Is the boks worthy of No1. The Great Reset

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Nov 24, 2021, 18:06

So I did a quick table to map out the matches that we had in 2021. Really hard to draw something that is reflective of the current state of the teams. I have left out the rubbish tours and tournaments as I felt that they did carry any merrit given that teams were in isolation and tried to make the most of it. 


It was only during the 6 nations that we started to see teams full potential. I have also only looked at the top 8 teams and left Japan and Arg out us neither of them managed to beat any team in the top 6. Here is my verdict and who I should be ranked accordingly


  1. Ire
  2. Fra
  3. NZ
  4. SA
  5. Wal
  6. Eng
  7. Sco
  8. Aus

Ireland strated the year off poor but are unbeaten right now, one could argue that NZ should be 1st by they have lost 3 games against Fra, Ire and SA. SA could be above NZ but we couldn't beat Aus at all this year when we should have done it easily. Eng started well but had heavy losses against Sco, Ire and Wal, but wins against Fra and SA brougth them back up again. 

However, I think they way that the internationals are organised doesn't really allow for a proper ranking system. 

1, the lions series means that which ever teams play against them has no points to gain, it robs the Southern hemisphere of test matches and only Fra is a worthy opponent. 

NZ is not the best team right now. But I hope we can have some meaningful matches next year and finally put to be who is the real No1 team. But I strongly believe that we are not. 

WalesFranceEnglandIrelandScotlandSANZAus
W IrelandW ItalyL ScotlandL WalesW England
W ScotlandW IrelandW ItalyL FranceL Wales
W EnglandL ScoL WalW ItalyW Fra
W ItaL EngW FraW ScoL Ire
L FraW WalL IreW EngW Ita
L AusL BilW Fra
W AusW BilL Fra
L AusW BilW Fra
W AusL NZ
W ArgW AusL NZ
W ArgW AusL NZ
L AusW ArgW SA
L AusW ArgW SA
L NZW SAW Arg
W NzL SAW Arg
L NZW TonW Wales
L SAW ArgW TonW JapW AusW WalW ItalyL Scot
W FijW GeoW AusW NZL SaW ScoL IreL Eng
W AusW NZW SAW ArgW JapL EngL FraL Wal

Nov 24, 2021, 18:48

Ireland and France are top. There well balanced Rugby shows that we need to play catchup. I don’t really understand how ranking system work , as there is double ranking points to? Anycase it’s very frustrating to see, that the bok pack is so dominant but our backline is mostly toothless. Hope that things will change in that department soon.

Nov 24, 2021, 18:59

We have gone from an era of NZ dominance to rotating chairs at the top. The WC should be definitive but often leaves as many questions as it answers. Nonetheless the Boks had a legitimate claim after WC 2019.


But  you can’t stand still. Which is what we tried to do following the WC with the chicken run and our WC playing tactics in 2021. The WC is a knockout competition which suits a conservative approach like ours….all teams tend to be risk averse and as we are always risk averse we don’t lose much.

Other teams do…NZ in particular, but also England, Wales and France. 

When we returned to action this year we deluded ourselves about the Lions win….they were confused tactically  and Gatland made some inexplicable choices. The games were all 50/50 except for the second half of the second test.

Then suddenly we were exposed to Oz who ran at us with talented backs….they broke down our defence….as did NZ ….as did England. These teams were playing the rugby, we were relying on set pieces and mauls.

It wasn’t enough and as teams decipher our tactics more and more, they will realize that we are vulnerable to an attacking side, that doesn’t implode in the set pieces. That probably eliminates Wales, Scotland and could eliminate Oz depending on a narrow set of players being absent.

But England, France, Ireland and NZ will find a way to get closer to parity in our areas of strength and become more formidable. Oz may if they properly manage their resources.

So we have to also improve and the backline play is painfully poor, so it shouldn’t be hard. But nobody in our coaching box currently has a clue how to do that.

Right now I would say the Boks/NZ/ Ireland/ France/England are pretty much all at parity, and the team that finds some additional weapons will likely win RWC2023. The fascinating team is France, who always have so much potential but now seem to be making it count.

Nov 24, 2021, 19:00

it is a rather personal viewpoint discussion academic and not really factual.    At this stage the official ranking is a given  and the 6 nations may change  the rankingbut will not affect the Springboks ranking at all.    

However, I have been following the French team quite regularly and is impressed by their style of play and team performances.     However, they will have t beat all five teams in the  6-Nations by a big margin to get ino the number 1 position  os we will ahve to see how the point standings are after the completion of the 6Nations.       

Nov 24, 2021, 19:00

it is a rather personal viewpoint discussion academic and not really factual.    At this stage the official ranking is a given  and the 6 nations may change  the rankingbut will not affect the Springboks ranking at all.    

However, I have been following the French team quite regularly and is impressed by their style of play and team performances.     However, they will have t beat all five teams in the  6-Nations by a big margin to get ino the number 1 position  os we will ahve to see how the point standings are after the completion of the 6Nations.       

Nov 24, 2021, 19:42

Gotta love Wales strategy of relying on the opposing team to get red carded.

Happened in the Ireland, Scotland, Fuji and Australia games. How they won the 6 Nations this year I'll never know.

Nov 24, 2021, 19:43

With the Lions tour, Northern Hemisphere played much fewer games. 
They did not tour the Southern Hemisphere as individual nations in 2021. 

If France and Ireland can look as good in New Zealand and South Africa as they did on the EOYT, they could be more worthy of higher spots. 
However, I don't see Ireland or France beating the Boks and Kiwis in SA or NZ

The 2nd Oz test was the only game that South Africa played badly, it included some dubious selections. 

It is about consistency, and the Boks have been good except against Australia. 
The depth of world rugby top 7 teams is the best it has ever been, so the Boks can be number 1 despite so many losses in one season- because the other teams are also losing games. 

Nov 24, 2021, 20:56

Agreed Snarky...Boks are in a good place, we'll know better next year, after hosting a few home tests...the Lions series was a bit too disruptive to really judge...we need to face NZ, Aus and a few good NH teams in South Africa to really judge where we are.

Nov 24, 2021, 21:16

It’s good for world rugby that NZ no longer dominate and given the state of the game these days I doubt they will ever dominate the game and nor will any side

Any of the top 9 sides can beat the other on the day, that’s good for the state of the game

Nov 24, 2021, 22:22

I heard that France stopped a run of 14 defeats when they beat the faltering wee abs. Is this true?

The Boks are ranked 1 and deservedly.  Can't even begin to imagine another countries supporters arguing their side although ranked 1 are not one.

We were comfortably better than England. Can't see any European side beating us and at home here in South Africa they would get well and truly thumped..

Ireland were able to dominate the poor wee abs pack and so get on top. Their chances of dominating the Bok packs even sans Snyman and Du Toit are precisely zero.

Beeno very happy with all the success in recent years. I will leave the whinging and winning to others. :D

Nov 24, 2021, 22:42

I agree with Saffex on this.  I do not think there is a very clear best team in the world.   It depends on the day but mostly it depends on the month we play.   With different calendars between north and south, the teams are at a different stage in their cycle.   Northern hemisphere teams are all gearing up to the 6 nations and the southern hemisphere teams are gearing down as their season ends.  

If the world cup was in 3 months I would say...

SA:  favorite.  The question is can the expansive style now played by France and Ireland unpick SA.   Not the first time over the years I heard it and yet SA is still there.  Forwards win matches, the backs decide by how much.  SA has the strongest pack.   

NZ were tired and Ireland will get a different reception next year when we play down there.  They have lost a lot of quality and have not replaced them but they are still one of the favorites.  

Australia.   Not convinced.   They have some great players but rugby union is on a major decline in Oz and I think it is reflected in the national team.

Argentina.  Declined and I cannot see them coming back in the next 2 years.  

England one of the best.

France   The last 6 nations they really made us look up with their young guns but they still lost 2 matches.  They are maturing and I think they will win the 6 nations and the slam.   Very exciting and one of the best but still need to prove it on a bigger stage.

Ireland need to prove their consistency in the 6 nations to sit at the top table.   It is a new style and when the pressure really comes on will they revert back to form?  We have seen the false dawns 3 years ago when Ireland was number 1.  One of the best... mmm we shall see.

Scotland.   They always claim a scalp but not enough depth.  

Wales.  As Napoleon said I'd rather have lucky generals than good ones.  In the last 12 months Wales have been lucky but luck runs out.  I think the loss of Gatland and key players will make the next 6 nations difficult for them.  Not convinced Pivac can make the Welsh team out perform their individual talent like Gatland could.


Nov 24, 2021, 23:57

One other thing.   Longer term I think NZ and Oz will fall behind.  Money, money, money.  Their revenue streams will decline compared to the Northern Hemisphere.   I think they will regret the SA teams moving to the Pro16.   

NZ now demand a big portion of the purse when playing other countries as they are such a big draw.   As they decline they will not be able to command the same amount.  They have so many natural athletes but how many will stay.

Nov 25, 2021, 22:17

Some very good points Boorad1...nice to hear a positive perspective from abroad...the URC is continuing again this weekend...it'll be nice seeing sides touring South Africa for a change.

Nov 25, 2021, 23:25

Really excited about our tour.  Expect a much harder time and we have a lot of young guys going.  I think the URC took you by surprise and are hunting for blood.   I expect you will find it.  If we get 2 points I would be happy.

Enjoy the weekend.

Nov 26, 2021, 00:05

Planet Rugby put the Boks at number 1, and New Zealand at number 4.

New Zealand's pack is questionable, but at home, they must start as favourites for any test. 

Next year will be a clearer picture with both hemispheres touring. 


https://www.planetrugby.com/planet-rugbys-world-rankings-for-2021/

Nov 26, 2021, 06:49

Darn..United Rugby Championship's South African leg at risk due to new covid strain.:(

Nov 26, 2021, 08:14

Yeah, it seems all UK players is SA are desperately trying to get back now, with these new restrictions being put in place

 
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