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A CRACKING START TO SUPER RUGBY 2016 AS THE STORMERS STEAL THE SHOW

The first weekend of Super Rugby 2016 has come and gone quicker than my salary. A good weekend of rugby it was though. High paced and electrifying rugby was seen. Only three really big victories and 4 games that could have gone either way. Any rugby lover would be happy with the rugby they saw.

The Blues beat the Highlanders but as predicted this one went down to the wire. The Highlanders will kick themselves for the yellow card they received. This probably made the difference in the game. Both sides struggled with kicking at goal. Blues 33-31 Highlanders.

The Hurricanes will look back at the Brumbies game and wonder what happened. Yes they missed a kick or two, but the Brumbies out played them. Even when the Brumbies were down to 14 men, and this happened twice, the Hurricanes didn’t look like they could buy a try. Brumbies 52-10 Hurricanes.

The Cheetahs once again showed us how you can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Leading 24-3 at one stage, they still managed to lose. True the Jaguars played with 13 men when the Cheetahs scored their tries. Still one would think that when you have a 21 point lead you can build on that. Hats off however to the Jaguars that stuck to their guns. They did not allow the scoreboard to put pressure on them and though before the break. A well-deserved win by the new kids on the block. Cheetahs 33-34 Jaguars.

The Lions travelled to Tokyo and although the Sunwolves had 4 world cup players in their team, the Lions were not overwhelmed at all. The Wolves played good rugby and the Lions did not have it all their own way. Both teams a gain missed crucial kicks at goal. Still it was a good show of running rugby. Sunwolves 13-26 Lions. Both sides still have some work to do going forward.

The Crusaders missed Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. Although they led the game for most of 65 minutes it was the last 15 minutes that mattered. The Chiefs came back and scored two late tries giving them a victory. Missed kicks at goal could have made the result much different but only that it would have given the Chiefs a bigger winning margin. Crusaders 21 -27 Chiefs.

The Waratahs versus Reds game was true to form. Both of these sides can be contenders in Australia and it is always a hard game. The Waratahs made sure of the win in the first half and the Reds were always going to struggle to come back. The fact that they got two yellow cards didn’t help them much. Waratahs 30-10 Reds.

The Force v Rebels game remained true to history. The away side winning although this time it was with a slightly bigger margin than what we have come to expect between these two sides. The Force will rue the mistakes made on the attack as this gave the Rebels just what they needed. In the end a good old contest between two equally strong sides. Force 19-25 Rebels.

The Kings started well but then they just fizzled out against the Sharks. The Sharks were always going to win this one, but I expected much more of a fight from the Kings. The off the field woes of the Eastern Cape side has carried over on to the field. The Sharks can also not read too much into the victory taking into account the opponents. Hopefully the Kings can sort out their problems and rather sooner than later or it will be a long season for them. Kings 8-43 Sharks.

The game of the weekend was the Stormers versus Bulls game and the first half lived up to expectations with the home side leading only 9-6. The second half however was a totally different ball game. The Stormers came out with a vengeance and it showed. The play of the weekend being the driving maul from their own 22. It looked like a freight train without brakes and the Bulls could only look on as it stormed forward. At one stage it looked like the Bulls players falling back was helping the maul move towards their own tryline. The Stormers will be happy with their performance while the Bulls can’t take a lot of positives from the game. Stormers 33-9 Bulls.

SUPER RUGBY 2016 ABOUT TO KICK-OFF

The coming weekend sees the kick-off of Super Rugby 2016. A lot has been said and written about the new format and two debutant teams. Pre-season games have been played and many have read into this and what we can expect for the season to come. However until the first weekend is over we will not truly know where the teams stand. Here is a look at what the weekend holds in store for us.

The Blues will take on the highlanders in the opening game of the season. This is always a good game to watch as both teams can rate themselves as contenders for the number 1 spot in the New Zealand conference. The last couple of seasons however both of these sides struggled in the first couple of weeks. Expect some good running rugby. The Blues to take this one purely because they have the home ground advantage. Kick-off at 8h35 SA time at Eden Park.

The Brumbies will then take on the Hurricanes at the GIO Stadium at 10h45 SA time. This is another good match up with two of Australia’s top 3 teams playing against each other. The Hurricanes have never really lived up to their potential in the past, but they have been known to make the front runners stumble. The Brumbies is always a side to watch. Again I will give this to the Brumbies due to the home ground advantage, but they will have to counter the Hurricanes up front. If not they will struggle to win.

One of the games that will have most neutrals pinned to their seats will be the Cheetahs vs Jaguars game. Purely because everyone will want to see what the Jaguars are going to bring to the table. This game should be filled with fast paced action and a lot of running. However the scrum and rolling maul will play a big part as well. That is if the Jaguars will stick to the tried and tested Argentinian style of rugby. Most will give this game to the Cheetahs. But to be honest I see the Jaguars winning this one. This is the perfect game to finish off Friday’s action. Kick-off at 19h00 in Bloemfontein.

Saturday will see an early start for Lions fans. The Sunwolves host the Lions in Tokyo with kick-off at 6h15. This will have many neutrals up early as well. The Lions did not have the best of warmup games but I will not read too much into that. The Sunwolves are an unknown factor. Still if the Lions stick to what they do best, running the ball and using the forwards to get quick ball, they should win this one. Then again we all know what Japan did against the Springboks in the World Cup. I am hoping to see fast running rugby in this game.

The Crusaders and Chiefs game is one of the two games of the weekend for me. The Crusaders has lost some key players and this might impact on them in a negative way. The Chiefs, as we all know, are one of those teams that can have a brilliant game one week and the next look like they have not played together in months. This game will see some good running rugby with hard tackles and lots of turnover ball. This is another game where I am going against the main stream and pick the Chiefs to win.

In Australia the Waratahs and Reds will take each other one. Easy pick is the Waratahs to win. I just can’t see the Reds winning this one. Then we also have the Force and Rebels taking each other on. If history serves t be right the Rebels will win as they are playing away from home.

The Kings vs Sharks game should be an easy pick, but both sides have been going through some of the field issues. The Sharks struggled of last season and unless there has been a monumental mind shift in the squad i don’t believe that it has changed. Management and players are essentially the same. The Kings are in financial crisis and players are begging to get paid. This can’t be good for them either. Still the Sharks should win this one.

The Game of the weekend will end of the action on Saturday. The Stormers take on the Bulls. This is never a high scoring game and kicking should play a big part in the outcome. Still running rugby is always on the cards. The Stormers are under a caretaker coach of sorts and the Bulls have their tails up after some good warmup results. The game however is played at Newlands and it has become extremely difficult to beat the Cape side at home in recent seasons. The Stormers should win this by a slim margin.

Stormers & Sharks or Rebels & Force?

With only the Kings having a bye this weekend we are in for 7 games of Super Rugby once again. The question this week is who is going to win? Will it be the Stormers and the Sharks or will the Rebels and Force record wins over them? True there are some other great match ups but these two games have made the news a bit more due to the South African teams struggles of late.

Hurricanes v Chiefs
This game is not as predictable as many would think. To me it is as predictable as Cape Town weather. The Hurricanes have shown that they are up for it against some of the better teams this season. The Chiefs are still not at top form and that is what might sink them. It will be a good game to watch if you can. If not catch the highlights later.

Prediction: Chiefs by 5

Rebels v Stormers
Seven changes to the Stormers team while the Rebels are looking the part. As a Stormers supporter I truly hope this weekend will be the one. Tthe Rebels have been unlucky in a couple of games while the Stormers can say the same. Question remains will defence be better than attack this weekend or will we see both sides playing open rugby. If that happens I have to give it to the Stormers.

Prediction: Stormers by a hair.

Force v Sharks
Is there a rift in the Sharks team? They say not and I believe them. That they have more problems than Zuma has wifes is apparent. The force is however in my view not the team to exploit it. The Sharks will rally like a Cosatu march and probably win by a country mile.

Prediction: Sharks by 10

Crusaders v Blues
A classic New Zealand clash. Both sides fighting for a place in the top 6. And if they are lucky a conference win is still on the cards. The Crusaders must be favourites although the Blues are not far behind them.

Prediction: Crusaders by 7

Waratahs v Brumbies
The Waratahs are on a role but Jake’s boys top the log. This game will be one of pride. Australian derby at its best so don’t expect to many tries. Still will be interesting to watch.

Prediction: Brumbies by less than 7

Bulls v Highlanders
Easy pick this one and I never thought I’d say this, but go the Bulls. The Highlanders are struggling and a win by the Bulls will see the Kings stay clear of the wooden spoon. Hopefully the Bulls keep on running the ball and not kicking it.

Prediction: Bulls by 20

Cheetahs v Reds
The Cheetahs will need to play 80 minutes of rugby and improve on the last 10 minutes of their last game. The Reds are out to prove a point and want the top spot back. This will be a game of the Reds kickers against the Cheetahs runners at the back. My money will go on the running game.

Prediction: Cheetahs by 10

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Chiefs hang on to win against Chiefs

The Chiefs barely managed to hang on for a 22-21 win against the Force. A missed conversion by the Force and a yellow card in the last 10 minutes giving them the victory.

The first half was very much a half of let’s see who can kick the furthest and then make the least mistakes. The Force started of with a bang like a New Year’s cracker and scored a brilliant try in the first couple of minutes. Then they decided that the breakdown laws doesn’t apply to them and allowed the Chiefs back into the game. The Chiefs hit back with a brilliant try of their own and extended the lead to 16-5 as the force went to ground quicker than a soccer player in the penalty box. The Chiefs allowed to force to come back before the break with some silly penalties of their own. Halftime Score: Chiefs 19-11 Force.

The second half started off slowly. The first 20 minutes was like watching a 1975 Scope. It had just enough to keep you interested but not really satisfying. Then the Force scored their second try through Dellit, his second for the night, to make it a 1 point ball game. The game intensified as both sides tried to gain the upper hand and neither wanting to budge an inch. The Chiefs dominated the scrums for about 6 minutes resulting in a Force yellow card after 3 penalties. They however ended up knocking the ball over the line.

The game opened up in the last 8 minutes. The Chiefs ran everything that the Force kicked at them, but they just couldn’t make it count. the force had chances in the last 2-3 minutes, but they couldn’t make it stick. In essence the Chiefs win was very much like a Gupta jet. No one knows how they got their or who gave them permission, but they did.
Scorers
Chiefs 22 – Tries:
Masaga. Conversion: Cruden. Penalties: Cruden (4)

Force 21 – Tries: Dellit (2). Conversions: Hayward. Penalties: Hayward (3)

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Crusaders Forced into submission

The Western Force made sure that about 90% of superbru picks were wrong and just about no one got a grand slam point when they beat the Crusaders 16-14 in Perth on Saturday.

The Force started the game with gusto and determination that did not only surprise the Crusaders but even their own supporters. It paied off when Sam Norton-Knight opened the scoring for the home side with a well deserved try. The try was converted by James Hayward. The Crusaders then steadily started working their way back into the game, but just couldn’t get a proper footing. Tylker Bleyendaal eventually got the visitors on the board cancelling out an earlier Hayward penalty.

Luke Romano then scored the Crusaders only try although he did cross the line twice after that. Both tries being disallowed by the TMO as the groundings could not be seen. The Force went into halftime with a 16-8 lead after Hayward added two more penalties.

The second half saw the Crusaders come out on a mission. A mission they couldn’t reach as the Force kept them at bay with some brilliant defensive work. Bleyendaal could only add 2 more penalties and as the clock ran down the Crusaders got more and more desperate while the force stuck to their guns and defended like a team possessed. In the end it paid off as they walked away 16-14 victors.

Crusaders fans around the world looked on in disbelieve and probably blame Bleyendaal for a missed conversion, but all be said it was a Force team that would have kept even the All Blacks in check with the defence that they showed.

SCORERS
Force 16 – Try:
Sam Norton-Knight. Conversion: Jayden Hayward. Penalties: Hayward (3).
Crusaders 14 – Try: Luke Romano. Penalties: Tyler Bleyendaal (3).

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Cheetahs finish tour on high

The Cheetahs showed mental stamina in a last gaps historic win in Perth over the Force. It is the first time the Cheetahs had won in Perth and the first time they won 3 games on tour.

The first half saw some adventurous play by the Cheetahs and this actually cost them 7 points. They tried to run the ball from deep, but coughed it up and Winston Stanley went over for the Force. Sias Ebersohn added the two points against his former team mates. This after he missed to easier penalties earlier in the game. Riaan Smit kept the cheetahs in it with 2 penalties of his own.

The second half saw Jayden hayward extend the Force lead to 10-6. With about 15 minutes left on the clock it looked like the Cheetahs would come back with 2/4. A quick tap didn’t help them and then they got a nother penalty. Smit added the 3 and it became a 1 point game. Soon after Smit took the lead for the Cheetahs through yet another penalty. With 2 minutes left on the clock a dropped ball by the Force got hacked down field and it bounced right for Willie Le Roux. He grabbed it and went over for the winning try. Smit converted and put the Cheetahs 9 points clear with two minutes left. The scoreline 19-10 when time ran out.

A good tour by the Cheetahs but now they need to capitalise on it when they return home. They might not be title contenders yet, but a couple of good wins can see them in the play-offs for the first time.

SCORERS
Force 10 – Try:
Winston Stanley. Conversion: Sias Ebersohn. Penalty: Jayden Hayward.
Cheetahs 19 – Try: Willie le Roux. Conversion: Riaan Smit. Penalties: Riaan Smit (4).

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Victory in Brisbane taken by Force

The Force came to Brisbane as the 7/1 outsiders after two losses so far this season. It was however the Reds that had to settle for a single bonus point in the end as the Force beat them 12-19. This is the Force first win in Brisbane and their second consecutive win over the Reds in as many seasons.

The Force took a slender 12-13 lead into the break over the Reds. The half was marked by penalties being exchanged between Sias Ebersohn and Quade Cooper in the first 25 minutes. The Force then got a break with the score at 9-6 to the Reds. A break and then some brillioant finishing saw Alfi Mafi score the only try of the half. Ebersohn converted to give the Force a 13-9 lead. Cooper did pull it back with a penalty. On the stroke of halftime Cooper chipped one over the Force defence but it was helped over the dead ball line to take it to halftime.

The second half delivered a couple of opportunities for both sides, but handling errors and unforced mistakes cost both teams. It was the Force that scored the only points in the second half through two penalties by Ebersohn. This was your typical mundane Australian derby with neither side really taking control of the game. Neither coach will really be happy with his teams performance although the Force will take the win any day of the week.

Scorers:
Reds: Tries:
Conversions: Penalties: Quade Cooper (4)
Force: Tries: Alfi Mafi Conversions: Sias Ebersohn Penalties: Sias Ebersohn (4)

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SupeRugby Preview R3

SupeRugby 2013 is well on its way and already some teams ate pulling away in their respective confrences. It may still be early days but some teams are already starting to worry as they have not won a game yet. Here is a look at the weekend’s fixtures.

08 Mar 2013

08:35 Hurricanes vs Crusaders Westpac Stadium, Wellington

A nice game to get us started this weekend. Both teams are searching for that first win this season and this will be the game to do it. The Crusaders have only played one game but didn’t look at all the team we are used too. The Hurricanes is a team that can upset big teams if they keep their discipline in check. The key players in this game will be Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett. Either one can win the game for their teams.

Prediction: Crusaders by 7.

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks Substitutes: 16 Motu Matu’u/Ash Dixon, 17 Ben May, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 James Marshall, 22 Reynold Lee-Lo

Crusaders:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett. Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Adam Whitelock.

10:40 Rebels vs Reds AAMI Park, Melbourne

Another Australian derby but not one that should be to boring. The Rebels have played some good rugby so far this season and the Reds are starting to come into their own. Both teams have the ability and willingness to attack from deep. It will boil down to who has the best defence.

Prediction: Rebels by 6.

Rebels: 15 Angus Roberts, 14 Richard Kingi, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Alex Rokobaro, 10 James O’Connor (captain), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson Substitutes: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Jordy Reid, 19 Jarrod Saffy, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Tom English

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 Ed O’Donoghue, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes. Substitutes: 16 James Hanson, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Chris Feauai-Sautia.

09 Mar 2013

08:35 Highlanders vs Cheetahs Rugby Park, Invercargill

This ganme can turn the season for both sides. The Cheetahs will be desperate for a win as will the Highlanders. The Cheetahs showed last week that they can run the ball if their handling improves. Again two teams with good attacking skills, but defenses that are leaking.

Prediction: Highlanders by 10.

Highlanders: TBA

Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane. Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Riaan Smith, 22 Ryno Benjamin.

10:40 Brumbies vs Waratahs Canberra Stadium, Canberra

This might be the boring Australian derby for the weekend. Jake white. Has however done some great work with the Brumbies. They are playing more exciting and attacking rugby. The Waratahs however is still know for their forward approached to the game.

Prediction: Brumbies by 14.

Brumbies: TBA

Waratahs: 15 Ben Volavola, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Dave Dennis, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Mitchell Chapman, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson. Substitutes: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Greg Peterson, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Pat McCutcheon, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Lachie Turner.

17:05 Stormers vs Chiefs
DHL Newlands, Cape Town

This is the game that most people envisioned for last year’s final. The sharks however had other plans. These two teams have met 14 times with the Stormers winning 8. They will also take the home ground advantage into the game. They have not shown the flair and running rugby we are used to from them. Some put this down to the small back three they are playing. Still their defense is one of the best if not the best in SupeRugby. The Chiefs will want to unlock that defense with their strong runners. Their own defense is pretty tight. This will probably be seen by many as the game of the weekend.

Prediction: a hard one to call. I’m going with the Stormers by 6.

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (c), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Dewaldt Duvenhage, 21 Peter Grant, 22 Gerhard van den Heever

Chiefs: TBA

19:10 Southern Kings vs Sharks
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

For me this will be the game of the weekend. The Sharks are unbeaten so far this season and they are looking the real deal. They have build on last year’s late resurgence. A team with experience and young raw talent capable of running circles around most teams. Defensively sound and attacking brilliance. The Kings have won their first game with a lot of heart but it was against a Force team that has never really set SupeRugby alight. Still this will be a chance for them to show how good they really are. They will also have a big crowd behind them. A game set for big hits and probably a bit of emotions boiling over at stages. I’m glad I’m not the referee in this one.

Prediction: Sharks by 14 minimum

Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Steven Sykes 4 Darron Nell (captain), 3 Kevin Buys , 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Luke Watson, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Hadleigh Parkes

Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Francois Steyn (captain), 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Tendai Mtawarira Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Odwa Ndungane

10 Mar 2013

05:05 Blues vs Bulls Eden Park, Auckland

The referees in this game will have to change into white as the Bulls will once again don their pink outfits. They have been looking good this season so far, but their first game on tour will show us how good they really are. Morne steyn seems to have found some form, but again it will be up to him to show it on tour. The Blues started with an impressive win over 8 times champions the Crusaders. They are looking a different team from last year. A great game for an early Sunday morning and to finish the weekend’s action off.

Prediction: Blues by 7-10.

Blues: TBA

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Mornè Mellett. Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Jürgen Visser.

The force have a bye this weekend. Enjoy the action and let me know what you think.

Bulls withstand Force

The Bulls did well to withstand a determined Force team with two Late tries sealing the bonus point win. The Pretorians didn’t have it all their own way and had to work hard for the win.

The Bulls started of well with a 3rd minute try by flyhalf Morne Steyn although he couldn’t convert it. The Loftus faithful must have though this is going to be a high scoring game and that the Bulls would run away with it. Robert Ebershon however kept the Force in it and had them in the lead twice through 2 penalties and a drop goal in the first half. Two Steyn penalties cancelled it out and at halftime the scores were 11-9 to the home side.

The second half had the Bulls playing a touch better on attack, but their defence had them worried. Although they scored 3 tries they also conceded 2. They even trailed 26-19 at one stage during the second half and looked like they might lose the game. Tries by Jean Cook and Werner Kruger with Morne Steyn converting them and a penalty however pulled this game out of the fire.

Sampie Mastriet and Jan Serfontein showed that South Africa has brilliant Young Talent. A worry will be Francois Hougaard’s average performance and the Bulls also struggled a bit at the breakdowns. They will take a win every which way it comes, but won’t be overly happy with their performance tonight.

The force knows this could have gone so much different if they defended better. Still it was a nuch better performance than last week. Neither team can however afford this type of rugby against the likes of the Chiefs, Blues and Sharks.

Bulls – Tries: Morné Steyn, Sampie Mastriet, Jean Cook, Werner Kruger. Conversions: Steyn (2). Penalties: Steyn (4).
Force Tries: Angus Cottrell, Toby Lynn. Conversion: Sias Ebersohn (2) . Penalties: Ebersohn (2). Drop Goals: Ebersohn (2).

Your Super Rugby squads for 2013

Super Rugby 2013 is set to start on 15 February 2013. All the squads have been finalised and the teams are getting for a long season. Here is the 40-man squads of the various teams.

STORMERS
Props: Deon Carstens, Patric Cilliers, Brok Harris, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe
Hookers: Deon Fourie, Tiaan Liebenberg, Siyabonga Ntubeni
Locks: Andries Bekker, Ruan Botha, Eben Etzebeth, De Kock Steenkamp
Loose Forwards: Don Armand, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Michael Rhodes, Duane Vermeulen
Scrum-halves: Dewaldt Duvenage, Nic Groom, Louis Schreuder
Fly-halves: Peter Grant, Elton Jantjies, Gary van Aswegen
Centres: Marcel Brache, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers, JP du Plessis
Wingers: Gio Aplon, Damian de Allende,
Bryan Habana, Gerhard van den Heever
Fullbacks: Joe Pietersen, Jaco Taute

KINGS
Forwards:
Rynier Bernardo, David Bullbring, Kevin Buys, Cornell du Preez, Jacques Engelbrecht, Jaco Engels, Schalk Ferreira, Hannes Franklin, Ross Geldenhuys, Lizo Gqoboka, Virgil Lacombe, Tomas Leonardi, Bandise Maku, Edgar Marutlulle, Mpho Mbiyozo, Darron Nell, Daniel Adongo, Devin Oosthuizen, Steven Sykes, Wimpie van der Walt, Luke Watson (captain)

Backs:
Demetri Catrakilis, Ronnie Cooke, Wesley Dunlop, Siyanda Grey, Johan Herbst, Michael Killian, SP Marais, Scott Mathie, Waylon Murray, Hadleigh Parkes, Sergeal Petersen, Marcello Sampson, Shakes Soyizwapi, Wayne Stevens, Andries Strauss, Elrich van Vuuren, Shaun Venter, Nicolas Vergallo, George Whitehead

SHARKS
Props: Dale Chadwick, Jannie du Plessis, Wiehahn Herbst, Tendai Mtawarira, Julian Redelinghuys
Hookers: Craig Burden, Kyle Cooper, Monde Hadebe, Bismarck du Plessis (vc)
Locks: Anton Bresler, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jandré Marais, Peet Marais, Franco van der Merwe
Loose Forwards: Willem Alberts, Jacques Botes, Marcell Coetzee, Keegan Daniel (c), Jean Deysel, Ryan Kankowski, Francois Kleinhans, Lubabalo Mtembu
Scrum Halves: Conrad Hoffmann, Charl McLeod, Cobus Reinach
Fly Halves: Butch James, Patrick Lambie
Centres: Meyer Bosman, Paul Jordaan, Wandile Mjekevu, François Steyn, Tim Whitehead, Heimar Williams
Wingers: Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, JP Pietersen, Sibusiso Sithole
Full Backs: Louis Ludik, Gouws Prinsloo, Riaan Viljoen

CHEETAHS
Props: Lourens Adriaanse, Rossouw de Klerk, Trevor Nyakane, Caylib Oosthuizen, Coenie Oosthuizen, Schalk van der Merwe
Hookers: Ryno Barnes, Hercu Liebenberg, Adriaan Strauss, Torsten van Jaarsveld
Locks: Lodewyk de Jager, Andries Ferreira, Ligtoring Landman, Martin Muller, Francois Uys, Waltie Vermeulen
Loose Forwards: Heinrich Brüssow, Lappies Labuschagné, Boom Prinsloo, Davon Raubenheimer, Marnus Schoeman, Philip van der Walt
Scrum-halves: Tewis de Bruyn, Sarel Pretorius, Piet van Zyl
Fly-halves: Francois Brummer, Johan Goosen, Elgar Watts
Centres: Robert Ebersohn, Joubert Engelbrecht, Barry Geel, JP Nel, Johann Sadie
Wingers: Rayno Benjamin, Jannie Boshoff, Cameron Jacobs, Rocco Jansen, Dusty Noble, Raymond Rhule, Nico Scheepers
Fullbacks: Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux, Riaan Smit

BULLS
Props: Dean Greyling, Frik Kirsten, Werner Kruger, Morné Mellett, Juan Schoeman, Basil Short, Dawie Steyn, Marcel van der Merwe, Hencus van Wyk
Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Callie Visagie, Willie Wepener
Locks: Cornell Hess, Juandré Kruger, Marvin Orie, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Flip van der Merwe, Schalk van Heerden, Paul Willemse, Mike Williams
Loose Forwards: Shaun Adendorff, Arno Botha, Jean Cook, Corné Cooper, Jacques du Plessis, Grant Hattingh, Wiaan Liebenberg, Dewald Potgieter, Jacques Potgieter, Pierre Spies (c), Deon Stegmann
Scrum Halves: Francois Hougaard, Lohan Jacobs, Rudy Paige, Ruan Snyman, Jano Vermaak
Fly Halves: Louis Fouché, Tony Jantjies, Handré Pollard, Tiaan Schoeman, Morné Steyn
Centres: Ulrich Beyers, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Daniel Kriel, Lionel Mapoe, Wynand Olivier, Jan Serfontein, William Small-Smith, Francois Venter
Wingers: Bjorn Basson, Clayton Blommetjies, JJ Engelbrecht, Travis Ismaiel, Sampie Mastriet, Akona Ndungane
Full Backs: Zane Kirchner, Jesse Kriel, Jürgen Visser

BLUES
Props: Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney,
Tim Perry, Angus Ta’avao, Ofa Tu’ungafasi
Hookers: Quentin MacDonald, Keven Mealamu, James Parsons
Locks: Anthony Boric, Liaki Moli, Ronald Raaymakers, Culum Retallick, Ali Williams
Loose Forwards: Kane Barrett, Luke Braid, Steve Luatua, Brendon O’Connor, Peter Saili
Scrum-halves: Jamison Gibson-Park, Bryn Hall, Piri Weepu
Fly-halves: Baden Kerr, Chris Noakes
Centres: Malakai Fekitoa, Francis Saili, Jackson Willison
Wings: Frank Halai, George Moala, Waisake Naholo, Rene Ranger
Fullbacks: Marty McKenzie, Charles Piutau

CRUSADERS
Props: Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody
Hookers: Corey Flynn, Ben Funnell, Codie Taylor
Locks: Dominic Bird, Tom Donnelly, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock
Loose Forwards: Shane Christie,Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Jimmy Tupou, George Whitelock, Luke Whitelock
Scrum-halves: Andrew Ellis, Jeremy Su’a, Willi Heinz
Fly-halves: Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Carter, Tom Taylor
Centres: Ryan Crotty, Robbie Fruean, Adam Whitelock
Wings: Zac Guildford, Johnny McNicholl
Fullbacks: Israel Dagg, Tom Marshall

CHIEFS
Props: Ben Afeaki, Josh Hohneck, Solomona Sakalia, Toby Smith, Ben Tameifuna
Hookers: Hikawera Elliot, Rhys Marshall, Mahonri Schwalger
Locks: Craig Clarke, Michael Fitzgerald, Romana Graham, Brodie Retallick
Loose Forwards: Sam Cane, Nick Crosswell, Ross Filipo, Tanerau Latimer, Fritz Lee, Liam Messam
Scrum-halves: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brendon Leonard, Augustine Pulu
Fly-halves: Gareth Anscombe, Aaron Cruden
Centres: Bundee Aki, Richard Kahui, Charlie Ngatai
Wings: Lelia Masaga, Tim Nanai-Williams, Patrick Osborne, Asaeli Tikoirotuma
Fullbacks: Andrew Horrell, Robbie Robinson

HIGHLANDERS
Props: Ma’afu Fia, Chris King, Jamie Mackintosh, Tony Woodcock
Hookers: Liam Coltman, Andrew Hore, Brayden Mitchell
Locks: Josh Bekhuis, Jarrad Hoeata, Brad Thorn, Joe Wheeler
Loose Forwards: Tim Boys, Elliot Dixon, John Hardie, Nasi Manu, Jake Paringatai
Scrum-halves: Aaron Smith, Fumiaki Tanaka
Fly-halves: Hayden Parker, Colin Slade, Lima Sopoaga
Centres: Phil Burleigh, Tamati Ellison, Jason Emery, Ma’a Nonu, Shaun Treeby
Wings: Hosea Gear, Declan O’Donnell, Kade Poki, Buxton Popoali’i
Fullbacks: Ben Smith

HURRICANES
Props: Ben Franks, Reggie Goodes, Ben May, Eric Sione, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
Hookers: Dane Coles, Motu Matu’u
Locks: James Broadhurst, Jason Eaton, Mark Reddish, Jeremy Thrush 
Loose Forwards: Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Karl Lowe, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Blade Thomson, Victor Vito
Scrum-halves: Samisoni Fisilau, TJ Perenara, Chris Smylie
Fly-halves: Beauden Barrett, James Marshall, Tusi Pisi
Centres: Tim Bateman, Rey Lee-Lo, Conrad Smith
Wings: Cory Jane, Alapati Leiua, Matt Proctor, Julian Savea
Fullbacks: Andre Taylor

BRUMBIES
Props: Ben Alexander, Ruaidhri Murphy, Dan Palmer, Scott Sio
Hookers: Stephen Moore, Siliva Siliva
Locks: Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Etienne Oosthuizen, Leon Power
Loose Forwards: Fotu Auelua, Colby Fainga’a, Peter Kimlin, Ben Mowen, David Pocock, Ita Vaea
Scrum-halves: Ian Prior, Nic White
Fly-halves: Zack Holmes, Christian Lealiifano, Matt Toomua
Centres: Tevita Kuridrani, Pat McCabe, Clyde Rathbone, Andrew Smith
Wings: Tom Cox, Henry Speight, Joseph Tomane
Fullbacks: Robbie Coleman, Jesse Mogg

WARATAHS
Props: Sekope Kepu, Benn Robinson, Paddy Ryan, Jeremy Tilse
Hookers: Damien Fitzpatrick, Tatafu Polota-Nau, John Ulugia
Locks: Ollie Atkins, Kane Douglas, Greg Peterson, Sitaleki Timani
Loose Forwards: Mitchell Chapman, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Pat McCutcheon, Wycliff Palu, Lopeti Timani
Scrum-halves: Grayson Hart, Brendan McKibbin
Fly-halves: Berrick Barnes, Bernard Foley
Centres: Tom Carter, Israel Folau, Michael Hodge, Rob Horne
Wingers: Peter Betham, Tom Kingston, Drew Mitchell, Lachlan Turner
Fullbacks: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Cam Crawford

REDS
Props: Ben Daley, Greg Holmes, Jono Owen, James Slipper
Hookers: Albert Anae, Saia Fainga’a, James Hanson
Locks: James Horwill, David McDuling, Rob Simmons, Adam Wallace-Harrison
Loose Forwards: Liam Gill, Ed Quirk, Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, Jake Schatz
Scrum-Halves: Nick Frisby, Will Genia
Fly-Halves: Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas
Centres: Anthony Fainga’a, Michael Harris, Jono Lance, Ben Tapuai, Aidan Toua
Wings: Chris Feauai-Sautia, Digby Ioane, Dom Shipperley
Fullbacks: Rod Davies, Luke Morahan

REBELS
Props: Eddie Aholelei, Paul Alo-Emile, Nic Henderson, Laurie Weeks
Hookers: Ged Robinson, Shota Horie
Locks: James King, Cadeyrn Neville, Hugh Pyle, Chris Thomson
Loose Forwards: Tim Davidson, Gareth Delve, Scott Fuglistaller, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Jones, Jarrod Saffy
Scrum-halves: Richard Kingi, Nick Phipps, Nic Stirzaker
Fly-halves: James O’Connor
Centres: Mitch Inman, Lachlan Mitchell, Alex Rokobaro, Rory Sidey
Wingers: Kimami Sitauti, Cooper Vuna
Fullbacks: Kurtley Beale, Angus Roberts, Jason Woodward

FORCE
Props: Pekahou Cowan, Tetera Faulkner, Kieran Longbottom, Salesi Ma’afu
Hookers: Nathan Charles, Ben Whittaker
Locks: Phoenix Battye, Toby Lynn, Hugh McMeniman, Sam Wykes
Loose Forwards: Chris Alcock, Richard Brown, Angus Cottrell, Matt Hodgson, Lachlan McCaffrey, Ben McCalman
Scrum-halves: Alby Mathewson, Brett Sheehan
Fly-halves: Sias Ebersohn, Kyle Godwin
Centres: Patrick Dellit, Jayden Hayward, Solomoni Rasolea, Winston Stanley, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Will Tupou
Wingers: Nick Cummins, Alfie Mafi, Ed Stubbs
Fullbacks: Sam Norton-Knight

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