Los Pumas leading the race for second?

It’s a big Tuesday for me, with articles out on three different websites – including Rugby365, in which I ponder the prospect that Argentina might be leading the race for second place in The Rugby Championship this season.

The Rugby Championship already looks New Zealand’s to lose, but even then it would take a series of colossal implosions between now and the final games for that to happen.

But Argentina’s impressive win over South Africa in Salta on the weekend suggests that there might not be a lot between the three other teams in The Rugby Championship, and even that the Pumas are really well placed to topple the Springboks and the Wallabies on the final standings…

Hurricanes title an All Blacks blueprint?

Another double column day for me today, with my latest column for South Africa-based Rugby365 also going live today. In it, I suspect the rush defence used so well by the Hurricanes to take the Super Rugby crown might just be a live trial for the All Blacks…

The Lions headed to Wellington for the Final against the Hurricanes with the best attack in Super Rugby, and arguably the most complete set piece – both scrum and line-out – were a definite strength for them.

Coming into the Final, the Lions had scored 81 tries; eleven more than the Hurricanes as the next best team to that point, and at an average of 4.8 tries per game.

But for all their abundant attacking ability, the Lions would still have to overcome one literal hurdle: the Hurricanes’ defence.

Will there be more Super twists?

The relative up-and-down form of the Chiefs in the second half of the season has me thinking that a win for the Stormers is very much on the cards, in this weekend’s quarter-finals. Image: ABC Grandstand

In my latest column for Rugby365, and after an eventful final round, I wonder if we’re completely done with all the twists and turns in this year’s Super Rugby season…

After months of calculations and predictions, then more predictions and recalculations to rectify some over-enthusiasm around some sides, the Super Rugby finalists for 2016 have been decided.

How did my own predictions go? Well, I’m not so glad you asked…

I did manage to get the quarter-finalists right, but I’m sure I wasn’t alone in getting the final order a bit out.

England loss provides Wallabies blueprint – IF they can throw out the rubbish

Plenty of thinking for the Wallabies, after the cleansweep at the hands of England. Image: ABC Grandstand

In my latest column for Rugby365, I’ve outlined why everything that went wrong for the Wallabies in the 3-0 Cook Cup series loss can actually be the road forward for them. If they can be smart about it…

It may take some time for the shock to disperse, but the first clean-sweep series loss on home soil since Hannes Marais’ South Africans won 3-0 in 1971 provides Michael Cheika’s Wallabies a definite way forward for The Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe Cup.

But there’s one massive, unavoidable proviso.

They simply must stop shooting themselves in the foot.