Is the lengthy season taking its toll?

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 8 May 2013 at 09:25
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Round 12 of a very long season is imminent and it seems the effect is starting to be felt, not just by the large amounts of injuries in many teams, but by the way some “top” teams seem to struggle against the traditionally “weaker” teams.

The Blues-Stormers game was always going to be a tough battle, but the way both teams started making silly mistakes in general play, focus and clinical execution of the basics dropped, even though there was urgency and passion, it would seem that the quality we would like to see in this competition is lacking. This was much different in earlier rounds where the game between the Stormers and Chiefs for example produced entertaining, but also high quality rugby. A team like the Rebels, in my opinion, would never have been able to come even close to causing an upset against the Chiefs. Yes, they played with heart, but I think we can all agree that the Chiefs are a better side than what they delivered this week. The same can be said about the draw between the Reds and the Force.

Being more emotionally involved it’s difficult for me to judge just how good or bad the Sharks are and how their campaign has been affected by having to play 12 Rounds of rugby with only one week of rest, 12 Rounds that was preceded by a month’s rest, preceded by a 2012 season in which some players played 35 – 40 games. Ten injuries and more this season, would indicate that it has taken its toll and another loss to a side that hasn’t managed a win this year, suggests the same.

The match between the Brumbies and Crusaders, although at times producing periods of play of test match standards, especially from the Crusaders with Dan Carter back and in top form, was also riddled with mistakes that you just did not see in the earlier rounds.

Then there’s the Bulls who in another good victory at home are seemingly just starting to build momentum and reaching their peak form, defying the logic of a fatiguing players in a lengthy season. The Waratahs are another team that has just started to play some of their best rugby in recent weeks this season. Maybe their player management was just better, or they were just lucky, but the fact is that most teams seems to be suffering the toll of too much rugby.


  • Teams will have to look at having at least 35 players rotating throughout the season. The rules surrounding squad size will have to be adapted too.

    The coaches will have to look at which combinations work better and pair them for certain games. No more will you have a first choice and 2nd choice players.

    Every player will be expected to slot into the starting 15 and deliver at the same level in that position as the traditionally first choice player.

    This will take a lot of planning and will be extremely difficult to achieve, because the team will have to get the same results throughout the season, irrespective of the players playing.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.05.13 09:47:22 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • Does a bear shit in the woods?
    Is the Pope catholic?
    Is Plumtree a useless SR coach?
    Will the sun come up tomorrow morning?

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.05.13 10:12:38 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • No question. The season is too long. Any person working 12 months a year with no break faces burnout, and with the physical nature of rugby, the wear and tear, travel and pressure to perform, these guys even more so… Bring back the super 12!

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.05.13 10:14:06 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) :
    You stole my lines! 👿 😆

    I’m afraid CC is going to have to be canned or reduced in prestige to prevent the death of rugby in the SH.

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.05.13 10:39:39 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I think last year’s hectic schedule and travel is catching up with the guys. You can see it in the form of guys like Marcell who hardly had a break last year.

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.05.13 12:37:12 by Bokhoring Reply
  • There’s an obvious toll being taken by the players, but what about the spectator toll?

    The problem with a Super Rugby comp that goes on for half the year is that, as soon as your team is out, the comp loses its allure.

    I cant be bothered watching all the games anymore; hell, i can now go weeks without bothering to watch any SH rugby whatsoever.

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.05.13 13:14:38 by VinChainSaw Reply

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