I reckon the Queensland Reds made a point last week - and they’ll be out to make another one at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night when they take on the Blues...
The Reds’ long-awaited win over the Chiefs in Townsville proved that Australian teams do have what it takes to compete with the New Zealand sides. A win over the high-flying Blues will show that the current Super Rugby set up is worth persevering with.
When COVID forced Super Rugby to break into two separate competitions consisting only of Australian and Kiwi franchises, the naysayers said it would put Australian rugby on the backfoot for decades to come. According to the critics, a lack of strong opposition would lead to the Aussies falling further behind their cousins from over the ditch, and never the twain would meet.
The first few rounds of this year’s inaugural Trans-Tasman series only reinforced that point of view. Until last week, that is, when the Queenslanders broke through for Australia’s first Super Rugby win over a Kiwi side for 457 days.
It didn’t come easily though. What looked like being a comprehensive victory for Brad Thorn’s men turned out to be a 40-34 nail-biter in the end, but a win is a win and the bean-counters at Rugby Australia breathed a sigh of relief when the fulltime whistle was blown.
Not only did the Reds show that the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman concept has merit, it also raised hopes that the Wallabies might just be able to mix it with the All Blacks later in the year.
Friday night will be the real test though. The Blues are currently undefeated in the Trans-Tasman series and sit proudly on top of the ladder. Thorn and his players would like nothing better than to knock them off their high horse in the Reds last game at Suncorp Stadium this season.
Personally, I’d love to see them do it – and not just because it’s always good to see an Aussie side get up against a tough Kiwi outfit. I’d also like them to win because I reckon the separate Australian and New Zealand competitions followed by a Trans-Tasman tournament is the way to go for the future.
What do YOU reckon?
AGREE: The two competitions, followed by the Trans-Tasman round robin, has been a success and should be continued.
DISAGREE: The Aussies are so far behind the Kiwis that it’s not funny. The only thing the Trans-Tasman series does is emphasise the superiority of New Zealand rugby.
Let us know on our Facebook!