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17     83


Super Rugby | Tokyo
04:15 (GMT) | 25-02-2017
  • 83
That's it for this encounter but stay with us as the action hots up! We will soon be bringing you the LIVE coverage between the Crusaders and the Brumbies!
  • 82
The defending champions are off to a perfect start with that massive victory! But the Sunwolves will take some confidence from the way they finished!
  • 81
PENALTY! The Sunwolves have their hands in the ruck and the Canes take it quickly. They make their way to the 22 but lose the ball forward! FULL-TIME!
  • 80
Hurricanes are in possession inside the Sunwolves' 10 metre line. HUGE SHOVE by the home side but the Canes retain it. The Canes throw it around, looking for a gap but the Sunwolves are pushing them back.
  • 79
Timothy Lafaela sneaks it in off the upright!
  • 78
Sunwolves have it and are on the run! Brits finds a gap and races through it. He gets over the line! TRY TIME SUNWOLVES!
  • 77
It's solid this time but the Sunwolves lose it forward in the contact. Hurricanes have it and Beauden Barrett is able to boot it into touch outside his 22
  • 76
A big shove by the Sunwolves! PENALTY! Hurricanes are penalised again! This time for collapsing the scrum. Sunwolves opt for another scrum on the 5-metre line
  • 75
Sunwolves use their maul and it gets rolling. PENALTY! Canes are offside at the maul and the Sunwolves now dominating. They opt for the scrum about 7 metres from the Canes' try line
  • 74
The throw is too long though as the Canes come away with it. Barrett pumps it forward into the hands of Shota Emi and he sets off on a run! The Sunwolves are building a head of steam now. PENALTY! Canes are once again penalised. YELLOW CARD! Fatialofa is sent to the bin for a no arms tackle!
  • 73
The Sunwolves have the momentum and confidence now as they run the ball at the Canes. PENALTY! Canes are being penalised at the breakdown a lot more now. Sunwolves pops the ball into touch to set up and attacking lin-out on the Canes' 22
  • 71
The conversion is missed
  • 70
It's scrappy but they retain possession and are edging their way towards the line. Two phases later and they are over! TRY TIME SUNWOLVES! Shokei Kin crashes over!
  • 69
PENALTY! Canes are penalised for going off their feet at the breakdown. Sunwolves take it quickly and have made their way to the Canes' 22. PENALTY! An early tackle sees the ref having a word with the Canes. Sunwolves pop the ball into touch for an attacking line-out inside the Canes' 22.
  • 68
Sunwolves' line-out on Canes' 10 metre line finds the jumper and they are now looking to release their backline but it's very static as they remain on the 10 metre line
  • 66
Sunwolves put in a massive shove to retain possession but they remain under all sorts of pressure close to their 5 metre line. Tumura looks for the clearance kick bt does not find touch. J Savea collects and sets off. He is stopped this time though. PENALTY! Hurricanes are caught with their hands in the ruck after an excellent counter ruck by the home side
  • 65
The maul is set and it starts moving. They look for a set play but a massive tackle on Beauden Barrett sees him cough up the ball. Sunwolves will restart the match with a scrum just outside their 5 metre line
  • 64
Canes secure the line-out and set up the next phase. PENALTY! Sunwolves are penalised for entering the breakdown from the side. The ball is popped into touch and the Canes have an attacking 5-metre line-out
  • 63
Coles goes to the front and gets the ball back. He sets off but is brought down just short. They recycle it and it's sent wide to Savea but he is stopped. Sunwolves turn over possession and they are able to boot it away
  • 62
Hurricanes recover the ball after the line-out. PENALTY! The Sunwolves are pinned for a high tackle on their 10-metre line. Hurricanes are not letting up as they boot the ball into touch inside the Sunwolves' 22 to set up an attacking line-out
  • 61
The Hurricanes has the ball once again and are on the attack. J Savea sets off down the left touchline and offloads to Aso but the Sunwolves are there to force him into touch
  • 60
Black pops over the conversion
  • 59
Sunwolves are again on the attack and another loose pass is pounced on! Wes Goosen this time with the interception and he sprints away to dot down!
  • 58
Balc finds his range again to add the extras
  • 57
The Sunwolves have the ball and set off on an attack. Ardie Savea picks off a loose pass and he sets off form half-way. He finds Aso, who canters in for another score
  • 55
Black lines up the conversion but pushes it wide once again
  • 53
It's a short restart and the Hurricanes secures it. The ball is sent to Black who boots it upfield, only for a kicking battle to break out. Jordie Barrett places a well-weighted kick that J Savea charges after. The Sunwolves are there to scramble in defence though but are bundled into touch. Hurricanes set up the line-out and the maul gets going. It rumbles its way to the line! TRY TIME HURRICANES! Fatialofa gets a double!
  • 51
Hurricanes lose the restart and it's claimed the Sunwolves who are on the attack. A brilliant run by Quirk gets them into the Hurricanes' 22. PENALTY! Huricanes are caught offside and the Sunwolves opt to go for an attacking line-out but the kick goes horribly wrong and the ball is kicked dead! Play will resume with a 22 drop-out
  • 50
Black pops over the conversion!
  • 49
Sunwolves have the ball from the restart and are on the attack in the Hurricanes' 10-metre line. They keep the continuity but a long pass is intercepted by Shields who sprints away to coast to another try. TRY TIME HURRICANES!
  • 47
Another tricky conversion for Black but he finds his range to add the extras
  • 46
Ardie Savea gets it and has a bash. They keep the ball alive and are into the 22. They go down the short side and Michael Fatialofa benefits from poor defending to dot down! TRY TIME HURRICANES!
  • 44
Hurricanes secures the restart and a kick over the top looks dangerous but the Sunwolves have managed to gain possession. They attempt a kick of their own and cough up possession. PENALTY! Hurricanes opts to find touch and have a line-out on the Sunwolves' 22
  • 43
Black cannot curl the conversion in from the touchline
  • 42
Savea takes it and hands it to Laumape who steps past a few defenders before an offload finds Blade Thomson to dot down in the corner. TRY TIME HURRICANES!
  • 41
KICK-OFF! It's a short restart by the Canes but the Sunwolves secure it. They remain under pressure though as they are pushed back into their 22. Tamura is there to clear the pressure though. Hurricanes line-out just inside the 22

Half Time

  • 40
Hurricanes opt for the line-out and sets the maul. PENALTY! They cross the line and dot down but are penalised for obstruction! HALF-TIME!
  • 39
There is no stopping the Hurricanes as they launch another attack from the restart. A long pass finds Aso who sets off on a long run down the touchline. He goes to ground but the Hurricanes recycle. PENALTY! Nothing comes of the attack as the play is brought back for an infringement at the breakdown
  • 38
Black pops over the conversion!
  • 37
The ball is recycled the other way and Aso gains some metres. The next phase finds Jordie Barrett who sets off on a mazy run before a long pass to Ngani Laumape, to grab another HURRICANES TRY!
  • 36
The Hurricanes are in possession again and are looking to hit back after conceding. They will have possession via a scrum feed on half-way. They send the ball down the line and the backline gets them to the 10-metre line
  • 35
Tamura strikes it well but has pulled it slightly to leave the try inconverted.
  • 34
They secure the ball and set up the next phase. Brits gets the ball and bashes his way over the gain-line. The Sunwolves have the momentum now as they spread the ball wide. It finds Kenki Fukuoka who looks to go for the corner but he is tackled short. He pops the ball infield, Viljoen collects and dots down! TRY TIME SUNWOLVES!
  • 33
Tamura gets it at first receiver. He places a cross kick but it's too hard. PENALTY! Hurricanes are penalised for advancing too early at line-out time. Tamura finds touch inside the Canes' 22.
  • 32
The Hurricanes shovel the ball to Black, who finds touch on his 10-metre line. Sunwolves throw-in
  • 31
Nothing is working for the Sunwolves as they knock the ball on after securing the line-out.
  • 30
Hurricanes secure the restart but Willie Brits charges down the attempted clearance! The ball rolls toward the try line but the Canes are able to scramble it away. Sunwolves will have the line-out throw-in
  • 29
Black adds the extras once again
  • 27
They continue to probe for a gap. PENALTY! Hurricanes are caught offside and the Sunwolves take it quickly. Tamura attempts a cut-out pass and Jordie Barrett picks it off. The ball gets to Black, who chips across field to Julian Savea just outside his 22. He gets it and sprints his way all the way for another HURRICANES TRY!
  • 26
Sunwolves have it and are taking it through the phases. They have an overlap but Tamura goes for it himself and gets taken to ground.
  • 25
Sunwolves set the maul and then recycle. They spread the ball to Malgene Ilaua who tries to bash his way over. He gets over the line but the Hurricanes have managed to hold him up. 5-metre attacking scrum to the Sunwolves
  • 24
Despite being exposed on defence, the Sunwolves continue to push hard for their first points of the game and they have a chance with a line-out throw-in inside the Hurricanes' 22 after the visitors were penalised at a previous line-out for playing the man in the air
  • 22
Black ensures he does not miss three in a row as he finds his radar once again
  • 21
Hurricanes have it again and a simple move finds J Savea on the left. He sets off, bumps off a defender, gives it to Jordie who finds Perenara to dot down! TRY TIME HURRICANES!
  • 19
Sunwolves secures it and Tamura once again uses the grubber to good effect. They regather the ball and are inside the Hurricanes' 22 once again. A chip kick is placed but fails to find a teammate and the Canes are able to scramble it clear.
  • 18
They secure it and set the maul but it's ripped away and Black boots it into touch just inside his 10-metre line
  • 17
They manage to maintain possession. PENALTY! Hurricanes are pinned at the breakdown and the home side wants a line-out
  • 16
The Sunwolves finally has some possession as they probe. Tamura puts in a cheeky grubber that Timothy Lafaela collects and they are in the Hurricanes' 22.
  • 15
Black pushes the conversion wide once again
  • 14
It's too simple for the visitors as they set the maul, Savea peals off and hands it to Ricky Riccitelli who dots down! TRY TIME HURRICANES!
  • 13
There is no letting up by the Hurricanes as the break down the right side of the field. The Sunwolves has no answer on defence. PENALTY! The home side is pinned at the breakdown and the Hurricanes opt for a line-out, 5-metres from the try line
  • 12
Black cannot add the extras this time but the Hurricanes has their bonus point already
  • 11
Sunwolves look to run it out but they lose possession outside their 22. The Hurricanes pounce and a few passes later, Ardie Savea gets a double by bashing his way over! TRY TIME HURRICANES!
  • 10
Hurricanes secure the restart and again set off on the attack. Black looks to place a cross kick for Aso but it has a bit too much on it and rolls into touch. Sunwolves have the throw-in closw to their 22
  • 9
Black adds the conversion once again
  • 8
That was quick. Hurricanes secure the restart and some quick offloads sees the ball find Vince Aso on the wing and he sprints down the sideline to dot down! TRY TIME HURRICANES!
  • 7
Black adds the easy conversion!
  • 6
The ball is switched to the left and Julian Savea goes on a run. A few phases later, while inside the Sunwolves' 22, the ball finds Ardie Savea and the flank goes over! TRY TIME HURRICANES!
  • 5
Perenara snipes down the blindside and gives it to Jordie. He goes to ground.
  • 4
Carpenter gets it at first receiver and puts in a good grubber. Jordie Barrett misjudges the bounce and the Sunwolves pounce. But they lose it forward and the Hurricanes come away with the scrum feed just outside their 22.
  • 3
The Hurricanes wrap up a tackle and look to rip it loose but it goes forward and the Sunwolves will have the first scrum of the day close to their 10-metre line.
  • 2
Possession changes hands and the Hurricanes are looking dangerous as they make their way to the Sunwolves' 22. TURN OVER! Excellent work at the breakdown and Sunwolves are now in possession.
  • 1
Savea claims the kick-off and the Hurricanes are in possession outside their 22. The box kick is utilised and the Sunwolves now have it on half-way.
  • 0
KICK-OFF! The Sunwolves gets the game underway!
  • -5
Clear skies above Tokyo and 11 degrees with a slight breeze await the players
  • -10
The Tokyo-based franchise won just one of their 15 games under New Zealander Mark Hammett in 2016, while former Japan coach Eddie Jones called them "embarrassing" after a 92-17 mauling by the Cheetahs.
  • -20
Sunwolves coach Filo Tiatia said the Japanese side have no reason to feel pressure this season, after a chastening first year in Super Rugby.
  • -30
Welcome to LIVE coverage of the fourth game of Round One! We have the Sunwolves hosting the defending champions - the Hurricanes - in Tokyo.
Mc hurricanes logo 80x50
  • 1 Masataka Mikami
  • 2 Shota Horie
  • 3 Helichiro Ito
  • 4 Liaki Moli
  • 5 Sam Wykes
  • 6 Malgene Ilaua
  • 7 Ed Quirk
  • 8 Willem Britz
  • 9 Keisuke Uchida
  • 10 Yu Tamura
  • 11 Kenki Fukuoka
  • 12 Derek Carpenter
  • 13 Timothy Lafaela
  • 14 Takaaki Nakazuru
  • 15 Riaan Viljoen
  • 16 Takeshi Hino
  • 17 Yamamoto Koki
  • 18 Takuma Asahara
  • 19 Kotaro Yatabe
  • 20 Shokei Kin
  • 21 Kaito Shigeno
  • 22 Ryohei Yamanaka
  • 23 Shota Emi
  • 1 Chris Eves
  • 2 Ricky Riccitelli
  • 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
  • 4 James Blackwell
  • 5 Michael Fatialofa
  • 6 Brad Shields
  • 7 Ardie Savea
  • 8 Blade Thomson
  • 9 TJ Perenara
  • 10 Otere Black
  • 11 Julian Savea
  • 12 Ngani Laumape
  • 13 Matt Proctor
  • 14 Vince Tavae –Aso
  • 15 Jordie Barrett
  • 16 Dane Coles
  • 17 Ben May
  • 18 Mike Kainga
  • 19 Reed Prinsep
  • 20 Callum Gibbins
  • 21 Chris Smylie
  • 22 Beauden Barrett
  • 23 Wes Goosen
Mc article stormers scrum training 800

SR PREVIEW: Round One, Part Two

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:49

SUPER SATURDAY: Wall-to-wall rugby, custom fit. Throw in the fact that it is Round One and you know a few household chores are abound to be left undone.

In this part of our preview, we have some of the most intriguing contests the competition has.

From the opening match, when the Sunwolves take on the defending champion Hurricanes, through to the big north-south South African derby between the Stormers and Bulls.

Sandwiched in between are other tasty snacks such as Crusaders versus Brumbies and Cheetahs against the Lions.

We look at all the Saturday matches!

Saturday, February 25

Sunwolves v Hurricanes
(Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo - Kick-off: 13.15; 17.15 NZDT; 04.15 GMT)

Sunwolves coach Filo Tiatia said the Japanese side have no reason to feel pressure this season, after a chastening first year in Super Rugby.

The Tokyo-based franchise won just one of their 15 games under New Zealander Mark Hammett in 2016, while former Japan coach Eddie Jones called them "embarrassing" after a 92-17 mauling by the Cheetahs.

But Tiatia told AFP the Sunwolves had learnt from that baptism of fire as he prepares for this weekend's season-opener at home to the defending champions, the Hurricanes.

"We're under no illusions," he said.

"A lot of people are saying we're going to get pumped [thrashed] every game," added the 45-year-old, who took over from his countryman Hammett after holding an assistant's role in the team's inaugural season.

"But I don't think we need to feel pressure. The fact of the matter is that we came 18th out of 18 teams last year but there were a lot of lessons.

"Our major focus is to keep learning and keep improving. It's only our second time at the dance."

Tiatia also called for patience as the Sunwolves look to improve on 2016.

"I played five years with the Hurricanes and it took them 21 years to win a championship," said the former back row forward, who twice represented the All Blacks in 2000.

"When a baby's born, you've got to start crawling, then obviously you hope to walk," he added.

"The Sunwolves are still in the infancy stage."

Previous results:
These two teams have never met before

Prediction: It is not a case of who will win, but by how much the Hurricanes will win. We feel the margin will be 30 points or more.


Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hikaru Tamura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Ryohei Yamanaka, 23 Shota Emi.

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Otere Black, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben May, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Vince Aso.

Referee: Egon Seconds (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Akihisa Aso (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)

Crusaders v Brumbies
(AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Kick-off: 19.35; 17.35 AEDT; 06.35 GMT)

At a glance, it would appear the Crusaders have two major advantages - home ground and experience.

The Brumbies, who have lost more than 500 Super Rugby caps of experience in the off-season, will throw seven rookies into a Christchurch cauldron for the first game of the season and an attempt to break a 17-year drought against the Crusaders.

However, Brumbies captain Sam Carter believes there is still enough "experience" in the side to cope with the onslaught from the seven-time champion Crusaders.

"We'll look to our experienced guys and leaders in the team to step up," Carter told The Canberra Times.

"I think we've got five or six Wallabies in our starting pack so they need to step up and show the way for the team.

"There's are a lot of blokes who got experience last year and came through really well.

"We're feeling confident in what we do and what we've got out on the park."

The Crusaders are notoriously slow starters and that may be something the Brumbies will look at.

However, Crusaders coach Scott Robertson believes he may have found a way to manage the integration of the All Blacks, one of the key issues in those early season defeats.

Robertson the key lies in how to play the All Blacks, getting them good game time and getting them fit.

"Last year we [the Crusaders] had seven All Blacks on the long-term injury list," Robertson told, adding: "This year we have none."

Recent results:
2016: Crusaders won 40-14, Canberra
2015: Crusaders won 37-24, Canberra
2014: Crusaders won 40-20, Christchurch
2013: Crusaders won 30-23, Canberra
2011: Crusaders won 52-10, Nelson

Prediction: First round matches are not easy to call, since there is no form to speak of. Bookmakers suggest the Crusaders' winning margin will be at least 16 points. We feel it will be much smaller, perhaps inside 10 points.


Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Joe Moody.  
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Ereatari Enari, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 David Havili.

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua'Iali'I-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Dewet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Isaac Thompson.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Glen Newman (New Zealand)

Waratahs v Western Force
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 19.45; 16.45 AWST; 08.45 GMT)

The Waratahs will feel a little uneasy, given that they will head into the opening round without Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley - ruled out with a head knock sustained in the pre-season game against the Highlanders last week.

However, there are other reasons why coach Daryl Gibson feels the Western Force - under new coach Dave Wessels - are a genuine threat.

"The Force has recruited cleverly," Gibson said.

"I think they have an excellent spine of experience and have picked up some good players around them.

"I'm expecting the Force to be very competitive this season - a change of coach and change of direction to the style of game they play.

"We expect a really tough scrum battle against the Force."

The ledger between the Force and Waratahs sits firmly in favour of the Waratahs, with the New South Welshmen boasting 10 wins to the Force's five -  with one draw way back in 2007.

Although, history won't be on the Force's mind with the men from the West boasting a host of new recruits who won't be phased by the past.

Dave Wessels' men will also take plenty off confidence across to Sydney, where the Force have a good record - most recently a 25-13 win in 2015.

The Force had a convincing win against the Melbourne Rebels at Bond University on the Gold Coast, scoring four tries for a comfortable 27-5 pre-season victory.

Defence and physicality will be key, as every single side in the competition is fighting fit in Round One.

"It's Round One of Super Rugby so everyone is pretty fresh, it's definitely going to be pretty brutal and a war of attrition," Force coach Dave Wessels said.

Recent results:
2016: Waratahs won 49-13, Perth
2015: Force won 18-11, Perth
2015: Force won 25-13, Sydney
2014: Force won 28-16, Perth
2014: Waratahs won 43-21, Sydney

Prediction: Despite the loss of Bernard Foley the Waratahs will still be favourites, but the margin will be in the single digits.


Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Heath Tessmann (captain), 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Isireli Naisarani, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Alex Newsome.

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Cheetahs v Lions
(Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 15.05; 13.05 GMT)

If it is excitement and tries you are after, then you simply can't afford to miss the battle of Bloem - the Currie Cup champions against the beaten Super Rugby finalists.

Lions captain Warren Whiteley admitted that there will be expectations of his team to improve on last year's second place.

However, he feels they have built up some great experience in recent years and with 10 guys who have played for the Springboks are mature enough to cope with those expectations.

The real challenge for the Lions will be the Cheetahs, not the off-field sideshows.

"They are a great team and we have seen how they have grown under Franco [Smith] the last few years," Whiteley told rugby365.

"We experienced the coaching of Franco at the Springboks [on the year-end tour in November] and we saw why they have improved so much."

Whiteley had no doubt spectators will get value for money in what promises to be a very exciting game.

"Both teams enjoy the expansive game," Whiteley said, adding: "Everybody knows that a game between the Cheetahs and Lions are full of excitement and played at a high tempo.

"The set pieces will be vital, because we saw how the Cheetahs improved their scrums and their line-out mauls."

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith said he is "satisfied" with where they are after the pre-season.

"Everyone trained really hard and we are as prepared as possible.

"The majority of the players has played Super Rugby and know what the intensity will be like."   

Recent results:
2016: Lions won 39-22, Johannesburg
2015: Lions won 40-17, Bloemfontein
2015: Lions won 34-29, Johannesburg
2014: Lions won 60-25, Johannesburg
2014: Lions won 21-20, Bloemfontein

Prediction: Starp yourself in, it could be a wild ride. It will be close, with the Lions scoring a late winner - eight points or less.


Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Ryno Benjamin.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Howard Mnisi, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Harold Vorster, 23 Jaco van der Walt.

Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Southern Kings v Jaguares
(Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - Kick-off: 17.15; 12.15 Argentina time; 15.15 GMT)

Two of the most disappointing teams from 2016 gets a chance to show they have learnt the lessons handed out to them last year.

The Kings were never expected to do much, given the contentious circumstances that resulted in the team only being finalised in the final weeks leading up to the start of the 2016 season.

This year they have had a proper pre-season.

The quality of their playing personnel and depth remain under suspicion.

The Jaguares, despite their star-studded squad, lacks discipline and struggled to cope with the arduous travel schedule.

Both teams are looking forward to a new start.

Veteran prop Schalk Ferreira, who will lead the Kings for the first time, is expecting a fierce scrum battle against the Jaguares.

"On a global spectrum Argentina has always had a strong scrum, even of late they are very good," Ferreira said.

"The Jaguares team has the same structures.

"They will probably be the strongest scrummaging side in the competition. We have worked extra hard on it with coach Deon Davids and Springbok forwards coach Matt Proudfoot as well. We have put in the work on the scrums."

Jaguares coach Raul Perez indicated that he was expecting an improvement from his side's this season.

"Our focus is on taking thing match by match, and right now we are focusing on the Kings," Perez told a media briefing in Port Elizabeth.

"We will want to improve on the errors from last year.

"The biggest objective for the year for us is to play better throughout the tournament," Perez added.

Previous results:
2016: Kings won 29-22, Port Elizabeth
2016: Jaguares won 73-27, Buenos Aires

Prediction: Discipline, or the lack of it, was a massive issue for the Jaguares last year. If they can fix that, they should win - by 15 to 20 points.


Southern Kings: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Chris Heiberg, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu.

Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Orlando, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Cristian Bartoloni, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Rodrigo Báez, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Ramiro Moyano.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Stormers v Bulls
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 19.30; 17.30 GMT)

Both teams have spoken, repeatedly, of their desire to evolve their games.

The buzz words are 'entertaining' and 'expansive'.

That may suggest a try-fest, a rarity in the big north-south derby.

However, Bulls coach Nollis Marais was adamant that the set pieces remain crucial.

"There is no doubt the team with the best set pieces and the side making the least number of mistakes will win this game," Maras told rugby365.

"Last year we were down just 6-9 with 20 minutes to go and lost 9-33," he said of the 2016 encounter at Newlands.

"That was because we lost the set piece battle - the scrums, line-outs and mauls."

He said the Bulls must "counter" the Stormers in those aspects if they want to have a realistic chance of victory.

"Five or six of the best locks in South Africa will be on display at the Newlands at the weekend and that will be a massive battle," he added.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said the height of Bulls' back three could be the key.

"They are obviously a strong combination, they are big boys and they are good in the air," Fleck told a media briefing at Newlands.

"However, it is the same threat that came our way in the Currie Cup and we seemed to handle it.

"They have a good combination, but the same goes for us."

The Stormers mentor said the fact that the Stormers and Bulls are playing New Zealand teams this year, make it vital that they get the season off to a good start.

"The Bulls and ourselves are in a very tough group," he said, adding: "You want to get off to a winning start for the confidence of the squad.

"We both got to tour New Zealand.

"There are some tough obstacles in our way. Both teams have enjoyed a good pre-season and both teams are confident going into this game.

"Finally, we are here and the waiting is over. It's now time to get stuck in and see where we are and how far we have come."

Recent results:
2016: Bulls won 17-13, Pretoria
2016: Stormers won 33-9, Cape Town
2015: Stormers won 15-13, Cape Town
2015: Stormers won 29-17, Pretoria
2014: Stormers won 16-0, Cape Town
2014: Bulls won 28-12, Pretoria

Prediction: The Bulls have not won in Cape Town since 2011 and there are good reasons for that. They do have a very good chance, but we feel the Stormers will sneak it - by five points.


Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Robert du Preez.

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Warrick Gelant.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Mc article matt proctor hurricanes tackled 2017 800

Sunwolves hit by massive Hurricane

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 03:50

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: An unbelievable display of offloading and attacking saw the Hurricane blow the Sunwolves to pieces in a massive 83-17 bonus-point victory in Tokyo.

Ardie Savea, Vince Aso and Michael Fatialofa all crashed over twice in the Tokyo sunshine as the visitors threatened to break a slew of records against a shambolic Sunwolves side looking to rebound from last year's baptism of fire.

Flyhalf Otere Black added nine conversions.

Late tries from Shokei Kin and Willie Britz barely papered over the cracks for the Tokyo-based franchise, who won just one of 15 games in their inaugural Super Rugby season.

Savea's elder brother Julian produced arguably the moment of the match after 28 minutes when he ran coast-to-coast to score, living up to his nickname - "The Bus" - as he smashed through two tackles to race clear.

Jordie Barrett, younger brother of All Black star Beauden, lit up an impressive Super Rugby debut at fullback with a brilliant pass for captain TJ Perenara to break the try line and an outrageous side-step to set up Ngani Laumape.

South African-born Riaan Viljoen finally got the Sunwolves on the scoreboard with six minutes left in the first half.

But after taking a 45-5 lead into half-time, the Hurricanes continued to run riot as a Laumape lob pass allowed Blade Thomson to score moments after the interval.

Within five minutes Fatialofa and Brad Shields added further tries and when substitute Wes Goosen capitalised on yet another Sunwolves error to make it 83-5 on the hour mark, the Hurricanes looked like racking up a century.

Kin and Britz salvaged a measure of pride for the Sunwolves after a dreadful mismatch which will nevertheless has given new coach Filo Tiatia very few positives to take away for the remainder of the campaign.

Man of the match: Willie Britz showed plenty of fight and grit throughout the encounter while some of the Sunwolves' replacements - Ryohei Yamanaka, Shokei Kin and Shota Emi - caught the eye late in the match. Any of the Hurricanes players can be candidates for the award though as their forwards set an excellent platform for TJ Perenara to work from. Otera Black controlled things nicely from the flyhalf position. The entire backline put their hands up when it was required and they used their physical dominance to good effect. Our award goes to Ardie Savea who was immense in the early stages and laid the foundation for the massive victory by grabbing two early tries, not to mention his work at the breakdowns and with ball-in-hand.


For Sunwolves:
Tries: Viljoen, Kin, Britz
Con: Lafaela

For Hurricanes:
Tries: A Savea 2, Aso 2, Riccitelli, Perenara, J Savea, Laumape, Thomson, Fatialofa 2, Shields, Goosen
Cons: Black 9

Yellow card: Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes; foul play - no arms tackle; 74)


Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hikaru Tamura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Ryohei Yamanaka, 23 Shota Emi.

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Otere Black, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben May, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Wes Goosen.

Referee: Egon Seconds (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Akihisa Aso (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)

Riaan Viljoen (34min), Shokei Kin (70min), and Willem Britz (78min)
Ardie Savea (6min), Vince Tavae –Aso (8min), Ardie Savea (11min), Ricky Riccitelli (14min), TJ Perenara (21min), Julian Savea (27min), Ngani Laumape (37min), Blade Thomson (42min), Michael Fatialofa (46min), Brad Shields (49min), Michael Fatialofa (53min), Vince Tavae –Aso (57min), and Wes Goosen (59min)
Timothy Lafaela (79min)
Otere Black (7min), Otere Black (9min), Otere Black (22min), Otere Black (29min), Otere Black (38min), Otere Black (47min), Otere Black (50min), Otere Black (58min), and Otere Black (60min)
Michael Fatialofa (74min)
REFEREE Egon Seconds (South Africa)