Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Super Rugby Aotearoa: Looking Back

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Looking Back

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Looking Back

With Super Rugby Aotearoa now done and dusted, here are some of the biggest talking points to have come out of the competition.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports


Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Aotearoa product full of quality

So much talk has centred around the future of rugby in the southern hemisphere recently, with Super Rugby proper coming to an end. All indications are that Saru will look to throw its lot in with the Pro14. Meanwhile, New Zealand Rugby seemingly plans to create another trans-Tasman competition with the addition of a Pacific Island team, though the number of Australia teams set to be included remains a controversial topic.

Whatever the outcome may be, Aotearoa proved that the endearing quality of New Zealand’s franchises means that the game there is strong enough to withstand drastic change; even if the only way forward remains the prospect of establishing a solely domestic tournament.

New generation of Kiwi talent emerging

Despite many All Blacks having moved on following last year’s World Cup, Kiwi boss Ian Foster will have no trouble calling on fresh faces as he looks to build his squad in the upcoming months. Many youngsters proved during Aotearoa that the future of rugby in the country isn’t as dim as some might believe, with several 20-somethings setting the competition alight with some cracking displays.

Additionally, the likes of Aaron Smith and Sam Whitelock reminded us that the old guard will still have a big say in the years ahead, with many seasoned campaigners finding some proper form over the course of the last few months.

“Old school” North v South clash set to be a classic

Despite the shadow of Covid-19 looming large following the country’s latest outbreak, the much-anticipated North v South clash is still set to go ahead on 29 August. The inter-island matchup was one of New Zealand rugby’s most eagerly awaited fixtures before the advent of professionalism, but it’s set to make a comeback as something of an All Black trials match later this month.

With so many positions up for grabs at the All Blacks, expect the intensity to go up several notches.

Springboks will have work cut out for them in November

If the Rugby Championship does indeed go ahead on 2 November in New Zealand, the Springboks may be up against it. With the start date of a domestic tournament in the Republic still unannounced, local players won’t have much time to work their way back to full form and the risk of rushing back into Test matches ill-prepared is a formidable one.

Aotearoa provided Kiwi players with ample time to regain match fitness and sharpness. Super Rugby AU is doing the same for the Australian players. If provincial matches don’t get underway in South Africa soon, Saru will have a massive call to make regarding the Boks’ participation in the Championship.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.

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