Super Rugby 2018

Solitude

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Haha that last pass by the Blues must be one of the most horrible passes of all time.
 

Fulcrum29

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http://www.superxv.com/2019-super-rugby-match-schedule-revealed/

2019 Super rugby match schedule revealed

Super rugby’s organising body Sanzaar have confirmed the dates for the 2019 Super rugby season which will start on Friday 15 February.

The first match of the 2019 Super rugby season will be when the Chiefs host the Highlanders in New Zealand at a venue to be confirmed.

The match schedule has been released but all of the venues still have to be confirmed. The Final will take place on Saturday 6 July.

As there will be no June inbound international matches in 2019 – due to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan later in the year – Super Rugby will run uninterrupted for 21 weeks.

Plus, there will be a uniform start to the tournament in Round 1 with a full round of seven matches to kick-off Super Rugby.

The tournament’s 15-team, three-Conference format remains the same.

Each team plays 16 regular season conference matches that include eight matches within their own Conference (home and away) and four matches against teams from each of the other Conferences (home or away). Each team also has two byes.

This is a total of 120 matches in the regular season that will be followed by a seven-match, eight-team finals series.

Australia Conference:

Brumbies, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs, Sunwolves

New Zealand Conference:

Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes

South African Conference:

Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Jaguares

The Finals series will also remain unchanged with each of the three Conference winners qualifying for and hosting a quarter-final.

The team with the most tournament points that is not a Conference winner, regardless of Conference, will host the fourth quarter-final.

This Wildcard team will be joined in the quarter-finals by the next best four Wildcard teams based on tournament points and regardless of Conference.

The released schedule confirms all tournament match dates and kick-off times.

However, the match venues will be announced later in the year once teams have determined where their home matches will be allocated.


SCHEDULE IN LINK
 

Fulcrum29

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OT:

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...ague-pair-upset-super-rugby-duo-in-tokyo.html

Rugby: Japan Top League pair upset Super Rugby duo in Tokyo

The Top League claimed an impressive double scalp over Super Rugby on Sunday as NEC Green Rockets and Suntory Sungoliath beat the Waratahs and Brumbies, respectively, at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground.

Two tries from Rio Olympian Teruya Goto and a key defensive play from Ryuta Iiyama helped NEC to their 29-26 win, while Hendrik Tui bagged a brace in the Top League champions' 28-26 victory.

Dubbed the Chichibunomiya Friendship Match, the two games are part of the Minato Rugby Festival that promotes international exchange between Japan and Australia. And despite the nickname both were physical encounters.

Waratahs going down 29-26 against the NEC Green Rockets... ouch.
 

Agent_Smith

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A bit OT, but it heralds the return of some heavy Super Rugby hitters

Super Rugby in SRC clothing at Bill Jardine Stadium

Anyone loitering with intent around the Bill Jardine Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday had better do themselves a favour and pop their head in at about 3pm for the second SuperSport Rugby Challenge game of that festival.

At that time, the trans-Jukskei derby between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and the Xerox Golden Lions will play out its umpteenth instalment in the unfamiliar surroundings of Bosmont in a game that is critical for more than just one reason.

On the one hand both sides are in a dogfight for the automatic second qualifying spot for the Rugby Challenge play-offs (the Bulls are on 26 points and the Lions 23), what with the iCollege Pumas – who play the Hino Valke in the 1pm game – having already secured the top spot courtesy of winning all of their games going into the final fixtures of the round-robin stages.

On the other hand the two sides come packed with Super Rugby talent – the Bulls boasting 20 players in their squad of 22 with experience in that competition and the Lions 17 – as the franchises prepare for their return to the southern hemisphere’s premier domestic tournament.

Long story short, if you’re at a loose end in that area on Sunday turn up to basically watch a Super Rugby fixture for free (Rugby Challenge festival tickets are free of charge).

A sign of what is in store was Blue Bulls coach David Manuel’s response at hearing about the kind of heat the Lions were packing in their side: “Flippin’ hell, I’ve just seen their team and they’re bringing in the big guns – it’s going to be an interesting challenge.”

Just to give a glimpse of the players on show, the Bulls will have Pierre Schoeman, Jaco Visagie, Jannes Kirsten, Jason Jenkins, Marco van Staden, Thembelani Bholi, Hanro Liebenberg, Andre Warner, Manie Libbok, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo, Johnny Kotze and Divan Rossouw in their starting line-up.

The highlights in the Lions’ team are the long awaited returns from injury of Malcolm Marx and skipper Warren Whiteley, with Cyle Brink, Ross Cronje, Courtnall Skosan, Lionel Mapoe, Madosh Tambwe and Ruan Combrinck also in the starting XV.

While he may have more experience and talent at his disposal, Manuel still has his concerns: “I think the important thing for us is to connect the guys who have not played SuperSport Rugby Challenge to the SuperSport Rugby Challenge vision. They must understand how much this means to the guys who are not playing as a result of their presence in the team.

“While this might be a warm-up game for them, it’s a must-win game for Rugby Challenge guys like Boom Prinsloo, Abongile Nonkontwana and a lot of other guys who have worked hard to get the team to this point in the competition.”

Manuel said he was also worried about combinations between the Super Rugby superstars and his Rugby Challenge players but was encouraged by the fact that the Lions would have similar issues. He did say both sides wouldn’t be lacking for motivation, though.

“The fact that the Super Rugby guys will be playing the Lions at Ellis Park in that competition should be motivation for them.”

The other game in that festival will be the Pumas up against the Valke in a game that should be a foregone conclusion for the former regardless of the latter’s newfound grit.

Elsewhere, a Super Rugby player bolstered Cell C Sharks XV (24 points) will be up against the Toyota Free State XV (29 points) in a direct game to finish second in the Central Pool to the Tafel Lager Griquas, who are up against the tricky Down Touch Griffons.

And finally, the much-improved SWD Eagles (24 points) have it all to do against the unbeaten DHL Western Province if they are to keep the similarly upgraded Boland Cavaliers (21 points – they play the EP Elephants) in third place and probably out of the quarterfinals.
 

DanDango

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Solid performances by Whiteley, Marx in SS Rugby Challenge
https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/solid-performances-by-whiteley-marx-in-ss-rugby-challenge-20180624

The men from Pretoria finished third in the North Section after being defeated 47-29 by the Golden Lions XV, also at Longdale, where the fifth and final Rugby Festival was played in front of a highly appreciative crowd.

The Central Gautengers though, boosted by solid performances from Springboks Malcolm Marx, Ruan Combrinck and Warren Whiteley, easily won their match against their neighbours from across the Jukskei River.
 

DanDango

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The Bulls are set to make some big-name acquisitions in the coming weeks with Springbok eighthman Duane Vermeulen their prime target.
The 31-year-old Vermeulen is without a club after his three year stint at French Top 14 giants Toulon came to an end recently, with speculation rife that he would return to his previous employers in the Stormers and Western Province.

But with the Cape Town franchise and union engulfed with financial difficulties and legal battles, it is increasingly looking improbable that they would be able to afford the hefty price-tag that comes with a player of Vermeulen’s stature.

However, rumours from Vermeulen’s camp are that the abrasive Springbok loose forward is interested in plying his trade in the capital where there is a realistic chance of winning Super Rugby in the not-too-distant future, and also the chance to play under former All Blacks coach John Mitchell.

Mitchell took charge of the Bulls Super Rugby side this season and even though the results have not entirely gone their way, public sentiment and that of rugby pundits is that there has been a marked improvement in the Bulls playing style and that they will certainly be title contenders in the next season or two.

Vermeulen would be the perfect fit for the Bulls, who are still without a recognised number eight in their Super Rugby squad, while his vast experience and leadership skills will also prove valuable to the three time Super Rugby champions.

If the Bulls are able to secure Vermeulen’s signature, it will be a major coup for the Loftus Versfeld-based franchise with Vermeulen yet again proving his worth in the Springbok's series win against England which included an outstanding man-of-the-match performance in the second Test in Bloemfontein.

Besides Vermeulen, the Bulls also have their sights set on Springbok props Ox Nche and Frans Malherbe, while there could also be a bid for Durban-based Springbok flank Jean-Luc du Preez.

Lions and former Junior Springbok loose forward Cyle Brink is likely to cross the Jukskei River and is expected to also sign for the Bulls and join the Pretoria kraal at the end of the year.

The 24-year-old Brink is highly regarded with his ability to play in any position in the loose trio and having made his Super Rugby debut two years ago, the former KES pupil will certainly beef up the injury-depleted loose-forward stocks at the Bulls.

The Blue Bulls Company currently have their hands tied behind their backs and cannot confirm or deny the likely acquisition of the players as regulation only allows them to speak to prospective players at the beginning of July.

But BBC High Performance manager Xander Janse Van Rensburg confirmed they will be going to market to beef up their player resources and didn’t count out their interest in players like Vermeulen, Malherbe, Nche and Brink if they are available and fall within their budget.

“Obviously we would like players of that quality. At the moment we can’t really do anything and have to wait for next month. We are looking at a few prospects and in due time we will make announcements,” said Janse Van Rensburg.

https://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/could-duane-vermeulen-be-off-to-the-bulls-15658178
 

Agent_Smith

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Yoh, that would be a huge signing for them.

The Blue Bulls Company currently have their hands tied behind their backs and cannot confirm or deny the likely acquisition of the players as regulation only allows them to speak to prospective players at the beginning of July.

Is this in SA or globally? Vermeulen's agent is going to be earning his comm in the next week or two, that's for sure. Think there are going to be people breaking down his door to sign Thor.
 

DanDango

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Yoh, that would be a huge signing for them.



Is this in SA or globally? Vermeulen's agent is going to be earning his comm in the next week or two, that's for sure. Think there are going to be people breaking down his door to sign Thor.

World rugby copy the Bosman rule :
The Bosman ruling meant that players could move to a new club at the end of their contract without their old club receiving a fee. Players can now agree a pre-contract with another club for a free transfer if the players' contract with their existing club has six months or less remaining.

It's the same for all rugby union teams.
 

Sl8er

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Hell no!
Duane needs to come back to where he belongs. Province, of course!
 

Fulcrum29

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The Blue Bulls should have it easy against the Sunwolves. It looks like Jamie Joseph is resting most international players. Only 13 Brave Blossoms are returning to the Sunwolves and only some will be available. They only brought in 1 new player, Rikiya Matsuda, with no Super Rugby experience to add continuity to the backline. Their remaining 3 games will be 2nd string.
 

DWPTA

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Well it's not the best kept secret. Anyways, best move he can make.
 
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