Opinion

Tackling rugby's hot topics

Chiefs midfielder Anton Lienert Brown will take centre stage at Eden Park in his matchup against George Moala.

OPINION: Marc Hinton looks at the big talking points of the week as the Lions tour draws ever closer.

Can anyone conquer the Crusaders?

Doesn't matter who the Crusaders have on the paddock, the high quality of the output is much the same.

OPINION: Crusaders looking unbeatable, Blues still shaky and Highlanders lurking under the radar.

Cully's ABs squad to face Lions

Malakai Fekitoa has been solid defensively and shown flashes of brilliance on attack.

OPINION: Jordie Barrett and Rieko Ioane squeezed out by 19-14 forwards/backs split, writes Paul Cully.

Reason: Rugby needs its head examined

Stephen Donald was of three players forced off the field due to concussion in the game between the Chiefs and Crusaders ...

OPINION: How long before rugby becomes a sport again and not some lunatic version of the Hunger Games?

ABs watch: Cruden, Faumuina shine

Aaron Cruden produced a classy performance for the Chiefs in their loss to the Crusaders in Suva.

Aaron Cruden, Charlie Faumuina and Anton Lienert-Brown perform strongly as competition for places ahead of the Lions tour heats up.

Coles, the man we'd miss most

Dane Coles faces a race against time to make the test series against the Lions.

OPINION: The All Blacks will be sweating over the health of one player more than any other, writes Marc Hinton.

NZ sevens' 8-man snafu grates video

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OPINION: World Rugby investigation needed into NZ mistake you'd expect only to see in kids' sport.

Don't try to be Welly, Hamilton

Poor crowds contributed to the demise of the sevens in Wellington.

OPINION: There's only so many times you can slap on a superhero costume, and slip over on the concourse before the novelty has worn off.

Rugby, 'just too damned dangerous'

Mike McRoberts says the sport of rugby has become too dangerous.

OPINION: Mike McRoberts has seen his son stretchered off the field, concussed. Enough is enough, he says.

Reason: Razor loves a tackle

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, left, oversaw the perfect defensive strategy to contain Beauden Barrett.

OPINION: Crusaders learning a defensive masterclass from a coach who knows how to go low.

Crusaders can start planning parade

Crusaders playmaker Richie Mo'unga slices through the Chiefs defence on Friday.

OPINION: If you live in Canterbury it's time to get ready to party like it's 1998, writes Phil Gifford.

Cully: ARU boss should go

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver should step down, writes Paul Cully.

OPINION: The Super Rugby team axing fiasco has dragged on too long in Australia and it's time for the ARU chief to go, writes Paul Cully.

Should SBW start for ABs?

Sonny Bill Williams is one of a raft of contenders to play in the All Blacks midfield against the British and Irish Lions.

OPINION: Our rugby writers debate the likelihood of Sonny Bill Williams pulling on the No 12 jersey to face the British and Irish Lions.

Beauden's struggles help ABs

The Crusaders shut down Beauden Barrett in Christchurch on Saturday.

OPINION: The Hurricanes No 10 needs tough nights to keep learning, writes Paul Cully.

ABs watch: Laumape, Crotty video

Hurricanes second-five Ngani Laumape has been in outstanding form so far this season.

OPINION: Two key midfielders make their move as Lions tour edges closer.

Were you watching, Warren?

Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett wraps up Hurricanes first-five Beauden Barrett during the teams' clash in Christchurch.

OPINION: The Crusaders hand the Lions the blueprint for how to keep Beauden Barrett at bay.

Kiwi rugby culture Lions must grasp

Charlie Faumuina scores against Les Bleus in Paris last year. The French, among others, are fascinated by what makes the ...

OPINION: These are the reasons the All Blacks keep winning, writes Phil Gifford.

Time for Smith to shut up

Aaron Smith gesticulates during the Ireland v All Blacks match in Dublin in November.

OPINION: French refs will take a dim view of halfback in Lions series, writes Mark Reason.

Crotty shades midfield duel

Ngani Laumape produced a standout first half in the big battle against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Ngani Laumape showed plenty, but the honours went to the Crusader in a crucial individual matchup, writes Marc Hinton.

Hinton's hot topics: Game on Chch

Will Hurricanes first-five Beauden Barrett repeat his heroics for the Hurricanes against the Crusaders on Saturday night?

OPINION: Immovable object meets indomitable force as the Crusaders host the Hurricanes.

Crush-aders: gotta love 'em

Jack Goodhue and the Crusaders backs had a field day against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

OPINION: It's time to stand up and applaud the only unbeaten team in Super Rugby.

Crusaders: Five things

Crusaders centre Jack Goodhue jets into space during the 62-24 win over the Bulls in Pretoria. He scored two tries - his ...

OPINION: Just what did we learn from the Crusaders' mauling of the Bulls?

On-field violence is assault

Sunwolves player Jamie-Jerry Taulagi  gets his marching orders in Hamilton last week.

OPINION: We need to recognise that an attack on a pitch is no different to an attack on the street, writes Mark Reason.

Prepare for cleanest Lions tour ever

Tana Umaga chips the ball past Lion Gavin Henson in the second test in 2005.

OPINION: You can't get away with violence any longer, writes Phil Gifford.

ABs injuries – time to worry?

Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles has to be the injury causing the most concern for Steve Hansen.

Marc Hinton discusses rugby's big talking points of the week, including the All Blacks' injury concerns.

Ban shows rugby has lost its way

Sam Whitelock will miss the blockbuster against the Hurricanes after copping a two-week ban.

OPINION: Rugby bosses have ignored the truly guilty party in the Sam Whitelock incident, writes Paul Cully.

Less is best in Stupor Rugby

Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs takes it to the Sunwolves in Hamilton.

How can fans take a competition seriously when they're being asked to believe the Brumbies are better than Hurricanes?

NZ dominance pleasure and pain

Rob Thompson of the Highlanders fends off EW Viljoen of the Stormers on Friday night.

OPINION: It's a fine line between pleasure and pain, and right now NZ followers of Super Rugby might be straddling it.

FitzSimons: Fire Daryl, call Al

Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson is under pressure.

OPINION: Alan Jones badly wants Daryl Gibson gone. Maybe he should coach the Waratahs then.

Super Rugby's hot topics

Sam Cane is mixing his time between 7 and 8 for the Chiefs but will be in a showdown with Ardie Savea for the openside ...

Marc Hinton uncorks the chief talking points ahead of the weekend's footy action.

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