Rugby Direct

Rugby Direct

Every week, Rugby Direct gives you the lowdown on all you need to know from the rugby world. Whether it's the All Blacks, Black Ferns, NPC, Farah Palmer Cup, or just what's going down at the club grounds, we have you covered on your home for all things rugby. Listen on iHeartRadio for every angle, every moment, and every opinion.

Episodes

September 27, 2022 34 min

On this week's Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's All Blacks commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald chief sports writer) reflect on the All Blacks' 40-14 win over Australia that captured the Rugby Championship for another year.

We ask whether Jordie Barrett is now the ABs man at 12, who the top 3 All Blacks are to this point in 2022 and give our marks for the year to date.

We also ponder what was learned from t...

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On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (chief sports writer - NZ Herald) review the All Blacks and Wallabies' Bledisloe Cup test at Marvel Stadium and the shock decision of referee Mathieu Raynal at the end.

We discuss the make up of the side for Eden Park and whether the Wallabies can take some positives from the fact they probably should have won.

W...

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September 12, 2022 25 min

On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (chief sports writer - NZ Herald) are in Melbourne ahead of the All Blacks and Wallabies' Bledisloe Cup test at Marvel Stadium on Thursday (which you can hear live on NewstalkZB and Gold Sport).

We debate the likely team to be announced by Ian Foster for the match, the challenges the Wallabies might pose the All ...

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September 5, 2022 25 min

On this week's Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's All Blacks commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald chief sports writer) discuss the All Blacks' big win over Argentina in Hamilton and debate whether everything has been cured now.

We pay tribute to the in-form Samisoni Taukei'aho, debate whether Richie Mo'unga now has a mortgage on the All Blacks 10 jersey and colours are nailed to the mast ahead of the ...

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August 29, 2022 33 min

On this week's Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's All Blacks commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald chief sports writer) reflect on yet another weekend of drama out of the All Blacks as Argentina stun them at Orange Theory Stadium in Christchurch.

Elliott and Liam discuss how Los Pumas managed it, but also how the All Blacks blew any number of opportunities to at very least draw the match. Discussion also turns to ...

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August 23, 2022 27 min

On this week's Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's All Blacks commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald chief sports writer) discuss the All Blacks' mood since they returned to camp this week in Christchurch after the tumultuous past couple of weeks with questions over their head coach.

We ponder any selection changes the All Blacks might make for the test against Argentina and ponder what the future is for props N...

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August 17, 2022 25 min

On this week's - special edition - of Rugby Direct Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald's chief sports writer) react to the news that Ian Foster has retained his job as All Blacks coach to the end of 2023.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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August 7, 2022 35 min

On this week's podcast Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald's chief sports writer) discuss the All Blacks loss to South Africa, but more importantly the bigger picture of five tests lost in six matches and whether there is anything that can be done to arrest this slide.

Liam's on the ground in South Africa to give us a sense of the local reaction to the performances from bo...

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August 2, 2022 24 min

On this week's podcast Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald's chief sports writer) go international - with Liam in South Africa ahead of the first Rugby Championship test against the Springboks.

We assess what changes the All Blacks might make to their 23 for the test against the 'Boks as they try to arrest a slide that has them with four losses in their last five and ask w...

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July 25, 2022 31 min

On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (Chief Sports writer at the NZ Herald) assess another week of drama related to the All Blacks that has culminated in two assistant coaches being dumped and Crusaders forwards coach Jason Ryan being rushed in to assist the front eight.

The guys also run the rule over Ian Foster's media conference on Friday and whe...

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July 18, 2022 30 min
On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (Chief Sports writer at the NZ Herald) analyse the All Blacks series defeat to Ireland and where that leaves the coaching staff and the team going forward.
We take a deep dive into how Ireland dismantled the All Blacks in the capital and played one of the great first halves in New Zealand.
Elliott and Liam also clear t...

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July 11, 2022 36 min
On this week's podcast Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald's chief sports writer) discuss Ireland's first ever win over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil and examine how they were able to win in such convincing fashion and set up a series decider this weekend in the capital.
Elliott and Liam debate the chaotic substitution rules over Ardie Savea and Dalton Papalii as well ...
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July 11, 2022 24 min
On the latest edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's All Blacks commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald chief sports writer) discuss the All Blacks 42-19 win over Ireland to go 1-nil up in the series heading to Dunedin this week.
We breakdown the ways the All Blacks were able to attack, offering Ireland something unexpected with their play with ball in hand that they didn't see last November and also showing s...
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June 28, 2022 28 min
On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's All Blacks commentator) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald rugby writer) react to a hectic 48 hours of news from the All Blacks camp - with six down with Covid including three members of the coaching staff.
We discuss how that might affect the planning for Saturday's match and the make-up of the side, while Joe Schmidt has been called in as an extra voice for t...
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June 20, 2022 34 min
On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB's lead rugby commentator) and Liam Napier (Chief Sports Writer at the NZ Herald) break down the Crusaders' emphatic Super Rugby Pacific grand final win over the Blues at Eden Park.
The guys discuss the Crusaders' ability to play grand final footy, to suffocate the Blues and turn the hosts' lineout inside out with incredible regularity.
For this fin...
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June 13, 2022 26 min
On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, we go one-on-one with All Blacks coach Ian Foster about the 36-man squad named for the three-test series against Ireland and discuss the key talking points of his squad including the six new caps, the exclusion of TJ Perenara and Brad Weber at halfback and other key discussion points with Ireland on the horizon.
Liam Napier joins to dissect the squad and where the strengths and weaknesses ...

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June 7, 2022 34 min
On the latest edition of Rugby Direct:
Elliott Smith and Liam Napier dissect the Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals that went exactly to the formbook, at least on the scoreboard but who impressed and who left the guys a bit cold even in progressing through to the last four.
With the Highlanders and Hurricanes signing off for the year, we also review where it went wrong (and right in some areas) for them this year and where both sides...
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May 30, 2022 28 min
On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier debate the final round of Super Rugby Pacific before the playoffs, including the race for the eighth spot eventually won by the Highlanders.
We wave farewell to the Drua and Moana Pasifika (as well as the Rebels and Force) and assess the two maiden campaigns from the Pacific expansion sides and where they need to improve on next year.
The guys debate what the B...

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May 24, 2022 24 min
On this weekend’s episode of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith is joined by Liam Napier, who returns from watching the other code in Brisbane to help analyse week 14 of Super Rugby Pacific, the penultimate round before the playoffs which saw big wins for three kiwi-based sides and a narrow win and narrow losses for a couple of others.
Elliott and Liam dish out the usual MVP points and tipping, as well as ponder the merits of the current p...

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May 17, 2022 30 min
On this week's edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and special guest Christopher Reive from the New Zealand Herald (@ChrisReive) break down the weekend of rugby that was from Super Rugby Pacific, as the Kiwi sides went 5-nil over their Australian opponents, along with a feisty Pacific derby in Sydney.
Elliott and Christopher also discuss the growing reputation of Stephen Perofeta and whether an All Blacks jersey awaits hi...

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