Super Rugby the reason for SH dominance
The southern hemisphere sides return to their Super Rugby season after a dominant display against their northern counterparts on the international stage.
The teams would have enjoyed the break as it gave their players time to recover and freshen up for the final three weeks of the season.
The Tests also allowed representative players to increase their performance level against international opposition and replicate that form heading into the finals.
The south dominated the north, winning eight of the ten Test matches over the three weeks.
The only blemishes on an almost impeccable record were Scotland’s 9-6 upset victory over Australia and South Africa and England’s 14-all draw in the final match of their series.
The world’s three best rugby countries were always going to be hard to topple for the touring sides.
There is one constant that makes Australia, New Zealand and South Africa such tough opposition for European countries: Super Rugby.
The Super Rugby competition is the premier league of club rugby in the world.
It boasts the best players from the three best countries playing against each other, developing a standard of rugby that is unmatchable by all of Europe.
The competition is not the sole factor for the south’s dominance but it is a contributing one.
The home ground advantage for New Zealand, South Africa and particularly Australia was a huge asset.
The Wallabies used the crowd’s momentum in their second and third Tests against Wales to scrape home and claim an unconvincing series whitewash.
Also the weather conditions are very different. The England side had to adapt to the increased altitude in South Africa.
The scheduling of the tests did not favour the northern sides, as it is summer in the north.
The Aviva English Premiership is England’s equivalent of the Super Rugby competition and is where the majority of the English side is chosen from.
The competition’s last regular season match was played on the fifth of May.
Although it was only a month before the Test matches, the Southern Hemisphere sides were in the midst of the Super Rugby season.
Morne Steyn, Will Genia and Richie McCaw all put in strong showings during the June internationals and were pivotal in the dominance of their respective countries.
With the Super Rugby finals three weeks away, representative players needed to improve their club form by putting in strong performances on the international stage.
While the home field advantage was a contributing factor in the south’s dominance, the standard of the Super Rugby competition is the main factor that southern hemisphere teams remain out of reach.
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