2013 Super Rugby Round 19 Review
July 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
First, congratulations to the Cheetahs for making the playoffs for the first time. The log leaders, on the other hand, did their best to allow the other contenders in with a chance to grab the lead with the Chiefs succeeding.
And it is back to the drawing board for the Wallabies after the thumping they got from the B&I Lions.
Last week: 3/5
B&I Lions Tour:
Last week: 1/1
Crusaders v Chiefs – 43-15
Watching the match I couldn’t believe that this was a match between the log leaders (and current champions) and a contender, the Chiefs were outplayed in every facet of the game. Even though they only needed a bonus point, which they didn’t get, to end top of the Kiwi log, they played like a team resting their players before the big match. Well, they have lost their top of the log position to the Bulls and they can only hope the Stormers will do them a favour next week.
The Crusaders, on the other hand, seem to be peaking at the right time. As one of only two teams to win the competition without the benefit om home semis or finals one cannot write off their chances to go all the way.
Hurricanes v Highlanders – 44-49
I didn’t watch the match, only followed some of the text reporting, but at one stage it looked as if the Clan was going to run away with the game leading 32-13 at half time. Good fight back by the Canes in a match where the only relevance was whether the Clan would stay at the bottom of the log. They don’t.
Cheetahs v Blues – 34-13
A much better perfomance by the Cheetahs’ forwards gave their back some ball to play with even though Willie le Roux had another off week and Raymond Ruhle continues to struggle. A solid kicking game by True Blue. A bit of a jittery performance overall by the Cheetahs as they left a number of opportunities to score on the table. Lying 6th on the log at the moment they can still end 5th if the Reds lose without a bonus point next week and they will have to wait till next week to see who and where they play their next match.
Southern Kings v Stormers – 12-24
A gutsy defensive perfomance by the Kings against a Stormers side that tried to score tries, without much success at first. The Stormers ignored numerous kickable penalties in an effort to run in tries but poor lineout throws and a resolute defence denied them until late in the first half and in the end the Kings were left stranded at the bottom of the log. The Stormers can probably get an A for effort on attack but a D for execution.
Watching the game, and given the Golden Lions results in recent preparation matches, the contest between the Kings and the Lions in the knockouts will be the Kings defence vs the Lions attack, an interesting prospect to look forward to.
Bulls v Sharks – 20-19
Where was this Sharks team for the rest of the season? And I am not talking about returned players but about the spirit and effort they played with? A very good performance marred by poor discipline by Butch James and poor goal kicking by Pat Lambie. Is he trying to play himself out of the Bok squad? Morne the Metronome was his normal dependable self and the Bulls looked like they are in a good space at the moment, ticking over without making too many mistakes.
Australia v British & Irish Lions – 16-41
The Aussies have problems before the start of the Rugby Championships in a months time. They looked fairly clueless against a well drilled B&I Lions team. Congrats to the B&I Lions on the series win.
Blue Bulls v Golden Lions – 12-50
I really expected more resistance from the Junior Blue Boks. With 14 SA u/20 players from recent years and more than 500 first class caps amongst the rest they were, by all reports, comprehensively outplayed in the set pieces, at the breakdowns and at the back, on defence and on attack. And well done to JC Janse van Rensburg for teaching another wannabe prop, Marcel van der Merwe, a scrumming lesson.
There are less than three weeks to go before the first knockout match between the Kings and the Lions and both teams have one match left to play. Time will tell whether the Lions preparation programme was a success.