Crusaders, Leinster, Waratahs, Cardiff, Stormers. Could the Celts be in Super Rugby’s future?
The Roar: This shapes as a really interesting weekend of rugby. I reckon Round 11 has a bit of a ‘moving weekend’ feel about it.
There are two groups of teams that this applies to: the Crusaders we already know are going to be there or thereabouts, but the three teams immediately behind them on the table – the Hurricanes, Bulls and Highlanders – have a really good chance to put one over teams in and on the fringe of the top eight.
Below them, the Sharks, Brumbies, Waratahs, and the Blues all have a chance to remind the top eight teams the they need to keep an eye over their shoulder. So here’s some Round 11 talking points:
- Is Super Rugby’s future Celtic?
- Rise of the third bananas?
- Make or break week for the Blues;
- Will Steven Bradbury top the Australian conference? And..
- Neutral referees: I reckon it’s happening.
The Waratahs looked done for when beaten by the Brumbies in Sydney three weeks ago, but now look the Australian team most likely. Image: ABC Grandstand
In my second column for Cape Town-based rugby site Rugby365, I explain how things suddenly look rather different in the Australian conference…
With ten rounds of the 2016 Super Rugby season done, things have suddenly got a whole lot more interesting in the Australian conference.
I finished off last month’s column saying that anything can and will happen in Super Rugby, and that’s certainly been the case in the within our conference. Form has been fleeting, consistency hasn’t existed unless you include ‘inconsistency’, and where I suggested that the Brumbies probably loomed as the major – and possibly ‘only’ – source of Australian playoff hopes, well, even that claim now looks rather shaky.
The Brumbies had all kind of issues with the Crusaders on Sunday, particularly but not limited to, Nemani Nadolo. Image: ABC Grandstand
The Roar: Nine rounds of the Super Rugby season are done for 2016, meaning that even with the June International window approaching, we’re just over halfway through the competition.
And if there’s one thing that has become clear over this weekend just gone and the last few weeks before that, it’s that it is looking increasingly unlikely that two Australian teams will feature in the expanded eight-team finals series.
One team is assured, obviously, by virtue of the conference system, and right at this point in time, we can be very thankful for it…
Embattled Brumbies CEO Michael Jones emerges from the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday, where his injunction to keep his job was upheld. But these are the days of our lives… Image via ABC News Canberra
The Roar: It’s been viewed already as one of the harder rounds to tip in the season to date, and that’s a fair call with so many games featuring so many subplots across the weekend. Already healthy leads in three of the four conferences can be extended, while New Zealand will undoubtedly deliver yet more quality.
And then, there’s maybe the hardest game to pick all season: the Sunwolves v Jaguares in Tokyo. Sheesh, I’ve still got a headache thinking about it. Here’s the talking points for Round 9:
- ANZAC Weekend? What ANZAC weekend…
- Which teams are kicking themselves off the tee?
- The Bulls: it could be time to consider the possibility that there’s a chance that potentially I might be wr-wr-wr-wro-wron…
- I don’t think the Waratahs are done yet. But they’re close. And..
- The Bold and the Brumbies: Episode 37