Whether they were scored as a result of powerful build-up from the forwards, a scything set-piece move or raw pace, this week’s Super 14 Pick of the Week brings back more of what we have come to expect from the highly regarded Super 14.
Round 3’s look at the weekends action takes us from wet conditions to dry, from Johannesburg to Christchurch and from the backs to the forwards. Australians amongst you need not worry if you find yourself thus far without a mention because its not only you who have noticed two Australian franchises in the top four (Waratahs at 2nd and Western Force at 4th) with the Bulls and Sharks.
No doubt the notoriously slow starting New Zealand teams will hit their stride and as many staunch Kiwis will point out, “If they handed out any trophies in March, the Waratahs would win everytime.” It is, of course, early days and rather than telling the future we’ll do what we do best.
Tom Carter’s stepping igniting a try on half-time from Waratahs back rower Ben Mowen along with a Matt Giteau back door flick perhaps demonstrate why the table sits as it does. Block-busting Jared Payne of the Crusaders refused to let the likes of hat-trick scoring Cameron Shepard have all the fun as he stole the spot light with a devastating counter attack that set up Casey Laulala a phase later.
Conrad Smith and Zac Guilford combining to score in the corner for the Hurricanes early on was great to see. Pierre Spies popped up in the right place, as any back rower should, and if we are going to single out anyone, it has to be Digby Ioane for his sprint and then some against the Cheetahs.
Impressive set piece play from the Blues against the Stormers and the Force against the Brumbies also made the pick this week.
Name of the Game by The Crystal Method