Crusaders win reignites north-south debate
REACTION: The Crusaders’ win over the Highlanders at the weekend has reignited the debate around the quality of major competitions in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
The Crusaders’ 32-22 win over the Highlanders in Christchurch at the weekend saw the 10-time Super Rugby champions claim the inaugural SR Aotearoa title.
Commentator James Gemmell sent a tweet suggesting the domestic competition, Super Rugby Aotearoa, is on another level to anything he has seen before.
Gemmell wrote: “Having lived in the UK for 12 years now, and having covered every major club rugby competition in the world, I firmly believe #SuperRugbyAotearoa 2020 has produced consistently the highest quality rugby I’ve ever seen.”
It didn’t take long for Gemmell’s tweet to take-off, with All Black legend Sean Fitzpatrick and Ireland international Jamie Heaslip among those adding their voice to the discussion.
Heaslip questioned whether the European Champions Cup winners would ‘stand a chance’, others argued that the lack of relegation in Super Rugby Aotearoa invited more open, attacking play, while some felt the competition lacks the atmosphere seen across the Champions Cup.
The competition has produced a number of brilliant games, and Gemmell wasn’t alone in his belief that it has been unmatched in terms of consistent, high-quality games.
Having lived in the UK for 12 years now, and having covered every major club rugby competition in the world, I firmly believe #SuperRugbyAotearoa 2020 has produced consistently the highest quality rugby I’ve ever seen.
— James Gemmell (@JamesGemmell_TV) August 9, 2020
Would the winners of @ChampionsCup this year stand a chance?
— jamie heaslip (@jamieheaslip) August 9, 2020
Well there were 7 Saracens on the field vs 9 Crusaders in the World Cup semi and we know how that went 🤷♂️
— Joe (@joesummer100) August 9, 2020
That semi was a one moment wonder from the England team vs complacency, unfortunately in a knockout game.
— Anslin April (@anslin2006) August 9, 2020
— Sean Fitzpatrick (@SFitzpatrick92) August 9, 2020
Will be interesting if it draws UK players downtown play in it in the future. Although players probably won’t earn anywhere near the money they could in UK and Europe
— Angus Brown (@angusbrown90) August 9, 2020
So good to see the @BluesRugbyTeam where they belong. I’ve always rated them – some seasons didn’t quite work out for them🤣
— james (@james47665817) August 9, 2020
I agree wi the skill level quality of basic skills abd devision making however would they take those risk with more at stake like relegation? I know this will be seen as negative bit it is true risk can be rewarded when there are few consequences.
— Graham Smith (@grahamsmith36) August 9, 2020
I feel sorry to the SuperRugby AU which follows on Sky… the skill set and overall quality (Excluding Hooper) is way short of Artearoa
— Ian Rundall (@RundalltheCab) August 9, 2020
100%! Without a doubt the highest quality rugby tournament I’ve seen since Super Rugby in the 90s. Fantastic spectacle of the game.
— Kaylan Geekie (@KaylanGeekie) August 9, 2020
I have watched all the SRA games before this weekend. I used to watch a lot of SR but found it boring when they overexpanded. Totally agree with comment on skills levels but honestly feel it lacks the passion and drama we get with the European Cup. Realise that might be my bias
— ed hunter (@edhunter1999) August 9, 2020
Couldn’t agree more. Genuine question, Is it commercially viable to just keep as it is without going back to Super 15 format? Because spectacle wise, why would anyone want to go back?
— Luke Bradshaw (@LukeBradshaw85) August 9, 2020
A. Not sure of the relevancy of the 12 years in the UK?
B. If it is relevant you’re comparing 18 games (so far) over 8 weeks versus 12 years of all sorts.
It’s been awesome entertainment. But so is the end of the European Cup pools stages + the following KO comp.
— Thomas (@Salmon__Salad) August 9, 2020