1. Auckland Blues: Welcome to Eden Park, Coach Kirwan

    In their first game at Eden Park following a season that Blues fans would love to forget, Auckland destroyed their arch-rivals , the Crusaders, 34-15. This was not just a win. It was a statement...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 1 year ago 394 reads 1 comments

  2. Auckland Blues: Nightmare Season Ends on a High Note

    Today's 30-16 victory over Australian conference leaders, the Brumbies, caps off the longest winning streak the Auckland Blues have put together all year - two...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about 2 years ago 218 reads 1 comments

  3. New Zealand Rugby: A Quick Look at Steve Hansen's First Test Squad

    After a long break following the World Cup, test season is on its way back for New Zealand rugby fans, a month earlier than usual...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 917 reads 11 comments

  4. Rugby Union: Power Ranking Dan Carter's Potential Backups

    New Zealand's favourite underwear model makes his way back to a starting XV for the first time since his injury during the World Cup this Sunday against the Lions...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 1,215 reads 3 comments

  5. Auckland Blues: Could This Be the End of the Pat Lam Era?

    Under Pat Lam, the Blues have fielded star-studded teams that were known for underachieving. Earlier this year, I said that if the Blues don't make the finals this year then Pat Lam must go ...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 300 reads 0 comments

  6. Conrad Smith Leads Hurricanes Past the Blues with a Last-Minute Effort

    The Blues were an early-season favourite to go far in this year's Super Rugby season, and the Hurricanes were supposed to struggle, but it certainly didn't look that way tonight...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 185 reads 2 comments

  7. Super Rugby: Gareth Anscombe Impresses in Starting Debut for Blues

    The Blues dug themselves a bit of a hole in the first two weeks of the season. They lost two games that they were more than capable of winning against the Crusaders and the Chiefs...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 211 reads 0 comments

  8. Otago Rugby and New Zealand Rugby's Need to Go Commercial

    If you live in New Zealand, you may have heard that one of the more storied unions in the country is currently in debt and is struggling to stay active and avoid liquidation...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 294 reads 9 comments

  9. Super Rugby: Blues Are Rugby's Version of the Philadelphia Eagles' Dream Team

    It's only been two weeks, but the Blues have already lost two games that they could've and probably should've won. They began by losing to the Crusaders at home despite having two tries to their one...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 311 reads 5 comments

  10. Super Rugby: A Positional Breakdown of Chiefs vs. Blues

    On Friday, the Chiefs will be hosting their northern neighbours at Waikato Stadium for what should be a great matchup. The two teams are known for playing exciting rugby, despite not always succeeding in the win column...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 281 reads 1 comments

  11. Super Rugby: 5 Things We Learned About the Auckland Blues from Friday

    Once again the Blues and the Crusaders engaged in an epic war that went down to the wire. After the Blues scored two quick tries through Chris Lowrey and David Raikuna, the Crusaders ...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 208 reads 6 comments

  12. Super Rugby: Blues vs. Crusaders: Positional Breakdown

    In New Zealand, there is no provincial rivalry better than Auckland vs. Canterbury. The big city of the North vs. the big city of the South...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 246 reads 3 comments

  13. Super Rugby: Week 1 Picks

    Only a few days remain until Super Rugby kicks off again at Eden Park between the Blues and the Crusaders (a game I shall be attending)...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 613 reads 1 comments

  14. MMA: 5 Reasons Why It Should Become an Olympic Sport

    The Summer Olympics. The pinnacle of world sport. Originating in Ancient Greece, the modern version of the Olympics features a far more diverse range of sports than before with many more being added due to rising popularity...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 4,829 reads 23 comments

  15. Super Rugby: Highlanders Talented Roster Could Lead Them to Super Rugby Playoffs

    For a long time, the Highlanders have been at the bottom of the New Zealand Super Rugby hierarchy. But last year, they had their first non-losing season since 2005, managing to finish third in the New Zealand conference...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 202 reads 2 comments

  16. Super Rugby: Even Without AMI Stadium, the Crusaders Can Go All the Way

    2011 was a tragic year for the Canterbury region of New Zealand. It was hit by an earthquake in February as well as a number of aftershocks. These hardships made the Crusaders' trip to the Super Rugby final last year all the more amazing...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 272 reads 0 comments

  17. Super Rugby: Mark Hammett and the Hurricanes Have a Tough Season Ahead

    Last year, Mark Hammett took over the coaching duties for a team which, under the previous coach Colin Cooper, had made the playoffs five times in eight years. It did not turn out very well...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 192 reads 2 comments

  18. Super Rugby: Under Dave Rennie, a New Era of Chiefs Rugby Begins

    The Ian Foster era of Chiefs rugby is best represented by their former five-eighth Stephen Donald. The polarizing five-eighth was beloved in the Waikato, but he was known throughout the country for his glaring lack of consistency...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 286 reads 4 comments

  19. Super Rugby: If the Blues Don't Make the Final, Then Lam Must Go

    Back in the early days of Super Rugby, the Blues were the dominant team. Under Graham Henry they made the first three finals and won two of them. The Blues of the past few years haven't been anything special...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 188 reads 0 comments

  20. Rugby: Why Frank Halai Could Be a Great All Black in the Future

    The sevens is always an exciting event, with colourful costumes, exciting rugby and far more parity than in other international rugby competitions. But the sevens isn't just a rugby party...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 2,062 reads 4 comments

  21. Rugby Union Power Rankings: The 11 Best Players in the Southern Hemisphere

    2012 looks to be a big year for Southern Hemisphere rugby, with the inclusion of Argentina into the newly named Rugby Championship. This follows a 2011 which saw the Web Ellis Trophy return there once more, making it seven out of eight...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 16,819 reads 17 comments

  22. Rugby Union: 5 Rule Changes to Change the Sport for the Better

    Rugby has changed a lot since its inception. More rules and regulations have been introduced in order to protect the players and also to make the game more interesting for the fans...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 1,653 reads 15 comments

  23. Why Robbie Deans Was the Wrong Choice for the Wallabies

    About four years ago, I was in a small township in the Waikato called Te Kauwhata. My friend was wearing a Wallabies jacket and a man approached us and said, "I'd be afraid of the Wallabies this year, they took the best coach we have...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 550 reads 2 comments

  24. Why Championships Matter When Measuring Greatness

    It is a topic that sports fans love to debate about. Who's better, Player A or Player B? Player A has better stats, but Player B has more championships...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 417 reads 4 comments

  25. Super 15: 5 New Zealand Players Primed to Have Breakout Years

    Last year, there were a number of young players who showed off their talent and made a push for that black jersey. But being a World Cup year, the coaching trio opted for experience and versatility, and as a result, many talented players were left out...

    Ben Alves Written by Ben Alves about over 2 years ago 694 reads 5 comments