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Super Rugby | Canberra
08:45 (GMT) | 04-03-2017
  • 81
Thank you for joining us for this great clash!! Stay tuned as we build up to the match between the Sunwolves vs the Kings!!
  • 80
Bosch takes the conversion but miss it to the right, but what a comeback as the Sharks emerge victorious!!
  • 80
The Sharks steal it!! Bosch sprints down the touchline and kicks ahead and Lukanyo Am pounce on it and goes over for the winning try!!!
  • 80
Siren sounds and the Sharks look to strike o n full time!!
  • 79
Penalty to the Brumbies as the Sharks went offside at the breakdown!! They win the lineout sloppy, but get it back and goes for a drop, but it's missed and its a 22m dropout!!
  • 77
Sharks steal the lineout and Classens pass to Lambie who fails to finds touch and the Brumbies are on the counter attack!!
  • 76
Brumbies showing good hands on attack and referee blows for a penalty for a late tackle against the Sharks and they find touch inside the Sharks 22!!
  • 74
Toua gets a good ball on the wing and kicks ahead, but it goes into touch and the Sharks set the maul. Classens kicks high and the ball is fielded as the Brumbies look for territory themselves. It's a kicking battle right now.
  • 72
Sharks back on the attack, but then the ball is lost and the Brumbies will have a scrum just inside their 22.
  • 71
Sharks playing it to van Wyk again, but he is tackled into touch after the Sharks went on the attack!!
  • 70
Smith Slots the conversion!
  • 68
Man Rae goes o the front and get the ball back, but is tackled short of the line. They go back in field and finds Kuridrani who goes over under the sticks!!
  • 68
Brumbies set the maul and Mann rae breaks away. They edge closer to the tryline and the Sharks set the maul, but concede the penalty for going high o and they go for the corner 5m's out!!
  • 66
Brumbies on the attack in the Sharks half as referee plays advantage and they make good meters, but referee brings them back for the penalty for offside. They go for the corner and finds touch in the Sharks 22.
  • 64
Lambie look to put the lead beyond 7 points and it's over!!
  • 63
Penalty to the Sharks as the Brumbies go off their feet at the breakdown!!
  • 62
Brumbies turn the ball over and look to attack. They try to unsettle the Sharks defence and they hold them out for now and force the error as the ball is knocked on in contact!!
  • 60
Sharks constantly look to get the ball wide to van Wyk, and then recycle and they make meters in the process and keep the pressure on the Brumbies, but this time the Brumbies win the penalty for holding on!! They find touch on halfway!!
  • 58
Lambie to slot this one from right in front and extend the lead and this time makes no mistake!!
  • 57
Scrum reset called. Reinach feeds and Mthembu picks up as they look to go wide to van Wyk, but he is stopped as they recycle and referee blows a penalty for offside against Scott Fardy!!
  • 55
Sharks back on the attack off the dropout and makes meters with the ball in hand, referee played advantage for a Brumbies knock on and goes back for it. Scrum to the Sharks
  • 54
Lambie opts for the points this time and he has missed it!
  • 53
Powell feeds and the Sharks win the penalty!!
  • 52
Scrum to the Brumbies 5m's from their try line. Referee calls for a reset as their is no stability.
  • 52
Sharks set the lineout and the maul, but the Brumbies defended well and drove them into touch. They get the lineout again and then lose the ball as the maul collapsed and the Brumbies get the turnover scrum.
  • 51
Great pressure by the Sharks off the scrum and referee blows for the penalty and Godwin is carded for cynical play!
  • 50
Sharks are on the attack now inside the Brumbies half and make some meters with ball in hand. They're in the 22 and are edging closer to the try line, but van der Walt knocks it on.
  • 48
Brumbies look to attack from their own half, before they kick downfield and Poitrenaud kicks too deep and it ill be a 22 drop out to the Brumbies.
  • 47
Penalty on halfway to the Sharks for holding on! Lambie lines up for the long range kick to extend the lead to 4 for his side and it's away to the left.
  • 44
Lambie lines up the penalty to go in front for the first time in this match and it is over!!
  • 43
Brumbies defence not giving the Sharks an inch, but the Sharks stay patient and get the penalty for offside!
  • 42
Sharks on the attack in the Brumbies half, but fail to get over the advantage line and then the Ball is ripped by the Brumbies, but the Sharks got it back and continue the onslaught!!
  • 41
Second half is under way through Lambie and Speight takes it and goes into contact as they set a few phases before kicking into touch outside their 22.

Half Time

  • 40
Siren goes as Reinach feeds, gets it out and kicks for touch s the teams head for a break. See you back in the second half!!
  • 39
Brumbies lineout inside the Sharks half. Fardy wins it and they hit it up in midfield, but Mann rae lose it forward as he went into contact and the Sharks will have a defensive scrum which will be the last set move of the half.
  • 37
Penalty for obstruction to the Sharks outside the Brumbies 22. Lambie lines up to narrow the gap to just 2 and makes no mistake!!
  • 35
Lambie slots the conversion from right in front!!
  • 35
Penalty to the Sharks as Alaalatoa kicked the ball out a Sharks player's hands. They go for the corner 8ms out and set the maul. They are meters out and Mtawarira goes over for the try!!
  • 32
Sharks lineout in the Brumbies half. Botha wins it and they set their attack!!
  • 30
Hawera lines up for the penalty and just dabs it over the sticks!!
  • 30
They throw at the front and the Brumbies look to attack and referee plays advantage against Am and the penalty count is stacking up against the Sharks. They have to be careful!!
  • 29
Power Brumbies scrum and they get the penalty as the front row of the Sharks stood up under pressure and Hawera goes for the corner 6ms out!!
  • 28
Not straight at the line out and the Sharks cough up possession. Brumbies scrum in the Sharks half and in a good attacking position.
  • 27
Brumbies set a maul and win good meters before going down as Powell box kicks and van Wyk catch the ball in touch. Sharks lineout in their half.
  • 26
Bad kick by Powell, van Wyk gathers, but is tackled into touch inside the Brumbies half.
  • 25
Hawera lines up the conversion from out wide and it's over!!
  • 23
Brumbies set the maul again through Carter and over goes Josh Mann-Rea for the try!!
  • 23
Another breakdown penalty to the Brumbies and they go fo the corner again 6ms out. They find Smiler and set the maul as referee plays advantage and the ball goes lost and referee blows for the penalty.
  • 21
Penalty to the Brumbies at the breakdown and Hawera kicks for touch inside the Sharks 22. Carter catch it and they go on the attack!!
  • 19
Lambie finds touch outside the Brumbies 22. Sloppy lineout and the Brumbies have the ball back, Kobus van Wyk gathers a high ball and goes on a run, But Fardy steals the ball at the breakdown and the Brumbies go in the attack again!
  • 18
Brumbies back on the attack inside the Sharks half, but the Sharks win the penalty for holding on!!
  • 17
Sharks with the defensive scrum 5ms from their try line. Reinach feeds and Mthembu picks up and having a run, They Drive the Sharks back, but Esterhuizen manage to clear for touch!!
  • 15
Great breakout and the Brumbies find themselves meters out and after a few phases Fardy goes over for the try, but referee will check for a possible knock on and referee will go back for a Sharks scrum.
  • 13
No Try!! Referee goes back for the penalty and Lambie will have a shot at goal and slots it over!!
  • 11
Brumbies win the defensive lineout and Hawera clears for touch and it's taken quickly and the sharks look to attack again!! Du Preez breaks away and is tackled just short as Poitrenaud flicks it on to Mthembu, but referee to check iff the ball was lost forward.
  • 9
Sharks attacking in the Brumbies 22, but they hold them off for now. Mvovo looks to run and score, but is tackled into touch just in time 5m's out!!
  • 8
Speight looks to be the go-to man as they get the ball to him quickly. He kicks and it hits a Sharks boot and the Brumbies win the lineout as the Brumbies go on the attack, but the Sharks win a penalty and Lambie finds touch in the Brumbies 22.
  • 6
Du Preez look to offload in the tackle, but then lose the ball forward and the Brumbies will have a scrum in their own half.
  • 5
Sharks attacking in the Brumbies half and will look to strike back early, but the handling is shocking as they are driven back in tackle before recovering and playing the line again.
  • 3
Hawera lines up for the extras and it is miss.
  • 1
Great play as Dargaville wins a short lineout and then goes wide and finds Speight on the wing who goes over in the corner!!
  • 1
Sharks lose it forward and the Brumbies kicks through, but it is out on the Sharks 22.
  • 0
Angus Gardner blows his whistle as Hawera gets us underway!! Ball is taken and the Sharks take it wide early on from their own 22.
  • -1
A moment's silence for the late Dan Vickerman
  • -5
The Brumbies have won six of their last nine games against the Sharks, including each of their last two. The ACT side has won eight of their last nine games when hosting the Sharks, though each of their last six such fixtures have been decided by seven points or fewer. The Sharks have won seven of their last 10 games against Australian opposition, but come into this match off the back of a defeat against the Reds in round one. Chris Alcock won four turnovers in Round 1, more than any other player in any game. Phillip van der Walt made 18 tackles in the opening round, the equal most of any player alongside the Bulls' Jacques Potgieter. It is difficult to go against the home team, but the Sharks will run them close. Brumbies by five points.
  • -10
Players to watch: For the Brumbies: Fullback Aidan Toua is always solid at the back providing a good counter attack and also a big boot to clear his side out of trouble. For the Sharks: Jean-Luc du Preez will look to unsettle the likes of Scott Fardy at the breakdown with his in your face attitude. His raw strength and good ball skill make him a key figure in this young Sharks side.
  • -15
Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham spoke of the importance of winning your home games if you want to reach the play-offs. "We have certainly had a good home record over the last couple of years and we want to maintain that," Larkham said.
  • -20
The Sharks played a much improved Reds side last week, and could have won the match if Lambie managed to slot his final penalty kick from touch. The Brumbies were probably unlucky to lose last week against a spirited and well drilled Crusaders side who barely gave them an inch to work with, but managed o get through their defence at times and frustrate them. The Brumbies are the more settled side despite having wholesale changes to their side from 2016, but have good continuity in head coach Stephen Larkham, compared to new sharks head coach Robert du Preez who seems to still find his feet at this level.
  • -25
It will be a tough one to call, both teams come off narrow losses in round one, and will look to bounce back and get their season on track with a win. The Brumbies will be even more desperate as this is a home game and will have to get the win otherwise the season may be a long one.
  • -30
Welcome to the live coverage of the match between the Brumbies and the Sharks!!
Mc brumbies logo 80x50
Mc sharks graphic80x50
  • 1 Nic Mayhew
  • 2 Josh Mann-Rea
  • 3 Allan Alaalatoa
  • 4 Rory Arnold
  • 5 Sam Carter
  • 6 Scott Fardy
  • 7 Chris Alcock
  • 8 Jordan Smiler
  • 9 Joe Powell
  • 10 Wharenui Hawera
  • 11 James Dargaville
  • 12 Kyle Godwin
  • 13 Tevita Kuridrani
  • 14 Henry Speight
  • 15 Aidan Toua
  • 16 Robbie Abel
  • 17 Ben Alexander
  • 18 Les Makin
  • 19 Thomas Staniforth
  • 20 Lolo Fakaosilea
  • 21 Dewet Roos
  • 22 Andrew Smith
  • 23 Isaac Thompson
  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
  • 4 Stephan Lewies
  • 5 Ruan Botha
  • 6 Philip van der Walt
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 8 Lubabalo Mtembu
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 10 Patrick Lambie
  • 11 Lwazi Mvovo
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 13 Lukhanyo Am
  • 14 Kobus van Wyk
  • 15 Clement Poitrenaud
  • 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle
  • 17 Thomas Du Toit
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 19 Jean Droste
  • 20 Jacques Vermeulen
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 22 Jeremy Ward
  • 23 Curwin Bosch
Mc article hurricanes general picture 800

SR PREVIEW: Round Two, Part Two

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 22:18

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The defending champion Hurricanes are preparing to unleash their big guns this weekend, but the pressure is on Super Rugby's lesser lights.

Those comes amid talk of slimming down the 18-team competition.

Governing body SANZAAR meet next week to discuss how to tackle Super Rugby's unwieldy conference structure, exhausting travel schedules and lopsided contests which are now sprawled across 17 time zones and five countries.

One idea is reducing the number of teams to 15, which is putting pressure on several franchises to use this weekend's matches to prove they are worthy of remaining in the set-up.

An underpowered Hurricanes embarrassed Japan's Sunwolves 83-17 last week and that was without top names Beauden Barrett, Dane Coles and Nehe Milner-Skudder - who will make their season debuts against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday.

New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive Steve Tew believes that one massively lopsided scoreline should not be held against the Sunwolves, but added Super Rugby needed matches to be competitive.

"Clearly the expansion has tested a number of countries' abilities to be competitive and that's the challenges we're working our way through," he said.

"There is no secret that we're trying to get an agreement as to what 2018 will look like."

Japan's hosting of the 2019 Rugby World Cup will likely aid the Sunwolves cause, despite the fact they have won only once since being part of Super Rugby's expansion to 18 teams a year ago.

Already there is talk of going back to a 15-team competition next season with South Africa dropping two sides and Australia one.

Both countries are keeping their thoughts under wraps ahead of the meeting, and Waratahs Chairman Roger Davis is angered that the franchises don't get a say.

"It's our franchises and our business, but all the discussions are being handled on our behalf by the national bodies," he said.

"There are a lot of understandably selfish interests going on here.

"A classic situation would be if you were the Western Force and you were bounced out of the competition.

"You don't get to participate in the trial... you are tried, judged and whipped off to jail without any real right of appeal."

We look at all Saturday's matches!

Saturday, March 4

Hurricanes v Rebels
(Westpac Stadium, Wellington - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 AEDT, 04.15 GMT)

The Rebels will be desperate to avoid the hammering that the defending champion Hurricanes put on the Sunwolves.

The Rebels did not have an ideal start to the season, going down 18-56 to the Blues .

This weekend's fixture will only be the third time that the Rebels have played against the Hurricanes in Wellington.

The Rebels claimed the victory in the first meeting between the two sides, before the Hurricanes bounced back to win the last four consecutive matches to lead the head to head record 4-1 from five matches.

Despite last week's rout in Tokyo, Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said the challenge for his team was to put their first up result behind them and prepare for a battle against the Rebels.

"We certainly took some positives away from our first match, but I think there is a realisation among the group that this week represents a big step up and we are expecting the Rebels to be highly motivated after their loss to the Blues," Boyd said.

"I know the players are really excited at the prospect of getting out in front of their home crowd for the first time this year."

Recent results:
2016: Hurricanes won 38-13, Melbourne
2015: Hurricanes won 36-12, Wellington
2014: Hurricanes won 25-15, Melbourne
2012: Hurricanes won 66-24, Wellington
2011: Rebels won 42-25, Melbourne

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won all but one of the five previous encounters between these teams, last losing to the Melbourne side in their first ever encounter in 2011. The Hurricanes have won each of their last six games at home, and have conceded just 12 points across their last three home fixtures. The Hurricanes won four of their five games against Australian opposition in Super Rugby 2016, with their only loss coming in the opening round of the campaign against the Brumbies. The Rebels won four games away from home in 2016, the equal most of any Australian team alongside the Brumbies and Waratahs. Vince Aso ate up 164 metres gained in the opening round, 19 more than any other player in the competition and more than twice as many as Rebels' best Jack Maddocks (73). The odds are stacked against the Rebels and only the most ardent fans will put money on them. The Hurricanes will win and it could be by 20 points or more.

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

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Tom English, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Amanaki Mafi, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Cruze Ah-Nau.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Tom Moloney, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23. Ben Volavola.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: William Houston (Australia), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

Highlanders v Crusaders
(Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.45 GMT)

These South Island derbies are not for the faint of heart.

Brutal is one way to describe them. But there will also be plenty of skill and pace on display.

Crusaders assistant coach Leon MacDonald said these local derbies mean and the New Zealand teams often tackle them with a lot more vigour.

"As soon as the final whistle blew [after last Saturday's 17-13 win over the Brumbies] the boys were talking about it," McDonald told the Otago Daily Times, when asked about the Crusaders' trip south.

"There was an intense rivalry right back to when Super rugby started.''

He was not taking anything out of the Highlanders' first-up loss to the Chiefs last Friday.

"I thought the Highlanders played really well, but that was not reflected on the scoreboard.

"A couple of turnover tries from their mistakes - a little bit like our game.

"It will not dishearten them but they will be determined to have a win at home. It will motivate them more.''

Highlanders assistant coach Mark Hammett said they had a look back at their first game and there was plenty of good to come out the loss to the Chiefs.

''We didn't get the result, so that was the bad stuff," Hammett told the Otago Daily Times.

"We under-kicked to a degree. I feel like we're a team that in the past have played better with less possession. We got a heck more than we have ever had.

''So we've just got to get smarter and play the game we want.

"We were rusty and that was clear. But that happens when a lot of your squad has only had 40 minutes and then come in here. So that is going to take a couple of games to get up to speed.''

Recent results:
2016: Highlanders won 34-26, Dunedin
2015: Highlanders won 25-20, Christchurch
2015: Crusaders won 26-20, Dunedin
2014: Crusaders won 34-8, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 32-30, Dunedin

Prediction: The Highlanders have won their last two games against the Crusaders after losing the six games prior. Never before have the Highlanders won more than two consecutive games against the Crusaders. The Crusaders have won on three of their last four visits to face the Highlanders away from home, though they were handed a 34-26 defeat on their last expedition. The Highlanders have won six of their last seven games when hosting New Zealand teams, though they lost their most recent such fixture to open the 2017 season. The Highlanders were the only side not to score a try in the opening round of action this season. Waisake Naholo beat 10 defenders in the opening round, more than any other player and his most ever in a Super Rugby fixture. It is going to be a thrilling affair, with the Highlanders sneaking a late winner - seven points or less.


Highlanders: 15 Richard Buckman, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon (captain), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Smith, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Patrick Osborne.

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

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

Brumbies v Sharks
(GIO Stadium, Canberra - Kick-off: 19.45; 10.45 SA time; 08.45 GMT)

Both teams are coming off narrow defeats, feeling that with a bit of luck they could have won their opening round matches.

Losing another match will start piling on pressure, even at this early stage of the competition.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham spoke of the importance of winning your home games if you want to reach the play-offs.

"We have certainly had a good home record over the last couple of years and we want to maintain that," Larkham said.

He admitted it was disappointing to lose, to the Crusaders, last week, but felt there were plenty of positive to take out of the game.

"The crowd would have gone home very satisfied with the effort put in and the attitude of the players," Larkham said of the Brumbies.

"As coaches we never like to lose, but we walk away from that game feeling pretty satisfied," He added.

Sharks centurion Lwazi Mvovo said that while they have done their homework on their opponents, it's really about making sure they accomplish their own goals.

"The Brumbies are a quality side and they played very well against the Crusaders, but it's more about what we want to do and about executing our game plan," Mvovo said.

"This is a very important game for us, we have a plan for this tour and we pretty much want to win this match.

"So it's about getting our game plan right and getting over the little hurdle we had in the first game.

"We really want to end the tour on a high note."

Recent results:
2014: Brumbies won 16-9, Canberra
2013: Brumbies won 29-10, Durban
2012: Sharks won 29-26, Canberra
2011: Sharks won 34-16, Durban
2010: Brumbies won 24-22, Canberra

Prediction: The Brumbies have won six of their last nine games against the Sharks, including each of their last two. The ACT side has won eight of their last nine games when hosting the Sharks, though each of their last six such fixtures have been decided by seven points or fewer. The Sharks have won seven of their last 10 games against Australian opposition, but come into this match off the back of a defeat against the Reds in round one. Chris Alcock won four turnovers in Round 1, more than any other player in any game. Phillip van der Walt made 18 tackles in the opening round, the equal most of any player alongside the Bulls' Jacques Potgieter. It is difficult to go against the home team, but the Sharks will run them close. Brumbies by five points.


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 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Isaac Thompson.

Sharks: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jordan Way (Australia), Edward Martin (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Sunwolves v Southern Kings
(Singapore National Stadium, Singapore - Kick-off: 18.55; 12.55 SA time; 10.55 GMT)

Not much are expected of either team this year. In fact most people see them as easy bonus-point victory for the majority of the teams.

It is already being suggested this could against be the two teams to finish 18th (Sunwolves) and 17th Kings), as they did last year.

The Kings put up a bit more resistance (losing 26-39 to the Jaguares) than the Sunwolves did (losing 7-83 to the Hurricanes).

Despite that lopsided scoreline against the Japanese franchise, Kings coach Deon Davids is not willing to write them off.

"The Sunwolves are not easy opponents in Singapore," Davids said.

"We expect the Sunwolves to come out firing, after last week's performance," he said of their drubbing at the hands of the defending Super Rugby champion Hurricanes.

"They will challenge us in the set pieces, the scrums and line-outs.

"They also like to play with the ball in hand, at a very high tempo, while they also employed the kicking game very well."

Previous result:
2016: Kings won 33-28, Port Elizabeth

Prediction: The Kings ran out 33-28 victors against the Sunwolves in Round 6 last season in what was the only previous meeting between these two sides. The Sunwolves are yet to defeat any South African opposition and have conceded an average of 46 points across those fixtures. The Kings have lost their last 12 games away from home and have conceded an average of 47 points across those fixtures. The Sunwolves missed 43 tackles and had a tackle success rate of 68 percent in Round One, no other side dipped below 75 percent. Lionel Cronje was successful with all six of his attempts at goal in the opening round, the most goals of any player who is yet to miss an attempt. You can't write the Sunwolves off entirely, given the quality of the opposition, but we feel the Kings will win this by 10 to 15 points.


Sunwolves: 15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Ed Quirk, 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 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Will Tupou, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 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 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds, Akihisa Aso
TMO: Minoru Fuji

Lions v Waratahs
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 15.05; 13.05 GMT; 00.05 Sunday, March 5 AEDT)

Both teams came away with scrappy wins and have promised 'improved' performances in Johannesburg.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said he was hoping for a dry track this weekend, so his side can get back to playing the style of game they enjoy.

The Lions, instinctively, also play an expansive game.

However, the weather forecast suggests a thunderstorm at game time is possible.

"The Lions are a strong team and we're expecting them to be formidable at home," Gibson said.

"The team had some frustrations with our game last weekend when we sat down to review the game.

"We know the areas we want to work on coming out of last weekend and just looking forward to playing in front of what we know will be an enthusiastic crowd," he added.

Tahs assistant coach Nathan Grey suggested the bulk of the players will be familiar with whatever conditions they encounter on Saturday.

"The majority of the squad have been to South Africa a number of times and it's all about adjusting from the jet lag, getting your training performances to a high quality and enjoying each others company in a unique environment." Grey said

"It's fantastic being able to tour as a squad early as it is a great opportunity to bunker down and talk footy as well as provide the opportunity to eat and travel everyday with your teammates which is a great bonding exercise."

Recent results:
2015: Lions won 27-22, Johannesburg
2014: Waratahs won 41-13, Sydney
2011: Waratahs won 29-12, Sydney
2010: Waratahs won 73-12, Sydney
2009: Waratahs won 38-33, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Lions scored a five-point win against the Waratahs when these teams last met in Round 16, 2015, snapping a six-game losing streak to the NSW side. That win in 2015 means the Lions now share the spoils at two wins apiece in their four home fixtures against the Waratahs, with each of those games decided by nine points or fewer. The Waratahs are looking to avoid back-to-back away losses for the first time since Round 16, 2015 when they lost to the Lions having lost to the Force before that. Despite making the fewest tackles of any team in the competition in Round One (49), the Waratahs (89 percent) boasted the best tackling success of any team. No player drew the officials’ ire as much as Ruan Dreyer in the opening round, with the Lions’ prop conceding more penalties (five) than any other player. Now that the Lions have that first game jitters out the way, you can put some money on them producing a more accomplished performance and a win - but by less than 10 points.

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

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 Senio Toleafoa, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro
Referee: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Stormers v Jaguares
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 17.15; 12.15 Argentina time; 15.15 GMT)

The Jaguares have made no secret that they must win the physical contest to overpower a much-improved Stormers team.

"We expect a very physical match," said Matías Moroni, who will play off the bench for the visitors.

"The Stormers have very strong and very heavy players," he said, adding: "They enjoy one-on-one confrontations and surely the team that dominates that facet will be the one that wins."

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck carefully sidestepped the verbal warfare and said his team must first focus on improving their own game.

He said he would like to see his team build on their performance from last week (a 37-24 triumph over the Bulls) as they face a "very competitive" Jaguares team.

"The win last week was encouraging, but there is still much we can improve on and we will be tested against a Jaguares team full of internationals," Fleck said.

Moroni said the contact area will be key.

"We are focusing on the points of contact, the ruck and defence, which were perhaps the weakest aspects of our game against the Kings last week," he said.

"Maintaining possession and discipline - not giving away silly penalties - are also aspects of our game we focussed on improving."

He said the Stormers are one of the best outfits in the African conference.

"They are very difficult to beat at Newlands, but it is the type of game we want to be involved in."

Previous result:
2016: Stormers won 13-8, Buenos Aires

Prediction: The Stormers won a low-scoring affair when they visited the Jaguares in Round Five last season (13-8), the only previous meeting between these franchises. The Stormers have lost only one of their last 12 regular season games against opposition from outside South Africa, including wins in their last two such fixtures. The Jaguares have now won three of their last four games, notching more wins in that period than in all of their 12 prior games in the competition. The Jaguares enjoyed 19 minutes and 47 seconds of possession in the opening round, more than any other side. Joaquin Tuculet recorded the second most carries (18) and metres gained (145) of any player across the opening round of the season. It won't be a walkover, but the Stormers should win by about 12 points.


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

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

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Cheetahs v Bulls
(Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 19.30; 17.30 GMT)

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith feels the Bulls will be on a revenge mission in Bloemfontein and that the Cheetahs will have to raise the bar considerably.

"The Bulls have very high expectations of doing well this year," Smith told rugby365.

"They have a whole bunch of quality players and look like a team that can be involved in the play-offs.

"They would be disappointed with last week's [24-37] loss [to the Stormers].

"That, along with us beating them in the Currie Cup Final last year, means we expect them to be charged up to take revenge."

Smith said while he saw a lot of impressive plays from all the South African teams, it is far too early to make a call on which sides are fancied for the play-offs.

He admitted most teams are now taking a more expansive approach to the game.

Bulls Nollis Marais dismissed the 'revenge' notion, saying last week's loss was only the first game of the season and a lot can still happen.

"We will get a lot of players back from injury next week," Marais told a media briefing in Pretoria.

"Guys like Jannes Kirsten, Jan Serfontein, Arno Botha and Adriaan Strauss are all coming back."

The big focus for the men from Pretoria this week was the scrums, an aspect in which they were demolished by the Stormers.

"It is obvious there is something we have to fix," Marais said, adding: "It is an issue [scrum coach] Gary [Botha] is working hard on."

He said there are no longer any weak teams in South Africa and that everybody want to play with the ball - a more expansive game.

"We must be up for it," he said of the Cheetahs' high-tempo game.

"We know they try to avoid breakdowns and speed up play - we have prepared for that."

Recent results:
2016: Bulls won 43-17, Bloemfontein
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

Prediction: The Bulls have won 15 of their 17 games against the Cheetahs since losing the first ever game between these teams in 1997. The Bulls have scored 30 points or more on seven of their nine excursions away from home to face the Cheetahs. The Cheetahs have lost their last two games when hosting South African opposition, the last time they endured a longer losing streak in such fixtures was a three-game stretch from 2012 to 2013. The Cheetahs had the worst line-out success rate (56 percent, four lost throws) of any side in the opening round. Fred Zeilinga was the only player to score 20+ points in Round One, only once last season did a Cheetahs player achieve this feat (Niel Marais 22 points v Sunwolves). Only because of home ground advantage - the Cheetahs to win by seven points.


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

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

Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning, with additional reporting by AFP

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports

Mc article lukhanyo am sharks 800

Sharks sneak it at the death

Sat, 04 Mar 2017 08:42

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Sharks scored a try after the hooter for full-time gad sounded to steal a 27-22 win against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

What a finish! And loads of credit to the Sharks who were so enthusiastic in everything that they did. Perhaps their attitude earned them the brilliance - and good fortune - of the winning score after the final siren had sounded. After all, they started the match running and finished it running for victory.

There was character. There had to be, for the Sharks were 15-3 down after 30 minutes and turned that into a 22-13 lead 33 minutes later.

Then it was the Brumbies turn to show character as they rushed in attack for the score that tied the match at 22-all.

Then the Brumbies had an attacking line-out and up went Ruan Botha to win the Brumbies' throw.

Then came the splendid try with help from a perverse thing called a rugby ball.

In this match the Brumbies actually scored three tries to two but where the Sharks kicked five penalty goals, the Brumbies, keener to go for tries, scored one. That was despite two missed penalty kicks by the Sharks. That tells a tale of territorial dominance apart from different ambition. (The penalty count was 11-10 to the Brumbies.)

The Brumbies kicked off and the Sharks ran back and forth but a bit of cleverness at the front of a line-out set the Brumbies up for their first score. At a line-out on their left, wing (sic) James Dargaville threw in to Rory Arnold who was, by choreography, at the front of the line-out. Arnold threw back to Dargaville who ran onto the attack. The Brumbies went wide right where Henry Speight received a long pass from Kyle Godwin and ran past Clément Poitrenaud for a try in the right corner. 5-0 after three minutes.

The Sharks ran some more. Lwazi Mvovo was tackled out at the corner and Jean-Luc di Preez was close and then Lubabalo Mtembu was over but there had been a knock on just before he grounded the ball and the referee went back to a penalty which Patrick Lambie goaled. 5-3 after 12 minutes.

The Brumbies had a purple patch after this, sparked by a dummy and break by Joe Powell. The last man defending, André Esterhuizen, tackled him and the Brumbies used three penalties in quick succession to form attacking line-outs, and the referee was playing advantage for a fourth when hooker Josh Mann-Rea finished off a maul with a try, which Wharenui Hawera converted. 12-3 after 30 minutes. Back came the Brumbies, Lukhanyo Am was offside and Hawera made it 15-3 after 30 minutes. The Brumbies looked set fair for victory.

The last four minutes of the half were fruitful for the Sharks. First a penalty gave them an attacking line-out. They mauled and then went right where Mvovo was stopped at the posts but Tendai Mtawarira was on hand to plunge over. Then when Scott Fardy was penalised for obstruction, Lambie goaled to make the half-time score 15-13.

The Sharks started the second half with a bout of 19 phases which ended when Sam Carter was penalised for offside and the simple Lambie penalty gave the Sharks the lead at 16-15.

Lambie missed two penalties, but the Sharks were helped in their attacking when Godwin was sin-binned for infringing at a tackle on his line. When Fardy was offside, Lambie goaled. 19-15 after 56 minutes and then 22-15 seven minutes later when Lolo Fakaosilea was penalised at a tackle.

There were still 17 minutes to play. A penalty gave the Brumbies a five-metre line-out and they tried a clever dodge around the front. Du Preez saved  but the Brumbies were still attacking and wonderful, quick, short, accurate passing gave Tevita Kuridrani, who had had a quiet match, a gap with just over five metres to go and he burst over for a try at the posts. Andrew's Smith converted and it was 22-all with just over 10 minutes to play.

Neither side was content with a draw. They both kept on running and striving for victory.

Substitute Isaac Thompson tried a drop from 40 metres out but was well wide. The Sharks dropped out deep and the Brumbies counterattacked. A penalty gave them an attacking line-out but up went Botha to frustrate them. The Sharks attacked down the right but Kobus van Wyk was tackled into touch.

The Brumbies had the ball and were looking to attack even though they were just inside their one half but then Fardy lost the ball in a tackle on the Sharks right. From there they went left as the siren signalled that time was up. Substitute Curwin Bosch was up in the line and he cracked on the pace. As Speight came across to tackle him, Bosch kicked infield off the right side of his right boot. Dargaville raced across but the ball did little bouncing tricks and he overran it. Instead Am picked up and plunged over for the try that produced a famous victory.

Man of the Match: There were lots of praiseworthy efforts but it was possibly at the breakdown that the Sharks got an  edge and the men who were so effective there were forwards Jean-Luc du Preez and Philip van der Walt and centre Lukhanyo Am who won two penalties at the breakdown and then was on hand to gather the awkward ball and score the try. Lukhanyo Am is our Man of the Match.

For the Brumbies:
Speight, Mann-Rea, Kuridrani
Cons: Hawera, Smith
Pen: Hawera

For the Sharks:
Mtawarira, Am
Con: Lambie
Pens: Lambie 5

Yellow card: Kyle Godwin (Brumbies, 51 - cynical foul, offside close to the tryline)


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 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Isaac Thompson.

Sharks: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jordan Way (Australia), Edward Martin (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Henry Speight (1min), Josh Mann-Rea (23min), and Tevita Kuridrani (68min)
Tendai Mtawarira (35min) and Lukhanyo Am (80min)
Wharenui Hawera (25min) and Andrew Smith (70min)
Patrick Lambie (35min)
Wharenui Hawera (30min)
Patrick Lambie (13min), Patrick Lambie (37min), Patrick Lambie (44min), Patrick Lambie (58min), and Patrick Lambie (64min)
Kyle Godwin (51min)
VENUE Canberra
REFEREE Angus Gardner (Australia)