Nathan Burdon reassures about the Cusaders   2 May 2006

Shock horror! Water’s not really wet, grass isn’t necessarily green and women don’t really lie. Can we believe any of the old standards anymore? Could it really be that the Crusaders are stumbling at the business end of the Super 14? Surely not.

Not the franchise that has become the byword for timing the perfect run through the play-offs to win five Super 12 titles. But this isn’t the Super 12 anymore, we are no longer in Kansas, Toto.

Maybe the Crusaders have stuck with the same formula they used through those successful years, only to be caught out by the fact the tournament is now two weeks longer.

Last week's draw against the winless Force, and this weekend’s loss to the Stormers has put them in what Mark Todd would refer to as a sticky position.

With a fortnight left in the regular season, the Crusaders have to travel to the high veldt to tame the Bulls and then take on the Brumbies at home.

The loss to the Stormers has now allowed the Waratahs to squeeze passed at the top of the table, courtesy of a better points differential.

The Waratahs don’t have an easy run home either, with the Chiefs in Hamilton and the Hurricanes in Sydney.

It’s fascinating stuff, but don’t let results fool you into thinking the Crusaders have suddenly developed the speed wobbles.

The drawn game against the Force – if we’re being honest it probably should have been the Perth-based team’s first win – could be put down to, pardon me, "a bad day at the office".

Any team in any competition will have them, it’s just that the Crusaders don’t have them very often. And against the Stormers, the visitors chose to rest Richie McCaw, Andrew Ellis, Daniel Carter and Leon MacDonald.

That’s a pretty handy bench, although they didn’t have much impact when they came on in the second half.

A few short weeks ago we were wondering out loud whether the Crusaders could run through the inaugural Super 14 unbeaten.

Rugby News asked the question: Can the Crusaders be beaten? We know now that the answer is yes, but the real question is can they be beaten in games that really matter?

What Robbie Deans and his men desperately don’t want is to have to travel to Canberra or the Cake Tin for a semifinal, and I’m sure they don’t want to head to Sydney for a grand final.

Or maybe, at this stage of the season, they would be just happy to get to that point?

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Have your say: NZ considers rules for medicinal cannabis

12 Jul 2019 Health By Hon Dr David Clark
More widespread access to medicinal cannabis products is a step closer today with the release of proposals for regulations says... more

Steps taken to secure the future of New Zealand House London

10 Jul 2019 News By Rt HON WINSTON PETERS
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says further steps are being taken towards securing the future of New Zealand House in... more

Business

Minister Parker leads trade delegation to China

24 Apr 2019 Business News By Hon David Parker
Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker will lead a delegation of business representatives to China next week to advance the... more

Multinationals to pay fair share of tax

26 Jun 2018 Business News
26 JUNE 2018 HON STUART NASH New measures to ensure multinational companies pay their fair share of tax will come into force next... more

Living

Kiwis Saving Kiwi - London fundraiser to save NZ's iconic national bird

3 Jun 2019 London
This is an opportunity for London Kiwis to become Kiwi Savers. We're not talking about our financial future here, but the very... more

Celebrating NZ wine: today is International Sauvignon Blanc Day!

3 May 2019 Food & Wine
Today, Friday 3 May, is International Sauvignon Blanc Day. Sauvignon Blanc is the variety that woke the world up to New Zealand wine,... more

Property

New Zealand Government will not implement a Capital Gains Tax

17 Apr 2019 Property By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
The Coalition Government will not proceed with the Tax Working Group’s recommendation for a capital gains tax, Jacinda Ardern... more

More certainty in construction sector smooths boom and bust cycle

22 Aug 2018 Property
30 JULY 2018More certainty in construction sector smooths boom and bust cycle HON JENNY SALESA The 2018 National Construction Pipeline... more

Migration

Christchurch reinstated as refugee settlement location

18 Aug 2018 Migration
18 AUGUST 2018 HON IAIN LEES-GALLOWAY The announcement that Christchurch can once again be a settlement location for refugees... more

Post-study work rights emphasise skills NZ needs

8 Aug 2018 Migration
8 AUGUST 2018 HON IAIN LEES-GALLOWAY Changes to post-study work rights will help ensure international students coming to New Zealand... more

Travel

Arrival card change to smooth border process for international travellers to NZ

26 Sep 2018 Travel & Tourism By Hon Kris Faafoi
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 International travellers arriving into New Zealand should have a simpler, faster entry as a result of changes to... more

NZ Government to fully fund Auckand's SkyPath as part of $390m investment in walking and cycling

25 Aug 2018 Travel & Tourism
23 AUGUST 2018 HON PHIL TWYFORD HON JAMES SHAW Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Acting Associate Transport Minister James Shaw have... more

Sport

Looking to Lord's - The CWC19 Final awaits

14 Jul 2019 Cricket
Posted Friday, 12 July, 2019 in International News New Zealand or England will lift... more

Cricket World Cup 2019: England will face Black Caps in final after thumping Australia

12 Jul 2019 Cricket By Steve Douglas
Jul 12 2019 SKY SPORT England will play the Black Caps in the Cricket World Cup final after crushing Australia at Edgbaston. more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf The ghastly likes of Marine Le Pen in France and Geert ... more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome Well um.. on the bright side, there (probably)... more

Kiwi Success

Congratulations to Loder Cup winner

26 Sep 2018 People By Hon Eugenie Sage
25 SEPTEMBER 2018 The Loder Cup, one of New Zealand’s oldest conservation awards, has been awarded to Robert McGowan for 2018... more

Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO

16 Aug 2018 Appointments
16 AUGUST 2018Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO HON JENNY SALESA Associate Education Minister Jenny Salesa is... more

Recruitment

Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers

14 Aug 2018 Recruitment By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
14 AUGUST 2018Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON CHRIS HIPKINS Prime Minister The... more

Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers

22 Aug 2018 Recruitment By RT HON JACINDA ARDERN
14 AUGUST 2018Historic pay equity settlement for education support workers RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON CHRIS HIPKINS Prime Minister The... more