After an unbeaten run so far in the Super 15, the Stormers finally succumbed to a kicking from the oh-so-strong Queensland Reds this week. There was, of course, much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but very little in the way of surprise. The Stormers have been fielding a good team, with strong offensive players and a solid backline, but they have a tendency to relax too much when in a commanding position in a tournament. This tendency has traditionally been the scourge of the Western Province side, and it seems to have been carried across to the Stormers. To give the Queensland side their due, they played very good rugby. They made good work of capitalising on the opportunities that the Stormers offered up on a plate, and definitely deserved their victory. Special mention needs to go to Quade Cooper who kicked 14 of the Red’s 19 points with 4 penalties and a conversion. Imagine Rugby has followed these teams throughout the season and for a full listing of the roster and stats, please check out the website.
Crusaders: 27 Bulls: 0
It’s not often that we here at Imagine Rugby see such a traditionally strong side so humbled in a game, but in this game the Crusaders schooled the Bulls in a manner not seen so far this tournament. The Bulls have traditionally been a very well regarded side; they were last year’s champions, and are currently sitting in 8th place out of 15 teams. However, there was absolutely no denying that Saturday’s rugby match was utterly one sided. The first half showed massive holes in the Bulls’ defence that the Crusaders promptly drilled through to be two tries up at half time. In the second half, it almost seemed that the fighting spirit had died out in the team which dominated the Super 15 tournament two years running. Even the final score is not a fair indication of just how outclassed the Bulls were. Many Bulls fans will only have one thing to be grateful for, and that is that the game wasn’t played at Loftus. This is so much easier to wipe from their collective memory.
For more news and commentary on the Super 15 and the 2011 Rugby World Cup later in the year, visit http://www.imaginerugby.com
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