For many a year in the early days of Super Rugby, the Auckland Blues were hands down the team to beat each year. Fitzpatrick, Lomu, Rush, Jones, Bachop, Spencer, Vindiri, Bunce, Brooke, Howlett. The lists of outstanding rugby players of yesteryear that have worn the Blues jersey goes on and one.
They have now not won the Super Rugby competition since 2003 and certainly don't look like doing so for quite some time now.
It is a sad state of affairs given that in the 2011 Super Rugby competition they ended up losing in the Semi Finals. Post season recruiting of Piri (Piri Chicken) Weepu, Rudi Wolf and Ma'a Nonu had many a fan thinking this may be their year again. How wrong could they have been. Rooted to the bottom of the table and with many a AB playing poorly, the end of the competition can't come soon enough.
Hopefully the mid-season internationals can rejuvenate a few of the players and they can push towards mid table.
Obviously Afoa, Kaino, McCallister, Brett were too big a loss (Brett, really...?).
Pat Lam, you were a great player and Newcastle Falcons still worship the ground you walk on, but step aside fella. You are killing a great brand.