February 29 - The Super 15 Rugby season for 2012 is just one round old, and
already the coach of the Durban based Sharks team has complained about the
gruelling format in force from 2011. John Plumtree said that the revised format
was harsh on South African players.
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Prior to 2011 each Super 15 Rugby team played the remaining 14 teams once.
This entailed a five week tour away from their country, which the South African
rugby teams were not comfortable with. Therefore the Super 15 Rugby
format was changed. Each team would play the others from their own
country twice and they would not play all of the teams from the other
Plumtree told “Rapport” that the South African teams play against each other
with greater zeal and it “wears the players down”. He said that the Australian
and New Zealand teams did not play their internal matches with the same level of
intensity. Therefore there were much fewer fitness issues with the Australian
and New Zealand players over the long Super 15 Rugby season.
South African Rugby is listening, though this Super 15 Rugby format has
become a revenue booster for them. The spectator strength in the Sharks vs.
Bulls game over the weekend was over 46,000. This is unheard of in Australia or
New Zealand. South African Rugby will approach SANZAR, the organising body of
Super 15 Rugby, in a bid to revert back to the old format.
Super 15 Rugby to Super 16 Rugby
There is however a more pressing item on South African Rugby agenda. This is
to ask for a change in format from Super 15 Rugby to Super 16 Rugby.
A new franchise Southern Kings has been formed from the Eastern Cape, which is
dominated by black rugby players. There is considerable political compulsion to
include them in the Super 15 Rugby. The current South African franchisees are
afraid that one of them will have to exit in order to make way for the new team.
They have written to South African Rugby that if any of them are left out
then all five will boycott Super 15 Rugby. Changing the format to 16 teams seems
the best way out. The question is whether the Australian and New Zealand teams
will agree to this.
Super 15 Rugby Betting at Bet365
Though the actual teams participating in the Super 15 Rugby are club teams, a
sense of nationalism does prevail. The online betting site
Bet365 offers an
interesting market to cover this. Odds are offered for the nationality of the
winning team and these are as follows. New Zealand, fresh from the World Cup
win, is the favourite.
New Zealand 1/1
South Africa 5/2
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