Aaron Cruden kicks the winning penalty goal for the Chiefs on the weekend. Image: ABC Grandstand
ESPNscrum.com: Round 2 of Super Rugby provided yet more unexpected results, while some highly-fancied sides showed signs of life after first round performances that many a tipster has quickly forgotten.
And teams who surprised us in Round 1 were found wanting a week later, proving only one thing remains true about the premier southern hemisphere competition: you just cannot assume anything from one week to the next.
This week’s three points:
- Lacking breakdown presence? Just add an All Black flanker
- I don’t want to say the Chiefs are a one-man attack, but…
- Scoot Sio: Australia’s next top prop?
Rebels lock/backrower Lopeti Timani is officially a RWC bolter. Image via Melbourne Rebels Facebook
The Roar: Don’t let the fact we’re only into the third week of Super Rugby fool you; this is a World Cup year and amateur selection is the name of the game. All. Year. Long.
And let’s be honest, we’re going to guess and speculate and over-hype and go cold on players all year. One less than ideal game will see last week’s “World Cup certainty” dumped as easily and as ruthlessly as a primary school girlfriend.
So let me name a few bolters myself, though I know I’m not the first to list these players. And in the event of form suddenly going south, I’ll obviously delete this article…
Even with Dan Carter out this weekend, the Crusaders won’t be panicking with the calibre of returning players. Image via Crusaders Facebook
ESPNscrum.com: Super Rugby is under way, and what a start: away teams won fewer than 30% of all matches in 2014, but six of the seven games in round one were won by teams on the road; in 2014, the sixth away win was not registered until midway through found five.
It’s fair to say that a few teams will have headed back to the drawing board after last weekend’s results, but how will they respond? How many of the upsets will be anomalies by this time next week? How many will be “the start of something”?
My Monday column has moved to Wednesday this year, and in ‘Three Points’, we’ll explore the issues coming out of one round and going into the next..
David Pocock was superb in comeback match, but “only made 5 tackles” according to some. Image: ABC Grandstand
The Roar: On reflection, there was nothing surer. After daring to put the words, “I don’t see any difficult picks this weekend” on the record in the Super Rugby Expert Tipping panel last Friday, there was just no way the opening round would go according to plan.
Not even my pre-emptive, “…which, of course, means we’re all in for 4/7 rounds and wasted Powerplays.” could save me. The opening round script was comprehensively disregarded.
This all said, and with the benefit of an extra day to let it all sink in, it’s been hard to get away from the conclusion that way too much focus has been on the upsetees, rather than credit for the upseters…