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Super Rugby | Sydney
08:45 (GMT) | 25-02-2017
  • 81
Thank you for joining us on for this Aussie derby. Join us later at 14:00 as we build up to the first South African derby between the Cheetahs and the Lions!!!
  • 80
Robinson lines up the penalty but have his first miss of the night as it goes to the right and the full time siren sounds and that will be it!!
  • 78
Lucas feeds and a tip tackle on Folau by Richard Hardwick gives him a yellow
  • 77
Scrum reset is called once again.
  • 77
Scrum reset is called, Lucas feeds and the Force are all over the ball as it become unplayable and the waratahs will have a scrum again.
  • 75
Lineout to the Force inside their half and they win it and set the maul ass Coleman controls and the maul goes down, ball fails to emerge from the maul and the Waratahs get the scrum put in!!
  • 73
Robinson lines up to extend the lead to 6 and it is over!!
  • 72
This time the penalty goes to the Waratahs at the scrum!!
  • 70
Ball turned over after a good maul by the Tahs and hey kick ahead to Kellaway and the Tahs set the counter attack, but it is knocked on again!!
  • 69
Referee bows for the penalty for a deliberate knock-on against Coleman. They have a lineout outside the Force 22. They win the lineout and set a good maul.
  • 68
Good counter rucking by the Tahs as they kick the ball ahead and Haylett-Petty kicks it into touch inside his own half!!
  • 67
Penalty to the Force at the scrum and lance finds a good touch inside the Waratahs 22.
  • 66
Great take from Skelton out the air as he runs forward, but then lose the ball in contact just inside his won half!!
  • 65
Great work by the Force backs to put it through the hands and then they are tackled into touch, and a mistake from Lucas as the ball went off the side of his boot gifts the force a good attacking lineout opportunity.
  • 63
Penalty against the Waratahs at the scrum and lance kicks for touch just outside the waratahs 22.
  • 62
Scrum to the Waratahs and wells picks up and gives to Lucas who pops it back to Wells and then they make a mess of it and the Force will have a scrum inside their own half.
  • 61
Lance finds touch outside the Tahs 22 area, but the ball comes on the Tahs side as they kick ahead and Haylett-Petty lost it cold through his hands!!
  • 60
Ruru on for Louwrens. He feeds the scrum and the Force get the scrum penalty for collapsing!!
  • 58
Mistake by Lucas as he looked to gain some ground, but the ball went touch-in-goal and it will be a scrum to the Force inside their half.
  • 58
Lineout to the Waratahs and they start playing it a bit wider now, but again the ball is lost and the ball is kicked by the Force and the counter attack is on!!
  • 56
Lucas feeds and they go on the attack, but the Force manage to turn it over and Louwrens manage to kick it into touch.
  • 55
Scrum time again for the Waratahs. Scrum reset is called as the new props struggle to settle in.
  • 54
Hegarty goes for the corner again. Ball is won and the maul is set by the Tahs as they go forward, but the Force defense is good as the ball is held up
  • 53
Penalty only for a high tackle on Hooper.
  • 53
Louwrens feed the scrum and he picks it up and is stopped in his tracks, Lance gets the ball and clear as referee blows for time off to check for foul play!!
  • 51
Tahs set the Maul directed by Skelton,they fall short and the ball becomes unplayable and the Force get the scrum for a collapsed maul!!
  • 50
Scrum was reset. Ainsley slips his bind and conceded the penalty as Hegarty goes for the corner 5m's out
  • 49
Horne makes a good breakdown the middle as they shift it to the wing to find Robinson, but the pass is forward!!
  • 49
Scrum to the Force 5m's from their line and 15 out from touch.
  • 47
Lineout to the Force inside their own half and they win it and look to go wide, but goes back and Peni kicks it ahead, but t finds the boot of Robinson into touch
  • 45
Robinson lines up the conversion and curls it in beautifully!!
  • 44
Referee played advantage and go back for the penalty, they take it quickly and Skelton force his way over the line!!
  • 43
Tahs set the maul and Latu breaks away and they bring it back in field and are just meters short!!
  • 42
Penalty to the Waratahs and Hegarty finds touch inside the Force 22. They get another penalty as the man was pulled in at the Lineout. Hegarty wins more meters inside the Force 22.
  • 41
Lance starts the second half and Robinson fields it. The Force take the quick lineout and the look to attack!!

Half Time

  • 40
Waratahs with one final attack after the half time siren and they make good meters, but then lose it forward as Louwrens kick it into touch and the teams head to the change rooms!! See you back for the second half!!
  • 39
Penalty to the Force again at the breakdown this time!! Lance lines up for goal to extend the lead for his side and it's off the post and then over!!
  • 37
Lance lines up for the penalty and it's over!!
  • 36
Penalty to the Force right in front as the loosehead went down and Lance will look to take 3 points and the lead back!!
  • 35
15m's inside Tahs territory lineout for the Force as they win the ball and go on the attack, but again their handling letting them down in this wet conditions and the Waratahs have a scrum inside their own half.
  • 33
Robinson looks to regain the lead for his side and slots it over!!
  • 32
Bit of ping pong kicking before the ball is on the Force side inside their 22 and again they concede the penalty for holding on!!
  • 30
Lineout outside the Force 22 for the Tahs, but they can't control it as it is knocked on into touch and the Force will have a scrum inside their half!!
  • 29
Waratahs win the lineout just inside their own half and they set the attack and get into the Force half, the ball pops out on the Force side, but referee blows for offside at the ruck!!
  • 27
Lance looking to convert his own try and makes no mistake!!
  • 26
Power scrum from the fore as referee calls advantage and Louwrens picks it ups, steps inside and give it to Lance who goes over for the try under the posts!!
  • 25
Tahs win the scrum and go on a run, but the Force win a penalty as the Tahs had hands on the ground at the ruck and the Force opts for a scrum in front of the Tahs posts.
  • 24
Phipps wants to feed, but the packs go down and it will be a reset scrum.
  • 23
Force set the maul again and it is collapsed legally and the Waratahs win the turnover and get the 5m defensive scrum feed!!
  • 22
Force set the Maul and referee calls an advantage as they play it wide as Lance kick it through, but too hard and go back to the penalty and set the maul. It is collapsed and referee is going to his pocket and Kepu will spend 10 in the bin.
  • 20
Penalty to the Force for a high tackle. Lance goes for the corner and they will look to set the maul and drive it over the line.
  • 19
Force are dominating territory, but have no points to show for it yet. Tey are attacking inside the Tahs half!!
  • 18
Tahs on the attack, but then they lose the ball and the Force have it and they kick it down to Haylett-Petty who returns it into touch outside his 22.
  • 16
Louwrens taking a good half break from the scrum and gets into the tahs 22. They put the ball through the hands, but then it is knocked on and it will be a defensive scrum fo the Waratahs.
  • 15
Scrum collapse and reset is called.
  • 14
Free kick for the Force after an early shove by the Tahs. They find touch outside their 22 and the waratahs win the lineout and go on the attack again, but the ball is lost forward and the Force will have a scrum just inside their own half.
  • 13
Knock on by the Waratahs close to the left hand touch inside the Force 22 and it will be a defensive scrum for the Force.
  • 12
Another penalty to the Tahs at the breakdown and this is becoming an issue for the Force. They find touch inside the Force 22, win the lineout and set the attack!!
  • 10
Robinson lines up for his second attempt at goal and he doubles his side's points!!
  • 9
Force turn it over and counter from deep, but they conceded the penalty again for holding on and it is within kicking range!!
  • 8
Tahs lineout outside the Force 22 and they are on the attack!!
  • 6
Scruffle breaking out after referee blows for a penalty for a lifting tackle by the Force
  • 4
Scrum is reset. They wet grounds will make it difficult for both pack of forwards. The Force get the ball and set an attack, but is then penalised for obstruction and the waratahs can kick for territory and they find it just outside their 22.
  • 3
Great work from the Force forwards to drive the Tahs into touch in their 22 and they have an attacking lineout, but the ball is lost off a waratahs hand and the Force will have the scrum put in
  • 1
Reece Robinson steps up for the first points of the match and it is over!!
  • 0
Ben O'Keef blows his whistle and Bryce Hegarty, gets us underway and an early penalty to the home side as the Force is penalised for holding on!!
  • -1
Weather is heavy and wet underfoot
  • -5
Prediction: Despite the loss of Bernard Foley the Waratahs will still be favourites, but the margin will be in the single digits.
  • -10
Players to watch: For the Waratahs: Israel Folau will play at outside centre instead of his usual position of fullback, however, he will be difficult to break through for the Force and have the ability to slice open defences. Michael Hooper will look to have a massive season in the absence of David Pocock who is on a sabbatical and look to push to be the first choice flanker for the Wallabies later this year. Expect “the Hoop” to put in some big hits and be a menace at the breakdown For the Force: Dane Haylett-Petty will be key to the Force attack, playing on the wing for his country, but at fullback for the Force he will have to be the one who need to lead a very young backline and Adam Coleman will have to lead the physical charge to make matters difficult for the Waratahs
  • -15
The Force under new coach Dave Wessels may play a very South African like game and look to dominate up front and frustrate the Waratahs, they are not a side with heaps of talent, so that may just work with what they have to their disposal.
  • -20
For the Force it will be tough in many ways as they seem to build from scratch every year and lose start players they produced like Kyle Godwin who now plays for the Brumbies. They do have some good individuals in the likes of Jono Lance who can control the game very well which may help seeing that Bernard Foley is unavailable for the Waratahs
  • -25
The Waratahs will look to bank maximum points in this particular fixture seeing that the Force are traditionally one of the “weaker” sides in the competition, they will, however, be wary of the men from Perth as they have been on the right side of the score line against some of the big teams and caused major upsets in the past.
  • -30
Welcome to the live coverage of the all Aussie affair battle between the Waratahs and the Western Force at Allianz Park!!
Mc waratahs logo 80x50
Mc western force logo 80x50
  • 1 Tom Robertson
  • 2 Silatolu Latu
  • 3 Sekope Kepu
  • 4 Dean Mumm
  • 5 Will Skelton
  • 6 Jack Dempsey
  • 7 Michael Hooper
  • 8 Michael Wells
  • 9 Nick Phipps
  • 10 Bryce Hegarty
  • 11 Rob Horne
  • 12 Irae Simone
  • 13 Israel Folau
  • 14 Reece Robinson
  • 15 Andrew Kellaway
  • 16 Hugh Roach
  • 17 Paddy Ryan
  • 18 David Lolohea
  • 19 David McDuling
  • 20 Brad Wilkin
  • 21 Matt Lucas
  • 22 David Horwitz
  • 23 Taqele . Naiyaravoro
  • 1 Pekahou Cowan
  • 2 Heath Tessmann
  • 3 Jermaine Ainsley
  • 4 Ross Haylett-Petty
  • 5 Adam Coleman
  • 6 Brynard Stander
  • 7 Kane Koteka
  • 8 Richard Hardwick
  • 9 Ryan Louwrens
  • 10 Jono Lance
  • 11 Chance Peni
  • 12 Bill Meakes
  • 13 Curtis Rona
  • 14 Luke Morahan
  • 15 Dane Haylett-Petty
  • 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
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 israel folau waratahs tackled 2017 800

Tahs claim Aussie derby snore fest

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 06:52

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The boot of Reece Robinson proved to be the difference in the Waratahs' 19-13 victory over the Force as handling errors and a high penalty count led to a stop-start affair.

It was not a scintillating match. In fact it was drab and long-drawn out. The went and slippery field may have had a lotto do with it as the players seemed enthusiastic enough. But with 24 penalties, 30 line-outs and 18 scrums which included collapses and resets, there is not much time for constructive or exciting rugby. It was not a surprise that the 80 minutes produced just two tries.

The scoring was close enough to warrant a an occasional glance, especially as it seemed that the Force may well score an away win.

The Western Australians led 13-9 at the break but they failed score in the second half while the Waratahs got a converted try and a penalty for their 40 minutes' effort.

Bernard Foley's concussion kept him out of the match and the kicking  responsibility fell to former rugby league player, Reece Robinson who was playing on the right wing for the Waratahs and whose goal-kicking was perfect.

He opened the scoring with two penalty goals to put the Waratahs 6-0 ahead. But then the Waratahs went on an infringement binge. They were penalised four times in quick succession. The third time Sekope Kepu was sin-binned for collapsing a maul from a fine line-out. In fact they would have been penalised a fifth time had the Force not scored a try.

The first three penalties produced five-metre line-outs. At the fourth the Force opted for a scrum about 10 metres from the Waratahs' line. They bashed at the line, the referee announced that he was playing advantage but the Force scrumhalf Ryan Louwrens drew the defenders to him and gave to Jonno Lance and the flyhalf was over next to the posts. That gave the force a 7-6 lead after 27 minutes.

Robinson got the lead back for his side with his third penalty after 33 minutes but two by Lance before half-time made the score 13-9 at the break.

The Waratahs attacked from the start of the second half and a penalty gave them an attacking line-out on the right. The went wide left and bashed and bashed at the Force line. The brave Force kept them out till, from another penalty, they tapped and gave to massive Will Skelton. He was too much for several Lilliputians defenders and scored. 16-13 after 45 minutes.

There were still 35 minutes to play, during which there was only one further score/. On 73 minutes Robinson kicked a penalty goal.

The only other bit of interest was the sin-binnnig of Richard Hardwick for a gentle tip tackle of Israel Folau.

The Waratahs leave on Sunday for a two-match tour to South Africa where they will play the Lions in Johannesburg next week followed by the Sharks in Durban the following weekend.

The Western Force have a short turnaround and face the Reds in Perth on Thursday.

Man of the Match: There were not really stand-out performances, however, our nod goes to Reece Robinson. The wing kicked four penalties to keep his side's in the game. 


For Waratahs:
Try: Skelton
Con: Robinson
Pens: Robinson 4

For Western Force:
Try: Lance
Con: Lance
Pens: Lance 2

Yellow cards: Sekope Kepu (Waratahs; cynical play - collapsing the maul; 23), Richard Hardwick (Force; foul play - tip tackle; 79)


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)

Will Skelton (44min)
Jono Lance (26min)
Reece Robinson (45min)
Jono Lance (27min)
Reece Robinson (1min), Reece Robinson (10min), Reece Robinson (33min), and Reece Robinson (73min)
Jono Lance (37min) and Jono Lance (39min)
Sekope Kepu (22min)
Richard Hardwick (78min)
VENUE Sydney
REFEREE Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)