The Crusaders continue their new, slightly bizarre, crusade with a resounding win against a previously resurgent Highlanders squad.
What looked like it could be a close, torrid tussle ended up being a comfortable win for the Crusaders. The Highlanderts, even though they are greatly improved on previous seasons, probably just lacked that class in the important stages of games.
Even the Highlanders scrum looked like it was struggling against a commited Crusader pack, which was a surprise given the Highlanders gave the Bulls a shock a few weeks back.
The new openside Todd for the Crusaders has All Black written all over him. Somehow another superstar in the making there from the Crusader factory line.
Was great to see Tony Brown wheeled out for another season. Expect to see Kronfeld & Dave Latta getting kitted up soon. Wasn't quite the party at Tony Browns place though.
SBW continues to look an quite awesome prospect. His offloading skills are quite remarkable! He does not have a kicking game, something you would expect from a 2nd five, but all his other attributes make him a winner in my view.
Have to touch on the decision to move RWC away from Christchurch. It was the only decision they could really make. Christchurch isn't going to be anywhere near ready for such an event after the disaster here. Any resources harnesed/spent on getting ChCh ready would be better spent elsewhere. Infrastructure damage is quite shocking, let alone the disaster zone that is the CBD. The haunting images shown to everyone at the memorial service last friday left everyone stunned (deathly silence during the 14 min vid). It is quite disturbing.
Somehow the organisers are going to have to engage Christchurch in some meaningful way during RWC. At the moment, I can see ChCh being a forgotten part of the tournament. In itself an awful situation given Canterbury's contribution to NZ rugby. Alot of money was spent getting ChCh ready for this event. All for nothing. The danger is its going to be a "stadium of 3.5 million" for the event, instead of the 4m touted in the marketing blurb.