From the expertsThe low down from those in the know
The big questions went down a treat last week, which was great news. Diggercane, Biltongbek and I have returned to the roundtable to fire off another instalment of nagging questions for Week 2 of The Rugby Championship.
Eden Park. There’s nothing in the name to suggest an intimidating fortress. Nothing in the ground itself, or its surrounds, either.
Wallabies benchman Scott Higginbotham was born on the same day the Wallabies last beat the All Blacks at Eden Park – September 6, 1986.
The much discussed third tier competition in Australia has kicked off with Brisbane City hosting the Sydney Stars at Ballymore in Brisbane.
Unhappy coach Steve Hansen says the All Blacks have to improve “just about everything” to deny the Wallabies a drought-breaking success at Eden Park.
Swatting aside Steve Hansen’s latest barb, the Wallabies flew out for New Zealand on Thursday insisting there was no psychological scarring heading to the All Blacks’ burial ground for Saturday’s must-win Bledisloe Cup Test.
Ten tries and no penalty kicks – the opening match of the new National Rugby Championship on Thursday night was just what ARU officials had hoped for.
Kiwi straight-shooter Steve Hansen says the All Blacks can lift 10 or 12 notches from their Bledisloe-opening draw but doubts whether the Wallabies can rise any further.
The All Blacks have lost their enforcer, Jerome Kaino, for at least a month in a major blow heading into Saturday’s return Bledisloe clash with the Wallabies at Eden Park.
For the past two weeks I’ve been wondering why Ewen McKenzie has announced his starting Wallaby XV and reserves a couple of days before he needed to do so.
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And so it begins. Six months after its announcement, and seven years after the demise of its predecessor, the ARU’s new professional nine-team national rugby competition, the National Rugby Championship, kicks off tonight at the spiritual home of Queensland rugby, Ballymore Oval.
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Forget Kurtley Beale, the Wallabies know this will be an old-fashioned trans-Tasman Test that’s won and lost up front.
Wallabies hooker Nathan Charles says the Eden Park battleground provides the perfect escape from the “stigma” and “sympathy” that comes with suffering from cystic fibrosis.
New teams, new rules, new opportunity. That’s the aim of the National Rugby Championship (NRC), a nine-team provincial competition kicking off at Ballymore on Thursday night with the inaugural clash between Brisbane City and Sydney Stars.
When Ewen McKenzie took over from Robbie Deans as Wallabies coach in August last year, he made it crystal clear from the beginning it was ‘his way, or the highway’.
The last man to lead Australia to Eden Park success, 28 long years ago, says the Wallabies must be prepared for All Black perfection on Saturday.
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The Roar of the crowdYour sports opinion. Write your own article
First of all I need to warn everyone, particularly our more sensitive neighbors from across the ditch. This article is a troll. It is an enormous troll sitting under the harbour bridge waiting for unsuspecting kiwis heading over to North Sydney.
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Game one of the Bledisloe Cup for 2014 has, undeniably, been marred by controversy and a bifurcation of opinion concerning who was more fortunate finish with a draw.
The Sydney Stars and Brisbane City played out a fantastic opening match in the first round of the National Rugby Championship for 2014 that left us rugby fans screaming for more.
The scrum is toast. The lineout is in shambles. Ruan Pienaar scored the only try thus far in the tournament, but nobody in his home country believes in him.
It’s a little late but I want you to consider your Super Rugby Team of the Year. I want you to name yours. But first, let me name mine.
To say people were shocked when Kurtley Beale was selected at fly-half in Bledisloe 1 is an understatement.
MATCH RESULT: Brisbane City have claimed the opening match of the 2014 National Rugby Championship with a 45-20 victory against the Sydney Stars at Ballymore.
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Who is your Wallaby number 10 – Kurtley Beale? Bernard Foley? Both? Sick of this debate yet? You shouldn’t be. It’s just getting started.
In the aftermath of the first round of the Rugby Championship I couldn’t help but notice a lot of talk surrounding the performances of Kieran Read and Wycliff Palu.
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Steve Hansen is a fine coach. Since becoming the Darth Vader and supreme commander of the All Blacks he has lost just the one match to England out of a total of 32 matches.
They say talk is cheap, and perhaps that was demonstrated no better than in the lead up to both the Super Rugby final and the first Bledisloe Cup Test.
Argentina haven’t won a Rugby Championship match yet, but last Saturday they got awfully close. For a football mad country, the Pumas have had some truly great days in international rugby.
If Bledisloe One was seen as the first date, the Wallabies passed with flying colours.
There were two memorable moments in the match for me. The first was when the game was finished.
Following Saturday’s 12-12 Bledisloe Cup draw, surely the debate over Kurtley Beale playing 10 has been put to bed.
There were many reasons that the world’s best side couldn’t beat the Wallabies in conditions that favoured them on Saturday night, but the biggest thing to take out of their performance was the lack of go-forward from Kieran Read.
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