The Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks tackle each other in another exciting local Vodacom Super Rugby derby in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon, while the DHL Stormers will be hoping to keep their home record intact when they host the Chiefs in Cape Town.
On a weekend where all four South African sides are in action yet again, the Emirates Lions will conclude their Australasian Tour with a visit to Dunedin, where they face the Highlanders in the Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The matches at DHL Newlands and Loftus Versfeld will be dedicated to raising funds for the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund. At both venues, a local rugby team dressed in Players’ Fund branded t-shirts will be collecting change from spectators. They will also be promoting the use of an SMS line, which will enable the public to contribute by SMS’ing “Rugby” followed by their name to 49701, at a cost of R30/SMS (network & admin fees apply), all which will go towards the cause.
The men from Johannesburg will be without influential hooker Malcolm Marx, who was injured in last week’s defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington. Swys de Bruin will no doubt want his team to finish their four-week tour on a positive note when they clash against the Highlanders, who have returned to New Zealand from their recent visit to South Africa.
The DHL Stormers pack produced a masterclass performance in their fifth successive home victory this season against the Vodacom Bulls last Saturday. This week Siya Kolisi and his team come up against a Chiefs side that will be smarting from their surprise home defeat to the Jaguares.
The Capetonians have won nine of their 11 regular season games when hosting New Zealand opposition, while the Chiefs will hope to continue their good form in the fixture between the sides – the Kiwis have won five of the last seven meetings between the two teams.
Following last Saturday’s derby loss to the DHL Stormers, the Vodacom Bulls are no doubt eager to bounce back to winning ways in their second successive derby against a rival South African side. John Mitchell’s team welcome to Loftus Versfeld a Cell C Sharks outfit who are high on confidence after their impressive home victory over the Highlanders.
In recent years, the men from Pretoria have been dominant in this fixture against their Durban rivals. In fact, it’s been more than four years since the Cell C Sharks’ last victory over their rivals from Pretoria (D1, L5). And with the race at the top of the conferences standings heating up, neither side afford to lose ground to the two leading local conference teams, the Emirates Lions and the Jaguares.
The fifth team in the SA Conference, the Jaguares, will have a well-earned break following their recent unbeaten tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Robbie Coetzee will start at hooker for the Emirates Lions, in a pack that shows six changes from last week – Johannes Jonker is at tighthead, Marvin Orie and Andries Ferreira make a new lock-pair, Franco Mostert shifts to blindside flank and Cyle Brink moves to the openside. The backline is unchanged.
The DHL Stormers will field an unchanged match-23 against the Chiefs, with the team that beat the Vodacom Bulls last weekend in Cape Town retained for this match.
Mitchell has made a number of changes to the Vodacom Bulls’ team, most notably the inclusion of Travis Ismaiel on the wing for his first start of the season, while Roelof Smit will start on the side of the scrum and Trevor Nyakane is back to anchor the front row.
Andre Esterhuizen will earn his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby cap for the Cell C Sharks in Pretoria, where the Durbanites will play with virtually the same team that crushed the Highlanders last week. The only injury-enforced change to the starting team is at flank, where Jacques Vermeulen starts in the place of Philip van der Walt, with Wian Vosloo coming onto the bench.
Joining Vosloo on the bench is Chiliboy Ralepelle, who could become South Africa’s 42nd Vodacom Super Rugby centurion if he gets game-time against his erstwhile team. The Bok hooker has so far played 69 matches for the Vodacom Bulls and 30 for the Cell C Sharks.
What they said:
Emirates Lions head coach Swys de Bruin: “We had a good week training-wise and the spirit in the squad is good in this final week of a long tour. Our situation at hooker is interesting, but we’ve prepared Jacques van Rooyen and Marnus Schoeman to fill in there if needed, although the plan is to keep Robbie Coetzee on the field for as long as possible.”
DHL Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck: “It is great to be able to pick the same side, but the challenge is for us to raise our standards even further to meet the next challenge. We are looking forward to playing at DHL Newlands again having put the hard work in during the week.”
Vodacom Bulls head coach John Mitchell: “We all know what is at stake here. We all understand the long-term vision and strategy, but short-term results are as important. The Cell C Sharks have shown how good they can be in dismantling the Highlanders and will come for us, no doubt.”
Cell C Sharks No 8 Dan du Preez: “We are really starting to build some consistency in our game and that’s giving us momentum. The set-piece battle is going to be huge and a big decider on which way the game goes. This is going to be a huge battle, South African derbies are never easy, there will be a lot of emotion. The guys remember the game against the Vodacom Bulls a few weeks ago and I think the Vodacom Bulls will be hurting from last week.”
HIGHLANDERS vs EMIRATES LIONS
Head to head:
Highlanders won: 5
Emirates Lions won: 6
Highlanders points: 286
Emirates Lions points: 282
Average score: 26-26
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown. Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Sio Tomkinson.
Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Franco Mostert (captain), 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jacques van Rooyen, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.
Date: Saturday, 12 May
SA time: 09h35
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Referee: Angus Gardner (Aus)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill and James Doleman (NZ)
Television match official: Glen Newman (NZ)
TV: SuperSport 1
DHL STORMERS vs CHIEFS
Head to head:
DHL Stormers won: 10
Chiefs won: 11
DHL Stormers points: 517
Chiefs points: 587
Average score: 25-28
DHL Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Chiefs: 15 Charlie Ngatai (captain), 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Liam Messam, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe. Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson.
Date: Saturday, 12 May
SA time: 15h05
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Mike Fraser (NZ)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (NZ) and Quinton Immelman (SA)
Television match official: Willie Vos (SA)
TV: SuperSport 1
VODACOM BULLS vs CELL C SHARKS
Head to head:
Vodacom Bulls won: 17
Cell C Sharks won: 9
Vodacom Bulls points: 607
Cell C Sharks points: 599
Average score: 21-21
Vodacom Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Jason Jenkins, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Lizo Gqoboka. Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frans van Wyk / Mox Mxoli, 18 Conrad van Vuuren, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Nick de Jager, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Cell C Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.
Date: Saturday, 12 May
SA time: 17h15
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (SA)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs and Archie Sehlako (SA)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (SA)
Other Round 13 fixtures (SA kick-off times):
Friday, 11 May
09h35: Blues vs Hurricanes, Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, 12 May
05h05: Sunwolves vs Reds, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
07h15: Crusaders vs Waratahs, AMI Stadium, Christchurch
11h45: Brumbies vs Rebels, GIO Stadium, Canberra