Vodacom Bulls face big Crusaders test – Vodacom Super Rugby Round 11 Preview

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  • Fit-again Pat Lambie included on Cell C Sharks bench
  • Second Melbourne visit for Emirates Lions

The Vodacom Bulls will face a huge test of character on Saturday in Pretoria when they will meet the unbeaten Crusaders in one of three Vodacom Super Rugby matches on home soil this weekend. The big clash starts at 17h15 at Loftus Versfeld.

The action in South Africa kicks off on Friday evening at 19h00 when the Toyota Cheetahs host the in-form Highlanders in Bloemfontein. Durban hosts the second local match, between the Cell C Sharks and the Western Force on Saturday (15h05), followed by the clash in Pretoria.

The DHL Stormers and Emirates Lions are on tour in Australasia and the Southern Kings have a deserved break this weekend.

The Capetonians face the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday morning (09h35 SA time), which is the last of their three-match tour of New Zealand. DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has his regular captain, Siya Kolisi, available again after the Springbok flank was rested last weekend.

However, it will be a much-changed DHL Stormers side facing the defending champions, who have not lost at home against a non-Kiwi side since their Round 10 defeat to the Waratahs more than two years ago, spanning 11 matches at the Cake Tin.

On Friday evening, the Toyota Cheetahs welcome back fit-again pivot Fred Zeilinga as one of the several tweaks to the starting line-up team that lost to the Crusaders last Saturday.

The Emirates Lions will have the rare opportunity to play in broad daylight in Australia when they take on the Rebels at AAMI Park for a 15h00 kick-off (07h00 SA time). It will be the second of their three-match tour match for skipper Warren Whiteley and his Highveld side and coach Johan Ackerman has recalled scrumhalf Ross Cronje to the starting team in one of the several rotational changes to the team which beat the Force in Perth by 25-14 last weekend.

There was good news for supporters in Durban with the inclusion of Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie on the bench. Lambie has not played for the Cell C Sharks since taking a knock against the Waratahs in Round 3.

Former Sharks loose forward Brynard Stander will start for the visitors, while Peter Grant, a former Springbok flyhalf who played Under-19 rugby for the Durbanites, is on the Force’s bench.

Finally, in Pretoria, Vodacom coach Nollis Marais has made two changes to his starting fifteen for Saturday’s huge clash against the Crusaders. Experienced flanker Jacques Potgieter is back in the starting mix while Trevor Nyakane makes a return to the front row.

The men Pretoria, who have not lost to the Cantabrians at Loftus Versfeld since 2008, have shown signs of improvements in their last two outings, but they face a rampant Crusaders side, who have won all their matches to date this year.

Vodacom Super Rugby Resources:


Hurricanes v DHL Stormers

Hurricanes: 15. Jordie Barrett, 14. Cory Jane, 13. Vince Aso, 12. Ngani Laumape, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara (captain), 8. Ardie Savea, 7. Callum Gibbins, 6. Brad Shields, 5. Vaea Fifita, 4. Mark Abbott, 3. Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, 2. Ricky Riccitelli, 1. Ben May. Replacements: 16. Leni Apisai, 17. Chris Eves, 18. Mike Kainga, 19. James Blackwell, 20. Reed Prinsep, 21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22. Otere Black, 23. Ben Lam.

DHL Stormers: 15. SP Marais, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 13. EW Viljoen, 12. Shaun Treeby, 11. Dillyn Leyds, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Siya Kolisi (captain), 6. Kobus van Dyk, 5. Chris van Zyl, 4. Jan de Klerk, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 1. Ali Vermaak. Replacements: 16. Ramone Samuels, 17. Caylib Oosthuizen, 18. Oli Kebble, 19. JD Schickerling, 20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21. Jano Vermaak, 22. Dan Kriel, 23. Bjorn Basson.

Match information:

Date: Friday, 5 May

SA Time: 09h35

Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Referee: Glen Jackson

Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill, Ben O’Keeffe

Television match official: Glen Newman

Toyota Cheetahs v Highlanders

Toyota Cheetahs: 15. Clayton Blommetjies, 14. Sergeal Petersen, 13. Francois Venter (captain), 12. William Small-Smith, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Tian Meyer, 8. Henco Venter, 7. Oupa Mohoje, 6. Paul Schoeman, 5. Francois Uys, 4. Carl Wegner, 3. Johan Coetzee, 2. Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1. Ox Nche. Replacements: 16. Elandre Huggett, 17. Charles Marais, 18. Tom Botha, 19. Armandt Koster, 20. Uzair Cassiem, 21. Niell Jordaan, 22. Shaun Venter, 23. Niel Marais.

Highlanders: 15. Matt Faddes, 14. Waisake Naholo, 13. Malakai Fekitoa, 12. Rob Thompson, 11. Patrick Osborne, 10. Marty Banks, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Luke Whitelock (co-captain), 7. Dillon Hunt, 6. Liam Squire, 5. Tom Franklin, 4. Joe Wheeler, 3. Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2. Liam Coltman, 1. Daniel Lienert-Brown. Replacements: 16. Ash Dixon (co-captain), 17. Aki Seiuli, 18. Siate Tokolahi, 19. Elliot Dixon, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Kayne Hammington, 22. Fletcher Smith, 23. Richard Buckman.

Match information:

Date: Friday, 5 May

SA Time: 19h00

Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

Assistant referees: Egon Seconds, Lourens van der Merwe

Television match official: Willie Vos

Melbourne Rebels v Emirates Lions

Melbourne Rebels: 15. Reece Hodge, 14. Sefa Naivalu, 13. Tom English, 12. Mitch Inman, 11. Marika Koroibete, 10. Ben Volavola, 9. Ben Meehan, 8. Amanaki Mafi, 7. Colby Fainga’a (captain), 6. Hugh Sinclair, 5. Dominic Day, 4. Steve Cummins, 3. Laurie Weeks, 2. James Hanson, 1. Toby Smith. Replacements: 16. Siliva Siliva, 17. Fereti Sa’aga, 18. Tyrel Lomax, 19. Culum Retallick, 20. Will Miller, 21. Harrison Goddard, 22. Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23. Jack Maddocks.

Emirates Lions: 15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Sylvian Mahuza, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Harold Vorster, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Cyle Brink, 6. Kwagga Smith, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Lourens Erasmus, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Jacques van Rooyen. Replacements: 16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Hencus van Wyk, 19. Ruan Ackermann, 20. Robert Kruger, 21. Dillon Smit, 22. Jacques Nel, 23. Anthony Volmink.

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 6 May

SA Time: 07h00

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Referee: Shuhei Kubo

Assistant referees: Ed Martin, James Leckie

Television match official: Ian Smith

Cell C Sharks v Western Force

Cell C Sharks: 15. Rhyno Smith, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Jeremy Ward, 11. Sbu Nkosi, 10. Curwin Bosch, 9. Michael Claassens, 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Philip van der Walt (captain), 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Etienne Oosthuizen, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Thomas du Toit. Replacements: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Beast Mtawarira, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Stephan Lewies, 20. Tera Mtembu, 21. Cobus Reinach, 22. Pat Lambie, 23. Johan Deysel.

Western Force: 15. Marcel Brache, 14. James Verity-Amm, 13. Curtis Rona, 12. Billy Meakes, 11. Alex Newsome, 10. Jono Lance, 9. Ian Prior, 8. Isireli Naisarani, 7. Matt Hodgson (captain), 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Adam Coleman, 4. Ross Haylett-Petty, 3. Tetara Faulkner, 2. Tatafu Polata-Nau, 1. Pek Cowan. Replacements: 16. Heath Tessmann, 17. Francios van Wyk, 18. Shambeckler Vui, 19. Lewis Carmichael, 20. Richard Hardwick, 21. Mitchell Short, 22. Luke Burton, 23. Peter Grant.

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 6 May

SA Time: 15h05

Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Archie Sehlako

Television match official: Shaun Veldsman

Vodacom Bulls v Crusaders

Vodacom Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Nick de Jager, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman. Replacements: 16. Jaco Visagie, 17. Lizo Gqoboka, 18. Jacobie Adriaanse, 19. RG Snyman, 20. Jannes Kirsten, 21. Rudy Paige, 22. Francois Brummer, 23. Jan Serfontein.

Crusaders: 15. David Havili, 14. Seta Tamanivalu, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Tim Bateman, 11. George Bridge, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 9. Mitchell Drummond, 8. Jordan Taufua, 7. Matt Todd (captain), 6. Pete Samu, 5. Scott Barrett, 4. Luke Romano, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Wyatt Crockett. Replacements:  16. Andrew Makalio, 17. Joe Moody, 18. Michael Alaalatoa, 19. Quinten Strange, 20. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21. Bryn Hall, 22. Mitchell Hunt, 23. Ryan Crotty.

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 6 May

SA Time: 17h15

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Referee: Nic Berry

Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi, AJ Jacobs

Television match official: Johan Greeff

Other Round 11 fixtures:

Saturday, 6 May 2017

09h35: Chiefs v Reds (New Plymouth)

11h45: Waratahs v Blues (Sydney)

23h40: Jaguares v Sunwolves (Buenos Aires)

Bye: Southern Kings


Issued by SA Rugby Communications


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