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South African Sides Facing Injury Headache

Two South African teams have been left with a host of injuries following this weekend’s round of fixtures

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(Photo by Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Stormers and Bulls have been left with injury worries following their match last weekend.

The Stormers came out on top 24-23 in a pulsating clash at Newlands however, they could pay the price when they head to Argentina to face the Jaguares this Saturday.

Versatile forward, Pieter-Steph du Toit went off in the second half of the game with a shoulder injury. It had been feared that he could be missing for an extended period of time but according to Afrikaans publication Netwerk24, he should be back for their next home game against the Crusaders on May 18th.

In other bad news loose forward Ernst van Rhyn’s elbow injury looks set to leave him side-lined for up to six weeks.

The good news for the Cape Town based side is that they welcome back loose forwards Jaco Coetzee and Sikhumbuzo Notshe from injuries. While they have also given flanker Siya Kolisi and prop Frans Malherbe a rest from the Argentinian trip.

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck is positive that the players available for this weekend’s clash will be able to get a result and give their all.

“We want to keep building on our recent performances and this is a great opportunity to do so away from home. We have a bye after this game before we are back at home, so we will be going flat-out this weekend in Buenos Aires,” he said in a press statement.

On the other side of things Bulls and South African centre, Jesse Kriel, requires surgery on an ankle ligament injury he sustained during his team’s loss. This could leave him out for about two months.

“He has torn a ligament in his ankle and will undergo surgery later this week. He will be on the sideline for a period of six to eight weeks,” Bulls team doctor Herman Rossouw said when discussing the injury.

To make matters worse wingers Divan Rossouw and Jade Stighling have been ruled out of this weekend’s clash against the Waratahs. Although, there is a sliver-lining as centre Burger Odendaal will be available for selection after recovering from an eye injury as the Bulls look to knock the Sharks off top-spot in the South African conference.

Check out the highlights of the Stormers dramatic 24-23 win over the Bulls below

Rugby

Leinster Make it 11 PRO14 Wins in a Row

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(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster have made it 11 wins on the bounce in the PRO14 this season with a comfortable 36-12 victory over the Cheetahs in the RDS this afternoon.

Two tries from Will Connors and further five-pointers from Michael Bent, Ronan Kelleher and Rhys Ruddock saw Leinster wrap up yet another bonus-point win to extend their lead at the top of Conference A.

The game was hindered by the horrendous conditions with the rain pelting down in the RDS and caused a scrappy opening, with Leinster dominating but unable to take advantage on the scoreboard. 

However, the home side eventually got the breakthrough just after the 20 minute mark as Connors powered over from close range as the Cheetahs gave away several penalty advantages. Ciaran Frawley knocked over the conversion to make it 7-0. 

Leinster continued to play the better of the two and with the Cheetahs under pressure and conceding several penalties the away side went down to 14-men as Charles Marias was sent to the bin for a no-arms tackle. 

Frawley slotted over the resulting penalty to stretch the host’s lead. 

With four minutes left in the half Leinster took the most of their man advantage and got their second try of the game as Bent barrelled over the line after a few phases within the opposition 22. Frawley was perfect with the kick again to make it 17-0. 

They weren’t done there as they punished the Cheetahs indiscipline by barging over from a line-out maul through Kelleher with the clock in red. Frawley couldn’t convert this time around but it left them 22-0 up come the half-time whistle. 

It took the conference toppers only four minutes of the second-half to secure the bonus-point with another close-range score from Ruddock after a brilliant break through the Cheetahs defence by Luke McGrath. Frawley pushed them further ahead with from the kicking tee to make it 29-0. 

With just under half an hour remaining Leinster were over for try number five as Connors got in for his second of the match from another line-out maul which he tore away from to dart across the line. Frawley notched over another two-points with the kick. 

Over the next ten minutes the Cheetahs camped in the Leinster 22 and won several penalties leading to Leinster’s Sean Cronin being sent to the sin-bin. 

The away side failed time and time again to make their territory count, but eventually they scored their try through Luan de Bruin, who dotted down on the line. Ruan Pienaar kicked the extras to get them onto the scoreboard. 

Leinster started to dominate once again and as Cronin returned to play the Cheetahs lost a man of their own as Benhard Janse van Rensburg was shown a yellow-card for a reckless challenge. 

The Cheetahs managed to get their second try of the game in the final minute, but the conversion was missed leaving the final score at 36-12.

The win makes it 17-wins in a row for the Irish province so far this season across all competitions and extends their lead at the top of Conference A, while the Cheetahs remain in third. Next up for Leinster is a visit to the Ospreys next Friday as they will look to maintain their 100% record, with the Cheetahs heading to Ulster the following day. 

Player Ratings

Starting XV: 

Rob Kearney (6), Fergus McFadden (6), Jimmy O’Brien (6), Joe Tomane (7), Dave Kearney (5), Ciaran Frawley (8), Luke McGrath (7); Peter Dooley (7), Ronan Kelleher (8), Michael Bent (8), Ross Molony (7), Scott Fardy (7), Rhys Ruddock (7), Will Connors (9), Max Deegan (8)

Replacements (7)

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Rugby

Rugby Australia Looking Into New Competition

Rugby Australia have confirmed that they are looking into the possibility of developing a new competition

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(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia have announced that they are looking at creating a new national club competition.

However, nothing will be set in stone until after the organisation have agreed terms on a new broadcasting rights deal. 

“Rugby Australia wishes to confirm that it has investigated the establishment of a national club competition ahead of its media rights negotiation. However the final competition format will not be determined until further consultation with the successful broadcaster, the state and territory member unions, and the clubs,” Rugby Australia said in a statement earlier today. 

Rugby Australia are set to take their broadcasting rights to the market next month in what is a historic move that could pave a new way forward for the game. 

It was reported previously that long-term broadcaster Fox Sport had left Rugby Australia following an inability to agree on a deal running from 2021-2025. 

However, CEO Raelene Castle stated yesterday that the media broadcaster hasn’t yet walked away and believes that they will be in the frame come next month. 

The introduction of a new format to the national league would add to the overall pull of a package for the broadcaster that wants to agree a deal as they will also have coverage of the Rugby Championship and Super Rugby competitions. 

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International

Rugby Australia Want Rugby League Youngster

Rugby Australia are looking into the possibility of tempting one of Rugby League’s hottest prospects to come to Rugby Union

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia are attempting to persuade Rugby League youngster Joseph Suaalii to switch codes following talks with incoming Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie.

The 16-year-old currently plays Rugby League for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and is contracted to the side until 2021, but following a series of impressive displays Rugby Australia are set to enter a bidding war for his services. 

Rennie was in Australia to fulfill media duties last week for the first time since being announced as head coach. 

The current Glasgow Warriors head coach visited all four Super Rugby franchises during his trip, but it is understood that he also held talks with Suaalii following recommendation from Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson. 

It is believed that he is the only player that is not a Wallaby already or Super Rugby player that Rennie visited for talks. 

The NRL club are thought to be trying to upgrade and extend the youngsters contract already in order to fend off any approaches from Rugby Australia. 

However, it is understood that Rennie and Rugby Australia are using the possibility of a spot in the Wallabies’ 2023 Rugby World Cup squad as a bonus to Suaalii if he were to sign with them according to reports. 

The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be all too aware that last year Rugby Australia managed to pry away another Rugby League prospect in Suliasi Vunivalu who has agreed to sign the Reds come next season, showing the temptation to switch codes.

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