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Super Rugby | Tokyo
05:15 (GMT) | 02-07-2016
  • 81
Don't go away - there are plenty more games coming up. The Blues taking on the Hurricanes at the Cake Tin up next.
  • 80
The hooter has gone and the Sunwolves have one last attacking scrum to show some magic... Carpenter takes a short ball and he busts straight through offloading to Yatomi who is sprinting for the corner but Phipps reels him in and a knock-on ends play. That's full-time and the Waratahs win convincingly.
  • 79
Sunwolves work the overlap and make 40m but the No.9 just knocks on at the breakdown for the Sunwolves handing the Tahs a scrum. Kellaway makes a break from the scrum but knocks-on trying to offload.
  • 78
Ball lost forward from Dave Dennis and the Sunwolves have another scrum deep in their half.
  • 77
Sunwolves run it from their own line and they work the overlap but the last pass just drifts forward otherwise Viljoen would have been away. Waratahs scrum right in the Sunwolves 22m.
  • 75
Warathas win a penalty in midfield for a pilpher and Dempsey takes it quickly... the big flank makes 20 metres and the Sunwolves are under pressure again. A handling error lets them off the hook though and they have a scrum 5m from their own line.
  • 72
Horwits is just off with the conversion.
  • 71
Waratahs regain possession and have a line-out inside the Sunwolves 22m. Roach has the ball at the back of the maul as they march forward. Phipps goes blind, draws and passes to Naiyaravoro who is too strong for Saskura, bounces the left wing and dives over for the score.
  • 69
Sunwolves still can't get pssed the halfway mark but they receive a penalty for a ruck infringement. Tamura kicks for touch and set the line-out.
  • 68
The Sunwolves are stringing some phases together but not really going anywhere and play stops for another Sunwolves scrum.
  • 65
Sunwolves packing down for a scrum in midfield - they use a set-play and almost bust a gap but the Tahs defence is too strong.
  • 61
Horwitz misses the conversion attempt.
  • 60
The floodgates are opening here as the Tahs burst through, offloading with ease and Carraro is over for his first try of the game.
  • 59
Horwitz strokes the conversion through and extends the lead.
  • 58
Waratahs strike from a quick tap as Dempsey busts a line and pops up to Horwitz who plays Lucas inside and Lucas is over for his second TRY!
  • 56
Sunwolves exit well and turnover possession but a handling error hands the Tahs a scrum on halfway.
  • 54
Tahs set for the line-out and form a maul but it is defended well. Foley swings wide now and the Sunwolves rush defence and force the error. Scrum down to the Sunwolves on their own line.
  • 50
Foley puts a penalty kick into the Sunwolves Re Zone and they have a line-out on their 22m. Dangerous position here for the Sunwolves and the waratahs are 5m out now but the Sunwolves concede another penalty.
  • 46
Foley duly adds the extra 2 points.
  • 45
Waratahs have their tails up and the Sunwolves are under the pump here. Quick ball for the Tahs and easy recycling of phases. Foley throws a beautiful pass to Polota-Nau who cuts the line and offloads to Robinson who is over for his second try of the day!
  • 44
Foley converts from the corner , what a strik1e
  • 43
Foley kicks for touch to set the lineout. A drving mal is formed as expected and they are marching forward making yard. Waratahs are 5m short now and Lucas goes wide to Foley who shifts to Folau, quick hands through Kellaway to Robinson and he is in the corner for a try!
  • 42
Scrum down to the Tahs 40m out, and the dominate the set-piece winning the penalty.
  • 41
Viljoen resumes play with the restart.

Half Time

  • 40
That brings the half to an end.
  • 39
Foley can't curl it over from the corner.
  • 38
Waratahs back in the Sunwolves 22m and they have solid driving maul going on. Lucas swings it left playing under advantage and a set move from the backs puts Kellaway in space and he bounces 3 defenders to score in the corner.
  • 35
Foley adds the extras.
  • 34
Folau receives it as expected but the Sunwolves turn it over and clear their line. Waratahs win their line-out but its scrappy ball in the backline but Folau picks up the scraps and bust straight through sprinting 50m for a try under the sticks.
  • 33
Waratahs have a scrum and its a great attacking platform out wide to the right and on the 22m. What can they do?
  • 31
Tamura slots the penalty kick right in front of the poles.
  • 30
A careless mistake from the Tahs hands possession to the Sunwolves and the Waratahs are under the pump again and they are offsides. Penalty Sunwolves.
  • 29
Foley curls over the conversion to extend the lead.
  • 28
Waratahs go back to some basics and attack channel one before they head wide and again they are looking dangerous. Foley shifts left and quick hands from Folau puts Dempsey away who straightens well and fends off Viljoen for a try.
  • 25
Tamura makes the Tahs pay with another 3 points.
  • 24
Sunwolves playing with their tales up and Naiyaravoro has been shown a Yellow Card for a late charge on the Sunwolves left wing Sasakuru. A bit harsh but nonetheless the big wing will have to cool off for 10 minutes.
  • 23
Viljoen absolutely drills it and it sails over with ease... what a strike... Sunwolves get another 3 points.
  • 22
Sunwolves have a penalty 57 metres out and Viljoen is going to have a long-ranged attempt at goal.
  • 21
Tamura raises the flags.
  • 20
Tatekawa points to the poles and Tamura has a chance to put the Wolves on the board.
  • 19
Sunwolves use a beautiful set-move from the scrum and Carpenter is in acres of space, he finds Paea but the Waratahs defence scrambles into place. Sunwolves awarded a penalty for a high tackle.
  • 16
Sunwolves clear but the Waratahs are right back in their half, however, a knock-on hands the home team another scrum in midfield.
  • 14
Waratahs controlling things in midfield and Folau is looking threatening every time he touches the ball. Kellaway is 5m out but his offload to Robinson goes forward and the Sunwolves have s scrum 5m from their own line.
  • 11
Foley duly adds the extras.
  • 10
A HUGE linebreak from inside centre Rob Horne and he is AWAY... he steps Viljoen and fends off the fullback finding Skelton in support, and Skelton throws an offload inside to find Hooper and Hooper unselfishly plays Lucas for the opening try!
  • 9
Waratahs are under the pump in their own 22m but they have a scrum...and they receive a penalty for collapsing. Foley kicks for touch.
  • 7
Foley has a dart from the set-piece but the Sunwolves defence is solid and Lucas is forced into a kick.
  • 5
Sunwolves answer back with some promising play and they have an attacking scrum inside the Tahs half. Carpenter bashes it up from first phase and the Sunwolves are 10m out but a forward pass stops play. Scrum Tahs deep in their Red Zone.
  • 2
Waratahs with a promising start making easy metres but an Ed Quirk pilpher brings play to a stop and the Sunwolves will kick for touch.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Bernard Foley gets the game underway.
  • -5
Weather is clear in Tokyo and looks like mint conditions for running rugby.
  • -15
The Waratahs will be banking on a bonus point win here as we draw nearer to the end of the round stages. At the moment the Brumbies are top of the Australian Conference but a win for the Tahs will see them reclaim the top spot. They certainly won't want slip up against a basement dweller.
  • -25
Hello and welcome to Rugby365's live match centre and today kicks off with the Waratahs taking on the Sunwolves in their backyard... should be a try feast!
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
  • 1 Masataka Mikami
  • 2 Takeshi Kizu
  • 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga
  • 4 Fa'atiga Lemalu
  • 5 Naohiro Kotaki
  • 6 Liaki Moli
  • 7 Taiyo Ando
  • 8 Ed Quirk
  • 9 Kaito Shigeno
  • 10 Yu Tamura
  • 11 Yasutaka Sasakura
  • 12 Harumichi Tatekawa
  • 13 Derek Carpenter
  • 14 Mifiposeti Paea
  • 15 Riaan Viljoen
  • 16 Futoshi Mori
  • 17 Keita Inagaki
  • 18 Takuma Asahara
  • 19 Yoshiya Hosoda
  • 20 Shokei Kin
  • 21 Yuki Yatomi
  • 22 Ryohei Yamanaka
  • 23 Hajime Yamashita
  • 1 Paddy Ryan
  • 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau
  • 3 Tom Robertson
  • 4 Dean Mumm
  • 5 Will Skelton
  • 6 Jack Dempsey
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 8 Dave Dennis
  • 9 Matt Lucas
  • 10 Bernard Foley
  • 11 Taqele . Naiyaravoro
  • 12 Rob Horne
  • 13 Israel Folau
  • 14 Reece Robinson
  • 15 Andrew Kellaway
  • 16 Hugh Roach
  • 17 Jeremy Tilse
  • 18 Angus Taavao-Matau
  • 19 Sam Lousi
  • 20 Ned Hanigan
  • 21 Nick Phipps
  • 22 David Horwitz
  • 23 Matt Carraro
Mc article jaco kriel lions 800


Fri, 01 Jul 2016 02:02

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Jan de Koning looks at the Saturday matches in Part Two of Super Rugby's Round 15.

Most of the focus on Saturday will be on the all-South African derby between the Lions, on 42 points, and the Sharks (35) - a game that could decide the Africa One conference.

With the Stormers (on 36 points and second on the overall Africa standings) playing the Rebels in Melbourne earlier in the day, the Lions will still top the standings.

However, a win for the Lions - coupled with a defeat for the Stormers - could see the men from Johannesburg wrap up first place in the Africa standings with two rounds of league action remaining.

Sharks are striving to stay ahead of the Bulls in the race for a wildcard entry to the play-offs.

The Bulls, only three points adrift of the Sharks, have what should be an easier assignment against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

A win in Argentina will have the Bulls in line to take over the Africa Two conference should the Stormers - with Schalk Burger taking over the captaincy from co-skippers Juan de Jongh (on Sevens duty) and Frans Malherbe (neck injury) - fall to the Rebels.

In other Saturday matches the Hurricanes face the Blues, the Cheetahs are at home in Bloemfontein to Western Force and the Highlanders are away to the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

Saturday, July 2:
The challenge for all teams is to get themselves up and running straight away after the four-week June break.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson admitted it is a 'must win' match for his side as they look to keep their play-off hopes alive.

The determination to get out the blocks quickly is reflected in his team selection.

Wallaby Taqele Naiyaravoro has been injected straight back into the Waratahs starting line-up, following his return from the Glasgow Warriors, for this historic clash against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

Gibson has also named Wallabies Michael Hooper, Will Skeleton, Dean Mumm, Bernard Foley and Israel Folau in the starting XV.  

"We have the challenge of winning our next three games," Gibson said.

"The formula is very simple - we must win all three our games and then we qualify [for the play-offs] through the conference system. Otherwise we chase a wildcard spot."

He described the Sunwolves as a team that play and "exciting" brand and have performed well at home.

Veteran loose forward Dave Dennis said the players know what they are capable of as team and how they want to play.

"We want to be nice and physical and attack with ball in hand," Dennis said, adding that there is a lot to play for.

"Next week we are back here [Sydney] against a very strong Hurricanes team in our last home match [before the play-offs].

"There is a really good feeling in the group.

"If we play Waratahs rugby and we are positive in the way we want to play, we can get the desired result."

Recent results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Sunwolves have conceded a combined 101 points in their last two Super Rugby fixtures, both of which were against Australian opposition. The Waratahs have won three of their last four fixtures away from home, though two of those three wins were by only two points. Israel Folau is the only player in the competition to have gained more than 1,000 metres so far this season and has made 320m more than the Sunwolves' highest gainer Riaan Viljoen (684 metres). Nick Phipps has assisted eight tries so far this season, the most of any Australia-based player and the fourth most in Super Rugby 2016. Akihito Yamada has made 22 clean breaks so far this season, only one shy of league-best Joseph Tomane (23) who remains on the sidelines. The Waratahs will; simply be too good for a hapless Sunwolves team - which may put up some initial resistance and could be on the receiving end of a hiding - 30 points or more.


Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Mifiposeti Paea, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Edward Quirk, 7 Taiyo Ando, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Naohiro Kotaki, 4 Faatiga Lemalu, 3 Shinnosuke Katinaga, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Futoshi Mori, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Shokel Kin, 21 Yuki Yatomi 22 Ryohei Yamanaka, 23 Hajime Yamashita.

Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Dave Dennis, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan.       
Replacements - from: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Ned Hanigan, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 David Horwitz, 24 Tolu Latu, 25 Matt Carraro.

Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Aki Aso (Japan), Noriaki Hashimoto (Japan)
TMO: Takashi Hareda (Japan)

Expect no mercy. Not only is it an all-New Zealand derby - which brings with it a level of physicality that few other games produce - but with just three weeks remaining there is plenty at stake for both teams.

The Hurricanes are still in with a realistic chance of topping the table, as they did last year, but that would mean winning all three their remaining matches - against the Blues, Waratahs and Crusaders.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd is confident his team is on the right track.

"We felt like we were building some good momentum when the competition stopped for the June internationals and clearly we'll be hoping to pick up where we left off, so continuity is important," Boyd said.

"Our All Blacks have all come back in really good nick and they've slipped right back into our environment which has been great.

"The challenge for everyone is getting back into competition mode after a month off, but we believe we've prepared well over the break.

"We had a good, tough hit out against Melbourne Rebels last week and we've trained well as a group.

"The guys can't wait to get back out on there in front of their home crowd."

Boyd said the Blues presented a significant test.

"They are a quality side with attacking threats right across the park, so we know we will have to be at our best if we want to compete."

Blues captain James Parsons said they had a big focus on the mental side of the game, especially being a young side.

"We need to deal with the pressure of Super Rugby," he said, adding: "We have been training very well, but we are just not getting the finished product."

Like the Hurricanes, the Blues are also getting a few All Blacks back into the fold.

"It [Test rugby] is at a much higher level [than Super Rugby] and they would have gotten a lot of value out of that," Parsons said of the All Blacks' three-nil series weep of Wales.

"Hopefully they can bring back that enthusiasm and energy from the black jersey into the blue jersey.

"Both teams - the Blues and Hurricanes- have a lot to play for."

The Blues - who face the Hurricanes, Brumbies and Waratahs - have an outside chance of slipping into one of the wildcard spots.

Recent results:
2016: Hurricanes won 23-19, Auckland
2015: Hurricanes won 29-5, Auckland
2015: Hurricanes won 30-23, Palmerston North
2014: Blues won 37-24, Auckland
2014: Hurricanes won 39-20, Wellington
2013: Blues won 28-6, Auckland
2013: Blues won 34-20, Wellington

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won their last three games against the Blues but have never won four on the bounce against their conference rivals. The Hurricanes haven't lost a home fixture by more than eight points since their first game of the 2013 season against the Blues (20-34). Only once in their last 24 Super Rugby fixtures have the Blues lost a game after leading at half-time, though that result came in their Round 14 clash against the Crusaders. The Hurricanes have conceded only 19 points in the opening halves of their last four games (4.75 per game), including holding the Highlanders to nil in their last fixture. Eight of the Blues 12 games so far this season have been decided by the value of a converted try or less and only one of the four that hasn't was against a fellow New Zealand opponent. The Hurricanes should have too much firepower for the visitors, but the margin is unlikely to be much more than 12 points.


Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (captain), Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Tony Lambourn, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Jason Woodward.

Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Male S'au, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Namatahi Waa, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti/Hoani Matenga, 20 Blake Gibson, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 Matt Vaega/Lolagi Visinia.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

The Rebels have an outside chance, and rely on other results to go their way, while the Stormers have their play-off prospects in their own hands.

However, that outside chance is enough to ensure the Melbourne-based franchise won't lack motivation.

Apart from the Stormers, the Rebels face the Crusaders and Reds in their final run-in.

"We've got a lot to play for," Rebels coach Tony McGahan said.

"We've got an opportunity over the next three games to do well and have our best ever season in the competition.

"The players have had a really good couple of weeks, had a good hit out against the Hurricanes [in a friendly] last Thursday, and two really good sessions so far this week.

"We're really looking forward to the opportunity to play our last home game of the season this weekend and do well."

Boasting international Test representatives across the field, the dangerous Stormers sit in second place in South Africa when they return to Melbourne for the first time since 2013.

"The Stormers are going really well and have nine guys with Springbok experience," McGahan said.

"The Stormers are one of the top two sides in South Africa in their conference system so they're really gunning for finals.

"With only three games left in the competition, this weekend represents a great one."

Previous results:
2015: Stormers won 31-15, Cape Town
2013: Rebels won 30-21, Melbourne
2012: Stormers won 26-21, Cape Town
2011: Stormers won 40-3, Melbourne

Prediction: The Stormers have won three of their four encounters with the Rebels with their only blemish coming in a 30-21 loss in Round 14, 2013. The Rebels are winless in four straight games, their longest streak since they ended their 2014 season with five consecutive defeats. The Stormers have won on their last two trips to Australia, including a win against the Waratahs in Round Nine when they were trailing at half-time. The Stormers remain as one of only two teams this season (Sharks) who are yet to concede 10 tries in any quarter of games. Sean McMahon has beaten 43 defenders in this campaign, the third most of any player and more than any other forward. It may not be pretty, but the Stormers should sneak a win - certainly by less than 10 points.


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

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Daniel du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger (captain), 7 Siyamthanda Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 JP Smith, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Louis Schreuder, 23 Scott van Breda.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Amy Perrett (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Unlike most of the other games, this match is not about the race for places in the play-offs.

The sideshow to the main competition is that the Force arrived in Bloemfontein with an interim head coach - South African Dave Wessels - after Michael Foley was shown the door during the June break.

His departure was the result of a horror run by the Force, which saw them win only two matches in 12 starts.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith said this week whenever there is a change in the coaching team it brings new energy to a side.

The new Force mentor, Wessels, acknowledges that there are two main themes heading into the match - the axing of Foley and the next three weeks of league action.

"The players recognise that we have been pretty close to an outcome [win] in the last few games," Wessels said of a 13-17 loss to the Blues and a 22-27 defeat against the Rebels - just before the June break.

"They [the players] are all on board [with the new coaching structure] and are going to fight pretty hard these last three games," Wessels added.

In a huge boost for the Force, the team welcomes back playmaker Jono Lance in the No.10 jersey after a 14 week stint on the sidelines, after tearing his pectoral muscle.

The Cheetahs coach, Smith, admitted that Lance will be a key player.

"It would be interesting to see what impact the flyhalf [Jono Lance] will have on the game," Smith said, adding: "He is certainly one of the players to watch."

The Cheetahs are without two injured players - Springbok lock Lodewyk de Jager and prop Charles Marais.

However, Smith is confident his team will get the desired result - a win.

"What I am looking for is a more mature performance," he said.

"Against the Stormers [a 24-31 loss in Cape Town just before the June break] we showed that we are no longer panicking as much on the field.

"We are looking for more accuracy on attack and to also work hard on the breakdown.

"Our defence has also improved dramatically throughout the competition," Smith said, adding that the break has done the players good.

Recent results:
2015: Cheetahs won 24-15, Perth
2014: Force won 23-16, Bloemfontein
2013: Cheetahs won 19-10, Perth
2012: Cheetahs won 17-13, Bloemfontein
2010: Cheetahs won 29-14, Bloemfontein
2009: Force won 16-10, Perth

Prediction: Despite not scoring more than nine points in an opening half against the Force since 2010, the Cheetahs have won four of their last five games against the Western Australian side. The Cheetahs have won their last two home games by a combined margin of 89 points and a third straight home win would equal the club record in Super Rugby. The Western Force have won on only one of their last nine expeditions to South Africa, though that victory was against the Cheetahs in Round 13, 2014. The Force have the best goal kicking conversion rate (90 percent) of any side in Super Rugby this season. Sergeal Petersen (63 carries) has made an average gain of 11.5 metres per carry, the most of any player in the competition who has made more than 10 carries. It will be closely contested encounter, with the Cheetahs sneaking a late winner - by five points.


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 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 George Whitehead, 23 William Small-Smith.

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett–Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Solomoni Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Harry Scoble, 1 Pek Cowan (captain).
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Rory Walton, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Semisi Masirewa.

Referee: Kubo Shuhei (Japan)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Lions coach Johan Ackermann said the biggest positive for his team, going into the day's biggest derby, is that their destiny is still in their own hands.

They top the combined Africa One and Two conference table and even if they lose, they will remain at the top of those standings.

However, the Lions are determined to get back on the heights they were on before the June break.

Apart from captain Warren Whiteley - whose season came to an abrupt end when he injured his shoulder against Ireland - Ackermann was able to call on all his Springboks and South African A team players.

"We had to manage the players that came back, but they slotted back in pretty quickly," the coach said.

"What they achieved [to play for the Boks and the South African A team] was great, but they have a big job to do on Saturday.

"Hopefully everybody's heads are in the right space on Saturday," Ackermann said, adding that as it is a home game, it is vital to win and get the momentum back from where they left off before June.

"We know it will be a massive challenge. The Sharks beat the Hurricanes, who gave us a hiding. The Sharks are still one of the top teams in South Africa and it won't be necessary for me to tell the players how important this game is."

Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold said they hope to "ask some questions" of the Lions, whom he described as a "fantastic" team.

"We have a huge amount of respect for them," Gold said of the table-topping Lions.

"We know how good they are with ball in hand and the questions they ask on defence.

"We want to focus our attention on our own game and our players have returned to training in high spirits with renewed energy and focus.

"It is important for us to utilise our opportunities and ask questions of our own. The set-piece battle is going to be important and it will lay the foundation for us to launch our attacks off.

"It's crunch time in the competition and we are looking forward to the challenge of playing an in-form Lions team. We remain committed to improving from where we left off before the June break."

Recent results:
2016: Lions won 24-9, Durban
2015: Lions won 23-21, Johannesburg
2015: Sharks won 29-12, Durban
2014: Sharks won 25-12, Johannesburg
2014: Sharks won 37-23, Durban
2012: Lions won 38-28, Johannesburg
2012: Sharks won 32-20, Durban

Prediction: The last six games between these sides have seen both pick up three victories, only one of those games has seen a single digit margin of victory however. The Lions have won their last three games each by a margin of 28 points or more, the last time they won more games in succession was in Round 11, 2015 (five games). Not since the opening round of the 2016 campaign has a Sharks away fixture been decided by more than five points. The Sharks have conceded an average of only 7.4 clean breaks per game, the fewest of any team, though they face a Lions team which averages more clean breaks (11.8) than any other South African team. The Lions are only three first-half points away from becoming the first team this season to have scored 200 points in each stanza (197 points in first half, 222 points in second half). It is a tough call, but the Lions may have just too much class and a couple of scored in the second half could see the winning margin creep into double digits.


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 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 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Jon-Paul Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Garth April, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Rhyno Smith, 23 Sibusiso Sithole.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Pro Legoete
TMO: Johan Greeff

The Southern Kings promised the Highlanders that they would give them a "run for their money" on Saturday.

Kings coach Deon Davids said their return to Super Rugby has made 2016 a very special year and they are going to "give it a full go" in the last three matches of the season.

"We want to go out there and give everything we have," Davids said, adding: "No doubt the guys will pitch up on Saturday.

"After this match we then go into two tough games - against the Lions at Ellis Park next Friday and the Stormers at Newlands.

"We all understand what awaits us. We've faced a lot of challenges this year and I feel the players stood up in the face of those challenges."

Even though the Highlanders arrived in South Africa without five All Blacks, Davids does not see that as a sign of disrespect.

"They have their own reasons why they did not select their All Blacks, but for us it is all about this [the Kings] team."

Highlanders back Marty Banks also dismissed the notion that the Highlanders are disrespecting a Kings team stuck at the bottom of the table.

"There is no complacency issue around with not having the All Blacks," Banks told the Otago Daily Times.

"There is a new leadership group with the team and they are setting the standards for the team,'' Banks added.

"We want to put in a good performance and be in a good place when they [All Blacks] come back in.''

Previous result:
2013: Kings won 34-27, Port Elizabeth

Prediction: The Kinds earned a 34-27 victory in the last and only time they faced the Highlanders in Super Rugby (Round 13, 2013). A 29-22 win over the Jaguares in their last fixture means that the Kings have a shot at back-to-back wins for the first time in Super Rugby history. A 45-24 victory against the Cheetahs in Round 14 means that the Highlanders will be looking for consecutive wins in South Africa for the first time in over a decade (Round Four, 2006). The Highlanders have conceded only two tries after conceding a turnover so far this season, the equal fewest of any team while the Kings have conceded 17 from the same method, the second most. Cyril-John Velleman has won 17 turnovers this campaign, the most of any South African player and the equal second most of any player in the league. The Highlanders have too much dept and even without their All Blacks should win by 15 points.


Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Cyril-John Velleman, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Sithembiso Sithole, 18 Justin Ackerman, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu.

Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Jack Wilson, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Ryan Tongia, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Te Aihe Toma, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Shane Christie (captain), 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Mark Reddish, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23. Patrick Osborne.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), Rodney Boneparte (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Discipline is going to be key for the Bulls if they are to achieve their goal and keep their play-off dream alive.

The Jaguares have been the most carded (nine yellow and two red) and penalised team in Super Rugby.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais admitted that his team is facing a massive challenge against a near international team.

However, if they put pressure on the Argentineans and force them into errors, that infamous Latin temperament may come to the fore and result in penalties.

"I know they have disciplinary issues," Marais said.

"I hope that Craig [Joubert, the referee] sees that as well.

"They've had some disciplinary issues throughout the season and the past weekend [Argentina's national side] against France they again had some issues."

"Hopefully we can capitalise on their ill discipline.

"However, I am more concerned about what we need to do.

"We know we can't just score from mauls and our intensity needs to improve.

"We also expect it to be a match where the breakdowns are heavily contested, that is why I included Roelof [Smit] in the squad.

"We have Roelof and Lappies [Pieter Labuschagne] who can play towards the [ball on the] ground - that is going to be crucial for us."

The Bulls, who left South Africa on Wednesday, have to overcome a 22-hour marathon trip from Pretoria to Buenos Aires.

They were 12 hours in the plane from South Africa to Sao Palo in Brazil, where they had a five-hour lay-over and then another five-hour flight to Buenos Aires.

Recent results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: The Bulls are the only South African team that the Jaguares are yet to play against, though it's against South African teams that the Argentinian side have earned both of their Super Rugby wins. The Jaguares have won only one of four Super Rugby games on home soil, though they've never lost such a game by more than five points. The Bulls have won only two of their last 15 games outside South Africa, though nine of those 13 losses were by seven points or fewer. The Bulls have missed just 14.8 tackles per game this season, the fewest of any team, and boast the best tackle success rate (88 percent) in Super Rugby 2016. Nicolas Sanchez has scored 45.4 percent (64/141) of the Jaguares' points in their last four fixtures, including 17 points in each of his last two appearances. The Jaguares seem to be easily distracted and the Bulls have a real chance of recording an important away win. However, the margin will be in single digits.


Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Matias Orlando, 23 Lucas Gonzales Amorosino.

Bulls: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Pieter Labuschagne (captain), 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Jannes Kirsten, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Dries Swanepoel, 23 Werner Kruger.

Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi, Juan Sylvestre
TMO: Santiago Borsani


Compiled by Jan de Koning


* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article waratahs v sunwolves result 800

Waratahs too hot for Sunwolves

Sat, 02 Jul 2016 06:56

REPORT: The Waratahs displayed an attacking masterclass as they ran in nine tries to dominate the Sunwolves 57-12 in Tokyo on Saturday.

The Sydney-based franchise kept their hosts scoreless in the second half, running in 31 points of their own to remain in touch with the Brumbies at the top of the Australian conference.

Perfect conditions greeted the players and immediately, both sides showed their hand as they looked to run the ball at every opportunity. The Sunwolves enjoyed a lengthy spell inside the Waratahs' 22 but handling errors cost them valuable momentum.

The Waratahs would make them pay for that though and were first on the board when they launched an attack from their 22. Rob Horne went on a blistering run through the Sunwolves' defence. He stepped past Riaan Viljoen before finding Will Skelton in support.

He then threw an offload to find Michael Hooper, who unselfishly handed the ball to Matt Lucas for the opening try. Bernard Foley added the extras to hand the visitors a 7-0 lead after 11 minutes.

The Sunwolves remained resolute and went back on the attack as they pinned the Waratahs inside their 22 once again. The sustained pressure eventually told as Will Skelton was penalised for a high tackle. Flyhalf Yu Tamura stepped up to slot the kick and put the home side on the board in the 21st minute.

Two minutes later and the Sunwolves were within a point as Viljoen showed his enormous boot by slotting a 57 metre penalty. Things were going the Sunwolves way as Taqele Naiyaravoro was shown a dubious yellow card for a "cynical late charge" on Yasutaka Sasakura in the 25th minute.

Tamura slotted the resulting penalty to hand the home side a 9-7 lead. However, that lead would be short lived though as the Waratahs hit back through a Jack Dempsey try after they attacked the first channel.

Foley switched the play to the left and quick hands by Israel Folau put Dempsey away for the score. Foley added the extras to hand the Waratahs a 14-9 lead after 29 minutes. The Sunwolves hit back with another Tamura penalty a minute later after the visitors were caught in an offside position inside their 22 as a result of a mistake which handed the home side the possession.

The scoreboard ticked over a few minutes later as Folau was again in the thick of things. He collected a loose ball close to the halfway line and broke through the Sunwolves' defence, beating four defenders in the process to grab a deserved try. Foley added the extras and the Waratahs led 21-12 after 36 minutes.

The visitors finished the half with another try through fullback Andrew Kellaway. A strong driving maul led to a set play from the backline. Kellaway got his hands on the ball and bounced off three defenders to score in the corner. Foley failed to add the extras but the Waratahs led 26-12 at the break.

The visitors picked up where they left off after the restart as wing Reece Robinson grabbed two tries in as many minutes within eight minutes of the restart.

First, the Waratahs got a powerful rolling maul going that got them to the Sunwolves' five metre line. The ball was recycled and flung left into the hands of Robinson, who went over in the corner. Then, Foley handed Tatafu Polota-Nau a beautiful pass that saw the hooker cut the line and offload to Robinson.

Foley added both conversions as the Waratahs led 40-12 after 49 minutes.

It would take a further 10 minutes before the Waratahs would get their seventh try of the match after a quick tap penalty. Dempsey burst through, offloaded to David Horwitz, who popped it to Lucas on the inside for his double. David Horwitz added the extras to 47-12 after 59 minutes.

A minute later, replacement Matt Carraro got into the action with his first touch of the ball as he benefitted from an offload to canter over. Horwitz failed to add the extras. It then took the Waratahs a further 11 minutes to register their ninth try of the match.

Another powerful maul was set and made some metres before Nick Phipps probed down the blind side. He got the pass away to Naiyaravoro who bounced Sasakura to score in the corner. Horwitz missed another conversion but the visitors had a 57-12 lead with seven minutes remaining.

The Sunwolves continued to press for second half points but it was not meant to be as they suffered their 11th defeat.

Man of the match: With perfect conditions, it was always going to be the backline players who would stand out. Riaan Viljoen remains one of the best Sunwolves players while Yu Tamura will be pleased with his role at pivot. Derek Carpenter was the best player for the home side as he carried strongly and cause the Waratahs some headaches. Will Skelton and Jack Dempsey kept the Waratahs' engine going while Tatafu Polota-Nau displayed more than just brute force. Israel Folau and Rob Horne were sublime with ball in hand, however, our vote goes to a nippy player who took his chance in the starting XV and controlled the game brilliantly - scrumhalf Matt Lucas.


For Sunwolves:
Pens: Tamura 3, Viljoen

For Waratahs:
Tries: Lucas 2, Dempsey, Folau, Kellaway, Robinson 2, Carraro, Naiyaravoro
Cons: Foley 5, Horwitz

Yellow card: Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs, cynical play - late charge, 25)


Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Mifiposeti Paea, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Edward Quirk, 7 Taiyo Ando, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Naohiro Kotaki, 4 Faatiga Lemalu, 3 Shinnosuke Katinaga, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Futoshi Mori, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Shokel Kin, 21 Yuki Yatomi 22 Ryohei Yamanaka, 23 Hajime Yamashita.

Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Dave Dennis, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan.       
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Matt Carraro.

Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Aki Aso (Japan), Noriaki Hashimoto (Japan)
TMO: Takashi Hareda (Japan)

Matt Lucas (10min), Jack Dempsey (28min), Israel Folau (34min), Andrew Kellaway (38min), Reece Robinson (43min), Reece Robinson (45min), Matt Lucas (58min), Matt Carraro (60min), and Taqele . Naiyaravoro (71min)
Bernard Foley (11min), Bernard Foley (29min), Bernard Foley (35min), Bernard Foley (44min), Bernard Foley (46min), and David Horwitz (59min)
Yu Tamura (21min), Riaan Viljoen (23min), Yu Tamura (25min), and Yu Tamura (31min)
Taqele . Naiyaravoro (24min)
REFEREE Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)