Super Rugby 2020: Round 1 Ruminations


Results for Round 1


Blues 29 Chiefs 37

Brumbies 27 Reds 24

Sharks 23 Bulls 15

Sunwolves 36 Rebels 27

Crusaders 43 Waratahs 25

Stormers 27 Hurricanes 0

Jaguares 38 Lions 8

Highlanders BYE



To celebrate the 2020 Super Rugby season kicking off, I have taken on the task of keeping the Almanac community abreast of the round by round results accompanied by my ruminations on the games and, hopefully, some narrative thread about why this very flawed competition still matters.



So, why does Super Rugby matter?



For a competition played in multiple time-zones, two hemispheres, to a diminishing audience and overseen by incompetent charlatans I often ask myself that question. Perhaps it is simply the fact it has so many things working against it but keeps soldiering on that I am mostly drawn to. Or perhaps it appeals to my sense of incongruous nobility that those of us south of the Equator look at our northern cousins and convince ourselves we too deserve a competition to rival the European Cup in the same way we want the Rugby Championship to be on level pegging with the Six Nations (which it isn’t, unfortunately).



It is also somewhat disheartening that the Sunwolves will be axed at the end of this season and thereby removing the presence of one hemisphere. Considering how well Japan did hosting the Rugby World Cup last year and the enthusiasm of many Japanese for rugby it will be filed away along with many other confounding decisions the custodians of the game tend to make regularly.



Despite the hardships and hurdles, this competition has been a fixture of my life for the 25 years of its existence. I have been to games regularly in Sydney and Melbourne and have marveled at some amazing athletic feats. I love the game and the year commences with this carnival of contradictions, so let’s have a look at what happened in Round 1.



The BLUES have high hopes this year but a lot of that rests with their high profile recruit, Beauden Barrett. Unfortunately, BB was AWOL with a trip to the Superbowl as compensation for the injury keeping him off the pitch. Tough life for some I suppose. His teammates fought gallantly but couldn’t match the staying power of the CHIEFS.



The Australian Conference got underway in Canberra with the BRUMBIES playing a solid, if uninspiring, brand of rugby to ease past the REDS. Next game in the conference was the SUNWOLVES and REBELS in Fukuoka. The lads from AAMI Park were never in the contest. The passion of the Sunwolves players and fans was inspiring. The effort at the breakdown by the Rebels was insipid and unacceptable. They have to show much more commitment to that aspect of their game against the Brumbies on Friday night.



The way in which the CRUSADERS made light work of the WARATAHS means this season picks up on the common theme in recent years – Australian sides are lambs to the slaughter when crossing the ditch. The results have been better coming the other way so let’s not plunge into despair yet.



There were no real surprises in the other games. The SHARKS, STORMERS and JAGUARES are formidable at home.



It’s too early to delve into specific players but there does appear to be a pattern emerging often seen in SR competitions straight after a RWC. Teams overhaul their lists and unleash young bucks eager to impress. We saw a couple of examples of that in Round 1 but I’ll wait to see if it can be backed up before lauding them.



I’ll wrap up posts with some observations about the 6 Nations while that is underway. This week it will be short and sweet – England lost…Vive la France!!!!!





Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE


Join The Footy Almanac’s AFL tipping comp (Title: ‘Footy Almanac 2020 Tipping’) HERE

Join The Footy Almanac’s AFLW tipping comp (Title: ‘Footy Almanac AFLW 2020 Tipping Comp’) HERE




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.

Leave a Comment