Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson has argued that New Zealand’s Super Rugby teams would be better off if they played regularly against South African teams.
The Vodacom Bulls, Sharks, Lions and Stormers left Super Rugby during the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago, initially playing domestically before the opportunity came to join an expanded PRO14, which was rebranded as the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
At the time, SA Rugby blamed New Zealand for South Africa’s exit from Super Rugby, accusing them of a “unilateral” decision to continue Super Rugby domestically as Super Rugby Aotearoa. Rugby Australia followed New Zealand’s example, before the two unions combined to create Super Rugby Trans-Tasman last year, which has now evolved into Super Rugby Pacific this year.
After a shaky start to the season, three of South Africa’s URC teams have qualified for the playoffs and are set to play in Europe next season.
Meanwhile, in the Trans-Tasman portion of Super Rugby, Robertson’s Crusaders suffered a historic loss to the Waratahs, while the Brumbies claimed back-to-back wins over the Chiefs and Hurricanes.
“I think more and more now,” Robertson told RNZ when asked whether New Zealand teams missed the South African sides.
“In the first year we thought we wouldn’t miss them because we had [Super Rugby] Aotearoa and that was tough enough as it was, while in the second year we had two competitions.
“You then looked over your shoulder and watched them play, or when you watched those Test matches and realised that their mentality to the game, their style, their strengths, [is] what makes our game great.
“It’s just different, a different flow or a different game and when we play them I think we’re better for it and so we do miss them.”
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