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Daily Archives: May 2, 2014

Baby Boks score huge win

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The Junior Springboks scored six tries in each half to score a convincing 78-31 victory over Argentina Under-20 on Friday in Saldanha Bay on the West Coast.

The encounter was the first of three matches as the two teams fine-tune their preparations for the Junior World Championship 2014, to be held during June in New Zealand.

South Africa Under-20 led 38-14 at halftime.

Despite choosing to play against a stiff breeze in the first half, the Junior Springboks quickly built up an impressive 31-0 lead inside 19 minutes. However, the visitors gradually found their rhythm and managed to score four tries, two apiece either side of halftime to bring the score to 45-26 at one stage.

South Africa Under-20 try scorers were Daniel du Plessis (2), Wilco Louw (2), Corniel Els (2), Dan du Preez (2), Duhan van der Merwe (2), Jaco van der Walt and Sergeal Petersen. Van der Walt kicked nine conversions.

For Argentina Pedro Ortega, Federico Gimenez, Felipe Arregui (2), Emiliano Borelli scored tries while Borelli also kicked three conversions.

Afterwards, Junior Boks coach Dawie Theron attributed the good start to the time his squad has spent together at their training camp.

“We tried a new approach this year, to keep the players a bit longer during our training camp, and although it is early days you could clearly see the result,” said Theron.

The SA U20 coach mentioned he was satisfied that his team managed to keep their momentum and ability to stick to their game plan. However, he warned Argentina will be a lot better prepared for the second encounter on Tuesday in Stellenbosch.

“They are a good side with a lot of potential and I expect them to come very hard at us in Stellenbosch.”

Theron was not too pleased with the tries his team conceded, and attributed it to some lapses of concentration either side of halftime. Theron confirmed he will have several players available for Tuesday who did duty in this weekend’s Vodacom Cup quarterfinals.

“Overall, the result was very satisfying, but it’s very early days and we will work hard during our two training sessions on Sunday,” added Theron.

The next match is Tuesday at 15h00 at Paul Roos in Stellenbosch and the final encounter takes place next Saturday at City Park in Crawford, Cape Town.

Steval Pumas 13, DHL WP 8

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Any slip-ups this weekend will be punished with elimination, when the Vodacom Cup quarterfinals take place in Nelspruit, Durban, Bloemfontein and Kimberley on Friday and Saturday.

Of the eight teams in the quarterfinals, six are back from 2013, while two – the SWD Eagles and Free State XV – did not make it to the play-offs last year. In fact, the Eagles are in the quarterfinals for only the second time since the Vodacom Cup started in 1998. They made the top eight in 2009 and also played in the semifinals in the inaugural season of this competition.

And for the Sharks XV, Pumas, Western Province, Blue Bulls, Griquas and Golden Lions, this will be the fourth consecutive season that they have reached the Vodacom Cup quarterfinals. The first match of the weekend is a replay of one of the 2013 quarterfinals.

The Pumas finished the pool phase of the competition as the only unbeaten team and deservedly topped the North Section log. They host Western Province, champions in 2012, in the second quarterfinal, at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday. Western Province also saw the red flag raised last weekend when they went down to the SWD Eagles in George.

It was only the Capetonians’ second defeat of the season and they will travel to Nelspruit knowing full well a similar performance will see them eliminated from the competition.

Pumas Team: 15. JW Bell 14. Trompie Pretorius 13. Wilmaure Louw 12. Hennie Skorbinski 11. Ruwellyn Isbell 10. JC Roos 9. Snake Nyoka 8. Renaldo Bothma 7. Uzair Cassiem 6. Corne Steenkamp (c) 5. Marius Coetzer 4. Giant Mtyanda 3. De-Jay 2. Jacques Momberg 1. Vincent Koch

Replacements: 16. Frankie Hearne 17. Sabelo Nhlapo 18. RW Kember 19. Jaco Bouwer 20. Reynier Van Rooyen 21. Coenie Van Wyk 22. Marcello Sampson

WP Team: 15. Devon Williams 14. JP Lewis 13. Johnny Kotze 12. Michael van der Spuy 11. Lihleli Xoli 10. Gary van Aswegen 9. Dylon Frylinck 8. Rayn Smid 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe 6. Rohan Kitshoff (captain) 5. Jan de Klerk 4. Tazz Fuzani 3. Entienne Swanepoel 2. Neil Rautenbach 1. Alistair Vermaak

Replacements: 16. Michael Willemse 17. Sti Sithole 18. Deacon Chowles 19. Jan Uys 20. Eital Bredenkamp 21. Jean Nel 22. Robert du Preez

Sharks hold on to beat Rebels

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The Sharks recovered from their loss to the Highlanders at home last week by beating the Rebels 16-22 in Melbourne at AAMI Park.

The result makes the Sharks the first South African team to cross the Indian Ocean and win away from home after matches from the SA teams so far in 2014. Some controversial referee decision kept the Rebels in the game up and till the last play of the game. It is just so irritating that we talk more about referees these day than the players or the game.

Sharks will have to put in a much improved effort if they would want to have any change in winning the big clash against the Brumbies next week. The Sharks general play is poor and with so many handling errors or poor passes you leave a hell of a lot of points on the park which you should take to build moment and confidence. This is important more so for a team on tour. 

The Sharks have now played the Melbourne Rebels three times and won all three matches.

Final Score Rebels 16 (6) Sharks 22 (15)

Scorers

Rebels
Tries – P. Leafa
Pen – J.Woodward 3
Con – J.Woodward

Sharks
Tries – J.P.Pietersen
Pen – F.Steyn 5
Con – F.Steyn

Steyn set to leave Sharks

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Sharks and Springbok utility back Francois Steyn has agreed a move to leave Durban and play a season in Japan’s Top League.

According to reports the Springbok back will return to Super Rugby in 2015 and play for the Sharks but will miss any involvment in the Sharks Currie Cup campaign this year.

Steyn is expected to miss the Springboks Rugby Championship campaign due to the commitments in Japan.

The 2007 Rugby World Cup winner is expected to be available for the Springboks end of year tour and his term will not impact on his availability for South Africa at the Rugby World Cup.

SARU CEO Jurie Roux says that they have a long-term contract with Steyn that expires at the end of 2015 but there is space for a player to discuss any possible changes he’d like to enforce.

“Frans didn’t want to engage in any negotiations without our consent and because of the unique circumstances we allowed it.”

“We have the assurance that he’ll be available for the World Cup,” Roux told Sport24.

Blues hammer struggling Reds

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The Blues secured back to back victories when they beat the Reds 44-14 with a bonus point at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

The result extends the Blues unbeaten run at home against all teams in 2014 to five matches from five.

The victory for the Blues moved them into the play off places and ended a four match losing streak to the Queensland side.

The loss for the Reds is their seventh this season from ten matches and they remain in 13th place above the Cheetahs and Stormers.

The Blues have also played ten matches this season and have won five.

 

Final Score Blues 44 (20) Reds 14 (0)

Scorers

Blues
Tries – J.Willison, L.Visinia, B.Hall, T.Donnelly, I.West
Pen – S.Hickey 3
Con – S.Hickey 4, I West
Cards – T.Woodcock

Reds
Tries – B.Daley, J.Horwill
Con – Q.Cooper 2
Cards – J.Slipper (34th min yellow)

SR: Rebels16, Cell C Sharks 22

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Much of the pre-match build-up has centred on whether the Sharks can bounce back from last week’s bitter disappointment – a loss to a determined Highlanders team.

That loss, their first at home this year, has cast doubts over the Sharks’ ability to last the pace. And Director of Rugby Jake White has made no secret of the fact that the men from Durban let themselves down with their lack of enthusiasm in Durban.

Now, in their first match of a four-week Australasian trip, they need to overcome one of the most unpredictable teams in the competition.

Previous results:
2013: Sharks won 64-7, Durban
2011: Sharks won 34-32, Melbourne

Teams:

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga’a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Cruze Ah-Nau.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paul Alo-Emilie, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Tom Kingston, 23 Angus Roberts.

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 SP Marais.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann, James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

SR: Blues 44, Reds 14

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Unlike most teams who attempt to downplay these milestones, the Reds are embracing Quade Cooper’s 100 Super Rugby appearance as a motivational tool.

The Reds, who have just three wins from nine starts, are beginning to grasp any straw to resurrect their campaign. And coach Richard Graham said the team needed little motivation to secure an important victory and mark Cooper’s 100th cap with success.
 
“It’s a special achievement for Quade,” Graham said, adding: “He displays an enormous amount of pride in the Reds jersey and has thrilled Queensland fans for a number of years now.”

Recent results:
2013: Reds won 12-11, Brisbane
2012: Reds won 23-11, Auckland
2011: Reds won 30-13, Brisbane (semifinal)
2011: Reds won 37-31, Brisbane
2010: Blues won 27-18, Brisbane
2009: Reds won 31-24, North Harbour

Teams:

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Brendan O’Connor, 6 Peter Saili, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Ihaia West, 23 George Moala.
 
Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O’Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Ben Lucas, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.
 
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

BlitzBokke eye Kiwi scalps

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South Africa may be faced with a near impossible task of overhauling New Zealand, but they have not given up hope of winning the IRB Sevens World Series.

Heading into this weekend’s Glasgow leg of the World Series the BlitzBokke are seven points behind Series leaders New Zealand.

Stalwart Frankie Horne, who will make a world record 58th consecutive tournament appearance in Glasgow on Saturday, admitted they shot themselves in the foot in Hong Kong at the end of March.

After reaching the Final in five consecutive tournaments – and winning two of them – South Africa were two points ahead of the Kiwis and on course to win only their second-ever World Series title.

However, they lost to England in the quarterfinals in Hong Kong, and with New Zealand beating the English in the Final, the BlitzBokke now find themselves with plenty of ground to make up.

Horne, speaking to rugby365 ahead of the team’s departure for Glasgow, said they do have a chance to rectify that.

“We are seven points behind [series leaders New Zealand], which may be just too much,” Horne said, adding that the consistency shown by both New Zealand and South African this season will make it tough to close the gap.

“However, it could be a blessing in disguise that New Zealand are in our pool, as one of us could crack the other [in the pool game],” the veteran forward said.

“This, Glasgow, tournament will determine where we finish and if we both survive the pool stages we [NZ and SA] could meet each other in the Final.”

He said their failure to advance to the Final in Hong Kong can be put down to the failure to use their opportunities and they also just didn’t click as a team.

“We have worked on a few things in the last few weeks and hopefully it will pay dividends in Glasgow,” Horne told rugby365.

“We simply have to go out and do out best.”

The 31-year-old, who will captain the BlitzBokke in the absence of injured skipper Kyle Brown, played down his world record – the only player with more than 50 consecutive tournament appearances.

“It has been with grace from above and plenty of stubbornness that the body keeps going,” he said, adding that he doesn’t really think about the record.

“It is not something you say to yourself: ‘I want to play 50 or 100 tournaments.’

“You simply world for the team tournament after tournament.”

He said that if his body can last the pace for the next two years he would like to be part of the BlitzBokke squad when rugby makes a return to the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

Glasgow pools:
Pool A: New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa, Portugal
Pool B: England, Canada, France, Japan
Pool C: Fiji, Wales, Argentina, Kenya
Pool D: Australia, United States, Scotland, Spain

Source: Rugby365