My strategy was sound, and very much in place for a Super Saturday. Coffee capsules locked and loaded (yes, yes relax the beers were chilling in the fridge for later as well), rusk and other snacks at the ready and I even had my logistics down to a tee: wake up just before six and watch the Sunwolves game in bed.
Move down to the lounge for a comfy seat in the armchair for the Kiwi derby (second round of coffee in hand along with some of those snacks). Then for the Stormers game it would be time to get horizontal again, on the couch this time. The Weber will be rolled out for the matches in SA but more time would be spent in front of the telly than baby-siting the colas.
So, from the boudoir the Sunwolves impressed by staying in the contest against the Brumbies throughout. The Sunwolves put up a brave fight against an Aussie side who struggled like my old Toyota Tazz when tackling Sir Lowry’s Pass – constantly searching for a fifth gear which didn’t exist. It will be interesting to see if the Japs can maintain this level for most of the tournament or whether things will take a turn in the direction of vrot sushi the longer the comp goes.
In Christchurch the Crusaders got off to blinder of a start which had one wondering whether we might as well stop the competition and just hand them the trophy and spare everyone else the trouble of trying their best to bash each other to bits for the next 6 months. Fortunately the youthful Chiefs side made the hosts sweat a bit for their victory during the middle part of the contest. Yet in truth the level of discomfort and effort for the mighty Saders on the day was probably less than the average person experiences when mowing his lawn (something I will have to do this week after spending my entire Saturday on the couch!). In the other all Kiwi clash (on Friday) the Blues and Highlanders both had Saffas and Aussies united in drooling at the skills on display.
The Tahs and the Stormers both delivered some absolute drivel at times and the Stormers threw the game away with a moment of absolute stupidity. More of that later – but just know for now that neither of these sides will be winning the tournament this year.
I took the opportunity of the small break between the Sydney match and the Lions v Jaguares to stretch my legs and get some blood circulation going. The Weber was cleaned out, dusted off a repositioned just in time to see the Jags get off to a fast start. I was expecting an open game in Johannesburg and boy was it helter-skelter at times in this one! My brother is an avid Lions fan and the poor guy had about three strokes and a mild heart attack during the course of the clash as the home side seemed to have mistaken the game for a touch rugby tournament or maybe the Cape Town 10’s event.
The Lions remain the best South African team in terms of exhibiting their skill but their appetite for risk is bigger than that of someone on day 26 of the 30-day diet. Bungy jumping and supporting the Lions is not for you if you are not into adrenalin sport as there appears to be no risk too big for Warren Whitely and his chargers.
The fire was lit and the beer made way for wine as the Bulls kicked off at Loftus. The way the clash planned out caught me completely off guard. I gave the home side a decent chance of giving the Hurricanes a good go but didn’t see them winning and certainly didn’t expect what was in the end a rather low-scoring encounter. Personally I am of the opinion that both teams were seriously rusty with mistakes dominating the game. The Bulls enjoyed a good slice of fortune when first misters Rasivenghe and Jonker denied a Canes try and secondly a promising match-winning counter attack from Ihaia West sawPollard charge down a kick which ultimately led to the try which sealed the deal for the home side. I can’t wait to see how Mitchell’s match-up with his old team plays out next week.
WTF moment of the week:
This “honour” belongs to Dean Muir’s shocking over the top of everyone throw-in at the lineout after the hooter against the Waratahs. Last week I mentioned that the loss of Mbonambi could prove a stumbling block and already the Capetonians felt this handicap in the first game on tour. Hopefully the young hooker can come back from this setback.
OMF moment of the week:
Despite some great attacking rugby from the New Zealand sides the moment which had me literally out of my seat (and it takes something special to achieve this) was the sublimeAphiweDyantyi run. The Lions winger hit the line at pace and then left a gaggle of South Americans in his wake before easing off the gas, composing himself and then beating the last defender with a surgically precise inside step. I can’t wait to see more of this lad in action.
Who is Couch Critic?
Hein Diemont is the resident “Couch Critic” in the Goodforthegame Forum and he shares his weekly Super Rugby Blog the “Post Match Scuffle” or “PMS” with us.
In his blog Couch Critic channels his usual weekend swearing, ranting, cheering, whinging and bickering to the written word. Brutally honest opinions of how the Super Rugby action went down from his perspective – no punches pulled, it’s PMS time…
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