Super Rugby 2020 – Round 4 Ruminations

Results for Round 4:

Crusaders 33 Highlanders 13
Rebels 24 Sharks 36
Chiefs 14 Brumbies 26
Reds 64 Sunwolves 5
Stormers 17 Jaguares 7
Bulls 21 Blues 23
Waratahs, Hurricanes, Lions BYE


Another Friday night in Christchurch and another win for the CRUSADERS. They dominated the HIGHLANDERS and are back on top of the NZ Conference. They have a bye this week so their plundering will take a short break and no doubt return the week after, as their form is looking ominous.


Saturday afternoon in Ballarat was perfect for rugby. Sunny day with a cool breeze and the pitch looked in good nick. The REBELS were patient in attack and reasonably solid in defence in the first half against the SHARKS. However, they just couldn’t get any rhythm in the second half. Their backs were starved of ball because the pack was just plain ineffective. Only one Rebel forward made a clean break throughout the game. In contrast, quite a few of the big men from Durban broke the lines on more than one occasion. I have lamented the work at the breakdown in previous posts so this stat from the weekend is all the more galling. The Rebels pack just isn’t dominating in key aspects. Their backline is one of the best in the competition but unless they have the space and clean ball to show their wares the team is treading water.


Some good news for Aussie rugby fans came straight after the Ballarat game. What looked like an insurmountable task for the BRUMBIES proved to be a showcase of their resilience and endeavour. They controlled the flow of the game against the CHIEFS early and reaped the reward with the best win by one of our teams in NZ for years. They are without doubt the best team in the country and carrying our hopes yet again.


Rounding out the Saturday fixtures, the REDS were the beneficiaries of a team that seemed to be worrying about whether they were going to have to go into quarantine. The SUNWOLVES played keepings off and seemed afraid to engage in physical contact. Try after try followed in nothing more than a training drill for the Queenslanders.


The games from South Africa showed that the STORMERS are a very good side while the BULLS are at the other end of the spectrum. Going for their first win, they had it in the bag but allowed the BLUES to steal it with a kick after the siren.


There are no real standout games coming up in Round 5. From an Australian perspective, probably the most pressing question is whether the Reds are capable of taking on a big, tough unit like the Sharks and make a claim they are finals contenders.


Finally, 6 Nations! The French were great in beating the Welsh in Cardiff. While those wily Poms got the better of the Irish at Twickenham. Now they are the team hunting the Frogs for the title. So naturally now I’m all aboard the tricolor train. They should be able to beat the Scots away and then have the Irish at home. Beating the Irish to stymie the Poms would be sweet.


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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. Brian, it’s a bit hard to know what to make of the huge win by the Reds. The opposition wasn’t much. The Sharks will be a better indicator of the Reds’ progress.

  2. Not as much mauling by the Brumbies and look what happens Ruminator! Is McKellar following this?

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