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New Zealand Rugby

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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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Tom TaylorCrusadersAll Black flyhalf Tom Taylor will start at outside centre when the Crusaders travel to meet the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

The 25-year-old playmaker has never started a match at outside centre in Super Rugby before, but with the injury to Kieron Fonotia and with Reynold Lee-Lo having fallen out of favour at the Christchurch-based team – the number 13 jersey will be Taylor’s on Saturday.

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Tanerau LatimerChiefsTanerau Latimer will play his 100th game for the Chiefs when they host the Crusaders in Hamilton on Saturday.

The 4-cap All Black loose forward first played five Super Rugby games for the Crusaders in 2006, but since joining the Chiefs in 2007 he has racked up 99 caps, scored eight tries and won two Super Rugby titles.

The 27-year-old will become only the second player in the Chiefs 18-year history to become a centurion and will join Liam Messam in this elite club.

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Keven MealamuBluesVeteran hooker Keven Mealamu will make his long-awaited return to Super Rugby against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday after battling back from another calf injury that sidelined him for more than a month.

The veteran Blues forward has battled calf injuries for the last three seasons and has played just once in 2014, as a second half replacement against the Crusaders on 28 February.

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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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Piri WeepuBluesFormer All Black Piri Weepu could potentially make a miraculous return to playing Super Rugby this weekend when the Blues face the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Thirty-year-old halfback Weepu has made a full recovery from a minor stroke and heart surgery and has returned to training.

Weepu says that he went through an emotional time a couple of weeks ago when he revealed that he had had a stroke before his two Super Rugby matches in South Africa and also a hole in his heart.

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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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Super RugbyEvery time the Cell C Sharks score a win there are mutters in the background that they still have to travel overseas, but the rate they are going they will leave for Australasia needing to do very little to confirm themselves as the winners of the South African conference in Vodacom Super Rugby.

It has been written that the Sharks, in beating the Lions at Ellis Park this past weekend, showed that they are not as commanding away from home as they are at Growthpoint Kings Park. But that should surely be a given in a season where until the past two weeks home ground advantage was so important, and these days a win over the Lions in Johannesburg is not something you just accept as an expected event. You have to work for it.

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Ihaia WestBluesThe Blues have called Hawke’s Bay Magpies and Maori All Blacks first five-eighths Ihaia West into their Super Rugby squad as replacement for the injured Baden Kerr who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

After fracturing a bone at the base of his thumb in a pre-season match against the Hurricanes, 24-year-old Kerr then fractured two fingers playing rugby for his club side Karaka last month and was forced to have surgery, ruling him out of action for at least 12 weeks.

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Jarrad HoeataCardiff BluesCardiff Blues revealed a major coup in the signing of New Zealand international forward Jarrad Hoeata, from Super Rugby outfit the Highlanders.

Hoeata, who can play second row or back row, will move to the Arms Park at the completion of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

The Tauranga-born ace has been a member of the All Blacks, Maori and All Blacks Sevens teams.

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Super RugbyIt is Round 9 of Super Rugby 2014 this weekend! We have 6 games in Round 9, with 2 games on Friday and 4 games on Saturday.

The Blues, Hurricanes & DHL Stormers 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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Recent Comments

  • nortierd 20 Apr 2014, 22:57 SAST - @Rob Stranger things have happened. In 2011 we were silly to sneak that win against Wales, after Aus lost to...
  • robzim 20 Apr 2014, 22:19 SAST - @ nortierd: I really cannot see us winning it... we will be contenders but we just do not have the...
  • nortierd 20 Apr 2014, 22:04 SAST - @Hondo 344 Monnas or Craven Week? @Robzim 347 England will probably be written up as one of the pre tournament...
  • robzim 20 Apr 2014, 22:02 SAST - @ Hondo: Yip, except for Suarez and Gerrard they probably do not have the same individual brilliance as the last...
  • Hondo 20 Apr 2014, 21:58 SAST - @ robzim: @347 You got it Rob! ;)
  • robzim 20 Apr 2014, 21:55 SAST - @ Stormersboy: Anything can still happen but somehow I do not think they are going to throw it away now...


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