There is a debate about which Australian team should go from Super Rugby - probably either the Force or Rebels - but maybe the Brumbies should be in the mix now too.

To see GIO Stadium not even a quarter full for a Brumbies quarter-final was really disappointing, given as well that coach Stephen Larkham and a host of senior players are leaving the franchise.

It makes you wonder whether they are the team that should possibly go. Yes, they are an established franchise but, frankly, where is their support? They are definitely playing second fiddle to the Canberra Raiders who are playing in front of full houses.

Compare that to the Force and Rebels, who have plenty of support, the latter despite being based in Melbourne where league is also strong. I just wonder what the Australian Rugby Union makes of it and whether they should consider putting the Brumbies under the spotlight because they haven't had good support all year. Remember too that the ARU has had to financially bail them out in the past.


There are some talented players in that squad too who could significantly boost the Force, who actually finished the season pretty well, Rebels, Reds and Waratahs.

In terms of the Brumbies' quarter-final performance against the Hurricanes, it was a reasonably tenacious effort before the Hurricanes finally got going.

Coach Chris Boyd has spoken of his disappointment at his team's performance and I agree. They certainly wouldn't have put any fear into the remaining teams in the competition.

They looked completely out of sorts. They got the job done but didn't do it with any fluidity and will need to get that right quickly.

However, one thing that could put a smile on their face on their way to South Africa is the performance of the Lions, their semifinal opponents, in edging past the Sharks.

The Lions and Hurricanes - the two finalists last year - put in two of their poorest performances of the season over the weekend, and we now are faced with two very different semifinals; a South Africa v New Zealand match on the highvelt and the mouth-watering prospect of a New Zealand derby in Christchurch.

Scott Robertson and his Crusaders team might have been hoping for a Stormers victory over the Chiefs in Cape Town but few New Zealand rugby fans would have felt the same way.

We will now have two of the better teams in Super Rugby in recent times and while the Crusaders got a good win in Fiji this year, history shows that the Chiefs have been a bogey side for them. Before they met in Suva the Chiefs had won their last four games against the Crusaders by an average margin of 14 points.


For the Highlanders, the conditions in Christchurch for their quarter-final were never going to suit them.

The wet and cold night demanded a tactical game that revolved around the forwards. With the greatest respect to the tenacity, fight and grit of the Highlanders' pack, when you compare them with Crusaders' pack with seven starting All Blacks in it with two on bench, it was always going to be tough for the visitors.

Tactically they also got it a bit wrong. Their kicking wasn't as accurate and as timely as the Crusaders and on a wet night you need to win the territorial battle and they had to play without the ball which cost them the game.

It was great from a Crusaders' perspective. It sends a warning that they will be hard to beat in Christchurch. Should they have to travel to Ellis Park, they can also play dry ball rugby as well which they shown this season. It was a very impressive performance.