This is not the place to find who won, who scored, or who played well. This is what I thought of what I saw, mostly useless information, and why the refs and commentators were shit.
Blues v Crusaders
Ian Jones represented the All Blacks 79 times in Tests, he played in three World Cups, and he even captained his country on one occasion. I respect that. But as a TV commentator, you have to admit, his voice is hilarious!
The commentators have been practising how to say “Piri”. Apparently that’s not a normal “r” in his name, it’s a special Māori “r”. There’s one in “Māori” too. Next week TJ and the boys will be showing off the Afrikaans “G” in Goosen.
Weepu wishes upon a crossbar. Speaking of Piri, he looks nothing but hopeful when he lines up a kick at posts. And then pleasantly surprised when he gets one over (or just quite close). Kind of like Chris Martin when he bats.
Reds v Hurricanes
Letting Steve Walsh wear one of those Ref-Cams is a mistake. The guy loves himself enough already, it’s only a matter of time before he figures out how to rig the camera so it just films him running around for 80 minutes.
Also, Ref-Cam is shit. I watch on TV because I like feeling like I’m sitting comfortably on my sofa in my living room. If I wanted to feel a part of the action, I’d go to the game or go out and play myself. Ref-Cam? Bin it.
TJ Perenara needs to shut up. The Hurricanes scrumhalf was unbearable, the way he was constantly giving the ref advice on how to manage the breakdown. To be fair, though, he was doing a better job than Steve Walsh.
Quade Cooper is taking multi-sport experimentation to the next level. The way he was throwing forward passes (and getting away with it, Steve Walsh and Ref-Cam), it looked like he was auditioning for a quarterback gig in the NFL.
The obligatory Quade Cooper “Boxing” comment. Weight divisions, blah blah blah, if you put Quade Cooper in the boxing ring with anyone else on that field he’d get his funny-looking face rearranged.
“That kick had warts on it.” – Why we like the Australian commentators. Sometimes.
Run Conrad Smith, run. I heard the commentators describe Conrad Smith’s running style as “snake-like” and “silky”. To me, he runs like a man with legs of vastly different lengths. But he does it brilliantly.
Steve Walsh, he’s so silly. I lol’ed – and I never lol – when Steve Walsh pushed Conrad Smith. “Easy,” said Smith, in the most perfectly patronising way. Steve Walsh is a douche.
Waratahs v Rebels
I don’t like Tatafu Polota-Nau’s new hair. I preferred when his do made him look like Alex the lion from Madagascar.
Hugh Pyle sounds like a fake name. The lock forward for the Rebels makes me think of great (fake) Australian cricket umpire Hugh Jarse.
What’s with all these Australian sportsmen named Mitch? There’s Mitchell Chapman (Waratahs) and Mitch Inman (Rebels). Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson (Australian cricketers). And of course Drew Mitchell (Waratahs) and Lachlan Mitchell (Rebels). Blame Baywatch, your parents loved David Hasselhoff.
Chiefs v Cheetahs
I know they start the same, but they’re different words. It was all too much for the commentary team, the way both teams’ names started with the same sound. We had to put up with more mistakes and corrections than even Mike Haysman can manage in a session.
Conventional wisdom is overrated. Chiefs coach Naka Drotske must know something that the rest of the rugby world doesn’t. Why else would he pick a scrumhalf who can’t pass and a flyhalf who can’t kick.
Sharks v Stormers
Siya Kolisi tests positive. Tests have confirmed that, as suspected, Siya Kolisi is actually made out of rock.
Joe Pietersen thinks he is a bigger man than he is. He’s a skilful player, and undoubtedly tough. Pound-for pound, I’d probably call him world-class. But he’s only little, and he needs to remember that. Because bravery looks stupid when you get thrown around like a dry leaf.