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Lions stun Waratahs

5

The Lions made the perfect start to their tour down under when they beat the Waratahs 29-0.

This gave them a bonus point win on tour which will be golden at the end of the season.

The first half only saw one try from the Lions as they went into the break with a 7-0 lead.

The manage to pick up to get three more in the second half to give them a bonus point win and keep a clean sheet against the Waratahs.

It took 21 minutes for the first points when Tambwe crossed the line after Coetzee and Smith laid the foundation in the build-up.

The first half was evenly match and not much to pick between the two teams.

The Lions took full control of the match after the break scoring two tries.

The first one came four minutes after the restart when, from a line-out deep inside the Waratahs’ 22, flanker Smith broke through the middle of the set-piece before crashing over.

And in the 50th minute, Harold Vorster gathered a loose pass from Lionel Mapoe close to the Waratahs try-line before stepping past a couple of defenders on his way over the whitewash.

The rest of the half was again an even contest until Jantjies slotted a penalty in the 71st minute.

The vLions continued to dominate and sealed their win in the 77th when Marnus Schoeman broke away from a lineout in similar fashion to Smith and like his fellow flanker he too powered his way over the try-line.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: 
Tambwe, K Smith, Vorster, Schoeman
Cons: Jantjies 3
Pen: Jantjies

Highlanders make it two wins over Blues this season

0

Frizell hat-trick gave the Highlanders their second win over the Blues when they beat them 34-16 on Friday.

The Highlanders were full value for the win outscoring the Bues with five tries to two scoring five points from the match.

This means that the Highlanders have now moved into the third place in the New Zealand conference.

The Blues never got going and were on the backfoot from the start of the match when a kick in their twenty two was charged down and gave the Highlanders their first try.

The Blues showed considerable improvement on attack during the final quarter but despite being rewarded with a consolation try from Tumua Manu in the 70th minute, the Highlanders held on for the victory and condemned the home side to their 15th successive defeat to a fellow New Zealand side.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries:
 Ruru, Manu
Pens: Gatland 2

For Highlanders:
Tries: 
Hunt, Frizell 3, Hammington
Cons: Sopoaga 3
Pen: Sopoaga

Preview – Super Rugby Round 10

6

The time has come for certain teams to either stand up and start winning of they will not make the play-offs this year.

The worrying factor is that almost all the South African teams excluding the Lions are falling in this group of teams.

We have some exiting matches coming up this weekend and in Europe we have the European Cup also playing out.

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019

The Blues and Highlanders are both coming of wins last week.

For the Highlanders it was yet again an great win and the Blues struggled past the Sunwolves.

The Blues will want to correct the mistakes from there first match with the Highlanders which they dominated the whole game but lost on the scoreboard.

The Highlanders claimed a 41-3 win in Dunedin early on in the season and they will go as favourites into the match again this weekend.

They have won 9 out of the last 12 matches against the Blues and even if they are away from home we expect another win for Ben Smith team.

This match is normally a close contest and it is definitely a game to look forward to.

Gatland is back for the Blues and he will bring some more stability to the team and backline.

Blues made several changes to their team with Gatland returning to number 10, and Perofeta moving to 15.

 

The tight five remains mostly intact with the versatile Jimmy Tupou moving into the second-row – a role he has played often – alongside the in-form Patrick Tuipulotu who will be honoured after the game having achieved his 50th cap for the Blues in last weekend’s win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

Prediction: The will be another close contest but the Highlanders will have to much for the Blues by atleast 11 points.

The teams:

Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi/Mike Tamoaieta, 2 James Parsons, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds/Leni Apisai, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Mike Tamoaieta/Sione Mafileo, 19 Ben Neenee, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Tumua Manu, 23 Matt Duffie

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (cc), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Alex Ainley, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes

The Lions are on tour and first up is the Waratahs in Sydney this weekend.

The Waratahs have gone quietly on their merry way this season and got some good wins under the belt and will be a difficult team to beat at home for the Lions.

They have won their last four games but the Lions is the top South African team at the moment.

Both teams are leading their respective conferences and will want to get a win this weekend.

The Waratahs have improved their offload game and are playing with width this season.

They have scored some great tries and are looking like the dangerous team they should be in the Aussie conference.

This game will be the Waratahs toughest yet this season and they will have to proof now that they can also beat the top teams in the competition.

It will be a huge battle upfront with the Lions having dominated most teams for the past few years with their tight five.

There are not many better than the Lions at set pieces and something the Waratahs would have take note off.

The Lions also have a great weapon in the driving maul which Waratahs coach Gibson notice.

“While we are one of the smaller packs going around, we are punching above our weight and we have certainly cleaned up our vulnerabilities in terms of stopping lineout drives. We see that as a real strength the Lions possess, and something we are going to have to be very good in stopping on Friday night,” he said.

Naiyaravoro have been great this season and he is a real treat to the Lions.

The best hooker in the world, Malcolm Marx has been brilliant again this season and will be a marked man.

He has won 12 turnovers this season so far and are deadly on the run as well with skills to back that up.

Tahs have only made one change with Staniforth in the second row

For the Lions Nic Groom will make his debut for the team of the bench.

Mostert will move to flank and captain the team with Whiteley still out injured.

Orie and Ferreira will make up the second row.

Van Rooyen will replace Ferreira at prop.

Prediction: I tend to want to go for the home team but believe the Lions will pull through with 7 points

The teams:

Waratahs: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Nick Palmer, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Will Miller, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Lalakai Foketi

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Franco Mostert (c), 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza

The Crusaders are taking on the Sunwolves this weekend who has not won a game this season so far and it does not look like they will start this weekend.

The Sunwolves look like a team that can only keep up with other Super Rugby side for the best part of forty minutes then slowly fade away.

It is there third season in the competition but the progress has been slow to non existent.

I am not a big fan in the inclusion of this team in Super Rugby and I do not see the benefit in them playing except the money SANZAAR gets out of it.

The Crusaders have started slow this season but have stayed in touch with the top teams.

They are slowly getting their injured All Blacks back and this weekend will see Owen Franks and Israel Dagg back into the starting fifteen.

Can only see one way traffic in this game and another huge loss for the Sunwolves.

Prediction: Saders by 45 +

Teams:

Crusaders – 15 George Bridge, 14. Israel Dagg, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Matt Todd (c), 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Tim Perry.
Replacements 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Chris King, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Jack Stratton, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Seta Tamanivalu.

Sunwolves: 15 William Tupou, 14 Hosea Saumaki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Lappies Labuschagne (c), 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 James Moore, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Craig Millar
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Edward Quirk, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Ryoto Nakamura, 23 Semisi Masirewa 

The Reds will be hosting the Chiefs this weekend and will have to make a huge improvement to beat the New Zealanders.

With the Chiefs coming of a lost in their last game they will also be more motivated to beat the Australian side.

With perfect record in the last few years against Aussie sides it will not be easy.

The Reds have shown some good play this year but they are not consistent enough and they give to many penalties away this season.

The Chiefs has a good balanced side and one struggle to see this game going anywhere else than to the Chiefs.

Prediction: Chiefs by 30+

Teams:

Reds – 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Izaia Perese, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (c).
Replacements 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 George Smith, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Jordan Petaia.

Chiefs – 15 Charlie Ngatai (co-c), 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Fa’auli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (co-c), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Luke Jacobson, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Alex Nankivell.

The Bulls return to Loftus this weekend to face the Rebels with their tails up after giving the Sharks a rugby lesson in the wet last week.

The team has grown under coach Mitch and have shown some great skills this season.

The most impressive aspect of the Bulls side this last couple of games have been their tight five and set pieces.

They are becoming a team with 15 players and not just certain individuals playing in a team.

The Rebels on the other hand had an easy start to their season and came away with great wins but they have not beaten a top team this season which is worrying.

The Waratahs have also not overtaken them on the Aussie log and with them struggling on tour in the past this weekend will be a huge game for them.

This can be the game of the weekend as both teams match up quit well against each other.

With so much on the line we expect a great game and one to be watching this weekend.

Prediction: I have to go Bulls by 12 points

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Duncan Matthews

Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman (c), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu.

Two teams almost out of the running which means desperation will set in this weekeed as the Sharks host the Stormers on Saturday.

Supporters of both side will be pulling out their hair with the performances these two teams have dished up this season.

With no consistency one almost want to say their is no desire in them to perform.

Just as you think they have turned a corner they come up with a mediocre performance.

Both teams does not look like they have a solid game plan and no Plan B as well.

Although they have the players to dominate scrums and lineouts they have been poor and not much better on the ground.

Both teams defence have been poor and although they can score tries from anywhere on the field if they can hold on to the ball.

Prediction: Sharks by 7, I am just pulling this out of the hat..

Teams:

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu 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 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (c), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Juan Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 SP Marais, 23 JJ Engelbrecht

The last game of the weekend is Sunday when the Brumbies host the Jaguares.

With a win last week in their first game on tour against the Rebels the Jaguares will want to keep that momentum while they play Aussie teams.

This is surely a game that the Jaguares will target to win as the Brumbies has also been one of those teams that struggle to keep momentum.

When the Jaguares are allowed to go wide and play their hand to hand game they are able to beat any team on the day but they quickly struggle when teams put pressure on them.

If the Jaguares can get a good start then they will be unstoppable against this Brumbies side.

The Brumbies is and look like a team in a building phase and that is their biggest concern to play a good game for 80 minutes.

Prediction: Jaguares by 6 for me, I believe they will have enough against the Brumbies to squeeze a win

Teams: 

Brumbies – TBC

Jaguares – TBC

Here is the full schedule for the weekend

20 Blues v Highlanders Eden Park 09:35
20 Waratahs v Lions Allianz Stadium 11:45
21 Crusaders v Sunwolves AMI Stadium 09:35
21 Reds v Chiefs Suncorp Stadium 11:45
21 Bulls v Rebels Loftus Versfeld 15:05
21 Sharks v Stormers Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
22 Brumbies v Jaguares GIO Stadium 08:05

Our weekly preview and review is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

Nabetragting – Super Rugby Round 9

4

Few few surprises in Round 9 was the order of the day with the Jaguares that came back against the Rebels to take a away win and the Bulls that outplayed the Sharks in the wet.

Not many would have picked these two teams to take wins but both fully deserved the wins.

Here is the current standings…

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019

The Hurricanes confirm that that they are the best team in New Zealand at the moment as they beat the Chiefs 25-13 on Friday.

The Hurricanes put together brilliant second half to get over the Chiefs hurdle.

The first half was a close affair as we expected between these two top sides and it was great defence from the Hurricanes that eventually pulled them through.

It was Ben Lam again that got over for the Hurricanes in the first half as the try-scoring machine got his ninth try of the season.

It was not just the Hurricanes with great defence but the Chiefs also stood up.

The Chiefs only points in the first half came from a couple of penalty kicks.

Barrett was again the man that turned the game for the Hurricanes as he score a solo try and then send Laumape over with a perfect cross-kick.

Those two brilliant plays from Barrett gave the Hurricanes a 22-6 lead which was just too much for the Chiefs to catch u to.

The Chiefs did score a try through Boshier but that was not enough to give the Hurricanes another great win.

Scorers:

 

 

 

Hurricanes – Tries: Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, Ngani Laumape. Conversions: Jordie Barrett (2). Penalties: Jordie Barrett (2)
Chiefs – Try: Lachlan Boshier. Conversion: Damian McKenzie. Penalties: Damian McKenzie (2).

The Blues finally got back to winning ways when they beat the Sunwolves 24-10 on Saturday.

The Blues had to come back from a five point half time lead by the Sunwolves to turn things around for the struggling New Zealand Franchise.

Both teams have been poor to say the least this year and it was expected from the Blues to take the win but they had to work for it.

The quality of these two teams have not been good this year and the match did not change that as well.

The Sunwolves got into a 10-5 lead and the warning signs started to show for the Blues.

The Blues got an early yellow card for a high tackle from Tuipulo.

The Sunwolves defence was good on the day as they tried to get their first win of the season.

An early lead of 10-0 gave them the believe that they can get that first win of the season and confidance to keep putting in the hits.

It looked like the Sunwolves ran out of steam in the second half as they started to miss tackles to let the Blues back into the game.

It was not a good quality match but one that the Blues would be happy to get a win at last.

Scorers:

 

Sunwolves – Try: Timothy Lafaele. Conversion: Hayden Parker. Penalty: Yu Tamura.
Blues – Tries: Jordan Hyland (2), Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali’i. Conversions: Stephen Perofeta (2).

The Rebels have now gone two weeks without a lost and they will be careful not to start doing as they did in the past with good starts and then just fade away.

All credit to the Jaguares who never gave up and surprise most with a great second half to take a win on their first match on tour.

The Jaguares were 14-3 behind at halftime lead but it was a second half fightback that surprised the Rebels.

The Jaguares were first on the board with a penalty but the Rebels got through the defence.

The Rebels draw some confidence from the score with more ball in hand which resulted in their second try of the match.

The Jaguares struggle on attack with most of the possession in the first half.

They came close at the end of the half but they just could not get through.

The second half was much of the same with the Jaguares with most of the ball bit the Rebels were the team crossing the whitewash.

The Jaguares eventually got through with Cancelliere and it was at this stage that the moment changed.

Rebels also got a yellow card which gave the Rebels the advantage as the rain poured down on the players.

The Jaguares then used this advantage to send Moyano over.

The Rebels had all the changes to take a win but the Jaguares hold on to take the win.

 

Scorers:

Rebels – Tries: Billy Meakes, Marika Koroibete, Dane Haylett-Petty. Conversions: Jack Debreczeni (2). Penalty: Debreczeni.
Jaguares – Tries: Sebastian Cancelliere, Ramiro Moyano, Bautista Ezcurra. Conversions: Nicolás Sánchez (2). Penalties: Sánchez (2).

The Highlanders was just too good for the inconsistent Brumbies when they beat them 43-17 on Saturday.

It was the the Highlanders 10th win at home and it also kept the Highlanders in the run against the other New Zealand teams.

The Brumbies were still in touch with the Highlanders early in the second half but they just could not get pass the Highlanders defence.

The Highlanders also got a try while they had Sopoaga off with a yellow card.

Ben Smith was again brilliant for the Highlanders on attack and were the Highlanders star player of the day.

The Highlanders was just too good for this Brumbies team

Scorers:

 

 

Highlanders – Tries: Lima Sopoaga, Ben Smith (2), Waisake Naholo, Shannon Frizell, Fletcher Smith. Conversions: Sopoaga (4), Ben Smith. Penalty: Sopoaga.
Brumbies – Tries: Isi Naisarani, Joe Powell. Conversions: Wharenui Hawera (2). Penalty: Hawera.

The Waratahs have completely outplayed the Reds to take a great 37-17 win over the Reds.

The Tahs have been going well in the last couple of weeks and are getting closer to the Rebels at the top of the Aussie log.

The Tahs went into the lead with two penalties to get on the board.

The Reds were trying to play positive rugby but one needs to sometimes slow it down and get points on the board before you go full out.

The Waratahs was just too good for the Reds.

Scorers:

 

Waratahs – Tries: Jake Gordon, Taqele Naiyaravoro (2), Harry Johnson-Holmes. Conversions: Bernard Foley (4). Penalties: Foley (3).
Reds – Try: Filipo Daugunu. Conversion: Jono Lance. Penalties: Lance (3).

The Bulls outplayed a out-of-sorts Sharks in Durban on Saturday to get a full points.

The Sharks was outsmart and outplayed by a Bulls team who is playing with allot of confidence.

There was allot that was said about the match-ups between Pollard versus Du Preez and Gelant versus Bosch and the Bulls but at the end the Sharks could not match them.

Pollard played another match which would make Springbok coach Erasmus very happy.

Gelant was the star of the match and played one of the best games we have seen in a long time.

His defence was as great as his attacking play and he produced a all round performance from fullback.

The Sharks problems start upfront with the Bulls winning the small battles on the ground and their lineouts was poor.

The scrums were even but the Sharks can not afford the play average rugby and think they will win.

The Bulls are starting to look like a well coached side and credit must be given to the coaching staff and players who execute the game-plan to perfection.

The Sharks did not help themselves with poor decision making and they were poor in their last line of defence.

Were the Sharks bullied the Hurricanes last week in the contact situations the tables were overturned by the Bulls in this match.

Gelant scored three tries in the match but it was the foundation that gave the backs to changes they got in the match.

The Sharks have again slump after good showing the the last two matches and are leaving supporters yet again with more questions than answers.

Scorers:

Sharks – Try: André Esterhuizen. Conversion: Rob du Preez. Penalty: Du Preez.
Bulls – Tries: Warrick Gelant (3), Adriaan Strauss, penalty try, Johnny Kötze. Conversions: Handré Pollard (3), Manie Libbok.

Here is next week schedule…

20 Blues v Highlanders Eden Park 09:35
20 Waratahs v Lions Allianz Stadium 11:45
21 Crusaders v Sunwolves AMI Stadium 09:35
21 Reds v Chiefs Suncorp Stadium 11:45
21 Bulls v Rebels Loftus Versfeld 15:05
21 Sharks v Stormers Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
22 Brumbies v Jaguares GIO Stadium 08:05

Our weekly preview and review is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

For more info contact Glen at sekoma.island@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricanes goes top of the log

0

The Hurricanes claimed their sixth successive victory when they beat the Chiefs 25-13 in their New Zealand derby in Wellington on Friday.

In a fast-paced encounter, the 2016 champions eventually got the rub of the green and outscored their visitors three tries to one and Jordie Barrett contributed 10 points courtesy of two penalties and two conversions.

The result means the Hurricanes move to the top of the New Zealand Conference table and the overall standings, while the Chiefs are still in third place in their country’s conference and fifth overall.

As expected, both sides gave the ball plenty of air and in the seventh minute, Ngani Laumape set off on a run from the halfway mark. He advanced up up the Chiefs’ 10-metre line where he offloaded to Ben Lam, who beat three defenders before crossing for the opening try.

Jordie Barrett added the conversion before Damian McKenzie reduced the deficit courtesy of a penalty in the 11th minute. In the 15th minute, the Chiefs’ pack were penalised for an indiscretion at a scrum and Jordie Barrett slotted the resulting penalty to give the home side a 10-3 lead.

Shortly afterwards, there was a long stoppage in play for a serious leg injury suffered by Aidan Ross, who was eventually replaced by Karl Tu’inukuafe.

The next 20 minutes was a frantic affair as both teams tried to gain the ascendancy but neither side managed to score points during this period.

The Hurricanes came close to scoring in the 25th minute when from a quick throw-in at a lineout, inside their half, Lam gathered and set off on a 50-metre run before the ball was shifted to Jordie Barrett, who knocked on ten metres from the Chiefs try-line.

The visitors had a chance to narrow the gap in the 25th minute when the Hurricanes were blown up for illegal scrummaging but McKenzie’s penalty attempt was off target.

On the stroke of half-time, he made up for that miss when he landed a three-pointer from the kicking tee after the Hurricanes strayed offside on defence inside their half.

The home side made a terrific start to the second half when, three minutes after the restart, Beauden Barrett left his stamp on this match with a superb try.

This, when he gathered a loose ball midway between the Chiefs’ 22 and the halfway mark and set off towards the visitors’ try-line. He still had work to do but did well to stab a grubber kick through before diving onto the ball behind the whitewash ahead of Brodie Retallick.

And shortly afterwards the older Barrett brother turned provider when he launched an inch-perfect crossfield kick which Laumape gathered deep inside the Chiefs’ 22 before crossing the whitewash.

The Chiefs did not take that lying down and with the Hurricanes leading 22-6, the visitors upped the ante on attack. They were eventually rewarded on the hour-mark when Lachlan Boshier rounded off in the left-hand corner, after the ball went through several pairs of hands in the bulid-up.

McKenzie held his neve to slot the conversion from close to the touchline and although the Chiefs tried desperately to narrow the gap in the final quarter, the Hurricanes did well to keep them at bay with a solid defensive effort.

The Hurricanes eventually sealed their win when Jordie Barrett added his second penalty with the final act of the match.

The scorers:

For Hurricanes:
Tries: 
Lam, B Barrett, Laumape
Cons: J Barrett 2
Pens: J Barrett 2

For Chiefs:
Try: 
Boshier
Con: D McKenzie
Pens: D McKenzie 2

Preview Super Rugby Round 9

7

Round 9 of Super Rugby sees only the Sharks and the Bulls from a South African point of view playing on Saturday.

Both the Lions and the Stormers have a bye this week and will only get back into things next week in round 10.

The log is starting to take shape and showing us who are the teams that looks like they may be in the playoffs. For some teams it becomes must wins from now on if they want to make it.

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019

Hurricanes and the Chiefs will be starting the weekend of rugby for us and it is building up to be a cracker.

Both teams brag with an exciting brand of rugby that they play with the Hurricanes the front runners this year in the New Zealand conference.

Dangerous at counter attacks but they added an extra dimension this year with a solid tight five and have been good in the set pieces.

It always makes for something special on the field, with all the New Zealand teams having the same mindset when it comes to their game-plan.

It is always a tight affair with them and winning derby games will mean playing home playoff games or having to travel.

For the Hurricanes the Barrett brothers are back in the pivot positions of 10 and 15. Lam has also been brilliant this year and are scoring tries at will at the moment.

Make sure you do not miss this one

Prediction: Hurricanes by 12

Teams:

Hurricanes – 15 Jordie Barret, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen.

Chiefs – 15 Charlie Ngatai (co-c), 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Fa’auli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie/Marty McKenzie, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Sam Cane (co-c), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron/Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao-Matau, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Luke Jacobson, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Marty McKenzie/Tiaan Falcon, 23 Alex Nankivell.

The first game Saturday morning see the Blues traveling to Japan to face the Sunwolves.

The Blues story seems like a repeat of the past few years as they come so close but can not get those close wins.

It always seems that they just cannot play for that full 80 minutes like the other New Zealand teams or they just don’t pitch up on the day.

The Sunwolves is by far the worst team in the competition this far again but the Blues is not faring much better.

They will want to use this game to start their rebuild but teams can easily under estimate the Sunwolves.

If the Blues play to their potential they will win this by 20 plus points but if they think they will just have to pitch up they will be in for a surprise.

Prediction: Blues by 25.

Teams:

Sunwolves – 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Lomano Lemeki , 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare (c), 8 Kazuki Himeno , 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 James Moore, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements:16 Jaba Bregvadse, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Nikoloz Khatiashvili, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Willie Britz, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 William Tupou.

Blues – 15 Michael Collins, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Rieko Ioane,  11 Matt Duffie, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru; 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Mike Tamoaieta,  19 Ben Neenee , 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 TJ Faiane.

The Rebels were flying high on top of the Log until they met their first New Zealand side and reality set in that they may be on top of the Aussie conference but they are far off the top teams still.

This week see them hosting the Jaguares who is unfortunately still a disappointment in Super Rugby.

They tend to still play a negative brand of rugby when they come up against quality teams but have the potential to win this whole competition.

If one take that their side is almost a international team one need to start thinking they just not good enough.

The Rebels have been brilliant at times but also poor when they did loose the two matches so far this season. In both losses they got hammered and questions needs to be asked when they face better quality tams.

This will be an interesting match to watch as the Jaguares have been poor at home but do run teams close on tour.

Predictions: Going against the grain, Jaguares with 9 points.

Teams:

Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman (c), 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Lopeti Timani, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Sefa Naivalu.

Jaguares – 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Sebastian Cancelliere, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti Pagadizaval, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta.
Replacements: Alemanno, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Bautista Ezcurra, 23 Joaquin Tuculet.

The Brumbies are coming off a good win last weekend and will be up against a Highlanders side that will want to get back to winning ways.

Touring New Zealand is never easy and they will have to step it up a few more gears if they want to upset the Highlanders side at home in front of their passionate crowd.

The Highlanders have surprised us this year with their tight five and their set pieces. They are much better than previous years and the Brumbies will want to target that aspect of the game to get good ball out to their backs.

Both teams can play for long periods at a time with the ball so defensive structures will be important for both.

The Brumbies took some time to get going this year but the win against the Sharks seemed to kick start their season which is great now when they start facing the New Zealand teams.

Prediction: Still believe at home the Highlanders will have to much for the Brumbies by atleast 11 points.

Prediction: 

Teams:

Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Alex Ainley, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 James Dargaville, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Blake Enever, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Michael Oakman-Hunt, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 Andrew Smith

When these two teams meet you usually get a match with some passion almost like the old days the North v South derbies in South Africa.

The Waratahs, although not at their best at all this year has got the wins on the board and can build to be the best Aussie at the en dof the season.

They have most of the international players in their squad and we have been waiting for years now for them to play to their potential.

The Reds have been in a building process and although they are winning some they still not consistent enough.

The Reds have been hot and cold this year and they need to be better this weekend if they want to beat the Waratahs.

Prediction: Waratahs by 15

Teams:

Waratahs – 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Will Miller, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements:  16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Cameron Clark.

Reds – 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Izaia Perese, 10 Jono Lance, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (c).
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Adam Korczyk, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Jordan Petaia.

Sharks are back from tour and although they did not achieved the wins they wanted they have been improving the last two weeks from the first two shocking performances.

They will be highly motivated being back at home and it will not be easy for the Bulls to come to Durban and get a win.

The two teams have similar outlook on the game and they have two number 10’s and 15’s who are brilliant players and pushing for Springbok spots.

Although we say it almost every week but this game will be won and lost up front. The Sharks pack have been under-performing from what we expected so far and the Bulls looks like a much better pack than before.

Du Preez has been a monster in the loose and the Bulls will have their hands full with him on attack.

We expect the lineouts to be even but at the back the team that will make use of the space will score the tries. Defence have been a problem for most teams this season and we will see how they fare in this aspect of the game.

The battle with be within and so far this year the Sharks have not perform well at home. They need to step up and have the same mindset as with the game last week against the Hurricanes.

The Bulls is that one team this year that can sprang a surprise in any game so do not count them out.

It is good to see Gelant back with the midfield of Kriel and Odendaal. That is the battle I am really looking forward to between Odendaal – Kriel and Am – Esterhuizen.

Prediction: This one is a lottery for me but I will go with Sharks by 9

Teams:

Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (c), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Kobus van Wyk.

Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kötze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 André Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Duncan Matthews.

Our weekly preview and review is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

For more info contact Glen at sekoma.island@gmail.com

Nabetragting: Super Rugby Round 8

5

Round 8 has seen the two finalist from last year move to the top of the log. It has been another exciting weekend of Super Rugby but from a South African point of view we only manage 1 win from a all South African derby.

Here is the current combined log

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019
9934118
10945016
11834015
12936014
13831013
14826012
1570702

It was so close but unfortunately not to be for the Sharks as they lost the game in the 85 minute of the game.

The match was a played in quarters as both teams struggle to keep momentum and and pull away from the other.

Although the lost the Sharks will feel that they are busy to get to a place where they play more to their potential.

It was Laumape that broke the hearts of Sharks supporters with West that landed the conversion to seal the win

The Sharks played a powerful game with precision with the forwards dominating for long periods in the game.

With a lead of 27-19 at halftime the Sharks should have closed the game but the Hurricanes just did not give up.

The yellow card in the lead up to that last try of the Hurricanes was the deathblow for the Sharks

At the back Robert Du Preez and Andre Esterhuizen have been in great form. With powerful forwards running direct and getting over the advantage line the Sharks have been playing more on the front foot.

The Hurricanes was not the same side without Beauden Barrett but the Sharks have moved up a notch.

Most of the South African teams need to improve their start of the game and the Sharks also let the Canes get of the mark with an early lead of 12-3.

Dominating the collisions gave the Sharks their way back in the match and something that worked last week as well against the Blues.

In the midfield Am and Esterhuizen are becoming a great combination.

The Sharks made 332 meters in the first half and beaten 13 defenders which was something they struggle to do in their early matches.

Curwin Bosch has become a vital part of this team at fullback and has been improving every game.

He produced a brilliant break to lay the foundation for Paul to get over in the second half.

You cannot move away from this match without given Jean-Luc du Preez the praises he deserved. He is a monster this season and is back to his brilliant best.

The Sharks will be traveling back home this week to face the Bulls at home this coming Saturday

The Sunwolves have not been able to register a win in Super Rugby this year and the Waratahs was the next team to teach them a lesson in the game.

The Tahs got an important away win in Tokoy on Saturday as they got maximum points from the game.

The Sunwolves are able to put teams on the backfoot for the better part of fifteen minuets at the start of the game but fade away as the game go on.

The defence of both side was not great and tries were just scored to easily throughout the match.

The Waratahs was always in front of the match and never really looked that they will lose it.

For the Sunwolves it was just another day at the office with another lost for the season.

 

 

 

The Chiefs had to work hard to get pass a determent Blues side on Saturday.

In a all New Zealand affair the Chiefs just had to much for the Blues as they won the game 21-19.

It was not the normal quality or high scoring match but the intensity was still there.

The Chiefs dominated the second half to be good enough to take the win.

Although the Blues made a good start let the Chiefs back into the game.

 

The Blues led 19-14 at the break but they were not able to stop the Chiefs at the end.

Do not know what was said or given to the Brumbies at halftime but they overturned a 15-point deficit to beat the Reds 45-21 at the end.

The Reds rushed to a 15-0 lead in the first half but then let the Brumbies back into the second half.

With 78% possession the Reds outplayed the Brumbies.

For once the Aussies derby was quite exciting to watch something we not normally get from Oz.

The Brumbies was full value for the win and maybe this is just what they need to kick-start their season.

The game was suppose to be a great clash between the Stormers and the Lions but somehow the Stormers did not get the memo.

As brilliant the Lions were in the match the Stormers showed just why they have never really been a contender in the past.

The Lions were quick out of the blocks as they took full advantage from the poor decision making and defence of the Stormers.

This was a trend that went on throughout the match as the Lions dominated the game throughout.

The Stormers have been poor in defence this season and it reach the pinnacle on Saturday.

They tried to use a rushed defence but that does not work if you cannot make that first tackles.

Their was also not plan on attack again and when they saw that the channel one ball does not work they were unable to switch to Plan B.

This was one of the worst performances I have seen from a Stormers side the last couple of years.

On the other side the Lions were brilliant in all they did and for once the passes stick and they were great in defence.

This will be the perfect  way to go on tour and will give De Bruin and his troops the convenience to get back to winning ways.

There is still some work to do but the Lions showed they are still our best chance to challenge for the trophy.

For the Stormers it is back to the drawing board and figure out how to get better because the way they go on now will make this a nightmare of a season.

Robbie Fleck and his coaching team will also now be under huge pressure.

The Crusaders have shown their quality when they hammer the Jaguares 40-14.

That gave the Crusaders a bonus point win and moving to the top of the New Zealand log.

Two wins on tour just shown what a great team this Crusaders outfit really is.

It was the same old for the Jaguares as they have just not been good enough against quality teams.

This Crusaders team is not at their best yet and that will be a worry for other teams as they still have some quality All Blacks to come back from injury.

Next week schedule see some great matches ups..

13 Hurricanes v Chiefs Westpac Stadium 09:35
14 Sunwolves v Blues Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 05:05
14 Rebels v Jaguares AAMI Park 07:15
14 Highlanders v Brumbies Forsyth Barr Stadium 09:35
14 Waratahs v Reds Sydney Cricket Ground 11:45
14 Sharks v Bulls Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15

The Stormers and the Lions have a bye which only see the Sharks and the Bulls in action from a South African point of view.

The Hurricanes against the Chiefs will be another match to look forward to.

With the tournament moving past the halfway mark their are certain teams that will need to step up or be left behind.

Our weekly preview and review is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

For more info contact Glen at sekoma.island@gmail.com

 

 

Lions humiliate Stormers

2

The Lions demolish the Stormers on Saturday when they beat them 52-31 to earn a bonus point win at home.

The Lions found the type of game that we saw last year when they started the game against the Stormers, running riot with some poor Stormers defence.

They were quick to get on the board after a poor tactical kick from Willemse in the Lions half which gave Michael Tambwe the space to run all the way for his first try.

The second try did not take long with again the Stormers giving away possession and territory to give Tambwe his second try.

With 14-0 lead it looked like the Lions will be running a massive score against the Stormers.

The Stormers did pull one try back which open their scoring but Tambwe scored his hattrick as well which gave them the lead of 19-7.

The Lions was not done and from turnovers the were able to send Mapoe over after a great break from Jantjies on the short side.

The Stormers went over for their second just to be overturned by the TMO after he judge a knock on in the lead up.

The Lions was not done as Kwagga Smith went over just before halftime after again poor tackling especially from SP Marias who has been out of form the whole year.

The Lions went into the break with a lead of 31-10.

The second half was not much different from the first with the Lions dominating the Stormers and when they were on attack they looked like scoring everytime.

When the Stormers had the ball they just went through the motions and never really looked like they could get pass the Lions defence.

The Lions quickly scored again in the second half and before the Stormers could get going again they were seven tries down.

The Stormers did get one back with a try from Willemse which gave the Lions still a lead of 45-17.

The 50 points for the Lions were put on the board in the 62 minute of the game and all the Stormers could do from here on end was to play for a little bit of pride.

The Stormers were able to pull another one back as the got to 24 points against the Lions 52.

The last act of the game was a penalty try for the Stormers which gave them a flattering 31 points at the end, but this an embarrassment handed to them.

Result

Lions Lions 52   31 Stormers Stormers

Lions

 

Tries – Ruan Combrinck(62′) Michael Tambwe(52′) Franco Mostert(46′) Kwagga Smith(41′) Lionel Mapoe(26′) Michael Tambwe(13′) Michael Tambwe(9′) Michael Tambwe(1′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Elton Jantjies(63′) Elton Jantjies(53′) Elton Jantjies(47′) Elton Jantjies(42′) Elton Jantjies(14′) Elton Jantjies(2′)

Stormers

 

Tries – Albertus De Wet(73′) Damian Willemse(59′) Wilco Louw(21′)

Penalties – SP Marais(36′)

Cons – Damian Willemse(74′) SP Marais(60′) SP Marais(22′)

 

Chiefs hold spirited Blues out

0

The Chiefs secured their fifth successive Super Rugby victory when they beat the Blues 21-19 in a hard-fought derby in Hamilton on Saturday.

The result means the Chiefs are undefeated in their last 14 games against the Blues which is the longest unbeaten streak of any team against another in the tournament’s history.

The win also means the Chiefs provisionally move into second position on the New Zealand Conference standings while the Blues, who deserve plenty of credit for a spirited performance, are still languishing at the bottom of the table.

The Blues had the better of the early exchanges and held a 6-0 lead inside the first five minutes thanks to two well-taken penalties from Stephen Perofeta. The Chiefs were soon camped inside their opponents’ 22 and reduced the deficit courtesy of a penalty of their own from Damian McKenzie in the ninth minute.

The home side continued to dominate and three minutes later Solomon Alaimalo made a telling break before he was tackled on the edge of the Blues’ 22 by TJ Faiane. But despite being brought to ground, Alaimalo managed to get a pass out to McKenzie and he did well to offload to Sean Wainui, who crossed for the opening try.

Midway through the half McKenzie extended his side’s lead when he landed another three-pointer off the kicking tee before Perofeta replied with a penalty in the 29th minute which meant the Chiefs led 11-9.

On the half hour-mark, McKenzie added his third penalty but shortly afterwards, he was forced off the field with a hip injury with his older brother Marty coming on as his replacement.

The younger McKenzie’s exit was a setback to the home side and the Blues were soon camped inside their opponents’ half. And after taking the ball through some phases in the Chiefs’ 22, James Parsons barged over from close quarters for the men from Auckland’s first try.

Perofeta added the extras and on the stroke of half-time he succeeded with his fourth penalty which meant the Blues led 19-14 at the interval.

The teams continued to attack during the second half but superb defence and numerous unforced errors from both teams meant that neither side managed to add to their points tally during the first quarter of the half.

The Chiefs came close to scoring on a couple of occasions during that period but poor decision making cost them dearly. In the 56th minute, they launched a drive from a lineout on the Blues’ five-metre line but nothing came from that attack as Lachlan Boshier was blown up for obstruction.

And two minutes later, Anton Lienert-Brown tore the Blues defence to shreds with a brilliant line break before throwing a pass to Toni Pulu, who knocked on with the tryline beckoning.

The Chiefs continued to pile on the pressure and in the 68th minute the Blues suffered a setback when Josh Goodhue was sent to the sin bin for a cynical defensive foul inside his 22.

With 14 men on the field, the Blues battled to contain their hosts and in the 74th minute referee Paul Williams awarded a penalty try to the Chiefs when a scrum collapsed close to the visitors’ try-line.

That seven-pointer proved to be the decisive score in this match and sealed another victory for the hosts over their rivals.

The scorers:

For Chiefs:
Tries:
 Wainui, Penalty try
Pens: D McKenzie 3

For Blues:
Try: 
Parsons
Con: Perofeta
Pens: Perofeta 4
Yellow Card: Goodhue

Tahs put 50 past Sunwolves

0

The Waratahs proved too strong for the Sunwolves as they claimed a deserved 50-29 victory in their Super Rugby clash in Tokyo on Saturday. 

The visitors were full value for their win as they outscored the Sunwolves seven tries to four with Jake Gordon crossing for a brace and Bernard Foley finished with a 15-point haul courtesy of six conversions and a penalty.

The result means the Waratahs are now just a point adrift of the Melbourne Rebels at the top of the Australian Conference standings while the Sunwolves, who have now lost all five their matches in the competition, are still firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.

The Sunwolves did most of the early attacking but it was the Waratahs who opened the scoring in the sixth minute courtesy of a Gordon try after Taqele Naiyaravoro laid the groundwork with a barnstorming run down the left-hand touchline in the build-up.

The home side did not take long to reply and five minutes later Michael Little crossed the whitewash after busting through tackles from Foley and Gordon inside the Waratahs’ 22.

Both tries were converted but the Waratahs regained the lead in the 14th minute when Foley slotted a penalty after Little was blown up for an indiscretion at a ruck.

The Waratahs took control of proceedings as the half progressed and were leading 24-7 midway through the half thanks to well-taken tries from Curtis Rona and Will Miller.

Rona’s effort was particularly impressive as he bamboozled the Sunwolves defence with an audacious dummy before crossing the whitewash.

The Sunwolves needed a response and they did that in style with Little once again prominent. The inside centre launched an attack from inside his 22 and set off on a 70 metre run before throwing an inside pass to Sam Wykes, who crossed for his side’s second try.

That try  reinvigorated the home side and they narrowed the gap in the 28th minute when Yu Tamura added a penalty after the Waratahs were blown up for straying offside on defence.

The visitors would finish the half stronger though and further tries from Gordon and Bryce Hegarty gave them a commanding 38-17 lead as the teams changed sides at the interval.

The Waratahs continued to dominate in the second half and five minutes after the restart Michael Hooper scored their sixth try off the back of a lineout drive deep inside the Sunwolves’ 22.

To their credit, the Sunwolves fought back and in the 53rd minute Little got a pass out to Semisi Masirewa midway between the halfway mark and the Waratahs’ 22 and he did well to beat Kurtley Beale with deft footwork before racing away to score his side’s third try.

The Sunwolves upped the ante on attack but despite spending plenty of time inside the Waratahs’ half, they could not add to their points tally during the next 10 minutes although they received a shot in the arm in the 65th minute when Hooper was yellow carded for a professional foul on defence deep inside his half.

Shortly afterwards, the home side made their numerical advantage count when Kazuki Himeno ran onto a pass from Yutaka Nagare before dotting down but the Waratahs would have had the last laugh as Naiyaravoro secured their bonus point when he crossed for their seventh try in the 73rd minute.

The scorers:

For Sunwolves:
Tries: 
Little, Wykes, Masirewa, Himeno
Cons: Tamura 2, Parker
Pen: Tamura

For Waratahs:
Tries:
 Gordon 2, Rona, Miller, Hegarty, Hooper, Naiyaravoro
Cons: Foley 6
Pen: Foley
Yellow Card: Hooper

Thanks to

Sharks give it away at the end

1

The Sharks had the perfect opportunity to get a win over the Hurricanes on Friday but gave it away in the 83 minute.

It was West last conversion that gave the Hurricanes the win over the Sharks.

The Hurricanes who lost Barrett just before the match looked out of sorts with West at 10 and the Sharks did everything to win the game except they did not.

West had a mixed game for the Hurricanes but he will walk away the hero.

The Hurricanes made allot of mistakes which is not something we used to.

The Sharks had a brilliant start to the match playing fast and direct which put the Hurricanes off their game.

The Sharks pack ran at the Hurricanes defence and put them on the back foot.

It was the Sharks first on the board with a penalty to open the scoring.

But Jordie Barrett scored the first try soon after and their second try cane not long after that.

That gave the Hurricanes a 12-3 lead early on before the Sharks scored their first try through Am.

The second Sharks try came of a powerful scrum which Schreuder picked up and scored close to the sticks.

This gave the Sharks the lead of 17-12 but they soon gave that it away again 19-17 for the host.

Du Preez landed a penalty to give the Sharks the lead back before Am scored his second try just before halftime

The second half was a more subdued affair as both sides were more resilient on defence. Two further penalties from West early in the half meant the Hurricanes were trailing by two points but Du Preez also added a three-pointer off the kicking tee in the 55th minute which gave the Sharks a 30-25 lead.

West landed another penalty in the 72nd minute but despite holding a slender two-point lead, the Sharks stayed true to their attacking roots and were rewarded a minute later when Tyler Paul crossed for their fourth try, from close quarters.

Du Preez’s conversion made it 37-28 to the visitors but West reduced the deficit when he slotted another penalty in the 78th minute.

The closing stages was a tense affair as the Hurricanes were camped inside the Sharks’ 22 and the visitors’ cause was not helped when Franco Marais was yellow carded for a cynical foul on defence.

The Hurricanes made full use of their numerical advantage and four minutes after the hooter, they managed to create an overlap and Laumape rounded off before West stepped up to slot the match-winning kick.

The scorers:

For Hurricanes:
Tries: 
Barrett, Laumape 2, Aso
Cons: West 3
Pens: West 4

For Sharks:
Tries:
 Am 2, Schreuder, Paul
Cons: R du Preez 4
Pens: R du Preez 3
Yellow Card: Marais

Preview Super Rugby – Round 8

1

This weekend starts with the Sharks facing the Hurricanes on their last game on tour after a good win over the struggling Blues last weekend.

We have another South African derby with the Lions and the Stormers facing off in Johannesburg after both suffered losses last weekend, with the Bulls having a bye weekend.

Here is the current log standings after round 7…

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019
9934118
10945016
11834015
12936014
13831013
14826012
1570702

A 63-40 win over the Blues would have given the Sharks a much needed boost to face the highly rated Hurricanes this weekend but one needs to understand that their is a huge difference between the quality of the Blues and the Hurricanes.

Defence have been a problem for the Sharks this year and even against a poor Blues side they still gave away 40 points on the day.

Against the quality of the Hurricanes they can not afford to give the same defensive display.

The Hurricanes is also one of the better scrumming sides in New Zealand so the Sharks will depend heavily on their pack to win that mini battles.

It is time to step up for the Sharks as they face one of the competition favorites at home.

This game will give a good indication where the Sharks are at the moment.

The Hurricanes have a good set piece brilliant kicking game and one of the best attacking backs in the competition.

The Sharks stayed with the same fifteen that took the field against the Blues last weekend and players like Beast, Du Preez and Esterhuizen needs to step up for this one.

Prediction: Can not see the Sharks beating the Hurricanes at home even after last weeks good win, Hurricanes by 13 points

Teams:

Hurricanes – 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen.

Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (c), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Kobus van Wyk

The Sunwolves are like the lottery, you have any change of winning but the odds are you going to be on losing end of things.

They face the Waratahs at home this weekend and although the Waratahs have been under performing again this year they should be to much for this Sunwolves side.

The Sunwolves can surprise when playing at their Tokyo base, and this should be one of those games, so one never knows.

The Waratahs had a important win over the Brumbies, and will want to take this one which they at the end should.

Prediction: Waratahs by 20 points

Teams: 

Sunwolves – 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno , 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 James Moore, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements:16 Jaba Bregvadse, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Nikoloz Khatiashvili, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Edward Quirk, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Hosea Saumaki.

Waratahs – 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Will Miller, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Mitchell Short, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Cameron Clark

The Chiefs will be looking at a win and nothing else this weekend when they face the Blues.

Any New Zealand match is a great game of rugga’s but it is difficult to see the Blues surprising a strong Chiefs side here this weekend.

The Blues have been struggling since week one and their defence has been one of the major issues for them.

The Chiefs have been playing some great rugby this year and have been building each game which makes them one of the more silent killers this season.

Confidence plays a major role in and sport and it is something the Blues do not have and something you want to have going into a game like the Chiefs.

Prediction: Chiefs by 14 points

Teams:

Chiefs – 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Luke Jacobson, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Charlie Ngatai, 23 Marty McKenzie.

Blues – 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie/Jordan Hyland, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 George Moala, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Mike Tamoaieta, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Orbyn Leger.

These Aussies games have become the time I give the remote to the kids and wife to watch something before the real games come up.

The past two years I have struggled to find the energy to watch these Aussie derbies which is close to how I will feel just before committing suicide, or that is how it most of the times feel.

The Reds must be the better of the two sides as the Brumbies have struggled this season but if I was a betting man I will not waste my money on this game.

Prediction: I almost want to say who cares? but if I must choose I go with the Reds by 10.

Teams:

Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Blake Enever, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 James Verity-Amm.

Reds – 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Caleb Timu, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Liam Wright, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Jordan Petaia.

This should have been the game of the weekend but with both teams struggling to put 80 minutes of rugby together one will never know.

The Lions have been disappointing this far and that is putting it lightly. Coach De Bruin have been making so much changes to this side every week which is never good.

The Lions looks like a team without a leader and with the weird tactics from De Bruin and his senior players you now do not know what to expect from this side.

The Stormers is not better with inconsistent performances throughout the season. They seemed to find it hard to play away from home and this week is another away match.

The Lions still lead the South Africans sides but with the poor performances from the Sharks, Stormers and Bulls it is nothing to brag about.

There was some good news for the Lions who have Combrick back in the mix and their captain not far off getting back into things.

Both teams have created enough changes this season but the lack of finishing is one of the major concerns.

The Stormers had to make a couple of injury-enforced changes to their lineup, with scrumhalf Jano Vermaak and lock Chris van Zyl coming in for Justin Phillips (rib) and Cobus Wiese (hamstring).

Pieter-Steph du Toit goes back to blindside flank to accommodate Van Zyl in the second row.

The big battle will be upfront and it will decide the outcome of this match.

The Lions game management have been poor but then again the same can be said about the Stormers.

Prediction: Still give it to the Lions by 6 points

Teams: 

Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert (c), 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Corné Fourie, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Stormers – 15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Craig Barry.

The last game of the weekend sees the Jaguares taking on the Crusaders who beat the Lions last weekend.

The inconsistency of the Jaguares is not a good thing and the Crusaders will be going out the get the full 5 points in this match.

One wants to believe that the Jaguares may stand a chance if they pitch up and play positive rugby but we have seen so far and over the last two years that when the Jaguares play quality sides they play negative rugby which results in cards and huge losses.

The Crusaders is just too much of a qaulity side to give this one away.

Predictions: Saders by 17 points

Teams:

Jaguares – TBC

Crusaders – TBC

You can catch the live interactive chat on the following links this weekend.

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For more info contact Glen at sekoma.island@gmail.com

 

Du Preez stick with same Sharks line-up

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Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has named an unchanged starting line-up for his side’s Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes in Napier on Friday.

Ruan Botha captains the side again from the second-row where he packs down alongside Stephan Lewies while Tendai Mtawarira and Thomas du Toit are the starting props and Chiliboy Ralepelle lines up at hooker.

Meanwhile, Jean-Luc du Preez and Philip van der Walt start on the flanks and Tera Mtembu continues at number eight. In the backline, Louis Schreuder and Robert du Preez continue as the half-back pairing and Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am are the two centres.

In the back three, Curwin Bosch starts at full-back again while Lwazi Mvovo and Sbu Nkosi are the two wings.

The Durban-based outfit not only came away with a vital win against the Blues in Auckland last week, but a pretty much injury free scorecard, allowing the coach to name an unchanged line-up for Friday’s clash.

“There have been a couple of niggles but nothing serious and everyone was available for selection,” said Du Preez.

The Sharks will go into this match with confidence which is a vital component for teams seeking victory, but it will take more of what was delivered last week against a top class side.

“After the disappointments of the first two weeks on tour, the boys were hurt, but they were desperate to get a first win on tour,” added Du Preez.

“If there had been a lack of effort previously I would have been really worried, but that wasn’t the issue. This time around the boys brought the effort and the accuracy, so it was much better and I was really pleased with that performance.

“Everyone was desperate to put in a good performance, and that aim was achieved. Every player had a part to play, including the bench players when they came on.”

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (c), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Kobus van Wyk

Nabetragting: Super Rugby round 7

1

One want to forgive the bad performances due to the fact it is Easter Sunday. We at least got two wins out of a possible three for the weekend with the Sharks giving the biggest surprise on Friday.

Unfortunately it ended with another poor display from the Lions against the Crusaders on Sunday.

Before we look at the weekend highs and lows here is the current log standings

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019
9934118
10945016
11834015
12936014
13831013
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The Sharks finally got a performance together that we have expected from them since the start although it has been against a poor Blues side.

Although it took some time and a little scare the Sharks finally got some good work done with Robert and his brother Jean-Luc at the forefront.

With the disappointment of the Brumbies and the Rebels the Sharks bounce back with passion which was lacking for most of this season so far.

This week the Sharks shown commitment, passion and they were accurate in what they did specially in that second half.

Even Du Toit where better in the scrums but Robert Du Preez had the best game so far for the Sharks this year but his brother where a monster.

Next week will be a huge test when they face the Hurricanes and will make a huge statement that this was not just a once off against a poor team.

The Bulls had a good return to Loftus when they beat the Stormers on Saturday 33-23.

It was not one of the best games this season but it was the Bulls that took control of the match early on and made a huge statement at scrum time.

This was the Bulls best performance from their tight five as well as their loose forwards. The Bulls also were happy to take full advantage on the mistake driven Stormers side on the night.

Handling errors were a big problem from the Stormers which was due to some great line speed from the Bulls on defence.

They put huge pressure on the halfback and Willemse who could not get into his natural game.

He struggled to get his backs away and when he did the midfield made to many wrong decisions and handling errors.

Pollard on the other hand had a good kicking game and when needed got his backs away, He was much better in reading the game.

SP Marais was again not up to it putting pressure on his own team through poor play and game management.

Yellow card cost the Stormers again and although a bit unlucky they can not afford to have a player in the bin.

The worst was left till Sunday when the Lions hosted the Crusaders at home. Although they started the game with some great passion and putting the Crusaders under pressure but their arrogance yet again cost them.

Their game management has been poor all season and it just shown again that their are incapable of managing the game when the chips are down.

They try to play this dream of attacking rugby at all cause, has made them more predictable than our politicians in this country.

There are also certain players that have overstayed their welcome in Andries Coetzee and Kwagga Smith.

Kwagga will be better off playing sevens rugby because his dream of playing for the Springboks in fifteens will not happen.

Coetzee has been the cancer on so many turnover tries for the opposition and his general play is poor and predictable as we know De Allende will not pass 99% of the time.

 

The way the Lions are going now they might win some derby games but they will not make the play-offs.

Serious questions will be asked about De Bruin ability as head coach. He look like he is panicking and cannot get the same out of this team than what Ackers could. He has also make changes almost at every game which does not help with continuity.

Next week is the Stormers and hard work lies ahead for this Lions side.

Other results:

Chiefs 27 – 22 Highlanders

The Chiefs got the better of the Highlanders on Friday in a all New Zealand derby. Like always the match was played at a high tempo and any mistake was punished.

The Chiefs were the better of the two teams over the weekend and deserve the win but it was a tight affair that could have gone either way.

Rebels 19-50 Hurricanes

The top of the log Rebels was given a lesson on Friday when the Hurricanes beat them 50-19.

Starting well in the first half the Hurricanes just switch on 10 minutes before half time and control the match from their on end.

The Rebels was blown of the park and could not put any more points on the board with the Barrett brothers again running the show.

Australian sides will be worried that the first game against New Zealand side came down to fifty points being put over their best side so far.

Brumbies 17-24 Waratahs

The Waratahs came away with a win in another Aussie derby that was difficult to sit through and watch.

The quality of this match was poor and the way these teams are playing they will not be a huge threat this year.

Although the Waratahs won the match they still playing way below the quality we expect from such quality players in this side.

The worst part of Super Rugby yet again is the refereeing that just stay poor throughout. The fact that SANZAAR is keeping quite and letting the same poor referees handling matches week in and week out is not good for the game.

No wonder people do not want to go to stadiums to spend money on referees not even knowing the rules of the game and that includes the TMO’s

Here is next week schedule:

6 Hurricanes v Sharks McLean Park 09:35
7 Sunwolves v Waratahs Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 07:15
7 Chiefs v Blues FMG Stadium Waikato 09:35
7 Brumbies v Reds GIO Stadium 11:45
7 Lions v Stormers Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
7 Jaguares v Crusaders Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40

Our weekly preview and review is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

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Saders beat Lions

6

Another weekend of Super Rugby and another disappointing performance from De Bruin Lions side as the Crusaders beat them 14-8 on Sunday.

They look half the side they have been over the last two years and are starting to look like a side struggling.

The Lions started the game with speed running all at the Crusaders which gave them some field position as well.

The scrums look good for the Lions at first and they looked like they had their number in that department.

They were also the first to score points with a great try from Tambwe who got a great pass from Marx down the line.

This gave the Lions a 5-0 lead after 12 minutes.

The teams tested each other for the rest of the half but defence from both sides where solid and they struggled to get through.

The Saders did go over for a try but it was judges by the TMO that there was a forward pass leading up to it.

At the end they went into halftime with the Lions 5-0 in the lead.

It was all Crusaders in the second half as they kept the ball in hand and after sustained pressure in the first 11 minutes they got over for their first try.

It took not long to break the Lions defence again as they got their second try off a lineout.

This gave the Saders a 14-5 lead and the Lions to play catchup rugby.

The Lions tried hard but so many mistakes on attack with bad choices and handling errors stop any momentum they may had.

The once powerful exciting Lions backline as become predictable and unable to get pass defensive system.

They also ran to much sideways not creating space for players.

The Lions got a penalty to reduce the score to 14-8 but could not get anything in the last few minutes as the Crusaders easily stopped a driving maul of the Lions to secure a vital away win.

MATCH STATS

Lions Lions 14  Crusaders Crusaders

Scorers:

Lions

 

Tries – Michael Tambwe(14′)

Penalties – Elton Jantjies(77′)

Cons – None

Crusaders

 

Tries – Jack Goodhue(53′) Sam Whitelock(50′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Mitch Hunt(54′) Sam Whitelock(51′)

 

Bulls outscore Stormers at Loftus

6

The Vodacom Bulls came back from tour with zero wins but beat the Stormers at Loftus on Saturday night with 33-23.

Adriaan Strauss who played in his record-breaking 149 Super Rugby match scored a three tries to help the Bulls to secure their second home win of the season.

The Bulls had a dominate start to the match and surprisingly they got the better of the Stormers tight five in the early exchanges.

The Bulls backs looked full of running and with the Stormers making to many mistakes on attack the Bulls was presented with opportunities to attack as well.

They looked the better team for the better part of the first half and were also the first to put points on the board after a great drive to see the first of Strauss tries.

The Stormers got on the board with a penalty from Willemse but it was the Bulls that scored the tries early on in the first half.

They scored their second try after De Allende got a yellow card for repeated offences which was also Strauss second try of the match.

That gave the Bulls a 12-3 lead and in charge of the match. They looked better on attack and defence and where doing most of the pay.

The Bulls extended their lead with Kotze taking a spilled pass and ran into the corner to score the Bulls third try.

The Stormers hit back with de Klerk that scored their first try of the match which reduced the score to 19-11.

Damien de Allende then made right the wrongs of the yellow card earlier when he chipped a kick to pick up and scored a brilliant try just on halftime to reduce the lead to just one point, 19-18.

The second half did not start well for the Stormers when Du Toit was shown a yellow card for rucking on a players head.

This gave the Bulls the advantage again which resulted in Strauss scoring his third try and the lead of 24-18.

With some continuity at last from the Stormers it was Kolisi at the end of another try in the corner which reduce the score again to 26-23.

The Bulls hit back almost immediately with Jesse Kriel getting over.

The Bulls got a late penalty over to take the score to 33-23 which was enough to take a win at home against the Stormers.

MATCH STATS

Bulls Bulls 33 23 Stormers Stormers

Scorers:

Bulls

 

Tries – Jesse Kriel(70′) Adriaan Strauss(46′) John-Ben Kotze(31′) Adriaan Strauss(17′) Adriaan Strauss(6′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Handre Pollard(70′) Handre Pollard(47′) Handre Pollard(32′) Handre Pollard(8′)

Stormers

 

Tries – Siya Kolisi(66′) Damian de Allende(40′) Jan de Klerk(37′)

Penalties – Damian Willemse(24′) Damian Willemse(15′)

Cons – Damian Willemse(41′)

 

 

Tahs takes another Aussie derby

0

The Waratahs continued with their impressive recent form when they secured a 24-17 win over the Brumbies in their Australian Canberra on Saturday.

In a tightly contested battle, the Waratahs outscored their hosts two tries to one with Taqele Naiyaravoro scoring both the visitors’ five-pointers and the result means the men from Sydney end a three-match losing streak against the Brumbies.

The victory means the Waratahs move above the Reds into second position on the Australian Conference table while the Brumbies are still in fourth place. All three sides have played five matches so far – one less that the Rebels, who are at the top of the standings.

The match started on an even keel and the sides were deadlocked at 3-3 by the 10th minute after Bernard Foley and Wharenui Hawera traded penalties although the Waratahs suffered a major setback in the fourth minute when Israel Folau was forced off the field with a hamstring injury.

Both teams added a penalty apiece during the next 15 minutes which meant they were level at 6-6 although the Waratahs should have held a 12-6 lead but Foley missed with two further shots at goal.

The game came alive in the 26th minute when Hawera spotted a gap behind the Waratahs’ defence and stabbed a perfectly-weighted grubber kick through which Lausii Taliauli gathered before dotting down.

Hawera’s conversion attempt was off target which meant the home side led 11-6 but just before half-time Taqele Naiyaravoro found himself in space close to the halfway line and rounded Henry Speight before racing away to score his side’s first try.

Foley did well to convert from close to the touchline which meant the match was evenly poised with the Waratahs leading 13-11 at the interval.

The visitors made a terrific start to the second half and shortly after the restart, Foley and Kurtley Beale combined brilliantly to create space for Alex Newsome. The replacement back was soon deep inside the Brumbies’ 22 and did well to throw an inside pass to Naiyaravoro, who crossed for his second. try.

Five minutes later, Hawera narrowed the gap when he landed a penalty after Rob Simmons was blown up for an indiscretion at a lineout but the Waratahs had a bulk of the possession during the rest of the half and in the 64th minute Foley landed another penalty after Richie Arnold was blown up for a dangerous tackle.

The Brumbies tried desperately to haul in their visitors but although Hawera added another penalty in the 71st minute, the Waratahs cancelled that effort out when Foley slotted his fourth penalty in the game’s closing stages.

MATCH STATS

Brumbies Brumbies 17 24  Waratahs Waratahs

The scorers:

Brumbies

 

Tries – Lausii Taliauli(26′)

Penalties – Wharenui Hawera(71′) Wharenui Hawera(49′) Wharenui Hawera(20′) Wharenui Hawera(10′)

Cons – None

Waratahs

 

Tries – Taqele Naiyaravoro(43′) Taqele Naiyaravoro(41′)

Penalties – Bernard Foley(77′) Bernard Foley(65′) Bernard Foley(25′) Bernard Foley(5′)

Cons – Bernard Foley(43′)

 

 

Du Preez boot gives Blues the blues

1

The Sharks showed some pride and determination when they beat the Blues on Saturday 63-40 in a try-fest.

The defence from both teams was not great but we saw some great tries from both teams.

It was a much better start from the Sharks as they took an early lead with a penalty first up. The Blues had a chance to level it but decided to go for the lineout which the Sharks turned over.

For the turnover the Sharks moved back into the Blues half where Du Preez got through a mini break to send Botha over for their first try.

This gave the Sharks a 10-0 lead after 10 minutes.

The Sharks kept some nice structure as they kept running some great lines and putting players in space. They got in the Blues half again and forced another penalty which Du Preez happily converted into points which took their score to 13-0.

The Blues come into the game with a senseless kick from the Sharks down field which the Blues happily used with some nice hand to hand skills to get over for their first try.

This reduced the lead to13-7 for the Sharks. It took the Shark not long to add to their score as they forced another penalty inside the Blues half.

The Blues then got back in the Sharks half and it was Ioane that went over but TMO turned it around as he step out before grounding the ball.

The Sharks looked really like an approved side and they kept pressure on the Blues for Du Preez to go over.

This gave the Sharks a 23-7 lead. The Sharks kicked another penalty just before halftime to extend the Sharks lead to 26-7 at the break.

The Sharks did not start well as they gobbed up a yellow card for Nkosi for a high tackle.

The Blues used the advantage as the got Akira Ioane over the line for their second try. This was a great start from the Blues.

This reduced the lead from the Sharks to 26-14.

The Blues come to the party with the one man in the bin and the Sharks tried to defend the man in the bin which is never a good idea.

The Blues got another one over the Sharks with some ordinary poor defence as they took the lead 28-26.

The Sharks back to 15 men decided to play again and got their first try of the second half and took back the lead.

What a great try from the Sharks as the Du Preez brothers worked in tandem to get the Shark over again.

The Sharks kept the scoreboard ticking as they slotted another penalty to take the score to 43-28. With the Sharks with most of the ball the Blues kept on giving away penalties and Du Preez kept on kicking them over.

This gave the Sharks a 46-28 lead with 10 minutes to go.

It was time for some magic from Am as he intercepts a ball and at the end got Van Wyk away to score another try and take their lead to 53-28.

The Blues got something back as Riko Ioane got over for a Blues try but a little too late.

The Sharks got another penalty which Du Preez kicked over to take the lead to 56-35.

It was Du Preez that put Bosch on speed away in the 82 minutes to score the last try and the win.

The difference on the day was Du Preez boot as the teams ended up with 6 tries each at the end of the game.

MATCH STATS

Blues Blues 40 63  Sharks Sharks

Scorers:

Blues

 

Tries – George Moala(80′) Rieko Ioane(75′) Stephen Perofeta(53′) Patrick Tuipulotu(51′) Akira Ioane(45′) Michael Collins(22′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Bryn Gatland(76′) Stephen Perofeta(53′) Stephen Perofeta(52′) Stephen Perofeta(46′) Stephen Perofeta(23′)

Sharks

 

Tries – Curwin Bosch(84′) Jacobus Van Wyk(72′) Robert du Preez(60′) Lubabalo Mtembu(57′) Jean-Luc Du Preez(34′) Ruan Botha(11′)

Penalties – Robert du Preez(78′) Robert du Preez(70′) Robert du Preez(64′) Robert du Preez(39′) Robert du Preez(26′) Robert du Preez(16′) Robert du Preez(4′) Robert du Preez(3′)

Cons – Robert du Preez(86′) Robert du Preez(72′) Robert du Preez(61′) Robert du Preez(58′) Robert du

 

Hurricanes demolish Rebels in try-fest

0

The Hurricanes demolished the Rebels 50-19 on Friday after being down 19-8 at one stage in the first half.

The Hurricanes came out firing and the Rebels did good to stop them in the first few minutes although the Hurricanes were first on the board with a penalty.

From a turnover the Hurricanes make them pay as they had a overlap with the Barrett brother combining before Beuuden put Lam away in the corner.

The Rebels slotted 3 penalties to take the lead 9-8 and starting to get back in the faces of the Hurricanes.

It was the Rebels that slotted a penalty and got their first try from some poor officiating again as a clear knock on was shown but TMO decided it was knocked back.

This with a penalty gave the Rebels a 19-8 lead and forcing the Hurricanes to play catchup rugby which they did with style.

They first forced a penalty to reduce the score to 19-12 and then a great cross kick found Lam and he powered through for a seven pointer.

Just on the stroke of halftime Barrett showed his class when he dummied close to the line to score the Hurricanes third try and the lead of 25-19 at halftime.

The Hurricanes kept the pressure on in the second half and got first points on the board with a penalty to extend the lead to 28-19.

The Hurricanes then step up a gear as they are masters in finding space which Evans easily found and got over for another try.

This gave the Hurricanes a good lead of 33-19.

The Hurricanes had a period that they were forced to defend in their half with a few opportunities for the Rebels but handling hold any chances of scoring points.

It was the Hurricanes who send Laumape away to run over two defenders to score yet another to extend the lead to 40-19.

With the Rebels starting to get desperate they tried to ran from their own half and from turnover Lam was given the ball to sprint down the line for his third try of the night.

The Hurricanes was not done as they got Lam over for his forth try and hit 50 against the Rebels.

This result will put some perspective on the Rebels top of the log position against mid-class opposition.

MATCH STATS

Rebels Rebels 19   50 Hurricanes Hurricanes

Scorers:

Rebels

 

Tries – Matt Philip(30′)

Penalties – Jack Debreczeni(26′) Jack Debreczeni(22′) Jack Debreczeni(15′) Jack Debreczeni(5′)

Cons – Jack Debreczeni(30′)

Hurricanes

 

Tries – Ben Lam(80′) Ben Lam(70′) Ngani Laumape(61′) Gareth Evans(49′) Beauden Barrett(40′) Ben Lam(34′) Ben Lam(11′)

Penalties – Beauden Barrett(45′) Beauden Barrett(34′) Beauden Barrett(3′)

Cons – Beauden Barrett(63′) Beauden Barrett(41′) Beauden Barrett(35′)

Chiefs sneak pass Highlanders

0

The Chiefs outlast the Highlanders on Friday to take a close win of 27-22.

All entertaining match as two great attacking teams took to the field on Friday morning.

The Chiefs showed early dominance with better control on the ball and as per normal the skills to go with that as well.

They were first on the board with two penalties as they turned the field position into points taking and early lead.

It was the Highlanders however that scored the first try. A superb kick out to the wing bounces in favorable for Naholo and he gathers the ball, he beat a defender and scored in the corner.

That gave the Highlanders a 7-6 lead.

A fantastic try for the Chiefs just before halftime gave them the lead back with a kick to the wings went in perfectly and a pass back to Alaimalo got them over the line.

That gave them a 13-7 lead and the score for the teams going into the break.

Early in the second half the Chiefs were on the board again with a linebreak from McKenzie with a pick and go by Harris to score their second try.

The extended to 20-7 and some catchup rugby required by the Highlanders was necessary.

The Highlanders were up to the challenge as they put huge pressure on the Chiefs in their half and a great pass to Li out on the wing got them another try.

The Highlanders kept the pressure on the Chiefs and a kick bounces their way which saw Thomkinson going over and the lead of 22-20 for the Highlanders.

The Chiefs replied immediately to take the lead back 27-22 getting through 12 phases to send Wainui over in the corner.

The Chiefs were able to hang on to the last attack from the Highlanders and take the game 27-22.

MATCH STATS

Chiefs Chiefs 27 22 Highlanders Highlanders

Scorers: 

Chiefs

 

Tries – Sean Wainui(68′) Nathan Harris(44′) Solomona Alaimalo(39′)

Penalties – Damian McKenzie(20′) Damian McKenzie(11′)

Cons – Damian McKenzie(70′) Damian McKenzie(45′) Damian McKenzie(41′)

Highlanders

 

Tries – Sio Tomkinson(63′) Tevita Li(51′) Waisake Naholo(23′)

Penalties – Fletcher Smith(59′)

Cons – Fletcher Smith(64′) Fletcher Smith(25′)

Preview Super Rugby – Round 7

1

This weekend games could not come earlier with the nonsense South African teams dished up last week.

We only got the Stormers getting a win and that was also just after they dominated the match.

After six rounds the Rebels are on top of the overall log but one needs to remember that no Aussies team has yet played any New Zealand side.

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019

The weekend starts with the Chiefs hosting the Highlanders in an exciting prospect of running rugby.

The winner of this match will get to the top of the New Zealand table even if it may be just for a while.

Both teams have been great on attack and they will test each other in both attack and defence which will go down to the wire.

The Highlanders have improved allot in their set pieces and have a much more balance side which improved their overall game.

They have been much stronger in this aspect of the game. It will come down to the backs and their speedsters at the end so defence will be very important.

The Highlanders have won their last two away games against the Chiefs and will be searching for a third-straight win in such fixtures for the first time.

Waisake Naholo has crossed for six tries in his last five games against the Chiefs, making at least three clean breaks in each of his last four games against them.

Prediction: Highlanders for me with 9 points.

Teams:

Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Pita Gus Sowakula, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Charlie Ngatai

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (cc), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Paletasio Tomkinson

The Rebels who are currently on top of the overall log will face their first New Zealand team when they host the Hurricanes.

After an early stubble against the Bulls in round 1 they got back to winning ways and are starting to get back to the great form we used to from this quality side.

The Barrett brothers have been great this year so far and are most properly the most dangerous among the backs in the whole competition.

This will be the Rebels first real test this year after they got 4 bonus point wins out of five outings.

The Rebels have also not lost at home yet this year and they will be tested by the Canes.

Both teams have shown an attacking attitude throughout the season so far which have all the makings of a great match.

This will be a huge change from the boring Aussie games we have seen this year so far.

It will be a cracker so don’t miss it.

Prediction: Still going with Hurricanes just to much class in this team.

Teams:

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Tom English, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Sefa Naivalu

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen

To say the Sharks have been a huge disappointment this year is the understatement of the year.

Fans are speculating already that this is not a happy camp and that their are problems within. Others want Du Preez to go as they feel he had enough time now with the Sharks and they are even worst than before.

One thing is for sure the Sharks will have to come good this weekend if they want to get back in this competition.

The Blues sit in similar position as the Sharks as they have been blowing hot and cold so far this season.

Both teams will be desperate to get a win under the belt.

The Sharks have been poor in almost every aspect of the game and they looked like a bunch of players on the field and not a team.

Defence has been poor the last couple of weeks and against a Blues side that can attack from everywhere they need to be on par of this game will also run away from them.

Andre Esterhuizen is back for the Sharks in the midfield which will improve their all round attack and defence.

The Blues have made seven changes for the match. In the absence of the injured Sonny Bill Williams, all eyes will be on Rieko Ioane as he slots into the midfield alongside George Moala.

The Sharks do have a good record against the Blues – a team they have beaten in four out of their last five away games – but they will also be aware that this season’s form has left them as firm underdogs in Auckland.

Prediction: Not happy to give this to the Sharks as they have shown nothing to proof me wrong, but I will go with Sharks by 11 points.

Teams:

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Jordan Trainor, 13 George Moala, 12 Rieko Ioane, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Murphy Taramai, 6 Jerome Kaoino, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Josh Goodhue, 3 Mike Tamoaieta, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 TJ Faiane

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (c), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Jacobus van Wyk

Two teams that have struggled this year with consistency will have a change to take a win in this all Australian derby.

It has been for years now that the Waratahs have under perform almost like the Sharks with plenty of quality players.

The Brumbies have shown some improvement but they struggle to put two good performances together in recent times.

They look more as a team building a new culture which is fine as they also welcome back Pocock in their side.

He will make a huge difference to this side and allot of people are looking forward to see him back on the field.

With the breakdown laws that have change one will have to wait and see how effective he still will be.

One hope that these two side will so us a good quality game and not the normal boring Aussie derby with mistakes a plenty.

Prediction: Tahs by 10 for me

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Andy Muirhead, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Lausii Taliauli, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Mees Erasmus, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Kyle Godwin, 23 Tom Banks

Waratahs: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Michael Wells, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mitchell Short, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Alex Newsome

The match of the weekend for the South African sides is at Loftus where we have the old North v South when the Bulls host the Stormers on Saturday.

The Stormers have been on a winning side of things for the past two weeks after a poor tour downunder.

Although they have almost gave both games away at the end they have been showing a much improved attitude towards attack rugby.

The  Bulls have been building with baby steps so far but it looks atleast much better than last year.

This could be a brilliant game of rugga’s if both teams decide to shown up on the day.

Bulls and Stormers do not need much invention when they meet and we can expect a hard fiscal clash upfront with the backs trying to outsmart each-other.

Both teams have enough quality at the back to test the defence but this battle will be win or lost upfront.

For the Stormers they will be looking at improving their lineouts which has been poor and the Bulls will lay down a challenge to the Stormers in the scrums.

The battle on the ground will be important and both side will know that winning the small battles will improve their changes in coming out winners on the night.

Prediction: For some reason I am leaning toward the Bulls to come good at home. Pollard will play a major role in success. Bulls by 5 points.

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Hanro Liebenberg, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16  Jaco Visagie, 17 Frans van Wy, 18 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze

Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Jano Vermaak, 23 Craig Barry

In a repeat of last years final at the same venue we see the Lions hosting the Crusaders but this time around both teams have struggle with key injuries and form has not been great.

Questions have been asked on Swys De Bruin as the head coach and with the Lions struggling since Whiteley got injured against the Blues the Lions looked like a confused side the last few weeks.

They almost looked like they are trying to hard and their defence have been shocking to say the least.

Against the Saders they will have to be on par or it can turn ugly on Sunday.

Both coaches still needs to show their hand in selection but with another loss last week for the Lions they will be desperate to get back to playing the rugby we know they can.

For many of us the De Bruin has played too much with players out of position and needs to get his best team in their best position on the field.

The Crusaders got a home win against the Bulls last week and they will bring some confidence to Johannesburg as they are a team that tour well.

This will be a great way to end of your Easter Sunday and hopefully a great game to watch.

Prediction: Saders with 8 points for me at the moment but it may change when I see Swys selctions.

Teams:

Lions – TBC

Crusaders – TBC

Here is your Schedule for the weekend

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Lood out for Stormers clash

0

Bulls and Springbok lock Lood de Jager has been ruled out of Saturday’s Super Rugby derby clash against the Stormers with a calf injury.

De Jager sustained the injury in the defeat to the Crusaders last Friday and compounds the Bulls’ problems in the second-row with RG Snyman having broken a cheekbone in the previous match against the Chiefs.

Bulls coach John Mitchell may be forced to turn to Ruben van Heerden or Hendre Stassen in the second-row alongside Jason Jenkins this week.

Meanwhile, Stormers scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage is a major doubt for the clash with a rib injury, but fortunately for the men from Cape Town, Jano Vermaak returns from injury at the perfect time.

Time will judge Willemse’s capabilities

10

The Stormers’ skills guru Paul Feeney has coached All Black wing Rieko Ioane so it says something about Damian Willemse’s potential that the Kiwi should describe him as a talent who is as good as anyone he has coached, writes Gavin Rich – SuperSport

Feeney though is not in a rush to join those who are describing Willemse as a great No10 in the making after the 19-year-old’s three good performances in succession against the Highlanders, Blues and Reds, according to the supersport.com website.

Feeney, who worked as one of the assistant coaches at the Blues before heading to South Africa in late 2016, has just seen too many young flyhalves pushed too young and have too much expected of them not to be wary of doing the same thing with Willemse.

“I coached Gareth Anscombe when he was just 20 and everyone thought he was going to be the next big thing in New Zealand but then when he didn’t push on as quickly as everyone wanted him to they said he was on the scrapheap at the age of 21,” said Feeney.

Anscombe is a good example to use as a player who too much was expected of as a flyhalf while still young. At the age of 26 Anscombe is now playing for Wales, but he might still be in New Zealand had it not been for a perception five years ago that he wasn’t delivering what he was expected to deliver.

Feeney is a big believer in the dictum that it takes time to mature, and he believes that is even more the case at flyhalf, which he sees as a special position.

“Damian is a super talent, he’s one of the most talented players I have ever coached and talent wise he has everything, but No10 is a special position – will he be a Beauden Barrett, a Jonny Wilkinson or a Johnny Sexton?” asked Feeney.

“The No10 isn’t there for flair, he’s there to push the team around the park and be smart. But he has the bonus of having more flair than anyone else.

“So if he can have the same brain as a Sexton, a Wilkinson, a Dan Carter or an Andrew Mehrtens, then he will kill it. We will only know that in time. He is still young. He needs to develop. That is why I am careful of opening the lid too much, of expecting too much. As a No10 you have to be the brains of your team. It’s all about the computer you have in your head. You have to push your team around the park and know when to kick, when to pass, when to run, and that only comes with time.”

In Feeney’s view a player has only properly settled at Super Rugby level after he has played 30 to 40 games. Before that, young or new players are learning and are yet to become completely comfortable.

“You will see once Damian gets to 30 or 40 games whether he has the capabilities to be a great flyhalf,” says Feeney.

“He is definitely a talent. He has much talent as anyone I have ever worked with. Curwin Bosch (of the Sharks) is also a special talent, but with both of them only time will tell how far they will go as flyhalves.”

Bosch is currently playing mainly at fullback for the Sharks. Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck believes the only way to learn to play flyhalf is to play flyhalf, and Feeney agrees that Willemse needs as “much time in the saddle” as he can get. But he is also not completely averse to Willemse playing a few games at fullback like he did at the end of the last Currie Cup season.

“There are similarities between 10 and 15 and the benefit of playing at fullback is that you get a good perspective from the back on what is happening in front of you, you can start assessing for yourself what the good options are and what the bad options are,” said Feeney.

“It is a fairly easy transition between flyhalf and fullback. But I would rather not see him bouncing around between too many positions. The more experience he can get as a flyhalf so much the better.”

Life might get more interesting for Willemse and more comfortable for the Stormers coaches quite soon as Jean-Luc du Plessis, who started off as the first choice Stormers pivot last year but was ruled out by long term injury, is back playing again.

A minor rib injury sustained in his first game back has put the son of former Bok wing and coach Carel out for another week, but Feeney recognises Du Plessis as a big talent who will introduce some competition for Willemse at flyhalf.

“The thing about Damian is that he is very young. You will recall that last year we weren’t keen to push him, and it was only much later in the season, when there were injuries, that we ended up starting him out of necessity. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with playing at flyhalf.”

At least with Du Plessis back in the mix, there won’t be quite as much pressure on Willemse to play in every game and as Du Plessis is a bit older than him Willemse will be able to learn off him. Given Willemse’ current form, however, it is hard to see anyone other than the 2016 South African Schools flyhalf wearing the Stormers No10.

Lions will have to do without Dyantyi

0

As if the poor performances from the Lions was not enough for their supporters that had to learn that the talented youngster Aphiwe Dyantyi has been ruled out of their clash with the Crusaders.

In fact, Dyantyi, who is the tied for top spot on the South African tryscorers charts alongside team-mate Malcolm Marx with five tries, will be sidelined for up to six weeks with a torn pectoral muscle.

It’s a cruel blow for the 23-year-old who has been a revelation for the Lions in his maiden Super Rugby season.

The match is a repeat of last year’s final which was won by the Crusaders 25-17, giving the star side from New Zealand their eighth Super Rugby title.

Kick-off on Sunday, April 1 is at 14:30.

Meanwhile, in better news for the Lions, loose forward Robert Kruger, who is recovering from concussion, and utility back Howard Mnisi, who sustained a knee contusion, should both be available for selection this weekend.

The Lions will also welcome back scrumhalf Ross Cronje and lock Andries Ferreira this week, both of whom missed last weekend’s trip to Buenos Aires – where they lost 49-35 to the Jaguares – with Cronje having recovered from a rib injury and Ferreira from a back spasm.

Prop Jacobie Adriaanse is also fit again after a badly sprained ankle.

Give new coaches a chance

3

The second verse of the Guns ‘N Roses song ‘Patience’ starts with: “Take it slow, and it’ll work itself out fine, all we need is just a little patience.” This has never been more apt, in the context of South African rugby, or more undesired across the board, writes Brenden Nel

After another weekend of poor Vodacom Super Rugby results, impatience abounds and the growing pressure on the likes of John Mitchell and Swys de Bruin comes at a moment when both are trying to achieve very different goals, all in the name of progress.

Patience is a virtue but one that is not too often espoused – especially in rugby. The tension between making progress and producing results is ever-present in modern sport.

The All Blacks stuck with Graham Henry and the result is clear to see. Steve Hansen has been around the team for more than a dozen years and the team has been the world leader in rugby over the past decade.

There have been spinoffs as well, as the All Blacks’ success has allowed the next generation of coaches the freedom and opportunity to build their experience and CVs. Joe Schmidt, Warren Gatland and Dave Rennie have each had no choice but to continue their development abroad, hoping one day they get the call to coach the national team.

But here in South Africa, and in Gauteng in particular, patience seems to be wearing thin. Swys de Bruin is under the microscope after the Emirates Lions sandwiched a lacklustre win against the Sunwolves with losses against the Blues and Jaguares.

Die-hard Lions fans are rightly questioning the team’s performances. The loss of Jaco Kriel and Warren Whiteley has had a massive impact on leadership, but the Lions are in second position on the log, so surely there is nothing to worry about?

The problem is that they will face Kiwi heavyweights, the Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders, and they have yet to tour.

Across the Jukskei, John Mitchell’s “new dawn” has suffered some massive setbacks on tour. One win in five puts him on par with his Vodacom Bulls predecessor Nollis Marais at the same stage of the tournament. And, aside from one half of rugby against the Chiefs, critics will debate whether the Bulls have made progress at all under Mitchell.

But it’s precisely this results-above-all mentality that misses the point. Mitchell has started something new at Loftus, and it will take time.  Old habits die hard, it seems. Fitness may be one thing, but the Bulls still need to master the art of composure under pressure.

It seems a bit daft to want to place so much pressure on a coach five games into the season, but the Bulls are currently just above the last-placed Sunwolves, something that their fans won’t be happy about.

The bottom line is that there is no simple fix. There is no magic wand. Time and hard work on the right road is all that moves a team forward. A lack of patience is often the worst enemy of a team that is precisely in the Bulls’ position.

Mitchell is an old hand and he will know what is needed. Fans and administrators need results, but the reality is that results buy time. A lack of results leads to impatience, something common among SA Rugby administrators.

Both Swys and Mitch deserve patience in their endeavors. Both are trying to cope with some serious challenges against a backdrop of massive expectation. Time will tell whether they achieve their goals and satisfy expectations.

Both are aware that results are all that matters. Every coach knows he is only a few losses away from being fired. But they deserve patience. Even though it may be the toughest virtue to find on a rugby field.

Axl Rose put it succinctly, “Sometimes I get so p***ed because I can’t speed up the time.”

Time is all they need, so let’s be patient.

Nabetragting – Super Rugby Week 6

2

Round 6 was yet another weekend of disappointing results from the South African teams as only the Stormers were able to get a win and they almost gave it away as well.

The most disappointing aspect of the weekend was not that we lost three of the four games we were involved but the way that we lost.

There seemed to be a huge problem for South African sides to dominate the game for long periods of time and we are losing the small battles within the battle as well.

The weekend started with the Crusaders hosting the Vodacom Bulls on their last tour match on Friday.

It seems that the Bulls were in the game for some time during the match but one always felt that the Crusaders will never loose the match.

This Bulls side has been improving on this tour in some aspects but they are still a far way from being a team that threatens the big teams of Super Rugby. Defence as with most South African teams has been a problem for the Bulls.

It feels sometimes that the easy tries in this competition are being given away by the South African franchises which will be a worrying factor for Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.

The wet field was not managed well by the Bulls with the kicking game that needs improvement.

The Bulls got enough ball with more carriers, defenders beaten and clean breaks which tells us that they need to improve their finishing in matches. That is not a big worry for a young team and management as they give themselves the opportunities and just needs finishing.

The Saders have used their ball better and when they got in the red zone they came away with points.

Next week the Bulls host the Stormers at Loftus and it will be a great opportunity to start taking that opportunities and turned it into points.

What another disappointing performance from the Cell C Sharks on Friday when the Rebels smashed them 46-14.

We have seen some disappointing performances from highly rated Sharks teams over the years but on Friday coach Du Preez troops took it to a new level.

It is one thing to be outplayed in a match by a better team, it is a totally other thing when you don’t show any fight.

It almost felt that they have given up in the match and that is never good to see. To let through 6 tries from a team with the quality players they have in their group.

I am not at all close enough to this team but one starts to worry about the fact that we have a coach with three sons playing under him and a young player of color Bosch, has been moved from his normal number ten position to fullback to make way for the coach son.

We would not be talking about this if they were winning matches but they are not.

Something is wrong in this team and normally this points to a management problem from coaches or the senior players.

The Rebels beaten defenders 29 times and had 20 clean breaks which just confirm their dominance on the scoreboard.

The Sharks conceded 22 turnovers and at this level that is one way to loose a game.

The Sharks missed 29 tackles in the match and on attack they looked without a real plan.

Next week the Sharks travel to New Zealand to face the Blues and it could be a bloodbath if they do not find answers.

The Stormers were the only South African side that managed a win over the weekend and although they dominated the match throughout they almost threw it away at the end.

As with most South African teams the defence of the Stormers have been disappointing at times and it always seemed to go south in the last quarter of the matches.

As last week against the Blues the Stormers dominated the early exchanges and they quickly build a lead which at the end pulled them through for the win.

Seems like both Newlands ground was opened for controversy with the referee and TMO deemed a dangerous tackle Taniela Tupou openly went late and with the shoulder in Barry head area.

This should have been a straight red card and the TMO deemed it not high nor dangerous which let the referee to play on.

There was a few off the ball incidents from the Reds which went unpunished and SANZAAR with the referees needs to stand up and take control of these incidents on the field.

On attack the teams were very even but it was the Stormers that had the better of the ball and made also the most clean breaks.

They left allot of points on the park and could not finish the opportunities that they were presented in the match.

The Stormers missed 29 tackles which is not good enough at this level and the exact reason why they could not get a win on tour.

Lineouts keep being a problem for the Stormers which is very disappointing as they have been struggling all season with this aspect of their game.

Willemse was another positive for the Stormers as the youngster keep on growing in the pivot number ten jumper.

Next week the Stormers travel the old rivals the Bulls in Pretoria and it is going to be a big one.

It has been another disappointing weekend for the Lions team and their supporters.

The Lions, although in the game till the end was always one step behind the Jaguares who outscored them on Saturday 49-35.

Look I am not looking for excuses but I was yet again angered by the referees in this match which allow to much off the ball play from the Jaguares going unpunished.

It starts to worry me that referees allow teams to play players off the rucks and blatantly slow down quick ball of the attacking team to just get a penalty against them.

The Jaguares have made the guilty of this since joining Super Rugby and they seemed to get a free pass by officials.

Let’s make no mistakes they deserved the win as the Lions yet again failed on their defensive effort in this match and let through tries with some ordinary defence.

On attack the Jaguares were brilliant running with speed and what was most impressive from the Argentinians was the support play throughout the match.

On defence the Lions missed 27 tackles which at the end of the day cost them the game.

Their set pieces was solid again and they dominated that aspect of the match.

Questions again must be asked why a player like Marx did not start the match as he made a huge difference when he did come on in the second half.

With three bad weekends from the Lions in the last couple of weeks the bye next week could not have come at a better time.

They will be back in action in two weeks against the Crusaders at home.

Here is a roundup of the other matches played this weekend.

Sunwolves 10 – 61 Chiefs

The Sunwolves was thought another lesson when the Chiefs hammered them 61-10 on Saturday

Scoring nine tries to two tells the story as the Chiefs just shown how far behind this Sunwolves team are to be competitive in this competition.

They had 21 clean breaks carrying the ball 689 times in the match. The Sunwolves did try throughout the match but they were just outclassed by a better team.

Next week sees the Chiefs against the Highlanders which will be a great local derby and the Sunwolves will have a bye.

Damian McKenzie was the leader of the pack and he will have to be on his best against the Highlanders next weekend.

Hurricanes 29 – 12 Highlanders

The Hurricanes got over the Highlanders hurdle on Saturday when they beat them 29-12 in another highly entertaining match.

Skills a plenty was on show with the Barrett brothers leading the way for the Hurricanes.

The contest was much closer than the scoreboard would suggest. The Highlanders were made to tackle 151 times which tells the story on the dominance from the Hurricanes on attack.

Next week the Hurricanes will face the log leaders Rebels in Australia and the Highlanders will have to take on the Chiefs.

As we move along in the season their are already teams who are in serious trouble and others that look like teams that will make the playoffs but their is still allot of rugby to be played and anything can happen.

Log Standing

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019
9934118
10945016
11834015
12936014
13831013
14826012
1570702

Our weekly preview and recap is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

For more info contact Glen at sekoma.island@gmail.com

 

 

Lions outplayed again by Jaguares in Argentina

18

The Jaguares got another win against the Lions at home when they beat them 49-35 on Saturday night.

It was another poor defensive performance from the Lions as the Jaguares ran in six tries.

The Lions made the worst start possible letting the Jaguares to dominate in the game and broke the rushed defence from the Lions to score the first try within 2 minutes.

This gave them a 7-0 lead early on.

The Lions started to get more ball and playing better hand in hand rugby but handling errors stopped any progress they made.

The Lions finally managed to hold on to the ball and scored two quick tries which gave them the lead 14-10 after 20 minutes.

Just as the Lions started to look like they where dominating the Jaguares came back with a try of their own from some great hard work from forwards.

This gave them the lead of 15-14 back after 28 minutes.

The Lions was put on the backfoot with the Jaguares playing a fast game with quick hands and after spending some time in Lions half got a penalty to extend the lead to 18-14.

On the stroke of halftime, the Jaguares again outclass the Lions with speed and quick hands to create an overlap to get another try.

This gave them a 25-14 lead at the break.

The Jaguares was first to score again in the second half extending their lead to 32-14 and looking like they will take the game away from the Lions.

The Lions were able to start and control the ball better and score two quick tries to come within four points of the Jaguares just to let it slip again with poor defence.

The Jaguares extended the lead again to 39-28.

It was almost one for you and one for me at this stage of the game as Marx got over from a lineout drive to bring the score to 39-35 for the Jaguares.

The Lions was put under pressure again and with the pressure came another poor defensive effort from the Lions as they gave another try away.

The Jaguares slotted another penalty over which made the score 49-35 with 6 min to go.

The Lions had to settle again for another defeat at the hands of the Jaguares in Argentina and it was a well deserved win for the Jaguares outscoring the Lions six tries to five

Scorers:

Jaguares

 

Tries – Javier Ortega Desio(72′) Bautista Ezcurra(65′) Emiliano Boffelli(47′) Javier Ortega Desio(40′) Emiliano Boffelli(28′) Bautista Delguy(1′)

Penalties – Nicolas Sanchez(75′) Nicolas Sanchez(37′) Nicolas Sanchez(11′)

Cons – Nicolas Sanchez(73′) Nicolas Sanchez(66′) Nicolas Sanchez(48′) Nicolas Sanchez(41′) Nicolas Sanchez(2′)

Lions

 

Tries – Malcolm Marx(67′) Lourens Erasmus(62′) Malcolm Marx(56′) Sylvian Mahuza(22′) Marvin Orie(17′)

Penalties – Elton Jantjies(63′)

Cons – Elton Jantjies(68′) Elton Jantjies(58′) Elton Jantjies(23′) Elton Jantjies(18′)

Stormers get win but Reds push them till the end

0

The Stormers took back to back win at home when they beat the Reds 25-19 at Newlands on Saturday.

The almost thrown the game away in the last minute of the game but manage to hold on

With both the Bulls and Sharks losing South African supporters needed something from the Stormers and they started well against the Reds.

Dominating the play in the first 30 minutes they starved the Reds from ball and played most of the half in the Reds half.

The Reds Taniela Tupou was lucky not to been shown a red card after a no arms late hit on Barry which the referee and TMO seen as all right.

The Stormers got on the board with a penalty from Willemse as they kept the Reds pinned down in their own half.

It was some magic from Rhule and Viljoen that send Duvenage over for the first try and a lead of 8-0 for the Stormers.

With the Reds making allot of mistakes with ball in hand the Stormers kept the pressure on and soon got their second try through their forwards.

That gave them a 15-0 lead and starting to look like they will run away a bit from the Reds.

Another penalty for a high tackle gave Willemse another chance to extend the lead to 18-0.

The Stormers lost a lineout on their own twenty-two and the Reds where quick to run at the gabs and scored their first try to make the halftime score 18-7.

The second half did not start well for Stormers as they again where forced into a mistake that gave the Reds their second try.

Two mistakes within 5 minutes of the end of first half and beginning of second half brought the Reds right back in the match.

The Stormers hit back with a great scrum from the pack which gave the backs to work their magic and send Rhule over in the corner.

The Stormers seemed to get back the control of the game but with 62 minutes gone it was still anyone game.

Mistakes on attack cost the Stormers from scoring a few more tries in the last quarter of the match.

The Stomers kept the Reds ain their twenty two but a lack in defence gave Aidan Toua a break away try and brought them back for the win.

The Stormers had to defend for all they worth in the last play of the match to take the win

Scorers:

Stormers

 

Tries – Raymond Rhule(53′) Wilco Louw(26′) Dewaldt Duvenage(15′)

Penalties – Damian Willemse(32′) Damian Willemse(3′)

Cons – Damian Willemse(55′) Damian Willemse(27′)

Reds

 

Tries – Filipo Daugunu(80′) Alex Mafi(42′) Caleb Timu(37′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Jono Lance(42′) Jono Lance(38′)

Rebels smash awful Sharks

3

The Rebels has taken advantage of another poor showing from the Sharks to get a bonus point win on Friday.

This has moved the Rebels up to the number 1 spot on the overall log and improved their number 1 spot in the Aussie conference.

It was a great win for the Rebels after last weeks lost against the Waratahs and has dumped the Sharks into deeper troubles.

Their was allot of talk pre-season about the Sharks changes this year but that is slipping away faster that Cape Town dam levels at the moment.

As great as the Rebels played, the Sharks managed to drop to an even lower level than last weeks lackluster performance.

The Rebels began the stronger of the two sides and took an early 3-0 courtesy of a Reece Hodge penalty. They were rewarded for their dominance with the game’s first try in the 12th after Jack Debrezeni put in an excellent cross-field kick which enabled Marika Koroibete to push Sharks wing Sbu Nkosi in to touch.

From the resulting lineout, Rebels hooker Anaru Rangi was able to go straight through the back of the maul and over. Hodge made no mistake with the conversion.

In the 17th minute, the Sharks were reduced to fourteen men for ten minutes when Curwin Bosch was yellow-carded for knocking down Jack Maddocks’ pass which would have allowed Koroibete an easy run-in.

After a poor start to the game in which their ball was laboured and line speed even slower, the Sharks finally got their act together when they scored a fantastic team try.

Lukhanyo Am made the break before a series of short passes and offloads between backs and forwards saw the ball eventually arrive in Lwazi Mvovo’s hands, the winger showing impressive strength to haul a couple of defenders with him over the line. Fly-half Robert du Preez added the extras to cut the deficit to three at 10-7 with half an hour gone.

Eight minutes later and just two minutes before half-time, the impressive Rangi grabbed his brace, going over at the back of a well-worked driving maul. Hodge missed the conversion as the Rebels took a 15-7 lead in to the interval.

The second-half was a much more one-sided affair, with the Rebels grabbing the tie by the scruff of the neck.

Debreczeni extended the lead five minutes after break to 18-7 with a penalty after Sharks scrum-half Louis Schreuder was penalised for offside at the scrum.

After the Rebels had a five-metre attacking scrum in the 55th minute, they went for the line and won a short-arm penalty. Scrum-half Will Genia first played a pop pass for Richard Hardwick who was halted inches short. From the ruck, Genia made a sniping break and managed to get the ball down. Debreczeni’s conversion took the home side out to a 25-7 lead.

With a quarter of the match to go, the Rebels were rewarded for a fantastic passage of play with their fourth try. After excellent work by Amanaki Mafi and Genia at the breakdown securing the turnover, Genia spun the pass out right to captain Adam Coleman, who made an incisive break.

It went through the hands before the ball eventually spilled loose and Billy Meakes did well to react quickest, before showing good upper body strength to power his way over the line despite the attentions of three Sharks defenders..

Soon after, the icing was well and truly put on the cake when relacement prop Fereti Sa’aga made an exceptional line break with nothing on before playing the final pass for Ross Haylett-Petty to coast in under the posts. Debreczeni’s conversion made it 39-7.

With five minutes to go, April held the ball up well, before playing a pop pass for Marius Louw who ran the perfect line to break through and dot down for his second.

But it was only a consolation try, as the Rebels added to their tally with a late Sa’aga five-pointer to run out 46-14 winners.

The scorers:

Rebels

 

Tries – Fereti Sa’aga(81′) Ross Haylett-Petty(68′) Bill Meakes(64′) Will Genia(56′) Anaru Rangi(38′) Anaru Rangi(11′)

Penalties – Jack Debreczeni(45′) Reece Hodge(2′)

Cons – Jack Debreczeni(82′) Jack Debreczeni(69′) Jack Debreczeni(64′) Jack Debreczeni(57′) Reece Hodge(12′)

Tries – Lwazi Mvovo(76′) Lwazi Mvovo(28′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Curwin Bosch(78′) Robert du Preez(30′)

Crusaders punish Bulls in the wet

4

The Bulls were handed their third defeat on tour when the Crusaders beat them 33-14 on Friday.

The defending champions bounce back after two losses against the Highlanders and Hurricanes to take a bonus point win.

It was a wet field as it rained throughout the match with the Crusaders adopting to the conditions and taking advantage of the Bulls mistakes and the penalties they conceded.

The Bulls just made too many errors while they did not convert their chances whereas the Crusaders were ruthlessly clinical, coming away with points every time they got into the end-zone.

The Bulls began on the front foot, taking the game to their more-fancied opponents. After the Bulls had won a scrum penalty, Handre Pollard’s kick to touch eight metres out gave them a genuine chance. The Crusaders were then penalised for not rolling away. Once again, Pollard opted for touch, a sign of the attacking enterprise of this new-look Bulls outfit.

After the Crusaders had given away four penalties in a row and referee Federico Anselmi had warned Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock about his side’s repeated infringements, the Bulls yet again opted not to take the three points which would come back to haunt them as the Crusaders would force a penalty off another predictable Bulls’ driving maul from the lineout.

92 percent possession and territory after the first 12 minutes had come to nought for the Bulls, something coach John Mitchell would be bitterly disappointed with.

In contrast, the Crusaders scored with their first sojourn upfield and it came from a turnover before they kicked the ball ahead with Warrick Gelant having no choice but to put the ball in to touch. From the lineout, they set up the driving maul which rumbled over as Scott Barrett eventually emerged with the ball from the pile of the bodies. Mitchell Hunt made no mistake with the conversion as the Crusaders took a 15th-minute 7-0 lead.

Anselmi lost his patience with the Crusaders for their repeated indiscretions when Tim Perry was yellow-carded for a high hit. Despite their numerical disadvantage, it was the Crusaders who scored next and extended their lead.

In almost identical fashion to the first, the Crusaders turned over, kicked the ball upfield and left Gelant no exit plan which forced him in to touch. From the resulting lineout, Codie Taylor broke off the back of the driving maul to power his way past a couple of defenders and over. Despite having only 30 percent possession and territory, the Crusaders showed just how ruthless they can be at 14-0 up with 14 men.

The Bulls, however, had an instant response and it came on the half hour mark from an attacking scrum 20 metres out. Bulls winger Travis Ismaiel was first receiver and scythed his way past three defenders to cap off a magnificent individual effort, halving the deficit and bringing the Bulls well and truly back in to the game.

However, the ‘Saders had the last laugh of the first half as centre Jack Goodhue showed a strong leg drive to somehow power his way past both Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman and number eight Tim Agaba from close range. Hunt added the extras as the hosts took a 21-7 lead into the interval.

The Crusaders were converting every time they went into the Bulls’ end-zone. After the visitors conceded a penalty, Hunt kicked an excellent touch finder. The Crusaders’ maul was successfully halted by the Bulls this time but as the ball was recyled right, Goodhue ran a lovely angle to find the gap between two Bulls defenders and dot down for his brace. Hunt’s conversion made it 28-7 with half an hour to go.

Having managed to win the penalty, the Bulls worked the ball off the lineout drive. Marco van Staden was not held in the tackle, got up and ran 15 metres to the line before diving over. Pollard’s conversion meant the Bulls trailed 28-14 with ten minutes to go.

Two minutes later, the Crusaders had worked their way close to the Bulls’ try-line before Hunt put in the cross-field kick. Manasa Mataele competed well in the air, knocking it backwards with George Bridge the first to pounce on the ball. The finisher still had plenty to do as he writhed his way past numerous defenders before producing the one-handed finish.

Hunt missed the conversion but it mattered little as the defending champions closed out the match comfortably.

The scorers: 

For Crusaders:
Tries: Barrett, Taylor, Goodhue 2, Bridge
Cons: Hunt 4
Yellow Card: Perry

For Bulls:
Tries: Ismaiel, Van Staden
Cons: Pollard 2

Super Rugby Preview – Round 6

3

The past week was again a disappointing one for the South African teams with just the Stormers and the Lions able to secure wins in their matches but both without bonus points.

The Bulls will be kicking themselves after giving the game away against the Chiefs and the Sharks was just plain poor in all aspects.

Rightly so the Sharks coach Du Preez was saying this week that he finds it difficult to get any positives out of the Brumbies game.

But this week is a new week with new teams to face but before we look at the team lets look at the Log Standings

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019
9934118
10945016
11834015
12936014
13831013
14826012
1570702

The Bulls with two losses already on tour are going to visit the defending champions, the Crusaders on Friday in their third match on tour.

It is not the easiest matches for any team to go and play the Crusaders and more so if you are on a three match losing streak at the moment.

It is not that the Bulls are playing badly is is just the fact that they do not play for 80 minutes and we all know against New Zealand teams you need to be prepared to play 90 minute games.

The Crusaders have not done much better as they now also lost two games in a row which is not something they or their supporters is used to.

With both teams limping at the moment one do expect them both to come out firing on Friday.

The Bulls side has some familiarity to it now as coach Mitchell is starting to build confidence in his side.

The back line looks good yet again with players like Gelant, Kriel, Ismaiel, Odendaal and Pollard all great players.

The tries they leaked last week through would have been a concern for Mitchell but as with most things in the the game it is fixable and they have to be on par against the Saders.

The Bulls forwards is also starting develop in a good unit and time will make this tight five better. Was really impressed so far with Smit who will play a vital roll against a side like the Crusaders.

The Stormers showed all teams last week how to play against New Zealand teams with hitting the rucks and win the small battles throughout the 80 minutes.

One has to dominate the New Zealanders upfront to have any change on getting you speedsters and play makers in play.

That is where the battle is half won if you can succeed but easy to do so is it not.

Even with so many stars out of this Crusaders side they will beat any team any day of the week and twice on a Sunday.

If the Bulls can get their set pieces right, win the contact, better their defence and stay away from any cards they may be able to cause an upset.

Prediction: To many if’s for the Bulls to win this Saders by 12 points

Teams:

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor 1 Tim Perry
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Braydon Ennor

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka), 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze

The Sharks will face the Rebels this week after both teams suffered defeat in the previous round.

With the Sharks team a bit of their backs against the wall, a huge performance will be expected from them as they challenge the Rebels.

It has not even been close to what we have been expected from the Sharks this year and we find ourselves in to much of the same thing every year when it comes to the Sharks.

Of the five games played between the sides, the Sharks have won four while there has been one draw. The Sharks have won on each of their previous two visits to Melbourne to face the Rebels, those wins both coming by fewer than seven points though.

However, will Sharks coach Robert du Preez’s decision to rest flying winger Makazole Mapimpi come back to haunt him? Mapimpi has made an excellent start to his Sharks career, scoring in each of his three matches so far.

The Rebels, meanwhile, have opted to drop Tom English, shift Jack Maddocks to full-back with Marika Koroibete ready for his first start of the season on the wing.

And Rebels coach Dave Wessels says he is focusing on his own side’s performance and not on the teams around them.

Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has made four alterations to his run-on side and has also tinkered with his replacements bench after last weekend’s defeat to the Brumbies in Canberra.

Most of the changes are in the backline with Sbu Nkosi and Lwazi Mvovo taking over from Kobus van Dyk and Makazole Mapimpi on the wings while Marius Louw replaces the injured Andre Esterhuizen at inside centre.

Amongst the forwards, Jean-Luc du Preez returns on the blindside flank in place of Jacques Vermeulen, who switches to the other side of the scrum where he takes over from Wian Vosloo.

Prediction: The Sharks seemed to be a two week teams so lets give this one to them with 8.

Teams:

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman (c), 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Ross Haylett-Petty, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Tom English

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (c), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Garth April

The Sunwolves gave the Lions an almighty scare last week in Johannesburg and I think teams will not think this is just a pitch up and win game anymore.

Clearly their new coaching team and players are far better than what they have shown the past two years and the Chiefs will be careful going into this game although they are suppose to pick up full points.

Colin Cooper has made five changes to his side for the clash with Tyler Ardron coming in at lock with Retallick.

Seu also comes in with Tahuriorangi at number nine. Pulu is also back after injury with McKenzie moving to number ten.

Willie Britz is back in the starting lineup to lead the Sunwolves and there is also a rotational shift in the back three with Kotaro Matsushima moving from full-back to wing, while Ryuji Noguchi will wear the number 15 jersey.

Japan captain Michael Leitch shifts from number eight to blindside, with Edward Quirk and Britz completing the loose trio.

Prediction: Chiefs should get the 5 points so win by 20.

Sunwolves: 15 Ryuji Noguchi, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willem Britz (c), 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Kazuki Himeno, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Jiwon Koo, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Robbie Robinson, 23 William Tupou

Chiefs: 15 Marty McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Karl Tu’inukaufe, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Sean Wainui, 23 Bailyn Sullivan

One of the games of the weekend will see the Hurricanes tackle the Highlanders at home in an all New Zealand derby.

The Highlanders had a great start to the season and will be looking to keep on the winning ways as they travel to face the Canes.

The Hurricanes have come good after the early slip on round 2 of the season against the Bulls at Loftus.

They have been impressive on attack with the two Barrett brother cause havoc in defence the last couple of weeks.

I was impress with the Hurricanes pack so far this season as they dominate the breakdowns and have been able to create enough space for their dangerous backline.

The thing is that the Highlanders play almost the same type of game which makes this and exciting prospect for the weekend.

We can expect a fast and hard game between these two sides and one that you should not miss Saturday morning.

TJ Perenara will join the Hurricanes 100 club on Saturday. The All Blacks scrum-half is part of a side that contains just one change to the starting side that defeated the Crusaders 29-19 in their last match

Elliot Dixon will get his first start of the season for the Highlanders in the number six jersey.

With Dixon’s elevation to the starting XV, Hawkes Bay and NZ U20 loose forward, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, who joined the Highlanders’ earlier in the year as injury cover for James Lentjes, will get the opportunity to play for his second Highlanders’ cap from the bench.

Up front, Tyrell Lomax, also gets his first start in the Highlanders jersey at tighthead prop after a few cameos in the early rounds. Young Otago pivot, Josh Ioane, has been named on the bench and will play his debut game for the Highlanders should he take the field.

Do not miss this one…

Prediction: I think you have the same odds in predicting this one than winning the Lotto on Saturday so I just gonna pick the Hurricanes because I like Barrett…Hurricanes by 10

Teams:

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Murray Douglas, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Vince Aso

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Colman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Shannon Fizzell, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Joshn Ioane, 23 Matt Faddes

Apart from their first round match and the red card, the Reds actually is not looking that bad of a team so far.

They picked up a win against the Bulls and then went on the road to take a win against the Jaguares last week.

With all the traveling it may play an effect in the game but they will not be an easy prospect at Newlands for the Stormers on Saturday.

The Stormers have surprised most last week with a dominating win against the Blues after yet another disastrous tour.

The problem I have with the Stormers is that they almost never in the past few years put two good performances together in two weeks.

This is me that hopes that have turned the bad start around last week and they can dominate the Reds upfront as they did against the Blues.

This is where the Stormers needs to show us their character and that they are a team that have learn from their mistakes.

The youngster Craig Barry will get his first change at Super Rugby at fifteen for the Stormers.

Damien Willemse is again the general for the Stormers at flyhalf and they will be hoping the youngster keep the good form he has shown over the last few weeks.

Upfront the Stormers also have Wiese back in the starting line up with Kolisi leading the team.

Prediction: Going with the home team, Stormers with 11 points

Teams:

Stormers – 15 Craig Barry, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Subs: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 George Whitehead.

Reds – T15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 James Slipper (c).
Subs: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Eto Nabuli.

The Lions had two bad weeks of Super Rugby with a lost at home against the Blues and a narrow win against the Sunwolves last week.

This week see them travel to Argentina to face the Jaguares who they have never beaten at home in the last two seasons.

The performances from senior players was worrying the past two weeks and coach de Bruin can not be a happy chappy.

He has made some changes to the side as well that got over the Sunwolves last week.

All in all De Bruin made 10 changes to his side with Janse van Rensburg moving back to inside centre with Mahuza back at 14.

Marco Jansen van Vuren comes in at scrum-half as a replacement for Ross Cronje, who is ruled out with a rib injury.

In the forwards, Kwagga Smith moves from the side of the scrum to number 8, while Robert Kruger and Cyle Brink are the starting flankers.

This means that the side’s captain Franco Mostert returns to his favoured lock position and he packs down alongside Marvin Orie.

In the front row, Ruan Dreyer and Jacques Van Rooyen replace Jacobie Adriaanse and Dylan Smith as the starting props while Robbie Coetzee takes over from Malcolm Marx at hooker.

Prediction: Lions by 12

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Robert Kruger, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Shaun Reynolds

Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (c), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Felipe Arregui, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 23 Ramiro Moyano

Our weekly preview is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

For more info contact Glen at sekoma.island@gmail.com

Lions squeeze past Sunwolves

2

The Lions survived an almighty scare to secure a hard-fought 40-38 victory over the Sunwolves in Super Rugby at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Swys de Bruin’s side went into half-time leading 19-17 after a sloppy first half performance. They started the second half well but then allowed the Sunwolves back in to the game. However, they had enough grit to see them through.

The Sunwolves got the game off to a flying start, winning a penalty for offside and taking an early lead through the boot of William Tupou with just a minute on the clock.

However, the Lions hit back shortly afterwards, with Andries Coetzee fending off a tackle before scoring the first try of the game on the left in the eighth minute.

The hosts then scored their second in unusual fashion in the 19th. After obliterating the Sunwolves pack to win a scrum against the feed, the both Lions locks simultaneously pounced on the ball to dot down. Some sources credited the try to Marvin Orie and others to Lourens Erasmus, but either way, the Lions looked as if they were cruising.

However, the Sunwolves hit straight back. Lappies Labuschagne went close to going over the line, but was brought down just short. From there,  Kotaro Matsushima finished the job, scoring the visitors’ first try in the 22nd minute.

It took just five minutes before the Lions gave themselves some breathing space once again, with Malcolm Marx powering over from close range on the right.

However, the Sunwolves refused to lie down and scored the last try of the first half. Yutaka Nagare initiated it with a clever kick over the top. The Sunwolves chased it down and put Ross Cronje under pressure before forcing a turnover. Craig Millar was the man to capitalise, scoring on the left in the 31st minute.

Despite ending the first half off on the back foot, the Lions turned the tide within a matter of seconds after the restart. Aphiwe Dyantyi charged down Harumichi Tatekawa’s kick and went in for the try.

Back on the wing for the Sunwolves, Hosea Saumaki responded 10 minutes later, evading three tackles out wide and going all the way to score a superb solo try.

The Japanese side then sensationally took the lead in the 59th minute, with Kazuki Himeno intercepting a pass and running in under the posts.

That scare seemed to shock the Lions into action. Marx forced his way over again just three minutes later following a driving maul before Rohan Janse van Rensburg extended the lead in the 72nd minute, crashing through three attempted tackles following a well-worked lineout move.

A swift counter-attack saw Atsushi Sakate score in the 80th minute to keep the game alive, but the Lions ultimately held on for a nail-biting victory.

The scorers:

Lions

Tries – Rohan Janse van rensburg(72′) Malcolm Marx(62′) Aphiwe Dyantyi(41′) Malcolm Marx(27′) Marvin Orie(19′) Andries Coetzee(8′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Elton Jantjies(73′) Elton Jantjies(63′) Elton Jantjies(42′) Elton Jantjies(20′) Elton Jantjies(10′)

Sunwolves

Tries – Atsushi Sakate(80′) Kazuki Himeno(59′) Hosea Saumaki(51′) Craig Millar(31′) Kotaro Matsushima(22′)

Penalties – Will Tupou(2′)

Cons – Ryoto Nakamura(80′) Ryoto Nakamura(60′) Will Tupou(52′) Will Tupou(32′) Will Tupou(23′)

Stormers outscore the Blues

0

It was a different Stormers side that pitch up at Newlands on Saturday when they beat the Blues 37-20.

The Stormers forwards laid the foundation for the back to play the rugby we knew they could play and outscored the Blues five tries to three and a perfect kicking performance from Damien Willemse.

It was the Stormers that started with ball in-hand as the forwards put some powerful runs in to open it up for Viljoen to go over for the first try 2 minutes in the game.

That gave the Stormers a 7-0 lead early on in the match.

The Blues were able to put some pressure on the Stormers but defence forced them into mistakes and with a kick down field which Leyds fielded came into the hands of Du Toit who sprinted down the line to put Rhule in for their second try.

That gave them the 14-0 lead after 15 minutes.

The Blues got on the ball with a penalty but it was the Stormers again that turned on the heat after a charged down with Carr going over but the try was disallowed as he was infront of the player who charged the ball down.

The Stormers got another penalty over after yet another Blues player offside. That gave them a 17-3 lead after 32 minutes.

It was again the Stormers that where camping in the Blues red zone and the Blues where lucky that they did not get a card for yet again playing repeatedly offside.

From the lineout the Stormers forwards did the yards again to give Duvenge the space to dive over for their third try.

The teams went into the break with the Stormers leading 24-3.

The Stormers have dominated the breakdown and small battles which starved the Blues from ball and had to defend 90% of that first half.

The second half the Stormers seemed to still be in the change room as they looked out of it with the Blues doing the play and get the first points with a try to close the gap to 24-8.

The Stormers hit back immediately when JJ intercept the ball in his own half to run almost the whole field to find Viljoen in support to go over for his second of the afternoon.

It gave the Stormers a 31-8 lead after 52 minutes.

The Blues broke out from their own half to work their way through the Stormers defence to get their second try of the match.

The Stormers looked again good on attack but it was the Blues that got back in the Stormers half to get over for yet another try after some fast hands at the back.

The Stormers worked their way back to the Blues half and forced a penalty which Willemse kicked over to give them a 37-20 lead.

We saw some poor consistency from referees this weekend on the offside and repeatedly giving away penalties in red zone and the trend seemed to be the same for this clash.

The Stormers eat the end had enough of energy after a three week tour and the flu bug that pulled half the team down this week to take an great win 37-20.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Stormers Stormers 37  20 Blues Blues

Stormers

 

Tries – EW Viljoen(50′) Dewaldt Duvenage(36′) Nizaam Carr(22′) Raymond Rhule(13′) EW Viljoen(2′)

Penalties – Damian Willemse(72′) Damian Willemse(65′) Damian Willemse(30′)

Cons – Damian Willemse(52′) Damian Willemse(36′) Damian Willemse(15′) Damian Willemse(3′)

Blues

 

Tries –Rieko Ioane(69′) Michael Collins(57′) Akira Ioane(46′)

Penalties – Bryn Gatland(17′)

Cons – Stephen Perofeta(58′)

 

Brumbies beat woeful Sharks

1

It was yet another disappointing performance from a Sharks team when they lost against the Brumbies 24-17.

It was yet another poor performance from a Sharks team who should be playing allot better rugby.

The game did not start great for the touring Sharks with the Brumbies getting early penalties to get an opportunity to kick for points.

They took the lead 3-0 after just 5 minutes with a penalty from halfway.

The Sharks struggled to get any hands-on ball in the first 15 minutes having to defend for 90% of the time.

It did not get better for the Sharks as they kept on playing o the back foot because of silly penalties from them.

The team also got a team warning for offsides and not long after that the Brumbies went over for their first try of the match and a 10-0 lead.

Halfway through the half the game went nowhere fast with both teams giving away too many penalties to get any momentum.

The Sharks finally got some time in Brumbies twenty-two and forced a penalty which also gave the Brumbies a team warning for offsides in the red zone.

The penalty from Du Preez put the Sharks on the board after 30 minutes of play.

It did not get any better as both teams struggle to get a hold of the game. Both teams handling, decision making was as poor as we have seen this year so far.

The Brumbies went into the break with the lead of 10-3 to end a poor half of rugby.

The Second half started the worst possible way for the Sharks as their defence let them down again with the Brumbies getting their second try to extend their lead.

The Brumbies got another yellow card from a maul which they collapse, and the Sharks were pushing for their first try of the match.

The Sharks finally got over with Du Toit that got a short pass to dive in for their first try which gave the Brumbies only a 15-10 lead after 58 minutes.

The Brumbies got straight back into the Sharks half and forced another penalty from the scrum and extended the lead to 18-10.

The Sharks kept on giving away penalties at scrum time which gave the Brumbies yet another chance to extend the lead to 21-10 after 65 minutes.

The Sharks went south fast as their bench could not provide any impact and they kept on giving away penalties which the Brumbies happily kicked over to extend the lead to 24-10.

The Sharks gave themselves a change with a try from Bosch down the line.

The Sharks had a change to play for a draw but as throughout the game they could not do anything on attack.

This is a team with quality players but they play like a schoolboy side.

Next week the Rebels wait for them

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Brumbies Brumbies 24 17  Sharks Sharks

Brumbies

 

Tries – Henry Speight(47′) Lausii Taliauli(18′)

Penalties – Wharenui Hawera(72′) Wharenui Hawera(65′) Wharenui Hawera(62′) Wharenui Hawera(7′)

Cons – Wharenui Hawera(19′)

Sharks

 

Tries – Lukhanyo Am(77′) Thomas du Toit(57′)

Penalties – Robert du Preez(31′)

Cons – Robert du Preez(78′) Robert du Preez(58′)

Highlanders stay unbeaten against Crusaders

0

The Highlanders took the game in a highly entertaining macth on Saturday when they host the Crusaders.

The were just better at the important stages of the match to took a 25-17 win over the defending champions.

The game that both teams was expected to run the ball under the roof saw the Crusaders get over the whitewash first to take an early 7-0 lead.

This lead was only for about 4 minutes as the Highlanders hit back with their forwards to level the score again in the 10 minutes of the game.

The Highlanders quickly got to attacking mode and ended with Lima Sopoaga stepping over the line for their second and the lead.

The game was played at great speed by both sides.

With Crusaders on attack the Highlanders gave a penalty away which gave the Crusaders the chance to reduce the lead to 14-10.

Saders had a period in the middle part of the half with most of the ball but small mistakes cause some crucial turnovers which gave the Highlanders to get out of danger everytime.

The Crusaders then produce a thing of beauty to go over for their second try just to let it be disallowed by TMO for an earlier knock 0n.

This send the teams to the break with the Highlanders in the lead 14-10.

The Highlanders were given a huge blow when Waisake Naholo was bin for a high tackle which gave the Saders an extra man advantage.

With one man down the Highlanders took control of the ball and through some great hands and running into space the Highlanders got their third try of the match and the lead of 19-10 after 50 minutes.

We were waiting for that Crusaders magic and Manasa Mataele produced it with a great run down the line to send Hall over to close the gab to a 2-point game, 19-17.

The Highlanders started to get more of the ball in the right areas of the field and force a penalty to stretch their lead to 22-17.

The Highlanders kept the pressure on the Saders with some great runs down the line and forced another penalty to stretch the lead to 8 points with 10 minutes to go.

The Highlanders kept that lead till the end and took a well deserved win against the Crusaders.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Highlanders Highlanders 25 17  Crusaders Crusaders

 

Highlanders

 

Tries – Elliot Dixon(50′) Lima Sopoaga(15′) Liam Coltman(10′)

Penalties – Lima Sopoaga(70′) Lima Sopoaga(66′)

Cons – Lima Sopoaga(15′) Lima Sopoaga(11′)

Crusaders

 

 

Tries – Bryn Hall(55′) Jordan Taufua(39′) George Bridge(6′)

Penalties – Mitch Hunt(20′)

Cons – Mitch Hunt(56′) Mitch Hunt(8′)

Bulls throw game against Chiefs

7

The Bulls again blow it on Friday morning when they lost their match against the Chiefs 41-28 after a great first half.

The Chiefs had to work hard in that second half to come back and beat the Bulls who faded yet again like last week against the Reds after building a nice lead in the first half.

It was a highly entertaining match with both sides employing and expansive game-plan with the Chiefs outscoring the Bulls with six tries to four.

It was Springbok Warrick Gelant that crossed the line first after four minutes to give the Bulls the early lead.

It took the Chiefs not long to reply after the Bulls could not deal with a grubber kick and Fa’auli went over.

The Bulls were full value for great play from Jesse Kriel to offload to Rossouw who crossed for the Bulls second try of the match and the lead.

The Chiefs yet again answer with a try of their own with Retallick showing us what a class player he is.

With the game moving fast from one side to the other the Bulls gather a kick to offload to Kriel who gave a inside pass to Pollard who got over for their third try.

The Chiefs were playing catch up rugby after the break and Brown soon got over for the Chiefs third try.

Retallick again was the man of the moment as he sold Pollard the dummy of the year to get pass the effort of Visagie to get over for another try.

The Chiefs got the lead back in the 66th minute when McKenzie slotted over a penalty to take the score to 29-28  for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs then took control of the match as Solomon Alaimalo scored after gathering a well timed chip kick from Fa’auli and shortly before full-time, Anton Lienert-Brown pounced on a handling error from the Bulls – close to their try-line – when he went over for his side’s sixth try.

It was an great effort from the Bulls but a game of rugby is played for 80 minutes and they will have to learn to be on par for the full game.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Chiefs Chiefs 41  28  Bulls Bulls

Chiefs

 

Tries – Anton Lienert-Brown(81′) Solomona Alaimalo(74′) Brodie Retallick(56′) Mitchell Brown(43′) Brodie Retallick(36′) Jonathan Faauli(9′)

Penalties – Damian McKenzie(63′)

Cons – Damian McKenzie(83′) Damian McKenzie(45′) Damian McKenzie(38′) Damian McKenzie(10′)

Bulls

 

 

Tries – Handre Pollard(39′) Divan Rossouw(23′) Divan Rossouw(16′) Warrick Gelant(3′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Handre Pollard(40′) Handre Pollard(24′) Handre Pollard(16′) Handre Pollard(5′)

Super Rugby Preview – Round 5

5

Round 4 was not a great week for South African teams as we only got a win out of the Sharks last weekend.

It was a very disappointing week for Bulls and Lions as it was somewhat expected of them to get wins last week.

The Bulls never really got going against the Reds and the Lions gave one on a platter to the Blues.

With the Bulls and Sharks on tour the Stormers are back in Cape Town after their disappointing tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Here is were our teams stand at the moment:

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963015
283418
373405
493605
551404

We have an action pack weekend again starting with the Bulls that will play against the Chiefs in New Zealand.

16 Chiefs v Bulls FMG Stadium Waikato 08:35
17 Highlanders v Crusaders Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
17 Brumbies v Sharks GIO Stadium 10:45
17 Stormers v Blues DHL Newlands 15:05
17 Lions v Sunwolves Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
17 Jaguares v Reds Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
18 Waratahs v Rebels Allianz Stadium 07:05

This weekend matches kick off with the Chiefs, coming off a bye, hosting the Bulls who has lost their first tour game last weekend against the Reds.

The Chiefs as with the Bulls have a new coach this year and will have confidence going into this game as they boost four wins in the last couple of years over the Bulls

A victory will be very important for both teams which adds a little bit to the flavor in the match.

The Bulls have not been happy tourist in the past and with the bad start last week management and players will want to get back on track.

If they do not fix the mistakes made against the Reds last week they will be in for a hiding to nothing against this Chiefs side.

“My focus and our focus has been around making sure our preparation is right first and foremost and making sure our mindset is right,” John Mitchell told IOL Sport.

“And also making sure that when you come play in New Zealand it is not about the physical aspect of the game, it’s actually more mentally and making sure you have the right focus in the right areas. We are going to have to go for 100 minutes, we are going to have to be as accurate as we can when we play in New Zealand.”

Damian Mckenzie is back for the Chiefs at fullback. This will give the Chiefs that extra dimension on attack.

One thing that was very disappointing about the Bulls performance last week was the scrums.

The battle for the Bulls will be won upfront and Roelof Smit will play a vital role in that. He is a genuine threat at the breakdowns. Smit has been superb on the ground and won eight turnovers so far this campaign, more than any other player in the competition.

The Bulls backline also needs to start firing and show the quality they have with Gelant, Kriel, Odendaal, Pollard and Ismaiel.

It is great news to see Burger Odendaal back in the midfield for the Bulls as they captain return from injury.

His leadership and power play will surely put the Bulls more on the front foot.

Prediction: This should be a great match to start the weekend with and although I believe the Bulls will be better I still give it to the Chiefs with 7 points.

The teams:

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Fa’auli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Tiaan Falcon, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Michael Allardice, 20 Luke Jacobson, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Declan O’Donnell

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Andre Warner,  8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Jason Jenkins/Tim Agaba, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze

 

The Crusaders are still on the road as they travel to Dunedin to face-off against the high-flying Highlanders this weekend.

Saders coach Robertson has had a pretty difficult year so far with an injury list that scream out all the star players names.

The Crusaders will atleast field an unchanged pack of forwards for this game with only a tweak at the backs.

Mitchell Drummond and Bryn Hall will rotate this week, with Hall taking a spot on the bench and Drummond to wear the No. 9 jersey in what will be his 50th game for the Crusaders.

The only other change sees Tim Bateman step in to the starting line up at second five-eighth in place of Ryan Crotty, out after suffering a head knock against the Hurricanes.

The Highlanders fresh of their win against the Stormers last week have also made a few changes.

Speedy winger Tevita Li returns to the left flank in place of Tevita Nabura, while Aki Seiuli comes in for Daniel Lienert-Brown at loosehead prop.

This is a clash of the South and one can be sure it will be a fast exciting match under the roof on Satirday

Predictions: The highlanders are on a roll and the Saders are struggling with key injuries, Highlanders by 8

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Aki Seiuli
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon (cc), 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Kalolo Tulioma, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes

Crusaders: David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Tim Bateman, George Bridge, Mitchell Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett.

Replacements: Manasa Mataele, Mike Delany, Bryn Hall, Billy Harmon, Luke Romano, Oliver Jager, Chris King, Ben Funnell.

With their first win under the belt against the Sunwolves last week the Sharks are on tour with some confidence and exactly what they needed for their first tour match against the Brumbies.

The Sharks have been a side that normally tour well and they will want to do it right this year starting with a somewhat struggling Brumbies side.

The Brumbies have not been clinical at all this year. Their game is that of individuals rather than a team and if you disrupt them early on you have the game won.

The Sharks will want to dominate with their tight five and set pieces to bring in play their quality backline.

Last week against the Sunwolves the Sharks showed glimpses of what they can do with great attacking players at the back.

Beside from the quality attackers they have they have players that can read the game and they can switch between an full out attacking game to a kicking game.

Prediction: Can see the Sharks get an away win here…Sharks by 11

Teams:

Brumbies – 15 Andrew Muirhead, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Lausii Taliauli, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Tom Banks.

Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Wian Vosloo, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (c), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

The Stormers are back at home after another win-less tour and it is not getting easier as they have even more injuries to the list and some players also getting struck by fluw this week as well.

The Blues surprise many last week in a great comeback to beat the Lions in Johannesburg and will be full of confidence against a somewhat struggling Stormers side even if the game is played at Newlands.

The Blues as any other New Zealand side is always a danger on attack and they would have seen the problems the Stormers have on defence so far this year.

The Stormers have also struggled with their gameplan which sometime looks like their is not such a thing.

With disruptions of injuries one can understand the problem coach Fleck faces but we expect better from team of players.

The Blues will be going into this match as favorites and Stormers fans will be hoping that the team can step up now that they are back at home again.

Prediction: Too many wannabe players in this Stormers side still, Blues by 14.

Teams:

Stormers

15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Cobus Wiese, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 Craig Barry (Stormers debut)

Blues

TBA

 

 

 

It would have been a difficult week for the Lions after not just losing a game they never should have but also losing their captain as well.

This week will be a week of redemption and the Sunwolves will be feeling the other end of a Lions side that would be hurting after the lost against the Blues.

Although many will say the Sunwolves are better this year, quality sides will be putting them away easily and that is what will be expected from the Lions this week.

Fans were left dumbstruck last Saturday as it is not something they are used to losing at home, specially when they build up a match winning lead in the first half.

It all seemed to fall apart from the time Whiteley left the field and it went south quickly in the last few minutes of the game.

Lost opportunities will haunt the Lions and they will want to put a clinical performance together this week.

The jury is still out for me if their is really a place for a Sunwolves side who are just not good enough and a side who does not have many Japanese players in the squad.

One thing is for sure they will need to face a Lions side that is not happy and a coach who would have been pretty upset on the way his side played last week.

Prediction: Lions by 25 point

Teams:

Lions

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Franco Mostert (captain), 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith

Replacement: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Shaun Reynolds

Sunwolves

15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 William Tupou, 12 Michael Little, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Wimpie van der Walt, 4 Kazuki Himeno, 3 Koo Ji-won, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Craig Millar

Substitutes: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20 Willie Britz, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Ryoto Nakamura, 23 Ryuji Noguchi

The Jaguares enjoyed their first win last week at home against the Waratahs and will want to do the same to the visiting Reds this weekend.

For one the Jaguares finally decided to play some positive rugby again and be hold they got their first win.

I was a much improved performance from what we have seen from them in the first couple of weeks and hopefully they can build on this and become a side that actually play to the ability they have.

The Reds also got a nice win against the Bulls last week at home but they are not a complete unit and a team that is busy being build.

This should be a great clash between the two side and one that supporters may want to stay up for.

Prediction: Jaguares by 10 points

more to follow….

The Waratahs are back at home after their tour with a draw against the Sharks and a loss against the Jaguares last weekend.

This week they host the Australian log leaders, the Rebels at home and it can not get any more challenging for the Tahs.

The Rebels have had the perfect start with full house of points in their first three matches and the promising thing is that they look like a well coached team who can score tries from anywhere.

The Waratahs would have taken note of this danger the Rebels have as their defensive systems have been poor so far, something they also struggled with last year.

This could be a nice way to wake up Sunday morning and hopefully not another boring Aussie derby

Prediction: Rebels by 9

more to follow…..

ur weekly preview is sponsored by Sekoma Island Lodge the best place to kick back

For more info contact Glen at sekoma.island@gmail.com

 

 

Du Tiot and Wiese back for Stormers

0

The DHL Stormers will have both lock Pieter-Steph du Toit and flank Cobus Wiese available for their encounter with the Blues at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

Du Toit missed the final match on tour against the Highlanders due to illness, having been in doubt after sustaining concussion the previous week against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Wiese also missed the Highlanders match, but has recovered from a shoulder injury to be available for selection against the Blues this week.

Lock Chris van Zyl continues to be monitored after suffering concussion against the Highlanders, while fullback SP Marais will go for scans on Monday to determine the extent of the rib injury he picked up in Dunedin, but is expected to miss the clash with the Blues.

Wing Sergeal Petersen injured his medial cruciate ligament (knee) in a SuperSport Rugby Challenge warm-up match for DHL Western Province against Maties and has been sidelined for four months, along with lock JD Schickerling (pectoral), who successfully underwent surgery last week.

Centres Dan du Plessis (shoulder) and Dan Kriel (foot) and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak (knee) are all available for DHL Western Province in a friendly game against Griquas in Upington on Saturday as they make their return.

Flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis (groin), hooker Scarra Ntubeni (hamstring) and props Frans Malherbe (neck) and Ali Vermaak (hamstring) are all back in full training this week as they return from long-term lay-offs. Each of these players will have their progress monitored in order to determine a return-to-play date.

Lock Eben Etzebeth (shoulder) and loose forward Juarno Augustus (back) continue to make good progress in their rehabilitation and their return to play will be determined by their progress going forward.

Wing Seabelo Senatla’s groin continues to be assessed and his load is being carefully managed, with his return-to-play also dependent on his progress.

Odenaal back for Bulls against Chiefs

4

Vodacom Bulls captain, Burger Odendaal, is back in the starting line-up to face the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday after missing the previous two Vodacom Super Rugby clashes against the Emirates Lions and Reds due to injury.

He takes over the captaincy from Handré Pollard and the inside centre berth from Johnny Kotze for this match, the first of two the visitors will play in New Zealand.

Vodacom Bulls Head Coach, John Mitchell, made a number of changes to the team that came up short against the Reds in Brisbane, with the return of Odendaal the most significant.

Mitchell opted for Divan Rossouw on the left wing, where he replaces Duncan Matthews in the other change to the backline. Up front, Trevor Nyakane comes in for Frans van Wyk at tighthead and Thembelani Bholi is back at flank, with Hanro Liebenberg moving to no8 where he takes over from injured Nic de Jager.

De Jager had to return home due to a broken rib and his replacement, Tim Agaba, is bracketed as a replacement with Jason Jenkins, who played off the bench in Brisbane.

A final call on Jenkins, who has a niggle, will be make closer to the game and if he is ruled out, Agaba is due to make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut for the Vodacom Bulls.

Mitchell also tweaked his finishers for this clash. Conraad van Vuuren is back on the bench in place of promoted Nyakane, while Manie Libbok is another potential debutant for the Vodacom Bulls. He comes in Marnitz Boshoff, while Kotze will cover the midfield and outside backs.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us playing the Chiefs in Hamilton,” said Mitchell, who represented Waikato as a player.

“They have been one of the leading teams in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition over the last couple of years and this is a massive step-up from where we were a year ago. We have definite plans on how to approach this match and how to try to beat the Chiefs. We will have to do a couple of things well to achieve that, including playing as a unit,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell was excited about the possible debut for Libbok. “Manie is such an exciting talent and I believe he will make an impact in this tournament.”

It will also be 50 up for Adriaan Strauss. The hooker will play in his 50th match for the Vodacom Bulls (97 for Toyota Cheetahs as well) and will extend his South African record for Vodacom Super Rugby appearances as a hooker to 147 when he takes to the field.

Odendaal was confident about the squad’s mental and physical approach.

“We are ready to go and show our abilities. For us to win here, our courage and determination will be tested, but knowing this squad and the way we are developing as a group, I have enough confidence to know that we will be very competitive on Friday.”

The team (with Vodacom Super Rugby caps and points) is: Warrick Gelant , Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Divan Rossouw, Handré Pollard , Andre Warner, Hanro Liebenberg, Thembelani Bholi, Roelof Smit , Lood de Jager, RG Snyman, Trevor Nyakane, Jaco Visagie, Pierre Schoeman

Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Lizo Gqoboka, Conraad van Vuuren, Jason Jenkins /Tim Agaba, Marco van Staden, Embrose Papier, Manie Libbok, Johnny Kotze

Nabetragting – Super Rugby Round 4

5

It was not the best weekend for South African side with only the Sharks able to get a win over the Sunwolves.

The Kiwi sides showed their talent in round 4 with great wins for the Highlanders, Hurricanes and Blues.

The most disappointing was the Lions throwing the game away against the Blues in Johannesburg.

The Log makes interesting reading after four rounds.

PosTeamPWLDPts
1963030
2862029
3761027
4863026
5752124
6852124
7844021
8844019
9934118
10945016
11834015
12936014
13831013
14826012
1570702

The Stormers ended their tour on a disappointing note as they got their third straight lost in row against the Highlanders.

It seems the Stormers was up for the challenge but again their inability to have an attacking plan with their backs showed on the night.

The forwards also struggled in the set pieces which gave them even less options to attack from.

Their defense showed promise at times but all in all something that stays a worry for the team. The Stormers looks most of the time as 15 individuals trying to play as a team.

The Stormers do have injury concerns but that is something any team has to except in this competition.

For the Stormers Willemse had a great game and is developing in a great number 10 but it was again the midfield that was disappointing in defence.

De Allende does many things right but he does more things wrong which makes him a huge liability to this team.

The most disappointing aspect of the Stormers play is their game on attack which every week looks worst than the week before.

It is going to be a long season for the men from Cape Town if they do not get back on winning ways.

As much praises we gave the Bulls the past two weeks we have to give the the critic this week.

What a disappointing performance from the Bulls against the Reds. They struggle to get momentum through the game and their senior players did not put up their hands on the day.

It was almost at one stage that the Bulls were getting back into their shell and started to play the old Bulls rugby.

They struggled in the scrums against the Reds and will be very disappointed in their effort.

The most disappointing aspect of their game was their attack which started so good in the first half but they could not handle the pressure the Reds put on them in that second half.

Kriel and Pollard did not have good games which is the two senior players you need to stand up with all the youngsters they have in this squad.

It is small things that can be fixed and we said from the start this Bulls team will get better we just hope they learn from this game mistakes as next week they take on the Chiefs.

Although not close to perfect the Sharks got their groove back against the Sunwolves before they go on their tour next week.

Their was some brilliant play and this week the passes stick which led to some brilliant tries.

The forwards did not dominate as expected against a Sunwolves side who we normally do not expect to be a great team in the scrums.

Most of the dismal aspects of the Sharks game seemed to have been corrected during the week and it was great to see this talented back line score tries.

The Sunwolves is not the strongest side in the competition and putting 50 points against them is expected and was done by Sharks.

The tour will be a huge challenge for the Sharks but they are a side that travel well and fans will hope that they pick up points in the next few weeks touring Australia and New Zealand.

The Lions match must be the most disappointing of the weekend as they thrown the game away against the Blues with some simple mistakes.

The Lions looked like a winning team throughout the match but everything that could go wrong in the last 15 minutes did for the men from Johannesburg.

It was not so much them playing badly but more the Blues that did not wait to pounce on the mistakes they made on attack and counter the way only New Zealand teams can do.

The lost of Warren Whiteley in the first half seemed to make a huge difference to the team as they were dominating every aspect of the match till then.

They did not dominate the set pieces as we got used to and diffidently an off day from the Lions.

Their was also some dodgy decisions from the referee at ruck time letting the Blues get away with murder at some stages of the game.

We not use to a losing Lions side but at the end the Blues deserved the win as they fought back brilliant in that second half.

I actually feel sorry for the Sunwolves next week as the Lions will not be happy and will be out to correct their mistakes against the Blues.

Other Results:

Rebels 33 – 10 Brumbies

The Rebels kept their momentum with a third straight win when they beat the Brumbies at home on Friday.

They outplayed the Brumbies in the second half in all aspect earning them their third bonus point win as well.

The game started in the first half with allot of mistakes from both sides and at some stages was close to become another boring Aussie derby.

Luckily the Rebels started to play some rugby in the second half with the Brumbies wondering what hit them.

It is clear that the Rebels will be a tough side to beat home or away.

Hurricanes 29 – 19 Crusaders

The Hurricanes came back from a three week tour to take a massive win against the Crusaders on Saturday.

They played the Saders off the field in that first half and although the Crusaders fought back in the second half it was just too much to get pass this brilliant performance from the Hurricanes.

The Crusaders sits with a massive list of injured players at the moment and it was never going to be easy for them away from home but they were outclass on the day by a brilliant Hurricanes side.

Jaguares 38 -28 Waratahs

The Jaguares claimed their first win of the Super Rugby season as they beat the Waratahs 38-28 at Estadio José Amalfitani on Saturday.

For the Sydney outfit this is their first defeat of 2018 which means they remain third in their Conference, behind the Rebels and Reds.

Jaguares were rampant right from the outset in Buenos Aires and scored from the Waratahs’ kick-off as they broke downfield and Emiliano Boffelli finished off in the corner.

It was good to see the Argentinians playing some positive rugby which also means winning rugby, hope they stick with it.

Next week is Round 5 and this is what we can look forward to….

16 Chiefs v Bulls 08:35
17 Highlanders v Crusaders 08:35
17 Brumbies v Sharks 10:45
17 Stormers v Blues 15:05
17 Lions v Sunwolves 17:15
17 Jaguares v Reds 23:40
18 Waratahs v Rebels 07:05

Blues surprise Lions in Johannesburg

1

The Blues surprise the Lions on Saturday as they fought back in the second half to take an impressive win on Saturday with 38-35

As we got used to in the past two years the Lions did not take long to get on the scoreboard as Cronje gave a moster pass to send Mahuza over for the Lions first try.

This came after an unusual knock from Williams which gave the Lions a 7-0 lead after just 2 minutes in the game.

The Blues came back nicely into the game playing in the Lions half of the field and only the Lions defence kept them from scoring.

With the Blues again on attack the Lions intercept a pass to send Rohan Janse van Rensburg over after Jantjies send him on his way.

This gave the Lions a 14-0 lead.

Some concern for Lions came when Warren Whiteley picked up which looked like a knee injury and force him off the field.

The Lions had the better of the ball and territory as they started to dominate the set pieces and it was from some great scrums that they got Jantjies over for their third try.

A mistake just before halftime by the Lions on the ground gave the Blues the opportunity to get their first try and the teams went into the break with the Lions leading 21-10.

Although the second half did not start the Lions way Aphiwe Dyantyi took it upone himself to get over for their first of the second half.

The game opened up with the Blues taking advantage of the Lions mistakes with Ioane scoring two quick tries to make it a 28-24 game with ten minutes to go.

The Lions found their mark again with another power try from their forwards, but the Blues got one back through a mistake from the Lions to make it 35-31 with minutes to go.

With the Blues on attack the Blues kept coming and after the hooter scored their fifth try to take steal the win at the death.

The Lions will be very upset as they let the Blues back into the game with some ordinary mistakes which we are not used to from them.

At the end the Blues deserve the win 38-35 as their first win of the season.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Lions Lions 35 38 Blues Blues

Scorers:

Lions

 

Tries – Dylan Smith(73′) Aphiwe Dyantyi(55′) Elton Jantjies(37′) Rohan Janse van rensburg(15′) Sylvian Mahuza(2′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Elton Jantjies(74′) Elton Jantjies(56′) Elton Jantjies(39′) Elton Jantjies(17′) Elton Jantjies(4′)

Blues

 

Tries – Murphy Taramai(80′) Jimmy Tupou(75′) Rieko Ioane(69′) Rieko Ioane(63′) Akira Ioane(39′)

Penalties – Bryn Gatland(22′)

Cons – Stephen Perofeta(81′) Stephen Perofeta(76′) Stephen Perofeta(70′) Stephen Perofeta(64′) Bryn Gatland(41′)

Sharks get 50 over Sunwolves

0

The Sharks made heavy work in the first half but eventually ran away with the game to get their first win of the season against the Sunwolves on Saturday.

It was at the end a 50-22 game for the Sharks which also secure them a bonus point.

Sharks got of to a good start against the Sunwolves as they dominated the early stages of the first half.

It was a penalty from Du Preez that put the first points on the board which followed by a good try by Mapimpi a few minutes later.

This gave the Sharks a 10-0 lead but then the errors started to come again which gave the Sunwolves the chance to put pressure on the Sharks.

After spending some time in the Sharks twenty-two the Sunwolves did went away with three points but it was Akker van der Merwe who did his magic down the line to score the Sharks second try.

The Sharks started to get more and more in the game and took control with some better play with ball in hand which led to Tera try just before halftime.

This gave the Sharks a 24-3 lead which they held until halftime.

The first half was good from Sharks but still so many mistakes on attack and senseless kicking in that first half.

The second half went a bit the way of the Sunwolves as they put pressure on the Sharks in their own half. They eventually got over in the corner to score their first try of the match.

The Sharks hot back immediately with a second try for Mapimpi in the corner which took the score to 29-8 after 50 min.

The Sharks got another try as they started to have more ball in hand and with less handling errors stretch their lead to 36-8.

The Sunwolves did not give up even if they were far behind on the scoreboard. They kept the pressure on the Sharks in their twenty-two and send Wimpie van der Walt over for their third try of the match.

The Sharks were starting to love the loose game that presented itself when Bosch saw some space and put a short kick which Nkosi picked up to get over for another try in the match.

The Sharks started to pull away with just a few minutes to go as Wright scored another for them from a mistake by the Sunwolves.

This gave the Sharks 50 up on the scoreboard.

The Sunwolves got one more try to take the final score to 50-22 for the Sharks as they got their first win of the season and also a bonus point.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Sharks Sharks 50 22  Sunwolves Sunwolves

Scorers:

Sharks

 

Tries – Cameron Wright(75′) Sibusiso Nkosi(68′) Jacques Vermeulen(55′) Makazole Mapimpi(49′) Lubabalo Mtembu(36′) Armand van der Merwe(29′) Makazole Mapimpi(9′)

Penalties – Robert du Preez(2′)

Cons – Curwin Bosch(76′) Robert du Preez(69′) Robert du Preez(56′) Robert du Preez(37′) Robert du Preez(30′) Robert du Preez(10′)

Sunwolves

 

Tries – Will Tupou(78′) Yutaka Nagare(59′) Lomano Lemeki(45′)

Penalties – Harumichi Tatekawa(25′)

Cons – Ryoto Nakamura(79′) Kotaro Matsushima(61′)

 

Bulls start tour with loss against Reds

3

Not the best game from the Bulls as they folded under pressure to give the Reds a 20-14 win on Saturday

The Bulls put some great pressure on the Reds as the Reds gave away a few silly penalties. It was from an attacking lineout which they setup Gelant try after 4 minutes.

This gave them a 7-0 lead early on.

The Reds yet again struggled with their handling in the early part of the first half when they did have the opportunity to attack.

The Reds started to find their way in the game playing in the Bulls half. They were starting to dominate the Bulls scrum and almost got over.

The Reds eventually got on the board with a penalty but some great work from Ismaiel send Warber over for the Bulls second try.

This gave the Bulls a 14-3 lead after 25 minutes in the first half.

The Reds finally got pass the Bulls defence as Ismaiel made a mistake in his defence to give the Reds their first try.

The teams went into the break with the Bulls leading 14-10.

The second half did not start well for the Bulls as they looked a bit confuse with ball in hand and made allot of mistakes on attack.

It was these mistakes that led to the Reds second try and the lead in the match just after halftime.

The Bulls really struggled to get momentum on attack in the second half with the Reds on the other hand getting all the ball.

With the game really going nowhere the Reds got another penalty over to extend their lead to 20-14.

The Bulls had a last chance to get over and steal the match but handling again let them down as they spill the ball to give the Reds the win 20—14.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Reds Reds 20 14  Bulls Bulls 

Reds

 

Tries – Aidan Toua(46′) Caleb Timu(36′)

Penalties – Jono Lance(76′) James Tuttle(24′)

Cons – James Tuttle(47′) James Tuttle(38′)

 Bulls

 

Tries – Andre Warner(25′) Warrick Gelant(5′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Handre Pollard(26′) Handre Pollard(6′)

Hurricanes outplayed Crusaders

0

The Hurricanes did not look like they have been traveling for three weeks as they outplayed the Crusaders in the first half to take the win 29-19 on Saturday.

The Crusaders was put under huge pressure at the start of the match and were the first to get on the board within 4 minutes.

That quickly went to 14-0 after some brilliant play from Jordie Barrett to send TJ Perenara over with a brilliant back-pass.

The Crusaders did not really knew what was hitting them as they also lost Crotty in the first few minutes due to a head injury.

The Crusaders also gave away allot of penalties giving the Hurricanes the ball and field possession.

The Crusaders also got on the board and at halftime the Hurricanes led 26-12.

The second half was a much tighter contest between the two top sides with the Crusaders having to play catch-up rugby.

Although much better second half from the Crusaders the Hurricanes defence was as good as their attack on the night and limited the Crusaders to 19 points and added another 3 to their score.

A home win for the Hurricanes against the defending champions was all they wanted and they got.

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Hurricanes Hurricanes 29  19 Crusaders Crusaders

Scorers:

Hurricanes

 

Tries – Matt Proctor(32′) Ben Lam(22′) TJ Perenara(13′) Chris Eves(5′)

Penalties – Jordie Barrett(67′)

Cons – Beauden Barrett(24′) Beauden Barrett(15′) Beauden Barrett(5′)

Crusaders

 

Tries – Michael Alaalatoa(55′) Jordan Taufua(37′) Manasa Mataele(30′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Mitch Hunt(56′) Mitch Hunt(39′) Mitch Hunt(38′)

Rebels outscore Brumbies

4

The Rebels got their third straight win and with a bonus point making there to the top of the log at this stage after beating the Brumbies 33-10 on Friday.

There was a few dodgy decisions from the officials but the Rebels was worthy of every single point they got in this game.

It has been an impressive first three matches from the Rebels this year able to get bonus points wins in all three.

They also look in the early stages as the best Aussie side although it is still a long way to go.

The Brumbies is struggling big time so far this year and they did not help their cause against the Rebels with plenty of handling errors and discipline not where it suppose to be at this level.

The Rebels dominated the game for most parts with the Brumbies starting the better of the the two teams.

No one can argue to much against five tries to two and the Rebels deserve all they get at this stage

MATCH STATS – TEAM STATS

Rebels Rebels 33 10  Brumbies Brumbies

Scorers: 

Rebels

 

Tries – Michael Ruru(71′) Jack Maddocks(67′) Reece Hodge(64′) Reece Hodge(33′) Amanaki Mafi(29′)

Penalties – None

Cons – Reece Hodge(68′) Reece Hodge(66′) Reece Hodge(34′) Reece Hodge(30′)

Brumbies

 

Tries – Henry Speight(55′) Chance Peni(9′)

Penalties – None

Cons – None

Super Rugby Preview – Round 4

8

We move into round 4 of the competition and some teams have already open a gab in their respective conferences.

The Emirates Lions have gone clear in the African conference and even if we are only in week 4, other teams will have to work hard to catch up with them for that conference title.

South African Log
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Lions 3 3 0 0 122 81 41 14
2 Stormers 3 1 0 2 83 99 -16 5
3 Bulls 2 1 0 1 56 68 -12 4
4 Sharks 2 0 1 1 43 50 -7 3
5 Jaguares 3 0 0 3 56 109 -53 0

We have the Stormers and Bulls on tour this week, Stormers with their last game on tour and the Bulls with there first.

We have another jam-packed weekend lying ahead for us with seven matches fro Friday to Sunday in the early hours of the morning.

Here is this weekend schedule

9 Highlanders v Stormers Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
9 Rebels v Brumbies AAMI Park 10:45
10 Hurricanes v Crusaders Westpac Stadium 08:35
10 Reds v Bulls Suncorp Stadium 10:45
10 Sharks v Sunwolves Kings Park Stadium 15:05
10 Lions v Blues Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
10 Jaguares v Waratahs Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40

We start the weekend with the Highlanders hosting the Stormers

The Stormers comes off a disappointing lost against the Waratahs and a huge lost against the Crusaders, whereas the Highlanders had and great win against the Blues at home in week 2 with a bye last weekend.

What we did pick up from the Highlanders in their first outing this season is that they have explosive runners in the back and will punish defensive systems that is not on par.

This is exactly where the problems can start for the Stormers. They have not been great in defence and let through 99 points in three matches more than what they have scored.

We know that the first 15 minutes for New Zealand teams are crucial when they come out and score as many points as possible to create an gab which opponents normally can not catch-up to.

They are one of those high-octane teams and will be coming out guns blazing so the Stormers defence must  be 100% to not have them lose the game like last weekend in the first half already.

The Stormers record in New Zealand is not great and with already 2 losses in Australasia this weekend will be crucial for their campaign.

Last weekend was the Stormers ninth lost against New Zealand teams in New Zealand.

The Highlanders have also won their last two matches against the Stormers so things not looking good for the men from Cape Town this weekend.

With the return of Willemse at ten they might be able to counter the Highlanders.

Lock Salmaan Moerat is set to make his Stormers debut off the replacements bench against the Highlanders.

There are five changes to the tem and a further four on the replacements bench for the encounter.

The only change to the backs sees Dillyn Leyds move back to wing to make way for the returning Damian Willemse, with Seabelo Senatla ruled out due to a groin strain and JJ Engelbrecht providing cover among the replacements.

Kobus van Dyk will start at blindside flank in the absence of Cobus Wiese, there is an all-new lock pairing in Jan de Klerk and Chris van Zyl, with JD Schickerling having returned home injured and both Pieter-Steph du Toit and the 20-year-old Moerat set to provide impact off the replacements bench.

Stephen Kitshoff replace JC Janse van Rensburg at prop.

Prediction: Will be high scoring with Highlanders winning by 18 points.

The teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes

Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit (George Whitehead), 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 JJ Engelbrecht

Our second match this weekend is an all Australian derby when the Rebels host the Brumbies and will be looking at a third consecutive win this year.

The Rebels will take hart from their opening two wins as well as the fact that they beat the Brumbies the last time they played.

The breakdown will be an highly contested area in this game and one would almost want to say the winner their may take the points at the end of the day.

Between the two sides the Rebels have been the most exciting of the two and last week dull performance for the Brumbies against the Reds will not sit well with their fans.

The Rebels had made four changes with Hardwick, Koroibete and Daley earning their first appearances for the team.

The Rebels will be without their captain Coleman but hopefully just this week.

Ross Heylett0Pett will join his brother Dane in the starting line-up for this weekend.

Teh Brumbies only made two changes to their starting line-up with Sio back in the front-row and Fakaosilea at flank.

Prediction: The Aussie derbies have become such dull affairs but with the Rebels playing a bit more attractive rugby and the Brumbies capable of the same we should be seeing a better game. For me Rebels by 8

The teams:

Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English (c), 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Ross Haylett-Petty, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Colby Fainga’a, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Marika Koroibete

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Lolo Fakaosilea, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Sam Carter (c), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andy Muirhead

If there is one team that got a roar deal with the draw this year then the prize must go to the Hurricanes.

They started their season with the Bulls at Loftus, a week later against the Jaguares in Argentina just to fly all the way back to face last years champions, the Crusaders at home.

They have a one win and one loss on their two week tour which they can be happy about but this weekend they will have to step it up even higher against the Saders.

Any New Zealand derby is something special normally and we can expect much of the same on Saturday morning.

The Saders have started well again this year with two wins but will feel they could have done better against the Stormers last week.

All Black Beauden Barrett will be welcomed home to play in his 100th match for the Hurricanes.

He will be a key player for the Hurricanes and is normal the man that plays a huge part in their success.

Ben May will also celebrate his 100th match in Super Rugby making his debut in 2012.

The Hurricanes have kept their side the same as the one that outplayed the Jaguares last week.

The only changes are on the bench where two-game All Blacks hooker Asafo Aumua is set to make his Hurricanes debut if called upon.

The other change is West that retirns after starting against the Bulls in week one.

The Crusaders are already without play-maker Mo’unga at flyhalf had to go to Todd to play flank despite a broken thumb.

He will be up against All Black Adrie Savea in the Cake Tin.

Hunt has been named the number ten in the absence of Mo’unga.

Pete Samu is also sidelined with a shoulder issue adding to the list of REad, Dagg, Moody and Franks for the Saders injuries.

Heiden Bedwell-Curtis takes Samu’s place in the run-on side, while Todd’s return sees Billy Harmon move to the bench.

Prediction: Always tough but I tend to lean to the Hurricanes here with a 7 point win.

Teams:

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Vince Aso

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Chris King, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Manasa Mataele

The first tour match for the Bulls will be a huge deal for their coach and players. This normally set the scene for the rest of the tour so it will be very important that they walk away with a win on Saturday.

The other aspect on their minds will be to continue the good progress they have shown in their first two matches in building this team to be a champion side again.

All the early signs shows that Mitchell has made a huge difference in these players and they way they approach the game which is important not just for Bulls rugby but also South African rugby.

The Reds have not shown too much although they won a dull affair against the Brumbies last week and it is there for the Bulls to take an away win.

Handre Pollard will return to flyhalf this weekend with Johnny Kotze going to the midfield to partner with Kriel.

This make way for Springbok Warrick Gelant to return to fullback and Rossouw dropping to the bench.

Pollard will retain the captains armband for this match in the absence of Burger Odendaal.

The Reds made one change and a few positional changes to their team for the clash

Samu Kerevi shifting from outside to inside centre, Chris Feauai-Sautia moving from the wing to outside centre and Filipo Daugunu earning his run-on debut on the wing.

Upfront the team stays the same as the one that beat the Brumbies last weekend.

Surely a match to look forward to this weekend.

Prediction: I am going to go Bulls by 10.

Teams:

Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jono Lance, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (c)
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Duncan Paia’aua

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Duncan Matthews, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Nick de Jager, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Divan Rossouw

After such a disappointment from the Sharks team last week we can only hope that the real Sharks team will pitch up on Saturday.

The match against the Waratahs was at times brilliant but for most of the time just plain hard to watch.

That worst part is that we know and can see that this Sharks side have quality and can be up there with the best but they have shown so many times over the years that names on paper means nothing on the field.

From the coaches to the last player in this squad needs to stand up and be counted for and must take the responsibility upon each one self to up the game.

Calls already from frustrating fans came to get rid of the coach, but that will not help at all and also it not the problem here.

At the end of the day one can see that they have some great plans on attack but the players are unable to execute it 100%.

They need to take 90% of the responsibility to get this team better from what we saw this past two games from them.

Although the Sunwolves look better this year in some way the Sharks should put them away easily but that is so difficult to say these days with the Sharks.

From the forwards to the backs the Sharks are better than the Sunwolves and this should reflect on the score board as well.

Curwin Bosch will finally earn a start at fullback with Mvovo moving to the bench. Bosch have all the talent and in his second season needs to step up to the grownup table now.

With backline players like Nkosi, Am, Esterhuizen, Du Preez and Mapimpi we expect them to score tries aplenty.

The combination between Esterhuizen and Am has become a deadly one with Esterhuizen having a blinder last week.

He is back to his best and the go forward gets every time he touch the ball has been brilliant for the Sharks on attack.

Upfront we need the Sharks to become more dominant and they have to dominate teh Sunwolves in the set pieces.

Lineouts have been a problem for the Sharks and is one aspect no top team can be without these days.

All in all we needs to Sharks to step-up own-up and give supporters a win they deserve.

Prediction: Maybe just my expectation of the Sharks but give this game to him with 18 points.

Teams:

Sharks – Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Wian Vosloo, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha(c), 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Akker van der Merwe/Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe/Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 Sione Teaupa, 12 Michael Little, 11 William Tupou, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Kazuki Himeno, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Craig Millar
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Wimpie van der Valt, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Ryoto Nakamura, 23 Robbie Robinson

The Lions have gone about their job and are with three wins out of three and looking like a top team yet again this year.

Allot has been said in pre-season about the lost of Ackermann as the head coach but that was quickly put to bed as De Bruin men has been the same great team so far as in the last two years.

The domination of the forwards has been the Lions stepping stone to their success and nothing has changed.

With moving Mostert to the side of the scrum last week against the Bulls they even added another option for them at lineouts.

Their scrum has been brilliant yet again and the Blues will know that they will be on the backfoot in this department comes Saturday.

Jantjies has also been back to his best controlling the backline and has been the play-maker in this team.

His vision and speed he does this in Super Rugby has been great again and one hope he can build on this and then take it to the Springboks as well where he has struggled last year.

With Janse van Rensburg back in the midfield the backline looked dangerous last week evertime they touch the ball.

This is a well balanced well coach team and the Blues will be 100% to stand a change to beat them specially at home.

Predictions: This is a home game for the Lions and gives it to them with 13 points.

Teams:

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobus Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Ashlon Davids, 23 Harold Vorster

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 Ross Wright, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Mike Tamoaieta, 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Jimmy Tupou, 21 Murphy Taramai, 22 Jonathan Ruru, 23 Stephen Perofeta

 

It has not been an happy start for the Jaguares losing all three of their first matches so far this year, one on tour and two at home.

The Waratahs have been lucky in my books but have bagged a win against the Stormers at home and a draw against the Sharks last week.

This should be an interesting match for those who want to stay up late on Saturday.

The Jaguares are a much better team than what they have showed not just this year but last two years.

They are losing me as a fan with all this negative play and sure there are plenty of people like me.

The Waratahs seems to be playing on luck at the moment, but as it goes, you make your own luck in sport.

This can be the upset of the weekend but then we need a Jaguares team that actually try to play positive rugby, if they stick to the negative crap they have been playing the Waratahs will hammer them.

Prediction: Jaguares by 5, I am positive for some positive rugby from Jaguares

Teams:

Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (c), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Felipe Arregui
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago Botta, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Juan Martin Leguizamon, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere

Waratahs: TBA

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Plumtree gets Hurricanes top job

2

The Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby have announced that John Plumtree will take the Head Coach position for the 2019 Super Rugby season.

Plumtree will take over from Chris Boyd after the 2018 season with Jason Holland confirmed as his Assistant Coach, with both contracted for three years. Boyd is leaving New Zealand at the end of this season to take up the role as Director of Rugby at Northampton.

Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee said the club was delighted with Plumtree’s appointment which would be well received by fans and supporters alike.

“We’re fortunate that someone of Plum’s calibre has already been a key part of the Hurricanes environment. Having both him and Jason at the helm will certainly ensure some important continuity and familiarity, but more importantly, we know they are a formidable coaching combination,” he told the Hurricanes’ website.

“We know that these appointments will be pretty popular with our fans.

“This does mean that with both Plum and Jason working alongside Chris this year, we are in the best position for a smooth transition to a new management team and new season in 2019. In the meantime, it is important to acknowledge that Chris has done a fantastic job in steering the ship and he continues to keep everyone focussed on our current season,” Lee said.

Plumtree and Holland have signed three-year deals through until the end of 2021.

The final make-up of the coaching staff for 2019 and beyond would be finalised soon with the focus now being on the 2018 season.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Rugby Neil Sorensen said the appointment of Plumtree is great news.

“New Zealand Rugby is lucky to have a home-grown coach with such vast experience in a variety of high performance rugby environments.

“The Hurricanes performances over the past three years has reflected Plum’s influence, especially his defensive expertise, and no doubt that will grow further as he takes the Head Coaching reins,” said Sorensen.

Plumtree will bring a wealth of experience to the job with a coaching career that spans more than two decades.

Having started with Swansea in 1997, Plumtree moved to New Zealand where he enjoyed a successful tenure with Wellington. He then moved to South Africa where he was in charge at the Sharks before accepting a role as forwards coach with Ireland.

The chance to return to New Zealand proved too much for Plumtree, however, who returned to Wellington to partner Boyd at the Hurricanes in 2015.

The partnership did not have to wait long to bring success to the club, first making the Super Rugby Final in 2015 before winning the title a year later.

Hunt to fill in for injured Mo’unga

0

Crusaders coach Ronan O’Gara is backing fly-half Mitchell Hunt to fill the void left by Richie Mo’unga, who is sidelined with a broken jaw.

Mo’unga sustained the injury in a collision with Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff in the Crusaders’ 45-28 win in Christchurch on Saturday.

Hunt, who made 14 appearances in his debut season for the Crusaders, is the likeliest candidate to start in this weekend’s Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes.

Hunt rose to fame last year when his long-range drop-goal in the dying seconds of the match secured the Crusaders a memorable victory over the Highlanders.

And O’Gara wants Hunt to relish the occasion should he replace Mo’unga.

“I would say enjoy it,” O’Gara told Stuff.

“It’s an opportunity, he knows that he can do it and he’s delivered for his team-mates before and they have huge confidence in him.

“So, listen, it’s 80 minutes. It’s not Mitch Hunt against Beauden Barrett, but it’s a chance for him to enjoy it and express himself. That’s why as a kid you play rugby.”

Meanwhile, O’Gara has revealed how ‘disappointed’ Mo’unga is to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

“He’s very disappointed at the minute, but even since Saturday night to now there has been a change in attitude,” O’Gara added.

“He is very positive, he is a very pleasant kid. The most important thing for us is that it is early in the season, I think Richie will be playing tests for the All Blacks going forward as well so with every cloud there is a silver lining as they say.”

Lastly, the former Ireland great was asked about Beauden Barrett and he naturally heaped praise on the Hurricanes fly-half ahead of the all-Kiwi derby in Wellington on Saturday.

“He fills grounds, he excites people. Everything that is good about rugby, is what Beauden Barrett does,” O’Gara acknowledged. “He is an exceptional talent, he has probably nearly redefined No. 10 play.

“I think Dan (Carter) was, and still is probably, the best No. 10 in the world over all the decades. But Beauden Barrett is very exciting and potentially going to challenge him for that title.”

Nabetragting – Super Rugby Week 3

2

At the start of the weekend most fans would have been excited to see their teams perform but I am sure by Saturday evening most would have been disappointed with the exception of Lions fans.

Although we are only in week three of the competition one tend to start thinking again that only the Lions can really be able to compete in the play-offs for the title.

With the Stormers giving us another woeful performance on tour the biggest disappointment this weekend came from the Sharks against the Waratahs.

On social media Sharks fans are now starting to call for coach Du Preez head which is never a good sign but the fact remain that with so much talent in Durban they should have put 20 points against this poor Waratahs side.

I do not really care how much we want to talk up the so-called comeback in the middle part of the second half from the Stormers, they are just not good enough.

I put the Stormers at this moment in the same league as the Sunwolves, Jaguares, Waratahs and Reds.

They will compete in some games but will never be able to challenge for the title.

I will say it again, this side is a team without a coach, or maybe too many cooks trying to stir this pot. However you look at it the Stormers have no plan at the back, and was it not for their forwards in that second half, it would have been worst.

When you look at the Stormers backline then you think of a few good players who don’t know what to do on attack.

The Stormers are in big trouble and it is not going to get easier this weekend with the Highlanders waiting for them who looks like a great team again this year.

 

What a disappointment, we have seen some poor performances from many quality Shark sides over the years and this one is up there with the best.

How this Sharks team manager to draw a game with a poor Waratahs side only they will know. They did not dominated the set pieces in fact their lineouts were poor and just could not get any forward moment from their pack.

The worst was to see the handling during the game from both sides. Now i know they said the ball was moist but we talk about professional players who are playing at their home ground.

At the back it did not get any better for the Sharks with so many opportunities just getting wasted by poor decision making or handling errors.

The Lions confirm this weekend yet again that they are the one side South Africans can believe will be at the end again, not because they beat the Bulls at Loftus but the way this team goes about it.

It was yet another good performance from the Lions as they played yet again another good game of rugga’s.

Although the two yellow cards played a roll in the second half the Lions was every-time just that one or two steps in front of this Bulls side.

The dominated the set pieces as expected although the Bulls did stand their man on their ball and the Lions had an answer to everything the Bulls threw at them.

Making something out of nothing is the one thing we got used to from the Lions and De Bruin has lost nothing of that in this team of his.

Bagging five points away from home is great for the Lions and they have already in three weeks created a massive gab on the log.

For the Bulls it was another good performances and they never stopped trying. Was again impressed with the way the Bulls play the game on attack with players playing together rather than one or two people being stars.

Still allot of work to be done with the Bulls but one looks forward to see them go on this journey.

Other matches….

Blues 21 – 27 Chiefs

The Chiefs hit back in the second half to beat the Blues 27-21 in Auckland

The Blues will lament another poor second-half performance. They led 14-10 at half-time, but were overtaken in the early stages of the second stanza by a more determined and physical Chiefs side.

The result sees the Blues suffering their 12th straight loss to a fellow New Zealand opponent. They’ve also gone 13 games now without a win against the Chiefs.

Reds 18 – 10 Brumbies

The Reds slotted six penalties to kick their way to an 18-10 win over the Brumbies in Brisbane on Friday.

This clash followed an enthralling New Zealand derby between the Chiefs and Blues, and again the gulf in quality was starkly apparent as the Reds ground out a victory over a woefully ill-disciplined Brumbies side.

Sunwolves 17 – 37 Rebels

The Rebels produced a powerful second-half showing to beat the Sunwolves 37-17 in Tokyo on Saturday.

It is the first time the Rebels, who beat the Reds last weekend, have opened a Super Rugby campaign with consecutive wins.

In an error-ridden first half, the Rebels took an early 10-0 lead thanks to unconverted tries from wing Jack Maddocks and No 8 Amanaki Mafi.

However, the Sunwolves were able to level matters by half-time with a penalty from centre Ryoto Nakamura and a late try from wing Willi Tupou, but at the end the Sunwolves were not good enough.

Jaguares 9 – 34 Hurricanes

The Hurricanes claimed a scrappy 34-9 bonus-point win against the Jaguares in a physical encounter in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

In an error-ridden match, the Canes managed to score five tries and keep the home side scoreless despite both sides struggling to keep hold of the ball.

PosTeamPWLDBPPts
19630330
28620529
37610427
48630026
57521324
68521124
78440521
88440219
99341218
109450016
118340115
129360114
138310013
148260212
15707022

Hurricanes beat Jaguares

0

The Hurricanes got their campaign back on track when they beat the Jaguares 34-9 in their Super Rugby encounter in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

The men from Wellington were full value for their win as they outscored their hosts five tries to none with Ben Lam, Ngani Laumape, Matt Proctor, Vince Aso and Blade Thompson all dotting down.

The Hurricanes showed their intent from the outset and ran the ball from all areas of the field. This approach paid dividends in the ninth minute when Gareth Evans made a superb break before offloading to Lam who sauntered in for the opening try.

Beauden Barrett added the conversion before Nicolas Sanchez reduced the deficit in the 17th minute when he added a penalty after the Hurricanes infringed at the breakdown.

The Hurricanes continued to attack and in the 26th minute, they were rewarded with their second try when Laumape combined strength and speed to beat three defenders before powering his way over the try-line.

Just before half-time, the Hurricanes’ midfield strayed offside on defence inside their 22 and Sanchez slotted his second penalty which meant the visitors led 12-6 at the interval.

The second half started brightly for the Jaguares and in the 47th minute Sanchez narrowed the gap to three points when he added his third penalty after Ardie Savea infringed on defence.

The Hurricanes stepped up a couple of gears on attack and in the 53rd minute Proctor crossed for their third try after Julian Savea did brilliantly with a bullocking run in the build-up.

Barrett’s conversion gave the visitors a 10-point lead but they were dealt a blow shortly afterwards when Ben May was sent to the sin bin for taking Pablo Matera out off the ball.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Hurricanes’ confidence on attack did not diminish and in the 64th minute Beauden Barrett stabbed a perfectly-weighted grubber kick through which Aso gathered before crossing the whitewash.

The rest of the half saw the Jaguares giving their all on attack but they were kept at bay by a resilient defensive effort from the Hurricanes.

In the 78th minute, Jackson Garden-Bachop slotted a penalty before Thompson sealed the win with a late try just before the full-time whistle after trading passes with Michael Fatialofa down the right-hand touchline.

The scorers:

For Jaguares:
Pens: 
Sanchez 3

For Hurricanes:
Tries:
 Lam, Laumape, Proctor, Aso, Thompson
Cons: B Barrett 3
Pens: Garden-Bachop
Yellow Card: Ben May