Not the way we wanted Round 8 to play out with only the Sharks able to get a win this weekend.
Seems that injuries and resting players are the biggest problem for SA Teams. Teams like the Stormers and Bulls just do not have the backup players to fill the space for players like Etzebeth, Du Toit and Pollard, Kriel.
Vodacom Super Rugby Round 8
Highlanders 28-31 Hurricanes MATCH REPORT
Reds 24-12 DHL Stormers MATCH REPORT
Emirates Lions 5-42 Cell C Sharks MATCH REPORT
Crusaders 36-14 Brumbies MATCH REPORT
Blues 32-29 Waratahs MATCH REPORT
Rebels 42-15 Sunwolves MATCH REPORT
Vodacom Bulls 20-22 Jaguares MATCH REPORT
The Hurricanes hit back after the loss against the Crusaders with an important away win against the Highlanders on Friday.
It was one of the matches of the season son far with both teams playing some incredible rugby from the first minute to the last.
It was end to end stuff in the first 10 minutes with the Hurricanes making the most play but they were met with great defence form the Highlanders.
TJ Perenara were rewarded with becoming the first halfback to score 50 tries but it was Ardie Savea that stole the spotlight at the end.
The All Blacks is playing some of the best rugby we have seen and he scored two tries in the match. One from an intercept in his own half showing off his speed and the second when he showed that he can step as good as any backline player in the world.
The Highlanders had a chance to steal the win at the end camping in the Hurricanes twenty two but some brilliant defence kept them out to give the Hurricanes a great win.
The second match on Friday was night and day different between the quality we saw in the Highlanders v Hurricanes match.
Both the Reds and Stormers just made too many errors in all aspects of the game to excite anybody.
The fact that the two teams went into the break with the score at 0-0 shows exactly just how poor the rugby was.
The Stormers had again plenty opportunities and could have had a good lead but handling errors and poor decision making was in the order of the day again.
Their inability to finish opportunities in the game has become a serious problem for the men from Cape Town.
The fact that their captain Kolisi was send off with a yellow card did not help but did gave the Reds the opportunity in the second half to opening the scoring.
They quickly scored two tries to take the lead and with the poor execution of the Stormers never really looked that they will give that lead up.
When Kolisi came back after his sin bin the Stormers got their first points when van Dyk got over the line.
The Reds got their third try through some poor defence from the Stormers and although De Allende got over for a second try they just did not have enough to trouble the Reds.
SP Marais missing another easy kick at poles summed up the Stormers game on the day.
Most properly the best game of rugby we have seen the Sharks played in years.
On a cold and wet field the Sharks dominated the match from the start and the Lions was never really in the match.
The fact that it took the Lions 76 minutes to get their first points on the board explain just how much they were outplayed by the Sharks.
Curwin Bosch got his opportunity to start at fullback and he took full advantage earning him the man of the match award.
He was brilliant on the counter attack and had a hand in almost every try the Sharks scored.
He even took over the kicking duties from Du Preez and did not missed once.
The Sharks domination start upfront where they just outplayed the Lions in all aspects.
Their hand to hand skills were brilliant and for the first time we were not watching a Sharks team making 20 handling errors on attack.
As good as the Sharks attack were as good was their defence.
For the Lions, it was just not one of those days were nothing that they tried work. It was a off day and one that they will just forget and move on.
The Sharks with this win also took over the top spot in the South African conference.
It was one of those strange matches were it looked like the Crusaders are going to be beaten at home but as they have done so many times, they came back with a perfect second half performance.
The Brumbies was dominating the first half and were rewarded with a 7-0 lead.
It could have easily have been more as the Crusaders struggled to get into the game.
They made some ordinary errors in that first half and just struggled to get their hands on the ball.
The second half saw a different team coming out and they quickly took control of the match with some as expected brilliant skills.
They just moved into a higher gear which the Brumbies was unable to keep up too.
They put 36 points past the Brumbies in that second half which just stunned the Brumbies.
The Brumbies will take some pride out of the way they kept the Crusaders at bay in that first half but a game of rugby is played in 80 minutes not 40.
We were treated to other great game when the Blues hosted the Waratahs on Saturday.
The Blues have been a revelation this year and made it four in a row wins when they squeezed out a win over the Waratahs with a final score of 32-29.
Both teams were looking to bring out heir attacking abilities and it was an important game for the visitors after the loss against the Sunwolves last week.
The Blues has become a team who are not just looking at attack to win games, but have a solid pack who actually starting to dominate teams upfront.
There defence has been a good aspect of their turnaround and closing out game that they in the past lost.
The Blues led at the the break 17-14 and were quickly on the board again in the second half.
They were able to answer the Waratahs every time they scored against them and at the end was good enough for the win.
The biggest problem for the Sunwolves has been consistency, and after the great win over the Waratahs they were just not up to it against the Rebels.
The Rebels have send out a clear message that they are a team to watch out for this year with brilliant bonus point win over the Sunwolves.
They dominated all aspects of the match and were quick to take advantage of any mistakes the Sunwolves made.
The Rebels have the great ability to put teams under pressure and then use that to score points.
As the clear best team in Australia this year they were just too good for the Sunwolves who was never really in this match at all.
The Bulls was a real disappointment on Saturday as they throw away the game in the last 9 minutes against the Jaguares.
With a conservative approach they frustrated the Jaguares who struggled to get into the game but a few subs that came one and two silly yellow cards from the Bulls saw the Jaguares scored two tries to snatch the win.
This was their first win at Loftus and they were clearly happy with the great comeback after looking down and out with 10 minutes to go.
The Bulls loosing more players to injury also did not help and with Brits, Pollard and Kriel out of the match they struggled to get any momentum.
It was just not a good day out for the Bulls and it may be a struggle going forward with so many players out with injury.
Here is next week schedule for Round 9
The Current Log Standings:
|5||Cell C Sharks||9||4||5||213||180||33||22|
I have decided to bring back the Jackass of the Week award.
This goes to SANZAAR who are single handedly killing our game with incompetent officials.
It is shocking that referees are allowing teams to be consistently offside on defence, not punishing dirty play and the worst still letting attacking teams to clean the rucks from the side and not through the gate.
With three men on the field and a TMO SANZAAR is failing the supporters to enjoy the game these days.
The biggest worry is that we are in a World Cup year and unfortunately this is not just a SANZAAR problem.
Things need to change and change fast…