Win the big moments and you’ll win the big finals

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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    After the four best sides won through to the Super Rugby semi-finals, it follows nicely that the teams that finished first and second overall will face off in the decider in Wellington on Saturday.

    When it came down to it, the Hurricanes and the Lions won through by dominating their respective semi-finals.

    Come to think of it, and even though there have been semi-final thumpings in recent seasons – both last year, for just one example – it’s hard to think of a more one-sided finals series; certainly not since the introduction of the conference format, anyway.

    In both cases, their domination was no fluke. Both the Canes and the Lions won through because they won the big moments in their games.

    Of course, the thing about big moments is that you don’t know their impact until well after the event.

    Ardie Savea, for instance, didn’t know what kind of impact his charging off downfield through the gap that suddenly appeared before him would have. As he faked his chip kick ahead, stepped right and very nearly burned Damien McKenzie on the outside, he wouldn’t have known the impact of his sudden opening up of the Chiefs, who for most of the 20 previous minutes had been testing the Hurricanes’ defence, deep in the territory, and drawing a team warning for the home side.

    The Hurricanes to that point were in danger of losing a defender for the next infringement, yet suddenly they pulled a turnover from nowhere. And then Savea saw space in front of him.

    The Canes didn’t score from Savea’s break, but did kick a penalty to push their lead out to 8-3. For all their pressuring the Hurricanes’ line, the Chiefs were left with nothing to show, and needed to start again. It must have been hard to take. Even if subconsciously, the lack of points had to have lifted the desperation levels as they restarted.

    And that might explain that on the next incursion into the Hurricanes’ half, Sam Cane didn’t see Beauden Barrett coming toward the Chiefs’ attackers at a rate of knots. Cane looked sideways and saw three teammates outside him, but somehow didn’t see among three white jerseys a gold and black one barely a metre away and closing. But the last time the Chiefs were down in this part of the ground and looked all but certain to post points, they coughed up the ball. They needed points before halftime. Desperation crept in.

    Cane threw the pass. Barrett swooped, and put it down under the posts 60 metres away. 15-3 scoreline, 36th minute. Huge moment.

    From there on, the Chiefs were never really in the contest. They narrowed the score to 15-6 before halftime, but the margin at that point was much more than nine points. When Victor Vito crashed over from a blindside scrum move, and after Chiefs scrumhalf Brad Weber took TJ Perenara’s bait by following him around the to the open side, even 22-6 didn’t really tell the full story of how dominant the home side had become.

    It was a similar story at Ellis Park later on Saturday, and even though the scoreboard showed a 12-point margin on fulltime, it really wasn’t anything like that close. 35-11, as the score read just before the Highlanders went on a 19-point spree in the last 14 minutes, was probably more indicative.

    And in blowing the 17-6 halftime score out like they did inside the 20 minutes after the break, the Lions won several big moments to properly put the game out of the Highlanders’ reach.

    Faced with the same situation he was in the 46th minute, I suspect Elton Jantjies would have gone through with the clearing kick in every game previous during 2016. But high on confidence from an outstanding first half, and knowing who was on his left in sensing the opportunity, Jantjies dummied the kick and took off down the left through space, releasing Courtnall Skosan to do the rest.

    The Highlanders were able to hit back virtually immediately, but at 25-6, this was the desperation kicking in rather than any sudden change of momentum.

    Then came Jaco Kriel. Whether it was him or Ruan Combrinck who called for the cross-kick from Jantjies doesn’t matter; the fact that they were able to turn the kick into another turning point in the game was what really matters. When Kriel caught the kick, he and Combrinck seemed well covered, by Elliot Dixon and Waisake Naholo, respectively.

    Kriel quickly got up to speed though, and completed a horror day for Dixon by shoving him out of the way like George Costanza evacuating a kids’ party. Suddenly Kriel had momentum to go with his speed, and despite Combrinck trailing on the inside, Naholo had no choice but to try and stop Kriel getting to the corner. But he was no chance, and with the Ellis Park scoreboard reading 35-11, neither were the Highlanders from there.

    Minutes later, Kriel confirmed this by making the desperate cover tackle on Matt Faddes, denying him a second try and confirming the 2015 Champions’ fate. Just another huge moment.

    And that’s how it will be won in Wellington this Saturday. The weekend’s games showed us that you don’t have to dominate the stats sheet to dominate the scoreboard, and likewise, that even the best defensive teams in the competition have bad days.

    It will all come down to who can create, and more importantly take the big moments as they present.

    The best teams at doing this in the finals series have won through to the decider, and it shapes as an even bigger game than the outstanding final last year did. And that’s not something I imagined saying at any point this season.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (171)

    • August 2nd 2016 @ 5:20am
      Faith said | August 2nd 2016 @ 5:20am | ! Report

      Ball always seems to bounce the way of the victor … Dixon dropping the ball in the try box was also another significant moment. There is something quite rope-a-dope about the Hurricanes. Lions are an incredibly good team. Even with Canes home advantage this one is hard to call.

      • Roar Guru

        August 2nd 2016 @ 5:56am
        Shop said | August 2nd 2016 @ 5:56am | ! Report

        Yep, bombing that try was a massive moment. From the scrum that followed the Lions passed it across the field behind the goalposts and then thumped it down field. That for me was a killer blow to the Highlanders. You could almost see the jet lag set in form there.

      • Roar Guru

        August 2nd 2016 @ 6:01am
        taylorman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 6:01am | ! Report

        Still think the Dixon drop was one of several instances where the Highlanders weren’t as sharp due to the hard work of the full season that required a huge amount of travel at the business end…uncharacteristic errors like the drop, the Faddes inability to finish etc etc. Notvan excuse for the Landers but more something you probably won’t see from the Canes.

        I see the Lions have landed here in Wellington?

        • Roar Guru

          August 2nd 2016 @ 6:34am
          Harry Jones said | August 2nd 2016 @ 6:34am | ! Report

          taylorman, forgive me if I have this wrong, but isn’t Faddes considered quite the speedster by NZ coaches, despite his CPA appearance? I was surprised at how easily he was reeled back in by cover defence several times.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 2nd 2016 @ 7:03am
            samalavich said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:03am | ! Report

            Correct harry. He’s been involved in sevens and I recall hearing he was the fastest highlander. Thats why when I saw him make that break I figured it was going to be a try. I forget who tackled him… not skosan though who I guess is the fastest lion.

            • Roar Guru

              August 2nd 2016 @ 7:09am
              Harry Jones said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:09am | ! Report

              Jaco, a very fast flank

              • Roar Rookie

                August 2nd 2016 @ 7:14am
                samalavich said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:14am | ! Report

                Indeed… and if ur speedster is getting run down by a flanker, even a very fast one, well maybe he’s not really a speedster

              • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:33am
                Baylion said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:33am | ! Report

                Kriel played centre at until u16 and is fast. Whiteley is also deceptively fast with his giraffe-like lope :), also a backline player at school

              • Columnist

                August 2nd 2016 @ 9:34am
                Geoff Parkes said | August 2nd 2016 @ 9:34am | ! Report

                I don’t wish to rain on the Kriel love fest, nor am I going into bat for Faddes but…

                I had another look at it, I think Kriel always had him covered on the angle.
                Put it this way, it would have been a bad miss if he hadn’t bundled Faddes out.

              • Roar Guru

                August 2nd 2016 @ 9:52am
                Machooka said | August 2nd 2016 @ 9:52am | ! Report

                Hey G… I actually put this question out there last week to Akari (?) about Faddes, as I too was of the belief he was meant to be blindingly quick.

                My query in this regard was in the Brums game their #4 almost ran down Faddes after a Brums turn-over against the run of play.

                And what I was alluding to, more correctly, was like how fast was the Brums lock??

            • August 2nd 2016 @ 11:25am
              Buk said | August 2nd 2016 @ 11:25am | ! Report

              While I have heard of Faddess being the fastest Highlander, I seriously doubt he is faster on the field than a fully fit Naholo. Perhaps faster while Naholo was still getting up to speed following injuries.

              • August 2nd 2016 @ 3:08pm
                CUW said | August 2nd 2016 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                it was said that according to Tony Brown Faddes is the fastest back in the HIghlanders squad , which has Naholo and Osborne !!!

                but then sprinting on grass / soft ground as opposed to a mondo track are like chalk and cheese- a totally different topic alltogether.

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:31am
            taylorman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:31am | ! Report

            Thats what I mean Harry, uncharacteristic of faddes who in the second half of the season has been consistent in his delivery, finishing and option talking. Just think they lacked the same edge for this match.

            Same with Elliots covering Jantes kick. he was all over the ball carrier, had the time to bring him down the just got shoved off too easily.

            And at times several were walking. I expect the Canes to be more accurate in those positions for the same reasons the Lions were- theyre at peak.

            • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:37am
              Baylion said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:37am | ! Report

              The Lions players’ conditioning for speed rather than bulk and to be able to play at pace for 80 minutes. A journo commented on this after a Bok training session before the Ireland tour, how the Lions players had a leaner look than the Boks from the other unions

              • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:41am
                taylorman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:41am | ! Report

                point taken, but it doesnt explain unforced errors, something they may not see a lot of with the canes. If theyre ‘surprised’ at the canes accuracy and execution after the last two NZ sides, then they’ll not have done their homework.

              • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:58am
                Baylion said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:58am | ! Report

                I’m sure they won’t make that mistake. 🙂

              • August 2nd 2016 @ 8:18am
                taylorman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 8:18am | ! Report

                Yes have to agree, both Ackerman and his side seem to have covered off everything they need to and more…makes looking for an advantage an interesting exercise…

            • Roar Guru

              August 2nd 2016 @ 9:32pm
              Harry Jones said | August 2nd 2016 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

              Yep. Good points, T-Man

          • Roar Rookie

            August 2nd 2016 @ 10:03am
            Shane D said | August 2nd 2016 @ 10:03am | ! Report

            Often by this time of the season a player who maybe very quick is carrying a niggle or three. That can reduce a blokes top end speed pretty quickly.
            Faddes displayed good speed earlier in the season so he is obviously quick but wasn’t as fast as he has been in the last two games.
            It’s inaccurate to say player A is quicker than player B because player B caught player A once. I have seen Usain Bolt beaten but I am pretty sure he is the quickest bloke around.

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 11:08am
            Jokerman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            Faddes is the Higlanders centre right? Just want to make sure I’m talking about the right guy. Yes he was regarded as a speedster and perhaps the fastest in the team. But that is over rated as we have seen. He hasn’t shown to be quick to me. And I’m sure it was the Lions 6 you pulled him in when he made an innocuous attempt for the try line. He should have immediately gone for it, or straiten up to give him options left and right. But he just did a club football run to the corner and bundled out.

          • Roar Guru

            August 2nd 2016 @ 12:14pm
            Two Eyed Cyclop said | August 2nd 2016 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

            We still got BBBBBBBBBBBBBB Harry 🙂

            • August 2nd 2016 @ 12:23pm
              Muzzo said | August 2nd 2016 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

              Just think, Two Eyed Cyclop, that next year, BB, could have younger Bro, Jodie, playing outside him. It’s a great possibility.

              • Roar Guru

                August 2nd 2016 @ 12:38pm
                Two Eyed Cyclop said | August 2nd 2016 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                He couldn’t be as quick as BBBBBBBBBBB, surely Muzzo!!!

              • Roar Guru

                August 2nd 2016 @ 7:22pm
                Harry Jones said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

                Bbbbbbbbbbut of course

                Skosan v BBBBB?

              • August 2nd 2016 @ 3:13pm
                CUW said | August 2nd 2016 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

                @ Two Eyed Cyclop

                Jordie is not as quick as Beaudy , BUT he is much tougher at tackling ; and he is a more accurate kicker at posts!!!

              • Roar Rookie

                August 2nd 2016 @ 8:28pm
                Kirky said | August 2nd 2016 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

                Blues I’ve heard Chook!

            • August 2nd 2016 @ 3:58pm
              Muzzo said | August 2nd 2016 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

              Yep but Jordie, is very good

              • Roar Rookie

                August 2nd 2016 @ 8:30pm
                Kirky said | August 2nd 2016 @ 8:30pm | ! Report

                He’s a ‘Naki boy mate so he’s gotta’ be good!

        • August 2nd 2016 @ 11:26am
          The Sheriff said | August 2nd 2016 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          I forgive Dixon because he has been so good all season. The Lions had the game on a string for the most part.

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:24pm
            Rugby Tragic said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

            absolutely …. they were impressive … very impressive

        • August 2nd 2016 @ 12:14pm
          Muzzo said | August 2nd 2016 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

          Yep Agree with that T/man, especially Faddes, who in my opinion, has really gone off the boil, in the last couple of games. No doubt, with the return of Barracuda, next year, Faddes, will be unlikely to gain a start, but, then again, hopefully, this is only a temporary lapse, of his previous good showings.

      • August 2nd 2016 @ 1:20pm
        Brizvegas said | August 2nd 2016 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        Here’s a Big Moment Brett Glen Jackson appointed to ref the final.

        • Columnist

          August 2nd 2016 @ 1:26pm
          Brett McKay said | August 2nd 2016 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          yeah, I heard that mentioned during the Sky call on Sat night, and we kind of touched on it late last week, though admittedly, I thought it was a shootout between Gardner and Peyper. Interesting that while Gardner is an AR, Peyper doesn’t get a gig at all..

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 3:19pm
            CUW said | August 2nd 2016 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

            they shud have given it to Gardner , though he was kind of over cautious in the semi.

            a neutral ump is always good for the game. not sure why people in power dont make decisions to control what is controllable. appointing a neutral ref is controllable, the decisions he make are not.

            its amazing how sanzaaar seems to be still in the 1980s…. duh

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 4:38pm
            Neil Bradley said | August 2nd 2016 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

            Cost would be the issue with Peyper. That was the reason given when they went away from neutral refs.

        • August 2nd 2016 @ 2:31pm
          Akari said | August 2nd 2016 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

          It might not be a blessing for the Canes about his appointment. Angus G should have been given the job to be fair to all participants and George Ayoub, the TMO’s job.

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 6:25pm
            Jacko said | August 2nd 2016 @ 6:25pm | ! Report

            Im not sure why the final should be different to the semi’s and quarters, or the rest of the season in regards to neutral refs. Of course the refs should be neutral but they havnt been all season so it would be silly to change the ruling on refs now. My main concern is that Glen Jackson can be very hot and cold, not where he is from as the Chiefs arnt in the final.
            Neutrals for every match next year tho please

        • Roar Rookie

          August 2nd 2016 @ 8:37pm
          Kirky said | August 2nd 2016 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

          He’s a ‘Naki boy mate so he’s gotta’ be good!

          Yeah well, Jackson would probably be the best of a bad lot, he used to be an excellent Ref’ but his head’s blown out these days and he’s far too finicky for my liking, I prefer the game to flow, ~ but he’s very likely organising himself for the next World Cup anyway!

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 8:52pm
            Jerry said | August 2nd 2016 @ 8:52pm | ! Report

            I thought Jackson was from the BOP?

            • August 3rd 2016 @ 10:47am
              Muzzo said | August 3rd 2016 @ 10:47am | ! Report

              Yep Jerry, as the BOP, is part of the Chiefs franchise.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 3rd 2016 @ 9:52pm
            Kirky said | August 3rd 2016 @ 9:52pm | ! Report

            Apologies guys as I don’t know how that first paragraph got in here, but it’s one I posted earlier, and I know very well where Jackson does come from, and it’s not the ‘Naki!

            • August 3rd 2016 @ 10:09pm
              Jerry said | August 3rd 2016 @ 10:09pm | ! Report

              Good thing too, as a Canes fan I’m very suspicious of those treacherous Naki-ites.

              Except for Beauden of course.

    • August 2nd 2016 @ 5:46am
      mania said | August 2nd 2016 @ 5:46am | ! Report

      brett its the little things that you have to get right as that’s what the big things are made up of. for me a turning point was when chiefs were attacking the canes line, practically parked in the canes 22 in the first 10 minutes of the game. they got it out wide to jamesLowe who had an over lap and he dropped it. that to me was an indication that canes were on a winner. jameLowe didn’t get any more opportunities after that.
      this was a similar turning point in the saders game when dagg with an open line dropped it. saders never got another opportunity after that.
      anyway, none of that matters, its in the past. its going to be a great game this weekend. 2 teams who wanna play expansive rugby. I hope everyone plays great as this event deserves to see the best of the best. hope theres no injuries and each team gives it everything.

      GO THE CANES!!

      • Roar Rookie

        August 2nd 2016 @ 7:11am
        samalavich said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:11am | ! Report

        Hi mania I remember also thinking that those to moments were similar. Also both players you would not expect to drop the ball as both passes were chest height and out in front. The cheifs like the crusaders had a few very close calls where the last pass just went a stray. Mostly it was due to pressure but not those two chances, it was just a matter of catch the ball and the line was open…. go the canes

      • Columnist

        August 2nd 2016 @ 9:14am
        Brett McKay said | August 2nd 2016 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        Yeah, no doubt Mania, and this is one of those topics where everyone’s big moment will be different for different reasons. But you’re right, it takes a season of little omens to win the big moments when they count..

        • August 2nd 2016 @ 11:43am
          mania said | August 2nd 2016 @ 11:43am | ! Report

          yeah brett, everyone has their interpretations. yours differ to mine but this is still an awesome article. I enjoy reading your insights as they’re sometimes slightly skewed from my POV showing different aspects of the same argument.

          samalavich – yeah those dropped catches moments make all the difference some games.

          GO THE CANES!!!

    • Roar Guru

      August 2nd 2016 @ 6:52am
      Harry Jones said | August 2nd 2016 @ 6:52am | ! Report

      Great essay, Brett. I agree. A win-loss record over the course of a season rarely lies, but in one particular game, the score can often flatter to deceive, even if the winner is almost always the better team on the day, at taking the game/ref/situation as it is. Good case in point re Lions v. Landers: it was a tribute to the home team that they were clearly able to look at the score they’d built, use all the subs, and refuse to lose one player to a late injury. I did come away with a lot of respect for the Smiths as they battled to the last second. Best scrumhalf and best outside back in the world refusing to give less than 100%.

      Big Moments for me:

      Rohan Janse van Rensburg showing his heels to go up 17-3. That was a steep hill to climb the rest of the day; even with a free run in the last 15 minutes, they only narrowed that 14 point gap by 2 points.

      The Vito try. I felt like that was church. And it was pretty poor from Cane, I thought. Slow off the mark, even though Vito had go the long way around a lumbering Brad Shields. Poor body height in the tackle even though he had a decent enough shot with his mates to put a real tattoo on VV.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 2nd 2016 @ 7:18am
        samalavich said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:18am | ! Report

        Canes have looked good working off the back of scrums the last few weeks. Hopefully the lions probable domination of this won’t stop the trend

      • Columnist

        August 2nd 2016 @ 9:17am
        Brett McKay said | August 2nd 2016 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        Right on Harry. I remember thinking during the game that I couldn’t remember Aaron Smith being this off in a game – there was one passage where he threw three bad passes in a row. Aaron Smith!!

        None of the Highlanders stopped trying, in fairness, but such was their night that their level was a long way below the Lions..

        • August 2nd 2016 @ 12:31pm
          Muzzo said | August 2nd 2016 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          True Brett as Aaron wasn’t the only one. To me there were quite a few, that were on the lethargic side. The only player that stood out amongst them, in my opinion, was Bender. Geeeez, does this fella ever have a bad game?. But in saying that, the Lion’s were the better side on the night, & congrats, once again. So onto the Cake Tin, where the Canes are running red hot. They lost last year at home, & I really do think that they, will have taken something on board from that loss. They will be well prepared.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 2nd 2016 @ 8:48pm
            Kirky said | August 2nd 2016 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

            Tired boys Muzz’ and the Hurricanes are on their home track this weekend, it’ll be a vastly different game amd will be played in lowtitude rather than altitude and considering those pretenders the Lions spent about 85% of the matches at their home track I can’t see them firing a shot in the forecast rain hail and Cook Strait wind at the Cake Tin!

            Pity rugby is classed as a Winter sport now isn’t it’?

            • August 3rd 2016 @ 10:50am
              Muzzo said | August 3rd 2016 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              Yep Kirky, the winter sport, is definitely not what it used to be. Like virtually nowadays, playing on “putting greens”. lol

              • Roar Rookie

                August 3rd 2016 @ 10:07pm
                Kirky said | August 3rd 2016 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

                Yeah Muzz’ mate, didn’t you use to love dragging your leather sprigged ankle high boots out of some of that mud?

                Good days they were I reckon playing with a leather ball that when wet was pretty much like sticking your hands into a bucket of ‘Hupe” and you jumped off the ground in lineouts and the Winger threw the ball in after which it was lucky if you didn’t end up at the bottom of a ruck, ahhh those rucks, jeezuz. ‘didn’t you just love those freezing goddam days when if you were in the forwards you were OK , but the pretty boys out in the backs froze their nuts off, and those cold showers afterwards, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

    • August 2nd 2016 @ 6:58am
      Josh said | August 2nd 2016 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      Maybe the title should’ve read:

      ‘Journalist runs out of ideas and states the bleedin obvious’

      Its been a long season and things have gotten predictable, so understandable mind you.

      • Roar Guru

        August 2nd 2016 @ 7:11am
        Harry Jones said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:11am | ! Report

        When playing marbles while you eat grapes, be sure which hand is holding which

      • Roar Rookie

        August 2nd 2016 @ 7:23am
        samalavich said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:23am | ! Report

        Long season yes.. predictable, maybe for you. I certainly didn’t pick the canes to be playing the lions at home at the beginning of the last round. And as harry says, marbles are hard, don’t eat them, you’ll probably break your teeth

        • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:35am
          taylorman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:35am | ! Report

          Oh, and here I was thinking he was meaning dont get grapejuice fingers when you’re going for a shangai! 🙂

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 6:32pm
            Jacko said | August 2nd 2016 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

            I thought he meant if you throw your grapes use the 5 second rule and eat them quick

            • Roar Guru

              August 2nd 2016 @ 9:37pm
              Harry Jones said | August 2nd 2016 @ 9:37pm | ! Report

              Passing a marble ain’t fun. 1977

      • Columnist

        August 2nd 2016 @ 10:56am
        Brett McKay said | August 2nd 2016 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        Hi Michael, sorry, ‘Josh’ you’re going by now..

        Maybe your comment should’ve read:

        ‘Known long-term troll comes back with tenth different name and adds nothing to discussion’

        Predictable, indeed…

        • Roar Rookie

          August 2nd 2016 @ 11:05am
          Shane D said | August 2nd 2016 @ 11:05am | ! Report


        • August 2nd 2016 @ 12:52pm
          rebel said | August 2nd 2016 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

          Best reply ever.

      • August 2nd 2016 @ 11:43am
        Buk said | August 2nd 2016 @ 11:43am | ! Report

        I think Josh is quite correct in that the title is stating the obvious; yet it is an appropriate title, the report is well articulated, and an interesting reflection on various points in the games. An enjoyable read.

    • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:03am
      Faith said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      Tony Brown actually said that Faddes was the fastest player in the ‘Landers at the beginning of the season. In this game he was the weak link in the midfield. He dropped the pass and Van Rensburg went past him and he missed the tackle. And then he was reined at least twice. Once by Kriel. Poorest game he has heard …

      • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:34am
        taylorman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:34am | ! Report

        exactly…uncharacteristic errors…it was common in this match, despite the Lions playing well, many mistakes were unforced errors, and not of a team defending its title.

        …and in no way is this meant to be an excuse, but if the Lions suddenly find theyre up against a much superior team that those thayve beaten, theyre probably actual not…theyve just had a better run.

        • August 2nd 2016 @ 9:18am
          SaKiwiRoo said | August 2nd 2016 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          Taylorman, I just get the feeling that you find it very hard to lose

          • Roar Guru

            August 2nd 2016 @ 10:05am
            taylorman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 10:05am | ! Report

            Really? Youve not been reading a lot then.

          • August 2nd 2016 @ 3:29pm
            BBA said | August 2nd 2016 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

            Yeah, to be fair to Tman he supports the Blues, so he has been down some hard roads.

            • Roar Guru

              August 2nd 2016 @ 3:48pm
              taylorman said | August 2nd 2016 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

              …long ones…?

            • August 2nd 2016 @ 7:31pm
              Rugby Tragic said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

              BBA, nothing wrong with supporting the Blues… *S*

        • Roar Rookie

          August 2nd 2016 @ 8:50pm
          Kirky said | August 2nd 2016 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

          I like that!

      • Columnist

        August 2nd 2016 @ 10:58am
        Brett McKay said | August 2nd 2016 @ 10:58am | ! Report

        Faddes was still the only real avenue of threat for the first hour of the game though, guys, even if he wasn’t having the best game. Scored one try, and could very nearly have had a couple more..

        • August 2nd 2016 @ 6:36pm
          Jacko said | August 2nd 2016 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

          Has anyone considered that Faddes was carrying an injury like lots of players this time of year? He showed some real speed at times throughout the season. I was a winger and very fast over 25-35 mtrs but some of the bigger guys would pick me up over 75 mtrs as they got the big long legs going.

    • Roar Guru

      August 2nd 2016 @ 7:52am
      Nobrain said | August 2nd 2016 @ 7:52am | ! Report

      Both teams have playmakers that can make those moments. They are pretty much even up in fly and scrum half, the four of them played at their peek last weekend. Lots of speeds in the ouside for both teams. I feel there is an edge in the centers in favor of the Lions but at fullback I think the Hurricanes are better suited. It will be a great duell among Kriel and A Savea. In the seconady I feel that number 5 for the Lions is having a great tournment and should be a contender in the Springbook squad. Everybody is expecting a high scoring game because of the characterics of the players and style they display on the field, but I think the Crusaders should not make as many penalties as they did against the Chiefs because the Lions will cash them in and can get them ahead or keep the Lions in the game and you just do not want to do that against an explosive offense like the Lions.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 2nd 2016 @ 8:53pm
        Kirky said | August 2nd 2016 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

        Ardie will run around Kreil twice before he moves, no contest, a typical South African big dude, they’re easy!

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