Opinion

Hansen ruthless over Cruden

Steve Hansen

OPINION: All Blacks coach shows he's not afraid to make the tough calls despite team having records and titles on the line.

Stags defence needs work

Jason Emery

OPINION: Team inch closer to worst defensive showing in 10 seasons and also prospect of missing 2014 NPC playoffs.

Sorting cliches from reality

barrett

PHIL GIFFORD - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: There are too many old guys in the All Blacks? Sure. All those geriatrics like Dagg, Fekitoa, Savea, Crotty and Barrett.

RWC is 'mission possible'

Aaron Smith

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: A year out from the World Cup, these remarkably resilient All Blacks are tracking almost perfectly for their tilt at history.

Can ABs go another step?

Richie McCaw

TAINE RANDELL - Sunday News

OPINION: The All Blacks' run since their breakthrough success on home soil has been nothing short of extraordinary, writes Taine Randell.

Refs too quick on yellow

rugby ball generic

JACOB PAGE - The Timaru Herald

OPINION: Yellow cards seem to be a bail out option for referees to maintain control in rugby matches.

McKenzie a class act

Marty McKenzie

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: Marty McKenzie's selection at first-five eighth might herald a newcomer of the highest quality for Taranaki.

Matfield still one of the best

Victor Matfield

MARK REASON - Stuff

OPINION: You can calibrate his height, but it's surely impossible to measure just how big a man the Springboks legendary lock is.

Springboks a real threat

Cornal Hendricks

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: ABs march on undefeated but South Africa demonstrated they are big-time World Cup threats.

McCaw to the fore again

Richie McCaw

GLENN MCLEAN - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: There is little more that can be said of Richie McCaw that has not already been printed, broadcast or televised.

Boks must pick on merit

Cornal Hendricks

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: The South African Rugby Union's philosophy should be to develop players of all colours, writes Jeff Wilson.

A test match to savour

Steve Hansen

LIAM NAPIER - Sunday News

OPINION: Samoa is one of the few places the All Blacks could go where the whole country would stop for 80 minutes.

NZ risking losing Barrett

Beauden Barrett

IAN SNOOK - Taranaki Daily News

OPINION: With Beauden Barrett not selected to start in the test match against South Africa, perhaps his mind could wander off.

Referees a blight on game

Richie McCaw

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: Why does rugby have the worst standard of international refereeing?

The heat is on at IRB

George Clancy

RICHARD KNOWLER - Stuff

OPINION: Horrible calls confirm standard of international refereeing is in freefall.

NZ needs the NPC

Empty seats

JEFF WILSON - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: As the gap between Super Rugby and our provincial comp widens, crowds are dwindling, yet it remains a very valuable pathway.

Why the ABs are so good

Conrad Smith

PHIL GIFFORD - Sunday Star Times

OPINION: Why does New Zealand rugby continue to defy the odds and remain the world benchmark for success.

Demanding accountability

Charlie Faumuina

RICHARD KNOWLER - Stuff

OPINION: Steve Hansen got his slingshot, imagined Charlie Faumuina had a bull's eye on his forehead and fired a rock just below the hairline.

SBW vs Sam Burgess

Sonny Bill Williams, right, Sam Burgess

ANDREW MEHRTENS - Stuff

OPINION: It's early days but I know which guy I would be on to make a better fist of the role at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Smith better suited out wide

Ben Smith

TOBY ROBSON IN NAPIER - Stuff

OPINION: Star utility is a better wing, while Israel Dagg deserves the nod at fullback for All Blacks.

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