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Super Rugby | Melbourne
09:40 (GMT) | 02-07-2016
  • 80
Full-Time! The conversion is good! Thank you for joining for this match be sure to join us for the next game as the Cheetahs take on the Force!
  • 79
Rebels attacking from deep but without much venom as the Stormers turn the ball over and look for the bonus point try. TMO in action for a shoulder charge. Penalty to the Stormers , they kick for touch to set up the lineout 10 meters from the Rebels line. Ntubeni finds his jumper and the maul is set and Scarra Ntubeni scores!!!!!!!!!!!! What a performance by the visitors!
  • 77
Kick off does not go ten meters from Hodge , scrum Stormers midfield.
  • 76
Du Plessis converts the try
  • 75
Interception! Zas like a thief in the night makes the interception and scores under the posts for the Stormers!
  • 74
Rebels on the attack from their own 22 . Stormers smashing the home side backwards in attack.
  • 73
Stormers on the attack through De Allende again. He has had a good game.
  • 72
Snowden has a go from a quick tapped penalty. Stormers defend as if their lives depend on it and force the mistake as Reid loses the ball and Notshe clears the ball into touch.
  • 71
Rebels bashing at the Stormers defense as McMahon gets close. Tuipolotu has a crack, then Smith, then Retallick. The Rebels also have the penalty advantage.
  • 68
Kick put through from the Rebels and its judged that Zas carried the ball back. Five meter scrum to the Rebels, can they strike back?
  • 67
Du Plessis adds the extras
  • 66
Couple kicks back and forth before Taute pins his ears back followed by Notshe who does some fantastic stuff by breaking the line and passing to De Allende who scores a magnificent try !
  • 65
Du Plessis pulls his conversion attempt to the right hand side of the sticks
  • 64
Groom scores for the Stormers! Reward for the dominant scrum! Good play from the visitors
  • 62
Stormers opt to set the scrum 5 meters from the Rebels try line . Groom feeds and the Stormers destroy the Rebels pack again and win the penalty. Again the visitors opt to scrum .
  • 61
Stormers continue to bash at the line and are awarded the penalty for collapsing the maul . Yellow card shown to Fuglistaller
  • 60
Stormers on the attack inside the Rebels half before a kick by Taute rolls into touch but it came off a Rebels player so it will be a Stormers throw in inside the Rebels 22. Ntubeni finds Etzebeth and the maul is set.
  • 59
Debreczeni converts the try
  • 58
English busts through the Stormers line and offloads to Debreczeni who scores under the posts! Try time!
  • 57
From the restart the Rebels turn the ball over and are on the attack near the Stormers 22 .
  • 56
Du Plessis pulls his conversion attempt
  • 54
Stormers steal the lineout 5 meters from the Rebels line and Etzebeth crashes over! Exciting game we have here!
  • 53
Stormers on the attack inside the Rebels 22. They are also awarded the penalty and Du Plessis will have a shot at goal from in front. He lines up his kick and chips it through the middle. Stormers ahead once again.
  • 52
Debreczeni converts the try as the Rebels take the lead
  • 51
Rebels will not give up, they swing the ball to Placid who looks to have scored in the corner! TMO in action again, it is judged to be a TRY!
  • 50
Rebels 5 meters from the Stormers line . Hanson has a run then McMahon, then Smith. Relentless waves of attack from the home side .
  • 49
Rebels scrum inside the Stormers territory. Into the 22 the Rebels go as English makes a good run.
  • 47
Fantastic play from the Rebels as Naivalu crosses the line in the corner. TMO in action, it is judged to be no try as the players foot went into touch, Stormers lineout 5 meters from their own line.
  • 46
Stormers win the ball on a Rebels throw , De Allende has a run midfield followed by Kebble and Du Toit, Rebels rip the ball away and Debreczeni clears the ball up field. De Allende then clears the ball into touch . Rebels lineout outside the Stormers 22.
  • 45
Couple kicks by both sides before English puts his head down for the Rebels and has a go. Ball is turned over by the Stormers and they attack through Van Wyk who makes his way into the Rebels 22. Stormers also win the penalty. TMO in action for a potential neck roll by one of the Stormers players. Penalty is reversed so the Rebels get the penalty and opt to kick for touch.
  • 43
Mbonambi fails to find his jumper again as the Rebels attack inside the Stormers 22. Debreczeni fumbles the ball and Groom picks the ball up and clears it all the way up to the Rebels 22. Zas dives on the player on the ground and the ref awards the Rebels the penalty.
  • 42
Burger does well from the kick off followed by Groom clearing the ball . The Rebels then attack through Naivalu, Hansen and Fuglistaller. Stormers defending well as they flood the ruck and are able to hack the ball through . The ball rolls out on the Rebels 22.
  • 41
Second half underway. Hodge kicks off

Half Time

  • 40
Halftime! See you all in a bit for the second half. Stormers looking good, Rebels still in the match. The second half should be a cracker
  • 39
Another tighthead from the Stormers, they attack through De Allende, Du Toit and Du Plessis who attempts the magic offload but the ball is lost forward so the Rebels have the put-in.... Question is..... Do they even want a scrum put in??? Total domination this half
  • 38
Du Plessis penalized for an illegal kick off so the ref blows for a Rebels scrum on the halfway. Couple of handbags being throw with usual suspect Eben Etzebeth stuck in the thick of things .
  • 37
Debreczeni lands the penalty
  • 36
Stormers penalized for holding on near the halfway line. Debreczeni will have a long range penalty attempt from about 45 meters out.
  • 35
Stormers on the attack through Daniel Du Plessis and De Allende before a kick is put through that goes out on the full. Rebels lineout inside the Stormers half.
  • 34
Du Plessis adds the extras
  • 33
Stormers still bashing at the defense as De Allende has a run followed by a great line from Koch who bashes over for the try!
  • 32
Stormers steal the ball at the lineout and attack wide through Du Plessis , then Kebble, then Etzebeth. Good build up play from the visitors.
  • 31
Du Plessis puts in a lovely kick that rolls into touch inside the Rebels 22.
  • 29
Scrum for the Stormers on the halfway line for the Rebels players being in front of the kicker. Scrum demolition so far so the Rebels put on Laurie Weeks hoping to stop the domination of the Rebels at scrum time.
  • 26
Stormers demolish the Rebels scrum once again and win the penalty. Du Plessis will have a shot at goal to take the lead. He strikes the ball well and it sails through the middle.
  • 25
Meehan feeds the scrum and Stormers get another tighthead. De Allende gets smashed midfield but offloads , solid defense from the Rebels as Mbonambi loses the ball forward. Scrum Rebels. They have been struggling in that department so far.
  • 24
Mbonambi finds Du Toit and Stormers set the maul before De Allende has a run midfield. Up to the Rebels 22 go the visitors before Carr loses the ball forward. Scrum Rebels.
  • 23
Groom feeds the scrum and the Stormers demolish them and are awarded the penalty. Du Plessis kicks for touch to set up the lineout in the Rebels half
  • 22
Stormers lose the ball at the lineout and the Rebels attack wide through English. Faingaa then has a run but loses the ball forward. Scrum Stormers
  • 21
Placid has a run from the back for the Rebels but gets tackled into touch by Zas. Stormers lineout near the halfway line.
  • 20
Du Plessis adds the extras
  • 18
Stormers on the attack through Van Wyk and Taute. Groom plays Carr and then Du Plessis puts in a cheeky kick , regathers the ball and scores the try!!!!!!!!
  • 17
Debreczeni adds the extras
  • 16
Meehan has a sniping run for the Rebels and thinks he has scored in the corner. TMO called into action. It is judged to be a try !
  • 15
Stormers lineout on their own 22. Mbonambi finds his jumper in Etzebeth and Du Plessis clears the ball up field to Hodge who runs it back at the visitors.
  • 14
Rebels still bashing at the Stormers defense , the visitors defensive line holds strong.
  • 13
Rebels on the attack as Reid makes a strong run followed by Faingaa, Inman and McMahon. Up to the 22 the Rebels go
  • 12
Du Plessis lands the penalty
  • 11
Stormers on the attack as Du Toit makes a strong run up to the Rebels 22. Stormers awarded the penalty. Du Plessis will have another shot at goal
  • 9
Debreczeni adds the extras
  • 8
Great set piece sees English bust through and play Naivalu who crosses the line for the try!!!!!
  • 7
Rebels still bashing at the Stormers defence as Inman has a run and then Hodge who gets the ball ripped away from him and the Stormers gain possession. Du Plessis clears the ball into touch. Rebels lineout about 30 meters out.
  • 6
Tighthead! The Stormers destroy the Rebels pack and du Plessis clears the ball up field, Rebels attack from deep through Placid who breaks the line, Rebels up to the Stormers 22.
  • 5
Scrum Rebels on the Stormers 22 for a poor restart from du Plessis.
  • 4
Taute clears the ball into touch and the Rebels have the lineout throw just outside the Stormers 22. They win the penalty and opt to have a shot at goal to level things up. Debreczeni lines up his kick, strikes the ball well but its away to the right. 22 dropout for the Stormers
  • 2
Stormers on the attack straight from the kick off. Du Toit has a run then Etzebeth, they also have the penalty advantage. The attack comes to nothing and the ref blows for the penalty. du Plessis will have a shot at goal. He strikes the ball through the middle! Great start from the visitors
  • 1
First half underway! Du Plessis kicks off for the Stormers
  • -5
Almost time for this game to get underway, it should be a cracker!
  • -10
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.
  • -15
Apart from the Stormers, the Rebels face the Crusaders and Reds in their final run-in.
  • -20
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.
  • -25
Rebels have made just two changes to the starting line-up that defeated the Western Force. Ben Meehan will replace the injured Nic Stirzaker. Jonah Placid will start on the right-wing as Sefa Naivalu shifts to outside centre.
  • -30
Welcome to Rugby365 as we give the live coverage of the Super Rugby match between Melbourne Rebels and Stormers at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
Mc rebels logo 80x50
Mc stormers logo 80x50
  • 1 Cruze Ah-Nau
  • 2 James Hanson
  • 3 Toby Smith
  • 4 Luke Jones
  • 5 Lopeti Timani
  • 6 Jordy Reid
  • 7 Sean McMahon
  • 8 Colby Faingaa
  • 9 Ben Meehan
  • 10 Jack Debreczeni
  • 11 Tom English
  • 12 Reece Hodge
  • 13 Sefanaia Naivalu
  • 14 Jonah Placid
  • 15 Mike Harris
  • 16 Pat Leafa
  • 17 Tom Moloney
  • 18 Laurie Weeks
  • 19 Culum Retallick
  • 20 Scott Fuglistaller
  • 21 Mick Snowden
  • 22 Mitch Inman
  • 23 Paul Asquith
  • 1 Oliver Kebble
  • 2 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 3 Vincent Koch
  • 4 Eben Etzebeth
  • 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit
  • 6 Nizaam Carr
  • 7 Siya Kolisi
  • 8 Schalk Burger
  • 9 Nic Groom
  • 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis
  • 11 Leolin Zas
  • 12 Damian de Allende
  • 13 Daniel du Plessis
  • 14 Jacobus Van Wyk
  • 15 Jaco Taute
  • 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni
  • 17 Alistair Vermaak
  • 18 Jean-Pierre Smith
  • 19 JD Schickerling
  • 20 Rynhardt Elstadt
  • 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 22 Louis Schrueder
  • 23 Scott van Breda
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 rebels v stormers full time 800

Stormers finish strong against Rebels

Sat, 02 Jul 2016 12:00

REPORT: The Stormers ran in seven tries to claim an emphatic 57-31 victory over the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday as they pressed home a six-point half-time advantage.

It may have been a scrappy affair in the first half but a strong second half showing helped the Cape franchise outscore their hosts, who managed four tries of their own.

The Stormers regained possession from the kick-off and kept the Rebels in their own 22. They were rewarded for their pressure as the Rebels were caught offside and registered the first points through the boot of Jean-Luc du Plessis.

The Rebels hit back when Ben Meehan shifted the ball to Jack Debreczeni. The flyhalf made a nice break and gave a flat pass to Sefa Naivalu, who ran passed two defenders to score the first try of the match. Debreczeni made no mistake with the extras, giving the home side a 7-3 lead in the 10th minute.

JL Du Plessis brought the Stormers back to within a point through a second successful penalty.

Rebels' second try was scored through a turnover, the Stormers kept the ball up but failed to look at the Ben Meehan. The slick scrumhalf opted to go down the blindside and scored in the corner. Debreczeni added the extras and the Rebels led 14-6.

The Stormers grabbed a try of their own soon after, in a somewhat fortunate fashion. JL du Plessis placed a cross kick intended for Daniel du Plessis, the bounce of the ball favoured JL du Plessis though and the flyhalf grabbed the score before converting his own try.

In the 27th minute, the Rebels' scrum gave away another penalty and JL du Plessis stepped up and slotted it over to hand the visitors a 16-14 lead.

The Stormers' second try was not far off as prop Vincent Koch  bashed his way over, following a dominant rolling maul. JL du Plessis had no problem converting the easy kick and extended the lead to 23-14 in the 33rd minute.

Debreczeni punished the Stormers with a late penalty of his own to trail the Stormers 17-23 at the break.

The Rebels placed an enormous amount of pressure on the Stormers in the opening minutes of the second half and found reward through a Jonah Placid try. Neat interplay between several Rebels players saw the wing go over. Debreczeni adds the extras to hand the Rebels a 24-23 lead.

JL du Plessis' boot regained the lead for the Stormers with another successful penalty. That lead was stretched when Eben Etzebeth bashed his over the line following a powerful maul. 31-24 to the Stormers.

The Rebels hit back in the 59th minute as a lapse in concentration by the Stormers allowed Jack English to break through a massive gap. His offload found Debreczeni who grabs a try under the poles. Debreczeni added the easy kick to level matters at 31-31.

There was bound to be some tensions and Scott Fuglistaller was given his marching orders for collapsing a Stormers maul on the Rebels' five meter line. From the resulting scrum, Schalk Burger broke off the back before giving a little pass to Nic Groom, who gave his team a 36-31 lead again.

Just minutes later, Sikhumbuzo Notshe made a huge difference with a nice line break, before being brought down on the Rebels' 10 meter line. He offloaded to Damian de Allende, who got his name on the scoresheet. JL du Plessis' conversion ensured the lead was stretched to 43-31 with 10 minutes remaining.

With less than five minutes to go, Leolin Zas picked up a poor Rebels pass on the Stormers' 10 meter line. The young wing then ran in unopposed to grab the Stormers' sixth try. JL du Plessis' easy conversion brought up 50 points for the visitors.

The Stormers secured their bonus point after the final hooter when replacement hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni benefitted from another successful maul. JL du Plessis brought the match to an end with a successful conversion from the sideline.

Man of the Match: Tom English proved difficult to handle after making plenty of line breaks while Jack Debreczeni was central to his team's attacks. Eben Etzebeth was his big, bruising self. However, the young Jean-Luc du Plessis put in another high quality performance and gets our nod.


For Rebels:
Tries: Naivalu, Meehan, Placid, Debreczeni
Cons: Debreczeni 4
Pen: Debreczeni

For Stormers:
Tries: JL du Plessis, Koch,  Etzebeth, Groom, de Allende, Zas, Ntubeni
Cons: JL du Plessis 5
Pens: JL du Plessis 4


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)

Sefanaia Naivalu (8min), Ben Meehan (16min), Jonah Placid (51min), and Jack Debreczeni (58min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (18min), Vincent Koch (33min), Eben Etzebeth (54min), Nic Groom (64min), Damian de Allende (66min), Leolin Zas (75min), and Siyabonga Ntubeni (79min)
Jack Debreczeni (9min), Jack Debreczeni (17min), Jack Debreczeni (52min), and Jack Debreczeni (59min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (20min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (34min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (67min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (76min), and Jean-Luc du Plessis (80min)
Jack Debreczeni (37min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (2min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (12min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (26min), and Jean-Luc du Plessis (53min)
Scott Fuglistaller (61min)
VENUE Melbourne
REFEREE Angus Gardner (Australia)