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Weekend Rugby Wrap: 5 Takeaways

Bet Central brings you all the headlines from this past weekend’s Currie Cup and Super Rugby Pacific action.

Weekend Rugby Headlines

It was a plethora of semi-finals in New Zealand and South Africa in the Super Rugby Pacific and Currie Cup respectively, the French Top 14 final was also played and it was magical. Bet Central brings you all the headlines from this past weekend.

Playoff Crusaders At Their Very Best

In the NBA there is the phenomenon of ‘Playoff Jimmy’ – a moniker for Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler who always takes his game to the next level for the playoff stages. The Crusaders seem to be exuding the same energy every year, they are good and competent in the leagues, but they turn into a different beast in the knockout stage.

The Blues felt the full wrath of the rampaging Crusaders as Razor Robinson’s side won 52-15 to reach yet another final under the outgoing coach. Their opposition next week – the table-topping Chiefs – will have to be very careful as the Crusaders are looking very dangerous at the moment.

Luke Jacobson Breaking The Door Down

Luke Jacobson had a weekend to remember as he was instrumental in the Chiefs’ 19-6 semi-final victory that saw them progress to the grand finale this coming week. He was also named in the All Blacks squad for the 1st time since 2021.

It is a huge morale victory for Jacobson who has been exceptional this season and forced his way back into contention through a host of excellent outings at 8. He will be crucial for the Chiefs at home this weekend, but in the long run could be a crucial cog for the All Blacks in the World Cup later this year.

Pumas Stun Favourites In Durban

In quite spectacular fashion, the Pumas managed to upset the team regarded as favourites going into the knockout stages of the competition – the Sharks. The men from Mbombela emerged as 26-20 victors and will now have a chance to defend their Currie Cup title against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this week.

The Sharks concluded a season blighted with inconsistencies across the teams in the union with the United Rugby Championship side underwhelming for the most part and the Currie Cup team failing to step up when it mattered most. The franchise/union needs a serious introspection now during the off-season.

Ruan Pienaar Masterclass Inspires Cheetahs

For the Cheetahs to reach the final, they had an excellent all-round team performance that saw them trounce the Bulls by 39 points to 10 in the Free State. But there was a cherry on top in their superb performance – Ruan Pienaar reminded all why he was an 88 Test veteran with the Springboks.

Pienaar was playing at flyhalf and was masterful in his control of the game with his sharp distribution and excellent boot and he accounted for 22 of the Cheetahs’s 39 points to complete an excellent performance.  It was one of the great Currie Cup performances by a legend of the game in South Africa.

Romain Ntamack’s Magic Gets Toulouse Over The Line

The past few weekends have seen a lot of finals across all sports, but more so in the rugby fraternity and this weekend it was the Top 14 final – arguably the toughest league in the world. European champions La Rochelle took on a Toulouse side that almost entirely consists of French internationals. 

La Rochelle were in control with 3 minutes to go before a moment of pure magic from Romain Ntamack took it away as Toulouse won their 2nd French title in 3 years. The drift from the flyhalf off the pass lured UJ Seuteni into a fall sense of hope for an intercept and he quickly straightened to expose the fractured defensive line and sprinted 60m to score a brilliant try. It proved to be enough for Antoine Dupont’s side who now reign supreme in France.

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