Super Rugby is back and so far I’ve seen everyone except the Rebels. This last weekend was punctuated by teams lacking both rhythm and timing in their execution. Some get away with it and some do not especially the ones who kick their goals and hang tough in defence.
Here’s my personal take on things so far…..
There’s no doubting Western Force struggled. The Lions on the other hand were a breath of fresh air to watch. Marnitz Boshoff was exceptional in his execution and is deserving of his accolades. He must surely inspire his forwards – knowing that their work is going to be rewarded. Warren Whitlely was also showing his Super Rugby experience and playing with terrific energy.
The Stormers rather worryingly are living on past reputation only. On the other hand – I loved the Highlanders energy. Cruden’s game, especially in the 2nd half, was sublime…and his speaking pre and post match as a captain is something thats definitely worth listening too.
The Cheetahs played with greater enthusiasm and more purpose in their carry and clean pass ball than Ive seen in a while with both Goosen and Le Roux’s tactical kicking showing improvement. BUT – their scrum will have to improve to contribute more to their strengths.
My take on the Brumbies – ouch, they looked a tired uninspiring bunch. Their wingers have got some roe and carry but unfortunately make poor defence decisions with poor alignment and engagement. The Bulls must learn to become an attacking threat and run pass before kicking. Technically they carry poorly with ball before body….slow …slow …more slow ball!
The Blues lethargic start was very costly for them but I did love Francis Sali’s individual line break and try. Crusaders appeared to be working very hard and seemed more direct in plays although I do think they are missing some xfactor…interesting selections may be a better way to go with Matt Todd at 7 and MCCaw at blindside. Normally we expect their wingers to have a greater influence and provide something for Dagg to feed too. John Mcnichol had a horror repeat error rate but did show tremendous effort to stop Cruden from scoring….Dagg gave up on his chase of Cruden which worries me somewhat.
The Tahs looked good with great momentum? But the navigators: 9, 10, and 15 struggled to get shape back on the game when under pressure which is an area growth for them. The Reds in my view can take a bow…Quade looked very calm and they have a very exciting young fullback whose name eludes me……they defended like men possessed disrupting a lot of the Brumbies possession.
There’s still plenty of room for all teams to get better. Hopefully this week we will now see what the Rebels have to offer