DYLAN JACK picks out four major talking points from the sixth round of Vodacom Super Rugby, including the bizarre kit clash at Loftus Versfeld.
Blue on blue
One would think, that a fixture between two sides synonymous with the colour blue would have prompted at least some thought from organisers to ensure that there was not a clash of kits.
However, when the Vodacom Bulls and Highlanders ran out at Loftus on Saturday, they both did so in predominantly blue kits, with the Bulls in their home strip while the Highlanders were in their darker blue away kit.
— Superbru (@Superbru) March 7, 2020
What followed was a first half that was incredibly difficult to watch, to the point that one would get a headache trying to distinguish between the two teams.
Thankfully, the Bulls saw common sense and switched to their white ‘secondary’ kit at half-time. Still, it is worth pondering why this could not have been sorted before the game started.
Specmagic inspires Bulls’ attack
Staying in Pretoria and coach Pote Human will feel a sense of relief as his side finally fired on attack in the second half against the Highlanders.
Rosko Specman enjoyed possibly his most involved game of the season behind a dominant pack that ensured clean service to the speedster, who scored a hat-trick.
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) March 8, 2020
It is also no coincidence that this came with Manie Libbok starting at flyhalf. The 22-year-old was given his first start of the season, with Morne Steyn dropping to the bench, and he controlled the game excellently in the second half, giving his side more of a threat at the gainline while also kicking well out of hand.
Sharks keep on trucking
In the build-up to the Sharks’ clash against the Jaguares in Durban, there was plenty of talk around the impact of the travel factor on the home team, who had returned from a successful overseas tour.
However, there was no clear impact as the Sharks looked the fresher of the two sides in the opening exchanges, scoring four tries before running out of steam slightly in the final 10 minutes.
It helps that coach Sean Everitt has managed his playing staff well and was able to welcome back Bok wings Sbu Nkosi and Makazole Mapimpi, as well as flanks James Venter and Tyler Paul, who all had excellent outings on the weekend.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) March 7, 2020
Holey defence costs Lions
While the Lions certainly had their chances in Melbourne, they were not helped by a passive defensive effort that gave the deadly Rebels back three the space and time to operate.
A total of 24 missed tackles would have left coach Ivan van Rooyen fuming, as would the fact that the Lions conceded 19 turnovers.
It is something they are very quickly going to have to address as they travel to face the Blues in Auckland this weekend.
Photo: Gallo Images