Su­per Rugby lost its ‘su­per’ many years ago

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - SPORT -

can­not re­al­is­ti­cally say the mo­ti­va­tion level is the same, after hav­ing to lift your­self for not-so-Su­per cam­paign, after not-so-Su­per cam­paign.

You can tell the com­pe­ti­tion is in ICU be­cause even tra­di­tional spec­ta­tor strongholds like New Zealand have started mush­room­ing empty seats. Back in the day, a semi-fi­nal be­tween the Cru­saders and the Hur­ri­canes would have been filled to the rafters. Yes­ter­day, it was just another fix­ture, another step closer to the end of another slog.

You won­der what it would take for some­one to get the North and the South to sit down, and ne­go­ti­ate a global game of do­mes­tic thrones. The Kings and the Chee­tahs have al­ready tested the wa­ters, and found them agree­able. The travel is not so bad, and the crowds are quite tick­led by the prospect of new names, new des­ti­na­tions, and new cul­tures to get ac­cus­tomed to.

Imag­ine, if you dare, Rac­ing Metro bring­ing their eu­ros and their French flair to Christchurch ev­ery year, and then the Storm­ers pop­ping up some­where in Ire­land on a wet and windy Fri­day night. We can but dream, be­cause those flights of fancy are a lot more tan­ta­lis­ing than the prospect of yet another Kiwi tri­umph.

As much as New Zealand and their peo­ple love rugby, they too must be bored of their do­mes­tic dic­ta­tor­ship, which then leads onto the Rugby Cham­pi­onship. Let them hear some dif­fer­ent ac­cents on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, and even see some of their former stars in dif­fer­ent jumpers.

Some­where, out there, rugby’s equiv­a­lent of Lalit Modi must be plot­ting, care­fully as­sem­bling the ex­pen­sive pieces of this puz­zle.

If only they could hurry the process along, and take us all out of our col­lec­tive mis­ery. One more week, for that fi­nal be­tween God Knows Who, against Who Even Cares…

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