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Super Rugby | Ellis Park Stadium
15:15 (GMT) | 20-05-2017
  • 81
Stay with us as we go straight to our live coverage of the Kings vs the Brumbies
  • 80
Jantjies secures the extras. FULL TIME
  • 79
The Bulls are pushed back to the 10 and they press forward desperately looking for some consolation. The Lions turnover and Coetzee, Nel and Mapoe link up with great team work to out play the defenders on the wing and Mapoe is the man who goes over the line to score the TRY
  • 78
The Bulls win another penalty and the ball kicked into touch at the 5. Brink wins it for the Lions and the throw comes to nothing. The ball is tackled into touch and the Bulls have a throw at the 22
  • 77
Penalty to the the Bulls and the ball is kicked into touch around the 22 of the hosts
  • 76
Scrum to the Bulls inside their 10
  • 75
The ball booted out field and and the Nel finds himself with the ball running into space. He offloads to Mapoe but it's knocked forward
  • 74
The Lions moving forward and Combrinck looking for the tap forward but Galant tidies up
  • 73
The ball taken out the back and the Bulls make it to the half way but it's ripped away
  • 72
Line-out to the Bulls and it's taken but the ball is lost to the Lions. The ball lost forward by Coetzee and the Bulls have a scrum at their 10
  • 71
The Bulls win a penalty after the scrum and kick into touch at their 10
  • 70
Scrum at the 5 of the Bulls for the visitors after Serfontein saved the Bulls from another try
  • 69
De Klerk takes it from the ruck with swift hands and sends it to Jantjies who goes over the line but it's hit out of his hand and the TMO says no try
  • 68
They take their scrum and and De Klerk is the man who is first to pounce on Odendaal and his team is there to support, winning the turnover and the Lions have a 5 meter scrum
  • 67
De Klerk slips it in and the ball is moved to center field. Mapoe gets it and dummies his way passed a defender but is brought down in the 5. He reaches but loses the ball millimeters short of the try line. Scrum at the 5 of the Bulls again, but this time for the visitors
  • 66
They push forward after the line and the referee blows as the man over the line is held up. Scrum at the 5 of the Bulls for the Lions
  • 65
The ball is kicked into touch and the Bulls with a good response to stop the maul. The Lions still with it but the referee blows and the ball is kicked into touch at the 5 again
  • 64
The Lions make ground quickly as they move towards the 5 of the Bulls. Kriel intercepts and looks to run all the way through an empty field but the referee blows for offside
  • 63
The Bulls take a good line-out and knock it forward. Scrum to the Lions at the Bulls 10
  • 62
Penalty to the Bulls as the Lions scrum collapses. The ball is cleared by Tony Jantjies
  • 61
Scrum reset
  • 59
The ball lost forward by the Bulls at their 5 and the Lions have a scrum
  • 58
The ball cleared by Odendaal and it goes straight into touch. Line-out inside the 22 of the Bulls for the Lions
  • 57
Scrum to the Bulls and they take their scrum
  • 56
The Bulls holding firm for now and the ball is kicked forward. Skosan jumps for it and has a hard landing. Line-out to the hosts
  • 55
The Lions with the ball at the 10 of the Bulls now
  • 54
The Lions come again and enter the 10 of the visitors. Whiteley gets a loose ball forward and tries a offload over the top but doesn't execute. The referee halts play for a line-out
  • 53
The Bulls take their line-out and move forward but lose it at the Lions 10. The hosts break quickly to the 22 of the Bulls. The ball moved back to Kriel and cleared
  • 52
The Lions get it after the throw and it's moved down field to Mapoe who kicks forward for Combrinck to chase but it goes into touch
  • 51
The Lions turnover after the line-out and the ball is cleared. Line-out for the Bulls at the half way
  • 50
The referee blows for a penalty to the Bulls and the ball is kicked into touch
  • 49
The referee blows for a penalty as Maxwane is down and medical staff appears on the field with their motor vehicle
  • 48
The scrum collapses and it's reset
  • 47
The Bulls win a scrum at the 5 as the ball is lost forward by the hosts
  • 46
The Lions win the ball after the line-out and get a penalty in the turnover. Scrum at their 5
  • 45
They take their scrum and win another penalty. The ball kicked into touch at the Lions' 5
  • 44
The restart kick is contested and after some tussling the Bulls walk away with a penalty. Scrum at the 22 of the hosts
  • 43
Jantjies misses the kick
  • 42
The Lions push forward after the kickoff and show great confidence to outplay the Bulls with that attack and make it over the line. Mostert the man who bags the 5 points
  • 41
The referee sounds his whistle and the second half is underway

Half Time

  • 40
Jantjies with his first miss. HALF TIME
  • 40
The horn sounds as the ball is removed from the scrum. Penalty to the Lions and they choose to not end the half. The ball is kicked into touch by Jantjies at the Bulls 22. The line-out taken and Smith looks to carry forward as they enter the 22. The ball moved down field to Mapoe and then up field and the first try-scorer gets it outside the 5 and powers through to end the half in style. TRY
  • 39
Scrum reset
  • 38
Serfontein carries forward for his team and offloads to Kriel at the 22. The referee halts play for penalty to the Bulls and Brummer intended to kick into touch but he overcooks it and the Lions have a scrum at the 22 now
  • 37
The Bulls win penalty after the scrum. Brummer kicks into touch at the 22 of the hosts
  • 36
The Bulls win a penalty from a mid field maul initiated by Voster. Scrum to the Bulls at the half way
  • 35
Scrum to the Lions at the half way
  • 34
The ball kicked into touch by Odendaal under pressure. Line-out at the 10 of the Bulls for the hosts. Cronje's pass intercepted by Visagie but he loses it forward in the process
  • 33
The line-out taken at the half way and the Lions build from the half way. It's kicked forward but Kriel picks it up and clears
  • 32
The Lions get a penalty after the restart kick and they clear
  • 31
Jantjies adds another 2
  • 30
The Bulls have a line-out at their 22. They look to clear but the ball is charged down by Whiteley and he dives over the line reaching for the ball a brief moment of contact allows the referee to refer to the TMO to make sure. The TRY is awarded
  • 29
The restart kick is deep and Brummer sends it back. The ball goes into touch and the Lions have a throw inside the Bulls' half
  • 28
Brummer secures the extras
  • 27
The ball lands in the hands of Jesse Kriel and he shoves two Lions players aside to find the space he needs and puts it down for a Bulls TRY
  • 26
The Bulls with a line-out after the restart kick. They take it and move the ball down field
  • 25
Jantjies adds 2 more
  • 24
The Lions take the restart kick and boot forward. Skosan takes the forward kick down and puts his team on the attack. The ball moved to center field in the hands of Mostert. He offloads to Dreyer who turns on the acceleration to score the TRY between the sticks
  • 22
Jantjies secures the extras
  • 21
Scrum to the Lions at their 22. The ball taken out and sent down field to and kicked forward. Skosan is the man who chases and grabs the ball. He makes it inside the 22 and offloads. Smith the man who gets the TRY
  • 20
The restart kick taken down by Skosan and the Lions move forward to their own 22, opting to play the ball out of danger. They lose it but Smith wins it back and gets his team a penalty
  • 19
Jantjies lines up a kick from the 10 and boots it over adding 3 more to his team's tally
  • 17
The Lions with the ball now at the half way and the Bulls closing the gaps not allowing any runners through. The referee blows for a penalty to the Lions at the Bulls' 10
  • 16
Jantjies kicks forward and the ball is brought down then cleared
  • 15
The reset kick is picked up and sent to Combrinck who makes a great run from inside his 22 to the half way before offloading to Coetzee. The hosts with the ball now inside the 10 of the away team
  • 14
Jantjies prepares for a kick at goal. He takes his time with his standard prayer position and it's answered as he makes the 3 points
  • 13
Lions win a penalty in the scrum showing immense strength
  • 12
Scrum reset
  • 11
Scrum at the 5 of the Bulls for the Lions. They move the ball up field and Steenkamp with a strong defensive tackle. Scrum to the Bulls at their 5
  • 10
The Lions miscommunicate in the line-out and lose it but it's knocked forward by the Bulls
  • 9
The Lions get a penalty after the line-out and kick into touch at the 5 of the Bulls
  • 8
They move the ball up field and Jantjies kicks forward. The ball goes into touch. Line-out taken but the Bulls win a penalty. They now kick into touch around their 10
  • 7
The restart kick is there and the Lions have a line-out shortly after at the half way
  • 6
Brummer's kick levels the scores with a try and conversion a piece
  • 5
The Bulls turnover at the half way and the inside pass to Maxwana creates the space as he offloads to Serfontein who goes all the way from the 22 to level the TRY score
  • 4
The ball tackled into touch and the Lions have a throw at their 22
  • 3
The restart kick is there and the Bulls looking for a swift response with Odendaal inside the 10
  • 2
Jantjies adds the extras
  • 1
The Lions on the attack straight off the back, the ball moved up field to Combrinck at the 22 and he runs a bit before chipping it to himself. He scoops up the loose ball and scores the TRY
  • 0
The referee blows and we're off
  • -3
The players readying themselves to leave the locker rooms now
  • -5
The Lions have won an average of 14.6 line-outs per game so far this season, more than any other team, while the Bulls have lost an average of just one line-out per game this season, the joint fewest of any side
  • -10
The Bulls have lost their last two away games against South African opposition, the last time they lost more such games on the trot was a five-game drought which began in 2013 and included the entirety of the 2014 campaign.
  • -15
The Lions are undefeated in their last 13 South African derbies, including wins in their last 11, though the Bulls were the last team to defeat them in such a fixture (Round 12, 2015)
  • -20
The Lions have won three of their last four games against the Bulls after going winless in all of their previous 11 games against them.
  • -30
Welcome to Ellis Park Stadium ,where the Lions will host the Bulls
Mc lions logo 85
Mc bulls logo 80x50
  • 1 Jacques van Rooyen
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 3 Ruan Dreyer
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 6 Albertus Smith
  • 7 Ruan Ackermann
  • 8 Warren Whiteley
  • 9 Ross Cronje
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 12 Harold Vorster
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
  • 17 Corne Fourie
  • 18 Johannes Jonker
  • 19 Lourens Erasmus
  • 20 Cyle Brink
  • 21 Francois de Klerk
  • 22 Jacques Nel
  • 23 Anthony Volmink
  • 1 Lizo Gqoboka
  • 2 Jaco Visagie
  • 3 Trevor Nyakane
  • 4 Jason Jenkins
  • 5 Lodewyk de Jager
  • 6 Ruan Steenkamp
  • 7 Jannes Kirsten
  • 8 Hanro Liebenberg
  • 9 Rudy Paige
  • 10 Francois Brummer
  • 11 Sibahle Maxwane
  • 12 Burger Odendaal
  • 13 Jan Serfontein
  • 14 Jade Stighling
  • 15 Jesse Kriel
  • 16 Edgar Marutlulle
  • 17 Pierre Schoeman
  • 18 Conrad van Vuuren
  • 19 Abongile Nonkontwana
  • 20 Nick de Jager
  • 21 Ivan van Zyl
  • 22 Tony Jantjies
  • 23 Warrick Gelant
Mc article hanro liebenberg bulls 3 800

SR Preview: Round 13, Part Two

Fri, 19 May 2017 00:17

IN THE SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: The Southern Kings are suddenly a big deal. The proof of that can be found in the fact that their match tickets are suddenly hot property on the black market.

Yes, 'unofficial' ticket distributors and touts have been offering Kings tickets on the black market.

This new demand follows the Kings' unprecedented three-match winning streak - which include victories over the Waratahs (in Sydney), Rebels and Sharks (both in Port Elizabeth).

To put this into perspective, before their Australian tour the Kings hardly attracted 1,000 spectators to their 48,000 seater home stadium.

Now the Kings management are forced to put out advisories about who the official ticket distributors are.

Last week they attracted over 20,000 spectators to the game that saw then beat a South African team, the Sharks, for the first time.

This week the Brumbies are in town and it seems the demand for tickets are climbing.

But before we get to that game, there are a number of intriguing and very spicy games on offer.

It starts with the Hurricanes hosting the Cheetahs in Wellington, before the Western Force and Highlanders go head-to-head in Perth.

The Sunwolves are at their second home, Singapore, where they host the Sharks.

Then it is the trans-Jukskei derby between South Africa's top team, the Lions and the struggling Bulls.

The Kings and Brumbies will battle it out in Port Elizabeth, before the weekend's action is concluded in Sydney on Sunday where Waratahs and Rebels go into battle.

In Part Two of the preview, we look at the Saturday and Sunday matches!

Saturday, May 20:

Hurricanes v Cheetahs
(Westpac Stadium, Wellington - Kick-off: 19.35; 09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith is he epitome of 'frustration'.

His side has run so many teams close - only to lose out in the closing stage. In fact, against the Highlanders in Round 11 they butchered a 21-point lead.

The travelling Cheetahs play their second match on the road in New Zealand and the expectation is of another high-scoring match.

Smith said they will look to "defend better", while still playing their expansive brand.

"It will be vital that we get good first-phase [set piece] possession," he told rugby365 from Wellington.

It is their fifth New Zealand opposition in the last six weeks, and - despite having conceded more than 200 points in their last five outings - the Cheetahs still believe they have a 'big' win in them.

He admitted it will be a tall order against a Hurricanes team that will look to bounce back from last week's loss to the Crusaders.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said there is no chance of taking the Cheetahs lightly.

"The Cheetahs are a particularly dangerous team that can score tries from anywhere and also have a big forward pack up front," Boyd said.

"We know they will bring a lot to the match."

In fact, the Cheetahs have averaged 31 points in their past three matches against the Crusaders, Highlanders and Blues.

Recent results:
2014: Hurricanes won 60-27, Wellington
2013: Hurricanes won 39-34, Bloemfontein
2012: Cheetahs won 47-38, Wellington
2011: Hurricanes won 50-47, Bloemfontein
2010: Cheetahs won 28-12, Bloemfontein


Prediction: The Hurricanes have won six of the last eight clashes between these teams, including each of the last two. The last four iterations of this fixture have seen an average aggregate points tally of 86pts; despite this, all but one of those four games have been decided by a margin of nine points or fewer. The Hurricanes have won their last 11 games played on home turf, a streak more than twice as long as any other they've managed in Super Rugby; they've scored an average of 39 points per game across those 11 victories. The last time any South African team travelled to Wellington and won was the Stormers in Round 11, 2013; the Hurricanes have since won eight such fixtures on the bounce. The Cheetahs have lost 13 of their 15 Saturday fixtures in New Zealand, including the last four in a row by an average margin of 24 points. The Hurricanes have scored 28 tries on the opening phase of possession, five more than any other team in the competition and 12 more than the Cheetahs. There have been 88 tries scored in matches involving the Cheetahs (32 scored, 56 conceded), no other side has seen the whitewash crossed as often this season. The Hurricanes score an average of 6.3 tries per game this season, more than any other team; should they continue that average they would need to play just three more games to best the Super Rugby team try record set by the Lions last season (81). Beauden Barrett's 13 try assists this season are two more than any other player, while he's one of just two (Bernard Foley, 1.2) to average more than one try assist per game this campaign (1.3). Torsten Van Jaarsveld has scored three tries in his last four games against New Zealand opposition, including one each in his last two such games. More pain is coming for the Cheetahs. The Hurricanes can't afford to lose anymore ground on the Crusaders and will ease past a tired and battered Cheetahs team - by at least 15 points.


Hurricanes: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Vaea Fifita, 4 Sam Lousi, 3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Mike Kainga, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Jordie Barrett, 23 Ben Lam.

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Elandré Huggett, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nché.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Ruan van Rensburg.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Western Force v Highlanders
(nib Stadium, Perth - Kick-off: 17.45; 09.45 GMT, 19.45 NZ Time)

Fresh from their upset victory in Argentina over the Jaguars, the Western Force return to Perth and will hope to stop the inform Highlanders.

The Force will welcome back a string of reinforcements - including Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jermaine Ainsley, Brynard Stander and Luke Morahan - as they look to claim a crucial New Zealand scalp.

Force coach David Wessels said this week the endeavour shown in Argentina was pleasing.

However, his side will need to be back on task against an in-form Highlanders side.
"Our performance in Argentina was built on the back of our intensity in our preparation," Wessels said.

"Our challenge is to match that again this week.

"We're excited to be back at home."

The Highlanders believe their biggest hurdle could be complacency.

Off the back of a clean sweep in South Africa - which extended their winning streak to seven matches - they will look to cement their place in the play-off zone.

The Highlanders have lost six of their 10 games against the Force and New Zealand teams have often stumbled in the stopover in Perth on the way home.

Assistant coach Mark Hammett said the squad had travelled well and he was confident it would be up for the final game of its trip.

''We've done [the travel] for so long, I suppose we know the little hiccups that can happen along the way,'' he told the Otago Daily Times.

''Three weeks away, sometimes the third week can be a tough one. Sort of with one foot on the plane.

''But we've done well so far.

''We're pretty stoked to get out of Africa with two wins and if we can get this one, we can set ourselves up well for the 'Tahs [Waratahs] the following week.''

Recent results:
2016: Highlanders won 32-20, Dunedin
2015: Highlanders win -23-3, Perth
2014: Force won 31-29, Dunedin
2013: Force won 19-18, Perth
2011: Force won 21-14, Dunedin


Prediction: The Highlanders have won their last two games against the Force, including a visit to Perth in which they held them to just three points, though they had lost six games in succession against the Force prior to this brace of wins. In only one of their four games on home turf this season has the Western Force trailed at half-time (one lead, level twice) with each of those four fixtures ending with a final points margin of fewer than 10 points. The Highlanders have won on six of their last seven visits to Australia after having won just one of their previous 15 excursions there. The Highlanders have snatched the title of most accurate goal-kickers from the Cheetahs; their 87 percent accuracy tops every other team in the competition and is 12 percentage points higher than the Force. Bill Meakes' tally of 16 carries in Round 12 was more than any other player across the weekend; only Dane Haylett-Petty (three times) has made as many carries in a game for the Force this season. This could be the Highlanders' banana peel, but we will still back them to sneak it - by less than 10.


Western Force: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes (captain), 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Brynard Stander, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacement: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Lewis Carmichael, 21 Isireli Naisarani, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 James Verity-Amm

Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14  Patrick Osborne, 13  Malakai Fekitoa, 12  Richard Buckman, 11  Tevita Li, 10  Marty Banks, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21  Aaron Smith, 22  Lima Sopoaga, 23 Rob Thompson.

Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant referees: Ed Martin (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

Sunwolves v Sharks
(Singapore National Stadium, Singapore - Kick-off: 18.55 (11.55 GMT; 13.55 SA Time)

The Sunwolves may have won only one game this season, but they are determined to add the Sharks' scalp to that of the Bulls - which they claimed in Tokyo in Round Seven.

Making life difficult for the Sunwolves, however, is a playing schedule that forces them to fly almost 120,000 km over the course of a season - with away games in South Africa, Australia and Argentina on top of the trips to Singapore.

They have, by some distance, the most ridiculous schedule.

However, they are determined to prove their worth in the competition.

"For us it's about focusing on the process rather than just results," second row forward Sam Wykes told The Japan Times.

"If we keep preparing for how we want to play, the result is irrelevant for us.

"If we keep focusing on the wins and losses, that's when you really start to get bogged down."

Sharks coach Robert du Preez read his team the riot act, as their Jekyll and Hyde act continued with a loss to the Kings.

"This match is hugely important and it's not about maintaining a hold on our log position, but also about building momentum and confidence," Du Preez said.

"This was supposed to be our momentum phase, but we're back to square one again so we need a win to get us back on track.

"And we need a proper win, it needs to be an all-out great performance and that will set us up nicely for the three derbies we have at home.
"We need to play to our strengths and the pack will definitely be key for us," he said.

"I'm looking for a massive step-up from the whole team, so it's not just about the backline.

"This is a mission that we're going on and we need a massive effort from everyone; that's what let us down against the Kings.

"The effort was poor, we got out-played, out-muscled and out-passioned and with the squad that we have, that's unacceptable.

"I'm tired of making excuses for the players and I'm not making any excuses; it just wasn't good enough for a team of this calibre."

Previous result:
2016: Sharks won 40-29, Durban


Prediction: This will be just the second meeting between these teams after the Durban squad took a 40-29 win against the Sunwolves in the final regular season round last year. The Sunwolves will be looking for back-to-back home wins for the first time in their Super Rugby tenure after a one-point win against the Bulls in Round 7. The Sharks have won their last two games outside South Africa, never before have they won three such fixtures in succession within a single campaign. The Sharks have conceded only three tries in the opening quarter of games this campaign, the equal fewest of any team in the competition and 10 fewer than the Sunwolves' 13, which is more than any other team in the same period. Willie Britz has won 41 line-outs this season, the third-most of any player in the competition, while also stealing two opposition throws. It will be ugly and scrappy, a real arm-wrestle. However, the Sharks are likely edge ahead in the final quarter and win by 12 points.


Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Shota Emi, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Noahiro Kotaki, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Hitoshi Ono, 20 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 21 Keisuka Uchidam 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura.

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacement: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Rowan Gouws, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sibusiso Sithole

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Aki Aso (Japan), Tasuku Kawahara (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)

Lions v Bulls
(Ellis Park, Johannesburg - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 GMT)

Two more contrasting teams you can't find - both in terms of form and style.

The Lions are fresh off an unbeaten tour to Australian where they managed 14 out of a possible 15 points and are on unprecedented eight-match victory run.

The Bulls have lost five of their last seven games and coach Nollis Marais is under fire.

However, Lions coach Johan Ackermann is adamant there is "no chance" of complacency in his team ahead of this trans-Jukskei derby.

"The players know there are no easy games," Ackermann told rugby365.

He added that with their destiny is in their own hands, they are determined to keep raising the bar and ensure they do not need to rely on the goodwill of other teams.

"We are not looking at positions on the standings or the form of teams," he said.

"We respect the Bulls, because they have enough quality to beat any team.

"However, the key for us is that we focus on ourselves and what we need to improve."

He expects the Bulls to be "physical" and rely on their "massive pack of forwards".

Bulls coach Nollis Marais said the Lions are South Africa's "form team".

"We have had epic battles with them and this is a big derby match, so the guys will be up for it." Marais said.

Bulls captain Hanro Liebenberg said they are excited about the match.

"We have a chance to compare ourselves against the leading South African team in the competition," Liebenberg said.

"That is a nice challenge.

"We owe our fans a good show and where better to do that than in Johannesburg against the Lions."

Recent results:
2016: Lions won 56-20, Pretoria
2015: Bulls won 35-33, Pretoria
2015: Lions won 22-18, Johannesburg
2014: Lions won 32-21, Johannesburg
2014: Bulls win 25-17, Pretoria


Prediction: The Lions have won three of their last four games against the  Bulls after going winless in all of their previous 11 games against them. The Lions are undefeated in their last 13 South African derbies, including wins in their last 11, though the Bulls were the last team to defeat them in such a fixture (Round 12, 2015). The Bulls have lost their last two away games against South African opposition, the last time they lost more such games on the trot was a five-game drought which began in 2013 and included the entirety of the 2014 campaign. The Lions have won an average of 14.6 line-outs per game so far this season, more than any other team, while the Bulls have lost an average of just one line-out per game this season, the joint fewest of any side. Rudolph Snyman won seven line-outs in Round 12, the equal most of any player across the round, to take his season tally to 34. Most pundits feel the Lions will run away with this one. However, in reality it could be a real arm, wrestle. The Lions should still win, but not by more than 14 points.


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

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Abongile Nonkontwana, 20 Nic de Jager, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Tony Jantjies, 23 Warrick Gelant.

Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Southern Kings v Brumbies
(Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth - Kick-off: 19.30; 17.30 GMT, 3.30 AUS Time, Sunday, May 21)

The Brumbies start their two-match tour, which includes a stop-over in Argentina, against the vastly-improved Southern Kings.

With the Reds, Waratahs and Western Force all chasing the Brumbies on the ladder, a win on the road will be crucial to sure up the side's lead of the Australian Conference.

Brumbies hooker Josh Mann-Rea has earmarked set-piece dominance as key to victory.

"Our set piece is a big part of our game and this week will be no different," Mann-Rea said in an interview on the Brumbies website.

"They are going to come at us at scrum time and line out time so, as a forward pack, we have just got to make sure that the set piece is run very well and we deliver some good ball for the backs.

"We have lost four in a row now so this week is a must-win for us to stay on top of the Australian Conference and keep our finals hopes alive."

The Kings are coming off a trio of victories - over the Waratahs, Rebels and Sharks.

However, Kings coach Deon Davids is expecting a tough encounter against the Brumbies.

"We have been looking at our execution and where opportunities may be against the Brumbies," Davids said.

"We will have to work very hard to get over that advantage line, to maintain momentum and to hold on to the ball," the head coach said.

"There is a lot of experience and strong, physical guys in their midst.

"They are dangerous attackers also, so it will be a good challenge."

Previous result:
2013: Kings and Brumbies drew 28-all, Canberra


Prediction: The only previous encounter between these teams ended in a 28-all stalemate when the Kings travelled to the Australian capital in Round Eight, 2013. Twenty-two of the last 29 instances of an Australian team visiting South Africa have seen the hosts emerge victorious, while the Brumbies will be looking to become the first Australian team to take a win in South Africa this campaign. The Kings have won four of their last eight home games against teams from outside South Africa and will be looking to win back-to-back such fixtures for the first time in their Super Rugby history. The Kings have scored 65 more points in the second half (176) than they have in the first (111), the largest disparity of any team in the competition. Henry Speight has scored four tries in his last five games against South African opposition, though only one of those four tries came when playing away from home. Is this the game where the Kings' bubble bursts? We think the Brumbies will win by 12 points.


Southern Kings: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Alshaun Bock, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Stefan Willemse, 5 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Nicolaas Hanekom

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Aidan Toua, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leulua'Iali'I-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Muirhead, 23 Andrew Smith.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Rodney Boneparte (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)

Sunday, May 21:

Waratahs v Rebels
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 16.05; 06.05 GMT)

While the Rebels are fighting for Super Rugby survival, the Waratahs are showing the same desperation as they chase a play-off spot.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson spoke of getting a good start in this crunch encounter - as they have allowed sides to get away from them in the first half.

The Tahs have been working to address that problem.

In their last match against the Blues the Waratahs trailed 0-26 at half-time and won the second half 33-14 - only to lose the game to the New Zealand side by 33-40.

"The players know that they need to work hard for the full eighty minutes and that we need to start with a real intent and an urgency to our performance," Gibson said.

Tahs centre Rob Horne spoke of the importance of getting that vital win that will keep them in touch with the Brumbies.

"We are pretty engulfed in what we are doing and pretty focused on putting out a good performance that we and all our supporters want," said Horne.

"Every game is important and we are pretty keen to work hard every day and try to put out the performance we are capable of.

"I love every time I pull on the jersey, so if I can go out and put on some good showing in the next couple of games, it would be good."

The two sides meet for the second time this season.

The Waratahs reclaimed the Weary Dunlop Shield when they came from behind to defeat the Rebels courtesy of four unanswered second-half tries earlier in the season.

Rebels lock Steve Cummins said that despite the results this season, the Rebels feel like they're capable of a challenging for points.

"We played really good footy in patches in that game [against the Waratahs]," Cummins said.

"We know that the most disappointing thing is if we play our Rebels rugby for 80 minutes that we can be getting results.

"That's obviously something that we have to keep working on."

Recent results:
2017: Waratahs won 32-25, Melbourne
2016: Rebels won 21-17, Sydney
2015: Waratahs won 18-16, Sydney
2015: Waratahs won 38-28, Melbourne
2014: Waratahs won 41-19, Melbourne
2014: Waratahs won 32-8, Sydney


Prediction: The Waratahs have won 10 of their previous 12 clashes between these teams, with their two losses coming by margins of no greater than four points. The Waratahs have lost their last four games on home turf, never before in their Super Rugby history have they lost more home fixtures in succession. The Rebels have won three of their last four games played on a Sunday, including a brace of wins last season against the Waratahs and Force. The Waratahs have scored six tries this season after opting to take a penalty tap, more than any other team in the competition while the Rebels are yet to score from via the same method. Amanaki Mafi has gained 565m so far this campaign, more than any other forward in the competition. The Rebels have a good chance to reclaim the Weary Dunlop Shield, but our money is on a Waratahs win - by five points.  


Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 David McDuling, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Irae Simone.

Rebels: 15 Ben Volavola, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Reece Hodge (c), 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Sean McMahon, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 Esei Haangana, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Jonah Placid.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), Amy Perrett (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports &

Mc article ruan combrinck lions v bulls 800

Lions maul hapless Bulls

Sat, 20 May 2017 16:00

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Lions continued their dominance of South African rugby with a sublime 51-14 demolition of the Bulls at Ellis Park on Saturday.

They outscored the Bulls by seven tries to two - five off those in the first half - to put even more space between themselves and the rest in the Africa conference.

It was not so much the margin of the victory, but the manner in which they dominated the Bulls that made the biggest statement.

Springbok Ruan Combrinck made a two-try comeback.  

He made his first appearance of the four-month-old season after an injury, the wing scored after 72 seconds and the home side led 39-14 by half-time.

But after a first half that produced 53 points at Ellis Park, the second half was an anti-climax with only two tries, and the second came six seconds from time.

"We lost our way in the second half by failing to retain possession," admitted Lions livewire flank Albertus Smith.

"In the first half the team played very well, very clinically," said the South Africa Sevens star.

The bonus point helped the Lions cut the gap behind overall leaders the Crusaders to three points.

Record seven-time champions Crusaders have won all 12 matches, while the Lions' lone loss was away to Jaguares of Argentina during March with a weakened side.

Both the New Zealanders and the South Africans have three league fixtures left with the Lions schedule looking slightly easier.

Topping the combined standings gives a team home advantage in each knockout match they play.

While Lions seem destined to finish second overall at least, three-time Super Rugby champions Bulls are a pale shadow of former Pretoria outfits.

Retirements, stars lured to European and Japanese clubs by much higher salaries, and some poor signings have contributed to the demise of the giants.

It was the second humiliating defeat for Bulls in three matches after a 62-24 drubbing at home to Crusaders.

After Combrinck got his team off to the perfect start, Bulls levelled soon after when a clever inside pass sent centre Jan Serfontein over.

It was a short respite, though, as two penalties from flyhalf Elton Jantjies gave Lions a 13-7 lead by the end of th first quarter and then the floodgates opened.

Combrinck (two), Smith, prop Ruan Dreyer, No.8 and skipper Warren Whiteley, lock Franco Mostert and centre Lionel Mapoe were the Lions try scorers.

Jantjies, the probable Springboks flyhalf against France next month, slotted five conversions and two penalties from nine kicks at goal.

Serfontein and fullback Jesse Kriel scored tries for Bulls, both of which fly-half Francois Brummer converted.

Man of the match: Let's not beat about the bush - all the best players on the day were in the Lions team. Elton Jantjies produced a flyhalf masterclass, Ross Cronje provided a crisp service, Warren Whiteley showed his full array of skills, Ruan Ackermann was energetic and Albertus Smith was the most productive of the forwards, with Franco Mostert not far behind. However, our award goes to Lions wing Ruan Combrinck, who marked his return from a lengthy injury lay-off with two sublime tries - the first a great kick-and-collect in the opening minute.

The scorers:

For the Lions:
 Combrinck 2, Smith, Dreyer, Whiteley, Mostert, Mapoe
Cons: Jantjies 5
Pens: Jantjies 2

For the Bulls:
 Serfontein, Kriel
Cons: Brummer 2


Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrink, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Anthony Volmink.

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Abongile Nonkontwana, 20 Nic de Jager, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Tony Jantjies, 23 Warrick Gelant.

Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Ruan Combrinck (1min), Albertus Smith (21min), Ruan Dreyer (24min), Warren Whiteley (30min), Ruan Combrinck (40min), Franco Mostert (42min), and Lionel Mapoe (79min)
Jan Serfontein (5min) and Jesse Kriel (27min)
Elton Jantjies (2min), Elton Jantjies (22min), Elton Jantjies (25min), Elton Jantjies (31min), and Elton Jantjies (80min)
Francois Brummer (6min) and Francois Brummer (28min)
Elton Jantjies (14min) and Elton Jantjies (19min)
VENUE Ellis Park Stadium
REFEREE Quinton Immelman (South Africa)