'The benefits for Australian rugby are far less tangible': The one-sided Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition becoming a concern
After a second round of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, the gap between the New Zealand sides and Australian sides couldn’t be clearer. After ten games, the ledger stands at 10-0 in favour of the five Kiwi franchises.
The second round was more brutal than the first, with the closest margin being 10 points between the Highlanders and the Force.
Every other game was a blowout with the Crusaders thumping the Reds 64-28, the Chiefs 40-18 winners over the Brumbies, the Blues 48-21 over the Waratahs and the Hurricanes dispatching the Rebels 35-13.
Questions are now being asked whether we will see an Australian side get a win as the strength of the Kiwi sides has proven to be too much to handle.
Kiwi rugby journalist Paul Cully wrote that the competition has been ‘liberating’ for the New Zealand players after the toughness of the Aotearoa competition and questioned whether there were any benefits for the Australians.
Super Rugby Trans Tasman has been liberating for NZ players after beating each other up for 2 years. The benefits of SRTT for Australian rugby are far less tangible. #REDvCRU
— Paul Cully (@paulcullystuff) May 22, 2021
I don't think I can watch any more of Australian teams getting their arse kicked tonight, all a bit depressing really.#REDvCRU
— CarrickTalksRugby (@TalksRugby) May 22, 2021
10 out of 10 so far. Hard to see how the Aussie teams win one going by these performances. #SuperRugbyTT
— Moses Rudende (@rudende) May 22, 2021
— Paul Kneeshaw (@Stick_Beetle) May 22, 2021
In breaking news, Australian Super Rugby teams have asked for the trans-Tasman bubble to be closed at the conclusion of the #REDvCRU game.
— Aiden McLaughlin (@Womble101) May 22, 2021
The Australian breakdown work across all five games this weekend has been poor. Smashed in every encounter. #REDvCRU
— Sam Bruce (@Sambruce86) May 22, 2021
South African journalist Jon Cardinelli questioned whether there was enough balance in the Australian game, and highlighted just how far the former World Champions had fallen since the turn of the century.
Crusaders embarrass Reds 63-28 in Brisbane.
Aussies were the best in the world at the turn of the century – Wallabies were RWC/3N champs, Brumbies won a S12 title.
Great attack, but also great defence and kicking.
Not enough balance in Aussie game at present.#SuperRugbyTT
— Jon Cardinelli (@jon_cardinelli) May 22, 2021
Fans were in debate over whether the Trans-Tasman competition is healthy for the Australian teams, as Super Rugby AU was a confidence-breeder for them but hard games against New Zealand teams may help improve the standard.
Some fans believed the teams could benefit from a foreign import quota to provide some balance to the teams.
What would be better for Australia rugby development? Regular matches against high quality NZ teams but getting regularly beaten or more matches against Aussie teams for wins and breeding confidence but lower standard?
— Mark (@Mark__d_h) May 22, 2021
I think it’s good for Oz rugby . But Oz rugby needs to allow more foreign imports in its sides Eg 8 imports per squad from anywhere in the world. It’s not all about wallaby development
— Steve Mitchell (@stevemitchell80) May 22, 2021
I would say that Australia’s weakest link, the Waratahs, are clearly weaker than the Hurricanes, who finished last in Super Rugby Aotearoa. But beyond that, there is a lot to be respected and admired, but not feared, about the New Zealand sides. Hmmm
— Kingsley (@Kdub1970) May 22, 2021
While the results in round two were disheartening for Australian rugby supporters, the Brumbies were a conversion away from a draw against the Crusaders while the Force missed a crucial match-winning kick against the Chiefs.
It is within the realms of possibility that there will be some Australian wins but an all-Kiwi final is at short-odds after two weeks of action.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now