It looks like role reversal of the first degree when Auckland’s Super Rugby Blues head to Sydney’s Brookvale Oval to take on the Australian Conference leading Waratahs.
The Waratahs are currently in number three, so far as the overall standings are concerned, so if ever there was a match where the Kiwi dominance and winning streak against the Aussies would be put to the test, this seems to be the occasion.
The Blues are in disarray, if that word is sufficient to convey the situation. They have won only twice in nine tries during the 2018 Super Rugby season. Even a draw would improve their record, as the only team in worse position overall is the anonymous franchise based in Japan.
Perhaps the New Zealand Conference could petition the league to let New Zealand ship the Crusaders up to stand in for the Blues.
Kiwi sides have a 36-game winning streak going over the Aussies, a streak that goes back to the end of the 2016 season that includes a perfect 26 – 0 record for 2017.
The Crusaders are in Melbourne; however, to play the Rebels, so by the time the Blues versus the Waratahs game takes place, the NZ winning streak should be 37 games.
The Blues do not seem overly concerned about the New Zealand win streak, as they need to find anything that provides a ray of sunshine or a glimmer of hope for them. The recent loss to the Jaguares seems to indicate that if the Blues cannot find a way to beat an average team, they have to spend more time looking in the mirror and less time with the travel guide pointing out the most popular Sydney watering holes.
Part of the issue for the Blues this season is that they are missing almost 20 players due to various injuries, but that excuse, which is adequate in places like England or Ireland, does not suffice in New Zealand, where street corners are crowded with potential All Black players looking for a match.