The curtain fell on the first Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament on 15 August
COVID-19 brought an early end to the Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament, with just one of week ten’s matches taking place.
The final game of the competition was set to pit competition winners the Crusaders (Christchurch) against the second-placed Blues (Auckland) on Sunday, 16 August.
However, with a second outbreak of coronavirus hitting New Zealand, Auckland – the country’s largest city – was placed under Level 3 restrictions, meaning the game at Eden Park could not be played. The game was called a draw by default, with both sides receiving two points.
Fortunately for the Crusaders, they had already wrapped up the title with a win over the Highlanders (Dunedin) in week nine of the competition.
The Highlanders’ final game did go ahead but, unlike the rest of the competition’s fixtures, took place behind closed doors without any spectators present.
They finished their campaign on a high, beating the Hurricanes (Wellington) 38-21 to finish fourth in the table.
Super Rugby Aotearoa Final Table
Super Rugby Aotearoa results:
- 13 June – Highlanders beat Chiefs 28-27
- 14 June – Blues beat Hurricanes 30-22
- 20 June – Chiefs lost to Blues 12-24
- 21 June – Hurricanes lost to Crusaders 25-39
- 27 June – Blues beat Highlanders 27-24
- 28 June – Crusaders beat Chiefs 18-13
- 4 July Highlanders lost to Crusaders 20-40
- 5 July Chiefs lost to Hurricanes 18-25
- 11 July Crusaders beat Blues 26-15
- 12 July Hurricanes beat Highlanders 17-11
- 18 July Hurricanes beat Blues 29-27
- 19 July Chiefs lost to Highlanders 31-33
- 25 July – Crusaders lost to Hurricanes 32-34
- 26 July – Blues beat Chiefs 21-17
- 1 August – Chiefs lost to Crusaders 19-32
- 2 August – Highlanders lost to Blues 21-32
- 8 August – Hurricanes beat Chiefs 31-18
- 9 August – Crusaders beat Highlanders 32-22
- 15 August – Highlanders beat Hurricanes 38-21
- 16 August – Blues vs Crusaders cancelled (game considered a draw)
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The best way to watch Super Rugby Aotearoa is to subscribe to Sky Sports. However, to get this, you’ll need to add Sky Sports (£23/mth) to your existing Sky TV package (see section below). If you don’t have Sky TV, signing up will involve initial setup fees and commitments to long-term contracts. As such, the easiest and cheapest way to watch live streams of the Super Rugby Aotearoa without committing to any lengthy contracts and set-up fees and is to get a Now TV Sports Pass.
You have two options when subscribing to the Now TV Sky Sports Pass:
- Now TV Sky Sports Month Pass for £34
- Now TV Sky Sports Day Pass for £10
These passes give you access to all 11 Sky Sports channels, which means that on top of the Super Rugby Aotearoa, you can watch the Premier League, Formula One, golf, and even American sports like the NBA and NFL. You can log in to Now TV on up to six devices at the same time. It works on all devices including PCs, mobile phones, tablets, Smart TVs and even gaming consoles.
How to watch Super Rugby Aotearoa on TV in the UK: Sky Sports
If you’re subscribed to Sky, then you’ll need to add Sky Sports to your existing package. This currently costs £23/mth on an 18-month contract, but you get access to a variety of sports including football, cricket, golf and basketball. If you already have a Sky subscription, then you’re also entitled to a Sky Go account, which gives you access to Sky Sports, Sky Movies and other top channels such as Sky One and Sky Atlantic on devices besides your TV, along with Sky’s excellent catch-up and on-demand service.
There is a catch, however: Sky Go limits you to three devices, and you can only watch one of these at any one time. If you subscribe to Sky Go Extra, however, you can register up to four devices. This costs £5 extra on top of your Sky Go subscription. You can add and remove one device each calendar month, so if you’re likely to be following the action on multiple devices, make sure you’ve planned in advance which ones you’re likely to be using at any given time.
Watching Sky Go on your Windows PC or laptop will require an app download. Your computer will need to have at least an Intel Core i3 or equivalent AMD processor, as well as running Windows 7, 8.1 or 10. For Mac users, the Sky Go app requires at least OS X 10.9. or mobile and tablet users, Sky Go is supported on iOS 8.1 and above, Android OS Ice Cream Sandwich 4.1 and above, and all Amazon Fire tablets running Fire OS 3.3 and above. The service also currently supports Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
How to access Sky Sports or Now TV outside the UK
If you’re away from the country and want to follow the Super Rugby Aotearoa action live as if you were browsing from your couch, then your only way to do this is by using a virtual private network, or VPN. These cross-platform services spoof your devices into thinking that you’re browsing from your home country even if you’re away. It’s worth noting that the further away you are from your home country, the slower your streaming speeds will be.
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There are many VPN services, but the one we most highly rate and recommend ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest VPN we’ve tested to date and recently completed a successful audit to prove that it doesn’t log or store any user data. You can install it on your PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices and use it on five devices at the same time, which is ideal for a family or a group of friends. Apart from that, it has a wide range of servers in different countries and consistently fast speeds.
Another recent favourite VPN for streaming content is CyberGhost VPN. It shares many of the same features as ExpressVPN, including a strict no-logs policy, multiple simultaneous connections, and a wide range of servers to let you watch the Super Rugby Aotearoa regardless of where in the world you are.
Another recent favourite is Surfshark VPN. Unlike ExpressVPN and NordVPN, Surfshark doesn’t have any restrictions on the number of devices you can use it on. If you ever encounter a problem or need general help, you can contact its 24/7 customer support, who will promptly help you out. Despite being one of the newer VPNs on the block, it has an impressive set of features that will only get better in time. Best of all, it’s three-year plan is the cheapest we’ve seen.