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Bulls

FULL-TIME
39     33

Sharks

Super Rugby | Loftus Versfeld
15:15 (GMT) | 12-05-2018
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He takes his kick and adds 3
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The hooter sounds and the game is out of reach oft he Sharks. Penalty to the Sharks at the 5. Du Preez sets up for a kick at goal
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The Bulls holding the Sharks back now as the clock ticks on
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Scrum reset
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Penalty to the Sharks in the scrum and the ball is kicked into touch at the 22 of the Bulls. The Sharks lose it forward and the Bulls have a scrum at their 5
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Scrum to the Sharks at their 10 now
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It's sent out wide to Kriel who is loitering at the edge of the pitch waiting for the ball to be sent to him and it is. He scoots over the line and takes the game out of reach of the Sharks. The referee reviews the play and says forward pass against the Bulls and the try is disallowed
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Bosch gets it on the wing and kicks forward for himself. Van Zyl is there on the cover and the Bulls look to counter now as they rush to the 22 of the away team
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Line-out taken and the Sharks begin to move forward from the 10 of the hosts
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The Bulls make it into the 10 of the away team but lose out and it's kicked forward. Pollard looks to kick back but sends it straight into touch for a throw at his 10
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The Bulls have it now at their 10
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Rob Du Preez adds the extras
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The Sharks fight back after the reset. They progress into the 22 and JL Du Preez gets an inside pass, going all the way to score a TRY
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Pollard adds 3 points
  • 67
The ball is kicked into the air and Am looks to contest it but tackles van Zyl while the Bulls scrumhalf is in the air. Yellow card
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Pollard secures the extras
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Kriel breaks inside the 22 and the support is there. It is sent to De Jager who powers through 3 players and reaches over the line to score an impressive TRY
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Schoeman penalized in the scrum. Pollard kicks it into touch at the 22 of the Sharks. The ball sent down to the other side of the pitch and back again as the Bulls attempt to create space
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Scrum reset
  • 61
The ball lost forward again and the Bulls have another scrum on their 10
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Scrum to the Bulls and they win a penalty from it. It's kicked forward by Pollard but not into touch
  • 59
The ball lost forward by Nkosi as he tries to make a way through the wing
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Scrum to the Sharks
  • 57
The ball lost forward at the 10 of the Bulls
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The Sharks making ground in the phases now as they probe at the 22
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The Sharks being put under pressure at their 10 as they move the ball around. Rob Du Preez boots it forward into touch for a Bulls throw in the midfield
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Pollard adds the extras
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The Bulls make their way forward to the 22 of the away team. Kriel sends it down to Gelant who offloads to Kotze. Kotze takes a few steps and bags his team another 5 points
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Esterhuizen clears after both teams tussle for the ball in the mid field
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He takes his kick puts the Sharks in front for the first time
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The hosts give away a penalty and Du Preez steps up for a shot at goal
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The Sharks passing the ball panically as the bulls apply pressure on the attackers
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The referee says Nyakane engaged early and the Sharks have a penalty. The ball is not kicked into touch and the Bulls take it at their 10 then run forward
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Penalty to the visitors. Scrum inside the Sharks 22
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The Bulls on the attack at the 22 of the visitors. The Sharks turnover and Esterhuizen kicks it straight into touch for a line-out to the Bulls at the 22 of the Sharks
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He takes his kick and puts it between the sticks
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The Bulls give away a penalty in the defence and Du Preez steps up for a shot at goal
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The Sharks pressing at the 10 of the hosts now
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Penalty to the Sharks in the opening minutes of the second half. Bosch lines it up for another long range kick at goal. He takes it and it falls just short
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The second half is underway

Half Time

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The Sharks look to the sticks for the penalty on the 40 minute mark. Bosch takes his kick and makes the distance from over 50 meters. HALF TIME
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The Bulls push forward. The ball is at the half way now and give away a penalty
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The Sharks kick forward after a tussle for the ball at the half way. Line-out to the hosts at their 10
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He takes his kick and puts on 3 more points
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The Bulls have a penalty kick after the restart and Pollard sets up for a kick at goal
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Rob Du Preez with another good kick
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Vermeulen is helped over the line by his team at a 5 meter throw. TRY to the Sharks
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The referee refers to the TMO for the late tackle and decides yellow card against Snyman for his tackle
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The Sharks push them back and win a penalty for a late tackle by Snyman
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Odendaal stumbling forward as he makes it to the 5 and the Bulls weighing their options as van Zyl looks to the long side
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The hosts win back possession after a quick tap and run it to the 22 of the Sharks. It's lost in touch for a Bulls line-out
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The Sharks win a penalty after a collapse by the home team
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Scrum to the hosts at their 10
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The ball kicked forward after the restart and Kriel runs it inside the 10 of the Sharks. The visitors win back possession and Nkosi looking to sneak through along the wing but it's lost forward in contact
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Pollard secures the extras
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The Bulls manage to sip passed the Sharks defensive line and Kriel lobs a long pass out wide to Ismaiel. He hands it to Smit who makes it over the line for a TRY
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The hosts in possession now, working it quickly inside the mid field but the Sharks matching their movements
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Rob Du Preez adds the extras
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They send it down quickly and Nkosi breaks down the center. His team is there in support. They move it inside the 22 and Beast bombarding forward offloads as he falls to the ground and Bosch picks it up and goes over the line to score the TRY
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The Sharks win a turnover and kick into touch at the half way
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The Bulls win the ball at their 10 after the Sharks look for a grubber through. Gelant kicks it far into touch outside the 5 of the away team
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Scrum to the Sharks at the half way
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The Bulls run the ball forward after the restart. It's knocked on in contact
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Pollard adds the extras
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The Bulls moving it around the 10 and Kriel sells a dummy to two and slips through the space going all the way to score a second TRY for the Bulls
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A kicking contest ensues and Wright kicks it into touch at the Bulls' 10
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Pollard puts his kick wide
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A cross kick forward by the Bulls at the 22 and Nkosi lets it bounce but it goes over his head. Gelant materializes in the space and takes it over the line to score a TRY
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The Sharks break through the middle and JL Du Preez offloads to Bosch who goes over the line to put it down for a try. The referee reviews an earlier play when Bosch tripped Gelant on the half way. He calls Bosch over and awards him a yellow card for his efforts
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The Bulls make it to the 10 oft he visitors but it's turned over
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The Bulls win a penalty in the scrum as the Sharks pull the hosts to the side. Line-out to the Bulls at their 10
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Scrum reset
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The Sharks move it out wide and Nkosi loses it into touch. The referee says lost forward first and the Bulls have a scrum outside their 22
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The Sharks manage to clear and Pollard is there on the cover along with Kriel. They move it along the 22 and the ball is lost in touch for a Sharks throw
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The Bulls at the 5 of the away team now
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The Bulls on the attack after the Sharks have a 22 meter restart following the kickoff
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The referee sounds his whistle and the game is underway
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The players entering the field of play now
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Robert du Preez has made eight try assists this campaign, the equal most of any player in the competition; the Sharks' flyhalf also leads the competition in total points scored (132)
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The Bulls have finished six of their last eight games with a 100 percent goal-kicking accuracy, missing just three of 29 attempts at the sticks in that time. The Bulls (164) have scored more first-half points this season than any other team in the competition
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The Bulls are unbeaten in their last six games against the Sharks, restricting the Durban side to fewer than 20 points in five of those matches. The Sharks are winless in their last five trips to Loftus Versfeld, although each of those defeats has come by eight points or fewer
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Welcome to Loftus Versveld, home of the Bulls. They host the Sharks in this SA derby
Mc bulls logo 80x50
Bulls
Mc sharks graphic80x50
Sharks
START LINE UP
  • 1 Lizo Gqoboka
  • 2 Adriaan Strauss
  • 3 Trevor Nyakane
  • 4 Rudolf Snyman
  • 5 Lodewyk de Jager
  • 6 Roelof Smit
  • 7 Jason Jenkins
  • 8 Marco Van Staden
  • 9 Ivan van Zyl
  • 10 Handre Pollard
  • 11 Johnny Kotze
  • 12 Burger Odendaal
  • 13 Jesse Kriel
  • 14 Travis Ismaiel
  • 15 Warrick Gelant
RESERVES
  • 16 Jaco Visagie
  • 17 Frans van Wyk
  • 18 Conraad van Vuuren
  • 19 Thembelani Bholi
  • 20 Nick de Jager
  • 21 Andre Warner
  • 22 Manie Libbok
  • 23 Divan Rossouw
START LINE UP
  • 1 Tendai Mtawarira
  • 2 Armand van der Merwe
  • 3 Thomas Du Toit
  • 4 Tyler Paul
  • 5 Ruan Botha
  • 6 Jacques Vermeulen
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 8 Daniel du Preez
  • 9 Cameron Wright
  • 10 Robert du Preez
  • 11 Makazole Mapimpi
  • 12 Andre Esterhuizen
  • 13 Lukhanyo Am
  • 14 Sibusiso Nkosi
  • 15 Curwin Bosch
RESERVES
  • 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle
  • 17 Juan Schoeman
  • 18 Ross Geldenhuys
  • 19 Stephan Lewies
  • 20 Wian Vosloo
  • 21 Louis Schrueder
  • 22 Marius Louw
  • 23 Lwazi Mvovo
Mc article super rugby round 13   part two 800

PREVIEW: Super Rugby, Round 13 - Part Two

Thu, 10 May 2018 22:47

CONFERENCE STRUCTURE UNDER FIRE: The list of high-profile figures criticising the tournament structure is growing at an alarming rate.

Earlier this week SANZAAR officials scrambled desperately to quell well-sourced reports that South African franchises are queuing up to make the great trek north and join a European competition.

Despite SANZAAR's best efforts to paint a picture of a 'happy family', discarded Australian Sevens coach Andy Friend has climbed on the bandwagon and criticised Super Rugby - describing it as "stale" and "tainted".

Friend, also a former Brumbies coach, was sacked after the Commonwealth Games and decided to get a few things off his chest about the Southern Hemisphere competition.

"I actually find it stale, to be honest," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"I can't understand the conference system.

"I can't understand how you can have a competition where you don't play everyone once and you can be the best of the worst, which is what we have in this country, yet you can still make a quarterfinal.

"Doesn't make sense to me... for me, it's tainted."

This comes ahead of a Saturday that will highlight the chasm in class between Australian teams and those from New Zealand and South Africa.

Part Two of our preview starts with the intriguing encounter between the Highlanders and the Lions.

That is followed by an all-Australian derby - the Brumbies and Rebels, expected to be the least entertaining fixture of the weekend.

Another intriguing and tantalising clash - between the Stormers and Chiefs - follow, before we end the weekend's action with the crucial South African derby, the Bulls and Sharks.

We take a look at the weekend's last four matches!

Saturday, May 12:

Highlanders v Lions
(Forsyth-Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)

The Lions, who have not won in Dunedin since their return to Super Rugby in 2014, will look to end a pretty miserable tour on a victorious note.

Most pundits think the Lions will have an advantage against the Highlanders, who travelled back from South Africa after a demoralising loss to the Sharks in Durban last week.

However, Lions coach Swys de Bruin has warned against expecting travel and jet lag to be a factor.

"Look at the first game [of our tour], when we travelled to the Waratahs [Sydney - a 29-0 win for the Lions]," De Bruin cautioned.

"You can never count on that [jet lag]. We are in week four [of our tour], but we have to be ready for them."

De Bruin said a win against the Highlanders will make it a very successful tour - which started with that win against the Waratahs, but was followed by defeats against the Reds and Hurricanes.

"It will mean a lot," the Lions mentor said, adding: "We haven't won in Dunedin in the new stadium."

He said the home team's 'spine' is very strong - with Ben Smith at fullback and Lima Sopoaga at flyhalf.

"They may not have the greatest record on the road, but at home, they are very tough to beat.

"We are not looking at what they are doing, because it takes your eye off the ball - we will focus on our own game."

The Highlanders received a handy boost this week with the news that one of New Zealand's brightest prospects will head south.

Promising flyhalf Bryn Gatland, the son of Wales and British and Irish Lions coach Warren, has signed for the Highlanders - who see enough potential in the 22-year-old to rate him as a possible replacement for the Wasps-bound Lima Sopoaga.

Recent results:
2016: Lions won 42-30, Johannesburg (semifinal)
2016: Highlanders won 34-15, Dunedin
2015: Lions won 28-23, Johannesburg
2014: Highlanders won 23-22, Dunedin
2011: Lions won 26-22, Dunedin

Prediction: The Highlanders have won five of their six home games against the Lions including their last two in a row; their solitary defeat came in 2011 at Carisbrook. The Highlanders have won their last 10 in a row at home, only once before have they gone on a longer such run (13 wins, 2000-2002). The Lions have lost their last two games, the last time they lost more was a three-game drought to open the 2015 campaign. Only the Crusaders (15) have scored more tries in the final quarter of games this campaign than the Lions (14); the Highlanders have scored just seven tries in this period. Ash Dixon has a throw success rate of 92 percent this campaign, the second best of any player to have made at least 30 throws this season. We agree with Lions coach Swys de Bruin - travel won't be a factor. The Highlanders to win by five points.

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Sio Tomkinson.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Albertus Smith, 7 Franco Mostert (captain), 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: Jacques van Rooyen, Ruan Dreyer, Jacobie Adriaanse, Lourens Erasmus, Marnus Schoeman, Dillon Smit, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Sylvian Mahuza.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Brumbies v Rebels
(GIO Stadium, Canberra - Kick-off: 19.45; 09.45 GMT)

Rebels coach Dave Wessels wants his team to rediscover the attacking mojo that saw them dominate the Australian conference in the early stages of the season.

The Rebels travel to the nation's capital looking to avoid six straight defeats and will need to do so at a venue where they have won just once in five attempts.

But Wessels said he would urge his players to play with the freedom on display in the early-season run, and took some responsibility for how his players dealt with in-game adversity.

"One of the challenges for the group now is to move on from the sadness of the performance and probably being embarrassed about our performance against the Crusaders, and then being able to lift to a point where we know we can play well," Wessels said.

"It's just having the confidence in our performance is to go out there and have a go.

"One of the hallmarks of our performances earlier on was that we were prepared to be brave and prepared to make a few mistakes.

"For whatever reason, and partly because of my responses to some of those things, when we've made mistakes recently, we've gone a bit conservative.

"That wasn't the DNA we had early on. We've made a real effort to return to that this week, we want to go Canberra and have a real crack."

The Brumbies sit fourth (with a three wins and six defeats record) in the Australian conference, just six points off the Rebels in the second - making this clash all the more meaningful than just another Australian derby.

The Canberra side's three wins have come against the Sunwolves (Week Two), Sharks (Week Five) and Reds (Week Eight).

Since then it has been a difficult month for the Brumbies.

The rest of April saw a harsh defeat to the Highlanders in Dunedin, and back-to-back close defeats to the Jaguares and the Crusaders, both in Canberra.

They host the Rebels off a bye and will be raring to have something to show for three consecutive home matches.

Recent results:
2018: Rebels won 33-10, Melbourne
2017: Brumbies won 32-3, Canberra
2017: Rebels won 19-17, Melbourne
2016: Brumbies won 30-22, Melbourne
2015: Rebels won 13-8, Canberra
2015: Brumbies won 20-15, Melbourne

Prediction: The Rebels have won three of the last five meetings between these sides, more than they'd managed in their previous nine. The Brumbies have won five of their six home games against the Melbourne side, those five wins coming by an average margin of 25 points. The Rebels' last six Australian derbies have all been won by the home side on the day. The Rebels have missed the most tackles (26) and conceded the most penalties and free kicks (13) per game of any team in this campaign. Henry Speight has scored four tries in his last four games against the Rebels, gaining in excess of 100 metres in a game twice in that time. Both teams are struggling for form - the Brumbies with four defeats (three on the trot) in their last five matches and the Rebels with six (five consecutive) defeats in their last seven matches. The Brumbies, at home, should be good enough to win by eight points.

Teams:

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Semisi Tupou, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Fereti Sa'aga,
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Sam Jeffries, 21 Lopeti Timani, 22 Harrison Goddard, 23 Billy Meakes.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

Stormers v Chiefs
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 15.05; 13.05 GMT; 01.05 NZ time Sunday, May 13)

The Stormers are looking to make it six straight wins at Newlands this season - following victories against the Jaguares, Blues, Reds, Rebels and Bulls.

Captain Siya Kolisi will lead a settled outfit, which features 12 players with more than 50 Super Rugby caps.

The Stormers face a Chiefs side that will be smarting from their surprise home defeat to the Jaguares.

Although All Black stalwart Sam Cane is rested at home with an abdominal strain, coach Colin Cooper has brought All Blacks Nathan Harris and Brodie Retallick.

They will be crucial if the Chiefs are to continue their good form in the fixture between the sides - the Kiwis having won five of the last seven meetings between the two teams.

"Losing Sam Cane is always going to be a loss for any team, but alongside Sam is the leadership group led by Charlie Ngatai," Cooper said.

"It has given an opportunity for a number of young men to step up and come into this contest in South Africa, which is exciting for them, and for us coaches to watch."

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said the Chiefs made a "major shift in their culture" and that made them a successful team.

"They play a certain way," Fleck said, adding: "They are an exciting team and a tough team to play against.

"The Stormers, currently fourth in the South African conference and ninth overall, have just five games left in a campaign that has stuttered along this season.

"We are in a situation where we need to win every game," Fleck said.

"We have to deliver our best performances every week.

"We are fighting hard to get back up there [in the play-off race]."

Cooper said he was taken big lessons from last week's loss to the Jaguares.

"We took a lot of learnings from the Jaguares, particularly on our attack," the Chiefs coach said.

"We know what to expect from the Stormers, and have been focussed this week.

"The team travelled smoothly and have come over here wanting to do really well.

Recent results:
2017: Chiefs won 17-11, Cape Town (preliminary play-off)
2017: Stormers won 34-26, Cape Town
2016: Chiefs won 60-21, Cape Town (preliminary play-off)
2015: Chiefs won 28-19, Cape Town
2014: Chiefs won 36-20, Hamilton'

Prediction: The Chiefs have won five of the last seven games between these sides, twice overturning a halftime deficit in that run. The Chiefs have lost just four of their last 27 games against South African opposition; the Stormers were responsible for two of those defeats. The Cape Town side has won nine of their last 11 regular season games when hosting New Zealand opposition, although those nine wins have come by an average margin of just eight points. The Stormers have booted 18 penalty goals this season, the equal most of any team in the competition. Damian McKenzie has made 15 break passes this season, more than any other player in the competition and six more than Stormers' best Damian Willemse (nine) and Sarel Marais (nine). Statistics suggest the Chiefs should. Fortunately for the Stormers, this game is played on grass and not paper. We feel the Stormers should with by 12 points.

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johannes Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Chiefs: 15 Charlie Ngatai (captain), 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Liam Messam, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe.   
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

Bulls v Sharks
(Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 GMT)

Bulls coach John Mitchell said the clash with the Sharks is a "make-or-break" affair, as his team aim to end a two-match losing streak.

"We must win our remaining three home fixtures and also at least one on the road to have a chance of making the play-offs," stressed the former All Blacks coach.

Bulls are 11th on the combined standings, but only three points behind the Sharks, who occupy the last qualifying place - eighth.

Before losing to the Highlanders and Stormers, the Bulls thrashed the Sharks 40-10 in Durban - with fullback Warrick Gelant scoring a hat-trick.

"We found some consistency in the middle of the season, but lost a bit of that during the last two rounds," admitted Mitchell.

"We all know what is at stake here. We all understand the long-term vision and strategy, but short-term results are as important," Mitchell said.

"The Sharks have shown how good they can be in dismantling the Highlanders and will come for us, no doubt."

Sharks coach Robert du Preez also spoke about the need to win, given that both teams also have only six matches remaining.

"We want to play good rugby, but winning is important and we don't care how we win," Du Preez said.

"Every game is really important for us going forward and every game is massive for us.

"The pressure is just massive and the quality of the competition is much better than last year.

"Anything can happen on the day and you have to be on top of your game."

Recent results:
2018: Bulls won 40-10, Durban
2017: Bulls won 30-17, Durban
2016: Bulls and Sharks drew 16-all, Pretoria
2015: Bulls won 17-10, Durban
2015: Bulls won 43-35, Pretoria

Prediction: The Bulls are unbeaten in their last six games against the Sharks, restricting the Durban side to fewer than 20 points in five of those matches. The Sharks are winless in their last five trips to Loftus Versfeld, although each of those defeats has come by eight points or fewer. The Bulls have finished six of their last eight games with a 100 percent goal-kicking accuracy, missing just three of 29 attempts at the sticks in that time. The Bulls (164) have scored more first-half points this season than any other team in the competition. Robert du Preez has made eight try assists this campaign, the equal most of any player in the competition; the Sharks' flyhalf also leads the competition in total points scored (132). Probably the most difficult game of the weekend to predict. The Bulls have home ground advantage and desperate to end their losing streak. They should sneak by five points or less.

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 John-Ben Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Jason Jenkins, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frans van Wyk/Nqobisizwe Mxoli, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Nicholas de Jager, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso 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 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning, additional reporting by AFP
@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Statistics provided by Opta Sports

Mc article bulls v sharks 2018 800

Bulls see off Sharks in Pretoria

Sat, 12 May 2018 15:00

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Bulls recorded a valuable 39-33 win over Conference rivals the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Bulls outscored their opponents by five tries to three in what was an entertaining game of rugby.

The win moves the Bulls above the Sharks and the Stormers in the South African Conference.

It was the Sharks who challenged the scoreboard first as fullback Curwin Bosch crossed the whitewash but his efforts were disallowed due to his tripping of fullback Warrick Gelant in the build-up and was shown a yellow card for his efforts.

The Bulls made good use of the resulting penalty as the ball was shuffled down the line to outside centre Jesse Kriel who grubbered the pill past the defence to a flying Gelant who scored a converted try.

Kriel continued his fine form as he received the final pass and brushed off a defender to score moments later.

The visitors got onto the board courtesy of Bosch who received an offload in the 23rd minute. Flyhalf Robert du Preez converted to cut the deficit to five points.

The men in light blue were not done with scoring tries as wing Travis Ismaiel did well to stay infield long enough for flank Roelof Smit to scoop up the ball and score.

The Bulls found themselves on the wrong side of the referee as lock Rudolph Snyman was sin binned for a late tackle and the Sharks capitalised on their advantage as flank Jacques Vermeulen scored a converted try.

Pollard and Bosch traded penalties in the dying minutes of the first half as the teams headed to the sheds with the Vodacom Bulls leading 22-17.

The Sharks started the second half like a house on fire as Du Preez sunk two penalty goals to take the lead for the first time but his efforts were nullified as wing Johnny Kotze received a pop pass from Gelant to score in the corner in the 55th minute.

The visitors suffered their second yellow card of the match as outside centre Lukhanyo Am was ordered off after tackling a player in the air.

Lock Lodewyk de Jager scored the Bulls' fifth try as he used his tall timber to reach out and score in the 67th minute. Pollard converted and added a penalty to gift his team a 39-23 lead with 11 minutes left on the clock.

Springbok flank Jean-Luc continued the ding dong affair as he dotted down a minute later as the Sharks registered third third try.

Kriel almost bagged his brace only to be denied by the TMO for an earlier infringement in the 75th minute.

With the clock run out, the Sharks slotted a penalty to earn a bonus point as the Bulls secured the win.

Man of the match: Armand van der Merwe was an absolute beast in the game and deserves the award. 

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Tries: Gelant, Kriel, Smit, Kotze, De Jager
Cons: Pollard 4
Pens: Pollard 2

For Sharks:
Tries: Bosch, Vermeulen, JL Du Preez
Cons: R du Preez 3
Pens: R du Preez 3, Bosch

Yellow cards: Curwin Bosch (Sharks, 10 - cynical play, trip); Rudolph Snyman (Bulls, 33 - foul play, late charge); Lukhanyo Am (Sharks, 67 - foul play, tackling an opponent in the air.

Teams:

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 John-Ben Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Jason Jenkins, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frans van Wyk, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Nicholas de Jager, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso 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 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

@BlueBullsRugby

Warrick Gelant (10min), Jesse Kriel (14min), Roelof Smit (25min), Johnny Kotze (53min), and Lodewyk de Jager (65min)
TRIES
Curwin Bosch (21min), Jacques Vermeulen (34min), and Jean-Luc Du Preez (69min)
Handre Pollard (15min), Handre Pollard (26min), Handre Pollard (54min), and Handre Pollard (66min)
CONVERSIONS
Robert du Preez (23min), Robert du Preez (35min), and Robert du Preez (70min)
Handre Pollard (37min) and Handre Pollard (68min)
PENALTIES
Curwin Bosch (40min), Robert du Preez (51min), and Robert du Preez (81min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
Rudolf Snyman (33min)
Curwin Bosch (9min) and Lukhanyo Am (67min)
 
 
VENUE Loftus Versfeld
REFEREE Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)