Opinion

Schoolboy rugby too great a risk?

Isaiah Papalii of Mt Albert Grammar is tackled by Tanielu Tele'a of St Kentigern during a First XVs match last August.

OPINION: The number of head injuries is likely to be hugely under-reported, writes Mark Reason.

Super 'Nearly Men' eye final step

New coach Scott Robertson has the Crusaders back in a familiar place, contending for an eighth Super Rugby title.

OPINION: Don't call 'em chokers, but it's been a while since the Crusaders lifted the trophy, writes Marc Hinton.

Stick with SBW - for now

Sonny Bill Williams breaks a tackle in the first test against the British and Irish Lions.

OPINION: Despite that red card SBW's underlying form was improving, writes Paul Cully.

Hot topics: The finals breakdown

Jordie Barrett showed his class with the way he slotted into centre for the Hurricanes.

OPINION: Jordie Barrett has the chance to cement his place as Super Rugby player of the year, writes Marc Hinton.

Ben Smith's win for rugby cattle

Ben Smith is set to take a well deserved few months away from the rigours of international rugby.

OPINION: Giving a well-rested Ben Smith even more time off might seem odd, but it's a big win in a vast war.

Message to Crusaders: win

Crusaders loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett makes a run against the Lions during the quarterfinal match in Johannesburg last ...

OPINION: The Crusaders hopes of winning the Super Rugby title could rely on one thing. Beating the Hurricanes in Wellington.

ABs' aura of invincibility gone

All Blacks captain Kieran Read and Lions captain Sam Warburton share a moment late in the third test at Eden Park.

OPINION: The All Blacks might have passed high noon as Lions show the way, writes Peter FitzSimons.

Five players who can boost the ABs

All Blacks fullback Jordie Barrett scores a try against the Lions on Saturday.

OPINION: These players could make the difference at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, writes Paul Cully.

Best of British (and Irish) to you

All Black captain Kieran Read and Lions captain Sam Warburton pose with the series trophy.

God forbid the Lions concept is ever shelved, its at the core of what many love about sport, says Kevin Norquay.

Lions perform the Great Escape

Warren Gatland had the last laugh in New Zealand with his own clown parody.

OPINION: The All Blacks do the digging as the Lions get out of jail.

Aussies will note ABs' struggles

Coach Michael Cheika insists the Wallabies can defeat the All Blacks.

OPINION: Lions warned they had "poked the bear" by beating the All Blacks. Then they almost did it again. The Aussies might sleep easier.

Reason: A game from heaven

Maro Itoje was again outstanding in a brutal and brilliant test match.

OPINION: This was brilliant and so brutal, writes Mark Reason.

Jordie jump assist magic video

Jordie Barrett produces some sideline magic as he throws the pass from in mid-air to set up the All Blacks' opening try ...

OPINION: A thing of beauty on the sideline, the Barrett boys bring basketball to rugby.

Kieran Read: centurymaker video

Kieran Read made his test debut against Scotland in Edinburgh in November, 2008.

OPINION: Kieran Read surely won't have forgotten lessons from the 2011 RWC final.

Singing the Lions' praises

Lions fans are bound for Eden Park.

OPINION: I'm OK if the ABs lose. I'd prefer them not to. And I don't think they will.

Reason: Quit the dramatics

Referee Romain Poite will come under pressure from the All Blacks and the Lions in Saturday's deciding rugby test.

OPINION: The exaggerated acting by players is making life impossible for referees, writes Mark Reason.

Reason: NZ fans want excitement video

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has a nervy country on his back.

OPINION: All Blacks keep saying they're excited, but the country is very nervy.

Lions invade Wellington

Sonny Bill Williams is out for four weeks after his red cars. The red sinners get away with nothing.

OPINION: Wasn't the test supposed to be a home game for the All Blacks?

Hinton: No excuses for ABs

Steve Hansen might not have been able to have believed what he saw in Wellington, but he has taken the defeat on the chin.

OPINION: No one does siege mentality like the All Blacks, and the wagons are circled, writes Marc Hinton.

Poite must get out of the way

Romain Poite, right, will take charge of the series decider between the All Blacks and Lions on Saturday night.

OPINION: Lions series must not be decided on an absurd referee technicality, writes Paul Cully.

Hinton: Fekitoa deserves his shot video

Malakai Fekitoa could be set to get an unexpected second crack at the British & Irish Lions.

OPINION: Forget the pecking order, Steve Hansen needs to pick the right midfield for the occasion.

Reason: Red army drowns ABs

Lions' fans celebrate their win.

OPINION: Fans of the Lions bellowed their team to a comeback, but All Blacks fans did the opposite.

Rugby royalty in Queenstown

Touring Scottish rugby writer and Sunday Star-Times columnist Alan Dymock takes a break from goading the Lions and All ...

OPINION: Fuggedabout disgraced Mike Tindall and dwarf-tossing, Lions tourist Alan Dymock is about to paint Queenstown red ...

Red card could create chasm

Sonny Bill Williams is red carded by the referee in the second test against the Lions.

OPINION: It was the tackle of a man who still hasn't fully got the "leaguie" out of his system, writes Mark Reason.

Why this test is different video

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is playing the part of Dread Pirate Roberts.

OPINION: When these coaches talk tactics, it's like The Princess Bride. Where's the poison hidden?

Watch: Rugby Round Table video

All Blacks and British and Irish Lions rugby.

Mark Reason, Hamish Bidwell and Mark Geenty assess all the angles ahead of the second All Blacks-Lions test in Wellington.

Shag and Gats get bromantic

'He didn't pick enough of them I guess' - Steve Hansen has a sly dig at Warren Gatland for not selecting enough Kiwi players

OPINION: War is over, get the beers in as Steven Hansen and Warren Gatland are mates, right?

Lions, from big top to circus

Lions coach Warren Gatland is taking the biggest gamble of his coaching career.

OPINION: Bizarre selections for second test contradict coach's entire career, writes Mark Reason.

Reason: Gatland shows strength video

Warren Gatland should be admired for admitting he was wrong to call in players based on where they were based.

OPINION: It takes a big man to admit his mistake as the Lions coach has done over the 'Geography Six'.

Exhausted Lions stand tall

Captain Rory Best leads the Lions on to the field against the Hurricanes.

OPINION: The Lions are out on their feet but are too proud to seek excuses, writes Paul Cully.

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