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Super Rugby 2014 form guide: pre-season results
ESPN Staff
February 17, 2014
Quade Cooper is stretchered off after getting tackled from behind at Ballymore © Getty Images
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Super Rugby 2014: Team-by-team

© SANZAR (Image Supplied)

January 17
Cheetahs 66-19 Shimlas, Free State University, Bloemfontein
Cheetahs 19-21 Griquas, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
The Cheetahs thrashed the Shimlas while their second-choice side lost to the Griquas. Scrum-half Kevin Luiters and replacement Cornal Hendricks both scored two tries for the Cheetahs against the Shimlas, with flanker Johannes Prinsloo, lock Francois Uys, fly-half Elgar Watts, former Bulls centre Francois Venter, replacement Shane Gates, and winger Raymond Rhule also crossing the line. Watts kicked eight conversions. The Cheetahs' second string led the Griquas 12-7 at half-time before letting things slip in the second stanza.

January 22
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Madibaz 26-31 Cheetahs, Port Elizabeth
The Cheetahs' second-string side were made to work hard for their win over the Varsity Cup side, who pushed for a win right up to the final whistle. Boom Prinsloo, Cornal Hendricks, Caylib Oosthuizen, Rayno Benjamin, Raymond Rhule scored tried for the Cheetahs, while Riaan Smit added three conversions.

January 24
Lions 52-14 North Western University-Pukke, Barnard Stadium, Johannesburg
The Lions gave coach Johan Ackermann plenty to think about as he looks to trim his squad ahead of the Super Rugby season starting on February 15. The Lions played two different teams either side of the break, which did not help in creating any kind of consistency, and they were less than impressive without a dozen of their stalwarts. The Lions score eight tries to two, four without answer in the first half, with fly-half Willie du Plessis and centre Stefan Watermeyer the standout players. The Lions also played the Leopards, with their "selection" winning 31-24.

January 25
Saracens 23-15 Sharks, Allianz Park, London

January 26
Southern Kings 26-31 Cheetahs
, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
The Cheetahs produced a solid second half to subdue the Kings, controlling much of the possession to claim a hard-fought battle after after trailing 21-12 at the break. The first half was well contested, with the Kings producing enterprising play among their backs to score three fine tries through fullback Siviwe Soyizwapi (two) and centre Ronnie Cooke, while the Cheetahs hit back from a penalty five metres from the Kings line when Adriaan Strauss bashed his way through. But the visitors had the measure of the Kings in the driving maul, and they scored tries through Jean Cook (two) and Boom Prinsloo after such plays from lineouts. Raymond Rhule crossed to put the Cheetahs ahead 14 minutes from full-time, and Prinsloo crossed for his second try two minutes before the final whistle to secure a solid win for the visitors.

January 31
Highlanders 15-11 Brumbies, Queenstown Recreation Ground, Queenstown

February 1
New South Wales Waratahs 28-33 Melbourne Rebels, Albury Sports Ground, Albury
Hurricanes 38-35 Blues, Memorial Park, Masterton
Bulls 19-26 Stormers, Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
Southern Kings 12-19 Lions, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Lions flankers Jaco Kriel and Derick Minnie crossed for tries in the first 15 minutes to set up a hard-earned 19-12 victory against the Southern Kings in their Super Rugby warm-up match in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. The match was filled with too many errors to satisfy either side and the Kings were left to lament a number of missed chances, with the Lions forwards doing excellent work in disrupting the home side's lineouts. The Lions showed great resolve after Minnie was given a yellow card in the 53rd minute, not only holding the Kings at bay but also scoring a third try through substitute Robbie Coetzee. This gave the Lions a seven-point cushion and they were good enough to hold on for the win, dominating possession and territory in the latter stages of the match.

Pumas 6-31 Cheetahs, Old Grey Sports Club, Bloemfontein
The Cheetahs produced a strong defensive effort in restricting their opponents to two penalty goals, while their attack was much sharper than it had been against Southern Kings. Loose forward Boom Prinsloo scored two tries, while flanker Jean Cook crossed and the pack secured a penalty try after Springboks prop Trevor Nyakane had replaced Caylib Oosthuizen. Shaun Venter and Sarel Pretorius each also gave coach Naka Drotske pause for thought for the No.9 ahead of the season, with incumbent scrum-half Pretorius combining well with Springboks fly-half Johan Goosen in the second half.

February 2
Crusaders 67-5 Knights, AMI Stadium, Christchurch
The Super Rugby powerhouse, missing many of their All Blacks, including Richie McCaw, beat their development team in a game consisting of three 20-minute periods, pleasing coach Todd Blackadder with their intensity and execution as he rotated many of his squad. Luke Romano played 40 minutes, and the All Blacks second-row and tight-head prop Owen Franks both impressed Blackadder.

February 7
New South Wales Waratahs 33-12 v Blues, Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Crusaders 28-15 Highlanders, Motueka Sportspark, Motueka
Lions 14-57 Sharks, Ellis Park, Johannesburg
A full-strength Sharks side annihilated an under-strength Lions outfit in their final trial match. The Sharks claimed a 31-0 lead going into half-time, crossing the try line with ease having found the line within the first 90 seconds when Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane scored after an initial break by fly-half Pat Lambie. Jake White made wholesale changes for the second half as he sent his entire bench onto the track, while the Lions made some minor changes. The Lions finally got onto the scoreboard when Stephan Vermeulen added the first try to their score-sheet, and again two minutes before time when fullback Coenie van Wyk added a five-pointer,which he converted to take the score to 50-14. But the Sharks made sure to have the final say when Sithole crossed in the last minute.

Southern Kings 7-40 Stormers, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
The Stormers ran in six tries to round out their Super Rugby preparations, leading 26-7 at half-time and never allowing the Southern Kings into the match as they ran in a further two tries in the second period. The Stormers made all the early running, but sterling work in the lineouts from Kings lock Rynier Bernardo prevented the visitors from making more of their early dominance. The first points came after 18 minutes when Stormers scrum-half Nic Groom crossed the line. The Stormers continued their dominance throughout the first half, but the Kings were able to hit back just before the break with their only try of the match. The Stormers were able to find an extra gear in the second half to continue their try-scoring dominance, scoring their sixth with 15 minutes remaining.

Western Force 69 v Samoa A 3, Lark Hill Sportsplex, Rockingham, Perth

February 8
Melbourne Rebels 24-22 Hurricanes, Simonds Stadium, Geelong
Queensland Reds 31-20 Chiefs, Toowoomba Sports Ground, Toowoomba
Brumbies 67-0 ACT XV, Canberra

February 14
Chiefs 43-19 Blues, Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Hurricanes 15-41 Crusaders, Levin Stadium. Levin
New South Wales Waratahs 19-16 Highlanders, Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Queensland Reds 13-18 Melbourne Rebels, Ballymore, Brisbane
Western Force 29-6 Pampas XV, Arena Joondalup, Joondaup

February 15
Boland 29-24 Stormers, Boland Stadium, Wellington, South Africa

Boland stunned the Stormers, whose reserves failed to impress while first-choice players were rested ahead of their opening fixture of the season proper against the Lions in Johannesburg. The hosts led 24-7 at half-time through converted tries from winger Cheswin Williams, who completed a breakaway; fly-half Ricardo Croy, who capitalised on enterprising backline play; and centre Albert Trytsman, who scored out wide. Stormers flanker Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored next to the posts in response. The Stormers scored second-half tries by reverting to basics, through flanker Rohan Kitshoff from a driving maul and from substitute centre Jarryd Sage either side of a Boland touchdown by Franzel September, who rounded poor defence. Stormers wing Devon Williams scored the visitors fourth try through a powerful run nine minutes from full-time to complete the scoring.

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