Thanks rugby fan and combesy, makes more sense... Except the fact he's only 6' tall! I guess muscle weighs more!
Hey harry. Over the last 5 years I would say yes the boks were better. Over the last 12-24 months I would say no. Thats like what happened in the arly 2000s when england were 5 or 6-0 over the boks but eventually the boks got the upper hand, its a cycle thing and i think england are building a nice team.
Imo they have shown more in the last 12 months than the boks have and I think they will be ready next year on home soil. NH sides tend to pick at rwc as for once they have a real prep like SH sides. Ireland and england have also lost by only a few points against the ABs so its not something new. I realky dont think there is much between 2 and 8-9 anyway.
I think the Boks like the english have the rugby to bother the kiwis most. No question blokes like Vunipola or Vermeulen do bring some physicality that other sides do not have and Read isnt dominant or as dominant against these guys.
Funnily enough I think the Boks look 'better' next to the AB than they do against lesser teams, and thats precisely why I dont think they are outright n2 side in world rugby but more 'anywhere between 2 and 6'. All sides who have matched the kiwis in the past took it to the kiwis and were in thier face for 80min. We know its the recipe to be competitive and stay in the match for 80min. Thing is most teams who try this still lose like at the rwc final or on the w-e. So yez its possible for an average side like the 2011 french or these boks to match the ABs on one game. Doesnt mean there is still not a lot of work to do to become a genuine, longterm threat.
I actually think england is in a better position than any other side to beat the kiwis. Others are still trying to match them physically but not trying to outdo them in terms of rugby. I felt the Boks were answering ABs questions rather than asking their own on the w-e. Byt just for Vermeulen's match this was worth watching. What an awesome player he is.