[2019 Super Rugby] Semi Finals (29 June 2019)

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by TRF_heineken, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    This. Local derbies are brutal affairs, and it's usually the games where 2 or 3 guys get injured, and also where the contest is so evenly matched, that even the favourite team ends up losing and dropping points.

    The travelling has always been an issue for SA sides. But I think the past few years have shown that we don't use it as an excuse anymore. I mean the Sharks only lost their QF game in Australia, whereas when they were on tour won all their games except the Chiefs game and drew against the Crusaders. The Bulls won 1 in Australia and drew 2 in NZ. The Lions and the Stormers also won on their tours, plus the Lions managed to win in Argentina. So we are more adaptable than we were a few seasons ago with regards to the travelling issue. There was a point where all SA teams lost their 2nd game on tour, no matter the opposition or venue, and the players even said that it was always the toughest game mentally.

    When we revert back to the round robin, our tours will be the same as now, and there won't be the dreaded 5-week tour like before. So our chances to have more competitive sides will be the same as now.

    The biggest problem we will still be facing is the player exodus we have every season. And next year will again be a building phase for the Bulls. They are losing at least 7 players that were starters this season, and all of them are key positions.

    What is interesting to note is that the Brumbies were the SA sides biggest threat away from home. Every SA team that played them in Australia lost. not a single other team won all their games against SA teams at home.
     
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  3. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur First XV

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    Some comments and a question.

    I agree with much of what SC posted. I think within SR the travelling is manageable. I wouldnt mind having the final, and the final alone, take place at a pre established location (imagine football's Champion's league final). You could cherry pick the place to adjust to time zones a bit, chose a place to promote the sport, etc. Yes, home fans would lose that game.

    Having said that, from what i read/heard/watched, maintaining that for long periods of time has a significant toll.

    I dont have the info at hand, but i remember a statistical analysis that correlated Pumas' performance vs the km travelled vs other teams. The argument was that in WC years the Pumas travelled less than in non-WC years (less internationals, shorter TRC, etc) and also had enough time between TRC and WC to rest. They argued that, to a certain point, that explained Argentina doing relatively bad in mid year and end of year internationals, vs our WC performance.
    It's hard to draw statistical conclusions from such a small sample but the theory does look sound. I never thought about it till it was pointed out to me.

    I was always inclined to justify it emotionaly (we rise to the ocasion, etc) but the above made much more sense. I wouldnt be surprised if a south africa's case was somewhat similar. They have more depth so the impact is less evident, but still.

    The question i have for SC and H is: Not sure i understand what you mean by local derbies. For instance, are you arguing that say, the Stormers are in a worse position compared to the Jaguares due to local derbies?
     
  4. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    In some manner of speaking, yes. Because the Jaguares have no local derbies.

    But it's more complexed than just saying yes. Look at the history of these derbies, and the brutal nature. The SA derbies as an example, the teams set out are usually their top team, and there are usually more people at the grounds, plus the general hatred between teams such as the Bulls and the Stormers, where the players play above their limit to get one over the other (especially away from home).

    It's just a different type of match between SA / NZ sides. I mean one of the games of the season for me was the Highlanders vs. Chiefs game, and it was end-to-end-to-end stuff. Neither of those teams played like that all year, and then they have this match where you can't believe the tenacity and fitness of the guys to go non-stop like that to all corners of the field without delays.
     
  5. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur First XV

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    Interesting. I am not going to argue, but i am going to question you, because i do not understand. Hope you don't mind.

    Why would the Lions field a better team or be more motivated or go the extra mile when the play the stormers than when they play against Jaguares.?
    I could even buy a specific game between two teams, but saying that out of 5 teams, 4 put more effort when they play against each other than when they play against the remaining team.
    Again, not arguing, but in my line of work extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence.
    I don't see the evidence. Not saying there ain't evidence, i just haven't come across it.

    My first thought when i read your post where the Sharks, who tend to do very well when they tour NZ and have a lot of silly loses at home, including against other RSA teams (Bulls, Stormers).

    I do buy it for the NZ conference because a) they are the best conference b) we are not part of it.
     
  6. smartcooky

    smartcooky Referee Coach and Advisor

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    One word.... History!

    Think Rosario v Tucuman
     
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  7. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Exactly! always claiming for extraordinary evidence, is becoming a the single-tune response from Cruz. Always asking, but in the same breath not providing the contrary.

    But an example of this is perhaps the SA conference bar the Jags. the SA teams were so close to one another, and all of them was in with a shot to make the playoffs prior to the last week of regular season.

    The Bulls vs the Stormers. Each team won their home game
    The Bulls vs the Lions. Bulls won both games
    The Bulls vs the Sharks. Bulls won both games
    The Sharks vs the Stormers. Each team won away from home
    The Sharks vs the Lions. Sharks won both games
    The Lions vs the Stormers. Both teams won at home.

    Not a single SA team can say they had the upper hand on all of their counterparts.

    The Stormers won against all 3 their opposing SA sides. but finished bottom of the conference. We have a tendency to knock our own teams out by not beating each other convincingly.

    What is interesting though is the records the Stormers as an example has against the Bulls at home, I think it's now something like 7 years in a row where the Stormers won their home game against the Bulls.
     
  8. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur First XV

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    Thanks for the answer.

    Still sceptical but before i reply, i have one question for both of you: by derby you mean 1 specific NZ/RSA team against another specific NZ/RSA team or ANY NZ/RSA team against ANY NZ/RSA? Just to be clear.
     
  9. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Well, you get local derbies, and then there are local derbies.... Feel free to make your own distinction...
     
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  10. petite

    petite Bench Player

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    YEP and every team will have to travel here.. and if we continue this form jags will be hard to beat. we are the best prepared for the traveling cos we are used to it way more than nz and aus.
    if mounga barret and crotty are ingured our chances grow for at least another 10%
    jags 30 crusaders 70 %
    about the traveling you are both right. the fixture sucks but the jags proven good on the road
     
  11. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Academy Player

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    I wish the Jaguares all the luck in the world this coming weekend, but as has been said already, that travel schedule is preposterous. There's really no equivalent in any other league (maybe in soccer, wouldn't know about that) and it does seem unfair... As Super Rugby fans, would you all vote to build in an extra week between the semis and the final? There's always an extra week before the Super Bowl, for instance - although, I effing HATE that extra week, it's just an extra week of hype and talking heads making predictions that never come true, so I'd be hesitant to do it in Super Rugby, but on the other hand, I really want the Jags to have a level playing field, so to speak...
     
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  12. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur First XV

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    Oh come on. You were one of the ones who brought the term "derby" to the table. I think it's only fair for you to define it. I am not asking for a textbook definition, but a definition congruent with the argument you made. Particularly given the definition impacts your argument.

    I am interested in understanding, but i am not going to buy any argument without a shred of evidence. If you are interested in shedding some light, fine. If not, that's fine too.

    Regarding the impact: If the derbies are specific you have 4 per season (in RSA conf). If they are not they have 12. Not quite the same.
    Then again, if it's 4 i'd be inclined to buy the "special game" argument. if they are 12, not so much.
    But, if there are 4 that means 2 per team, Out of 16 games, do 2 games have that much impact? Yes, no maybe? I dont know, but i dont see a lot of evidence.
     
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  13. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    I phrased it that way, because supporters from different teams, have different points of view with regard to derbies. A derby is of course a sporting contest between 2 rival teams. And for me, as a Bulls fan, there's no bigger derbies in Super Rugby, than the Trans-Jukskei Derby or the North-South Derby. That's 4 tough games the Bulls have every year. We have a derby against the Sharks, but we and the Sharks don't really have any issues with one another so the rivalry isn't so strong from my point of view as it is with the other 2.

    The other thing is that the SA conference is the only conference that is over 2 time zones. So the "away" fixture in their local conference isn't even in SA as opposed to the NZ conference, and isn't in the same time zone as the Aussie conference.
     
  14. Manaos_Drinker

    Manaos_Drinker Academy Player

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    Jaguares, my good old Friend
    This campaing we Will be with you again.
    We Will support you with all our Heart,
    This is your crowd that want see you be a champ.
    I don't care about they Say,
    What someone else says.
    I Will follow you everywhere
    Everytime i love you more...

    Something like that they were singing.
     
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  15. petite

    petite Bench Player

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    jaua!! the first four verses are very well translated lol
     
  16. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur First XV

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    Thanks for the explanation H. Two comments.

    First, let me tell you where i am coming from so you can maybe understand my point of view.
    I support CASI. Arguably the biggest club derby in the country is CASI vs SIC (both share the same neighborhood, SIC is a spin-off from CASI, expelled members, etc. The lot).
    I would never, ever, not even in my most delusional outburst, use that as an excuse when playing against non-derby teams. Never.
    I would see it as using history and pedigree as an excuse.

    Second, let's assume for the sake of the argument that everything you said is true. Every south African team, because of the derbies, is at a disadvantage vs Jaguares. Granted.
    Now, lets be clear about one thing then: that decision, to prioritize those games, is a choice. This is not something imposed, but something that could be changed overnight, without spending a single cent. It needs the will, lots of it, but that's it. I understand if you dont, but again, you have the option.

    Now the inevitable question then becomes: at what point do derbies matter more than qualifying to the playoffs? Because that dilemma is kind of an inevitable conclusion given your argument.
    If i were a Lions of a Stormers fan (those who missed the playoffs by a point), would i trade one for another?
    I know i would.

    I could be persuaded to admit a team or two might have underestimated us (bulls in loftus comes to mind), and you could argue that worked to our advantage, fair enough. But that is a card we can only play once, and you did in 2019. You can say we got lucky this time. If it happens again it's on you. You have the choice to adjust.
    The choice is yours, but then, so are the consequences of those choices.

    There are two kinds of excuses. Those were you could have done something about and didnt, and those where there was nothing you could have done. I dont like either, but i can accept the later. Never the former.
    You had your wake up call. If you chose to prioritize derbies, that's on you.
    Best of luck next season (no pun int).
     
  17. Horacito

    Horacito Academy Player

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    It’s hard to find the moment to think about this as seriously as possible (I mean, come on, it’s a sport), and then to actually write it up. Thing is… I haven’t read anything to make me think anyone is depicting this thing in its entirety, how big an accomplishment this is, what it means to Argentinean rugby in general, how it projects over the next ten years of rugby and a lot of other stuff.

    -So, in terms of super rugby alone: apparently, the jaguares are the first franchise to ever make a final in the first five years of its existence or so I have read in the roar. Well, I’m guessing some people will argue and quite convincingly I might add that none other franchise has been allowed to basically recreate their national team in a SR franchise. At any rate, that is a fact. But, to this fact I might also pose a couple of three things (Phil Leotardo sic): first, it took four years to make jaguares work in sync with Pumas; in fact, it hasn’t been proven that they have succeeded in such enterprise. Pumas, from last round of internationals to this SR have been playing consistently worse: results from 2015 have been disappointing for the pumas, something no one would expect based on the last WC. There are many reasons for that, but certainly SR has been one of the most prominent. Second, and I think probably the strongest point in favor of Pumaguares (Imma use that name forever and ever goddamit) is that it was a necessity, a structural necessity: UAR needed to secure the best Argentinean players available and to do that you needed to create a rule to ban any superstar playing overseas. To those players who sacrificed four years, three years of huge income: we’re forever thankful. I’m thinking about Creevy, Sánchez, and the whole lot. Those who did not: it’s understandable (thinking about Imhoff here). There was no choice from the beginning, in order to be successful, pumaguares had to be pumas. Third: having the best players available does not mean immediate success; there’s plenty of examples out there, when AB’s have been the best team at WC but haven’t won the tournament, when in other sports dream teams (Lakers, Real Madrid et al) have fallen short… my point being: in order for a project to be successful, something else apart from counting with the best players is needed: it’s false that Pumaguares wins because they’re the Pumas under disguise. There are many other factors in which pumaguares are exemplary and I don’t mean the coach. I mean staff, everything around these guys. The staff for both teams is not exactly the same.

    So Jaguares is successful as a whole structure, and as a structure it deserves to be praised, if only because they are some of the 67 people who have finished Netflix.

    -For Argentina as a rugby country. Best thing about this miracle is that it is not a miracle at all. For anyone who has followed Argentinean rugby since 2008, this thing has been coming all along. Ever since PladAr started working and we’ve had this players becoming pro-like younger and younger, I thought we were onto something. I remember being real young, like 15, and hearing Felipe Contepomi saying back in ’07 that rough years were to come to Argentinean rugby fans, but that eventually we would have redemption and happiness and SR quarterfinals and maybe even more; it would cost ten years and nothing would seem to change, but it would pay off. To me, ten years seemed like a huge amount of time you know being 16, but twelve years have passed and here we are. I am a lot older than I was, Felipe Contepomi is even balder than he was (if that’s even possible) and as it turns out, he was right. Juani Hernández’s career has gone by, he was 23 in ‘07 and it seemed like he was gonna be the new Hugo Porta; we all know how that turned out. In the meantime, something that was pretty obvious but nobody was actually counting on has become a reality: professional infrastructure. It will always be easier to create and promote a structure that encourages proper professional players than to wait another super duper talented generation of guys; given the right infrastructure and support, rugby being an activity that encourages personal and group discipline above else needs players that know how to handle themselves and live a life of full professionalism: diet, sleeping, fitness, discipline in general. Then you bring that onto the field, and then we all win. It’s taken twelve years but it has paid off. You can actually see it in pumaguares when older players mix up with younger ones: the difference, the way they conduct themselves, how they train even. First time I thought about this was JWC 2011: Montero, Hernández’s and Cordero’s generation. Almost every year we have come with new and better players, wait till you see Mendy next year. That is a whole new structure, producing results barely ten years after its creation. Institutionally, it’s a huge step for any Argentinean product. Hard to explain how big. Something Argentinean works, something that requires people and politics and cooperation.

    Apart from that, I think Pumaguares has proven that there’s plenty of potential in argie rugby yet to be unveiled: each year we have lost an important player, and each year we have improved. We thought we couldn’t exist as a team without Sánchez, and we’re heading to our first SR final. We thought we couldn’t lose Isa, Herrera, and Cordero… but we can, we just did. Now what? This year we’ll lose Lavanini, Bofelli, Landajo (at least, goddamit), and we’ll have to make do. We’ll be even more competitive, I bet. This is crucial: an institution changes people, not the institution. Berlin’s philharmonic changes violinists, harpists, even directors every year, but they still are Berlin’s philharmonic, and it has been for two hundred years and it will continue to be for many more. Let them go to Europe: pumaguares will stand. At this point I have to say Agustin Cereevy is a national treasure, he stayed all this time and it seems he will continue to stay here for us. My point being: if we want to keep Jaguares successful, always take jaguares above stars: the whole is much more than just the sum of its parts.

    -to RW (Rugby World Rugby World Cup). The addition of Argentina to the tier 1 is an unmitigated success. The truth is that rugby keeps spinning with cycles of either glory or indifference for any of the top 8 teams in the world (NZ, SA, AUS, ENG, IRE, WAL, SCO, FRA), and it has been like that for 100 years or so. In fact, in NZ is the most outstanding team in history of sport (together with US’s basketball team) maybe because they are always ahead of the rest, but they have made a habit of it: most of countries have to pull off extraordinary generations of players to defeat the AB’s, and that’s been the state of affairs for more than 20 years: first, Australia won two championships, almost three, then England, then SA won another two… but now it looks like NZ has managed to gain a ridiculous advantage and no one seems to be able to get a hold on them. Even Ireland, and I’m counting on them to win this RWC. Maybe France will pull it off. I hope France wins this year, that would be awesome. Ireland would be awesome too. Please win, just nobody from the traditional foursome we already know. But then, Argentina being actually good brings a nice balance, a nice possibility to the table: suddenly we have nine teams that are capable of winning the WC, and life seems prettier. Not that boring, at least. WR need a strong Argentinean team to keep the illusion that this is a competitive sport for real and not a charade these slippery New Zealanders have created to make themselves look good (I’m joking people, you guys are ok). Also, from now on we could start to make Rugby Championship look better: if we manage to start defeating NZ, then things could get a lot more entertaining in the future. And then there’s the matter of WR as a global structure: much of the work being done in Argentina is thanks to the support from World Rugby as a whole and their work; Argentina’s success proves that world rugby is actually efficient every once in a while and that other countries could improve as much as ARG if given the chance.

    That kinda sums it all up; also I’m tired of writing. Thanks for reading people.

    Cheers.

    yeah I used this post twice; bite me.
     
  18. Jabby

    Jabby First XV

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    every other people i have ever talked to about rugby would agree travel is always a consideration...performing well on the road earlier in the season doesn't guarantee it wont be an issue this time...if anything you could argue having to travel twice in month will make it harder

    saying the Jag have traveling sorted, not an issue...is weird...
     
  19. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    It's not an excuse. It's embedded in our DNA. We love playing against our fellow Saffas.

    Most teams do prioritization. They have a list of must-win, should-win, could-win and then they have a list of games where they might falter. I think all the teams underestimated all their opponents, not just the jaguares. I think the Sunwolves also showed how tight this competition was.

    But let's take the Lions as an example. This was the 3rd year in a row where they sent a second string team to Argentina. That is a sign that they didn't consider the Jaguares away game as a serious match for them, and they rather wanted their more experienced players to remain home, and not carry the extra fatigue of travelling to and from Argentina in less than a week.

    Derbies matter the most for qualifying. Don't you get that? Because of the conference system, you need to win your derby games in order to qualify. The Sharks and the Bulls won more derby games than the Stormers and the Lions, and they were the ones who qualified for the playoffs. Had the Stormers won that last game against the Sharks at home, then the Stormers would have qualified and not the Sharks. We knock our own teams out...

    That I agree wholeheartedly with you. I think the Jaguares have now got a big target on their backs for the next few years and the teams will be gunning for them. I just hope the Jaguares take note of what happened to the Lions. The Lions were in the finals now 3 years in a row, and this year didn't even qualify for the playoffs. That is how brutal this tournament is.

    Again, no excuses, just stating my point of view. The Jags have the luxury of not having derby games, so they don't have a the faintest idea of the added pressure it creates on a team.

    Let's keep on truckin!
     
  20. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur First XV

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    In 2016 we played that game the last round, the lions were already qualified and knew the chances they were taking. They had the #2 spot guarenteed. It wasnt that they didnt take the jagaures seriously, it was that they prefered to take a chance and rest their players. It wasn't about underestimation. It was a calculated risk.
    Second, it wouldn't be a stretch to make the case that that decision ended up costing the lions the final.

    U seem to think that they would have fielded a full squad had they faced the bulls the last round. Given the situation, i find that very hard to believe. We'd both be speculating anyway.

    That is just not true. This is maths, not a judgement call.

    It is true that, for the stormers (to use as an example) beating the lions is more important than beating the rebels. But that is because the rebels are in another conference. Jaguares are in the same conference.

    It's about the points you get AND the points you deny your direct competition from getting. That is the same, exactly the same, for every team in the same conference, derby or no derby. Jaguares are in the RSA conference and we are not a derby.

    Games within the RSA conference matter more (in terms of qualifying) than games against teams from other conferences. But, for the sole purpose of qualifying, the bulls playing the Lions is just as important as the bulls playing the jaguares. Again, this is mathematical. A fact, not an opinion.

    Had the Stormers drawn (or won) the game against us (non derby) they would have qualified.

    Ohh we will.
    I was very worried about the plethora of players leaving jaguares so i almost wrote off 2020 season, but then i realized we are not alone in that front. Tons of teams have a LOT of players leaving.
    I have a feeling the first rounds of 2020 will be very difficult to predict.
     
  21. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Of course it was a calculated risk. Every team makes those calculated risks when they make changes or not to their team, week in, week out. It's also a calculated risk to change your gameplan, or even play a specific way, or target a specific player or weakness of the opposition.

    Sport in general and in every facet, is a calculation of risks and rewards.

    The possibility would have been there yes. By not travelling through time zones, and not having fatigued players or jetlagged players, you are in essence having a stronger team.


    It's both maths and a judgement call. But the fact remains that local derby games play a vital role in qualifying, and is also better for the team, as it's the least amount of travelling. I mean, the Lions and the Bulls stadiums are merely 50km's away from one another, that is a half an hour drive by bus!!!

    This is a world cup year dammit. Local derbies matter more, as players want to show the national coach that they want to play for the Springboks. A World Cup means a lot more to these players than a Super Rugby Title. Go ask Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, they've won both.

    The SA sides care a lot more about their local teams and the competition they bring than the Jaguares/Sunwolves/Aussie/NZ sides. We are trying to build the national team to a higher standard, and we have a combined plan amongst all teams as to achieve. Competition in the same position tends to bring out the best out of players. That is just a simple fact.

    I'm not disagreeing on this point. And I haven't been disagreeing about this. The same can be said about the Sunwolves or the Crusaders. But again, playing a foreign team doesn't get the same attention as local derbies. It just doesn't.


    That's exactly what I said!!!!


    And with the Argentinian U/20 team finishing 4th in the WC puts you in a great position to get some good players to fill the gaps. You can basically take that whole U/20 squad and just add-on. I think that is exactly what the Sharks are going to do as nearly 60% of the U/20 team are Sharks contracted players.
     
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