S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

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jezzer
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S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by jezzer »

V interesting to listen to Craig Ray on OTB last night.

Interesting in a chilling kind of way. I'm not sure it's hyperbole to suggest that Ireland's reign as "nation to have taken best advantage of the pro era" is not only about to end but is about to be trampled into dust by a stampede of Boks.

The context:

1) 2 SA sides in their inaugural URC final. Virtually no Springboks in either side. It took them precisely 6 months to fit in at the top of the league.
2) Currie Cup still alive below URC to broaden talent/playing pool around entire country
3) Schools system to rival Ireland's, but on a much larger scale
4) Participation rates about to explode into the non-Afrikaans pop. Already bearing huge fruit but will get exponentially bigger
5) Access to the H-Cup for the URC 3, Challenge Cup for the Cheetahs (prelude for Cheetahs' inclusion into URC?)
6) Overseas Springboks now playing in URC, ERC, Prem, T14, Sup, Japan
7) SA to play in 6N from 2025
8) SA apparently to remain in RC, meaning they get to play in both elite national competitions every year
9) SA with their own CVC deal, who will ensure this global participation happens
10) URC to start paying SARU from 2025. Supersport TV deal independent or rolled up in URC obligations?

If it works out as described in the interview and as seemingly already agreed (with the influence of CVC) S Africa is about to start an era whereby they are strategically positioned everywhere, dominating the sharp end of the competitions they participate in, fed by a near-limitless supply of increasingly-athletic players and paid by several global competitions at club and national level.

While they love the Currie Cup, they don't have the hangups England and France have about their domestic leagues, aren't as precious as NZ and - unlike OZ - union is overwhelming king.

The only things that can realistically hold them back are the rand, corruption/incompetence at board level (a la Stormers) or a temporary dip in the player pipeline.

Other than that, they've comfortably supplanted Ireland as the jammy nation with undue influence and are prob less than a decade from hegemony at a level we haven't really seen before in pro rugby.
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paddyor
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by paddyor »

There’s lots of current and future boks in both them sides.
Ruddock's tackle stats consistently too low for me to be taken seriously as a Six Nations blindside..... Ruddock's defensive stats don't stack up. - All Blacks Nil, Jan 15th, 2014
England A 8 - 14 Ireland A, 25th Jan 2014
Ruddock(c) 19/2 Tackles
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jezzer
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by jezzer »

paddyor wrote: June 21st, 2022, 12:35 pm There’s lots of current and future boks in both them sides.
That's your comment???!!!

Bulls had no or virtually no Boks. Stormers some. It's the least relevant point in the whole post tho?!
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by ronk »

Looked very different earlier in the season. They did well and looked solid, then they basically had one good week where Ulster and us had a bad one. We went from facing the most limp and uninterested team in URC knockout history to the most and we weren't at all ready for it. We'll do better.

To me that interview is a completely overblown narrative. It's possible of course. I'd still view the increased competition as unambiguously a good thing for Irish rugby.
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jezzer
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by jezzer »

ronk wrote: June 21st, 2022, 1:12 pm Looked very different earlier in the season. They did well and looked solid, then they basically had one good week where Ulster and us had a bad one. We went from facing the most limp and uninterested team in URC knockout history to the most and we weren't at all ready for it. We'll do better.

To me that interview is a completely overblown narrative. It's possible of course. I'd still view the increased competition as unambiguously a good thing for Irish rugby.
I don't think it's a reaction to what happened in the URC this season, so much as a look downstream at the degree to which a rugby giant like SA is now going to be plugged in financially, politically and tactically to the global game at club and test level.
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paddyor
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by paddyor »

jezzer wrote: June 21st, 2022, 1:04 pm
paddyor wrote: June 21st, 2022, 12:35 pm There’s lots of current and future boks in both them sides.
That's your comment???!!!

Bulls had no or virtually no Boks. Stormers some. It's the least relevant point in the whole post tho?!
Virtually means nothing. Coastzee is a Bok. Steyn, Botha and Du Plessis have been capped too and AIUI Nortje is in line for a call up. Yes that's my comment. If Craig Ray going to open with it then at least be accurate. This is circling a target a for a narrative. I found a lot of Saffer fans and a few Journos over ebullient and borderline arrogant in Japan. Only a few months ago they were out in force on social media alleging a vast a world rugby conspiracy after Rassies disciplinary hearing. I think things are looking up for them after the Stormers nearly wen tbang(the Kings having gone bang only a few years ago) and hopefully they've turned a corner.
Ruddock's tackle stats consistently too low for me to be taken seriously as a Six Nations blindside..... Ruddock's defensive stats don't stack up. - All Blacks Nil, Jan 15th, 2014
England A 8 - 14 Ireland A, 25th Jan 2014
Ruddock(c) 19/2 Tackles
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by LeRouxIsPHat »

There’s no denying that the landscape looks good for them but I think Ray talks a load of b*%&!cks tbh. I haven’t heard this interview but heard him before and thought he came across really well. Followed him on Twitter and realised very quickly that he’s a biased bullshit merchant who just happens to sound knowledgable on podcasts and had to unfollow.

The type of fan who thinks losses only happen because the other team are cheats or the officials are biased against his team.

As I said I haven’t heard the interview but the point about SA joining the 6N is the kind of comment that I suspect he would present as fact when it isn’t the case, it’s certainly been his MO in the past.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by paddyor »

LeRouxIsPHat wrote: June 21st, 2022, 2:53 pm There’s no denying that the landscape looks good for them but I think Ray talks a load of b*%&!cks tbh. I haven’t heard this interview but heard him before and thought he came across really well. Followed him on Twitter and realised very quickly that he’s a biased bullshit merchant who just happens to sound knowledgable on podcasts and had to unfollow.

The type of fan who thinks losses only happen because the other team are cheats or the officials are biased against his team.

As I said I haven’t heard the interview but the point about SA joining the 6N is the kind of comment that I suspect he would present as fact when it isn’t the case, it’s certainly been his MO in the past.
:lol: This was template I was thinking of.
Ruddock's tackle stats consistently too low for me to be taken seriously as a Six Nations blindside..... Ruddock's defensive stats don't stack up. - All Blacks Nil, Jan 15th, 2014
England A 8 - 14 Ireland A, 25th Jan 2014
Ruddock(c) 19/2 Tackles
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by riocard911 »

SA rugby is a juggernaut, no question. I still think though, that the Irish provinces are in a better position with Saffer teams in our league than without. I could be wrong, but I feel an IRFU/SARU alliance is more advantageous to Irish rugby long term than the alternative, the provinces becoming part of a B&I league.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by ronk »

It's not us we should be afraid of, we're strong. It's the Welsh, Scots and Italians.

Scots are fine but the Glasgow game was a shock to the system and a wrong appointment could undo work.

Italians I'm not sure of.

Welsh are relatively close but morale is rock bottom and they could collapse.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by neiliog93 »

England and France are the only countries with the population size and wealth to rival them long-term. I could be wrong but I think as much as the All Blacks will remain a strong team, they will rarely be number one any more (one or more of South Africa, France and England, depending on player cycles, may be ahead of them). Rugby participation is in decline in New Zealand, cricket is popular, and soccer is on the rise. Super Rugby's whole future is threatened and New Zealand is a very isolated place with a small population. I'm not predicting total demise or anything close, but I think they will fall a bit behind South Africa and France at any rate.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by riocard911 »

I reckon NZ need to get Asia-Pacific Champions and Challenge Cups going with Oz, Japan and the Pacific Islanders. Japan has to be where the big money for rugby in Asia is.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by jezzer »

LeRouxIsPHat wrote: June 21st, 2022, 2:53 pm There’s no denying that the landscape looks good for them but I think Ray talks a load of b*%&!cks tbh. I haven’t heard this interview but heard him before and thought he came across really well. Followed him on Twitter and realised very quickly that he’s a biased bullshit merchant who just happens to sound knowledgable on podcasts and had to unfollow.

The type of fan who thinks losses only happen because the other team are cheats or the officials are biased against his team.

As I said I haven’t heard the interview but the point about SA joining the 6N is the kind of comment that I suspect he would present as fact when it isn’t the case, it’s certainly been his MO in the past.
I would be amazed if SA don't end up in the 6N.

All the rest has already happened. There's not really a ton of speculation in the interview.

We've all been saying for years "if France ever get their shít together.....". Well they have and S Africa are about to overtake France.

Ireland has done amazingly well by maximizing our model to the absolute. We'll be ok in the sense that were in good shape organizationally. But winning stuff is going to be much, much harder and the harsh reality of playing with the big boys is hitting virtually immediately. We'll learn from them and be better for it, but dominating is likely to be a thing of the past.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by ronk »

Yeah. Putting SA in the Heineken Cup is the audition. Now all it takes is a few years without someone shitting the bed.

France will get light touch until the RWC, then law changes and/or refereeing interpretations will hobble the giant forwards somewhat. If we want to beat them in the RWC we won't get any help.

But after that World Rugby need to protect the game in Wales, Australia and Italy. There isn't enough money in rugby to play the French way and the game won't grow if the most watchable teams can't win.

I don't see living in 2 hemispheres are setting up SA for dominance. The bar got raised, but not to a height we haven't cleared before. Next season we're going to go to altitude, and we'll go to win. We gave them that shock, they struck back. Now it's our turn.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by neiliog93 »

Long-term if we could stay in the top 5, behind South Africa, France, New Zealand and England, but ahead of Australia, Argentina, the other Celts, Italy, Japan, etc., we'd be doing pretty well. I think based on our good model, that's achievable.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by Ruckedtobits »

ronk wrote: June 22nd, 2022, 10:44 pm Yeah. Putting SA in the Heineken Cup is the audition. Now all it takes is a few years without someone shitting the bed.

France will get light touch until the RWC, then law changes and/or refereeing interpretations will hobble the giant forwards somewhat. If we want to beat them in the RWC we won't get any help.

But after that World Rugby need to protect the game in Wales, Australia and Italy. There isn't enough money in rugby to play the French way and the game won't grow if the most watchable teams can't win.

I don't see living in 2 hemispheres are setting up SA for dominance. The bar got raised, but not to a height we haven't cleared before. Next season we're going to go to altitude, and we'll go to win. We gave them that shock, they struck back. Now it's our turn.
I will campaign and furiously fight against the inclusion of SA in the 6N. This is the best spectator-oriented Rugby tournament in the world, bar none. But it is a European Competition, based on sharing and enjoying the cultural and Rugby rivalry of our six countries. The extension, first to France and then to Italy were logical progressions when each occurred. There is no such logic in the inclusion of SA.

This possible move is solely driven by the greed of CVC and Irish rugby management must oppose it at every level. I have no interest in an annual trip to Cape Town or Jo'bourg to be beaten up (on or off the pitch) by S Africans. Nor do I have any desire to play them internationally more than every 4 or 5 years.

Irish Rugby does not need annual fixtures against S Africa. We have a traditional tournament which is competitive and attractive. Let's ensure it is not sacrificed in the short-term for commercial gain which will go outside the game and come from the pockets of rugby supporters.

This is precisely the type of manouver I anticipated when CVC started to court the European rugby authorities. Now they have enlisted a number of rugby media correspondents to promulgate their avaricious ambitions and in successive years their campaign will build.

In my view they can FRO!
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by munster#1 »

I personally think that the SA teams joining and winning the URC is a great thing.
For years the Irish teams have played in the most mediocre league in world rugby, where teams can play up to 60 players a season and still win most games handy. Where the best players almost never get into double digit appearances.
A league where a massive percentage of games are just a formality.

Now we will have a much more competitive league, we will see the best players play much more regularly, and hopefully increase attendances along the way.

Sure the SA teams will be even stronger next season, as they look to bring home some of their big names, and benefit from the increased finances resulting from the URC and HC, and will hopefully be impacted less by Covid, but this only means that the Irish teams will have to get stronger, which will inevitably mean that our national team will get stronger.

I for one am really looking forward to next season.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by fourthirtythree »

As Ronk alluded to you could make a good case for "France - Unstoppable juggernaut?" too. Post world cup they'll crack down on the huge numbers of forwards on benches and the giant lumbering players walking round the pitch until they see someone to hit or just fall on top of but this far out it sure looks like France SA for the world cup.
South African teams are definitely the ones to beat now in the URC so bring on next season.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by dropkick »

munster#1 wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 9:15 am I personally think that the SA teams joining and winning the URC is a great thing.
For years the Irish teams have played in the most mediocre league in world rugby, where teams can play up to 60 players a season and still win most games handy. Where the best players almost never get into double digit appearances.
A league where a massive percentage of games are just a formality.

Now we will have a much more competitive league, we will see the best players play much more regularly, and hopefully increase attendances along the way.

Sure the SA teams will be even stronger next season, as they look to bring home some of their big names, and benefit from the increased finances resulting from the URC and HC, and will hopefully be impacted less by Covid, but this only means that the Irish teams will have to get stronger, which will inevitably mean that our national team will get stronger.

I for one am really looking forward to next season.

+1
Whatever about South Africa's future, it's good for us and should strengthen Irish rugby. Ireland and the provinces have new standards to meet now and they need to improve in certain areas. In other words all involved are being forced out of their comfort zone. There's no way JVG would have been offered 7 years of contracts if the top SA sides joined earlier.


It will be good for ireland too as the players will be used to playing against physical teams. French players have this advantage already and Welsh players have benefited from playing against strong Irish teams. Welsh regions were in their own comfort zone but now they're all in the bottom half which is causing an even bigger fuss than usual in Wales so something will have to be done there.


So the SA's have upped the ante and it's sink or swim time for the Celts/Italians. On the flip side NZ and Oz will miss playing against them in super rugby. Foster and other NZers have mentioned this already and the SAs bring a different type of game.


Things are always changing. Not so long ago NZ looked unstoppable, beating SA 57-0. Teams go through peaks and troughs depending on coaches, players etc. Reduce the amount of subs and it's the end of the SA bomb squad. They might get found out tactically some other ways. Then they'll have to play a more expansive game which is riskier.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by munster#1 »

dropkick wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 10:19 am
munster#1 wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 9:15 am I personally think that the SA teams joining and winning the URC is a great thing.
For years the Irish teams have played in the most mediocre league in world rugby, where teams can play up to 60 players a season and still win most games handy. Where the best players almost never get into double digit appearances.
A league where a massive percentage of games are just a formality.

Now we will have a much more competitive league, we will see the best players play much more regularly, and hopefully increase attendances along the way.

Sure the SA teams will be even stronger next season, as they look to bring home some of their big names, and benefit from the increased finances resulting from the URC and HC, and will hopefully be impacted less by Covid, but this only means that the Irish teams will have to get stronger, which will inevitably mean that our national team will get stronger.

I for one am really looking forward to next season.

+1
Whatever about South Africa's future, it's good for us and should strengthen Irish rugby. Ireland and the provinces have new standards to meet now and they need to improve in certain areas. In other words all involved are being forced out of their comfort zone. There's no way JVG would have been offered 7 years of contracts if the top SA sides joined earlier.


It will be good for ireland too as the players will be used to playing against physical teams. French players have this advantage already and Welsh players have benefited from playing against strong Irish teams. Welsh regions were in their own comfort zone but now they're all in the bottom half which is causing an even bigger fuss than usual in Wales so something will have to be done there.


So the SA's have upped the ante and it's sink or swim time for the Celts/Italians. On the flip side NZ and Oz will miss playing against them in super rugby. Foster and other NZers have mentioned this already and the SAs bring a different type of game.


Things are always changing. Not so long ago NZ looked unstoppable, beating SA 57-0. Teams go through peaks and troughs depending on coaches, players etc. Reduce the amount of subs and it's the end of the SA bomb squad. They might get found out tactically some other ways. Then they'll have to play a more expansive game which is riskier.
It is a very exciting time indeed. It has the feel of a real new beginning for both the URC and the HC, and silverware will be even harder to come by going forward.

One area where I think Ireland should be looking at, is developing a stronger AIL, or coming up with a way to bridge the gap between amature/semi pro and the pro game, so that the next generation have a more competitive environment to develop in.
As they are likely to have less opportunities with the provinces going forward.


I personally hate the thoughts of world rugby stepping in to try and protect the weaker teams by punishing the stronger teams.

France have a very strong pack, and use it to bully teams and create space out wide, which I for one find very enjoyable to watch.
SA rugby too, for all of the negative comments it receives, have shown in the URC that the clubs mix the beef and the brains very well, with 3 of their clubs being in the top 5 for tries scored.

IMO, it should be up to the Irish, Scots, Welsh and Italians to learn to either match them or beat them by imposing their rugby on them.

Your point about NZ hammering SA is a very good one.
Teams learn to adapt and rather than beat NZ at their own game, SA developed their own brand of winning rugby, and did it very well.
I hope that Ireland and the provinces aren’t banking on world rugby changing the game to make it easier for them.
“Everything is Legal until you are caught” does not mean that you are not breaking the laws, it simply means that players will play the ref, and will break the laws of the game if they believe they won’t, or until they do, get caught.
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