Super Rugby 2020 – Round 3: Ruminations

Results for Round 3;


Blues 8 Crusaders 25

Rebels 24 Waratahs 10

Sunwolves 17 Chiefs 43

Hurricanes 38 Sharks 22

Brumbies 22 Highlanders 23

Lions 30 Stormers 33

Jaguares 43 Reds 27

Bulls BYE


Before going through the results, I’ll touch on an aspect of this year’s competition that is garnering a lot of attention – the maul. Those of you unfamiliar with this arcane aspect of rugby, a maul forms when an attacking player is halted but not taken to the ground. By remaining upright he allows his teammates to come in around and him and form a battering ram to gain valuable territory. The opposing team, naturally, tries to prevent the advance. There are rules about binding and how players can join and exit the maul. It can be a very effective tool when the attacking team is close to their opponent’s try-line, whereby the player with the ball can be forced over the line for a try.


The BRUMBIES scored all three of their tries on Saturday night via this method and have the distinction of having completed 16 mauls in their three games so far this season for a 100% win rate. Not all resulting in tries though. That’s an impressive stat, however as the scoreline can attest that is not sufficient to beat your opponents when it matters – at full-time. Alas, to rub salt into the wound they were indeed ahead after 80 minutes of play but the HIGHLANDERS were able to hold onto the ball for almost another four minutes and steal the win. They did a bit of mauling during that time but they also did a bit of outwitting and the latter won the day.


While the mauling tactic will continue to evolve, it is prudent to take stock and realise that there are so many plays to be employed throughout a game. Each will have merit depending on the stage of the game and the desired outcome. I’m a fan of mauling so I am comfortable with this development. I have also been an advocate for grubber kicking since I was a little tacker but that shows no sign of a renaissance. Take what you get I suppose.


The CRUSADERS were clinical in their dispatching of the BLUES. In atrocious conditions for their first home game, the REBELS ground out their first win. So far this season, the only wins any of the Australian sides have had have been against other teams within the conference. I’ll traipse off to Ballarat on Saturday to see whether the Rebels can break the hoodoo against the boys from Durban.


Both the CHIEFS and the HURRICANES executed clever game plans to get their wins. The Chiefs absorbed early pressure before unleashing attacking waves that unsettled the SUNWOLVES. The Canes used the cross field kick to great effect to unsettle the SHARKS. The LIONS looked in control for most of the game against the STORMERS but the last 10 minutes from the visitors was blistering and gave them a last gasp win in Johannesburg.


The final game of the round was in Buenos Aires where the REDS put on four tries to two in the first half against the JAGUARES. Unfortunately, the second half was all one way traffic as the hosts piled on another four tries to run out comfortable winners.


The biggest game of Round 4 will be when the Brumbies travel to Hamilton to take on the Chiefs. Nominally, it’s a ‘top of the conference’ clash but only the most optimistic on this side of the ditch give the Canberrans any chance. I’m just hoping for a contest.


It was a week off for the Six Nations. There are two beauties coming up this weekend. The two pacesetters travel to enemy territory. The French are off to Cardiff and the Irish are on the big stage of Twickenham. As much as I want the Rebels and Brumbies to step up, I really, REALLY want the Irish to play out of their skins.


A great weekend awaits. May the rugby be great and the beer cold. They sell cold beer in Ballarat I assume.



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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.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks for explaining how the maul works Brian, I’m afraid I a bit ignorant when it comes to rugby!

  2. Brumbies we’re trying to pass on the mumps in those mauls.

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