Bloemfontein host fiery local fixture – Vodacom Super Rugby Round 2 Preview

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This weekend, Blitzbok star Seabelo Senatla will get his first taste of Vodacom Super Rugby for the DHL Stormers since 2015, but the big South African derby takes place in Bloemfontein on Saturday evening where the Toyota Cheetahs are hosting the Vodacom Bulls. Kick-off at the Toyota Stadium is 19h30.

Although the Vodacom Bulls can boast with a great record against the Bloemfontein franchise (15 wins in 17 games), the Free Staters showed they will be a tough nut to crack this year in their encounter with the Emirates Lions, who managed to snatch a narrow win over them last weekend.

However, the Toyota Cheetahs received a blow with the news that wing Sergeal Petersen will be out for between four and six weeks with a knee injury, which he suffered in last Saturday’s 28-25 home loss to the Emirates Lions.

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, the high-riding DHL Stormers will welcome the Jaguares to DHL Newlands for their 17h15 clash. Robbie Fleck, the coach of the men from Cape Town, has included Senatla on the bench for this match. In 2014 and 2015, the sevens superstar played in six Vodacom Super Rugby matches.

The Capetonians will no doubt be buoyed by their good performance last weekend when they defeated the Vodacom Bulls at the same venue, scoring five tries in the process. It was the most five-pointers ever scored by the DHL Stormers against the men from Pretoria.

Springbok flank Siya Kolisi led his side to a 37-24 triumph in their first outing match of the season, with the Cape side delivering a polished performance characterised by good handling skills and solid scrummaging. They did, however, suffer a setback with the ankle injury to Springbok centre Damian de Allende, who has been ruled out of action for 12 weeks.

Last year, the Cape outfit won a low-scoring 13-8 affair when they faced the Jaguares in Round 5 in Buenos Aires, and this time the visitors from Argentina will be hoping their current good form continues. They beat the Southern Kings last weekend in Port Elizabeth and have won three of their last four matches. An interesting dual to watch in this match should be the battle for dominance in the scrums.

The Cell C Sharks remain on the road and after going down to the Reds in Brisbane last week, the Durbanites will visit Canberra on Saturday (10h45, SA time) to face the Brumbies – a venue where Robert du Preez’s men have only won twice (1998 and 2012) in 10 visits.

This match will be followed by the clash between the Sunwolves – with former Emirates Lions and Toyota Cheetahs loose forward Willie Britz in their team – and the Southern Kings in Singapore (12h55), where both teams will be looking for their first win of the season.

Following the Singapore fixture, it will be the Emirates Lions up against the Waratahs in a 15h05 start at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

The home side, last year’s beaten finalists, will be hoping to rediscover their sparkling form at home of last season, where they won six on the trot, registering a staggering 38 tries in the process, which includes 10 in their two playoff matches.

Vodacom Super Rugby Resources:

2017 MEDIA GUIDE | MATCH PACKS | MATCH CENTRE

ROUND 2 MATCHES (SA times)

Brumbies v Cell C Sharks

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Nic Mayhew. Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Isaac Thompson.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (vice-captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch.

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 4 March

SA Time: 10h45

Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra

Referee: Angus Gardner

Assistant referees: Jordan Way, Ed Martin

Television match official: George Ayoub

Sunwolves v Southern Kings

Sunwolves: 15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Masataka Mikami. Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Will Tupou, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain). Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu.

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