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Super 14

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Some news and information that does not deserve its own thread, but you might still find interesting.

‘Stormers will win Super 14’ – Botes

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Sharks loose forward Jacques Botes predicts that the Stormers will win this year’s Super 14.

Forget the Bulls, look at the Chiefs!

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JJ Harmse takes a tongue-in-cheek view over the media storm that surrounded the Bulls decision to pick their B-team for their final round-robin match.

Bulls plan may backfire

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Defending champions the Bulls added a note of intrigue to the final round of rugby’s Super 14 by making 14 changes for their top-of-the-table match against the Stormers, possibly handing a win to their hard-pressed South African compatriots.

Blow to Tahs as Bulls set to rest key players

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It reeks of a South African stitch-up in the Super 14. With one round to go, the integrity of rugby’s premier provincial competition could be compromised with tournament leaders, the Bulls, set to field a second-string team against the Stormers in the top-of-the-table clash in Cape Town.

Chiefs 19, Waratahs 39

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The Waratahs are in fifth position and need to keep winning to gain a playoff spot.

Hurricanes 44, Reds 21

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This is a match between fourth and seventh on the log, but precious little separates the teams, with the home team having won six, lost four and drawn one, and the visitors having won seven and lost four.

Blues change 8 for Lions

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First five-eighth Daniel Kirkpatrick will make his first start for the Blues amid eight changes to the starting 15 for Saturday’s Super 14 rugby match against the winless Lions in Johannesburg.

Chiefs team announced

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Chiefs coach Ian Foster says the Chiefs are determined to perform well in their last home game of the season against the Waratahs on Saturday night in Hamilton.

Hurricanes 33, Chiefs 27

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UPDATE: The Hurricanes kept their hopes of a semifinal spot alive with their 33-27 victory at cold Westpac Stadium in Wellington, scoring a bonus-point try after the final siren. (Preview follows.)

Stormers 42, Crusaders 14

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Can the Stormers become the first South African team to complete a clean sweep of victories over New Zealand opposition in the Super Rugby when they host the Crusaders at Newlands?

Highlanders 26, Waratahs 10

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Last weekend’s loss to the Hurricanes at Carisbrook ended the Highlanders Dunedin programme on a low since it was their fourth defeat in five home games so far. Perhaps the move to Invercargill this week will help them, with the Highlanders having played 12 previous matches at Rugby Park for six wins, five defeats and a draw.

Nothing fancy from the Bulls

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The Sharks have no choice but to try and score four tries at all costs, which means they may play outside their normal structures in Saturday’s Super 14 match against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

JP the only Sharks casualty

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The Sharks have selected an almost full strength side for their match against the Bulls this weekend.

Chiefs team announced

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Growth and motivation are two key factors for the Chiefs side that will take on the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium in Wellington this Saturday night in round 12 of the Super 14.

Pressure is on the Bulls

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Sharks coach John Plumtree has stepped up the psychological warfare against the Bulls by claiming that all the pressure is on the Super 14 champions ahead of Saturday’s match at Loftus Versfeld.

Moller props down for Stormers

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JD Moller has been called up to front up when the Stormers tackle the Crusaders at Newlands this Friday.

Crusaders team to face Stormers

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Crusaders hooker Corey Flynn has been named in the starting line-up to face the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday morning (NZ time).

Walsh axed ‘in the interest of the game’

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SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray says he pulled Steve Walsh from Saturday’s Brumbies-Reds Super 14 clash in Canberra in the best interests of the game, and not because of the pressure caused by Matt Giteau’s comments.

Bakkies is back

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Springbok lock Bakkies Botha has recovered from injury to hand Bulls coach Frans Ludeke a selection poser ahead of Saturday’s Super 14 match against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld.

Muir tips Stormers/Bulls

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Lions coach Dick Muir knows exactly where to put his money for a winner in this year’s Super 14 competition – either on the Stormers or on the Bulls.

Sharks 23, Blues 10

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UPDATE:
Final whistle came as a relief from a poor game.

Desperation is the key word in Durban, where the Sharks will be aiming to secure maximum points from their clash against the Blues and keep their mathematical chances of making the play-offs alive.

Bulls 51, Lions 11

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UPDATE: Bulls score six tries – three in the last six minutes.

Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn is one point away from becoming South Africa’s all-time leading points’ scorer in Super Rugby.

Waratahs 19, Brumbies 12

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UPDATE:
There were 40,271 spectators at a damp ANZ Stadium in Sydney to watch the Waratahs beat the Brumbies 19-12 in a match when the best activity came after the final siren had sounded, the death throes of a tedious game.
Preview at

Highlanders 31, Hurricanes 33

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UPDATE: Both sides scored five tries
Carisbrook is called the ‘House of Pain’, but the Highlanders have suffered more pain than the visitors in Dunedin in the last few years.

Force 24, Crusaders 16

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The Western Force might have been in existence for only five years, but their history with the Crusaders has been full of drama. They’ve twice battled to 23-23 draws with the seven-time Super Rugby champion Canterbury team, but slipped to a crushing 53-0 defeat in between.

Reds 16, Stormers 13

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The Reds have beaten the Crusaders and Bulls – currently numbers one and two on the log – in Brisbane this season, but they will find the third-placed Stormers a very tough proposition too as they endeavour to go unbeaten at home against South African teams for the first time since 2005.

Chiefs 25, Cheetahs 25

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The Chiefs will endeavour to avoid entering the Waikato hall of shame by suffering the worst home record in the franchise’s history.

Carlos retains 15 jersey

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Lions coach Dick Muir has made only two injury-enforced changes to the team that lost to the Sharks last weekend, for Saturday’s Super 14 derby match against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

Brumbies change 5 for Tahs derby

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The Brumbies have made five changes to their starting XV to take on the Waratahs in their Super 14 Week 11 blockbuster at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Reds want one more SA scalp

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Super 14 surprise package the Reds are looking to add the Stormers to their list of top scalps this season in a top-four clash this weekend.

One change for Stormers

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Allister Coetzee, head coach of the Vodacom Stormers, today announced his team to play the Reds in Brisbane on Friday 23 April.

Juan back for the Cheetahs

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The Cheetahs, who  finish their tour this weekend when they take on the Chiefs, have been bolstered with the news that Juan Smith has returned to captain the side.

Bulls and Cheetahs will play at home

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The Bulls and Cheetahs will not be forced out of their home grounds for their remaining Super 14 matches.

Crusaders squad for Aus/SA tour

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The Crusaders will send a squad of 25 to Perth for the start of their three-match Super 14 road trip to Australia and South Africa.

Bulls could lose Loftus advantage

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The Bulls and Cheetahs could be forced to play their remaining home matches in the Super 14 competition elsewhere than at Loftus Versfeld and Absa Park.

* Komphela complains about state of pitches to government

Lions 28, Sharks 32

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For the Lions it is only about honour and pride, and some reward for the ever-dwindling die-hard supporters at the team’s soft drink park.

Reds 19, Bulls 12

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The Bulls, who have been the benchmark team this season, have only ever won once in Brisbane – way back in 2004. And two years ago they leaked 40 points in this city, after having put 92 past the Reds the previous year.

Crusaders 45, Cheetahs 6

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The Crusaders are determined not to be caught short by the underperforming Cheetahs, as they were last year, a result that ultimately saw them travelling to Pretoria for the play-offs.

Blues 38, Force 17

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The Force are out of the running for a semifinal spot but their team performance has improved markedly in recent weeks and with some of their top players having returned from injury, they could ruin the Blues goal of a playoff place – since the Blues need to win every game they have left, preferably with bonus points.

Sharks lose Carstens

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Deon Carstens will be leaving The Sharks after the culmination of the 2010 Super 14 competition to link up with UK Club side Saracens on a two year deal.

Brumbies 13, Hurricanes 23

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The Brumbies have won six of their eight matches and are sixth on the log, but if winning-losing permutations run in their favour this weekend, they could be in the top four going into week 11.

Chiefs 15, Stormers 49

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After achieving their most successful start ever to a Super Rugby campaign, the Chiefs season is threatening to fall apart, with Ian Foster’s team now facing the prospect of repeating their worst ever run at home by suffering a fourth defeat at the Waikato Stadium.

McCaw back at 7

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Crusaders captain Richie McCaw will get his first start in the number seven jersey this season in Saturday night’s match against the Cheetahs at AMI Stadium.

Bulls & Stormers sitting pretty

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The march of South Africa’s rugby giants to the Super 14 semi-finals gained crucial momentum at the weekend.

Brumbies smash Cheetahs

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The Brumbies have celebrated their first bonus point win of the Super 14 season with a runaway 61-15 win over the Cheetahs at Canberra Stadium tonight.

Lions 26, Reds 41

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The Lions are still winless in the competition and now find themselves propping up the rest of the table thanks to the Western Force recording their first win of the campaign last weekend.

Brumbies 61, Cheetahs 15

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The Brumbies should be fresh after a bye last weekend and raring to go against the struggling Cheetahs.

Crusaders 20, Waratahs 13

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The Crusaders are the most successful team in Super rugby and are once again leading the charge for the New Zealand teams this year, while they have yet to make the long journey to South Africa for matches against the Stormers and the Bulls.

Blues 21, Stormers 33

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The Stormers are fourth on the log with 24 points and the Blues eighth with 20 points, which means that if the the Blues win and gain a bonus point and succeed in denying the visitors a point, they can leapfrog them on the ladder.