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Lions

FULL-TIME
34     29

Sharks

Super Rugby | Ellis Park Stadium
15:05 (GMT) | 01-04-2017
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Join us tomorrow for out coverage of the weekend's last Super Rugby fixture
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The Lions stalling the game out at the ruck. The Sharks give away a penalty and and the game us over. The Lions take the game in a thrilling fixture. FULL TIME.
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The Lions get a scrum inside their 22 after the ball is spilled forward by the Sharks
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The Lions give away a penalty after the restart. The Sharks have a scrum outside the 22 of the hosts
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Jantjies misses his kick
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The ball moved up field and the Sharks still recovering and a dummy is sold which the Sharks buy and Kriel finds the space along the wing to go the distance and and scores the TRY
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Bosch with another attempt at the drop goal and it bounces off the horizontal from the mid field. Outstanding play by the youngster. The Lions push forward and they find themselves outside the 5 of the Sharks. The backline clears but not into touch and the Lions come again
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Jantjies sets up for a kick just outside the 22. he takes the kick and levels the points again
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The Lions looking for any points now before the game ends. They struggle to make their way inside the 22 of the Sharks and stay there. The Sharks showing good character to maintain their formation. Penalty to the Lions for a dangerous tackle by the visitors
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Scrum reset
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The ball cleared after the restart and then sent back by the Lions back line. The referee sees a forward pass by the Sharks flyhalf and the Lions have a scrum at 22
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Bosch makes the kick. Astounding stuff by the youngster
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Tambwe gets it at the half way and the referee blows shortly after for a line-out. Penalty to the Sharks 65 meters out and Bosch sets up for a kick at goal
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The Lions take the ball down and Fourie gets it and makes a few meters forward. The Lions find themselves inside the half of the Sharks now. Tambwe gets it along the touch line and he is tackled into touch as he tries to offload. The referee blows and the Sharks have a throw at their 22
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Scrum to the Lions inside the 22 of the Sharks after the ball is lost forward by Vermeulen. The Sharks with a good shove but the Lions get a penalty. Jantjies takes the kick and adds 3 points
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He takes his kick from inside the 10 and puts the Sharks back in front
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The ball is cleared by Bosch and Coetzee sends it back. The Sharks on the counter now and they make it to the half way. Bosch has a go at goal and the referee blows for a penalty to the Sharks. Bosch sets up for a dead ball opportunity at goal
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Scrum reset
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The ball lost forward by the Lions and the Sharks have a scrum at their 22
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The Lions in possession after the restart and the ball is cleared by Skosan. Line-out for the hosts around their 10. The referee blows for a penalty to the Lions and Jantjies kicks into touch inside the 22 of the Sharks
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The Lions showing strong resolve to try and regain their lead. They make it to the 22 of the Sharks and the ball is kicked forward but the Sharks get it and plant it down at the try area for a 22 meter reset
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Jantjies with the restart high, on the edge of the 22. The Sharks get it and Andre Esterhuizen clears into touch around the half way
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Bosch sets up for his attempt at goal, 3 for 4 this evening. He makes the 2 points
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Line-out for the Sharks at the 10 of the Lions after the reset. Bosch kicks forward for Mvovo to chase and he does. The Sharks make it to the 5 and move the ball down field and Kobus Van Wyk gets it in space then goes over the line to score the TRY
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The ball lands in the hands of Coetzee who takes a shot at goal and gets the 3 points
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Janse Van Rensburg gets it and looks to power through the wing but four men are on him and he is directed into touch. Line-out for the Sharks at their 5. The referee calls for a penalty to the Sharks and they finally get to clear their lines properly. The ball is not kicked into touch and the Lions come again
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Line-out for the Sharks at their own 5. The referee calls for a turnover by the Lions and then a penalty to the hosts. They opt for a scrum at the 5 in line with the sticks
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They take a tap and go. The ball gets handed to Kriel and he loos to force himself over the line but is tackled into touch
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Tambwe gets it along the wing and twists and turns away from his tacklers but is finally brought down. Penalty to the Lions at the 5
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Sharks take their scrum and move the ball to Bosch and he looks to clear but it's charged down. The Lions get it and move the ball up field to Vorster. He carries to the edge of the 5 and the momentum is with the Lions now
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Coetzee gets it and clears into touch. Line-out at the half way for the away team. The Lions in possession now and they move forward from the half way but Skosan loses it forward. Scrum around the mid field
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Bosch with a deep kick. The Lions win a penalty and they take it quickly. De Klerk runs it forward but loses it and the Sharks star their attack from the half way
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Jantjies secures the extras
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The ball moved down field to Janse Van Rensburg by De Klerk. Skosan is the last man on the wing gets it and turns inside , trips before the line but gets up and makes it over to score the first TRY of the second half
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The Lions with a throw after the kickoff. Sharks still with 14 men to start the second half. They take the line-out and move the ball up field. The ball is lost forward and the Lions have a scrum inside the 10 of the Sharks. The referee blows for a penalty and the scrum is reset
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The second half is underway

Half Time

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Jantjies secures the 2 points before the HALF TIME whistle
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Lions get the TRY before the half time whistle, Marx the man with the ball being carried over the line in the maul
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Penalty to the Sharks. The TMO calls for a dangerous tackle by Etienne Oosthuizen. Yellow card.
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Whiteley in possession as he is driven forward by his team mates. The turnover is there and the ball is cleared again by the Sharks, just looking to ride out the last seconds of the half
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Line-out at the 22 for the Lions after the ball is cleared by the Sharks.
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The restart ball being kicked both ways. Coetzee gets it in hands and sends a good kick into touch around the 5 of the Sharks. Line-out for the visitors
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April gets it at his 10 and makes a convincing run forward inside the 10 of the Lions before losing it. The Sharks get it back and the ball is moved up field. Coenie Oosthuizen carries forward. The ball is sent back from the ruck and Bosch with another drop goal attempt and he adds the 3 points
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The Lions are driven back to their 5 after the reset and look to play out of danger until the ball lands in the hands of the red flyhalf and it's kicked into touch at the half way
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Jantjies assumes his usual prayer position and his prayers are answered with his own boot as it soars in between the sticks
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Jantjies decides to have a shot at goal from outside the 22
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Jaco Kriel carries forward for his team and the Lions now edging towards the 22 of the Sharks. Voster makes a good carry forward inside the 22 and the referee blows as the hosts lose it but had an advantage
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The ball kicked into touch and the Sharks have a line-out at the 22. The ball goes into touch again and this time the Lions have a throw at the same spot
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Scrum for the Lions at the half way. The referee blows for a penalty to the Sharks; illegal scrummaging by the Lions
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The ball moved up field by the Lions and a soft turnover by the Lions sees the Sharks move into their 22. The referee blows for a penalty to the hosts.
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Bosch sets up for a kick and his kick hits the up right. De Klerk picks it up and the turnover is there by the Sharks. Mvovo picks it up on the edge of the 5 and offloads to Esterhuizen who dives over the line to score the try. The referee refers to the TMO and decides to call back the try for a neck role by Etienne Oosthuizen. Penalty to the Lions and they kick into touch
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The ball taken from the scrum and Bosch, brimming with confidence attempts the drop goal but misses. The referee calls play back for a penalty to the Sharks as they played with advantage.
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Scrum reset
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The Sharks turnover and Bosch carries forward, pushing over his opposite number. The referee blows and the Sharks have a scrum at the 10 of the hosts
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The line-out is stolen and the hosts look to play themselves out of danger. The ball carried to the mid field by Mostert
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The Sharks get a penalty after the restart and Bosch kicks into touch at the 5 of the Lions. Line-out for the visitors
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The referee blows for a penalty to the Sharks. Bosch sets up for a kick from 57 meters. He makes the kick. Magnificent talent
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The Lions make some ground forward but give line-out at the 22 of the Sharks. The Sharks take their line and clear. Coetzee gets it at the back for the Lions and sends it back. The ball feeling the boot of both sets of back lines now
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Scrum reset
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The line-out goes over the top and the Lions manage to pick up the stray ball. The referee blows for a penalty shortly after and the Lions have a scrum at the half way
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The referee blows for a dangerous tackle by the Sharks at the 5 of the Lions and the ball is kicked into touch by Jantjies. Line-out at the 10 of the Sharks
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The Lions win the line-out and Jantjies looks for the drop goal and misses. The referee calls play back for a penalty against the Sharks. Jantjies gets another chance with a dead ball this time and puts 3 points on the board for his team
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The Lions have a line-out inside the 10 of the Sharks after the restart. The ball is moved up field and they make it to the 22 of the Sharks. The ball is tackled into touch and the visitors have a line-out at their 22
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Bosch adds the extras
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The Sharks find the gap through the middle and Coenie Oosthuizen is the man who makes the final run from the 22 over the line to place it next to the sticks. TRY
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Both teams kicking, looking for territory. The ball goes into touch and the Sharks have a line-out around the half way
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The Lions have a throw inside the 22 of the Sharks and they make some ground then move the ball up field. They make it to the 5 and van Wyk clears. Line-out for the Sharks at their 22 and Bosch clears
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Line-out to the Lions after the reset. The ball is moved up field and a tussle between the players ensues. The referee
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The ball exchanging hands often after the kickoff. The referee blows for a penalty to the Sharks and Bosch takes a kick from around the 10. He opens the scoring for this fixture
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Jaco van Heerden, the referee for this match, blows and the game is underway
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The players readying themselves to enter the field
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The Lions average a 67% success rate for the kicks at goal in this fixture, while the Sharks show a 79% success rate for the same stat
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Both teams have taken three wins a piece of the last six games between these two sides. The Lions winning the most recent three
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Welcome to Johannesburg, where the Lions take on the Sharks
Mc lions logo 85
Lions
Mc sharks graphic80x50
Sharks
START LINE UP
  • 1 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 3 Ruan Dreyer
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 7 Ruan Ackermann
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 9 Francois de Klerk
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 13 Harold Vorster
  • 14 Madosh Tambwe
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
RESERVES
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
  • 17 Corne Fourie
  • 18 Hencus van Wyk
  • 19 Lourens Erasmus
  • 20 Albertus Smith
  • 21 Ross Cronje
  • 22 Jacques Nel
  • 23 Dillon Smit
START LINE UP
  • 1 Thomas Du Toit
  • 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle
  • 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
  • 4 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 5 Ruan Botha
  • 6 Lubabalo Mtembu
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 8 Daniel du Preez
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 10 Curwin Bosch
  • 11 Lwazi Mvovo
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 13 Lukhanyo Am
  • 14 Kobus van Wyk
  • 15 Garth April
  • 20 Jacques Vermeulen
RESERVES
  • 16 Franco Marais
  • 17 Juan Schoeman
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 19 Stephan Lewies
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 22 Inny-Christian Radebe
  • 23 Jeremy Ward
Mc article lions v sharks ellis park 800

SR Preview: Round Six, Part Two

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 09:36

IN THE SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Expect some big moves on Saturday and Sunday, as the more accomplished teams look to put space between themselves and the chasing pack.

Yes, it is a long way to go and a lot can happen.

However, the Crusaders, Lions, Stormers and Hurricanes all have opportunities to cement their places in the play-off zone - especially on the two South African derbies, where vital conference points are at stake.

The two New Zealand sides face trans-Tasman rivals and are expected to collect easy points.

This may well be the weekend where the leading teams put down big markers.

In Part Two we look at the last four matches of the weekend!

Saturday, April 1:

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

Apart from playing in Brisbane, the Hurricanes hold all the aces.

The New Zealand franchise is coming off a bye this week and travels just two hours across the Tasman Sea.

In stark contrast the Reds have returned from a monstrous two-week tour that - apart from heavy defeats to the Lions and Jaguares - have seen them travel from Brisbane to Johannesburg (11,600-odd kilometres and more than 16 hours flying time), from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo (almost 7,500 kilometres and a nine-hour flight), then - after a three-hour stopover in Sao Paulo - flew to Buenos Aires (1,675 kilometres and three hour flight time). The final leg from Buenos Aires to Brisbane had the players flying 12,355, but spending more than 38 hours in the air.

You do the maths.

With three wins and one loss this season the Hurricanes currently sit in third place on the New Zealand conference ladder behind the Crusaders and Chiefs.
 
The Reds are third in the Australian conference behind the Brumbies and Waratahs with one win - a fortuitous last-minute victory against the Sharks in the opening round - and four losses.

Reds coach Nick Stiles admitted his team faces a "massive" challenge against the defending champions and again one of the tournament's pace-setters.

"We have to look at that as an opportunity," Stiles said.

"We've had some really disappointing losses over the last few weeks, but you can sense within the team that we're close to producing the right result on the field," the coach added.

"Last week's performance simply wasn't good enough, but the players have been honest in their appraisal and committed to learning from it and getting better.

"It's been a tough few weeks, but we couldn't be happier to be back at home this weekend with an opportunity to make our fans proud."

Recent results:
2016: Hurricanes won 29-14, Wellington
2015: Hurricanes won 35-19, Brisbane
2014: Hurricanes won 35-21, Wellington
2013: Reds won 18-12, Brisbane
2011: Hurricanes won 28-26, Wellington

Prediction: The Hurricanes have won 12 of their last 14 games against the Reds, including each of the last three by an average margin of 15 points. Six of the Reds' last nine games at home have been decided by three points or fewer, including each of the last three. The Hurricanes have won five of their last six games in Australia, including each of their last two, with their five wins coming by an average margin of 18 points. The Reds are the only team so far this season to have scored a try after receiving possession from a 22-metre restart. Hurricanes trio Vince Aso (six tries, one assist), Ngani Laumape (five, two), and Ardie Savea (four, three) have each been involved in seven tries this season; only the Lions' Rohan Janse van Rensburg (8) has been involved in more. It is simply a matter of by how much the Hurricanes will win and we feel it will be at least 20 points.

Teams:

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

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

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Amy Perrett (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

Stormers v Cheetahs
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 15.05; 13.05 GMT)

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith readily admits his team needs to overcome their 'fear of failure' if they are to reach their potential this season.

Smith this week bemoaned the fact that his charges tend to play 'not to lose', rather than playing to win.

If they overcome their fears - brought on by the uncertainty of their future, given the pending changes and possibility of teams being axed from Super Rugby next year - they will be a real threat to the Stormers.

Smith hope that former South African Under-20 wing Luther Obi will provide the spark that will unlock the Cheetahs' attacking potential.

Obi has been named on the bench for the match, while Sergeal Petersen is fit and will start on the right wing.

Including Raymond Rhule, the Cheetahs boast with three former Baby Bok wings in their match squad.

Smith also named regular flyhalf Niel Marais at inside centre, alongside captain Francois Venter.

The Cheetahs coach us clearly looking to shake up his team.

The Stormers, despite being the only unbeaten team in the South African conference, are cautious ahead of what could be a banana peel for the Cape Town-based franchise.

"We were not happy with our defence in the first half [against the Sunwolves last week] and we were pretty open about it during the week," Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said, when asked about the aspects of his team's game that need the most attention.

"Hopefully, we will see a better defensive performance this weekend," he said of the dangers posed by the Cheetahs.

Stormers captain Siya Kolisi said he expects a "very tough" game and that the Cheetahs will "bring everything".

"They had a good game last week against the Sharks," Kolisi said.

"We know what's coming and it is always going to be a tough game for us playing the Cheetahs home and away."

Recent results:
2016: Stormers won 31-24, Cape Town
2016: Stormers won 20-10, Bloemfontein
2015: Stormers won 42-12, Cape Town
2015: Cheetahs win 25-17, Bloemfontein
2014: Stormers won 33-0, Cape Town
2014: Cheetahs won 35-22, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Stormers have won their last three games against the Cheetahs, the longest winning streak of either time in this fixture since the Stormers won seven on the bounce from 2008 to 2012. The Stormers have won each of their last four regular season games at home, scoring an average of 38 points per game in that span. The Cheetahs have won just two of their last 13 games away from home within South Africa, and haven't won an away game against the Stormers since Round Six, 2006. The Cheetahs boast a goal kicking success rate of 90 percent this campaign, better than any other team in the tournament and 21 percentage points higher than the Stormers. EW Viljoen has scored a try in each of his last three games for the Stormers. The Cheetahs do have a realistic chance of upsetting the apple cart, but our money is on a Stormers win - by eight points.

Teams:

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

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Niel Marais, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Nico Lee, 23 Luther Obi

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

Lions v Sharks
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 GMT)

Despite what the coaches say, or their attempts to downplay the importance of the game, this is THE match of the weekend.

With just two points separating the table-topping Lions (19 points from five games), Jaguares (18 from five) and Sharks (17 from five)  in the Africa Two conference, winning at Ellis Park will be crucial in the greater scheme of things.

Sharks coach Robert du Preez has gone for a heavyweight pack in the hope of blunting the Lions' famed attack.

The combined weight of his loose forwards is 329 kilogrammes.

The Sharks are one of just four teams (Highlanders, Stormers, Sunwolves) who are yet to lose a scrum on their own feed this campaign.

In contrast, the Lions will again rely on mobility.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann is adamant his team won't creep into their shells and become conservative, just because there is some additional pressure.

"I said it last year when it came to crunch time and play-offs, we are set in our routines, we follow the same path, the players are comfortable and they can plan around that and tick the same boxes," Ackermann said.

"Obviously there's stuff that you focus on a little bit more what you didn't do well the week before, but we know it's a big game and a big challenge, everybody is aware of what's going on."

The Lions mentor said the Sharks have played good rugby ate times this season.

"If you look at that squad it's a very young and exciting squad.

"There are quality players and they have the old hands in-between and [coach] Robert [du Preez] has done a great job there."

Sharks coach Robert du Preez said they have to make a big step up from last week's performance, despite recording a come-from-behind win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

"There were a few areas we let ourselves down in last week and we needed to work on for this match," Du Preez said.

"I cannot fault the focus and energy that our players once again brought to training this week, which pleases us as a coaching unit.

"We are under no illusions about the enormity of the match on Saturday.

"The Lions are a good team with threats all around the park.

"They play a similar game to the Cheetahs and our accuracy with our attacking and defensive effort is going to be key.

"There is a huge belief amongst our special group of players and we want to go out there on Saturday and make our fans proud."

Recent results:
2016: Lions won 37-10, Johannesburg
2016: Lions won 24-9, Durban
2015: Lions won 23-21, Johannesburg
2015: Sharks won 29-12, Durban
2014: Sharks win 25-12, Johannesburg
2014: Sharks won 37-23, Durban

Prediction: The Lions have won each of their last three games against the Sharks, more than they had won in their previous 13 meetings.The Lions have won each of their last eight games on home turf, winning by an average margin of 26 points per game across than span. The Sharks have won their last two away games, the last time they enjoyed a longer streak was a stretch of three road wins in Round Three, 2016, which equalled the franchise record. The Sharks are one of just four teams (Highlanders, Stormers, Sunwolves) who are yet to lose a scrum on their own feed this campaign. Malcolm Marx has scored seven tries in his last 10 games, including one in each of his last four appearances. This will be a hard-fought battle that will be in the balance to the end. The Lions to sneak it by five points.

Teams:

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

Sharks: 15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Lubabalo Mtembu (captain), 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Inny-Christian Radebe, 23 Jeremy Ward.

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

Sunday, April 2:

Waratahs v Crusaders
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 16.05; 18.05 NZ time; 06.05 GMT)

The Waratahs showed great heart last week to come from behind and steal a late winner.

They will have to raise the bar considerably when the Crusaders arrive in Sydney, as the Kiwis have shown some real killer instinct.

Waratahs Coach Daryl Gibson stressed the importance of a full 80-minute performance from the home side.

"The games they [Crusaders] have played, they've been behind in three of those and have come storming to win," Gibson said.

"So we know if we are going to beat them we have got to play for 80 minutes and be right in there for the whole fight."

Waratahs assistant coach Nathan Grey, however, warned against focusing too much on the opposition and forgetting about the Tahs' own game.

"A lot of people get caught up looking too much at the Crusaders," Grey said.

"You certainly have a quick look at where they can hurt you and where they can damage you, but it's really important this week for us to look within and identify where we can do our things better.

"From that, build a really good performance and put the Crusaders side under a lot of pressure.

"They do leak like all teams do under pressure, so you have to be good enough to be able to do that to them for the full 80 minutes to get the result."

Grey also pointed to the need for a full 80-minute performance, as that is what the Crusaders will bring.

"They have a lot of belief in the way they play and they present a number of challenges, but we're confident that we get our preparation right and we deliver on the field that we can get the job done on Sunday," Grey added.

Recent results:
2016: Crusaders won 29-10, Christchurch
2015: Waratahs won 32-22, Sydney
2014: Waratahs won 33-32, Sydney (Final)
2013: Crusaders won 23-22, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 37-33, Sydney

Prediction: The Crusaders have won 12 of their last 14 games against the Waratahs, though the NSW side's two wins in that run have come in the last three meetings between the teams. The spoils are split at four wins apiece between these franchises in their last eight meetings in New South Wales, with the average winning margin across those games coming in at just four points per game. The Crusaders have won on their last four visits to Australia, the last time they enjoyed a longer streak was a franchise-best five straight wins from 1999 to 2000. The Crusaders have made an average of 170 passes per game this season, the most of any team and 23 more than the Waratahs. Silatolu Latu has won 12 turnovers so far this season, the equal most of any player and eight more than Crusaders' best Sam Whitelock (four). It could get ugly for the Waratahs of they are just slightly off their game. We feel the Crusaders will win, by about 18 points.

Teams:

Waratahs: 15 Cam Clark, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Andrew Kellaway, 10 Mack Mason, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Tim Bateman 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 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 Pete Samu, 21 Bryn Hallm 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Manasa Mataele.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports

Mc article lions v sharks 2017 800

Lions edge Sharks in titanic battle

Sat, 01 Apr 2017 13:56

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Lions edged the Sharks 34-29 in a thrilling and entertaining encounter at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The match was a great advertisement for South African rugby as both teams played with a tempo that left many fans breathless throughout the 80 minutes.

The win also extended the Lions lead at the top of their conference, which also includes Argentina's Jaguares.

The Sharks were the team on top in the opening 10 minutes and they took an early lead when Curwin Bosch converted a penalty in the third minute.

The Durban side's lead was then extended a few minutes later when Kobus van Wyk crashed through the Lions' defence before passing to Coenie Oosthuizen, who sprinted and stretched for the first try of the game. Bosch added the extras from the kicking tee for a 10-point lead after nine minutes.

After a brief spell in the Sharks' half, the Lions were able to get their first points of the game in the 14th minute when Elton Jantjies knocked over an easy penalty.

The visitors were the next score when Bosch converted a penalty from nearly 55 metres out to restore his team's 10-point lead at the 20-minute mark.

The Sharks continued to put the Lions under pressure and they nearly extended their lead with a try in the corner if it was not for a controversial TMO decision.

After Bosch hit the upright with a penalty kick, the Sharks turned over the ball before it was spread wide to Andre Esterhuizen, who went over in the corner.

However, the try was disallowed after the TMO deemed that a Sharks player had his arm around a Lions player's neck at the previous ruck.

Jantjies then brought the Lions a bit closer with a penalty in the 34 minute before Bosch landed a magnificent drop-goal three minutes later to cancel out Jantjies' strike.

The home side were then given a boost when Etienne Oosthuizen was yellow carded for dangerous play with seconds left in the first half.

The Lions opted for a line-out deep into the Sharks' 22 from that penalty and they were rewarded when Malcolm Marx dived over for a try after a powerful drive.

Jantjies converted the try and at half-time they were 13-16 behind.

The Lions started the second half like men possessed and they found themselves taking the lead for the first time in the game when wing Courtnall Skosan evaded a few Sharks defenders down the touchline to score his team's second try after 43 minutes. 

Ten minutes later the Lions went further in front when fullback Andries Coetzee added three points with an awkward but effective drop-goal.

Despite the Lions dominating play in the opening exchanges in the second half, the Sharks still looked dangerous whenever they had ball and the visitors managed to level scores two minutes later when wing Kobus van Wyk scored in the corner after some great passing play from his teammates.

Bosch converted and the score read 23-23 with less than 25 minutes left in the game.

After being under pressure for a large period in the second 40, the Sharks then regained the lead in the 65th minute with a Bosch penalty. However, it did not last long with Jantjies levelling matters with a penalty of his own moments later.

Bosch would have another chance to regain the lead minutes later with another penalty, but with a distance of over 60 metres, many in the crowd were holding their breath.

However, the 19-year-old remarkably had the distance to give his team the three-point lead with 10 minutes left.

With the clock winding down, it was the Lions who would ultimately have the final say in terms of scoring when flank Jaco Kriel raced away for a try in the 76th minute, which was enough for the win in the end.

Man of the match: In an outstanding match there were a number of contenders. However, the award goes to Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch, who produced moments in the match we will not forget soon. 

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: Marx, Skosan, Kriel
Cons: Jantjies 2
Pens: Jantjies 4
DG: Coetzee

For Sharks:
Tries: Oosthuizen, Van Wyk
Cons: Bosch 2
Pens: Bosch 4
DG: Bosch

Yellow Card: Etienne Oosthuizen (Sharks, 40 - dangerous play)

Teams:

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

Sharks: 15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Lubabalo Mtembu (captain), 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Inny-Christian Radebe, 23 Jeremy Ward.

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

Malcolm Marx (40min), Courtnall Skosan (43min), and Jaco Kriel (75min)
TRIES
Coenie Oosthuizen (7min) and Kobus van Wyk (53min)
Elton Jantjies (40min) and Elton Jantjies (44min)
CONVERSIONS
Curwin Bosch (8min) and Curwin Bosch (55min)
Elton Jantjies (12min), Elton Jantjies (33min), Elton Jantjies (66min), and Elton Jantjies (73min)
PENALTIES
Curwin Bosch (2min), Curwin Bosch (19min), Curwin Bosch (64min), and Curwin Bosch (69min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
Andries Coetzee (52min)
DROP GOALS
Curwin Bosch (35min)
 
Etienne Oosthuizen (40min)
 
 
VENUE Ellis Park Stadium
REFEREE Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)