Friday, March 31, 2006

TAHS news from Down under- and next door


Waratahs to scrum the Cheetahs
30/03/2006 21:53 - (SA)

Hendrik Cronje , Die Volksblad

Bloemfontein - The Waratahs front row, spearheaded by Al Baxter, will want to impress the new Wallaby coach, John Connolly in their Super 14 match against the Cheetahs on Friday.

The Cheetahs know the remarks made by the Wallaby tighthead earlier this week were not just idle talk. The Cheetahs are preparing for a fierce onslaught by Baxter and company when they play in the Aussie stadium in Sydney at 11:00 (SA time).

Baxter said earlier this week that the problems the Wallaby pack encountered last year were now something of the past. He said the Wallaby front row could even trounce the mighty All Blacks this year. Connolly will watch the match with interest and Baxter and his team-mates would like to show it was not just idle talk.

The Cheetahs scrum specialist, Naka Drotske, said: "We're expecting a huge onslaught by Al and company. Any team playing against us and seeing the names of Os (du Randt) and Ollie (le Roux) on the team list know that they will have to improve their scrumming by at least 50% against us."

Du Randt and Le Roux are playing extremely well this year. Baxter and company will also encounter the devastating scrumming power of Wian du Preez (replacement loosehead).

Props a potential trump-card

Apart from the lineouts, where the Cheetahs have impressed, their props are another potential trump-card. They do their work up front and coach Rassie Erasmus has honed their skills in the rucks and mauls.

It is with these driving mauls that Du Randt and his fellow frontrowers set up numerous attacks.

It seems as if the Waratahs have done their homework and the decision to choose Phil Waugh (flank) and Rocky Elsom (flank) as replacements does not augur well for the Cheetahs.

Waugh and Elsom could be used to counter Erasmus' tactic with his impact players.

Even though the Cheetahs backline have been very steady in the series their best chance to pull off a win is depended on the forwards and the educated boot of Willem de Waal (flyhalf).

The teams are:

Cheetahs: Bevin Fortuin, Giscard Pieters, Ronnie Cooke, Keith Lowen, Sinethemba Zweni, Willem de Waal, Michael Claassens, Frans Viljoen, Ockie van Zyl, Ryno van der Merwe (c), Barend Pieterse, Corniel van Zyl, Jannie du Plessis, Tiaan Liebenberg, Os du Randt.

Replacements: Ollie le Roux, Wian du Preez, Cobus Grobler, Gareth Krause, Kabamba Floors, Falie Oelschig, Eddie Fredericks.

Waratahs: Peter Hewat, Wendell Sailor, Morgan Turinui, Shaun Berne, Lote Tuqiri, Daniel Halangahu, Chris Whitaker (c), David Lyons, Stephen Hoiles, Wycliff Palu, Daniel Vickerman (v-c), Alex Kanaar, Al Baxter, Adam Freier, Benn Robinson.

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Matt Dunning, Will Caldwell, Rocky Elsom, Phil Waugh, Brett Sheehan, Sam Norton-Knight.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

Kick-off: 11:05

TV: 11:00 - MNet and SS1.

From the Australian

De Waal to sink boot into Waratahs
Bret Harris
March 31, 2006

THE Cheetahs will take a leaf out of the book of the only team to beat NSW this season when they meet the ladder leader in the Super 14 game at Sydney's Aussie Stadium tonight.

The Waratahs' only loss this campaign was to the Bulls in Pretoria in round three. And like the Bulls, the Cheetahs base their game around a big, powerful forward pack and the tactical kicking of their five-eighth.

Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus is regarded as the most astute in South Africa.

At altitude, the Cheetahs have played with width, moving the ball from one side of the field to the other to tire their opponents. But at sea-level in Sydney, the Cheetahs will play for field position and rely on their pack to overpower the Waratahs.

Erasmus has made six changes and one positional switch to the starting line-up that beat Queensland Reds 10-6 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

From ABC Sports

Waratahs not underestimating Cheetahs

New South Wales full-back Peter Hewat says his side's formidable record at home does not guarantee a victory against the Cheetahs in tonight's Super 14 match at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The Waratahs are undefeated so far this season at home, having beaten the Sharks (31-16), the Cats (50-3) and the Blues (43-9).

They sit on top of the Super 14 ladder with 28 points while the Cheetahs hold down sixth position on 18 points.

New South Wales has been given a boost prior to the Cheetahs clash with lock Dan Vickerman cleared to play after being in doubt with a groin injury.

Hewat said although the Sydney Football Stadium had been a graveyard for other teams this season, the well-rounded Cheetahs could not be underestimated.

"They are going to be a very tough team," he said.

"They have a very big pack and they've got an elusive backline, so it is going to be a tough game because they like to play a wide game.

"They'll definitely have a go and they are one of the best South African teams around at the moment."

Hewat said the Waratahs' defensive ability had come to the fore this season.

"It's something that we have worked on hard over the off-season and we feel that if we can stop teams from scoring points then we've got enough potency that we can score enough points," he said.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

That why they are good

From the Sydney Morning Herald

No bones about it, this one's a winner

By Louisa Hearn
March 30, 2006 - 5:06PM

Australia's swimming team may have a secret weapon for the next Olympic Games if the CSIRO succeeds in a new research project to give the sport a scientific makeover.

The research centre is working on a mathematically-based technology designed to experiment with the effectiveness of different swimming styles and strokes in the water.

Working in conjunction with Monash University and the Australian Institute of Sport, the CSIRO is redeploying technology designed for animating water for movies and modelling volcanoes and tsunamis.

The project involves building a virtual model of a swimmer using mathematical techniques that can then support independently run simulations of the virtual model swimming in a pool.

To demonstrate the technology, the CSIRO has built a virtual model of a swimmer based on videos taken of famous Russian swimmer Alexander Popov and it plans to adapt this technique to other swimmers.

In the demonstration, a skeleton is fitted onto the red points pictured to allow visualisation of the collection of points as a human body swims through the water, said CSIRO researcher Chris Glendenning.

To capture information from other swimmers the researchers will use a laser body scanner. By combining the skin surface and motion capture information, they believe they will be able to simulate the skin surface for all the different poses a swimmer adopts while in the water.

"By making slight changes to the swimming stroke and by re-running our simulations, we'll be able to find out whether the swimmer goes faster or not," said Mr Glendenning

He said they also hoped to compare swimming styles between different swimmers and even look at the effects of superimposing onto one swimmer techniques used by another.

Researchers would like to see the project reap practical results in time for the next Olympic Games, potentially boosting the performance of the Australian swimmers.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Live Match Covery via the Net

The official Waratah site is carrying the following article

Can't watch Fox Sports or hear the calls on 2UE or ABC? Well now you can use the to catch every minute of every HSBC Waratahs match - LIVE online.

Live Match Call brings you all the action for each HSBC Waratahs game in real time. Simply click on the graphic to the right and a new pop-up window will open with full play-by-play descriptions of action from each HSBC Waratahs match - as it happens in real time.

Every HSBC Waratahs match will be covered in 2006 along with the Australian Provincial Championship and other NSW Rugby matches throughout the year.

Here is the schedule for Super 14 2006 Live Match Calls as of February 6th, 2006. Come back soon to check out what other matches have been added to the list.


Hells Bells

At last I am able to log into my blog again.

Had to change ISP's though- wonder if there was any scullduggery involved from whatever side

Ag well mybe I am just paranoid

Anyway its great to have a say again on the worldwide web.

This weekend the Cheetahs plays the Waratah's at home- not an easy game at all- but to the brave Orangemen who have departed for a tuff tour of the Antipode-

Good Luck

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