Wow what an absolute cracker the first round of Super rugby turned out to be. It was full of unbelievable results and twists and turns that I for one never predicted.
The Highlanders stunned the Hurricanes, the Blues fought back to beat the Crusaders and the Reds limped to victory in the dying moments.
Since most people either a) watched the game or b) know the results I am simply going to going to do a quick rundown on what I thought of round 1.
As mentioned above there were quite a few surprises this round, none more so than the Lions surprising the Bulls with a second half comeback. For a team who had not won a single game in the entire competition last season to come within 4 points of victory was amazing. Their ability to keep the Bulls scoreless in the second half was a testament to their newfound character and determination. I hope this continues well into the season and they end their 15 game losing streak.
Best in Class (Team)
The Waratahs get my vote for ‘Best in Class’ this weekend. They played fluid free flowing rugby that reeked of showmanship and class. Led by superstar and one of my all time faves, Captain Phil Waugh, the Tahs never looked in doubt of securing victory. They continually attacked the Rebels line at every opportunity and made them pay for their mistakes. They dominating in the scrum and the breakdown and simply looked impressive!
Worst in Class (Team)
I hate to say it as I had such high hopes for them in this game but the Rebels were the most disappointing. Yes this was their first game in Super Rugby and they haven’t had much time to meld but they were totally outclassed by the Tahs and the score line of 43-0 proves it. I’m not saying that they were a total mess, they started strong and the opening 15 minutes were encouraging but once the Tahs found their feet, the Rebels never got back in the game. Their attack was flat and defence was poor and didn’t seem to have any set plays or a game plan in place. Hopefully they can go back to the drawing board and make some changes.
Best in Class (Player)
What a machine!! His display against the Reds was outstanding. He looked powerful and completely outplayed them in the breakdown. If this is his form going in to Super Rugby, I can’t wait to see him in the Wallabies jersey in October!
Worst in Class (Player)
I do hate to say it, but Quade was not at his best yesterday. While his kicking was pretty much on song (despite the ball hitting the posts on full-time) we didn’t see any of his flashy moves and he didn’t really open play like he usually does. Full points went to MOM James O’Connor who completely overshadowed Cooper in the no 10 jersey.
While some of the opening games lacked in intensity and lustre, it was a very enjoyable way to start Super Rugby season and I can’t wait for Round 2. Look out for my predictions later in the week.