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Blues

FULL-TIME
50     32

Cheetahs

Super Rugby | Auckland
07:35 (GMT) | 12-05-2017
  • 81
Stay with us as we go straight to our live coverage of the Brumbies vs the Lions
  • 80
The Blues win a penalty and West kicks it into touch. FULL TIME
  • 79
The Cheetahs win a 22 meter restart
  • 78
The Blues looking for more after the restart as they make it to the 5 pressuring with the kickoff
  • 77
Zeilinga puts on two more
  • 76
Hugget makes it over the lien to score his second TRY for the night in the maul
  • 75
The Cheetahs win a penalty at the 5 and kick into touch
  • 74
The Cheetahs break with good speed after the scrum but fall short as the ball is lost forward at the 22. Scrum to the hosts
  • 73
Scrum reset
  • 72
Scrum around the 22 of the away team
  • 71
The referee blows for a penalty to the away team
  • 70
Scrum to the Blues around the half way and they break again along the wing. The Cheetahs turnover and that ends the attack
  • 69
West fails to add the 2 extras
  • 67
The Blues break with pace after they move the ball down field and and the Cheetahs scramble to defend but not nearly quick enough to match the speed of the break. Nanai makes it over the line to score the TRY
  • 66
The ball is cleared after a penalty and the Blues have throw at their 10
  • 65
Line-out at the 22 of the home team. The Cheetahs look they will break through but the Blues hold them out
  • 64
The Cheetahs have a throw at their 10 and look to break as they enter the Blues half. They win a penalty and Blommetjies kicks into touch
  • 63
They take their throw and Ox wins his team a penalty after a Blues man doesn't release the ball in the turnover
  • 62
The Blues win a penalty and kick into touch at the 5 of the away team
  • 60
Scrum to the away team at their 5
  • 59
The Cheetahs collapse the maul and the Blues have a penalty. The ball is kicked into touch again. The Blues try for another maul but give away a penalty instead
  • 58
The Blues win a line-out after the restart kick. They take their throw from the 5 and look for a maul of their own
  • 57
Zeilinga adds the extras
  • 56
The Cheetahs take another line-out at the 5 and with this maul they make it over the line to score a TRY
  • 55
The Cheetahs kick into touch at the 5 of the hosts and go for the maul. They are stopped and look for the gap but the ball is lost forward. The referee brings play back for a penalty to the Cheetahs
  • 54
The reset kick is there and the Cheetahs win a penalty shortly after
  • 53
West adds the extras
  • 52
The Cheetahs look for a quick response with Zeilinga as he tries to break through the lines on his own. The Blues turnover and counter with pace. The Ioane brothers performing a perfect duet as they baffle the away team back line to go over the line. Rieko Ioane getting the TRY
  • 51
West adds 2 more
  • 50
The hosts again on the attack after a line-out. Luatua gets it at the 22 again and he hands a sneaky offload to Pulu who appears out of thin air and somehow materializes after the ball is fumbled and goes over the line to score another TRY
  • 48
The ball lost forward by the away team and the hosts have a scrum at their 10
  • 47
The Cheetahs on the attack after the reset.
  • 46
West adds the extras
  • 45
The Blues step forward with menace as they power through the Cheetahs defence ruck after ruck until Luatua makes it over the line. TRY
  • 44
Line-out taken and they move the ball inside the 22
  • 43
The hosts win a scrum at their 10 and make a few meters forward before winning a penalty and kicking into touch at the away team 22
  • 42
The Blues on the defence as the second half starts. The ball is moved back and forth as both teams try to get some territory
  • 41
The referee blows and the second half is underway

Half Time

  • 40
Scrum reset. The referee blows for a penalty and Zeilinga sets up for the last kick of the half. He takes the kick and adds 3. HALF TIME
  • 39
Scrum outside the 22 of the hosts
  • 38
The Cheetahs win another penalty shortly after the restart
  • 37
Zeilinga takes the kick and adds 3 points
  • 36
They make it to the 22 of the hosts and win a penalty
  • 35
The restart kick is there and the Cheetahs desperate to pull some points back before the whistle
  • 34
Francis sends it way wide
  • 33
Line-out for the hosts at the 10. They move the ball up field and Tuipulotu gets it at the 22. He rushes forward with power as the back line struggles to bring him down. He charges over the line with a body hanging on him to score the TRY
  • 31
The referee awards the Blues a penalty for a high tackle by the Cheetahs man
  • 30
The Cheetahs kick into touch for a line-out. They give away a penalty and the Blues kick into touch at the 10 of the away team
  • 29
The Blues pick up the ball and clear but the referee calls play back for a penalty at the 22
  • 28
The visitors look to break along the wing with Petersen. He kicks forward hoping fora runner
  • 27
Scrum at the 5 of the Blues for the hosts
  • 26
They win another penalty and kick the ball into touch at the 5 of the hosts. They look for the maul but the referee blows for a Blues Penalty.
  • 25
Line-out at the 22 of the hosts and the Cheetahs fall straight into another maul but make far less ground
  • 24
The referee blows for a penalty the Cheetahs after the restart
  • 23
The conversion is missed
  • 22
The ball lands in the hands of Akira Ioane at the 22. He looks for options but decides to press down on the acceleration and bursts forward over the line catching the Cheetahs off guard to score the TRY
  • 21
The Blues take their line-out and start making ground towards the 22
  • 20
The visitors press inside the 10 of the hosts but give away a penalty
  • 19
The Cheetahs have a line out at the half way after the restart kick. They look for another maul and make a few meters forward
  • 18
Francis adds the extras
  • 17
The Blues kick into touch at the 5. 4 phases later the ball is carried over the line by Scrafton to score the TRY
  • 16
The Blues win a penalty inside the 22 of the Cheetahs
  • 15
The Blues looking for another quick response after the restart, in the 10 of the visitors
  • 14
The conversion is good
  • 13
The ball is kicked into touch and the Cheetahs have a 5 meter throw. They take the ball down and move forward with the maul. Van Jaarsveld being assisted over the line by his team to score the TRY
  • 12
Offside against the Blues after a line-out following the restart kick
  • 11
Francis secures the extras
  • 10
The Blues move the ball up field from the ruck and Rieko Ioane gets handed the ball along the edge of the field and sprints the distance to score the Blues' first TRY
  • 9
The reset kick is there and the clearance is charged down. Line-out to the Cheetahs at their 5. The ball is cleared into touch at the 10
  • 8
Zeilinga doesn't add the extras
  • 7
The ball lands in the hands of the captain at the 5 and he forces his way over the line to score the TRY
  • 6
Petersen gets it on the far side and carries his team into the 22. The ball is moved down field and the away team find themselves at the 5
  • 5
The ball is kicked back and it goes into touch for a Cheetahs throw at the half way
  • 4
Line-out for the Blues around the half way. The teams tussle for the ball but the Cheetahs end up grabbing it and boot it to the far side of the field
  • 3
They get inside the Blues half but lose the ball. The hosts boot the ball forward and Rhule tries to run the ball out of danger
  • 2
Line-out at the away team 10 for the Cheetahs.
  • 1
The Blues in the away team half after the kick off and the ball changes possession in the Cheetahs' 10. The Blues win it back and move forward to the 5 of the visitors before the ball is turned over and cleared
  • 0
The referee blows and the game is underway
  • -3
The players readying themselves to leave the locker rooms now
  • -5
The Cheetahs have lost 10 straight games away from home, the last and only time they lost more in succession was a drought of 13 away losses spanning the entirety of the 2008 and 2009 campaigns.
  • -10
The Blues return home after a fortnight on the road and will be looking to avoid consecutive home defeats for the first time since losing their last three home games in 2015. The Auckland squad have won four of their last five games against teams from South Africa; having won just one in nine prior to this streak.
  • -20
The Cheetahs have won three of their last five games against the Blues after having never between them in five games between 1997 and 2009. However, each of the last six games between these teams has been won by the home side on the day, and the Cheetahs are yet to win when visiting Auckland.
  • -30
Welcome to Auckland for the first Super Rugby fixture of the weekend: Blues vs Cheetahs
Mc blues logo 80x50
Blues
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
Cheetahs
START LINE UP
  • 1 Pauliasi Manu
  • 2 James Parsons
  • 3 Charlie Faumuina
  • 4 Patrick Tuipulotu
  • 5 Scott Scrafton
  • 6 Steven Luatua
  • 7 Blake Gibson
  • 8 Akira Ioane
  • 9 Augustine Pulu
  • 10 Piers Francis
  • 11 Rieko Ioane
  • 12 TJ Faiane
  • 13 George Moala
  • 14 Declan O'Donnell
  • 15 Melani Nanai Vai
RESERVES
  • 16 Hame Faiva
  • 17 Alex Hodgman
  • 18 Ofa Tuungafasi
  • 19 Gerald Cowley-Tuioti
  • 20 Kara Pryor
  • 21 Sam Nock
  • 22 Ihala West
  • 23 Michael Collins
START LINE UP
  • 1 Charles Marais
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 3 Tom Botha
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 6 Niell Jordaan
  • 7 Teboho Mohoje
  • 8 Henco Venter
  • 9 Tian Meyer
  • 10 Fred Zellinga
  • 11 Raymond Rhule
  • 12 William Small-Smith
  • 13 Francois Venter
  • 14 Sergeal Petersen
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
RESERVES
  • 16 Elandré Huggett
  • 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche
  • 18 Johannes Coetzee
  • 19 Armandt Koster
  • 20 Uzair Cassiem
  • 21 Shaun Venter
  • 22 Niel Marais
  • 23 Clinton Swart
Mc article courtnall skosan lions 800

SR Preview: Round 12, Part One

Wed, 10 May 2017 21:50

IN THE SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: You may as well call this the dance of the desperates. The Cheetahs and Brumbies are both desperate to end their losing streaks.

The Cheetahs, who have lost their last seven matches, have been in the brink of a number of upsets. But coach Franco Smith has just about pulled out the last strand of hair, as his team continues to butcher healthy leads and lose in the dying stages.

They have to arrest the run of 'chokes' against a Blues side that look lethal - even without the skills of a concussed Sonny Bill Williams.

The Brumbies are in the fortunate position that they are in the rabble that is the Australian conference, as they have won just three matches in nine starts and have just one win in the last six weeks. They are on a three-match losing streak.

In Part One of the preview we look at the Friday matches!

Friday, May 12:

Blues v Cheetahs
(Eden Park, Auckland - Kick-off: 19.35; 09.35 SA Time; 07.35 GMT)

The Blues return to Eden Park after two wins on the road in Australia, desperate to keep their winning streak going against the Cheetahs.

The Cheetahs, on the other hand, will be desperate to get out of a rut that's seen them lose seven straight games.

Though they came agonisingly close last week against the Highlanders, going down 41-45 by conceding three tries in the final five minutes.

In fact the Cheetahs held a 24-0 lead in the first half.

The Blues will aim to pile on the misery at Eden Park, a ground where the Cheetahs have never won.

In fact, they've never beaten the Blues anywhere in New Zealand, with games played in Whangarei and Albany in previous years.

Statistically, the Cheetahs can be a pretty decent side - with a number of individuals ranking highly in this year's competition for carries, metres gained and tackles made.

However, their inability to close out games may come back to haunt them yet again.

Blues coach Tana Umaga also feels his team can be better at the death.

"Last week we produced probably the best first half of the season, but dropped off in the second half," Umaga said.

"We are still looking for 80 minutes of complete football."

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith took a 'vow of silence' this week, as he struggles to get his team to overcome their mental frailties.

"I think it is best that I say very little this week," Smith responded from Auckland, when asked about his frustrations with the team's losing streak.

"Obviously it is frustrating," he said, adding: "This week it is a case of working very hard and flying under the radar."

Recent results:
2015: Cheetahs won 25-24, Bloemfontein
2014: Blues won 40-30, Auckland
2013: Cheetahs won 34-13, Bloemfontein
2011: Blues won 29-22, Auckland
2010: Cheetahs won 36-32, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Cheetahs have won three of their last five games against the Blues after having never between them in five games between 1997 and 2009. However, each of the last six games between these teams has been won by the home side on the day, and the Cheetahs are yet to win when visiting Auckland. The Blues return home after a fortnight on the road and will be looking to avoid consecutive home defeats for the first time since losing their last three home games in 2015. The Auckland squad have won four of their last five games against teams from South Africa; having won just one in nine prior to this streak. The Cheetahs have lost 10 straight games away from home, the last and only time they lost more in succession was a drought of 13 away losses spanning the entirety of the 2008 and 2009 campaigns. Only one of the last four games where a South African team has visited Auckland has a team led at both half and full-time. The Blues average 18 minutes and 15 seconds of time in possession this season, more than any other team in the competition and two minutes, 20 seconds more than the Cheetahs. The Cheetahs remain the most accurate goal kicking team in the competition, landing 87 percent of their attempts so far. Blake Gibson has made 97 tackles this campaign, the third most of any player and at the best success rate of the 11 players to make 90+ (93 percent). Torsten Van Jaarsveld needs just three more to become the first player this season to land 100 successful line-out throws. The Cheetahs can compete with New Zealand teams. They must just learn to close out games. We doubt they would have overcome that hurdle in a week and the Blues should sneak another thriller - by seven points or less.

Teams:

Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Declan O'Donnell, 13 George Moala, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Michael Collins.

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

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

Brumbies v Lions
(GIO Stadium, Canberra - Kick-off: 19.45; 11.45 SA time; 09.45 GMT)

The Brumbies return to action after a bye in Round 11.

They were under instructions from Coach Stephen Larkham to 'get away from football'.

Burly wing Henry Speight the players came back "really fresh" ahead of the clash with the South Africans.

"Our bye weeks have been really well placed this year for the breakup of our season, it's been good for us and we've come into this game keen and fresh," he said.

Speight knows that his teammates have to be at their best come Friday when the host a Lions team that is currently sitting on top of their conference after winning seven games straight.

"The Lions are a really good side at the moment, top of their conference and I think their result this season has really shown that they're a massive threat," Speight commented.

"They are really imposing across the park. They have a massive forward pack and a really dangerous back line."

The Brumbies' winger insists that the talk surrounding the Australian team's recent performances against international franchises hasn't affected his focus ahead of this weekend's clash.

"Our main focus is us, and trying to improve our performance week in and week out, and trying to stay on top of our conference because ideally that will put us in a good spot for play-offs.

"We go well against our domestic rivals but it's always a good test to go and perform against an international team and this week is no different.

"It's another massive test for us and in a way it's a good challenge to step up to."

Lions coach Johan Ackermann admitted it is a crucial game against quality opposition.

"They are one of the major teams in the competition, with a lot of Australian [internationals] - especially the backline, like [Henry] Speight and [Tevita] Kuridrani, who can have a massive impact with their line-breaks," Ackermann said.

"They also have a big loose forwards and locks. They have scored penalty tries from scrum and have scored a lot of tries with their mauls - they always produce tricky mauls."

The Lions coach spoke of it being a "physical test" for his team.

Recent results:
2015: Brumbies won 30-20, Johannesburg
2012: Brumbies won 34-20, Johannesburg
2011: Lions 29-20, Canberra
2010: Brumbies won 24-13, Canberra
2009: Lions won 25-17, Johannesburg

Prediction: The Brumbies have won three of their last four games against the Lions, though the last three iterations of this fixture have all been won by the away side on the day. The Brumbies enter this fixture on the back of three straight defeats, the last time they lost more in a row was a four-game stint in 2011 of which the fourth game was a 29-20 loss to the Lions. The Lions have won on each of their last four visits to Australia, as many wins as they had managed in all of their 17 prior visits. The Brumbies have conceded a league-low 6.4 clean breaks per game this campaign despite making more tackles per game (127) than any other team. Malcolm Marx has crossed for six tries so far this campaign, more than any other forward in the competition. It is a tough call to make and the Brumbies do indeed have quality across the park. However, the Lions could edge ahead in the final quarter and win by eight points.

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott  Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 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 Tom Banks  

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Francois Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Robert Kruger/Cyle Brink, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Anthony Volmink.

Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Nick Briant, Jordan Way
TMO: Ian Smith

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports & sportguru.info

Mc article blues v cheetahs 2017 800

Blues power past Cheetahs in try-fest

Fri, 12 May 2017 05:45

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Blues became the latest team to expose the Cheetahs weak defence when they secured a 50-32 win Auckland on Friday.

The Blues notched eight tries to four in the win, earning themselves a vital bonus point as they attempt to stay alive in the ultra-competitive New Zealand conference.

The Cheetahs were competitive early on and an effective driving maul earned them three tries, two of them to hooker Elandre Huggett, giving some respectability to the scoreboard.

But poor defence let the Bloemfontein-based team down as they slumped to their eighth straight loss.

Captain Francois Venter said the Cheetahs' Kiwi road trip would not get any easier when they face the in-form Hurricanes next week.

"We'll keep fighting and hopefully we can make a shock," he said.

It was the third win in a row for the Blues, who remain on the bottom of their conference one point behind the Highlanders, who have a game in hand on them.

With star centre Sonny Bill Williams out injured, Rieko Ioane stepped into the limelight, enhancing his chances of a call-up for the British and Irish Lions Test series.

Established All Blacks Steven Luatua and Patrick Tuipulotu, returning from a back injury, also scored tries and performed well to boost their case for an international recall.

The lead changed three times in the early stages as the sides traded blows in a free-flowing game, with Venter opening the scoring when he forced his way over the line. Rieko Ioane hit back immediately, bursting down the wing and finding himself with clear run after picking up Melani Nanai's pass.

Torsten van Jaarsveld regained the lead for the Cheetahs from a driving maul, but lock Scott Scrafton snatched it back when he barged past a flailing Raymond Rhule.

After a close 20 minutes, the Blues dominated the next 40, scoring six unanswered tries before Huggett clawed one back for the Cheetahs through another driving maul. The Blues punished the South African side as they pushed on attack, stealing the ball near their own line and running it the length of the field for Nanai to score.

 Huggett's second try in the last few minutes was testament to the Cheetah's never-say-die attitude but the result was already beyond doubt.

Man of the match: Akira Ioane and Steven Luatua were both outstanding with ball in hand, while lock Patrick Tuipulotu was also powerful in the physical exchanges. However, the award goes to wing Rieko Ioane who scored two tries and created another for full back Melani Nanai

The scorers: 

For Blues:
Tries: R Ioane 2, Scrafton, A Ioane, Tuipulotu, Luatua, Pulu, Nanai
Cons: Francis 2, West 3

For Cheetahs:
Tries: F Venter, Van Jaarsveld, Huggett 2
Cons: Zeilinga 3
Pens: Zeilinga 2

Teams:

Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Declan O'Donnell, 13 George Moala, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Michael Collins.

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

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

AFP

Rieko Ioane (10min), Scott Scrafton (17min), Akira Ioane (22min), Patrick Tuipulotu (33min), Steven Luatua (45min), Augustine Pulu (50min), Rieko Ioane (52min), and Melani Nanai Vai (67min)
TRIES
Francois Venter (7min), Torsten Van Jaarsveld (13min), Elandré Huggett (56min), and Elandré Huggett (76min)
Piers Francis (11min), Piers Francis (18min), Ihala West (46min), Ihala West (51min), and Ihala West (53min)
CONVERSIONS
Fred Zellinga (14min), Fred Zellinga (57min), and Fred Zellinga (77min)
 
PENALTIES
Fred Zellinga (37min) and Fred Zellinga (40min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Auckland
REFEREE Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)