Stormers vs Lions

Stormers vs Lions

In an important match in the South African conference context, the Stormers vs Lions is slowly coming in under the radar as a big one to watch out for.

Super Rugby rolls on into round three! The Stormers are flying high and with a number of World Cup-winning stars in their ranks, they are rightly considered as one of the early favorites for the title. They have won their first two matches and haven’t conceded a single point. Not one.

True, it is still early days… in fact, you can probably argue that the Hurricanes were caught flat in their first outing of the year after a long flight, and the Bulls are a very inexperienced side. But there is something about the Stormers this year that is different than before. They seem to be playing with a certain confidence. Unfortunately, they have lost inspirational Springboks captain, Siya Kolisi, to injury for six to eight rounds and also world-class hooker Bongi Mbonambi for the season. Let’s not forget that Mbonambi was chosen ahead of the talismanic Malcolm Marx for most matches in the 2019 World Cup, including the final.

The Lions, on the other hand, are clearly in a rebuilding phase. A big loss against the Jaguares in round one was followed by a fairly unconvincing win against a scrappy Reds side in round two. This week will be a litmus test and they could find themselves in trouble early on if they take no points from this match.

Stormers vs Lions – prediction

The Stormers should win this match purely due to superior personnel (including World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit), even though they are playing away from home. They won’t have it all their own way though, as we saw last week in a marked improvement from the Lions at home. Stormers by 7+

How long is a rugby match

How long is a rugby match

This may seem like common knowledge to most rugby fans, but one of the most asked questions by newcomers to the game is how long is a rugby match?

The answer, of course, is 80 minutes. Give or take.

In all seriousness, the official laws state that a match of rugby consists of two halves of 40 minutes each, with a 15-minute break in-between.

The exception is that the half cannot end if one of the two teams has been awarded a penalty. If that is the case, then play will continue as normal, until the next stoppage (such as a knock-on, forward pass, etc.).

There have been many instances where a half of rugby has gone on for 55 minutes or even longer if there are successive penalties, because as explained above, play cannot end on a penalty.

If it is a knock-out match, such as a quarter-final, semi-final or final of a tournament, then the match cannot be drawn and extra time will be played. These rules differ for each tournament, but typically it consists of two halves of ten minutes each, with a short break in-between.

What makes a rugby match appear longer than 80 minutes is all the stoppages in between play. The referee can stop the match timer at any time, for example when a player is injured or if the referee needs to talk to the captains or players. The match timer is also stopped when the referee has referred something to the TMO (Television Match Official), such as confirming a try has been scored or when investigating foul play.

The timer is also stopped when a player asks to tie his bootlaces… a frequently used tactic by tired front-row forwards to catch a breather!

As you can see, the answer is more complicated than just 80 minutes. In fact, there has probably never been a rugby match that has lasted exactly 80 minutes in real-time!

Super Rugby Round 3 Preview

Super Rugby Round 3 Predictions

Super Rugby 2020 rolls into its third week and the action intensifies as we look forward to some great matches this weekend. Here follows our Super Rugby round 3 predictions.

Blues vs Crusaders

The Crusaders would like to make amends for their loss last week against the Chiefs, but they won’t have it all their own way against a Blues side fresh off an invigorating win against the Waratahs. Both teams will want to try and get on a roll, but the Crusaders should have too much class even away from home. When last did the Crusaders lose two in a row? The Chiefs also seem a much better side than the current Blues.

Rebels vs Waratahs

Probably the least anticipated fixture of the weekend, most pundits would be relieved to get this one out of the way early. Both teams have started their seasons in dire fashion with two losses and need to turn things around. Another loss for either side could doom their season already. With no clear favorite, this could be a closely contested game.

Sunwolves vs Chiefs

After an impressive display last weekend, the Chiefs are clear favorites for this match. However, with a few upsets already this season, this could be one to look out for… let’s not forget, the Sunwolves beat the Chiefs last year and will play in front of a packed house in the Prince Chicibu Memorial Stadium, one of the World Cup venues in 2019. Regardless of the result, this match will be worth a watch.

Hurricanes vs Sharks

The Sharks are looking red-hot and scored some fantastic tries last weekend against the Highlanders. With a number of recent World Cup stars in their lineup, including Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am, and some rising stars such as Aphelele Fassi and Curwin Bosch, they have the potential to do what so few teams have done in the past and that is rto win two in a row in New Zealand. The Hurricanes are coming off a win against the Jaguares, but the 3 week trip from New Zealand to South Africa to Argentina and back home will take its toll.

Brumbies vs Highlanders

The Brumbies have won 10 in a row in Canberra and should be favorites against a Highlanders side who were not particularly impressive in a 22 point loss against the Sharks last weekend. In recent seasons, the Highlanders have been poor away from home, winning one of their last eight matches. The Brumbies will continue their winning streak at home.

Lions vs Stormers

The table-topping Stormers are one of the early favorites for the title, and with a classy lineup including the most Springboks of any South African side, they will be too much to handle for the Lions who seem to be in a distinct rebuilding phase. The Stormers haven’t conceded a single point so far this season and the Lions do not seem fluent enough to break that terrific defense.

Jaguares vs Reds

The Jaguares would have been stung by their last-minute loss last weekend against the Hurricanes. Playing at home, they will look to make amends and should be too much for a Reds side coming off crossing two oceans in two weeks. They showed great courage last week against the Lions and on another day could have won that match, but the Jaguares will be a much sterner test.

That concludes our Super Rugby round 3 predictions. Enjoy the rugby, and if you can’t catch the games live, be sure to catch the highlights here.