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Super Rugby | Bloemfontein
15:15 (GMT) | 11-03-2017
  • 81
Thank you for joining us. Catch in a few for what promises to be "the game of the day" Sharks vs Waratahs
  • 80
The siren sounds and Meyer kicks it into touch.Full Time. Cheetahs edges this one
  • 79
The Cheetahs tries to rundown the clock by holding on to the ball.
  • 78
Meyer feeds the scrum and a powerful scrum from the Sunwolves almost sees them turning over the ball but the ref decides scrum reset
  • 77
The Sunwolves attacks strongly but a lapse of concentraion from Moli sees him knock-on the ball. Scrum for the home side deep inside their own half
  • 75
The away team goes for touch but fails to secure line-out ball. The Cheetahs clears with a kick
  • 74
The Cheetahs is looking to hold onto the ball playing phase after phase but they concede a penalty
  • 73
Zellinga goes for goal and strikes it perfectly as it sails over from just outside the 22
  • 71
Meyer feeds the scrum and the Cheetahs looks to run it from their own half. Rhule finds space on the outside. The Cheetahs is awarded a penalty in kicking position
  • 70
The Sunwolves fail to get any momentum from the maul and the ball is turned-over. Cheetahs scrum on the 22
  • 69
The away side wins a scrum penalty and opts for touch. They find touch close to the home teams 22. As they look to maul
  • 68
The Sunwolves continues to surge forward after the reset kick but the ball is lost forward. Scrum Cheetahs ball
  • 67
Zellinga stares longingly at that one as he fails to add the conversion
  • 66
The home teams courage pays off and Benjamin scores in the corner
  • 65
The Cheetahs looks to use their numerical advantage and opts to scrum 5m away from the try-line. Scrum Reset
  • 64
The home team finds some space running it close to the try line but the Sunwolves commits a foul and Asahara is sent off with a yellow card
  • 63
The Cheetahs look to attack after the reset but the ball is lost forward and the ref plays advantage. The Sunwolves clears into touch.
  • 62
Cripps adds the extras
  • 61
Good turnover by Kin and the Cheetahs gets penalized for holding on. They go for touch. Fukuoka powers over for another TRY
  • 60
Cripps tries to find space with a kick but the ball goes into touch. Cheetahs line-out and they put it up in the middle
  • 59
Scrum reset
  • 58
They look to put it up in the middle but the ball is lost forward by Mohoje. Scrum Sunwolves ball close to their own 10
  • 57
The Cheetahs keeps ball in hand building phases after phase but a kick by Rhule is charged and goes into touch. Line-out close to the 10 Cheetahs ball
  • 56
After the kick-off the Cheetahs gets the ball back and looks to attack inside the aways teams half
  • 55
Taulagi looks to add the extras and he slots that one
  • 54
The Sunwolves again puts pressure on after the kick-off and it is rewarded by a try. Fukuoka dots it down
  • 52
Zellinga adds the extras
  • 51
The Cheetahs goes over for a try in the form of Swart
  • 50
The Cheetahs finds some space running it all the way to the away team 22. Penalty awarded at the breakdown. The Cheetahs opts for touch and puts on a driving maul
  • 49
Scrum Reset. Uchida feeds the scrum again but this time the Sunwolves gets a free-kick for early engagement. They KIck and find touch on the halfway line
  • 48
The Cheetahs puts it up in the middle and builds a few phases but a handling error stops their attack. Scrum Sunwolves ball inside their own 22
  • 47
Scrum penalty for the Cheetahs and they kick for touch. Zellinga finds touch just over the half way line.
  • 46
The Sunwolves looks to counter attack and the fullback Emi finds some space but knocks it on. Scrum Cheetahs ball inside their own 22.
  • 45
The home side looks to run the ball out of their own half but Zellinga kicks when they fail to.
  • 44
The Sunwolves puts pressure on the Cheetahs after the kick-off and wins the ball back. They look to attack but the ball is lost forward.Scrum Cheetahs ball
  • 43
Zellinga lines it up and strikes the ball perfectly. It sails over
  • 42
Zellinga finds a gap and gets close to the try line but the Sunwolves commits a foul and the home team gets a penalty. Cheetahs opts for goal
  • 41
The referee blows his whistle to signal the start of the 2nd half as Zellinga kicks-off deep. The Sunwolves fails to secure the kick-off and knocks the ball forward. Scrum to the Cheetahs just outside the away teams 10

Half Time

  • 40
The hooter goes off and the Sunwolves kicks it into touch. HALF TIME.
  • 39
Zellinga kicks for the restart.
  • 38
Cripps goes for the points after receiving a penalty. He punts it straight through.
  • 37
Sunwolves wins back the ball after reset.
  • 36
Zellinga adds the extras.
  • 35
Line-out Cheetahs after they kicked for touch after the penalty. TRY, Oupa breaks through putting the Cheetahs in the lead.
  • 34
Sunwolves attack and kicks away. Cheetahs takes it early and tries to counter.
  • 32
Great scrum from the Cheetahs. Penalty Cheetahs and Zellinga goes for the points.
  • 30
Line-out Cheetahs outside the Sunwolves 22. Cheetahs again throwing away 50/50 passes forcing the off-load and the Sunwolves knocks it on trying to intercept the off-loads. Scrum Cheetahs on Sunwolves 10.
  • 29
Scrum Sunwolves on their 5 putting up one phase and kicks for a breather.
  • 28
Sunwolves steal the line-out and kick for clearance. Cheetahs trying to counter forcing the off-load. Swart almost ptting the Cheetahs back in the lead but knocks the ball.
  • 26
Cheetahs puuting the Sunwolves under a lot of pressure winning a penalty and the kick for touch. Line-out on the Sunwolves 5.
  • 24
Cripps adds the extras.
  • 23
Sunwolves counter and Cripps scores taking back the lead.
  • 22
Cheetahs goes for clearance after reset.
  • 21
Zellinga coverts putting the Cheetahs in the lead.
  • 20
Scrum Cheetahs inside Sunwolves 22. High tackle from Tupou in kicking distance.
  • 19
off-loads going everywhere from the Cheetahs side and Sunwolves knocks the ball trying to go for the intercept.
  • 17
Restart is good. A bit of territorial kicking from both sides trying to force the mistake. Sunwolves kicks into touch but was carried back giving the Cheetahs a line-out on the Sunwolves 22.
  • 15
Zellinga adds the extra points.
  • 14
Penalty Cheetahs and they kick for touch. Line-out just inside the Sunwolves 22. The captain Van Jaarsveld breaks through putting the Cheetahs on the score board.
  • 13
Line-out Sunwolves and it is skew. Scrum Cheetahs on their 10.
  • 12
Sunwolves not holding anything back and tries to counter after the clearance which did not find touch.
  • 11
attacking line-out for the Sunwolves on the Cheetahs 5 and the Cheetahs wins the contest and Zellinga goes for the clearance.
  • 10
Penalty Sunwolves and they take it quick trying to go over the line but the Cheetahs defense are just to good. Winning another penalty and kicking for touch on the Cheetahs 5.
  • 9
Great defense from Benjamin making positive tackles.
  • 8
Sunwolves attacking inside Cheetahs 22 ptting them under a lot of pressure.
  • 7
Sunwolves kicking for touch.Line-out Sunwolves on the Cheetahs 22.
  • 6
Cheetahs trying to force the 50/50 passes losing it to the Sunwolves with an intercept.
  • 5
Scrum Sunwolves on the halway line, Cheetahs trying to put them under pressure winning the ball back.
  • 4
Reset scrum on the halfway line. Cheetahs on the attack.
  • 3
Cheetahs trying to attack after the restart.
  • 1
Cripps coverts the extra points.
  • 0
Cripps starts the game kicking it high and Sunwolves wins the contest and Emi scores the first try in less than a minute.
  • -5
The players are ready to run onto the field after a few final words from the captains.
  • -10
The players are going through their final stretches and match preparations before they head into the cloakrooms
  • -15
This game sees ex-Cheetah player Willie Britz return to the Vrystaat but this time round in a different colour shirt. The weather is perfect for some running rugby by the home team as they look to continue their winning record over the Sunwolves
  • -20
The home team will be favourites in this encounter but the "unpredictability" of the Sunwolves will be the deciding factor. The Sunwolves started off their campaign with 2 big losses and will look to make up for that today
  • -30
Welcome to our live coverage of this Super Rugby clash between the Cheetahs and the Sunwolves!
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
  • 1 Charles Marais
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 3 Johannes Coetzee
  • 4 Justin Basson
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 6 Paul Schoeman
  • 7 Teboho Mohoje
  • 8 Niell Jordaan
  • 9 Tian Meyer
  • 10 Fred Zellinga
  • 11 Raymond Rhule
  • 12 Clinton Swart
  • 13 Ryno Benjamin
  • 14 Zee Mkhabela
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
  • 16 Danie Mienie
  • 17 Elandré Huggett
  • 18 Tom Botha
  • 19 Armandt Koster
  • 20 Hanco Venter
  • 21 Neil Marais
  • 22 Ali Mgijima
  • 23 Ruan Van Rensburg
  • 1 Yamamoto Koki
  • 2 Yusuke Niwai
  • 3 Yasuo Yamaji
  • 4 Liaki Moli
  • 5 Uwe Helu
  • 6 Ed Quirk
  • 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi
  • 8 Willie Britz
  • 9 Keisuke Uchida
  • 10 Hayden Cripps
  • 11 Kenki Fukuoka
  • 12 Carpenter Derek
  • 13 Will Tupou
  • 14 Takaaki Nakazuru
  • 15 Shota Emi
  • 16 Atsushi Sakate
  • 17 Masataka Mikami
  • 18 Takuma Asahara
  • 19 Sam Wykes
  • 20 Shokei Kin
  • 21 Kaito Shigeno
  • 22 Jumpei Ogura
  • 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi
Mc article sr preview  round three  part two 800


Thu, 09 Mar 2017 22:51

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: It may be the early rounds, but already there are a few matches that will give us some pointers as to where the season is heading.

Yes, all teams still have plenty of time to make up ground.

However, injuries - there are already plenty of those - and back-to-back defeats means some teams are getting nervous.

The Highlanders, who get Saturday's action underway when they face the Blues in Auckland, is one of five teams yet to win a match.

This is followed by the Reds, fortunate to win in Week One and very poor last week, are up against the Crusaders - the latter one of five teams who are still unbeaten

The Southern Kings had a good win last week, against the hapless Sunwolves, but they will face a stern test against the Stormers.

The Cheetahs, after last week's impressive win over the Bulls, host the Sunwolves; the Sharks (another team who had an encouraging result last week) host the Waratahs and the weekend's drama come to a conclusion when the Jaguares host the Lions in Buenos Aires.

We look at all the Saturday matches!

Saturday, March 11:

Blues v Highlanders
(Eden Park, Auckland - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT)

Two years ago the Highlanders were Super champions, but this year they have been hard hit by injuries, are winless after two games and will be hard pressed to get on the board against the Blues.

Much was also expected of the Blues at the start of the season, but some old habits crept in during the opening weeks.

They had hoped that Ihaia West would finally live up to the promise he showed a few years ago.

He has been erratic at best and not the playmaker they had hope.

However, the biggest disease was their lack of discipline last week.

Coach Tana Umaga did not pull any punches this week and made it clear his forwards must step up.

"They [the Chiefs] put pressure on us in the forward pack and we can't get our game going if we can't get set-piece, so that's been a big work-on for us," Umaga told the NZ Herald said.

"We have to get into our structures that we want to play but depending on the weather, that could be different to what the tactics are."

Injuries have played some cruel tricks on the Highlanders - All Black fullback Ben Smith still suffering the effects of concussion from an opening loss to the Chiefs. Loose forward Liam Squire was a casualty in last week's loss to the Crusaders.

That is why Highlanders coach Tony Brown is looking to players like Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga and Malakai Fekitoa to provide the stability that is lacking.

"I think everyone can see that they're not quite on the money at the moment," Brown said of his senior players.

"In the Chiefs game, the execution was really poor and then, against the Crusaders, we were awesome for 50 minutes and then fell off the pace a bit and made a few uncharacteristic errors.

"I think, naturally, they will be able to go longer now, because they've got two games under their belts.

"The problem we've had with our All Blacks is asking them to win us games of rugby, when they've only played 40 minutes in the pre-season.

"That's just game-time, for me, and this week, they'll be better for those two runs and we've still got enough quality to do well in this competition."

Recent results:
2016: Blues won 33-31, Auckland
2015: Highlanders won 44-7, Auckland
2015: Highlanders won 30-24, Dunedin
2014: Blues won 30-12, Auckland
2014: Highlanders won 29-21, Dunedin

Prediction: The Blues won their last game against the Highlanders and will be aiming to win consecutive games against the Dunedin side for the first time since a run of six wins in a row between 2007 and 2011. The Blues have lost 16 of their last 17 against New Zealand sides including the last six in a row. This will be the Blues' first home game this season, they ended 2016 with a run of five wins in their last six games at home; four of those victories came by eight points or fewer, though. The Highlanders have won their last two regular season games away from home but have not won more consecutive away games since a run of four victories in 2005. Ben Smith has scored seven tries in his last seven games against the Blues, including three in his last two and a brace when these teams met in Round One last season. The Highlanders will come good, eventually. However, this game is in Auckland and the adverse weather sweeping across the North Island means it will be an arm-wrestle the Blues will win by five points.


Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 George Moala, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Murphy Taramai, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Jimmy Tupou, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Akira Ioane/Kara Pryor, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Melani Nanai.

Highlanders: 15 Richard Buckman, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Elliot Dixon (captain), 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Sekonia Pole, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Dillon Hunt, 22 Kayne Hammington, 22  Marty Banks.

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

Reds v Crusaders
(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Kick-off: 18.45; 21.45 NZDT; 08.45 GMT)

Most pundits expect the Crusaders to be too strong for the Reds in Brisbane.

The test for the Reds, up against an All Blacks-laden pack, is how they bounce back from their surprise loss to the Western Force last week.

"Every player should be highly motivated to compete for every minute of this game," Reds coach Nick Stiles said.

"It's what you have to do against the Crusaders, because if you are not as relentless as they are, you are going to pay."

Stiles admitted some harsh word were spoken this week.

"None of us was happy with last week's performance," he said of the loss to the Western Force.

"We addressed it and moved on and are looking forward to the opportunity to test ourselves against a difficult opponent this weekend.

"We knew there would be setbacks along the way as this group continued its development.

"The setback isn't as important as how we respond to it. That's the challenge presented to the team this weekend."

The Crusaders - despite being in a confident frame of mind after coming back from 21 points down to beat the Highlanders last week - are mindful that they leaked some easy tries from the set-pieces.

"We had a couple of miscommunications and we have worked on it," said Crusaders coach Scott Robertson.

"Our back three will be a lot tighter now," he added.

Recent results:
2016: Crusaders won 38-5, Christchurch
2015: Crusaders won 58-17, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 57-29, Brisbane
2013: Crusaders won 38-9, Christchurch (first round of play-offs)
2012: Crusaders won 15-11, Christchurch

Prediction: The Crusaders have won the last five meetings between these sides with the most recent four wins in that run all coming by 28+ points. Before that run the Reds had won three on the bounce between the sides; their last victory over the Crusaders came in the 2011 Super Rugby Final. The Reds have lost three of their last five at home against New Zealand sides more than they had lost in their previous 13 such games. The Crusaders have made an average of 159 carries per game this season, 26 carries more than any other team in the competition and 49.5 more than the Reds. Quade Cooper has made five offloads so far this season, the equal third most of any player and more than any other scrumhalf in the competition. There is nothing to suggest the Reds should win this one - unless the Crusaders arrive in a complacent mood. The Crusaders should win by at least 15 points.


Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.  
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 George Bridge.

Referee: William Houston (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nicholas Berry (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Southern Kings v Stormers
(Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth - Kick-off: 15.05; 13.05 GMT)

The Stormers are looking to continue their impressive early season form, as they go hunting a third consecutive win.

The Capetonians travel to Port Elizabeth for their clash against the Southern Kings with a new captain - Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth, the first time he will lead the Stormers.

Etzebeth will lead the side at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the absence of regular captain Siya Kolisi, who is being rested for this match, while wing Bjorn Basson will also make his debut for the Cape side on the wing.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is focused on building on the two victories that they have earned this season.

"This will be our first away game of the campaign after two good wins at Newlands and we would like to see further improvements in our game this weekend," Fleck said.

"We always get great support as a team in Port Elizabeth, so we are looking forward to the challenge on Saturday," he added.

Kings coach Deon Davids said they are not concerned about being branded underdogs in this all-South African derby.

"I have not concentrated on their team," Davids said, adding: It is all about and see where we can improve.

"We understand the Stormers are a quality side with a number of Springboks - it is going to be a huge challenge.

"However, it would be a mistake to focus just on the Stormers and forget about what we must bring to the game."

The Kings coach said it is important to retain the momentum they gained from last week's win over the Sunwolves.

"Winning is a culture, but losing can also become a culture."

Kings captains Schalk Ferreira said they are aware of the threats posed by the Stormers.

"They like to counter attack and run the ball," Ferreira said. adding: "Technically they are quite good."

Previous results:
2016: Stormers won 52-24, Cape Town
2013: Stormers won 24-12, Port Elizabeth
2013: Stormers won 19-11, Cape Town

Prediction: The Stormers have won all three meetings between these sides including a 28 point victory in their last meeting. In fact, the Kings have never beaten a fellow South African team, losing all 15 such meetings and failing to pick up even a losing bonus point. The Stormers have won their last two away games but haven't won three road games on the bounce since the beginning of 2015. The Stormers have scored six tries after four or more phases of play so far this campaign, more than any other team in the competition. Chris Cloete has won five turnovers so far this season, only one player has won more; Cloete is also yet to concede a turnover. The Stormers should win by at least 20 points - anything less will be a disappointment.


Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Rick Schroeder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Irne Herbst, 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Chris Heiberg, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Berton Klaasen.

Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris Van Zyl, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Damian Willemse.

Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Cheetahs v Sunwolves
(Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 GMT;  Sunday, March 12 Japan time)

The Cheetahs will be fancied to put a big score past the hapless Sunwolves, who have travelled to Bloemfontein on the back of two defeats.

The match will also see the return of former Cheetahs loose forward Willie Britz to the Free State capital.

After more than 100 first-class games for the Cheetahs and Lions in various competitions, he is now on a two-year contract with the Sunwolves.
Cheetahs coach Franco Smith, who spent a substantial amount of time on Springbok duty in the last fortnight, said all the South African teams have bought into the new 'ball-in-hand' expansive philosophy sweeping the country.

It means the Sunwolves will be forced to make bucketloads of tackles on Saturday.

If they again struggle to maintain their enthusiasm and intensity, they will be on the wrong side of a 50-point-plus result.

Smith said the Sunwolves' biggest threat is their "unpredictability".

"They take quick line-outs, deliver cross-field kick for their wings and have an x-factor which teams don't always recognise>'

Sunwolves coach Filo Tiatia said the team has "worked extremely hard" on making adjustments after the heavy defeats in the opening rounds.

"Representing the Sunwolves and Japan means a lot to these guys and they will do us all very proud," Tiatia said.

"South Africa is a wonderful place to tour and a wonderful place to play rugby.

"The Cheetahs must be respected and a team that play an aspiring brand of rugby.

"We will take the field on Saturday in true Sunwolves attacking spirit."

Previous results:
2016: Cheetahs won 92-17, Bloemfontein
2016: Cheetahs won 32-31, Singapore

Prediction: This will be the third meeting between these sides after the Cheetahs won both encounters last season in contrasting styles; the Bloemfontein outfit recorded a -one point win away to the Sunwolves in Round 3 before winning by 75 points in Round Eight, the third-biggest margin of victory in Super Rugby history. The Sunwolves are still searching for their first away victory in Super Rugby; they lost all seven away games last year, conceding 52 points per game on average.  The Cheetahs have won their last two games when hosting a team from outside South Africa, they haven't won three such games in a row since 2012 to 2013 when they beat the Force, the Waratahs and the Rebels. The Sunwolves have scored four tries in the final quarter of their games this campaign, the equal most of any team in the competition. Fred Zeilinga (34) has scored more points than any other player in the competition so far, and has missed just two of 15 goal attempts. The Cheetahs will win by 50 points or more.


Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Zee Mkhabela, 13 Ryno Benjamin, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Neill Jordaan, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain) , 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Danie Mienie, 17 Elandre Huggett, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Niel Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Ruan van Rensburg.

Sunwolves: 15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 William Tupou, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Edward Quirk, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto.
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Sharks v Waratahs
(Kings Park, Durban - Kick-off: 19.30; 17.30 GMT;  04.30 AEDT Sunday, March 12)

The Sharks will be looking to build on last week's impressive come from behind win when Pat Lambie's team face the Waratahs in their first home game of the season - following two away games in Australia, which produced five important league points.
Sharks coach Robert du Preez named the same 23-man squad that beat the Brumbies in Canberra last weekend.

The Waratahs, with Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley still sidelined with concussion symptoms, are will be looking to bounce back after last week's loss to the Lions.

The Waratahs have not lost consecutive games in South Africa since 2013.

The Sharks coach, Du Preez, spoke of the "character" shown by the players against the Brumbies.

"That win has definitely motivated us, however it is important that we build on that momentum this week," he said.
"We arrived back home this past Sunday and despite the jet lag, there have been no excuses from the guys.

"As a coaching unit, we cannot fault their commitment and work ethic, which has been amazing."
He said the Waratahs will be a "difficult prospect", despite some patchy form this season.

"We are looking forward to playing at home and the support and backing of our fans will give us added motivation."

Former Sharks player David McDuling said he was pleased to return home to Sydney to play with Tahs this season and is looking forward to running out against his former teammates in Durban.

"They [the Sharks] will be confident after winning that game last week against the Brumbies on tour," the lock said.

"I always look forward to playing, especially with my ties to Durban and the Sharks it does make it a little bit special.

"Everyone enjoys playing against people they know, which is the same in the Australian derbies - you want to get one up over your mates.

"For me, it is another great opportunity to pull on a Waratahs jersey, play at a great stadium against a great team," he added.

Recent results:
2015: Waratahs won 33-18, Sydney
2014: Sharks won 32-10, Durban
2012: Waratahs won 34-30, Sydney
2011: Sharks won 26-21, Durban
2010: Waratahs won 25-21, Sydney

Prediction: The last five meetings between these sides have been won by the home side on the day with the 2009 Waratahs being the last team to win away in this fixture. The Sharks have won their last four home games; not since a run of eight wins on the bounce in Durban from 2013 to 2014 have they won more consecutive matches at home. Despite a 19 point loss to the Lions in the last round, the Waratahs have still won four of their last seven games in South Africa and have not suffered consecutive defeats there since 2012-2013. The Sharks have slotted nine penalty goals so far this season, more than any other team in the competition, while the Waratahs (2) have conceded the equal fewest. Andrew Kellaway has recorded an average gain of 15.5m per carry this campaign (170m from 11 carries), the most of any player to have made more than two carries. It will be a real arm-wrestle, but the Sharks should win by a converted try.


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.

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 David McDuling, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 Senio Toleafoa, 20 Maclean Jones, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Cameron Clark

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Jaguares v Lions
(Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires - Kick-off: 16.40; 21.40 SA time; 19.40 GMT)

Buenos Aires hosts the final game of the weekend when the Jaguares entertain the high-flying Lions, who are hunting their third successive win of the season.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann named a very experimental side, saying it is important to back the entire squad.

Former Junior Springbok and Bulls lock Marvin Orie will make his debut for the visitors, replacing Springbok Franco Mostert (one of a handful of senior players being rested).
Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd believes the complicated Super Rugby draw - which sees the Lions avoid all the New Zealand sides during the conference phase - should see the South Africans top the regular season and be set to host the Final.

It was the banana-skin game for them last year when they were also under-strength and lost to the Jaguares in the final pool match, costing them first place in the standings and resulting in them having to travel to New Zealand for the Final/.

"It will be a huge challenge," Ackermann said of the trip to Buenos Aires, via Sao Palo in Brazil.

"It is the Jaguares' first home game of the season. They are a very passionate team and will be charged up to win at home.

"In all fairness, it is Argentina's national team," Ackermann said of the Jaguares, adding: "You don't get a much bigger challenge than this."

He said the Lions also have a target on their backs, having played in the Final last year.

"They would like to prove a point.

"We are also in the same pool and chasing the same qualifying spot for the play-offs."

Despite resting some Springboks and starting other senior players off the bench, he described the Lions as a "well-balanced team".

"Some of the guys who worked hard in the off-season are getting a chance," Ackermann said.

"It also gives us a chance to freshen up a few of the other players.

"We are also very excited about our bench, which is very strong and hopefully they can make a big difference.

"We always said we must trust our squad."

Previous results:
2016: Jaguares won 34-22, Buenos Aires
2016: Lions won 52-24, Johannesburg

Prediction: This will be the third meeting between these sides, both fixtures last season were won by the home side on the day. The Jaguares won their last home game - against the Lions - but have not won back-to-back home games in Super Rugby so far. The Lions have lost their last three away trips outside of South Africa, including last year's Final; this comes after a run of four wins in a row in such fixtures, their best ever run outside of the country. The Lions have won 34 line-outs (including steals) across the opening fortnight, more than any other team in the competition. The Jaguares have conceded 26 turnovers in their opening two games, no team has conceded fewer (level with the Brumbies). The Jaguares must e favoured, given the experimental nature of the Lions, but if the Lions get their high-paced running game going and hold onto the ball they could sneak it - by less than 10 points.


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 (c), 1 Santiago García Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Cristian Bartoloni, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Juan Martín Hernández, 23 Matías Moroni.

Lions: 15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Andries Coetzee, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Damian Schneider (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports

Mc article cheetahs v sunwolves 2017 800

Cheetahs do enough against spirited Sunwolves

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 11:56

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Cheetahs did enough to secure a 38-31 win over a spirited Sunwolves team in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The yellow-carding of Takuma Asahara proved costly for the Japanese as they pushed the South Africans all the way.

The replacement prop was sin-binned after 65 minutes for a second offence in quick succession with the visitors clinging to a 31-30 lead at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Cheetahs opted for a scrum from the resultant penalty and scrumhalf Tian Meyer threw a long pass to send centre Rayno Benjamin over in the corner.

Flyhalf Fred Zeilinga failed to convert, but added a penalty while the Sunwolves were still a man short to close the scoring.

Sunwolves, who lost 17-92 at the same ground last year, finished the match in the Cheetahs half and were let down by a couple of unforced errors.

They allowed the South Africans to steal a line-out and a knock-on by lock Liaka Moli halted a promising multi-phase attack.

Running the Cheetahs so close must encourage a team humiliated 17-83 in Tokyo two weeks ago by title-holders Hurricanes of New Zealand.

Sunwolves also lost to another South African side, Southern Kings, in Singapore last weekend.

It was the third consecutive home fixure for the Cheetahs, who began with a loss to the Lions, then beat Bulls in a second South African derby.

Sunwolves were ahead within 30 seconds of the kick-off thanks to a try by ful-back Shota Emi and trailed only 17-20 at half-time.

A try by centre Clinton Swart put the hosts 13 points ahead early in the second half before a brace from wing Kenki Fukuoka gave the Sunwolves a one-point advantage.

Asahara was then yellow-carded and the match swung decisively in favour of the home side.

Skipper and hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld, flank Teboho Mohoje, Swart and Benjamin scored tries for the Cheetahs.

Zeilinga missed only one shot at goal as he kicked three conversions and four penalties.

Fukuoka (2), Emi and New Zealand-born flyhalf Hayden Cripps crossed for Sunwolves tries.

Cripps kicked two conversions and a penalty and his replacement and fellow New Zealander, Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, slotted two conversions.

Man of the match: Sunwolves No.13 William Tupou was immense in the midfield. However, the award goes to wing Kenki Fukuoka for running the Cheetahs ragged and scoring four tries.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Van Jaarsveld, Mohoje, Swart, Benjamin
Cons: Zeilinga 3
Pens: Zeilinga 4

For Sunwolves: 
Tries: Emi, Cripps, Fukuoko 2
Cons: Cripps 2, Taulagi 2
Pen: Cripps

Yellow card: Takuma Asahara (Sunwolves, 64 - cynical play, not rolling away)


Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Zee Mkhabela, 13 Ryno Benjamin, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Neill Jordaan, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain) , 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Danie Mienie, 17 Elandre Huggett, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Niel Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Ruan van Rensburg.

Sunwolves: 15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 William Tupou, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Edward Quirk, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto.
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

AFP & @rugby365com

Torsten Van Jaarsveld (14min), Teboho Mohoje (35min), Clinton Swart (51min), and Ryno Benjamin (66min)
Shota Emi (0min), Hayden Cripps (23min), Kenki Fukuoka (54min), and Kenki Fukuoka (61min)
Fred Zellinga (15min), Fred Zellinga (36min), and Fred Zellinga (52min)
Hayden Cripps (1min), Hayden Cripps (24min), Jamie-Jerry Taulagi (55min), and Jamie-Jerry Taulagi (62min)
Fred Zellinga (21min), Fred Zellinga (32min), Fred Zellinga (43min), and Fred Zellinga (73min)
Hayden Cripps (38min)
Takuma Asahara (64min)
VENUE Bloemfontein
REFEREE Rasta Rasivhenge