Vodacom Super Rugby Preview – Round 12

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·                Cell C Sharks resist too many changes for Crusaders clash

·                Vodacom Bulls want immediate rebound against Waratahs

·                DHL Stormers out to tame Jaguares in Buenos Aires


The Cell C Sharks face the powerful Crusaders in their second match of their Vodacom Super Rugby Australasian tour and they will be hoping for another good performance, such as last weekend in Sydney against the Waratahs. This match kicks off on 09h35 on Friday and will be televised live on SuperSport1.

With the DHL Stormers also on tour and the Emirates Lions enjoying a bye, only one match takes place on local soil this weekend – in Pretoria, where the Vodacom Bulls host the Waratahs on Saturday afternoon from 15h05.

The Jaguares entertain the DHL Stormers on Saturday evening (21h40 SA time) and the Argentineans will be aiming to extend their winning run of three games on the trot, while the Capetonians will want to build on last week’s dramatic victory over the Vodacom Bulls.

Cell C Sharks resist too many changes for Crusaders clash

#CRUvSHA

The Crusaders host the Cell C Sharks in the first Vodacom Super Rugby match of the weekend on Friday morning (09h35 SA time) in Christchurch where the Durbanites will be looking to build on their successful effort against the Waratahs, as well as their 2014 victory at the same venue.

But it won’t be easy – the defending champions from New Zealand’s South Island are on a winning streak of 25 matches at home, but the Cell C Sharks know what it takes to win in Christchurch, as they are one of only two teams to have beaten the Cantabrians at their home fortress in the last 15 years.

Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has not tinkered too much with last week’s winning side and made just a couple of tweaks to the team playing the Crusaders.

Thomas du Toit will revert to the loosehead side of the scrum in place of Tendai Mtawarira, who has returned home with a knee injury. Coenie Oosthuizen starts at tighthead while Ruan Botha, after making his comeback from injury last week off the bench, is set to start with Hyron Andrews in the pack.

There is just one change in the backline, with regular skipper Louis Schreuder returning to the starting line-up and also resuming the captaincy.

What they said:

Cell C Sharks coach Robert du Preez said his team will be looking to pressuring their illustrious opposition and focus sharply for the full 80 minutes: “The conditions are a lot better here and not as humid as in Durban, but we have been working on handling and our basics and the message this week is ‘back to basics’.”

The teams:

Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody. Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Tim Bateman.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Thomas du Toit. Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Marius Louw.

Head to head:

Played: 22

Crusaders won: 18

Cell C Sharks won: 4

Crusaders points: 715

Cell C Sharks points: 444

Average score: 33-20

Match information:

Date: Friday, 3 May 2019

SA time: 09h35

Venue: Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch

Referee: Brendon Pickerill

Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, James Munro

Television Match Official: Glenn Newman

TV: SuperSport1

Vodacom Bulls want immediate rebound against Waratahs

#BULvWAR

The Vodacom Bulls play the Waratahs at home in Pretoria on Saturday in a Vodacom Super Rugby match where both sides will want to rebound immediately from last weekend’s performances.

It will be a tough mission for the New South Welshmen though – they have not won in Pretoria since 2002 and the Vodacom Bulls will be looking to maintain this winning run against the 2014 champions.

Pote Human, the Vodacom Bulls’ coach, has kept his forward pack unchanged while making a few changes in the backline for the 15h05 clash at Loftus Versfeld.

Johnny Kotze moves from the wing to midfield where he replaces injured Springbok Jesse Kriel, who underwent an ankle operation earlier in the week.

Jade Stighling suffered a concussion in the Vodacom Bulls’ one-point loss to the DHL Stormers last weekend, which means a return to the starting line-up for the wing pairing of Rosko Specman and Cornal Hendricks.

What they said:

Pote Human, the Vodacom Bulls coach, said his team will be looking put together a good performance at home following last week’s loss in Cape Town: “We want to be strong, physical and clinical at home and play the sort of rugby that we are capable of.”

The teams:

Vodacom Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Dylan Sage.

Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Ned Hanigan, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.Replacements: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Alex Newsome.

Head to head:

Played: 19

Vodacom Bulls won: 9

Waratahs won: 10

Vodacom Bulls points: 417

Waratahs points: 516

Average score: 22-27

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 4 May 2019

SA time: 15h05

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Referee: Jaco Peyper

Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Griffin Colby

Television Match Official: Christie du Preez

TV: SuperSport1

DHL Stormers out to tame Jaguares in Buenos Aires

#STOvJAG

The DHL Stormers will be looking for their second Vodacom Super Rugby win against the Jaguares this season when they run out at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani in Buenos Aires at 21h40 (SA time) on Saturday evening.

The Jaguares have a good record against South African opposition in Argentina – they have won 10 of their 15 home matches against teams from the Republic, which includes a 25-14 victory over the DHL Stormers in Buenos Aires last year, their only win over the men from Cape Town in five attempts.

The DHL Stormers scored a close but morale-boosting home win over the Vodacom Bulls in the previous round and they will be looking to build on that performance against an in-form Jaguares side that have won their last three matches.

Utility forwards Pieter-Steph du Toit (shoulder) and Ernst van Rhyn (elbow) were ruled out of the touring group through injury, while Springbok forwards Siya Kolisi and Frans Malherbe are rested. Meanwhile, loose forwards Jaco Coetzee and Sikhumbuzo Notshe have both recovered from injuries and will be considered for selection.

What they said:

DHL Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said that the players going to Argentina will be giving it everything to secure another win: “We want to keep building on our recent performances and this is a great opportunity to do so away from home. We have a bye after this game before we are back at home, so we will be going flat-out this weekend in Buenos Aires.”

The teams (both match-day squads TBA):

DHL Stormers squad to Argentina: Jaco Coetzee, Damian de Allende, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Johan du Toit, JJ Engelbrecht, Eben Etzebeth, Neethling Fouche, Corne Fourie, Herschel Jantjies, Steven Kitshoff, Dan Kriel, Michael Kumbirai, Dillyn Leyds, Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Sergeal Petersen, Justin Phillips, JD Schickerling, Seabelo Senatla, Josh Stander, Kobus van Dyk, Cobus Wiese, Damian Willemse.

Head to head:

Played: 5

Jaguares won: 1 

DHL Stormers won: 4

Jaguares points: 86

DHL Stormers points: 122

Average score: 17-24

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 4 May 2019

SA time: 21h40

Venue: Jose Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires

Referee: AJ Jacobs

Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Federico Anselmi

Television Match Official: Santiago Borsani

TV: SuperSport1

Other matches in Round 12:

Friday, 3 May
11h45: Reds v Sunwolves, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday, 4 May

07h15: Hurricanes v Rebels, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

09h35: Highlanders v Chiefs, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

11h45: Brumbies v Blues, GIO Stadium, Canberra

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