Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Super Rugby: 4 Talking Points from Round 9

Super Rugby: 4 Talking Points from Round 9

Super Rugby  - players engage in a scrum

South African conference wide open, it's not looking good for the Lions, can the Crusaders be stopped? are our main talking points from Round 9's Super Rugby weekend.

South Africa conference wide open

It’s difficult to judge whether the inherent closeness of the South African conference sides in 2019 is good for the local game or not. In any case, fans look set to wait at least another season to see an outfit from the Republic go all the way again, with the classy Kiwis  looking so good. The Sharks’ performance against the Jaguares at Kings Park on Saturday only served to underline the volatile nature of the Saffa franchises’ recent results with seemingly any team able to win on any given day - and usually in emphatic fashion. Just five-points separate first from fifth on the standings with plenty of rounds left and, considering what we’ve witnessed so far, perhaps the soothsayer business will experience a resurgence in the coming months.

Not looking good for Lions

Swys de Bruin’s men sit bottom of their conference and seem unlikely to claim a playoff place after their results over the last fortnight. Their 42-5 humbling by the Sharks at home was followed up by this weekend’s 31-20 loss to the Brumbies in Canberra, and with trips to Hamilton and Canterbury up next, time may be running out for the three-time runners-up. The likes of Warren Whiteley and Kwagga Smith are expected to return soon to bolster their side’s loose forward stocks, but it may be a case of too little too late.

Can the Crusaders be stopped?

The Cantabrians remain well on course for what would be a sensational Super Rugby three-peat after dispatching the Highlanders 43-17 on Friday. Scott Robertson’s charges lead the overall standings by 12-points ahead of their bye week with no side looking to be anywhere near the level of the nine-time champions. Additionally, 22-year-old Fijian winger Sevu Reece is seemingly a superstar in waiting after the former Waikato man scored one try and set up another against the ‘Landers. The Kiwi coaching staff are sure to give him a crack at the black jersey soon, if not this season then definitely post the World Cup.

Cruel blow for McKenzie

While the harsh reality is that the All Blacks won’t necessarily miss him all that much such is the ridiculous depth at their disposal, the ACL injury Damian McKenzie picked up on the weekend has still come as a massive disappointment fort all fans of the game. The knock, which will rule him out of World Cup contention, was sustained in the early minutes of the Chiefs’ 33-29 victory over the Blues on Saturday and will rob the Japanese showpiece of one of the sport’s most enigmatic and entertaining footballers. He will be missed.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.

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