NRC rolls on: Wallabies allocations well on the mark

Christian Lealiifano, Ben Alexander, and Wycliff Palu were yesterday allocated to the NRC equivalent of the Australian Rugby Championship teams they played for in 2007...

Christian Lealiifano, Ben Alexander, and Wycliff Palu were yesterday allocated to the NRC equivalent of the Australian Rugby Championship teams they played for in 2007…

The Roar: What started as a drip is becoming a proper stream. With next to no National Rugby Championship news ‘out there’ even as recently as three weeks ago, suddenly – happily – the news is rolling out regularly now.

And we should start expecting more, too. As I’ve mentioned in recent weeks, numerous clubs have pencilled in the week either side of the Super Rugby Final for their official launches, and the competition as a whole is eyeing off airtime in there somewhere too.

Last week, it was the draw. Yesterday afternoon saw the allocation of Wallabies to the nine clubs, and I’ve offered up my thoughts on the distribution today for The Roar

#Scrum5: Whoa, mumma! Welcome to the Finals

Henry Speight is all set to terrorise the Waratahs in the Semi-Final this Saturday in Sydney. Image: ABC Grandstand

Henry Speight is all set to terrorise the Waratahs in the Semi-Final this Saturday in Sydney. Image: ABC Grandstand

ESPNscrum.com: What a cracking start to the 2014 Finals Series; two absolute, knock-down belters of Qualifying Finals played with pace, physicality, precision, and passion. I said this after the second game in Durban was done, but it’s worth saying again: if the remaining three finals matches are even half as good as the two this weekend just gone, we’ll have been seriously spoiled.

Along with this week’s Scrum5 podcast with Andy Withers and Brittany Mitchell, here are the Super Rugby talking points from the first weekend of the Finals Series:

  • Australia gets its’ dream Semi-Final;
  • Brumbies made it harder for themselves than it should’ve been;
  • Sharks win the battle of power vs. smarts;
  • Refs keep it open, and we’re all the better for it, and
  • Chiefs and Highlanders unearth some proper talent.

ABC Grandstand: What a start to the Finals!

Sharks' flyhalf kicks in traffic against the Highlanders in Durban early this morning. Image: ABC Grandstand

Sharks’ flyhalf Francois Steyn kicks in traffic against the Highlanders in Durban early this morning. Image: ABC Grandstand

ABC Grandstand Digital: The rest of the Super Rugby Finals Series will have a lot to live up to, if the remaining games are to match the quality of the two Qualifying Finals last night.

The Brumbies overcame a fast-finishing Chiefs in Canberra in the first QF, while the Sharks similarly snuck home in Durban past a Highlanders side whose play belied their ordinary form of the last fortnight. Here’s this morning’s chat with Al Crombie and Jimmy Southgate on Grandstand Breakfast this morning…

 

ABC Grandstand: Battle of the Tens

Respective no.10s Aaron Cruden (L) and Matt Toomua will go a long way to deciding tonight's 1st Qual Final..

Respective no.10s Aaron Cruden (L) and Matt Toomua will go a long way to deciding tonight’s 1st Qual Final..

ABC Grandstand Digital: We’re in finals mode now in Super Rugby, and on Grandstand Breakfast this morning, it was all about the match-up between Aaron Cruden and Matt Toomua, the key battle in tonight’s first Qualifying Final between the Brumbies and Chiefs at Canberra Stadium. Clear skies and a a little bit of wind around should make for a relatively dry track, and hopefully, a cracking game.

In Durban early tomorrow morning, the Sharks will host the Highlanders in the second QF…