Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Weekend Rugby Wrap

Weekend Rugby Wrap

Darry Worthington takes a look at what transpired in the rugby world this past weekend.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports
Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

There was an absolute feast of rugby this past weekend with both the Bledisloe Cup and Super Rugby Unlocked getting underway. There were also the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals on the go and both of those games, while being lopsided, made for good viewing. 

We'll recap what went on in the aforementioned fixtures below. 

Bledisloe Thriller

Sunday served up one of the most intriguing Bledisloe Cup duels in quite some time with New Zealand and Australia playing out a 16-16 draw in Wellington, in a game that went almost eight minutes over normal time. 

Australia probably deserved to win the game as they looked the better side. Dave Rennie's men were oh so close to registering the aforementioned win in the dying salvos of the game as substitute Reece Hodge absolutely drilled a penalty only for the ball to ricochet off the post. 

The unlucky miss then the Wallabies launch a number of pick and drives at the Kiwi's try line but they were unsuccessful, with the ball eventually being turned over and New Zealand going on an attack deep into Australia's 22. A handling error would eventually see the All Blacks lose the ball. The Wallabies decided that enough was enough and from the turnover, they kicked the ball into touch which saw the end to a pulsating fixture. 

The teams will lock horns again this coming Sunday, and here's hoping we get another hard-fought affair. 

Jockeys Ride Horses

South African Teams Return to The Field
Super Rugby Unlocked got underway this past Friday, and while some of the rugby on display was rather poor, it great to see domestic South African sides going at it again. 

In terms of results and performances, the Sharks got their campaign off to a winning start as they edged the Lions 19-16 in Durban. It was far from a polished performance from the Natalians who should have probably drawn the game but managed to sneak a win as Lions and Springbok pivot Elton Janjties missed a late routine shot at goal. 

The Cheetahs were probably the most impressive of the sides this weekend as their vastly experienced nine, ten and twelve combination of Ruan Pienaar, Tiaan Schoeman and Frans Steyn dominated proceedings and guided them to a 53-31 win over the Pumas. 

There's no doubting that the Bulls were the most disappointing of the sides in the opening round. The men from Pretoria had racked up a solid win over the Sharks in a warm-up fixture but looked nothing like the side that took to the field that day as they spluttered to a 30-23 win over the Griquas. 

Gallagher Premiership Finalists Decided
Following this weekend's semi-finals, we now know that the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership Grand Final will be contested by the Exeter Chiefs and Wasps, with the game set to be played at Twickenham on Saturday the 25th of October. 

The Chiefs will come into this one as heavy favourites especially after they saw off Bath with consummate ease in this past weekend's semifinals as they ran out 35-6 victors. You simply cannot count out Wasps who also impressed in their semi-finals as they hammered a solid Bristol side 47-24. 

Boks to Decide on Rugby Championship Participation
South African's participation in the 2020 Rugby Championship is set to be decided early this week with a number of SARU members set to meet and weigh up the pros and cons. 

There's a lot of doubt hanging over the Springboks participation, and rightly so as domestic rugby has just kicked off in South Africa and they'd have less than a month to prepare for the Rugby Championship as their first game would be against Australia on the 7th of November. 

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