Super Rugby Pacific 2022
The southern hemisphere's new competition sees teams from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands battle it out. Mike Penistone provides an overview of the format, an intro to the teams and a review of the first week's action
The Super Rugby Pacific competition replaces Super Rugby Australia and Rugby Aotearoa. (New Zealand).
The competition returns to a 12-team tournament with Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua added in place of south African and Argentinian teams.
Each team will play 14 regular season matches made up of 11 round robin matches and 3 derby/rivalry matches.
Golden point will be used in the event of a game ending in a draw. Two 5-minute periods will be added. The first point scored will decide the winner. If no point is scored in extra time the game will be declared a draw.
The top 8 will play a playoff series. 1 v 8, 2 v 6 down etc. The winners will proceed to the semi-finals, the semi-final winners playing in the Grand Final on June 18th.
Feb 18th Moana Pacific v Blues (cancelled due to covid)
Feb 18th Waratahs 40 v Fijian Drua 10
Feb 19th Chiefs 26 v Highlanders 16.
Feb 19th Crusaders 42 v Hurricanes 32
Feb 19th Reds 23 v Rebels 5
Feb 19th Brumbies 29 v Force 23.
Apparently, there’s a cloud hanging over New Zealand’s forwards after both Ireland and France dismantled them at the end of last season. Selectors will be monitoring performances with greater scrutiny this season, asking the questions….
Are New Zealand’s tight five tough enough? Is the balance in the back row productive enough? Who is the ideal choice as captain?
One thing is for sure The New Zealand derbies and rivalries will produce some riveting clashes.
Pre-season preparation is now a forensic examination of how we can play the game. Most teams play the same way, with a pre-dominance of second man plays. Defences have reacted accordingly with the outside defender coming up quickly to tackle the deepest looping attacker. There are some interesting variations at the line-out to watch out for.