Martin Devlin: The Crusaders are a national treasure

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 May 2021, 2:09PM

Martin Devlin: The Crusaders are a national treasure

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 May 2021, 2:09PM

The Australian rugby teams are rubbish. Someone has to say it, may as well be me. But let's park that for a minute because there's something more important to celebrate. The Crusaders are beyond awesome. Find me another word please that hasn't been used to describe this champion side.

A few weeks ago I called them a "national rugby treasure" - and they are. Saturday night's whipping of the Reds in Brisbane raised the bar again. This was the Australian's best team remember.

At home, packed house, everything to play for and as much to prove. And they were comprehensively, utterly and totally thrashed. The game was one of those that was lost in the first 15 minutes. Power, pace, precision passing.

What more can I say? What more can anyone say? Apart from that, the Australian teams are s**t, they really are. Taking nothing away from all our lot but, let's be honest, they're an average over-rated bunch of rugby journeymen with a handful of special players sprinkled within.

Which is why, when it comes to the Rugby Championship, they will be competitive - just like last year. Maybe not quite good enough to beat us but certainly, under Dave Rennie, good enough to cause problems and just like last year capable of what we'd call an upset result.

The one question I have around all this is for World Rugby. Why can't you, as an international body, organise a one-off Super Rugby Championship play-off between the best from here AND up there. Of course, there's a myriad of reasons and complications and red tape and press releases and very important and expensive extensive reviews as to why this can't and won't ever happen.

And of course, I'm just not intelligent enough to understand how desperately complicated it all is. Because I'm just a stupid old fan who thinks it'd be a really good idea. But just not this year. And probably not next or the one after that even. Meanwhile, the same all-important highly-paid people will continue running the
sport telling us they've got this, they're in charge, progress is progressing and the game is all about growing the metrics and increased revenue streams.

If World Rugby thinks they know what they're doing, it's only in their dreams.