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Daily Archives: March 9, 2017

Orie gets start for Lions


Marvin Orie will make his debut for the Emirates Lions when they take on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

Shaun Reynolds will also make his first start in Super Rugby while Johannes Jonkers makes his run-on debut.

The team shows nine changes to the side that started against the Waratahs and one positional change with Harold Vorster moving from 13 to 12.

The match will be broadcast at 21:40 (SA time).

Lions Team:

  1. Dylan Smith
  2. Robbie Coetzee
  3. Johannes Jonker
  4. Andries Ferreira
  5. Marvin Orie
  6. Kwagga Smith
  7. Cyle Brink
  8. Warren Whiteley ©
  9. Ross Cronjé
  10. Shaun Reynolds
  11. Anthony Volmink
  12. Harold Vorster
  13. Jacques Nel
  14. Courtnall Skosan
  15. Jaco van der Walt


  1. Malcolm Marx
  2. Jacques van Rooyen
  3. Ruan Dreyer
  4. Lourens Erasmus
  5. Jaco Kriel
  6. Faf de Klerk
  7. Andries Coetzee
  8. Sylvian Mahuza

Blitzboks not complete package yet – Specman


Springbok Sevens player Rosko Specman is adamant that the Blitzboks team are far from the complete package, despite their good performances so far in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The South Africans have secured titles in four of the five tournaments and won 28 out of 30 matches, leading into the sixth event of the world wide spectacle, the HSBC Vancouver Sevens, to be played at BC Place on 11 and 12 March.

“We will never be satisfied, there is always room for improvement, even if it is just one percent,” said Specman, who was named Player of the Final in last weekend’s tournament.

“We were not at our best in Las Vegas, despite the fact that we won the tournament. We made a number of errors and our one on-one defence was not ideal, so we have a lot to work on this week.

“The individual performances come from a team effort and that is where our strength lies at the moment, I believe. We are playing for each other and really work hard to support each other. That structure and system allows the individuals to perform.”

The conditions in Vancouver, where the team were experiencing some snow and cold, is far removed from the heat in Stellenbosch, but according to Specman, that does not matter. The Blitzboks will face Chile, Kenya and England on Day One of the tournament on Saturday.

“Our hands might be cold, but our hearts are warm because we are together as a squad. Also, there is always some good coffee available in Philip Snyman’s room,” he quipped.

“Also, the arrival of Sandile Ngcobo brought some nice energy to us, so we are keen to get back to the hard yards.”

Ngcobo joined the squad in Canada as the official replacement player after Justin Geduld was injured in Las Vegas. Stedman Gans, who was the replacement in Vegas, has slotted into Geduld’s place and is pretty keen to run out in Blitzboks colours in Canada.

“This is a massive opportunity for me. I am here to learn, but also to do my best when I do get the chance,” said Gans, who represented the Junior Springboks last year.

Gans was on the bench for the final two matches of the tournament and although he did not take to the field, feels that he benefitted from the experience.

“Your whole focus changes if you know there is a chance that you can play, so it was exciting, although I did not take to the field. There were butterflies, but also positive nervous energy,” explained Gans, a former head boy of Waterkloof High School in Pretoria.

“My goals have not changed from last week. I still wanted to end this trip a better sevens player than when I left South Africa, so the fact that I might actually be playing is a nice bonus.

“It is almost unreal that I watched guys such as Cecil Africa, Branco du Preez and Rosko on TV all the time and now I am touring with them, with the possibility of actually playing in a tournament with them. They are very supportive and have all the experience, and they don’t mind sharing that with me.”

South Africa will kick off their Vancouver campaign against Chile at 21h18 (SA time) on Saturday evening, while their next two matches are early on Sunday morning (SA time), against Kenya (00h54) and England (04h34).

Sharks team for Waratahs named


The Cell C Sharks ar eback at home after being on the road for the first two weeks in Australia.

They won one and lost one while on tour and with a great fightback against the Brumbies Robert Du Preez men will take much hard into their match this weekend against the Waratahs.

It will not be easy coming back from Australia to face a well balanced Waratahs side who has been in the country for two weeks now but coach Robert Du Preez is happy with the work that has been put in by the players, “The effort from the guys to pull of the win last week was fantastic and showed the character and fighting spirit amongst this special group of players.  That win has definitely motivated us, however it is important that we build on that momentum this week.”

We arrived back home on Sunday night and despite the jet lag, there has been no excuses from the guys.  As a coaching unit we cannot fault their commitment and work ethic, which has been amazing. The Waratahs will want to end their tour on a high and will be a difficult prospect on Saturday.  We are looking forward to playing at home and the support and backing of our fans will give us added motivation.” he added.

Sharks team:

15. Clement Poitrenaud
14. Kobus van Wyk
13. Lukhanyo Am
12. Andre Esterhuizen
11. Lwazi Mvovo
10. Patrick Lambie (c)
9. Cobus Reinach
8. Tera Mtembu (v/c)
7. Jean-Luc du Preez
6. Philip van der Walt
5. Ruan Botha
4. Stephan Lewies
3. Coenie Oosthuizen
2. Franco Marais
1. Tendai Mtawarira

16. Chiliboy Ralepelle
17. Thomas du Toit
18. Lourens Adriaanse
19. Jean Droste
20. Jacques Vermeulen
21. Michael Claassens
22. Jeremy Ward
23. Curwin Bosch

SR Preview – Reds v Crusaders


The Crusaders will want to keep their winning form when they travel to Australia to face the Reds on Saturday.

It was a bit of a let down for Reds fans last week when they lost against the Force in Perth and some experience players in their team had some off the poorest games we have seen. The reality of Super Rugby quickly set in for the Reds after they won their opening katch against the Sharks.

The coach have made three changes from the side that lost against the Force last week and will want his men to stand up and play some descend rugby which they will have to against this Crusaders team.

The Crusaders normally do not loose to many games when they start winning and it will take a massive effort from the Reds to upset the Crusaders progress in week 3.

Rodda and Perese will earn their first run-on place in the side after they have put some descend performances off the bench the last two weeks.

Last year’s Pilecki Medal runner up, Hendrik Tui, has also been promoted to the starting side at blindside flanker for the first time this season. Lock Kane Douglas, flanker Adam Korczyk and wing Chris Kuridrani have been moved from the starting side to the reserves.

The Crusaders on their side sees Bedwell-Curtis earning his first cap at number seven with Todd injured with a calf muscle in training.  The other change in the loose forwards is at 6, with Pete Samu starting this week and Jordan Taufua providing cover off the bench.

Prop Oli Jager is also set to make his debut if he comes on for Mike Alaalatoa, who shifts from the reserves to the starting tighthead position this week. Joe Moody starts again at loosehead prop, with Tim Perry coming onto the bench as cover.

Digby Ioane will debut in against his former team when he takes the left wing on Saturday night. Seta Tamanivalu moves to the other wing, and Israel Dagg moves back into the full-back role.

The Crusaders won their first two matches and will have great convidance going into this match even if it is away from home. Traveling have not really upset the Crusaders much in the past and are one of the most successful teams away from home in the competition.

It is all to play for the Reds having won one and lost one. They willnot want to start getting into a habit loosing close games as they did last year. It has been said so often, as much as winning becomes a habit, loosing does as well.

Head to Head

Games Reds wins Draws Crusaders wins Reds points Crusaders points
Overall: 23 6 0 17 490 724
At home: 12 5 0 7 319 314
Average points scored per game 52.78

Previous Results from these two teams:

Date Home Team Away Team Score Winner
2010-02-19 Reds Crusaders 41 – 20 Reds
2011-05-29 Reds Crusaders 17 – 16 Reds
2011-07-09 Reds Crusaders 18 – 13 Reds
2012-05-06 Crusaders Reds 15 – 11 Crusaders
2013-07-20 Crusaders Reds 38 – 9 Crusaders
2014-05-11 Reds Crusaders 29 – 57 Crusaders
2015-05-08 Crusaders Reds 58 – 17 Crusaders
2016-05-06 Crusaders Reds 38 – 5 Crusaders

Prediction: Although away from home I believe the Saders will have too much for the Reds and win by 10 +


Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9  Mitchell Drummond, 8  Whetu Douglas, 7  Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 6  Pete Samu, 5  Sam Whitelock(c), 4  Scott Barrett, 3  Michael Alaalatoa, 2  Codie Taylor, 1  Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 O

The Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper(c)
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Chris Kuridrani


SR Preview – Blues v Highlanders


The other all New Zealand clash this weekend is the Blues that will host the Highlanders.

As with most New Zealand derbies we expect another great eighty minutes of rugby when these two teams clash on Saturday morning. The Highlanders will be desperate for a win after losing their opening two matches so far with the Blues to also recover from the huge lost against the Chiefs last week.

The importance of the result can be seen with the Blues naming six All Blacks in the starting XV for the Highlanders match

Parsons and Kaino has been named in the starting lineup which also sees starts for Faumuina and Tuipulotu. We also see Taramai making his Super Rugby debut at number eight on Saturday. Ioane will provide cover from the bench.

In the backs Moala comes in at inside centre and Ranger move to the wing with Francis and Nanai going to the bench.

Parsons will captain the side in his return after suffering from concussion, he completed 40 minutes of action for the Blues Development side last weekend.

Umaga revealed the team has welcomed back their All Blacks who are now ready for starting action.

Jerome and Patrick had delayed starts while Charlie has worked his way to excellent form, and both George and Rene impressed when they came on last week against the Chiefs,” Umaga said.

There’s good depth in this squad and so there is going to be times when strong players won’t get starts always.”

For the Highlanders Whitelock and Banks returns from injury to take their place in the team this weekend.

The Highlanders have however lost Squire and Lentjes to injury and Evans will start the match at number six for the Highlanders. Elliot Dixon lead the team from the openside and Whitelock will complete the new look back row at number eight.

Head Coach, Tony Brown, has named a forward-heavy bench with six in the reserves including Aki Seiuli at prop and locks, Jackson Hemopo and Joe Wheeler.

Dillon Hunt will cover the loose forwards and make his Super Rugby debut should he take the field. Kayne Hammington and Marty Banks will provide the back cover from the bench.

Head to Head

Games Blues wins Draws Highlanders wins Blues points Highlanders points
Overall: 27 16 0 11 718 601
At home: 14 11 0 3 424 303
Average points scored per game 48.85

Previous Results between these two teams:

2010-02-19 Highlanders Blues 15 – 19 Blues
2011-04-29 Highlanders Blues 10 – 15 Blues
2011-06-17 Blues Highlanders 33 – 16 Blues
2012-04-20 Highlanders Blues 30 – 27 Highlanders
2012-05-26 Blues Highlanders 20 – 27 Highlanders
2013-04-05 Blues Highlanders 29 – 18 Blues
2013-06-01 Highlanders Blues 38 – 28 Highlanders
2014-02-22 Highlanders Blues 29 – 21 Highlanders
2014-03-29 Blues Highlanders 30 – 12 Blues
2015-04-18 Highlanders Blues 30 – 24 Highlanders
2015-06-12 Blues Highlanders 7 – 44 Highlanders
2016-02-26 Blues Highlanders 33 – 31 Blues

Prediction: If one has to go on what we saw in the last two weeks then both sides are evenly match. I give it to the Blues just for the strong finish last week and because they are at home by 9 points


Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 George Moala, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Murphy Taramai, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Jimmy Tupou, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Akira Ioane/Kara Pryor, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Melani Nanai

The Highlanders: 15 Richard Buckman, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Elliot Dixon(c), 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

Replacemets: 16 Sekonia Pole, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Dillon Hunt, 22 Kayne Hammington, 23 Marty Banks


Ireland and Wales keep same teams for Six Nations clash


Wales and Ireland have named their sides to face each other in the all important RBS Six nations clash this weekend.

Wales have decided to keep their team as is for the weekend with Tipuric set to make his 50th appearance

Captain Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball continue their partnership in the second-row with Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis named in the front-row.

Ospreys pair Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar start at half-back with Scarlets duo Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies partnering in the midfield.

Liam Williams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny comprise the back-three as Wales welcome Ireland to Cardiff.

“We felt it was important the same group of players had the opportunity to go out and perform on Friday so we have named an unchanged match-day squad,” said Wales head coach Rob Howley.

“Friday night is an opportunity for us. There is a lot of experience in our group and you don’t become a bad team overnight. We want to show what we can do and that experience will be very important this week.

“We know we need to be more clinical and we need to execute better under pressure and we have been working hard on that during the last few weeks.

“Ireland are one of the in-form sides in world rugby and are coached very well and packed with experience and there are a number of interesting match-up across both teams.

“We always say we are fortunate to have the best supporters in the world and we are eager to put in a performance for them under the lights at Principality Stadium on Friday.”

On the bench, Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris and Taulupe Faletau provide the forward cover. Gareth Davies, Sam Davies and Jamie Roberts are the backline replacements.

Ireland have also named an unchanged starting line-up.

Captain Rory Best is again joined in the front-row by Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong with Donnacha Ryan and Devin Toner the locks.

Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien and CJ Stander fill the back-row while Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton line out at scrum-half and fly-half.

Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are confimed as the centres with full-back Rob Kearney flanked by Keith Earls and Simon Zebo.

Tommy Bowe comes back into the replacements in place of the injured Andrew Trimble. The bench also includes Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Kieran Marmion and Paddy Jackson.


Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Tommy Bowe

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts


Kings prop sign with Ulster


Kings prop Schalk van der Merwe is set to join Ulster on a two-year deal after Super Rugby.

Van der Merwe earned 25 Super Rugby caps for the Lions in 2014 and 2015, and then had a stint with Montpellier in France before joining the Kings.

Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss said had been impressed by the performanes of Van der Merwe.

‘In addition to his excellent scrummaging, he will give us some much-needed physicality in the loose, and this will be a major plus for us in the seasons ahead. He has a hard edge and he’s determined to work hard to nail down a starting place here at Ulster.’

Ngcobo joins Blitzboks


Regular Springbok Sevens squad member, Sandile “Stix” Ngcobo, has joined the Blitzboks in Vancouver as official reserve player for the HSBC Vancouver Sevens tournament to be played in BC Stadium on 11 and 12 March.

The backline player will provide cover to the starting 12-man squad as replacement player after Justin Geduld picked up an ankle injury last weekend in Las Vegas and was ruled out of the Vancouver tournament, the sixth of ten in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Stedman Gans, who travelled to the USA as back-up, replaced Geduld on the third day of the HSBC Las Vegas Sevens and will continue in this role for the Canada event. Ngcobo will take over the ‘Player 13’ role from Gans.

The travelling reserve has been introduced into the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for 2016/17 as part of World Rugby’s player welfare initiatives and has proved its worth for the Blitzboks already in the season.

Ngcobo travelled with the squad earlier in the year as back-up for the Wellington tournament, but then had to return to South Africa after a family bereavement. His replacement for the Australian leg of the tour, Stephan Dippenaar, got a playing opportunity when Werner Kok was injured and even scored a try in the final of the HSBC Sydney Sevens against England.

Gans also sat on the bench against the USA and Fiji on the final day in Las Vegas, but did not take to the field.

Springbok Sevens coach, Neil Powell, said he feels for Geduld, but accepted early in his coaching career that injuries are part and parcel of the game.

“We had our share of injuries already this year,” said Powell.

“We lost Tim Agaba and Carel du Preez in a pre-season tournament, then Kyle Brown in Cape Town and Cecil Afrika before travelling to Wellington and Sydney.

“Werner Kok could also not play on the second day in Australia and now Justin had to return home. On top of that, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith moved to the Vodacom Super Rugby competition, so our depth has been tested, but on the plus side, every injury creates an opportunity for another player to show his worth.”

Powell was pleased for Ngcobo.

“’Stix’ is a great squad member and although not always in the travelling group, someone who keeps on motivating the rest of the guys and training hard. You cannot win the World Series with only 12 players and we are fortunate to have players like him around as our back-up,” said Powell.

The coach was excited for Gans, who could feature in pool play on Saturday when South Africa takes on Chile, Kenya and England.

“We had a clear objective to blood the next generation of Blitzboks and Stedman falls into that category. He works hard, is willing to learn and presents something exciting for the future,” Powell said of the 20-year old who also represented the Junior Springboks last year at the World Rugby Junior World Cup in England.

  • The squad attended a school assembly in Vancouver on Tuesday and will start fine tuning their regular preparations in the remaining days leading up to the tournament.

The Springbok Sevens team for the HSBC Vancouver Sevens (with caps and points) is:

  1. Chris Dry (57, 415)
  2. Philip Snyman (captain, 42, 246)
  3. Dylan Sage (12, 60)
  4. Zain Davids (3, 0)
  5. Werner Kok (24, 285)
  6. Siviwe Soyizwapi (8, 65)
  7. Branco du Preez (50, 976)
  8. Stephan Dippenaar (31, 210)
  9. Stedman Gans (1,0)
  10. Cecil Afrika (48, 1183)
  11. Rosko Specman (18, 228)
  12. Ruhan Nel (16, 155)
  13. Sandile Ngcobo* (2, 10)

*Reserve Player

Thanks to 

SR Preview – Brumbies v Force


On team with their tails up and the other with their tails between their legs as the Brumbies goes into week three of this years Super Rugby without a win after two rounds when they host the Force at GIO Stadium on Friday.

It was two close losses for the Brumbies in recent weeks against the Crusaders and Sharks but it is still losses and with only two log points for the Brumbies.

The Force started badly in week 1 against the Waratahs but came back strongly last week to beat the Reds at home for their first win of the season but they will have to be good again when they face a Brumbies side who are hurting.

Force head coach Wessels made several changes to his starting XV with Haylett-Petty that comes in for Coleman who will miss out due to a calf injury

Pek Cowan, Tetera Faulkner and Richard Hardwick all come back into the starting XV after impressive performances off the bench in the 26-19 win over the Reds last week.

Hardwick will replace Stander at eight with Stander moving to blindside flank which put Haylett-Petty taking the number six jumper.

Future Force Foundation forward Onehunga Havili Kaufusi is in line to make his Super Rugby debut, while new recruit Robbie Coleman has earned his spot on the bench and could make hisWestern Force debut against his former club.

Brumbies coach Larkham has made only two changes to his side for this important must win match. Prop Ben Alexander and flanker Ben Hyne will start their first games of the 2017 Super Rugby season in place of Nic Mayhew, who drops to the bench, and Scott Fardy respectively.

We will also see the return of Hyne who made his debut against the Reds last season but suffered an injury early in the game, curtailing his involvement.

Blake Enever earns selection onto the Brumbies bench with Larkham opting for a 6-2 split in favour of forwards amongst the replacements. Enever, whose last appearance was in the second row in the quarter-final loss to the Highlanders comes in for Isaac Thompson.

Otherwise the team is as it was for the clash with the Sharks with young half-back pairing Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera continuing their burgeoning combination and Kyle Godwin linking up in the centre alongside Australian powerhouse Tevita Kuridrani.

Head to Heads:

Games Brumbies wins Draws Force wins Brumbies points Force points
Overall: 17 12 1 4 425 291
At home: 8 6 0 2 207 138
Average points scored per game 42.12

Previous matches between these two teams:

2010-02-12 Force Brumbies 15 – 24 Brumbies
2011-04-17 Brumbies Force 19 – 27 Force
2011-05-21 Force Brumbies 13 – 13 Draw
2012-02-24 Brumbies Force 19 – 17 Brumbies
2012-06-30 Force Brumbies 17 – 28 Brumbies
2013-04-27 Brumbies Force 41 – 7 Brumbies
2013-07-13 Force Brumbies 21 – 15 Force
2014-03-01 Force Brumbies 14 – 27 Brumbies
2014-07-11 Brumbies Force 47 – 25 Brumbies
2015-03-06 Brumbies Force 27 – 15 Brumbies
2015-06-05 Force Brumbies 20 – 33 Brumbies
2016-03-11 Force Brumbies 14 – 31 Brumbies
2016-07-16 Brumbies Force 24 – 10 Brumbies

Prediction: Although the Force had a great win against the Reds, I still tend to give this game to the much better side, 16 point for the Brumbies at home.


Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Ben Hyne, 5 Sam Carter (c), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Tom Staniforth, 21 Lolo Fakaosilea, 22 De Wet Roos, 23 Andrew Smith

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Chance Peni, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Heath Tessmann (c), 1 Pek Cowan
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Onehunga Havili Kaufusi, 20 Isi Naisarani, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Robbie Coleman


SR Preview – Chiefs v Hurricanes


Surely it will be the match of the weekend when the Chiefs and Hurricanes clash on Friday in round 3 of this years Vodacom Super Rugby.

Both teams had good starts so far this year and both looks like title contenders again if one can go on the first two rounds in Super Rugby. The Hurricanes pretty started this year where they left of last year and had two big wins in the opening two weeks of the competition. The Chiefs may have had to work hard for there first win in week 1 against the Highlanders but showed their class last week against the Blues.

This is a big one and Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd made just two changes for his side from last week with loose head prop Uhila and lock Abbott coming into the side for this New Zealand derby.

The Tongan Bear takes the place of Eves in the starting line-up who moves to the bench for this clash, while Abbott makes the swap with Blackwell.

Loni and Abbo have both had slightly delayed starts to the season, but they’ve performed really well through the preseason and now they’re ready to enter the fray,” Boyd said.

That’s not a reflection on the guys who they’ve replaced, but just what we feel will be the best combination for this week.”

The Chiefs welcome back All Black Sam Cane for this big game. Cane will make his first appearance this weekend for the Chiefs after he fully recovered from his ankle injury sustain in last year tour with the All Blacks to the UK.

Cane will also co-captain the side this year and are a welcome sight for the Chiefs not just as a player but also as a leader for this big game on Friday.

There are four more changes to the Chiefs side for this important match with Brown starting at blindside flank replacing Messam who is being rested for this match. The rest of the changes are in the backs with Anton Lienert-Brown shifting to inside centre, Tim Nanai-Williams will wear jersey 13 this week and Toni Pulu claims the right wing.

Sebastian Siataga will make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.

With the return of Cane, Lachlan Boshier moves to the reserves. Veteran back Stephen Donald has been on the bench, his first appearance for the Chiefs this season.

Head to Head

Games Chiefs wins Draws Hurricanes wins Chiefs points Hurricanes points
Overall: 28 12 1 15 615 657
At home: 13 7 1 5 300 244
Average points scored per game 45.43

As the past clashes shown us between this two teams, it will be a close one and expect that to reflect on the scoreboard as well.

Previous Marchers between these two teams

2010-05-01 Hurricanes Chiefs 33 – 27 Hurricanes
2011-03-12 Hurricanes Chiefs 29 – 26 Hurricanes
2011-06-10 Chiefs Hurricanes 18 – 18 Draw
2012-04-28 Chiefs Hurricanes 33 – 14 Chiefs
2012-07-13 Hurricanes Chiefs 28 – 25 Hurricanes
2013-05-17 Hurricanes Chiefs 12 – 17 Chiefs
2013-06-28 Chiefs Hurricanes 34 – 22 Chiefs
2014-05-24 Hurricanes Chiefs 45 – 8 Hurricanes
2014-07-04 Chiefs Hurricanes 24 – 16 Chiefs
2015-05-16 Hurricanes Chiefs 22 – 18 Hurricanes
2015-06-13 Chiefs Hurricanes 13 – 21 Hurricanes
2016-04-23 Hurricanes Chiefs 27 – 28 Chiefs
2016-07-30 Hurricanes Chiefs 25 – 9 Hurricanes

Predictions: I am sure the lottery is easier to pick than this one but purely because they are the defending champions and had a great start with tow huge wins I give this one to the Hurricanes by 7 points.


Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (cc), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (cc), 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane
Replacements: 16 Sebastian Siataga, 17 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Shaun Stevenson

Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Loni Uhila
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 James Blackwell, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Otere Black,23  Jordie Barrett