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Aussie rugby talk 'over the top': McKellar

Dan McKellar of the Brumbies before the round nine Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Brumbies at McLean Park on April 21, 2017 in Napier, New Zealand. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
10th May, 2018
26

Talk of Australian rugby’s demise is greatly exaggerated, according to Brumbies coach Dan McKellar.

The first-year Super Rugby coach believes discussion around the state of the game in Australia is over the top.

McKellar said he was sick of talking about New Zealand’s dominance over Australian teams in the competition, compounded by the NSW Waratahs losing at home on Saturday night to the struggling Blues.

That result extended the winning streak of Kiwi teams over Australian sides to 38.

But McKellar admitted the only way for talk to start shifting was for Australian teams to start winning again.

“I think it’s over the top,” McKellar said.

“The Waratahs game (against the Blues) could’ve gone either way. Our game (against the Crusaders) could’ve gone either way.

“I was really proud of our effort, the last chance we had against a New Zealand side.

“They’re (New Zealand teams) certainly shutting out and winning those moments in games that are proving to be important, but I’m sick of talking about it.”

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Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle said this week the performance of the country’s four franchises was “not acceptable, but could see improvement”.

Castle said Australian teams needed to start beating sides from outside the conference to boost rugby’s profile.

“The history of this sport in this country is that that’s not acceptable and it doesn’t deliver you the fans and the commercial outcome that you’re looking for,” Castle said.

She maintains the decision to cut the Western Force from the competition last year will have a positive long-term effect, even if it isn’t showing yet.