SUPER RUGBY updates: 7/3;8/3/2014

Jordaan. A gift of seven points! The game went back and forth with not too much 'gaining grounds', but the Sharks were better at retaining possession. Their passing was, on the whole, immaculate and a joy to watch. The Lions must be given credit for their guts and never-say-die attitude. The two
tries in the second half, by de Klerk and van Rensberg were expertly planned and carried out.

The second of these tries came from powerful forward play and good ball retention which led to a perfectly executed grubber from the talented Marnitz Boshoff at flyhalf after. Jantjies went off injured. The latter had had a poor game; he's so talented but too erratic – the charged down chip was a disastrous mistake. I would start him on the bench even if he is a 'Springbok'. For the Sharks, Francois Steyn marshalled the game very well from flyhalf and his place-kicking was unerring.

In other matches, The Force came back this week with a resurrection of biblical proportions. Four tries in the first twenty minutes!. The Rebels were shell-shocked. They were played out of their comfort-zone and were unable to function with any degree of continuity. After thrashing the Cheetahs last week, they simply couldn't operate at any level of cohesion. What a difference a week makes.

The Cheetahs came short against the Reds. Although they played with their customary drive and energy, too many errors were made. The conclusive try by the Reds hooker, Hanson, in a thirty-metre run up the touchline was sensational as he knocked off defenders, including Philip van der Walt nogal. Goosen had an off-day, chip-kicks poorly executed and he could not put his stamp on the match. Sarel Pretorius, when he came on, injected fresh energy, but, hell is he slow to the breakdowns!

One last thought: shouldn't all backline coaches be teaching as an essential routine exercise, practised over and over until perfected, the 'Sonny Bill Williams' one-handed offload. Against tight defence, it's becoming more and more essential.

Neil Jardine

Captained Rhodesia 1962 – 1969 Rector of Michaelhouse. (1978-1986)

"Rugby is a thinking game – its’ not a running or a kicking game. This mania for running with the ball and playing open rugby at all costs is stupid – you must adapt yourself to the circumstances and play to your strength"

Now 50 years later Niel Jardine writes for Frosty Rugby Fans ...

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