White: Super Rugby competition remains flawed
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Jake White says SA Rugby should decide whether it wants to continue participating in Super Rugby.
Via a column for the All Out Rugby website, White said the Super Rugby system is flawed.
White said rugby fans should not be blinded by a “successful final” which saw the Crusaders beat the Lions 37-18 to clinch their ninth title in Christchurch at the weekend.
“Don’t let a good Super Rugby final blind you to the fact that the competition is still flawed. Even though Super Rugby administrators will be cock-a-hoop after a successful final, the reality of their product is very different,” White wrote.
White added that he felt the Lions did not deserve to play in the final as there were two teams - the Hurricanes and Chiefs - who finished with more log points.
But due to the competition’s conference system, the Lions - who topped the South African Conference - earned home ground advantage in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
“As brave as the Lions were in trying to achieve a miracle, it was Mission: Impossible. That side was never going to beat a New Zealand team in New Zealand. And, if we’re honest, it was probably an unfair final because it should have featured two Kiwi sides. There’s no way the two best teams played for the trophy,” White said.
“From a marketing and audience point of view, SANZAAR will feel like the final ticked all the right boxes. From a rugby point of view, it can’t be right. The Chiefs and ‘Canes - who won more matches and logged more points than the Lions, despite playing in the same conference as the Crusaders and Highlanders, must feel aggrieved that they didn’t get a fair crack at the title.”
White noted that the travel factor between South Africa and Australasia makes it difficult for the away side and he hinted that a move to the northern hemisphere could be a solution.
“Rugby is moving north and South Africa has to decide whether Super Rugby is something we want to leave or something we want to change,” White added.
READ Jake White's full column on the All Out Rugby website