In Another World, in which Leinster and Ulster won their respective URC semi-finals, today/tomorrow (edit needed) will provide the ideal appetizer for those visiting New Zealand in the next few weeks.
That is, an all Irish final may not transpire, but all Irish eyes will be on this/tomorrow morning’s Super Rugby final, as the two best Kiwi teams, the Blues and the Crusaders, lock horns in what promises to be a There will be a fascinating battle that will serve as an all black trial for many of the stars on the show.
Andy Farrell will be one of those keen observers, and unlike his number one Ian Foster, who will be watching nervously at Eden Park, with Ireland’s head coach worrying about any late injuries before the team travels to Auckland. Don’t need to. in a few days.
Many Crusaders and Blues players will return to Eden Park in two weeks for New Zealand’s first Test against Ireland.
A big deal for Leinster and Ulster, who lost last weekend, is that Farrell was able to start his preparations for the Summer Tour earlier than planned.
After a fruitful three-day camp earlier this week, Farrell worked with his All 40 traveling squad to stand up for him before a grueling five-game tour.
With many of his key figures going up against each other in the deciding fixture of Super Rugby, Foster’s one wish would be that they all emerge fully.
The All Blacks have been on the shelf since losing back-to-back games in Dublin and Paris last November, but behind the scenes, they’re preparing themselves for the arrival of Pharrell’s men.
Not everyone in New Zealand is convinced by Foster’s tenure so far, and with the World Cup just over a year away, the head coach is under pressure.
Foster would be least rested during the Super Rugby campaign as Kiwi sides with the Blues, Crusaders and Chiefs took the top three spots, with the Hurricanes in fifth, and the Highlanders in eighth.
The Crusaders, under the guidance of Scott Robertson, who many believe should be the All Blacks boss, have dominated Super Rugby in recent seasons, winning the last three titles, but the Blues are the much-sleeping giants who have lost their lives. Mojo is at it again, as he aims for his first title in 19 years.
The signing of Budden Barrett from the Hurricanes following their Japanese sabbatical has been instrumental in the turnaround in the fortunes of the Blues, while also the appointment of Joe Schmidt as assistant coach.
Given some of the Blues’ clever, complicated moves this season, it’s easy to see Schmidt’s influence on the field, yet his influence has been just as significant, according to Finlay Christie, who came back in the lead against Ireland. is ready. – By experienced scrum-half Aaron Smith.
“Joe is a world-class coach and has a lot of experience at the international level,” said Christie.
“He’s always going to add value to a team. He and Craig (McGrath) are driving the defense.
“I think the main thing that’s building it up is the hard-working culture in the team on the field – working hard for each other whether you have the ball or not. That’s the main thing that I noticed. And it’s definitely going in the right direction.”
Christie was speaking back in May, and his understanding was correct, as the Blues were six points ahead of the Crusaders in the regular season table.
The Auckland-based side, led by former All Blacks Leon Macdonald, secured their 15th consecutive victory in a tough semi-final clash against the Brumbies last weekend.
Pharrell and his coaching staff will keep a close eye on the likes of tightrope Napo Loulala, back-rows Akira Ioane and Hoskins Sotutu, while centers Roger Tuivasa-Shek and Riko Ioane could line up well together for the All Blacks. Recent rugby league convert Tuivasa-Shek is firmly in the ‘one to watch’ category.
For all the world-class talent on the show, though, it’s hard to take away the feeling that Barrett’s personal battle with Richie Mounga will go a long way in deciding who wears the No. 10 jersey on July 2 at Eden Park.
Barrett was selected last November at Aviva Stadium ahead of Mo’unga, but he was dropped early with a head injury, which cost him a long spell from the game.
The two-time World Player of the Year has regained fitness and looks sharp, but Mounga is a classy operator who benefited greatly from working alongside Ronan O’Gara during his time with the Crusaders.
Mo’unga tickles the Crusaders, but like all parts, he relies on his pack to set the stage. Thankfully for him, his All Blacks teammates George Bower, Cody Taylor, Sam Whitlock and Scott Barrett (Buden’s younger brother) all start it/tomorrow morning (edit), along with Irish-worthy Tighthead Ollie Jagger, who continues to attract interest from close to home.
The Crusaders back-line could easily start for all blacks, with Sevou Reis, Will Jordan and Leicester Fanganuku capable of making something out of nothing.
In total, 20 players from the All Blacks squad will compete in the Super Rugby final to face Ireland. As well as being an exciting competition, it will also serve as a reminder of the sheer quality that awaits Pharrell’s men in New Zealand.
5 players to watch
Jack Goodhue (Crusader)
After nearly a year out with an ACL injury, the All Blacks missed out on their defensive tenacity and deceit in the ’13’ channel.
Will Jordan (Crusader)
An excellent back-three operator who made a stellar effort in Dublin last November to show just how devastating he can be.
Ollie Jagger (Crusader)
Although he missed out on selection for the All Blacks team, Irish-worthy Tighthead, who spent most of his early life at Kildare, is on the verge of winning the first cap.
Roger Tuivasa-Shake (Blues)
After switching from rugby league, where he was a superstar, the All Blacks are attempting to fast-track the mighty center in time for next year’s World Cup.
Hoskins Sotutu (Blues)
The talented No. 8 has rediscovered his best form this season, and is an explosive choice when he faces stiff competition for a spot in the All Blacks back-row.
Blues v Crusaders, Eden Park, 8.05 a.m. (Irish time), live on Sky Sports action