Super 12, Take-2
by Paul Waite
29 Feb 2004
Ok, as usual we can ignore the first week of the Super 12 as being more or less about a bunch of nincompoops who have forgotten everything they ever knew about playing rugby in the two short months away from the game, trying vainly to remember the “Rugby for Beginners – 101″ course their coach ran for them the previous week.
It used to be worse. A few years back we’d be watching 44 imbeciles running around aimlessly, dropping the ball every other pass, and generally doing a good impression of the blind leading the blind for a whole three weeks, and in addition to the mental retardation factor they’d also be totally unfit. Small mercies, etc.
In this second week we’ve begun well, having been treated to some good rugby in the form of the Crusaders v Blues game last night. In this game the “CC” stood for Carlos and Caucau. It was their show all night as the Fijian World Cup phenomenon with the bulging legs and the great left hook posted three tries, and Carlos a couple including the one which put the match beyond reach. The Saders can at least look back on a game they woke up for, unlike last week’s pathetic sleep-walk, but they also need Corey Flynn to arrive on the correct planet vis-a-vis lineout throwing. They should come right, and two early losses in this tourny mean nothing to a good side, as they’ve proved before.
Over in Canberra the Brumbies entertained the Cats. That’s assuming the Cats found being utterly humiliated in front of millions of TV viewers entertaining of course. ACT were so dominant that at one stage when Larkham had the ball, he felt he had to run into Jeremy Paul to provide himself with more of a sense of challenge. A 68-28 final score after notching up 6 first-half tries is an embarassment whichever way you cut it. The ACT robo-rugby machine is, as usual, plugged in and humming.
Well, not a very good rest of the weekend for New Zealand fans that’s for sure. Thank god I actually have a life and so managed to miss watching any of it as it happens. Of course that means I don’t really have much to say here either, but I’m sure you’ll forgive that.
Looking at the reports, the one that sticks out is the rampant incompetence of the Highlanders who let a 22-0 lead at halftime turn into a 46-25 deficit by the end. All of the players, the coach and the manager ought to be immediately sacked as a lesson to them not to do that kind of thing ever again. Either that or they have to change their name to The New Hurricanes, there isn’t a third option.
The Canes themselves fared much better against the Bulls, setting out their stall early with a 0-26 halftime deficit and romping home with a nice and logical 19-40 loss by the end. This is what we like to see – rugby with some sense and purpose to it. So take a pat on the back coach Colin Cooper – we’ve been waiting for some consistency from the Hurricanes for ages and now we’ve got it. Time was, they’d have turned that 0-26 into a silly 108-26 win with all points scored in the last 3 minutes, but those days are thankfully behind us.
Over in Aussie those hapless wankers the Reds beat the Chiefs by 39-25. This one was another truly logical game of footy not only in the way the scoring went, but also with the fact the Chiefs lost – the Chiefs always lose, and always after tantalising their fans with a plucky little struggle early on. This time they were 18-all after 48 minutes before sucumbing to their inimitable Chiefness.
Well at least we had a New Zealand winner out of the Saders v Blues game, so it isn’t all doom and gloom for New Zealand rugby, eh?by