Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has admitted that there is a huge difference in standard between New Zealand teams in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman and their Australian counterparts.
After two rounds of action, New Zealand teams have won all 10 of the matches in the newly-established tournament.
Speaking after his team’s 63-28 rout of the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday, Robertson said it’s a pity that the Australian teams were struggling so early in the competition.
“There’s a gulf isn’t there, which is a real shame,” Robertson told AAP.
“I would have liked Australian teams to knock off a few of the Kiwi teams to make the ladder a little more even.
“The rest of this comp’s really important for Australian rugby to show a bit for their supporters.”
The aggregate score from the weekend’s matches was 103-47 in favour of New Zealand teams with the Western Force’s 25-15 loss to the Highlanders in Perth being the lowest losing margin suffered by an Australian franchise.
The other matches saw the Blues beating the Waratahs 48-21 while the Hurricanes notched a 35-13 win against the Melbourne Rebels and the Chiefs claimed a 40-19 victory over the Brumbies.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn, who guided his team to the Super Rugby AU title earlier this month, echoed Robertson’s sentiments.
“I’ve said all year we need to play the New Zealanders if you want to get better,” he said.
“You get a punch in the face, but you sit in the locker room afterwards and think, ‘that’s it, that’s where we want to be’.
“We need to play these guys; we want to play them and we want to win.
“But there’s a team that’s far superior, and you’ve got to wear that. Welcome to world-class, now you’ve got to get in the ring with them.”