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

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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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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May 9, 2022 32 min
On the latest edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier review week 12 of Super Rugby - as the Brumbies continued on their merry way against New Zealand sides with a win over the Chiefs in Hamilton, while the Highlanders sneaked a close one against the Reds.
There were comprehensive wins for the other New Zealand sides, so we debate whether the chatter about the gap closing was misguided last week.
Stephen Perofeta conti...

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May 2, 2022 34 min
On the latest edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott and Liam discuss what amounted to a poor round for the New Zealand sides - even the ones that banked full competition points. A one-off or have Australia found their mojo in Super Rugby Pacific?
The guys debate whether the Crusaders empire is crumbling after a recent-record of three defeats this year, while the fortunes and selections of the Hurricanes continue to confound - will they s...
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April 27, 2022 25 min
On this week’s edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier evaluate the Super Round in Melbourne and ask if it was really Super or if it was shoddy, with the scoreline at 4-1 after the weekend.

The Highlanders lose to the Brumbies and while they're still in the mix for the playoffs, Elliott and Liam debate where this team is going and whether Tony Brown is the right man to take the team forward.

Liam and Elliott also d...

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April 19, 2022 36 min
On this weekend’s edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier take the temperature of Super Rugby after the last round of all-New Zealand matches, with the Blues finally winning in Christchurch for the first time since 2004 in a thriller against the Crusaders, while the Hurricanes hold on in a bit of controversy against the Highlanders. 


Elliott and Liam discuss the red-cards issued over the weekend and ask whether the su...

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April 11, 2022 34 min
On this week’s edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott and Liam debate the weekend’s big rugby issues – primarily the closing moments of the Hurricanes v Crusaders game, which saw a chance at golden point turned down... and a penalty denied by the referee.
Were the ‘Canes in the right by taking the kick for the corner? The guys also debate the Blues’ crushing win over the Chiefs and the Highlanders finally get on the board, but is it too ...

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April 4, 2022 26 min
On the latest edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier delve into the weekend’s rugby issues and debate the red cards that were dished out including the most contentious one – supposedly – to Caleb Clarke. 


The Crusaders ensure it’s another winless week for the Highlanders, but only just and debate whether Jordie Barrett’s switch to 12 has long-term merit after his return to the role in the Hurricanes’ loss to the Chie...
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March 27, 2022 35 min
Elliott and Liam are back for another week of rugby discussion - with the big win for Moana Pasifika dominating discussion - the win no-one saw coming, while the Crusaders underline their title credentials with a bounce-back win over the Chiefs in Hamilton.

The guys also update the MVP race, while we debate Beauden Barrett's latest head knock, whether the crowds were good for two days notice or not and the addition of some star ...

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