Here are the official crowd figures for the 2018 Rugby Championship (formerly the Tri Nations) featuring New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and South Africa. Continue reading “TRC 2018 Crowds- Attendances for the 2018 Rugby Championship NZ Aus Argentina SA”
In the first round of the Rugby Championship at Durban (August 18, 2018), Bulls flanker Marco van Staden became Bekker High School’s newest Springbok when he took the field as a second half replacement for Francois Louw. Van Staden is therefore Springbok No. 909. Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse also made his international debut in this game (Springbok No.910)
Bekker is a small school by SA rugby standards, based in the town of Magaliesberg. Van Staden is Bekker’s third Springbok. Continue reading “List of Bekker High School Springboks- Hoerskool Bekker South Africa Rugby Players”
Here is the Super Rugby team of the year 2018, as officially announced by the competition’s governing body SANZAAR. Interestingly enough, the Crusaders, who successfully defended their crown, have only one representative- left winger George Bridge, thus showing that there were more of a “team” rather than depending on individual brilliance.
The Chiefs, who were eliminated in the quarterfinals, have four players- Brodie Retallick, Damien McKenzie, Anton Lienert Brown and Alaimalo. McKenzie was also named the Player of the Year. Continue reading “Super Rugby Team of the Year 2018- Best SR players 2018 season”
Blitzbokke forward Dylan Sage will leave the sevens setup to join the Pretoria based Blue Bulls ahead of the Currie Cup season. Sage’s last engagement with the Blitzboks was their Rugby World Cup Sevens campaign in San Francisco, where they finished third by beating Fiji.
A back in the 15’s game, Sage has been used as a forward by coach Neil Powell and has become one of the mainstays of South Africa’s 7’s side. He was part of the Dream Team named for the 2017 HSBC World Sevens series- the only South African in it (the Blitzbokke won the series by pipping Fiji to the title)
Sage, the grandson of former Springbok Doug Hopwood, is not the only Blitzbok leaving the sevens after the 2018 7’s RWC. Ruhan Nel is also moving on, but to the Cape Town based Stormers. Neither the Stormers nor the Bulls were able to make the Super Rugby playoffs this year. Continue reading “Dylan Sage Bulls 2018- Blitzbok to move to Blue Bulls”
The offload has become an important attacking weapon in rugby these days. Offloads generally lead to unstructured defences which increases the probability of scoring a try.
All stats as of July 19, 2018 (at the end of the regular season, BEFORE the playoffs)
Which team has the most offloads in Super Rugby 2018?
At the end of the regular season, it’s surprisingly the Sharks from Durban who top this metric. The number of tries they’ve scored, however doesn’t make for great reading. The Sharks, interestingly also have the FEWEST team carries of any Super Rugby team (1689 in comparison to the highest 2045 from the Jaguares in the regular season)
Which team has scored the most tries in SR 2018?
At the end of the regular season, the Crusaders and Lions were joint top with 77 tries. The two were also No.1 and 2 on the Super Rugby table.
The Lions are the team with the fewest offloads in the regular season. Continue reading “Most Offloads in Super Rugby 2018 vs Tries scored- Team Stats comparison”
After a enthralling final day of Super Rugby that saw the Rebels narrowly lose to the Highlanders in Dunedin and the Sharks beating the Jaguares in Durban, here are our Super Rugby quarterfinalists for 2018.
Crusaders (1) v Sharks (8)
Hurricanes (4) v Chiefs (5)
Winners meet at the home of the higher seed
Lions (2) v Jaguares (7)
Waratahs (3) v Highlanders (6)
Winners meet at the home of the higher seed
An eventful penultimate round of Super Rugby saw some surprise results, with the Rebels, Jaguares and Sharks all losing their respective away clashes to the Reds, Bulls and Stormers respectively.
Which teams have already qualified for the Super Rugby 2018 playoffs?
Seven teams are definitely there- Crusaders, Waratahs, Lions, Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders and Jaguares. The Jaguares will be making their first ever playoff appearance this season.
Who can still qualify for the playoffs?
Rebels and Sharks.
Mathematically yes, but unlikely- Brumbies
The Sharks are on 32 points, the Rebels on 35. Victory for the Rebels over the Highlanders in Dunedin will see Dave Wessels’ side qualify for the playoffs. The Sharks need to beat the Jaguares at home and hope that the Rebels lose to the Highlanders. Continue reading “Super Rugby Table After Round 18- Who can qualify for playoffs & which teams have qualified?”
The Lions’ seven game winning streak over the Sharks was broken as the latter kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 31-24 win at Kings Park. The result also means that the Jaguares, who beat the Stormers 25-14 later in the evening in Argentina, could leapfrog the Lions at the top of the South African conference (Lions 41 with 1 to play, Jaguares 38 with two to play).
Poor Lions substitutions:- Perhaps the turning point of the game for the Lions. The Joburg side had set piece dominance over the Sharks, especially at scrum time, and were absolutely bossing the home side for around 55 minutes.
Then, with the Lions camped near the Sharks line, Swys decided for a front row change, and the tide changed in the Sharks’ favour. The home side were able to win a scrum penalty, and the Lions’ set piece advantage was negated for the next twenty minutes.
Poor game management:- As mentioned before, the Lions dominated this game for 55 minutes, with the Sharks left to feed on scraps going forward and having to defend for their lives. However, the visitors opted not to take several kickable shots at goal, perhaps feeling that a bonus point was on at 21-11 (3 Lions tries to one of the Sharks), and that proved to be costly at the end.
Marx v Akker:- This game was effectively one between Malcolm Marx and Akker van der Merwe. Former Lions hooker Akker was one of the best Sharks players on show, and did everything he could to keep his side in the game before being replaced by Chiliboy Ralepelle.
Sharks dig deep for win:- The Sharks lost key loosie Jean-Luc du Preez to injury early in the game. Their early defence wasn’t great either- Lions flanker Cyle Brink should’ve never been allowed to brush aside Makazole Mapimpi and Cameron Wright the way he did for the Lions’ second try. However, the defence was on their own line was far much better, and coupled with the Lions’ poor decision making, kept them in the game.
On attack, the Sharks’ offload game didn’t work in the first half, with handling errors and turnovers robbing them of momentum. It improved after the hour mark, and they were also aided by a gift intercept from Harold Vorster.
Another impressive Sharks player was centre Andre Esterhuizen, the newly capped Springbok who scored a crucial try- his defence was key.
Sharks need another eighth man:- Daniel du Preez hasn’t had the same impact as his twin and the Sharks, who could once boast of unparalleled loose forward depth (remember the days of Coetzee, Alberts, Deysel, Kankowski, Daniel and Botes?), are now scraping the barrel here.
if Duane Vermeulen wants to be in South Africa for the 2019 season, the Sharks should probably attempt to sign him. He would solve their eighth man woes, and with his pilfering abilities, would help the unbalanced Sharks loose trio, who currently have no one really good at effecting turnovers.
This Ben Youngs post match “interview” vs South Africa was a rather disappointing moment from the English scrumhalf after the Three Lions went down 23-12 to South Africa in Bloemfontein on 16 June, 2018. Youngs’ interview was with Gail Davis (Sky Sports), and in the eyes of many fans, was disrespectful Continue reading “Video Ben Youngs post match interview vs South Africa 2018 | Youngs Sky Sports Gail Davis rude short interview”
This Paul Gabrillagues yellow card vs New Zealand was a controversial moment from France’s first test vs the All Blacks at Eden Park on 9 June, 2018. The game was tied at 11-11 when referee Luke Pearce sent French lock Gabrillagues to the sin bin for an alleged high tackle on Ryan Crotty, and it proved to be a vital turning point in the game. The tackle, as later seen, wasn’t worthy of a yellow, but ref Pearce gave the yellow without checking it with the TMO. New Zealand eventually won 52-11 Continue reading “Video Paul Gabrillagues Crotty Tackle 2018 Luke Pearce referee- Gabrillagues yellow card vs New Zealand”
Sharks winger Sbu Nkosi will become the fifth Bok from Jeppe when he takes the field in South Africa’s first test against England on June 9, 2018.
List of other Jeppe Springboks:
Here is a video that is going viral on social media claiming that South African outside centre Jesse Kriel is racist for asking his centre partner Andre Esterhuizen to stand next to him instead of winger Makazole Mapimpi. The tweet gained traction after it was retweeted by well known anchor Robert Marawa.
Kriel’s probably the furthest from a racist in this Springbok squad- he’s even gone with captain Siya Kolisi to the latter’s township, but South Africa, as many know, remains a deeply divided and sensitive country about race. And for what it is worth, he even set up Mapimpi for a try in the same game! Continue reading “Jesse Kriel racist or not? Kriel Mapimpi Video Wales Test 2018”
After losing to the Melbourne Rebels for the first time in their history earlier this year, the Sharks also suffered their first ever defeat to the Jaguares as they went down 29-13 in Argentina. The crowd of 19,214, the biggest the Jaguares have had in attendance for a while, saw the home side extend their run to six straight wins thanks to a hat trick from Moyano.
The Sharks were in it for a while, but as usual were let down by their handling errors. The backline didn’t get going and their cause wasn’t helped by an early missed penalty from Robert du Preez and a crucial knock on from Lwazi Mvovo with the tryline at his mercy. The Mvovo miss came at a crucial point when the game was at 17-13, and another Sharks knock on from a promising position just minutes later saw the Jaguares score on the counter.
The Jaguares owed much of their lead to silly defensive errors from the Sharks, like with Nkosi for the Jags’ second try, but they’ve been an improved outfit under Mario Ledesma and will be a serious contender for the playoffs after this season.
As for the Sharks, inconsistency continues to plague them. They also had skipper Ruan Botha red carded late in the game, and did not even manage a bonus point from the game. Their playoff hopes hang by a thread (they’re out of the top eight after this defeat), but fortunately for them, John Mitchell’s Bulls also lost to the Brumbies.
The Sharks produced one of their finest performances of the 2018 Super Rugby season as they swatted aside the Highlanders 38-12 in Durban. The visitors, who had upset the Bulls in Pretoria the week before, would’ve fancied their chances against Rob du Preez’s men, but the home side dominated from the word go and were a totally different side from the one that had got mauled by the Bulls before the bye week.
Flyhalf Lima Sopoaga had a poor outing for the Highlanders. He was first beaten to an early box kick by Ruan Botha, which allowed Akker van der Merwe to score in the first minute of the game. For the Sharks next try, he was unable to stop Makazole Mapimpi in a one on one, and when the score was 14-7, he made an error in claiming a high ball that resulted in a scrum to the Sharks, and a subsequent penalty that flyhalf Rob du Preez scored.
Du Preez set up some scintillating tries, with his brothers Jean-Luc and Daniel in equally good knick. The loose forwards’ hands did let them down a bit in the first half, but the offloads stuck in the second, and the Sharks were even able to get a bonus point at the end, something that could help them in what’s becoming a crowded looking SA Conference table.
How important is Tendai Beast Mtawarira to the Sharks?
They tend to look a bit lost without him, and his reassuring presence at scrum time again helped them establish set piece dominance over the Highlanders, whose hopes of winning the NZ conference were dealt a huge blow with this loss.
Here are the attendance numbers for the Western Force for their new “World Series Rugby” tournament that began in Perth on 4 May, 2018.
The Force were culled from Super Rugby in 2018 as the Australian Conference was reduced to four teams. They will play Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Hong Kong and the Rebels and the Crusaders in a set of games. There will be a total of seven games played, all in Perth.
Here are the Australian 2018 Super Rugby attendance stats for comparison. At the time of writing, the Force’s average attendance for WSR is more than any Australian team’s average Super Rugby crowd.
Western Force vs Fiji 2018 Attendance 19,466 (Force 24-14 Fiji)
Western Force v Tonga 2018 Attendance 16,323 (Force 47-17 Tonga)
Force v Rebels 2018 Attendance 13,907 (Force 12-28 Rebels)
Force v Crusaders 2018 Attendance 14,259 (Force 8-44 Saders)
Force vs Samoa Apia 2018 Attendance 11,678 (Western Force 33-5 Apia)
Total Western Force Crowd WSR 2018:- 75,633
Average Western Force attendance WSR 2018:-15,127 (75,633/5)
We did this feature last year, and are doing it again for Super Rugby 2018. Here is a list of attendance stats for home games involving Australian Super Rugby clubs in the 2018 season. The Western Force are hosting their own set of games in World Series Rugby- their attendance numbers can be viewed here.
Please note that in many cases, especially the Waratahs, crowd figures are not officially revealed.
Last updated after Waratahs v Highlanders Quarterfinal game (Attendance 12,067) on July 21, 2018 Continue reading “Australia Super Rugby Attendance 2018- Stats and figures Crowds for Australian conference SR 2018”