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Super Rugby 2021

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formerly known as Sam
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Post by bsando Wed 20 Jan 2021, 9:17 am

First topic message reminder :

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 - Page 2 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 Wed 10 Mar 2021, 10:59 am

https://www.world.rugby/news/622772?lang=en

Good news in the UK. I really enjoyed last weekend's round of games - the Aussie tournament is definitely much higher standard this year now the teams have been able to properly plan and prepare (who knew?)

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 11 Mar 2021, 5:39 pm

Great news for UK and elsewhere.  Unfortunately, the rights for US are still tangled up in blue.  ESPN nominally have the rights but claim they don’t, excepting Spanish language broadcasts in Latin America.  I wrote to SANZAAR and they say the rights are not finalised due to a lack of people working at ESPN due to Covid.  So, please don’t tell anyone but I have to cheat a bit.  A lot of people here might not watch live but usually watch the Australian and NZ broadcasts in replay.  I would not be surprised if this does not get resolved this season.

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Post by RDW Sat 13 Mar 2021, 10:37 am

Hell of a game Brumbies v Reds with the Reds snatching it late to win 40-38 in Canberra. Brumbies don't lose at home very often so that's a huge result!

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Post by Brendan Sat 13 Mar 2021, 11:13 pm

Is it just me or has the NZ Super Rugby gone from the best rugby in the world (because it was the only one on) to very few if any media in Europe is even mentioning it. It seems to have gone from hero to zero in one year.  It was billed as the greatest rugby outside internationals, now it's not even discussed.

Australian rugby while it is having it's problems seems to be getting less negative publicity then last year and there has been lots of close games. I think the 3N showed that SR AU was a good competition just not the free flowing 1 horse race that SRA was. Also think the Union has played the Force issue well and have started the mending of bridges.

Sky sports isn't showing either competition results on its results page which tells you were it is on the radar. I know there have been TV deal issues but I think that there has been a complete 180 on the power dynamic in Super Rugby.  Australia had their low point last year but are building up.  They have kept the 4 teams and added 1, and are bring through alot of young talent.  Not sure how much of a hit NZRU is taking financially but not having good tv deals outside of the South Pacific can't be great. Add in the debacle over picking a 6th team and it's fair to say that its quickly turning into a nightmare.

Argentina and South Africa have very much moved to the North for club rugby. Australia has come out stronger then it looked a few years ago. NZ will bounce back but seems the NZRU overplayed their cards and don't have many friends in SANZAAR because they took their ball home.

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Post by RDW Sat 13 Mar 2021, 11:22 pm

Yeah the kiwi comp has flown a bit under the radar, and the games for me haven't been as intense or exciting as last year. Still great rugby though. It's a shame the UK TV coverage hasn't sorted itself out - that would be a big market for the kiwis.

I've actually really enjoyed SR Au this year and the quality has been a lot better. The coverage has also been really good with channel 9 / Stan Sports really pushing the boat out with broadcast time and studio guests and summarisers.

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Post by Brendan Sun 14 Mar 2021, 1:12 am

RDW wrote:Yeah the kiwi comp has flown a bit under the radar, and the games for me haven't been as intense or exciting as last year. Still great rugby though. It's a shame the UK TV coverage hasn't sorted itself out - that would be a big market for the kiwis.

I've actually really enjoyed SR Au this year and the quality has been a lot better. The coverage has also been really good with channel 9 / Stan Sports really pushing the boat out with broadcast time and studio guests and summarisers.

I agree that SR Au is a better product. Don't know the financial implications that the domestic league has on the Union but there does seem more of a buzz. 6 months ago it was all about cutting to 3 teams and all the RA infighting, debates over if the Force would play in the NZRU competition. The being treated like a little kid by the NZRU.

This year it's been all about the competition and the rest seems to have passed into a distant dream.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 14 Mar 2021, 1:57 am

Brendan wrote:
RDW wrote:Yeah the kiwi comp has flown a bit under the radar, and the games for me haven't been as intense or exciting as last year. Still great rugby though. It's a shame the UK TV coverage hasn't sorted itself out - that would be a big market for the kiwis.

I've actually really enjoyed SR Au this year and the quality has been a lot better. The coverage has also been really good with channel 9 / Stan Sports really pushing the boat out with broadcast time and studio guests and summarisers.

I agree that SR Au is a better product.  Don't know the financial implications that the domestic league has on the Union but there does seem more of a buzz.  6 months ago it was all about cutting to 3 teams and all the RA infighting, debates over if the Force would play in the NZRU competition.  The being treated like a little kid by the NZRU.

This year it's been all about the competition and the rest seems to have passed into a distant dream.
As I wrote before, it boggles the mind why the UK/Ire rights as well as the North America rights have not been agreed.  With more people at home, more sport on tv will be a benefit and could deliver more profit.  It's all about funding and extending the NZ contracts should be easy.  They don't want money?  When did that happen? Seems the rights are agreed but not the terms?

With the change is broadcasters/platforms in Oz, maybe a bit more difficult.  As I said SANZAAR basically told me 'don't call us, we will call you', or better said to stick my tv remote where the sun don't shine.  Still have a couple of people to call yet.

It's also weird the Top 14 rights are not agreed for NA either.  But I think that is a Canal+ issue.  If things keep going like this I might have to start talking to my family.....

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Post by RDW Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:10 am

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/skilful-tough-and-thrilling-rugbys-forced-revamp-has-been-just-super-20210314-p57alp.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1615703617

Good article here - will be interesting to judge at the end of the season but I agree that domestic derbies followed by cross border competition could be a winner.

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Post by RDW Sat 03 Apr 2021, 11:25 am

Got to say I've really enjoyed Super Rugby AU this year - probably even more so than the Kiwi comp. There's been som real competitive games and plenty attacking rugby on show.

The Tahs have been pish and the coach was sacked last week, bit they put a much improved performance in against the Brumbies last night, missing a last kick of the game conversion to go to extra time.

The Reds have been fantastic and Brumbies their usual effective selves.

It's a shame the games haven't been on in the UK.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 03 Apr 2021, 11:47 am

RDW wrote:Got to say I've really enjoyed Super Rugby AU this year - probably even more so than the Kiwi comp. There's been som real competitive games and plenty attacking rugby on show.

The Tahs have been pish and the coach was sacked last week, bit they put a much improved performance in against the Brumbies last night, missing a last kick of the game conversion to go to extra time.

The Reds have been fantastic and Brumbies their usual effective selves.

It's a shame the games haven't been on in the UK.

You can watch the games for free on the World Rugby website.

The Tahs final try yesterday was really stupid. A two man advantage and from a set scrum you work the space down the short side leaving a touchline conversion. Surely you dummy down the blindside but go open to try and manufacture an easier kick for the draw, especially when you've got a young kicker on the pitch. "Here you go kid, added time, touchline conversion for the draw. No pressure."

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Post by RDW Sat 03 Apr 2021, 12:00 pm

Given how awful the Tahs have been lately the fact that they were able to potentially snatch a draw is huge progress!

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 03 Apr 2021, 12:17 pm

RDW wrote:Given how awful the Tahs have been lately the fact that they were able to potentially snatch a draw is huge progress!

They did well to fight back within touching distance but if I was a Tahs fan or part of the coaching set up I'd looking at the leaders in the squad there. The decision makers, what were they thinking? They took the easy option for the try and then hung the kicker out to dry. You're two men up and the opposition are packing down 8 in the scrum. If you're backs can't orchestrate a try that close to the line with those numbers then they probably shouldn't be professionals. The hard work has done this is where you take the glory but the top two inches were missing on the final move for me.

I worry for Australia rugby because you look at those sides and the cohesion isn't great. There's some talented individuals but with half the team's there's a lot of disconnect between what they are trying to achieve. The Force for instance have no defensive structure whatsoever, rest of their game looks ok. Rebels today all very off the cuff in attack, no obvious structure to build from. That's going to make it difficult come international time.

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Post by RDW Sat 03 Apr 2021, 12:43 pm

The Tahs in the last 3 out of 4 games had gone down to record defeats against their opposition. They've lost their coach in the last week. Going into this game they were absolute lambs to the slaughter against the reigning champions and favourites for this year. It should have been another massacre.

You really are a tough one to please if you're criticising them for how the last minute played out given the significant leap forward in performance that they put in last night. Especially given how young and inexperienced the team is, completely void of confidence after a run of humiliating defeats.

I'm actually excited by Australia at international level over the next few years. It's not going to be the Force and Waratahs forming the core of the team. The Reds backline is absolutely sensational right now and their pack is coming on too. The Brumbies pack will provide the core of the test pack.

They're not going to be winning the WC in 2 years, but of Rennie gets it right they've got the players to cause teams real difficulties.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 09 Apr 2021, 5:48 pm

Last week, the Super Rugby Aotearoa and AU were broadcast on Twitter. Anyone know if that's the case this weekend?

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Post by bsando Fri 23 Apr 2021, 11:07 pm

Force in the semis!! So glad to see them doing well again.

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Post by RDW Sat 24 Apr 2021, 12:41 am

Was a really exciting game - it's been a great tournament this year.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 24 Apr 2021, 12:45 am

Good to hear about the Force. I have met Andrew Forrest, the gent bankrolling the Force, a few times and he is a truly passionate Rugby gent.

On the other hand, I am totally pi$$ed they never solidified the rights for North America. All the Super Rugby NZ people say is to watch the Argentine ESPN, which not for nothing, the video is blocked in the US.

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Post by bsando Sat 24 Apr 2021, 8:18 am

I’m a bit gutted I only just realised world rugby are showing the games. But at least I’ll be able to catch the finals.

That’s great to hear RDW I’ve not been able to watch either comp this year but have caught up on highlights. Looks much more free flowing and exciting this season.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 24 Apr 2021, 9:49 am

bsando wrote:Force in the semis!! So glad to see them doing well again.

Me too. Thought they were very unfairly axed last time. Great to see the on loan Leicester lad grab a hatrick for them as well.

The Reds look like they've got some team though, that tighthead prop has a ridiculous skill set. I'm looking forward to seeing if he can bring that internationally.

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Post by RDW Sat 24 Apr 2021, 9:55 am

Yeah the Tongan Thor is an absolute freak of nature. Built like a (massive) prop but with the skills and pace of a centre. His scrummaging has come on massively too. Should see his try last night where he ran in from the 10m line, running through half the Force team in the process.

The Reds has been great this year - they've got some really exciting backs too, particularly Hunter Paisami and Jordan Petaia

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 24 Apr 2021, 10:38 am

Yeah I saw the try, that was impressive. Some of his offloads and passes elsewhere in the game were superb. Flyhalf level skills, ideal if you want multi option attacks.

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Post by RDW Sat 08 May 2021, 1:26 pm

Exciting Super Rugby Au final with the Reds scoring in the 83rd minute to beat the Brumbies, who had been in control most of the game.

It's been a fantastic tournament this year, with plenty exciting games and most of them close - the early Waratahs games the only exception.

Will be fascinating to see what the long term future holds as having a local tournament first up has massively rejuvenated rugby in Australia. I know the kiwis aren't so keen as 8 games in a row of local derbies takes its toll on the players (albeit with a few rest weeks).

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 08 May 2021, 1:41 pm

The Australian public like winners, watching their clubs take kickings most weeks wasn't going to bring in the crowds. A bit of rivalry is good for the spectator as is each club actually winning some games. Perhaps domestic leagues that then feed into some sort of international playoff might have more merit and it would be cheaper to organise with most of the games happening within each country.

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Post by RDW Fri 14 May 2021, 11:06 am

SR Trans Tasman is on rugbypass now apparently.

Not been a good start for the Aussies!

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 17 May 2021, 12:17 am

RDW wrote:SR Trans Tasman is on rugbypass now apparently.

Not been a good start for the Aussies!
it's also - finally - on a USA based platform as well. They had blamed the absence on Covid and everyone else, but they pulled it off last year, so that excuse doesn't fly with me. We are getting the Stan. broadcast so likely worked out with the Aussies and the Kiwis don't really care.

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Post by RDW Sat 22 May 2021, 12:48 pm

Been another shocker of a weekend for the Aussie teams, with the Kiwi teams now 10-0. Even worse is we had the top 2 kiwi teams play the top 2 Aussie and both times the Aussies were absolutely humped. Brumbies had 40 points put on them and the Championship winning Reds have been annihilated by the Crusaders, 28-63.

The Aussie teams have completely ran out of steam and are getting done over. The Reds were so naive in their tactics playing a very open game, and the Crusaders gobbled up their mistakes with glee. Worth saying the Crusaders were outstanding, Moanga in particular.

What will Dave Rennie make of all this? At least hell have seen how not to play against kiwi teams!

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Post by Old Man Sat 22 May 2021, 12:53 pm

Aussie teams have exited really poorly, how many tries have the Kiwis scored solely on kick returns?

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Post by RDW Sat 22 May 2021, 1:03 pm

They've just been incredibly loose generally. Quite often the Crusaders would kick and find open prairie in the back field - that should very rarely happen in top class rugby. But because the Reds made so many all or nothing plays - which they generally messed up ,- there was no one left to pick up the pieces.

It's a funny one how it's panned out - I actually thought SR Australia was much higher intensity and quality this year, whereas SR Aotearoa for me was a bit flat. Put the teams together and it's barely been competitive. The Western Force the only team so play with some pride so far!

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Post by Brendan Mon 24 May 2021, 12:57 pm

RDW wrote:They've just been incredibly loose generally. Quite often the Crusaders would kick and find open prairie in the back field - that should very rarely happen in top class rugby. But because the Reds made so many all or nothing plays - which they generally messed up ,- there was no one left to pick up the pieces.

It's a funny one how it's panned out - I actually thought SR Australia was much higher intensity and quality this year, whereas SR Aotearoa for me was a bit flat. Put the teams together and it's barely been competitive. The Western Force the only team so play with some pride so far!

Sounds like it's a case of not so much the teams being way better but smarter. Can understand why few of the Oz teams learned from the first round.

At international don't think Rennie would be the same.

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Post by Old Man Mon 24 May 2021, 1:31 pm

Brendan wrote:
RDW wrote:They've just been incredibly loose generally. Quite often the Crusaders would kick and find open prairie in the back field - that should very rarely happen in top class rugby. But because the Reds made so many all or nothing plays - which they generally messed up ,- there was no one left to pick up the pieces.

It's a funny one how it's panned out - I actually thought SR Australia was much higher intensity and quality this year, whereas SR Aotearoa for me was a bit flat. Put the teams together and it's barely been competitive. The Western Force the only team so play with some pride so far!

Sounds like it's a case of not so much the teams being way better but smarter.  Can understand why few of the Oz teams learned from the first round.

At international don't think Rennie would be the same.

The experts suggest that whilst the SRAU competition refereed their breakdown loosely and the Atearoa was refereed more strict at the breakdown, the Australian teams are struggling at the breakdown, the Kiwis are harder, faster and more dynamic hence much quicker ball, better decision making to secure ruck ball, and the Aussies can’t cope with their speed at the breakdown, counter attack and linespeed.

It also goes without saying the kiwi teams bring much more intensity and physicality. The Aussie teams are also very poor at their exit strategies and accuracy in kicking, providing far too many opportunities for kiwi side to run in open space. The Aussie defensive structures simply aren’t up to the task.

Much to improve.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 24 May 2021, 1:59 pm

Is anyone surprised? They're just picking up where they left off. Crusaders are something else though.

I thought Rennie worked a miracle or two with the Wallabies, something I'm sure he can do again. Aus rugby needs some of it's players back. They should certainly be targeting the Arnold brothers, Skelton, etc. Getting them back in would likely require another miracle.

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Post by Old Man Mon 24 May 2021, 2:07 pm

Problem is ARU can’t afford their overseas players

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 24 May 2021, 2:16 pm

Just to let everyone know, the super rugby has been on S4C all season. Clwb Rygbi: Super Rugby Aotearoa. I have been enjoying it. OK

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Post by Brendan Sat 29 May 2021, 6:27 pm

Red win to finally give the Aussie teams a win. For fans where definately treated to a game of two halves.

Have to wonder how fit the Aussie teams are as they hold their own for the first bit and then just fall off a cliff in the second half.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 30 May 2021, 3:09 am

Brendan wrote:Red win to finally give the Aussie teams a win.  For fans where definately treated to a game of two halves.

Have to wonder how fit the Aussie teams are as they hold their own for the first bit and then just fall off a cliff in the second half.
Agree.  Have to wonder.  The Reds were virtually out on their feet in the latter stages of the second half.

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Post by Old Man Sun 30 May 2021, 6:05 am

It is also squad depth, replacement players aren’t at the level required. Chiefs ran them ragged in the last quarter, defensively the Reds weren’t up to it.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 05 Jun 2021, 12:47 pm

Just watched Brumbies defeat Wellington in Canberra. Believe it or don't, an actual physical and defensive match. Not ripping great Rugby, but good entertainment, and nice to see an Aussie team hold a lead.

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