August 3, 2012
SANZAR CEO BLOG – The Super Rugby Final
By Greg Peters, SANZAR CEO
Hello all, and welcome to the 2012 Super Rugby Final!
The last match of a long and arduous season will see further history created after the dust settles at Waikato Stadium, with the guarantee of a sixth Super Rugby champion – with the Chiefs looking at becoming the third Kiwi title holder, while the Sharks could ensure that the Bulls are no longer the solitary title holder from South Africa.
It has been an exciting Super Rugby campaign, and I am sure that like me, you’ve all been thrilled to be a part of it.
125 matches, a historic season break for the June Internationals and plenty of surprises on and off the field have made for a successful season of the 15-team, Conference format.
Fans have been attending matches and tuning into the Super Rugby on television in record numbers, and it has been pleasing to note that all three territories are putting in record numbers, and I look forward to sharing some full season numbers with you in the coming weeks.
For the Super Rugby Final, congratulations to the two coaches, Dave Rennie and John Plumtree, as well as the numerous members of the respective back room teams that have worked to get their franchises into the decider.
I must also extend further well wishes to the players, with Chiefs co-captains Craig Clarke and Liam Messam, as well as Sharks skipper Keegan Daniel, great leaders who have managed to come through a tough season and will look to lead their troops to Super Rugby glory.
But while the coaches and the players may have the most difficult job of all, this entire season couldn’t have come together without the supports and hard work of the three unions, the fifteen franchises, our broadcasters and stakeholders – as well the small team I work with at SANZAR.
While the season is coming to its conclusion, the reality is that so much occurs behind the scenes, and already we are working hard to finalise the draw for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
However before we talk about that, we have Hamilton’s first Super Rugby Final to watch, the fourth venue in New Zealand that has hosted a decider – a record among our Conferences.
Waikato Stadium is a sell-out, and the response from the locals has been magnificent.
All of the 25,100 tickets available were snapped up quickly, with the public sale allocation being snapped up in less than two hours.
There were even reports of fans queuing up outside Waikato Stadium from 2am in the morning, some dedicated supporters who will hope for some warmer conditions come kick off Saturday.
No doubt there will be some boisterous Sharks supporters in the crowd as well, with the South Africans one of the most well supported franchises in Super Rugby.
We are also proud to announce a new online viewing platform, which will give plenty of our fans outside our traditional territories the ability to watch our great competitions.
After this there will barely be time to catch our breath, with The Rugby Championship kicking off in just over two weeks’ time.
It’s going to be a huge weekend – enjoy the Final,