NZ Super Rugby Teams Trouncing Australian
“In the 20 years of Super Rugby, there has never been a weekend like the one just gone, with results that have shaken Australian rugby to its very foundations,” according to the Australian’s senior sport writer Wayne Smith who says New Zealand teams are “light years ahead of their Australian rivals”.
“Collectively, Australian teams were put to the sword by [the New Zealanders] by a scoreline of 203 to 63,” Smith writes. “But it was the individual breakdowns that were the most harrowing – the Melbourne Rebels annihilated by the Crusaders 85-26; the Brumbies, the leaders of the Australian conference, mauled by the bottom-placed New Zealand side, the Blues, 40-15; the Reds bumbling their way to a 50-5 loss to the Chiefs; and the Waratahs outmuscled and outskilled by the Hurricanes 28-17.
“It wasn’t just the four scoreboards that painted such an incriminating picture. It was the sense that we were glimpsing the way rugby will be played 10 and 20 years into the future and realising that Australia was so totally off the pace as to be bordering on obsolete.
“The reaction times of the Kiwis, their skill levels, their ability to support and offload at pace, without breaking stride, with runners invariably running brilliant lines … it was darn near flawless.”
“The Australian teams were everything the New Zealanders were not. They were hesitant and utterly lacking in confidence. They were struggling at the breakdown, barely able to prize the ball loose from Kiwi hands and when, perchance, they did, it would be thrown to a player who would drop it in sheer surprise.”
“By contrast, the Crusaders and the Chiefs – heck, all of them – were looting possession like someone had switched off all the CCTV cameras. A loose carry, poor body height or soft entry into contact – that was all the invitation they needed. In a flash the ball would be ripped away, transferred wide and carried at high speed to the distant tryline. It was uncanny. And it was remorseless.”
The Blues next play the Waratahs on 15 July in Auckland.
Original article by Wayne Smith, The Australian, July 11, 2016.