It’s the end of the pool stages in Super Rugby 2017. For some teams it’s time to focus on the knock out games, others to lick their wounds and crawl back into their respective franchise caves while thinking about what could have been, but for two South African teams it’s a real end, cause this was their last Super Rugby season.
The defending Currie Cup champions, the Cheetahs, underperformed as only they can, but the Kings over-performed, causing quite a few upsets along the way, playing an attractive brand of rugby with a band of nobodies and bigger union rejects.
I mocked the Kings before the season started, but they played their way into the spare respect I had left. But to be fair, to myself, most of my issues with the Kings came from how they got into Super Rugby and of course, the ass Cheeky Watson story that almost crippled the union.
The Cheetahs looked like they were going to have a good season when they beat the Bulls, but then everyone went on to beat the Bulls. Interesting fact though, the Cheetahs and Kings both ended higher on the overall log than three former Super Rugby winning sides, three teams who have a combined 5 Super Rugby titles, but those three teams are all safely into the 2018 season. But let’s leave logic out of this.
In a strange twist, these two teams faced each other in their final Super Rugby match and in an even bigger twist, the men from the Free State came from behind, much like the animal they’re named after and killed off the Kings, much like the aristocratic figures they’ve been named after meet their death. A single point separated the sides, a margin of victory the Kings have been specializing in the previous two weeks. So in honour of these two teams, who have given us so many memories and stand out players like Ox Nche, Makazole Mapimpi and Chris Cloete to name a few, I have chosen a team of the week from this game.
We wish these two sides all the best going forward. As a long suffering Cheetahs fan myself, I hope that it’s a blessing in “Get the fuck out” disguise. I’m sure these two sides will provide Europe with some great moments as well and I hope they can keep the South African flag flying high.
@Justus_Beets’s Team of the Week:
- Ox Nche
- Michael Willemse
- Ross Geldenhuys
- Giant Mtyanda
- Wilhelm van der Sluys
- Chris Cloete
- Tyler Paul
- Andisa Ntsila
- Louis Schreuder
- Lionel Cronje
- Raymond Rhule
- Clinton Swart
- Francois Venter
- Wandile Mjekevu
- Malcolm Jaer
DO YOU THINK THE CHEETAHS AND THE KINGS ARE THE RIGHT TEAMS TO LEAVE THE SUPER RUGBY? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
Written for The Pundits by @Justus_Beets