A maestro, a wizard and a mathematician walk into a bar… Yes, believe it or not this is how things went down in Super Rugby Week 15…
QUADE HITS THE TUNE IN TOKYO
Quade Cooper was well and truly on song as the Rebels gave the Sunwolves a roasting in Tokyo. The three first half scores for the visitors all involved the mercurial flyhalf in a big way. For the opener Quade broke the line himself, for the second his flat pass was delayed to perfection to put Reece Hodge into a gap bigger than the one between the Yen and the Rand. The third and fifth scores for the visitors came from pin-point floated long passes by the maestro.
THE AFRICAN CONFERENCE CONUNDRUM
Every time you are ready to start organising the coronation the potential Conference king seems to fall on his sword. The Sharks could have been nicely clear but tripped over the Jaguares and Reds on their own home turf. The Bulls seem to follow every good performance (ie. beating the Sharks home and away but being humiliated by the Chiefs at Loftus in between these efforts) with a poor one. This past weekend the Bulls continued their Jekyll and Hyde efforts as they followed an impressive away victory over the Rebels with a flat showing against the Brumbies. Like a Stellenbosch student forking out top dollar (by student standards) for a Beyerskloof Pinotage to impress his date only to get stuck into the dirt-cheap Tassenberg when back at res with his mates – the follow-up leaves a bitter taste.
The Stormers got themselves back in the playoff mix with a confidence building victory over the visiting Highlanders. The lesser spotted De Allende pass made a rare appearance and boy was it a beautiful sight. His huge break down the middle of the park would also have had Rassie smiling from ear to ear whilst DillynLeyds had his umpteenth impressive outing for the Capetonians this season. I will from now on refer to Leyds as Harry Potter because boy this lad is magic and knows how to wave his wand to devastating effect.
The Jaguares are now the front-runners in the Conference and look good value for topping the group. These South Americans have well and truly proven that they are the real deal in 2019. On this occasion they had too much for the Waratahs in Sydney.
SLIPPING UP IN SHARKS COUNTRY
The Lions slipped to their fourth straight defeat to fellow South African opponents whilst the Sharks keep themselves in the playoff mix despite their up-and-down season. For the most part though, this match will be remembered as an error-fest, akin to a Zimbabwean election.
Despite testing conditions Sharks skipper, Louis Schreuderopted for a quick tap from a point-blank penalty – but after his dart the pass was only able to find the Assistant Ref on the other side of the touchline.
André Esterhuizen kicked a penalty kick dead – this lead to his side conceding a 7 pointer a minute later.
The Springbok flyhalf threw two crucial intercept passes (see WTF Moment).
The Lions opted for attacking lineouts with the score at 17-14 yet proceeded to finally take the 3 points after 73 minutes to take the score from 27-14 to 27-17. Someone should phone William Smith to give these Lions some math lessons (complete with his trademark green Koki pen scribbles of course).
Trailing 12-10Hanro Liebenberg went on a good run deep into Brumbies territory and could have fed twinkle-toes Specman with a bit of space in front of him but instead held onto the ball. The home side were able to turn the ball over and kick it way downfield where Libbok would slip-up and hand the Brumbies a scrum from which they unleashed their trickery and bamboozled the South Africans to get the score. There was also a five-meter scrum a few minutes later where the Bulls could have gotten themselves back in the contest given their dominant forward pack yet conceded a crucial penalty instead.
Jantjies threw 2 intercept passes which were both read by the opponents with more thoroughness than the Playboy stashed under a sixteen-year old’s bed. On the first occasion Bosch streaked away for the try and on the second the Lions were hot on attack with the score 17-14 and the hour mark approaching. All the momentum was with the visitors at this crucial stage but Mapimpi rushed in off his line and Elton and his team had to look on in disbelief that they had thrown the game away.
Amanaki Mafi was one of the players of the tournament for the Rebels last year but left the franchise in controversial fashion after a bust-up which involved a team mate. Well, Rocky was back with a bang against his old team. Fielding a kick the Tongan built up an incredible head of steam from his own 10meter line. He tore straight through an attempted gang tackle by his ex-team mates in white and then went straight over Will Genia – the scrumhalf was spat out behind the rampaging Mafi like a crow hit by a MAN truck going full gas down Sir Lowry’s pass on the N2!
The Jaguares scored a try which caught the eye due to how it showcased the transformation of modern day rugby where the number on your back means little in open play.The scrumhalf secured the turnover at the breakdown, the lock stepped in to clear the ball to his flanker who took it as first receiver. Thomas Lezana in turn fed hooker, Montoya who shuffled it out to his other lock. Eighth-man, Desio was the final forward to handle the ball before the outside backs finally stepped in to judge the space well down the touchline and stretch clear from the cover defence to score a great try.
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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