For the uninitiated, Super Rugby or Super 15 Rugby is kind of like the NFL of rugby union. The league is comprised of 15 club teams- 5 each from New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, and features most of the best rugby players in the world.
The skill, speed, and strength is awesome to watch even for a first time rugby viewer and the production value on TV is fantastic. All of the referees and replay officials are mic'd up, so you don't have to deal with a tipsy third-party Mike Pereira wandering in and out of your broadcast explaining the "Calvin Johnson rule" differently every week.
It's even got Fat Guy Touchdowns:
DIRECTV has really stepped up their Super Rugby coverage as well, broadcasting 6 or 7 games almost every weekend live on channel 490, which you probably already have if you're a customer.
There were only two games last weekend to kick off the season on Saturday- both games featured all- South African match-ups. The best game was the last-minute finish in the Lions/Cheetahs matchup. There is something way more badass about a team named the Lions if they play in a city that is actually part of an actual Lion's native habitat.
The Lions have just rejoined Super Rugby this year, and they went up against the Cheetahs who made the playoffs last year. Here are the highlights:
The other game of the weekend was slightly less interesting, unless you're a Sharks fan.
Next weekend's best game: Chiefs vs. Crusaders
A matchup of the two best New Zealand sides. The Chiefs are the reigning champions, and they will be taking on Dan Carter, Israel Dagg and the Crusaders who finished second place in New Zealand last year.
It's a 16 game season just like the NFL, so if you're suffering from collision-sport withdrawal, this should be a nice way to get you through the Spring.