The Grafton Redmen in action last weekend.
The Grafton Redmen in action last weekend. Brendan Ray

Waratahs' end in SA not so super

THE Super 14s came to a predictable end last weekend, both South African sides winning at home.

For such a tight competition where there is not too much separating the top half a dozen sides, a two-week top-four knockout series seems all a bit ruthless and too hasty a way to finish what has otherwise been a tremendous competition.

And if only for the appearance of seeming fair and credible, I thought it a bit strange that a neutral New Zealand referee wasn’t appointed to the ’Tahs versus Stormers semi.

If there was only a couple of points in the final result, it’s not hard to guess who would have been under the pump from disgruntled Waratahs supporters, justifiably or not.

Thankfully, next year’s transition to a Super 15 based on conferences will bring with it a longer season, and a top-six format to decide the winner.

While the proposed formula is a bit convoluted, it will provide a more-fitting and fairer finish.

As for this week’s final, who really cares over this side of the Indian Ocean now. For the record, I think that the Stormers will win.

 THIS week sees Grafton Rugby’s annual ladies’ day when the Redmen host University.

It is just $15 to get you nibbles and drinks and a bus after the game back to the Village Green Hotel.

Given good weather, that alone should attract a bumper crowd.

Another upcoming event is the annual Ruck’n’Ball to be held on June 5.

As usual, a great night is in store with tickets available from the Village Green Hotel, Bailey and Gough First National Real Estate or from the rugby club.

And for the longer-term diary notes, the Redmen will be hosting a race day in conjunction with the CRJC in October.

A number of races already have sponsors, but a few places are still available, so contact the club committee soon if you want to be an active part of this event.

 THE match of the round this weekend sees Ballina host Wollongbar, who finally hit their straps last week by inflicting Lismore’s first defeat.

That was a real upset and there’s probably no reason why they can’t win again.

Casino host Lennox but, on form, their chances look slim.

Grafton are now in a must-win position when they host the similarly placed Students. The fact both sides will be desperate to win should make the game a great one.

The Redmen would have to admit that last week’s perform- ance was way below what they are capable of and they’ll have to step up a gear or two to avoid a similar result.

I’m tipping them to do so, but they’ll find University unpredic- table. Following some ordinary results, the Gold Rats pushed the top-ranked Lennox in a close result last week so Grafton will really need to step up.

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