SA Rugby moving in the right direction

April 16, 2013
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I read with some confusion on certain media platforms how  Super Rugby results so far is a bad thing for SA Rugby and continue to show our inferiority against (specifically) NZ teams.

It might be for the fact that results so far have not identified a clear favourite from the Republic to win the competition, but I personally think South Africans are simply not used to all five our franchises actually being competitive for once!

Sure, the Kings only won two games out of seven played so far, but for a franchises in their debut season who did not have a hope in hell they have always been competitive apart from one or two games and definitely exceeded everyone’s expectation.  Add to that the Cheetahs’ amazing run of form which came to an end at Loftus this weekend making the South African conference an open race between four out of the five franchises (separated by 6 points on the log) and one could possibly understand the unfamiliar territory SA fans find themselves in.

The danger of this is that unlike previous years, there is little chance of two or three SA teams running away from the rest on the log ensuring a top six finish or play themselves into a home play-off based scenario, but this does not make the South African conference weak, in fact, far from it.

The Stormers who is currently in 4th position with 20 log points have beaten last years champions, the Chiefs, and also gave the best Australian team the Brumbies a bloody nose.  The Sharks on the other hand might have had a bit of an off day against the Brumbies but then they manage to overcome the Crusaders at home.  The Bulls will rue the fact that they let two games slip on tour they could easily have won and then of course, there is the Cheetahs who had an amazing 5-game winning streak which started on tour.

Also consider for a second the players that have impressed in the competition so far (add your own).  Names like Jan Serfontein, Willie Le Roux, Robert Ebersohn, Lappies Labuschagne, Trevor Nyakane, Jacques Engelbrecht, Sergeal Pietersen, Kevin Buys, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cobus Reinach, Wiehahn Herbst, Siya Kolisi are all players yet to earn a Bok cap but in some way or other made folks here and abroad sit up and take notice.

From where I sit, the only real problem in SA Rugby at the moment is that no franchise is guaranteed a win when they play each other! But that does not make us weaker, it makes us stronger.  South Africa currently has two teams in the top six in the Sharks and the Cheetahs (with the Bulls on the same log points as the Cheetahs in 7th) and I don’t see that (number of teams in contention) change in the next two months.

Let me also just throw in a hugely successful launch of the new SA Club Championship and yet another exciting, if somewhat controversial, Varsity Cup and I reckon that SA Rugby for once is moving in the right direction, and I am helluva excited about it.

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20 Comments

  1. avatar Craven says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Have to agree. The fact that we are not assured of points in our own conference might penalise us in the Super competition, but having such competitive teams is a huge plus for SA rugby overall.

  2. avatar biltongbek says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Names like Jan Serfontein, Willie Le Roux, Robert Ebersohn, Lappies Labuschagne, Trevor Nyakane, Jacques Engelbrecht, Sergeal Pietersen, Kevin Buys, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cobus Reinach, Wiehahn Herbst, Siya Kolisi

    …………………………………………….

    Morne, how many of those will see a green and gold jersey?

  3. avatar Morné says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Reply to biltongbek @ 10:56 am:

    There are only 15 places in a rugby team.

    All of them, imo, has shown the potential to become something more than a franchise player. Not all of them will.

  4. avatar biltongbek says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 11:18 am: the point I am trying to make is those with skills and “flair” will be the ones that are put in the cupboard, as they don’t “fit” kick and giggle rugby.

  5. avatar Americano says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Trevor Nyakane has really been impressive in space. He has a great ability to absorb and drag defenders. Hopefully he keeps showing up.

  6. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Reply to Americano @ 12:30 pm:

    What are you saying? Does he has his own gravitational pull due to his size? :whistling:

    Seriously – I have been impressed with Trev :applause:

  7. avatar Timeo says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Based on the results of the international games so far, South Africa is clearly the top conference:
    W/L/D
    SA: 12/9/1
    Aus: 9/9/1
    NZ: 7/10

    And, it seems, SA also leads the pack in whining and sourpussing.

  8. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    In a similar vein let us also put to bed the theory that the ‘conference’ system was put into place to ensure an Australian side was guaranteed a team in the play-off’s as currently on points the Sharks should not be there by a long-shot (but are scraping a 6th place wild-card)… and they haven’t even left the shores yet!

  9. avatar Timeo says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 2:11 pm:

    Perhaps the fact that the AUS conference has played an extra round confuses you.

  10. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Reply to Timeo @ 2:20 pm:

    Of course… but the Cheetahs have also played 8…

  11. avatar Timeo says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 2:36 pm:

    but they have not receive any bye points yet.

  12. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 2:36 pm:

    Not to mention the Reds are 5 points ahead of the Sharks even so… and the Blues are ahead of the Sharks too and neither is in the top 3…

    Nothing confusing there mate…

  13. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Reply to biltongbek @ 10:56 am:

    Only one in 2013 IMO…

  14. avatar Craven says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 2:38 pm:

    Reds do get to play the Force and Rebels twice in a season, imagine if the Kings could do that. :wink:

  15. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Reply to Craven @ 3:17 pm:

    The same Force that beat the Reds and Crusaders?

  16. avatar biltongbek says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 3:34 pm: The Lions beat the Sharks last year, didn’t mean anything for them though.

  17. avatar Boertjie says:
    April 16th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Sergeal Pietersen – guy has promise,
    but defence not yet part of his
    repertoire.

  18. avatar Craven says:
    April 17th, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 3:34 pm:

    Last time I checked it was Force 0 – 1 Kings and Rebels 0 – 1 Kings, hence my comment.

    SO yes, that same Force team.

  19. avatar Dancing Bear says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 2:11 pm: Not accurate, purely on points, the Sharks are in 5th place and the Cheetahs are in 6th place tied with the Bulls on points in 7th place.

  20. avatar Boertjie says:
    April 18th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Reply to Dancing Bear @ 7:51 pm:

    Dancing Bear – Sjeez bru, haven’t
    seen you in many a year! Are you the
    same guy?
    Came to stay? Been missing you!

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