Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crusaders slay the Bulls, while the Sharks terrorise Queensland

The semi deciders got going in Christchurch, with the Bulls taking on the Crusaders. If ever a team looked like they’d got off a 24 hour flight, this was the Bulls. In fact they looked like they’d got off a 24 hour flight, gone straight to a 24 hour party, and then come to the match. All in all, they put in a decent  spell for about 10 minutes in the second half.  Their A plan didn’t fire, and let’s face it, this is the Bulls, let’s not confuse things by having two plans. The Crusaders played well, but weren’t really tested. McCaw is pure class, and could easily be starting for the All Blacks at no 8 (depending on how Read recovers) , while Carter is back to his best. The Bulls weren’t help by a succession of injuries, and a bad day at the office from Morne Steyn.

The second match was much better – OK, I’m a little biased because I’m a Sharks fan, but there was a lot more running rugby, and the teams were a lot closer. I don’t know where the Sharks have been hiding this form, but for the last three weeks they’ve been on fire. Their loose trio is immense, ( and with Alberts at lock and Bismarck they have 5 loose forwards!)and the running from the backs, in particular JP Pietersen, is savage as my son would say. Paul Jordaan impressed as well. It all went wrong for the Reds when Cooper tip tackled last week. Then Lucas went off, they lost their shape, and found it nigh impossible to break down a determined Sharks defense. With a bit more luck with injuries, they could have done a lot more this season.

This is how they line up next week. Why host the NZ side on a Friday though?

Chiefs v Crusaders:
Date: Friday, 27 July
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: (19.35 local, 17.35 AUS, 09.35 SA)
Stormers v Sharks:
Date: Saturday, 28 July
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: (17.05 local, Sun 29 Jul 03.05 NZT, Sun 29 Jul 01.05 AUS)

Super Rugby
Saturday , July 21
Crusaders 28 - 13 Bulls 
Reds 17 - 30 Sharks

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