Super Rugby Trans-Tasman: Two weeks in and Aussies all but out of contention

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 23 May 2021, 4:21PM
Chiefs celebrate their win over the Brumbies. (Photo / Photosport)
Chiefs celebrate their win over the Brumbies. (Photo / Photosport)

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman: Two weeks in and Aussies all but out of contention

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 23 May 2021, 4:21PM

Following a second Kiwi clean sweep in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman one Australian writer has all but conceded it will be an all New Zealand final, despite three rounds remaining.

"All five Australian teams now have next to no hope of making a final on June 19," Sydney Morning Herald rugby writer Tom Decent wrote in his wrap of last night's action.

It's hard to fault the logic.

The New Zealand franchises have won 10 from 10 against their Australian counterparts. The five Aussie teams will be all ruled out of final contention as early as next Saturday if they get swept again.

The Blues and Hurricanes sit on 10 points followed by the Crusaders, Highlanders and Chiefs on nine points. As it stands it looks like the two finalists could be decided on crucial bonus points or even points difference, making blow-out wins even more important.

There is now a distinct possibility that a New Zealand team or multiple teams would miss out on the final despite being unbeaten.

Across the 10 victories, the New Zealand sides have compiled 61 tries. A staggering statistic at more than six tries a game just showing how inept the Australian defences have been.

The Force have looked the best of the Australian teams and sit in sixth after just falling short against the Chiefs last weekend followed by a 25-15 loss to the Highlanders on Friday.

The problem for the Force is their home games are completed with a difficult road trip ahead against the Hurricanes, Crusaders and Blues where they need to win all three to have a chance of making the final.

The 10-point loss for the Force was the closest an Australian side got to victory this weekend. The Reds, who won the Super Rugby Australia title, have conceded 103 points in their opening two games and that's not the worst defensive record with the Waratahs having let in 112 points.

Newstalk ZB commentator Elliott Smith said on Twitter the gulf between the New Zealand and Australian teams was bigger than people probably thought.

Former Wallabies coach Michael Chieka told the Sydney Morning Herald the Australian sides have to fight back following the Reds' thrashing at the hands of the Crusaders.

"We had a saying in the old days: 'Welcome to first grade'," Cheika said. "It was first grade tonight; they were top quality. Yeah we've been pumped ... but you've just got to fight back next week. Mourn, get over it, then get back up on your bike next week and win the next game. That's what footy is all about."

The problem is it appears they are riding bikes with two flat tyres at the moment.