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Sharks

FULL-TIME
17     30

Bulls

Super Rugby | Kings Park, Durban
17:00 (GMT) | 30-06-2017
  • 81
Thank you for joining us for this Super Rugby clash. Please join us again tomorrow at 9 am as we Build up to the second test between the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions!!
  • 81
April fails to find touch as Matthews kicks it into touch and Super Rugby resume with a massive upset!! Well done to the Bulls on a fantastic win!!
  • 80
Kriel kicks it straight into touch as advantage is called over. Sharks look to get a converted try, but the Bulls turned it over and they look to hit the nail in the coffin, but the Sharks have it back and get the penalty!!
  • 79
Andrews win a sloppy lineout and the Sharks look to get within bonus point range, but the Bulls hold out well as time runs out and the Sharks knock it on again!
  • 78
Classens feed and they look to attack as Ward kicks it through, but comes back for a no-arms tackle. April finds touch 10ms outside the Bulls 22.
  • 76
Sharks attack off the scrum, but the Bulls get the ball back and they are attacking from just inside their own half and as they get in the Sharks half they knock it on.
  • 75
Sharks look to strike back, but the ball is intercepted and then knocked on so the Sharks have a just outside their 22.
  • 74
Bulls scrum in their 22 and they kick it through as Bosch have it covered, but they get the ball back, but is tackled into touch.
  • 72
Charged down by Andrews, but miscommunication between him and Ndungane causes the ball to go into touch, but the Sharks win on the Bulls throw and then knock it on in the red zone yet again!!
  • 71
Schoeman look to extend the Bulls lead and slots it over!!
  • 70
Bulls win the scrum and look to run it out and the Schoeman clears as April look to keep the ball in play, but Visagie puts pressure on him and win the penalty for holding on!!
  • 69
Penalty at the scrum to the Sharks!! Bosch finds touch inside the Bulls 22. They knock on again and that will be a coach killer for Robert du Preez!!
  • 67
Free kick to the bull as the Sharks were leaning in. Schoeman finds touch just past his 10m line. Sharks overthrow the ball, but Warner who looked to gather knocks it on.
  • 65
Sharks knock on 8s out from the line, but what a passage of play from both sides, great to see!!
  • 64
Scrum to the Sharks 5ms out as Classens feed and the Sharks power forward and they pick and drive with the forwards, but cough it up as Matthews picks it up and make a good break and they are just inside their own 22, as Schoeman kicks ahead, but April counters as du Preez run down the touchline and into the Bulls 22!!
  • 62
Sharks look to strike back here as Lewies works his way in the Bulls 22. They go forwards and the 50/50 ball to Bosch goes forward, but they come back for a scrum to the Sharks!
  • 61
Power Sharks scrum as they are under advantage and makes a good break through Sithole who is tackled and ball went into touch off a Bulls player as advantage was over.
  • 60
Scrum reset called.
  • 59
Bulls back on the attack just inside the Sharks half, but the Sharks form a maul and force the turnover!!
  • 57
Schoeman Converts!!
  • 55
Great run from Gelant into the Sharks half off a Sharks kick and the Bulls look to strike back and the Serfontein-Gelant combo works well again as Serfontein breaks away again and is held back, breaks loose and get the long ball away to Geland who goes over for a hat trick!!
  • 54
Bosch converts his own try!!
  • 53
Great kick from Bosch into touch that was touch=ghed by aa Bulls player as they take it quickly and the forwards run it up and finds Bosch who goes over for the TRY!!
  • 51
Kick through from Matthews not the right option as the ball went into touch-in-goal.
  • 51
Schoeman finds touch 5ms out from the Sharks line. Jenkins takes and Steenkamp breaks away but is stopped in his tracks as they recycle and bash it up with the forwards!!
  • 49
Bulls doing all the attacking work tonight as they are back in Sharks territory and continue to put them under pressure and another penalty to the Bulls for offside!!
  • 48
Schoeman look to extend his side's lead and it is away to the left
  • 47
Scrum penalty to the Bulls!! 5 in a row against the Sharks alone in the second half!
  • 46
Knock on by the Sharks again and the Bulls have the advantage again with the scrum in the Sharks half.
  • 44
Matthews played in the air and Nkosi will sit out 10 minutes in the bin. Schoeman fails to finds touch and finds Bosch
  • 44
Schoeman lines up the penalty kick and it is good!!
  • 43
Sharks lose the ball forward as Jenkins makes a break and the Sharks concede the penalty in front of the posts!!
  • 42
Bulls in the Sharks 22 winning the lineout, but good defence by Etienne Oosthuizen to drive the Bulls into Touch.
  • 41
April restarts the second half and the kick is deep fielded by Kriel and an immediate penalty to the Bulls for offside! Schoeman finds touch just inside his half. Snyman win the ball and they get another penalty as the Sharks went off their feet

Half Time

  • 40
Scrum to the Sharks just inside their half in the middle of the field. Reinach feeds and they set the attack, but Mahlo rips the ball out and the Sharks look to rip it back which they manage to do, but into touch and that will be half-time!! See you back for the second half!!
  • 39
Time off for a serious injury to Franco Marais
  • 39
Bad kick from Bosch as he fails to find touch and Geland have it covered as the Bulls look to run it from deep and work their way into the Sharks half. Schoeman's kick from his half just too deep and into touch-in-goal
  • 38
Reinach feeds and the Sharks win the scrum penalty!!
  • 37
Bulls back on the attack in the Sharks half looking to stretch the lead beyond 7 points, but the pass to Mahlo is bad and into touch.
  • 36
Bulls find touch inside the Sharks 22. They set the maul and drive forward and then breaks away as Nkosi drives Kriel back, but Jenkins makes a good break, but Marais steal the ball from him and Reinach clear for touch just inside his half!
  • 34
Sharks work their way back in the 22 and then an accidental obstruction by du Preez gifts the Bulls a relieving penalty. They find touch on halfway and win the lneout through Kirsten and set their attack again and get the penalty for a high tackle by Sithole
  • 32
Penalty to the Sharks for no release in the tackle. Bosch finds touch 8ms out and they win the lineout and bash it up with the forwards. They are held out by the Bulls defence and driven back as well losing ground in the process!!
  • 30
Knock on by Snyman on halfway and the Sharks have a scrum in a good attacking position. Reset is called as both packs went down.
  • 29
Sharks taking a lot of pressure from the Bulls as Kriel kicks ahead and the Sharks manage to cover but seem to play the territory game excellent!!
  • 27
Great kick by Gelant to turn April as he is under tremendous pressure almost over hs own line, but they recover well and Esterhuizen clears up to his 22.
  • 25
Schoeman miss the conversion
  • 24
Bulls strike back almost immediately as Serfontein makes another break down the wing and send Gelant away again for his second TRY! what a combo!!
  • 23
Bosch look to reduce the gap to only 2 points and he makes no mistake!!
  • 22
Great chip kick by Bosch that is gathered by Esterhuizen who is tackled and they recycle and set the attack and now the Sharks look to strike back, but they were under advantage and referee brings them back for the penalty!!
  • 20
Schoeman Converts!!
  • 19
van der Walt lose the ball off the restart and the Bulls are back on the attack immediately and look to strike back, Schoeman kicks ahead and Bosch takes and gets it to April who makes a good break and then lose it forward and Schoeman picks it up and makes a break, gives it to Gelant who goes over for the TRY!!
  • 18
Bosch Converts!!
  • 18
Bulls defence holds well, but Ndungane makes a good break and get the offload away to Nkosi who is tackled close to touch, they recycle and du Toit comes in with speed and goes over for the TRY!!
  • 16
Sharks lineout outside their 22 after Tony Jantjies cleared off the scrum. Sharks win the lineout and set up their attack and work themselves into the Bulls 22!!
  • 14
Paige tracks back off the lineout, but thy have the ball back in their half as Paige's kick is charged and du Toit gathers and Mtembu gets it, but then lose it forward 7ms short of the line!! good defence from Serfontein to make the cover tackle!
  • 12
Free kick to the Sharks for an early shove by the Bulls. April hoists it high and Steenkamp have it under control and the Bulls get a penalty as the Sharks went off their feet at the ruck
  • 11
Bulls take the quick lineout again and Serfontein looks to power his way through the defence but then knocks it on, scrum to the Sharks just inside their half
  • 10
Sharks back on the attack in the Bulls half as they look to stretch the Bulls defence who did well and they turned it over as Jantjies clears to Nkosi, but he lost it and Paige kicks it back and finds ground in the Sharks 22. Playing the territory game well so far!
  • 8
Conversion from Tony Jantjies is off the posts
  • 7
Mistake from Marais at the lineout throw and he gifts Nic de Jager an easy TRY as he just catches the ball and ran over to score!!
  • 7
Sharks win the scrum under pressure and the Bulls force the knock on and have possession again outside the Sharks 22and the kick through from Kriel just too hard, but finds touch 5ms out.
  • 5
Scrum reset called.
  • 4
Bulls win the lineout and set their attack and work their way into the Sharks 22, but the Sarks defence holds them out for the moment and then Strauss knocks it on.
  • 3
Penalty to the Bulls in their half for offside. Tony Jantjies finds touch outside the Sharks 22
  • 2
22 drop out to the Bulls after a good set play by the Sharks off the scrum followed by a kick ahead from Bosch!!
  • 1
Bulls full of running early on in this match as they take aa quick lineout and Matthews makes a break, but the pass from Gelant was forward and they will come back for a Sharks scrum 15ms out from touch on halfway
  • 0
Angus Gardner blows his whistle and Tony Jantjies gets us under way!!
  • -5
Prediction: The Bulls are undefeated in their last four games against the Sharks, though the two were inseparable when their most recent meeting ended in a 16-all draw. Each of the last five South African derbies have been won by the home team on the day, seeing an average winning margin of 20 points. The Bulls are yet to win away from home this season, enduring a six-game losing streak on the road; the last time they lost more in succession was a nine-game drought from 2013 to 2014 which saw them winless on the road throughout the whole of 2014. The Sharks have conceded only four tries when their opposition begins possession 50 metres or more out from the Sharks' tryline, the joint fewest in the competition (level with Chiefs). Jesse Kriel has scored three tries in his last five games, including two against South African opposition, which is more than he had scored in his 37 career Super Rugby games prior (two). The Bulls will give the Sharks a run and have a realistic chance of an upset. However, our money is on the Sharks to edge the men from Pretoria - by eight points.
  • -10
Players to Watch: For the Sharks- Curwin Bosch will be lining up at fullback, however one can expect him to pop up in the flyhalf position throughout the game and can be a devastating counter attacker with good vision and pace from the back. For the Bulls: Jan Serfontein as mentioned had a phenomenal test series for the Springboks against France and will look to continue that good form for his last few games in a Bulls jersey
  • -15
The Bulls are full of injuries especially on the wings, but their Bok centres Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel have been great in the June series and can make life tough for the Sharks backline.
  • -20
The Bulls season is well and truly over, but they have shown slight improvement in their last few games before the June International break which makes them a dangerous side if underestimated on any given day.
  • -25
The Sharks are almost secured second place in the Africa 2 conference, however, they will want to build up some momentum heading into the Quarter Finals!
  • -30
Welcome to the live coverage between the Sharks and the Bulls from Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban!!
Mc sharks graphic80x50
Sharks
Mc bulls logo 80x50
Bulls
START LINE UP
  • 1 Thomas Du Toit
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
  • 4 Etienne Oosthuizen
  • 5 Stephan Lewies
  • 6 Philip van der Walt
  • 7 Lubabalo Mtembu
  • 8 Daniel du Preez
  • 9 Cobus Reinach
  • 10 Garth April
  • 11 Sibusiso Nkosi
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 13 Sibusiso Sithole
  • 14 Odwa Ndungane
  • 15 Curwin Bosch
RESERVES
  • 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle
  • 17 Juan Schoeman
  • 18 Lourens Adriaanse
  • 19 Hyron Andrews
  • 20 Jacques Vermeulen
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 22 Jeremy Ward
  • 23 Marius Louw
START LINE UP
  • 1 Pierre Schoeman
  • 2 Adriaan Strauss
  • 3 Conrad van Vuuren
  • 4 Jason Jenkins
  • 5 RG Snyman
  • 6 Ruan Steenkamp
  • 7 Jannes Kirsten
  • 8 Nick de Jager
  • 9 Rudy Paige
  • 10 Tony Jantjies
  • 11 Kefentse Mahlo
  • 12 Jan Serfontein
  • 13 Jesse Kriel
  • 14 Duncan Matthews
  • 15 Warrick Gelant
RESERVES
  • 16 Jaco Visagie
  • 17 Lizo Gqoboka
  • 18 John-Roy Jenkinson
  • 19 Shaun Adendorff
  • 20 Renaldo Bothma
  • 21 Andre Warner
  • 22 Burger Odendaal
  • 23 Tian Schoeman
Mc article jaco kriel lions media 800

SR PREVIEW: ROUND 15, PART TWO

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 20:15

IN THE SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: While New Zealand focus on the much-hyped Test series against the British and Irish Lions, the African conferences resume their Super Rugby campaigns.

It may not get as much of the spotlight as the All Blacks versus B&I Lions Test, but there won't be a shortage of drama.

In three of the weekend's four matches have a team in desperate need of a win - to cement their places in the play-offs.

It starts on Friday when the Sharks, chasing the wildcard play-of spot in the African conferences, hosts the Bulls in Durban.

Later on Friday the Jaguares host the Southern Kings in Buenos Aires - a game between two teams playing for pride.

The two Saturday matches start with the Cheetahs, with the cloud of being axed from Super Rugby hovering over them, hosting a Stormers team looking to bounce back from a bad loss and cementing third place in the standings.

Then the Lions, the only team capable of catching the table-topping Crusaders, host the bottom-placed Sunwolves.

In Part Two of the preview we look at this weekend's matches!

Friday, June 30:

Sharks v Bulls
(King Park, Durban - Kick-off: 19.00; 17.00 GMT)

The Shark, currently eight on the standings, will travel in the quarterfinals.

The questions is whether they travel to New Zealand or Johannesburg.

If the Sharks (with a game in hand) overtake the Highlanders in seventh place, the are likely to face the Lions in Johannesburg - unless the unthinkable happens and the Crusaders lose to the Hurricanes in their final match of the season.

Of course, if the Crusaders drop points and the Lions go top, the Sharks will want to finish eighth to travel to Johannesburg.

But for now they are looking to win, as the good money is on the Crusaders to remain unbeaten and that means seventh is the place that will benefit the Sharks.

Springbok prop Coenraad Oosthuizen said nothing less than their absolute best will be good enough against the Bulls.

"They are a very physical side," the veteran Sharks front row forward said.

"I don't think it's a true reflection of where they are in the Super Rugby log at the end of the day.

"They got key players and I would say some of the players they have featured in the SA side and SA 'A' side.

"You can never take them for granted. If they pitch up physically, they are going to be one of the strongest South African teams.

"A South African derby at the end of the day is still your toughest games."

Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss made it clear they will not be handing out any favours.

Now that the 'shackles' have been taken off, with play-off qualification beyond their reach, they will look to produce the much-vaunted expansive game coach Nollis Marais has talked about all season.

Strauss said the Bulls will be fired up for the clash against the Sharks.

"We still understand the responsibility to play good rugby and all of that, but to be honest the shackles are off and we need to go out there and express ourselves," the former Bok captain said.

"We must go and play with intent," he said, adding: "We've got three games left in the competition and we need to show that intent and that passion on the field."

Recent results:
2016: Sharks and Bulls drew 16-all, Pretoria
2015: Bulls won 17-10, Durban
2015: Bulls won 43-35, Pretoria
2014: Bulls won 23-19, Pretoria
2014: Sharks won 31-16, Durban

Prediction: The Bulls are undefeated in their last four games against the Sharks, though the two were inseparable when their most recent meeting ended in a 16-all draw. Each of the last five South African derbies have been won by the home team on the day, seeing an average winning margin of 20 points. The Bulls are yet to win away from home this season, enduring a six-game losing streak on the road; the last time they lost more in succession was a nine-game drought from 2013 to 2014 which saw them winless on the road throughout the whole of 2014. The Sharks have conceded only four tries when their opposition begins possession 50 metres or more out from the Sharks' tryline, the joint fewest in the competition (level with Chiefs). Jesse Kriel has scored three tries in his last five games, including two against South African opposition, which is more than he had scored in his 37 career Super Rugby games prior (two). The Bulls will give the Sharks a run and have a realistic chance of an upset. However, our money is on the Sharks to edge the men from Pretoria - by eight points.

Teams:

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Marius Louw.

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten , 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Rudolph Snyman , 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka , 18 Johnroy Jenkins, 19 Shaun Adendorff, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Andre Warner , 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tian Schoeman

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Jaguares v Kings
(Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires - Kick-off: 20.05; 23.05 GMT; 01.05 SA time, Saturday, July 1)

The Jaguares have lost only one to South African opposition at home this year - to the Sharks back in April.

They have managed to upstage the Lions (the Johannesburg-based franchise's only loss of the season) and the Cheetahs in Buenos Aires.

They would like to add to that impressive record in what is their last home game of the season.

After Friday's outing they head Down Under, where they will face the Waratahs and Rebels, to conclude their 2017 campaign.

The Jaguares admit thy will face a foe far more formidable than what they were up against in Port Elizabeth in the opening round back in June.

Jaguares coach Raúl Perez said his team will look to finish the season with three wins on the trot.

"The Kings have improved a lot," said scrumhalf Martin Landajo - who is standing in as captain for Agustin Creevy.

"They have a different mentality and have obtained some very good results," he said of the Kings' four victories since their last encounter in February.

"They are a much more dangerous team than the one that we faced the first round and we are going to have a very tough game."

Kings coach Deon Davids said that after an arduous trip to Buenos Aires his team has focussed on recovery - with most of their training done back in South Africa.

Davids was stating the obvious when he said the Jaguares are always 'very formidable' in Buenos Aires.

"With the exception of a few players it is Argentina's national team," Davids said, adding: "We have to be up for it from the start.

"We will have to maintain the pressure and excitement for the entire 80 minutes."

Previous results:
2017: Jaguares won 39-26, Port Elizabeth
2016: Kings won 29-22, Port Elizabeth
2016: Jaguares won 73-27, Buenos Aires

Prediction: The Jaguares have led at half-time in each of the previous three meetings between these teams, going on to win twice in that span. The Jaguares have lost their last two games on home soil, never before have they lost more in succession at home. The Kings won their last Friday fixture, beating the Waratahs 26-24 in Round Nine, though they were winless in their four Friday fixtures prior. The Jaguares have made an average of 127 carries per game this campaign, more than any other team and 20 more per game than the last-ranked Kings (121). No player has won more turnovers this campaign than Chris Cloete (26), who has won 10 more than Jaguares' best Agustin Creevy - who is not playing. The Kings do have a good chance of claiming their fifth win of the season. However, the travel factor - which has tripped up several teams - could claim another victim. The Jaguares to win by 12 points.

Teams:

Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo (captain), 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Lucas Noguera.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Rodrigo Báez, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Santiago Cordero.

Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Yaw Penxe.

Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Pali Deluca (Argentina), Damian Schneider (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani

Saturday, July 1:

Cheetahs v Stormers
(Free State stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 15.05; 13.05 GMT)

The Stormers have three weeks in which to get their momentum and intensity back, before the play-offs - in which they are likely to face New Zealand opposition.

And after last year's disastrous performance in the first round of the play-offs they are determined not to be caught short again.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said next three matches is about building towards the play-offs.

"We can't afford to start thinking about our confidence having been knocked [in the loss to the Sharks before the June break], or possible injuries," the Stormers coach said.

"We've got to get back and play extremely well," he said, adding that they are "excited" about the next few weeks.

"It is the first time we are back together as a group. We got to get those combinations working again and get that synergy going again.

"We've got to try certain things as well, going into this latter part of this competition.

"We've got a lot to gain in these next three games. It starts with the Cheetahs.

"They are a tough team to play in Bloemfontein. There are not many teams that put them away there."

He felt the Cheetahs will play with a lot of freedom, as there is no pressure on them.

"It will make them much more dangerous when they just play their natural attacking game. There is not much that can go wrong for them."

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith said they will look to maintain their defensive accuracy and the physical presence of the Stormers will be one of the biggest challenges.

In fact he pointed out that their worst game of the season was their last outing against the Stormers (a 10-53 loss at Newlands back in April).

"The five games against New Zealand opposition [since that loss] taught us about the intensity and tempo we will need to play at," he said.

Recent results:
2017: Stormers won 53-10, Cape Town
2016: Stormers won 31-24, Cape Town
2016: Stormers 20-10, Bloemfontein
2015: Stormers won 42-12, Cape Town
2015: Cheetahs won 25-17, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Stormers have won their last four games against the Cheetahs, restricting them to 12 points or fewer on three occasions in that span. The Cheetahs have trailed at half-time in only one of their last six home South African derbies, though they've gone on to win only two of those six. The Stormers have lost their last four games away from home, their longest drought since a stretch of seven road losses in 2014. The Stormers have conceded only two penalty goals in the second half of games so far this season, fewer than any other team in the competition. Niel Marais (18 from 20) is the only player in the competition to have had at least 20 attempts at goal and maintained a goal success rate of at least 90 percent. It is another gam where either team can win. However, we feel the Stormers will be charged up enough to sneak it by seven points.

Teams:

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

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Frans Malherbe (captain), 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 John Dave Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 EW Viljoen, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Lions v Sunwolves
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 GMT; 00.15 Japan time, Sunday, July 2)

Lions coach Johan Ackermann understands the importance of his team finishing the 2017 Super Rugby regular season in first place on the table.

The 2016 Super Rugby runners-up find themselves in a similar position to where they were in 2016 - second position on the standings, with 56 points from 13 matches played (12 wins).

The Lions only loss during the 2017 Super Rugby tournament came in round three against the Jaguares, (lost 24-36 in Buenos Aires) the same opposition who prevented the Lions from finishing the 2016 Super Rugby regular season in first place.

In 2016 the Lions breezed through their quarterfinal and semifinal matches, which were both played in Johannesburg - defeating the seven-time Super Rugby champions, the Crusaders, and 2015 Super Rugby champions the Highlanders en route to a meeting with the Hurricanes in the Final, which the Lions lost 3-20 in Wellington.

With only two games of the regular season left to play and trailing the unbeaten Crusaders by seven points, Ackermann has given his team an objective of finishing ahead of the Crusaders and securing top spot - which would ensure that the Lions get a home Final should they win their respective quarterfinal and semifinal matches.

"Hopefully we will get the momentum back soon and for our campaign this is quite important just to get back as a team, but also to keep that momentum and keep the pressure on the Crusaders," Ackermann said.

Ackermann added that the Lions will continue playing an expansive brand of rugby and put in a committed effort on the field in order to ensure that they collect maximum points from their remaining two games and therefore challenge the Crusaders for first place on the table.

"The way we've got it is that points difference is not going to play a role, we either going to be one or two.

"If we keep our side clean and we win then we going to challenge for that top spot. If the Crusaders keep winning then we are going to end second, but it doesn't looks like we are going to end on the same log points as them.

"Our main objective is still to score tries and to play an exciting brand and hopefully that will keep points going, but we not too worried about the log at this stage," Ackermann explained.

Previous result:
2016: Lions won 26-13, Tokyo

Prediction: The Lions won the only previous encounter between these teams, scoring exactly twice as many points as the Sunwolves in both halves (12-6 at half-time, 26-13 at full-time). The Lions have won their last 12 games on home turf, only once in Super Rugby history has any South African team won more home games in a row (Bulls, 20 wins from 2008 to 2010). The Sunwolves still search for their first win away from home, having lost from 13 attempts thus far, though each of their last two road games have seen them fall by a margin of just seven points. The Lions' 20 tries in the final quarter of games this season is the second-most of any team behind the Hurricanes (26), while they've also conceded a league-low three tries in the same period. Shota Emi has played three games away from home for the Sunwolves this season, either scoring or assisting a try once in each of those fixtures (two tries, one assist in total). It is just a case of by how much the Lions will win. We feel it will be by 50 points or more - but only if the Lions are clinical in their execution.

Teams:

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Albertus Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Francois Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Sunwolves: 15 Yasutaka Sasakura, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Jumpei  Ogura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz (captain), 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Kotaro Yatabe, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Matasaka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Malgene Ilaua, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Rikiya Matshuda, 23 Kotaro Mathushima.

Referee: Egon Seconds (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Additional reporting by Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports & sportguru.info

Mc article sharks v bulls match action 800

Bulls shock Sharks to break away duck

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 18:00

MATCH REPORT: The Bulls scored their first away win of the season when they upstaged the Sharks 30-17 in Durban on Friday.

Playing with more flair and enthusiasm, the Bulls regained some lost pride in a season of disappointments.

The Bulls outscored their hosts by four tries to two.

Fullback Warrick Gelant scored a hat-trick as the Bulls turned in their best performance of a dismal Super Rugby season.

Bulls No.8 Nick de Jager also scored a try to go with 10 points from the boot of flyhalf Tian Schoeman, an early replacement for the injured Tony Jantjies, younger brother of Springboks No.10 Elton.

The Sharks grabbed tries through prop Thomas du Toit and fullback Curwin Bosch, with the latter also adding two conversions and a penalty.

Apart from the clinical finishing of Gelant, the Bulls were boosted by the form of their returning Springboks, especially the centre pairing of Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel.

They were ahead inside eight minutes when De Jager scored the easiest of tries as a Sharks line-out throw from Franco Marais eluded everybody and was poached by the loose forward, who simply had to fall over the line to score.

The home side hit back when Du Toit powered over for their first try, but it proved a temporary reprieve as the Bulls dominated the remainder of the half.

Sharks flyhalf Garth April knocked on to allow a turnover that saw Gelant canter over, before the latter combined superbly with Serfontein to score his second try and give the Bulls a 17-10 half-time lead.

After Schoeman added a penalty, the Sharks found a lifeline when Bosch profited from strong work by Du Toit to score a try and reduce the deficit to just three points.

But the Serfontein-Gelant combination worked its magic again two minutes later to hand the fullback his hat-trick and seal victory for the visitors as they plan ahead for the next Super Rugby season under New Zealand coach John Mitchell.

Man of the match: Curwin Bosch was the Sharks back who asked most questions of the Bulls' defence, while Daniel du Preez and Philip van der Walt were their most energetic forwards. Bulls centres Jessie Kriel and Jan Serfontein brought their June Test form into this game. Duncan Matthews' chasing of the kicks was invaluable and won a couple of crucial penalties. Locks Rudolph Snyman and Jason Jenkins epitomised the energy and enthusiasm in the Bulls team. However, the Bulls' South African A-team fullback Warrick Gelant showed there is a bright future ahead and sealed a great performance with a hat-trick of tries.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:
Tries:
 Du Toit, Bosch
Cons: Bosch 2
Pen: Bosch

For the Bulls:
Tries:
 De Jager, Gelant 3
Cons: Schoeman 2
Pens: Schoeman 2

Yellow card: Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks, 45 - repeated infringements, playing a man in the air)

Teams:

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Marius Louw.

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten , 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Rudolph Snyman , 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Johnroy Jenkins, 19 Shaun Adendorff, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tian Schoeman

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Thomas Du Toit (18min) and Curwin Bosch (53min)
TRIES
Nick de Jager (7min), Warrick Gelant (19min), Warrick Gelant (24min), and Warrick Gelant (55min)
Curwin Bosch (18min) and Curwin Bosch (54min)
CONVERSIONS
Tian Schoeman (20min) and Tian Schoeman (57min)
Curwin Bosch (23min)
PENALTIES
Tian Schoeman (44min) and Tian Schoeman (71min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
Sibusiso Nkosi (44min)
 
 
VENUE Kings Park, Durban
REFEREE Angus Gardner (Australia)