There is a real chance that for the first time since 2000 (I think) there might be no Kiwi sides in the semis!
And although I am glad (because this means more SA sides in Semis) it worries me a bit. For one this allows for Aus teams to come in contention and any Aus or Eng sporting success will not be tolerated.
So where did it all go wrong for Nz? Me thinks it starts with their admin and although a lot of people believe Nz have the best protocol because their players are centrally contracted and thus better distributed they have their shortcomings.
For one their unfailable rule about not contracting overseas based players combined with a salary cap will always be problematic. I know these rules where brought in to protect the game in Nz but I think it has done just the opposite. Players like any other person in the world want the best deal they can get and for most Nz rugby players this means going to Europe and thus giving up on the All Black dream. Most people would like to stay in their country of birth but for Nz rugby players this is becomming very difficult.
What is even more worrying is that next year WC in Nz must be big motivation for players to stay and return. This is probably the only reason guys like Nano, Carter, Richie and a lot of other senior players is still in Nz and what will happen post 2011?
Combine this with the fact that a lot of South Sea Island players now obs to go straight to Europe rather than to take the Nz detour. This will and is depleting Nz of real depth.
This is why I think the Nz rugby union has tried to keep the amateur model in a proffesional era. And while I don’t think that soccer model is the correct model to follow (Because this brings its own set of problems) you can not have a salary cap and then have a policy of not selecting overseas based players.
If the same rules applied for SA then Matfield , Habana, Fourie (both) , Botha , Spies , Smit ect. would have been long gone and where would our rugby have been.
PdV policy of first choosing SA based players but if we don’t have enough depth then start looking overseas is a far better policy. This way you reward the palyers that helps grow the game in your country but in times of need you can still make that crucial call to bring in the reinforcements. Players like BJ , Frans and JdV is stil the best in their possisions.
GO STORMERS and bulls!