Un-Australian Activities Round 4 2018 - Green and Gold Rugby

Un-Australian Activities Round 4 2018

Un-Australian Activities Round 4 2018

Highlanders 33 Stormers 15

Robbie Fleck is on his third year trying to implement a Kiwi style of rugby at the “Stoompies”. It can make the Stormers quite entertaining – which is a different matter to being successful against the New Zealand inspiration.

Both teams began with plenty of intent. In less than 5 minutes Walden gathered defenders hitting the line and offloaded to Squire for the first try. The Stormers 19 year old fly half, Damien Willemse, quickly hit back with an intercept and length of the field try.

This to and fro’ continued through the first half with the Stormers close to matching the Highlanders. At the break, the score of Highlanders 19 Stormers 15 was a fair reflection of things this far.

It was not to continue for the Stormers. The Highlanders gradually settled into a rhythm of dominance. There will be Highlander fans who are unimpressed with the 5 tries to 2 win as they left plenty of opportunities behind them. They will need to do better against local opposition.

Robbie Fleck leads his charges home to the Republic with little to show for their Australasian tour bar injury and bruising.

Hurricanes 29 Crusaders 19

A Kiwi derby that demonstrated that the game starts from rugged defence before more expressive rugby can be successfully unleashed.

The Hurricanes were devastating in the first half scoring 4 tries to 1. The first try came from a clumsy line out with LHP Eves taking the opportunity. Eves backed this up with a lovely pop pass to Barret who made a clean break and chanced a wayward flick pass which was collected by Perenara. Another draw and pass by Barret unleashed Lam with pace to get outside and leave a clean pair of heels for a length of the field try.

Replacement Mataele brought the Crusaders back with a bumping run, only one way for him, over the top of anything in his way.

Hurricanes rebounded pretty much from the restart with a Crusader exit kick charged down by Shields – Proctor dived on the ball in the try zone.

The Crusaders pulled back into their strength, the set piece, and changed the tone of the game. This started with a driving maul from a line out to score. Halftime saw Hurricanes 26 Crusaders 12.

The second half was rugged muscle by the Crusaders who continued with massive defence to counter the Hurricanes possession. Another try was scored by the tighthead Alaalatoa. It was not enough.

The Hurricanes held on to make the record 5 wins at home against the Crusaders.

Sharks 50 Sunwolves 20

The Sunwolves continued to show promise in short segments, just not anywhere near enough to trouble the Sharks who in the end had the easy training romp that many predicted.

The Sunwolves lineout was unconvincing. Their scrum was actually not far behind the Sharks – who unfortunately continue a trend that suggests their scrum may not be the most dominant in Africa.

The Sharks flyhalf question was answered with Robert du Preez (junior) at 10 and Curwin Bosch starting at 15 (and playing out the game at fly half). Structure and combinations are developing in Durban though they will need to show it against better opposition.

Half time saw 3 tries to none. By the final siren it was 7 tries to 3. Most rugby enthusiasts will be happy simply watching the highlights video.

Lions 35 Blues 38

This is what we want to see in Super Rugby.

The first half provided plenty of ball to the Blues who could not quite finish things. Nor could they match the Lions game on the counter. Lions scored through Mahuza (on the back of a quick tap and wide pass), van Rensburg (Jantjies intercept) and Jantjies (on the back of a repeated scrum battle at the 5 yard line).

The Blues managed a turn over from the kick off which allowed Akira Ione to make the score more respectable at halftime. Lions 21 Blues 10.

Lions Coach de Bruin was unimpressed. He insisted that the Lions hold the ball and create some possession. Advice that could have made a difference and that they almost entirely ignored through the second half!

Blues flyhalf, Bryn Gatland, made a second miss at penalty goal and was replaced by Perofeta who had a better afternoon with the boot. Neither fly half really inspired the Blues.

Lions were not enjoying the scrum and the props were rotated early. It did improve.

The rest of the game was helter-skelter with the Blues gradually making possession count. The Blues score started to hunt down the Lions. The Lions counter attack allowed them to stay just a whisker in front.

The last 5 minutes was frenetic. Really frenetic. A charge down by the Lions from a poor Blues exit clearance should have sealed the day, but Dyantyi missed the touch down.

Possession continued with the Blues who made it count. The win was secured in the last few seconds of the match. This was a fabulous game of football which is well worth watching in full.

  • Jason

    I was very much not entertained by the Hurricanes vs Crusaders game, it was the most one sided, but close game I’ve seen in a while. Kind of like the inverse of the Lions vs Blues.

  • Kokonutcreme

    Was very happy with the Hurricanes attack in the first half and their defence in the second half. The Canes were clever in deliberately keeping the ball in play to ruck and run so they could control the speed of the ball or the gainline at the breakdown. They wanted to avoid playing the Crusaders preferred gameplan where they could control the game and territory by playing off a setpiece to drive, go to the corner to drive, kick to a lineout and drive.

    Losing Crotty and Whitelock was a deep flesh wound for the Crusaders, but the fatal damage was caused by their indiscipline, frequent turnovers and handling errors.

    In the second half the Crusaders were able to slow the Hurricanes speed of possession at the breakdown and apply more pressure by increasing the number of setpieces to play off. However the aggression of the Hurricanes rush defence closed down the few attacking raids the Crusaders created.

    The halves combination of Perenara and Barrett were a clear level above Bryn Hall and Mitchell Hunt and the Canes loose forward combination led by captain Brad Shields shone against their opposites.

    The Hurricanes will be happy with their performance and victory after a tough travel leg from Pretoria, Buenos Aires and then Wellington. Not enough credit was paid the Hurricanes for their bonus point win in Argentina which given the Waratahs tough encounter there yesterday is perhaps better realised now.

  • Kokonutcreme

    Lions v Blues – with a scoreline of 38-35 and five tries apiece, you would be forgiven thinking this was a high quality game. The truth is that it was an error-ridden match punctuated with infrequent high quality passages of play that led to tries.

    Both teams were guilty of basic errors in ball control, handling and indiscipline.

    The Blues looked nervous and off the pace in the first 30 mins and after trailing by three tries a thrashing looked to be on the cards. Despite their advantage in possession and territory the Lions never looked to be totally in control, frequent turnovers and handling errors disrupted their momentum, relieving pressure for the Blues.

    The Lions dangerous threats on the wing, Mahusa and Diyanti reminded everyone there is no equal to express pace and Akira Ioane demonstrated once again his power and athleticism in scoring a try against the run of play just before the break to reduce the deficit to 11 points.

    The Blues setpieces were one of their few successes in the first half, pressuring the Lions scrum and securing their own lineout ball.

    The Lions coach expressed his displeasure with his teams performance during his halftime interview. They weren’t treating the ball with respect, throwing it around like a hot potato and not playing at the right end of the field.

    His players looked to have taken the coaches instructions to heart increasing their margin to what looked to be a match winning lead, early in the second half.

    With twenty minutes remaining, coach Tana Umaga injected his bench and immediately they made an impact lifting the tempo and intensity, smashing the Lions at the breakdown and in defence. Two quick tries to Rieko Ioane reduced the margin to four points briefly before the Lions pinched another one back to extend the margin again to eleven points.

    Patrick Tuipulotu, who had a strong game throughout, received the ball metres out from the tryline, leaped into the tackle to attract two defenders before offloading a sweet ball behind the back to create space and one more pass later, Jimmy Tupou was over to reduce the margin to four.

    The Lions almost scored again from a charge down but the TMO ruled that Diyanti hadn’t applied enough mythical “control” in forcing the ball on the ground in goal.

    To the crowd and coaches displeasure, Malcolm Marx lost the ball in the tackle near halfway conceding the scrum feed and gifting the Blues a late opportunity to win the game. From the scrum the Blues attacked deep in the Lions 22. A few more phases later, Akira Ioane drove Murphy Taramai over the line next to the posts to win the game.

    An unexpected and rare come from behind victory for the Blues. The Lions will rue their inability to string multiple phases together to build greater pressure against the Blues. The number of unenforced errors and missed tackles kept the Blues in the game, until the Blues started to establish more rhythm into their attack. Kiwi teams need no second invitation to score tries.

    Akira Ioane was named man of the match and substitue first five Stephen Perofeta showed enough in his substitution why he’s so highly rated. Bryn Gatland didn’t play poorly but Perofeta just looked to have more time on the ball to take the right decisions in challenging the line, passing and kicking. One to watch in future.

    • dru

      You should consider writing!

      I thought it was the most exciting game of super rugby this season. Lions possibly show their limitations but can push forward.

      Blues might have shown the step up we expected this year.

      Fabulous game of rugby with all sorts of ramifications.

    • mikado

      That Lions/Blues result was one to send shivers down the backs of everyone outside NZ. The best team in SA beaten by the worst team in NZ. Let’s hope it was just a bad day at the office for the Lions!

    • Tomthusiasm

      Really impressed with Akira’s start to the season, would love to see him as Read’s back up.


Too small for the pack too slow for the backs - the exception that makes the rule that rugby is a game for all sizes. Qld bred rugby fan with an eye on South Africa.

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