A shift in SA Rugby
It has been a long hard Vodacom Super Rugby season with some great games and some boring ones. One thing is sure, there has been a shift in South African rugby and this weekend confirmed it if it hasn’t yet been done.
For as long as I can remember rugby in South Africa was classified as follows:
WP/Stormers – plays running rugby and just about has no scrum or forward play.
Sharks – like to run and has a great scrum and kicking game.
Cheetahs – are the “also ran” team and loves great running rugby.
Bulls – plays boring predictable rugby. Kick and chase and rumble it up with the forwards.
Well it seems that is no longer the case. In the past I would support the Bulls only if I had no other choice. And I always had another choice. In 2009 I supported the Chiefs in the final. Even the B&I Lions fans in Rustenburg supported the Bulls that day. My reason was, the Bulls play boring rugby. Again I say it: “That is no longer the case.”
Suddenly the Bulls have emerged as a team that runs the ball. They no longer play one dimensional rugby. No more kick and chase and rumb le with the forwards. No they run with the ball. And they do it with a style that reminds one of the great running teams. Teams that had Danie Gerber or Tjol Lategan in their side.
The Sharks are there and there abouts, but their kicking game of late is dismal. They have become an “also ran+ team. The Cheetahs still play their old style but they have learned how to do it effectively.
The Stormers are now the team that kick and chase and try to rumble with the forwards. Sometimes they remember they have a backline but then they muck it up. Scruming and maulling have become their thing. And look where that has got them.
So yes there has been a shift in SA Rugby. And one that might be good. Just wish the Stormers will learn and use their backline more. They still have a great one. The future however is with the Bulls centre pairing of Jan Serfontein and JJ Engelbrecht.
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