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Super Rugby | DHL Newlands
13:00 (GMT) | 28-05-2016
  • 81
Stay with us as we go straight to the next fixture: The Bulls vs the Lions
  • 80
The Cheetahs with a bonus point as it stands. The horn sounds and the ball is cleared. Stormers take the win. FULL TIME
  • 79
N. Marais trying to carry forward but halted before he could start his run. The referee blows his whistle for a penalty to the Cheetahs and they kick it into touch around the 22
  • 78
The is kicked into touch at the 5 and the pressure on the Stormers continues. Etzebeth does a good job of disrupting the throw but the Cheetahs retain possession and move the ball up field now at the 22
  • 77
They move the ball up field and Blommetjies looks for options at the ruck but goes it alone. The referee halts play after he is brought down for a high tackle by Ntubeni.
  • 76
Schrueder clears to relieve the Stormers of some pressure and give themselves some breathing space. Line-out to the Cheetahs at the 22 of the hosts. The Cheetahs with another maul
  • 74
Cheetahs looking for the maul and they push forward inside the 5. A pile of bodies lying between the Cheetahs and the try line. The referee calls for a penalty. Scrum at the 5 of the Stormers
  • 73
Schrueder takes the kick forward and Blommetjies runs fro a bit before clearing the ball too. Throw at the 5 of the Stormers
  • 72
The referee stops play and awards the Cheetahs a penalty. N. Marais to take the kick and he doesn't find the middle of the sticks this time around
  • 71
Line-out at the 10 and they move the ball up field. The Cheetahs looking tot exploit the gaps given by the Strormers.
  • 70
The ball in the hands of Blommetjies as the Cheetahs start their play from their own 10. The ball is cleared and J. du Plessis brings it down and kicks into touch at the 10 of the visitors
  • 69
J. du Plessis with a penalty kick opportunity of his own after the restart. He adds to much curve and it's wide
  • 67
N. Marais takes the penalty kick awarded to the Cheetahs and gets the 3 points
  • 64
J. du Plessis secures the extras
  • 63
The away team in their 9th phase. Petersen at the center of the play nipping through any gaps available. The ball is cleared by Notshe and the chase is there. Van Wyk outruns Petersen who appeared to slow down before he reached the ball. Van Wyk roles over the line to score the TRY
  • 61
J. du Plessis finds possession and clears. The Cheetahs initiate another attack and the Stormers defending manically
  • 60
The ball kicked forward by the Cheetahs after the reset and the chase is there. Line-out to the Cheetahs at the 5.
  • 59
The conversion is good by Zeilinga
  • 58
The Stormers fighting to maintain control in the ruck and they move the ball down field but it's fumbled. The Cheetahs make a quick break after a kick and Petersen seemingly magnetizes the ball to his hand out of the air and dives across the line to score the TRY
  • 57
The Cheetahs making their way forward after the restart but the turnover is there by the Stormers. Schrueder brought down late after he kicks forward for his team to chase. Line-out inside the Cheetahs half. The Stormers with a skip in their step as they their way out of danger in their own half. Line-out inside the Stormers half
  • 54
Penalty to the Cheetahs for a dangerous tackle. J. du Plessis preps himself for the kick. It pays off as he secures the 3 points
  • 53
The Stormers trying to find a way through the Cheetahs defence all the while moving up field. du Toit practically forcing his way into the 5. The referee halts play due to more aggressive intentions by both teams
  • 52
A good break by Kolisi forcing the Cheetahs to scramble. He gives it to the sub, Schrueder who offloads but the ball is knocked into touch by the defending Cheetahs. Line-out inside the 22 for the Stormers. The referee blows fro a penalty to the Stormers shortly after and J. du Plessis kicks it into touch for a line-out
  • 49
Line-out for the Stormers inside the Cheetahs half. The ball is cleared into touch by the visitors for a line-out at the 10 of the hosts
  • 48
Zeilinga misses the conversion
  • 47
Schrueder gets the ball from the ruck and clears. Line-out at the 22 of the Stormers for the Cheetahs. Zeilinga stepping and almost passing his man. He is brought down. Blommetjies gets it after the ruck and he sends it down field all the while making space for Schoeman to score the TRY
  • 45
Scrum inside the 22 of the Stormers. Schrueder coming on to replace Kobe. Scrum reset for illegal scrumagging by Kebble
  • 44
Kolbe seemingly out cold after contesting the reset kick getting a knee to the temple. Medical staff attending to the injured player now
  • 43
J. du Plessis secures the extra 2 points this time from inside the 22
  • 42
The Cheetahs with a maul after the line-out. They move the ball up field but the ball intercepted by Zas at the 22 who goes all the way to score the TRY
  • 41
J du Plessis gets the game underway after Glen Jackson gives the signal. The kick is angle around the touch line on at the 22. Groom kicks forward optimistically after the he gets it from the ruck. Blommetjies clears and J du Plessis does the same. Line-out inside the 10 of the Stormers

Half Time

  • 40
Blommetjies making a good few meters before being brought down. The ball kicked forward and caught by Kolbe who kicks it into touch to end the first half. HALF TIME
  • 39
J. du Plessis clears with the penalty and the ball goes into touch. Line-out at the half way as the horn sounds
  • 38
The Stormers win the scrum to their delight
  • 37
Penalty to the Cheetahs after the restart for a mistake by Notshe. Scrum at the 22 of the Stormers
  • 36
J. du Plessis with his most difficult kick of the day. He fails to add the extras
  • 35
The Stormers move the ball up field after the throw. Du Toit sends it to Kolisi and he loses his man. The ball in the ruck and given to de Allende who gives the final pass to D. du Plessis. The kicker battles his way over touch to score the TRY
  • 33
Line-out for the Cheetahs. Carr exiting the field looking to be in some form of discomfort. Meyer clears after the line-out. Throw in to the Stormers again but this time at the 10 of the away team
  • 32
The Stormers with another penalty and the ball is kicked into touch again at the 5. The Cheetahs desperately holding before half time. This time the Cheetahs control the maul into touch
  • 31
du Plessis kicks into touch again and they get another chance with a line-out. They go for the driving maul
  • 30
Line-out at the 22 for the Stormers. They shove themselves forward after the throw and the Cheetahs feeling the pressure now. The referee halts play for a penalty to the Stormers
  • 29
The referee opts to not award any cards for the tiff. du Plessis gets a free kick from his own 5 and it goes into the hands of Rhule. Penalty to the Stormers after du Plessis tries to clear again
  • 28
A good restart kick from Blommetjies and they make some good ground before Kolbe finds the ball and clears. The Cheetahs with an advantage and then a penalty. Blommetjies kicks and slips so the ball does not reach touch. Etzebeth and de Jager in a bit of a tussle while the ball is else where and the referee stops play to attend to the incident
  • 26
The Stormers going forward wit hmenace carried by du Toit as he lets it go for Carr. A bundle of bodies on the goal line sees the referee call for a TMO. A penalty is given and du Plessis takes it from 5 meters out to get the 3 points
  • 24
Penalty to the Stormers for illegal scrummaging by van Dyk. du Plessis kicks into touch comfortably. Line-out at the 22 of the Cheetahs
  • 23
The Cheetahs take another scrum; looking more powerful as the game goes on. The referee halts play shortly after. Scrum reset but this time in favour of the hosts
  • 22
Scrum at the half way after the reset. Scrum reset
  • 20
Kolbe steps a few times and clears after the reset. Line-out to the Cheetahs. Penalty to the Cheetahs and de Jager takes it quick. They make a short distance before the referee blows again. Penalty to the Cheetahs just inside the 10. Zeilinga again stepping forward to regain the 3 point lead, and does
  • 18
du Plessis sets up for his spot kick from the 10. He manages to get it between the sticks. 3 points
  • 17
Line-out at the 10 of the hosts. The Cheetahs fumble the ball in the line-out as well and the ball is kicked forward. Penalty to the Stormers after the messy engagement
  • 16
Line-out for the Stormers. The throw over cooked again by the Stormers and the Cheetahs snatch it up and opt for a clearance. Kolbe returns the favour but his kick goes into touch
  • 15
The referee blows for a kick to the Stormers by Petersen. du Plessis sends it into touch at the 22
  • 14
Line-out by the Stormers over cooked after the reset. They maintain possession and start their attack from the half way. The Cheetahs ensuring that they don't make it pass the half way
  • 12
The Cheetahs come away with a penalty in the scrum. Zeilinga takes another kick comfortably to get the 3 points
  • 11
Scrum reset.
  • 10
The kick deeper than Blommetjies might have intended. The Stormers find possession and du Plessis clears after deciding he had no options. Medical staff on the field attending to van der Spuy after a painful tackle. Line-out to the visitors at the 22. du Toit makes an interception but he loses it forward. Scrum at the Stormers 10
  • 9
The referee calls play back for a penalty as the Stormers were playing with an advantage. du Plessis lines up the kick from the 22 and he converts
  • 7
Line-out at the 22 of the Cheetahs. The Stormers in possession and they bomb forward with Etzebeth. du Plessis with a cross kick for Zas but he couldn't bring it down.
  • 6
Line-out at the half way. The Cheetahs get a turnover shortly after but Stormers steal it back Kolbe coming along the right wing now. du Plessis offloads to Groom and he crosses the line but not before his foot goes into touch.
  • 3
Fred Zeilinga takes the kick and secures the 3 points for his team
  • 2
Scrum at the 5 of the Stormers up field. Kolbe clears but Rhule recovers and they come again. The referee blows for a penalty to the Cheetahs
  • 1
The Cheetahs off to an explosive start tussling at the 5 meter straight after the kick. du Plessis tries to clear but the interception is there. Scrum at the 5 of the Stormers. The Cheetahs move the ball up field to the Mohoje reaches over the line but the referee calls for a TMO. No try; knock-on
  • 0
Glen Jackson blasts his whistle and Clayton Blommetjies with a deep kick
  • -3
The players exiting the tunnel and entering the field
  • -10
From the 11 games played by both sides thus far the Cheetahs have taken 4 bonus points while the Stormers have managed 6
  • -15
As the log stands the Stormers (32 points) will feel more of a setback if they were to be defeated by the Cheetahs (16 points) as they are wrestling for the top spot with the Bulls (32 points)
  • -20
The Stormers have won 11 of their last 14 games against the Cheetahs, including each the last two in a row by a combined 40-point margin.
  • -25
The Stormers have lost a lot of ground on the African conference leaders - the Lions (leaders in Africa Two) and Bulls (leaders Africa One) in recent weeks. With those two playing each other later today in Pretoria, the Stormes have a chance to make up that lost ground on at least one of them.
  • -30
Welcome to a sunny Newlands in Cape Town - where we are preparing to watch the Stormers take on the Cheetahs.
Mc stormers logo 80x50
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
  • 1 Oliver Kebble
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 3 Frans Malherbe
  • 4 Eben Etzebeth
  • 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit
  • 6 Nizaam Carr
  • 7 Siya Kolisi
  • 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 9 Nic Groom
  • 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis
  • 11 Leolin Zas
  • 12 Damian de Allende
  • 13 Daniel du Plessis
  • 14 Jacobus Van Wyk
  • 15 Cheslin Kolbe
  • 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni
  • 17 Alistair Vermaak
  • 18 Vincent Koch
  • 19 JD Schickerling
  • 20 Rynhardt Elstadt
  • 21 Louis Schrueder
  • 22 Brandon Thomson
  • 23 John-Ben Kotze
  • 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 Tian Meyer
  • 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 Armandt Koster
  • 20 Niell Jordaan
  • 21 Shaun Venter
  • 22 Niel Marais
  • 23 Nico Lee
Mc article warren whiteley   adriaan strauss 800


Thu, 26 May 2016 21:47

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Saturday and Sunday matches in Part Two of Super Rugby's Round 14.

Saturday will give us two massive domestic derbies, both who can will have a significant influence on the standings heading into the June break.

The day starts with New Zealand's BIG north-south derby.

The Crusaders, who slipped from the top of the championship when they missed a bonus point against the Waratahs last week, head to Auckland to play the worst performing New Zealand team, the Blues.

The Lions, who are the only side guaranteed to be top of their group when action resumes in July, is without star playmaker Elton Jantjies.

However, Bulls coach Nollis Marais warned his side not to get over-confident.

"That team doesn't rely on just one person, they are a good team all over," Marais told a media briefing in Pretoria - the venue of the tans-Jukskei derby.

The Bulls need to retain their unbeaten home record this year to stay on top of their conference, where they are ahead on points differential against the Stormers - who have a seemingly easier task when they host the Cheetahs in Cape Town.

"We made a decision at the beginning of the season, if we play at Loftus then we need to be up for it. There are no excuses," Marais said.

Should the Lions lose they will remain top of Africa Two conference, as the second-placed Sharks have a bye and the next best team are Argentina's Jaguares - who are a further 22 points adrift.

The Brumbies, ready to pounce in the Australia group if the Waratahs slip up, play the lowly Sunwolves from Japan, in an Australian derby the Melbourne Rebels host the Western Force on Sunday.

Saturday, May 28:

It has, traditionally, been New Zealand's biggest domestic derby - the north-south encounter.

They are also two of the most successful teams in the history of Super Rugby - the Crusaders with seven titles and the Blues with three, including the first two in the professional era.

However, times have changed and the Blues have not finished inside the top 10 for four years.

The Crusaders, despite having not won a title since 2008, have at least reached the play-offs six times in the last sevens year - with last year's seventh place the result of the maddening conference system that saw then relegated below a team with less points than they collected.

While the Crusaders' fortunes and form continued a sharp upwards curve this year, the Blues have continue to struggle and gives the appearance of a team in decline.

Last week's scratchy win over the Western Force - coming in the wake of a 5-43 (seven-try) loss to the Lions - gave Blues coach Tana Umaga hope that his team has at least one ingredient with which to counter the mighty Crusaders.

"It was not pretty, but probably the most pleasing thing for us was we got our grit and determination back and put a bit of pride back into a jersey that we cherish," Umaga said of the outing in Perth.

"We didn't have that the previous week against the Lions," Umaga added.

However, they are most likely going to need more than just determination against the Crusaders team that have shown similar characteristics in bucket loads this season.

Recent results:
2016: Crusaders won 28-13, Christchurch
2015: Crusaders won 34-11, Auckland
2015: Crusaders won 29-15, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 21-13, Christchurch
2014: Blues won 35-24, Auckland
2013: Crusaders won 23-3, Christchurch

Prediction: The Crusaders have won their last four encounters with the Blues, the longest winning streak by either team in the history of this fixture. The Blues have won only one of their last 14 games against New Zealand opposition, that win coming in Round One this season against the Highlanders by only two points. The Crusaders have won six of their last seven games away from home, although their one defeat in that run came in their last away match. The Blues have enjoyed 17 minutes and 50 seconds of possession per game this season, the most of any team, while they also have a ruck success rate of 96 percent, the best in the competition. Of the 31 hookers to have made at least 30 line-out throws, Codie Taylor (92 percent) has the second best success rate overall (Adriaan Strauss - 94 percent). The Blues will play with pride and might remain competitive for the first hour, but the Crusaders have too much class and should ease clear in the final quarter to win by 15 points.


Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala/Male Sa'u, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Billy Guyton, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Kara Pryor, 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 Jack Ram, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Male Sa'u/Michael Little, 23 Lolagi Visinia.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Tim Boys, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 David Havili, 23 Marty McKenzie.

Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Glenn Newman

The Sunwolves have shown some promising form in recent weeks - a win over the Jaguares and a draw with the Stormers in their last four matches.

However, they are unlikely to find the Brumbies in a generous mood, given first place in the Australian conference is at stake.

While the Brumbies are dependent on the result between Waratahs and Chiefs on Friday, they know that a bonus-point win over the Japanese newcomers is non negotiable.

The Brumbies' recent form has been promising, but they know the Sunwolves are a banana skin waiting to be stepped on - just ask the Stormers.

Brumbies prop Scott Sio is expecting a difficult match against the Japanese outfit.

"[The mindset] is good," Sio said in an interview on the Brumbieswebsite.

He added that their two wins - over the Bulls and Rebels - the last two matches before last week's bye was the momentum they needed.

"As you've seen in the last few weeks the Sunwolves aren't an easy beat," Sio said.

"They suffered that big loss against the Cheetahs, but have bounced back really well and are playing some really enterprising rugby so for us we know that it's going to take nothing less than an 80-minute effort this week.

"They're a traditional Japanese side, they're very fit, hard on the ball and technically sound at set pieces."

Previous results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Brumbies have won only one of their last four games against teams from outside of Australia, though they'll be looking for consecutive victories against non-Australian teams for the first time since May 2015 after a 23-6 win against the Bulls in Round 11. The Sunwolves have won once and drawn once in their last four Super Rugby fixtures, though they remain winless in three games against Australian opposition. In none of the Brumbies' last 17 games has either team won after trailing at half-time, though the Brumbies won against the Waratahs in Round Two this season after being level at the break. Akihito Yamada has made 20 clean breaks so far this season, only the injured Joseph Tomane (23) has made more than the Japan winger, who is also the joint top scorer in the competition with eight tries. David Pocock has won 21 turnovers so far this season, the most of any player and eight more than Sunwolves' pair Andrew Durutalo and Ed Quirk who have each won 13. You expect the Brumbies to dominate from beginning to end and the margin should be at least 25 points.


Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Christian Lealiifano (co-captain), 9 Michael Dowsett, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Stephen Moore (co-captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Sunwolves: 15 Yasutaka Asahara, 14 Mifiposeti Paea, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yuki Yatomi, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Fa'atiga Lemalu, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21 Daisuke Inoue, 22 Tusi Pisi , 23 Riaan Viljoen.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

The Stormers have been on a stead decline in the past month and it all started with a 30-32 loss to the Waratahs in Week 10.

Four weeks ago they still head the Africa conference and now they are not even in the top eight.

After a loss in their last home fixture, against the Waratahs, the Capetonians must now avoid the ignominy of back-to-back home losses for the first time since their last two games of the 2011 season.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has been on the defensive since that loss to the Tahs and said that his team is fully focused on returning to winning ways.

"The last few weeks have been quite frustrating for us," Fleck told a media briefing in Cape Town.

"We are focused on delivering a convincing performance for our faithful supporters at Newlands.

"We have worked very hard this week and the players are determined to show what we are capable of when we get it right," he said.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has been punting the 'young team' and 'building' phrases all season.

Their three victories have come against the Sunwolves (twice) and Southern Kings.

While they showed promise in some matches, generally they have been unable to sustain pressure long enough to be a real threat to the stronger teams.

No doubt they will lift themselves for this derby, as they always do against the Stormers, but they will have to eradicate the naivety that has cost them so dearly all season.

Recent results:
2016: Stormers won 20-10, Bloemfontein
2015: Stormers won 42-12, Cape Town
2015: Cheetahs won 25-17, Bloemfontein
2014: Stormers won 33-0, Cape Town
2014: Cheetahs won 35-22, Bloemfontein
2013: Stormers won 28-3, Cape Town

Prediction: The Stormers have won 11 of their last 14 games against the Cheetahs, including each the last two in a row by a combined 40-point margin. After a loss in their last home fixture the Stormers will be aiming to avoid back-to-back home losses for the first time since their last two games of the 2011 season.  The Cheetahs will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since their opening two fixtures of the 2015 season after beating the Kings in their last fixture. The Cheetahs have won an average of 14.1 line-outs per game so far this campaign, the most of any team, though they rank 10th for line-out success (87.6 percent). The Stormers are the best team in the competition this season when it comes to winning opposition line-outs, stealing 2.6 per game on average this season; Eben Etzebeth (9) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (8) have stolen more than any other individuals this season. The Cheetahs have a realistic chance of an upset, but we feel the Stormers will do enough for a narrow win - by less than 10 points.


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

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 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 Armandt Koster, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Nico Lee.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

The Bulls have dismissed the notion that Elton Jantjies' absence will in any way diminish the threat being posed by their trans-Jukskei neighbours.

With the Springbok flyhalf, Jantjies, sidelined with a fractured finger, the Lions have called up another Bok - one-time capped Marnitz Boshoff to lead their attack against the Bulls.

And the men from Pretoria feel that the visitors are still the best attacking side in South Africa.

"Marnitz Boshoff is an excellent player," Bulls coach Nollis Marais said, when asked about the absence about South Africa's form flyhalf.

"Their team doesn't rely on just one person, it is a good all round side - with quality all over."

Marais said they are determined to evolve the way they play and to see how far they are down that road of evolution, they must to test themselves against the Currie Cup champions and the team that is currently the No.1 side in South Africa.

"We want to play a more expansive brand, but you first have to dominate the set pieces," the Bulls mentor said.

"In some games this season we conceded too many turnovers, which gave the opposition momentum.

"We always said we are going to be an advantage line team and perhaps we tried to play too expansive too soon, instead of first fixing the small things - dominating the set pieces and be physical."

Marais said there are a lot of things they needed to work on.

"There were certain guys who struggled with aspects of their game, to adapt to the pace and intensity of Super Rugby," he said of his young team.

"There is a big step up between Currie Cup and Super Rugby levels and we need to have a look every week where we can improve."

He admitted that at the beginning of the year the scrums were a problem.

"We were one of the teams that gave away the most scrum penalties," Marais said, adding: "We worked hard on that and [scrum coach] Gary [Botha] deserves a lot of credit for that.

"The big positive is how well we performed against the Stormers in the set pieces.

"It is good to go into this game knowing our set pieces are solid."

Recent results:
2015: Bulls won 35-33, Pretoria
2015: Lions won 22-18, Johannesburg
2014: Lions won 32-21, Johannesburg
2014: Bulls won 25-17, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 37-20, Pretoria
2012: Bulls won 32-18, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Bulls have won 11 and drawn one of their 14 previous encounters with the Lions, though the Johannesburg team have won two of the last three iterations of this fixture. The Lions have won four and drawn one of their last six games away from home and are undefeated in their last three away games in South Africa. The Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak in Round 13, though they have still scored only 31 points in their last three Super Rugby games. The Bulls have conceded only two tries in the opening quarter of games this season, the joint fewest in Super Rugby (level with the Stormers and Chiefs). The Lions have scored 64 more points than they've conceded in the 20 minutes leading up to half-time, the most of any team in the competition. It is going a cracker - the Lions' attack against the Bulls' defence. The Lions will sneak this one, a late scoring giving them a win of five to seven points.


Bulls: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 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 Bandise Maku, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Deon Stegmann, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Dries Swanepoel.

Lions: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Francois de Klerk, 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 Ross Cronje, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Ashlon Davids.

Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Christie du Preez

Sunday, May 29:

The Rebels and Force are both coming off losing streaks they would like to end - the Rebels having lost their last three matches and the Force three of their last four.

The Rebels currently sit in third spot in the Australian conference on 23 points - seven points outside the play-off positions.

This game, the last before the month-long international break, provides the Victorians with an ideal opportunity to steady the ship.

Coach Tony McGahan believes the challenges have provided his young side with a valuable learning curve.

"We understand where we're at [in Super Rugby', we've still got some rough edges around what we're doing and we need to make sure we knock them off as quickly as possible," McGahan said.

"We're learning every harsh lesson possible, but we've got a really good group of players, good people on staff and an organisation going terrific off the field so we just need to continue to work away.

"It's not easy but that's the way it is. We need to show resilience in what we're doing and get back onto winning this week."

Victory against a Force team with just two wins from 11 starts - against the Reds and Sunwolves - will see the Rebels go into the break with six wins from 12 outings.

It will certainly keep their faint hope of a top eight finish alive.

Defeat will be the end of any play-off aspirations.

Despite a string of injuries - which have sidelined established players like Luke Jones, Tamati Ellison, Cam Crawford and Pat Leafa  - McGahan is adamant that his team has the talent to stay in the race.

"Our expectation is that we get on with it," the coach said, adding: "Super Rugby is never a nice straight road, there are obstacles along the way, the good sides deal with them and the others handle them as an excuse."

The Force will no doubt be throwing everything they have at the Rebels.

The Force are coming off a heart breaking defeat to the Blues last week - where the Western Australians dominated the game, but were unable to finish the job.

Recent results:
2016: Rebels won 25-19, Perth
2015: Force won 13-11, Melbourne
2015: Rebels won 21-17, Perth
2014: Rebels won 22-16, Melbourne
2014: Force won 32-7, Perth
2013: Rebels won 30-23, Perth
2013: Rebels won 30-23, Melbourne

Prediction: The Rebels have won seven of their last nine games against the Force, though only once in this fixture's history (11 games) has a game been decided by more than seven points. The Rebels have lost their last three games; they have not lost more in a row since ending the 2014 season with five consecutive losses. The Force have won three of their last six games away from home and will be looking for back-to-back road wins for the first time since Round 2 this season. Sean McMahon has beaten 40 defenders so far this campaign, the most of any forward and the third most overall. The Western Force (93.2 percent) remain the most accurate goal kickers in the competition, no other side has managed higher than 82 percent. The Rebels are at home and probably also have too much class. It would not be a surprise if they win by 15 points.


Rebels: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Tom English, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Colby Fainga'a, 7 Jordy Reid, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Toby Smith, 2 James Hanson, 1 Cruze Ah Nau
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Tom Moloney, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Adam Thomson, 21 Scott Fuglistaller, 22 Ben Meehan, 23 Jonah Placid.

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

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article daniel du plessis stormers v cheetahs 800

Stormers hang on for valuable win

Sat, 28 May 2016 14:57

REPORT: The Stormers hung on desperately to secure a hard-earned 31-24 win over the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.

The Round 14 win in a physical, at times even brutal, Super Rugby match saw the Stormers reclaim first place in the Africa One conference - even it is just for a couple of hours.

They outscored the Cheetahs by three tries to two, but had to hang on as the men from Bloemfontein produced a desperate, late charge.

The opening exchanges were very tense as both teams came within inches of scoring the opening try, but instead the two flyhalves exchanged penalties to leave it at 3-3 after the first 10 minutes.

The next 10 minutes saw much the same as both flyhalves were on target with penalties to make it 6-6 after 20 minutes.

That same pattern followed, as first Fred Zeilinga and then Jean-Luc du Plessis slotted penalties to leave it deadlocked at 9-9 after 30 minutes.

After an extended period of attacking pressure in the Cheetahs 22, the ball was eventually worked wide to outside centre Daniel du Plessis who got over for a try on his Stormers debut to put the home side 14-9 ahead at the half-time break.

The Stormers were first to strike in the second half as an intercept try from speedster Leolin Zas gave them a 21-9 cushion.

The Cheetahs responded with their first try from No.8 Paul Schoeman to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 30 minutes left to play.

The Stormers camped in the opposition 22 and were next to score when Du Plessis slotted his fourth penalty after to make it 24-14.

The visitors scored against the run of play when a counter-attack saw wing Sergeal Petersen go over in the corner, and the conversion from Zeilinga brought them right back into the game at 24-21.

However, the Stormers hit back in fine style when Sikhumbuzo Notshe found himself in some space and kicked ahead for Kobus van Wyk who outstripped the defence to score a memorable try between the poles.

The Cheetahs responded with a penalty from replacement flyhalf Niel Marais which secured the losing bonus point, but they were not able to prevent the Stormers from picking up their seventh win of the Vodacom Super Rugby season. The Stormers returned to winning ways with a 31-24 victory against the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.

Man of the match: Clayton Blommetjies sent Springbok coach Allister Coetzee yet another reminder of his capabilities, while Lodewyk de Jager seemed to relish his physical, almost brutal, duel with Bok teammate Eben Etzebeth. Siya Kolisi was a constant presence at the breakdown and had a couple of decent carries, Etzebeth shaded his duel with De Jager and Pieter-Steph du Toit can measure his Springbok blazer size. Our award goes to Stormers No.8 Sikumbuzo Notshe, a performance that also had Springbok written all over it.

The scorers:

For the Stormers:
D du Plessis, Zas, Van Wyk
Cons: JL du Plessis 2
Pens: JL du Plessis 4

For the Cheetahs:
Schoeman, Petersen
Con: Zeilinga
Pens: Zeilinga 3, Marais'


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

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 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 Armandt Koster, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Nico Lee.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Daniel du Plessis (35min), Leolin Zas (42min), and Jacobus Van Wyk (63min)
Paul Schoeman (47min) and Sergeal Petersen (58min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (43min) and Jean-Luc du Plessis (64min)
Fred Zeilinga (58min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (9min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (18min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (26min), and Jean-Luc du Plessis (54min)
Fred Zeilinga (3min), Fred Zeilinga (12min), Fred Zeilinga (20min), and Niel Marais (67min)
VENUE DHL Newlands
REFEREE Glen Jackson (New Zealand)