I was a WP fan all my life and enjoyed the type of rugby the Capetonions generally dished-up. In my heart of hearts I was happy for Province with their latest success run in the S15 (and CC last year).
However, I must admit that I felt a certain amount of satisfaction seeing them lose to the Sharks. This perverse sense of enjoyment in their defeat had nothing to do with the players or the coach but much to do with the over the top reaction/behaviour of some Stormers supporters.
Fact is the Stormers still have no trophies to show but are lauded as the ‘flagship’ by some. I would think that a title like that would require at least some real evidence of being champions not only with regard to trophies but also in the manner in which you play.
Flagship signifies being an example; being a showcase of best practice. Too be honest apart from having an excellent defensive system the Stormers was not by any stretch of my imagination a team that I would like to hold up as a showcase/example of SA rugby. Continue reading
Former All Blacks winger John Kirwan has been appointed as coach of the New Zealand Super Rugby franchise the Blues for 2013.
Pat Lam has been sacked after presiding over a horror season when the Auckland-based team managed just four wins from 16 games.
The Blues’ best finish under Lam’s guidance was fourth place last year. They finished seventh in 2010, and ninth the previous year.
Kirwan enjoyed an illustrious career on the wing for the All Blacks before moving to coaching which has seen him in charge of Italy and Japan in RWC campaigns. Continue reading
Two recent articles by Rob Houwing left me quite irked to say the least. In the first one he bragg about the strength of South African rugby with three sides reaching the play-offs of this year’s S15. He writes: “Whatever happens in the remaining three weekends of knockout fare in Super Rugby, South African rugby has affirmed its well-being by effectively having dominated the lion’s share of the 2012 competition.
…. this season is the first to be fairly obviously bossed by one nation … and that honour falls this country’s way as all of the overall log-winning Stormers plus Bulls and Sharks have made it through the six-team funnel.
…. at the end of it all South Africans were broadly entitled to a degree of smug satisfaction.”
In the second article he writes that history seems to indicate that the team that end on top of the log normally wins the competition. Sort of suggesting that the Stormers now fall in that category. Continue reading
In line with my thinking over the last couple of weeks Gregor Paul in today’s NZ Herald predicts that the Chiefs will be the S15 champions this year.
It’s bold prediction time – the Chiefs are going to be crowned Super Rugby champions. They might not win on Friday, but they are going to squeeze in as what the Australians would call the minor premiership winners and with home advantage in the knock-out rounds, they will, finally, win the title.
It actually might not even be that bold a prediction. The Chiefs have looked like potential champions for some time – from round two in fact. It’s just that their dubious history and wrongly held perceptions about their tight five prevented everyone from seeing it. Continue reading
The S15 is at this stage a bit of a dead rubber, for me at least. It is hard for me to get excited about the remaining matches with the games being primarily repeat derbies in the three respective countries.
The only real issue of interest is who will end-up in the top spots on the log. We know at this stage who the better teams are and the remaining matches are like they say in Afrikaans ‘mostert na die maal’(mustard after the meal – not sure if it has the same meaning). In short it’s an overkill an attempt to sweeten something up after everyone have had their fill.
The result of these dead rubbers is huffing and puffing by some of the front runners on the log like the Crusaders and the Stormers. The Hurricanes had more resting on the result of the game hence they came out with a victory against a B Crusaders side. Continue reading