Super Rugby round 4 PICKS : Can the Blues and 'Canes bounce back?

Much like the Blues, the self-proclaimed rugby oracles of 1 NEWS are back after a rough round three of Super Rugby looking to redeem themselves in round four's action.

After a rough round three, the rugby oracles are back with a vengeance to break down this week's pair of local clashes and the Chiefs' trip to Melbourne. Source: 1 NEWS

We've got two more mouth-watering local clashes and a Chiefs blowout in Melbourne (hopefully) to dissect!

How it works: 1 NEWS sports reporters will chirp in their picks for matches involving New Zealand sides each round with each adding a little insight into the choice involving their side. A correct result will give them two points and a correct margin a bonus point!

The first-five struggled in last week's loss to the Highlanders, prompting Umaga to look for solutions ahead of their clash with the Crusaders. Source: 1 NEWS

Crusaders v Blues
Rebels v Chiefs
Hurricanes v Highlanders

Andrew Saville - 1 NEWS Blues reporter, sports presenter

Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 1-12
"Hard to see Blues winning away. You’d assume they’ll fire up, but the Crusaders won’t want to fall behind again, like in Dunedin and Brisbane."

Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Highlanders: Hurricanes 1-12

John McKenzie - 1 NEWS Hurricanes reporter

Crusaders v Blues: Blues 1-12
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+

Hurricanes v Highlanders: Hurricanes 1-12
"This is the first time I’ve picked against the 'Landers this year (hence my place on the ladder), and it's personally hard for me to do so. There are just too many injuries against what still looks like a very solid 'Canes side, despite a few niggles as well."

Stephen Stuart - 1 NEWS Chiefs reporter

Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 1-12

Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+
"The Rebels beat them there two years ago but that won't happen this time. McKenzie getting a run at 10 and Chiefs will be out to get the maximum points available to extend lead in conference."

Hurricanes v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12

Brodyn Knuckey - 1 NEWS sport producer

Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+
"Crusaders will want to make a statement at home and prove they aren't the comeback kids. Yes, they're missing Dagg but a chopped and changed backline from the Blues isn't a miracle fix against a strong outfit like the Crusaders."

Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Highlanders: Hurricanes 13+

Josh Reich - 1 NEWS online producer

Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 1-12
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Highlanders: Hurricanes 1-12

Faleatua Malili - 1 NEWS sport producer

Crusaders v Blues: Blues 1-12
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+

Hurricanes v Highlanders: Hurricanes 1-12
"After being denied a bonus point by the Chiefs last week, expect a fired up Hurricanes side against a wounded Highlanders pack."

Scoreboard: Manukia 21, Reich 20, Malili 17, Saville 17, Knuckey 16, Hall-Smith 15, Stuart 15, McKenzie 11


'I'm sure we'll see his game go to even greater heights' - All Blacks star Rieko Ioane signs long term deal with NZ Rugby

Star winger Rieko Ioane has committed to the All Blacks for four more years in a significant win for New Zealand Rugby.

The 21-year-old, who has scored 18 tries from 18 Tests, was the subject of intense offshore club interest but has chosen to remain put at his Super Rugby team the Blues.

His deal is the longest of any current All Black, taking him to the end of 2022.

Ioane was last year crowned World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year and was also a nominee for the main award.

His electric pace and nose for the tryline has been a key element for the world champions, most notably on last year's tour of Europe when he single-handedly proved the difference in Test wins over Scotland and Wales.

"I want to give it my best shot at serving the black jersey and, hopefully, I'll get the chance to play at the Rugby World Cup in the future. That's a huge motivator for me," he said.

Akira Ioane was an unlucky exclusion from Steve Hansen's squad this morning.
Source: 1 NEWS

Ioane's older brother Akira, 23, has also extended his NZ Rugby contract, until 2021.

The powerful Blues No.8 is yet to be capped but played a midweek match for the All Blacks in France last November.

Both brothers are former New Zealand sevens stars who are regarded by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen as among the country's premier young players.

"With his growing maturity and growth in his game understanding, I'm sure we'll see Rieko's game go to even greater heights," Hansen said.

"Akira is also an immense talent who has a bright future in our national game and we congratulate him on his decision as well."

(L to R) Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane and Akira Ioane,
All Blacks training session ahead of the upcoming test series against France. Alexandra Park. Auckland, New Zealand. Tuesday 22 May 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga /
Rieko Ioane and Akira Ioane during an All Blacks training session in Auckland. Source: Photosport



All Blacks star Rieko Ioane signs four year deal with NZ Rugby

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane has signed a new four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby today.

The 21-year-old was named World Rugby's breakout player of the year in 2017 and has been outstanding for the national side since making his debut in 2016.

Brother Akira also signed a new three-year deal with NZ Rugby.

Rieko has scored 18 tries in 18 Tests, including a double against South Africa in Wellington last week in the All Blacks' 36-34 loss.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said it was "fantastic news for New Zealand Rugby. Rieko is a young player with undoubted talent who has already achieved wonderful things on the international stage."

Rieko said he felt "incredibly privileged to get the opportunity to play my rugby here for another four years." He said playing at a World Cup was "a huge motivator for me."

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said last month that Rieko is key player for the future.

"He's a vital component of our plan going forward," said Foster.

"I can't speak highly enough about him. He came in with a bit of a swagger and he has learned about the All Blacks.

"What I like is he has got real maturity about him, he hasn't got ahead of himself, and he quietly goes about his work."

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

The new deal will see Rieko stay in New Zealand until the end of 2022 with Akira signed until the end of 2021.

"He's learning how to prepare better and better every test match, and when he goes out and plays he seems to enjoy doing what he's done since he was a kid. As long as we can keep him in that mode it's really exciting."

Rieko Ioane scores his second try.
New Zealand All Blacks v South Africa Springboks. Rugby Championship test match. Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand. Saturday 15 September 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga /
All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane scores his second try against the Springboks. Source: Photosport



Wallabies star Israel Folau wins Waratahs MVP award despite controversial year

Superstar fullback Israel Folau has won the Matthew Burke Cup, the NSW Waratahs players' players award.

The Wallabies back polled 99 votes, to finish ahead of captain and openside flanker Michael Hooper (77), backrower Michael Wells (71) and inside centre Kurtley Beale (65).

Votes were cast on a 3-2-1 basis by members of each match day squad after the Waratahs Super Rugby games.

Wells won the Waratahs best forward award and Beale took out the gong for their best back.

The NSW women's player of the year was veteran back Ash Hewson, who captained her state to the inaugural Super W title.

SYDNEY, NSW - MARCH 18: Waratahs player Israel Folau (14) looks towards the scoreboard at round 5 of the Super Rugby between Waratahs and Rebels at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on March 18, 2018. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire)
Waratahs player Israel Folau. Source: Photosport



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