Super Rugby: 5 things we learned from the Final

Super Rugby: 5 things we learned from the Final

1     Only two New Zealand teams could have delivered such a pulsating final of breakneck pace, with so impressively high a standard of rugby, and with exemplary discipline. On the evidence of what we saw in Super Rugby 2015, Australian and South African teams just cannot match that.

2     Goalkicking is crucial. Lima Sopoaga did miss a penalty and conversion after his Highlanders team were ahead but he goaled the vital three kicks in a row when the game was very much up for grabs, while a more accurate goalkicker than Beauden Barrett would have goaled the additional three penalty goals and conversion on offer to the Hurricanes.

3    Selection of ‘man of the match’ for the Final would probably be between Aaron Smith and Ben Smith. Selection of the standout player of Super Rugby 2015 would probably be between Aaron Smith and Ben Smith.

4    You don’t need big-name players among your forwards to win a Final. The Highlanders have a no-name-brand pack of forwards who have been a major factor in the franchise winning their first-ever Super Rugby trophy.

5     Alex Ainley’s fairytale season as a Super Rugby rookie at age 33 – he turns 34 on 16 July – culminated in him playing the full 80 minutes in a winning final. What an unexpected but worthy Highlanders hero!



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