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Super Rugby | Bloemfontein
13:00 (GMT) | 02-07-2016
  • 81
Thanks for joining us, be sure to catch us for next game between Lions and Sharks.
  • 80
Force on the attack, but Cheetahs defense holds firm as they defend the one point lead. Force attack goes beyond 23 phases, but the Cheetahs defense is not letting up. Finally a Force knock-on, to the huge delight of the home supporters. Cheetahs record a hard-fought 30-29 win.
  • 78
Peter Grant fall short with his shot at goal, and Cheetahs boots the ball downfield.
  • 77
Force on the attack, but losses the ball in a knock-on. Cheetahs make good meter to relieve the pressure. Penalty awarded to Force, as Cheetahs holds-on on the ground.
  • 76
Cheetahs get a penalty on the Force 10 meter line. Fred Zeilinga slots the penalty, and hands the Cheetahs a one point lead. Score 30-29.
  • 75
Cheetahs on the attack again, as they try to get the lead back with 5 minutes to go.
  • 73
Force gets penalised for a high tackle. Cheetahs goes for touch. They give away the ball on attack, and Force kicks the ball downfield for some much needed relief.
  • 72
Grants slots another penalty for 46 meters out. Force now takes a 2 points lead.
  • 71
Heading into the last 10 minutes, there's only one point in it.
  • 68
Grant slot the penalty to bring the score to 27-26.
  • 68
Penalty Force. Ox Nche give away a penalty. Grant will take shot to goal.
  • 67
Force scrum just outside their 22 meter line, and plays the ball through the hands into the Cheetahs half.
  • 66
Force attacks via Dane Haylett–Petty, but he losses the ball in contact.
  • 65
Grant missed the conversion, score remains 27-23 to the home side.
  • 64
Force attacks from the base of the scrum, kicks the ball through, and Dane Haylett–Petty collects to dot down in the corner.
  • 62
Force scrum on their own 10 meter line, as Cheetahs knocks-on again.
  • 61
Good carry from Mohoje. Blommetjies get shuffled out the line for a Force line-out.
  • 60
Cheetahs boots the ball downfield, and wins a line-out just outside the Force 22.
  • 59
Lots of play happening between the two 10 meter lines at the moment.
  • 58
Cheetahs runs the ball out of their on 22 meter line, but knocks-on on the halfway line.
  • 57
Force bring on some fresh legs to try and salvage the game.
  • 56
Cheetahs knocks the ball, and Force gets some much needed relief of the boot.
  • 55
Cheetahs on the attack on the Force 22 meter line. Force defense hold firm for the moment.
  • 54
Ian Prior slots over the the angle.
  • 53
Force on the attack, and wins a penalty just outside the Cheetahs 22 meter line. They will try to go for the points.
  • 52
Cheetahs kicks deep from the restart, but Force runs the ball of their half.
  • 50
Conversion is missed by Prior
  • 49
Force scrum on the Cheetahs 5 meter line, but concedes a penalty for delaying the throw-in. Cheetahs fails to find touch, and Dane Haylett–Petty breaks the line to score a good try.
  • 47
Force find attacking opportunity off the base of the scrum, ball is booted deep into Cheetahs half.
  • 45
Cheetahs doing all the attack at the moment, but lose the ball in maul. Scrum Force.
  • 44
Cheetahs on the attack, wins a penalty on the halfway line. They kick for territory. Attacking line-out on 22m line.
  • 42
Cheetahs shifts the ball from sided to side, but knocks-on close to the halfway line. Scrum Force.
  • 41
Jono Lance get the game on the way. Cheetahs runs the ball out of their own half.

Half Time

  • 39
Cheetahs opt to kick to poles and Zelinger adds the last points of the first half, 27-10 to the Cheetahs!!!
  • 38
Force scrum near the Force's 10 meter. Scrum is reset. Force retain the ball they got number out on the wide and kicks it downfield. Blommetjies collects it and pass to Rhule who makes a run and wins a penalty for his team. Cheetahs opt to kick to touch and wins the lineout, they are inside the Force's 22 with an advantage.
  • 37
Ball is available to Force. Brache hoist the kick but just as far as Blommetjies who returns the favour. Rhule with a break but a great tackle by the Force prevents a potential try.
  • 35
We reaching the last five minutes of the match. Force would want to keep the defense really tight, it is a lineout to the Cheetahs on the Force's 10 meter line.
  • 32
This time Zelinger adds the extras 24-10!
  • 31
Cassiem with a nice break and he is looking for support in Teboho Mohoje and their shift it wide and Sergeal Petersen with a nice break adds his name to teh score sheet
  • 30
Another miss for Zelinger, score remains 17-10!!!
  • 29
From the line-out the Cheetahs are building the maul, they making some meters and Clayton Blommethies goes around his men and scores a try, 17-10 to the homeside.
  • 27
Ian Prior with a difficult but his ball shift in and slots it over, to put his team in double figures.
  • 26
Dane Haylett–Petty makes a nice run, but gets tackle it is still there for the Force. Angus Cottrell make some meters but is short and Kyle Godwin goes down for the try!!!
  • 24
From the restart its a Cheetahs' scrum inside their own half. Cheetahs retain the ball and shifts it wide with a few passes to the wing.
  • 23
Zelinger fails to add the extras!! score remains 12-3!!
  • 22
Cheetahs are on the attack, Carl Wegner with a nice break., he pops it to Zelinger who gets tackled just meters short. Cheetahs reshuffles attack and Uzair Cassiem goes over in the corner for the second try.
  • 21
Tetera Faulkner leaves the field! that will be his last action of the match!
  • 20
Cheetahs making some nice meters, a nice inside to Michael van der Spuy but a huge tackle by Dane Haylett–Petty awards the Force a penalty.
  • 19
Cheetahs overpower the scrum and Pietersen kicks it down field, but its collected by the Force.
  • 17
The scrum is again reset. Its a Force's scrum on the Cheetahs' 22. Its an ideal position for the visitors to maybe add some points.
  • 15
Just after conceding the try the Force is again inside the Cheetahs' half.
  • 13
Slots its over its 7-3 to the home side!!!
  • 12
A scrum reset on the on the Force's 5 meter. Advantage to the Cheetahs and Sergeal Petersen with a nice break but is tackled by the Force. Paul Schoeman with a burst goes down to score the first try.
  • 9
Great work by the Force, and its a turnover ball. The Force is on the attack. They have just manage to break through the Cheetahs' 50 meter line. Force hoist it in the air and Blommetjies with the mark. He gives a great kick which results in a lineout inside the Force's 22.
  • 7
So far the teams are challenging each other, Force has a scrum, the Ref gives them a penalty and their opt to run is quick. Referee goes back to go check the tackle by Retshegofaditswe Nche on Jono Lance and its ruled a dangerous tackle. Ian Prior steps up to slots over the first points on the board., 3-0 to the Force.
  • 5
Line-out on the Force's 10 meter line. Cheetahs shifts it wide to Sergeal Petersen, his kick is just too strong and goes behind the Force's tryline.
  • 4
Another scrum this time inside the Cheetahs' 22. Pick and drive by the Cheetahs, Fred Zeilinga with the clearance, but just as far as Dane Haylett–Petty.
  • 3
The ball is lost forward by the Cheetahs, its a scrum near Cheetahs' 22 in the middle of the field. Powerfull scrum by the Cheetahs but the Force regain it.
  • 1
Clayton Blommetjies gets the game underway. Its a pleasant start from the homeside as their build up some momentum inside Force's half with a nice drive. Penalty awarded to the Force, they have time to kick it to touch but fails to get out of their own half.
  • -3
Referee of the match is Kubo Shuhei (Japan). Assistant referees are AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa) and TMO is Willie Vos (South Africa)
  • -5
Nice sunny weather conditions as the teams make their last preparations respectively. The match marked Raymond Rhule who makes his 50th appearance for Cheetahs.
  • -10
For the last five encounters between the two teams, the South African side have had the upper-hand winning four of the five matches. The Force last victory against the Cheetahs was in 2014.
  • -15
Despite being without De Jager and Marias, Cheetahs coach Franco Smith do fancy his team's chances but do realize that they have to be more accurate on attack and more clinical at the breakdown.
  • -20
Playmaker Jono Lance will start at flyhalf for the Western Force, while Tetera Faulkner will start at tighthead, Angus Cottrell replaces the injured Ben McCalman in the No.8 jersey, Ian Prior steps in at scrumhalf while Junior Rasolea will run on at outside centre.
  • -25
Cheetahs will be taking on the Western Force without Springbok Lood de Jager, while Retshegofaditswe Nche will be replacing Charles Marais at loosehead prop. Joseph Dweba will be making his Super Rugby debut.
  • -30
Welcome to the live coverage of the Super Rugby match between Cheetahs and Western Force at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
Mc western force logo 80x50
  • 1 Ox Nche
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 3 Maks van Dyk
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 6 Paul Schoeman
  • 7 Teboho Mohoje
  • 8 Uzair Cassiem
  • 9 Tian Meyer
  • 10 Fred Zeilinga
  • 11 Raymond Rhule
  • 12 Michael van der Spuy
  • 13 Francois Venter
  • 14 Sergeal Petersen
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 16 Joeseph Dweba
  • 17 Luan De Bruin
  • 18 Johannes Coetzee
  • 19 Reniel Hugo
  • 20 Henco Venter
  • 21 Shaun Venter
  • 22 George Whitehead
  • 23 William Small-Smith
  • 1 Pekahou Cowan
  • 2 Harry Scoble
  • 3 Tetera Faulkner
  • 4 Ross Haylett-Petty
  • 5 Rory Walton
  • 6 Brynard Stander
  • 7 Chris Alcock
  • 8 Angus Cottrell
  • 9 Ian Prior
  • 10 Jonno Lance
  • 11 Marcel Brache
  • 12 Kyle Godwin
  • 13 Solomoni Rasolea
  • 14 Luke Morahan
  • 15 Dane Haylett-Petty
  • 16 Anaru Rangi
  • 17 Francois Van Wyk
  • 18 Guy Millar
  • 19 Matt Phillips
  • 20 Richard Hardwick
  • 21 Ryan Louwrens
  • 22 Peter Grant
  • 23 Semisi Masirewa
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 cheetahs v force match 800

Sloppy Cheetahs hang on for fortuitous win

Sat, 02 Jul 2016 14:58

MATCH REPORT: The Cheetahs managed to hang on for a fortuitous 30-29 Super Rugby win over a hard-charging Western Force in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Despite holding a comfortable 27-10 lead, after an impressive and constructive first half, the Cheetahs lost all shape after the break and allowed the Force to charge back and take the lead with less than 10 minutes to go.

It was two Dane Hayleyy-Petty tries that saw the Australian franchise race back into the game.

However a late Fred Zeilinga penalty regained the lead and then the home team hung on for dear life -0 as the Force threw everything but the kitchen sink at them.

The Cheetahs caught the Force napping in the first half, dominating possession and territory to run in four first half tries to take a 27-10 lead into the break.

Determined to get back into the contest the Force came out firing in the second half with Dane Hayllett-Petty crossing for a double and despite only conceding three points in the second half the visitors couldn't complete the comeback.

Western Force captain Pek Cowan said he was proud of his side's effort to come back but lamented the head start they gave the Cheetahs in the opening half.

"It was a tough contest," he said.

"We came here with 26 guys that really wanted to rip in and put up a performance we could be proud of and I think we did that but just didn't get the result in the end."

"Ultimately that first half is what cost us the game, if we did a few things differently in the first half then it could have been a different outcome. We did really well to come back in the that second half but when it comes down to it the Cheetahs came out with right attitude from the start.

"There are some good things to take out of that game and now we will look to freshen up and get back to Perth for the Stormers next week."

The Western Force opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Jono Lance found himself on the receiving end of a high tackle and Ian Prior stepped up to coolly slot the penalty from 30 out to give the Force an early lead.

The Cheetahs responded through Paul Schoeman who lunged to touch down after Sergeal Petersen broke the line following a Cheetahs five-metre scrum. The successful conversion put the home side ahead 7-3.

With the Force struggling to maintain possession the Cheetahs struck again following a line-break from Carl Wegner before blindside flanker Uzair Cassiem went over in the corner. Fred Zeilinga failed to convert to keep the score at 12-3.

The Force responded just minutes later after a spectacular run from Chris Alcock set up Kyle Godwin to go over in his 50th match for the Force. Prior nailed the conversion to close the gap to 12-10 after 29-minutes.

The home side went straight back on the attack to respond just moments later with a solid rolling maul setting up Clayton Blommetjies who darted downed the right wing to score the Cheetahs third of the contest. Zeilinga again missed wide to keep the score at 17-10.

The punishment continued for the Force with dynamic winger Sergeal Petersen dodging three Force tacklers to cross for the Cheetahs' fourth of the opening half. Zeilinga converted to hand the home side a 14-point buffer.

With time ticking down in the first half the Cheetahs went looking for more points and found them through the boot of Zeilinga who nailed a penalty after the Force infringed at the breakdown to give the Cheetahs a 27-10 lead at the break.

The Force were the first to strike after the halftime interval with Ian Prior taking a quick line-out before Dane Haylett-Petty sliced through the Cheetahs defence to charge 60-metres untouched and score. Prior's conversion struck the upright to leave the score at 27-15.

Feeling the momentum shifting in their favour the Force went straight back on the attack and forced penalty. Prior willing accepted to knock it over and close the gap to nine-points.

Continuing the second half comeback the Force swung the ball to the right wing following a scrum 60 metres from the line to find Semisi Masirewa who burst down the touchline and put in a grubber kick for Dane Haylett-Petty to collect and go over for his double. Peter Grant missed wide to keep the score at 27-23.

With 10 minutes to play the Force continued to rally and earned a penalty allowing Peter Grant to split the middle and close the gap to a solitary point.

Sensing the chance to steal the lead back the Force strung the phases together and forced another penalty at the breakdown. Grant made no mistake to put the Force ahead for the first time since the eighth minute, 29-27.

With less than three minutes on the clock the Force conceded a penalty and Zeilinga added the Cheetahs' first points of the second half to put the home side back in front 30-29.

The Force took the game on in the final minutes playing for the win after the siren by chipping off 30-metres but a failure to secure the ball at the back of the ruck allowed the Cheetahs to pounce and put the ball into touch for a thrilling one point win.

Man of the match: Chris Alcock and Brynard SAtander were the Force's most productive forwards, while Dane Haylett-Petty was solid at the back and his try-double is what got the Force back in the game. Clayton Blommetjies was dangerous on attack, but suspect on defence and his tactical kicking was poor. Francois Venter also asked plenty of questions of the Force's defence. However, Cheetahs flank Paul Schoeman was the most productive player for the winners and gets our award.

The scorers:

For the Cheetahs:
Schoeman, Cassiem, Blommetjies, Petersen
Cons: Zeilinga 2
Pens: Zeilinga 2

For the Western Force:
Godwin, Haylett-Petty 2
Con: Prior
Pens: Prior 2, Grant 2


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 Rory Walton, 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 Matt Phillips, 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)

Paul Schoeman (12min), Uzair Cassiem (22min), Clayton Blommetjies (29min), and Sergeal Petersen (31min)
Kyle Godwin (26min), Dane Haylett-Petty (49min), and Dane Haylett-Petty (64min)
Fred Zeilinga (13min) and Fred Zeilinga (32min)
Ian Prior (27min)
Fred Zeilinga (39min) and Fred Zeilinga (76min)
Ian Prior (7min), Ian Prior (54min), Peter Grant (68min), and Peter Grant (72min)
VENUE Bloemfontein
REFEREE Kubo Shuhei (Japan)