Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: Stretched Super bubble's burst

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New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew. Photo / Mark Mitchell
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Run your finger carefully through today's Super rugby matches. Which of those games piques your interest enough to consider watching them live.

Honest answer, let the truth serum kick in. What about recording some to watch later?

Not doing it for you. An informal survey among interested sports types got more questions about who's playing than statements of spectator intent.

It's not surprising looking at the schedule - Bulls against Sharks, Sunwolves playing the Rebels, Crusaders hosting the Kings before the Reds take on the Blues starting about 10pm from Brizzy.

Super Saturday, Super bang bang. More like super damp squib.

The rugby equation seems to be expansion = dilution of interest.

The best of this weekend's round four might be the last game tomorrow when the Jaguars are in residence in Buenos Aires against the Chiefs.

It's a mid-morning kickoff which may count against a peak live audience as New Zealanders go about their Sunday activities.

However, if the weather is a little dodgy, the family is sorted and the chores are done, it might be a handy way to work towards lunch.

But apart from the New Zealand derbies so far, the expanded series has a ho-hum feel for those who live in this country and prefer the options of watching rugby in our timeframe against decent opposition.

The Force are being castigated across the Ditch and the Reds are a basketcase of talent and coaching problems.

In South Africa the Kings are hobbling along and then there are the Sunwolves, who are sparky but don't have much connection for us to latch on to.

New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew made noises this week about the All Blacks setting their own schedules from 2020 unless there is a considerable shift in World Rugby thinking about itineraries and financial rewards.

Perhaps he'd like to make a bit more of a commotion about Super rugby from that date.

If the target is better quality, then organisers should arrange a condensed transtasman series involving international players from round one.

They can change the landscape, adjust the convoluted rulebook, organise the schedule, deal with the television networks and sponsors.

Why not have another change? We've had Super rugby with 12, 14, 15 and 18 teams, conferences, divisions and additional sides from Japan and Argentina.

Growth = confusion and splintered interest.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

The latest commentary and analysis from senior rugby writer Wynne Gray. Wynne has been covering the All Blacks for more than 27 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

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