THIS past weekend's Super Rugby action had everything: excitement, boredom, drama, scintillating tries, bone-jarring tackles, woeful tackling, nail-biters and mismatches. I must admit though that the best part of it was that the Kings are still unbeaten, with another four points in the bag baby! What a season!
Let us start off with the match that opened the weekend's proceedings, the Blues versus the Crusaders. Todd Blackadder's men started off their campaign with a loss to a clinical Blues outfit. The early signs from Auckland indicate that things have truly turned around since John Kirwan took over the coaching reins.
This match was followed by two sleep-inducing encounters involving three Australian teams. I now know which teams I don't have to wake up early for.
Saturday was always going to be the day of reckoning for me as a South African rugby supporter.
The Cheetahs were annihilated by the Chiefs and it left me thinking whether they (the Cheetahs) shouldn't be the ones seriously concerned about the promotion/ relegation match at the end of the season. What really makes me angry about this team is that they have such talented individuals yet they struggled to even concern the opposition. A 45-3 drubbing is unacceptable. Naka Drotske needs to watch out because the whispers of his resignation will soon become thunderous roars.
Then came Die Bulle. When the Force lost to the Kings, a lot of people thought this Force side was the worst in the competition. They believed the Bulls would walk all over them, thus diminishing the glory in the Kings' triumph. How wrong they were ... once again. The Force decided to take on the Bulls at their own game. Force flyhalf Sias Ebersohn kicked everything! Drop goals, cross kicks, up-and-unders, penalties, grubbers, chips, you name it! His boot was accompanied by the determination from the Force continuously to smash their opposition backwards and dominate contact. In the end, the Bulls managed to win, but they will not forget this match soon. Morné Steyn came to the party big time and seems to be back to his best.
We wrapped up the weekend with the highly anticipated Sharks versus Stormers clash. The match was exactly what I expected. There were no tries and the match was decided by the kickers. In between there were some of the most ferocious tackles I have ever seen.
It was like watching a Last Man Standing match where the survivor was always going to be the man who could endure the most physical punishment.
The final score, 12-6, meant the Sharks secured their second victory in a row while the Stormers suffered their second loss.
I hope the Kings are braced for one almighty battle on Saturday against the Sharks.