ad link


26     10


Super Rugby | Kings Park, Durban
17:10 (GMT) | 09-07-2016
  • 81
Thank you so much for joining us, please join us later as we bring you the live coverage of the Super Rugby clash between the Jaguares and Highlanders!
  • 80
Cheetahs on the attack and ref gives a penalty advantage to the Cheetahs on the Sharks' 22. Zeilinger cross kick is collected by April who slot it out. Refs comes back for the penalty and Cheetahs opt to kick to touch. Sharks won the line-out, and the ball is kicked out by Chiliboy Ralepelle. That is all the action for this game. Final score 26-10 to the Sharks!!!
  • 78
Cheetahs regain the ball from the line-out. Zeilinger with a nice pass to Rhule. Peterson fails to collect the ball and its a line-out near the Sharks' 22.
  • 76
Its a penalty advantage to the Cheetahs. As Cheetahs are on teh attack inside their onw half, Sharks penalize for being offside. Cheetahs on the attack but Francois Venter is tackled by Mvovo and he lost the ball forward. Some medical attention for Francois Venter and he makes his way off the field for some assessment.
  • 74
Line-out to Cheetahs on their own 22. Sharks with a nice ripped and they are on the attack. Sharks wins a scrum inside the Cheetahs 5 meter.
  • 72
Bosch has his first touch on the ball, player not releasing the ball and Cheetahs win a penalty. They opt to kick to touch and its a line-out. Ball overcooked and Sharks have an opportunity to run it out.
  • 70
We approaching the last 10 minutes of the match. And Sharks are on the attack, a loose ball is kicked by Keegan Daniel. Shaun Venter is on the chase and he carries it over the line, scrum to the Sharks.
  • 69
Cheetahs penalize for collapsing the maul as Bosch makes his Super Rugby debut. April makes no mistake as he slots in over for his team!!!
  • 66
Cheetahs wins the line-out. Rhule with a nice break, but Andre Esterhuizen with a nice rip gives it to his backline. Pietersen with a nice kick, Mvovo, Blommetjies and Petersen are chasing. Some scrappy handling errors by both teams and Cheetahs manage to secure the ball.
  • 65
Zeilinger hoist the ball up in the air for the up and under. Rhyno Smith fails to collects it and its there for the taking. Sharks eventually with the clearance,
  • 63
April with an easy convertion!!!
  • 62
Cheetahs has a penalty advantage, but they have make some meters and the ref calls advantage over. Stefan Ungerer with an interception and ran to plant it under the post.
  • 60
April overcooks and its a line-out to Cheetahs on the Sharks 10 meter line. Nice passing by the Cheetahs, but its a turnover ball, Sharks with a box kick gives possession to Cheetahs.
  • 59
April steps up and bangs it through the middle to extend his team lead, 16-10 to the Sharks!!!
  • 58
Poor pass by the Rhule puts his team uder pressure. Sharks scrum on the Cheetahs 10 meter. Cheetahs penalize for illegal scrumming.
  • 56
Line-out secured by Sharks, Mvovo tackled in the middle of the field. Lubabalo Mtembu not releasing the ball and its a penalty to the Cheetahs just outside the Sharks 10 meter. Cheetahs opt to kick to touch and Zeilinger pushes it wide for the visitors, score remain 13-10 to the Sharks.
  • 54
Line-out to the Cheetahs on the 50 meter line. Cheetahs with a pass to Blommetjies but the player with no control over the ball boots it down field. Scrum to the Sharks near their 10 meter line. April sees some space and hoist it down field, with a perfect kick Sharks win a line-out on the Cheetahs 5 meter.
  • 52
April slots in through the middle and his team takes the lead, 13-10!!!
  • 50
Sharks scrum on the Cheetahs 22 meter line. 10 Minutes have gone and the scrum with a huge scrum gives them a penalty advantage. April gives a cross kick but its collected by Blommetjies. Play returns for the penalty.
  • 48
From the line-out Sharks forms a maul, but gets penalize. Its a scrum for the Cheetahs on their own 22. Sharks force an error and wins a scrum!
  • 46
Game has become a battle of some areal kicking , with Blommetjies and Rhyno Smith testing each other. Blommetjies loosing that battle gives Sharks the line-out on the Cheetahs' 22.
  • 44
Zeilinger steps up just inside the Sharks' 50 meter line and he misses a difficult kick. the distance was not there, score remains 10 all.
  • 43
A line-out to Sharks on the halfway marked. Sharks penalize for obstruction. Cheetahs opt to kick at poles!
  • 41
Blommetjies gets the second half underway! An early scrum on the Sharks' 22. Cheetahs secure the ball from a collapse scrum. Cheetahs going through the phases and Barry awards Cheetahs a penalty near the Sharks ' 5 meter. Zeilinger steps and slots over an easy kick.

Half Time

  • 40
Sharks scrum on their own 22. They secure the ball and as the hooter goes off, Sharks kick it to touch. That is the last action of the first half. Sharks lead 10-7!!!
  • 37
Three minutes to go in the first stanze. Both teams giving some great little play. Rhyno Smith tackle to touch by Paul Schoeman. A line-out on the Sharks' 22. Blommetjies held up in the tackle and Sharks wins a penalty and have a scrum.
  • 35
April coverts the kick and gives the home team the lead, 10-7!!!
  • 34
Sharks scrum on the Cheetahs 10 meter line And Sharks wins a penalty, a quick tap by Philip van der Walt give the Sharks some meters., he feeds it wide and the Sharks makes some ground. JP Pietersen slips pass a few defenders and goes down for his try!!!
  • 32
Cheetahs scrum on the Sharks' 22. Scrum is reset, Referee has a huge problem with a stability of the scrum and has a stern word with the two teams' hookers. The Sharks have a turnover ball and Andre Esterhuizen hoist a kick into Blommetjies hands.
  • 30
10 minutes to go and April with a poor kick result in a scrum on the Sharks' 22.
  • 29
Again the Cheetahs are in the Sharks 5 meter, their are putting on the attack, but a turnover ball gives it back to Sharks. They make a run and make some meters. Sibusiso Sithole kicks finds Blommetjies.
  • 28
Line-out to Cheetahs on the 50 meter. Cheetahs secure the ball. Some passes among the Cheetahs players wins them a penalty. Blommetjes steps up and put it in the corner near the Sharks' 5 meter,
  • 26
Scrum to the Cheetahs, ball is available to the Cheetahs. Venter swings it wide and they trying to break the defense. A poor pass by Zeilinger gives Sharks some room to breath. Sharks kicks the ball down field.
  • 24
Another big scrum by the Cheetahs and ref call the advantage to the Cheetahs. Shaun Venter feeds it to Zeilinger, but is intercepted by JP Pietersen who is halted by the ref. Cheetahs opt for another scrum. Venter again feeds Zeilinger, who bashes into two defenders. Sharks defense are holding the Cheetahs out. Again Cheetahs opt for a scrum. The Sharks captain makes his return before the scrum commence.
  • 23
Scrum is reset. Concentration is vital as the Sharks are a man short. Huge scrum by the Cheetahs win them another penalty and their opt to scrum again.
  • 21
Cheetahs have a line-out on the Sharks' 22 meter., they put on an attack and swings it wide. Sharks defending defending desperately, Keegan Daniel carries the ball over the line and its a 5 meter scrum to the Cheetahs.
  • 19
From the restart Sharks wins a line-out, the home side is on the attack. Penalty to the Sharks who opt to kick at poles, April steps up and its over as he adds the home sides first points!!!
  • 17
The former Sharks Zeilinger makes no mistake to convert a difficult kicks as he adds the extras, 7-0 to Cheetahs.
  • 16
Venter goes wide and his pass to Raymond Rhule sends the wing over for the first try of the match!!!
  • 15
Another line-out for the Cheetahs, and they get the maul going on the Sharks' 22. Penalty to the Sharks and its a scrum still inside the Sharks' 22. Some tempers boiling over as Barry goes to the TMO, who unfortunate has no viewing. Barry feels he is confidence enough to make a call, and he determined that Tendai Mtawarira's reaction is unacceptable and he is shown a yellow card.
  • 13
Cheetahs secure the ball and they are on the attack, the ball gets shifted wide. Blommetjies gives a nice grubber, but Rhyno Smith saves his team and puts it into touch inside his 22.
  • 11
Its a scrum to the Sharks on the Cheetahs' 22. Penalty won by the Cheetahs, Oosthuizen this time the guy in trouble. Chettahs clears and gets a line-out on the Sharks' 10 meter.
  • 9
Line-out secured by Sharks and they charge forward. Making some meters in the Cheetahs half, struggling to go past the Cheetahs' 22. The visitors defense are holding up!
  • 7
Cheetahs loose the ball forward and its a scrum on the Sharks' 22. The scrum gets reset. Players having trouble securing their feet. Penalty to Sharks as Cheetahs are penalize for illegal binding. Sharks kick to touch.
  • 5
Some pushing by both sides and Cheetahs wins a penalty. Blommetjies with a clearance and Cheetahs have a line-out inside the Sharks' half.
  • 4
Scrum is reset. Ref having a stern word with the pack as they reset the scrum. Sharks win a free kick and takes it up quickly.
  • 3
Clearance by Rhyno Smith results in a line-out on the halfway again. Cheetahs lost the ball forward in the line-out. And its the first scrum of the match.
  • 2
April slips a few tackles, shifts it wide and their tackled out. A quick line-out by Cheetahs on their 10 meter line.
  • 1
Garth April will gets the game underway, huge pressure on the home side to win. A return kick by the Cheetahs results in a Sharks line-out on half way. Nice maul by Sharks. They are on the attack .
  • -5
Rain is pouring down at Kings Park Stadium as the teams are doing their last preparations, before they head out to wet and slippery weather conditions, ideal for some bashing rugby .
  • -7
The referee for this match is Stuart Berry (South Africa) assistant referees are Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa) and Archie Sehlako (South Africa). The TMO is Shaun Veldsman (South Africa).
  • -10
However the home side are fully aware of the threat the Cheetahs pose, and will put in everything as they still have their fate in their own hands. A win means the Sharks overtake the Bulls, but a loose will means its the end if the road for the Durban side. This is really a vital all-South African encounter.
  • -15
The Cheetahs, currently 13th on the 18-team table, are out of the running for the play-offs. However, they could still have an impact on the final standings if they manage to win in Durban.
  • -20
Cheetahs coach Franco Smit has made just one change to his starting XV. Shaun Venter and Tian Meyer switch places at scrumhalf - with Venter in the starting line-up and Meyer on the bench. The only other change to the matchday 23 sees Charles Marais replacing Luan de Bruin on the bench.
  • -25
Talented Junior Springbok fullback Curwin Bosch is set to make his Super Rugby debut for the Sharks if he comes from the bench. While in the starting XV, Rhyno Smith has been handed his first start in the penultimate round of league action. Veteran Springbok Coenie Oosthuizen has replace Lourens Adriaanse in the tighthead position in the front row.
  • -30
Welcome to as we bring you the live coverage of the Super Rugby match between the Sharks and Cheetahs at Kings Park in Durban.
Mc sharks logo 80x50
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen
  • 4 Ettienne Oosthuizen
  • 5 Stephan Lewies
  • 6 Keegan Daniel
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 8 Phillip van der Walt
  • 9 Michael Claassens
  • 10 Garth April
  • 11 Lwazi Mvovo
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 13 JP Pietersen
  • 14 Sibusiso Sithole
  • 15 Rhyno Smith
  • 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle
  • 17 Thomas Du Toit
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 19 Ruan Botha
  • 20 Lubabalo Mtembu
  • 21 Stefan Ungerer
  • 22 Heimar Williams
  • 23 Curwin Bosch
  • 1 Ox Nche
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 3 Maks van Dyk
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 6 Uzair Cassiem
  • 7 Teboho Mohoje
  • 8 Paul Schoeman
  • 9 Shaun Venter
  • 10 Fred Zeilinga
  • 11 Raymond Rhule
  • 12 Michael van der Spuy
  • 13 Francois Venter
  • 14 Sergeal Petersen
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 16 Joeseph Dweba
  • 17 Charles Marais
  • 18 Johannes Coetzee
  • 19 Reniel Hugo
  • 20 Henco Venter
  • 21 Tian Meyer
  • 22 George Whitehead
  • 23 William Small-Smith
Mc article waratahs with super rugby logo 800

S18 Preview: ROUND 16, PART TWO

Thu, 07 Jul 2016 22:31

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Saturday matches in Part Two of Super Rugby's Round 16.

Moving on from Friday's drama in each of Saturday's six matches the result is crucial for at least one of the teams.

It starts when the Crusaders - desperate to get back first place in the ultra-competitive New Zealand conference, which they conceded in the loss to the Chiefs last week - host the unpredictable Rebels in Christchurch.

It gets even more intense when we then hop across the Tasman Sea to Sydney, where the Waratahs (locked in a desperate battle with the Brumbies for top spot in the Australian conference) host the Hurricanes - another team scrambling for the limited number of places in the combined Australasian conference.

Such is the nature of the table that the side that finishes second in the Australia half on the Australasian conference could miss the play-offs.

We then head west to Perth, where the Force host the Stormers - the latter anxiously looking over their shoulder at a Bulls team still ion with an outside chance of catching the in the Africa One conference.

And, to add further spice to an already intriguing day, the Bulls host the Sunwolves in Pretoria just a few hours after the end of the encounter in Perth.

Defeat for the Stormers and a win for the Bulls could close the gap between the two right up and leave the Stormers under pressure.

In fact the Stormers could even be overtaken on the combined Africa table by the Sharks, who host the Cheetahs in Durban later in the day.

Then it all concludes in Buenos Aires, where the vastly improved Jaguares are planning to ambush the Highlanders - the fourth of the Kiwi teams that are separated by just three points in the New Zealand conference.

Saturday, June 9:

Such is the nature of the New Zealand conference that the Crusaders went from a table-topping team to one who not only slipped back into the congested pack, but could become also-rans in a week.

That is why the Crusaders are desperate to avoid a repeat of the flop from last week, when they went down (13-23) to the Chiefs in their showcase fixture in Suva, Fiji.

The Crusaders are truly in danger of missing the play-offs, given that they face the Hurricanes next week.

One of the key aspects of the game - as was the case in Suva last week - will be how the Crusaders deal with the predicted wet weather.

When players ignored coaching staff instructions to play a structured game, it backfired.

Brave and honourable as their intentions may have been, Saturday in Christchurch will not be a time for foolishness.

Crusaders assistant coach Dave Hewett admitted the instructions will be loud and clear this week.

"There was a little bit of getting into the red, and not thinking straight and that didn't help," Hewett told the Christchurch-based The Press newspaper.

"Messages were going out and whether they were heeded, and whether they weren't, is a discussion that we have had.

"But we also need to make sure that the guys that are on the field are making the correct decisions.

"And as you say, they are experienced players so there should be an element of that coming from them."

Rebels coach Tony McGahan wants his side to continue their "fighting spirit" on Saturday.

A statistically dominant performance against the Stormers last week saw the tenacious Rebels go toe-to-toe with the second best team in South Africa for 65 minutes.

A flurry of tries in the final 15 minutes sealed the result for the visitors.

McGahan was pragmatic in his assessment of the performance and confident his side will continue to learn from the basic errors that saw the South Africans claim the bonus point victory.

"I thought the playing group showed spades of tenacity last weekend to really stay in there and we'll look for the same [against the Crusaders]," McGahan said.

"A lot of those [tries we conceded to the Stormers] are solvable and as a result of our mistakes and we need to own that.

"If we don't give up some soft points, stay in the game until the end and fight on every point and action, you give yourself a very good chance of getting a result away from home.

"I thought while we fought and did a lot of those hard things, the aim is to win games and we didn't do that and we need to make sure we address that this week."

Previous results:
2015: Rebels won 20-10, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 25-19, Melbourne
2013: Crusaders won 30-26, Christchurch
2012: Rebels won 28-19, Melbourne

Prediction: This will be the fifth meeting between these sides in Super Rugby, they have won two apiece from their first four meetings. The Rebels won the last encounter between the sides and will be aiming to become the first non-New Zealand team to record back to back away wins against the Crusaders, and just the third team overall after the Chiefs (2014-16 - three wins) and the Blues (1996-98 - two wins). However the Crusaders have won their last five at home since losing their opening home game of the season; each of those five victories have come by 15+ points. The Crusaders' run of five consecutive home victories is their longest streak since winning their last two home games of 2012 before a clean sweep of home victories in 2013 (11 wins in total). The Rebels' victory away to the Crusaders stands as their only win on New Zealand soil, losing their remaining 11 games away to New Zealand sides in Super Rugby. In contrast, that win for the Rebels marks the Crusaders' only defeat at home to an Australian side since February 2004, winning 25 and drawing one of 27 matches when hosting teams from across the Tasman since then. The Rebels have scored 12 tries after holding possession for seven phases or more this season, more than any other team and eight more than the Crusaders. Kieran Read has assisted 5 tries so far this season; while it's only the 15th most of any player, it's more than any other forward in the competition. The Rebels enjoy the greatest ruck success (96%) of any team in the competition, losing a league low 3.3 rucks per game. Sean McMahon has beaten 43 defenders so far this season, the most of any forward in the competition and 27 more than the best Crusaders forward. The Rebels are likely to experience the same disappointment as last week - being in the game for an hour or so, just to be pipped at the post by a late flurry - the Crusaders to win by 10 to 15 points.


Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Jimmy Tupou, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitch Hunt, 23 Kieron Fonotia.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Sam Jeffries, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah Nau, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Steve Cummins, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Paul Asquith, 23 Jonah Placid.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

Neither of these teams can afford another defeat, as the defeated may well lose ground they are unable to make up in the final round.

Obviously a win will have the direct opposite result, pushing the visitors a step closer to play-off qualification.

The Hurricanes, third in the New Zealand conference and sixth overall, finish against the Crusaders next week - making this a 'must-win' encounter.

The Waratahs, second in the Australian conference, but ninth overall, face the Blues in Auckland next week.

Wallaby lock Will Skelton put it succinctly when asked about the scenario facing the Tahs.

"We've got two win games," he told reporters in Sydney this week, adding: "It's not a place we like being in, but we're trying to control our own destiny here.

"That's by winning and trying to win comfortably [and] we know if we play our attacking footy, they'll come."

The Hurricanes need at least six points (a win and a couple of bonus points) from their last two outings if they are to go past the magical 50-point mark - which looks set to be the requirement for a top-eight finish.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd also did not mince his words, saying the players were fully aware of the importance of the Waratahs match.

"They're desperate, we're as keen as," Boyd told the Wellington-based Dominion Post.

"It's fairly obvious the points table is very tight in the New Zealand conference.

"I think a lot of teams know every point will be important from here on."

Last time the Hurricanes played the Waratahs was in Wellington last season, with the visitors winning a high scoring match 29-24.

The 'Tahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau said they will need maximum points from their remaining games.

"We come in with a goal of getting the full five points [against the Hurricanes], but at the end of the day if it doesn't pan out then so be it and we just have to make sure that we can follow that up the week after against the Blues."

Recent results:
2015: Waratahs won 29-24, Wellington
2014: Waratahs won 39-30, Sydney
2013: Hurricanes won 41-29, Wellington
2012: Hurricanes won 33-12, Sydney
2010: Waratahs won 32-16, Sydney
2009: Waratahs won 26-22, Wellington

Prediction: The Waratahs have won six of the last eight meetings between these two sides, this after winning just four of the first 12. The Waratahs have won each of their last three home games, each by margins of 15 points or more, this after losing three on the bounce in New South Wales before that. The Tahs have won seven of their last eight regular season home games against sides from New Zealand, the last four wins in that run all coming by 10+ point margins. The NSW side have scored 20 tries from possession originating within their own half, the second most of any team and more than any other Australian team. They've also conceded the fewest (three) from the same distance. Beauden Barrett has made 126 kicks in general play so far this season, more than any other player and 26 more than Waratahs' best Bernard Foley (100). This is probably the toughest match to call. The Waratahs may just win an intriguing arm-wrestle by five points.


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

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Willis Halaholo, 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 Chris Eves, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Reg Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ben May, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ngani Laumape, Jason Woodward.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)
The Stormers have become the 'French team' of South African rugby.

You do not know what you are going to get from one week to the next - from the sublime to the ridiculous.

There is no doubt they have a host of very talented players.

However, they don't always arrive mentally prepared for the game - as was evident against the Sunwolves before the June break.

However, now that they are in a 'must win' scenario, we may just see the real Stormers team in action.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said the biggest threat is that the Force have nothing to lose, having already been knocked out of the play-off race.

"The Force are a different team now, they've got a lot more freedom," Fleck said in a teleconference from the team's base in Perth.

"They got a new coaching staff, so there is no pressure on the players or management and it certainly showed in that second half against the Cheetahs [last week].

"We are going to face a similar situation where we are going to be stretched and be put under pressure if the weather holds out.

"If it is raining it is going to be a different story," he said, hinting that the Stormers' renowned set pieces will come into play.

Although "structure" will be key on Saturday, Fleck said he is not going to put the shackles in rookie flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis.

"He is a work in progress and we can't get ahead of ourselves with him," the coach said, adding: "The way he performed in the second half [against the Rebels last week] was exactly what we were looking for in terms of a flyhalf."

However, conditions will dictate terms for the South African franchise.

"With the weather that is predicted, it is important that he keeps it really simple and he keeps our forwards moving forward.

"We want him to make good solid decisions all the time and when it is time to run, he must run and when it is time to find space he must do that.

"In the first half he did it in stages, but he certainly in that second half it was a very good performance from him."

Recent results:
2015: Stormers won 13-6, Perth
2014: Stormers won 24-8, Cape Town
2012: Stormers won 17-3, Perth
2011: Stormers won 51-16, Cape Town
2010: Force won 16-15, Perth
2009: Stormers won 25-24, Cape Town

Prediction: The Stormers have won seven of the nine meetings between these sides in Super Rugby, including the last four in a row. The Force have lost 13 of their last 14 home games, including the last nine in a row. The Western Australia side have lost their last three home games against South African opposition. However, they have never lost four such games on the bounce. The Stormers have conceded only nine tries when the opposition begins possession within the Stormers 22-metre zone, the equal fewest of any team in the competition (Highlanders). Dane Haylett-Petty (1,0620m) joined Israel Folau (1,090m) and Damian McKenzie (1,052m) as one of only three players to gain in excess of 1,000 metres so far this season. It may well be tight for the first hour, but the Stormers have too much class and should ease clear in the final quarter - winning by 15 points.


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

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 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, JP Smith, 18 17 Wilco Louw, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Scott van Breda.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

The Bulls know what is required of them - two wins and a couple of bonus points are the requirements.

With the Cheetahs awaiting them in Bloemfontein next week, this encounter has added significance.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais admitted that their loss to the Lions before the June break and last week's loss to the Jaguares, combined with the Stormers' victory against the Rebels last week, has left them playing for a wildcard slot.

The Stormers are nine points clear in the Africa One conference, with two rounds remaining and only a series of extraordinary results will allow the Bulls to overtake the Stormers.

Marais admitted there is "huge pressure" on his team to produce a special performance in their last home game of the league phase of the season.

"The expectation was always for us to reach the play-offs," Marais told a media briefing at Loftus Versfeld.

"We had a great opportunity [against the Jaguares in Buenos Airs] last week to win the game, then come back here [to Pretoria], beat the Sunwolves and get into a play-off situation.

"However, now the pressure is definitely on.

"Whether the Sharks beat the Cheetahs [later on Saturday] or not, we must ensure we play two good matches in the next fortnight.

"The players know what they have to do."

Marais said if they want to beat the Sunwolves, they can't a conservative game.

For that reason he is hoping that Jessie Kriel, a regular at centre in the Springbok team last year, will provide that attacking option from fullback.

Captain Adriaan Strauss echoed similar sentiments, saying it is a "massively important" game for the Bulls.

"We are not out of it, but we can only deal with what is within our own hands to control," Strauss told the media briefing, when asked about the team's dire position in the play-off race.

"We need to go out there and play a good game," he said, adding that they are under no illusion that this will be an easy game.

"We know they can be very dangerous if you allow them to play.

"We need to control the game and play the way we want to.

"If we let them into the game, by giving them opportunities and space, they will punish us."

Previous result:
2016: Bulls won 30-27, Singapore

Prediction: This will be the second meeting between these two sides; the Bulls won the first clash 30-27 in Round Five. The Bulls suffered their second heaviest home defeat in their last such game. However they were unbeaten in five at home before that . The Sunwolves are yet to win away from home (L5), conceding over 30 points in each away game and an average of 54 per game on the road. The Sunwolves have conceded only six second-half penalty goals so far this campaign, only the Chiefs and Lions (five) have conceded fewer. Pieter Labuschagne has made 133 tackles, missing a further eight, which is the fifth most of any player in the competition and the most of any South African-based player. Expect the Bulls to cut lose in a game where defence may not be at a premium and win by about 30 points.


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

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

Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden  (South Africa), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

The Cheetahs are determined to play party poopers in the next fortnight - when they play the Sharks and Bulls, two teams in a desperate struggle for the wildcard spot in the Africa conference.

Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold is well aware of the threat the Cheetahs pose to his team's aspirations.

"We let ourselves and our fans down against the Lions [in Johannesburg last week] and we have worked incredibly hard this week to rectify our mistakes," Gold said.

"We are up against a very competitive Cheetahs side that have come off a nail-biting win against the Force."

Gold said the important aspect is that they still have their fate in their own hands.

"We are very much in contention for a qualifying spot," the Sharks boss said, adding: "Our players are committed to raising their game on Saturday and to once again make our the Kings Park faithful proud."

However, they are up against a Cheetahs team who has also made victory is a "priority".

"We are looking to improve on last week," Cheetahs coach Franco Smith said of a 30-29 nailbiter against the Western Force in Perth, after taking a commanding first-half lead.

"We are looking to put two quality halves together.

"One of our goals for these last two matches [the Sharks this week and Bulls next week] is to produce a good 80-minute performance.

"We have shown progress, but we have to start building on that - especially against South African teams."

The Cheetahs coach said the Sharks will be tough to overcome, because not only are they at home, but they have a chance to advance to the play-offs.

"They have some unpredictable players," Smith said, adding: "I have a lot of respect for [rookie fullback] Rhyno Smith as a player.

"[Flyhalf] Garth April is also very good with ball in hand."

He said the breakdown will be important for both teams and they will have to be solid on defence.

Recent results:
2015: Sharks won 27-10, Bloemfontein
2015: Cheetahs won 35-29, Durban
2014: Cheetahs won 27-20, Bloemfontein
2014: Sharks won 19-8, Durban
2013: Cheetahs won 12-6, Durban
2013: Sharks won 29-22, Bloemfontein

Prediction: Six of the last nine meetings between these sides have been won by the away team on the day, including each of the last two. The Cheetahs have lost their last six away from home, with four of those defeats coming by more than 12 points. Despite winning three of their last five at home to fellow South African teams, the Sharks haven't won consecutive home games against teams from South Africa since 2014. The Sharks have conceded only five tries on the opposition's first phase of possession, though the Cheetahs have crossed for 19 first-phase tries this season, the most of any South African team. Francois Uys won a league-high 10 line-outs in Round 15 to take his season tally to 70, more than any other player. It is on their home ground and they have more to play for, which means the Sharks will sneak a late winner - less than 10 points.


Sharks: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Jon-Paul Pietersen, 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 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 Curwin Bosch.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 George Whitehead, 23 William Small-Smith.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

It will be a very different Highlanders team that will feature in Buenos Airs, from the one that fumbled its way through the first 70 minutes - before a late flurry (28 points in the final 12 minutes) saw them dismiss the Southern Kings.

The return of All Blacks Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa,  and Aaron Smith ensures the Jaguares will be tested to the full.

The Jaguares, who have not coped with rigours of Super Rugby as well as pundits expected, showed glimpses of their ability when they outmuscled the Bulls in monsoon-like conditions last week.

It was a performance - and tactics - that made the Highlanders sit up and take note.

"They're a good unit and they played well against the Bulls," Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod told Fairfax Media.

"Their set piece was outstanding and they play a really fast game so we know where the challenges are."

The Highlanders know they will have to shore up their defence - especially against the powerful Jaguares maul.

The Highlanders need a win, and perhaps even a bonus point, if they hope to stay in contention for the Super Rugby play-offs.

Travelling is not an issue for the New Zealand franchise, with six wins in their last seven starts abroad.

Their successes this year have been based on their blistering counter attacks and a sound kicking game.

The Dunedin-based franchise kicks the most from hand, but those are mostly well-executed tactical kicks.

That is why defence has been such a big part of their game.

Despite the kicking statistics, the Highlanders' classy back Matt Faddes is equal top try scorer with nine five-pointers.

Also sitting on nine tries this season are Aki Yamada (Sunwolves), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Lionel Mapoe (Lions) and Sergeal Petersen (Cheetahs).

Recent results:
These teams have never met before.

Prediction: This will be the first meeting between the Jaguares and the Highlanders; the Jaguares have faced the four other New Zealand sides, losing to all four. The Jaguares snared their third win in the last round and will now be hunting for their first ever back-to-back wins in Super Rugby as a result. The Highlanders have won six of their last seven away games outside of New Zealand. The Highlanders (99.4) are the only team outside of South Africa who average fewer than 100 carries per game this season. Agustin Creevy became the seventh hooker to score a brace of tries this season after only five hooker scored twice in a match from 2011 to 2015. The Highlanders are unlikely to fall into the same trap as the Bulls last week and will be tactically far more astute - which should see them win by about 12 points.


Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 12 Juan Martin Hernández, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Javier Ortega Desio, 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 Marcos Kremer, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Matias Orlando, 23 Lucas Gonzales Amorosino.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joseph Wheeler, 4 Thomas Franklin, 3 Siua Halanukonuka, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Te Aihe Toma, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article jean luc du preez v cheetahs 800

Sharks win dour SA derby

Sat, 09 Jul 2016 19:04

REPORT: The Sharks remain on course for a play-off spot after they beat the Cheetahs 26-10 at Kings Park Saturday.

The Sharks remain on course for a play-off spot after they beat the Cheetahs 26-10 at Kings Park Saturday.

What a difference a prop makes. When much loved Coenie Oosthuizen was at tighthead, he suffered mightily at the strength of Ox Nche and the Sharks scrum had a torrid time, penalised five times apart from the humiliation and detrimental effect it had on the whole side. Just after the second half started Lourens Adriaanse swayed onto the field and after that it was the Sharks' scrum that was dominant, the Cheetahs were penalised twice at scrums, and the whole Sharks team was a much better bet.

What a difference a prop makes!

But Adriaanse did not rescue the whole game which was at best a patchy affair which leaves more room for controversy than great discussion or memories.

The rain stopped but the field was still damp but it did not seem to stop backs from standing wide apart  and may not be entirely to blame for bounce passes, wonky catching and losing the ball in a tackle. Unusually for modern rugby there were as many scrums as line-outs.

Early on the Sharks went through 10 phases, each phase consisting of one pass. And then they lost their captain Tendai Mtawarira for slapping opposing prop Max van Dyk. The Cheetahs kicked the subsequent penalty out for a six-metre line-out and, remarkable as it may seem, they did not maul. They went wide left where Raymond Rhule had an unimpeded path to the corner. Fred Zeilinga, an expat Shark, converted. 7-0 after 17 minutes.

Two minutes later Oupa Mahoje was penalised for a high tackle on André Esterhuizen and Garth April goaled. 7-3.

Clayton Blommetjies pushed through a clever grubber  which Keegan Daniel dived on but carried over his goal-line for a five-metre scrum, setting in motion a series of five five-metre scrums to the Cheetahs, four of which were penalised as the Cheetahs shoved ahead and the Sharks were adjudged guilty of collapsing. In the second scrum the Cheetahs actually moved about three metres ahead and a case could be made for awarding a penalty try. Be that as it may, the fifth scrum collapsed without infringement, the ball was loose and the surprised Cheetahs lost control of it when Zeilinga passed to ground and so the Sharks escaped from bondage.

From a line-out the Cheetahs went wide but the Sharks won a turnover and Esterhuizen sped down the right and Sibusiso Sithole kicked ahead to relieve the pressure.

Sergeal Petersen counterattacked and kicked ahead but Rhyno Smith beat him to the touchdown.

Then, unusually, the Sharks got over the half-way line. They had a scrum at which the Cheetahs were freekicked for engaging too quickly. Philip can der Walt, the Sharks eighthman, an expat Cheetah, tapped and the Sharks raced left. The ball went to JP Pietersen, playing at outside centre, and he cut back inside past his marker and scored as Sergeal Petersen and Francois Venter tried in vain to stop him. April converted. 10-7 to the Sharks after 35 minutes - the half-time score.

Where the Cheetahs had dominated territory and possession in the first half, the second half belonged to the Sharks -  with a little bit of luck in the mix - though it did not look so at the start, for Van der Walt dropped the kick-off and then Franco Marais was penalised a tackle and Zeilinga made the score 10-all  after 41 minutes.

It was then that Adriaanse came on and the Sharks took over the scrums.

Two April penalties, both at scrums, took the Sharks into the lead at 16-10 after 58 minutes.

The referee was playing a penalty advantage to the Cheetahs inside their own half. They had a few passes and had advanced about 12 metres when he called advantage over as Zeilinga passed to his left and Stefan Ungerer, the Sharks substitute scrumhalf, intercepted and ran 42 metres to score at the posts. And the Sharks led 23-10 after 63 minutes. The Cheetahs felt it a bitter blow.

The Sharks were close to scoring soon afterwards when Esterhuizen won a turnover in his own half and the Sharks attacked. Pietersen kicks a long kick infield and it was rolling to the posts. Francois Venter of the Cheetahs was there first but he could not pick up the perverse ball and neither could Keegan Daniel of the Sharks and so, somehow, the Cheetahs survived.

The Sharks made an interesting substitution soon after when they replaced young Rhyno Smith with younger Curwin Bosch.

When Johan Coetzee of the Cheetahs was penalised for collapsing a maul, April was again brilliantly on target, making it 26-10 with 11 minutes to play. This was the final score though the Sharks came closer to scoring again than did the Cheetahs.

It was not a scintillating match but it did greatly improve the Sharks' chances of making the quarterfinals..

Man of the Match: You thought of Francois Venter, Francois Uys and Ox Nche of the Cheetahs, all of whom did great things for their side. Then you thought of the Sharks and the change that Lourens Adriaanse made, and Garth April for his goal-kicking and kicking out of hand, and the strong performances by centre André Esterhuizen and Stephan Lewies and in the end you decide on the man who tackled, carried and was every present and busy - Philip van der Walt.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Tries: Pietersen, Ungerer
Cons: April 2
Pens: April 4

For Cheetahs:
Try: Rhule
Con: Zeilinga
Pen: Zeilinga

Yellow card: Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks, 16 - foul play, slapping an opponent)


Sharks: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Jon-Paul Pietersen, 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 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 Curwin Bosch.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 George Whitehead, 23 William Small-Smith.

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

JP Pietersen (34min) and Stefan Ungerer (62min)
Raymond Rhule (16min)
Garth April (35min) and Garth April (63min)
Fred Zeilinga (17min)
Garth April (19min), Garth April (52min), Garth April (59min), and Garth April (69min)
Fred Zeilinga (41min)
Tendai Mtawarira (15min)
VENUE Kings Park, Durban
REFEREE Stuart Berry (South Africa)