In November 2012, I wrote after the Autumn International series : –
Even the Rugby 7’s at the Commonwealth Games is seemingly a Southern Hemisphere only club too!!!!!!!
Now with just over a year to go until the 2015 World Cup in England it seems like the status quo has not changed and the teams in the Southern Hemisphere are besting their northern counterparts especially with the big three New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Why do I say this? Especially as they do tend to win most of their matches against all teams let alone teams from above the equator. Well for me its just the sad reading of the following statistics from this summers matches between different hemisphere teams only 15 months away from the 8th Rugby Union World Cup.
So here are the stats in all their glory, look away if you are a supporter of Northern Hemisphere rugby. In 14 tests there have only been three NH victories, and those were against Argentina (by no means the strongest opposition from the south) twice by Ireland (by 12 and 6 pts) and once by Scotland (by 2pts). The big three comparison is 9 and 0.
To be honest, it was never going to easy for any of the teams from the north to head south after a long hard season, but its the fact that in some of the matches they got so so so close, New Zealand 20 England 15, New Zealand 28 England 27, South Africa 31 Wales 30 even Australia 6 France 0, however they seemingly struggled to get over the line and not for the first time. The other matches in their series were comprehensive defeats, Scotland lost to South Africa 55-6 in a one off test. Unfortunately the bridesmaid tag is being attached to a lot of these teams and in a World Cup you get nothing for losing by a point or in the last minute.
Teams from the Northern Hemisphere need to work on their game management during these intense test matches because when sides from the south smell blood they take full advantage, knowing chances at this level come as a premium. In recent years there have been much more frequent trips to the other side of the equator but it still seems the teams from up north are not learning, they may not always be expected to win the series but one win minimum has to be target and with none (against the big three) it does not bode well for the Northern Hemisphere to close the gap on the 6 (New Zealand, Australia and South Africa with two titles each) to 1 (England) World Cup record that the teams from the Southern Hemisphere have.
The big three as well as other Southern Hemisphere teams will head up North for the Autumn International season in November which is very likely to be the Northern Hemisphere teams last opportunity to best their Southern counterparts before match ups at the Rugby World Cup 2015. An interesting set of matches awaits with the pressure ALL UP NORTH!!!!!!!
Let me know what you think – you can also tweet me @biggishmouth or go to my facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebiggishmouth