Super Rugby: Five Round 2 Talking Points

The Wellington Hurricanes travel to Buenos Aires to face the Jaguares this weekend after a drubbing in Cape Town, while the Auckland Blues have a mini-injury crisis just a week into the new campaign.

These are just two of our five talking points ahead of this weekend's second round of the Super Rugby 2020 season:

Stormers in the eye of a Hurricane 

The Hurricanes have reminded the Stormers about people in a "glass house" not throwing stones, after the South African side's coach John Dobson raised hackles by saying the Hurricanes had indulged in hair-pulling and cheap shots in Cape Town last weekend. 

The Stormers crushed the Canes 27-0 in a match that included two yellow cards for the visitors and an off-the-ball tackle that left World Cup winning Springboks captain Siya Kolisi with a torn knee ligament.

"Pieter-Steph (du Toit) went through quite a hard time (and) there was one movement where Seabelo Senatla's hair is pulled twice. We weren't happy with that game at all, lots of stuff happened on the field," said Dobson.


But Hurricanes assistant coach Chris Gibbes hit back in Buenos Aires, where his side play the Jaguares next. "It's a pretty big glass house there to be honest," he said.

"There are a few clips that we've looked at -- TJ (Perenara) getting tackled off the ball, head shots and guys getting their head hit.

"I don't know where he's coming from with that. He's entitled to his opinion, but it's a bit surprising, and a bit disappointing," said Gibbes.

Injuries sting the Blues

The luckless Blues have been dealt a triple injury blow after their opening defeat to the Chiefs, including a broken hand for All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane.


The Blues have been bottom of the New Zealand conference for the past six seasons but looked much-improved in the 29-37 loss to the Chiefs.

But it came at a cost and the Blues said Ioane, who scored two tries, will be sidelined "for several weeks".

Hooker Ray Niuia suffered a season-ending knee injury that will require surgery while prop Alex Hodgman tore a calf muscle.

The depleted Blues face the NSW Waratahs in Newcastle on Saturday.

Rebels pack pays the price

Rebels coach Dave Wessels has reshaped his forward pack ahead of facing the ACT Brumbies this weekend after admitting his team "let each other down" in their shock 36-27 Round 1 defeat to Japan's Sunwolves in Fukuoka.

Wessels complained the Rebels were "a good team that played badly".

"We feel like we have let each other down to be honest and that's a good thing, maybe we didn't have enough of that last week."

He defiantly added that "Super Rugby is not won in round one" as he axed two-thirds of his front row, with Matt Gibbon coming in for Fereti Sa'aga and Ruan Smith taking over from Jermaine Ainsley, while experienced former Brumbies and Waratahs flanker Michael Wells takes over at number seven from Rob Leota.

Rare win, Sunwolves style

Japan's Sunwolves sit atop the Australian conference after one week of their farewell season in Super Rugby, but a quirk of the fixture list means their multicultural squad will lose the chance to keep the momentum going this week as they have a bye.

It's pity for the hastily-cobbled together squad who fielded only three Japanese players in the starting side as they shocked the fancied the Melbourne Rebels 36-27 in Fukuoka last weekend. 


They made up the numbers with a committed band of nomads from Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Tonga and Georgia who had trained together for less than a month. 

"We only assembled four weeks ago," said Australian-born Jake Schatz, captain of the perennial strugglers who recorded only two wins in the whole of the 2019 campaign among a total of eight wins since joining in 2016.

"One of the great things about this team are the different cultures, attitudes and beliefs. We may have different backgrounds but we want to play the Sunwolves style with ball in hand and everyone has bought into it."

Bulls want to win 'patience game' 

The Bulls haven't won in Cape Town since 2011, but scrum-half Ivan van Zyl says patience will be key to ending their drought against the Stormers on Saturday.

The Bulls were edged 23-15 in their opener against the Sharks in Durban last week. "We're disappointed in the way we lost, we threw it away a bit, making silly mistakes," said Van Zyl.

"The Sharks won the patience game last weekend and pinned us in our own half," he said.

"We know that will be the focus of the Stormers as well. You need to be in the right areas to score points and that is what we need to get right on Saturday."

© Agence France-Presse

FloRugby D1A All-American 2nd Team

The 2019-20 D1A season looked like it was sure to be the most competitive in memory, as at least six teams looked poised for a legitimate run at the national title. 

FloRugby D1A All-American 1st Team

The 2019-20 D1A season looked like it was sure to be the most competitive in memory, as at least six teams looked poised for a legitimate run at the national title. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Ryan Britain On Why Rugby ATL Is More Than Just A Rugby Club

null

Yesterday I spoke with Ryan Britain, inside center for Rugby ATL and its development squad, 404 Rugby, looking to learn a bit about what the team is doing during this challenging time and what the future holds for the players. 

Will Hooley's Remarkable Game-Winner vs Samoa

USA vs Samoa Match Replay

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

With time up on the clock (yes, the time on the scoreboard was wrong), USA's Will Hooley landed a massive penalty from out wide to seal the deal for the Eagles. 

The All-Beers Starting XV

Yes, we're bored too. There is no new rugby to escape to in this difficult time as we attempt to stave off the COVID-19 virus. Since there's nothing on the menu for the foreseeable future, we thought it may be time to start getting into hypothetical-land. 

Relive The 2018 Shootout Between England & Australia

England vs Australia

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Eddie Jones remained unbeaten against his home country and former team as England scored a bevy of tries en route to a big win at Twickenham, just one year out from the Rugby World Cup. 

FloRugby's Top 5 Games Of The Past 365 Days

Before all this coronavirus madness, there was a time where, believe it or not, actual rugby was played by actual people. 

Free Rugby Analytics Software To Be Introduced To Rugby Indiana

Imagine you're a rugby coach, and you've coached your team for a few years. While the results have been good, and everyone's having fun, you can't help but notice that the team hasn't shown any marked signs of improvement from year to year. 

Take This Quiz To Find Out Which USA Eagles Player You Are

Who on the USA Eagles truly reflects your disposition towards the game of rugby? Are you a hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone front-rower? Are you a long, lanky lock who thrives in the air? Or are you a wild back rower that can't get enough of the contact?

Wednesday Rewatch: 2018 Collegiate All-Americans Demolish Glendale Raptors

MCAA vs Glendale Raptors

In the summer of 2018, 83 men's collegiate rugby players were invited to a week-long selection camp as they aimed to secure a place on the Collegiate All-Americans side.