SP Marais ( Picture http://bit.ly/1qGnMkA)
No surprises really on the weekend in the Super rugby semi’s. The Sharks didn’t run out in drag anyway.
The Crusaders looking all conquering in the first match, giving the Sharks a right good stuffing. I’m not looking to make too many excuses for the Sharks, but they did look off their peak, which comes back to their air miles. It’s not often you’re going to see a Sharks line out all over the place like that, or their scrum being rocked. But the brainless kicking away of possession deserves no excuses, it barely works when it’s contested, nevermind handing over the ball to the most potent 15 man attack in the world, bar the All Blacks. The only time they threatened was when they played the Crusaders at their own game, a bit of vision from the impressive Marais, and a good long pass at Kankowski taking them right up the field from their own 25. Can the Cruasaders be stopped? It’s going to take something special.
In Sydney, it was a far cagier affair, with mega amounts of tackling. The Waratahs didn’t look nearly as impressive as the Crusaders, with two of their tries coming through lucky breaks. But what was impressive was how they defended, against a very determined Brumbies attack. If ACT keep on playing like that, they’ll be making the final themselves soon enough again. The Waratahs used their defence to tire the Brumbies out, and then just eased away from them at the end. Can they hold out the Cruasaders next week? I think it’s going to be way closer than most people are predicting, the Waratahs should have a massive crowd behind them, and they have far more to show than they did this week.
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 Sharks
Waratahs 26 - 8 Brumbies