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Thread: Super Rugby power rankings: Beaten up Aussie sides need to stick with it Stuff.co.nz

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    Super Rugby power rankings: Beaten up Aussie sides need to stick with it Stuff.co.nz

    OPINION: A couple of victories from 25 matches is dismal reading for Australian fans, but Rugby Australia would be negligent to bail on the mooted 12-team competition next year.

    Sure, the Brumbies and Reds, supposedly Australiaís best two teams, were mighty disapointing overall, and the Waratahs and Rebels were cannon fodder.

    The Force turned out to be the best performing side from across the ditch in the trans-Tasman comp, pushing the Blues, Crusaders, and Highlanders, and they should have beaten the Chiefs.

    Itís apparent they wonít get any better by locking themselves away and playing their own competition, before a rushed and farcical joint competition.

    Exactly what next year looks like should be confirmed in the next month, and itís understood Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika, previously granted conditional licenses, are all but confirmed.

    If the Australians really want to keep an all-Aussie element to things, perhaps they simply introduce a trophy for the highest finishing team from their land.

    Whatís clear is New Zealand Rugby wants one competition. Not one New Zealand player or coach has gone on the record and said they want a repeat of this year.

    Hereís the final edition of Stuffís Super Rugby trans-Tasman power rankings.

    1. HIGHLANDERS (5-0) PREVIOUS RANK: 2
    A heck of an effort with a sole All Black (Aaron Smith) to beat the Brumbies in Canberra at the weekend.

    Theyíll miss Shannon Frizell (ankle) against the hefty Blues pack, but letís take a moment to praise outstanding loose forwards Billy Harmon and Hugh Renton for their brilliant seasons.

    2. BLUES (5-0) PREVIOUS RANK: 1
    Continue to look a million bucks one minute, but as flat as anything the next, as was the case against the Force last weekend.

    Will be sweating on the availability of loose forwards Tom Robinson (head knock) and Dalton Papalii (hip) for the weekend.

    3. CRUSADERS (5-0) PREVIOUS RANK: 3
    You have to wonder how many times Braydon Ennor has replayed the moment he lost the ball with an open line ahead of him in his head since Saturday.

    The Super Rugby Aotearoa champions sure paid the price for butchering chances and playing helter-skelter rugby when they had plenty of time to get the job done.

    4. CHIEFS (4-1) PREVIOUS RANK: 4
    There was once a time Sean Wainui was barely utilised at the Crusaders and there were doubts he was up to playing regularly at Super Rugby level.

    Now, heís the Super Rugby record holder for tries scored (five) in a match. Heís sure become a valuable utility player at the Chiefs.

    5. HURRICANES (4-1) PREVIOUS RANK: 5
    Would have had one more week in the season had Jordie Barrett not fluffed three kicks against the Brumbies in round four.

    Nevermind. Thereís far more important things ahead for the Hurricanes than a calendar-filling final, starting with making sure the cash-wielding Blues donít get their hands on Jordie Barrett.

    6. FORCE (0-5) PREVIOUS RANK: 7
    Comfortably the best Australian side across the board, despite not joining the Brumbies and Reds in notching a win.

    Outside of a 43-6 pounding to the Hurricanes, they finished within 10 points of the four other Kiwi teams, including a gut-wrenching 20-19 defeat to the Chiefs in round one.

    7. REDS (1-4) PREVIOUS RANK: 6
    Coach Brad Thorn could only laugh after a series of questionable decisions went against his team in their loss to the Hurricanes last week.

    That said, the Reds were a mighty disappointment in this compact competition after winning Super Rugby Australia last month.

    8. BRUMBIES (1-4) PREVIOUS RANK: 8
    Whatever happened to the niggly Brumbies, a side which backs its set piece and plays for territory?

    They were dreadful against the Highlanders last week, perhaps a sign they knew they had nothing to play for.

    9. REBELS (0-5) PREVIOUS RANK: 9
    The highlight of their campaign was denying the Chiefs and Highlanders bonus point wins.

    Sad, really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    OPINION: <snip>

    From here
    Who's this Robert van Royen cove? Seems a bidduva wanker...


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