The South needs to worry – the North is coming fast

Oliver Matthews Roar Guru

By Oliver Matthews, Oliver Matthews is a Roar Guru

 , , ,

226 Have your say

    As we’ve reached the end of 2017 and 2018 has kicked off the inevitable annual reviews come flooding in – so here’s another one to add to the deluge.

    Rather than reviewing a specific team though, let’s take the opportunity to review the ongoing struggle between hemispheres for global domination.

    For a long time, it’s felt like the major players of the Southern Hemisphere have claimed the crown. While New Zealand have often led the way, it’s been the trio of the Wallabies, Springboks and All Blacks combined that has put fear into teams from the north for many years. More recently they have been backed up by the powerful Pumas.

    The World Cup of 2015 was a strong demonstration of the South’s domination – not a single northern hemisphere side made the semi-finals, not even the host nation of England – the rugby nation with arguably the biggest budgets and most well established infrastructure to grow a successful international team.

    Two years on and with half a world cup cycle complete it’s interesting to see whether this has changed. Fortunately the recent international clashes have provided a useful laboratory to run a few Tests and review the latest in the ongoing North versus South struggle.

    For this comparison the focus will be on the top six teams from each hemisphere that have been competing. For the North these are England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. For the South we’ll include Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and South Africa.

    During the October tours this is how the results have panned out:

    North played 18, won 10 lost 7, draw 1 – win per centage 55 per cent
    South played 16, won 7, lost 9 – win percentage 44 per cent

    New Zealand, Ireland and England all went through their respective series of three matches unbeaten while France, Samoa and Fiji were all unable to get one victory on the board.


    (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

    So the data shows the North achieved better results, they are the better rugby hemisphere – done and dusted. Let’s get on with the New Year diet that lasts til lunch and the Super Rugby pre season talk.

    But of course that’s not the full story is it? Yes the Northern Hemisphere teams have won more games than their Southern rivals in these recent series but they have also had the home advantage.

    On the other hand many of the Southern Hemisphere teams have had the benefits of coming off the back of a Rugby Championship to get their rhythm and combinations working smoothly.

    Let’s add some more data to the comparison set and see what happens. Looking back at the internationals between these twelve sides since the World Cup we see the following.

    June – July 2017 (inc Lions tour of NZ)
    Matches played in the Southern Hemisphere
    13 played
    5 Northern wins (38%)
    7 Southern wins (54%)
    1 draw

    Nov – Dec 2016
    Matches played in the Northern Hemisphere
    17 played
    11 Northern wins (65%)
    6 Southern wins (35%)

    June – July 2016
    Matches played in the Southern Hemisphere
    12 played
    5 Northern wins (42%)
    7 Southern wins (58%)

    Totals since January 2016
    60 matches played (25 in Southern Hemisphere locations, 35 in the North)
    31 Northern wins (52%)
    27 Southern wins (45%)
    2 draws

    Following a World Cup in late 2015 where the Northern teams were notably absent from the business end of the tournament, they seem to have been able to turn things around – two years of rugby and four more wins over their Southern rivals.

    During this time the Kiwis only lost twice to a Northern team so the remaining 25 losses came from the rest of the bunch including the traditionally strong Australia and South Africa. There could be several reasons for this change in trend – was this indicative of how the strategies of such teams as the Wallabies, Boks and Pumas had been focused on performing at the World Cup but hadn’t factored in what to do after the tournament?

    Was it a sign of scarier problems with the underlying foundations of these nation’s rugby structures that would inevitably come out at the international level eventually?


    (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

    It’s important to note though that while the Northern teams are experiencing a period where they are winning more matches over their Southern rivals, they are only winning four more matches than the South across a two year period despite having ten more games at home.

    So it’s fair to say that the North are achieving a good amount of success – they are winning more games against the Southern teams, they have two of the top three teams in the world, and three of the top five.

    Of course none of this matters if, come the semi-finals of Japan 2019, the same Southern domination wins through as was seen in 2015. There are many sub plots behind all of these numbers including the debates that are raging on this site about whether Cheika needs to resign now or carry on to Japan.

    But the North are getting their houses in order and as well as having talent and depth in their playing groups, seem to have strong coaches and infrastructures to back up those players. That’s the kind of combination that leads to success and trophies.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (226)

    • January 5th 2018 @ 10:29am
      Taylorman said | January 5th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

      Oh, really?

      Cant tell from your well researched article but can you tell me

      1. how pros that originated their career in the south and now play for either northern clubs or northern test sides.

      2. How many pros that originated their pro career in the north and now play for the south, either club or country?

      3. Ditto re number of coaches who after coaching in either the NH/SH now coach in the other?

      Reason I ask is that your article should really be titled:

      Look out South, the North/ South are coming.

      And that your ‘reasons for this’ shouldnt focus so much on strategies but rather the plundering of players and what needs to be done about it.

      SA for example could easily put a side consisting of entirely northern based players that would improve on the 2017 results. Easily.

      Now, could England put one together based on the players they have in the SH? Hmmm. Could they even find a backline? At all? Hmmm.

      • January 5th 2018 @ 11:01am
        Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        Pros from up North don’t come South for less money. Why would they?
        The money is there so they stay there. The money is there so players from the South go there. You should know this.
        It’s the same reason Pacific Island players go to NZ and Australia. By your logic you would be asking why not many Australians play pro rugby in Tonga and why couldn’t Australia put a side together from Australian pros that play in Tonga.

        As far as residency goes, it’s been extended to 5 years instead of 3. So that will make the likes of Aki and Stander less likely, assuming they went to Ireland wanting to play for Ireland.

        England has no players playing for England that turned pro in union outside of Europe does it?
        How many does Wales have, 1?

        There is no plundering of players.
        “Plundering” suggests they were stolen. They left the South themselves and we’re not taken. Much in the same way how NZ offers scholarships to players from other countries.

        Were the likes of Laulala, Fekitoa, Fafita, Naholo and Tamanivalu plundered by NZ?

      • January 5th 2018 @ 2:04pm
        Ex force fan said | January 5th 2018 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

        It is a fact that the Northern hemisphere has been using Southern born players, especially those from South African and the Pacific Islands to improve their teams and competitions. The demise of the Boks can be directly related to two factors: the exodus of players (lately even players that benefit from affirmative action as leaving) and the refusal of the Bok coach to pick the best Bok side. While the players move from South to North and especially young players that can play international rugby for their new country e.g. Barrett and Stander the South will continue to loose ground to the North. In the extreme the South may become a developing ground for the North as it already is in some other sports like soccer.

        What we need a well funded and managed competition that are not dependent on the ailing economy of South Africa, the small economy of NA and the narrow minded interests of NSW and QLD. We need to tap into the wealth and fast growing economies like Japan, South East Asia, China, India, Korea etc if we want to be able to compete with the North. Superugby is the anchor around our neck that is killing rugby in the Southern Hemisphere.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 6:02pm
          Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

          Well I was with you until you said Super Rugby was killing SH rugby. Without Super Rugby all or Args best players would play in Europe. More players from NZ, Aus and NZ would head north.
          I know there is a theory that countries could go it alone but that’s simply unrealistic. Even together, their powers combined, they can’t stem the flow.

          Super Rugbys very purpose was to give players an alternative to heading upstairs.

          I’m sorry the Force were dropped but that was done with the right intentions and for the right reasons imo.

          • January 5th 2018 @ 9:07pm
            Bakkies said | January 5th 2018 @ 9:07pm | ! Report

            Are you serious about the right intentions and reasons? That’s taking it right from the RA’s spin doctors hook, line and sinker.

            • January 6th 2018 @ 10:43am
              Mmmmm..k said | January 6th 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

              And you’re suggesting what, that they were doing it with bad intentions for the wrong reasons?

              Its clear there was a problem.
              Its clear something had to be done.
              It was clear Aus had it’s resources spread too thin.

              Imo that was all blatantly clear.

              • January 6th 2018 @ 4:54pm
                Jacko said | January 6th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

                Yes all blatently clear…except they got rid of the team costing nothing and on the rise support wise…and kept the team wasting millions and developing no one

              • January 7th 2018 @ 3:24pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 7th 2018 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                I’m sure they thought it through Jacko and didn’t just try to do themselves harm.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 1:26am
                Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:26am | ! Report

                If they thought it through why couldn’t they make a compelling case? The spreadsheet however was never made public, if it ever existed! It was not a well thought through decision and still does not make sense. The whole wat this axing saga played you should give you sufficient evidence that this is not a competent organization that makes rationale decisions. They are willing to lie even to a senate enquiry to get an outcome they decided on long before they gathered any information. The way the sold the Rebels license to Cox and gave Cox a handout is another example of ARU incompetence. You underestimate the ARU’s incompetence under Clyne’s leadership.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 1:35am
                Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:35am | ! Report

                Mmmm…k you underestimate the level of incompetence at the ARU. Have a look at the transaction between the ARU and Cox where the ARU “gave” Cox money – what a poor deal! Also look at how unprofessionally the whole axing saga played out, the farce of a process that was used to end up with the answer to cut the only team that they legally can cut. Thr ability to “legally cut” came form a governing body tricking and affiliate to five up their license in return for support (support in the form of a knife in the back). Also giving commercial in confidence records to opposing parties…. And the media release that the ARU was “surprised” that Cox sold the Rebels to the VRU while they were setting the whole deal up with Clyne flowing to Melbourne days before the announcement! The Clyne led ARU is tainted through this Force saga and lost their ability to operate in Perth. WA needs to go our own way, there is no future for us in Australian rugby! Clyne, Eales and the others that is responsible for this must go, they are not the right people to lead rugby!

          • January 5th 2018 @ 9:13pm
            Ez force fan said | January 5th 2018 @ 9:13pm | ! Report

            Superugby ia tapping into the high commercial value of rugby in South Africa. The majority of the commercial value from the competition was historically and still is generated in South Africa. This linked the financial futures of Australia and NZ rugby to the economic and rugby performance of South Africa. Under Zuma it became clear that this is not a sustainable model for the future but neither NZ or Australia have an alternative to SANZAAR. SANZAAR use to set the pace in rugby and had no problems to attraxt the best players, however France and England’s competitions have overtaken SANZAAR. South Africa are unable to hold on to even their best upcoming players and Australia is also struggling. The IPRC is gift to NZ and Australia however the ARU is doing their utmost best to kill it!

            The decision to cut the Force was shortsighted, will give the Rebels a suger hit this year but will not fundamentally change the problem that SANZAAR have, The partnership is old and stale and in desperate need for a shakeup. Even South Africa is joining European competitions while Australia and New Zealand’s rugby union paint themselves into a corner. The achor around the neck….

            • January 6th 2018 @ 11:06am
              Mmmmm..k said | January 6th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

              The IRPC could flop.
              The IRPC could damage Super Rugby, then flop.
              Imo the IRPC is most likely going to flop sooner or later.

              You say that dropping the Force won’t solve the problems.
              That it was short sighted.

              No, the opposite is true even if you don’t want to believe it.

              Bringing in a 5th team too soon has proven to be short sighted. They went for quick gain too fast and it failed. That’s what the evidence has shown. The evidence you ignore it seems.
              It is easy to say that you want the game to grow, we all do but it’s obvious you must do it properly at the right time or it’s destined to fail and bring the house down with it. That’s how it works. You can’t just bring in 50 teams and claim it’s for the future and one day it will work, then suggest that anyone who disagrees is short sighted.

              Super Rugby has realised that bringing in too many teams has weakened the comps appeal.
              They’ve looked at who’s watching what when.
              They’ve looked at why people watch.
              They’ve looked at where the potential is for future fans who will watch what when.

              I have to tell you this but very few people would get excited for the King’s vs the Force at 3am.
              However a strong, winning Rebels vs a strong winning Bulls has people watching in greater numbers.
              Then down the track, when Super Rugby has a stronger position and greater interest it could expand into WA.
              That’s the opposite of your short sighted ‘all now or nothing’ perspective imo.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 1:39am
                Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:39am | ! Report

                South Africa can follow thr money abd their players and join the European competitions. Then NZ and the ARU have no alternative and when the SANZAAR money stops flowing there is no way any of them will hold on to their best.

                Australia and New Zealans need an alternative to SANZAAR, Twiggy is willing to finance it but the ARU/RA is dumb enough to try to sabotage it!

                What an incredibly shortsighted and dumb organsation has the ARU become unde Cameron Clyne’s lead. It is time for the ARU Board to go and the organisation to restructure so that is can serve the national interest.

      • Roar Guru

        January 6th 2018 @ 2:01am
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | January 6th 2018 @ 2:01am | ! Report

        After reading for about 10-15 seconds, all I could think of was T-mans answer. Maybe you did a Haka before you wrote the reply? Or a cold shower?


        To avoid any misunderstandings, I think you present some really strong arguments.

      • January 6th 2018 @ 1:52pm
        wardad1 said | January 6th 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

        Make the NH pay a transfer fee,why should we subsidize their plundering of players ?Years of polishing and money poured into player development only to have the NH thieves swoop in on the finished article .
        Maybe the NH should be forced to create their own players and coaches ,this would show where they are really at .

        • January 6th 2018 @ 9:03pm
          FunBus said | January 6th 2018 @ 9:03pm | ! Report

          England have won 3 of the last five Under 20 RWCs and got to the final in the other two. The three best sides in their club championship are coached by home nation coaches, with home nation coaches below them. All the main coaches below Eddie Jones in the England set-up are English. The only player anywhere near the England team who has played professional rugby union in the SH is Hughes – and you ‘poached’ him from Fiji.

          • January 7th 2018 @ 7:58am
            richard said | January 7th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

            But you now poach the poaches,along with any kiwi of maori or european ancestry.The latest being Brad Shields ( born in NZ,rep U-20S).

            • January 7th 2018 @ 8:07pm
              FunBus said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

              Who’s ‘poached’ Shields? Wasps have offered him a contract to play for their club. England don’t have central contracts so couldn’t ‘poach’ him even if they wanted to.
              It’s been noted in the press that both his parents are English and he has a British passport, so would be immediately eligible. That’s the sum total of he story. Regardless of whether Shields will ever be picked for England, he’s got a strong claim to being a good deal more English than Naholo or Fifita, for example, are Kiwis.
              Love the under 20s reference. This from a country that stuck Martin Johnson in the NZ under 20s on the qualifying basis that he was playing a few games of junior rugby while backpacking around NZ.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 5:36am
                richard said | January 8th 2018 @ 5:36am | ! Report

                I couldn’t care less mate.Your the one throwing around canards about NZ poaching.He came through the NZ systems,not yours.So,why should you have any claim on him when you have done nothing to develop him.

                And if you poms are so concerned about NZ poaching,then WR should bring in a law stopping it.And while you are at it,you can ban the French academies in Fiji.And repeal both the grandparent/residency rules as they are just another form of poaching.

                But,the north won’t because it works so well for them.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 12:28pm
                taylorman said | January 8th 2018 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

                Geez, one player, twenty years ago…geez, lets book more flights!

              • Roar Guru

                January 8th 2018 @ 1:47pm
                Rugby Fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

                In the amateur era, New Zealand could rely in job offers and visas to attract northern hemisphere schoolboy talent. That’s not enough in the professional era. If sufficient resources were available, there’s little doubt demand would be there, for the same reasons it was there before.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 12:35pm
                richard said | January 8th 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

                Yeah,one player.I would love to see the list of kiwis ( of any ethnicity) that have put on the England shirt in that time.It is quite a long list.

              • Roar Guru

                January 8th 2018 @ 2:47pm
                Rugby Fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                Why do you think it’s only one player? Do you really not know the other overseas players invited to play for New Zealand teams over the years?

              • January 8th 2018 @ 3:07pm
                richard said | January 8th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                I am sure there are a few more.John Gallaghe/ Peter Winterbottom come to mind,but I don’t know any others.

                Care to enlighten me ( we are talking about English players here).

              • January 8th 2018 @ 3:27pm
                Jumbo said | January 8th 2018 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

                Just in the current england team, hartley (captain) , marko vunipola, teimana harris, ben teo. Not forgetting flutey , waldrom, freshwater , hape, vanges bergen. Manu tuilagi being the exception moving there as a child.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 9:25pm
                FunBus said | January 8th 2018 @ 9:25pm | ! Report

                Hartley has an English mother and left NZ when he was 16 to live with his extended family in England.
                Harrison is not in the England squad but gas English parentage. Mako Left NZ when he was about 4. Teo has an English mother. None have played professional rugby in NZ, and I reckon they’d be happy to put their English ‘credentials’ up against a number of ‘Kiwis’ in and around the AB squad.

              • January 9th 2018 @ 9:59am
                Jumbo said | January 9th 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report

                Oh and don’t forget jason woodward who will waltz in to the england team.

              • Roar Guru

                January 9th 2018 @ 11:21am
                Rugby Fan said | January 9th 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

                Woodward is already qualified and he hasn’t waltzed in yet. Mind you, he was a real standout for Bristol, and has shown some good touches for Gloucester. Still, he has to get past Brown, Watson, Daly and probably Nowell. Outside the squad, there are players like Goode and Pennell

                There are a lot of players with Southern roots who have been tipped to make the England squad but have so far fallen short. Mitch Lees and Michael Paterson come to mind.

                Currently, Brad Shields (automatically qualified) and Michael Rhodes have been tipped. Then again, the player of the season in the Premiership so far might well be Don Armand, and he hasn’t been called up. Eddie Jones has a good record with England so far but some of his selections have been enigmatic.

              • January 9th 2018 @ 10:19am
                Jumbo said | January 9th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

                No hartley left when he was 15 after making contact with a sussex county team that was touring nz at the time. And decided to head over and play rugby because he did have family there and would be a great experience, like many lads did at that time for rugby exchanges etc.

              • January 9th 2018 @ 10:21am
                Jumbo said | January 9th 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

                Ben teo left when he was 17 after playing junior union and rugby league in nz, learning most of his basic structure there.

              • Roar Guru

                January 8th 2018 @ 4:20pm
                Rugby Fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

                Jamie Salmon was an All Black before he was an England player (he had failed a Kent U19 trial). John Gallagher was born in London, and may well have tried for England if he’d stayed there. However, on his return to union after a stint in League, he represented Ireland A, as he also qualified for Ireland.

                Both of those players went to NZ on their own, but were encouraged to stay when they turned out to be handy rugby players. That’s the main way northern hemisphere players have found themselves in southern hemisphere teams.

                Around the same time Martin Johnson was invited to NZ, Dean Ryan (Ngongotaha & Bay of Plenty) was asked to go by former All Black Mark Taylor. Damian Hopley and Martin Bayfield were both invited but Hopley said no, while Bayfield couldn’t get leave from the police. Welsh hooker Garin Jenkins did go.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 4:38pm
                richard said | January 8th 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

                ah,Jamie Salmon,that’s the player I was thinking of.And having just checked wikipedia,Winterbottom only played for Hawkes Bay,not NZ.

                In Gallagher’s case,yes,he was enticed by a maori player in the UK in the early 1980’s.He worked his way through club rugby,then played for Wellington (1984 -86) before being selected for the tour to France at the end of 1986.But,here’s the rub,before being selected,the RFU were notified by the NZRFU that they were looking at selecting Gallagher.They were given the go-ahead to select him.So while Gallagher wasn’t a kiwi,I don’t necessarily see him as a poach.

                For all that,I see where you are coming from.

        • January 7th 2018 @ 8:58am
          English twizz said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

          Can only have a transfer fee if the player is in contract otherwise he be comes a Bosman which makes him a free agent

        • Roar Rookie

          January 8th 2018 @ 6:37pm
          Kirky said | January 8th 2018 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

          Hey Bus!! what happened in the Under 20 final in 2017? you fail to mention it mate!

          They had a bunch of ambulances and Hearses lined up outside the Park to manage the English boys, ~ well that’s what I was told and there’s no reason to disbelieve it because the Poms got ” drawn and quartered” by the ”baby Blacks” some of whom will play in the next World Cup no doubt!

          • January 11th 2018 @ 5:10am
            FunBus said | January 11th 2018 @ 5:10am | ! Report

            Well, Kirky, the baby poms were missing 14 players. 6 of them were selected for the senior trip to Argentina, so I’m not entirely sure that the 2017 Under-20 reveals a particularly weak England crop.

            They could have had Isiekwe, the Curry twins, Underhill, Smith, Cokanasiga, Maunder, all of whom have been in the full England squad and/or team.

            Do you think having half a dozen full England internationals and 8 other first choice players might have made a difference to the result?

    • January 5th 2018 @ 10:31am
      Council said | January 5th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

      Interesting as most of us from down South only really consider games by the big three when making these comparisons.

      I feel it’s somewhat of a balancing game by NH fans to add the Islands in there as it feels like its picking teams that won’t have a particularly good record, just to bolster the North V South win ratio.

      At the same time it’s unfair to base it off Sanzar vs the North.

      I believe the power base is still in the south, even given recent trends of poor Wallabies and Boks and good form from the Poms and Irish.

      Though this comes from an optimistic feeling of the Boks and Wallabies coming right.

      We all think with our hearts as the end of the day don’t we?

      • January 5th 2018 @ 11:21am
        Taylorman said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

        Yes if Georgia, Russia, Germany etc were to travel perhaps we might have some evening up.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 11:31am
          Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          I think the point is that many in the South call the South 3 teams and the North 6 teams.

          Is it not logical to do 6 vs 6?

          I would have thought so, that’s normal and not skewing the odds in anyone’s favour.

          Do players go where the money is and do the residency rules cost some countries and help others? Yes.

          However the countries who can claim innocence are not NZ and Aus.
          Arg and SA are the most innocent in the South but I’m just wondering, is Arg even part of the South or is it just SANZAR?

          • January 5th 2018 @ 12:03pm
            Taylorman said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

            No its not logical because in terms of the south leading the north its always been based on the usual top SH3. Argie has by osmosis gradually been included it seems. If Samoa, Tonga etc are included then theres never been dominance. Ivevalways only ever thought of it as the 5N vs the SH 3 N.

            Here the writer hascwatered that down to improve the north percentages but doesnt actually say who hes included.

            • January 5th 2018 @ 1:15pm
              Jacko said | January 5th 2018 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

              Thats it Tman…Use Samoa and Fiji and put them up against the Lions…If you seriously want to compare lets see how many times the Lions ( a combined 4 nations team) have beaten the ABs in the last 40 yrs

            • January 5th 2018 @ 2:34pm
              Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

              So 6 to 3 makes sense?

              It doesn’t. Never has and never will.

              You cherry picked the 3 best sides from the South and are comparing them to the 4th, 5th and 6th best sides from the North.

              If you want to skew results it makes sense.
              Do you want to skew the results?

              • January 8th 2018 @ 12:41pm
                taylorman said | January 8th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

                No, but how about we take baby steps to explain it. Since 1900 and for some before that AUS, NZ and SA have had regular or semi regular contact with Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and France.

                That still happens today so in that period there have been ‘trends’ (trends are things that happen over time and point to some logical reasoning or outcome).

                For those countries you can map those trends for over a hundred years.

                The writer has decided to include teams outside the SH 3, and I’m assuming in including Samoa, Tonga, Fiji etc, who rarely win, dont have their own professional league (as is the case of ALL the aforementioned) then it is likely to skew the results.

                Those sides did not tour or play tests regularly during the first 80 or so years so by introducing them adds losses to the SH numbers. And thats fine.

                But then the heading becomes misleading, because it suggests the SH are ahead, when the inclusion of those sides will make that not the case.

                So we have an odd mixture of data, and a confusing article. And thats fine too.

            • Roar Guru

              January 5th 2018 @ 9:45pm
              Oliver Matthews said | January 5th 2018 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

              In the article I say “For the North these are England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. For the South we’ll include Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and South Africa.”

              I did think about including just Australia, NZ and SA but it seemed a bit biased to just include the strongest from the South. It would be interesting to run the numbers with just the top 3 Southern teams and then the top 4 as well to see how it stacks up.

              But having 6 teams on both sides helped to create a broader comparison as well as a larger data set to draw more insight from.

              Ironically the inclusion of teams like Fiji and Samoa means that there are fewer matches played by the Southern Hemisphere which gives the ones played by NZ more weighting and arguably skews the data in the South’s hemisphere.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 12:44pm
                taylorman said | January 8th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                It actually gives NZs results less weighting by including them at all. None of the Islands have their own Pro league so are minows compared to those of the NH (even though they still often beat them 🙂 )

            • Roar Rookie

              January 8th 2018 @ 6:44pm
              Kirky said | January 8th 2018 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

              T/Man, the Tongan team are New Zealanders and the Samoans are much the same!

              They are allowed to do this because of their ethnicity totally ignoring their place of birth, which is wrong as the majority are ex Provincial has beens or haven’t the ability to gain a Super game!

          • January 5th 2018 @ 12:52pm
            Jacko said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

            Also lets not forget that 85%of the World population live in the NH…So you are asking the SH to provide 6 teams from 15% of the worlds population against the NHs 85%

            Also the LIONS are not a NH country….They are 4 nations combined together….and with massive ref help still only managed to draw against a nation of 4million……..The 4 nations have a population somewhere near 65 million………How does the SH compete when using the Lions to skew the stats? Where is the SH equivilent of this lions tour? Why use 7 teams for the year for the NH but 6 teams for the Nov matches…All the figures are massively skewed in the NHs favour for some unknown reason

            • January 5th 2018 @ 2:43pm
              Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

              I’m not asking anyone to do anything.

              I’m just stating the fact that when comparing 1 group to another it makes no sense to include weaker sides from 1 but exclude them from the other and then feel better about yourself after skewing the results.

              The SH is not your tribe. There is no need to try and stand up for it by being unreasonable. There is nothing to defend against an enemy that doesn’t exist.

              And yes, The Lions did draw with the world’s best team on NZs home turf.
              But as you say, that’s no big deal because the Lions had played together a couple of times.

              • January 6th 2018 @ 5:00pm
                Jacko said | January 6th 2018 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

                wrong again….What Sh team is equivilent to the Lions? There is no such team so no such team can compete against NH sides…The ABs alone beat every other nation they played this year and if you dont think that a SA, AUS, NZ combined team wouldnt clean everything in front of them then you are deluded………Yet you throw the Lions ( the 7th NH team) into a 6 from NH and 6 from SH comparison….Not fair prickly pear

              • January 7th 2018 @ 3:02pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 7th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                No Jacko, not “wrong”.

                I didn’t throw the Lions in the 6 vs 6, you did.

                So why throw them in yourself and then say I did?

                You brought them up and said the ref helped them.

                If you want to compare the top 6 from the North, compare them to the top 6 of the South.


                You say 85% of the world’s population live in the NH. Does India play rugby, how about China?

                How about we just be fair and logical because there is no need to skew the results by comparing NZ to Italy etc.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 7:07pm
                Kirky said | January 8th 2018 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

                Don’t know of you mmmmmmmmk, but you sure have a big opinionated mouth mate ~ are you TWAS in drag mate!

                I wouldn’t say too much about the end result of the last Lions tour to New Zealand as the Kiwis should’ve and would’ve won every game but playing with only 14 men for around 70 minutes and only winning by four points indicates that if SBW was on the field for the whole game, the All Blacks would have put at least 20 points on them!

                And everyone’s fave’ Referee in the last Test made it an absolute given it was going to be a drawn game and that Ref’ should never Referee another International game as he was out of his depth and didn’t know the correct ruling in the dying moment of that last Test where the Kiwi’s were about to score a try and convert it from under the posts, but he dragged his Countryman Frog Ref’ from the touch and asked him what he should do, and the two of them got it wrong, ~ he didn’t know the ruling!!

                The Kiwis had that Series sewn up but for lousy play by the Lions and incorrect rulings by the Referee favouring the Northerner’s, but they didn’t!

                Incidentally, the NZRFU delved into the rule book after that last Test and it turned out the French Ref was dead wrong in his ruling, so they drafted an official Letter to the Referee’s Powers that be asking them for an explanation on the matter! ~ As of last week, they have had no reply! ~ guilt complex kicking in methinks!

            • Roar Guru

              January 5th 2018 @ 9:52pm
              Oliver Matthews said | January 5th 2018 @ 9:52pm | ! Report

              Teams like Fiji and Samoa don’t play as many games as the other SH teams and so in some tours they aren’t included. This arguably skews the results in favour of the SH overall because their two weakest sides are not having their defeats included.

              Does 85% of the world’s population live in England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy? Cause that’s the stats that are being included here. And you’re absolutely right that the NH has many more players to draw upon but that’s kinda the point – historically, despite having far more potential players and resources, the NH have struggled against the much better SH. I’m trying to see if this is changing – part of the reason it could be training is that the NH are now making better use of the huge resources that they have available.

              Totally agree that there are inequalities in the numbers but good to see that it’s encouraged some debate

              • January 6th 2018 @ 5:05pm
                Jacko said | January 6th 2018 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

                85% of the rugby playing population does…As I said above…65 million in the 4 nations v 4.5 million in NZ Thats 93.5% of the total of the two teams available for 1 team and 6.5% available for the other team. But all that aside…its still 7 NH teams against 6 SH teams

              • January 7th 2018 @ 3:08pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 7th 2018 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                Jacko, you keep bringing up the Lions.

                This is about singular rugby nations being compared to other nations.
                Please stop bringing up the Lions and thus changing the debate.

                The Lions are a team from a very large player pool but they do face their own challenges.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 12:49pm
                taylorman said | January 8th 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                As I mentioned Oliver, those teams are not usually included in the mix, one because they don’t have the history of being in the comparison- dont know how old you are but these comparisons have been going on for decades, and Samoa, Fiji etc are not normally included. If they are now, that’s fine.

                So as far as Im concerned including them weakens the comparison, it doesnt strengthen it. They dont have a league so arent self sustaining enough as a nation to compete in that group, even if they do.

                But fair enough, any help the NH needs from the South to look good…we’re used to that.

            • January 6th 2018 @ 9:06pm
              FunBus said | January 6th 2018 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

              The Lions are also a scratch side, at the end of the season, thrown together in combinations that have never played together before.
              The ABs should have won comfortably.

              • January 7th 2018 @ 8:32am
                richard said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:32am | ! Report

                They would have with neutral refs in the 2nd and 3rd tests.

              • January 7th 2018 @ 8:23pm
                FunBus said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

                Yes, I know Richard, the latest Kiwi whine is that French refs, a country well known for their love of all things English and British, conspired for either money or some loyalty to a mythical conception of ‘NH solidarity’ to do the brave ABs down.
                Have you any conception of how pathetic and irrational all that sounds outside NZ?

              • January 8th 2018 @ 5:40am
                richard said | January 8th 2018 @ 5:40am | ! Report

                You mean in the UK.Don’t worry,I won’t be losing any sleep over it.

                Put it this way,if it had been the Lions on the receiving end,we would have heard no end of AB chicanery of how they influence refs,and every decision goes their way.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 3:04pm
                piru said | January 8th 2018 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                The question being, do the French hate England or NZ more?

                They have definitely farted in our general direction on more than one occasion (Rainbow Warrior).

              • January 8th 2018 @ 4:42pm
                richard said | January 8th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

                Now that is a very interesting question,piru.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 7:09pm
                Kirky said | January 8th 2018 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

                Busboy! ~ you said it mate, the ABs should have won comfortably, !they weren’t allowed to!

    • January 5th 2018 @ 10:37am
      Jake said | January 5th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      Yeh, the north is coming………………….loaded with SH coaches and players.

      Shakin in me boots.

      Times have changed because SA, Oz (mainly) and NZ continually lose players to the cheque books of the NH club so it’s really only world cup time when those teams are at their peak. Will be over a decade since a home nation (the only home nation, England) has made a final come 2019.
      England are the only team from the NH that will ever make a WC final, let alone win the the thing and as history has proven, that happens once in a blue moon.

      • January 5th 2018 @ 11:10am
        RahRah said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        I see Stirzaker is on his way North as well.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 11:20am
          Taylorman said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

          I hear theres a new airline service being touted by the northern rugby unions- disposable aircraft that are only designed to fly north.

          Once theyve dropped the coaches and players off, theyre sent for destruction, too costly to send back empty.

          Im getting on it, could get bigger than bitcoin.?

          • January 5th 2018 @ 11:33am
            Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:33am | ! Report

            Jeff Parling must have caught a boat.

            • January 5th 2018 @ 12:13pm
              Taylorman said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

              OGaras hitch hiking to Christchurch as our sole import. Goalkicking coach?

        • January 6th 2018 @ 10:54pm
          FunBus said | January 6th 2018 @ 10:54pm | ! Report

          Stirzaker is being signed as temporary injury cover because every decent scrum half in the NH is currently under contract – it’s the middle of the season up here you know.

      • January 5th 2018 @ 11:22am
        Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

        History has proven that it’s swings and roundabouts when it comes to who is the best in the world.

        How many players from down South played for Wales in 2017? I mean players that went North after they were older than 13.
        How many start for Ireland?
        How many for England?

        Regular match day players for Wales is a total of 1.
        Ire is a total of 1 or 2.
        England is none or possibly 1.

        Now how many Pacific Islanders who left the islands after the age of 13 play for NZ and Aus in 2017?

        Laulala, Fafita, Speight, Koroibete, Fekitoa, Tamanivalu, Naivalu, Naholo, Timani, Tupou, Kuridrani.

        Glass houses?

        Players play where the money is.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 12:12pm
          Taylorman said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          Rubbish, none moved because they were guaranteed a contract. We dont buy pro players.

          The NH buy pros off the shelf, already packaged and outfitted.

          Yes they go where the money is and that money is in the NH.

          Glass houses, pff. We have to create those players, not unwrap them.

          And no, there are no swings and roundabouts.

          • January 5th 2018 @ 2:58pm
            Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 2:58pm | ! Report


            Clearly you are not following.
            Samoa, Tonga and Fiji don’t have pro leagues of note to “buy” from. The players do come to NZ and Australia for opportunity and do play for NZ and Australia. They DO get paid more than they would in their home countries. They DO get more opportunities by doing this.

            Please don’t say “rubbish” to something I say just because you don’t agree or fail to understand what I say….OK?

            When you say “we” you include the whole of the SH do you?

            But yes NZ rugby created Thorn and SBW. Aus rugby created Speight, Kepu, Koroibete, Naivalu didn’t they?
            Actually, they didn’t.

            NZ or Australian rugby didn’t create Teo.

            Was it NH rugby or SH rugby that created Schmidt, Henry, Hansen, Cheika and Jones as coaches?
            I’m not sure, a lot of their development as coaches happened in the NH.

          • Roar Guru

            January 6th 2018 @ 2:54am
            The Neutral View From Sweden said | January 6th 2018 @ 2:54am | ! Report

            And no, there are no swings and roundabouts.

            Vintage T-man!

        • Roar Rookie

          January 5th 2018 @ 12:57pm
          piru said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

          History has proven that it’s swings and roundabouts when it comes to who is the best in the world.


          History has shown that New Zealand are, on any given day, the best.

          I’m sorry if this causes hurt feelings, but the All Blacks have occupied the no 1 spot for almost as long as the rankings have existed with only brief periods of another team poking it’s head above (and almost always a result of RWC games being worth double points).

          I’m sure I’m just an arrogant kiwi, however and numbers mean something different to other people

          • Roar Guru

            January 5th 2018 @ 1:33pm
            Rugby Fan said | January 5th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

            That sounds right to me, so I certainly wouldn’t call you an arrogant kiwi for anything you say there.

            • January 5th 2018 @ 3:40pm
              Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

              You wouldn’t say that claiming NZ is the best in any given day is being arrogant?

              Neither would I, I would just say it’s wrong because they don’t win 1 “given day” out of 5.

              • Roar Guru

                January 5th 2018 @ 11:56pm
                Rugby Fan said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

                It’s normal for NZ to go in as good favourites against Northern hemisphere sides. The only time that definitively hasn’t been true is during the last four years of Woodward’s England tenure.

                NZ going in as favourites doesn’t mean that Northern hemisphere teams have gone in as no-hopers. Wales should have beaten NZ on a couple of occasions when they played in Cardiff in the seventies. It would have come as no shock at all if they had done so. A very average England team beat the All Blacks in Auckland in 1973, so that was not a vintage decade for New Zealand.

                So yes, there have been plenty of times when teams have been close to parity, and others when New Zealand have been there for the taking but Northern hemisphere sides have failed to capitalize. I think that means NZ can generally claim to have been the best on any given day against the North.

                That doesn’t, however, extend to Australia and South Africa, England and Australia have a fairly even record, with the edge going to England in the professional era. England had a long winning streak over South Africa, but, when the roles were reversed, and England couldn’t buy a win, Ireland started getting regular wins over the Boks.

                When New Zealand play teams from the north, they expect to win, and usually do. When Australia and South Africa play teams from the north, they expect to win, but often don’t.

          • January 5th 2018 @ 3:27pm
            Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

            Has NZ never been beaten by Wales, Eng, FRA, Ire and drawn with Scotland?

            History has not proven NZ is always the best. It’s unquestionably proven that is not the case Piru.

            But yes, NZ has been the world’s highest ranked team for about 85% of the last 17 years.
            Rugby has been around for longer than 17 years and NZ is not the SH.

            Aus has not been a top 3 side for most of its rugby history. For its first 82 years the Wallabies won 1 in 3 games and had a losing record against France, Wales, Scotland, Ire and The Lions.
            Now the people of Aus start rioting unless they are top 2.

            NZ have been, on Ave, the best team over the history of the game. They have been the best the most often.
            The point is that they haven’t always been the best.
            The point is that Aus has not often been better than Scotland. Over the last 10 years Scotland has the better of Aus, winning 3 of 5. Prior to 1984 Scotland has won 70% against Aus.
            It wasn’t until 1996 that Aus gained a winning record against Wales.

            SA is now ranked 6th in the world and lost by 35 to Ire. Scot just put over 50 on Aus.

            As I said, and rightly so, it’s all swings and roundabouts.

            • Roar Rookie

              January 5th 2018 @ 3:58pm
              piru said | January 5th 2018 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

              you said it’s swings and roundabouts when it comes to who is the best in the world.

              This was the only part I was addressing and I still maintain it’s incorrect.

              You’re suggesting that everyone has been at the top at some point or another and it’s somehow cyclical or all comes out in the wash, this is incorrect.

              NZ has been top of the world for most of it’s history, losing a game once in a while doesn’t make that untrue.

              • January 5th 2018 @ 6:16pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

                Really, you think I was suggesting Romania had been the best at some stage?
                You think I was saying every team had been the best at some stage, really?!

                I think you knew that’s not what I meant.

              • January 6th 2018 @ 5:13pm
                Jacko said | January 6th 2018 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

                Mmmmmm the issue is that NZ is ranked no 1 in the sport at around 85% of the time…..NH teams dont automatically get the other 15%…That is faught out by every other rugby playing nation and sometimes its Aus or SA who are no 1 so that means that the NH is ranked no 1 somewhere around 90+% of the whole history of rugby…Yet you still believe its all swings and roundabouts….90+% is not swings and roundabouts…its a TOTAL DOMINATION

              • January 7th 2018 @ 3:15pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 7th 2018 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                I will repeat what I’ve said twice.

                NZ has been the best the most often but they are not always the best. This isn’t debatable, wrong or anything, it’s fact.

                It’s swings and roundabouts when it comes to the best teams in the world. Some times most of the top 5 come from the North and sometimes from the South.

                Again, this is fact.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 3:38pm
                piru said | January 8th 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

                Ok, I think you’re just using the phrase swings and roundabouts differently to how I understand it

          • January 5th 2018 @ 5:29pm
            DavSA said | January 5th 2018 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

            Absolutely correct piru . There is a switch as per the article in terms of a power shift but not in the case of NZ . They remain firmly in pole position in world rugby . Not arrogant at all to call the facts. But I will differ a dash on their historical supremacy . Recent past yes .

            • Columnist

              January 5th 2018 @ 6:48pm
              Nicholas Bishop said | January 5th 2018 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

              I’d also agree with that last statement Dav. Back in the amateur era I always tended to feel both the Bokke and the AB’s were (except for brief periods like 1971-74) on a level above everyone else, but I never felt that AB’s dominated the Springboks. On tours, the home team usually won – bar 1937 and 1994…

              Looking back at results up until the game turned pro, I see that South Africa won 22 games, New Zealand won 18 and there were two draws. It is only in the pro era that NZ has surged ahead, before that the two giants were inseparable.

              • January 6th 2018 @ 8:53am
                richard said | January 6th 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

                Well,not quite true.It pains me as a kiwi to say this,but there was a period ( 1937-49) when SA were definitely numero uno.NZ didn’t really get it back to a contest of equals until the 1956 series in NZ.

                From there on in,until the professional era,it was pretty much even stevens.Both teams unable to defeat the other team away from home.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 1:12am
                Kirky said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:12am | ! Report

                Nick! No Touring Team except the Lions in the 70s, (I think) ever beat the Springboks on their own turf, it was never allowed to happen.

                Those were the days of infamy and Home Referees were instructed to ensure the opposition did not win, so losing by the All Blacks in the Republic happened no doubt, but when the Boks toured New Zealand the reverse was the case!

                The 1949 All Blacks tour to South Africa was an absolute disgraceful display of Refereeing where they lost the series against the run of play as the Kiwis played the games but didn’t win the Series.

                That series was a factor in the Boks losing to the All Blacks in 1956 in NZ, as on their return to NZ after the debacle in 1949 the NZRU virtually demanded the All Blacks take the Boks down in 1956 and they trained from 1949 till 1956 with the 1949 tour on their minds and the absolute promise to themselves it wouldn’t happen again, and it worked, as in 1956 I can remember vividly how brutal a series that was, it was out and out war and the cheap shots that went on in those Test matches were beyond the sense of reasonability!

                The Boks tried the Kiwis out but they were well and truly dismantled by any old method will do, questionable or otherwise.

                Really speaking they made a rod for their own back as it was, like it or not, a revenge series!

                Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the All Blacks have lost a Test Series since that 1956 series!

              • Roar Guru

                January 8th 2018 @ 1:45am
                Harry Jones said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:45am | ! Report

                I was re-watching a test match between NZ and SA the other day, from that era. The Boks won a tighthead, but the SA ref awarded the ABs another put-in because the AB scrumhalf didn’t throw it in straight! Hahahaha!

                SA did very well away from home, too, Kirky.

                Nobody wins much in NZ, but SA did more than anyone else, back then.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 5:43am
                richard said | January 8th 2018 @ 5:43am | ! Report

                It was an interesting era,Harry.Both sets of fans thought their teams were diddled by the other’s refs.It added to the rivalry,and made it something special,in my view.

          • Roar Rookie

            January 8th 2018 @ 12:50am
            Kirky said | January 8th 2018 @ 12:50am | ! Report

            Piru” I’ll go with you on your theory of on very rare occasions ” some team or other pokes it’s head up above albeit very, very, rarely” and the double points in W/Cup games surely are a factor’!

            Everyone who follows the game of rugby should know that over many, many years, like since around the 1880s/90s, the All Blacks have been the team to beat in World of International rugby, record after record proves this and although the proverbial ”poking heads up now and again” does happen, it is and has been just a matter of a short space of time that the venerable “men in Black” are up there again, it’s happened the very few times the Kiwis have lost and there’s no reason to think it will be any different in the future!

            Every International rugby team on this Planet, apes the All Blacks and the totally dominant position they have virtually always been in, ~ they copy them for one reason and that’s simply because they have the best record and winning style of play pretty much since the day dot.

            They have been the Number 1 side right up till the present time and have been for a long, long sequence of time.

            England won’t win, they’re not good enough even with Eddie the Mouth from the South Coaching them and telling the whole World on how he’s instilling his boys the exact very methods they need to take the Kiwis down, ~ well Eddie the Mouth from the South was never a top Rugby Coach from down under, he even got the sack from Coach of the Wallabies, and whatever he’s done to instill ”the fearless and take no prisoners style” he tells us all he uses in his team, I don’t know, but it could be said that the New Zealanders surely won’t be sitting around picking their noses as you can guarantee they’ll be on the ball when it matters.

            The only thing that will take the Kiwis down will be the stink Refereeing like we had on the Lions Tour debacle where the Kiwis should have won that series hands down, but when Referees such as the guy with the whistle in the dying seconds of the last Test did what he did by making rules up to satisfy himself and the Lions and the match ending up as a drawn game and Series!

            As a Kiwi, it hurts like hell to say that the All Blacks NEED to lose before the World Cup so they get their anti up and kick butt as the norm! ~ but I can’t put a handle on the team that would be good enough to do that, it won’t be the Poms as like I say they’re not good enough and they and everyone up there is telling the rest of the World how they’re so good, it is just a matter of turning up!! ~ I read old Will Greenwood’s theory just today about how good they are and everthing is shifting North, forget the All Blacks, they’re History he said!!

            The one thing you’ll never see or hear the NZRU or it’s players as contracted spruiking themselves up as winners, ~ the players aren’t allowed to, ~ a vast difference from the Northern Climes, they tell the World, ~ other sides don’t like that!!

            • Roar Guru

              January 8th 2018 @ 9:54am
              Poth Ale said | January 8th 2018 @ 9:54am | ! Report

              “everyone up there is telling the rest of the World how they’re so good, it is just a matter of turning up!! ~ I read old Will Greenwood’s theory just today about how good they are and everthing is shifting North, forget the All Blacks, they’re History he said!!”

              That’s odd. Will Greenwood said NZ are the team to beat. As did every other journalist writing about rugby for the last ten years.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 7:34pm
                Kirky said | January 8th 2018 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

                Poth! you are spot on as Greenwood did suggest the Kiwis are the team to beat, but in a later paragraph he waffles on about his theory on “how the Poms are going to be Number one either before or after the next World Cup!”

                I’m not sure of his theory as said by him, but you can guarantee the All Blacks and the NZRFU are all able to read and they would read that tripe and they will deal with it in the way they usually do, beat them easily!

                I don’t care how much money the ”old farts” throw at the English Team because money does not win games of rugby, the players do that and a rugby player is a rugby player no less so, pray tell us all how the ludicrous amount of money the Pom hierarchy is gifting Pom rugby to ensure they win everything in front of them and to make them World beaters?

                The English have never been a top rugby side, they didn’t play well in the Final of the 2003 World Cup but it was won by the boot of Wilkinson in the dying minutes and the Aussies who were also very lucky to be in the Final, had the game in the bag so they thought, but up stepped Jonny W.

                The English won by their normal method, ~ kicking goals! the only way they know!
                Worry not the good old Kiwi boys will be right up there! when the whips are cracking!

              • Roar Guru

                January 9th 2018 @ 3:49am
                Poth Ale said | January 9th 2018 @ 3:49am | ! Report


                Don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Greenwood doesn’t have a theory. It’s very simple to read English. If you want to infer from what he has written that there is a theory, that’s your choice. I just read what it means – NZ are the team to beat.

                Get over it and stop trying to turn it into something else. Don’t know what you’re on about old farts or throwing money or poms or anything else. Nor am I interested since I’m not an England supporter.

                The challenge for every team entering the next RWC is to beat New Zealand.

                NZ are the team to beat. New Zealand are number one.

                Repeat ad nauseum.

                New Zealand are the team to beat. NZ are the best team in the world. New Zealand are number one.

                Get the picture?

    • Roar Rookie

      January 5th 2018 @ 11:54am
      piru said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

      Seems to me England are peaking early – no RWC for them

      • January 5th 2018 @ 12:56pm
        Jacko said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        Yes Eddie does tend to have a 2 year up cycle…followed by a down cycle and a new job

      • January 6th 2018 @ 10:11pm
        FunBus said | January 6th 2018 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

        What’s your evidence that England are peaking early? They’re a young team and squad. Don’t young teams and squads normally improve?

        • Roar Rookie

          January 8th 2018 @ 3:07pm
          piru said | January 8th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

          What’s your evidence that England are peaking early? They’re a young team and squad. Don’t young teams and squads normally improve?

          How much more improvement do you think they have in them?

          And I have no evidence, just an opinion.

          I just thought it would be funny to throw the insult we endured for decades back over the top of the trench.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 8th 2018 @ 7:36pm
          Kirky said | January 8th 2018 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

          Fun Bus! History, mate it’s dead against the Poms’!

          • Roar Guru

            January 9th 2018 @ 3:52am
            Poth Ale said | January 9th 2018 @ 3:52am | ! Report

            Kinky! Mate – you’re dead against the Poms. Everything you write is about the poms. and how much you hate them.

            is there anything else you have to say besides this?

    • January 5th 2018 @ 12:48pm
      Taylorman said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

      They moved, they werent plundered. Do you have documented evidence of each of those players being specifically targeted bybthe NZRFU at the time or did you just google some names out of hundreds that move here and end up successful professionals?

      And if youre so smart on the matter who are this years 13 year old targets?

      Come on smarty, get your list out.

      Yeah thought so.

      There is NO money in the islands. That is different from buting already contracted players?

      • January 5th 2018 @ 3:36pm
        Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

        Nobody was plundered.
        As I’ve said, it was always the players choice.
        You are the one who keeps saying they are “plundered”. I’m the one saying that players get offered opportunities and make there own choices.

        If you are asking if NZ rugby entities persue players from overseas then yes, they do.
        If you are asking if NZ rugby entities persue league players then yes, they do.
        If you are asking if Pacific Island players chose to go to NZ and Australia for a career in rugby then yes, they do.
        You know this.

        • January 6th 2018 @ 5:16pm
          Jacko said | January 6th 2018 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

          Actually its often the parents choice…They are mainly economis migrants to NZ and now Aus due to their own country being economically not so great. Its already clearly been proven that most Islander heritage players were born in NZ or arrived prior to playing rugby

        • January 7th 2018 @ 3:16pm
          Mmmmm..k said | January 7th 2018 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

          Actually everything I said was true.

      • January 6th 2018 @ 9:14pm
        FunBus said | January 6th 2018 @ 9:14pm | ! Report

        I think ‘plunder’ is a reasonable way to describe the NZs schools ‘scholarship’ programme.

        • January 7th 2018 @ 8:37am
          richard said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

          And the grandparent/residency rules are what I would describe as ‘legalised plunder’.

          • January 7th 2018 @ 8:32pm
            FunBus said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

            No-one in the current England squad qualifies on the grandparent rule, one qualifies on the residency rule.
            Scouring the islands for promising young rugby players then enticing them to NZ on ‘scholarships’ to get them into the NZ system seems a particularly cynical form of poaching to me. I would have thought 40 years of mass migration from the islands would have been enough – but apparently not.

            • January 8th 2018 @ 5:48am
              richard said | January 8th 2018 @ 5:48am | ! Report

              The NZRU has nothing to do with it.What private schools do is their business.It is not sanctioned in any way by the NZRU.

              Unless you can prove it.No? Thought not.

    • January 5th 2018 @ 1:09pm
      Jacko said | January 5th 2018 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

      Oliver how can you use the Lions as a NH team in these stats? What is the SH equivilent? When do they play? Can I get tickets? So you use 7 teams for the years stats yet 6 teams for the Nov stats..The Lions are from 4 different nations drawn from a population of around 65 million,

      Badly skewed in one Hemispheres favor yet the SH still wins a higher % away than the NH and the Nh has only won 52% of matches yet has hosted 60%

      As Tman said…..Watch out SH the SH players and Coaches living in the NH are coming to get you

      • Roar Rookie

        January 5th 2018 @ 1:18pm
        piru said | January 5th 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

        Never understood by what right they were called the Lions anyway, surely the country with the best claim to the name would be South Africa.

        Why isn’t there a Southern “Lions” concept? They could play every four years – two years alternate to the British Lions.

        SA/NZ/Aus – would be a great side.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 1:44pm
          richard said | January 5th 2018 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

          I will go out on a limb here.Wasn’t the royal emblem of England three lions? Maybe that is where the name comes from.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 3:46pm
          Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

          Why are the Hurricanes called that? In NZ they are called cyclones.
          Why are the Highlanders called the Highlanders? It’s not Scotland.
          Why are the Crusaders named after a series of European religious wars in the Middle East?

          Come on guys.
          Think of where you are coming from before you start pointing fingers.

          • Roar Rookie

            January 5th 2018 @ 3:59pm
            piru said | January 5th 2018 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

            Unclear how this is relevant

            • January 5th 2018 @ 4:02pm
              Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

              Your unclear on how your questioning the Lions name is relevant to me pointing out how you could question NZ teams names?

              • Roar Rookie

                January 5th 2018 @ 5:07pm
                piru said | January 5th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report


            • January 5th 2018 @ 5:26pm
              Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

              So are you going to acknowledge my point or not?

              Yes the Britains have a centuries old affiliation with Lions and yes The Pope raised an army from NZs South Island to take Palestine.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 5th 2018 @ 6:58pm
                piru said | January 5th 2018 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

                I never said anything about the Super team names, you’re throwing them at me as if you caught me out or something.

                For the record, yes I agree – the SI super franchise names are not very representative of their regions (if at all).

              • January 7th 2018 @ 3:21pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 7th 2018 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

                I know what you said but I was raising the examples of how a lot of our teams have names that don’t seem to make a great deal of sense either.

                Just trying to balance out the argument instead following along with the NH bashing that I can’t help but cringe at.

          • January 6th 2018 @ 2:10pm
            wardad1 said | January 6th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            Any country not entirely at sea level has “Highlands”,Crusaders and Hurricanes are about as representative as wasps and lions I would say so whats your point exactly ?Although each series is a “crusade ” of sorts for a team from ‘Canterbury ” and the highlanders seem to have a base with an awful lot of Scottish sounding towns ,Dunedin and the like.

          • January 6th 2018 @ 5:18pm
            Jacko said | January 6th 2018 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

            They are all called their names in SR due to historical backgrounds of each region…..Now tell us why the Lions are called the Lions

            • January 6th 2018 @ 9:28pm
              FunBus said | January 6th 2018 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

              It’s no big deal. The Lion is an ancient symbol in heraldry used for centuries in both England and Scotland. Richard the ‘Lionheart’ was a noted 12th century English king.
              The British Isles team adopted the symbol on their tour ties and the nickname the ‘Lions’ was adopted by both British and SA journalists on the 1924 tour and stuck.
              Now perhaps you can explain the deep historical symbolism of a bunch of spotty, vomiting, drunk Kiwi youths doing something called the ‘Haka’ on the street which I was ‘privilaged’ to witness last time I was in London.

              • January 6th 2018 @ 9:46pm
                aussikiwi said | January 6th 2018 @ 9:46pm | ! Report

                “…spotty, vomitting, drunk Kiwi youths…”

                Awwwww, Funless is ‘showing’ his ‘meanspirited’ ‘bitter and twisted’ side ‘again’. Beats ‘kicking’ the ‘dog’ I suppose. Reading his posts is not a ‘privilage’.

              • January 6th 2018 @ 10:20pm
                FunBus said | January 6th 2018 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

                My apolgies AK, I’ll recant.

                I watched a collection of relatively young Kiwi men standing in a London street fairly late at night performing a wonderful Haka. Unfortunately, it was spoiled slightly by two of them, no doubt due to a stomach bug, being sick in the gutter.

                I was moved by the deep and profound symbolism – particularly as, no doubt in the spirit of cultural exchange, it was combined with many traditional ‘Anglo-Saxon’ oaths directed at the passers by.

              • January 7th 2018 @ 3:40am
                wardad1 said | January 7th 2018 @ 3:40am | ! Report

                Tell me what a sad spiritual song about slavery has to do with English rugby “fans” then .

              • January 7th 2018 @ 8:36pm
                FunBus said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

                Not saying it does. The difference is that ‘poms’ don’t squeal like stuck pigs, and get on their moral pompous high horse if anyone questions their rugby ‘traditions’.
                We also don’t demand that when we play the ABs in NZ the entire pre-match formalities are organized around our preferences.

              • January 7th 2018 @ 9:17pm
                aussikiwi said | January 7th 2018 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

                You have a Trumpian level of self awareness, Funless.

                Your posts generally consist of two stages. First create a straw person by generalising inaccurately about others. Then demolish said straw person using turgidly pompous putdowns.

                Each to their own i suppose.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 9:51am
                FunBus said | January 8th 2018 @ 9:51am | ! Report

                You seem to have a bit of a strange obsession with me AK. I suppose I should be flattered, but it’s getting a little creepy.

              • January 9th 2018 @ 7:22am
                aussikiwi said | January 9th 2018 @ 7:22am | ! Report

                No, you shouldn’t be flattered, Funbus, unless your aim is to be pompous and tedious in the extreme, in which case you have surpassed your objectives.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 2:13pm
                taylorman said | January 8th 2018 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                ‘The difference is that ‘poms’ don’t squeal like stuck pigs,’

                they did at the last world cup 🙂

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 2:49pm
                piru said | January 8th 2018 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                Clearly you haven’t come across the “Drunken Street Haka Invitational Side”

              • January 9th 2018 @ 1:55pm
                bluffboy said | January 9th 2018 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                Come on fella’s, may be you should give Funny Bus a break.
                Maybe negotiate the acceptance of the Haka for say the acceptance of Morris Dancing.
                I can see that at Twickers a spirited Haka closely followed by a fierce Morris Dance.
                Entertainment value, well it just can’t be quantified.

        • January 8th 2018 @ 2:12am
          Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 2:12am | ! Report

          Piru. There were huge Lions in the UK more than 10,000 years ago – according to Argeologist. Interesting fact to google.

      • Roar Guru

        January 5th 2018 @ 10:06pm
        Oliver Matthews said | January 5th 2018 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

        It’s a fair question about why I’ve included the BI Lions – in the end I decided that I wanted to try and get a view of NH and SH international rugby as a whole and the Lions versus the ABs seemed to be a good bit of insight into some of the best from both hemisphere’s fighting each other.

        The article isn’t about just specifically countries – it’s more about the overall international performances and the Lions are an international side and they played the best the SH have to offer.

        Interestingly – if I removed that data I’m not sure at first glance that it would impact things too much. It was a drawn series so both sides win and lose the same on both sides. Both their win percentages go up.

        I think a SH tour would be awesome and I can’t imagine many rugby fans not wanting to see that. If you can somehow get Aussies to play nicely with Kiwis to play nicely with Boks then great – but sadly can’t see that happening.

        Like I say though – I included it so as to capture data about NH v SH at the highest level.

        • Roar Guru

          January 6th 2018 @ 7:20am
          Poth Ale said | January 6th 2018 @ 7:20am | ! Report

          Perhaps too short a time span, Oliver, for comparison. Individual match-ups provide much more insight. For example, if you compare results for a couple of decades before the Celtic League competition got underway with results after their first season up to present day, the results paint a slightly different picture. Abysmal to occasional success.

          1 Jan 1980 – 1 Aug 2002
          Ireland: Aus/SA – 0%. Arg – 50% – won 2 out of 21 matches
          Scotland: Aus 17%, SA 0%, Arg -20% – won 3 out of 21 matches
          Wales: Aus-18%, SA -11%, Arg – 83.33% – 8 out of 26 matches

          2 Aug 2002 – 31 Dec 2017
          Ireland: Aus 42%, SA 50%, Arg 70% – won 20 out of 38 matches
          Scotland: Aus 31%, SA 14%, Arg 55% – won 12 out of 38 matches
          Wales: Aus 12%, SA 18%, Arg 60% – won 11 out of 47 matches

          (Didn’t include NZ – no change.)

          • Roar Guru

            January 6th 2018 @ 1:31pm
            Poth Ale said | January 6th 2018 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

            If you split the post-Celtic League period in half approx:

            2 Aug 2002 – 1 Aug 2009 (7 years)

            Ireland: Aus 29% – SA 50% – Arg 57% – won 8 from 18
            Scotland:Aus 0% – Sa 13% – Arg 25% – won 2 from 18
            Wales: Aus 36% – SA 0% – Arg 40% – won 4 from 19

            2 Aug 2009 – Dec 2017 (8 Years)

            Ireland: Aus 59% – SA 50% – Arg 84% – won 12 from 20 (3/4/5)
            Scotland: Aus 57% – SA 17% – Arg 71% won 10 from 20 (4/1/5)
            Wales: Aus: 0% – SA 30% – Arg 80% won 7 from 28 (0/3/4)

    , , ,