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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 →

Sharks: Plumtree panicking?

April 24, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

"Keegan, Marcell, Kanko, F*k off!"

“Keegan, Marcell, Kanko, F*k off!”

Yes, the Sharks are in a spot of bother.  They started off extremely well, winning several tough encounters, and when the flood gates opened on the Rebels, one would have not been blamed fo thinking they may have finally stepped up a gear.

Follow a rather dismal loss to the Stormers, and an uninspiring performance against the Cheetahs, not to even mention, but I will, the plethora of Injuries, and the Sharks are suddenly in a spot of bother to get their initial promising campaign back on track.

Then, Plum goes and as if saying the Cheetahs didn’t play Rugby, (yet still beat the Sharks), wasn’t bad enough, he now goes and throws all his toys out of the cot, and includes the gravity hungry Frans Steyn at Outside Centre with the injury to Jordaan, drops Keegan Daniel and Marcell Coetzee to the bench and includes Derick Minnie from the Lions instead, with Mtembu at number 8. 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 →

The Goose with the egg shell legs…

March 19, 2013 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

 

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

The Springboks and Cheetahs have been dealt a severe blow with the latest injury to Johan Goosen and one has to wonder whether this incredible talent will ever reach his potential.  Having only started Super Rugby last season, he sat out most of the season with a shoulder injury. He then got injured again ruling him out of the Springboks end of year tour and now, the latest injury, will again see him sidelined for at least 6 months while some reports say the whole year! This is a severe blow for the Cheetahs and for the Springboks, and our three horse race has been cut down to two with the leading horse eating dust!

The most worried man though would be Heyneke Meyer.  With Morne Steyn going to France at the end of the season, he is running short on options at securing his flyhalf for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  Yes, it is still two years away, but with Goosen out this year and Morne in France when the 2014 Rugby Championship is being played, there really is only one name remaining in this race, and that is Patrick Lambie.

Not everyone’s favorite, but who else?  If I was Heyneke, it would be an easy call to make right now.  Patrick Lambie will be my flyhalf this year and next year and the year of the World Cup.  He will be my man around which I plan my game.  Yes, Goosen may well be ready when the time comes, but do you build your game plan around someone who might be ready and who is more on the sideline at the moment than on the field?  And Morne Steyn, with him playing in France, he will most definitely not be available for the Rugby Championship which is the premier tournament for the Springboks.  I guess Heyneke’s job has just been made much easier by process of elimination.

It is terrible for the Springboks though and for Goosen, as he was the favorite to take up the Bok 10 jersey according to the poll, and one has to wonder who will be Lambie’s backup at 10 going into the next few seasons.  Aside from Elton Jantjies, who’s form has been questionable this season so far, who else can step up when Lambie (touch wood) happens to get injured? Catrakilis? Frans Steyn? A miracle return by Liefling?

The Bok number 10 spot is suddenly under threat and in an area where South Africa for once had some options, suddenly there is only one. And boys like Handre Pollard may find themselves in the frame much sooner than they thought…

Stormers’ Flyhalf woes continue

February 3, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

With Elton Jantjies allowed a leave of absence and Peter Grant still playing in Japan, it was an opportune time for Kurt Coleman to show that he is a capable replacement for either when the SupeRugby season kicks off.  He failed to impress though, and his woeful kicking at goal was further emphasised when the Cheetahs kicked a goal 50 metres out in the 81st minute to clinch the match.

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 →

The way weather should be broadcast!

July 27, 2012 in Babes, Rugby, Super Rugby

Meet Jade Fairbrother, Playboy SA’s playmate of the year!

Tune into www.Ballz.co.za on Mondays to see her deliver the weather forecast. Whether or not you know what the weather will be like, it’s still worth watching, as in this, her first High Tech delivery! Read the rest of this entry →

Genia the key for Sharks…

July 18, 2012 in Rugby, Super Rugby

End of the road?

The Bulls have all but been written off for their encounter against the Crusaders this weekend, while there is some hope for the black and white dynamites to come good against the Reds in Brisbane. Read the rest of this entry →

Super Rugby 2012 a success?

July 16, 2012 in Rugby, Super Rugby

So we were left with the last round of the 2012 Super Rugby season to see who the Top 6 would be! The top 2 were basically already established, with the Crusaders also confirmed as finalists, but the Hurricanes, Brumbies, Reds, Bulls and Sharks all had chances to make the finals.

And up to the last game of the last weekend, the final spots have not yet been confirmed. Read the rest of this entry →

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