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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Super Rugby: Round 16 recap; Round 17 upcomes


Super Rugby – Does not matter if the grounds are in Brisbane or in Suva, Chiefs are red hot and they’re up top of the Australasian Group, while Lions maintained the overall Super Rugby lead; big tallies counted by the expected playoffs-bound clubs; the Kiwis maintained their order with every side winning, though with Hurricanes unable to earn the bonus point in Sydney, they and Highlanders are even on table points and trail Crusaders by two and group-leading Chiefs by three; top two Australian sides, Brumbies and Waratahs, went into the weekend needing as many points as possible to secure the Australian Conference as that XV will be the only Aussie side in the playoffs - both got zero… as in nada, nichts, bupkes… not proper form, one might think, at this time in the season;

By the #s - Round 16
                6              trys for the Blues as they colored would-be Australia Conference champs, Brumbies, in Eden Park; horses galloped into Auckland needing as many points as possible from their trip to North Island; did not happen at all as the hosts grounded half a dozen – a brace by blindside, Jerome Kaino, en route to a 40-15, bonus-point victory over the Mob; strategy sessions will be mind-bending for staff in Canberra this week one should think;
                2              yellow tickets issued to Reds: halfback Nick Frisbie at ‘29, and fullback Jack Tuttle (who followed his #9 into the bin one minute later), enabled voracious Chiefs to run out to a 33-5 halftime advantage, a scoreline that was extended to 50-5 by referee Nick Briant’s last blast; any XV with an offensive gameplan that includes kicking to Chiefs fullback, Damian McKenzie, will more than likely a winning XV not make; braces for flyer Seta Tamanivalu and McKenzie, while the Chiefs 15 was on five-from-eight conversions for a personal points haul of 20;
                11           trys-grounded in all: five that differential, and five the points haul for Super Rugby’s top club now, Lions, as they dined royally in Emirates Airlines Stadium at Ellis Park on the Highveld, and Southern Fare the menu; a brace for the Big Cats 21-year old inside center, Johan van Rensburg, and 13 points accounted for by Springbok and Lions standoff, Elton Jantjies, on a penalty and five-from-eight goal conversions in the 57-21 record;
                13           dots for Crusaders in all as they stormed Rebels battlements and put them to sword in an impressive display of sport; hat-trick for the flying Johnny McNicholl and braces by hooker Codie Taylor and outside center Ryan Crotty as Crusaders shook off Round 15’s loss at Suva in demonstrative fashion, 85-26
                18           for traveling 10 Beau Barrett on one try, two conversions and three penalties sufficient the task of derailing the Waratahs juggernaut; 6-point advantage for the home team after a 43rd-minute grounding by world class center, Israel Folau, and its conversion by flyhalf Bernie Foley, but ‘Tahs couldn’t hold the lead and subsequent second stanza scores by Hurricanes flyers Cory Jane and Julian Savea sealed the victory for ‘Canes at 28-17;
                19           the margin at the NIB as Stormers got what was necessary to ensure Africa 1 topspot on the road at Western Force; a brace of dots for visitors wing, Kobus Van Wyk, and a further try by openside Siya Kolisi, and seven off the toe of 10, Jean-Luc du Plessis, against a single penalty struck by Force flyhalf Jonno Lance made for a 22-3 result;
                16           for flyhalf Francois Brummer on a try, a penalty and four conversions as Bulls lit up Sunwolves at Loftus Versfeld, 50-3, in the bonus point win that may yet see Pretoria’s Finest through to playoffs, though extra-time for Los Toros is unlikely this season; a brace for former sprint champion, flyer Travis Ismaiel;
                2              the measure of separation with Sharks on top of Cheetahs 10-8 after ‘40; Fast Cats flyhalf Freddie Zeilinga put his side in front with a sticksplitter at the 52nd minute and 11-10 the tallies for the visitors; however the remaining numbers all for homeboys as Big Fish standoff, Garth April (who’s been making waves among ‘Bok selectors with this season’s performance), counted 16 points from the boot on 6-from-6 accuracy: four penalties, 2 conversions; additionally trys by JP Pietersen and Michael Claasens’ relief, Stefan Ungerer, for the record;
                14           for Highlanders 10, Lima Sopoaga, as the reigning champs did the job in South America, defeating Jaguares 34-8 with groundings by fullback Ben Smith, inside center Rob Thompson and a brace by blindside Elliot Dixon;


Africa 1 Conference
Pos
Team
P
W
D
L
-/+
BP
Pts
1
14
9
1
4
119
7
46
2
14
8
1
5
-13
2
37
3
14
4
0
10
-6
5
21
4
14
1
1
12
-276
3
9



 
 






Africa 2 Conference
Pos
Logo &Team
P
W
D
L
-/+
BP
Pts
1
14
11
0
3
162
7
52
2
14
8
1
5
64
5
39
3
14
3
0
11
-37
6
18
4
14
2
0
12
-338
1
9



Australian Conference
Pos
Logo &Team
P
W
D
L
-/+
BP
Pts
1
14
9
0
5
110
3
39
2
14
8
0
6
113
7
39
3
14
6
0
8
-65
3
27
4
14
3
1
10
-120
2
16
5
14
2
0
12
-148
5
13


New Zealand Conference
Pos
Logo &Team
P
W
D
L
-/+
BP
Pts
1
14
11
0
3
115
6
51
2
14
11
0
3
136
5
50
3
14
10
0
4
108
8
48
4
14
10
0
4
113
7
48
5
14
7
1
6
-37
4
35







Rugby Weekender

UpComers: Round Last – noto bene: every contest of post-season significance includes at least one New Zealand team
Friday, 7.15
                Blues (35) v (39) Waratahs at Eden Park: epic? Travelers gotta win, homeboys absolutely looking to spoil;
                Reds (16) v (27) Rebels at Suncorp: a match for personal stats and jersey pride; should be good footie;
                Sharks (39) v (9) Sunwolves at Kings Park: Sharks will nail the African Group’s wild card spot with this win;
                Crusaders (50) v (48) Hurricanes at AMI Stadium: mo’ epic? Winner will top the NZ Conference for a minute, maybe more;
               
Saturday, 7.16
                Highlanders (48) v (51) Chiefs at Forsyth Barr: mo-mo’ epic? Winner either takes one or two in the conference;
                Brumbies (39) v (13) Force at GIO Stadium: This win for the hosts should seal the Australian Conference title for the Mob;
                Stormers (46) v (9) Kings at Newlands: nickel for homeys;
                Cheetahs (21) v (37) Bulls at Free State: in order to have hope for extra playtime, visitors gotta win large;
                Jaguares (18) v (52) Lions at Estadio Jose Amalfitani: guests will want this one to remain in favorable post-season position, home squad unpredictable force unto themselves




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