This past weekend marked the start of this year’s Super 15 rugby competition. For those of you who are not into rugby, the Super Rugby – Super 15 is the biggest and most distinguished rugby competition in the Southern Hemisphere. Fifteen local rugby clubs, from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia compete for the most prestigious Cup, pulling out all stops to be crowned the Super 15 champion. This is the only tournament that happens over many different time zones, so you can imagine the strain it puts on the bodies of the rugby players. This, however, does not stop these extremely fit men from playing superb, action-packed rugby that gets their fans on their feet chanting for the team of their choice. For those of you who are not so familiar with the teams, let me introduce them to you:
Now that you are a bit more knowledgeable , here is a recap of last weekend. Four South African teams started the competition. The Lions faced the Cheetahs as the underdogs and they came out tops, one minute before the end of the match which ended in a score of 21-20. The Sharks faced the Bulls and it was no surprise that they annihilated the Bulls with 31-16. This did not come as a shock because of the inexperienced Bulls team, and Victor Matfield coming back from retirement did not carry much weight. Cape Town’s beloved Stormers is the only team that did not play and will have their first game this coming weekend.
Crusaders, a local club in Christchurch, New Zealand, has won seven Super 15 titles making them the top team, facing the Chiefs – another local club in New Zealand on Friday. Many will refer to this opening match as the final before the final, all because these two teams are viewed as the best teams in the competition. The Chiefs also won the competition for two consecutive years. Both teams have a lot to prove to the world and more especially their fans – the teams will definitely be ready for the play offs. This also marks the comeback for boxer-turned-rugby superstar, Sonny Bill Williams. Personally, I am very excited about this – he is my absolute favourite.
Many of you will remember Jake White, the coach who led South Africa’s Springboks to World Cup victory in 2007. He coached Australia’s Brumbies last year and they did not do too badly as they made it to the semi-finals. This year he left them for South Africa’s Sharks. This weekend, the Brumbies will face the Reds who are also an Australian team.
This competition will run until August with the final only happening then. As an avid rugby supporter for the next seven months, I will be glued to the television set watching Super Rugby. And I know as a girl it’s a bit strange for me to be so passionate about this male-dominated sport but I find it very exciting and entertaining. But what can I say? It is not just about the love for the game but also for those hot athletic bodies. I bet I will not be the only girl who will be glued to the television set for the next few months..
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