5 talking points: Super Rugby Week 17

    2016-07-18 09:02

    Cape Town - Sport24’s Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points after Round 17 of the 2016 Super Rugby competition:

    1. Have the Lions blown it?

    The Lions’ decision to send a second-string outfit to Argentina for their clash against the Jaguares could yet cost them dearly.

    After some surprising results earlier in the day which saw the Hurricanes win the New Zealand Conference, all the Lions needed was a losing bonus point to finish atop the standings.

    They looked good for it when they led 22-12 early in the second half, but the youngsters were unable to hold on and were eventually beaten 34-22, leaving empty-handed.

    It saw the Lions finish second on the overall standings which could possibly cost them a home final. It also means they now have a significantly tougher quarter-final against seven-time champions the Crusaders, compared to a match against the struggling Sharks who must now travel to New Zealand to face the ‘Canes.

    2. Stormers’ four-try hero

    Stormers centre Huw Jones lit up Newlands with his four tries against the Southern Kings on Saturday.

    According to AFP, Jones equalled the record for most tries scored by an individual in a Super Rugby match.

    Twelve other players have achieved the feat, and Jones was the second to do so this season after Chiefs centre Charlie Ngatai crossed the whitewash four times against the Western Force.

    Jones is the third player from a South African side to score four tries in a Super Rugby game after now retired Sharks duo Gavin Lawless and Stefan Terblanche.

    The statistics show Jones also had an all-round good game.

    He made 100m with ball in hand, beat six defenders, made six clean breaks and executed three off-loads.

    It’s a pity though that the Edinburgh-born Jones cannot become a Springbok, having made his Test debut for Scotland against Japan last month.

    3. Kiwi teams show class

    Saturday morning’s two New Zealand derbies set the tone for an exciting ending weekend of regular season action.

    Who would have predicted that the Hurricanes - who started the weekend fourth in the New Zealand Conference - would end up winning it and also finish atop the standings?

    Their stunning 35-10 upset over the Crusaders in Christchurch sent a warning to fellow title challengers.

    But in all honesty, there’s not much to choose between the top four New Zealand teams and it would take a brave man to bet on a South African or Australian team to win the competition.

    4. Too many also-rans in Super Rugby

    I’ll have to admit, this year’s 18-team competition had me longing for the days of Super 12 rugby. There were simply too many teams of substandard quality and the weak Australian Conference also put a dampener on proceedings.

    From a South African perspective, the Cheetahs and Kings do not deserve to be in the competition, while the Jaguares were well below par for a team with so many internationals.

    The brittle Sunwolves pack never gave their exciting outside backs a chance to compete and let’s hope the Japanese rugby union would allow all their top players to compete next season. 

    Their inclusion in Super Rugby is supposed to strengthen the Japan national team ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which they will host.

    5. Sharks need Lambie

    A rather silly rule looks set to prevent the Sharks from picking Pat Lambie for the playoffs. Lambie missed the first half of the season due to a shoulder injury and has been sidelined with concussion in recent weeks. As such, he has fallen one game short of playing in the necessary four regular season matches to be eligible for the playoffs.

    It's a silly rule from SANZAAR, especially given the fact that Lambie was the Sharks' designated skipper for the season and has been on their books for several seasons.

    I understand SANZAAR's intention in that they want to prevent teams from signing new players shortly before the playoffs, but surely common sense should prevail to allow Lambie to face the Hurricanes. Garth April's defensive frailties were again exposed at the weekend and the Sharks could do with Lambie's experience and leadership in a knockout game.

    Read More On:  super rugby herman mostert rugby

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15


    05 August 2017
    29 July 2017
    22 July 2017
    21 July 2017
    15 July 2017
    14 July 2017
    08 July 2017
    07 July 2017
    01 July 2017
    30 June 2017
    09 June 2017
    03 June 2017
    02 June 2017
    28 May 2017
    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017
    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The 2017 Super Rugby tournament has reached its quarter-final stage. When all is said and done, who emerges victorious?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.