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Super 14 preview Round Twelve – 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 in Round Twelve of the 2008 Super 14 starting with yet another big one – the Crusaders vs the Sharks.



CRUSADERS V SHARKS


The Sharks look to have picked the wrong time to change their form. They need to find form and fast. They have already lost their second placing and a loss this week should see them drop out of the top four.


Admittedly it has been a tough tour for the Sharks after five weeks and now they have to face the team that they have a terrible record against. The Sharks have the second worst attacking record but they also have the third best defence so don’t expect a high scoring game. The difference in their attack is JP Pietersen who was last year’s top tryscorer and this year he has yet to score a try.


The Crusaders are on the other hand cruising again and a win this week will more than likely secure a home semi-final. They have only lost once this year and that was away from home. This week they are at home and the Sharks’ minds will be half on the trip home rather than the mountain they would have to climb to beat the Crusaders in Christchurch.


Crusaders by 10


Friday May 2
AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Touch judges: Brett Bowden (Australia), Josh Noonan (New Zealand)
Television match official: Kane McBride (New Zealand)
Head-to-Head: Played 13, Crusaders 9, Sharks 3, Drawn 1
In Christchurch/Timaru: Played 6, Crusaders 4, Sharks 2
Last season: Round 5, March 3 2007: Sharks 27-26 Crusaders at Absa Stadium, Durban


Teams


Crusaders:


Leon MacDonald, Kade Poki, Casey Laulala, Tim Bateman, Sean Maitland, Stephen Brett, Andrew Ellis, Nasi Manu, Richard McCaw (captain), Kieran Read, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Greg Somerville, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks.
Reserves: Ti’i Paulo, Wyatt Crockett, Ross Filipo, George Whitelock, Kahn Fotuali’i, Hamish Gard, Caleb Ralph.

Sharks :


15. Stefan Terblanche, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Waylon Murray , 12. Francois Steyn, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Ruan Pienaar, 9. Rory Kockott, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. AJ Venter ,6. Jacques Botes, 5. Johann Muller (capt) , 4. Albert van den Burg , 3. BJ Botha, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Beast Mtawarira


Replacements: : 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Jannie du Plessis, 18. Jean Deysel , 19. Keegan Daniel, 20. Andries Strauss,21. Henno Mentz , 22. Adrian Jacobs



REDS V BLUES


Historically the Blues don’t do too well in Brisbane. They have lost on five occasions out of six. They were an improved team last week from the week’s before but sadly they still lost.


Coach David Nucifora has now stated that he will leave the team at the end of the season which usually means that the team performs at a higher level. Just look at the Brumbies and the Waratahs.


The Reds showed heart last week and found holes in the Chiefs and they will need a lot more of the same for the Blues. It will be a close one.


Blues by 5


Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Friday May 2
Referee : Jonathon Kaplan(South Africa),
Touch judges: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Geoff Acton (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)
Assessor: Scott Young (Australia)
Head-to-Head: Played 12, Blues 6, Reds 5, Drawn 1
In Brisbane: Played 6, Reds 5, Blues 1
Last season: Round 4, February 24 2007: Blues 38-13 Reds at Eden Park, Auckland


Teams


Reds


(from fullback): Clinton Schifcofske, Digby Ioane, Morgan Turinui, Berrick Barnes, Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas, Leroy Houston, David Croft, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (c), Van Humphries, Dayna Edwards, Stephen Moore, Ben Coutts.
Reserves: Sean Hardman, Rodney Blake, Ed O’Donoghue, Poutasi Luafutu, Will Genia, Charlie Fetoai, Brando Va’aulu.


Blues


1-15 Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, John Afoa, Anthony Boric, Troy Flavell (c), Jerome Kaino, Daniel Braid, Nick Williams, Taniela Moa, Isa Nacewa, Rudi Wulf, Isaia Toeava, Anthony Tuitavake, David Smith, Nick Evans.


Reserves: Nick White, Bronson Murray, Kurtis Haiu, Justin Collins, Danny Lee, Benson Stanley, Ben Atiga.



CHEETAHS V HIGHLANDERS


Last week the Cheetahs became the first team to concede more than 300 points in 2008. That means that on average the Cheetahs let in over 30 points a game. On attack the Cheetahs have only scored eight points more than the Highlanders while the Highlanders on average let in just over 25 points a match.


The stats above suggest that the match will be a close one.


The Cheetahs will have home advantage as they are back in Bloemfontein (Kimberley is not really their home) and they should edge the Highlanders who are in that dreaded third week on tour.


Watch out for the battle between Fetu’u Vainikolo and Jongi Nokwe.


Cheetahs by 5


Friday May 2
Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)
Touch judges: Daniel Cheever (Australia), Deon van Blommestein
(South Africa)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
Assessor: Arrie Schoonwinkel (South Africa)
Head-to-Head: Played 3, Highlanders 2, Cheetahs 1
In Bloemfontein: Played 1, Highlanders 1, Cheetahs 0
Last season: Round 9, March 30 2007: Highlanders 21-17 Cheetahs at Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill


Teams


Cheetahs:


Hennie Daniller, Eddie Fredericks, JW Jonker, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe, Conrad Barnard, Falie Oelschig, Duanne Vermeulen, Juan Smith (capt.), Heinrich Brussow, Barend Pieterse, Rory Duncan, CJ van der Linde, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.


Reserves: Richardt Strauss, Bees Roux, David de Villiers, Hendro Scholtz, Tewis de Bruyn, Bevin Fortuin, Hendrik Meyer.


Highlanders


15. Paul Williams, 14. Matt Saunders , 13. Brett Mather, 12. Johnny Leota, 11. Fetu’u Vainikolo, 10. Mike Delany, 9. Toby Morland , 8. Craig Newby ( c ), 7. Tim Boys, 6. Adam Thomson , 5. Tom Donnelly, 4. Hoani MacDonald, 3. Clint Newland, 2. David Hall/Jason Macdonald, 1. Jamie Mackintosh


Reserves: 16. Jason Macdonald/David Hall, 17. Chris King, 18. Hayden Triggs, 19. George Naoupu, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Blair Stewart, 22. Aaron Bancroft.

 

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