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Daily Archives: March 19, 2014

Ludeke make changes for Cell C Sharks


Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke named Sampie Mastriet on the wing and Dewald Potgieter as no 8 in his team to play Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Both players will make their first appearance in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament this year. Mastriet comes into the team in place of Akona Ndungane after a highly productive stint with the Springbok Sevens team and Potgieter joined up with the team following a season with his Japanese club Yamaha Jubilo and will take the place of Jono Ross.

Ndungane is still on humanitarian leave following the passing of his father last week, whilst Ludeke opted for the 66 Super Rugby caps experience of Potgieter at the base of the scrum.

Ross moves the bench, with Jacques Engelbrecht missing out in the only other change to the match 23.

“We have always maintained that you need a squad to win this competition and I am pretty please about the depth we have in ours,” Ludeke said.

“Sampie has shown tremendous form with the Springbok Sevens team and brings a lot of pace into the backline and Dewald has test match experience on top of being part of our system for many years. It is very pleasing to have them in the squad.”

Vodacom Bulls captain Flip van der Merwe said the recent upsurge in form is something the team is keen to continue with.

“Our first two away outings were pretty disappointing and everyone stepped up after that. We are keen to continue with the positive way we performed against the Lions and Blues. The Sharks are not topping the log for nothing, but we have prepared well for this one. We will be ready,” Van der Merwe said.

The team (with Super Rugby caps) is: Jurgen Visser (15), Sampie Mastriet (1), JJ Engelbrecht (37), Jan Serfontein (16), Bjorn Basson (59), Jacques-Louis Potgieter (44), Francois Hougaard (60), Dewald Potgieter (66), Jacques du Plessis (5), Deon Stegmann (76), Victor Matfield (128), Flip van der Merwe (67, c), Werner Kruger (96), Callie Visagie (27), Dean Greyling (42). Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi (5), Morné Mellett (13), Marcel van der Merwe (7), Paul Willemse (8), Jono Ross (8), Piet van Zyl (35), Handré Pollard (3), Ulrich Beyers (4).

Naka axe Lappies


imagesCheetahs coach Naka Drotské has dropped a selection bomb by axing star loose forward Pieter Labuschagne ahead of the Super Rugby Round Six encounter with the Blues on Saturday.

Drotské made a number of changes to the team – all surprising selection – as the men from Bloemfontein look to end their losing streak on tour. Jean Cook replaces Labuschagne on flank, with the burly loose forward – affectionately known as Lappies – dropping down to the replacement bench. Most of the selection bolters are in the backline – starting with Sevens Springbok Ryno Benjamin replacing the injured Francois Venter at inside centre.

Venter returned to South Africa with a shoulder injury. Benjamin has helped out at outside centre before and even filled in at scrumhalf while the Cheetahs were down a man in a game last year. However, this will be his first Super Rugby start in the No.12 jersey. Other backline changes will see Hennie Daniller coming in on left wing, replacing Bok tourist Raymond Rhule.

Howard Mnisi comes onto the bench in the place vacated by Benjamin’s promotion. “We are disappointed with how the tour has gone thus far and will be out to finish on a high note against the Blues. That being said, we know it is going to be a difficult game,” Drotské said. Adriaan Strauss will be leading the team onto the field in his 50th game as captain of the Cheetahs.

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Pieter Labuschagne, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Howard Mnisi.

Date: Saturday, March 22
Venue: Eden Park in Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT; 08.35 SA Time)
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Stomers team annouce


Stormers Press
DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has made five changes to his team for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby meeting with the Brumbies in Canberra (kick-off 10h40 SA time).
One of the five changes is positional, with Gio Aplon shifting from wing to fullback, meaning a first-ever DHL Stormers start for Sailosi Tagicakibau (at No.11), with Peter Grant coming in at flyhalf for Demetri Catrakilis.

Grant, who will make his 93rd appearance for the DHL Stormers, will make his first start of 2014, whilst fit-again centre Juan de Jongh – who flew over to Sydney this week – will sit on the bench as he looks for his first taste of action this season.

Up front, meanwhile, fit-again tighthead prop Frans Malherbe (toe injury) takes over from Brok Harris in the No.3 jersey – with the latter reverting to the bench – and Michael Rhodes (shoulder) is back in the mix as the lock replacement for De Kock Steenkamp, who flew home with a groin injury earlier this week.

Coach Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “The Brumbies are a very physical team, using direct runners off (number) nine, so we have to front up and put our bodies on the line.
“They’re also a good kicking team. They use Jesse Mogg’s left foot and (they use) Nic White’s big right boot and then Matt Toomua has a massive kicking game too.

“But we’ve trained well in Sydney all week and we’re looking forward to the challenge. Like I’ve said before, there is no place to hide in Vodacom Super Rugby and our challenge is to win both our remaining games in Australia, starting with this weekend in Canberra against a very good Brumbies team.”

The DHL Stormers team for Saturday (v the Brumbies) is as follows:

15. Gio Aplon
14. Kobus van Wyk
13. Jean de Villiers (captain)
12. Damian de Allende
11. Sailosi Tagicakibau
10. Peter Grant
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen
7. Schalk Burger (vice-captain)
6. Deon Fourie
5. Michael Rhodes
4. Ruan Botha
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Tiaan Liebenberg
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Stephan Coetzee
17. Oliver Kebble
18. Brok Harris
19. Siya Kolisi
20. Nizaam Carr
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Demetri Catrakilis
23. Juan de Jongh
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)

Bulls guilty of hoarding


The Bulls are guilty of hoarding players to detriment of the players and the franchise, writes BRENDAN VENTER.

SANZAR rules no Lions try!


imagesSANZAR’s referee manager Lyndon Bray has ruled that the Lions were awarded an illegitimate try in the second half of their Super Rugby clash against the Blues at Ellis Park last weekend.

While attempting to score, Lions centre Deon van Rensburg lost the ball when he was tackled by Blues wing Charles Piutau.

The ball spilled forward into the in-goal area, with Lions fullback Coenie van Wyk falling on the loose ball for the “try”.

South African referee Stuart Berry initially referred the incident to the TMO (Johan Greeff), asking whether Van Rensburg knocked the ball forward or whether it was the Blues player that knocked it out of his hands.

While replays CLEARLY showed Van Rensburg was carrying the ball before losing it in the tackle, staggeringly Berry awarded the try!

SuperSport commentators Hugh Bladen and Joel Stransky were baffled by the decision, with Stransky going on to say “that is not how the laws of the game of rugby union work.”

The Blues, who ended up losing the game 39-36, questioned the decision and asked for SANZAR to provide clarity on the call.

The Blues picked up two points in their defeat (one for scoring four tries or more and one for losing by seven or fewer points). Had the “try” not been awarded, they’d have picked up a full-house of five log points. Whether those three “lost” points come back to haunt the men from Auckland remains to be seen…

Bray on Wednesday cleared the air, saying the WRONG call was made by the officials and that a scrum should have been awarded to the Blues instead.

He wrote the following on the SANZAR website regarding the incident.

“Lions No 13 (Van Rensburg) is carrying the ball and about to attempt to score a try. Blues No 11 (Charles Piutau) effects a tackle and Lions No 13 loses possession as a result.

“While the Blues player does jolt the ball out of his possession, he is not trying to deliberately ‘rip the ball’ out of the player’s possession. The onus is on the ball carrier to maintain possession while being tackled. Therefore, this should have been ruled as a knock on and subsequently, no try,” concluded Bray.

Ironically, Berry and Greeff will again be on duty this coming weekend when the Lions host the Reds at Ellis Park on Saturday (17:05 kick-off).