Thursday, July 28, 2016

Super Rugby semi finals, and an update on Schmidt Watch!


Super Rugby hits the semi finals this weekend, with matches in Wellington and Johannesburg. First up is the all New Zealand affair of the Hurricanes and the Chiefs. The Canes have all the advantages - they hammered the Sharks last week, so spirits are high, and they're at home for the second week in a row. The Chiefs meanwhile, while not being exactly taxed by playing the Stormers last weekend, have just basically flown around the world in the last week, which isn't the best preparation for a sharp physical  on form side like the Canes. So the Canes for me.

The in Joburg it's the Lions entertaining the Highlanders. The Lions produced a massive performance last weekend to dispose of the Crusaders, slept in their beds this week, and will be well up for this match. If they win, it'll be their first final. The Highlanders had a tough away match with a lot of travel last weekend, and back that up again. So travel is going to be a factor, a huge factor, again home advantage is going to do it for me in this match.

Finally, in Schmidt watch, the plot thickens, with Steve Hansen signing up for another two years with the All Blacks. And who knows, he could sign up for another four years after that. So does Joe take up a Super Rugby position, a step backwards, and play the waiting game? He has personal family reasons as well, and whatever he chooses, he's done so well by Ireland. But it probably swings the possibility of staying slightly more likely.

Super Rugby semi-finals   
Saturday, July 30   
Hurricanes v Chiefs   
Lions v Highlanders 

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