Super Rugby: Team of the Week 4
All the South African teams were in action this weekend, two on tour and two at home. There was a firm feeling that they would be able to win at least three of those four fixtures, but we have been in a relationship with rugby for quite some time and we all know that it doesn’t care about your feelings.
Stormers vs Highlanders
The injury and somewhat gameplan-crippled Stormers team, was facing a very good Highlanders unit, but after a decent showing in the 2nd half against the Crusaders the previous week, there was hope for the Cape Town side.
At the end of the first half the Stormers were not too far behind and would have entertained thoughts of pulling off an upset, but it was not to be, the dream was an HIA and didn’t make a return to the field of play.
The second half the Highlanders brought out fresh cans of hurt paint and it ended up being a one-sided paint job. The two Damians’ inability to distribute ball wider is a bit of a worrying factor, with too many carries. The Stormers now return home where they face a tough Blues side.
Reds vs Bulls
The Mameloftus Sundowns travelled to face the Reds, who delivered a soft shock by beating the more favoured Brumbies a week earlier in a snorefest Aussie derby.
There is still a lot of belief in the Bulls side after stunning the 2016 Champs, the Hurricanes at Loftus in their opening game, even after losing to the Lions the following week, there was enough there to feed the troops.
The Bulls were fully in control thanks to an early try by Springbok fullback, Warrick Gelant, and scored another try to get the foundation in place, but that’s where the points jar went empty for the Bulls. The, somewhat unknown, Reds side started eating the elephant one bite at a time and notched up a 6 point win. Back to the drawing board for the Bulls.
Sharks vs Sunwolves
In a Durban, the hosts were in desperate need of a win and even though it was “Just the Sunwolves” we know that winning has to start somewhere and the Sharks needed to win just for the sake of winning and getting some sort of spark going and a W on the log.
It wasn’t great viewing for the early part but Akker van der Merwe showed a spark when he busted the Wolves’ defence open like a piggy bank on the 23rd of the month to score a try any player from 1-15 would be proud of.
The Finisher Makazole Mapimpi got some ball and space and reminded everyone he’s still SA’s in-form wing with two five-pointers. The Sharks were squeezing all the juice from the fruit and finally have something to build on.
Lions vs Blues
The South African flagship team, the Lions, was unbeaten coming into the weekend and arguably faced their toughest opposition in the form of the Blues.
The Lions looked to have everything in control as player 24, the altitude, took the field, but in all their brilliance the Lions were just too messy a version of themselves.
The Blues never stopped playing, something South African teams struggle to get a grasp on. Akira Ioane was an absolute beast for the NZ side and opposition sides better start taking note of his attacking ability.
The result could have been different a few times, especially in the case of a charge down from the red-hot speedster, Aphiwe Dyantyi, that he just lost control of before the grounding.
The Blues sneaked it at the death and the Lions lose a game at home, which they should have won. But Spur doesn’t accept Should-Have vouchers as payment.
A reality check for the Lions and hopefully they tighten up a bit without getting uptight.
With that said and done, here’s our armchair panel’s selection for the Super Rugby Team of the Week 4:
|1||Tendai Mtawarira||Tendai Mtawarira||Tendai Mtawarira|
|2||Akker van der Merwe||Malcolm Marx||Akker van der Merwe|
|3||Ruan Dreyer||Wilco Louw||Wilco Louw|
|4||Ruan Botha||RG Snyman||RG Snyman|
|5||Chris van Zyl||Lood de Jager||Chris van Zyl|
|6||Roelof Smit||Cyle Brink||Cyle Brink|
|7||Nic De Jager||Jacques Vermeulen||Nic De Jager|
|8||Warren Whitley||Willi Britz||Warren Whitley|
|9||Ross Cronje||Cameron Wright||Cameron Wright|
|10||Elton Jantjies||Elton Jantjies||Damian Willemse|
|11||Makazole Mapimpi||Makazole Mapimpi||Makazole Mapimpi|
|12||Rohan Janse van Rensburg||Andre Esterhuizen||Rohan JV Rensburg|
|13||Jessie Kriel||EW Viljoen||Jessie Kriel|
|14||Sylvian Mahuza||Travis Ismael||Travis Ismaiel|
|15||Warrick Gelant||Andries Coetzee||Warrick Gelant|
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