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Australian Rugby

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Super RugbyIt is Round 11 of Super Rugby 2014 this weekend! We have 6 games in Round 11, with 3 games on Friday and 3 games on Saturday.

The Crusaders, Lions & Melbourne Rebels have bye weekends.

In June / July 2014 the Antipodian teams will catch up in played games with the South African counterparts, when the South African sides sit out for 1 Round.

The Combined Log will therefore be skewed for the majority of the competition and one has to question why individual countries are allowed to start such a long competition ahead of it’s rivals. In 2013 the Australian sides started a week early, but at least they had the excuse that they needed an extra week in the middle of the year to prepare for the British & Irish Lions series, which they lost.

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Heinrich BrussowHeinrich Brüssow is not just hype, he is the ultimate openside flank.

The 27-year-old Cheetahs star, who played the last of his 20 Tests in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal, returned to Super Rugby for the Cheetahs against the Sharks last week after missing the first half of the season with a fractured toe – suffered while playing for his Japanese club.

And while the Cheetahs lost 8-19, the influence and value of Brüssow was there for all to see.

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WaratahsAfter notching up an important away against the Stormers in South Africa three weeks ago, Waratahs coach Michael Cheika is now looking to add a second, naming an unchanged starting 15 for the Anzac Day clash against the Blues in Auckland.

Although the ‘Tahs won the last encounter between the sides, it’s four years since their last win, a narrow 27-22 Phil Waugh-led victory at Eden Park back in March 2009. The only other two contests to be played in Auckland since then both came in 2011, when the Blues recorded back-to-back wins, with the latter (a 26-13 Super Rugby qualifying final result) ending the Tahs’ finals hopes.

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BrumbiesThe Brumbies will play in a one-off, Anzac Commemorative jersey next Friday when the ACT-based side takes on the Chiefs in an Anzac Day, Super Rugby Final replay at GIO Stadium.

Celebrating the contributions of both Soldier On (Match Day Charity) and the Australian War Memorial, the Brumbies strip will feature iconic images on both the front and back of the jersey with the gold trim replaced by sky-blue for one night only.

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Nick MallettFormer Springbok coach Nick Mallett has said that South Africa’s Super Rugby conference is significantly weaker than their Australasian rivals.

In his role of guest speaker on SuperSport, Mallett said he had been disappointed by South Africa’s poor performance in the tournament thus far, particularly their lack of ability to create opportunities on attack and score tries.

“Our conference is definitely the weakest and our teams aren’t performing,” Mallett said.

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Super RugbyThe Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers were victorious on a weekend where all five South African Vodacom Super Rugby franchises were involved in low-scoring matches.

In all three matches involving teams from the Republic, the most points the different teams on the winning side in any of the encounters could score were 19. Only five tries were scored in these matches.

The Vodacom Bulls lost to the Waratahs for the first time since the 2005 semi-final when they were beaten by 19-12, with a try in the opening minute by Israel Folau the difference between the two sides in Sydney.

Vodacom Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe was cited after the match. He is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking when he made contact with the Waratahs’ Paddy Ryan in the 75th minute of the match.

In Durban, the Cell C Sharks ground out a victory in a tough derby for the second successive week when they beat the Toyota Cheetahs by 19-8, with each side scoring only one try each.

The final match of the weekend saw the DHL Stormers end a five-match losing streak when they beat the Lions by 18-3 after leading 18-0 at the break in Cape Town.

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Super RugbyWhistleSANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 11 of Super Rugby 2014.

Chris Pollock starts the weekend action in the game between the Blues and Waratahs, in Auckland.

This weekend sees 3 games on Friday and 3 games on Saturday.

The Crusaders, Lions and Melbourne Rebels have BYE weekends.

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Jeff WilsonAndrew MehrtensThis talk of moving away from South Africa in Super Rugby is madness, says Jeff Wilson, ex All Black fullback.

This is the best international competition outside of test rugby and it would be foolhardy to mess with its essential formula.

My old All Black team-mate Andrew Mehrtens certainly ruffled a few feathers last week when he suggested it would be in New Zealand’s interests to move away from South Africa and align closer with Australia.

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Robbie DeansFormer Wallabies boss Robbie Deans will become the head coach of Japan’s Top League and national champions Panasonic Wild Knights on May 1, the club said on Tuesday.

Deans, who has also managed the Christchurch-based Crusaders and served as an All Blacks assistant coach, will take over from Norifumi Nakajima, who is transferring to another part of the giant electronics firm.

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Super RugbyIt is Round 10 of Super Rugby 2014 this weekend! We have 6 games in Round 10, with 2 games on Friday and 4 games on Saturday.

The Brumbies, Highlanders & Reds have bye weekends.

In June / July 2014 the Antipodian teams will catch up in played games with the South African counterparts, when the South African sides sit out for 1 Round.

The Combined Log will therefore be skewed for the majority of the competition and one has to question why individual countries are allowed to start such a long competition ahead of it’s rivals. In 2013 the Australian sides started a week early, but at least they had the excuse that they needed an extra week in the middle of the year to prepare for the British & Irish Lions series, which they lost.

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Cadeyrn NevilleMelbourne RebelsRebels coach Tony McGahan made just one change to the side for their all-Australian Super Rugby derby against the Western Force on Friday.

In a show of faith in his matchday 23 that lost to the Chiefs last week the only change sees second row forward Cadeyrn Neville replace Hugh Pyle in the starting line-up, with the Foundation Rebel dropping to the bench.

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AustraliaAustralia’s 2015 World Cup preparations will be well tested on their end-of-season European tour in November with coach Ewen McKenzie trying to replicate their potential campaign for the Webb Ellis trophy as much as possible.

McKenzie’s side will play five matches on five successive weekends, which includes clashes against World Cup Pool A opponents England and Wales.

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Super RugbySANZAR has released the names of the match officials for Round 10 of Super Rugby 2014.

Nick Bryant starts off proceedings this weekend in the game between the Hurricanes and Blues on Friday at 09:35 SA Time.

This weekend sees 6 games, with 2 games on Friday and 4 games on Saturday.

The Brumbies, Highlanders and Reds have BYE weekends.

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Andrew MehrtensAs Super Rugby nears its 20th year, I wonder if it’s time to shake things up and maybe take a step back from South Africa.

I got up in the early hours of the morning at the weekend and watched my old Crusaders team battle the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein – but I’m sure I was in the minority.

I can’t help thinking we might have lost a little interest in playing South African teams, and that ultimately the future of this competition might be more localised round time zones.

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Super RugbyThe Cell C Sharks ground out their sixth win of the Vodacom Super Rugby season to stay at the top of the standings, but for the other three South African teams in action this weekend, the ninth round wasn’t a happy one.

The KwaZulu-Natalians beat a plucky Lions side by 25-12 in front of more than 30,000 people at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday evening. It was a battle of attrition and the visitors from Durban scored the only try of the match.

Earlier on Saturday, the Toyota Cheetahs put up a brave fight, but for a second successive week they fell off the pace in the final 10 minutes as they lost by 52-31 to the Crusaders in Bloemfontein – the team from Canterbury’s first win in the Free State Stadium for seven years.

On Friday morning, the Vodacom Bulls could not put an end to a seven-year drought in Dunedin as they paid the price for making way too many errors with ball in hand and on defence as they went down by 27-20 to the Highlanders.

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WaratahsIsrael FolauThat’s the question not even the Waratahs have the answer to right now, as the Wallaby star waits to be medically cleared for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby game.

Folau was controversially pulled from the clash with the Western Force on Saturday after the Australian Rugby Union medical staff overruled the Waratahs’ decision to put him on the park after a throat Cartilage injury.

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Nick CumminsWestern ForceNick Cummins is confident his team’s steely new attitude and willingness to work for each other will help them overcome a growing injury toll.

The Force can dare to dream of securing a maiden finals berth after Saturday night’s win over the Waratahs propelled them into fourth spot on the Super Rugby table.

However, their latest triumph came at a major cost, with scrumhalf Alby Mathewson (ankle) and wing Luke Morahan (hamstring) set to miss this weekend’s clash with the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.

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  • smallies 23 Apr 2014, 20:21 SAST - affies is flou die jaar my ou pel frik bosman se my hulle is 0-4 die jaar sover,na 3 puik...
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  • dwarslat 23 Apr 2014, 19:20 SAST - Here is the latest development: http://www.sport24.co.za/OtherSport/South-Africa/Quotas-not-to-be-imposed-20140423 Must be a bitter pil for Hoskins to swallow. About time John Robbie interview...
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