Super 14 Rugby

Super 14 preview Round. Nine – Part One


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The Super14 picks up again on Friday and here we have a quick look at the matches coming up on Friday & Saturday in Round Nine of the 2008 Super 14 starting with the Highlanders vs Sharks.

Normally we split our previews up into Friday and Saturday but as Friday only has one match we have split the previews into part one and part two.


The Sharks were lucky to come away with a draw last week against the Hurricanes. They didn’t perform too well and although they are still on the road they will be looking at the Highlanders as an opportunity to get back into shape.

The Highlanders however got their first win of the season last week which will be a great confidence booster so they will be eyeing another win against a shaky Sharks team. Coach Glenn Moore will know that they have nothing to lose now as they are out of contention for a play off place.

If they throw caution to the wind the likes of Paul Williams, Johnny Leota and Fetu’u Vainikolo could be quite dangerous.

The Sharks will start as favourites and they should be able to win comfortably but the “House of Pain ” factor will ensure it’s not a blow out.

Sharks by 12

Friday April 11
Venue: Carisbrook, Dunedin
Referee: Ian Smith (AUS)
Head-to-Head: Played 12, Highlanders 6, Sharks 6
In Dunedin/Invercargill: Played 6, Highlanders 4, Sharks 2
Last season: Round 3, February 17 2007: Sharks 23-16 Highlanders at Absa Stadium, Durban


Highlanders team

15. Paul Williams,14. Matt Saunders ,13. Niva Ta’auso,12. Johnny Leota,11. Fetu’u Vainikolo,10. James Wilson,9. Toby Morland ,8. Craig Newby ( c ),7. Tim Boys,6. Adam Thomson,5. Tom Donnelly,4. Hoani MacDonald,3. Clint Newland,2. Jason Macdonald,1. Chris King

16. David Hall,17. Jamie Mackintosh/Keith Cameron,18. Isaac Ross,19. Hayden Triggs,20. Jimmy Cowan ,21. Daniel Bowden,22. Aaron Bancroft


15-1 : Stefan Terblanche, Odwa Ndungane, Francois Steyn, Bradley Barritt, Waylon Murray, Fred Michalak, Ruan Pienaar, Ryan Kankowski, Jacques Botes, Keegan Daniel, Johann Muller (captain), Steven Sykes, BJ Botha, Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira.

Craig Burden, Deon Carstens, Jannie du Plessis, Albert van den Berg, AJ Venter, Rory Kockott, Adrian Jacobs.


Last year this match was an absolute borefest. Unbelievably the Lions beat the Crusaders 9-3 but that did come at a time when the Crusaders did not have their All Blacks and the match took place at Ellis Park.

Robbie Deans has brought in Hamish Gard in the No 10 jersey and Richie McCaw has the night off. When McCaw and Carter are not in the team you know it’s not a first string team. Carter is however not rested but injured.

The Crusaders are coming off the bye but considering the way they started the season against the Brumbies at the same venue getting up to match speed will not be a problem at all for the six time champs.

The Lions have made seven changes to the team that were the first to fall to the Highlanders last weekend. Their first choice team would to be expected to win this one let alone a team that has a second string look to it.

Crusaders by 30+

Saturday April 12
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Matt Goddard (AUS)
Head-to-Head: Played 12, Crusaders 8, Lions/Cats 4
In Christchurch/Nelson: Played 6, Crusaders 5, Lions/Cats 1
Last season: Round 3, February 17 2007: Lions 9-3 Crusaders at Ellis Park, Johannesburg



Scott Hamilton, Sean Maitland, Casey Laulala, Tim Bateman, Caleb Ralph, Hamish Gard, Andrew Ellis, Mose Tuiali’i, George Whitelock, Reuben Thorne (captain), Ali Williams, Michael Paterson, Greg Somerville, Ti’i Paulo, Wyatt Crockett.

Reserves: Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Brad Thorn, Nasi Manu, Steve Alfeld, Stephen Brett, Kieran Read


Louis Ludik, Dusty Noble, Jannie Boshoff, Doppies la Grange, Rayno Benjamin, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Chris Jonck, Willem Alberts, Joe van Niekerk , Cobus Grobbelaar (capt.), Gerhard Mostert, Dewald Senekal , Ross Geldenhuys, Ethienne Reynecke, Heinke van der Merwe.

Replacements: Willie Wepener, JC Janse van Rensburg, Anton van Zyl, Franco van Merwe, Jano Vermaak, Rudi Vogt, Justin St. Jerry.


Both of these teams are coming off a loss and both will be looking to improve things and pick up a win. The Brumbies in particular need a win to keep their play off hopes alive as they are in ninth place with just 16 points from 7 matches.

The Blues are back home at Eden Park where they have snuck home twice this year. Surely they don’t have another “get out of jail free” card.


So bad was the performance last week that they will have done some soul searching into what is going wrong.

The Blues lost their way when Isa Nacewa was injured and he is named on the team sheet even though he must under go a late fitness test. His return will inspire the Blues to victory.

Watch out for the loose battle between Daniel Braid vs George Smith

Blues by 10

Saturday April 12
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Craig Joubert (RSA)
Head-to-Head: Played 14, Blues 9, Brumbies 5
In Auckland/Albany: Played 8, Blues 6, Brumbies 2
Last season: Round 2, February 10 2007: Blues 17-15 Brumbies at Canberra Stadium, Canberra




15 Isa Nacewa/Ben Atiga, 14 Anthony Tuitavake, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Lee, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Troy Flavell (captain), 4 Anthony Boric, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Tom McCartney, Nick White, Bryn Evans, Justin Collins, Taniela Moa, Ben Atiga/one extra, David Smith.


1.Nic Henderson,2.Saia Faingaa ,3.Guy Shepherdson ,4.Alister Campbell,5.Mark Chisholm ,6.Mitchell Chapman ,7.George Smith ,8.Julian Salvi ,9.Patrick Phibbs ,10.Christian Lealiifano ,11.Peter Playford ,12.Tyrone Smith ,13.Stirling Mortlock (c) ,14.Adam Ashley-Cooper ,15Mark Gerrard

Reserves: 16.John Ulugia,17,Salesi Ma’afu ,18.Peter Kimlin ,19.Jone Tawake ,20.Joshua Holmes ,21.Matt Toomua ,22.Francis Fainifo ,23.Ben Alexander.


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