Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Chiefs and the Sharks were awesome, the Crusaders and the Stormers weren't!

He's the Man! (picture

I must have been one of the only people with a TV watching a recording of the Chiefs/Crusaders match instead of the Olympic opening ceremony. And I missed out, can’t beat the British for putting on a show. What I did get to see however was a spine tinglingly intense game of rugby. The conventional wisdom (well my wisdom anyway) was that the (rusaders were only a roll, the Chiefs weren’t, and it was going  to be a win by the men in red and black. Wrong! The Crusaders didn’t know what hit them (I’ll come back to that) and it puts into perspective the gushing praise the Crusaders were getting in NZ on the back of putting away a tired looking Bulls team last week. What hit them – I think it was Messam, Schalwager, anyone with a name ending in olo. The Chiefs to me had a definite strategy of getting in the Crusaders faces, literally, and the Crusaders didn’t like it, couldn’t cope with it. The Chiefs also came to play, Cruden is just awesome, so was Sonny Bill, what a final it’s going to be!

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, it was expected by most people (me anyway) that the Sharks were going to be too tired to beat a well rested Stormers side with the best defensive side in the competition. They looked they’d rested all right – on the beach eating pies! They were as sluggish as, well, the slugs eating all the flowers in my garden! I’m amazed at how little the Sharks had to do to beat them. Pietersen’s cheeky try was an embarrassment for them, and Michalak proved (as did Cruden) that size doesn’t always count. I think the Sharks play better when they are jet lagged! I don’t know how they’ll cope with another long plane trip, but don’t count them out just yet.

Super Rugby
Saturday , July 28
Stormers 19 - 26 Sharks 
Friday , July 27
Chiefs 20 - 17 Crusaders 

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