In 2017 SANZAAR bowed to pressure from its stable of broadcast partners who, fed up with too many uncompetitive matches, forced a reduction from 18 teams to 15. The move allowed South Africa to establish a beachhead in the UK, Australia to compress its professional playing group from five teams into four, and Andrew Forrest to step in to provide Perth fans with rugby, along with the promise of a new competition to follow. All of them benefits of a kind, but nothing to compare to the core reason for the reversion to 15 teams, which was to even up the competition, provide more matches where the result wasn’t a foregone conclusion, and to spice up the viewing experience. Seven matches into the 2019 season, the Crusaders top the table on 24 points, with the other notional finalists compressed between the second-placed Hurricanes on 19 points, and the Waratahs on 15 points. Last place is shared by the Jaguares and Sunwolves on 10 points, both potentially only a bonus point win out … [Read more...] about The Super Rugby finals race isn’t over yet
Super rugby final
OPINION: Super Rugby is almost here! Crazy right? Rugby in February is borderline ridiculous, but it is what it is and in a year that the All Blacks are looking to win a third straight William Webb Ellis trophy, our national sport will take on even more significance than usual. With that in mind, we delved into the minds of our rugbyheads to flesh out some way-too-early Super Rugby predictions. Which player are you most looking forward to watching? Ross Karl (Newshub rugby editor): George Bridge He was one of the best players in the country last year and his debut against Japan showed how much potential he has to be a test superstar. Outside backs tend to have a period early in their careers, where everything goes their way and they are unstoppable. The Crusaders and All Blacks need to make the most of that to get their respective three-peats this season. John Day (Newshub sport reporter): Jordan Taufua A broken arm in the Super Rugby final cruelly robbed him of a chance to make his … [Read more...] about Newshub Roundtable: The way-too-early Super Rugby preview
A Set small text size A Set the default text size A Set large text size Fresh off their first-ever Super Rugby finals appearance, can the side from Argentina consolidate their growth in 2019? Or was last season’s success just a flash in the pan? In the seventh part of our 2019 Super Rugby preview series, we cast our eye to the Jaguares. More Super Rugby 2019 Rugby Jaguares Coach: Gonzalo QuesadaCaptain: Jeronimo de la FuenteMajor signings: Gonzala Quesada (coach, Biarritz)Major departures: Nicolas Sanchez (Stade Francais), Juan Martin Hernandez (retired), Mario Ledesma (coach, Argentina) Squad Last season Won 9, lost 7, finished second in the South African Conference, seventh overall But they turned it around smartly, winning nine of their next 11 games to sit firmly in finals position at the pointy end of the season. Unfortunately, they fell out of form over the last fortnight and, by the time that debut finals appearance came around, they were no match for … [Read more...] about Are the Jaguares set for a fall down the Super Rugby ladder in 2019?
It’s been seven long years since the Blues made the Super Rugby finals, and the Auckland side are likely to continue their rut as the worst of the New Zealand franchises. This is the third part of our Super Rugby preview series for 2019, where will run through the Auckland-based club and their projections, problems and areas of much-needed improvement for the season ahead. More Super Rugby 2019 Rugby Blues Coach: Leon MacdonaldCaptain: Blake Gibson and Patrick TuipulotuMajor signings: Marcel Renata (Hurricanes), Karl Tu’inukuafe (Chiefs), Ma’a Nonu (Toulon), Levi Aumua (Chiefs)Major departures: Pauliasi Manu (Sunwolves), Jerome Kaino (Toulouse), Bryn Gatland (Chiefs), Kara Pryor (Sunwolves) Squad Last season Won 4, lost 12, finished last in the New Zealand Conference, 14th overall Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse after that. They were beaten well by the Stormers and conceded 63 points to the Sharks on home soil either side of a bye. With the … [Read more...] about Super Rugby 2019 preview series: Blues
Rugby can be a bit slow at times. 57 years. That is the time it took from first FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay (1930), and introduction of the inaugural Rugby World Cup (Rugby World Cup) held in New Zealand (1987). When it happened, the game grew to levels never before seen. The other great sporting championship in World Rugby is yet to exist. In Europe, the Heineken Champions Cup (also known as the European Rugby Champions Cup) consists of six rounds followed by quarter-finals, a Semi Final and the Championship match. To play in the Heineken Champions Cup, teams qualify from the Pro14 (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy) as well as local club competitions each in England and France. Competing for qualification are: On the other side of the planet, Super Rugby in 2018 consisted of 21 rounds, followed by quarter-finals, a Semi Final and the Super Rugby Championship. There are 15 provincial teams from Australia (4 teams), New Zealand (5 teams), South Africa (4 teams), Japan (1 team) and … [Read more...] about How do you make World Super Rugby a reality?