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Stormers

FULL-TIME
9     15

Chiefs

Super Rugby | Newlands
13:05 (GMT) | 12-05-2018
  • 81
McKenzie kicks it into touch and the referee sounds his whistle. FULL TIME
  • 80
Multiple phases by the hosts but only a few meters made. The Stormers not giving up as the siren goes. The Chiefs win a penalty as Retallick wins his final ruck of the game
  • 79
The Chiefs suffocating the home team now as we enter the final seconds
  • 78
The Chiefs ensuring the the hosts don't leave their half as the clock ticks down
  • 77
He puts his foot through it and adds 3
  • 76
Penalty to the hosts inside the 10 and Marais steps up for a kick at the sticks
  • 75
The Stormers have a line-out outside the 22 after the restart kick is ran forward by Engelbrecht and then moved into touch by the Chiefs
  • 74
McKenzie line it up for a kick at goal and adds 3
  • 73
Mckenzie with a pass out wide to Stevenson who runs it over the line to put it down for a try. The referee reviews the play with the TMO and says no try
  • 72
Du Plessis clears the ball. Line-out for the Chiefs at the home team 10
  • 71
The Chiefs win it and kick forward into touch at the 5 of the hosts. Line-out to the home team at their 5 now
  • 70
Line-out to the hosts now at the mid field
  • 69
The Chiefs have it outside the 5 of the home team now. The ball is lost forward in contact and the Stormers have a scrum
  • 68
The Chiefs content with the current war of attrition as the home team desperately look for any form of control in this fixture
  • 67
The home team struggling to make it out of their half now
  • 66
Scrum to the visitors at the half way
  • 65
The Stormers trying to be expansive as they send it out wide. Engelbrecht loses it forward
  • 64
The Chiefs show incredible strength and win a penalty TRY
  • 63
The ball sent out wide as the visitors play with a penalty advantage. It's passed into touch and the referee calls play back for another scrum at the Stormers 5
  • 62
Another scrum to the Chiefs at the 5 now
  • 61
The Chiefs struggling to make a way through as the Stormers continue to hold
  • 60
Penalty to the Chiefs after they look to force their way through the blue wall. Penalty to the Chiefs and they opt for another 5 meter scrum
  • 59
Scrum to the Chiefs after an error in the line-out at the 5 of the hosts
  • 58
Line-out to the hosts after a cross-kick by McKenzie is taken out of the air and the receiver put into touch
  • 57
Rhule recovers the ball but gifts it right back to the attackers
  • 56
The Chiefs with some good continuity as they build patiently, but only just edging inside the 22 now
  • 55
Line-out taken and the Chiefs make good progress in the maul. They break away and move it along the 22 now
  • 54
Penalty to the Chiefs at the home team 10. The ball is kicked into touch at the 22
  • 53
Willemse doubles the score to put his team in front for the first time this game
  • 52
The Stormers have a penalty after De Allende wins a turnover for his team. Willemse lines it up for a kick at goal from inside the 22
  • 51
The Chiefs fighting to make their way forward but the Stormers holding them at their 10. Duvenage kicks forward and the visitors have a throw at their 22
  • 50
McKenzie takes his kick and sends it wide from a position very much in his range
  • 48
The Chiefs kick forward and Marais is there on the cover but he is quickly converged upon and the Chiefs decide to kick for goal
  • 47
McKenzie manages to clear and the Stormers have a line-out at the away team 10
  • 46
Line-out to the Chiefs at their 5 after Pulu and Rhule chase the kick. Pulu leaves it to go into touch
  • 45
The Stormers defend at their 10 and clear the ball far out wide
  • 44
The Chiefs not finding their way much further than the 10 of the hosts. The Stormers looking for the counter but not quick enough
  • 43
A kicking contest ensues and Duvenage puts it into touch at the half way
  • 42
The Stormers vibrant on the attack now as they make it to the 22. The Chiefs turnover and show a burst of energy themselves as they rush to the 22 of the hosts. The ball is knocked on and the Stormers have a scrum at their 22
  • 41
The second half is underway

Half Time

  • 40
Scrum reset yet again. The Chiefs move it down field looking for space but find none. The ball is lost forward but the referee calls play back for a penalty to the Chiefs. McKenzie takes his shot at goal and it falls under the cross bar. HALF TIME
  • 39
Scrum reset
  • 38
The ball is knocked on in touch and the Chiefs have a scrum at their 10. Both teams with an array of mistakes
  • 37
McKenzie boots it straight into touch and the Stormers have a line-out inside the Chiefs 10
  • 36
The Chiefs putting the home team on the back foot now after a kick forward. The hosts manage to clear but the Chiefs do the same
  • 35
The ball lost forward by Duvenage and the Chiefs have a scrum around their 22
  • 34
The Stormers passing unconvincingly but still holding onto the ball as they enter the 22
  • 33
The ball is kicked into touch for a line-out at the 10 meter to the hosts
  • 32
The ball lost forward in contact. Scrum to the Stormers around the half way
  • 31
The ball is cleared and Marais runs it back into the 10 of the Chiefs. The Chiefs turnover with Allardice and win a penalty. The ball is kicked into touch in the midfield
  • 30
Scrum reset
  • 29
They move the ball out wide and De Allende runs it within inches of the 5 but he fumbles it and the Chiefs have a 5 meter scrum
  • 28
Scrum to the hosts inside the 22 of the Chiefs
  • 27
Line-out to the Stormers and it's overcooked. McKenzie loses it forward
  • 26
Retallick concedes a penalty for not releasing in the ruck. Marais kicks far into touch at the 5 of the away team
  • 25
The Chiefs building from the 10 of the hosts now
  • 24
The Stormers boot it forward and it's sent right back. It falls into space and Weber almost reaches it but the bounce not on their side this time around
  • 23
Willemse kicks forward and makes two tackles after the chase winning the ball back for his team. The Chiefs get it back after a run forward and clear
  • 22
McKenzie's kick is far wide
  • 21
The ball is kicked forward and a fortunate bounce for Lienert-Brown as it pops over Leyds' head. The Chiefs man snatches it and sprints to the corner for the first TRY
  • 20
The Cheifs drive them back to their 10 and it's kicked forward. Line-out to the Chiefs at the half way
  • 19
Line-out to the Stormers in the midfield. Marais looking to maneuver a way through the middle but no such luck
  • 18
The ball lost forward again, this time by the home team. Scrum to the visitors inside their 10
  • 18
The ball lost forward again, this time by the home team. Scrum to the visitors inside their 10
  • 17
Scrum to the hosts
  • 16
The ball lost forward in contact at the away team 10
  • 15
Straight into touch after the restart. Line-out at the away team 10
  • 14
The referee sounds his whistle for a earlier penalty and Willemse takes his kick. He opens the scoring with 3 points
  • 13
The Chiefs take a powerful scrum and win a penalty. The ball is kicked but not into touch. The hosts move it down to the opposite wing now running inside the 22. It's kicked forward by Marais for De Allende but goes into touch
  • 12
Scrum to the visitors at their 5
  • 11
Penalty to the Chiefs at their 5 as Retallick ensures the maul goes nowhere except down
  • 10
Willemse puts it in touch at the 5 for a line-out
  • 9
The Stormers carry forward with Engelbrecht. They make it to the 22 and win a penalty
  • 8
The box kick from Duvenage and the Chiefs have it at their 10 now/ The progress forward into the home team half
  • 7
The Stormers win a penalty at their 5 for a high tackle on Willemse. The ball is kicked into touch and Marais puts it in touch at his 10
  • 6
Another penalty to the Chiefs for a side entry in the ruck by the hosts. McKenzie puts it into touch at the 5
  • 5
Van Zyl steals the throw and the hosts manage to clear. The Chiefs in possession at their 10 now
  • 4
The Stormers don't release in the tackle and the Chiefs have another penalty. The ball is kicked into touch at the 5
  • 3
The Chiefs probing inside the 22
  • 2
Penalty to the Chiefs inside the 10 of the hosts. McKenzie kicks it into touch at the 22
  • 1
The hosts have it at the half way. Willemse kicks it forward and Ngatai sends it back into touch for a line-out at the 22 of the hosts
  • 0
The referee sounds his whistle and we're underway
  • -3
The players leaving the locker rooms now
  • -10
The Stormers have booted 18 penalty goals this season, the equal most of any team in the competition
  • -15
The Cape Town side has won nine of their last 11 regular season games when hosting New Zealand opposition, although those nine wins have come by an average margin of just eight points
  • -20
The Chiefs have won five of the last seven games between these sides, twice overturning a halftime deficit in that run. The Chiefs have lost just four of their last 27 games against South African opposition; the Stormers were responsible for two of those defeats
  • -30
Welcome to Newlands, where the Stormers host the Chiefs
Mc stormers logo 80x50
Stormers
Mc chiefs logo 80x50
Chiefs
START LINE UP
  • 1 Steven Kitshoff
  • 2 Ramone Samuels
  • 3 Wilco Louw
  • 4 Chris van Zyl
  • 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit
  • 6 Siya Kolisi
  • 7 Kobus van Dyk
  • 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe
  • 9 Dewaldt Duvenage
  • 10 Damian Willemse
  • 11 Raymond Rhule
  • 12 Damian de Allende
  • 13 Johannes Engelbrecht
  • 14 Dillyn Leyds
  • 15 Sarel Marais
RESERVES
  • 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni
  • 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg
  • 18 Frans Malherbe
  • 19 Cobus Wiese
  • 20 Nizaam Carr
  • 21 Paul De Wet
  • 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis
  • 23 Seabelo Senatla
START LINE UP
  • 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe
  • 2 Nathan Harris
  • 3 Angus Taavao-Matau
  • 4 Brodie Retallick
  • 5 Michael Allardice
  • 6 Luke Jacobson
  • 7 Liam Messam
  • 8 Tyler Ardron
  • 9 Brad Weber
  • 10 Damian McKenzie
  • 11 Solomon Alaimalo
  • 12 Johnny Faauli
  • 13 Anton Lienert-Brown.
  • 14 Toni Pulu
  • 15 Charlie Ngatai
RESERVES
  • 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho
  • 17 Sam Prattley
  • 18 Jeff Thwaites
  • 19 Jesse Parete
  • 20 Pita Gus Sowakula
  • 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
  • 22 Marty McKenzie
  • 23 Shaun Stevenson
Mc article super rugby round 13   part two 800

PREVIEW: Super Rugby, Round 13 - Part Two

Thu, 10 May 2018 22:47

CONFERENCE STRUCTURE UNDER FIRE: The list of high-profile figures criticising the tournament structure is growing at an alarming rate.

Earlier this week SANZAAR officials scrambled desperately to quell well-sourced reports that South African franchises are queuing up to make the great trek north and join a European competition.

Despite SANZAAR's best efforts to paint a picture of a 'happy family', discarded Australian Sevens coach Andy Friend has climbed on the bandwagon and criticised Super Rugby - describing it as "stale" and "tainted".

Friend, also a former Brumbies coach, was sacked after the Commonwealth Games and decided to get a few things off his chest about the Southern Hemisphere competition.

"I actually find it stale, to be honest," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"I can't understand the conference system.

"I can't understand how you can have a competition where you don't play everyone once and you can be the best of the worst, which is what we have in this country, yet you can still make a quarterfinal.

"Doesn't make sense to me... for me, it's tainted."

This comes ahead of a Saturday that will highlight the chasm in class between Australian teams and those from New Zealand and South Africa.

Part Two of our preview starts with the intriguing encounter between the Highlanders and the Lions.

That is followed by an all-Australian derby - the Brumbies and Rebels, expected to be the least entertaining fixture of the weekend.

Another intriguing and tantalising clash - between the Stormers and Chiefs - follow, before we end the weekend's action with the crucial South African derby, the Bulls and Sharks.

We take a look at the weekend's last four matches!

Saturday, May 12:

Highlanders v Lions
(Forsyth-Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)

The Lions, who have not won in Dunedin since their return to Super Rugby in 2014, will look to end a pretty miserable tour on a victorious note.

Most pundits think the Lions will have an advantage against the Highlanders, who travelled back from South Africa after a demoralising loss to the Sharks in Durban last week.

However, Lions coach Swys de Bruin has warned against expecting travel and jet lag to be a factor.

"Look at the first game [of our tour], when we travelled to the Waratahs [Sydney - a 29-0 win for the Lions]," De Bruin cautioned.

"You can never count on that [jet lag]. We are in week four [of our tour], but we have to be ready for them."

De Bruin said a win against the Highlanders will make it a very successful tour - which started with that win against the Waratahs, but was followed by defeats against the Reds and Hurricanes.

"It will mean a lot," the Lions mentor said, adding: "We haven't won in Dunedin in the new stadium."

He said the home team's 'spine' is very strong - with Ben Smith at fullback and Lima Sopoaga at flyhalf.

"They may not have the greatest record on the road, but at home, they are very tough to beat.

"We are not looking at what they are doing, because it takes your eye off the ball - we will focus on our own game."

The Highlanders received a handy boost this week with the news that one of New Zealand's brightest prospects will head south.

Promising flyhalf Bryn Gatland, the son of Wales and British and Irish Lions coach Warren, has signed for the Highlanders - who see enough potential in the 22-year-old to rate him as a possible replacement for the Wasps-bound Lima Sopoaga.

Recent results:
2016: Lions won 42-30, Johannesburg (semifinal)
2016: Highlanders won 34-15, Dunedin
2015: Lions won 28-23, Johannesburg
2014: Highlanders won 23-22, Dunedin
2011: Lions won 26-22, Dunedin

Prediction: The Highlanders have won five of their six home games against the Lions including their last two in a row; their solitary defeat came in 2011 at Carisbrook. The Highlanders have won their last 10 in a row at home, only once before have they gone on a longer such run (13 wins, 2000-2002). The Lions have lost their last two games, the last time they lost more was a three-game drought to open the 2015 campaign. Only the Crusaders (15) have scored more tries in the final quarter of games this campaign than the Lions (14); the Highlanders have scored just seven tries in this period. Ash Dixon has a throw success rate of 92 percent this campaign, the second best of any player to have made at least 30 throws this season. We agree with Lions coach Swys de Bruin - travel won't be a factor. The Highlanders to win by five points.

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Sio Tomkinson.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Albertus Smith, 7 Franco Mostert (captain), 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: Jacques van Rooyen, Ruan Dreyer, Jacobie Adriaanse, Lourens Erasmus, Marnus Schoeman, Dillon Smit, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Sylvian Mahuza.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Brumbies v Rebels
(GIO Stadium, Canberra - Kick-off: 19.45; 09.45 GMT)

Rebels coach Dave Wessels wants his team to rediscover the attacking mojo that saw them dominate the Australian conference in the early stages of the season.

The Rebels travel to the nation's capital looking to avoid six straight defeats and will need to do so at a venue where they have won just once in five attempts.

But Wessels said he would urge his players to play with the freedom on display in the early-season run, and took some responsibility for how his players dealt with in-game adversity.

"One of the challenges for the group now is to move on from the sadness of the performance and probably being embarrassed about our performance against the Crusaders, and then being able to lift to a point where we know we can play well," Wessels said.

"It's just having the confidence in our performance is to go out there and have a go.

"One of the hallmarks of our performances earlier on was that we were prepared to be brave and prepared to make a few mistakes.

"For whatever reason, and partly because of my responses to some of those things, when we've made mistakes recently, we've gone a bit conservative.

"That wasn't the DNA we had early on. We've made a real effort to return to that this week, we want to go Canberra and have a real crack."

The Brumbies sit fourth (with a three wins and six defeats record) in the Australian conference, just six points off the Rebels in the second - making this clash all the more meaningful than just another Australian derby.

The Canberra side's three wins have come against the Sunwolves (Week Two), Sharks (Week Five) and Reds (Week Eight).

Since then it has been a difficult month for the Brumbies.

The rest of April saw a harsh defeat to the Highlanders in Dunedin, and back-to-back close defeats to the Jaguares and the Crusaders, both in Canberra.

They host the Rebels off a bye and will be raring to have something to show for three consecutive home matches.

Recent results:
2018: Rebels won 33-10, Melbourne
2017: Brumbies won 32-3, Canberra
2017: Rebels won 19-17, Melbourne
2016: Brumbies won 30-22, Melbourne
2015: Rebels won 13-8, Canberra
2015: Brumbies won 20-15, Melbourne

Prediction: The Rebels have won three of the last five meetings between these sides, more than they'd managed in their previous nine. The Brumbies have won five of their six home games against the Melbourne side, those five wins coming by an average margin of 25 points. The Rebels' last six Australian derbies have all been won by the home side on the day. The Rebels have missed the most tackles (26) and conceded the most penalties and free kicks (13) per game of any team in this campaign. Henry Speight has scored four tries in his last four games against the Rebels, gaining in excess of 100 metres in a game twice in that time. Both teams are struggling for form - the Brumbies with four defeats (three on the trot) in their last five matches and the Rebels with six (five consecutive) defeats in their last seven matches. The Brumbies, at home, should be good enough to win by eight points.

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Semisi Tupou, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Fereti Sa'aga,
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Sam Jeffries, 21 Lopeti Timani, 22 Harrison Goddard, 23 Billy Meakes.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

Stormers v Chiefs
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 15.05; 13.05 GMT; 01.05 NZ time Sunday, May 13)

The Stormers are looking to make it six straight wins at Newlands this season - following victories against the Jaguares, Blues, Reds, Rebels and Bulls.

Captain Siya Kolisi will lead a settled outfit, which features 12 players with more than 50 Super Rugby caps.

The Stormers face a Chiefs side that will be smarting from their surprise home defeat to the Jaguares.

Although All Black stalwart Sam Cane is rested at home with an abdominal strain, coach Colin Cooper has brought All Blacks Nathan Harris and Brodie Retallick.

They will be crucial if the Chiefs are to continue their good form in the fixture between the sides - the Kiwis having won five of the last seven meetings between the two teams.

"Losing Sam Cane is always going to be a loss for any team, but alongside Sam is the leadership group led by Charlie Ngatai," Cooper said.

"It has given an opportunity for a number of young men to step up and come into this contest in South Africa, which is exciting for them, and for us coaches to watch."

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said the Chiefs made a "major shift in their culture" and that made them a successful team.

"They play a certain way," Fleck said, adding: "They are an exciting team and a tough team to play against.

"The Stormers, currently fourth in the South African conference and ninth overall, have just five games left in a campaign that has stuttered along this season.

"We are in a situation where we need to win every game," Fleck said.

"We have to deliver our best performances every week.

"We are fighting hard to get back up there [in the play-off race]."

Cooper said he was taken big lessons from last week's loss to the Jaguares.

"We took a lot of learnings from the Jaguares, particularly on our attack," the Chiefs coach said.

"We know what to expect from the Stormers, and have been focussed this week.

"The team travelled smoothly and have come over here wanting to do really well.

Recent results:
2017: Chiefs won 17-11, Cape Town (preliminary play-off)
2017: Stormers won 34-26, Cape Town
2016: Chiefs won 60-21, Cape Town (preliminary play-off)
2015: Chiefs won 28-19, Cape Town
2014: Chiefs won 36-20, Hamilton'

Prediction: The Chiefs have won five of the last seven games between these sides, twice overturning a halftime deficit in that run. The Chiefs have lost just four of their last 27 games against South African opposition; the Stormers were responsible for two of those defeats. The Cape Town side has won nine of their last 11 regular season games when hosting New Zealand opposition, although those nine wins have come by an average margin of just eight points. The Stormers have booted 18 penalty goals this season, the equal most of any team in the competition. Damian McKenzie has made 15 break passes this season, more than any other player in the competition and six more than Stormers' best Damian Willemse (nine) and Sarel Marais (nine). Statistics suggest the Chiefs should. Fortunately for the Stormers, this game is played on grass and not paper. We feel the Stormers should with by 12 points.

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johannes Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Chiefs: 15 Charlie Ngatai (captain), 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Liam Messam, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe.   
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Bulls v Sharks
(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 GMT)

Bulls coach John Mitchell said the clash with the Sharks is a "make-or-break" affair, as his team aim to end a two-match losing streak.

"We must win our remaining three home fixtures and also at least one on the road to have a chance of making the play-offs," stressed the former All Blacks coach.

Bulls are 11th on the combined standings, but only three points behind the Sharks, who occupy the last qualifying place - eighth.

Before losing to the Highlanders and Stormers, the Bulls thrashed the Sharks 40-10 in Durban - with fullback Warrick Gelant scoring a hat-trick.

"We found some consistency in the middle of the season, but lost a bit of that during the last two rounds," admitted Mitchell.

"We all know what is at stake here. We all understand the long-term vision and strategy, but short-term results are as important," Mitchell said.

"The Sharks have shown how good they can be in dismantling the Highlanders and will come for us, no doubt."

Sharks coach Robert du Preez also spoke about the need to win, given that both teams also have only six matches remaining.

"We want to play good rugby, but winning is important and we don't care how we win," Du Preez said.

"Every game is really important for us going forward and every game is massive for us.

"The pressure is just massive and the quality of the competition is much better than last year.

"Anything can happen on the day and you have to be on top of your game."

Recent results:
2018: Bulls won 40-10, Durban
2017: Bulls won 30-17, Durban
2016: Bulls and Sharks drew 16-all, Pretoria
2015: Bulls won 17-10, Durban
2015: Bulls won 43-35, Pretoria

Prediction: The Bulls are unbeaten in their last six games against the Sharks, restricting the Durban side to fewer than 20 points in five of those matches. The Sharks are winless in their last five trips to Loftus Versfeld, although each of those defeats has come by eight points or fewer. The Bulls have finished six of their last eight games with a 100 percent goal-kicking accuracy, missing just three of 29 attempts at the sticks in that time. The Bulls (164) have scored more first-half points this season than any other team in the competition. Robert du Preez has made eight try assists this campaign, the equal most of any player in the competition; the Sharks' flyhalf also leads the competition in total points scored (132). Probably the most difficult game of the weekend to predict. The Bulls have home ground advantage and desperate to end their losing streak. They should sneak by five points or less.

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 John-Ben Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Jason Jenkins, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frans van Wyk/Nqobisizwe Mxoli, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Nicholas de Jager, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning, additional reporting by AFP
@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports

Mc article stormers v chiefs 2018 800

Chiefs edge Stormers in Newlands arm-wrestle

Sat, 12 May 2018 13:00

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Stormers suffered their first home defeat of the season when they went down 9-15 to the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday.

In a game full of errors from both sides, a strong final quarter from the Chiefs got them over the line with a decisive penalty try - thanks largely to a dominant scrum - proving to be the difference.

From the outset the Chiefs looked eager to spread the ball at pace on a fine afternoon suited to running rugby. The Stormers also showed plenty of endeavour in the opening quarter of an hour with some great entertainment for the fans as the ball stayed in play for long periods.

Eventually the Stormers won a penalty handy to the posts, as the Chiefs were caught offside, and flyhalf Damian Willemse landed the first points of the match to give the home side a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes.

The Chiefs began to show their dominance up front which was providing a good platform for first five Damian McKenzie to direct proceedings, and it was one of his cross-field kicks that led to the first try of the day.

After working their way up to midfield, McKenzie kicked wide into space on the left wing and a favourable bounce saw Solomon Alaimalo gather and then offload in the tackle to centre Anton Lienert-Brown who raced clear to score.

There was nearly a very quick reply from the Stormers after a great kick for touch had given them possession just five metres out, but midfielder Damian de Allende had the ball knocked out of his hands as he dove for the line, thanks to a fine desperation tackle from scrumhalf Brad Weber.

In the final stages of the first half the Stormers enjoyed the better of the territory and possession, forcing the Chiefs to make plenty of tackles, but handling errors let them down.

The Chiefs also had their handling issues throughout the first 40 minutes, which played a big part in the lack of points scored at either end despite lots of attacking play from both sides.

At the end of an entertaining but also frustrating first half, the Chiefs went into the break with a 5-3 lead.

There was more of the same to start the second half, as the fast pace of the match continued but a lack of accuracy stopped either side from getting momentum.

McKenzie had a chance at the 50-minute mark to extend the Chiefs lead but his penalty attempt drifted wide and, not long after the restart, the Stormers then won a penalty themselves which Willemse chipped over to put the home side back in front.

As the match headed past the three-quarter mark, the Chiefs slowly began to ask questions of a tiring Stormers defence and they continued to apply pressure by turning down three consecutive shots at goal - looking for a go ahead try off the back of their strong scrum.

Their persistence was rewarded as referee Mike Fraser lost patience with the Stormers' infringing and a penalty try was given to put the Chiefs up 12-6.

The pace of the game began to take its toll and a flurry of substitutions injected some new energy into the Chiefs effort.

One of those replacements, wing Shaun Stevenson, produced a brilliant chip and chase which saw him go over the line for what looked like the Chiefs third try, but it was ruled out due to a knock on.

With less than five minutes remaining McKenzie then finally kicked his first points of the match with his penalty extending the Chiefs lead to nine, forcing the Stormers to score twice to save the match.

A quick response saw fullback Sarel Marais cancel out McKenzie's penalty with a three-pointer of his own, and the lead was back to six once more with just two minutes left on the clock.

The Stormers put together 13 phases as time expired to test the visitors one final time, but a ruck penalty was awarded to the Chiefs and McKenzie was able to clear to touch to seal the win.

Man of the match: Anton Lienert-Brown had a solid performance in the midfield and scored a try as well. The Chiefs tight five gave the Stormers plenty of troubles in the scrums and special mention must go to the two props. However, the award goes to Brodie Retallick who was immense on defence and in the line-outs. He was also a prominent figure at the breakdowns 

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Pens: Willemse 2, Marais

For Chiefs:
Tries: Lienert-Brown, Penalty Try
Pen: D McKenzie

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johannes Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Chiefs: 15 Charlie Ngatai (captain), 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Liam Messam, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe.   
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

@ChiefsRugby

 
TRIES
Anton Lienert-Brown. (21min)
 
CONVERSIONS
Damian Willemse (14min), Damian Willemse (53min), and Sarel Marais (77min)
PENALTIES
Damian McKenzie (74min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
64min
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Newlands
REFEREE Mike Fraser (New Zealand)