As three South African sides chase playoff spots within the final three rounds of United Rugby Championship round-robin motion, one of many northern hemisphere’s star enforcers of the earlier decade has stated the excessive depth of their play reasonably than a push to play expansive rugby is what’s going to deliver success for the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls.
Jim Hamilton is at the moment a pundit for Premier Sports however he performed 63 Tests for Scotland and was a second-row star for groups like Leicester, Gloucester and Saracens. And he’s a giant fan of South African rugby.
“I always say for any team, if you’re struggling to get go-forward, go and get some South Africans,” Hamilton stated in a URC media briefing on Monday. “South Africans are taking on as the very best gamers on this planet.
“I’ve been shocked by how a lot rugby the South African groups have performed: they go extensive from their very own half, or straight from a scrum. But the European groups are nonetheless main the cost by way of the stats for tries scored, carries and defenders overwhelmed. So why don’t they simply play ball-in-hand towards the South Africans?
“Well it’s laborious to play in these circumstances (in South Africa), they undoubtedly have an impact, altitude hits you want a brick wall. I noticed guys who had been completely bollocked with the arms on their knees.
“But the game now is so driven by percentages and when the South African teams come over to Europe and decide not to play how they do in the Currie Cup, but more like their national team, focusing more on territory and playing in the right areas, then they will become incredibly dangerous,” Hamilton stated.
The former Scotland stalwart admitted to being pissed off by the poor begin the South African groups made to the URC, however now that they’ve been again on house turf, they’ve been rampant.
“South African gamers are the entire bundle – strong, the humility they convey, and they’re laborious; all the things round them is simply rugby. If I used to be a coach, I’d go look there for gamers. It’s unquestionable that each single one in all them in Europe has been a roaring success.
“But the South African groups had been a little bit of a disappointment at first. We all stated how constructive their inclusion was (within the URC), however then it was not how we thought it might be. But plenty of it needed to do with the adjustments introduced by Covid.
“They undoubtedly struggled across the referees over right here and their interpretations, it felt like they had been taking part in for the sake of taking part in. I don’t suppose they received a good shot then and it was at all times going to take some time for them to mattress in to the competitors.
“But now their results are speaking for themselves, now that they are fully loaded and taking the tournament seriously. Don’t just judge them on this year, but now we’ve seen the URC works,” Hamilton stated.