SANZAAR is systematically killing southern hemisphere elite rugby

David Lord Columnist

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    Sheer greed could be the only reason why SANZAAR changed the Tri-Nations – which had comprised of the All Blacks, Wallabies, and Boks – to add the Pumas as the Rugby Championship in 2012.

    The Pumas have been as underwhelming as the Italians in the Six Nations – a waste of space.

    The cold hard stats prove the point.

    The Italians have played 90 games since 2000, for 77 losses, 12 wins, and a draw.

    They have scored 1289 points and given up 2993 for a deficit of 1704.

    Win ratio 13.33 per cent.

    The Pumas have been worse with three wins from 27 starts, 23 losses, and a draw.

    They have scored 480 points, and given up 861, for a 395-point deficit.

    Win ratio 11.11 per cent.

    A waste of space alright.

    (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    But it’s Super Rugby that’s the dogs breakfast; a diabolical format that’s meaningless.

    How did SANZAAR talk New Zealand and Australia into adding the Sunwolves from Japan, and Argentina’s Jaguares?

    Not only did the unwanted addition add thousands of debilitating air travel hours to an unwieldy tournament, but to magnify the problems, what rocket scientist at SANZAAR managed to get the board to add an extra South African side? This took the Republic’s participation to six teams as against five for New Zealand, and five for Australia?


    SANZAAR split the six South African sides in half, and added Sunwolves to one, and the Jaguares to the other.


    So far removed from a level playing field, SANZAAR must have found the format in the phone book.

    Even under the current format, the New Zealanders are the most dominant Conference by the length of the straight.

    If the top eight on points alone qualified for the quarter finals, all five Kiwi sides would romp with all five in credit with points difference, the only Conference to achieve the feat.

    The other three on current points would be the Lions, Sharks, and Stormers making up the numbers.

    But because the top sides in each of the four Conferences will be automatic qualifiers, the Blues will miss out to the Brumbies as current top of the Australian Conference, even though the Blues have 31 points, the Brumbies just 19, which includes seven bonus points.

    While that makes no sense, neither does the draw.

    When the scheduled rounds are completed, so-far unbeaten Crusaders will have played the Hurricanes and Highlanders twice each, with the Chiefs and Blues once each.

    The Chiefs will have played the Hurricanes and Blues twice each, with the Crusaders and Highlanders once each.

    The Highlanders will have met the Crusaders and Blues twice each, with the Chiefs and Hurricanes once each.

    The Blues will have played the Chiefs and Highlanders twice, the Crusaders and Hurricanes once each.

    The Hurricanes will have met the Chiefs and Crusaders twice each, with the Highlanders and Blues once each.

    Malakai Fekitoa Highlanders Super Rugby Union 2017

    (AAP Image/SNPA, Adam Binns)

    That’s six games apiece, and to reach the scheduled 15, all Kiwi sides will meet the five Australian, and four South Africa 1 sides.

    The Australians will play six games each within their group, the five Kiwi sides, and four South Africa 2 sides for their 15.

    In the breakdown, the Brumbies meet the Reds and Rebels twice each, with the Waratahs and Force once each.

    The Waratahs will met the Force and Rebels twice each, with the Brumbies an Reds once each.

    The Reds will have had two each against the Brumbies and Force, but one each against Waratahs and Rebels.

    The Rebels two each against the Waratahs and Brumbies, with one each against the Reds and Force.

    And to complete the dog’s breakfast, the Force’s two games will be against the Waratahs and Reds, with the one each against the Brumbies and Rebels.

    It proves that the ‘phone book’ format doesn’t cut the mustard trying to find a genuine champion.

    But like anything SANZAAR does, it’s mighty hard to explain away.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles