Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ulster, Mark Anscombe and bits and pieces of Super Rugby

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Mark Anscombe made an abrupt exit this weekend from Ulster, on his first day of work for the new Season. Give him a one year extension, then tell him to sling his hook. It follows the resignation of David Humphries last month. It’s said Anscombe had ‘lost the dressing room’.  I don’t rate the Ulster lads as prima donnas, far from it, so things must have been pretty bad. Hopefully, they’ll pick up a good coach and go forwards again – Wayne Smith or Robbie Deans would be perfect for the job, if they can get either. There’s going to be some testing times ahead though, the new coach is going to need to stamp his authority pretty quick – player power is all vey well, but someone has to be in charge.  It all just seems a real pity, UIster have come up such a long way, and it needs a lot of patience to get the big results – Leinster played second fiddle to Munster for ages before they finally broke through.
Otherwise, there’s still a lot of Super Rugby going on. The Kiwi derbies will probably be the most entertaining, with a very competitive conference, and Crusaders/Blues should be something awesome. In South Africa, Sharks/Cheetahs probably won’t be a thriller, but the Sharks need that one badly. And finally, the Tahs are riding high with Leinster’s old boss, Michael Cheika, and will have a tricky task taming the Highlanders to maintain their good run.
Super Rugby
Friday , July 4
Chiefs vs Hurricanes 
Lions vs Melbourne Rebels 
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders vs Blues 
Western Force vs Reds 
Stormers vs Bulls 17:05
Cheetahs vs Sharks 
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs vs Highlanders 16:05

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