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Weekend Rugby Wrap: 5 Takeaways

Bet Central looks at 5 takeaways from this past weekend’s rugby action, from Super Rugby Pacific to the URC quarter-finals.

URC Super Rugby Pacific Talking Points

There was plenty of action in the 11th round of Super Rugby Pacific and the knockout stage of the URC began with the Irish-laden quarterfinals taking place in South Africa and in Ireland. Bet Central looks at all the talking points from this past weekend. 

Drua Find Joy In Suva Upset

Fijian Drua managed to pull off the upset of the round and that is saying a lot considering they were in front of their beloved Suva crowd in Fiji, but the Hurricanes with all their class All Blacks in the forwards and backline were just never expected to lose to a talented Drua side.

The Drua were inspired by the inspirational leadership of Tex Ikanivere, the try-scoring exploits of Taniela Rakuro, Kemu Valentini’s supreme kicking off the bench and the bouncing Suva crowd. It was a great day for Fijian rugby.

Julian Savea Equals Record

Overshadowed by the huge upset were the historic 2 tries scored by Julian Savea against Drua which saw him draw level with former Wallabies and Waratahs fullback Israel Folau on the all-time Super Rugby try-scoring charts as joint no.1 in the competition.

He may be past his best years now, but on his full body of work in the competition over the past 10 years or so – it is richly deserved for the explosive winger. He needs 1 more to reach the summit of the top try-scoring stands and it would take a brave man to bet against him getting there.

Manie Libbok Is Key For Stormers

Manie Libbok – when he is on form – is quite simply poetry in motion as his former side, the Blue Bulls learnt on Saturday at the Cape Town Stadium. Libbok was outstanding and sent a message to the Springbok selectors that he simply can be ignored.

Why can’t he be ignored? It’s simple, Libbok can do what no Springbok flyhalf can do at the moment, he can hurt you with his boot, his sumptuous passing game and his incredible ability to exploit space. This triple threat will be all that much more important as the Stormers face a tough Connacht side this coming week.  

Leinster Barely Break A Sweat

The Sharks drew first blood against Leinster with a quick-fire try by the on-form Grant Williams, but that was as good as it got for the Durban-based side as Leinster took over the game after that and the Sharks never looked like gaining back control of it though out. 

It was a Leinster side that opted to rest some key personnel, but such is the quality of their squad that one would never say. They weren’t at their best, they barely got out of 2nd gear, but they still managed to outplay what looks like an out-of-sorts Sharks side.

Concerns For Snyman Again

Munster managed to out-muscle a tough and abrasive Glasgow Warriors side in the 4th and final URC quarterfinal of the weekend, but it came at a cost for Graham Rowntree’s side who will be concerned with the injuries that were sustained particularly by inspirational captain Peter O’Mahony and RG Snyman.

The South African 2nd rower sustained his 2nd head knock over the last couple of weeks and there will be growing concerns for his health especially with his injury history over the last 3 years or so. One hopes it is not that serious this time.

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