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The Entertainment Sector

Are The Super 15s All That?

Posted Apr 12, 2011 by Shaun Edwards

Can the super 15 compete with test rugby

Whilst the Six Nations did undoubtedly provide some entertainment (Italy’s shock win over France was definitely a highlight), there were many who maintain that for all the international rivalry and intense competition, the tournament in question remains…well…a little dull at times.  Well, anyone who shares this view can rejoice in the world of the Super 15s.

There are many critics of this unique form of the game, most of them campaigning the traditions of test matches over this more fluent, entertaining version of rugby.  It is a similar argument to the one that occurs in international cricket, with the all out entertainment of T20 versus the ebb and flow of the fifty over format.  It is the same two points: entertainment versus increased depth and value.

There is little denying the former.  At Twickenham, the Crusaders and the Sharks gave an abject lesson in beautiful, attacking and passing rugby, with little commitment made towards defensive rucks than one or two players.  The support play was majestic, the running was superb and the fans watching were delighted.  The one game demonstrated more entertainment in my eyes than the whole six nations tournament put together.

However, much as T20 cricket is an exhibition in attacking cricket, so the Super 15 is an example of attacking rugby, leaving those who also value a solid defensive game left wanting.  There was no tackling or rucking to resemble the demolition of England by the South Africans in the Autumn, nor was there anything to admire in the same vein of the way Ireland taught Johnson’s side a defensive lesson whilst denying them a grand slam.  There was little attacking glamour to either victory, but both were just as impressive examples of dominating rugby as the Super 15 match, albeit in a different sense.  

Whatever your view of the Super 15, you can hardly deny that it represents possibly the most entertaining form of rugby (and even international sport) that’s currently being played anywhere in the world.

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