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Super Rugby | Buenos Aires
21:40 (GMT) | 16-07-2016
  • 82
Join us again next week for Super Rugby quarter finals, the Hurricanes hosting Sharks, Lions against the Crusaders, Stormers playing Chiefs and Brumbies plays Highlanders.
  • 81
Lions on the attack, they looking for a late try. But lost the ball but gets penalty. Game is up, Full time. Jaguares beat the Lions by 34-22. The Lions didn't get the bonus point and finishes second in their group. They will now face the Crusaders in play-offs. Thank you for joining us in today's live commentaries. See you next time.
  • 80
Lions still on the attack, time is up - can they come back to get a try,.... Lions still with a ball. It's been tough second half to them. Jaguares are penalised and Lions gets a penalty. They taking line out in hoping of getting a late try.
  • 78
It's getting late for the Lions, can they bounce back? Remember they still 14 men with their team mate being sin binned.
  • 77
Jaguares gets a penalty in Lions 5 metres, they do a quick take to get a try, but ref is going to TMO for try or no try. We waiting...... final answer, No try. Now scrum to the Lions.
  • 75
In this second half, Lions perfomance dropped compared to first half. Jaguares are trying hard not to give visitors a try. Lions are needing only a point to qualify.
  • 74
The Jaguares tonight have been amazing, trying to win every Lions ball, from line out to turn overs. Ref playing advantage but decided to go back to Jaguares scrum. Lion's Erasmus gets a yellow card, second players from the visitors tonight to be sin binned.
  • 71
Line out to Jaguares, Lions wins the ball who easily lost it to home team. Visitors are trying to crack the tough Jaguares defence. A bit of a break, players are talking to each other. Now scrum to Jaguares.
  • 69
The Lions on the attack, trying to maintain the composure. But the home side don't give Lions much spaces to run in. Lions knock the ball and now scrum to Jaguares.
  • 66
Sanchez does the job, adding two points to the score.
  • 65
Jaguares are getting stronger as the game progresses, they on the attack in Lions 5 metre line. Are they on the line? No, Rohan Hoffman is going to TMO for consultation. There's noise from the Argentinian fans, it could be a try.... And the TRY awarded.
  • 63
Lions on the attack, they don't want to give the ball away easily but lost it anyway to Jaguares. Now home team are on the attack but the Lions are penalised for foul play. Penalty to Jaguares, and Sanchez is going to poles. The kick is good and the flags are high. Jaguares are 27 and Lions 22.
  • 60
Jaguares are putting pressure to the Lions as now they leading the visitors. They on 5' metre line form the visitors scoring line but lost the ball to the Lions.
  • 57
And Jaguares convert two points. The score now Lions 22 and Jaguares 24.
  • 56
From the Jaguares scrum, Lions tried to interrupt their scrum and ref awarded penalty try, penalising the Lions for illegal scrumming.
  • 55
Right straight from the line out, Jaguares on the attack running through next to touch line to get a try. But ref is consulting the TMO for clarification. But TMO, Santiago Borsani say no try but scrum to home side.
  • 54
The home side are getting another penalty, this time they kick for touch. It will be home side throw in.
  • 53
Cyle Brink (Lions) is shown a yellow card.
  • 53
The Lions coach giving instructions from the coaching room, scrum to Jaguares in Lions 22' metre line. They lost the ball to the visitors. Now Lions on the attack but knock the ball but ref play Jaguares advantage. Lions are penalised for offside. Cyle Brink gets yellow card. Home side are going for poles. And Sanchez misses it.
  • 49
Conversion missed by Sanchez.
  • 48
Straight from the scrum, Jaguares gets their first try of the game, poor scrum by the Lions. Jaguares are 17
  • 47
Good scrum by Jaguares, ref plays an advantage but decided to go back to Jaguares penalty. Now scrum to home side. Jaguares is making changes.
  • 44
Jaguares are on the attack, they trailing behind by 12 points. Jaguares receives scrum in Lions 22' mitres.
  • 42
And extra two points by the visitors added.
  • 41
We back to the second stanza of the game, Lions against Jaguares. The visitors are leading the home team by 15-12. Lions started on the attack. They looking for an early try and gets it, courtesy of Anthony Volmink.

Half Time

  • 40
Lions are penalised for illegal scrummaging right infront of the posts and Jaguares are going for another three points as Sanchez preparing for the kick, and he makes it in adding another three points. In that score its Half-time. The score is 15 to the Lions and 12 to Jaguares.
  • 39
Few minutes before the end of the first stanza, scrum to Jaguares, now the home team is on the attack unfortunately knock the ball. Scrum to the visitors.
  • 37
Free kick to the Jaguares after Lions collapsed the scrum. The home side on the attack, Sanchez with the ball. The Lions are defending very well, Jaguares lost the ball to Lions but referee giving penalty to Jaguares for knock on by the Lions. They will take the scrum.
  • 35
Lions are on the attack again, but turn over by Jaguares. Lions tried to steal Jaguares's ball but end up knocking it. Scrum to home team. Lions still leading by 15-9.
  • 33
Good take from the line out by Lions, Jaguares are interrupting Lions ruck, referee give Lions penalty. Quick take by the visitors, attacking in Jaguares 5 mitres but lost the home team.
  • 30
Sylvian Mahuza runs next to touchline with the ball, but step out side to give home team throw in. A quick throw by Jaguares who also lost the ball to the visitors. Penalty awarded to Lions.
  • 27
Conversion missed by the Lions. The score is 15-9 to the visitors.
  • 26
Lions fullback Sylvian Mahuza gets a easy try for visitors running through to the corner. Lions are leading the home team 15-9.
  • 24
Sanchez makes it 9.
  • 23
Rohan Hoffman is talking to match TMO looking at possible foul play against the Lions. Santiago Borsani talks back to ref and awarding the penalty to home side who decided to go for the posts.
  • 22
Lions gets a free kick after scrum collapsed. Visitors are trying to retain the ball but lost it easily to Jaguares who also gave it away to Lions. The home team regains the ball and makes the attack.
  • 19
Lion with the ball try to keep position. Jaguares are coming strong to Lions defence but penalised losing the ball in contact, now scrum to visitors.
  • 16
Jaguares gets a penalty, Sanchez makes it through for another 3 points.
  • 15
Easy conversion by the Lions for two points.
  • 14
The Lions gets the first try of the match courtesy of Anthony Volmink runs through to the corner.
  • 11
Jaguares gets an easy kick to the post and it's in for three points..
  • 10
Jaguares awarded first penalty of the game, they played for kick and now will get a throw in. Home side are attacking the Lions, pass after to pass to home side players. Lion are penalised for offside.
  • 7
A knock on by the Lion, now it will be Jaguares scrum, Lions have started the game on high pace, attacking the home side.
  • 5
Lions gets first scrum of the match, outstanding push by the young Lion side who managed to get penalty, Jaguares are penalised to illegal scrummaging.
  • 3
Lions attack on Jaguares field, and ref awarding the penalty right infront of home side posts. And Jaco van der Walt goes to kick, it's in for 3 points to the visitors.
  • 1
What a great start by the Lions side, attacking the home side. The ball gets out and it will be Jaguares line out.
  • 0
Rohan Hoffman blows the whistle and Jaguares gets the game underway.
  • -5
Match officials, referee Rohan Hoffman, assisted by Angus Gardner and Federico Anselmi. Santiago Borsani is our TMO.
  • -10
Should the Lions finish top of the overall standings, they will host the Sharks in the quarter-finals.
  • -15
A win, draw or even a losing bonus point against the Jaguares would now be enough for the Lions top the overall standings.
  • -20
The Lions have won their last five games, a sixth straight win would be their longest streak in Super Rugby history.
  • -25
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.
  • -30
Hello and welcome to live commentary of this final round of 2016 Super Rugby league clash between the Lions and Jaguares from Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires.
Mc lions logo 85
  • 1 Nahuel Chaparro
  • 2 Julian Montoya
  • 3 Ramiro Herrera
  • 4 Guido Petti Pagadizaval
  • 5 Tomas Lavaninni
  • 6 Javier Desio
  • 7 Juan Manual Leguizamon
  • 8 Facundo Isa
  • 9 Martin Landajo
  • 10 Nicolas Sánchez
  • 11 Manuel Montero
  • 12 Juan Martin Hernandez
  • 13 Jeronimo De La Fuente
  • 14 Santiago Cordero
  • 15 Joaquin Tuculet
  • 16 Facundo Bosch
  • 17 Santiago Garcia Botta
  • 18 Enrique Pieretto
  • 19 Matias Alemanno
  • 20 Marcos Kremer
  • 21 Gonzalo Bertranou
  • 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias
  • 23 Matias Orlando
  • 1 Corne Fourie
  • 2 Armand van der Merwe
  • 3 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 4 Martin Muller
  • 5 Lourens Erasmus
  • 6 Stephan De Wit
  • 7 Robert Kruger
  • 8 Cyle Brink
  • 9 Ross Cronje
  • 10 Jaco van der Walt
  • 11 Anthonie Volminck
  • 12 Howard Mnisi
  • 13 Stokkies Hanekom
  • 14 Koch Marx
  • 15 Sylvian Mahuza
  • 16 Ramone Samuels
  • 17 Clinton Theron
  • 18 Pieter Scholtz
  • 19 Fabian Booysen
  • 20 Ruan Lerm
  • 21 Dillon Smit
  • 22 Jacques Nel
  • 23 Shaun Reynolds
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

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

"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.


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

"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.


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.


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.


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.


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.  


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

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article jaguares v lions match 800

Jaguares send Lions home empty handed

Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:01

MATCH REPORT: The Lions finished second on the Super Rugby standings, after their second string selection fell short against the Jaguares on Saturday.

The Argentinean franchise, loaded with the bulk of the country's national team, beat the Lions' back-up team 34-22 in Buenos Aires.

The result is that the Hurricanes top the standings, one point ahead of the Lions - who opted to rest their entire frontline selection ahead of the play-offs.

Coach Johan Ackermann argued that the marathon flights to and from Buenos Aires, along with the brutal nature of the Jaguares' game, would have counted against his team in the play-offs.

Having already secured second place, it means the Lions will host the quarterfinal - where they face the Crusaders next week - as well as a possible semifinal.

If the Hurricanes win both their quarterfinal and semifinal, the Lions will have to travel to New Zealand for the Final.

The Lions opted for their high-paced approach in Buenos Aires on Saturday, while the Jaguares preferred a more structure game.

Added to that the visitors' very effective rush-defence contributed to keeping the Jaguares at bay for long periods in the first half.

The scrums were certainly the Lions' big Achilles heel - with the Argentineans winning a number of penalties and turnovers in the set pieces.

They were also heavily penalised by referee Rohan Hoffman in general play - although the visitors can feel aggrieved about his consistency with how he treated the offside line, high tackles and the breakdown.

However, the Lions did not help themselves with a number of unforced errors - especially some aimless kicking that handed possession back to the home team - and their handling errors.

The Lions enjoyed the early territorial advantage and an offside penalty allowed Jaco van der Walt to open the scoring in the fourth minute.

A couple of offside penalties against the Lions afforded Nicolas Sanchez a chance to level the scores in the 12th minute.

However, the Lions hit straight back when - after some strong phase play and a sniping break by Ross Cronje - Anthony Volmink strolled over in the left corner for the game's first try. Van der Walt's conversion made it 10-3.

Sanchez kicked a second penalty, after the Lions went offside at the restart, and then made it a one-point game after yet another offside penalty.

Again the Lions showed their superior skills - quick hands and clinical recycling creating the space for Sylvian Mahuza to get a second try for the visitors. This time Van der Walt was wide with the conversion - 15-9 after 27 minutes.

On the stroke of half-time a powerful scrum earned the Jaguares a penalty and Sanchez made it 12-15 at the break.

The Lions got their second half off to a dream start - Koch Marx picked up a stray ball and sprinted 40 metres downfield. WQuick recycling and slick handling found Volmink near the let touchline and he slipped between two defenders for his second try. Van der Walt's conversion made it 22-12.

The Jaguares started gaining the ascendancy in the scrums and two powerful shoves - one resulting ain a penalty - No.8 Facundo Isa powered over for the home team's first try. The conversion was wide - 17-22 after 50 minutes.

Soon afterwards the Lions were reduced to 14 men - a questionable call by the referee about Kyle Brink playing the ball from an offside position in the tackle.

And from a five-metre scrum the eight-man Jaguares pack had no trouble to push the Lions' seven-man scrum off the ball and towards the line - the referee awarding a penalty try in double-quick time. Sanchez's conversion gave the home team the lead for the first time - 24-22.

Another penalty - for playing a man after he kicked the ball - allowed Sanchez to stretch the lead to 27-22.

It got worse for the Lions when replacement Matias Alemanno powered over in the 65th minute and Sanchez added the conversion - 34-32.

The Lions were again reduced to 14 men - this time for the final five minutes - after lock Lourens Erasmus was penalised for deliberately collapsing the maul.

Yet, it was the Lions who enjoyed the better of the possession - as they looked to salvage a losing bonus point from the game.

However, the Lions could hardly get out their own 22 - the Jaguares holding on for the win.

Man of the match: Jaco van der Walt, Ross Cronje and Cyle Brink did themselves proud. Nicolas Sanchez was the Jaguares' general and scrumhalf Martin Landajo was the energy behind the pack. However, the power in the pack and our Man of the Match was Jaguares No.8 Facundo Isa.

The scorers:

For the Jaguares:
Isa, Penalty try, Alemanno
Cons:  Sanchez 2
Pens: Sanchez 5

For the Lions:
Volmink 2, Mahuza
Cons: Van der Walt 2
Pen: Van der Walt

Yellow cards: Cyle Brink (Lions, 53 - cynical foul, playing the ball from an offside position), Lourens Erasmus (Lions, 75 - cynical play, collapsing the maul)


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 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Clinton Theron, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Fabian Booysen, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Shaun Reynolds.

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

Facundo Isa (48min) and Matias Alemanno (65min)
Anthonie Volminck (14min), Sylvian Mahuza (26min), and Anthonie Volminck (41min)
Juan Martin Hernandez (57min) and Nicolas Sánchez (66min)
Jaco van der Walt (15min) and Jaco van der Walt (42min)
Nicolas Sánchez (11min), Nicolas Sánchez (17min), Nicolas Sánchez (24min), Nicolas Sánchez (40min), and Nicolas Sánchez (63min)
Jaco van der Walt (3min)
Cyle Brink (53min) and Lourens Erasmus (74min)
VENUE Buenos Aires
REFEREE Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)