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Super Rugby | Loftus Versfeld
15:05 (GMT) | 28-05-2016
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Stay with us for ongoing Pro 12 Final and the SA team announcement coming up soon. Tune in tomorrow when the Rebels take on the Force. For all other updates and action in rugby stay with us on Rugby365
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The away team gets the ball from the scrum and Combrinck boots it into the crowd to end the game. FULL TIME
  • 80
The Lions waiting anxiously for the final whistle. Scrum at the 10 of the Bulls after the reset kick.
  • 79
Schoeman secures the extras
  • 78
The Bulls not giving up and powering through with Nyakane and he gives it to Stegmann who scores the TRY and gets the Bull some more points
  • 77
Scrum at the half way after the restart kick
  • 76
Boshoff secures the extras
  • 75
Line-out for the Bulls inside the 22. The Lions with the turnover and Skosan gets the ball in his 22 and makes a thrilling break and gives the final pass to Janse van Rensburg who shields off the last man to score another TRY
  • 73
The Bulls trying to move forward with Snyman now. They send it Paige and he opts to kick forward looking for touch and finds it. Bulls with a maul and they move the ball down field from there. Basson gets it on the wing but he is tackled into touch
  • 72
Cronje takes the ball from the scrum and passes two. Combrinck gets the ball and clears and the ball is out for a throw at the half way
  • 71
Scrum reset
  • 70
Penalty to the Lions after the reset kick. Scrum at the 5 of the Lions
  • 69
Boshoff with another tricky angle and he gets another 2 points to his teams' name
  • 68
de Klerk takes the ball from the scrum and makes a quick solo run seeing the space. TRY to the Lions
  • 67
Scrum at the 5 of the Bulls. The referee stops the scrum and calls for the reset.
  • 66
Boshoff kicks into touch instead of going for the 3 points. Line-out at the 5 and the maul is there. de Klerk to Mapoe and he offloads to Boshoff. The referee calls play back and gives Schoeman a yellow card
  • 64
Penalty to the Lions after the restart. Boshoff kicks it deep into touch. Line-out at the 22 for the Lions and they go for the driving maul. The ball is moved up field. De Klerk looking for runners at the ruck and gives it to Mapoe but he doesn't find a gap. Penalty to the Lions
  • 63
Boshoff takes it from a tight angle and he secures the 3 points
  • 62
The Lions methodically outplaying the Bulls as they move the ball patiently among themselves. Whiteley gives an inside pass to Skosan who makes a break for it from outside the 22 and he makes the TRY look easy
  • 60
Scrum for the Bulls and they move the ball up field with Schoeman. Swanepoel looking to break through on the wing but he loses it forward
  • 58
Skosan steals the ball out of the ruck and looks for a break but the referee calls him back for being offside. Line-out at the half way. SP Marais trying to make space but he is brought down. The referee blows for a penalty to the Bulls
  • 57
Brummer fails to add the extras
  • 56
Penalty to the Bulls after the reset. Tian Schoeman kicks into touch at the 5. Line-out and the Bulls move forward in the maul and. Strauss gets his hand over the line with the ball to score the TRY
  • 54
Boshoff easily converts from just outside the 5
  • 53
de Klerk takes the penalty quickly and catches the Bulls sleeping as he bursts pass three sleeping players. He gives it to Jaco Kriel who goes on to score the TRY
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de Klerk with a sneaky kick forward that he chases but the Bulls defence stops any progression. Mahuza with a solo run of his own stepping and side-stepping to the crowds delight. The Bulls defence bring him down and clear into touch
  • 50
Another penalty to the Lions now as Boshoff sets up shop just inside the 10. This time the flags stay down
  • 48
Marx with a strong carry down field and the ball is moved up field as they find themselves between the Bulls defence and the touch line. The Lions make ground quickly but the ball is passed short to Mapoe. Scrum at the 10 of the Bulls
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Boshoff with another opportunity to increase the lead and he does.
  • 45
The Lions with a driving maul of their own now and they start their attack from the half way. The referee calls play back for a dangerous tackle against the Lions
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Whiteley core in the decomposition of that maul. The Lions clear their lines. Throw at the half way
  • 43
Combrinck looks for the kick forward but he;s overcooked it and the ball goes into touch. Line-out for the Bulls and they move forward in the driving maul now at the 5
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Penalty straight off the bat for the Lions and the the ball is subsequently kicked into touch at the 10 of the Bulls. The Lions at the half way and Boshoff with an optimistic kick forward but it's too much and the ball bounces into the dead ball zone. Scrum at the half way for the Bulls. The Bulls move it up field for Ulengo and he makes a convincing run but he is brought down at the 22
  • 41
The second half gets underway off the boot of Brummer

Half Time

  • 40
Boshoff adds the extras. HALF TIME
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The Bulls making their way forward slowly from their own half before the turnover comes from the Lions. They move forward quickly and Jaco Krield taking on three as he makes it into the 5. De Klerk stealing it and almost finds the try line but the sea of bodies stopping his progress. The Lions organising themselves and Redelinghuys gets his hand on the ball who basically strolls over the line to score the TRY
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The Bulls clear after the reset kick looking to get the Lions as far away from their goal line as possible. Janse van Rensburg with a strong carry after his own kick forward and chase.
  • 35
Brummer looking longingly at the posts before he takes his kick and he gets the 3 points
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The Bulls immediately with the maul attempt. They use their strength and make it into the 5 but the call to use it is there from the referee. The offload to van der Merwe and he tries to muscle his way through. Penalty to the Bulls at the 5. Brummer decides to go for the kick from a short range
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The ball is kicked into touch in a good position by Brummer. Line-out at the 5 for the Bulls.
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The Bulls move the ball down field after the scrum and Jaco Kriel halts their advance and wins a penalty as well. The ball is cleared into touch by Boshoff. Line-out for the Lions at the 10 of the bulls
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Scrum at the 10 of the Lions
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The Lions in possession now with Combrinck. They try to play out of their own half but the Bulls holding a high line. Boshoff opts to clear. The bulls get the ball and start their own attack
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Both teams kicking trying to gain some territory
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Boshoff hits the upright and fails to get the points
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The Lions come away with it after de Klerk draws to players towards him and Mapoe finds the ball at the 22. He makes a strong run with nobody able to catch up as he goes over the line to score the TRY
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Penalty to the Bulls after a line-out at half way. Scrum at the half way now and the Bulls have their chance to shine.
  • 23
The Lions steal the line-out and Jaco Kriel for the Lions leading the charge. The Bulls get possession and Brummer clears into touch
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Line-out for the Lions after the restart. Smith bombing forward making space for the players on the wing. The ball is sent up field to Combrinck who makes a solid run almost reaching the line but he is tackled into touch
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Brummer fails to add the extras
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The Bulls with a swift reply after the reset kick. Jesse Kriel chases down the ball after a lucky bounce and gets a TRY
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Boshoff secures the extras
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de Klerk with an astounding break passing players down field. He offloads and the Lions move the ball up field almost confusing the Bulls. Janse van Rensburg makes a solo run from the 22 to score the TRY
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Line-out inside the 10 of the Lions for the Bulls. Strauss moving forward with his team in the driving maul. They make it to the 22 before the referee blows for a penalty to the Lions. Boshoff kicks into touch
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de Klerk pulls it out of the ruck and clears. Marais does the same and the ball dropped into touch by de Klerk at the half way
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The Lions find themselves in their own half as the Bulls finally start to find their attacking form. Line-out inside the 10 of the visitors
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Boshoff with another opportunity to get some points on the board for his team. Just inside the 10 . His kick as good distance and the angle is right. He gets the 3 points
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The reset kick easily caught by Ulengo. The ball is sent up field by the Bulls as the Bulls look for space. The referee blows to stop play again
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The Bulls holding their line in the first 10 minutes despite the relentless attacking play by the away team showing the Bulls little to no ball. Brummer finally gets an opportunity to kick with a penalty from his own half and it's just wide
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de Klerk being muscled down while trying to look for space. The ball is kicked forward but the referee halts play. Penalty to the Bulls in their own half.
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The Lions come again now inside the 22 of the Bulls. The ball is cleared and the Bulls find some time to compose themselves before the Lions start their attack again.
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Basson with the clearance after the line-out and the referee calls play back for a line-out closer to the goal line.
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The opening minutes all about the away team as they look to move forward from their own half. Boshoff kicks it forward for his team to chase and the ball finds touch at the 22 of t he Bulls
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The Lions in possession after the reset. They get a penalty again in the 10 of the Bulls and Boshoff lines it up. He doesn't make the 3 points this time around
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The Lions get the game started and are awarded a penalty straight off the bat. Boshoff takes the kick and starts the scoring early on. 3 points to the visitors
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Craig Joubert sounds his whistle and the game is underway
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The players preparing themselves mentally for this top flight clash as they start leaving the tunnel
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Bulls have won four of the last 6 encounters between these two teams. Both teams at the top of their respective tables. The Lions with 37 points and the Bulls with 32 points
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Welcome to Loftus Versfeld, home of the Bulls and hosts against the Lions
Mc bulls logo 80x50
Mc lions logo 85
  • 1 Lizo Gqoboka
  • 2 Adriaan Strauss
  • 3 Marcel van der Merwe
  • 4 Jason Jenkins
  • 5 Rudolf Snyman
  • 6 Pieter Labuschagne
  • 7 Jannes Kirsten
  • 8 Arno Botha
  • 9 Piet van Zyl
  • 10 Francois Brummer
  • 11 Bjorn Basson
  • 12 Jan Serfontein
  • 13 Jesse Kriel
  • 14 Jamba Ulengo
  • 15 SP Marais
  • 16 Bandise Maku
  • 17 Trevor Nyakane
  • 18 Pierre Schoeman
  • 19 Grant Hattingh
  • 20 Deon Stegmann
  • 21 Rudi Paige
  • 22 Tian Schoeman
  • 23 Dries Swanepoel
  • 1 Dylan Smith
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 3 Julian Redelinghuys
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 7 Warwick Tecklenburg
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 9 Francois de Klerk
  • 10 Marnitz Boshoff
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 15 Sylvian Mahuza
  • 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
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 bulls v lions match 800

Lions maul Bulls in trans-Jukskei derby

Sat, 28 May 2016 16:54

REPORT: The Lions produced a trademark all-action game to blow the Bulls away and cement top spot in the African Super Rugby conference.

The 56-20 win (seven tries to three) saw the Lions go six points clear of their nearest rivals, the Stormers, in the combined Africa conference.

And it also puts them seven points ahead of Africa Two rivals, the Sharks - with just three rounds of league fixtures remaining when the teams return from the June break.

The Lions are also currently second on the tournament's overall standings, just three points behind the table-topping Crusaders.

It doesn't happen every week. In fact it has rarely happened before that teams have scored more than 50 points against the Bulls or the Blue Bulls or Northern Transvaal. And that at Loftus Versfeld.

The Bulls went into Satuday's match against the Lions at Loftus Versfeld as the only one of the 18 Super Rugby teams to have won all its home matches. That is now well and truly no longer true.

When the Brumbies and the Crusaders hammered more than 70 points past the Bulls, that was in Canberra and Christchurch - last century. When Golden Lions, last century, scored 57 points against the Blue Bulls, it was at Ellis Park.

This time it happened at Loftus Versfeld, just a week after the Bulls had dismantled the Stormers there. These creative, almost carefree Lions scored 56 points against the Bull, 31 of them in the 40 minutes of the second half.

It took the Lions one minute to take the lead and that lead was not in danger of being overtaken during the next 79 minutes.

The Lions were far too  good - too fast, too creative, too confident, too supportive, too clever for the Bulls, who were up for the game but must have ended it bewildered.

Apart from the points' score, the Bulls lost the penalty count 12-7, lost three line-outs, lost a scrum and were beaten hands down at the tackle.

The Lions, playing in black and gold instead of red and white, kicked off. Pieter Labuschagne was penalised and Marius Boshoff, promoted from the Blue Bulls, goaled. 3-0 after a minute. He missed a penalty attempt but then goaled another when Labuschagne was again penalised. 6-0 after 12 minutes.

Not that the Lions were idle in that first part of the game. They had a promising bit of play when Francois de Klerk went haring down the left and Jaco Kriel was on hand to carry it on. From him it went right to Rohan Janse Van Rensburg who broke on an arc, through SP Marais's tackle and over for the first try of the match. 13-0 after 19 minutes.

The Bulls kicked off. The ball flew over Warren Whiteley's head as he was lifted. It hit the ground and bounced high. Jesse Kriel grabbed it with glee and sped down the left touchline to score in the corner. 13-5 after 20 minutes.

Strong, fast Ruan Combrinck sped down the right, raced over SP Marais and was eventually forced into touch by three Bulls. That gave the Bulls a line-out five metres from their own line, which the Lions won but the Bulls recovered the ball with a turnover and survived.

It was not a match of many scrums. The first one came after 24 minutes - Bulls put-in and the Bulls lost it. Janse van Rensburg broke past Jan Serfontein and gave to Lionel Mapoe who bounced off Marais and drew away from Jamba Ulengo to score. 18-5 after 26 minutes.

The Bulls kicked a penalty out a long way downfield, won the line-out and mauled. The Lions were penalised again and Brummer made it 18-8 after 35 minutes.

Janse van Rensburg chipped and caught, and the Lions were back on the attack. Then Mapoe forced himself ahead and pushed an underarm pass into the hands of Warwick Tecklenburg. The Lions were close. It took three Bulls to stop Jaco Kriel, De Klerk was close and then Kriel gave the smoothest scrumhalf pass from the floor to Julian Redelinghuys who crashed over next to the posts. That made the half-time score 25-8.

Early in the second half the Bulls incurred a string of penalties. The third was a high tackle by Rudolph Strydom on Boshoff as he broke. Boshoff goaled 28-8 after 47 minutes.

The Lions carried on running - Malcolm Marx powerfully, De Klerk with a nippy chip and catch, and speedily  by Sylvain Mahuza.

The Bulls were penalised for the fifth time in the half, De Klerk tapped and raced off on a long break. He played inside to Jaco Kriel who charged  the last 25 metres to score at the posts, 35-8 after 54 minutes.

A penalty gave the Bulls an attacking line-out and then a maul which they shoved over the line for a try credited to Adriaan Strauss. 35-13 after 57 minutes.

Well inside their own territory the Lions ran. Whiteley sped outside Rudy Paige and then gave inside to Courtnall Skosan who raced many metres to score in the corner. Boshoff converted from touch. 42-13 after 63 minutes.

The outcome decided substitutes flooded onto the field.

Penalty, and the Lions had a five-metre line-out and maul. They attacked, Tian Schoeman was penalised and sent to the sin bin as it followed a team warning about such tackle infringements and the Lions opted for a five-metre scrum. From the scrum De Klerk did his own thing - scuttled away on the scrum's left and stretched to score a try as Paige tried to stop him. 49-13 after 68 minutes.

Howard Mnisi, five metres from his own line, passed to Janse van Rensburg who gave to Mahuza. Mahuza did a scissors with Skosan and he gave to Janse van Rensburg who raced over 50 metres down the left touchline for a try in the corner. 56-13 with four minutes to play.

The Lions were penalised and Paige took a tap. The Bulls drove at the line till a sharp pass enabled Deon Stegmann to score under the posts. Schoeman, back from the sin bin, converted. 56-20 after 79 minutes, and the score stayed that to the end.

Man of the Match: Craig Joubert was refereeing his 100th Super Rugby match and Jaco Kriel was playing his 50th, and both could be candidates. All of the Lions backs were candidates and so were all of their forwards. But instead of making all 17 Men of the Match, which would not be inappropriate, we are going to toe the traditional line and choose Francois de Klerk - more as a player than as a scrumhalf. He often left flyhalf chores to others but wherever he was involved in the game there was excitement.

The scorers:

For the Bulls:
Jessie Kriel, Strauss, Stegmann
Con: Schoeman
Pen: Brummer

For the Lions:
Janse van Rensburg 2, Mapoe, Redelinghuys, Jaco Kriel, Skosan, De Klerk
Cons: Boshoff 6
Pens: Boshoff 3

Yellow card: Tian Schoeman (Bulls, 67 - repeated infringements, slowing the ball down)


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

Jesse Kriel (20min), Adriaan Strauss (56min), and Deon Stegmann (78min)
Rohan Janse van Rensburg (18min), Lionel Mapoe (25min), Julian Redelinghuys (39min), Jaco Kriel (53min), Courtnall Skosan (62min), Francois de Klerk (68min), and Rohan Janse van Rensburg (75min)
Tian Schoeman (79min)
Marnitz Boshoff (19min), Marnitz Boshoff (40min), Marnitz Boshoff (54min), Marnitz Boshoff (63min), Marnitz Boshoff (69min), and Marnitz Boshoff (76min)
Francois Brummer (35min)
Marnitz Boshoff (1min), Marnitz Boshoff (13min), and Marnitz Boshoff (46min)
Tian Schoeman (66min)
VENUE Loftus Versfeld
REFEREE Craig Joubert (South Africa)