Super Rugby: All Blacks’ dominance good for the game

“I think that they [the All Blacks Rugby Team] are one of the great sports teams of all time,” a spokesperson said. “If you don’t believe that and you look at their win record then you have to come to the conclusion that the rest of the international world is terrible. I know there’s one or two former coaches who are of that opinion but I look at it and I just think that New Zealand are just beating the hell out of everyone else.”

“It’s great for the game,” Barnes said.

It was up to England, Ireland, France, South Africa and Australia to catch up to the All Blacks. What wasn’t wanted in any tournament in any sport, was to have a league or championship that was tight because there was nothing exceptional happening.

“In the sport you want to have that quality. New Zealand provide it in a way that nobody else does and they set the target for them [the other nations],” he said.

Crusaders Rugby captain Sam Whitelock will lead the back-to-back champions on trams to meet fans before walking across the Bridge of Remembrance for a victory celebration that was to be hosted by Dalziel, but will now be led by deputy mayor Andrew Turner.

Dalziel said in a statement at the weekend it was fitting the Crusaders won in front of their passionate home crowd.

And why not? He showed glimpses of talent while at the Blues Rugby but took his game to a new level under Scott Robertson last year and the benefits went both ways. Hall enjoyed his first Super Rugby title as the Crusaders swept all before them and now he and his side are on the brink of another.

A man down, the Highlanders Rugby shifted their defensive system, and cracks started to show. The Waratahs didn’t miss them.

Chiefs Rugby winger Toni Pulu has signed a deal with the Brumbies for the 2019 Super Rugby season.

Pulu, who will play for Counties Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup, has played 32 times for the Chiefs since his debut in 2016.

The Hurricanes Rugby will more than likely tackle their match in Wellington against the Chiefs next weekend without Wes Goosen. The centre was dropped by a Johnny Fa’auli shoulder charge in the 63rd minute that made solid contact with his head.

Fa’auli was shown a red card, while Goosen left the pitch and failed two head injury assessments.

Hand on heart, I believe the Blues are primed for a revival, particularly if coach Tana Umaga can find a way to step aside and allow his two new assistants to take charge.

MacDonald has emerged as a successful coach out of the Crusaders’ empire, Coventry was central to Dave Rennie’s revolution at the Chiefs. If the sum equals the parts then the Blues are finally on the right track.

If coaches know what they are doing, are connected to the best information, then there are enough great players to go around in this country. The Brodie Retallick story – a quiet Chiefs acquisition which turned into a legend – is wonderful proof of that.

The brave new world is upon us in 2019 if Umaga can remove himself from the day-to-day decision making. The MacDonald/Coventry chemistry then becomes front and centre of this equation.

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