A Load Of Bull
by Paul Waite
3 Mar 2003
The classic game of this round was the Hurricanes v Bulls at McClean Park, Napier.
Perrenial wooden spooners The Bulls have been on the end of a fair few hidings from the Canes over the years, but they gained a small revenge this weekend with a 46-34 win.
The game was a like watching a pair of cerebral palsy sufferers trying to play table tennis at times. Both teams were laughably inept in their own ways. For the Hurricanes, the gameplan seems to revolve around avoiding any kind of set-phase play like the plague, and eschewing support at the breakdown. Instead they obviously think that the way to win is to rush about randomly and chuck the ball around until “something good happens”.
The set-phase strategy came unstuck in a big way against a Bulls scrum which has the weight and drive of one of those yellow bulldozers you see on building sites. Not the silly little things the Council has, but the great big Fuckoff kind they use to build 12-lane motorways. The cretins who tinker with the rugby lawbook have, for reasons known only to themselves largely outlawed the push-over try with the lunatic 5m rule, however the mismatch in this game was so marked the Bulls managed it. They reduced the Hurricanes pack to rubble, forcing a penalty try for pulling the scrum down on the line. Cooper needs to take his pack out next week and make it push the scrum machine 6km at 6am every morning as a reminder that success in the forwards starts from there.
The Bulls deserved to win but they shouldn’t get too confident. So far they have played two of the worst teams in the competition. Still, it’s definitely an improvement on last season for them and The Spoon looks like it might be heading to the Cats this year.
Speaking of which, they took another beating at home, losing 48-36 to the Waratahs, who are notoriously bad travellers. On second thoughts, make that a definite prediction for The Spoon.
Looking down the results, the Highlanders stuffed the Stormers like a Christmas haggis at Carisbrook to the tune of 41-17, and the Chiefs lost to the strong Blues outfit at home. Although the final score was close (30-27), the Blues were mostly in control of this game which is more than they were of Flavell, who still succumbs to idiotic passages of play where he behaves like a mentally impaired bouncer. This time he was red-carded for stamping on the face of an opponent, and he will undoubtedly be handed a ban for some weeks in a forthcoming judicial review. One day, maybe, Flavell might actually learn to focus all his aggression on the oval-shaped object instead of on people. If he did that, he would own an All Black jersey, however we think that Flavell is a case which proves the Law of Balance in Nature. Gifted with an abundance of physical talent for rugby, he was born with a brain the size of a newt.
The only other result to mention was the Brumbies, or should that be the Bumbles. The first half saw The Robo Masters’ famous endless loop of computer software seemingly hit by a virus. Maybe George unwisely opened an e-mail early on the day of the match and opened an attachment called “Blossom Drops Them” and *bang* all of a sudden its accessed his addressbook and e-mailed itself to the whole team. Next thing you know they are out on the pitch fumbling around dropping the pill like a bunch of retards wearing wolly mittens. Whatever the case, the Sharks didn’t care and took full advantange to beat them 25-17.
Rumour has it that Brumbies coach Nucifora has sucessfully applied an anti-virus patch to the operating system and next week the team will be bug-free and ready to robo.
Finally, the Crusaders effortlessly took the hapless Reds apart down at Christchurch on a wet evening, scoring 34 points to 6. They didn’t even have to get out of first gear really, with the Reds looking pretty clueless on attack. Just quietly, we think that the more Rugby League players that the Australian teams sign up, the better.
So that’s a wrap for Round Two of the 2003 Super 12. Despite the travesty which comprised the Hurricanes game, the overall standard is pretty solid and given another two weeks we should be seeing some very good rugby being played.by