Cape Town - Stormers centre Shaun Treeby feels there are still differences between the South African and New Zealand rugby.
The Kiwi midfielder represented the Stormers as a loan player during this season’s Super Rugby competition.
In an interview with stormersmagazine.com, Treeby said he was impressed by the willingness shown by South African teams to attack.
“There has been a definite shift to a more expansive style of play. As you’ve seen with the Lions and Stormers they move the ball around far more than what a traditional South African side used to," Treeby said.
This change in mindset from the South African teams is a positive step, but there are still distinct differences in skill development, Treeby believes.
“In New Zealand from a young age skill work is a huge part of training,” he said. “Coming here, I found it interesting that many of my team-mates, especially the forwards, didn’t do that much skill work growing up. However, there’s a much greater emphasis on technical skills now. We’re focusing on off-loads and doing more skill work at the Stormers.”
The appointment of former Blues backline coach, Paul Feeney, as assistant coach has been instrumental in the Stormers adopting a more skills-based approach, according to Treeby.
However, line speed on defence remains another crucial difference between New Zealand and South African teams, he stressed.
“It’s a skill that has been around New Zealand for a couple more years and they’re just slightly more experienced at the moment.”
The 28-year-old Treeby represented the Highlanders in 50 matches between 2011 and 2015.