Derby time in Bloemfontein – Vodacom Super Rugby Round 11 Preview
April 24, 2014
The Toyota Cheetahs and DHL Stormers clash in Bloemfontein this weekend as the Cell C Sharks get ready to leave South Africa and the Vodacom Bulls play their last match on tour.

The South African derby in Bloemfontein will see two sides in action both of whom very keen to get their campaigns back on track. The Toyota Cheetahs will play at home for the fifth time this season, while the DHL Stormers, fresh from beating the Lions last weekend, will be aiming for their first away victory of 2014.

The Vodacom Bulls’ Australasian tour concludes in Perth on Saturday morning when they take on the high-flying Force. No South African side has won overseas yet, so this will be an ideal time for the Pretorians to make a statement as they aim to keep their playoff hopes alive.

But before all of this, on Friday evening in Durban, Keegan Daniel will become the 27th South African and fifth member of the current Cell C Sharks squad to reach 100 Vodacom Super Rugby caps when his team take on the Highlanders.

Daniel, who made his debut at this level against the Reds in Durban on 1 April 2006, is a former captain of the Cell C Sharks.

Apart from leading the KwaZulu-Natalians to their Absa Currie Cup triumph last year, he also led the team from Durban out when they upset the odds to make it all the way to the Vodacom Super Rugby final in 2012, despite sneaking into the playoffs in sixth position on the log.

The versatile Daniel played an instrumental role as the Cell C Sharks first travelled to Brisbane to eliminate the Reds, then beat the DHL Stormers in Cape Town in the semi-final before flying all the way back to Hamilton in New Zealand, where they unfortunately came up short against the Chiefs in the final.

The Lions have a bye and leave on their Australasian tour next week.

The full list of South African Vodacom Super Rugby centurions:

132: Victor Matfield (Cats 8, Bulls 124)
125: AJ Venter (Cats 19, Sharks 96, Stormers 10) and John Smit (Sharks)
123: Morné Steyn (Bulls)
122: Stefan Terblanche (Sharks), Jannie du Plessis (Cheetahs 26, Sharks 96)
118: Bryan Habana (Bulls 61, Stormers 57)
116: Danie Rossouw (Bulls)
114: Jacques Botes (Sharks)
113: Pedrie Wannenburg (Bulls), Adi Jacobs (Bulls 21, Cats 4, Sharks 88)
112: Fourie du Preez (Bulls)
111: Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks)
110: Wynand Olivier (Bulls), Odwa Ndungane (Bulls 10, Sharks 100)
108: Ollie le Roux (Natal 24, Sharks 60, Cats 3, Cheetahs 21), Meyer Bosman (Cheetahs 61, Sharks 47)
104: Andries Bekker (Stormers), Jano Vermaak (Cats 11, Lions 62, Bulls 31)
103: Pierre Spies (Bulls), Jean de Villiers (Stormers)
102: Albert van den Berg (Cats 7, Sharks 95), Akona Ndungane (Bulls), JP Pietersen (Sharks)
101: Werner Kruger (Bulls)
100: Bakkies Botha (Bulls)

Cell C Sharks v Highlanders

The Cell C Sharks’ focus will be on defence when they host the Highlanders in their penultimate home pool match at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Friday evening.

The visitors from Dunedin, fresh from a bye last weekend and a win over the Vodacom Bulls the week before, start their South African tour with a tough match against the table-topping Cell C Sharks.

The home team will have taken notice of the fact that no other team in the competition have forced their opponents to miss as many tackles as the Highlanders. The team from Otago’s opponents have tackled at a competition low of 84% this year.

But the Cell C Sharks, whose Australasian tour starts in Melbourne next week, have been superb on defence – they’ve conceded a competition-low of only nine tries all season, which equates to one try every 71 minutes.

“The challenge for us is to focus on getting a result against the Highlanders,” said Cell C Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White.

“It’s our last home game for a long while and we have to keep the momentum going, whether it’s the Highlanders here or the Rebels the following week.

“New Zealand rugby has always been strong. They are a good team, they have some good players, Ben Smith and Aaron Smith are probably the two form players in New Zealand, and have been for the last couple of seasons, not just this year.”

The teams are:

Cell C Sharks: Lwazi Mvovo, Tonderai Chavhanga, S’bura Sithole, Frans Steyn, JP Pietersen, Tim Swiel, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Marcell Coetzee, Stephan Lewies, Willem Alberts, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis (captain), Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick, Lourens Adriaanse, Ettienne Oosthuizen, Ryan Kankowski, Stefan Ungerer, Heimar Williams, SP Marais.

Highlanders: Ben Smith (co-captain), Richard Buckman, Malakai Fekitoa, Shaun Treeby, Patrick Osborne, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu (co-captain), Shane Christie, Elliot Dixon, Joe Wheeler, Jarrad Hoeata, Chris King, Liam Coltman, Kane Hames. Replacements: Ged Robinson, Craig Millar, Ma'afu Fia, Josh Bekhuis, Gareth Evans, Fumiaki Tanaka, Trent Renata, John Hardie.

Cell C Sharks v Highlanders
Date: Friday, 25 April
SA Time: 19h10
Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Force v Vodacom Bulls

The Vodacom Bulls will not only be aiming for the first South African Vodacom Super Rugby victory abroad in 2014, but also to become the first non-Australian team to topple the Force when they square off in Perth on Saturday morning.

The Force are enjoying a superb season and apart from defeats in three Aussie derbies, of which only one was played in Perth, they’ve not yet lost to any other team in 2014.

But the Vodacom Bulls will have to ensure they get a good start against the Western Australians. The men from Loftus Versfeld have scored one and conceded seven tries in the opening 20 minutes of their matches thus far this year.

The visitors will also have to be sharp even when defending in their opponents’ half, as the Force have scored more tries (nine) than any other side when it comes to possessions that originated within their own territory.

For Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke the message this week is straight forward, for a team that last won a match more than a month ago.

“We have to get back to winning ways and this is a final opportunity to turn our tour into a positive,” said Ludeke.

“If we can bag a win here and add the losing bonus points we collected earlier on tour, the reward would justify the hard work we have put in.”

The teams are:

Force: Jayden Hayward, Dane Haylett-Petty, Marcel Brache, Kyle Godwin, Nick Cummins, Sias Ebersohn, Ian Prior, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson (captain), Angus Cottrell, Adam Coleman, Sam Wykes, Kieran Longbottom, Nathan Charles, Pek Cowan. Replacements: Heath Tessmann, Tetera Faulkner, Oli Hoskins, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Brynard Stander, Justin Turner, Zack Holmes, Chris Tuatara-Morrison.

Vodacom Bulls: Jurgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfontein, Bjorn Basson, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Francois Hougaard, Grant Hattingh, Jacques du Plessis, Jono Ross, Victor Matfield, Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Bongi Mbonambi, Dean Greyling, Replacements: Bandise Maku, Mornè Mellett, Marcel van der Merwe, Wimpie van der Walt, Jacques Engelbrecht, Rudy Paige, Handrè Pollard, Ulrich Beyers.

Force v Vodacom Bulls
Date: Saturday, 26 April
SA Time: 11h40
Venue: NIB Stadium, Perth
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Toyota Cheetahs v DHL Stormers

The scenario facing the Toyota Cheetahs and DHL Stormers in the build-up to their Vodacom Super Rugby derby at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon is probably one that neither side is very proud of.

As it stands, these two teams occupy the bottom two places on the log – after both have featured in the playoffs during the last couple of seasons.

On the one side, the Toyota Cheetahs’ defence has let them down more often than not, especially late in matches, although they defended very well last weekend against the Cell C Sharks. The side from Central South Africa have conceded at least five more tries (14) than any other side in the last 20 minutes of games this year.

And on the other hand, the Capetonians have struggled to score tries – only the Lions’ 11 is lower than the DHL Stormers’ 12, while the Toyota Cheetahs’ 22 five-pointers is the most of all South African sides.

Naka Drotské, coach of the Toyota Cheetahs, said: “It’s really important to go back to our basics and focus on our set piece. I thought that our defence in the last game was a step in the right direction.

“You need to go back to basics and take it step by step. We know that if we play well in Bloemfontein, we can beat any team. We need to get rid of those soft moments were we do funny things and let teams back into the game to beat us. We need to play for 80 minutes.”

Looking ahead to the match in Bloemfontein, DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said they are expecting a physical battle.

“It’s always tough to play against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. They are just behind us on the log, with one win and a draw, so both teams will be desperate to come away with a victory in our second all-South African derby in the space of just a week,” said Coetzee.

The teams are:

Toyota Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller, Raymond Rhule, Johann Sadie, Ryno Benjamin, Willie le Roux, Elgar Watts, Sarel Pretorius, Boom Prinsloo, Jean Cook, Heinrich Brussow, Francois Uys, Andries Ferreira, Maks van Dyk, Adriaan Strauss, Caylib Oosthuizen. Replacements: Torsten van Jaarsveld, Trevor Nyakane, Rossouw de Klerk, Waltie Vermeulen, Teboho Mohoje, Shaun Venter, Riaan Smit, Cornal Hendricks.

DHL Stormers: Jaco Taute, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (captain), Devon Williams, Peter Grant, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain), Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Michael Rhodes, Ruan Botha, Frans Malherbe, Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: Stephan Coetzee, Oliver Kebble, Brok Harris, Jurie van Vuuren, Schalk Burger, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Kobus van Wyk.

Toyota Cheetahs v DHL Stormers
Date: Saturday, 26 April
SA Time: 17h05
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
Television match official: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Other fixtures (South African kick-off times):

Friday, 25 April:
07h35: Blues v Waratahs – Sydney
09h40: Brumbies v Chiefs – Canberra

Saturday, 26 April:
09h35: Hurricanes v Reds – Wellington

Byes: Lions, Crusaders, Rebels

Vodacom Super Rugby
Friday, May 29 2015
LIVE SCORING 19:10 - Cell C Sharks vs Rebels
Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
2015 Golden Lions Pirates Grand Challenge
21:00 - Pirates vs Randfontein
2015 Western Province Super League
21:00 - SK Walmers vs Tygerberg
Vodacom Super Rugby
Saturday, May 30 2015
09:35 - Highlanders vs Chiefs
Rugby Park, Invercargill
11:40 - Force vs Reds
nib Stadium, Perth
Vodacom Cup
14:10 - Western Province vs Pumas
DHL Newlands Rugby Stadium, CT
2015 Free State Town Challenge Cup
14:30 - FNB Shimlas vs Berlesell Bloemfontein Crusaders

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