Friday, March 30, 2007

Super 14 Final lost in the fog

May 27, 2006

I'm still half asleep rubbing my eyes. What a (bad) joke. As others have said for years, rugby games should not be scheduled for the night-time in the South Island of New Zealand during winter. Test matches and Super 14 Finals, especially. What a lousy spectacle and a lousy promotion for the sport. Congrats to the Crusaders -- they are just too experienced, too clinical, too professional -- in short, too damn good. From what we could tell, the Crusaders were thoroughly dominant, from possession, to territory, to injury-count to scrums dismantled, they had it all. The scoreline flattered the Hurricanes. although their defence was committed and huge and got them within a sniff of stealing the game in the dying moments. That's a game I have no reason to ever watch again. [Correction: I watched it again. It's actually pretty compelling...]

Via New Zealand Herald:

Crusaders 19 Hurricanes 12

The Crusaders confirmed their status as the kings of Super rugby by beating the Hurricanes 19-12 in a surreal Super 14 final played in thick fog at Jade Stadium here tonight.

The team who won five of the 10 Super 12 titles before the competition expanded this year were too polished for a Hurricanes team playing in their first final.

However, the biggest talking point was the conditions, with a lack of visibility creating an at-times farcical affair.

Conditions worsened as the match wore on and sections of the crowd in the multi-storied Western Stand were reportedly forced to leave the ground because they couldn't see the field. Television coverage was also adversely affected.

The conditions ruined what many had predicted would be quality spectacle between two in-form teams laden with All Blacks. ...

Read the rest.

Rugby Planet piles on:

Pity the spectators at the ground and round the world. After the great build-up between these two great teams, little patches of match only were visible and then they too had an eeriness about them.

Forget seeing anything that happened 30 metres away except sometimes in vague outline when the fog was kinder. Some spectators left the ground and some huddled near the big screen in the hope of seeing something.

It will be forever the fog-bound Final. It was far, far worse than the sleet Final of Canberra.



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