So we’ve almost made it – just a month to go until the end of the regular season of the 2019 Super Rugby competition. Five rounds left and for some just four matches left to confirm their place in the finals or be left frustrated and thinking how best to spend the winter. It’s now or never for some and in Round 13 we saw some teams bringing a real do or die level of intensity to their performance. So with the stakes getting higher, what are the talking points that came out of another weekend of Super Rugby… Take the freaking points! In 2019 we’ve had 39 losing bonus points already and still have five more rounds to go. At this rate we’ll have had over 50 games this season that have ended with the teams within seven points of each other. The reasons behind this would be interesting to explore, but for now let’s focus on an important point that many teams are neglecting to learn – there is a time when going for the try is not the best … [Read more...] about Eight talking points from Super Rugby Round 13
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A heartbreaker in South Africa, a late win in Tokyo, and a cancellation across the ditch. Round 5 is finito, which means it is time for another set of The Roar’s power rankings for another week. 1. Crusaders Last week: 1st The Crusaders fixture with the Highlanders was cancelled following the horrific mosque massacre in Christchurch. The right decision, and I’m sure I speak on behalf of the entire rugby community from The Roar when I say we send all our love and well-wishes to our friends over in Christchurch. 2. Stormers Last week: 10th The Stormers have slowly moved up to a 3-and-1 record, and obliterated a fairly consistent Jaguares side on the weekend. With the second-best record in the competition, this spot is theirs to hold for this week. I continue to be impressed by the halves pairing of Herschel Jantjies and flyhalf Jean-Luc De Plessis, the latter of whom I see as one of the more underrated playmakers in the entire competition. His ability to pin the corners … [Read more...] about Super Rugby Power Rankings 2019: Round 5
A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Entering 2019 with plenty of question marks, what do we make of one of Super Rugby’s most enigmatic sides? In the ninth part of our 2019 Super Rugby preview series, we take a look at the Sharks. More Super Rugby 2019 Rugby Sharks Coach: Robert du PreezCaptain: Louis SchreuderMajor signings: Ruben van Heerden (Bulls)Major departures: Stephan Lewis (Lions), Garth April (NTT Communications Shining Arcs) Squad Last season Won 7, lost 8, drew 1, finished third in the South African Conference, eighth overall Nobody expected the Durban-based side to challenge the almighty Crusaders in the quarter-final and… that’s just what happened. An easy 40-10 win for the eventual champions brought the Sharks’ season to an unceremonious end. Garth April will be missed by the Sharks. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images via Getty Images) Strengths Few teams gain territory by foot better than the … [Read more...] about Super Rugby 2019 preview series: Sharks
A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Fresh off their first-ever Super Rugby finals appearance, can the side from Argentina consolidate their growth in 2019? Or was last season’s success just a flash in the pan? In the seventh part of our 2019 Super Rugby preview series, we cast our eye to the Jaguares. More Super Rugby 2019 Rugby Jaguares Coach: Gonzalo QuesadaCaptain: Jeronimo de la FuenteMajor signings: Gonzala Quesada (coach, Biarritz)Major departures: Nicolas Sanchez (Stade Francais), Juan Martin Hernandez (retired), Mario Ledesma (coach, Argentina) Squad Last season Won 9, lost 7, finished second in the South African Conference, seventh overall But they turned it around smartly, winning nine of their next 11 games to sit firmly in finals position at the pointy end of the season. Unfortunately, they fell out of form over the last fortnight and, by the time that debut finals appearance came around, they were no match for … [Read more...] about Are the Jaguares set for a fall down the Super Rugby ladder in 2019?
One of Super Rugby’s two most recent expansion teams, the Sunwolves have struggled since entering the competition in 2015, and could be on track for another wooden spoon as the 2019 season rolls around. This is The Roar’s Super Rugby preview series, where we will run the rule over every team and tip the ladder. We’ll have a preview a day between now and the start of the season. Rather than rely on the vagaries of the table format, we’ll be basing each side’s final ranking based on the total number of points or wins we think they’ll get, not their ladder position (so we’ve put the top-ranked Australian team at number six rather than the top-three spot they’d be guaranteed in the season proper). Sunwolves Coach: Tony BrownCaptain: Yutaka NagareMajor signings: Jamie Booth (Hurricanes), Phil Burleigh (Canterbury), Jamie Henry (Verblitz), Pauliasi Manu (Blues), Sam Prattley (Blues), Dan Pyror (Highlanders), Kara Pryor (Blues), Rene Range … [Read more...] about Super Rugby 2019 preview series: Sunwolves