The 2019 edition of the Super Rugby season is upon us. The question that is being asked is: Can someone dethrone the All Black laden Crusaders? I think it will be very tough for any side to take the Super Rugby title out of Christchurch.
Crusaders – Over the more than 20 editions of Super Rugby, the Crusaders have managed to win the title a record 9 times. The past two seasons they dominated Super Rugby and also managed to win the final in 2017 at Ellis Park against a very good Lions side. With forwards like Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Tim Perry, Joe Moody, Luke Romano, Kieran Read, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Sam Whitelock and backs like Ryan Crott, Israel Dagg, David Havili, Jack Goodhue and Richie Mo’unga, it’s difficult to see any side winning the Super Rugby title other than the Crusaders.
Hurricanes – Probably the side that has the best chance of upsetting the Crusaders. A side that is very consistent each year and won the title back in 2016. An entertaining side with 2017 World Rugby player of the year Beauden Barrett, brother Jordie Barret, TJ Perenara, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Ngani Laumape, Dane Coles and Ardie Savea it’s makes for good reading. Will probably make at least the semi-finals.
Chiefs – Winning the competition back to back in 2012 and 2013 and performing very well since then. Has the ability to compete for Super Rugby glory, but how big a void will the injury to All Black Sam Cane leave? No doubt that they do have the quality in the form of Anton Lienert-Brown, Brodie Retallick, Damien Mckenzie, Nathan Harris and Nepo Laulala.
Highlanders – The Highlanders won the title back in 2015 after a very impressive season. Been a solid side ever since and have the fire power to go all the way. With star players Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock, Shannon Frizell and Waisake Naholo the quality is there.
Lions – Runner up for the past three seasons, can they go all the way in 2019? I think the Lions are the best side other than a New Zealand team to go all the way. They know how to win and got a group of players that’s been together for the past few seasons. Star players Malcolm Marx, Warren Whiteley, Kwagga Smith, Elton Jantjies, Andries Coetzee, Lionel Mapoe and Aphiwe Dyantyi will be in the front line to push for the trophy.
Australia – I don’t think any Australian side have the ability to go all the way and win the title. Australian Rugby is in an all time low and that is evident in their Super Rugby performances the last few season. The Waratahs and Brumbies are maybe the only Australian sides that can compete for a quarter-final position.
Written by Carl Coertzen