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Super Rugby | Wellington
06:35 (GMT) | 18-03-2017
  • 80
Full-time! Canes win this one! Thank you for joining us at for this match! Make sure you join us for the rest of the games today! Its a Rugga filled day!
  • 79
Jordie Barrett converts the try
  • 78
Aso scores his second and puts the icing on the cake for the Canes!
  • 77
Li with the no arms tackle on Riccitelli cops his a yellow card and a penalty for the Hurricanes , Barrett sets up the 5 meter lineout.
  • 76
Ben Smith comes within inches of the line before Wes Goosen makes the turn over and slings it out to Julian Savea who makes a massive line break and plays Black who gets caught, good play from the Canes once again.
  • 74
Tahuriorangi feeds the scrum for the Canes, plays Barrett on the crash ball , Beauden Barrett attempts a cross kick and the Baracuda Richard Buckman does well in the air and makes a good run. Next wave of attack sees the ball dropped cold and the Canes get the scrum put in once again
  • 73
Highlanders attacking from deep as Li throws a forward pass on the halfway line. Scrum to the Canes.
  • 71
Beauden Barrett loses the ball forward, scrum down Highlanders put in
  • 70
Ball goes out from the Canes as the Highlanders are forced to attack from deep, Ardie Savea then turns the ball over and the Canes attack again through Laumape
  • 69
Riccitelli finds his jumper and the Canes are back on the attack through Julian Savea who makes a nice run.
  • 68
Barrett converts the try
  • 67
Aso breaks the line and finishes a quality try for the Canes
  • 66
Lineout Highlanders in the Canes half. Can they strike back?
  • 65
Perenara feeds the scrum , plays Jordie Barrett, Toomaga Allen has a go before Laumape loses the ball and the Highlanders regain possession.
  • 63
Highlanders lose the ball forward close to their 22. Scrum put in for the Canes
  • 62
Jordie Barrett fails to add the extras
  • 61
Canes on the attack through the left flank a great run is made by Goosen who plays Julian Savea who makes a great run and scores in the corner!
  • 60
Ben Smith makes a run for the Highlanders then Li loses the ball forward near the halfway, scrum down Hurricanes put-in
  • 59
Penalty to the Highlanders, Banks clears the ball into touch. Highlanders lineout just outside their own 22.
  • 57
Penalty Hurricanes, Barrett kicks for touch which sets up a 5 meter lineout for the Canes, Coles finds his jumper and the maul is set. Somehow the Highlanders get their hands on the ball and the ref calls for a Highlanders put in.
  • 55
Barrett clears the ball into touch, Coltman finds his jumper on the halfway line as Whitelock and Faddes have a go before Wheeler loses the ball forward. Scrum down Canes put in on the 10 meter line inside their own half.
  • 52
Highlanders with ball in hand in the Hurricanes halff as Banks has a run, then Coltman. Canes defense holds strong
  • 51
Barrett pulls his conversion attempt
  • 49
Fantastic run by Laumape who breaks the line gets rid of Ben Smith and scores in the corner!
  • 48
Smith feeds the scrum and Banks clears the ball up field , Jordie Barrett has a go but is smashed. Beauden Barrett then puts through a grubber coughed up by Banks, scrum down Hurricanes put in.
  • 47
Ardie Savea makes a good run, attempts to play Abbott who loses the ball forward on the Highlanders 22. Scrum down Highlanders put in
  • 46
Banks converts the try
  • 45
Lineout is set by the Highlanders as Marty Banks puts the ball into touch, Coltman finds his jumper as the Highlanders smash at the Canes try line. Run after run by the visitors results in Dixon crashing over for the try!
  • 44
Perenara with a high tackle on Fletcher Smith as the number ten looks to be in a spot of bother, penalty to the Highlanders . Perenara is given a yellow card card
  • 43
Barrett converts the try
  • 42
Faddes makes a great run from the kick off, puts through a kick and Jordie Barrett cleans it up and put the ball into touch. Hurricanes get the ball Barrett puts in a cross kick for his brother Jordie who throws a great pass to Proctor who scores a fantastic try!!!
  • 41
Second half underway as Barrett kicks off for the Canes

Half Time

  • 40
Halftime! See you all in a bit for the second half
  • 39
Great kick from Ben Smith rolls into touch 5 meters from the Canes try line.
  • 38
Perenara clears the ball up field , Ben Smith has a run from deep followed by Fletcher Smith. A tight half this has been .
  • 37
Highlanders with ball in hand near the halfway as Faddes breaks the line and plays Aaron Smith who loses the ball with the try line in sight. Scrum Hurricanes on their own try line
  • 36
Barrett misses his conversion attempt
  • 35
Jordie Barrett makes a lovely cross kick to Laumape who scores in the corner , great try
  • 34
Barrett makes a good run for the Canes offloads to Laumape who loses the ball, Julian Savea then makes a run and plays his brother. Good play by the Canes
  • 32
Fletcher Smith pulls his conversion attempt
  • 30
Aaron Smith plays Matt Faddes straight from the scrum , he breaks the line and scores!
  • 29
Pile up once again, ref blows for the Highlanders scrum 5 meters from the try line
  • 28
Highlanders with ball in hand in the Hurricanes 22, Dixon has a run, Franklin and Faddes all have a go before the Highlanders are awarded the penalty, Ben Smith taps and goes
  • 27
Fletcher Smith clears the ball into touch, Coles misses his jumper and the Highlanders turn the ball over
  • 26
Hurricanes on the attack in the Highlanders 22 before Eves drops the ball cold, scrum Highlanders
  • 25
Fletcher Smith lands the penalty, lovely kick
  • 24
Highlanders on the attack in the Canes half as Ben Smith has a run, then Whitelock, Chris Eves is then penalized and the Highlanders will have a shot at goal from 40 out. .
  • 22
Fekitoa makes a great run along the touchline dives for the corner and the TMO is in action to judge whether the try has been scored or not. Fekitoa's foot went into touch so it will be a Canes lineout 5 meters from their try line.
  • 20
Savea picks up from the back and comes close , Abbott then has a bash but is held up, penalty to the Hurricanes , lineout is set up from Beauden Barrett , ball is overthrown by Coles and the Highlanders regain the ball and clear it into touch.
  • 19
Pile up of bodies on the try line as the ref calls for a scrum to the Hurricanes. Highlanders holding on for dear life. Savea territory surely....
  • 18
Perenara hoists the box kick and Fletcher Smith loses the ball forward 5 meters from his goal line. Nerves getting the better of the new Highlanders number 10.
  • 17
Highlanders on the attack through Coltman and Fletcher Smith, Fekitoa then makes a run followed by Wheeler. Hurricanes defense is solid forcing Fletcher Smith to put in a kick and Jordie Barrett returning the favor.
  • 15
Hurricanes on the attack near the Highlanders 22 before the Highlanders win the penalty as Jefferey Toomaga Allen is penalized at the breakdown. Ben Smith clears the ball for touch
  • 14
Aaron Smith kicks the ball and it goes out on the full, lineout Hurricanes just inside the Highlanders half
  • 13
Perenara puts through a grubber kick cleaned up by Ben Smith whos kick is charged down and bounces into touch. Lineout Highlanders, Coltman finds his jumper and the maul is set before Aaron Smith makes a good run
  • 12
Conversion attempt missed from Beauden Barrett
  • 10
Lineout to the Canes 5 meters from the Highlanders try line, Coles finds his jumper and the maul is set and rumbles forward resulting in Ardie Savea crashing over for the try from a well constructed maul
  • 9
Up and under hoisted by Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith coughs it up and loses the ball forward outside his 22, a rare error from the All Black Fullback, scrum Canes in a dangerous position
  • 8
Barrett pulls his penalty attempt to the left of the uprights. 22 dropout to the Highlanders
  • 7
Laumape has a run midfield for the Canes, Joe Wheeler is then then penalized for the Highlanders and Beauden Barrett is going to have a shot at goal from long range.
  • 5
Fatialofa, Barrett, Ardie Save and Eves all have a go but the Highlanders push the home side back with solid defense. Highlanders force the turnover and Fekitoa makes a great run followed by Ben Smith who is isolated and forced to hold onto the ball, penalty Hurricanes , Barrett clears for touch
  • 4
Laumape has a run midfield for the home side but is met with solid defense from the Highlanders
  • 3
Hurricanes continue attacking before Dane Coles loses the ball forward on the Highlanders 22. Scrum down, Highlanders put in. Aaron Smith feeds the scrum plays Fletcher Smith who clears the ball into touch on the halfway line.
  • 2
Knock on straight from the kick off from a Highlanders hand, scrum down Hurricanes put it, the scrums a success, Barrett clears up field and Ben Smith clears the ball into touch. Coles finds his jumper on the halfway and Ardie Savea has a run midfield. Highlanders defense holds strong
  • 1
First half underway, Smith kicks off for the Highlanders
  • -5
Almost time for kick off as the teams go through their last match preparations. This promises to be a cracker of a game
  • -10
The Highlanders have won on five of their last seven visits to Wellington to face the Hurricanes, though were pipped in a 27-20 loss when these teams met in Round 14 last season.
  • -15
The last 10 games between these teams have seen each notch five victories, with all but one of those 10 fixtures decided by a margin of no greater than the value of a converted try.
  • -20
Both teams have had their share of injuries, but the Highlanders' talent resources are a lot more depleted than the home team.
  • -25
Last year the two teams split their matches one apiece, with the Highlanders winning 17-16 in Dunedin and the Hurricanes winning the return match 27-20 in Wellington.
  • -30
Welcome to the Westpac stadium in Wellington , New Zealand for this Super Rugby clash between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders
Mc hurricanes logo 80x50
Mc highlanders logo 80x50
  • 1 Chris Eves
  • 2 Dane Coles
  • 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
  • 4 Mark Abbott
  • 5 Michael Fatialofa
  • 6 Brad Shields
  • 7 Callum Gibbins
  • 8 Ardie Savea
  • 9 TJ Perenara
  • 10 Beauden Barrett
  • 11 Julian Savea
  • 12 Ngani Laumape
  • 13 Matt Proctor
  • 14 Vince Tavae –Aso
  • 15 Jordie Barrett
  • 16 Ricky Riccitelli
  • 17 Ben May
  • 18 Mike Kainga
  • 19 Sam Lousi
  • 20 Reed Prinsep
  • 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
  • 22 Otere Black
  • 23 Wes Goosen
  • 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
  • 2 Liam Coltman
  • 3 Siate Tokolahi
  • 4 Joe Wheeler
  • 5 Tom Franklin
  • 6 Elliot Dixon
  • 7 Dillon Hunt
  • 8 Luke Whitelock
  • 9 Aaron Smith
  • 10 Fletcher Smith
  • 11 Tevita Li
  • 12 Rob Thompson
  • 13 Malakai Fekitoa
  • 14 Richard Buckman
  • 15 Ben Smith
  • 16 Sekenoia Pole
  • 17 Aki Seiulu
  • 18 Guy Millar
  • 19 Jackson Hemopo
  • 20 Gareth Evans
  • 21 Kayne Hammington
  • 22 Marty Banks
  • 23 Matt Faddes
Mc article sekope kepu waratahs 100 caps 800

SR Preview: Round Four, Part Two

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 22:56

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: There has been plenty of drama off the field this week. Saturday will ensure the drama is on the field.

The Lions, beaten finalists last year, this week learnt that coach Johan Ackerman is being head-hunted by English Premiership franchise Gloucester.

Ackermann, the consummate professional fronted up to the media and confirmed the offer. He also made it clear he did not want it to be a distraction.

In other off-field developments, it was confirmed that the Waratahs and Brumbies will play for the Dan Vickerman Cup on Saturday - in honour of the ex-Wallaby lock who passed away last month.

Vickerman played for both franchises during his playing career.

We look at the Saturday matches!

Saturday, March 18

Hurricanes v Highlanders
(Westpac Stadium, Wellington - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT)

The Hurricanes versus Highlanders rivalry has always been a fierce contest.

It reached fever pitch just two years ago, when the two franchises met in the 2016 Super Rugby Final.

Last year the two teams split their matches one apiece, with the Highlanders winning 17-16 in Dunedin and the Hurricanes winning the return match 27-20 in Wellington.

Both teams have had their share of injuries, but the Highlanders' talent resources are a lot more depleted than the home team.

Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland is adamant the Highlanders will be up for a scrap.

"They have still managed to put a pretty good fifteen on the field," Holland said.

"They might say the same about us. It is going to be massive whatever happens. We know what sort of challenge it may be,'' Holland said.

"The boys are ready to go again.

"The physicality goes up again and you've got to be aggressive and be bold. It will be no different this weekend.''

The Highlanders played a very tactical game last week and used the kick-and-chase very effectively

''I felt as though our kick-chase and our pressure game was right on the money last week," Highlanders coach Tony Brown said.

"It probably won us the game."

A similarly determined defensive effort will be required against the defending champions.

Recent results:
2016: Hurricanes won 27-20, Wellington
2016: Highlanders 17-16, Dunedin
2015: Highlanders won 21-14, Wellington (Final)
2015: Hurricanes won 56-20, Wellington
2015: Hurricanes won 20-13, Dunedin
2014: Highlanders won 18-16, Wellington
2014: Highlanders won 35-31, Dunedin

Prediction: The last 10 games between these teams have seen each notch five victories, with all but one of those 10 fixtures decided by a margin of no greater than the value of a converted try. The Highlanders have won on five of their last seven visits to Wellington to face the Hurricanes, though were pipped in a 27-20 loss when these teams met in Round 14 last season. The Hurricanes have won their last seven games on home soil, their longest streak in franchise history and the equal longest current streak of any team in the competition (Lions). The Highlanders have won their last three regular season games away from home, the last time they enjoyed a longer such streak was a four-game stretch in 2005. Hurricanes trio Julian Savea (10), Ngani Laumape (10), and Vince Aso (nine) have made more clean breaks than any other players in the competition this season; Waisake Naholo (five) has made the most of any Highlander. The Highlanders have a realistic chance of an upset and it will indeed be close, but we feel the Hurricanes will sneak a thriller - by seven points.


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

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Joe Wheeler, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Sekonia Pole, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Matt Faddes.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

Waratahs v Brumbies
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 19.45; 08.45 GMT)

Saturday's grudge match against the Brumbies will hold special meaning for the Sekope Kepu who will mark his 100th Waratahs cap at the inaugural Dan Vickerman Cup.

When he arrived at the Waratahs his goal was to play one game for the side, not dreaming he would ever make it to 100.

"My ultimate dream was to play rugby as a professional sport, full-time," Kepu said in an interview on the Waratahs website.

"I remember coming over and walking through the corridors here and seeing guys I watched growing up like Lote Tuqiri, Phil Waugh, Dan Vickerman, Tatafu [Polota-Nau] - it was a very overwhelming experience.

"You want to look at it as just another game. I came over with a dream to play one cap for NSW but to get 100 is humbling."

The Waratahs versus Brumbies rivalry is one that excites both the players and fans and Kepu admitted there will be a lot on the line for the game.

"It's a massive game, it's one of those one's you really look forward to going up against guys you know at a national level," Kepu said.

"They [Brumbies] bring massive experience, it's going to be a challenge. We've got to be on top of our game, go out and play our game.

"In the first three games, we haven't played to our full potential. We've got to lead the way as a front row. In a way it's something that I'm really looking to," said Kepu.

Recent results:
2016: Brumbies won 26-20, Sydney
2016: Brumbies won 32-15, Canberra
2015: Waratahs won 13-10, Canberra
2015: Waratahs won 28-13, Sydney
2014: Waratahs won 26-8, Sydney (semifinal)
2014: Waratahs won 39-8, Sydney
2014: Brumbies won 28-23, Canberra

Prediction: The Brumbies have won their last two games against the Waratahs, the last and only time they have won more in succession against the NSW franchise was a three-game stint across the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The Waratahs have won 13 of their previous 16 home games against the Brumbies, though were pipped in a 26-20 loss in the last such fixture. The Brumbies have won each of their last four away fixtures within Australia, never before have they enjoyed a longer streak in such games. The Brumbies boast the most accurate line-out of any team in the competition, losing a league-low 0.7 line-outs per game and enjoying a line-out success rate of 96 percent. Israel Folau scored a try in each of the Waratahs' two games against the Brumbies last season and has scored three tries in his last four games against the ACT side overall. The Waratahs have been a massive disappointment this season, while the Brumbies have shown some old-fashioned grunt. That, we feel, will see the Brumbies edge an arm-wrestle - by no more than 10 points.


Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley/Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nick Phipps, 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 Ned Hanigan, 21 Michael Wells, 22 Jake Gordon, 23 Bryce Hegarty/David Horwitz.

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nigel Ah Wong, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Lolo Fakaosilea, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leulua'Iali'I-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Ben Hyne, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Andrew Smith.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), William Houston (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Lions v Reds
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 GMT; 01.15 Sunday, Match 19 AEST)

Lions coach Johan Ackermann was hoping that the offer to move to England to join Gloucester next season would not be a distraction to his team.

He will know on Saturday if his plan was successful.

They are facing a vastly improved Reds team that came within second of beating the Crusaders.

The Gloucester saga was certainly not the only issue high on the agenda at Ellis Park this week.

Ackermann made it clear that two of the main issues on their loss to the Jaguares last week - discipline and missed tackles - were addressed.

Springbok flank Jaco Kriel, sitting beside his coach at a media briefing, issued a stern warning to his teammates.

"I believe that they [the Reds] are in better form than the Waratahs," he said of a team the Lions beat 55-36, in a match where the Lions leaked five tries.

Kriel said the Reds have some "x-factor players" - like flyhalf Quade Cooper.

Reds coach Nick Stiles said his side, with just one win in three outings, will be looking to use the Ellis Park encounter as a springboard for their season.

It will mean they need to break a nine-match losing streak away from home.

"We have discussed it [the nine-match losing streak on the road] and that honesty within the group has set us up nicely," Stile said at the team's base in Johannesburg.

"For us to win over here could be similar to 2010, when the Reds came over here and that win became the springboard for the season and ultimate success [winning Super Rugby] a year later.

"You can see us grow each week and you are seeing growth in the squad."

Recent results:
2015:  Lions won 18-17, Brisbane
2014: Lions won 23-20, Johannesburg
2012: Reds won 34-20, Brisbane
2011: Reds won 30-25, Johannesburg
2010: Reds won 41-26, Johannesburg

Prediction: The average margin between these sides across the history of this fixture is just eight points, though it's been the Lions who have enjoyed victory in each of the last two meetings between these teams. The Lions have won each of their last seven games at home, their longest winning streak ever on home turf, scoring an average of 47 points per game in that stretch. The Reds haven't won away from home since Round 16, 2015 (v Force), losing each of their nine road games since. The Queensland side has restricted their opposition to just 13 minutes and 35 seconds of possession per game this season, the lowest of any team. Elton Jantjies has scored 54 points in his last three games on home turf, including a haul of 15 points against the Waratahs in Round Two this season. The Lions are a difficult team to beat at home - with the Waratahs, Highlanders, Crusaders, Sharks, Jaguares and the Blues - among those who have fallen victim to their high-paced game at Ellis Park. The Reds will give them a scare, but a strong last quarter will see the Lions go clear and win by 15 points.


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 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 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 Harold Vorster.

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 Kane Douglas, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Markus Vanzati, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Sharks v Kings
(Kings Park, Durban - kick-off: 19.30; 17.30 GMT)

Complacency could be the Sharks' biggest stumbling block this week.

There is no reason, on paper, why the Kings should be a threat.

Centre Andre Esterhuizen admitted that, given people's expectations that they will win, mental preparation is just as important as on-the-field training.

"The thing with the Kings is that you can never underestimate them," Esterhuizen said.

"If they get their tails in the air, it could be a long night for us, so starting well is important for us.

"We also mustn't allow the game to get loose, we must keep to our structures, earn the right to go wide and we will play from there and hopefully score some tries."

The Southern Kings are eager to rectify the errors that have proven so costly this season.

Kings coach Deon Davids said that his side is aware of the enormity of the task at hand.

"It is always difficult to go to Durban, but we are looking forward to this game," Davids said.

Following last weekend's 10-41 defeat to the Stormers, the coach stressed the importance of building on the positives from the last match while improving on areas that needed to get better.

"There were aspects of our game last week where we did some good things, but there is also stuff that we need to tidy up," Davids said.

"At times we do seem like we are losing against ourselves. We need to be more clinical, it's all about executing better.

"It is important that we up our work ethic and do the work for 80m minutes."

Previous results:
2016: Sharks won 53-0, Durban
2016: Sharks won 43-8, Port Elizabeth
2013: Sharks won 58-13, Durban
2013: Sharks won 21-12, Port Elizabeth

Prediction: The Sharks have won all four previous games between these teams, and have outscored the Kings 154-21 across their last three meetings. The Sharks have won their last two games on home turf against South African squads, the last time they enjoyed a longer winning streak in such games was a four-game stint ending in 2014. The Kings continue to search for their first Super Rugby win against South African opposition and have conceded eight tries and more than 50 points in each of their last three road fixtures against fellow South African teams. The Sharks have slotted 15 penalty goals so far this season, more than any other side, while they've conceded a joint-low three penalty goals. The Kings are the only team in the competition who are yet to miss a kick at goal; Lionel Cronje has kicked 15 goals without missing, no other player has hit more than six without missing at least once. It is unlikely the Kings will break their duck against SA teams. We feel the Sharks will win by 15 points.


Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Bernhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Garth April.

Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Johann Tromp.

Referee: Egon Seconds (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Jaguares v Cheetahs
(Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires - kick-off: 16.40; 21.40 SA time' 19.40 GMT)

The Lions have come a cropper two years in a row - the second time just a week ago.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith felt there were some valuable lessons to be learnt for their compatriots' errors against what is effectively Argentina's national team.

"The Lions wanted to contain the Jaguares in the first half and pick up the pace after the break," Smith said.

"However, the Jaguares opened too much of a gap in the first half-an-hour.

"It is vital to be in their faces from the outset."

Smith also spoke of being "fearless on defence" and "fearless with the ball in hand".

"It will require a very special performance by us," he said, adding: "The Jaguares in Buenos Aires is very tough to beat."

Injuries and the need to freshen up the squad forced Smith to make numerous changes to his matchday squad.

"We need to produce a better performance than we did against the Sunwolves last week.

"The Jaguares is a very accomplished team withy 23 internationals."

Previous result:
2016: Jaguares won 34-33, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The only previous encounter between these teams saw the Argentinian franchise snatch a one-point win against the Cheetahs after trailing by seven at half-time. The Cheetahs have lost their last seven games away from home, last tasting victory on the road in a Round 3 clash with the Sunwolves last season. The Jaguares have won each of their last three games when hosting South African opposition, winning each game by 12+ points. The Jaguares have the best ruck success of any team in the competition, winning 98 percent of rucks and losing just 1.7 rucks per game on average. Tian Meyer has provided four try assists so far this campaign, more than any other player. The Cheetahs may run them close, perhaps closer than the Lions did last week, but at home, the Jaguares will be too good and win by less than 10 points.


Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Santiago García Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Ignacio Larrague, 21 Javier Ortega Desio, 22 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Bautista Ezcurra.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Michael van der Spuy, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ruan van Rensburg, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Henco Venter, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Elandré Huggett, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 William Small-Smith/Johannes Prinsloo, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Fred Zeilinga.

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

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports

Mc article hurricanes v highlanders match action 800

Hurricanes blow Highlanders away

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 05:54

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Hurricanes bounced back from last week's loss to the Chiefs in emphatic fashion, with a 41-15 demolition of the Highlanders in Wellington on Saturday.

The defending champions put on display their full array of skills.

The Highlanders will have thought they were in with a shout when they trailed by just two points, 8-10, at the half-time break.

However, a five-try second-half rout by the Hurricanes put into perspective the Wellington-based franchise' class.

It was the recovery performance the defending champions were looking for, after suffering their first loss of the season last week.

Although it took a late first half try to bullocking centre Ngani Laumape to give them a 10-8 lead at the turn, the Hurricanes moved up several gears after the resumption.

Captain Dane Coles said it was a reward for their brand of rugby.

"We talked about getting that enjoyment back this week," Coles said.

"We love using the ball and having a bit of fun and that worked well for us tonight," he said, adding they also worked on restricting scoring opportunities for the Highlanders.

"Our discipline was a major factor and our defence was outstanding. Two things we really worked on during the week and they paid dividends."

While All Black flyhalf Beauden Barrett was without his kicking radar, missing four conversions, his younger brother Jordie had an outstanding game.

He set up Laumape's first try with a pin-point cross-kick and at the start of the second half, he produced an audacious behind-the-back pass while holding off Matt Faddes to send Matt Proctor over the tryline.

That was the spark the Hurricanes needed to ignite their 31-point second half and to extend their winning home run to eight matches in Wellington.

But for the Highlanders, champions just two years ago, it continued a tough run of playing their first four games against the four other New Zealand franchises and having a solitary win over the Blues to show for it.

They also lost Malakai Fekitoa who failed a concussion test to add to their growing injury list.

Laumape and Vince Aso both scored twice for the Hurricanes with Ardie and Julian Savea as well as Proctor adding tries and Beauden Barrett landed three conversions.

For the Highlanders, Faddes and Elliot Dixon scored tries, Marty Banks kicked one conversion and Fletcher Smith kicked a penalty.

The Highlanders head to Canberra to play the ACT Brumbies next week while the Hurricanes have a bye.

Man of the match: The Highlanders' two All Black Smiths, Ben and Aaron, were - as always - great value. Aaron Smith probably had his best game in more than a year. However, the best players were in the Hurricanes line-up - Beauden Barrett (another flyhalf masterclass, although his goal-kicking leaves a lot to be desired), TJ Perenara (even with the yellow card for a high tackle he had a good day at the office), Ardie Savea (fast and physical), Brad Shields (a real nuisance at the breakdown) and the energetic captain Dane Coles. However, our award goes Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape - who showed he is so much more than just brute force. Not many players will steamroller Ben Smith, but there was a great weaving run before he brushed Smith aside on his way to a try.

The scorers:

For the Hurricanes:
A Savea, Laumape 2, Proctor, J Savea, Aso 2
Cons: B Barrett 2, J Barrett

For the Highlanders:
Faddes, Dixon
Con: Banks
Pen: F Smith

Yellow card: TJ Perenara (Hurricanes, 44 - foul play, high tackle), Tevita Li (Highlanders, 78 - foul play, no-arms tackle)


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

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Joe Wheeler, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Sekonia Pole, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Matt Faddes.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

Ardie Savea (10min), Ngani Laumape (35min), Matt Proctor (42min), Ngani Laumape (49min), Julian Savea (61min), Vince Tavae –Aso (67min), and Vince Tavae –Aso (78min)
Matt Faddes (30min) and Elliot Dixon (45min)
Beauden Barrett (43min), Jordie Barrett (68min), and Jordie Barrett (79min)
Marty Banks (46min)
Fletcher Smith (25min)
TJ Perenara (44min)
Tevita Li (77min)
VENUE Wellington
REFEREE Angus Gardner (Australia)