Almanac Rugby: Super Rugby AU Rd 8/ Aotearoa Rd 7

Two games of vastly contrasting styles, quality and fortune defined the latest round of Super Rugby in Australia while we discovered the joy of ‘golden point’ in not one but both games in New Zealand.

 

Force 16 Rebels 15

This was a dog’s breakfast. No point in sugar coating it. Neither side deserves to play in the finals but one of them will. As I am meant to get readers excited by this great sport I’ll just move onto the next game.

 

Reds 24 Brumbies 22

Now this was a game of rugby. It was frenetic from the outset. Both sides applied pressure and maintained a tempo like they were playing for their lives.

Despite the farcical ending when the siren didn’t sound at the 80 minute mark and the Reds scrambled to get the ball into touch, there were moments throughout this contest where one could see enough talent to field a Wallabies XV that could do the jersey proud.

The Reds have won both of their outings against the Brumbies so have deservingly secured the right to host the final. The Brumbies will have to endure the ignominy of hosting a semi final against a team (whether the Rebels or the Force) that should be undergoing a post season boot camp rather than wasting our viewing time.

 

Chiefs 26 Highlanders 23

The Lazarus of NZ rugby did it again on Saturday. With the sides locked at 23 all with just a couple of minutes to go that magician of a fullback, Damian McKenzie, had a pop at putting a drop goal through the big sticks. It missed. He then had a chance to get the win with a penalty at the death. He missed.

The game went into extra time under the golden point rule. After a few phases of play, Macca had another chance to ice it. This time he did. His long range penalty sailed through and his team took the 4 points.

 

Crusaders 30 Hurricanes 27

Another day, another full time deadlock. Despite being stone cold motherless last on the table, the Canes gave their home fans a lot to cheer about with a spirited effort.

The Crusaders are, however, relentless. Once they drew level close to fulltime it seemed inevitable they would be the first to break the tie in extra time. A sweetly timed drop goal from that man of the moment Richie Mo’unga kept the Christchurch juggernaut rolling on. They will host the final. It’s now a duel between the Blues and the Chiefs to decide the challenger.

When the Chiefs host the Crusaders on Saturday we should get the clearest indication so far as to whether this Lazarus has had its triple bypass.

 

 

 

 

For more from Brian, click HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

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About

Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.

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