Kiwi coach roasts state of Aussie rugby union
He’s one of the most generous coaches in the game, so comments from Crusaders mentor Scott Robertson conceding there is “a gulf” between Australia and New Zealand’s Super Rugby sides should send shockwaves through the Aussie game.
Australian sides have lost all 10 games in the opening fortnight of the Trans-Tasman competition, with the Crusaders handing Super Rugby AU champions the Queensland Reds a 63-28 shellacking at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
The Crusaders were primed for the clash between the domestic Super Rugby champions and showed they are at another level from their Aussie counterpart.
“The Aotearoa competition was tough, brutal – they guys talk about it being like Test matches week after week,” Robertson said.
“But we were really looking forward to (playing in Australia), I’ve never been more excited to tour, I don’t think.”
But the efforts of the Aussie teams so far had not been anything to write home about.
“There’s a gulf isn’t there, which is a real shame,” Robertson said.
“You’ve got to keep these games (close), you’ve got to be in them for long periods of time.
“You’ve got to have depth in squads and you’ve got to have guys that can back up week to week.
“The rest of this comp’s really important for Australian rugby really, just to show a bit for their supporters.”
Robertson has coached the Crusaders since 2017. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Reds coach Brad Thorn said while tough medicine, the drubbing may end up being good for his side.
“For us, we need to play New Zealanders, we have to play them. If we want to get better, we have to play them,” Thorn said.
“Tonight we got a punch in the face.
“But you sit in the locker room afterwards and say, ‘That’s the standard. That’s where we want to be’.
“Sometimes the hardest lessons are the good ones.”
The Reds are committed to reaching the bar the Crusaders set.
“We need to play these guys,” Thorn said.
“If we want to go somewhere, you have to play them and we want to play them.
“And we want to win.
“But there was a team that was far superior (on Saturday) and you’ve got to acknowledge that, embrace it and get better.
“It’s just reality, they’ve won the last five titles they’ve been involved in – welcome to world class.
“You’ve got to get in the ring with them and play to win.”
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