'That doesn't automatically mean they'd come up trumps': All Blacks great weighs in on Super Rugby Trans-Tasman theory
All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens doesn’t believe that New Zealand rugby sides would easily beat their Australian counterparts, ahead of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition which is set to begin in May.
In a thought-provoking column for The Sydney Morning Herald, Mehrtens discussed a potential clash between the Brumbies and the Crusaders early in his piece, and mentioned how both sides were on top of their respective ladders going into last weekends fixtures.
Even though he may not have specifically referenced it in his article as well, this match would see two champions go head-to-head. The Crusaders won Super Rugby Aotearoa last year, their fourth Super Rugby title in a row, while the Brumbies may have begun a dynasty of their own with a Super Rugby AU title.
But what the now rugby pundit did state in his piece was that if these teams played five matches, that “the Crusaders wouldn’t be victorious in all five.”
“If a New Zealand team stepped onto the field against any Australian outfit, that doesn’t automatically mean they’d come up trumps,” Mehrtens wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday.
“The way the Brumbies put them [the Waratahs in round two] to the sword showed that, on their day, they can match anyone in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
“I don’t subscribe to the theory that every game at the moment would be a futile exercise and lead to another drubbing at the hands of the Kiwis.”
Mehrtens also stated that “all of the Australian sides would push” the Chiefs if they were to face.
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He did, however, highlight a potential difference between the two competitions which could be holding the teams from Down Under back. Mehrtens said that the Australian sides “should take note” when it comes to passing accuracy, and how that’s served New Zealand rugby well over the past decade.
“Australian teams currently throw too many passes that just go to players’ shoulders.
“When a team creates an opportunity – when chances are usually limited – I don’t think we capitalise enough on them in Australia.”
At the time of writing, the Trans-Tasman competition will see the Crusaders play host to the Brumbies in round one. It’ll no doubt be one of the most highly anticipated Super Rugby matches in recent history, with the two sides not having faced since April, 2019.
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