Are our stars playing too much rugby?
The rugby season seems to get longer and longer, February to December for some players. In a high contact sport where the public demands high quality games, is this asking too much from the players? This will certainly start testing the depth of some nations and without a shadowof a doubt New Zealand comes up trumps in this department. They have recently lost over 20 players to Europe but still managed to win the Tri Nations. In the Super 14 their teams tend to finish higher on the ladder than the Australian and South African franchises. But it will continue as TV dictates the rugby schedules catering for the international mass market.
The Boks are frustrating
Newly appointed coach Robbie Deans was recently quoted on M Net Supersport saying “South Africa has the best raw talent, best stadiums and amazing passion for the game. If this could be harnessed they would be unbeatable. The Boks are big, fast and aggressive but lack in the strategy and skills areas.” I could not agree more, the present crop of South African players has the potential to be a truly outstanding team and do what no other team has done before, win two consecutive World Cups and the first to win the William Webb trophy three times. Whether they get there with the management issues, bad coaching, too much biff and not enough finesse! But their biggest issue is mental. When ‘the' team arrives on the field they are devastating as seen by the recent 50 point drubbing of the Wallabies.
Australian rugby schools versus South African schools
Who is stronger? Having coached in both systems, I would say the South Africans. Schools like Affies, Monument, Kes, Paarl Gym, Dale, Nelspruit and DHS have fine rugby pedigrees. In Australia the strength is mainly in Sydney and Queensland with schools like Joeys, Southport, Churchies, Nugdies, Riverview, Waverley and St Edmunds from Canberra an exception, leading the way. But who cares as it is the greatest game for schoolboys, a position for every body shape, the rugby network is awesome later in life and there is the pride of being an old boy from school with a great rugby tradition.
Gathering of the Old Boys clans Auckland 2011
Wouldn't it be great if all your old school mates were at the World Cup. The reunion of all reunions! South Africans are spread far and wide due to the “falling apart” of great countries. Rugby is an unifying force and most South Africans are rugby nuts and still hanker after those days at Newlands, Loftus, Kings Park, Ellis Park now unfortunate called Coca Cola Park – can you believe? The Hottentot would like to run organise this potentially huge reunion. Contact me if you are interested!