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Post by bsando Wed 20 Jan 2021, 9:17 am

Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa returns in just under a months time!

If like me you follow a few of the teams on social media you'll have seen they're working hard to get up to match fitness.

My team (Western Force) are backing up their return with a few slick signings in Rob Kearney, Tevita Kuridrani, Tom Robertson and Tomas Cubelli. I'm optimistic the Force will have a good season and secure their long term future in Super Rugby. Below is a nice write up on Kahui and his journey from All Black to Western Force's "koro".

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/richard-kahui-all-blacks-western-force/

Meanwhile in NZ the wounded Chiefs will be hoping for a better season as the Crusaders will expect to continue their title winning form of 2020. Their golden boy, Will Jordan is an All Black now and he will surely continue to light up the competition with his blistering pace and natural talent. Lots of great rugby to look forward to! (with fans!!)

Fixtures

Super Rugby Aotearoa

Super Rugby 2021 Screen23


Super Rugby AU

Round 1
Queensland Reds v NSW Waratahs, Friday 19 February, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Western Force v Brumbies, Friday 19 February, HBF Park, Perth

Round 2
Queensland Reds v Melbourne Rebels, Friday 26 February, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brumbies v NSW Waratahs, Saturday 27 February, GIO Stadium, Canberra

Round 3
NSW Waratahs v Western Force, Friday 5 March, Venue TBC
Melbourne Rebels v Brumbies, Saturday 6 March, AAMI Park, Melbourne

Round 4
Western Force v Melbourne Rebels, Friday 12 March, HBF Park, Perth
Brumbies v Queensland Reds, Saturday 13 March, GIO Stadium, Canberra

Round 5
Melbourne Rebels v NSW Waratahs, Friday 19 March, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Queensland Reds v Western Force, Saturday 20 March, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Round 6
Brumbies v Western Force, Friday 26 March, GIO Stadium, Canberra
NSW Waratahs v Queensland Reds, Saturday 27 March, Venue TBC

Round 7
NSW Waratahs v Brumbies, Friday 2 April, Venue TBC
Melbourne Rebels v Queensland Reds, Saturday 3 April, AAMI Park, Melbourne

Round 8
Melbourne Rebels v Western Force, Friday 9 April, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Queensland Reds v Brumbies, Saturday 10 April, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Round 9
Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels, Friday 16 April, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Western Force v NSW Waratahs, Saturday 17 April, HBF Park, Perth

Round 10
Western Force v Queensland Reds, Friday 23 April, HBF Park, Perth
NSW Waratahs v Melbourne Rebels, Saturday 24 April, Venue TBC

Qualifying Final
Saturday 1 May

Final
Saturday 8 May

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Post by RDW Thu 21 Jan 2021, 1:30 am

I enjoyed both tournaments so am looking forward to it. I'll definitely be going to a 'tahs game this time too.

Western Force will surely be stronger but I suspect will still struggle for many wins. They're becoming a bit of an OAP's team!

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 21 Jan 2021, 2:19 am

The Super Rugby Aotearoa and followed closely by the Super Rugby AU certainly helped me get through parts of the pandemic, simply because it was there.  

I recall the comment by Grant Nisbett the SKY NZ commentator starting off the broadcast of that initial Super Rugby Aotearoa match stating it was the only live sport anywhere in the world.  It was such an impactful statement because it illustrated so clearly and so simply the global extent the virus and how everyone's lives were affected.  Over here I think the broadcast was about 3:00am and I had just come back from an A&E shift and was watching with my comfy chair and a beer and a cigar.  And I almost teared up.

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Post by RDW Thu 21 Jan 2021, 2:28 am

Aye doc it was a huge event that went all round the world. It also highlighted the significant difference in pandemic responses too!

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 21 Jan 2021, 2:36 am

No doubts.  And we still don't have the pandemic responses down yet.  Hopefully though, we can just start to see that thin glimmer of light on the far horizon slowly starting to edge ever closer.  

And it's shaped like a Rugby ball.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 21 Jan 2021, 2:04 pm

bsando wrote:Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa returns in just under a months time!

If like me you follow a few of the teams on social media you'll have seen they're working hard to get up to match fitness.

My team (Western Force) are backing up their return with a few slick signings in Rob Kearney, Tevita Kuridrani, Tom Robertson and Tomas Cubelli. I'm optimistic the Force will have a good season and secure their long term future in Super Rugby. Below is a nice write up on Kahui and his journey from All Black to Western Force's "koro".

Interesting signings. I believe Jake Ball is relocating to Perth, that might put him in with a shout. I didn't enjoy Super Rugby AU last season, but very much looking forward to Aotearoa.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 22 Jan 2021, 8:13 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I didn't enjoy Super Rugby AU last season, but very much looking forward to Aotearoa.
Do you think it had something to do with Super Rugby AU having fewer, and in some cases no one in the stands?   For most of the Aotearoa season they had mostly full grounds.  I find I don't enjoy sport on tv as much without real fans and the fake crowd noise is weird.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 10:26 am

doctor_grey wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I didn't enjoy Super Rugby AU last season, but very much looking forward to Aotearoa.
Do you think it had something to do with Super Rugby AU having fewer, and in some cases no one in the stands?   For most of the Aotearoa season they had mostly full grounds.  I find I don't enjoy sport on tv as much without real fans and the fake crowd noise is weird.

Yes that was certainly a contributing factor. NZ Rugby was so crazy though, watching Super Rugby AU right after just seemed like a comedown and I couldn't stick it. I couldn't really associate with the players on display either, the way you or most fans could with an All Black. I got that one wrong though as Aus showed they were on the same level as the All Blacks.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 22 Jan 2021, 12:57 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I didn't enjoy Super Rugby AU last season, but very much looking forward to Aotearoa.
Do you think it had something to do with Super Rugby AU having fewer, and in some cases no one in the stands?   For most of the Aotearoa season they had mostly full grounds.  I find I don't enjoy sport on tv as much without real fans and the fake crowd noise is weird.

Yes that was certainly a contributing factor. NZ Rugby was so crazy though, watching Super Rugby AU right after just seemed like a comedown and I couldn't stick it. I couldn't really associate with the players on display either, the way you or most fans could with an All Black. I got that one wrong though as Aus showed they were on the same level as the All Blacks.
Good points, and I felt the same about the players. There was certainly something reassuring about watching the people in the stands in NZ not wearing masks and leading what seemed to be a normal life.

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Post by RDW Wed 17 Feb 2021, 10:22 am

That's the squads for opening weekend announced. Brumbies have a great pack and Reds have an exciting backline. Force have recruited well.

Got to say I'm worried about the Waratahs - looking through their team it's not far off last year's under 20s team. It is an incredibly young and inexperienced 23. 7 players are making their Waratahs debut. Force will be targeting them!

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 17 Feb 2021, 10:27 am

Highanders are playing a friendly this Friday too. Will Aotearoa be on Sky Sports?

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Post by RDW Wed 17 Feb 2021, 10:28 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Highanders are playing a friendly this Friday too. Will Aotearoa be on Sky Sports?

I believe so.

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Post by bsando Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:18 am

Force vs Brumbies

Western Force: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Tomas Lezana, 5 Fergus Lee Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Tim Anstee, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Richard Kahui

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Mack Hansen, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (c), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Reesjan Pasitoa, 23 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa

Looking forward to this one!

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 17 Feb 2021, 3:31 pm

Didn't realise Super Rugby AU starts this weekend.  And Aotearoa next weekend.  I am presuming ESPN will show it over here in the colonies as they did last year, but nothing listed yet.

Also, what's happening in SA?  They played Currie Cup, but I haven't heard anything abut their Super Rugby.  Is the old multi-national Super Rugby dead and gone?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 17 Feb 2021, 6:16 pm

I think there's plans for some multi national play offs later in the year but currently Covid is killing the idea of sports teams flying here, there and everywhere to play rugby. The SA Super Rugby sides are making signings so I presume their competition will be back soon.

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Post by Old Man Wed 17 Feb 2021, 8:13 pm

I suppose the SA situation all depends on whether the rainbow cup is still a realistic prospect, if not we will most likely see Super Rugby unlocked again.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 17 Feb 2021, 9:22 pm

April, the proposed start of this competition, seems a lot closer in the Covid context that it did when this plan was created a few months ago. I absolutely hope this goes forward. Would be absolutely great for Rugby. Great vision by the Pro14. The only miss in all this is the Premiership with their insularity or lack of imagination.

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Post by RDW Fri 19 Feb 2021, 9:27 am

Tahs getting absolutely pumped.

As I said - could be along season for them!

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 19 Feb 2021, 9:39 am

RDW wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Highanders are playing a friendly this Friday too. Will Aotearoa be on Sky Sports?

I believe so.

It seems like there's no Super Rugby being shown. Bit of a stink about it.

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Post by RDW Fri 19 Feb 2021, 9:41 am

Tahs have been abysmal in that half. Reds tearing them to pieces - amazed it's not a higher score.

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Post by RDW Fri 19 Feb 2021, 10:53 am

41-7.

Tahs were really poor - terrible set piece, handling, kicking and defence.

Reds will be disappointed with the 2nd half as they didn't score for the first 30 minutes

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:43 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
RDW wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Highanders are playing a friendly this Friday too. Will Aotearoa be on Sky Sports?

I believe so.

It seems like there's no Super Rugby being shown. Bit of a stink about it.
Here too.  What's up with that? I just sent an inquiry to the Super Rugby AU folks on their web site asking about UK and US tv or streaming rights. Might help if others do the same.
https://www.rugby.com.au/contact-us

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:12 pm

I wondered why I couldn't find it on TV Guide.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 19 Feb 2021, 3:20 pm

I just did some checking. Apparently the Super Rugby AU rights are not confirmed in US or UK at this moment. But rights for both countries are under negotiation though the rights are assigned in most parts of the world. They hope to have that resolved by next week, but cannot confirm.

The Rugby NZ web site did not respond, even with an automated bot acknowledging my query. However ESPN here in US say they are working on it and their rights are somehow linked to UK rights. Let's hope.

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Post by RDW Fri 19 Feb 2021, 9:54 pm

That's a shame about the broadcasting. I read somewhere that the kiwi competition was on Sky sports and just thought it was all super rugby.
.
The Au competition has moved from Foxtel for the first time in 20 odd years - it's now on 9 and a new Aussie streaming service called Stan. Maybe a brand new broadcaster has caused difficulties in negotiating a deal.

Or Sky think no-one will want to watch!

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:55 pm

Hey mate,
Is Super Rugby AU on free over the air tv?  That's channel 9, right? If so, then we all might be able to stream it somehow.  

In the meantime, I can't understand the UK rights not finalised, which could offer some real money, as compared to US and Canada.  I have frequently used my old man's Sky subscription and a VPN as needed.  This is entirely in keeping with the Rugby ethos of doing something with clear disregard of the rules.

On the Super Rugby AU web site it says ESPN already have the rights for North and South America.  Maybe I can snitch the Argentina Spanish broadcast whilst the wheels of progress move slowly forward.  

I know this is the weekend, but since this is now your turf, can you please go knock some heads around and fix it for the rest of us?  Muchly appreciated....

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Post by RDW Sat 20 Feb 2021, 12:31 am

Ha I'll get right on it!

9 is a free to air channel but they're only going to show one game a weekend plus the finals. Stan (a new Aussie streaming service) will be showing all games, plus the kiwi comp and the Aus/kiwi crossover. It's also showing all international rugby, except the 6N. Basically it has taken all rugby off Foxtel.

10 dollars a month for Stan plus 10 for Stan Sports, so not too expensive. Problem is it's yet another streaming service to have to sign up to!

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 20 Feb 2021, 12:43 am

Brilliant! I knew we could count on you! You are my hero.

Blimey, I am paying for Peacock, the USA NBC streaming service showing the Six Nations and the Premiership, ESPN who shows the Pro14, occasionally Argentine Rugby, and supposedly Super Rugby. And also the network who televised the Autumn Nations Cup (sadly it wasn't Amazon Prime here in America which my wife and daughters are supporting almost by themselves). One more and I am likely in trouble. But time will tell.....

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 20 Feb 2021, 12:21 pm

Happy Saturday morn.  
RDW must have performed miracles.  I heard back from Rugby Australia this morning and they indicated the US tv rights were delayed but are in effect with ESPN starting with the next round.  I had forgotten to ask about UK rights as well, but sent them a follow-up email. I would guess discussing and agreeing the UK rights would/should take precedence over USA.  Hopefully I am right.

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Post by RDW Sat 20 Feb 2021, 9:34 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Happy Saturday morn.  
RDW must have performed miracles.  I heard back from Rugby Australia this morning and they indicated the US tv rights were delayed but are in effect with ESPN starting with the next round.  I had forgotten to ask about UK rights as well, but sent them a follow-up email.  I would guess discussing and agreeing the UK rights would/should take precedence over USA.  Hopefully I am right.

Cool

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Post by Old Man Sun 21 Feb 2021, 6:06 am

Some news on SA rugby domestic Season

It doesn’t say what they are preparing for, but at least there is some action

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Post by RDW Sun 21 Feb 2021, 6:32 am

What's the feeling in SA about the Lions tour Old Man? Have people resigned themselves to it not happening in SA, or is the feeling it should be rescheduled?

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Post by Old Man Sun 21 Feb 2021, 10:23 am

Mixed feelings RDW, I think SARU is under pressure financially and might well sacrifice the home series for some revenue. I would prefer it rescheduled.

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Post by RDW Sun 21 Feb 2021, 10:25 am

Will be tough for them given they haven't played a game since the final. The financial boom of playing at home as world champions has pretty much been lost.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:50 pm

Covid is raising hell everywhere, but in particular in SA, especially with whatever mutations are brewing. June seems too soon for me. I know SA Rugby needs the cash infusion a Lions tour can bring. But not sure without the tourists it will be financially worth it. if a tour has to go forwards, a big if for sure, I think relocating to Australia makes the most sense and play the next tour in SA when everything calms down. Or delaying to next year, though that gets close to the RWC. There is no perfect answer, but the powers that be seem to not want to make any decisions, though now is the time.

A friend in Argentina just received the Russian 'Sputnik' vaccine. Felt no ill effects but did call me a capitalist running dog yesterday.....

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Post by RDW Sun 21 Feb 2021, 9:41 pm

I'd like to hope delaying to next year isn't as big a deal as has been made out. If you can delay the Olympics you can delay a Lions tour and the knock on impact on summer tours FFS.

I believe Wales would be the biggest losers as they'd lose out on touring SA next year but (correct me if I'm wrong) the touring teams get bugger all money anyway, and I'm sure other games could be arranged for Wales. The other home nations might not be happy losing players for their own tours but that would have happened this summer anyway.

Plus the 'it will disrupt the WC cycle' chat - it will still be 2 years until the WC! Huge amount of rugby to be played in that time (acknowledging the post-Lions slump that the heavily represented nations tend to get).

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Feb 2021, 9:49 pm

I hope your right. I wanted to tour this year and would happily defer to next year. All the post-Lions noise is simply that. It can all be made to work with a little compromise on all parts. But that's the rub, the unions, Lions, and clubs need to compromise. And those discussions will make the battle of Verdun look like a husband-wife spat.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 23 Feb 2021, 12:21 am

SUPER RUGBY AU RIGHTS FOR UK....
....have still not yet been finalised.  Received an email from the Rugby AU Customer Service this morning and was told when it is resolved, they will update their website. The international rights are at the bottom of the page:

https://www.rugby.com.au/watch

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Post by bsando Thu 25 Feb 2021, 8:01 am

Was just reading about rugby Aotearoa being available in the uk via rugby pass!? Un they article they also mention "Sky’s rugby coverage has continued to dwindle over the years and its loss of Super Rugby means the British & Irish Lions tour is the only event left on its roster." - rugby world online magazine.

Such a pain having games split up across so many different broadcasters. Five or six years ago you just needed sky and a tv license to watch EP, Pro12, Internationals, super rugby, Top14 and lions tour. If you’re someone like me who doesn’t own a tv you need Premier Sports, BT sports, Rugby Pass, Canal+ and Sky to view all of these online.

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Post by RDW Fri 26 Feb 2021, 10:30 am

Really entertaining Reds v Rebels game tonight. Still not the highest quality but definitely entertaining, which is all that matters when trying to grow the game again here.

I don't know who the bloke is but the Reds have brought in a bit of a rugby league superstar called Vunivalu, who has apparently scored 80 odd tries in 111 RL games!

Australia definitely has some incredible backs - just need a pack to match the other top 8 nations.

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Post by RDW Sat 27 Feb 2021, 8:17 am

Not quite the barnstorming start to the Kiwi SR competition compared to last year. Crusaders were good value for money but Hurricanes v Blues was littered with errors.

Caleb Clarke is an absolute beast.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 27 Feb 2021, 10:28 am

Middle of the night for me to watch the NZ Rugby, but watching AU right now.  As you said, Tahs are really ungood.  Turned it on at halftime and the Brumbies scored three tries and could have scored more.  I'm not sure NSW had had almost any ball.  

I agree your point from last week, not good for the comp to have NSW as a weak link.  Especially this bad.  47-10 at the moment.  

I like Maloney as a commentator and Merts has grown on mw over the years.

Edit:  54-10 at 72 minutes.  Jeez.
Uber edit: 61-10 79 minutes.


Last edited by doctor_grey on Sat 27 Feb 2021, 10:40 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RDW Sat 27 Feb 2021, 10:38 am

Tahs getting absolutely horsed. They're not even even competitive - 61-19 right now.

To be fair the Stan Sports coverage has been excellent - Justin Harrison (boooo), Drew Mitchell and Michael Chieka are really good.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 27 Feb 2021, 10:43 am

I get up at 5:00am to watch the second half of this? Well, yes, I do like the Australian rugby. Once the global contracts get settled will be better for all. Amongst the Aussie teams, I was always a bit of a Brumbies fan, going back to the Gregan, Larkham days, including Giteau, Mortlock, Joe Roff back line.

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Post by RDW Sat 27 Feb 2021, 10:45 am

Brumbies have been excellent - they'd definitely compete with the kiwi teams.

The Tahs were abysmal though. They've lost 1500 caps in 2 years and you can tell. They've got kids out there and they're getting pumped.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 27 Feb 2021, 10:57 am

RDW wrote:Brumbies have been excellent - they'd definitely compete with the kiwi teams.

The Tahs were abysmal though. They've lost 1500 caps in 2 years and you can tell. They've got kids out there and they're getting pumped.
Yeah, it's weird to watch NSW and not know almost any players.

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Post by RDW Sat 27 Feb 2021, 11:00 am

doctor_grey wrote:
RDW wrote:Brumbies have been excellent - they'd definitely compete with the kiwi teams.

The Tahs were abysmal though. They've lost 1500 caps in 2 years and you can tell. They've got kids out there and they're getting pumped.
Yeah, it's weird to watch NSW and not know almost any players.  

My dad and brother are just as obsessed as rugby as I am and they didn't recognise a single player! I'd never heard of most of them until I moved here.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 27 Feb 2021, 11:34 am

Been debating a pass to Rugby Pass for NZ super rugby, don’t think I would watch anything else on there, and do they even have an app? At least with the Sky Sports subscription I could also watch a bit of F1.

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Super Rugby 2021 Empty Re: Super Rugby 2021

Post by RDW Sat 27 Feb 2021, 11:39 am

Rugby pass has an app and the rights to various leagues - might be the best you're gonna get

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 27 Feb 2021, 12:21 pm

I can watch as long as the matches are televised at relatively civilised times....

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