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SA Rugby

Cheeky Watson

Cheeky Watson

The Eastern Province Rugby Referees Society will return to adjudicating Eastern Province Rugby Union club matches with immediate effect, after the EPRU cancelled all club games last weekend over the poor treatment of referees.

Eastern Province Rugby Union President, Cheeky Watson, confirmed that he had met with the referees last week to address their concerns.

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Cell C SharksThe Sharks left for New Zealand early Monday morning. They boarded the plane carrying the hopes of their countless supporters, and the hopes of the nation on their shoulders. According to most naysayers, they might have well forfeited the match and stayed at home.

We have heard the same comments and mumblings before, remember when the Sharks left for the overseas leg of their tour? “No chance, they will never beat the Crusaders in Christchurch”

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CrusadersCell C SharksThe Waratahs and Crusaders will be heavily favoured to advance to a Sydney final, but the two Vodacom Super Rugby play-off qualifiers played this weekend did breathe some much needed life into a competition that is sometimes accused of being too predictable.

As expected, the home teams did advance to next week’s round of semifinals, but it was a close run thing in both Canberra and Durban. More than that, the quality of rugby produced, and the entertainment value, was just what the doctor would have ordered if the goal of a medical consultation was to find out what could increase interest for the remaining two weeks.

Of the two winning teams, the Brumbies and the Sharks, it is the former who should go into the semifinals feeling most upbeat. They relaxed when they thought they had the game won and the Chiefs showed their championship qualities one last time before eventually conceding their run of success had come to an end by launching a brave, gutsy and classy fightback.

Once condemned to playing catch-up, the Chiefs produced some of their best rugby in a while, and may well have won had they shown just a bit of temperance in their commitment to attack, for it was their tendency to concede penalties in their own half by trying to play too much rugby there that cost them the game.

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Tana Umaga

Tana Umaga

Former All Black and rugby legend Tana Umaga is open to coaching the Singapore Super Rugby franchise if they win the bid to be one of the expansion teams in 2016.

The Counties Manukau coach has been involved with the Asian country for a few years now, he will coach the Asia Pacific Dragons in there in a game against the Maori All Blacks later this year.

Singapore is currently in a battle with Japan to be one of the teams included in Super Rugby when it increases to an 18-team competition in 2016.

Umaga would be a worthy candidate with his ability to lure players through his name and presence, as such he is already being touted as a front-runner to coach the team.

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Jurie Roux

Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU

The South African Rugby Union find themselves at a crossroads in the Super Rugby saga. It is now time that they show some backbone!

In various media statements about the expansion of Super Rugby to Asia, a few important facts were lost in the hype.

Before we get too excited about the new ‘world’ we are going to enter into (the expansion to Asia), we should rather look at the facts.

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Jaco Peyper

Jaco Peyper

SANZAR has appointed the referees for Saturday’s Semi-Finals. Jaco Peyper will referee in Sydney, Glen Jackson in Christchurch.

The Crusaders are the only team that played in the 2013 Semi-Finals.

In 2013 the referees for the Semi-Finals were Steve Walsh for the Chiefs vs Crusaders and Craig Joubert for the Vodacom Bulls vs the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld.

In 2013 Peyper and Jackson were both involved in the Play-Off’s – Peyper for Crusaders vs Reds and Jackson for the Brumbies vs Toyota Cheetahs.

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Anton Bresler

The Sharks travelled to New Zealand without Anton Bresler, who suffered broken ribs against the Highlanders

Jake White believes the Sharks can win in Christchurch for the second time this season.

The Sharks beat the Highlanders 31-27 at Kings Park on Saturday to set up a semi-final showdown with the Crusaders. While the long plane trip will count against White’s side, he believes they can win in Christchurch on Saturday, having done so earlier in the season when they played most of the match with 14 men.

“It’s an 80-minute run and if we play well we can win, and I have to believe that,” said White.

“The Highlanders flew in from the other side of the world and came within four points of beating us. They came sixth on the log and we came third.”

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French Rugby

French rugby is just one bad November away from falling out of the top 10 rankings

After years of selling itself as a global game when it never really was, rugby is poised to take grip in territories it has always dreamed of conquering writes Gregor Paul in the Herold on Sunday.

The All Blacks are scheduled to play in Chicago this year, Samoa in 2015 and probably Singapore in 2016. Super Rugby is also heading to Argentina and probably Singapore.

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Eben Etzebeth

His parents might call him Eben, but I’d like to call him Ysterbeth!

Want to know more about the Etzebeth legend?

Apologies to our foreign readers as the first story was printed in Afrikaans. If you scroll down you would find another in English.

These articles were written quite a while ago and is left just as it was published, so excuse the time frames. The author of the Terminator from Parow is Jaco Kirsten, who writes for the website meneer.tv

For those readers not familiar with the legend of the Etzebeths, enjoy these stories, those of us who grew up in Cape Town, roll back the years and take a trip down memory lane.

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Charl McLeod and Pat Lambie

Charl McLeod and Pat Lambie celebrating the Currie Cup victory in 2013. Will they be celebrating with the Super Rugby trophy in two weeks time?

The return of Pat Lambie and the arrival of Charl McLeod onto the field in the final 20 minutes of Highlanders game coincided with ‘some of the best rugby’ for the Sharks.

The Sharks late fightback after they twice came from behind in the second half to see off the stubborn Highlanders 31-27 has secured them a semifinal date with the Crusaders.

White was clearly happy with the entire team, but in particular with his reserve halfback pairing.

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Luther Obi

Luther Obi scored 4 tries against the hapless Border Bulldogs

The Leopards scored 15 tries in beating the Border Bulldogs 103-15 (halftime 54-3) in a lost cause at Profert Olen Park on Saturday.

The Leopards knew they had to win with a bonus point to have any hope of catching the Griquas in the race to the Currie Cup Premier Division, and they did what they had to do with clinical efficiency in a free-flowing rout.

They kicked off with hope in their heart and a determination to push all the way. But it was all in vain as, at about the time they put boot to ball, the Griquas scored their fourth try against SWD Eagles and all but sealed their promotion after just half an hour’s play in George.

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Cell C Sharks celebations

Celebrations at Kings Park as Bismarck du Plessis scores for the Cell C Sharks

Cell C SharksThe Cell C Sharks are still in contention for their first Super Rugby trophy after beating the Highlanders 31 to 27 at Kings Park tonight.

The Sharks must thank their forwards, and in particular their front row for this victory. Their scrum absolutely decimated the Highlander’s scrum and lead to 6 points in penalties and an all important try to man of the match, Bismarck Du Plessis.

The tactics of not kicking to touch almost cost the Sharks the match as the Highlander’s counter attack was devastating and almost won the game for them. It is a dangerous ploy from the Sharks to gift the ball back to the opposition, considering that their next opponents are also a New Zealand side, and that’s not even taking into account that they might also still have to face the Waratahs or Brumbies, who in Israel Folau and Jessie Mogg have devastating counter runners at their disposal as well.

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Coca-Cola Under 18 Craven Week

Eastern Province (EP) were crowned unofficial champions of the Under 18 Craven Week after crushing South Western Districts (SWD) 25-7 in the final game.

It was a culmination of a great week of rugby for the side from Port Elizabeth as they ran in three tries on the way to their first victory in the final match since 1977. The legendary Danie Gerber was on the field for Eastern Province that day, but it was a new generation of players that showed themselves the best Under18 team in the land.

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Cell C SharksHighlandersSharks (13) 31 / 27 (17) Highlanders (Final Score)

The Cell C Sharks and Highlanders did battle in the Play-Off Round of Super Rugby at

Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT, 03:05 Sunday NZ Time, 01:05 Sunday AEST).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

*******************

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Mt Everest

The Sharks have their own Mt. Everest to climb

If one were to ask people who the first person was to climb Mt. Everest, their answers would invariably be Sir Edmund Hillary.

While technically correct, and the reason I say technically is because Hillary was the first to successfully climb to the summit, there were 8 other expeditions before him. The 1922 British Mount Everest expedition was the first mountaineering expedition with the express aim of making the first ascent of Mount Everest.

Between 1922 and 1953 there were 8 expeditions that tried and failed. The term failed is used lightly I might add, climbers succumbed from illnesses ranging from malaria to altitude sickness, and those were the lucky ones. Death was the common reason for the majority of the failures.

Why am I writing about the ascent of Mt. Everest on a rugby site you might ask, well simply put, Jake White and his Sharks are currently standing at the foot of their own Mt. Everest and tomorrow evening when Steve Walsh blows his whistle to signal the kick off between them and the Highlanders, they will take their first steps on a journey that will hopefully end with them planting the South African flag on the summit in three weeks time.

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Steve Tew

NZRU boss Steve Tew

A decision on Super Rugby’s Asian expansion could require mediation, with Australia and South Africa expected to butt heads over whether Singapore or Japan gains inclusion.

Earlier this month, Fairfax Media revealed expressions of interest from both, and SANZAR confirmed yesterday that Singapore and Japan submitted the only bids for the 18th team to join an Argentinian side and South Africa’s Southern Kings from 2016.

Now those bids have been lodged with SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters, both will have their respective business cases, broadcast revenue potential and competitiveness assessed before a final decision is reached. Additional teams will need around $10 million per year to cover travel, wages and other expenses.

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imageimageThe Cell C Sharks will play in their 14th Vodacom Super Rugby knock-out match when they host the Highlanders in the second Qualifier for 2014 at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

The newly-crowned South African Conference champions are one of the most successful teams in the history of the competition when it comes to reaching the playoff rounds, although they are yet to take the trophy back to Durban.

The Sharks are without doubt the most successful team in the history of the competition never to have won the title.

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Special EditionSuper RugbyThe 2014 Super Rugby season is slowly drawing to a close and tomorrow sees the two Play-Off matches in the form of a Qualifying Round. Tomorrow’s victorious teams will qualify for the right to play in the Semi-Finals.

The only certainty is that the Crusaders and the Waratahs will be hosting those Semi-Finals, but against whom, and what happens after that?

There are multiple scenarios and permutations that could come into play.

3 Weekends of Super Rugby remain in 2014, this weekend’s Play-Off Round, the Semi-Final Weekend and the Final the week thereafter.

The Final takes place on 2 August 2014.

 

If you are a Sharks fan:

image

Your team qualified 3rd on the Combined Log.

They’re up against the Highlanders in Durban, on Saturday night.

  • If the Sharks win, then they travel to Christchurch to take on the Crusaders in the one Semi-Final.
  • If the Sharks beat the Crusaders and the Waratahs beat the Brumbies, the Sharks travel to Sydney to take on the Waratahs.
  • The Sharks can host the Final if they beat the Crusaders and the Brumbies beat the Waratahs.

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SuperBruBefore making those all important SuperBru picks for the Super Rugby qualifying matches, let’s have a look at some predictions, thoughts and statistics from the sides taking the field this Saturday.

Blue Bird aka Carol is still leading the Rugby-Talk Super Rugby 2014 SuperBru log on a stellar 106.50 points.

Sharks_Lover has gained ground on her after his yellow cap winning Round 19 and is sitting in second spot on 106.20. Winston Champ dropped one place to 3rd on 104.50 points.

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Jacques Potgieter

Jacques Potgieter – enjoying the Sydney experience

I’m sure that everybody who has been following the Waratahs and their progress to ending first on the 2014 Super Rugby log will agree that Jacques Potgieter has played an integral part in their rise.

He has been playing with the same robust “kamikaze” style that first got Heyneke Meyer to lure him to the Bulls, and that gave him his three Springbok caps, but he has refined his game at the same time.

As good as he has been to the Waratahs, the Waratahs have been equally good to him. He has evolved as a rugby player and instead of the Bulls forward blueprint of head down and charge, he has been delivering some deft offloads and touches. He is a much more rounded player, and the frightening part is, all within the space of one season.

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Jake White

Jake White

Sharks boss Jake White believes Saturday’s play-off encounter with the Highlanders will be much more like Test match than a Super Rugby showcase.

As a result he believes that the experience of his seasoned Springboks will be a key factor in the knock-out stages of the competition.

“The bottom line is there are no bonus points to worry about in a knock-out game, you just have to win, it doesn’t matter how,”White told a media briefing in Durban on Thursday.

“It means you can’t take too many risks.”

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Jake White

Cell C Sharks coach Jake White

Cell C Sharks director of rugby Jake White has admitted that there was a big temptation to start against the Highlanders with Pat Lambie, but in the end decided against it for fear of disrupting what worked for his side against the Stormers last week.

According to the supersport.com website, speaking a few hours after announcing a match day squad that included Lambie on the bench as back-up to starting flyhalf Frans Steyn, White said he was hoping that the Springbok will get a chance to play in the second half of the Vodacom Super Rugby play-off and thus be ready to start a possible semifinal.

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Super RugbyIt is the Play-Off Round of Super Rugby 2014 this weekend! We have only the 2 Play-Off games in this Round, as all teams below Log position 6 has now been dispatched and the Top 2 teams have a nice rest weekend, with both games on Saturday.

This is the final crunch to sort the men from the boys, to sort the teams going forward into the Semi-Finals.

The Waratahs and Crusaders sit comfortably at the Top of the table and the Brumbies, Chiefs, Cell C Sharks and Highlanders compete in this Round.

It is winners take all in these Play-Off games, the losers joing the other 9 Teams who have already been dispatched to also-ran’s.

Bonus points for tries and losses within 7 now does not matter anymore, all that is needed is a win.

Let the games continue….

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BlitzbokkeSASCOC have confirmed enforced late changes to the rugby sevens squad to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Cheslin Kolbe, the Western Province and Stormers speedster, has been withdrawn by Western Province due to a knee injury.

Warrick Gelant was due to replace Kolbe but was injured at the weekend and will undergo surgery this week. This sees Mark Richards, a member of the gold-medalling SA sevens team at the World Games in Colombia last year, coming in as a late replacement.

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Recent Comments

  • Charo 24 Jul 2014, 19:09 SAST - Nice article Nortie. As much as I would love sharks and brumbies to win (giving sharks a home final), my...
  • Pietman 24 Jul 2014, 18:02 SAST - @ robzim: :Who-s-the-man: Great!!!
  • robzim 24 Jul 2014, 17:54 SAST - Howzit man... he just got the bronze for us... fantastic performance in a very hard sport. Up the "Ville"!!
  • Pietman 24 Jul 2014, 17:51 SAST - @ robzim: Howzit! Keep the comments coming, please, no live broadcast on my side of the 'Ville'. :Tears:
  • robzim 24 Jul 2014, 17:39 SAST - The Brownlee's are the best triathletes in the history of the sport over the Olympic distance. Richard is doing brilliantly...
  • robzim 24 Jul 2014, 17:25 SAST - Farkers are doing sub 3 minute km's after the swim and bike... just out of this world.

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