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Friday, March 19, 2010

Super 14 Pick of the Week - Round 5

Super 14 Pick of the Week - Round 5

Round six of the Super 14 got underway earlier today, so it's time to take a look back at Round 5 with our weekly Super 14 Pick of the Week feature.

In Round 5 the Bulls continued their dominance of the tournament with yet another powerful win at home. They've now scored an incredible 50 points in three out of their four matches. The only game they didn't score 50 in was against the Waratahs, where they scored 48.

Against the Highlanders they scored a few great tries, but none was better than the individual effort from right wing Gerhard van den Heever scored from a run that started way back in his 22.

Other stand out tries came from scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali'i for the Crusaders, who scored two from some excellent offloading in the tackle and perfect support play. The Reds notched up 50 points themselves as they brushed aside the struggling Force, with Quade Cooper once again on fire. Great tries by Digby Ioane and Luke Morahan are featured here.

In Cape Town, the Stormers ran riot against the Hurricanes with big Fijian Sireli Naqelevuki and fullback Joe Pietersen combining twice for respective tries. The Waratahs also brushed aside a struggling unit, as they hammered the touring Lions in Sydney. Josh Holmes and Drew Mitchell scored great breakaway tries, with Mitchell actually getting four on the night.

:: Related Posts ::
Time: 04:38
Music: Breathe by the Prodigy

Posted by Rugbydump at 1:26 pm | View Comments (41)

Viewing 41 comments

no one is first March 19, 2010 3:58 pm


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FP March 19, 2010 4:06 pm

A fantastic set of tries. Van den Heever is quick!

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Ok i'll be third March 19, 2010 4:10 pm


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Scotsdale March 19, 2010 4:13 pm

Hah, Will Caldwell must be the slowest rugby player in the world!

Sweet tries all round though. Van den Heever did brilliantly to identify the space there.

That dummy by the Crusaders #9 was also pure class.

I'm looking forward to the Bulls v the Hurricanes, starting in about an hour.

Nice mix, thanks.

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Anonymous March 19, 2010 4:41 pm

holy smoke those tries were awesome!

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RedYeti March 19, 2010 4:50 pm

These are amazing tries. Why can Northern Hemisphere teams not do this? People can talk about the breakdown interpretation as much as they like, but the fact is there have hardly been any offloads all 6N, most coming from France. I refuse to believe our players don't have the skills to be able to offload; I just want to understand why they choose not to :(

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Abs7 March 19, 2010 5:08 pm

Awesome just awesome, great music, great rugby..
Lets play some sexy rugby!!

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Tiger Max March 19, 2010 5:25 pm

Mentality. Soft pitches. But crucially, its the speed from the breakdown.

S14 teams get the ball away much quicker, catching the defence off-guard more, leading to more tries.

Also the tackling is suspect at times in the S14.

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Oli March 19, 2010 5:42 pm

Gerhard van den Heever: remember that name my friends

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Anonymous March 19, 2010 6:21 pm

offloads look like the theme here. continuity is the difference between north and south at the moment.

not the fitness, not the strength...just the tempo of the game

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thenewguy March 19, 2010 6:34 pm

Loving these highlight packages! Favs would have to be the first two (love seeing Donald ease into the gap at pace and offload) and the last one...great razzle dazzle!!

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Anonymous March 19, 2010 11:13 pm

I have to agree that this stuff is really nice to watch. Insane offload after insane offload. We need some stats on forward passes between NH and SH and turnovers and that kind of stuff. Does anybody know a source for good comparative stats on rugby? (players, budgets, etc...)

As RedYeti asks, why don't they do it in the NH?

A rich French club should just buy 15 players from the super 14 and level any NH club team, seriously...

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REDS! March 20, 2010 1:07 am

Thats how you play Rugby! very exciting stuff last week. Looks like more of the same this week. Love the super 14

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Anonymous March 20, 2010 8:42 am

i honestly think it's the coaching that's the problem.

NH focuses on retaining the ball.

SH focuses on recycling the ball.

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sebastian March 20, 2010 9:16 am


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Teddy Bruckshot March 20, 2010 4:09 pm

Awesome. Play is so quick that there is hardly a ruck to contest. As for why it seems the NH are more content to go to ground, I would guess they are trained to play that way?

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No.7 March 20, 2010 5:36 pm

so far so good, lets try and keep this NH SH thing useful and a good debate.....

my point: 'As for why it seems the NH are more content to go to ground'

1) Conditions: An absolutely HUUUGE amount of the reason is conditions...i know the SH has heard of rain and bad weather, but really our rugby season is during really grim weather. I could be wrong but are there many SH games that within the first 20 mins teams cannot tell who is who due to mud?

I know international levels mud isnt a real big issue, due to pitch maintanance but school boy rugby, club rugby is what international is built on, and really there are so many horrible games where rucking and mauling inch by inch is the only option....

2) Opposition: Watching the current match (IRE-SCO) there was talk about the Eng Fra match, where one presenter was saying how england will have to play a very closed game, to not give france any chances.

Now it can be argued that france is the most SH-esque team in the NH (which yes id probably agree with) and so really their game is built on running more than anything.....(once again id argue conditions) england have to play it slow

My points summed up really are:

SH has good conditions which means there is the possibilty for running rugby, which they produce.

NH has awful conditions which means there is the possibility for no running rugby, which they produce.

So really you could argue a top form NH team will outdo a SH team on rucking rugby, but will inadvertantly lose due to 3 points being less that 7 (penalty v try) because the SH team will run the ball.

Now all my points are really stereotypical and 'ideal scenarios' but thats the point...SH rugby is based on your ideal good conditions therefore running lots is encouraged.
NH rugby is based on our....'ideal'?!?....conditions which proves running the ball is very very messy, so rucking is drummed into us....

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kevdetoulouse March 20, 2010 6:05 pm


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Benson March 20, 2010 7:09 pm

No.7, with all due respect, attacking intent has nothing to do with weather conditions. When teams play in perfect conditions at the Millennium Stadium or Twickenham, there's no excuse for showing a lack of creativity and, perhaps most importantly, failing to offload in the tackle.

Blaming the weather is valid at times, but a cop out the majority of the time.

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 1:07 am

Agreed Benson. Blaming the weather for the NH inability to score tries is kind of weak...

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 2:47 am

what a try by gerhard van den heever!!!!

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No.7 March 21, 2010 3:12 am

Im not blaming the weather at all anonymous or benson...

im merely stating the base for NH rugby is built on shite you play in shite weather all your life, you tend to perfect shite weather tactics, so when it comes to nice days, you stand there getting blinded by the sun and wondering what to do....

You think SH teams just pick up a ball for the very first time and their first instinct is creativity...they are taught that way. In the NH we pick up a ball which is like a bar of soap and we are told 'securing' the ball is paramount!

im sorry guys, you can call us weak, or liars or whatever you want, but I PLAY in the NH and I KNOW the conditions, and I PLAYED rugby at a decent rugby producing school which boasted ex england players...

Also noticed benson, that you stated twickenham....which team plays there?! ah yes...england...and we all know the state of their rugby of late (bar france game)....

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Jos GD March 21, 2010 4:50 am

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G try by Van den Heever... Destructive pace and stepping
Wonder why his opposite wing didn't try to catch him, he was very near

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 6:36 am

Bulls #1

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RememberTheMer March 21, 2010 8:58 am

No. 7 I hear you on the weather problem - but you should try living in NZ during winter. Hard and fast it is not.

I would suggest it is more of a cultural thing where young players are coached to not err rather than have a go or take risks. Its why an average S14 player like Flutey does well. He is not a great athlete, he just brings an intent that NH players had scared out of them 15 years earlier.

I see the same thing in English football. Why is it that every Spanish player is able to dribble whereas British players look as if they're running down hill and might trip any second. I suspect its because it has been instilled into them that the worst possible thing they can do is lose the ball.

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 12:34 pm

Bulls, Stormers > France, England
Springboks > British Lions

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rehanbb March 21, 2010 1:01 pm

that is exactly the point, from a young age the coaches instill this fear of not screwing up, don't try and learn to offload, don't try to run at a gap or anything, just bash it up.

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No.7 March 21, 2010 4:54 pm

Yeh i hear you on that, but i think its to do with the times, i mean england has bad weather, winter or summer....(exaggerated but yehh..) so i suppose generations and generations of that stuff drums into coaches to play conservatively and not risk it...

....i know its not an excuse to blame the weather, its more that the weather and conditions has gotten NH rugby into a safety first mindset, which is drummed into youngsters, which grow up, drum it into the next lot etc etc etc.....

i think thats why some of these teams say like wales and scotland with SH coaches are plying more expansively!

'SH > NH
Bulls, Stormers > France, England
Springboks > British Lions'

Dont feed the troll, we are having a normal debate, there is no need to throw in such comments, such as leicester, saracens, ireland.... so dont do it! :)

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RememberTheMer March 21, 2010 6:39 pm

Just a follow up on the climate

Annual precipitation in London is approx:
1/2 Wellington or Auckland
= Christchurch
1/12 Milford Sound (holy crap!)

If you want the weather to be an explanation then I would suggest you're going to have invoke things like:

1. UK is flat, so drainage is really poor.
2. UK soils/cover are dominantly clay = mud. NZ is predominantly alluvial = less mud

On second thoughts, the players are scared.

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Tui March 22, 2010 12:01 am

Ioane's try was sick as was Van den Heever... He's such a balanced runner... Vainikola showed good pace and caught up to him though!

The Bulls are not what they were last year... They made it look much easier last year... Will be interesting to see how they go when they tour... My guess... Not that well.. New rules etc... They are playing different rugby (much more exciting though).

This years super 14 is so much better without all those shitty high bombs!

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No.7 March 22, 2010 12:51 am


HOLY SHIT, you want me to bring out a ton of shit about geotechnics and rain flow, groundwater flow, surface water storage, seepage, saturation points etc...i really cannot be bothered....

So when we view super 14 matches we see mud, soaked pitches, or do we see what appears to be sweat and astroturf looking ground.....

not to mention the old african games, the ones with 5% grass on the pitch.

if you actually want to be a cock then keep on, if you want to actually want to talk properly then come back when you've grown up.

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Joost March 22, 2010 2:44 am

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME, van den Heever's try was mind blowing... the Super 14 rocks

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RememberTheMer March 22, 2010 4:31 am

No 7, chill bro

Tongue was firmly in cheek.

The Super 14 is played in our Summer/Autumn. But Kiwi kids play rugby in the depths of winter. Its not as cold as the UK but it is wetter.

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RememberTheMer March 22, 2010 4:36 am

P.S. I am actually sympathetic to your argument about the weather. We get more rain but the pitches don't turn into porridge. In all seriousness, I suspect that is because of differences in the nature of the soils and groundwater flow.

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Anonymous March 22, 2010 4:23 pm

Van den Heever's was the best, it didnt even look like a try was on when he caught the ball, and boy is he fast - imagine him and habana playing for the boks.

also wonder why the no 11 didn't try and dive to stop him - may be the camera angle which makes him look closer than what he was??

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Jos GD March 22, 2010 8:15 pm

> Anonymous said...
also wonder why the no 11 didn't try and dive to stop him - may be the camera angle which makes him look closer than what he was??

I had the same thought... IMO the opposite wing accelerated enough to be at a distance of a dive

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ed March 22, 2010 8:49 pm

enjoyed that a lot. especially the dummy box kick from bulls no 9, i think, on 2 mins-ish, to then run it from their own 22. ballsy. but i guess they were 14-0 up with 11mins gone, either way was epic.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 5:27 am

Guys, your weather story is quite fascinating, for me at least. I suspect that there is quite a bit of variation in soils within say NZ and within England. There is factor also which is how much money is put in the pitches. So you might have a hard time figuring out if its soils or just money. It would be interesting to see if there is a lot of variation in styles of play within a country at different levels. To me (European), the pitches don't look much much better than what I have experienced, that is at a shitty club level. Is it the same in NZ? Because if different levels play at different times of the year, that's different.

Anyway, the least patient readers of this forum have probably shot themselves by now.

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No.7 March 23, 2010 5:52 am

_ trying to gauge how sarky you're being anonymous....

But ill add to your comment anyway...

Id agree that at amatuer club level the pitches appear to be on thesame level as proffesional club rugby....i wouldnt go as far to say the same as international fields....but then look how easy international fields tear up!....

I dont mean for it to sound like an excuse as such, i think its an actual fair point that the base for european, well, north of france, rugby is played in crap weather at school level, which is then carried forward into professional and international level and then onward to coaching level.....i think it is a fair point because SH coaches are bringing more running into the NH game....

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 11:50 pm

It's just attitude and philosophy.
As you say no 7 new coaches from the SH are bringing more urnning into the game, pitches be damned.
NH players are just poorly coached from an early age.

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Olly March 24, 2010 7:34 am

'NH players are just poorly coached from an early age.'

..........brought on by this mindset that keeping the ball locked up and safe in wet muddy conditions is the way to play in any condition.

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