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2013 Super Rugby Round 2 Review

February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

The first full weekend of Super Rugby matches is over and there were a number of surprise wins and losses. As always, it was difficult to predict performances before teams played their first matches due to, especially, the change in personnel.

The biggest surprise probably was the Kings’ performance but it was also a surprise to see how poor the Force was.

Highlanders (27) v Chiefs (41)

An entertaining game but one which fellow blogger Kitchener will, quite rightly, call Rugby Lite – a lot of running, a lot of turnover ball and very little defence, especially from the Clan in the second half – at one stage I thought that the records of the Lions v Chiefs game of 2010 might be in danger. For those who think this is Kiwi rugby at its best, it wasn’t but it was entertaining all the same.

For the Chiefs the standouts were Tim Nanai-Williams and Gareth Anscombe, both playing out of position but doing it well. For the Clan Hosea Gear had a good game while Ma’a Nonu tried his best to run through everone with little success.

As the season progress the teams will tighten up their defences and both should be contenders for playoff spots.

Rebels (13) v Brumbies (30)

I didn’t watch the game but followed it on live scoring and the result is what was expected a good win for the Brumbies, firmly establishing them as the front runners for the Aussie conference title.

Bulls (25) v Stormers (17)

A solid if unspectacular performance by the Bulls and one of the worst performances by the Stormers in recent years. The Bulls put the Stormers forwards under pressure from the get go and the Stormers struggled in the scrums, were abysmal in the lineouts and were outplayed at the breakdowns, except for about 20 minutes in the second half.

The Stormers were not helped by an uncharacteristicly poor goal kicking display by an out of sorts Jantjies. For the first time in his senior career he missed all his kicks at goal. There are some who say that he shouldn’t have played after his personal loss and not having had any pre-season match practice but that doesn’t fly. This was the ideal game to get him started as the next two games will be no easier and are probably more important. This was the first match of the season and an away game to boot so a loss is not a train smash, especially if one consider how close the Stormers came in the end despite their poor display.

For the Bulls Morne Steyn had a good game at what he does best, goal kicking and tactical kicking, but I can’t help thinking that Lionel Mapoe will serve them better at #13, he looked eager to run and is wasted on the side of the field.

The Stormers remained solid in defence and there aren’t really any players who stood at as having played well, rather the opposite with Deon Fourie’s lineout work poor, Jantjies’s goal kicking abysmal, the forwards in general below standard and the team’s ball handling in need of attention.

The Stormers can only improve markedly on this performance and should still be contenders for the top spot while the Bulls will defintely be play-off contenders but sticking to their traditional game aren’t going to win them any trophies this year.

Hurricanes (20) v Blues (34)

I didn’t watch the game but the result surprised me from a young and fairly new Blues side. I really thought the Canes would have the better of the contest but it seems as if their defence haven’t improved missing 30 tackles.

Reds (25) v Waratahs (17)

Another game I missed but it seems the Tahs injury list will make it difficult for them to compete during the early par of the season.

Cheetahs (22) v Sharks (29)

The Sharks started well while Johan Goosen struggled with his general play and his goal kicking and by half time the game looked all over bar the shouting. However, in the second half Johan Goosen started kicking his kicks and the Sharks went into a slumber and in the end the Sharks had to fight to close out the game.

For the Sharks Lambie had a solid game and a good day with the boot. The Sharks were solid rather than dangerous but need to play for 80 minutes. In scoring his try Johan Sadie also showed a glimpse of why he was so highly regarded a year or so ago. For the rest nobody was really exceptional except Coenie Oosthuizen, who showed that he should return to club rugby to learn his new trade as tight head prop before being given another Cheetahs cap.

Kings (22) v Force (10)

The Kings surprised everyone with a solid defensive display that in the end earned them a deserved win. The win was set up by a solid performance from the forwards in scrums and lineouts while they took control in the second half through a good performance by Catrakilis. The Force, on the other hand, were abysmal and I cannot think of a game where a team has played as poorly. Their scrums were poor, their lineout atrocious and their goal kicking lamentable and the rest of their game wasn’t good either.

For the Kings Steven Sykes played a blinder, so too Jacques Engelbrecht when he came on later. As the game progressed the Greek started to take control and schoolboy Sergeal Petersen showed he is a talent to watch while SP Marais had a few dangerous runs from the back. For the Force no-one can be said to have performed even reasonably well.

In the end it is difficult to see either of these teams winning against any other team in the competition but at least for the Kings there is satisfaction in that they will not be white-washed, that the Lions and Bulls records are safe and that they probably will end above the Force on the log.

10 responses to 2013 Super Rugby Round 2 Review

  1. You can only play as good as you are allowed by your opponents, and the Kings did well to destruct the Forces game(plan)!

  2. Agree on your opinion about Mapoe as outside center at the Bulls. I think Mapoe and Venter should play outside center and Wynand and Serfontein inside – with healthy rotation. When JJ gets back from injury, he should be our 1st choice 14 with Basson as 11. Akona would then be a natural replacement for both these positions with couple of laaities putting their hands up as well. At Bulls there’s actually a positive problem when it comes to centers with all 5 of the above playing seriously well and besides Wynand, all of them also have a long career ahead of them. But as Mapoe going back to Lions anyway and Serfontein being such a strong prospect for the coming years, it would be a good career move for Venter to make no13 his own and JJ 14 respectively.

    Personally I thought this season might be one year early for the Bulls to seriously contend for the title, and Stormers and Sharks being the favorite SA teams with a chance – they clearly don’t agree with this at the Bulls camp and I hope they prove me wrong. It’ll be seriously interesting with the Sharks vs Stormers on Saturday as I think they are still the 2 SA teams at least on paper who should have a chance to go all the way. Interesting scenario is however that if Stormers lose without a bonus point, and if Sharks and Bulls wins with a bonus point – this means that Stormers are 3 wins behind the other 2 big teams, which might be a lot especially with Stormers recent track record of being able to win with 4 tries.

    Kings played their hearts out and I personally saw myself supporting the players because of that regardless of all the other nonsense. Cheetahs will based on the 1st match be a normal season with couple of wins but unlikely a chance to pull themselves to top 6.

  3. Agree Baylion…Credit to the Kings…played a great game…and the crowd was test like. Well done.

  4. Yip, ek dink die Bulle moet nie te veel uit die game vat nie, vir my het dit gelyk of die Stormers verroes was. Daar is natuulik te veel verwagtinge van Taute, Cilliers, de Allande. Die Stromers het nie ‘n skrumskakel nie, groot probleem. Bly die Bulle het gewen, maar as ‘n Bul ondersteuner is ek glad nie tevrede nie, ons het die spelers om baie beter te kan speel, en meer wyd te speel.Ek sou ook graag wou sien dat ons beter in die vastelos moet speel. terloops, ons drie was miskien betwyfelbaar, maar ek het ook vraagtekens oor de Villiers se drie, nie oor die druk daarvan nie, maar ek dink Habanna het baie lank aan die bal geklou op die grond en het nie die bal probeer plaas nie, sou hom getraf het daarvoor.

  5. If you practise 3 mth basics and you still can’t scrum with a heavier pack and still lose 75% of your lineouts, then there is a big problem with your coaching staff. Os was the best prop in world rugby but the worst scrum coach in the world. Try Duggie Heymans, he will make a big differance, he know how to coach a scrum. Naka, Harold and his clan, this is your last year off excuses. Hawes Fourie doing well with the backline.

  6. wat was die game van die naweek vir jou?

    • Ek het nie al die games gekyk nie maar as ‘n “spectacle” die Clan Chiefs game en as ‘n game waar tenmiste een van die spanne goeie rugby gespeel het, die Kings Force game. Algeheel moet dit die Kings game wees

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