Questions: What's going on?

I'm totally shocked.

Super 14 rounds 1 and 2 are gone and New Zealand franchises are really struggling to get results while things certainly seem so easy for Sharks, Bulls and Waratahs. The best three New Zealand sides have the same amount of wins than both the Force and the Lions have while the worst are at the Reds and Cheetahs level.

So, what's going on?

Graham Henry may complain about injuries to the leading senior players: Ali Williams, Mils Muliaina, Sione Lauaki, Richie McCaw, Andrew Hore, Conrad Smith, Brad Thorn, Jimmy Cowan, Piri Weepu, Andy Ellis, Leon MacDonald... to name a few ones, have at least not played one of the two first matches due to injury.

But even if we accept that these players need three spare months during the summer after a long season (last season consisted of 13 Super 14 matches + one or two ANC matches + 15 tests), isn't it alarming the apparent lack of quality backups? Shouldn't the backups be ready to take their chances when the senior players aren't there?

While Laulala, Bowden, Vainikolo and Masaga were keen to take the leading roles in the first round, who took the reins for the Crusaders against the Brumbies? What happened to the Blues in Pretoria?

Is there a lack of depth? Do New Zealand rely on the past or are there talented youngsters coming in? What will happen in round 3?

Bonus question: Why Australia and South Africa seem unaffected by this rare disease that is affecting New Zealand teams during this start of the season?

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