Gavin Rich makes an interesting observation in an article on Supersport this morning. The Crusaders, Rebels, Lions and Bulls all still have an outside chance of making the playoffs, but have to win this weekend.
It is difficult to believe that the team from Canterbury is likely to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2001. Their lacklustre performance against the Waratahs last week was almost embarrassing for a team renowned for making miraculous recoveries. Beating the log leaders on Friday appears to be an impossible task, despite playing at home.
The visitors have to beat the Brumbies in Canberra to stay in the race. The six changes to the starting line-up contain both good and bad news:
- Adriaan Strauss’s inclusion is countered by the absence of Matfield
- Burger Odendaal is a great replacement for the injured star of the tour so far, Jan Serfontein
- Jurgen Visser may feel the effect of jet lag and
- Will Dean Greyling find his mojo this time?
Kom ons hou styf duim vas dat Rohan Hoffmann, die een assistant-skeidsregter, minder invloed op die wedstryd sal hê as laas.
The Australian side will probably relish the thought of having to face an exhausted Sharks side in Durban on a Friday. The home side have just returned from a mentally and physically gruelling tour. Locals will be hoping that the Sharks can maintain their recent upward curve, and try to reward their remaining loyal fans who will pitch up on the night.
While one is inclined to think that the Cheetahs will not surprise the Stormers in the same manner as they did a few weeks ago in Bloemfontein, it is indeed a strong possibility. Apart from the Stormers again underestimating the Free State side, there is also the very emotional drive of Naka Drotské’s last match as coach. Add to this the return of several key players, especially Joe Pietersen, and this match is certainly no walk-over for the home side.
This game is a fitting final match of the weekend. Like most of the Australian sides, the visitors have plenty of little tricks up their sleeves, including dummy runners protecting the ball receiver, and jersey pulling to hold defenders back. Do the Lions have the required mental shrewdness to counter this? Luckily Jaco Peyper handles the whistle – a few words of advice before the match will hopefully help prevent dirty tricks affecting the outcome of the game.
Viva la French Open
My French is not very good, unless someone makes me very angry – then I speak it fluently.
You may recall that, in the eighties, there was a French lock named Jean Condom.
On Sunday, in the first round of the French Open, the match that caught my eye for the wrong reason was one between Monfils and Vasselin.
Those Frenchies really have a way with words, or should that be names?
Seen above a urinal at a golf course