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5 takeaways from the Super Rugby weekend: Round 3

Super Rugby Rd 2 - Brumbies v Sharks
John Goliath
John Goliath Rugby Editor
KweséSports’ John Goliath looks at five talking points that emerged from the third round of the 2017 Super Rugby competition.

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_James_Parsons_Blues_v_Highlanders_SR_2017Blues can’t catch a cold

The Blues are one of the most exciting teams in the competition, with skilful, hard-running backs and good ball-carrying forwards who boast lots of skill.

But during their match against the Highlanders their vulnerability under the high ball was exposed for all to see.

The Blues played in the faces of the Highlanders and broke the line at will. However, they were unlucky not to finish their chances, as the team from the South Island scrambled well on defence.

But the Blues could have actually created a lot more chances had they actually caught a few high balls on the night. They need to get it right at training this week, otherwise teams are going to ‘bomb’ them every weekend.

Crusaders’ never-say-die attitude is back

The Crusaders are fast becoming the comeback kings after another come-from-behind victory against the Reds this past weekend.

The Crusaders scored a couple of late tries against the Highlanders to win away from home the previous week, before wiping out the Reds’ slim deficit in the final 10 minutes to notch up another win.

The Christchurch outfit haven’t had a lot of success over the last few years following their dominance of the competition. But they are slowly starting to look like the Crusaders of old, the team who knew how to get the job done – by hook or by crook.

1024x768__origin__0x0_Pieter-Steph_du_Toit_and_Eben_Etzebeth_Stormers_training_2016Pieter-Steph and Eben: New second-row mafia

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck must be praying for the well-being of his lock pairing at almost every chance he gets.

Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth have been phenomenal for the Stormers in their first three matches of the campaign. They have basically started again where they left off last year in Super Rugby, and played a big role in the Stormers’ win over the Kings on Saturday.

Besides their Amish-like work rate, the Springbok duo have been one of the reasons why the Stormers’ new momentum-based attacking game has worked in the match against the Bulls, Jaguares and Southern Kings. Not only do they carry the ball strongly and tackle anything that moves, they have the skill to offload in the tackle and get in behind defences.

Absolutely world class.

Curwin Bosch is a boss

This kid is mature beyond his years, and there is a classy feel about him that tells you he is no ordinary protege.

The way he stepped into the breach for the Sharks after Pat Lambie left the field 10 minutes into the match against the Waratahs also showcased his wonderful temperament. Bosch is an enormous talent and he needs to be looked after, properly.

With almost his first touch in the match, Bosch intercepted a pass and then showed his blistering pace to score under the posts. His goalkicking was also top class on the night, with his decision-making at flyhalf really solid.

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Nicolas_Sanchez_JaguaresRef took pity on Jaguares

Referee Nick Bryant, who last year showed the Jaguares two red cards and a yellow in a match against the Kings in Port Elizabeth, and his assistants tried very hard to keep the Argentinian side’s players on the field during their match against the Lions.

In fact, they tried so hard that they ignored a few shocking instances of foul play by the Jaguares flyhalf, who scored 20 points on the night.

After averaging the two yellow cards per match in their first two matches, the referee and his assistants probably wanted to show the Jaguares how nice it is to play with 15 men on the park.

 

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