Opinion

Gifford: Burning questions rugby needs to answer

Chiefs playmaker Damian McKenzie looks to open up the game against the Bulls in Rotorua on Friday night.

OPINION: Phil Gifford identifies the issues with rugby that are keeping him awake at night.

Officials could derail ABs' World Cup campaign

The All Blacks will be hoping their fate isn't in the hands of referees at this year's Rugby World Cup.

OPINION: ABs' fate in England could be in the hands of rugby officials and that's a scary thought.

Reason: Community cut off

The Ground We Won is an emotionally inspiring New Zealand documentary about rural manhood and rugby.

OPINION: Professional rugby has cut the umbilical cord; how scenes of yesteryear remind us of what we've lost.

Robson: Rennie right to point out blatant error video

Referee Glen Jackson and his TMO Vinny Munro are under the spotlight after a series of controversial rulings during the Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and Chiefs at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

OPINION: Chiefs fans might not want to hear it, but TMO's atrocious late call did not directly cost them victory against the Hurricanes.

Nonu inspires Canes in victory over Chiefs

Hurricanes second-five Ma'a Nonu continued his standout form with two tries in the big win over the Chiefs.

OPINION: Ma'a Nonu has his game face on, and that's a good thing for the Hurricanes, writes Marc Hinton.

Smith: Gardening leave could beckon for Matson

Crusaders assistant coach Tabai Matson, right, during a training drill with Richie McCaw.

OPINION: Crusaders assistant coach Tabai Matson has to make the biggest decision of his career.

Gifford: Extraordinary decision to reappoint Kirwan

George Moala scores for the Blues in their 42-22 defeat to the Rebels in Melbourne.

OPINION: So what might have persuaded a hard-headed Blues bunch to back Sir John Kirwan?

Burning questions: What is the legacy of McCaw, Carter?

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw and master first-five Dan Carter have set new standards for others to follow.

OPINION: What is McCaw and Carter's legacy? Will Highlanders reach the playoffs and can Luatua earn a spot in All Blacks squad?

Napier: John Kirwan's time up at Blues

It's time for the Blues and Sir John Kirwan to part ways after another disappointing campaign.

OPINION: Coach's audacious attempt to save his job is a desperate move when the writing's already on the wall.

Umaga or Smith for Blues coach?

Is Tana Umaga the man to save the Blues franchise from its own ineptitude? Three Stuff.co.nz rugby writers say yes.

OPINION: In a week of coaching woe and halfback headaches, just who should NZ rugby turn to, Stuff scribes ask.

Reason: RWC worry for Perenara

TJ Perenara needs to work on his pass if he's to nail down a Rugby World Cup spot for the All Blacks.

OPINION: A study of the pass reveals Super efforts by young Chiefs and Crusaders No 9s must have ABs reserve halfback on edge.

Super Rugby's burning questions: Is McCaw done?

Richie McCaw found the going tough against the Chiefs, but can he find form when it really counts?

OPINION: In our regular Friday segment, Stuff.co.nz's leading rugby scribes tackle the hot topics of the Super Rugby week.

Hansen has big calls to make on elder statesmen

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has some decisions to ponder about Dan Carter, left, and Richie McCaw, right.

OPINION: Can the All Blacks coach rely on Richie McCaw and Dan Carter at the end of the year?

Knowler: Blackadder is really feeling the heat now

Todd Blackadder has always guided the Crusaders to the playoffs since taking over as head coach in 2009.

OPINION: With the Crusaders having won just four from nine, the task facing their coach is daunting.

Strang: Time to test Sopoaga in ABs jumper

The All Blacks should hand Highlanders first-five Lima Sopoaga a test jumper during the Rugby Championship.

OPINION: All Blacks selectors should initiate the Lima Sopoaga insurance policy during the Rugby Championship.

Robson: Carter, Barrett take pole position for No 10

Beauden Barrett would command a start for the All Blacks if the World Cup final was next week.

OPINION: The battle for the All Blacks No 10 jersey has effectively become a two-horse race.

Hinton: McCaw deserves better than this

Richie McCaw and his Crusaders mates may be short of their best at present, but time is on their side.

OPINION: The All Blacks great is no spent force after a slow start to the Super Rugby season with the struggling Crusaders.

Crusaders no longer the lords of Super Rugby

The Chiefs had plenty of reasons to smile after steamrolling the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday night.

OPINION: Friday demolishing of the Crusaders affirmed what we all know - the Chiefs are now NZ's benchmark team.

Reason: Concussion rugby's biggest issue

Blues veteran Luke Braid has suffered two concussions this season and is expected to be sidelined for the next two weeks.

OPINION: Unless rugby acts on concussion now, it's finest warriors may one day be unable to feed themselves.

De Barra: Europe looming as ABs' main threat

Robbie Henshaw crosses for Ireland's match-winning try against England in this year's Six Nations.

OPINION: Cricket World Cup allows some fine performances from Europe's top teams go under the radar.

It's a no-brainer - cash will rule over jersey

Charles Piutau is off to Ireland after the Rugby World Cup.

OPINION: So Charles Piutau is off to Ulster and who can blame him, writes Ian Snook.

Toothless Sharks eaten alive by rampant Crusaders

David Havili dives over to score for the Crusaders in Durban.

OPINION: The Crusaders weren't going to allow a red card to Jean Deysel to screw them over this time.

Smith: A standard start to season for Crusaders

The Crusaders came undone against the Melbourne Rebels in Round One of Super Rugby.

OPINION: Crusaders doomsayers relax: Blackadder's mob are simply having their stock-standard slow start.

Gifford: Hurricanes look Super after another win

NOT STOPPING: Beauden Barrett on the attack against the Highlanders on Friday night.

OPINION: After five straight wins, the once brittle franchise has clearly found the formula for success.

Opinion: Super Rugby's three burning questions

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: The battle between centres Malakai Fekitoa (left) and Conrad Smith will be a highlight of the Hurricanes' visit to the Highlanders.

OPINION: Hurricanes or Highlanders? And are Dan Carter's World Cup prospects being compromised?

Deans drops in as Grizz's gang reunite

AROUND TOWN: Former Crusaders and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

OPINION: Robbie Deans returns to Christchurch but reminiscing with old Canterbury team-mates is the reason.

Opinion: Super Rugby's three burning questions

UNDERDOGS: Can Jamie Joseph and the Highlanders reach the playoffs for a second consecutive year?

OPINION: Fairfax Media’s leading rugby scribes tackle the three burning questions of the week.

Review: Ref's mistake blows full time on Blues

TOUGH LUCK: Sarel Pretorius from the Cheetahs celebrates his try during his side's win over the Blues in Bloemfontein on Saturday morning.

OPINION: Referee Rohan Hoffman cops criticism after penalising the Blues late in their loss to the Cheetahs on Saturday morning.

Fans vent as Crusaders capitulate against Chiefs

DESPONDENT: Crusaders first five-eighth Colin Slade following his team's hammering at the hands of the Chiefs in Hamilton.

OPINION: Backlash following defeat to Chiefs brutal. Some of the abuse vitriolic, some measured. Little missed its target.

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.

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