Friday, June 26, 2020

Super Rugby Aotearoa - Round 2, BtN; Upcomes Round 3


Super Rugby Aotearoa, an abbreviated version of the highest level competition in the Southern Hemisphere (some say the world, but they’d be SoHemi buoys) and comprised of only New Zealand franchises, completed Round 2 of its tournament last weekend.
By the numbers:
                4              penalties only counted by Chiefs as Blues triumphed on the trot, 24 – 12, in Waikato Stadium; Los Jefes trailed by a single, 9-10, at the half, but an offense that sputtered inside their opponent’s 22 and the continued issue with securing own lineout ball spelled doom for homeboys; good news is the brace of youngsters in the Chiefs engine room, Naitoa Ah Kuoi and Tupou Vaa’i, both are 20 years old, so those centerpieces of the scrum should shrug off the rookie jitters and come into their own as the season progresses, sorting lineout and other undesirable forwards play in their baptism of fire trial;
                19           for Crusaders 10, Richie Mo’unga, on a triple play of 4-2-1 as travelers from the South Island upended the host Hurricanes at CETA Stadium, 39 – 25; 5 touch downs by the visitors beginning with 14, Sevu Reece, finishing briskly in the first minute and halfback relief, David Havili, grounding the last 5 minutes from time.

Round 3
Blues (8) v (4) Highlanders at Eden Park – 1am MST, Saturday June 27: this’ll be a cracker with topspot the prize, mebbe; rainy through the day will make for a soggy paddock with high 50s forecast; imperfect three-quarters conditions one might think;
Crusaders (5) v (1) Chiefs at Orangetheory Stadium – 9:30pm MST, Saturday June 27: Road Warriors, with a sorted lineout, could contest, but should that not be the case, long and lengthy ‘80 for the Jeffies; could be a slick pill with showers possible and temps in the low 50s; someone say, “Scrum weather?”

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