JOHANNESBURG - The Jaguares continue to outshine the rest of the South African conference in Super Rugby, but referees just can't seem to find any consitency.
Refereeing - again
It’s now seriously become a joke. Sanzaar are simply going to have to get their referees up to scratch, not all of them, but certainly most of them. And they, or World Rugby, are going to have to figure out what consistency is when applying the laws. At Newlands, JJ Engelbrecht, pictured, should have got a second yellow card for a neck roll of a Lions player, but Nick Briant only penalised him. Earlier, wing Raymond Rhule tried to get out of a clumsy charge down of a kick by turning his body side ways to avoid full-on contact with Ruan Combrinck and was red-carded. The officiating is just a mess, period.
The Jaguares continue to shine
The men from Argentina are without doubt the form team of Super Rugby, having registered six wins in a row. They are snapping at the heels of the Lions in the South African Conference and are in with a chance of winning it for an automatic spot at home in the playoffs. After the weekend's results, the Jaguares are six points behind the Lions, with a game in hand; while the Lions still have two big SA derbies to play - against the Sharks and Bulls. The Jaguares have been nothing short of sensational in the last few weeks.
Say what you want about the Lions perhaps getting lucky, for the second week running, with an opposition player being sent off the field, but to go down to Newlands and beat the Stormers always takes some doing, and they did well enough to win, for the 21st time in a row against SA teams. That is quite a remarkable achievement for the Johannesburg-based side and deserves attention. The last time they were beaten was in May 2015, at Loftus by the Bulls, but since then have knocked over all-comers from within SA’s borders.
Oh, the Bulls
The men from Pretoria have done so much good this season, and looked like a team that should win more than it loses, yet the Bulls continue to blow hot and cold. John Mitchell has done wonders for them, but he must be fuming at how they allowed the Brumbies to win at Loftus having been asked to play the final 20 minutes with just 14 men. No Australian team should come to Pretoria and score five tries to the home team’s three, yet that is what happened. Perhaps there is some life in Australian rugby after all.
The June international break
The crowds, for the most part, have been shockingly poor this season and Super Rugby is in desperate need of a lifeline. And now, just as the competition is about to get to its business end where there might be some excitement and fans might get out and go to stadiums, the competition comes to a halt, to allow for some Tests to take place in the southern hemisphere. The break certainly doesn’t help the teams who’ve built up some momentum and are looking to hit peak form for the playoffs. It’s time Sanzaar sorted out this matter.