Super Rugby 2020 – Round 5: Ruminations

Results for Round 5;


Highlanders 22 Rebels 28

Waratahs 29 Lions 17

Hurricanes 62 Sunwolves 15

Reds 23 Sharks 33

Stormers 14 Blues 33

Bulls 24 Jaguares 39

Brumbies, Crusaders, Chiefs BYE


What a way to kick off the round! The REBELS showed more grit and heart in their win over the HIGHLANDERS than we have seen all season. Probably the most pleasing thing was the work-rate and skill level of the pack. They dominated early with power and imagination at the breakdown. Rangi took on the role of the leader of the pack marshalling his forces to clearly overwhelm their opposite numbers. The space and freedom afforded the backs was used effectively with hard running by the likes of Meakes and Kellaway. The ginger top winger, in particular, really lifted in this game with two intercept tries and a lot of enterprising play throughout the match.


Friday night proved to be one for the stars of the Southern Cross. The WARATAHS got their first win of the season with a solid outing over a pedestrian LIONS outfit. I don’t believe we can read too much into this win but I did enjoy seeing some skillful set plays that indicate they may be starting to gel as a unit under first year coach, Rob Penney.


On Saturday, we witnessed the wheels falling off the SUNWOLVES. These poor buggers are expected to turn up each week knowing they will be booted at seasons’ end. Added to this ignominy, they are now officially a nomadic tribe cast asunder from their home base by the dreaded pandemic sweeping the world. They are unable to play home games for the foreseeable future, so they will play the BRUMBIES in Wollongong on Friday in the first doubleheader in Super Rugby history. The Tahs host the CHIEFS in the main event. Wish I could be there to see top flight rugby in a perfect sized stadium for the event. As for the result itself last Saturday, we won’t really know if the HURRICANES are back to their best until they face serious opposition.


What we do know from the other game is the the REDS go missing when the game is on the line. They are a skillful, fluent side when the wind is at their back but when the blowtorch comes, they fold. The SHARKS were impressive in the second half as they steadily ramped up the pressure on the hosts. Their title ambitions are very much alive.


In the South African games, the BLUES put on a magnificent display against the only unbeaten team in the competition. The way they got on top of the STORMERS early and then resisted their second half comeback suggests the boys from Auckland will have a red hot go this season after so many years in the wilderness. The JAGUARES played with flair in their win over the BULLS and consolidated their stake as front-runners in the conference.


In Round 6 we have a big Friday with the historic doubleheader to look forward to, along with the Reds taking on the Crusaders in Christchurch for their biggest test of the season so far. On Saturday, the Canes v Blues game will be a fascinating marker for who can challenge the barnstorming Crusaders in that conference. I certainly hope the Rebels can pick up where they left off in Dunedin and account for the Lions at home.


It was a bye week for the 6 Nations, but it too is being affected by coronavirus precautions. The Ireland v Italy game has been postponed. The other two will go ahead, with both England and France looking to consolidate the top 2 spots against Wales and Scotland respectively.


All of this coronavirus disruption reminds me of the old gag – some say rugby is a case of life and death but I think it’s far too important for that.


More ruminations by Brian HERE


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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 the reports Brian. I am a casual watcher of RU, prefer the traditional aspect of rugby rather than League. Your reports are encouraging me to check in and have a look at some games in the near future. Cheers.

  2. Ian Hauser says

    Brian, it’s hard to be at all enthusiastic about the Reds. This was a game they should have won but, after their canter the previous week, they fell away badly as you convey. I fear a slaughter in Christchurch. Highlight of the Round was the performance by the Rebels.

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