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Super Rugby is close – let’s get stuck in.
I’m a South African rugby mad fanatic that has relocated to Australia thinking all Aussies love rugby and might watch a spot of cricket while sanding their decks.
Upon landing in Queensland, I initially thought somebody had booked us into a hotel in the middle of the Sahara and that our room was a sauna. All travel brochures talk about the sunny place, none thought to mention the 24-hour life-drenching humidity, or hot as a Durban curry temperatures.
Only two or three months of this I was told, never mind the fact that I did not think I would survive a few weeks – let alone a few months. I did by the way. Survive, that is.
Onward I pushed, battling bloody noses, sweaty backs and craft beers eventually finding a pub with rugby showing, a place I could understand. With a smile on my face and an unknown pretty labelled $15 craft beer in hand, I settled down (in the glorious air conditioning) to watch my much beloved game.
This is where it started to go wrong; this rugby had no scrums, well it did but it did not. It had Etzebeth sized, Habana paced players all over the field swearing at refs and teammates alike, never rolling away or releasing the ball and constant referrals to something called the bunker. I left in great haste – not before finishing my fruity smelling $15 craft beer.
So was my introduction to the world of league, soon followed by the sleeveless game of catch played by descendants of the BFG on a cricket pitch.
Upon speaking with a collared shirt, scarf-wearing Queenslander I was thankfully informed of Foxtel and after six months of saving, I finally had rugby, and all was right with the world.
That was until the Lions made three finals and copped silver in each, never mind the fact that Rugby Australia decided to cut off half the country from the sport.
I have now been in this great country for three years and finally feel confident enough to get involved with the rugby community and try and get some South African flavour to The Roar’s line up.
Articles on the site generally seem to be well researched and written; mine will be based on emotions, biased, error filled and more than likely offensive to someone – probably a Stormers or Waratahs supporter.
Super Rugby is upon us and perhaps we already know who will win, we know who will make headlines for un-rugby related incidents and yes, RA will do something stupid again, but now I have something other than sausage sizzles (onions under sausage) to base my weekends around.
Going forward, I will review two games per Super Rugby round, the glorious Lions game and one other. I am open to suggestions so feel free to let me know if you would like a particular game reviewed.
With Super Rugby being a little in the distance let’s have a quick look at each team, their chances and any other random stuff I can think of.
New Zealand Teams
They will win lots of games and probably the tournament. Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes and Chiefs to be good – Blues will give all other non-Kiwi teams hope of beating a Kiwi team.
Australian Teams (including the Sunwolves)
Waratahs: Karmichael “another second chance” Hunt to run hard, Michael Hooper to perfect his hair fling and Bernard Foley to kick them to a solid mid table performance.
The Waratahs as always seem more concerned about how they look and where to sign the Wallaby contracts.
Rebels: I’ve been told Quade “check a laptop” Cooper will perform wonders and ensure they finish near the bottom.
Brumbies: Some tree hugging and inspirational stories for the central team will ensure a good season; I reckon close calls with the ‘Tahs.
Reds: My little girl’s team (she was born in Queensland) and hence I suppose one I can put a little effort into. Reckon Brad “my way” Thorn will whip up his team, psych them up, get them ready and finish hopefully not last.
Sunwolves: Great Spirit, roar of a furry hat wolf thing and inspirational crowds will see the ever likable underdog sprint into last place – just a race between them and the Stormers!
South African Teams (including the Jaguars)
Stormers: Nobody cares about the Stormers.
Bulls: Duane “Thor” Vermuelen to cause havoc this year, Trevor “check my moves” Nyakane to push and Jesse “check my biceps” Kriel to do victory pushups all the way to the bottom half of the table.
Jaguares: Cool kit, will help them to between here and there on the log.
Sharks: Beast and co. to put in a solid performance up there with the likes of the Lions and Kiwi teams, real contenders for second place.
Lions: Champions – can’t handle another silver.
Until the start of Super Rugby, cheers.