Super Rugby 2020 – Round 6: Ruminations

Results for Round 6:

 

Sunwolves 14 Brumbies 47

Crusaders 24 Reds 20

Waratahs 14 Chiefs 51

Hurricanes 15 Blues 24

Rebels 37 Lions 17

Sharks 33 Jaguares 19

Bulls 38 Highlanders 13

Stormers BYE

 

Now that we are one third the way through this year’s competition, lets look at who is setting the pace and staking finals claims.

 

In the Australian Conference, the perennial front-runners are at it again this year. The BRUMBIES have been playing with purpose. They have shown they are not a one trick pony. Those early wins built on the back of rolling mauls getting them over the line have made way to a more sophisticated, expansive style. Their depth of talent should hold them in good stead for the rest of the season. It is hard to see anyone knocking them off their perch. The REBELS win over the LIONS gives them some breathing space in second spot with their first bonus point of the season. It was a good game on Saturday night where they outclassed their opponents all over the pitch.

 

The REDS scored four tries against the best team in the competition in Christchurch but couldn’t convert one of them so still ended up losing the game. A noble defeat it may be, but it will probably come to be seen as the hallmark of their season – high expectations, dashed hopes. Then there is the WARATAHS. That second half capitulation in Wollongong on Friday was pathetic. To go into the break a point up and concede six unanswered tries is unforgivable. It’s season over for the boys from sin City.

 

In the New Zealand Conference, the CRUSADERS are getting a real run for their money from the CHIEFS. Watching those two slug it out for top spot will be one of the highlights of the remainder of the season. But let’s not rule out the BLUES. Their gutsy win away against the HURRICANES was a delight to watch. They are a very skillful unit prepared to play high-wire rugby to blast a game open. I hope their derring-do is rewarded with a spot in the finals. They have been bridesmaids for a long time now and are getting the job done without their most prized recruit in Beauden Barrett, who is yet to take the field. The HIGHLANDERS showed with their loss to the hapless BULLS they are down for the count.

 

In the South African Conference, the SHARKS returned from their successful road trip and dominated the JAGUARES. They look unstoppable now to win their conference with the STORMERS slugging it out with the Argentinians for a chance to play finals.

 

Next round the first match-up between the Chiefs and Canes should be a beauty. The SA derby at midnight on Saturday looks very promising too. Then we have our first Sunday fixture of the season when the Brumbies host the Tahs, where they will probably give them a shellacking.

 

There were only two games in the 6 Nations with the postponement of the Italy v Ireland game. The Poms beat the Welsh in a spiteful encounter at Twickenham. The Scots got the jump on the French at Murrayfield to throw the contest wide open. The English are now favourites but the postponed games complicate matters. The final round is this weekend but the final standings will only be determined after decisions are made about the two games not played against Italy.

 

Interestingly, Super Rugby has faced the same issue as the Six Nations with one team determined to be a coronavirus risk. However, the Sunwolves have been allowed to play on at venues outside Japan while that has not been the case for the Azzurri. Not sure what that says about the respective competitions. I’m just glad that the SR season can continue and there is some semblance of business as usual for the fans. I joked about the ‘life and death’ nature of rugby in my last post. I know the pandemic is serious but the bugler is not playing the Last Post just yet. Suppose I’ll keep posting then ….. and ruminating, always ruminating!

 

 

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About

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.

Comments

  1. Nice summary on all fronts ruminator! Booby G from sin city

  2. Brian, the Queensland Reds performed so much better than expected against the ruthless Crusaders but couldn’t land the knock-out blow. I think you summarise their season to date very well. Their cricketing brothers, the Queensland Bulls, had a similar problem in Perth over the weekend – knocked over the top order of the Warriors in both innings but couldn’t dislodge the tail. It ended up costing the Bulls an easy win and, possibly, a spot in the Shield final.

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