In Round 8 of the Super XV:
Hurricanes 25 – 20 Stormers
Rebels 23 – 15 Reds
Chiefs 23 – 16 Blues
Brumbies 20 – 3 Cheetahs
Sharks 10 – 52 Crusaders
Lions 22 – 18 Bulls
The dream continues another week for the Hurricanes on the back of an outstanding second half defensive effort against the Stormer bully boys (I mean that as a compliment to Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen). That might sound odd given they conceded two tries and lost the half 0 – 17, but given they basically didn’t have the pill for forty minutes, that’s an outstanding result.
The (terrible, awful, crushing) dream also continues for the Blues, who show they can do everything but win. Run, pass, scrummage, tackle, lose. That’s 7 on the trot for Sir JK’s men, there is no chance of post-season play, and very soon they’re going to have to make the announcement they’re looking for a new coach for 2016.
Meanwhile, the Rubbish Reds continue to ruin the careers of some decent players: James Horwill (former Wallabies captain and a decent enough journeyman lock) got red-carded for putting a swinging arm into a Rebel noggin. Given that it was in the 23rd minute and in good view of the ref, touchie and 2,357 cameras, you can only assume that he wanted an early shower.
Weird things happening in South Africa, where the Sharks leaked 8 tries to the Crusaders (who at one point had three players in the sin bin at the same time); and the Lions pipped the Bulls by scoring the only try of their match on the hooter.
All of that gives us this table:
The four New Zealand teams in the top six is not going to last, as we end up with more intra-conference games towards the end of the regular season.
Also, have some sympathy for the poor Blues: they might be bottom of the table, but their “points for and against” balance is -46 compared to the Reds -95, and even the Cheetahs are -99.