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Super Rugby returns this week

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With the June Internationals a thing of the past for all expect the New Zealanders and British & Irish Lions, we turn our attention back to Vodacom Super Rugby.

It is the last few rounds and although most play-off spots have already been decided a few teams can make sure they do not have to travel for these play offs.

Firstly let’s have a look at the logs as it stands at the moment….

PosTeamPWLPts
1191420
211820
39710
48610
5201460
6131030
PosTeamPWLPts
1191420
211820
39710
48610
5201460
6131030
PosTeamPWLPts
1191420
211820
39710
48610
5201460
PosTeamPWLPts
1191420
211820
39710
48610
5201460

As it stands now it seems that the Lions will finish first in Africa 2 group and the Stormers in African 1, with the Sharks finishing as the wild card for the African Conferences. In New Zealand it looks like the Crusaders have secured their spot as the top New Zealand team and will have the luxury of a home play-off.

The Hurricanes, Chiefs and Highlanders will have to fight it out to see who ends where and who travels where?

In the Australian conference it looks all set that the Brumbies will qualify for the play-offs leaving the other Aussie teams yet again without a spot in the play-offs.

So to sum it up….it seems teams will be playing for where they will play the play-off games in a few weeks.

This weekend only sees the African Conferences playing and here is how the weekend pans out….

Friday 30 June 2017

Cell C Sharks v Vodacom Bulls Growthpoint Kings Park Friday 19:00

 

Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sbusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Philip van der Walt (c), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Marius Louw.

Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Johnroy Jenkins, 19 Shuan Adendorff, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 André Warner, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tian Schoeman.

Saturday 1 July 2017

Jaguares v Southern Kings Estadio Jose Saturday 01:00

 

Jaguares – 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo (c), 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Lucas Noguera.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Rodrigo Báez, 21 Gonzalo Bertanou, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Santiago Cordero.

Kings – 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronjé, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Yaw Penxe.

Toyota Cheetahs v DHL Stormers Toyota Park Saturday 15:00

 

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Henco Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Elandré Huggett, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Jo Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Oupa Mohoje, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Ruan van Rensburg, 23 William Small-Smith

Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Frans Malherbe (c), 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 EW Viljoen, 23 Seabelo Senatla

Emirates Lions v Sunwolves Emirates Park Saturday 17:00

 

The teams:

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Sylvian Mahuza

Sunwolves: 15 Yasutaka Sasakura, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Jumpei Ogura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz (c), 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Kotaro Yatabe, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Masataka Mikami
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Malgene Ilaua, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Kotaro Matsushima

 

Friday 30 June 2017

A Great one to start the Super Rugby returns from the International window with the Sharks hosting the Bulls in Durban. Before one can make any predictions we will have to see how the teams have taken stock with all the injuries and who is available.

What we do know is that it does not matter who runs on to the field in this one it will be a cracker of a match especially with the Bulls playing for pride.

The Sharks have opted for Bosch at the back and April at 10 for this clash with the Bulls. Coach Du Preez made a few changes from the team that beat the Stormers in their last outing way back in May. Odwa Ndungane starts at right wing in place of Kobus van Wyk, while there’s a new midfield combination in Andre Esterhuizen and S’bura Sithole.

Esterhuizen returns from suspension to replace Johan Deysel, while Sithole starts in place of Lukhanyo Am at outside centre.

Up front, Tera Mtembu gets a chance at number seven  in place of Springbok Jean-Luc du Preez, while Etienne Oosthuizen comes in for the suspended Ruan Botha at lock.

Franco Marais also starts ahead of Chiliboy Ralepelle at hooker.

Bulls couch Nollis Marais have picked the Springbok midfield pair in Kriel and Serfontein for the match. He also handed out first starts for Mahlo and Van Vuuren for this Friday match.

Van Vuuren, who has made three appearances off the bench, starts in his first match in place of Trevor Nyakane, who was ruled out, while John-Roy Jenkinson will take Van Vuuren’s bench duties.

Marais also decided to start Tony Jantjies at fly-half, with the former Junior Springbok running out in the starting team for the first time after three consecutive appearances off the bench. Tian Schoeman, who started against the Hurricanes, moves to the bench.

Marais made two changes to the starting pack. Nick de Jager is promoted off the bench and will start at number eight in place of the injured Hanro Liebenberg, with Renaldo Bothma and Shaun Adendorff coming onto the bench as lock and loose forward cover.

RG Snyman is also available again following his suspension and will combine with Jason Jenkins with Lood de Jager been ruled out.

Andre Warner could make his debut for the team after being named back-up scrum-half with Ivan van Zyl not available.

This will be a great match to re-start the Super Rugby after the international break and we can expect a huge battle between these two team. The Bulls are only playing for pride and will be dangerous with the Sharks that have already qualified, will want to start build momentum for their play-off game which will be away from home.

Previous Matches

Prediction: The Blue Bulls have been looking good in the SuperSport Challenge but that was under a different coach, they can beat the Sharks at home but have to go Sharks by 9 points for this one

Teams:

Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sbusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Philip van der Walt (c), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Marius Louw.

Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Johnroy Jenkins, 19 Shuan Adendorff, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 André Warner, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tian Schoeman.

Saturday 1 July 2017

They say the early bird catches the worm, well if you are up for this one you will have plenty. The second match this weekend sees the Jaguares hosting the Kings early Saturday morning.

The Jaguares slipped away after they were in a good position to qualify for this years play-offs and will want to finish strong not just in the Super Rugby but also to build for the Rugby Championships that starts soon after the competition ends. The kings have been a revaluation this year and have surprise many will have to wait and see if they can make the trip to Argentina and surprise us some more.

The Kings coach Davids has named a strong side to take on the Argentina side on Saturday morning.

It is good to see that the Kings coach has opted to make as less changes as possible and rewarded players for the good form they have shown this year in the competition.

The Jaguares are not an easy side to face at their one eyed home stadiums and the Kings will have to be on par if they want to beat them this weekend.

Cronje will play a pivotal roll in the teams desire to win this game not just by the way he has control the team from the number ten jersey but also his leadership which have proven to be vital.

“This week we have tried to keep continuity as we considered players that have done well in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge competition and also players that have come back from injury,” Davids said from Buenos Aires on Thursday.

“It was a long and tiring travel to Buenos Aires. The guys were a little tired when we arrived here. We have done some recovery and had a good team meeting and training session,” said the head coach.

“The guys look excited and are ready to go on Friday night.

“We expect a very tough game. The Jaguares will always be a formidable side here in Buenos Aires. They have selected an internationally experienced team, so we know we have to be at our best from the start. We have to keep the pressure on them for the whole 80 minutes to ensure that we have a good result here in Buenos Aires.”

Predictions: The Jaguares should take this by at least 6 points but I am going with the inspirational Kings side by 5

Teams: 

Jaguares – 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo (c), 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Lucas Noguera.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Rodrigo Báez, 21 Gonzalo Bertanou, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Santiago Cordero.

Kings – 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronjé, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Yaw Penxe.

The second match on Saturday sees the Stormers traveling to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs in what we only can expect to be a high pace game between these two sides.

Cheetahs v Stormers games are always a high scoring affair and I believe we can expect the same. As with the Sharks v Bulls game the Cheetahs are only playing for pride as they can not make the play-offs which makes them even more dangerous.

This game has been historically one of the great free flowing games of the season and we can expect the same from these two sides. The Cheetahs have been over the years a bogey side for the Stormers especially at the end of the season.

The Stormers have named an exciting team that will take the field while they are resting some of their Springbok. Etzebeth and Kolisi will sit this one out and that means that Du Toit will partner with Van Zyl at lock.

The most exciting news coming out of the Cape is the Junior Bok Damian Willemse that will get his first start at 10 for the Stormers. He is a player that they have earmarked for the future in Western Province and it will be great to see him show his worth on Saturday.

The Stormers have not been traveling well this year and have lost the last four games on the road this year which gives the Cheetahs that small believe in this match.
Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said his team will have to be at their best in what will be a typically tough derby.

“The Cheetahs are always a tough prospect on their home turf, so we will have to be sharp if we are to come away with the win we are looking for,” he explained.

“The players have trained well this week and we are excited to see what they are able to produce in Bloemfontein.”

The Cheetahs have been boosted by the return of Francois Venter. Tian Meyer replaces Shaun Venter at scrum-half for the Super Rugby game this Saturday.

Up front, Niell Jordaan is named at number eight while Reniel Hugo and Elandre Huggett are included in the second-row and at hooker respectively, with Torsten van Jaarsveld out injured for the Free State Stadium clash.

Previous Matches:

 

Prediction: Although the match is being played in Bloem I still be believe the Stormers will pull this one by 8 points

The teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Henco Venter, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Elandré Huggett, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Jo Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Oupa Mohoje, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Ruan van Rensburg, 23 William Small-Smith

Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Frans Malherbe (c), 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 EW Viljoen, 23 Seabelo Senatla

The last match this weekend will see the Lions hosting the Sunwolves in Johannesburg. Clearly the best team in South Africa again this year the Lions will want to end strong and chase the Crusaders for that top spot.

That can only happen if the Crusaders lose their last game in two weeks time against the Hurricanes and the Lions gets full house of points in their last two matches. It will be interesting to see how the Lions go about the task this time around.

The Lions will have to do without the service of their Springbok Captain Warren Whiteley who will take no further part in this years Super Rugby. Although this is a big blow for the Lions, they do have the quality in the players to be able to have another one step up.

The Lions are chasing top spot on the overall table in the competition and home ground advantage throughout the play-offs, and five points against the Sunwolves is a must. For this reason, they have named their strongest possible side for the clash.

This is going to be a tough one for the Sunwolves at Emirates Park and could get a big score against them.

The Lions have a seriously impressive home record. They have won their last 12 games at home and would surely like to bag the five points.

Although the Sunwolves have improved a bit this year they are still far away from really competing in this competition and off late have always faded in the second half of their matches.

The Lions is playing a New Zealand like game and also have adopted to step one or two gears up in the second half and ran away with teams.

It is still very debatable that their should be  spot in such a premier competition for a poor team like the Sunwolves but money drives SANZAAR to keep them and kick three other teams out for next year.

Prediction: The Lions will have too much power and should cruise to victory here. Lions by 20.

The teams:

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Sylvian Mahuza

Sunwolves: 15 Yasutaka Sasakura, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Jumpei Ogura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz (c), 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Kotaro Yatabe, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Masataka Mikami
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Malgene Ilaua, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Kotaro Matsushima

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Lions know exactly what is expected.
    They have a possible ten points available.
    They are seven points behind the Saders with a game in hand.
    Saders MUST lose to the Canes.
    Lions’ only hope is to win both with BPs and hope for the Canes.

  2. Jis, Stormers on 30 points and they are guaranteed a home quarter final.

    This conference system must stuff off now and never be spoken of again.

  3. Surely the Lions could rest a few of their Boks… even if only on the bench…

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