Almanac Rugby: Super Rugby AU Rd 9/Aotearoa Rd 8



With just the one round left in Australia and two in NZ, the Force continue their surge here and the Chiefs likewise over there. While the lads from Perth are showing great improvement, they are not serious contenders. Those lads from Hamilton, however, are playing some great rugby and knocked over the title holders for good measure.


In a nice piece of symmetry, the margins in the two games in both competitions were the same – one decided by a point and the other by six points.


Force 31 Waratahs 30


The winless streak of misery continued for the Tahs. One would assume that next week when the Rebels will be playing for a spot in the semi final, the Tahs will fold for the eighth time this season. But I won’t be counting that chicken just yet.


For large sections of this game in Perth, the Tahs showed some spirit and enterprise fielding another “play the kids” side. The Force showed a lot of discipline in the final quarter and held onto a win that may be enough to get them into the finals. While it is unlikely they would do any good, it would be a fillip for the fans.


Brumbies 26 Rebels 20


At the Stockade on Sunday afternoon, the Rebels’ skill level never reached the point of threatening the rhythm the Brumbies had throughout the game. Costly errors and all too familiar lapses in concentration have cost the Rebels all season. While they still may make the finals, one can only declare this season another one of lost opportunities.


Highlanders 35 Blues 29


With only one more game to play, the Highlanders have left their run too late. Their effort in this game, however, showed why SR Aotearoa is such a great contest of the human spirit. They played out of their skins and that lifted the Blues to new heights as well.


The Blues still have two games to go and are very much alive. But the gauntlet has been thrown down by that Phoenix from the Waikato.


Chiefs 26 Crusaders 25


In this game, we saw a team so hungry for success they almost spent every minute bludgeoning their opponents into submission. The Crusaders, unsurprisingly, were not prepared to roll over, so we were treated to a rollicking adventure up and down the pitch.


The way in which the Chiefs held on for a nail-biter speaks volumes of the character in this team. These two teams sit atop the ladder and a rematch in three weeks time in the final would be quite marvelous.


In the next round we will see who the Brumbies face in the semi, Across the ditch, the Chiefs should be able to hold off the Canes to cement their spot and the Crusaders v Blues matchup should be an old fashioned ding dong.




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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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