Best of Super Rugby: Round 6

Never a dull moment in Super Rugby. Round 6 pretty much kicked off as expected with the Highlanders holding on for a 35-31 win despite a final quarter resurgence by the Hurricanes. Then the Waratahs breezed past the Rebels as Izzy Folau (with the help of Kurtley Beale) dotted down twice during their 32-8 victory, taking his personal tally to a whopping 8 tries already. Auckland’s Blues didn’t get fazed by the Cheetahs, the controversial decisions this time benefiting Sir John Kirwin’s boys as they got back to their winning ways with a 40-30 bonus-point win at home. For the third week in a row the Stormers got themselves in a position to win on the road, but instead lost their composure, handed possession to the opposition and thereby gifting a 25-15 triumph to the Brumbies.

And then all hell broke loose. Western Australia’s Force did the impossible, creating history with their third consecutive victory, this time scalping the Chiefs 18-15. More drama unfolded at Elis Park as the seemingly done and dusted Lions made a noteworthy second half comeback to sneak past the Reds with 23-20. A week off evidently didn’t cause the Bulls any momentum issues and they produced another solid performance to hand the log leading Sharks their first defeat as Jacques-Louis Potgieter steered them to a 23-19 win.


Game of the Week
Down in Perth the Sea of Blue got treated to a mammoth effort from their pride and joy. I have it on good authority that these Aussies are stand-up blokes and they truly backed that theory up with a tremendous defensive performance against the defending champions. Despite having their premier ball carrier suspended, the Force found a way to soldier on without complaint. Captain Matt Hodgson truly lead from the front, scoring the only two tries of the match and subsequently showing the Southern Hemisphere that they will not be wooden spoon contenders this year. The Chiefs were under massive pressure from the get go, never being allowed any space as the Force spread their defense very effectively. Their lightning speed from the line often caught the Chiefs behind the advantage line and then they dominated the breakdown masterfully. The whole time I was watching the game, I felt that the Chiefs were bound the shift gears at any moment, but it never happened. They just weren’t allowed and the Force forwards were simply magnificent. If they can keep this up they might very well be the surprise package of 2014.

Player of the Weekend
Kurtley Beale – It was very difficult not to nominate Force captain Matt Hodgson, but retrospect revealed more of a team effort whilst Mr Beale here had a hand in no less than three of the Waratahs’ four tries. Doing all the hard work and gifting flamboyant fullback Israel Folau a clear line to the whitewash on two occasions. I’ve been stating for a while now that it was only a matter of time before the playmakers from New South Wales clicked and it finally happened in jaw dropping style. Beale has been growing in confidence wearing the 12 jersey and I expect some more spectacular tries to come. He attacks the line very well, draws a number of defenders and is very capapble of timing his run and pass to perfection. The Waratahs are still one of my predicted finalists and this edge they have on attack has just underlined that notion. This takes me to our next segment.

Try of the Week
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Israel Folau is nominated in this category, even though he wasn’t the mastermind on this occasion, two of them actually, he did get the credit. It is no stroke of luck that gets him over the line time and again, Izzy has a very high work rate and his ability to read the game often sees him poop up at just the right time.

Big Hit of the Week
A mere 47 minutes into Round 6, the Highlanders-Hurricanes match delivered a tackle that would be talked about for some time. Otago midfielder Malakai Fekitoa had clearly lined up his opposite number and a split second after Conrad Smith wrapped his hands around the ball, he got smashed to the ground. Could Fekitoa be this year’s find of the season?

Team of the Week
15. Israel Folau (Waratahs)
14. Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs)
13. George Moala (Blues)
12. Kurtley Beale (Waratahs)
11. Robbie Coleman (Brumbies)
10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls)
9. TJ Perenara (Hurricanes)
8. Warren Whiteley (Lions)
7. Steven Luatua (Blues)
6. Matt Hodgson (Force)
5. Luvuyiso Lusaseni (Lions)
4. Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs)
3. Kieran Longbottom (Force)
2. Willie Wepener (Lions)
1. Ben Franks (Hurricanes)

By Jackie Smit

2 thoughts on “Best of Super Rugby: Round 6

  1. What a hit by Fekitoa!

    Just a thought though. How close was that to being a tip tackle? I thought I knew, but this seemed to fit the bill, didn’t it? Or are my rule changes not up to date.

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