So I took a week off from writing about round 4 which was probably a precedent set by Paul Marks taking the week off from reffing. I was a bit annoyed with rugby in general after that and even more so when the mistake was “admitted” by the IRB which still left the Sharks on 0/4. So, this weekend I am not blaming the ref for the Sharks loss and instead I am going to offer you my ramblings which is the wrap for week 5.
Chiefs (19) vs Crusaders (26)
I picked the Chiefs to win this at home. I felt they would come back hard after losing to the Reds. I evaluated the form of both teams and delved deep into the strength of each player and the experience out wide for the Chiefs.
I was wrong.
The Chiefs actually deserved to lose by quite a bit more. Like most rugby games, this was a game of 2 halves. In the first, the rugby was fluid and exciting but after both teams injected themselves with Valium, the second half was as a sedate as a stoned poodle. 23-16 at half time, 26-19 at full time. The 2nd half was a massive 3-3 which was trumped this weekend only by the Maritzburg College 16a team beating DHS 3-0 (yes, at rugby not soccer). As usual, Crusaders began the season in holiday mode, eased into it with a yawn and a stretch and will only get better towards the later stages. The Chiefs confused themselves by beginning the season with 3 victories after last year’s Sharkesque 3-loss start. They seem to be out of ideas already and if not for Steven Donald kicking a few penalties, they wouldn’t have been close to 7 points behind. Saders are my number 2 team for the season and I expect an IPL score when they play the Lions this weekend and for that reason, congratulations must be extended to young Robert Fruean for being selected into my fantasy rugby side. Chiefs wave bye this weekend.
Waratahs (73) vs Lions (12)
The Kings 15 Punjab, aka the Waratahs, played the Lions. In the first innings, the Waratahs were a bit disappointed to only score 73 with Drew Mitchell their top scorer with 20. The Lions defense was shocking and they were skittled out for a paltry 12, losing the game by 61. The Punjabs play the Force this weekend and are expected again to be restricted to under 100 while the Lions will not be looking forward to facing the Crusaders attack.
Brumbies (24) vs Sharks (22)
I was almost given a good a reason for dragging my hangover out of bed to watch the game. Almost. I must be honest, there was one amazing highlight out of the game for the Sharks: the commentators correcting their previous assumption that Andy Goode’s hairstyle was a combover. Thanks to the Aussie commentators supporting criminals for decades, they were able to give us the correct terminology which is a skullet – skull in the front and party at the back. Now you know.
Kanko was the only Shark that had deservedly been selected in Dean’s fantasy rugby side but after his -5 this weekend, I have to revaluate his selection. Other than that, Giteau continues to be the world’s most overrated flyhalf, Jannie du Plessis the most overrated rugby player on earth and John Plumtree the most ineffective coach.
Bulls (50) vs Highlanders (35)
Jacques Kallis’ Bulls continue their run of half centuries. But, this one was a bit different. I think the Bulls were up for a challenge and decided to try play one of the teams left handed. They played some serious shite during the game and still managed 50, LEFT HANDED! That’s how good this side is. If not for Israel Baghdad taking the Bulls on by himself and if the Bulls had played right handed, the score could have been about 3589 – 3.
And, to continue finding challenges in this boring game of rugby, the Bulls are rumoured to search other planets for a team that can match them or they are playing the Hurricanes this weekend blindfolded and only allowed to run backwards. Highlanders are giving the Sharks their best opportunity of winning a rugby game when they fly back to the island.
Stormers (37) vs Hurricanes (13)
The most complete performance of the weekend easily belongs to the Cape Town team. The party in long street is still going on. They proved after the first 4 weeks that they can defend, conceding even less points than the Sharks have scored this season! 51 in 5 games with an average of 10.2 per game. Put it another way, Stormers have conceded in 5 games what the Bulls have almost scored per game. For the first time this century, they showed they could attack. That wing with the long name who plays number 14 showed us that he does actually know what rugby is about and had Nick Mallett screaming into his Italian food, “I knew he was a good buy, you see, you see, I told you I knew what I was doing!” Old Nick got so excited about his import he forgot to coach the Italians against France.
Stormers are really impressing me now. Their pack has surprised a few people and Allister Coetzee is proving his coaching credentials. Maybe he wasn’t ready to take over from JW for the Bok job but he clearly knows what he is doing and is going to be epic in a few seasons time. Out of the last 3 games the biggest difference for the Stormers is who started at scrumhalf. Duvenhage was at 9 in the last 2 games they won with 5 log points while the loss to the Brumbies started with Ricky I-am-so-slow-to-get-to-the-breakdown-and-need-3-steps-to-build-momentum-up-to-pass Januarie. A Bulls/Stormers final would be awesome and is a definite possibility! For now though, they play against the Cheetahs in what should be an entertaining match while the Canes will be conceding 50 points in Pretoria. How many they score will determine if they win.
Reds (50) vs Force (10)
The roundest score of the week goes to the Reds Force. No change required if you had to pay the score out. 50, 10. Nice. Good work. To be honest, I learnt my lesson from Saturday about getting out of bed too early so didn’t watch this. Watching 2 Australian teams is ALWAYS going to be disappointing as one of them will win. I don’t like watching Aussie’s win anything so I am hardly going to subject myself to a game where there is guaranteed to be an Aussie victory. On the bright side, there was an Aussie team that got a hiding this weekend! The Force are comfortably lined up as the Sharks genuine victory chance this season. Chatting to the 2 people I know who watched this game both mentioned one name, Quade Cooper, so I imagine he had a decent game. Is anyone even reading this far? Do you actually care about this game? Fine, I am not writing anymore about it then.
My continuous guess as to what the log will look like come May: