Super Rugby Preview Archive

Let’s be honest, the scrums in rugby, especially international rugga are a bit of a lottery at the best of times. I am convinced the refs have very little idea of what is happening and my theory is that they will penalize one side in the first half (for no obvious reason) and then penalize the other side in the second half (for an even less obvious reason) in order to balance it out by the end of the game. Last year the IRB finally conceded the ‘pause’ part of the “crouch, touch, paaaause, engage”call was unnecessary. Er… duh. It is fairly obvious that an actual pause in the instruction should have been sufficient. Either way, they duly changed it to ‘crouch, touch , engage’ with a slight improvement in scrum resets, it must be said but wait for it, next year it is changing again… From next year the scrum call will be ‘crouch, bind, set’. What this will mean is that the props will need to bind using their outside arm until the ref says “set”. This is to counter teams either charging forward to get an early hit and ideally stop teams from holding back in order [&hellip

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Before we continue our perusal of this week’s Super Rugby action, let’s take a moment to congratulate John Smit on becoming CEO of the Sharks. Well done, sir. Now I am not entirely sure what John’s specific duties will be but let’s hope one of them will be to figure out why the Sharks seem incapable of playing well in back to back games, that and how to get the Sharks’ cheerleaders to be at every game, even ones where the Sharks aren’t playing. Get to it, John. Godspeed. Back to the three games left in round 10 and derbies all of them. Usually Aussie derby games are ho-hum affairs but this one between the two best Aussies sides, both in-form should be a classic. Let’s get involved in an uncomfortable, excuse me, you are in my personal space, kind of way. Super Rugby round 10, Saturday 20th April 2013 Reds vs Brumbies The Reds played their best game of the season last week when they beat the Chiefs in Cowbell country. Scrumhalf Will Genia brings out the best in Quade part-time boxer full-time burglar Cooper and the flyhalf, recently left out of Robbie Deans’ Wallaby camp had a blinder. [&hellip

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‘Edge of the seat’ situations all over the place last weekend, glorious scenes and a pleasure to watch. The Kings kick started off the “play ’til the final whistle” action with an after the siren try and conversion to steal a draw from the Brumbies and pick up a bonus point for 4 tries in the process. Quality play and evidence once again of the Kings’ refusal to ever give up. They may now even start to believe they can pick up a couple of wins before the season is over and rightly so. Moving on to the Sharks game and a second half fight back aided by accurate kicking by the Bok flyhalf incumbent Pat I use Clear for Men Lambie, meant Plumtree’s team picked up a valuable 4 points against the Crusaders and remained South Africa’s leading team. The Cheetahs then broke the Stormers hoodoo over them by beating them 3 minutes after the siren had gone with a touch-line penalty by Burton Francis. A fine win indeed, which sparked off mad celebrations in Bloemfontein which, rumour has it, included riding around in Harleys in their supporters shirts and more drinking than usual!  Man those okes know how [&hellip

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Another week and a further drop on the SuperBru rankings. What the FiretrUCK is going on? Sheesh kebabs on fire! A quick run down and we see the Cheetahs beating the Waratahs, the Brumbies destroying the Sharks at Kings Park and the Kings staying within 7 of the Chiefs well into the last quarter. Straaaange days indeed. Speaking of the Kings, it looks like they may be in a spot of hot water after fielding 3 foreign players on Fri night. ooooh. Cheeky Watson claims that they were told by SARU that Argentinian players are not considered ‘foreign’ and were encouraged to pick them. Of course believing anything Cheeky says is foolhardy to the max but if he is right, why is SARU investigating them for this apparent breach? The penalty of which could be up to 1 Million dollars R1-million or even a possible expulsion from Super Rugby. Tricksy to the max this one. Stay tuned for updates. My team of the week is the Crusaders. Slick rugby all round, powerful forwards, quality backs, Dan the man Carter on fire again and Israel Dagg solid once again back at full back, good luck beating these guys. Onto this week’s [&hellip

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Another week another dollar. You guys are still sending me dollars right? No, damn it! The only real surprise result from last week was the Blues hammering the Crusaders and keeping them tryless for the first time in over a season. Slow clap guys, team of the week for the second week in a row, very well done. The Blues sucked balls last year and then lost the majority of their ‘star’ players in the off-season. A new coach was brought in and all of a sardine, they are the form team so far this year. What this proves is that quality coaching can make a difference. The Blues are now playing intelligent, attacking rugby married with clever kicking and solid defence and the coach has managed this with mostly rookie players. It does help of course that these rookie players are all incredibly fast, strong and skilled kiwis and the assistant coach is Graeme Henry but still, Sir John Kirwan take a bow. Let’s hope for a better performance from all the SA sides this week, especially the Stormers who look further away from scoring tries this year than last year, which I didn’t think was actually possible, as [&hellip

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So technically Super Rugby 2013 started last week and I suppose I should have posted a preview for Round 1 but it only involved four Aussie teams. I tried to preview but come on…two Aussie derbies…Rebels vs Force…I am only human. GOSH. The ARU asked SANZAR if they could start a week early so that they have more time to prepare for the mid year British and Irish Lions tour and fair play to them. As much as I am not a fan of Aussie Rugby, having the English press bleat on for 4 years about a famous B&I series victory would be too much to bear. Back to Super Rugby though and it all kicks off good n’ proper this weekend with 7 games involving all 3 countries and some mouth-watering clashes on the cards to boot. Let’s dive in for the first second round of Super Rugby action. Super Rugby round 2, Friday 22nd Feb 2013 Highlanders vs Chiefs The Highlanders started off last season guns blazing, both barrels firing but ran out of bullets quality players in the second half and ended up not making the play-offs. Their playing style was lauded however and having kept the [&hellip

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Before we dive balls deep into part 2 of the Super Rugby Preview, lets take some time to reflect on two recent rugby related events. First up, massive maverick thumbs up to the Blitzbokke’s cup win in Las Vegas. Not only did the Springbok sevens side beat New Zealand, they did it in fine style winning 40-21. At one stage leading 35-0. Delicious. Secondly, it is with a heavy heart that all rugby fans the world over say so long, farewell and well-played bru, to Juan blood diamond Smith. After being out of the game for nearly two years the Free State and Bok legend has been forced to retire after tweaking the same Achilles that has kept him out of the game for so long, in a warm up game against the Bulls. Juan played 69 Tests for the Springboks and was part of the team that won the RWC in 2007,  Tri-Nations in 2009 and beat the British & Irish Lions in 2009. He was the work horse in the side, considered one of the best loose forwards to have played for the Bokke and one of the hardest guys to have ever played the game. At provincial [&hellip

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Permutations, permutations, permutations. Great word! Wonder what it means? Just joshing, I am fairly certain it has something to do with hairstyles gone crazy… Boom! Perm mutations? Sort of funny? No… sheesh, tough crowd. There is much that can happen in the final week of regular Super Rugby action with eight sides still in with a shout of making the play-offs but I reckon the final conference log positions will remain unchanged. On Saturday night after the last game there will be two Kiwi sides, three Saffa sides and one Aussie side in the six team play-offs with the Chiefs and Stormers finishing at the top followed by the Brumbies, Crusaders, Bulls and Sharks. A bold prediction perhaps but that is why they pay me the big bucks in food coupons and moderate praise. There are some interesting situations awaiting the top sides as far as who will face whom, who needs what and you guessed it… permutations, so let’s get in close, uncomfortably close as we look ahead to the first three games. Super Rugby round 18, Fri 13 July 2012 Hurricanes vs Chiefs The Hurricanes have had a surprisingly good season given the loss of key players at [&hellip

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