They didn’t score a try but the Crusaders snatched a rare Super Rugby away victory over the Chiefs

They didn’t score a try but the Crusaders snatched a rare Super Rugby away victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton last night on the back of Colin Slade’s boot.

In front of 17,097 at Waikato Stadium Slade kicked his sixth penalty goal in the 71st minute to seal an 18-17 victory.

That closed the Crusaders within three points of the New Zealand Conference-leading Chiefs on the points table.

With the final hooter having sounded the Chiefs had one last shot at trying to wrest back the lead, but they had to do it from inside their own 22.

Standout fullback Tom Marshall led the breakout and patienceruled as they worked their way up to halfway before a ruck penaltygave Anscombe a 51 metre shot at winning the game.

But the ball dropped just under the crossbar and the Crusaders celebrated their first victory in Hamilton since July 2012.

The first half had it all and while the Crusaders gained a slight edge in a mistake-ridden opening quarter, the Chiefs ground their way back into the match in the second 20 minutes as the rain started to fall to lead 17-9 at the break.

With both goal-kickers deadly from all angles and distances it was something of a penalty shootout for a while, Colin Slade banging overall three of his attempts to Gareth Anscombe’s one in the first 15 minutes.

Both teams took turns at stringing together multiple phase attacks only to turn the ball over and find themselves back down the other end, but when big Crusaders lock laid out Chiefs No8 Liam Squire with a shoulder charge, referee Garratt Williamson ordered up a replay on the big screen and issued a yellow card to Bird in the 28th minute.

That was the break the home side were seeking, Anscombe kicking his second penalty goal and within nine minutes his third and fourth to put the Chiefs ahead 12-9 before the Crusaders second rower was able to get back from the sin-bin.But with both defences cancelling each other out in something of a stalemate for much of the half the second break for the Chiefs came inthe final minute before halftime.

As Williamson played another penalty advantage, having warned the visitors for persistent infringing in their own red zone, 21-year-oldhooker Rhys Marshall ran right to a big blindside off a ruck and a slick pass put his namesake, fullback Tom Marshall, outside Crusaders No8 Jordan Taufua.

The fullback then gassed it straight between halfback Willi Heinz and

fullback Israel Dagg to score, Anscombe just missing the wide-angled conversion attempt to end the half.

The first 40 minutes were marred by three players leaving the fieldfor concussion tests – Squire, Crusaders skipper Kieran Read andChiefs halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

Squire and Kerr-Barlow returnedbut were replaced at halftime, while Read never returned.

The Chiefs came out breathing fire and brimstone after the break and put together 25 phases to hammer the Crusaders’ line, but again thedefence held and eventually forced an error.

Instead it was Slade who provided the half’s first points with hisfourth penalty goal in the 50th minute but a mad-headed moment by the Chiefs, rushing when they didn’t have to was not punished when Slade hit an upright with his fifth kick at goal and the home team broke out.

Fourteen minutes later in the 66th minute he struck the woodwork again, but the Chiefs’ indiscipline kept feeding him chances and two more Slade penalty goals put the Crusaders in front 18-17 with nine minutes left to play.

And then the last-minute drama played out with Anscombe’s forlornlong-range attempt at goal.

Crusaders 18 (Colin Slade 6 pens) Chiefs 17 (Tom Marshalltry; Gareth Anscombe 4 penalty goals). HT: 9-17.

stuff.co.nz

Nelson Mandela was staring death in the face. Fifty years ago on Sunday, standing in the dock aware that he could be hanged for treason

Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 during the Rivonia trial. Photograph: Reuters/Corbis

Nelson Mandela was staring death in the face. Fifty years ago on Sunday, standing in the dock aware that he could be hanged for treason, the leader of South Africans’ struggle against racial apartheid responded with one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people,” he told the supreme court in Pretoria. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Today the courtroom in which Mandela – who would be sentenced to life imprisonment at the end of the Rivonia trial – spoke these words is still hearing cases beneath the austere grandeur of a stained-glass ceiling, ornate sconce lamps, a carved dark wood dais for the judge and a jury box with red leather seats that have been empty since South Africascrapped juries in 1969.

Fourteen grey steps below the dock is a spartan concrete corridor leading to the holding cells where Mandela and his fellow accused were held. Chief among them is 5m x 7m room with walls coated in graffiti by generations of political prisoners. But after decades of neglect, the paint is cracking and peeling and in terminal decline, meaning this little-known historical treasure trove could soon be lost to the world.

The Freedom Charter at the Palace of Justice in Pretoria. Photograph: Nelson Mandela Foundation

Lawyer George Bizos, part of Mandela’s defence team from 1963 to 1964, is leading calls to save it. “It does worry me,” he said. “It’s part of the historical event and part of our culture and certainly a site that should be preserved.”

Bizos called for the cell to be recognised as a national heritage site, adding: “This is where we had consultations with Nelson Mandela,Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and others. There should be respect to protect these things. I hope the people who have control take notice of it.”

The cell has a bare concrete floor, one narrow barred window, a wide ventilation shaft against one wall, and the original heavy door with turn handle and peephole. The wall graffiti includes the yearned for freedom charter, a set of principles including “South Africa belongs to all who live in it”, as well as phrases such as “Mandela no easy walk to freedom”, “My dream is to be free, one love” and “Luthuli says the road to freedom is via the cross” a reference to former African National Congress (ANC) president Albert Luthuli.

There is also a description of an ANC “terrorist” trial in 1978 – “State closes the case. Defence starts its case” – and a list of prisoners who have come through the cell, including Tokyo Sexwale, later a government minister. There are drawings of unknown faces and a haunting image that depicts a stick man hanging from gallows; between 1961 and 1989, some 134 political prisoners were executed by the apartheid regime at Pretoria central prison.

The cell fell into disuse, and out of public consciousness, in the early 1990s. Since then, court facilities officer Chris Labuschagne estimates, only about 60 people have visited it, and the Guardian was the first this year. “It’s part of history but you can see what’s happening to the paint,” he said. “They’re supposed to put a Plexiglas screen over it. One day it will be gone and when it’s gone, it’s gone, and that will be sad.”

Labuschagne, who has photographed the walls for posterity, said he would like the cell to be turned into a museum but added: “I don’t think it’s going to happen, not the way this paint has been damaged. There’s not enough value given to history.”

The cell lies in the bowels of the 19th-century Palace of Justice, a monument to colonial opulence incorporating British floor tiles, Dutch stained glass and wood from east India. A statue of former president Paul Kruger stands in the adjacent square. Three courts are still operating, including court C, which hosted what remains the most significant political trial in South African history – one that puts the circus around Oscar Pistorius, a short walk over the road, into some kind of perspective.

The 50th anniversary of the late Mandela’s “speech from the dock” will be marked at the former Liliesleaf farm in northern Johannesburg on Sunday with a performance by musician Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse. Nicholas Wolpe, chief executive officer of the Liliesleaf Trust, said the holding cell must not be allowed to decay.

“The fact that we are allowing a revealing aspect of a key moment in our history to disintegrate and fade away goes to the core of our battle to keep our history alive and real,” he said. “It is indicative of our ambivalence and attitude towards our liberation struggle and our history in general.

“That is why commemorating events like the 50th anniversary of the raid on Liliesleaf and Nelson Mandela’s ‘I am prepared to die,’ statement from the dock is essential in our struggle to keep not only the memory of our history alive, but also our understanding.”

By David Smith

www.theguardian.com

Three changes to Crusaders team to Play Chiefs on Saturday

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has made three changes to his starting fifteen to play the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

In the forwards, Owen Franks and Nepo Laulala have switched places again so that Franks takes the number 3 jersey this week and Laulala takes a place on the bench.

Jordan Taufua will run out in the starting fifteen for the first time this season, having been promoted from the reserves to number 6. Luke Whitelock will provide cover from the bench.

Tom Taylor also moves into the starting fifteen, playing at centre this week.

The following players are unavailable for selection due to injury – Luke Romano (calf); Kieron Fonotia (hamstring); Richie McCaw (thumb); Joe Moody (ankle).

The Crusaders fly to Hamilton on Friday and kick off is at 7:35pm local time on Saturday.

Forwards
1. Wyatt Crockett
2. Corey Flynn
3. Owen Franks
4. Dominic Bird
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. Jordan Taufua
7. Matt Todd
8. Kieran Read (C)
Backs
9. Willi Heinz
10. Colin Slade
11. Nemani Nadolo
12. Ryan Crotty (VC)
13. Tom Taylor
14. Johnny McNicholl
15. Israel Dagg
Reserves
16. Ben Funnell
17. Tim Perry
18. Nepo Laulala
19. Jimmy Tupou
20. Luke Whitelock
21. Andy Ellis
22. Tyler Bleyendaal
23. Adam Whitelock

DHL Stormers change five for Lions at Newlands on Sat

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers is back in the DHL Stormers line-up in one five changes to the team for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Lions at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17h05).

De Villiers resumes the team captaincy from Duane Vermeulen and will line up at inside centre, with Damian de Allende shifting back to the right-wing – in place of the injured Kobus van Wyk – for the DHL Stormers’ second all-South African encounter of the season.

In other changes amongst the backs this week, Nic Groom and Demetri Catrakilis return to form a new-look halfback combination for the Stormers, with Peter Grant shifting to fullback and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder and fullback Jaco Taute dropping down to the bench.

The DHL Stormers pack remains unchanged from their previous clash – against the Waratahs in Cape Town two weeks ago – but there are a number of additions amongst the replacements.

Joining Schreuder and Taute on the bench this week are fit-again prop Pat Cilliers and lock Jurie van Vuuren – replacing the injured pair of Oli Kebble and Tazz Fuzani, respectively – whilst winger Devon Williams, the top try-scorer in the 2014 Vodacom Cup, comes into a Super Rugby matchday squad for the first time in his fledgling career.

The DHL Stormers team for Saturday (v the Lions) is as follows:

15. Peter Grant
14. Damian de Allende
13. Juan de Jongh
12. Jean de Villiers (captain)
11. Sailosi Tagicakibau
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain)
7. Siya Kolisi
6. Nizaam Carr
5. Michael Rhodes
4. Ruan Botha
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Deon Fourie
1. Steven Kitshoff

Replacements:
16. Stephan Coetzee
17. Pat Cilliers
18. Brok Harris
19. Jurie van Vuuren
20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Devon Williams (On Super Rugby debut for the DHL Stormers)
23. Jaco Taute

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)

If the Stormers don’t beat the Lions by 10 or more points on Sat -the coach should go

If the Stormers don’t beat the Lions by 10 or more points on Sat -the coach should go and follow Stefano’s resignation

Stefano Domenicali has resigned as the team principal of Ferrari with immediate effect.

The Italian team have struggled this season, failing to register a podium finish in the opening three races.
Domenicali, 48, who will be replaced by Marco Mattiacci, had been in charge since replacing Jean Todt in 2008.
“It’s time to make an important change. As boss, I take the responsibility – as I always have – for the situation we are going through.””There are particular moments in all of our professional lives where you need the courage to take difficult and very painful decisions,” said Domenicali.
No Ferrari driver has won the world title since Kimi Raikkonen’s success in 2007.
Domenicali, who had been with the Italian team for 23 years in various roles, added: “This decision has been taken with the aim of doing something to shake things up.”
www.bbc.co.uk

Sipho Mabuse performing at Liliesleaf Sunday 20th April and Anthems of Democracy

Liliesleaf to Mark & Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s “I am Prepared to Die” Statement from the Dock during the Rivonia Trial with a Concert at Liliesleaf on Sunday 20th April, 2014

Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse will perform on Sunday 20th April at Liliesleaf to mark and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s seminal statement delivered from the dock during the Rivonia Trial.
The Rivonia Trial provided the accused with the ideal platform to present their case to the world and Nelson Mandela used this opportunity to deliver a compelling argument and case as to why the Liberation Movement moved from passive resistance to armed struggle.

As we approach 20 years of democracy, it provides all South Africans with the opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved, how far we have come as a country, and what events like the Rivonia Trial meant to the struggle in the fight for democracy. Nelson Mandela’s statement and in particular his closing remarks in which he said “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”, goes to the very heart and essence of what the struggle embodied and characterized.

In expressing his reason for performing at Liliesleaf on the 20th April, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, remarked that “Liliesleaf remains a monument to the fight against injustice – may the spirit of the Rivonia Trialists be forever etched in the memory for future generations”.

For more Information on the event please contact Nicholas Wolpe on (011) 803 7882 or Martin Myers (083 ) 448 4475

Tickets can be bought thru Webtickets

Physical Address: 7 George Avenue, Rivonia, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa
www.liliesleaf.co.za

Crusaders Self -Belief is back

Even with Richie McCaw still on the casualty list, the Crusaders’ self-belief has received a terrific jolt ahead of Saturday night’s match against the Chiefs.

Saturdays 52-31 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, in which Colin Slade contributed 25 points and Nemani Nadolo three tries, wasn’t flawless but it has done something the sports shrinks and expensive training equipment cannot.

The Crusaders’ confidence levels have hit the high-tide mark; whereas a defeat at Free State Stadium would have been a major setback, they can now prepare for the Chiefs knowing they are still capable of delivering a heavyweight punch.

Even with flanker McCaw unexpectedly scratched from the Hamilton fixture, the Crusaders head to Waikato Stadium, the scene of last year’s frustrating Super Rugby semifinal loss, knowing they are good enough to be the only team to sweep through South African unbeaten this season.

And, given the closeness of this competition, any information that can bolster a side’s self-confidence counts for plenty.

After having a screw inserted in the thumb he damaged against the Blues on February 28, McCaw had targeted the Chiefs fixture as his comeback match. It won’t happen.

“It’s just taken a little bit longer [to heal]; he hasn’t reinjured it or done anything silly,” Blackadder said in reference to McCaw.

“It just hasn’t healed as fast as initially thought it would. It’s just all part of it. The good news is that he is going to be back in a couple of weeks.”

Blackadder has reason to revel in Matt Todd’s efforts at No 7 in the absence of McCaw.

Todd’s effort against the Cheetahs, in which he kept digging for turnovers, ran smooth support angles and nudged a grubber through for Israel Dagg’s try, was his best of the season. Although lock Sam Whitelock was named man of the match, Todd was the glue that kept things together.

“Matt Todd is playing so well it would be hard to deny him a starting spot on his form and also, too, Richie has played in other positions before in the past,” Blackadder noted. “We’ll just cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Whitelock’s aerial work on the opposition’s throws and rugged attitude indicates he is finally approaching top gear and his battle against fellow All Blacks second rower Brodie Retallick this weekend will be eagerly anticipated.

The Crusaders have also finally proved they are capable of scoring tries and counter-attacking off turnovers; the presence of the leviathan wing Nadolo gives opponents something to worry about.

Nadolo was too quiet in the opening 40 minutes but as the game loosened up and the Cheetahs kept making turnovers, the big Fijian international prospered.

When they left New Zealand a fortnight ago the Crusaders were a team under siege. Their 2-3 record was unconvincing and they hadn’t gone through South Africa unbeaten since 2008 when Robbie Deans was coach.

The win in Bloemfontein was the first since 2007.

“There were some crucial questions we asked of ourselves a couple of weeks ago and what we needed to do and was the belief factor there?” Blackadder said.

“The trip has been very timely for us … We have stripped back and prioritised what we needed to do to win these games and got rid of any clutter.
stuff.co.nz

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