Super Rugby Round 3 Review – What We Learned

Rugby Betting had an “okay” super rugby round 3, according to our standards. We managed to get 5 out of 7 picks correct (72%) despite getting 2 picks wrong we still made a small profit in round 3.

(Overall we are $600 up for the Super Rugby season, click here to view our bet slips, for Super Rugby and betting strategies.)

The Blues let us down in the opening fixture of round 3 after having had so MANY chances to win it.

We also predicted the Stormers vs Sharks game wrong, with the Sharks causing a major upset at Newlands albeit in controversial fashion with the help of the referee, some might say.

From a rugby betting perspective we could have easily gone 7 out of 7 since there were so many “if only’s” in round 3.

If only the Blues capitalized on their chances, if only the referee in the Stormers game didn’t award a controversial penalty try to the Sharks. However, such is the nature of gambling, you win some you lose some.

Super Rugby Round 3 Review – Winners & Losers

 

super rugby round 3 review what we learnedThe Blues Choked

Yes the Blues lost the game but that is not why we label them round 3 losers, it is the way they lost. The final score was 19-23 in favour of the Hurricanes thus, the blues lost with 5 points. However, the Blues should have won it with several more points if you look at the statistics of the game, it is quite remarkable that the Blues lost.

  • Possession: Blues 61% – Hurricanes 39%
  • Percentage Of Play In Opposition 22: Blues 24.5% !!!
  • Meters made: Blues 534 – Hurricanes 248
  • Carries: Blues 164 – Hurricanes 99
  • Defenders Beaten: Blues 36 – Hurricanes 19
  • Offloads: Blues 22 – Hurricanes 4

Had you not known the score and you read the statistics above, you would have thought the Blues would have smashed the Hurricanes by at least 15+ points however somehow they lost.

The Blues had so many chances, especially in the final 80-minutes where they (the Blues) had 3 attempts to cross the Hurricanes goal line on the 5-meter mark.

Playing under advantage, after being awarded 3 consecutive penalties on 3 consecutive periods of play. Each time the Blues elected to go for the lineout forming a maul and trying to push over, yet the Hurricanes defence remarkably withstood the challenge under severe pressure, even on the 3rd penalty where the Hurricanes number 8, Victor Vito, got yellow carded, for collapsing the maul, the Blues couldn’t cross the white line.

One can’t help to think on the 3rd penalty after Victor Vito got yellow carded the Blues should have tried something different and rather should have opted for a scrum.

Point being the Blues had 3 chances to get over the Hurricanes 5-meter line, and they simply couldn’t.

However, dear Blues fans, if the above isn’t enough to make you cry, the Blues could have won the match in a different way. Ihaia West, as good as he is and we have praised him many times, left 10-points on the field. Missing 2 conversions, and 2 penalties, 1 penalty being right in front.

Super Rugby Round 3 Review What We Learned: Blues labelled as Chokers

Failing to capitalize on opportunities, essentially throwing the game away and handing the Hurricanes their 1st win of the season.

 

Super Rugby Round 3 reviewThe Brumbies are good, but how good are they away from home?

The Brumbies eventually won the Force with 16-points at NIB stadium. However, don’t let the score fool you this, was a rather up and down game for the Brumbies and they had to grind out the win. It was a lot closer than the score suggests.

The Brumbies managed to, get an early penalty, and score the first two tries early in the 1st half with Lealiifano, yet again being excellent from the tee converting both tries. It was at that stage where one started to think, this is going to be a runaway.

However, the Force, always tough to beat at home, fought back and answered with a try of their own, just before halftime. Thus, the score being 17-7 when the teams headed into the sheds for halftime.

As the match continued the Force got better and better, and it was a rather nervous looking Brumbies side which came onto the field for the 2nd half. With that being said the Brumbies retained their composer, even with the Force threatening to tie the match early in the 2nd half.

The Brumbies defence stood strong and they managed to score a well worked try in the 53rd minute, again converted by Lealiifano.

The Force answered back in the 63rd minute with a try and conversion from, Peter Grant, leaving the scores at 14-24 in favour of the Brumbies.

With 17-minutes to go the Force were right in it, and had a chance to off pull a remarkable upset the crowd sensed it they started getting louder, the Force tried, they played hard, yet the Brumbies stood firm and extended their lead right at the end of the match, with a try and conversion, by Lealiifano.

When looking at the statistics all stats were fairly even for both teams, one worrying aspect for Moore & co would be the number of turnovers they conceded, 18 to be precise. That can come to cost them against a good attacking side like the Highlanders.

Super Rugby Round 3 Review What We Learned: Moral of the Story the Brumbies didn’t quite look as sharp as they did at home

The Brumbies will now embark on a tough 2 match South African tour, playing the Stormers next week at Newlands, which shall be a real test for the Brumbies and tell us whether they are the real deal or not.

 

sunwolves v cheetahs reviewSunwolves, choke and throw away 1st Super Rugby victory

In a historic encounter, with Singapore hosting their 1st ever Super Rugby match (great for world rugby!), it certainly didn’t disappoint. This was perhaps the most entertaining game of Super Rugby 2016 thus far, albeit scrappy and poorly executed at times.

The Sunwolves were pumped up and ready to go, like they were in their 1st fixture against the Lions, they managed to score and convert their 1st try in only the 4th minute.

The early try gave the Sunwolves belief and they started to sense they could beat the Cheetahs, mostly made up of provincial players.

The match was greatly entertaining with both teams on all-out attack mode, it became a shootout, with 5 tries scored in the 1st half alone. Here is a timeline of the 1st half, to proof just how entertaining it was.

  • 4th minute converted try Sunwolves Score: 7-0
  • 6thminute penalty Cheetahs Score: 7-3
  • 9th minute penalty Cheetahs Score: 7-6
  • 14th minute converted try Sunwolves Score: 14-6
  • 25th minute converted try Cheetahs Score: 14-13

Then in a superb final 5 minutes before the half the Sunwolves managed to break the deadlock and score two superb tries within 5 minutes from each other.

  • 35th minute, converted try Sunwolves score: 21-13
  • 39th minute, converted try Sunwolves score 28-13

The teams went into the change rooms with the Sunwolves leading by 15-points.

The Sunwolves essentially playing at home, with 95% of the 35’000+ strong crowd cheering Sunwolves, they simply had to maintain their composure in the 2nd half, play the territorial game and close it out, being 15-points in front.

If that was not enough the Sunwolves got awarded a penalty in the 2nd minute of the second half, making the score 31-13 in favour of the Wolves!

Playing at home and having a lead of 18-points, with 38-minutes left to play, surely they were going to win it from there?

Yet it was not to be the penalty in the 2nd minute of the 2nd half was the last points the Sunwolves would score in the match, and the Cheetahs fought back in magnificent style.

The Cheetahs went on to score 2, converted tries in the 2nd half, with, Springbok Lock Boom Prinsloo, running in the 3rd and final try for the Cheetahs to win the match by 1-point!

Super Rugby Round 3 Review What We Learned: The Sunwolves, like the Blues, Choked and couldn’t see out their victory.

With an 18-point lead, playing at home with 38-minutes left to play, all the Sunwolves had to do is play for territory, and hold their composure.

Yet the occasion got too big for them, and heartbreakingly they choked and were denied their 1st ever Super Rugby win.

Patience and learning to close out a game comes with experience, the Sunwolves in only their 2nd ever Super Rugby game didn’t do bad, but the 1-point loss, in a game they should have won will surely dampen team moral.

 

stormers vs sharks bad refereeingSharks Steal Win In Controversial Match

The Sharks has always been the Stormers bogey team, somehow they always manage to get a win over the Stormers when everyone least expects it. This was going through our minds we discussed it at the office before we placed our bets, yet we thought surely the Stormers will not lose their first match of Super Rugby 2016 at their sacred home ground, Newlands.

As was expected, it was a real South African rugby derby, hard, tough, physical, and not always very pretty.

The Stormers seems to be a little forward heavy, while not having much at the back. They are fielding an all Springbok forward pack (wow) but have a rookie backline.

However, there are some exciting prospects in the Stormers backline, young Stormers flyhalf Robert DuPreez looked especially promising in the Stormers first game against the Bulls, unfortunately, he has injured his ankle in practise and is now out for 6 weeks, with Curt Coleman taking his plays, whom has proved to be a reliable goal kicker but nothing else thus far.

Furthermore, they have the small, but brave Cheslin Kolbe who always manages to spark something.

Backline captain Juan De Jongh is his reliable self-making tackles and darting runs, but not exactly causing huge problems for the defence.

The point is the Stormers are a solid team with brilliant individual players but one gets the feeling they just don’t click as a unit, especially in the backline.

The above is proven by their lack of having a threatening attack, as has been the case for several seasons now, the Stormers only managed to score 1-try in the entire match against the Sharks

With that being said the Stormers still have their stellar defence, and is perhaps the most physical team in the tournament.

The Stormers managed to draw first blood in the 16th minute with Coleman kicking the first penalty, the Sharks responded 5-minutes later with a penalty of their own, tying the score at 3 all.

The Stormers eventually managed to get something on attack going, which lead to a converted try in the 30th minute.

As always Newlands was packed with a 45’000+ crowd feeling positive with the Stormers going into the half with a 7-point lead.

The Controversy

The Sharks came out strong in the 2nd half and were threatening on the Stormers goal line, when the highly controversial decision by New Zealand referee, Michael Fraser happened.

With the Sharks on the Stormers 5-meter line, Sharks scrumhalf, Kobus Reinach, reached out for a try, trying to ground the ball. Stormers flanker, Siya Kolisi, went in for the try saving tackle and, “kicked the ball out of Reinach hand” as he was reaching for the goal line.

After consulting with the TMO, the controversial decision was made by, referee Michael Fraser, to award a penalty try to the Sharks and yellow card Kolisi.

Whether or not that was the right decision, is very much debatable. It is no secret that we lost this bet so we don’t want to sound biased towards the Stormers, but judging from social media comments and TV pundits, it was an incorrect call.

The score was now tied at 10 all with 35-minutes left, game on. The Sharks got awarded, again a controversial, penalty in the 60th minute which Joe Peterson knocked over with the Sharks taking the lead for the first time in the match with 20-minutes left to play.

Kurt Coleman knocked a penalty over in the 74th minute to tie the score at 13 all and the Newlands crowd were on the edge of their seat, it was nail biting stuff.

Unfortunately, for Stormers fans, just 2-minutes after Coleman tied the scores, Joe Peterson scored a very good try and the Sharks won the game 18-13.

Overall the officiating has been very good thus far in Super Rugby 2016, this was the 1st match which the outcome was potentially, influenced by a referee.

With that being said, penalty try or not, the Stormers played poorly and, perhaps, didn’t deserve to win this one.

The Sharks on the other side looks like a very well balanced team, they have an exciting backline with a good blend of youth and experience.  Star recruit Willie Le Roux, replaced, an underperforming Sp Marais at fullback, the reliable Odwa Ndungane is at winger, Paul Jordaan is playing some superb rugby at 13, Andre Esterhuizen will grow and get better at inside centre as the season progresses and former Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen is doing a brilliant job at flyhalf for the Sharks. That’s a good backline!

The same goes for the forwards with the Sharks having some real big names in their forward pack, Coenie Oosthuyzen, Marcell Coetzee, Tendai (the beast) Mtawarira to name but a few.

Looking at the Sharks team on paper it is not unrealistic to say they will be the best team in the South African conference.

Super Rugby Round 3 Review What We Learned: The Sharks win with a bit of help from referee Michael Fraser

The controversy comes in, since had the penalty try not been awarded the scores would have been 11-13, and the Stormers would have won (or the match would have played out differently, with Kolisi still on the field). Furthermore, there were plenty of “dubious” decisions made by referee, Michael Fraser, and he will no doubt have a good, hard look at his performance.

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