Super Rugby Final Round

Winners and Losers, Stayers and Movers

Well the fat lady is warming up for the end of the Super Rugby season. The final round is underway and some big matches are scheduled for today. In the games played so far in the final round the Blues defeated the the Highlanders and the Force reversed form and beat the Rebels, with a penalty in the dying minutes.

The Blues have secured their place in the finals, but it has been a very different season for the Force. They drew twice and lost numeous games by 3 points, or less, when it looked like they were on schedule for a win. If those games could have been closed out they would have made the finals too. The Force forwards have, on the whole, been very good, but the backs somewhat erratic.

Nathan Sharpe a beacon of loyalty in a sea of desertions

The Force have now parted with the prodigous talent of James O’Connor, after protracted contract negotiations and unreasonable demands on the players behalf. He will be missed by the Force, as will David Smith, who has really been a star on the wing in recent weeks. There seems to be very little in the way of loyalty in this competition, with numeous players changing sides at the end of the season, or moving to Europe or Japan. One of the notable exceptions is the Force skipper Nathan Sharpe, who had a marvelous season and has signed up for another year, which could be his last before retirement. But in the form he is in, who knows?

The big games today feature the Reds, who have already qualified for the finals, facing the Chiefs at Waikato stadium. The Crusaders host the Hurricanes in an all New Zealand battle and the Waratahs face the Brumbies and need to win and have other results go their way to make the finals. So it looks like a long day in front of the TV. I hope I’ve put in the training for this.

Overnight in South Africa, the Bulls host the Sharks and the Cheetahs the Stormers, with only 4 points separating the top three sides in the South African conference. The Stormers look certain to qualify, but it is a toss up who else will.

Whichever team you are following, have a great day, it will be a long one in Super Rugby.

By Max Power
Google

[DEAL_OF_THE_DAY]

4 Comments
  1. Most results went as expected at the weekend, so the Blues face the Waratahs on Friday and the Crusaders host the Sharks.

    The winners of those games face the first and second placed Reds and Stormers in the semi-finals the following week.

    With just the two games this week my square eyes will get a rest.

  2. I feel I should also make special mention of Phil Waugh who has anounced that he will retire from professional Rugby at the end of the season.

    Phil has been a great servant to the Wallabies, Waratahs and Rugby in general.

    He represented the Waratahs 131 times and has 79 Wallabies caps. Congratulations on a great career Phil Waugh.

  3. The word is that Sonny Bill Williams will move from the Crusaders at the end of the season.

    My initial thought was “here he goes again chasing the mighty dollar”. But when you think about it, you couldn’t really blame anyone for moving away from Christchurch. Lots of ordinary people are doing it. While the earthquakes keep coming it is not a safe or comfortable place to live.

    Rumour has it Sonny Bill Donated $100,000 of his own money to the Earthquake Appeal, so no one can say he has not done his part in helping out. I never had much time for him as a person either, before I read that.

    But the Crusaders are a senational Rugby team and that would be the main reason to stay.

  4. The Blues comfortably beat the Waratahs 26-13 in last nights elimination game for the Super Rugby semi-finals.

    The Waratahs were desperately under manned, but typically retiring captain, Phil Waugh would not accept that as an excuse.

    Once again congratulations Phil on a great career and now I am looking forward to the Crusaders v the Sharks.

    With or without Sonny Bill, Dan Carter and Richie McCaw I am still tipping the Crusaders to win.

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