LIVE

    5 talking points: Super Rugby Week 3

    2018-03-05 08:37

    Herman Mostert - Sport24

    Cape Town - Sport24’s Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points after Round 3 of the 2018 Super Rugby competition:

    1. Stormers show some fight, but...

    When the Crusaders raced to a 26-0 lead inside the first quarter of their match against the Stormers in Christchurch, one would have been forgiven for thinking things would turn out really ugly for the Cape side.

    But the opposite transpired as the Stormers responded with four tries and despite losing 45-28, they’ll be buoyed by the fact that they actually ‘won’ the final 60 minutes, 28-19.

    But we all know a rugby match is played over 80 minutes and the Stormers’ comeback effort should not blind their obvious shortcomings.

    The Stormers’ defensive frailties were again badly exposed - they leaked seven tries and slipped no fewer than 32 tackles.

    Their lineout again malfunctioned - losing five of your own throw-ins simply won’t cut it against a Kiwi side.

    2. Sharks let slip golden opportunity

    The Sharks will rue not putting the Waratahs away in their 24-all draw at Kings Park.

    There were many positives to take for the home side - Springbok Lukhanyo Am’s two tries were classical centre tries. The manner in which he straightened the line on both occasions was a welcome sight.

    However, this is a game the Sharks should have won comfortably and it may come back to bite them later in the season.

    The same old humidity excuse was again used for several dropped balls while a few moments of madness - like Keegan Daniel’s attempted quick throw-in to himself which ended in a Waratahs try - would have frustrated coach Robert du Preez.

    It’s no wonder Du Preez was not in the best of moods at the post-game press conference.

    3. Mostert shines at flank for Lions

    The Lions’ decision to move Springbok lock Franco Mostert to No 7 flank paid dividends in their 49-35 win over the Bulls in Pretoria.

    Mostert is a very mobile player and he added an extra lineout option to the Lions’ armoury. His defensive effort was also a standout as he made a whopping 11 tackles.

    It has since come to light that Lions coach Swys de Bruin had discussed the move with Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus and this collaboration between the Bok mentor and the franchise coaches should be applauded.

    4. Powerful Lions driving maul

    The foundation for the Lions’ victory was laid up front where they dominated their hosts.

    But it was one area in particular - the driving maul - where the Lions wreaked havoc.

    This was an area of strength of Bulls team in the past but on Saturday they were the ones on the receiving end.

    The Lions scored three tries off driving mauls.

    The Bulls’ problems defending in this area also cost them yellow cards at vital stages and no doubt played a part in their demise.

    It’s no wonder Bulls coach John Mitchell said afterwards: “'At the end of the day, it is an easy review. We got smoked in the one area...”

    5. Does Pollard have a future at inside centre?   

    The Bulls were forced to play one of their Springboks out of position when Handre Pollard was moved from flyhalf to inside centre shortly before kick-off.

    Bulls captain Burger Odendaal was forced out with a rib injury, which saw Pollard take his position at No 12 and Marnitz Boshoff stepping in at No 10.

    Apart from taking the captain’s armband, Pollard equipped himself well at inside centre with a composed performance.

    At 1.88m and 98kg (source - thebulls.co.za), Pollard is a physical presence and his ability to cover both these positions could come in handy at Test level.

    Read More On:  super rugby herman mostert rugby

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Fixtures

    Friday, 25 May 2018
    • Crusaders v Hurricanes, AMI Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Sunwolves, AAMI Park 11:45
    • Jaguares v Sharks, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 21:40
    Saturday, 26 May 2018
    • Chiefs v Waratahs, FMG Stadium Waikato 09:35
    • Reds v Highlanders, Suncorp Stadium 11:45
    • Bulls v Brumbies, Loftus Versfeld 15:05
    • Stormers v Lions, Cape Town 17:15
    Friday, 01 June 2018
    • Highlanders v Hurricanes, Forsyth Barr Stadium 09:35

    Results

    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

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Who will finish top of the SA Conference in this year's Super Rugby tournament?

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

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