Super Rugby Week 10 raised more questions than answers for the South African teams. There was a surprise away win, but two home losses.
Super Rugby Week 10
We take a look at the most important points coming out of each game.
Chiefs 17 Emirates Lions 23
Chiefs – Tries: Sean Wainui, Nepo Laulala, Tumua Manu Conversion: Marty McKenzie
Emirates Lions – Tries: Carlu Sadie, Aphiwe Dyantyi Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2) Penalties: Jantjies (2) Drop goal: Jantjies
The Lions had a challenging week leading up to this game. It was largely expected that they would not be able to challenge the Chiefs. Head Coach Swys de Bruin returned home after reportedly experiencing some level of nervous breakdown. Defense Coach Joey Mongalo was recalled to Johannesburg. He faces a Lions internal disciplinary hearing after being found guilty of an indecent assault while on tour in Australia last year. Also returning to Johannesburg was Courtnall Skosan, who went home to be with his seriously ill father.
The Lions response
The Lions surprised everybody with a dominant performance for the first 50 minutes. Their scrum had the Chiefs under pressure and conceding penalties. The defense was rock solid, as a 20 — nil scoreline at half time attests to.
Carlu Sadie was particularly impressive in his all round play. His scrumming was on point, as was his all round play. Elton Jantjies looked very relaxed playing at outside center, looking after young flyhalf Gianni Lombard.
The Chiefs owned most of the final half hour. They outscored the Lions 17 points to 3, but the Lions had enough points in the bank to hold on for the win.
The Lions now move on to Christchurch to face the impressive Crusaders.
— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) April 19, 2019
Cell C Sharks 14 Reds 2
Cell C Sharks – Tries: Kerron van Vuuren and Dan du Preez Conversions: Robert du Preez and Curwin Bosch
Reds – Tries: Bryce Hegarty, Feauira-Sautia and Tate McDermott Conversions: Bryce Hegarty 2 and Hamish Stuart
This match become difficult to watch. It was low quality, with far too many handling errors for two professional teams. The Reds defended with determination and easily repelled most of the Sharks attacking plays. The truth may be hard for the Sharks to face, but their play with ball in hand was simplistic at best. Even though simplistic, they were mostly inaccurate too, reminiscent of a thrown together Barbarians team. The one-off carrier play is predictable and easy to defend against. The Sharks current play consists of too much testosterone and not enough serotonin. A lot of brute force and not enough thought. it was particularly disappointing to see the Sharks scrum being hammered as badly as they were.
Hopefully the Sharks can work on turning things around, starting with next week’s visit to the Waratahs in Sydney.
DHL Stormers 17 Brumbies 19
DHL Stormers – Tries: Wilco Louw; Penalty try Conversion: Joshua Stander Penalty: Stander
Brumbies – Tries: Pete Samu, Rory Arnold and Tom Banks Conversions: Christian Lealiifano 2
The Brumbies only topped two measures in the game. The amount of tackles made and the scoreboard. For the rest, it was all Stormers. Possession, territory, handling errors and turnovers conceded were all in the the Stormers favour.
Poor decision making
The Stormers decision making early on was disappointing. Easy penalty kicks were turned down. They rather opted for kicks to the corner or scrums. It didn’t work out and we have to ask the question how they decided their forwards were dominant enough to make that decision in the early minutes of the game.
It was poor decision making. A casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that the Sharks and Stormers were coached by the same coach for attacking play. It was too slow, from too deep and relied on passing the ball to the big guy with a low number standing in midfield.
LET’S GO! pic.twitter.com/HvOETVCvdo
— Plus500 Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) April 20, 2019
The Stormers host the Bulls at Newlands next weekend. The Bulls had a bye over the Easter weekend
Although the overwhelming majority of top level coaches have played at the highest level, it does not mean that all top level players are top level coaches. Trying our best to stay away from coach bashing, we have to question how much longer both the Sharks and Stormers can continue with their current coaching structures. The Stormers have already made a change for 2020, bringing John Dobson in to replace Robbie Fleck, but why wait?
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