Lynagh backs Crusaders

2012-07-13 17:07

London - Australia great Michael Lynagh said Friday he expected the Crusaders would win the Super Rugby southern hemisphere tournament and provide fresh proof of world champions New Zealand's global dominance.

The Canterbury club are led by All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and have another New Zealand star in fly-half Dan Carter masterminding their back play.

"I think the Stormers (from South Africa) might (beat the Rebels) tomorrow (Saturday) and then because they'll be playing at home (in the play-offs), that's a big advantage," Lynagh, looking well following his shock stroke, told British satellite broadcaster Sky Sports here on Friday.

"The Brumbies (from Australia) have had a wonderful year but I just think they've reached their end, they've made the play-offs and they've got a good coach in Jake White but I don't know whether they've got the team.

"For me, it's still the Crusaders -- I said that at the start of the year and I'll stick to that.

"All the New Zealand teams are playing at a level above everyone else."

Meanwhile Lynagh said he expected England fly-half Danny Cipriani, now with Premiership side Sale, to be a better player for his experience with the Melbourne Rebels, whom he joined after his international career stalled.

"We've seen him do brilliant things on the rugby field and some not-so-brilliant things on the rugby field and off the rugby field.

"Him now coming back to England to try and play well for Sale and also get back in the England reckoning will be quite important for him.

"I think the rugby experience, and experience of a different culture and way of playing the game will be very educational and very good for him and I expect to see him come back a better player for it."

Former Wallaby fly-half Lynagh, Australia's record points scorer, spent two weeks in hospital in his native Brisbane after suffering a stroke in April.

It meant the 48-year-old lost some of the vision in his left eye but he insisted: "I'm very lucky.

"I think being relatively healthy and younger, it certainly helped in my recovery," added Lynagh, who ended his rugby career with English Premiership club Saracens before settling in the UK and starting out as a rugby broadcaster.

Reflecting on his experience, Lynagh said: "I've certainly learnt a lot about strokes and the recovery of them, and how it affects young people -- and older people of course.

"I've become very involved in the Stroke Association and a number of other charities, both here and in Australia, and also the hospital (the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital) in Australia which was fantastic for me.

"It's an illness that one needs to understand, and also understand the symptoms to try and help people when you see it happening, to get them to a hospital quickly.

"That's what happened to me and I'm very grateful."

Lynagh won 72 caps for Australia in the 1980s and 1990s.

He was a member of the Wallabies' Grand Slam-winning team during a tour of Britain and Ireland in 1984, and a key player in Australia's 1991 World Cup win.

Lynagh captained Australia from 1993 to 1995 and held the world points scoring record with 911 when he retired, a tally that remains a Wallaby record.


  • john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-13 17:19

    oooh , this should be good !

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-13 17:34

      Imagine what the people gonna do there in the Mountain.. It's gonna be like civil war there with all the All Black Supporters there...

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-13 17:46

      yes ... let's sit back..point and laugh

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-13 19:00

      I also backed them, along with the bulls. Put a wager on those two and also the sharks. lets see

  • claude.felbert - 2012-07-13 18:22

    At this point there are three teams in with a good chance Stormers, Sharks and Crusaders. However it looks like the Stormers will have home ground advantage and if Duane Vermeulen is fit in time then they will be very difficult to beat.

      enrico.capazorio - 2012-07-13 18:32

      Agree with you Claude. The semi's should look something like this Stormers v. Sharks, Chiefs v. Crusaders(based on current form). However, the Sharks would have to beat the Brumbies in Brisbane and maybe the Bulls could rediscover their form from previous years and upset the 'saders, not likely but not impossible. No team is unbeatable at this stage of the comp. can`t wait to see how it all pans out. Go Stormers!!!!!!!

      smellarat.smith - 2012-07-14 00:54

      Do not count out the Chiefs. Or even the Canes if the Bulls and/or the Sharks stumble with their next game. Crusaders always strong contenders to lift the Super Rugby cup. (Cape Maori and Zion, sorry mates, even if you dyed your hair black you would still really be blondes, if you know what I mean. So you just cannot take any claim for NZ team victories). Sharks probably stand the best chance of the Saffa teams, although their lower standings on the log may well hurt them with more away games looming. Stormers will have home ground advantage, and I hope they do well, but are somewhat depleted in the loosie department, compared to say the Sharks.

  • storm.trooper.125 - 2012-07-13 19:16

    this idiot says..that STORMERS might beat the he stupid or is he stupid???

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-13 19:25

      Yeah i know right... There is no way the Stormers will win... Is he/she crazy???

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-14 09:21

      Charlie Chaplin was funny. In contrast, Chaplinncharlie has verbal diarhoea - never has anything funny or substantive to say. A quick IQ test prior to being allowed computer access would solve the problem. Sadly not possible. I will just have to stop reading when I see this idiot's avatar.

  • Ross - 2012-07-13 23:10

    It would be hilarious if the Crusaders have a shocker and loose to the Force and don't even qualify for the play-offs. My prediction is Crusaders by 20 though.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-14 09:26

      How does one loose to another? Is the education system so bad nobody knows how to spell lose?

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