The most important domestic rugby match of the season thus far, the most anticipated, the most intriguing. I’m talking Blues vs Crusaders, Sunday afternoon at Eden Park. No more AC distractions, a fine forecast & excellent pre-sales all add up to what should be a terrific occasion - and one that repositions rugby as the major sports story of the weekend in these parts.
It’s not often our national game sits second in the “what we’re watching ratings”, but the last fortnight or so has been much more about the boat than the ball. Sunday, though, has all the makings of a code classic.
This first meeting between the comp’s two best sides could not have been timed any better. It’s perfect for gauging just where the Blues really are at. Two games played, two convincing wins but the truth is neither the Hurricanes or Highlanders, toil as they might, come close to providing the test that Scott Robertson’s mob will bring.
I said it last weekend and I’ll keep saying it. The ‘Saders are a national rugby treasure. Their consistent over-achievement is the barometer for all New Zealand sports teams to aspire to. Plus they play great rugby. And let’s make that point loud and clear. The Crusaders are superb to watch. The way they strangle, dominate and squash opponents is as good as rugby anywhere is being played. But, as I’m sure Razor will have drummed into them all week, if there’s one game they might lose, it’s this Sunday vs the auld enemy, Auckland’s Blues.