KSA Shark ©

Why South Africa are shooting at shadows

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 5 May 2009 at 07:12
Tagged with : , , ,

Spiro Zavos, The Roar columnist, gives his view on the South African reaction to the Super Rugby impasse.

Round 12 of the Super 14 provided exciting matches. Along with the Heineken Cup, Europe’s version of Super Rugby, the tournament is the strongest provincial competition in the world. Why would South Africa want to kill it?

The purported reason is to prevent the Currie Cup being “devalued in any way” by the Springboks being unable to play in it. But this happens now. The Currie Cup starts on July 10 and ends on October 31. Throughout July, August and into September the Springboks are playing the Tri Nations tournament, with South Africa playing their last Test on September 12 against New Zealand at Hamilton.

Only 18 matches (including the finals) of the 55 matches in the Currie Cup are played after that Test. The Springboks miss most of the Currie Cup.

South African newspapers report that SA Rugby’s response to the ARU and NZRU Asia-Pacific alternative tournament will be to form their own competition with Argentina, the US and sides from Scotland and Ireland from February to May. I am getting reports, too, from South African sources that SA Rugby has tied up some lucrative European deals. How will this work?

The Magners League is the main league for the Celtic clubs (and two Italian sides in the next year or so). It starts in September and finishes in May. It is used by the teams to qualify for the Heineken Cup. Leinster defeated Munster at the weekend in the Heineken Cup semi-final in front of a record crowd of more than 82,000 at Croke Park. Why would the major Irish provinces such as Ulster and Leinster give up their chance of qualifying for the Heineken Cup in favour of a lesser tournament involving travel to South Africa?

On the Rugby Club on Thursday night, commentator Warren Brosnihan, a former Springbok, was asked about alternatives for South Africa to Super Rugby, and talked airily about a competition with some French clubs. But the French clubs are already overloaded with matches, and find it difficult to finish their tournaments before July.

Aside from everything else that is wrong or muddle-headed about SA Rugby’s proposals, there is the consideration that Super Rugby has improved the quality of South African rugby – leading to their 2007 World Cup triumph.

Super Rugby teams must have a complete game to succeed, no matter what style of rugby they play. The Waratahs this year have based their game on a defence-oriented style. Against the Cheetahs, the Waratahs fielded a new-look back line with Kurtley Beale at inside-centre (but playing the New Zealand second five-eighth game), Timana Tahu at outside-centre and Lachie Turner at fullback. The back line worked effectively and, on occasions, brilliantly.

The impact of playing the two five-eighths game seemed to give the Waratahs the complete game they need to win the tournament. But have they left their run too late?


  • I’m afraid there is one major flaw with this article.

    It is all good and well saying the Boks are taken out of the Currie Cup anyway, because that is correct.

    The problem is, that if the CC overlaps with the S14 it will not only take the Boks out of the CC it will take 5 squads of 25plus players (a total of 125 players) out of the Currie Cup. The Boks are no more than 30 players.

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.05.09 07:27:53 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Spiro se ma se 👿

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.05.09 07:30:06 by wpw Reply
  • what do greeks know about rugby?

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.05.09 07:36:00 by try time Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : Spot on. Start with the start. SA want to kill S14, vokket its them that wants to kill it.

    Anyway wpw summed it up the best way. 🙄

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.05.09 08:45:24 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 4) :

    Yeah that WAS something I wanted to comment on.

    NZ and Aus are the ones who want the expansion. NOT SA!!!!!! SA is happy with the S14 as far as I’m aware.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.05.09 08:50:49 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • So tell me, were we to go north then it WOULDN’T be to play Heineken Cup but Magners league??

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.05.09 09:03:07 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 6) : Klempie the fact is we have our CC. Figures from MNet shows that there were 800,000+ viewers watching the CC final, compare to 600,000+ watching the Bokke playing England at Twickenham last year and the biggest figures was when the Sharks plays the Stormers in the S14 opener 450,000 viewers. Oneil knows and qouted the local derbies are the money spinners and want the CC included in the S14 basket.

    We need to keep our structures strong and CC rugby is still strong as ever before and make sense we fight for it.

    Myself will love to see our lot chuck the S14 (to keep our CC life and healthy) and the 3 Nations just to give them your L in the Bulls avator.

    We’ll make more money playing CC and get yearly long tours like in the old days from to Aus & NZ.

    For me the 3 Nations is a dull tournament and feel like never ending and always the same result.

    Money rules the game these days and I am sure if the money is right the NH will fit us in somewhere, but that is a bonus in my books.

    Would love to see the likes of the Bulls/Sharks/Stormers playing in front of a passionate Munster crowd.

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.05.09 09:49:03 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 7) : No no no. I’m not questioning SARU’s hard stance, although I still believe the quality of rugby will go down if we ditch S14. That aside, if we did ditch S14, surely the ONLY competition our franchise rugby should be playing in is the highest quality in Europe. ie. Heineken Cup. I mean, in my mind Heineken Cup is already a step down but going down to Magners League is just stupid in my opinion.

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.05.09 10:04:32 by klempie Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.