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sean
 
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The South African Style of Super Rugby

05 July 2012, 13:19

Some rugby pundits don't really like the flairless style of rugby being played by the South African teams in the Super Rugby competition.Then again its just their opinion right?
  Correct me if I'm wrong but currently this is how most fans see the South African Conference style of play:

1.The Bulls are playing a 60% attacking & 40% defensive rugby.

2.The Stormers are playing a 100% defensive rugby.

3.The Sharks are playing a 70% & 30% attacking & defensive rugby.

4.The Cheetahs are trying to play 100% attacking rugby.

5.Lions, well looking at the overall log table then it looks like they just making up the numbers.     South African teams are mixing it up by not trying to compete with the styles of New Zealand and Australia,but rather with the scoreboard where it all really matters. And it's winning rugby that counts no matter how its done is it not.

The point is some people complain about how the Stormers are only playing a defensive orientated game instead of a attacking free flowing style of rugby. If winning rugby is all that matters then why should the Stormers be going against the grain?     The Bulls played "boring rugby" according to some pundits with their kick and chase game,but still won the Super Rugby title in 2007.Yet nobody complained about that achievement afterwards.

For the past 10 years the Stormers have been living off scraps as it were by not having a dominant forward moving pack and just running the ball from almost everywhere on the park just for the sake of it. The Stormers now do have a competitive pack with a safety first game plan and its so far so good in that we top the South African conference table.     I'd rather the Stormers have a "bore-fest" style of play than a try-fest style and we'd still be at top of the conference.Defense is as big a part of the game as what offense is. When the Stormers played "attacking" rugby a few years back, did it get us to the playoffs? No it didn't. Its our defensive style of play that got us where we are at the minute.     Is having a good defensive setup then regarded as lack of playing quality rugby these days?      What exactly is "total rugby"?We often hear how New Zealand teams sets the standard for this type of high scoring games but that don't necessarily mean exiting rugby. Rather a closely fought low scoring game are just as exiting and entertaining as the big scoring ones because it keeps you on the edge of your seat.     Total rugby is therefore not just about a try scoring run feast, but how each team manages the full 80minutes of game time, how well their try line is defended,the brute physicality and forward power of the players,their psychological dominance,the on-field decisions and more importantly the execution of your working game plan. 

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