How do you stop the All Blacks?
The simple answer is at this moment no other team in the world have what it takes to beat the All Blacks on a consistand basis.
I hear that people saying that Ireland and England a year ago can give the All Blacks a run for their money, I call rubbish!
To get a once off win against the World number one side will happen from time to time, but no side can step up to the plate and be on the winning side like this All Black team.
To even think there is a team that can upset the All Blacks is living in a fool paradise.
So what makes them so great?
First fact is that there is no Rugby Union in the world that is run as professionally as the New Zealand union.
From their club structure, Mitre10 provincial competition to Super Rugby is run with the sole purpose of making the All Blacks the best in the world.
Every single coach in these structures and their players buy into the way they have decided to play and coach the game.
In doing that they have about three All Black match-23 squads that will beat most teams in the world.
If you take the current All Black squad you can write down two to three if not more, players names down who will walk into any current international squad.
This is not something they build for a year or two, you can do yourself a favour and go and read up on New Zealand rugby after the disastrous 2007 World Cup with coach Henry.
The Springboks set the tone for the two following years after the World Cup ’07 and they stood back and look at what they are doing as a nation and what they need to do to become the best team in the world.
This was a process have given them total domination in the Rugby Championship.
Two back to back World Cups and being so far ahead of any other team in world rugby that it looks like we playing a different sport-code than them.
So how do you get close to this team and have the ability to beat them on a regular bases?
You need to sort out your base first. That means for Australia and South Africa their Super Rugby teams.
In Super Rugby the past few years both Australia and South African has been poor. Beside the Lions great run last year, the conference system assured our participation in the playoffs.
If we want to be honest only the Lions in the past two years deserve a spot in the playoffs the rest were all below the standard of the New Zealand teams in the competition.
So what is wrong with out Super Rugby structure?
In South Africa every tom, dick and harry becomes a Super Rugby coach. It is everyone for himself and non of our teams work to the same goal in making Springbok rugby great.
SA Rugby should be involved in who coach these sides as these sides are suppose to be the foundation Springbok rugby are build on.
Lets be honest, most off our franchises are run by administrators who has failed in their job.
Western Province are sitting with a structure where the clubs are running the vote and you are having administrators who have failed the union year after year not just within the team but in financial side of the franchise as well.
We have read more on all the financial wrongs in the franchise than rugby for the past two years but yet the same people stay in-charge of the franchise.
At the Sharks we are led to believe that they run with an old boys club who dictates the running of the franchise. For so many years now the Sharks have been blessed with some of the best players in the country but failed in their quest to even come close to winning the competition.
At the Bulls we have more of the same problem and the politics within the Bulls have seen players leaving due to this.
From the four current franchises we can only say that the Lions have been the shining light. There President and administrators are not just building a great team but invest correctly in the sustainability of the franchise.
They have lost their inspirational coach, Johan Ackermann but if you look at the Lions junior recruitment and their teams then you can see something is being done correctly.
One of the major advantages New Zealand rugby has over any other nation is their central contracting system with their top players.
New Zealand rugby controls their top players not the franchises.
In South Africa we are lucky if we have dual contracts in-place for maybe 25 players.
The other huge factor in South African rugby is our exodus of players to Europe and Japan.
What is beyond me is that SA Rugby have given Franchises the opportunity to get up to 80% shareholders involved in the franchises. This will not just mean keeping our top players in SA but also having our top players with their experience available for the new generations.
Last week WP played a friendly against Montpellier and in that french club side we had 8 South Africans starting the match for Montpellier.
The Southern Kings on Monday announce that they have a 51% Shareholder that with SA Rugby approval invest in the franchise. This is the only way to go for SA franchises if we want to stay afloat.
It looks more and more that our top franchises do not want to sign away majority shares, because if they do they will not have the final say in how rugby, finance and sponsors are being run.
Maybe they are scared that the gravy-train will stop.
If South African franchises and SA Rugby can not sort out these simple things we can forget to ever come close in challenging the likes of the All Blacks