About Sam Clench

Sam was born in New Zealand, so rugby was always going to be his favourite sport. He is a passionate All Blacks fan with a soft spot for the Auckland Blues. His favourite players are Dan Carter and Conrad Smith. He studies postgraduate journalism during lulls in the footy. Follow Sam on Twitter!

Defence defines Super Rugby finals

Sharks scrum

When the Sharks defeated Queensland at Suncorp Stadium a week ago, the feature of their victory was an intense, steadfast effort in defence. The Reds enjoyed most of the territory and possession, particularly in the second half, but they could not break through a mightily determined South African line. It was a similar story in […]

Along comes Sir John to cure Auckland’s Blues

John Kirwan

Rugby fans in Auckland should welcome the opportunity to make a clean break from the chronic underachievement of their Super Rugby franchise in recent seasons. The Blues took a step in the right direction this week by sacking incumbent coach Pat Lam, who had been in charge at Eden Park for the last four years. […]

Who will replace Sonny Bill Williams?

Sonny Bill Williams

Now that the departure of Sonny Bill Williams has been confirmed, the All Black selectors must settle upon a long term replacement for his vacant position at inside centre. It is difficult to imagine the coaching staff punting on anyone other than Ma’a Nonu for the upcoming Rugby Championship, considering his experience as a top […]

All Blacks have kicked their Achilles’ heel


When the news broke last October that Dan Carter was to miss the business end of the World Cup through injury, the Shaky Isles were rocked to their core.  The vague anxiety that traditionally accompanies a World Cup campaign in New Zealand quickly evolved into borderline panic. It was a devilishly ironic moment. Graham Henry […]