The Super 14 Rugby Final will be held this weekend at Jade Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand, between five times Super 12 Champions, the Canterbury Crusaders and first time Super Rugby finalist, the Wellington-based Hurricanes.
Both teams have awesome defences,exciting backs and great loose forwards. They make Northern Hemisphere rugby sides look like bumblng draught horses!
The Super 14 competition was expanded to 14 teams this year after ten years of Super 12: adding a fifth South African, and fourth Australian side in Perth,Western Australia.
The Canterbury Crusaders based in Christchurch won five finals and titles and were runners-up in two others, in the ten year competition.This year they play in their eighth final, since professional rugby started in 1996.
They are superbly coached by Robbie Deans, and captained by new All Blacks captain, Richie Macaw, the best open-side flanker in the world. Pivot Daniel Carter, the best first five/ fly half in rugby anywhere is a key figure. As a kicker he continues to break former All Black and Crusader Andrew Merhten's records one by one.
On the other side former All Blacks captain,Tana Umaga and blindside flanker, Jerry Collins are key figures. A boomer of a game is expected! Former Crusaders Assistant coach, Colin Cooper, now coaches the previous under-achieving Hurricanes.Can they beat the bookies?
I will update this post after the match on Saturday NZ time.