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Monday, March 30, 2009

Super 14 Pick of the Week - Round 7

Super 14 Pick of the Week - Round 7

The rugby so far this season has been first class with many of the franchises, from all three countries, producing some quality rugby. Its the usual assortment of counter attack to set piece to individual brilliance this week as the tournament keeps getting better.

From Luke Watson's powerful individual effort to both Anthony Tuitivake and Christian Lealiafano's stepping, the bar has been raised yet another notch. Perhaps the Crusaders let themselves down in the case of the controversial Watson, but it was pure class from Brumbies flyhalf Lealiafano against the Sharks.

For the second week in a row, the Sharks have looked deadly from turnover ball, producing a precision 60m try under the sticks. The Chiefs have been on fire in that area too with that man Sivivatu cashing in for the sixth time in the past two games.

With Stephen Donald, Richard Kahui and Mils Muliana dominating the midfield the Chiefs could find themselves even further up the table in the coming weeks.

The Highlanders, Hurricanes and Crusaders all managed wins over their South African counterparts with the men from Dunedin pulling off a 36-12 taming of the Bulls. The Hurricanes squeezed by the Lions despite some end to end stuff from the home side, including American flanker Todd Clever's first try in Super rugby.

The Crusaders sit a lowly seventh but with half of the round robin sill to play; anything can happen. Check back next week as the chase for the top four playoff spots continues.


Time: 05:21
Music: Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC

Posted at 3:45 pm | 57 comments

Viewing 57 comments

durrie March 30, 2009 3:26 pm

The Chiefs are on FIRE at the moment...well over 100 points in the last two games...maybe peaking a little early though.The Lions final try was their best although not shown here...?C'MON the Sharks...it's ours this year!!!

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Anonymous March 30, 2009 4:23 pm

almost all these tries stem from shocking and almost laughable tackling although some good passages of play near the end

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tehsniper March 30, 2009 4:26 pm

Gotta love those Chiefs tries. But my fav's are the Sharks

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themull March 30, 2009 4:39 pm

Those first two tries were very very poor defending however good footwork in the second also played a part....Even with the poor tackling which can be evident in S14 rugby there is no doubt that it is still a step above Heiniken Cup in skill level on average amongst all the teams competing..I'm a NH btw..The speed the ball is delivered from the rucks islightyears ahead of us where our scrum halfs seem towait for hours over the ball all the while allowing defenses to set up...The only scrum half who feeds the ball this fast in NH rugby is peter stringer...With these ELV's in particular the best way to score tries is quick ball, quick ball, quick ball...And unfortunately we have yet to get that into our heads up here yet....

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cheyanqui March 30, 2009 4:50 pm

Love the AC/DC on the highlight reel. For a guy in his mid-30s, it's a pleasant reminder of my schoolboy days. IMHO, Sivivatu and Conrad Smith were probably the players of the weekend.Enjoyed Terblanche's celebration (or lack thereof) on the try. He acted like he's been there before.Maybe some of that can rub off on J.P. Pietersen.

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number7 March 30, 2009 4:51 pm

ye some horrendous tackling alright but the mull is right about the slow ball in nh rugby its a real problem at all levels in the nh

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cheyanqui March 30, 2009 4:52 pm

Anonymous, you're right about some of the poor defense.That aside, I think the Chiefs are playing an exciting brand of rugby -- any of the 15 players on the pitch willing to have a go through the hands.Something you might have seen in France or the Pacific Islands...

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Jochen March 30, 2009 5:16 pm

My impression from the clip is, especially after watching the EDF Semi Blues - Saints, that the breakdowns at the rucks are played different in the Super 14. They seem less competed and therefore the games are played in a more expansive style. Nevertheless, I dont care about the NH/SH thing, as long as I can watch rugby, no matter what game it is

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Anonymous March 30, 2009 6:01 pm

not really exciting for a neutral...by the way, themull aren't you irish? ;)

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Ted March 30, 2009 6:28 pm

Lovely, really enjoyed that. If you don't like that you don't like rugby.BTW are these pitches bigger than the club pitches in the NH? Maybe it's the style of play that makes them look bigger but some of them look enormous.

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themull March 30, 2009 6:32 pm

yea annonymous why? ha Something to do with my stringe comment was it? haI just think he's the best at delivering fast ball and quality of passes at the moment in NH..Of course he lacks the other skills needed,ie, tackling strength and sniping ability..

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Madflyhalf March 30, 2009 8:18 pm

you can say anything......but Luke Watson is a phenomenon!He's only 10cm smaller than the average SA flanker!But he is a great skilled player!

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Archy March 30, 2009 8:48 pm

I was a little disappointed not to have a replay of the Lealiafano try after it had been bigged up so much; perhaps it was just me but I could barely see it!

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Anarchangel March 30, 2009 8:48 pm

@Ted: I don't think the pitch itself is bigger, but there's usually a lot more space around the pitch and in the goal area. I'm always amazed by the cramped looking NH stadiums.

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pav8 March 30, 2009 9:09 pm

please don't say watson is a phaenomenon...wtf the tackles were worse than poor..maybe a nine years old can tackle better than that..

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bigox March 30, 2009 10:51 pm

super 14 looking good. cheers rd bring on the chiefs!

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jacobo March 30, 2009 10:54 pm

not good tries ... just crap defence

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opfazonk March 30, 2009 11:52 pm

great vid again! nice idea to use more of the slow motion parts. but i'm missing kieran read's try for the saders :( great piece of skill by both ellis and read, the former showing great vision, the latter first class support play :)but nothing compared to the chiefs, their really getting better with every game.i guess it's gonna be sharks, chiefs, canes and either the bulls or the crusaders to make the finals, with the former having a slight advantage :)

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 12:39 am

See in the SH playersknow how to break tackles, obviously in the north you're not used to that, and that's fine. It means that when we play you lot, it's easy to score.See we play quickly, get the dfence backpeddalling, then give it to the guys who can bust tackles and know how to pass. It's funny isn't it, that the All Blacks in the S14 sides apparently can't defend to save their lives and yet miraculously, when faced with northern opposition, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland couldn't score a single try in four tests against them.So is their defence still bad and the northern teams are just so poor on offence that they can still blank the top northern sides? Or is it that playing against teams in the S14 means you have to be better at defence, cuz players can actually offload in the tackle and step and so when faced with the boring, conservative and low skill plays of the northern teams, the All Blkacks find it easy to keep them from crossing the try line?I'd say a combination of the two. See no matter how much you might want to, you can't scrum, kick and ruck your way over the try line, you actually have to learn how to pass, offload, break tackles and finish attacking moves.Come back top us when you learn how to do any of the above.

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opfazonk March 31, 2009 12:53 am

i just don't get it... last autumn the big three SH team were beating the shit out of every NH team - except for one game, yeah, i know - and still you people complain about, what's wrong with SH defence (the ABs didn't concede any try...), kicking and whatsoever... and it's been a long times since NH teams actually were able to continously hold of their southern counterparts...so what's the point with you guys?

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 1:03 am

The SH/NH rant is boring already. SH are better, established. clap clap.----Discuss the super 14 best tries, Chiefs are playing incredible running rugby. their complete set of backs from 9-15 are all so quick with ball in hand, Muliaina had another amazing game. Should be a good match up with the Stormers after the Lions match. Luke Watson must still be dizzy after spinning his way to the tryline

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Crewsader March 31, 2009 1:31 am

Im sorry but i have no idea how the boks and all blacks have such good defence when the S14 is like this. Its honestly shocking at times.

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 1:43 am

Crewsader, try using your brain. think logically. They are the same players, employing the same style of defence. The variable is the attack they are facing.When faced with other S14 teams that know how to attack, ruck quickly, offload in the tackle, have a tactically sound attaking kicking game and can step, twist and bust thru tackles, they struggle to stop sides scoring. When faced with the northern teams whos primary tactic seems to be to give it a forward, who makes three metres, then take ten or fiteen seconds to set the ball for another forwrd to make two or three metres, they have no problem at all with stopping them from scoring.You lot up north have the stogiest, most boring and inneffective attacks. You ahven't changed your style of play in years, and it shows. Predictable, slow and lacking in both skill and lethal finishing ability.etc. etc.Now enough about the poor defence, and I'll stop pointing out that it's actually superior attacking play, rather than the shite you lot are forced to swallow up north every game.

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 2:26 am

Alright Tood Clever!

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 2:26 am

whoops, meant to say Todd, not Tood.

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Boz March 31, 2009 3:54 am

Nice to see Clever get one. Go Eagles!!! Don't see much here, has he been playing much/well?

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 6:23 am

He's been playing alot actually and he's been doing quite well. Not great, but ok. The Lions have been preforming above expectations and he's been a part of that.

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Just a Fan March 31, 2009 8:05 am

Well there was nothing phenomenal about Luke Watson's try - bad defense there..but good on him for taking the opportunity.I think Stefan Terblanche shows his class from start to finish with that try. The "never stop" and "all in a days work" attitudes...what we need more of. And Kanko was gracious...he could have scored that try himself.Sooo tired of the SH/Nh stuff..because if there was REALLY any debate..the NH teams would be beating the SH teams - and they are not! Moot point then really.Black and White - All that matters!

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Just a Fan March 31, 2009 8:06 am

Oh yeah....as a "mid 30's" chick - I also loved the AC/DC music.... ;)

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 8:27 am

That first try was terrible, 4 or 5 REALLY bad tackles, despite the fact that people always moan about bad taclking on here. That was REALLY REALLY REALLY poor, schoolboy standard.

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Ted March 31, 2009 9:09 am

As loathe as I am to get into the SH vs NH thing I don't see why people shouldn't point out poor tackling when they see it. Let's face it that first try had five missed tackles all on the same guy, in anybody's eyes that must be poor tackling. This is not to say that NH defence is any better or that the AB defence isn't awesome, it's just in that instance the tackling wasn't very good.It doesn't make sense to say 'well the ABs didn't concede a try in the Autumn therefore there is never any poor tackling in the S14'. Believe it or not, the ABs are better than the S14 teams. They're not exactly the same players are they? The AB side don't all play for one S14 side.I think SH is better than NH rugby at the moment in all respects but I also think I'm entitled to point out poor tackling if I see it.

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 9:21 am

I think that NH typoes always come on these forujs and shout 'poor defense' to make themselves feel better.The fact is you don't see players bust out of tackles like that in the north, cuz they don't know fucking how, cuz they are a bit shit.

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Ted March 31, 2009 9:55 am

Well hang on a minute - how many compilations of NH rugby have been followed by people like jamestheconvict spouting off about how none of the tries were any good they all just came from missed tackles? It seems that if a SH player misses a tackle it's because the offense is so good but if a NH player misses a tackle it's because they're crap. That seems like a double standard to me.Anyway, why is evryone getting so defensive? I am happy to admit the general superiority of SH rugby right now - that doesn't mean that everything the SH teams do is brilliant and everything the NH teams do is rubbish though.

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ELV and N-S... March 31, 2009 11:06 am

To respond to a few comments in the last weeks. I think that with the rule changes, like with the professional changes in the late 90s, the first aspect of the game to change is the effectiveness of the attack. This is because attacking structures are more individual and less coordinated than defensive structures - occasionally this is wrong like when the Boks used a rush defence offensively under jake white. I think this debate has all happened before and have heard percy Montgomery comment that now (2004) you won't see the full field tries of Christian Cullen because the defences have improved so much. now we are seeing lots of tries which could be interpreted as individual brilliance or poor defence and i think that this is because the ball is extremely quick and players are more fatigued with the new rules. I am sure that in a couple of years the defensive structures will work it out and players will be organised so that they are in better positions to make, what appear to be, simple tackles. Notably, i think, what the quick ruck ball shows is that the change from penalties to free kicks at ruck time has not lead flankers to simply play the ball on the ground and concede only a free kick as so many had feared - and this amongst the southern 'cheats': Mccaw and Burger.I think that this is a crucial point as the NH rules which have changed the kicking and the rolling mall rules but maintained the penalties at rucks mean that players are not willing to play from within their own half for fear of giving away a penalty due to some bizarre interpretation by the ref at a ruck (god knows Brian Moore has gone on long enough about that). So instead we are left with the back and forth kicking game.So my diagnosis is: The defences appear poor at the moment because of the new rule changes. Don't worry though defences will adapt and rugby will remain a competition. Thus adopt all the rule changes (i think there could be some discussion about the rolling maul - although then i think defences would be totally compromised) and then the kicking-game stuff will fade out while making possible good attractive rules like not allowing teams to carry the ball back into the 22.Now i have entered an ELV and N-S debate...thoughts?

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trollman March 31, 2009 11:06 am

Awful defense for most of the tries. Would've never have been scored if it was played inthe NH.

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Flooz March 31, 2009 11:21 am

a lot of very good triesbut also a lot of laughable tacklesQuite amusing when u read some comments explaining the wonderful technique of SH tacklers:)

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Ted March 31, 2009 11:45 am

To ELV and N-SSome good points made here mate, especially about the ruck situation. You're right, at the moment NH teams are scared to hold onto the ball in their own half; much easier to hoof the thing away and hope the opposition make a mistake. I think Ian McGeechan made a similar point at the start of the season. That is the area that needs clearing up more than anything as the defenders seem to have all the advantages at the moment. It does seem strange that we should adopt some of the ELVs and not all of them - as I understand it they work together as a package, you can't pick and choose which ones you like.The idea that some NH commentators have that the aerial ping-pong will stop the moment you bring back rolling mauls is absurd.

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 11:59 am

Exactly Ted, the problem with southern hemisphere people is that they're a bit "simple". They look at the NH videos and shout SHIT DEFENCE, and then get confused when people point out identical (or sometimes worse) tries in a SH compilation.The taclking for Watsons try is very poor, some of the worst I've seen in a long time.

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Arnaud March 31, 2009 12:06 pm

There's something I would like to say about the show displayed between NH and SH club teams.As I said in a previous post, the fact that worst team will go one division lower at the end of the season is a key point in the difference of "quality".As you may see, S14 games are, for most of them, high scored games( I hope my english is clear enough).Stade Francais-Toulouse that was the top game of the french league finished on a 15-11 mark....Then my feeling is it's stupid to try to compare these NH-SH championships.Perhaps SH is ahead but I'm not sure the difference is so big.In the last WRC, when game counts and you have to play under pressure, I can tell you players fight in the ruck. As I said, it's not such a big surprise to have seen elimination of the Blacks and Wallabies.So comparing SH and NH can only be made during the worldcup (last cups shown us it's almost well balanced). Even the summer games coming we'll be totally dominated by SH teams as usual (France will play first test during the top 14 final...what a shame).But let's enjoy rugby from SH and NH : this is rugby and we like it and let's enjoy it :o)))

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Andy March 31, 2009 12:06 pm

Can i just say that SH is better at the moment than the North H at rugby, the facts don't lie. There's not really much point in arguing about it.However the defense WAS shit in most of these tries, i mean they're getting paid to play the game they should be smashing these guys down. I think there's definitely some sort of transformation at international level where everyone steps up.

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jamestheconvict March 31, 2009 12:21 pm

ha ha ha ha talkin about me again hey tedfirst post from me in ages - all you haters needed a break

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jamestheconvict March 31, 2009 1:01 pm

I shag my sheep after I'm done shearing 'em.

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Shaft March 31, 2009 1:58 pm

Super 14 in the Southern Hemisphere euqals dryer weather, flatter surfaces, faster rugby, which equals more fatigue - which equals worse tackling. Just a theory. Use it/dont use it.

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Anonymous March 31, 2009 4:33 pm

luke watson - awesome strengthkankowski is amazing but he could have scored that trytuitivake is soo good

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Anonymous April 01, 2009 1:06 am

Under the full ELVs defences do indeed tire towards the end of games, and off quick taps from infringments the defences are not set, they are beckpeddaling, and it's hard to defend well when that's the case.But if you honestly believe that the players suddenyl become better defenders at international level, you are deluded.A northern attack is always easier to contain, it's non-debatable. Northenr teams are slow, stodgy and boring in their attack.

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number7 April 01, 2009 9:04 am

anonamous dude that ranted on about nz defence ironically a small province on the south coast of ireland bled them dry and only for a great try in the last minutes you would have been shamed by a second string munster team

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ELV and N-S... April 01, 2009 10:34 am

It appears that i am in the minority with this reading of the ELVs:http://www.sarugby.com/news/News/article/sid=11239.html

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Arnaud April 01, 2009 11:50 am

I hope you're not into the minority.What's the meaning of ELV? Fasten the game? The play Rugby League game.Rugby is a fight, a team fight and neglecting the work of forwards is just ridiculous. And some people here say it's still possible to play mauls : that's just showing a lack of knowledge of the game.

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Anonymous April 01, 2009 12:12 pm

aranud you don't liek the ELVS because your team is stodgy and shit.They couldn't pass a bottle of mustard down the table and their only hope is that they can slow the game down so their fat bastards have a chance.zing.

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Arnaud April 01, 2009 1:01 pm

Ok so let's suppose SH players are faster, we'll make the rules becoming faster.When the SH players will 2.10 m tall, we'll put basketball boards on the field. Perhaps we should also try to forbid contact and tackle?And why not doing like maerican football? Just have to pass the line to score without pressing down the ball?Let me know your proposition dear anonymous or skip on posting such empty message.

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Anonymous April 01, 2009 1:32 pm

My message is learn how to play rugby with ball in hand. Your French, you lot used to know how to do that, if nothing else. Now you've forgotten that bit and your focus is on set pieces and kicking. It's crap, and it;s why you losr most of the time against the big three.Play the game properly, pass the ball, offload in the tackle, break tackles, and for god sake stop kicking the goddamn ball so much.And yes, we should have basketball hoops, that is an excellent idea.

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Brent Davison April 01, 2009 2:39 pm

This copyright nonsense from Supersport is really frustrating!! We love the game, we pay our subscriptions to watch! Rugbydump does an amazing job at promoting the game only to be stopped by supersport. RD admins, is there a way that we can get hold of Supersport via a petition etc to show our viewer support for rugbydump?!

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Just a Fan April 02, 2009 2:08 pm

Put my name under Brent's, RD

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Just a Fan April 02, 2009 2:08 pm

Put my name under Brent's, RD

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Anonymous April 02, 2009 5:29 pm

can anyone tackle in s14?

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Was'Neutral'NowSH April 03, 2009 4:11 am

The most amusing part of this whole NH/SH argument, is that each year the SH win it by pumping the NH. Stick that in your pot and boil it... ;)

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Swampy April 13, 2009 8:39 am

the super 14 has become bland and boring. THe guiness premiership and the heiniken cup or even the european challenge cup kicks its arse

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