Vodacom Super Rugby Preview – Round 9

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·       Kitshoff entrusted with DHL Stormers captaincy

·       Mapoe notch up Emirates Lions milestone against Brumbies

·       Cell C Sharks shake up front row for Jaguares visit

·       Vodacom Bulls make sweeping changes for Reds attack

The DHL Stormers will conclude their four-game Australasian tour on Friday morning (SA time) when they face the Rebels in Melbourne in the only Vodacom Super Rugby match involving a South African team on the day. Kick-off in the AAMI Park is at 11h45.

On Saturday, the Emirates Lions kick off their three-match overseas tour in Canberra where they face the Brumbies in the GIO Stadium. That encounter, which starts at 11h45, is followed by two local matches later in the afternoon.

Robert du Preez’s Cell C Sharks host the Jaguares in Durban from 15h05, while the Vodacom Bulls welcome the Reds to Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, where the kick-off is 17h15.

Kitshoff entrusted with DHL Stormers captaincy


Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff will take over the DHL Stormers’ captaincy from Siya Kolisi, who is being rested for the final match of their Australasian tour against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.

The experienced Kitshoff will line up alongside national team-mates Bongi Mbonambi and Wilco Louw in the front row, with Salmaan Moerat and Cobus Wiese forming a new lock partnership.

Ernst van Rhyn will make his DHL Stormers debut at openside flank in place of Kolisi, while Kobus van Dyk and Jaco Coetzee keep their places in the loose trio.

The only change to the backline sees Herschel Jantjies back in the starting line-up at scrumhalf, while speedster Seabelo Senatla is set to make his first appearance this season off the bench following his return from injury.

Meanwhile, Sam Talakai (prop), Robbie Abel (hooker) and Ross Haylett-Petty (lock) have all been included in the starting forward pack for the Rebels, while Richard Hardwick will return to the squad as a replacement.

What they said:

DHL Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck mentioned that his team is determined to end their tour on a high in Melbourne on Friday: “Our focus this week is on being as accurate as possible in everything that we do in order to make the most of our opportunities. The players have worked hard again this week as we look to end our tour on a high note.”

The teams:

Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Semisi Tupou, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Tetera Faulkner. Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Esei Ha’angana, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Campbell Magnay.

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Ernst van Rhyn (DHL Stormers debut), 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Josh Stander, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Head to head:

Played: 6

Rebels won:  1

DHL Stormers: 5

Rebels points: 118

DHL Stormers points: 209

Average score: 20-35

Match information:

Date: Friday, 12 April

SA time: 11h45

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Referee: Mike Fraser

Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill, Rasta Rasivhenge

Television Match Official: James Leckie

TV: SuperSport1

Mapoe set to earn Emirates Lions milestone against Brumbies


Lionel Mapoe will make his 100th Vodacom Super Rugby appearance in the red and white of the Emirates Lions on Saturday against the Brumbies in Canberra. The Springbok back has earned 116 competition caps altogether, which also includes stints with the Vodacom Bulls and Toyota Cheetahs.

The side from Joburg have switched Springbok speedster Aphiwe Dyantyi back to wing from outside centre, and Hacjivah Dayimani starts this weekend at No 8 having been a backline replacement in the 42-5 home defeat to the Cell C Sharks in the previous round.

Nathan McBeth, who played for the Junior Springboks last year, will get his first start at Vodacom Super Rugby level in the Emirates Lions’ front row, next to Malcolm Marx (hooker), who will again lead out the Emirates Lions in the absence of regular skipper Warren Whiteley, and they will be hoping to add to their previous two wins over the Brumbies.

What they said:

Malcolm Marx, the Emirates Lions skipper, said his team is determined to kick off their away leg on a positive note: “We are all very disappointed with last week’s result, but we have to put that behind that and rectify our mistakes. We want to show what we’re capable of but we also know the Brumbies will be a very difficult opponent, so we have to be accurate on defence.”


Brumbies: TBA

Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi,  10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Stephan Lewies, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Nathan McBeth. Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Gianni Lombard, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Head to head:

Played: 11

Brumbies won: 6

Emirates Lions: 5

Brumbies points: 246

Emirates Lions: 245

Average score: 22-22

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 13 April

SA time: 11h45

Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill, Mike Fraser

Television Match Official: James Leckie

TV: SuperSport1

Cell C Sharks shake up front row for Jaguares visit


Springbok front rankers Tendai Mtawarira and Coenie Oosthuizen are rested this week alongside flanker Jacques Vermeulen for the Cell C Sharks’ Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Jaguares.

This means two changes in the front row, with Juan Schoeman and Thomas du Toit coming in either side of Kerron van Vuuren, who starts his second match for the Cell C Sharks.

The other change to the starting line-up sees Philip van der Walt in for Vermeulen on the side of the scrum with the backline remaining intact from last week. Jean-Luc du Preez has made a welcome return to fitness after a long-term injury and has been named on the bench.

This will be the seventh meeting between the two sides with the Durban outfit winning all but one of the previous six matches between them. The Cell C Sharks are difficult customers at home and are unbeaten in their last 13 home encounters (W11, D2) against visiting teams from outside South Africa.

What they said:

Cell C Sharks wing Makazole Mapimpi, scorer of two tries in last weekend’s exhilarating 42-5 victory over the Emirates Lions, admits they’re in for a big clash against a strong opponent: “They’re an international team, a good side and we know it’s going to be tough. We’ve spoken about winning our home games, we’ve lost twice at home and it’s important not to lose again, especially after such a good win last week.”


Cell C Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Juan Schoeman. Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Aphelele Fassi.

Jaguares: TBA

Head to head:

Played: 6

Cell C Sharks won: 5 

Jaguares won: 1

Cell C Sharks points: 128

Jaguares points: 114

Average score: 21-19

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 13 April

SA time: 15h05

Venue: Jonsson Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Nic Briant

Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi, Cwengile Jadezweni

Television Match Official: Marius Jonker

TV: SuperSport1

Vodacom Bulls make sweeping changes for Reds attack


Vodacom Bulls coach Pote Human has included Springboks Warrick Gelant, Jesse Kriel, Handré Pollard, Ivan van Zyl, Marco van Staden and RG Snyman in his starting team to play the Reds in a Vodacom Super Rugby encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, as part of sweeping changes to the team that lost to the Jaguares.

Gelant returns from injury to take over the fullback duties from Divan Rossouw, while Kriel and Pollard are back having been rested the previous week. Both Van Staden and Snyman have recovered from injury and will start for the first time this season. Van Zyl rotates again with fellow Bok scrumhalf Embrose Papier.

Duane Vermeulen is rested for this game, which opens the way for Paul Schoeman to make his first start of the season at No 8. Hanro Liebenberg swops places with Jannes Kirsten, with the latter moving to lock, while a fit-again Jaco Visagie gets the nod at hooker.

Meanwhile, the Pretoria side will swop their traditional light blue colours for green this week to help raise awareness for the South African National Parks rangers for their wildlife conservation efforts.

What they said:

Vodacom Bulls flyhalf and captain Handre Pollard said: “There is nothing better for South Africans to experience than to spend time at one of our many national parks and our enjoyment of this would not be possible without the excellent work that SANParks does. We love playing in front of our supporters in the hallowed Vodacom Bulls jersey and we will have the privilege of facing the Reds with some of SANParks rangers in attendance which serves as extra motivation to play our best game.”


Vodacom Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.

Reds: 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Jack Hardy, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Aidan Toua, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith. Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Jock Campbel.

Head to head:

Played:  21

Vodacom Bulls won: 9 

Reds won: 12

Vodacom Bulls points: 565

Reds points: 483

Average score: 27-23

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 13 April

SA time: 17h15

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Referee: Glen Jackson

Assistant referees:  Marius van der Westhuizen, AJ Jacobs

Television Match Official: Willie Vos

TV: SuperSport1

Other Round 9 fixtures this weekend:

Friday 12 April:

09h35: Crusaders vs Highlanders, Christchurch Stadium, Christchurch

Saturday, 13 April:

09h35: Chiefs vs Blues, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

Byes: Sunwolves, Waratahs, Hurricanes

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