Sport Super Rugby Aotearoa & AU: Predictions and teams 30 April – 1 May 2021
Being Alecs Donovan, the woman who walked away from her Wales career because she just couldn't give any more
It's important to remember a smile and frequent laughs intertwine as Alecs Donovan addresses the reasons behind one of the biggest decisions of her life. While the Wales centre, 30, announced her retirement from international rugby in March - on th e eve of the Six Nations - she does not regret her experiences or decision, and already looks back at it with cherished memories. Friends presumed Swansea-born Alecs, capped seven times in rugby union across three years, was pregnant; others assumed she has major plans after turning 30. Alecs believes it was just her time to go. It was nothing to do with rugby, her teammates or coaches.
Super Rugby reaches its sharp end for 2021 Down Under with the final round of the Aotearoa competition and the AU semi-final all taking place.
With the mighty Crusaders already having top spot sewn up in New Zealand, it’s left to the Blues and Chiefs to battle it out below them on Saturday after the Hurricanes put down their wooden spoon to host the Highlanders on Friday.
Over in Australia, the Western Force set out to pull off another upset when they travel to take on the Brumbies in the knockout game, having stunned the table-topping Queensland Reds last weekend.
Super Rugby Aotearoa & AU 2021: Predictions for 30 April – 1 May
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Score margins use the methodology developed by Rugby Vision or StatsChat.
Super Rugby Aotearoa & AU: Predictions and teams 16-18 April 2021
Don't miss this weekend's action in Super Rugby Aotearoa and AU. Four more matches in New Zealand and Australia.Table-toppers the Crusaders are on the road to face the Chiefs on Saturday, ahead of the Western Force’s home match with the New South Wales Waratahs.
Super Rugby Aotearoa: Hurricanes vs Highlanders
The Hurricanes and Highlanders complete their Super Rugby Aotearoa seasons at the Sky Stadium on Friday. Both are looking to chalk up a final round victory to round off difficult campaigns in the rebooted New Zealand competition.
The visitors, who could still pip the Blues for third place in the standings, bring Ethan de Groot into the front row for a final hurrah. Julian Savea and Billy Proctor both come in for the home side in Wellington, with the ‘Canes guaranteed to finish bottom of the log.
Hurricanes Starting XV: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Ruben Love, 9 Luke Campbell, 8 Devan Flanders, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Xavier Numia.
Women's Rugby: What to look out for in the final round of the Women's Six Nations
The final round of the Women's Six Nations takes place this weekendThe day starts with the latter, as Italy travel to Donnybrook to take on Ireland (12pm KO) to determine who takes the third-placed position. The big one, however, is the England v France final. The 2021 Women’s Six Nations title decider kicks off at 2pm.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Braydon Iose, 21 Cam Roigard, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Pepesano Patafilo.
Highlanders Starting XV: 15 Josh Ioane, 14 Sam Gilbert, 13 Patelesio Tomkinson, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Ethan De Groot.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ayden Johnstone., 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20 Hugh Renton, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Michael Collins, 23 James Lentjes.
Super Rugby Aotearoa: Blues vs Chiefs
The Blues and Chiefs collide at Eden Park on Saturday in the final round of Super Rugby Aotearoa action.
It’s a battle for second place in the standings, with the Crusaders away and clear at the top of the table as they take a final round bye.
The Oscars bring back red carpet glam in whites and gold
NEW YORK (AP) — Red carpet glam was back Sunday at the Oscars with Andra Day and Carey Mulligan shimmering in award-worthy gold and Maria Bakalova among several stars in bright white princess gowns during the pandemic era's first big parade of fashion. Day dressed all the way up in a sexy look cut to the thigh on one side with a cutout at the waist. It was custom Vera Wang made of actual metal. Mulligan stunned in gold Valentino couture, a midriff look with a tiny metallic top and a huge ball skirt. © Provided by Associated Press Viola Davis arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles.
Blues Starting XV: TBA
Chiefs Starting XV: TBA
Super Rugby AU: Brumbies vs Western Force
Super Rugby AU reaches semi-final time on Saturday, as the Brumbies host the Western Force at the GIO Stadium.
It’s a battle between the hosts, who pushed the Queensland Reds all the way at the top of the standings, and the foreign legion-inspired men from Perth who have defied expectations on their return to the Australian competition.
A host of Wallabies return for the home side for the knockout clash, with James Slipper, Nic White, Pete Samu and Irae Simone all included.
The Force bring in Santiago Medrano up front and Jake Strachan at full-back as they bid to repeat the heroics that saw them inflict a first defeat on the Reds last week.
Brumbies Starting XV: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Rory Scott, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Reesjan Pasitoa, 23 Mack Hansen.
Western Force Starting XV: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Kyle Godwin (captain), 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Tim Anstee, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Henry Taefu, 23 Jack McGregor.
Rugby-Chiefs eye Christchurch upset in Super Rugby Aotearoa final .
Rugby-Chiefs eye Christchurch upset in Super Rugby Aotearoa final(Reuters) - No team has ever beaten the Canterbury Crusaders at home in 24 post-season matches, let alone a final, but that is the task facing the Waikato Chiefs if they are to take the Super Rugby Aotearoa title away from Christchurch on Saturday.