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Stormers

FULL-TIME
52     24

Kings

Super Rugby | Cape Town
15:05 (GMT) | 16-07-2016
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Stay tuned for Rugby 365's live commentary of Super Rugby as the Cheetahs host the Bulls in Bloemfontein. The game will follow in ten minutes.
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FULL TIME: STORMERS 52-24 KINGS
  • 82
Watts converts the try and that will be the game. Exciting play from both teams in the final ten minutes and the Stormers walk away with the 52-24 victory. Congratulations to the Stormers on a well deserved victory, we look forward to seeing them in action in next weekends play-offs. Congratulations to the Kings for their efforts throughout the season, we look forward to seeing them in action during the Currie Cup and in next seasons Super Rugby tournament.
  • 81
Watermeyer dots down for the final try of the game after receiving a wonderful offload.
  • 80
Thomson converts the try and takes the Stormers past the fifties.
  • 79
De Allende and Jones have combined to great effect throughout this clash as once again De Allende is unable to be brought to ground before he makes the offload to Jones in support. Jones collects the pass and dots down for the five pointer.
  • 77
Watts adds the extra two from the kicking tee. The kick was taken from right underneath the up rights.
  • 76
Luiters breaks the line after collecting a kick from De Allende and the replacement sends Mjekevu through for a well deserved try from the Kings.
  • 75
The Kings concede the penalty for an infringement at scrum time and the Stormers are looking to give the ball some air as they tap and go and play quick inside their 22 metre line.
  • 74
The Stormers make the turnover with some good defence at the breakdown and Thomson makes the clearance with a kick up field.
  • 73
The Kings go the aerial route with a high kick on the Stormers try-line. The Kings look to win the ball in the air and crash over for the try but the Stormers do well to gather the ball. The Kings are awarded the penalty and they will look to set the attacking lineout deep inside the Stormers half.
  • 70
Thomson converts the try and the Stormers now have a commanding 45-10 lead with ten minutes left to play.
  • 69
Try time! Thomson slips underneath the tackle before he finds space between the Kings defence who look to be at sixes and sevens and crashes over for the try from close range.
  • 67
Thomson sends the ball sailing through the uprights and extends the Stormers lead.
  • 66
We have another hat trick and this time Zas is the man of the moment as he reads the play well and plucks the ball out of the air to race the length of the field for his third try of the game.
  • 65
Luiters gathers the ball which was overthrown by the Kings at the lineout before he is brought to ground. The Kings are building a patient attack deep inside the Stormers half.
  • 64
JC Janse van Rensburg concedes the penalty for an infringement at scrum time and the Kings set the attacking lineout with a kick which finds touch just short of the Stormers five metre line.
  • 63
Both teams look to be unstable at the scrum. The referee asks for a reset and the Kings will have another scrum deep inside the Stormers half.
  • 61
Thomson pulls the conversion wide of the uprights from the far touchline. The Stormers lead 31-10 with that five pointer from Zas.
  • 60
Watts puts his team under all sorts of pressure as he lets go of a straight forward pass from Hall inside the Kings 22 metre line. The Stormers get to the loose ball first. The ball goes through the hands with pace before the Kings run out of numbers on the wing and Zas finishes off the move by dotting down for the five pointer in the corner.
  • 59
Taute goes the kicking route as he puts in a grubber for Scott van Breda to run onto but the ball goes into touch and the Kings will have the defensive lineout inside their 22 metre line.
  • 58
Play resumes with a scrum to the Stormers just outside the Kings 22 metre line.
  • 55
Astle jumps up and wins the lineout against the throw before the Kings clear their lines with a kick which finds touch just outside their own 22 metre line. Attacking lineout to the Stormers here.
  • 54
Marutlulle concedes the penalty for a knock down and the Stormers set the attacking lineout with a touch finder on the Kings five metre line.
  • 52
The Stormers are blown up for an infringement and the Kings set the attacking lineout with a kick which finds touch deep inside the Stormers half.
  • 51
Marutlulle finds his jumper with an accurate throw at the lineout on half way and they look to play the inside channels with some powerful and direct running just inside the Stormers half.
  • 50
Gates looks to test the Stormers back three with a kick down the middle. Taute gathers the kick and the Stormers are able to clear their line but the Kings win a good turnover at the breakdown and the Stormers are forced to set their defensive line as the Kings look to vary their play deep inside Stormers territory.
  • 49
Elstadt knocks the ball forward in the lineout and here come the Kings as they gather the loose ball and go through the phases on the Stormers ten metre line.
  • 46
Brandon Thomson has the distance but he does not have the direction as he sends the ball sailing wide of the uprights. The kick was taken from outside the 22 metre line on the angle. The Stormers now lead 26-10 with that five pointer.
  • 45
Jones has his hat trick as Jean Kleyn wins the lineout against the throw before De Allende provides yet another assists with a good burst of pace which creates the break before De Allende offloads in the tackle and sends Jones through for the try.
  • 44
Schreuder is providing the Stormers with quick ball from the ruck as the Stormers look to drive their way over the line on the Kings five metre line.
  • 43
The Kings concede the penalty for an infringement at scrum time. The Stormers are awarded the penalty and Brandon Thomson sets the attacking lineout with a touch finder on centre field.
  • 42
The Kings play quick from the scrum but Jaer commits the handling error with a forward pass and the Stormers will have the defensive scrum on their 22 metre line.
  • 41
Dewald Human gets the second half going with a high kick which travels all the way to the Stormers 22 metre line. Notshe carries well and takes play outside the Stormers 22 metre line before Brandon Thomson makes the clearance with a kick up field. The Kings return the favor with a high kick from Human before Brandon Thomson knocks the ball forward and the Kings will have the attacking scrum just outside the Stormers 22 metre line.

Half Time

  • 40
The Kings are looking for a morale boosting score just before the break as they have a lineout on the Stormers ten metre line. The Kings win the ball at the lineout before Gates puts in a high kick for him team to compete in the air. The Stormers win possession and Taute kicks the ball into touch. That will be the first half. The Stormers head to the break leading 21-10. The home team have scored three tries courtesy of a Huw Jones double and a five pointer from wing Leolin Zas. Jean-Luc Du Plessis has contributed 6 points off the boot. The Kings on the other hand have a Malcolm Jaer try and five points from the boot of fly-half Dewald Human to show for their first-half efforts. Stay tuned for the second forty which will follow shortly.
  • 38
Human knocks over the conversion from right in front of the uprights and the score is now 21-10 in favor of the Stormers with 38 minutes of the game played.
  • 37
Shane Gates puts in a well timed grubber kick for fullback Malcolm Jaer to run onto and he makes no mistake in dotting down for the five pointer. Well worked try for the Kings.
  • 36
Jones is almost in for his hat trick try as he reads the play well and intercepts the pass from Human to run the length of the field but his celebrations are short lived as the referee calls play back for a previous infringement from the Stormers and the Kings set the attacking lineout with a kick which finds touch just short of the Stormers five metre line.
  • 35
The Stormers win the turnover with some good work at the breakdown and Jean-Luc du Plessis makes the exit with a kick up field. Here come the Kings!
  • 34
The Kings play the wide channels with good effect as Am spins out of the tackle before he is brought to ground deep inside the Stormers half.
  • 32
The Kings set the attacking lineout with a kick which finds touch on the Stormers five metre line. The home team manage to win the lineout against the throw and clear their lines with a kick up field.
  • 31
The Kings are driving towards the line through their forwards with some good pick and goes. The Stormers concede the penalty for an infringement at the ruck from Schreuder. The referee has had enough of the Stormers lack of discipline and Schreuder is sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes.
  • 29
The Stormers concede the penalty and the Kings set the attacking lineout with a touch finder inside the Stormers 22 metre line.
  • 27
Jean-Luc du Plessis adds the extra two from just outside the 22 metre line and the Stormers now lead 21-3.
  • 26
There it is for the Stormers! Burger draws in the Kings defence with a well timed skip pass to De Allende before the powerful centre sidesteps his tackler to great effect and sends Zas through for the five pointer.
  • 24
Human is unable to find touch from the penalty as Rynhardt Elstadt keeps the ball in play and gets the Stormers moving forward as he looks to attack the line from deep.
  • 23
The Kings look to be establishing plenty of momentum at the scrum as they are awarded another penalty and Human will set the attacking lineout with a kick to touch.
  • 22
The Kings concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown and the Stormers will have a good attacking opportunity with a scrum on the Kings five metre line.
  • 21
De Allende with some fantastic foot work as he shows and goes before he finds Zas with a well timed pass on the wing. The Kings manage to deal with the danger but the Stormers are looking dangerous as they vary their play deep inside the Kings half.
  • 20
The flags are raised! Human adds the extra three with a kick at poles from close range and the Stormer lead is reduced to 14-3 with 20 minutes of the game played.
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High fives all around for the Kings at scrum time as they are awarded the penalty for pressure at the set-piece. Human will lines one up at poles and look to add the extra three.
  • 17
The Kings win the penalty for Burger going off his feet at the breakdown and Human sets the attacking lineout with a kick which finds touch inside the Stormers 22 metre line. Kings looking to come up with some sort of set-play here.
  • 15
Jean-Luc du Plessis puts boot to ball and sends the ball sailing through the uprights. The Stormers now lead 14-0 with 15 minutes of the game played.
  • 14
Try time! The Stormers score off the back of first phase possession as they force the Kings back with a powerful scrum before Schreuder plays a beautiful pass over the top to Jones who runs clean through for his second try of the game.
  • 13
The Kings concede the penalty for going offside and yet again the Stormers turn down the three points. The home team are going for broke as they choose to go for the scrum on the Kings five metre line.
  • 12
Van Zyl jumps up and wins the lineout before De Allende comes in as first receiver but the Kings defence is equal to the task as they manage to wrap him up. Stormers going through the phases on the Kings five metre line.
  • 11
Sykes concedes the penalty for a high tackle on Stormers winger Kobus van Wyk and Jean-Luc du Plessis sets the attacking lineout with a touch finder on the Kings five metre line.
  • 9
The Kings are being forced to make all the tackles at the moment but still the Stormers are unable to break through as Jean-Luc du Plessis puts in another grubber kick for Van Wyk to run onto down the wing but there is too much on it as the ball goes over the dead ball line and the Kings will restart with the 22 metre drop out.
  • 8
Jean-Luc du Plessis with some good vision as he puts in the grubber kick for Zas to run onto. The Kings can only manage to force the ball into touch and the home team will have the attacking lineout on the Kings five metre line.
  • 7
The Kings win the ball at the scrum before Jaer makes the clearance with a touch finder on their 22 metre line. Attacking lineout to the Stormers deep inside the Kings half.
  • 6
Ntubeni is brought to ground as he receives the pass on a good line but a good tackle from the Kings forces the knock forward and they will have the defensive scrum on their five metre line.
  • 5
The Kings are blown up for hands in the ruck and Jean-Luc Duplessis sets the attacking lineout with a kick which finds touch on the Kings five metre line. Stormers looking for a pushover try here.
  • 4
Jean Kleyn jumps up and wins the ball at the lineout for the Stormers before the home team go the direct route with some big carries just outside the Kings 22 metre line.
  • 2
It looks good and it's over! Jean-Luc Duplessis converts the try from close range and the Stormers lead 7-0 with that early converted try.
  • 1
What a start from the Stormers as Jean-Luc Duplessis and Schalk Burger combine well in centre field before Huw Jones puts in the grubber kick and gathers for the opening try of the game.
  • 0
Here we go! Referee Jaco Peyper blows his whistle and Jean-Luc du Plessis gets the game underway with a deep kick which travels all the way to the Kings 22 metre line. Lukhanyo Am gathers the kick before the Kings make the exit with a kick up field. Here come the Stromers through Jaco Taute!
  • -2
Both teams are on the field. Stay tuned as we await referee Jaco Peyper to get us underway here.
  • -4
Jaco Peyper is our referee. Quinton Immelman and Rodney Bonaparte will assist him. Our TMO is Shaun Veldsman.
  • -5
WEATHER: Grey skies welcome the teams onto the field. Conditions are perfect for both sides to attack the line and manufacture some big hits, well timed offloads and beautiful sidesteps.
  • -10
This will be the Kings final game of the 2016 Super Rugby season. The Port Elizabeth based outfit have found their reintroduction to the tournament tough going as they have only managed to win two of their 14 games which leaves them sitting on seventh place in the South African group with nine points.
  • -15
News just in: There has been a last minute change to the Stormers starting team. Chris van Zyl will earn his starting debut as he replaces JD Schickerling at lock. Schickerling was forced to withdraw from the match day squad because of flu. Kobus van Dyk earns a place on the bench.
  • -20
The Stormers season will continue next weekend as they have already qualified for the quarter-finals courtesy of finishing top of Africa conference 1.
  • -25
The teams have met on two previous occasions with the Stormers winning both games which were played in 2013.
  • -30
Hello and welcome to Rugby 365’s live commentary of this final round of 2016 Super Rugby league action between the Stormers and Southern Kings from Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
Mc stormers logo 80x50
Stormers
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Kings
START LINE UP
  • 1 Alistair Vermaak
  • 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni
  • 3 Vincent Koch
  • 4 Jean Kleyn
  • 5 Chris van Zyl
  • 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 7 Rynhardt Elstadt
  • 8 Schalk Burger
  • 9 Louis Schrueder
  • 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis
  • 11 Leolin Zas
  • 12 Damian de Allende
  • 13 Huw Jones
  • 14 Jacobus Van Wyk
  • 15 Jaco Taute
RESERVES
  • 16 Bongi Mbonambi
  • 17 JC Janse van Rensburg
  • 18 Jean-Pierre Smith
  • 19 Kobus van Dyk
  • 20 Siya Kolisi
  • 21 Jano Vermaak
  • 22 Brandon Thomson
  • 23 Scott van Breda
START LINE UP
  • 1 Sithembiso Sithole
  • 2 Edgard Marutlulle
  • 3 Jacobie Adriaanse
  • 4 Steven Sykes
  • 5 John-Charles Astle
  • 6 Anidisa Ntsila
  • 7 Stefan Willemse
  • 8 Jacques Engelbrecht
  • 9 James Hall
  • 10 Dewald Human
  • 11 Wandile Mjekevu
  • 12 Shane Gates
  • 13 Stefan Watermeyer
  • 14 Lukhanyo Am
  • 15 Malcolm Jaer
RESERVES
  • 16 Martin Bezuidenhout
  • 17 Schalk Ferreira
  • 18 Tom Botha
  • 19 Schalk Oelofse
  • 20 Aidon Davis
  • 21 Kevin Luiters
  • 22 Elgar Watts
  • 23 Jeremy Ward
Mc article mat as orlando jaguares 800

S18 Preview: ROUND 17, PART TWO

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 23:42

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Saturday matches in Part Two of Super Rugby's Round 17 - the final round of league action.

The Jaguares may have been a major disappointment in their debut year, but they could still have a decisive say in Super Rugby's final league standings.

The pace-setting Lions have left 15 star players at home to freshen up before the play-offs, but it is a gamble that could cost them dearly if the Argentine franchise take offence to having been sent a B-Team to play against.

Travelling has proven to be notoriously difficult in the 20-year history of the Southern Hemisphere championship, where the Final is hosted by the team finishing highest in the regular season.

The visiting side has only won five times, and only once, when the Crusaders beat the Brumbies in Canberra in 2000, did the winner travel overseas to claim the trophy.

The Lions go into the final round on 52 points, closely followed by the Chiefs (51), Crusaders (50), Highlanders (48) and Hurricanes (48).

By the time the South Africans and the Jaguares take the field in Buenos Aires late on Saturday for the closing match of the regular season, the four New Zealand contenders will have sorted out who most needs the South Americans to win.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann knows the risk he is taking in gambling on his B-team keeping them at the top of the ladder, but believes the risk is worth it.

The Jaguares, a shadow Argentine national side, are not happy with only three wins so far and want to close their first year of Super Rugby with a victory.

Before the Jaguares and Lions take the field, the Crusaders play the Hurricanes and the Highlanders take on the Chiefs.

In such a packed points table, the winners of the two New Zealand derbies are in line to overtake the Lions and will then have a nervous wait to see what transpires in Argentina.

On overall points, the New Zealand sides go into the final round filling second to fifth positions, but only the conference winner will get a home play-off berth.

The Stormers, as winners of the Africa One conference, and the yet-to-be-determined top Australian team also get home berths in a bid to keep interest alive as long as possible in all three countries.

The Stormers, who did not have to play any New Zealand sides, finish off their regular season against the luckless Southern Kings.

The Brumbies are best placed to take the Australian conference with their final game at home against Western Force.

Saturday, July 16:
Given what is at stake, it is not surprising there is a Test atmosphere in the build-up and the accompanying nerves.

The winners - with or without a bonus point - will have given themselves a chance of finishing first in the New Zealand conference and perhaps even the global standings.

Obviously what happens in the other all New Zealand derby straight afterwards will ultimately decide the final standings.

However, these two teams can only control what is within their grasp and that is winning this encounter.

Crusaders captain Kieran Read spoke of the importance of discipline in a game that has a knock-out flavour to it.

"There are a few nerves floating around, which is great from my point of view," Read told stuff.co.nz.

And the quality of the opposition ensures the Crusaders will be even more on edge that usual.

"They are a tough team, they are well led up front up there," Read said.

"We will just go out there and we will do our bit.

"We are confident in our abilities, as a forward pack, to go out there and dominate this game - certainly through the set-piece."

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles said his team is not going to get caught up the play-off hype that is surrounding Saturday's two Kiwi derbies.

"We talked about it [all the hype] at the start of the week, and our focus was the Crusaders," Coles told stuff.co.nz.

"There are a few [quarterfinal] options going round and we'll know [which one we have] after our last game on Saturday," Coles said.

He too felt that set pieces will be crucial.

"Their scrums and line-outs are pretty good, so it's going to be a massive battle for us," the Hurricanes captain said.

"It's always been a good game between the Crusaders and Canes in previous years, so we're looking forward to the challenge," said Coles.

Recent results:
2015: Crusaders won 35-18, Christchurch
2015: Hurricanes won 29-23, Wellington
2014: Hurricanes won 16-9, Wellington
2014: Hurricanes won 29-26, Christchurch
2013: Crusaders won 25-17, Christchurch
2013: Hurricanes won 29-28, Wellington

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won five of their last seven games against the Crusaders, though none of their wins have come by more than the value of a converted try. After a 35-18 win in their last game against the Hurricanes, the Crusaders will be hunting for back-to-back wins against them for the first time since 2012. The Crusaders have now conceded in excess of 20 points in each of their last three Super Rugby games; the last time they went on a longer such streak was from 2010-11 when they conceded over 20 points in six straight games. The Crusaders have won six straight home games, their longest streak since a run of 11 between 2012 and 2013, though they've won only three of their last six home games against the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are on the cusp of a five-game winning streak for the second time this season, and they've won four of their last five fixtures away from home. Tough to predict and given what is at stake expect a real physical, even brutal, contest. The Crusaders may just have the edge, but their winning margin will be in the lower single digits.

Teams:

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

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Willis Halaholo, 12 Ngani Laumape, 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 Wes Goosen, 23 Jason Woodward.

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

The 'house full' signs have gone up, with 23,000 fans expected to pack the stands - with good reason.

Like the other New Zealand game a couple of hours earlier it is a straight shoot-out - a MUST WIN scenario.

The Chiefs - who played in Brisbane last week and had just a short hop across the Tasman Sea - have a very simple scenario.

A win will keep them at the top of the New Zealand conference.

The Highlanders - who only returned to Dunedin on Tuesday after a three-week road trip that saw them cover more than 36,500km and were in the air for more than 50 hours - not only need a win, but need some other results to go their way as well.

It could be the final game at home for coach Jamie Joseph, who is off to Japan at the end of the season.

While the Chiefs appear to have the advantage - even on the Highlanders' home turf - midfield back Anton Lienert-Brown said there is still the hard work to do.

"It's going to be huge and we've talked a lot about the passion and mana we play with," he told superrugby.co.nz.

"In the past they [the Highlanders] have been able to out-passion us, but this week that's going to be our main focus.

"Obviously we also need a good game plan, but we're going to have to match the physicality and the passion they bring and we're hoping to better that and if we can do that we'll go good."

Lienert-Brown said while it was hard with all the travel the Highlanders have done, they will have lots of time to work on their game.

"We talk about when we come back from trips that we are actually better for it," the midfielder said.

"Obviously you're tired and fatigued, but if you don't talk about it and get your recovery right we find we're actually better for it so I don't think that's any excuse really. They won't be fatigued and they'll definitely be up for that game," he added.

Recent results:
2016: Highlanders won 26-13, Hamilton
2015: Highlanders won 24-14, Dunedin
2015: Highlanders won 36-9, Dunedin
2015: Highlanders won 20-17, Hamilton
2014: Highlanders won 29-25, Dunedin
2014: Chiefs won 21-19, Hamilton

Prediction: The Highlanders have won their last five games against the Chiefs, their longest ever winning streak against the franchise, though that run was preceded by four consecutive victories for the Chiefs. The Highlanders have won their last three home games against the Chiefs, two of which came after trailing at the half-time break. The Highlanders will be playing at home for the first time in over two months; they've won 18 of their last 23 home games, with their five losses in that run all coming by seven points or fewer. Despite losing their last game against fellow New Zealand opposition, the Highlanders have won nine of their last 12 games against New Zealand sides without ever losing consecutive games in that streak. The Chiefs have won each of their last six games immediately after scoring 50 points or more in the round before in Super Rugby. It will be tight, very tight, but the travelling of the last few weeks may catch up with the Highlanders in the last quarter and the Chiefs should sneak a win - by a converted try or less.

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Alex Ainley, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Dan Pryor, 22 Te Aihe Toma, 23 Fletcher Smith.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Hiroshi Yamashita, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Sam McNicol.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand

It is not complicated. A bonus-point win for the Brumbies will ensure a spot in next week's Super Rugby play-offs.

The Brumbies go into their last round with a slight advantage over the New South Wales Waratahs who sit closely behind the Brumbies in the Australian Conference.

The Brumbies have won eight and drawn one of their last 10 games against the Force, including a current winning streak of five games.

However, they desperately need to turn it around from last week's bitterly disappointing loss to the Blues at Eden Park.

Brumbies prop Scott Sio believes the side is purely focussed on putting in the best performance possible against the Western Force, and not pondering too much about last week's loss.

"It's a week by week prospect," the 24-year old said in an interview on the Brumbies' website.

"In this competition we can definitely turn things around in a week's time and all the teams can move forward.

"At the end of the day, you're going to have to beat all the other teams in the competition so it doesn't really matter who you play in the finals, it's just about whether you turn up."

Sio says the Brumbies are ready for a tough encounter.

"The Force are a quality side, they've shown that they can pull off some quality wins this year as well and if we don't turn up especially this weekend it could be the end of it for us.

"They're a very strong piece side and they're very good defensively so we're going to have to make sure that our execution across the board is good."

Recent results:
2016: Brumbies won 31-14, Perth
2015: Brumbies won 33-20, Perth
2015: Brumbies won 27-15, Canberra
2014: Brumbies won 47-25, Canberra
2014: Brumbies won 27-14, Perth
2013: Force won 21-15, Perth
2013: Brumbies won 41-7, Canberra

Prediction: The Brumbies are aiming to become the first Australian team in the Super Rugby era to win all of their conference matches. The Brumbies have won eight and drawn one of their last 10 games against the Force including a current winning streak of five games. The Brumbies have won their last six games against Australian opposition, a seventh straight win would represent their longest such streak in Super Rugby history. The Force have lost their last three Super Rugby fixtures against Australian opposition, not since the opening round of the 2013 season have they lost more (four). The Force have averaged just 6.2 clean breaks per game this season, fewer than any other side, while only three teams have conceded more clean breaks than the Western Australia side (12.5). The Force (83 percent) and the Brumbies (78 percent) are two of just five sides to maintain a kick success rate of over 75 percent this season; the Force sit top of the rankings and are the only side to average fewer than one miss per game (0.7). The Brumbies will take this one easily - by 15 to 20 points.

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Blake Enever 21 Joe Powell, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Luke Morahan (captain), 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Brynard Stander, 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 Kane Koteka, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Semisi Masirewa.

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

This is nothing that a training run for the Stormers - who will finish third on the standings, regardless of the result in this encounter.

Coach Robbie Fleck said their focus is solely on gaining as much momentum as possible ahead of the knock-out phase of the competition.

"It is great that we have won our conference before the last game of the regular season, but that does not mean we will compromise on intensity against the Southern Kings this weekend," Fleck said.

"We need to play our best rugby in order to take some meaningful momentum into the play-offs, so this is a vital match for us," he added.

Fleck felt that it remains an extremely important game for them, because previous campaigns they took their foot off the throat in the final week.

"This time we wanted to keep the momentum going that was created on tour and we want to increase the intensity in the team, we want to be nice and physical," the coach said.

"We want to play finals rugby and it is important that we choose our strongest squad available, barring certain players being rested.

"It was important this week that we are at our best and we play at our best for the momentum next week."

The Stormers know that they will face a New Zealand side in the quarterfinals next week, but they don't know which one yet.

"The New Zealand sides are playing well, they are playing at a different level and we certainly need to get up to that level," the coach said.

"We need to find the intensity that we had at the beginning of the season."

Kings coach Deon Davids said the team had enjoyed the season and were looking forward to the last game.

"We are going to enjoy ourselves and are looking forward to the challenge," he said.

Davids said he had been heartened by the performance of the Kings against the Lions last week, and the improvement of the players week on week, but would be looking for a full eighty minutes from his team this weekend.

"We knew from the start it was going to big season for us, especially due to the challenges of not having a proper pre-season to assist with conditioning," he said.

Davids said he had spoken to the team about remaining focused after the half time break, and the expectations on the reserves to make an impact in the game.

Previous results:
2013: Stormers won 24-12, Port Elizabeth
2013: Stormers won 19-11, Cape Town

Prediction: There have been only two previous encounters between these teams in which only 66 points were scored in total, though the Stormers emerged victorious from both fixtures. The Stormers come into this game on the back of a three-game winning streak, the last time they won four in a row was the opening four rounds of the 2015 season. The Kings have lost their last 11 games away from home and have conceded an average of 46.5 points per game in that run. The Kings have boasted a 90 percent line-out success rate this season, the fifth best in Super Rugby. However, the Stormers have stolen 44 opposition line-outs in 2016, 15 more than any other side. The Kings have gained just 312 metres per game on average this season, fewer than any other side, while they have conceded 604 per game, over 60 metres more than any other team. Expect a competitive first half and a blowout after the break - with the Stormers winning by 20 points or more.

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Schalk Burger (captain), 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 John Schickerling, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 JP Smith, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Scott van Breda.

Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Dewald Human, 9 James Hall, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Schalk Oelofse/Sintu Manjezi, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Jeremy Ward

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Rodney Bonaparte (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

The Bulls are not completely out of the play-off picture yet, but they rely on a shock result in Durban on Friday.

The Pretoria-outfit must however depend on the Sunwolves upsetting the Sharks, while they must beat the Cheetahs in their crunch encounter in Bloemfontein.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais said they have spoken about the play-offs prospects, but they are focussed more on finishing the season on a winning note.

"Funny things can happen, but I feel the Sharks will take it," Marais told a media briefing in Pretoria.

"The guys have been positive this week. However, we will only know Saturday [what the players' mental state is]."

He said they have worked hard this season and there is a lot of pride in this team.

"We want to finish this phase with some momentum," Marais said.

"This group developed nicely this season and I am happy about the progress we have shown. It may very well be a final opportunity for a number of players to represent the Bulls and I expect a very positive effort from them."

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith said there is also a lot of pride for his team at stake.

In fact they are on a three-match winning streak at home, a run they hope to maintain against the Bulls.

"It is an important game for us, as we are looking to take some momentum into the Currie Cup competition," he said of South Africa's premier domestic competition - which gets underway next month.

"This game will be good preparation for the Currie Cup competition.

"We are expecting the Bulls to be at their best and it will be a very competitive game - even if there isn't much for either team to play for.

"No doubt the Bulls will be physical and looking to take us on in the set pieces."

Recent results:
2016: Bulls won 23-18, Pretoria
2015: Cheetahs won 42-29, Pretoria
2015: Bulls won 39-20, Bloemfontein
2014: Bulls won 26-21, Pretoria
2014: Cheetahs won 15-9, Bloemfontein
2013: Bulls won 30-25, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Bulls have won 14 of their last 16 games against the Cheetahs, though five of the last seven encounters between these teams have been decided by margins of fewer than seven points. The Cheetahs have won five of their last nine home games against South African opposition, with a win and a loss against the Bulls in that span. The Bulls haven't come back from a half-time deficit to win a game since Round 12, 2014 - against the Cheetahs. The Cheetahs have the worst scrum success in Super Rugby this season (77 percent), while the Bulls have the third worst (85 percent). No side has conceded more penalties this season than both the Bulls (169) and the Cheetahs (158). It is tough to predict, as the Bulls' state of mind could be influenced by the result in Durban on Friday. We feel the Cheetahs may just sneak a win - by eight points.

Teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Teboho Mohojé (captain), 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nché, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 George Whitehead, 23 Ryno Benjamin.

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

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)Date: Saturday, July 16

The spotlight on this match, all week, has been about the Lions' team selection.

The arduous travel schedule and the looming play-offs saw the coaching staff of Johan Ackermann and Swys de Bruin opt to leave 15 of their frontline players behind.

Only five players from the Lions' starting XV and three replacements remain from the side that beat the Jaguares 52-24 two months ago in Johannesburg.

The Highvelders are one point in front of the Chiefs, who are leading a pack of New Zealand sides still in contention for places in the play-offs.

Scrumhalf Ross Cronje will captain the side and the experienced centre Howard Mnisi is his deputy.

Despite the much-changed team, De Bruin said they are confident of getting the win that will see them finish on top of the standings.

And they will do it by playing the same high-paced game that has served them so well all season.

"I know it is a cliche, but we are absolutely process driven," De Bruin told rugby365.

While the Lions have already qualified for the play-offs and will finish first or second, they are determined come away from Buenos Aires with a win.

"The biggest mistake any team or individual can make in sport is to get ahead of yourself," he said.

"We simply can't afford to think of the quarterfinals.

"As management we can start planning, but the players are very process driven."

While it appears there will not be a repeat of the monsoon-like conditions the Bulls experience in Argentina a fortnight ago, the Lions are prepared for anything.

"It doesn't look like it will rain," De Bruin said, adding: "We will do what we normally do, but we do have the ability to adjust should the circumstances require."

Jaguares centre Matias Orlando described emotions as running high in their camp with the prospect of toppling the leading side.

"We want to close this first season well and because we cannot forget what happened in Johannesburg [we] want revenge," he said.

Previous result:
2016: Lions won 52-24, Johannesburg

Prediction: There were 76 points scored the only time these teams met in Super Rugby with the Lions coming away 52-24 victors. The Jaguares have led at half-time in four of their last seven Super Rugby games, though they've gone on to win only twice. The Lions have won their last five games, a sixth straight win would be their longest streak in Super Rugby history. Only the Reds (10 yellows, no reds) have been shown as many cards this season as the Jaguares (nine yellows, two reds), who are the only side to have been given more than one red card this campaign. Jaco Kriel (47) has beaten the most defenders of any forward this season, and the fifth most overall. The Lions have gambled and it may just pay off, but they are unlikely to win by more than 10 points.  

Teams:

Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 12 Juan Martin Hernández, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martin Landajo (captain), 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Javier Ortega Desio, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Santiago Gonzales Iglesias, 23 Matias Orlando.

Lions: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Koch Marx, 13 Nicolaas Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ross Cronjé (captain), 8 Cyle Brink, 7 Robert Kruger, 6 Stef de Witt, 5 Lourens Erasmus, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements - from: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Clinton Theron, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Fabian Booysen, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Shaun Reynolds, 24 Bobby de Wee, 25 Ashlon Davids.

Referee: Rohan Hoffman
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner, Federico Anselmi
TMO: Santiago Borsani

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article jean luc du plessis stormers 800

Jones scores four times in Stormers rout

Sat, 16 Jul 2016 17:04

MATCH REPORT: Centre Huw Jones scored four times as the Stormers warmed up for the Super Rugby play-offs with a 52-24 victory over the Southern Kings on Saturday.

Wing Leolin Zas also added a hat-trick as the hosts raced past the 50-point mark - before two late tries gave the Kings' scoreline some respectability.

The biggest concern for the Stormers coming out of the Newlands encounter will be the loss of flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis, who limped off in the 39th minute with a leg injury. The Stormers are already without flyhalves Kurt Coleman and Robert du Preez and will go into the play-offs with their fourth-choice in Brandon Thomson if Du Plessis is ruled out.

The Stormers raced into a 21-3 lead and looked to be blowing the Kings away.

The visitors managed a score late in the first half, which saw the Kings claw their way back into the game - trailing just 10-21 at the break.

However, a try five minutes after the restart - when Huw Jones completed his hat-trick - ended any hope of a Kings comeback. Jones scored his fourth late in the second half.

Zas completed his hat-trick with just over 10 minutes remaining on the cock.

Scotland-born Jones equalled the record for the most tries in a Super Rugby.

Twelve other players have achieved the feat, and Jones was the second to do so this season - after Charles Ngatai from New Zealand franchise the Chiefs.

Jones is the third player from a South African side to score four tries in a Super Rugby game - after now retired Sharks duo Gavin Lawless and Stefan Terblanche.

Although the result had no bearing on the play-offs, with the Stormers set to face the Chiefs in their Super Rugby quarterfinal at Newlands next weekend, the comfortable win will give them plenty of confidence heading into the knock-out stage of the competition.

After captain Schalk Burger had led the team out along with his two young sons, the Stormers got off to a sensational start as Jones collected his own grubber to score in the first minute and give them an early 7-0 lead.

The home side kept the pressure on as they camped in Kings territory, and it paid off when a long pass from an attacking scrum found Jones who needed no invitation to skip over for his second try, with the conversion from flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis making it 14-0 after 15 minutes.

The Kings managed to get on the scoreboard with a penalty from flyhalf Dewald Human, but the Stormers responded with a third try as left wing Leolin Zas dived over after another sustained attack.

The Stormers suffered a setback when scrumhalf Louis Schreuder was shown a yellow card for a cynical infringement in his 22, but the hosts showed good defensive discipline to keep the Kings from scoring.

However, the Kings would eventually get over the tryline as fullback Malcolm Jaer got on the end of a grubber to dive over for the try just before half-time which cut the Stormers advantage to 21-10, but perhaps more concerning for the hosts was the sight of Du Plessis limping off with an ankle injury just before the break.

The Stormers struck early in the second half when Jones finished off a flowing backline move to register his hat-trick and put them back in bonus-point range with a 26-10 lead.

The home side showed good patience on attack, and they were rewarded when the ball was worked wide to Zas who went over in the corner for his second five-pointer.

The flying wing did not have to wait long for his hat-trick, which came courtesy of an intercept in his own half, and with the floodgates well and truly open a searing run from Jones saw the ball go wide to Brandon Thomson who scored in the corner.

There was time for a late consolation try from the Kings, with left wing Wandile Mjekevu crossing late from a counter-attack, but the Stormers responded through Jones who got over for his fourth try before Kings centre Stefan Watermeyer had the final say n the stroke of full-time.

Man of the match: Jacques Engelbrecht and John-Charles Astle were the Kings' most productive players. Damian de Allende had his best game of the season, looking for space and making off-loads. Schalk Burger was busy, RynhAtdy Elstadt physical and Siyabonga Ntubeni involved in much of what was good about the hosts. However, you can't look past the four tries of Huw Jones.

The scorers:

For the Stormers:
Tries:
Jones 4, Zas 3, Thomson
Cons: Du Plessis 3, Thomson 3

For the Southern Kings:
Tries:
Jaer, Mjekevu, Watermeyer
Cons: Human, Watts, Watermeyer
Pen: Human

Yellow card: Louis Schreuder (Stormers, 32 - repeated infringements, slowing down the ball)

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Schalk Burger (captain), 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 JP Smith, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Scott van Breda.

Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Dewald Human, 9 James Hall, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Jeremy Ward

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Rodney Bonaparte (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Huw Jones (1min), Huw Jones (14min), Leolin Zas (26min), Huw Jones (45min), Leolin Zas (60min), Leolin Zas (66min), Brandon Thomson (69min), and Huw Jones (79min)
TRIES
Malcolm Jaer (37min), Wandile Mjekevu (76min), and Stefan Watermeyer (81min)
Jean-Luc du Plessis (2min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (15min), Jean-Luc du Plessis (27min), Brandon Thomson (67min), Brandon Thomson (70min), and Brandon Thomson (80min)
CONVERSIONS
Dewald Human (38min), Elgar Watts (77min), and Elgar Watts (82min)
 
PENALTIES
Dewald Human (20min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
Louis Schrueder (31min)
 
 
VENUE Cape Town
REFEREE Jaco Peyper (South Africa)