5 talking points: Super Rugby Week 3

    2017-03-13 08:21

    Herman Mostert - Sport24

    Cape Town - Sport24’s Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points after Round 3 of the 2017 Super Rugby competition:

    1. Cheetahs’ depth exposed

    The Cheetahs’ stuttering 38-31 home win over the lowly Sunwolves was perhaps an indication that their depth is not enough to carry them through the Super Rugby competition.

    The Cheetahs’ impressive win over the Bulls in Week 2 came at a cost, as several key players were injured.

    Lock Reniel Hugo suffered a season-ending knee injury, while flank Uzair Cassiem and prop Ox Nche are also sidelined for a few weeks due to knee injuries.

    Centre Nico Lee is also crocked with a shoulder injury - which saw Rayno Benjamin move from wing into midfield for the clash against the Sunwolves.

    It saw coach Franco Smith pick Zee Mkhabela, normally a scrumhalf, on the wing.

    Smith’s gamble immediately proved costly as the Sunwolves’ first try after barely a minute’s action was a direct result of Mkhabela missing a straight-forward tackle.

    The SuperSport commentators noted that, with a scrumhalf on the wing, the Cheetahs would be looking to play the game at a high tempo.

    Perhaps that intended tempo was too high, as the Cheetahs were not direct enough in their approach.

    You have to earn the right to go wide first and they ended up playing into the Sunwolves’ hands.

    The forced changes to the Cheetahs seemingly made a big difference and perhaps proved that they will struggle with too many injuries.

    Failure to bag a try-scoring bonus point against the Sunwolves at home is a point lost.

    2. Elstadt worry for Stormers

    A big talking point in the Kings-Stormers game in Port Elizabeth was the incident midway through the first half when the Cape side’s flank Rynhardt Elstadt was involved in an altercation.

    Elstadt got into a scuffle with Kings No 8 Ruan Lerm and after Japanese referee Shuhei Kubo took a look at the incident on the big screen, he decided no card was warranted.

    Replays showed Elstadt’s fists make contact with his opponent’s face and the man from Montagu was perhaps lucky not to have copped at least a yellow card.

    The commentators and several pundits were of the view that Elstadt should have seen at least yellow.

    This is not the first time I’ve written about Elstadt’s discipline and probably won’t be the last.

    It’s simple. He needs to work on his temper - he’ll get sent off for similar transgressions in bigger games and it will cost his team dearly.

    3. Cloete reminds Stormers of what they’re lacking

    Kings flank Chris Cloete proved a menace at the breakdown for the Stormers, turning over and slowing down the Cape side’s possession on several occasions.

    Cloete was formerly on Western Province’s books and the top brass at the union will wonder how they let him go, especially as the Stormers at present do not boast an out-and-out fetcher among their ranks.

    It will be tough later in the season for the Stormers when they face the New Zealand teams.

    4. Curwin Bosch on song for the Sharks

    I did live updates on Saturday night’s match between the Sharks and Waratahs and was a little surprised when Sharks flank Jean-Luc du Preez received the man-of-the-match award.

    It was a decent game from Du Preez - as was the case for all the Sharks forwards - but replacement flyhalf Curwin Bosch was my man-of-the-match.

    Bosch, who stepped into the injured Pat Lambie's position with aplomb, showed again why he is a player for the future, scoring 27 points including a try.

    His goal-kicking looks sound and he showed that he has X-factor on attack.

    Bosch has mainly played fullback in the last year or so, but showed no signs of rustiness in the flyhalf channel.

    5. Lions’ second-string plan backfires - again!

    It was déjà vu for the Lions as they lost 36-24 to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

    Last year, the Lions lost their final league game over there by an almost identical scoreline (34-22).

    On both occasions, coach Johan Ackermann chose to leave several of his frontline players at home.

    Last year, it cost the Lions a home final - and likely the title.

    Let’s hope it won’t prove as costly in 2017.

    The make-shift team was thoroughly outplayed on Saturday night and the scoreline flattered the Lions after two late tries.

    The Jaguares will prove tough customers at home this season.

    Read More On:  super rugby herman mostert rugby

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    04 August 2018
    28 July 2018
    21 July 2018
    20 July 2018
    14 July 2018
    13 July 2018
    07 July 2018
    06 July 2018
    30 June 2018
    29 June 2018
    03 June 2018
    02 June 2018
    01 June 2018
    26 May 2018
    25 May 2018
    19 May 2018
    18 May 2018
    12 May 2018
    11 May 2018
    05 May 2018
    04 May 2018
    28 April 2018
    27 April 2018
    22 April 2018
    21 April 2018
    20 April 2018
    14 April 2018
    13 April 2018
    07 April 2018
    06 April 2018
    01 April 2018
    31 March 2018
    30 March 2018
    24 March 2018
    23 March 2018
    18 March 2018
    17 March 2018
    16 March 2018
    10 March 2018
    09 March 2018
    03 March 2018
    02 March 2018
    24 February 2018
    23 February 2018
    17 February 2018


    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Lions (Q)
    • Jaguares (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Stormers
    • Bulls

    Opinion Poll

    Who will win the 2018 Rugby Championships?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

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