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Super Rugby Qualifiers Round Review - Thoughts? 81 views 3 Comments
21 June 2015 by The Swede Eaters
 

What do you think?

We are down to four teams in Super Rugby 2015 and here are six things we learnt from the weekend.

1) The Stormers are disappointing without Duane Vermeulen. The Stormers seem to capitulate without Duane Vermeulen. He is their captain and best player. The Stormers were toothless in losing a qualifying game at home by 20 points. It shows you how disappointing the South African conference was in 2015, and makes a joke of them being the third ranked side in the competition.

2) The international players must step up in Super Rugby playoff matches. We saw in Dunedin that the likes of Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Brodie Retallick really stood up and were counted for their Super Rugby teams, while in Cape Town we saw Wallabies internationals like David Pocock, Christian Lealiifano and Joe Tomane making a difference. Super Rugby playoff matches are not much lower in quality than test matches and so it is important that international stars really step up for their team.

3) The Super Rugby Qualifiers had an average winning margin of 15 points which is higher than the overall average winning margin during Super Rugby 2015. The Highlanders predictably won at home, while the Brumbies were the first team to win overseas in Super Rugby playoff matches since they won in South Africa in 2013. Their margin of 20 points was far higher than most tipsters predicted. Their win in itself was an upset with just over 20 percent of tipsters playing SuperBru tipping that result.

4) Does Super Rugby form relate to international form? We are asking this given that South Africa has no one left in Super Rugby 2015 and because the All Blacks selectors have included Israel Dagg in their squad despite him missing most of Super Rugby 2015 with a calf injury. They have also included players in their first full season of Super Rugby who have excelled like Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo. Is it too soon for these guys?

5) It is difficult to know which two teams will make the Super Rugby final, there won't be a South African team there, this leaves you wondering how they will have enough depth after the post Rugby World Cup departures to Europe, to actually field a sixth team in the extended Super Rugby competition?

6) It is amazing how the Highlanders have taken a team of discards from other Super Rugby teams and formed one of the best teams in the competition. Their coaching staff deserve a knighthood. While the lineout still needs plenty of work, the scrum is far more solid than it used to be and their backline is electric. The forward pack has no All Blacks in it and has players in it in their first full year of Super Rugby, who have simply been given a chance that they weren't previously given. Some of the other New Zealand franchises must be kicking themselves now seeing players they let go like Malakai Fekitoa, Waisake Naholo, Lima Sopoaga etc. make the All Blacks.

What are your thoughts on Super Rugby Qualifiers Review? Who will win the Super Rugby 2015 title?

http://www.superrugbytips.com/2015/06/super-15-rugby-qualifiers-review-five.html

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Tags: Super Rugby,



comment Comments (3)
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3 . The Swede Eaters 22 Jun 2015 12:15 PM
On another note, it is interesting that the Highlanders have really made most of that backline into stars when you consider most of them struggled to start for other franchises and so moved south. I think the influence of that coaching staff is awesome.

2 . The Swede Eaters 22 Jun 2015 12:12 PM
Yeah they do have stars in their backline, but the forward pack has done well this season despite their lack of names.

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1 . Bulpil 21 Jun 2015 08:57 PM
Heh, heh. A thought came to me. The 6th team in SA will probably also be made up of discards, just like the Highlanders. Will we see them in the play-offs somewhere in the next two years? Probably not, but just a thought.

Another thought - Highlanders are not just about discards. They have in the two Smiths probably the two best play breakers that the AB's have. When you don't have stars, you have to rely on teamwork. Rugby is still a team sport.

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