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Super RugbyI find this rare. It is usually the Bulls supporters looking for suitable Jacaranda trees to hang the coaches. The Stormers have their way to show displeasure in their team. But for New Zealand coaches to be under early pressure is something rare.

Australian teams played 13 game and won 8 off them , New Zealand team played 13 won 5 and South African teams played 18 games thus far winning 9 off them. This number could have been worse for New Zealand if the Stormers were able to defend their small margin.

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Super RugbyThe Vodacom Bulls delivered their best performance of the season as the Cell C Sharks kept their grip on the top of the Vodacom Super Rugby table.

The three-time champions from Pretoria scored four tries to one in their impressive victory over the Blues at Loftus Versfeld – their first try-scoring bonus-point of 2014 in a 38-22 win.

The Cell C Sharks’ score over the Lions was similar – 37-23 – and they also got a bonus-point for four tries which, as in the Vodacom Bulls’ case, was scored very late in the match.

The two South African teams currently touring Down Under both lost – the Toyota Cheetahs by 43-33 against the Reds in Brisbane, while the DHL Stormers put in a very spirited performance in Christchurch, but ultimately lost by 14-13 against the Crusaders – their 33rd successive home win over teams from the Republic.

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CrusadersCrusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has made 7 changes to the team that lost to the Blues in Auckland for this week’s Super Rugby match against the Stormers in Christchurch.

Wyatt Crockett will start at No 1 this week and Tim Perry moves to the bench. Luke Romano takes one of the starting lock positions alongside Sam Whitelock.

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Read this and see if you understand it. This was copied by me, nothing changed, no spelling corections made, from the Official SA Rugby Referee website.

The incident we have today must be the most bizarre in the whole of the time the TMO has been implemented to help referees get to the right decision.

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BluesSimon Hickey will make his Super Rugby debut when he starts at flyhalf for the Blues against the Crusaders at Eden Park on Friday.

The New Zealand Under-20 playmaker and Auckland player of the year is in the Blues Wider Training Group but has impressed head coach John Kirwan enough to believe he should be given an opportunity to guide the team ahead of Chris Noakes who struggled against the Highlanders last week and falls out of the match-day squad completely.

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CrusadersColin Slade will start at fullback ahead of Israel Dagg in one of four changes to the Crusaders team to face the Blues at Eden Park on Friday.

Kieran Read returns for his first start of the season to play at No 8 and captain the side. Richie McCaw and George Whitelock are the starting openside and blindside flankers, and Matt Todd will again provide support from the bench.

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CrusadersTodd BlackadderCrusaders coach Todd Blackadder will have a selection headache to deal with while choosing his side to play the Blues on Friday.

The seven-times champions underperformed in last week’s 10-18 reverse at the hands of the Chiefs and the performance is certain to result in flyhalf Tyler Bleyendaal’s axing, with Colin Slade now available, but it is how Blackadder re-jigs the rest of his team that remains a mystery.

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CrusadersRichie McCawKieran ReadThere was a mixed bag on the selection front for the Crusaders on Monday – Kieran Read set to return, but Richie McCaw likely to be ruled out.

McCaw is in doubt for Friday’s Round Three encounter against the Blues at Eden Park.

The openside flank is nursing a tender calf, after the Crusaders’ 10-18-10 loss to the Chiefs at Christchurch Stadium at the weekend.

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CrusadersCoach Todd Blackadder has named four Crusader debutants in the match-day squad to face the Chiefs in their Super Rugby opener in Christchurch on Friday.

Loosehead prop Tim Perry, who played his first Super Rugby game last year for the Blues, will make his first start for the Crusaders in the No 1 jersey.  Midfielder Rey Lee-Lo is another player who made his Super Rugby debut last year (for the Hurricanes) but will run out for the Crusaders for the first time on Friday.

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Super RugbyThe Australian and New Zealand teams start Super Rugby a week later than their South African rivals and the New Zealand teams kick the season off with a match in Christchurch between a former champion, the Crusaders and the current Champions the Chiefs.

Here we take a brief look at the New Zealand teams and what could lie ahead for the New Zealand Super Rugby franchises.

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CrusadersHurricanesRight wing Johnny McNicholl ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Crusaders beat the Hurricanes 40 / 15 in a Super Rugby pre-season match in Levin on Friday.

The Wellington-based side enjoyed the better of the first 40 minutes and led 15 / 14 at the half-time interval thanks to tries from flyhalf Beauden Barrett, fullback Marty Banks and prop Ben Franks.

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  • playtheball 16 Apr 2014, 11:44 SAST - @ MacroBull: What frustrates the hell out of me, MacroBull, is that I can clearly see that some members of...
  • playtheball 16 Apr 2014, 11:40 SAST - Thanks Grootblousmile, I've been reading here often but couldn't help myself when I read Toeties drivel this morning. Jeez man....
  • nortierd 16 Apr 2014, 11:30 SAST - @Ben 48 Beteken dit nou dat Clyde vir die Stormers gaan kom speel? Ons kan doen met ten minste een...
  • MacroBull 16 Apr 2014, 11:29 SAST - not a fan of the stormers and I refuse to watch any game they play this year because it irritates...
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  • Ben 16 Apr 2014, 11:23 SAST - 45 @ Pietman: Ja jong, kyk bietjie hier. Weet nie wat word van hierdie wêreld nie http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/clyde-rathbone-im-in-love-with-a-gay-man-20140411-zqthl.html

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