Super Rugby 2011

When I say ‘Supe’ you say ‘Rugby’.

‘Supe’ …

‘Supe’…

Quality.

It is that time again, when rugby lovers once again get to watch the best club rugby in the world (that’s right northern hemisphere rugby fans… in the world).

SANZAR have decided that the best way to maintain and increase interest in Super Rugby is to add another team and increase the amount of local derby games. Whether this is a move of sheer brilliance or sheer tom foolery only time will tell. One thing is for sure, it is going to take quite inspirational player management to end up with a competitve matchday 22, let alone the best players of every team playing in the knock out stages.

Each team is going to play at least 16 games each this year with a possible 3 more. That is a lot of beer. I hope I am ready.

Supersport has a detailed explanation of how things will now work.

Before we plunge deeper into the South African team’s chances, take a gander at the new Super Rugby logo. Notice two things, firstly the clever use of a rugby ball in the middle of the ‘S’  = creative genius. Secondly, notice that there is no indication of a number of teams… ie it is not called the Super 15. This is because word on the field (see what I did there) is that SANZAR are thinking of adding more teams next year, with a view to 20 teams within the next five years. Whether or not this will benefit the game of rugby remains to be seen but it does look like SANZAR only care about two things – making money and making more money. They love money so much if they went to a strip club they would all stand around a pile of money and throw strippers at it.

Let’s take a look at the SA teams, first up the Cheetahs.

The Cheetahs have historically been the whipping boys of the Australasian sides and barring upset victories, have seldom troubled any team (no, not even The Lions). They have only ever managed to finish 10th since breaking away from the Cats in 2006. Will this year be any different? Will they be able to finish mid table? Will they finally win overseas? Of course not. You never know.

The Cheetahs have maintained the core of their team, which will be a pleasant change from previous years, where all the good players got snatched up by the Sharks. Just how they manage to keep Captain, Juan Smith is beyond me. Is Bloemfontein really that great? Am I missing something?

Other notables plying their trade with the Cheetahs include Heinrich Brussouw, finally back from a serious knee injury, Philip Burger back from France, new Bok Andries Strauss from the Sharks and Ryno Benjamin from the SA sevens side.

Staying on from last year are Ashley crazy hair Johnson, Naas I wish I was as good as my namesake Olivier, Jongi super speed Nokwe and Coenie Os du Randt protégé Oosthuizen.

Naka Drotske will once again coach the side with hopes that less travel and derby games will benefit his charges. It is true that they do much better in the Currie Cup but they do not have the depth enjoyed by the other sides and with one or two injuries will struggle to put forward a quality side towards the end of the very long season.

The Cheetahs have quality in their loose forwards and pace to burn out wide, if they can learn how to defend they maaay just upset a few teams. They will more than likely win a few games and Cheetahs fans everywhere (Bloemfontein and the 11 others scattered around the country) will get their hopes up, only for the Cheetahs to once again fade away, lose embarrassingly on the overseas leg and end up at the bottom of the log.

Player to watch: Heinrich Brussouw. Here’s hoping he can replicate the form from 2009. We need him in fine ball-stealing slash tackle-dominating mode for the WC and no mistake!

Log Prediction: 13th

Look out for our previews of the rest of the sides coming soon.

Renton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on February 10, 2011.

One Response to “Super Rugby 2011”

  1. […] to Super Rugby though and continuing on from last week’s Cheetahs preview, we now take an intimate leer at the South African favourite (unless you are a Stormer’s fan), […]

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