Super Rugby Preview: Round 10

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Springbok No 8 Warren Whitely has returned to full fitness and will resume the Emirates Lions’ captaincy when he leads them out in their Vodacom Super Rugby 10 clash against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday morning. This encounter in the FMG Stadium starts at 09h25 SA time.

Two other South African teams are in action over the Easter Weekend. In Durban, the Cell C Sharks will host the Reds from 15h05 on Friday afternoon, while the DHL Stormers are also home following their four-week long Australasian visit, and they entertain the Brumbies in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon, with kick-off scheduled for 15h05.

The other two teams in the South African Conference, the Vodacom Bulls and the Jaguares, both have byes this weekend.

Emirates Lions get Whiteley boost for Chiefs clash

#CHIvLIO

Warren Whitely returns to action seven weeks after suffering an injury against the DHL Stormers in Cape Town and his return to the Emirates Lions is a big boost for their second Australasian Vodacom Super Rugby tour match.

Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx was skipper in his absence and the bustling No 2 will play off the bench in this game, giving Robbie Coetzee a starting berth in the middle of the front row.

Other tweaks to the combination that suffered a 31-20 defeat to the Brumbies in Canberra last weekend see former Junior Bok star Gianni Lombard replacing Elton Jantjies at flyhalf and Ross Cronje swopping places with Nic Groom at scrumhalf.

Courtnall Skosan (wing) has returned to South Africa due to the serious illness of his father, and Tyler Green flew out to New Zealand as his replacement. As a result, Sylvian Mahuza moves from fullback to right wing to replace Skosan, and Andries Coetzee slots back into the No 15 jersey.

Scrumhalf Brad Weber will captain the Chiefs in the absence of co-captains Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane. History favours the Waikato team in this fixture with seven wins from 10 previous meetings between the sides. However, the Emirates Lions were victorious the last time these two sides met, by 36-32 in Hamilton in 2016.

What they said:

Emirates Lions head coach Swys de Bruin is looking for an improvement from his troops following their loss in Canberra: “There were positive aspects on attack against the Brumbies and we want to build on that. Overall, we have to be better in all departments though we are looking forward to this game.”

Teams:

Chiefs: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Ataata Moeakiola, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Angus Ta’avao. Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tumua Manu, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

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

Head to head:

Played: 10

Chiefs won: 7

Emirates Lions won: 3

Chiefs points: 377

Emirates Lions points: 264

Average score: 38-26

Match information:

Date: Friday, 19 April

SA time: 09h35

Venue: FMG Stadium, Hamilton

Referee: Brendon Pickerill

Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, Rasta Rasivhenge

Television Match Official: Shane McDermott

TV: SuperSport1

Prediction: Chiefs by 15.

Cell C Sharks restore experienced front row to face Reds

#SHAvRED

Experienced Springbok props Coenie Oosthuizen and Tendai Mtawarira return to the Cell C Sharks’ starting fifteen for their home Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Reds on in Durban Friday afternoon.

The pair are restored to the starting line-up after being rested for last weeks’ disappointing losing encounter with the Jaguares. For this week, Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has opted to rest Springbok outside backs Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi.

That means a start for Kobus van Wyk at outside centre, while Springbok speedster Sbu Nkosi is drafted back into the starting mix. In the pack there is also a return for flanker Jacques Vermeulen, who swops places with Luke Stringer.

The Reds announced three changes to their starting combination. Sefa Naivalu is back after sitting out last weekend and takes his place on the wing.  Harry Hoopert is set to earn his first Vodacom Super Rugby start at prop, while Angus Scott-Young moves up from the bench into the No 6 position while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto revert back to lock.

The Durbanites have a good record against the Reds, and Aussie opposition in general. They’ve defeated Aussie teams in all of their last 10 fixtures and boast with eight wins from the last 11 matches against the side from Queensland.

What they said:

Cell C Sharks assistant coach Braam van Straaten said it was important to get over the disappointment of the Jaguares game and focus on the Reds. “We’re going to have to be on top of our game. They’re a good side and they’re a tough side to break down, however, we will be up for the challenge.”

Reds coach Brad Thorn is expecting a big backlash from the home side: “We’ve arrived in Durban in preparation for a tough challenge. After last week’s result, they’ll be hungry and looking to put in a big performance in front of their home fans.”

Teams:

Cell C Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Kobus van Wyk, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Aphelele Fassi.

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

Head to head:

Played: 22

Cell C Sharks won: 10

Reds won: 12

Cell C Sharks points: 537

Reds points: 247

Average score: 24-11

Match information:

Date: Friday, 19 April

SA time: 15h05

Venue: Jonsson Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Federico Anselmi

Assistant referees: Glen Jackson, Jaco Peyper

Television Match Official: Marius Jonker

TV: SuperSport1

Prediction: Cell C Sharks by 10.

Du Toit back in starting line-up for the DHL Stormers

#STOvBRU

The DHL Stormers are back in Cape Town following their month-long Vodacom Super Rugby trip through Australasia and tackle the Brumbies on Saturday afternoon at their picturesque home ground.

Robbie Fleck’s side returned to the Cape with a splendid and morale-boosting victory over the Rebels in Melbourne and they will be confident of bagging another Aussie scalp in this tenth round fixture.

Fleck announced three changes and a positional switch to his starting line-up. In the backline, Josh Stander will be at flyhalf with Dan Kriel at inside centre in place of Jean-Luc du Plessis and Damian de Allende who are both being rested for this match. Up front, the impressive Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit returns to take his place at blindside flank, with Kobus van Dyk moving to No 8 in place of the injured Jaco Coetzee.

Tighthead prop Neethling Fouche, Springbok loose forward Siya Kolisi and utility back JJ Engelbrecht are all amongst the replacements in the only other changes to the match-day 23 that featured in the 41-24 win over the Rebels in Melbourne last week. 

Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar has made only one change to his starting side – flank Jahrome Brown get his first start outing for the Canberra side, while Wallabies stalwart David Pocock has been sidelined for the encounter.

What they said:

DHL Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said they were looking forward to playing at Newlands again. “It is great for us to be in front of our supporters at DHL Newlands again, which is something we want to make the most of. It will be crucial for us to build some momentum in the second half of the season and that starts on Saturday against the Brumbies.”

Teams:

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 JJ Engelbrecht, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Tom Wright, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’A, 1 Scott Sio. Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andy Muirhead. 

Head to head:

Played: 19

DHL Stormers won: 6

Brumbies won: 12

Draws: 1

DHL Stormers points: 401

Brumbies points: 266

Average score: 20-24

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 20 April

SA time: 15h05

Venue: DHL Newlands

Referee: Nic Briant

Assistant referees: Glen Jackson, Federico Anselmi

Television Match Official: Marius Jonker

TV: SuperSport1

Prediction: DHL Stormers by nine.

The Round 10 fixtures of the weekend are:

Friday, 19 April

12h00: Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo

Saturday, 20 April

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

11h45: Waratahs v Rebels, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Byes: Bulls, Jaguares, Crusaders.

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