As we come to the final few weeks of the year, and with absolutely buggerall to watch anymore, except for some Heineken Cup, where you can see old Southern Hemisphere has-beens in action against the best of Europe, it’s perhaps a time to reflect on the year which is past…a year that flew by quicker than Rickie Ponting’s last test innings…
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Heyneke Meyer has done very little this year to confirm the belief the Springbok supporters had in him, when he was announced to take over from Peter de Villiers as Springbok coach.
The record shows that to date, the Springboks won 6 matches from the 11 tests to date, a success rate of 54.5%. It seems quite average, in fact, poor, for someone who stated publicly that he believes in only one kind of Rugby: Winning Rugby. Read the rest of this entry →
With Johan Goosen out for the season, and based on his Rugby Championship selections, Meyer has only two options left at flyhalf for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere tour: Elton Jantjies and Morne Steyn.
After his form left alot to be desired during the RC, Morne was left to rest and refocus, while Goosen and Jantjies took up the reigns at flyhalf. Last week Morne showed some good form, but last night again, his team’s lack of ability to dominate left him with very little chance to get into any sort of rhythm.
Elton Jantjies’ performance with the boot last night was not enough to give anyone comfort that he will have what it takes on the big stage. Given that it was a crunch game, his lack of conversions shows on a lack of BMT on his part, something that’s been questioned in the past.
So, despite the apparent wealth of flyhalves we thought we had in South Africa, we have an off form player in desperate need of rest and re-focus, an injury prone, talented youngster who is on crutches until next year, and an inexperienced, talented youngster who seems to freeze on the big stage. Read the rest of this entry →
I had the wool pulled over my eyes last weekend! The defeat of the Aussies in clinical fashion lead me to believe we have a good chance to beat the All Blacks this weekend. Say what you want about how bad this Aussie side is, but they still pipped us on the Rugby Championship log by beating Argentina twice, and also are ranked second again on the IRB Rankings. So yes, even this poor Aussie side is better than us despite us demolishing them last week.
It seems to me like Heyneke Meyer just cannot do anything right at the moment. No really. He can’t. First the game plan is flawed with kicking away good possession; the back-line seems as impotent as an 108 year old monk with a prostate the size of a pineapple, he persists with Up & Under Sideshow “Squarewheels” Zane at Full Back (he just keeps on accumulating nick names!) and then he persists with a clearly out of form Morne Steyn at flyhalf, trying desperately to coach him back to his best against the strongest Rugby teams in the world.
Now he goes and gets Bakkies Botha back after Eben Etzebeth got, rather harshly, suspended for two weeks after what seemed to be a neck spasm making his hair touch Nathan Sharpe’s elaborate chin.
Why Bakkies? Oh, wait, before Heyneke answers that question let me take a wild guess: Read the rest of this entry →
It seems some of the tweaks the SANZAR made to the officiating of the Super Rugby matches are helping to make the game more attractive.
Still, the major issue remains that the sheer quantum of Rugby being played is just so much and it becomes a major effort to really enjoy the tournament. Now with the test break inbetweem, it becomes even more cumbersome, and the impact of such a long season will now be seen when the Currie Cup and the Rugby Championship series starts.
We’ve hardly played the Super Rugby final in the weekend that has passed, and this coming weekend it the players will be up against it again as the Currie Cup commences on this side while the ITM Cup in New Zealand only starts on the 23rd of August. And then, next week, the first matches of the Rugby Championship starts.
To be honest, be beer budget cannot handle this any longer, and my cholesterol levels are spiking from all the braaivleis…
But back to the Super Rugby that’s passed, I’ve collated some key stats and they paint a pretty interesting picture.
|- Av per match||49.0||46.3||52.2||44.7||43.9|
|- Av per match||4.91||4.66||5.62||5.30||5.14|
|- Home %||
|- Per match||18.28||19.8||19.5||9.5||11.4|
|- Minutes per||4.38||4.05||4.09||8.39||7.00|
|BP per match||1||0.90||0.95||1.13||0.87|
From last year, the average number of points per match have picked up, but is still below that of 2010. But on the positive side is that the increase in points is attributed to an increase in tries from 2011 at 4.91 tries per match while 2011 had only 4.66 tries per match. It is still a tad off the pace in terms of the number of tries in 2010.
Looking at penalties, it’s relieving to see a reduction of 8% in the penalty count. However, the penalty count is still twice the number per match than it was before the implementation of the law interpretations back in 2009, when there were only 9.5 penalties per match vs the current 18.28 penalties per match.
The big culprits in conceding penalties were the Bulls, with 11 penalties per match, then the Chiefs with 10.93 penalties per match and third is the Reds with 10.53 penalties per match. The most disciplined team was the Blues, with only 7.93 penalties per match, then the Rebels with 8.73 penalties per match and third most disciplined were the Cheetahs with 8.87 penalties per match.
What is interesting about those statistics is that the most disciplined team in the competition this year had a hapless year in terms of results, well, in fact all three most disciplined teams were pretty much out of the top 6 by the halfway mark, whilst the most ill-disciplined teams reached the Top 6, with the second most ill-disciplined team walking away with the trophy.
If one looks at it over the season, the winning teams conceded 53% of the penalties overall; that number slightly made to look more equal than it really was, with teams like the Reds being punished by Bryce Lawrence in that 17-7 penalty count in the Crusaders favour in round 11 and similary Stu Berry penalising the Force to no end when they lost the the Cheetahs with an 18-7 penalty count against them.
Home games seem to be less of an advantage than it was back in 2010, although it was more of an advantage this year than last year with 58% of home games being won.
A big increase in Bonus Points though, with 12% more bonus points being scored than in 2011. Only one 4 try Bonus Point was scored more than last year though, with the 12 more losing Bonus Points being achieved.
That shows that the matches have, by large, been more competitive this year, and whilst scoring more tries, less penalties and a less convincing home field advantage, this year’s Super 15 was by far more improved from last year’s version.
Hopefully next year there will be even more improvement!
Currie Cup still top TV dog
July 24, 2012 by Tank | 4 Comments
There has been much talk about the demise of the Currie Cup due to the new Super Rugby tournament structure, but it seems that the grand old dame of South African rugby is made of sterner stuff! Below a look at the TV numbers of all this year’s rugby tournament in comparison with last year’s Currie Cup numbers:
One obviously needs to take cognisance of the amount of Super Rugby being played, and that a large number of those games shown on TV would be between two teams from either Australia or New Zealand, or between an SA side and one of our SANZAR partners (and thus only attracting one fan base), but to see the average viewership per Currie Cup game subtantially bigger than Super Rugby is an indication of the strngth of local rugby in South Africa. Read the rest of this entry →