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Crusaders dominate Sharks

April 29th, 2005

The Crusaders defeated the Sharks 77-34 in the opening games of Super 12 week 10.

In a high scoring match defence was scares with both teams scoring tries seemingly at will.

The Crusaders went into the half-time break with a seemingly insurmountable 42-8 lead.
But early in the second half the Sharks hit back with three tries to be back in reach at 45-34 with 18 minutes to go. But the Crusaders were able to seal the win running in four tries in the last 12 minutes.

The win takes the Crusaders to the top of the Super 12 table, although the Waratahs could still regain the top stop if they win their match this weekend.

Jonathan Kaplan to referee final Lions test

April 24th, 2005

South African referee Jonathan Kaplan has been appointed to referee third test between the British and Irish Lions and New Zealand on July 9. Kaplan was criticised by England coach Andy Robinson for his performance officating the 6 Nations match between Ireland and England.

Australia referee Stuart Dickinson will take control of the Lions’ warm up match against Argentina at Cardiff on 23 May.

French referee Joel Jutge will be in charge of the first test in Christchurch on June 25, Australian Andrew Cole has be selected for the second test in Wellington on July 2.

George Gregan out for rest of Super 12

April 17th, 2005

Wallabies captain George Gregan will miss the rest of the Super 12 competition after breaking his leg during Saturday night’s 10-6 loss to the Waratahs in Canberra.

Gregan collided with opposition halfback Chris Whitaker in the second half off the game. It was initially thought that his left leg was only badly bruised, but scans later revealed a broken fibula.

He will be out of action for six weeks but is expected to play for the Wallabies when they play their first test of the year against Samoa on June 11 in Sydney.

Crusaders crush Stormers

April 17th, 2005

The Crusaders defeated the Stormers 51-23

Determined defence from the Stormers kept the Crusaders at bay during the first half. Going into the halftime break the Stormers lead 6-3.

In the secondhalf the flood gates opened and the Crusaders scored 48 points including seven tries.

The win takes the Crusaders to number two on the table, behind the Waratahs. While the loss for the Stormers virtually eliminates any hope they had of making the semi-finals.

Crusaders - Tries: Aaron Mauger, Leon MacDonald, Dan Carter, Rico Gear(2), Caleb Ralph (2). Conversions: Andrew Mehrtens (2), Dan Carter (3). Penalties: Carter (2).

Stormers - Tries: Marius Joubert. Conversions: Chris Rossouw. Penalties: Rossouw (3).

Caffeine shown to increase performance in rugby

April 16th, 2005

A recently released study from Auckland University of Technology has found that caffeine can increase performance in rugby players.

The study was performed by Gene Stuart, a research student at the Auckland University of Technology and was supervised by AUT’s Professor Will Hopkins.

Professor Hopkins said “This study showed benefits for athletes including sprinting speed, fatigue reduction and up to a 10 per cent improvement in passing accuracy. These results are quite remarkable and show there are significant performance advantages across the board.”

The study involved eight rugby players who took either caffeine or a placebo then under took a rugby simulation test. The test involved several skills that are required in a typical game of rugby.

Chiefs conquer Cats

April 16th, 2005

The Chiefs defeated the Cats 45-14 in the first Super 12 rugby match of Week 8 at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton tonight.

The Chiefs score could have easily been closer to 70 as they butchered four movements that would have likely resulted in tries if it had not been for unforced errors.

The win for the Chiefs keeps their slim semi-final hopes alive.

For the Cats, Conrad Jantjes and Jaque Fourie played well. But the rest of the team played poorly. With only one win this year the Cats have no realistic chance of making the semi-finals and are only playing for pride, except the team seem to lack pride at the moment.

Chiefs - Tries: Byron Kelleher (2), Bernie Upton, Stephen Donald, Sione Lauaki, Sitiveni Sivivatu. Penalty: David Hill. Conversions: David Hill (6).

Cats - Tries: Conrad Jantjes, Juan Smith tries. Conversions: Andre Pretorius (2).

Schalk Burger in doubt for Crusaders match

April 15th, 2005

The Stormers’ star forward, Schalk Burger, is in doubt to play against the Crusaders Newlands on Saturday.

Burger sustained a heel injury against the Reds and has been bracketed with Pietie Ferreira at Number Eight.

Fullback, Werner Greeff, has been ruled out due to concussion, coach Gert Smal has chosen Gaffie du Toit as his replacement..

Stormers: Gaffie Du Toit, Breyton Paulse, Marius Joubert, De Wet Barry (captain), Jean De Villiers, Chris Rossouw, Bolla Conradie, Schalk Burger / Pietie Ferreira, Gerrie Britz,Luke Watson, Andries Bekker, Rob Linde, Faan Rautenbach, Pieter Dixon, Eddie Andrews

Replacements: Lukas Van Biljon, Riaan Olckers, Ross Skeate, David Hendriks, Neil De Kock, Gus Theron, Tonderai Chavhanga

Jono Gibbes returns for the Chiefs

April 15th, 2005

Chiefs’ captain Jono Gibbes returns to his side this week as blindside flanker, for Friday night’s game against the Cats at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

While Sione Lauaki will move to number eight. While regular number eight, Steven Bates, is in doubt for the match because of a hamstring attachment injury and has been bracketed with Nili Latu on the bench.

Chiefs: Simms Davison, Aleki Lutui, Deacon Manu, Bernie Upton, Sean Hohneck, Jono Gibbes (captain), Marty Holah, Sione Lauaki, Byron Kelleher, Stephen Donald, Sailosi Tagicakibau, David Hill, Niva Ta’auso, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Sosene Anesi

Replacements: Scott Linklater , Ben Castle, Wayne Ormond, Steven Bates/Nili Latu, Kevin Senio, Keith Lowen, Adrian Cashmore

Lions Squad announced - Jonny Wilkinson missing

April 11th, 2005

The British and Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand has been announced.

England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson has been omitted from the British and Irish Lions squad. Wilkinson, who helped England win the 2003 Rugby World Cup, has not played a test since drop-kicking the winning goal in the World Cup final.

There was some speculation that Wilkinson would still tour for publicity reasons.
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Bulls pull out upset win over Crusaders

April 10th, 2005

The Bulls played what must have been their best game of the season when they defeated the heavily favoured Crusaders 35-20 at Pretoria on Saturday.

The Crusaders lost their captain Richie McCaw early in the match due to a head clash.

The Bulls were able to dominate the Crusaders in forward play, winning several lineouts against the throw and putting pressure on in the scrum.

Bulls - Tries: Bryan Habana (2), Akona Ndungane, Bakkies Botha. Conversions: Morne Steyn (3). Penalties: Morne Steyn (3)

Crusaders - Try: Greg Feek. Penaltiess: Daniel Carter (5)