Opinion

Stars keep slipping through Blues' fingers

BAD MISS: Malakai Fekitoa was let go by the Blues.

OPINION: The Blues are in danger of looking like the Dick Rowes of New Zealand rugby.

Opinion: Cane you believe the hype?

ON A ROLL: Ma'a Nonu and the Hurricanes are two from two to start their Super Rugby campaign. Are they legitimate title contenders this year?

OPINION: Stuff.co.nz's leading rugby writers tackle the three burning rugby questions of the week.

Robson: Not-so-Super start for Kiwi franchises

OOPS: Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa loses the ball in the tackle of Crusaders lock Scott Barrett, left, and prop Owen Franks during their Super Rugby match in Dunedin on Saturday.

OPINION: If you're a Canes fan it's a case of who cares, but for everyone else it's been a predictably sketchy opening two weeks.

Review: Referees left seeing red in Super Rugby

SEEING RED: Blues lock Hayden Triggs is given his marching orders during the first half of Sunday's loss to the Stormers.

OPINION: When’s a punch not a punch? It depends on who is refereeing, it seems.

Opinion: Does DC still have it and is JK's job in doubt?

UNDER PRESSURE: Blues coach Sir John Kirwan is under pressure to get the best out of his Super Rugby franchise.

OPINION: Each week Stuff.co.nz's leading rugby writers will answer the three burning questions of the rugby week.

Pocock's principles an example of true leadership

GREAT EXAMPLE: David Pocock, left, with Clyde Rathbone during their time at the Brumbies.

OPINION: David Pocock's return to playing was great for rugby union, but he has made a bigger impact off the field.

Knowler: McCaw must make up his mind

STAY OR GO: Richie McCaw, who started at blindside flanker against the Rebels, is in the sunset of his career.

OPINION: The sooner Richie McCaw gets on with deciding his future, the better, writes Richard Knowler.

1st5R Super ratings - week one

QUICK OUT OF THE BLOCKS: Hurricanes playmaker Beauden Barrett started the Super Rugby season with a bang, leading the Hurricanes to a opening round over the Lions in Johannesburg.

OPINION: ABs regular starts with a bang and teenage youngster makes impressive debut as Super Rugby got underway.

Gifford: Crusaders open season with a whimper

BAD LOSS: Scott Higginbotham of the Rebels makes some yards against the Crusaders.

OPINION: It was bad enough to lose in front of a home crowd, worse still to lose to the Rebels.

Burdon: Still room on the Highlanders bandwagon

OUT OF THE BLUE: Highlanders centre Malakai Fekitoa burst onto the national scene last year.

OPINION: The reality is that space on the Highlanders bandwagon has shrunk like the polar ice cap over the summer.

Hinton: World Cup should be McCaw's final stage

NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE: Richie McCaw will make a decision on whether to play on after this year's World Cup in the coming weeks.

OPINION: All Blacks skipper to make a decision on his playing future in the coming weeks.

Robson: Sevens event's success a balancing act

SEVENS STAR: DJ Forbes of New Zealand.

OPINION: Is the Wellington Sevens about the rugby or the party, asks Toby Robson.

Gifford: Four tips on how to win Rugby World Cup

CUP RUNNETH OVER: Captain Richie McCaw (left) and coach Graham Henry hold the William Webb Ellis trophy aloft during the All Blacks' victory parade in Christchurch in 2011.

OPINION: Between now and the start of the RWC there will be some high levels of anxiety over the All Blacks' chances.

Knowler: No time to dwell on Heinz's unlucky break

OUCH: The broken leg suffered by Willi Heinz will force the Crusaders coaches to test to the depth of their squad.

OPINION: Few things are certain in Super Rugby but injuries come with an iron-clad guarantee, as the Crusaders discovered.

Gifford: Ali Williams' clowning masked rugby skills

CLASS CLOWN: Former All Blacks lock Ali Williams was always good for a laugh and great for a win.

OPINION: Not everyone will miss the comical Ali Williams, who has packed up his clown kit and retired from rugby.

Canes fans needn't be concerned

MOVING ON: All Blacks lock Jeremy Thrush scores a try against Scotland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

OPINION: News that Jeremy Thrush has signed for English club Gloucester should not alarm Hurricanes fans.

How about a Kiwi Twickers?

FINE VIEW: Eden Park in Auckland is comfortably the biggest stadium in New Zealand just now.

OPINION: NZ desperately needs a national sports stadium - and its location can only be in Auckland.

Metro move a gamble

MONEY TALKS: Dan Carter will reportedly earn about $3 million per year by Racing Metro.

OPINION: French club should be nervous after signing the injury-prone All Black, writes Richard Knowler.

Arrogant fans hinder All Blacks

LAST GASP: Dan Carter lands a drop goal to beat Ireland at the death in 2012.

OPINION: The All Blacks are treated properly when they come to Europe but it's not a two-way thing.

Pocock should be lauded

NOT YOUR AVERAGE SPORTS COUPLE: David and Emma Proctor at a Brumbies awards evening.

OPINION: When most sports stars head for the beach with a chilly bin, David Pocock actually makes a difference.

XV without Retallick, ridiculous

BEST IN THE BUSINESS: All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick is the 2014 World Rugby player of the year.

OPINION: Destined to be debated over a few pints of juice this summer, just who deserves to make a world XV?

Reason: Schmidt top coach

WALKS THE WALK: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt taking part in an team warm up.

OPINION: The IRB lauding Steve Hansen as coach of the year is simply wrong, says Mark Reason.

Back to Blacks champs no given

UNDERDOGS?: Steve Hansen doesn't think the All Blacks should be considered world cup favourites.

OPINION: Steve Hansen, in typical deadpan manner, was being dead earnest when he said the All Blacks shouldn't be considered favourites for next year's Rugby World Cup.

All Blacks in good shape for 2015

SATISFIED: All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and coach Steve Hansen meet on Murrayfield soon after beating Scotland 24-16.

OPINION: Steve Hansen will have all the answers by the time September rolls around, says Ian Snook.

ABs keep tricks in bag

WELL EARNED: The All Blacks can take a rest over the summer but the big job comes next year.

OPINION: It was a good year for the All Blacks, but not a great one and that's how Steve Hansen preferred it.

Lessons learned on the job

FANCY FOOTWORK: All Blacks star Beauden Barrett chips and chases against Wales.

OPINION: Beauden Barrett offered a far from perfect performance at first five-eighth, but he did enough to book a ticket to the RWC.

Delicate political game

CENTRE OF THE ROW: Samoan leader Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

OPINION: Samoan rugby spat is even more serious than many from outside the islands might realise.

All Blacks player rankings

All Blacks lock Jeremy Thrush scores a try against Scotland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

OPINION: Lock Jeremy Thrush was the standout All Black in a rusty team performance against Scotland.

SBW selection reflects faith

MATTER OF FAITH: All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has caused some debate with the way Sonny Bill Williams' re-entry to the national side has been managed.

OPINION: Sonny Bill Williams has become All Black coach Steve Hansen's article of faith, writes Mark Reason.

Schmidt looks like real deal

IRISH SUCCESS: Joe Schmidt has the credentials and passion to be All Blacks coach.

OPINION: Joe Schmidt has the credentials and passion to be All Blacks coach one days, says Ian Snook.

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