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Stormers to get Red Faced…

May 23, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

Red FacedMy weekend predictions:

Chiefs vs Crusaders, Hamilton, Friday, 9:35

Chiefs:
15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu

Substitutes: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Dan Waenga, 22 Lelia Masaga

Crusaders:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett

Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Robbie Fruean, 22 Telusa Vaianu Read the rest of this entry →

No clear favorites, as Super 15 takes its toll

April 29, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

Habana TiredBy this time in the competition last year, the top 6 were pretty much set with about 8 teams still in the running for the top 6 spots.  More or less the same could be said of prior years, with the top teams in the competition being relatively clear between three or four contenders.  This year though, its a little bit different.  Ask me last year this time who will be the champions, I would have said its gonna be between the Chiefs, Stormers and Crusaders.  Ask me now? Well, it can be anyone from the Brumbies, Reds, Crusaders, Chiefs, Bulls, Sharks, Stormers even the Cheetahs. Fact is, the playing field is so level this year, the only certain thing is that the Force, Rebel, Kings and Highlanders will not be making the playoffs.  All the other sides are still in with a chance.

I wonder though if this isn’t another symptom of the most idiotic system ever developed by Sanzar? With professional Rugby players playing physically the thoughest and most demanding rugby on this planet week after week, with little or no time to recover and rehabilitate, it is no wonder that several teams are struggling with many injuries, and that Springbok players like JP Petersen, Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Juandre Kruger, to honestly name but a few, are looking to Japan and France where conditions are much more favorable to the player to prolong their careers. Read the rest of this entry →

When the Dutchmen outplayed Watson

April 22, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

"I'll shave again when my team beats those beastly Dutchmen"

“I’ll shave again when my team beats those beastly Dutchmen”

Did the Aussie and New Zealand teams pull whool over our eyes? What the hell happened to the Kings that played such exiting and inspiring Rugby for the last 10 weeks? Suddenly left to a steaming heap of dung after a good and proper thrashing by the Bulls?

So either Australia and New Zealand…well mostly Australia, is extremely poor, or something changed at the Kings…or maybe its just the fact that the new kids on the block are not as new anymore and they succumbed at the intimidating prospect of Big Brother, or BlouBul, by scoring absolutely zero points.  They never even looked like scoring and Catrakilis hardly had an opportunity to score.

With the game all but won by the Bulls by the halftime whistle, the second half was a yawnathon of note, while the Kings happlessly tried to use the only posession they had to cross the whitewash. Their performance was much better in that second half though, but they were never going to make inroads into a side that’s been the object of the Kings’ Captain’s affection for some time, the Dutchmen from the Jukskei…. Read the rest of this entry →

Kings are here to stay

April 11, 2013 in International, Rugby, Super Rugby

Let’s forget for just a second about how the Kings, under the directions of chaps like Cheeky Watson, Mark Keohane and their cronies managed to wriggle their way into the Super Rugby at great loss to the Lions Rugby Franchise.

Let;s forget for a second about the conspiracy theories and real reasons behind the drive by these chaps to get the Port Elizabeth Stadium into the Super Rugby fold.

Let’s forget for a second that the Kings abused the system and portrayed themselves as an entity with a noble cause to promote Transformation,while they have done nothing to justify those claims, in fact, they have proven the opposite by allowing more “foreign” players in their squad than allowed, and that is not counting those from African countries who got place in the side ahead of other, more deserving South African, black citizens in that very Union.

Let’s forget Luke Watson’s comments about Dutchman and the Springbok jersey making him nauseous….

The Kings are here to stay.  Read the rest of this entry →

Kings to scout for some talent

March 20, 2013 in Rugby

“I love it when you talk foreign to me”

The Southern Kings will this weekend be facing off against the Kings of Super Rugby, the Crusaders.  It will be their first away game;  the first time they will, as a team, traverse the stormy waters of the Pacific. The first time they will, as a team, be on foreign soil…

But being foreign soil, doesn’t mean they won’t feel right at home. No. It won’t. They will be right at home. Because Sanzar supports the development of Southern Hemisphere Rugby, and therefore, because they are the new team on the circuit, they will be allowed to call Christchurch their Home. Not foreign.  Because to them, nothing is foreign. In fact the term “foreign” is foreign to them.

While on crusade in the land of the Super Kings, the Kings from the South will be scouting for a few more members for their team.  Because, Sanzar supports the development of Southern Hemisphere Rugby, they may, according to them, field a player from any country that is included in the Southern Hemisphere competition.  Not only will New Zealand players be on the radar but also some Samoans will be on their radar, some Fijians, and some Tongan’s.  I understand Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is a favorite of Cheeky’s, not because he can play any meaningful Rugby, but because he can stir so much shit. He will be appointed as team communications officer.

Many are writing the Kings off for their first Away encounter, but alas people, Away is Home for the Kings, just as nothing is Foreign to them.  Foreign soil is the foundation of the team’s makeup.  And even when stared down by the enemy, Cheeky stands triumphantly and exclaims:”We shall defend our bank accounts, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the boardrooms, we shall fight on the rugby grounds, we shall fight in the papers and in the news, we shall fight like girls; but we shall never surrender.”  Or something to that effect.

While SARU was caught out by not defining the term “Foreign” to the Kings, they now frown upon their quest of making the world their home, and in response for breaching the SARU rules, they reacted with sterness and like any good disciplinarian would, sent the Kings a strongly worded letter in which the Kings were told that if they do it again, they will receive an even more strongly worded letter.

IN other non-related news, Tukkies received a strongly worded letter again after being caught cheating again.  Their punishment last year was also a strongly worded letter in which they were told in no uncertain terms not to cheat again.  They promised that this time they will not cheat again and have gone as far as contracting no less than 5 players from the Kings to play for them because Sanzar supports development of the Kings. They will study at Daimlen.

 

*Disclaimer: This post has a slight sarcastic element to it and should not be taken as fact. Sources are foreign based.

 

Springbok Flyhalve: A 3 Horse race!

February 25, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby

Well well! What a weekend of Super Rugby! Apart from the dull encounter up North in Bulls country and the snooze inducing encounter down under in Brisbane, this weekend’s “kick off” of the Super Rugby season really provided some much needed quenching of thirsts accross continents!

One thing is for sure, and that is the South African teams have a lot of work to do to match the intensity and raw speed of the New Zealand teams.  In Australia, only one team really stand out and that’s the Brumbies.  Sorry Quade, either go back to boxing, or get Genia back on your inside. Frankly, you are perhaps better at boxing than at Rugby without him!

And how about those Kings, hey? Love them or hate them, for me (with egg in my face) they earned a certain amount of respect for the way they played and kudo’s to the supporters filling a stadium, where Ellis Park would most probably have been as quiet as a….well, come to think of it, is there anything as quiet as Ellis Park right now? I still believe the venue is at the root of the Lions troubles…and perhaps a lesson to be learnt by some that perhaps encapsulating the festive vibes from what the 2010 Soccer World Cup stadiums provided may in fact assist with the longevity of the unions. Traditions unfortunately do not fill the pockets nor pay the bills. Feet do.  And pardon the little stab, Luke supporters, but what does he do on the field while someone like that Jacques Engelbrecht chappie is warming the bench? Does he still think he is a quota player or what? Read the rest of this entry →

Rugby: Not for dummies anymore

January 29, 2013 in International, Rugby, Super Rugby

You know the stereotype.  Rugby players are dumb.  They are the fat overweight props that won’t amount to anything in life, and then the fast 100m athletes who become wings, but cannot catch a ball, and then the only smart guy on the field is the flyhalf or scrumhalf who decides where the ball must go.  The rest are dumbasses that barely scraped through matric, don’t study at varsity, and spends all their time playing with balls.

Almost as dumb as boxers who get their brains bashed in all day long.  Rugby players are just a bit smarter cause they let their bodies take the beating. Read the rest of this entry →

Of smoke, mirrors and fires…

August 17, 2012 in Rugby, Super Rugby

Yesterday I noticed Gareth Duncan, who writes for Keo.co.za, write an article stating that the fact that SARU did not guarantee the Kings a 3 year deal, is contrary to SARU’s transformation goals. Read the rest of this entry →

SARU shows second face, again.

August 16, 2012 in Rugby, Super Rugby

Well, not only did we lose the Lions to the nasty underworld of Rugby politics today, but also one of my favorite bloggers, BayLion, who deleted his account after the news broke.

I can only imagine that his blog is not the only loss this decision will cause. Look, I guess we all knew it was inevitable. SARU was never forthcoming with a decision, and the only things they mentioned were that they are trying to work it out with Sanzar, that the Kings must be included, and no franchise will be impacted negatively. Now, I’ve for long knew that SARU cannot be trusted. They often do a round about on their word and this is not the first time they’ve shown what big fat liar they are.

But it is sickening the see it really happen and in such a blase manner. To think that the Golden Lions Rugby Union will not be negatively impacted by excluding them from the Super Rugby next year is a true indication of how narrow minded and idiotic the South African rugby administrators are. And what do they promise GLRU in return? “Oh, you’re screwed by the way next year, because all your players will leave because you cannot pay them, because you don’t have money because you don’t have Super Rugby exposure, but please try again to play with your dilapidated side against the Kings, who will have most of your players anyways, and play your way back into contention…for the next 2 years….” Read the rest of this entry →

More tries and less penalties in 2012 SR!

August 7, 2012 in Rugby, Super Rugby

It seems some of the tweaks the SANZAR made to the officiating of the Super Rugby matches are helping to make the game more attractive.

Still, the major issue remains that the sheer quantum of Rugby being played is just so much and it becomes a major effort to really enjoy the tournament. Now with the test break inbetweem, it becomes even more cumbersome, and the impact of such a long season will now be seen when the Currie Cup and the Rugby Championship series starts.

We’ve hardly played the Super Rugby final in the weekend that has passed, and this coming weekend it the players will be up against it again as the Currie Cup commences on this side while the ITM Cup in New Zealand only starts on the 23rd of August. And then, next week, the first matches of the Rugby Championship starts.

To be honest, be beer budget cannot handle this any longer, and my cholesterol levels are spiking from all the braaivleis…

But back to the Super Rugby that’s passed, I’ve collated some key stats and they paint a pretty interesting picture.

 

 

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

Matches played

120

          120             94             94             94
Points scored

5879

         5,561          4,907          4,203          4,128
 – Av per match                    49.0         46.3         52.2         44.7         43.9
Tries scored

589

          559           528           498           483
 – Av per match                    4.91         4.66         5.62         5.30         5.14
Home wins

69

            64             61               57             57
 – Home %

58%

53%

65%

61%

61%

Penalties

2193

         2,371          1,837           896          1,074
 – Per match                  18.28         19.8         19.5           9.5         11.4
 – Minutes per                    4.38         4.05         4.09         8.39         7.00
Bonus points

120

      108.00          89.00       106.00          82.00
BP per match                    1          0.90          0.95          1.13          0.87

From last year, the average number of points per match have picked up, but is still below that of 2010. But on the positive side is that the increase in points is attributed to an increase in tries from 2011 at 4.91 tries per match while 2011 had only 4.66 tries per match. It is still a tad off the pace in terms of the number of tries in 2010.

Looking at penalties, it’s relieving to see a reduction of 8% in the penalty count. However, the penalty count is still twice the number per match than it was before the implementation of the law interpretations back in 2009, when there were only 9.5 penalties per match vs the current 18.28 penalties per match.

The big culprits in conceding penalties were the Bulls, with 11 penalties per match, then the Chiefs with 10.93 penalties per match and third is the Reds with 10.53 penalties per match. The most disciplined team was the Blues, with only 7.93 penalties per match, then the Rebels with 8.73 penalties per match and third most disciplined were the Cheetahs with 8.87 penalties per match.

What is interesting about those statistics is that the most disciplined team in the competition this year had a hapless year in terms of results, well, in fact all three most disciplined teams were pretty much out of the top 6 by the halfway mark, whilst the most ill-disciplined teams reached the Top 6, with the second most ill-disciplined team walking away with the trophy.

If one looks at it over the season, the winning teams conceded 53% of the penalties overall; that number slightly made to look more equal than it really was, with teams like the Reds being punished by Bryce Lawrence in that 17-7 penalty count in the Crusaders favour in round 11 and similary Stu Berry penalising the Force to no end when they lost the the Cheetahs with an 18-7 penalty count against them.

Home games seem to be less of an advantage than it was back in 2010, although it was more of an advantage this year than last year with 58% of home games being won.

A big increase in Bonus Points though, with 12% more bonus points being scored than in 2011. Only one 4 try Bonus Point was scored more than last year though, with the 12 more losing Bonus Points being achieved.

That shows that the matches have, by large, been more competitive this year, and whilst scoring more tries, less penalties and a less convincing home field advantage, this year’s Super 15 was by far more improved from last year’s version.

Hopefully next year there will be even more improvement!

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