till Jantjies kicked a high diagonal out to the left wing. The Jaguares actually got the ball but when they spilled it Brink dived on it and eventually the ball went infield where tall Lourens Erasmus, a lock, beat two defenders to score at the posts. 19-9, which was the half-time score.

The Lions started the second half at an even higher pace than they had in the first half and they scored five tries in the half. They ran and attacked till Brink rounded off the activity with a try. 24-9 after 44 minutes.

That became 24-12 when Sánchez goaled his fourth penalty.

In this half Combrinck did all the kicking at goal. He had seven kicks at goal - six with his right foot and one with his left foot. He goaled three of the seven.

The first was a when Facundo Isa was penalised. The second after Kriel had delighted everybody with a try in the right corner. It started on the Lions' left when Juan Martín Hernández kneed the ball forward and the Lions went wide right to Sylvain Mahuza who passed inside to Kriel who raced more than 30 metres to score. 24-12 after 59 minutes.

From a scrum inside the Lions' half Whiteley passed to Combrinck on his left in a flyhalf position with Jantjies off. Combrinck started running and he kept on running straight for the goal-line. After 61 metres of running he scored a try to delight the heart. 39-12 after 62 minutes.

The Jaguares came back battering at the Lions' line and a sharp pass on the short side sent Sánchez over in the left corner. 39-17 after 65 minutes.

The Lions counterattacked with Whiteley galloping away. He gave to Combrink who gave to Brink who gave it back to Combrinck, who scored 44-17 after 69 minutes.

The Jaguares kicked off and Whiteley went charging down the left touchline. He gave inside to Malcolm Marx who gave to Skosan who scored his second try. 49-17 after 71 minutes.

Bless the Jaguares. They started running deep inside their 22. Two penalties helped them on their way as they tapped and ran . They were battering at the line when substitute scrumhalf Gonzalo Bertranou picked up and dabbed the ball over the line. 49-24.

The siren had gone when the Jaguares were penalised at a scrum - for the third time -  and Combrinck goaled to end the match.

As the players shook hands afterwards, none of the Jaguares smiled.

Man of the Match: There are lots of candidates but our choice is the leader ho ran, tackled, won line-outs and set the tone for the performance - Warren Whiteley.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
Skosan 2, Mapoe, Erasmus, Brink, Kriel, Combrink 2
Cons: Jantjies 2, Combrink
Pens: Combrink 2

For the Jaguares:
Sanchez, Desio
Con: Sanchez
Pens: Sanchez 4


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

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

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Courtnall Skosan (2min), Lionel Mapoe (23min), Lourens Erasmus (38min), Cyle Brink (43min), Jaco Kriel (58min), Ruan Combrinck (62min), Ruan Combrinck (68min), and Courtnall Skosan (70min)
Nicolas Sánchez (65min) and Javier Desio (77min)
Elton Jantjies (25min), Elton Jantjies (39min), and Ruan Combrinck (59min)
Nicolas Sánchez (78min)
Ruan Combrinck (56min) and Ruan Combrinck (81min)
Nicolas Sánchez (5min), Nicolas Sánchez (8min), Nicolas Sánchez (30min), and Nicolas Sánchez (47min)
VENUE Johannesburg
REFEREE Stuart Berry (South Africa)