Super Rugby is top 2012 lure

2012-01-13 12:36

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - While the ever-expanding format has raised some eyebrows, it seems Super Rugby is nevertheless firmly top of the pops as key sporting attraction for many South Africans in a massively busy 2012 calendar year.

That is according to a poll conducted among Sport24 readers this week, which attracted not far off 4 000 respondents.

We offered up many of the year’s best events under the question: “Which sporting event in 2012 are you most looking forward to?”

Traditionally rugby has a strong following on the site, and it is reflected by 57% of the vote going the way of four oval-ball attractions, although our poll included cricket, the multi-sport Olympics, tennis, golf and cycling.

Sadly South African soccer is hampered, of course, by Bafana Bafana failing to qualify for the continental jewel this year, the African Cup of Nations.

A little surprisingly, though, Super Rugby, which will encroach to an even greater extent this year on other competitions in the sport, comfortably headed the overall poll with 39% of backing.

Maybe it is partly just because it is traditionally the first big rugby tournament of the year and the end of several weeks of idleness for staunch fans of that game?

Next up came the London-staged Olympics with 22%.

Then there was a dead heat with 11% each going to the former Tri-Nations - now the Rugby Championship, also featuring Argentina for the first time - and the Proteas’ Test cricket tour of top-ranked England.

Smaller shares of the pie went to England’s three-Test rugby tour here (6%), the Tour de France (4%), one of golf’s Majors (3%), a tennis Grand Slam event (2%) and, bringing up the rear in more ways than one, the Springboks’ end-of-year tour of the northern hemisphere.

Perhaps by then even rugby addicts will have more than had their fill ...