Couch Critic’s weekly Super Rugby and sports betting blog, Post Match Scuffle, published courtesy of BetOlimp.co.za
KONICHIWA GERHARD SON
Last week the Yama(not-so)shita came back into the Sunwolves team and gave them one heck of a lift by providing some much needed grunt upfront. This week the big sushi muncher was till stabilising the tighthead side whilst Michael Little looked keen on impressing on his return to Kiwiland and Gerhard van den Heever kept shining on the wing. This match showed that this Chiefs team is a far cry from one seen in seasons gone by, but be this as it may it will have been a weekend of saki all round for the brave band of mercenaries called the Sunwolves.
Apart from the Chiefs clearly not reigning over anything impressive this season the Highlanders might not be much better off. Despite two straight wins the Landers proved that their depth is as shallow as those little blow up pools one uses for the toddlers in the summer. Missing the Smith’s, Luke Whitelock and Rob Thompson the men from Dunedin bent the knee to Dave Wessel’s Rebels. In Buenos Aires the Blues slipped to their third straight defeat. This thrilla in manila remake saw the Blues throw everything at the Jaguares to such an extent that they often looked out on their feet and clueless as to how they were going to be able to pant the knockout punch. In the end the Argentines caught them with the rope-a-dope and sent the Aucklanders home wondering how they had possibly managed to lose a game they had dominated so comprehensively in terms of possession.
The bookies instilled both home sides as favourites but the Lions and Sharks both fluffed their lines against the Bulls and Stormers respectively. The Bulls put in a clinical forty minutes as they were tactically inch-perfect in their approach with regard to playing the game in the Lions half of the field and then putting their set pieces under more pressure than a Gupta lawyer. Schalk Brits and Handré Pollard were the standout performers for the Bulls.
The Sharks for their part were much like the crowds for most sporting events in Durban – a no show. The home side finally woke up after the break but the Black Panther wasn’t able to claw its way back from this one. EbenEtzebeth was colossal on the day in yet another scrappy game in the KZN humidity which continually delivers matches as sexy as your grandmother at his time of the year.
There was a crucial Damian Willemse intercept that came from Sharks centre, Esterhuizen “shoveling manure” as John Smit described it during half time. But the award goes to the Blues for this one. For their entire match against the Jaguares they had the Argentines against the ropes yet somehow found ways not to score. Then, just as it seemed the match had finally slipped out of their grasp for the last time they were able to win a scrum penalty (five meters from the tryline) after the hooter when all the Jags had to do was win the ball and kick it out. Of course, true to how the farcical game had gone for the Kiwi team they couldn’t make use of this gift-wrapped opportunity and proceeded to see the favour returned as the home side won possession back from this second attempt at the scrum. Both coaches must have lost years off their lives after this match, and particular this last crazy sequence of events.
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The Hurricanes showed glimpses of their best and Dan Coles reminded all of us of the unique set of skills he possesses. There was a typical Coles solo effort and then a superman like soar into the corner from the mobile hooker as he finished from a smart Perenara offload against the Brumbies. The mini bus, Laumape also did a very un-minibus like thing (as far as South Africans are concerned) as he clearly put up the “the buss is full” sign as he barged over two would be defenders before dotting down for his hat trick.
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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