New Zealand

Sunday Times - - Sport | Rugby -

● There were the New Zealand sides and there was every­body else. That was how big the gulf was be­tween New Zealand and the rest. It made sense when the Cru­saders won the tour­na­ment away from home against an ex­cep­tional but er­ror­prone Lions side. They were the best of a very good bunch of teams from the Land of the Long White Cloud but like scal­ing a moun­tain, get­ting to the top is eas­ier than stay­ing there. The New Zealand fran­chises have can­ni­balised each other over the past two sea­sons and that could be the case this sea­son. The Hur­ri­canes in­flicted the Cru­saders’ only loss while the New Zealand teams didn’t lose to Aus­tralian and South African op­po­si­tion at home. Of the New Zealand sides, it’s the Blues who are most vul­ner­a­ble. They’re the only New Zealand side who haven’t made the play-offs in the past 11 years but have shown signs of im­prove­ment un­der Tana Umaga. The Hur­ri­canes, High­landers and the Chiefs have all won the tour­na­ment in the past six years and will be se­ri­ous play-off can­di­dates.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.