I’ll admit a bias here. Though I was never a forward myself I just love it when the brick shit house, the tall timber, the big boys, the fatties either get over for an unlikely score or play an important role in the lead-up to a try – it just catches my eye more than when it is pulled off by the fast, skinny blokes alone. On that note I’d like to jump right into a few of these moments that we witnessed during the last full round of Super Rugby in 2019.
LOCK IT UP
After a bash up in midfield, just inside their own half, the Jaguares shipped the ball to Guido Petti who proceeded to break the line and then swerve two more would-be Jap defenders before being reigned in – but he still had enough time and the presence to hit Juan Cruz with the final offload. It was a brut of a run from the big unit which had a beautiful result. Apart from this score the Jags comfortably had more bite than the limping Sunwolves in Buenos Aires.
The “lock-down” came at the Westpac Stadium. Fletcher-Smith ran onto a clever chip and offloaded to big second rower Isaia Walker-Leawere who came charging through in support. The big man fancied himself to be a centre slicing the line and stepped inside an attempted SBW tackle and then pumped his tree-trunk like legs to get over the line. Go you good thing! This try was also part of the dramatic second half comeback of the Hurricanes as they turned a 5-24 deficit against the Blues into a victory.
PROP IT UP
Also at Westpac the try which pulled the Canes clear was in no small part influenced by Alex Fidow, the replacement tighthead. From an innocuous looking position on the field Fidow carried the ball up with power and broke threw the tackle before getting a great offload away (to a more speedy outside back) out of the final tackle and this ensured an easy run-in under the sticks.
In the Brumbies versus Reds game Taniela Tupou exhibited his incredible skill be putting in a long distance punt! But arguably the try of the week came courtesy of an important role played by a fatty… Quade Cooper stabbed an attacking grubber through into the 22-meter area with his midfielders looking to run onto a favourable bounce. Instead Debreczeni covered well and ran the ball back with intent. The flyhalf fed Anton Lienert-Brown and then Brad Weber carried the breakout further into the opposition’s quarter. Impressively tighthead, Angus Taavao did incredibly well to be on hand (surely near on fifty meters from where the last ruck was!) before feeding Sam Cane with the final pass. I hope someone bought the big man a beer and a Maccie D’s after the game.
NO MORE STARING DOWN THE BARREL
Coming into the weekend we had a number of teams either just about in a comfortable playoff position and others pretty much prone standing sprawled over a barrel with their pants down and hearing a belt being loosened behind them.
Both the Highlanders and Chiefs took matters into their own hands and did all they could – i.e. come away from their respective clashes against the Waratahs and Rebels with the maximum haul of five points. Both these Kiwi sides dramatically leapfrogged the Rebels, Stormers and Lions to remain alive in the competition for at least one more week.
The Rebels continued their miserable second half of the season. A fourth loss out of five games and their second big hiding at the hand of a Kiwi team left the David Wessels’ side bruised and abused down in a sad 11th spot. The Stormers needed to get the job done over the Sharks and had their how lair as advantage to do so. Yet in a great advertisement for not allowing the grand total of eight teams to progress to the playoffs both these sides stunk up Newlands for near on 80 minutes. In normal playing time the only try came from a desperate defensive kick-through five meters form their own line by the Sharks. The one and only highlight was the numerous phases the visitors were able to go though and the patience they showed before Am’s match-winning score. The Lions were the other team who left their fans in tears as they came horribly unstuck against the Bulls – managing only two tries whilst conceding seven in a Loftus lashing.
Will Miller of the Tahs had one of those moments that you would like to forget in a hurry. He did incredibly well to scramble back in cover following a long kick through but then, having made it to the ball first, somehow proceeded to drop the ball cold and hand the easiest of pick up and score opportunities for Josh McKay.
The Lions started with a bang that would leave a teenage first-time in shape as they finished well inside a minute for the opening score of the game. Despite this early setback the Bulls exhibited Champagne rugby for the next twenty minutes as they effectively put the game to bed with four tries in the opening quarter of the contest. And just as the Lions looked to make a comeback Cornal Hendricks finished with aplomb as his quick step and round-the-outside put the match beyond doubt. A finish any winger would be proud of!
Your resident Couch Critic
Who is Couch Critic?
Hein Diemont is the resident “Couch Critic” in the Goodforthegame Forum and he shares his weekly Super Rugby and Sports Betting 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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