Fourth-choice flyhalf Bryce Hegarty will make his run-on debut for the Rebels against the Stormers on Friday night. As if that isn’t pressure enough, I’ve tipped his team to win, too. Image: ABC Grandstand
Three cracking intra-conference derbies headline Super Rugby Round 14, for which my preview is up on ESPNscrum now.
Tipping is getting no easier as the competition goes on, especially in light of a few upsets last weekend and other teams not performing as well as they should. And things will only get rougher as we get closer to the playoffs. This week, I’ve even told tipsters to flip a coin.
For the record, I’ve gone: Chiefs, Rebels, Force, Crusaders, Brumbies, Bulls, and Reds. Apologies to all teams involved.
(And no, I’m not keeping track of how my tips have been going. That wouldn’t make pleasant reading for anyone…)
Alby Mathewson won’t be able to get away with scrum-feeding angles like this for much longer…
Having written earlier in the year about the endemic practice of scrumhalves feeding rugby scrums at numerous angles other than straight, it was really pleasing to be able to write the follow-up article outlining how this is all about to be fixed.
As part of more IRB scrum engagement trials to begin later this year, the angle of scrum feeds will once again become a punishable offence. Not that it ever wasn’t, mind you, just now that the IRB CEO Brett Gosper himself has said it’s a practice that must stop.
Happily, I also received confirmation over the weekend from SANZAR CEO, Greg Peters, that referees down this part of the world will confirm with the push coming from above. It was a welcome backflip on “it’s not currently an area of critical importance,” from the last time Peters and I conversed on the subject.
The follow-up article is over on The Roar today…
Blues winger Frank “the Tank” Halai scores the first of his three tries against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday, and wins a coverted TotW spot. Image: ABC Grandstand
A tough round from which to pick a TotW, with a number of games have no real standout players. My Twitter followers weren’t a big help either, with my public pleas for assistance during the Waratahs-Stormers game drawing the not-that-helpful tip of “miscellaneous Stormers forward”. Thankfully, I knew Duane Vermeulen’s name…
And happily, I was able to find fourteen team-mates for him, and even upheld the growing tradition of find room for try-scoring props. Check them out now over at ESPNscrum.
Beauden Barrett scored 24 of the Hurricanes’ 39 points in their win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Image: ABC Grandstand
I’m back today on ESPNscrum with another edition of Scrum Five, the five talking points out of Super Rugby over the weekend.
In the Round 13 review, as well as getting in a mention of the Hume Highway, I wonder:
- What do we make of the Cheetahs?
- …and what of the Waratahs?
- Are the Stormers and Sharks done for 2013?
- Round 13 was a good one for… and
- Defence is the platform to build from (so keep an eye on the Western Force..)