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Super 14 Preview – Saturday

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



HIGHLANDERS V FORCE


The Highlanders would love nothing more than a win in this match but the Force are on a roll after picking up their first ever win in New Zealand last week against the Blues.


A quick look at the table shows the Force in fifth spot and the Highlanders second from the bottom.

 

Home advantage will count for something but it won’t be enough to stop the Force who really are a Force this year. They will be buoyed by a marginal loss to the Crusaders and last week’s Blues victory.

A few of their players like Nathan Sharpe,  Matt Giteau & Ryan Cross are in top form and will hit the ground running while the Highlanders will struggle to get into gear after last week’s bye.


Fetu’u Vainikolo could spark something for the Home team but he will need to get quick ball which will be difficult for the Highlanders who will struggle to match the Force in most areas of the game.


The Force by 12+


Saturday March 22
Events Centre, Queenstown
Highlanders v Force
Referee:
Mark Lawrence (SA)
Asst. referees: Willie Roos, Keith Brown
TMO: Shane McDermott (NZ)
Assessor: Kim Eichman (NZ)
Head-to-Head: Played 2, Highlanders 2, Force 0
In Queenstown: N/A
Last season: Round 1, February 2 2007: Highlanders 8-7 Force at Subiaco Oval, Perth


Teams


Highlanders Team


15. James Wilson ,14. Paul Williams ,13. Niva Ta’auso,12. Aaron Bancroft,11. Fetu’u Vainikolo,10. Daniel Bowden,9. Jimmy Cowan (VC ),8. Steven Setephano ,7. Tim Boys,6. Craig Newby ( C ),5. Tom Donnelly,4. Hoani MacDonald,3. Chris King,2. Jason Macdonald,1. Jamie Mackintosh


Reserves: 16. David Hall,17. Keith Cameron,18. Hayden Triggs,19. Adam Thomson,20. Toby Morland,21. Mike Delany,22. Brett Mather



Force
1. Pek Cowan,2. Tai McIsaac,3. AJ Whalley,4. Tom Hockings,5. Nathan Sharpe (c),6. Tamaiti Horua,7. David Pocock,8. Richard Brown,9. Chris O’Young,10. Matt Giteau (vc),11. Drew Mitchell,12. Lachlan MacKay,13. Ryan Cross,14. Scott Staniforth,15. Cameron Shepherd


Reserves :16. Luke Holmes,17. Troy Takiari,18. Sam Wykes,19. Scott Fava,20. James Stannard,21. Scott Daruda,22. Nick Cummins


BLUES V STORMERS


The Blues have been boosted by the return of Nick Evans and Daniel Braid. They look like they will need the boost as they seem to have lost their way a bit in the past two weeks.


The Blues started so well and the Stormers started awfully. The Stormers are looking for three away wins on the run and they have a new found confidence.


This match up is interesting simply because of the change in fortunes the teams are experiencing. For that reason is it hard to pick a winner. Which team really has the goods ?


We’ll go for home advantage and say the Blues by 5.


Saturday March 22
Eden Park, Auckland
Blues v Stormers
Referee:
Paul Marks (Aus)
Asst. referees: Brett Bowden, Steve Walsh(NZ)
TMO: Ben Skeen (NZ)
Assessor: Alan Riley (NZ)
Head-to-Head: Played 11, Blues 7, Stormers 4
In Auckland: Played 6, Blues 5, Stormers 1
Last season: Round 12, April 21 2007: Stormers 33-20 Blues at Newlands, Cape Town


Teams


Blues team


1 Nick White, 2 Keven Mealamu , 3.Prop John Afoa , 4 Kurtis Haiu , 5 Troy Flavell (c) , 6 Jerome Kaino , 7 Daniel Braid , 8 Nick Williams , 9 Danny Lee , 10 Nick Evans ,11 Rudi Wulf ,12 Benson Stanley , 13 Isaia Toeava , 14 Anthony Tuitavake ,
15 George Pisi ,


Reserves: 16. Tom McCartney (FR) , 17. Tony Woodcock (FR) , 18. Bryn Evans , 19. Justin Collins , 20. Taniela Moa , 21. Ben Atiga , 22. Joe Rokocoko.


Stormers team:


Conrad Jantjes; Tonderai Chavhanga, Gcobani Bobo, Jean De Villiers (c), Sireli Naqelevuki; Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie; Luke Watson, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Ross Skeate, Adriaan Fondse, Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.


Reserves – Deon Fourie, Brok Harris, Andries Bekker, Robbie Diack, Conrad Hoffmann, Gio Aplon, Tony Brown.



CHIEFS V BULLS


The Bulls are not the team they were last year but neither are the Chiefs. The Chiefs have struggled to implement their game plan. Stephen Donald’s struggle has been well documented although he is improving.


The Bulls are well known for suffering from travel sickness and with their indiscipline under new coach Frans Ludeke they are picking up more cards than wins.


Bryan Habana’s loss is a blow to the Bulls but he hasn’t done much this year probably because he isn’t getting enough ball which probably shows why the Bulls are a shadow of what they were.


The Chiefs have been hit by injury in the back line but they still should have enough to beat the Bulls who will be playing in a stadium that none of them have even seen before.


The Chiefs by 10


Saturday March 22
International Stadium, Rotorua
Chiefs v Bulls
Referee:
James Leckie (Aus)
Asst. referees: Chris Pollock (NZ), James Sholtens (Aus)
TMO: Glenn Newman (NZ)
Assessor: Paul Ramsay (NZ)
Head-to-Head: Played 12, Chiefs 7, Bulls 4, Drawn 1
In Rotorua: N/A
Last season: Round 4, February 24 2007: Bulls 30-27 Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria


Teams


Chiefs


1. Simms Davison,2. Tom Willis,3. Ben Castle,4. Toby Lynn, 5. Kevin O’Neill, 6. Liam Messam ,7. Tanerau Latimer ,8. Sione Lauaki,9. Brendon Leonard,10. Stephen Donald,11. Viliame Waqaseduadua,12. Callum Bruce,13. Dwayne Sweeney ,14. Lelia Masaga,15. Mils Muliaina (captain)


Reserves:16. Aled de Malmanche,17. Ben May,18. Jay Williams,19. Faifili Levave,20. David Bason,21. Murray Williams,22. Roimata Hansell-Pune.


Bulls Team


15. Morne Steyn.,14. Akona Ndungane,13. JP Nel,12. Wynand Olivier,11. Danwel Demas,10. Derick Hougaard,9. Fourie du Preez (K),8. Pedrie Wannenburg,7. Wikus van Heerden (O/K),6. Deon Stegman ,5. Danie Rossouw,4. Bakkies Botha,3. Rayno Gerber,2. Derick Ku’n,1. Gurthro Steenkamp


Reserves,16. Bandise Maku,17. Werner Kruger,18. Wilhelm Steenkamp ,19. Hilton Lobberts,20. Heini Adams,21. Stephan Dippenaar,22. Dewald Potgieter.


LIONS V REDS


They save these matches for last on a Saturday for a reason. When this match kicks off in Australasia it will be 2am and 4am so few will tune in to watch this match. Only the real die-hard Super 14 & Reds fans will watch this in Brisbane.


Last week the Reds went through a transformation of note. They changed their captain and their attitude. Suddenly the Reds played like a team and they picked up their first “four try” bonus point in years.


The Lions on the other hand have stuttered. They opened with a win but then pushed the Sharks close last week and the although they only have one win they haven’t been too far off the pace (except against the Blues).


Lions coach “Loffie” Eloff will have psyched his players up for a win ahead of their away leg.


Lions by 5


Saturday March 22
Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Lions v Reds
Referee:
Paul Honiss(NZ)
Asst. referees: Bryce Lawrence (NZ), Marius Jonker (SA)
TMO: Johan Meuwesen (SA)
Assessor: Banks Yantolo (SA)
Head-to-Head: Played 12, Reds 10, Lions/Cats 2
In Johannesburg: Played 6, Reds 5, Lions/Cats 1
Last season: Round 5, March 3 2007: Lions 26-20 Reds at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane


Teams


Lions


Louis Ludik, Dusty Noble, Jaco Pretorius, Walter Venter, Rayno Benjamin, Jaco van Schalkwyk, Jano Vermaak, Joe van Niekerk, Ernst Joubert (capt.), Cobus Grobbelaar, Anton van Zyl, Gerhard Mostert, Ross Geldenhuys, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, JC Janse van Rensburg, Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe, Chris Jonck, Rudi Vogt, Jannie Boshoff.


Reds


(15-1) Chris Latham, Clinton Schifcofske, Morgan Turinui, Berrick Barnes, Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Sam Cordingley (c), Leroy Houston, Poutasi Luafutu, John Roe, James Horwill, Van Humphries, Dayna Edwards, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes. Reserves: Stephen Moore, Rodney Blake, Ed O’Donoghue, David Croft, Ben Lucas, Brando Va’aulu, Scott Higginbotham


BYE: HURRICANES & SHARKS

 

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