And in the middle of one of the best New Zealand summers since the 80s, we’re all still licking our wounds and avoiding mention of the 'rugby' word after the disastrous world cup tournament in October. You can imagine, there’s not much interest here in Aotearoa while there's cricket to watch and vitamin D to collect. Oh, and of course I got married too last month, so I had other things to keep me occupied!
South Africa in doubt?
I haven’t been paying much attention to the opening games of the tournament - but judging by osmosis, South Africa already look like a union in doubt. With Matfield, Smit and James now overseas plying their trade and the likes of Habana and Pretorius injured, their glory days of the World Cup are already looking short-lived. Hopefully it won't be world chump time all over again, aka 2003.
Nick Evans set to set alight the Blues
If I had to hedge my bets, I’m guessing it will be the Auckland Blues this year that will be the runaway success. They’ve always had a backline that scintillates, but now with a quality first-five in the likes of Nick Evans, the tournament is theirs for the taking.
Canterbury won't do is this time
Robbie Deans is off to the Wallabies and although the Crusaders are a team to be reckoned with, I seriously doubt whether even they with a coming-back-into-form Carter and a loved up Richie McCaw will be able to pose a serious threat. Their rugby might be getting a bit past its used-by- date.
Colin Cooper - not a good coach
As for the Hurricanes? Sure, they beat Waikato in the weekend. But only a biased Dom-Post reporter would not admit that Colin Cooper is a weak coach that can't read a game, judging by his past results when you've allegedly got a plethora of world class players at your disposal. Or maybe the So'oialos, Collins', Hores and Tialatas aren't really cracked up to be what they are either.
So, the tournament is gonna be a long one. Maybe by June, I’ll be vaguely interested again.