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Is the lengthy season taking its toll?

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 8 May 2013 at 09:25
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Round 12 of a very long season is imminent and it seems the effect is starting to be felt, not just by the large amounts of injuries in many teams, but by the way some “top” teams seem to struggle against the traditionally “weaker” teams.

The Blues-Stormers game was always going to be a tough battle, but the way both teams started making silly mistakes in general play, focus and clinical execution of the basics dropped, even though there was urgency and passion, it would seem that the quality we would like to see in this competition is lacking. This was much different in earlier rounds where the game between the Stormers and Chiefs for example produced entertaining, but also high quality rugby. A team like the Rebels, in my opinion, would never have been able to come even close to causing an upset against the Chiefs. Yes, they played with heart, but I think we can all agree that the Chiefs are a better side than what they delivered this week. The same can be said about the draw between the Reds and the Force.

Being more emotionally involved it’s difficult for me to judge just how good or bad the Sharks are and how their campaign has been affected by having to play 12 Rounds of rugby with only one week of rest, 12 Rounds that was preceded by a month’s rest, preceded by a 2012 season in which some players played 35 – 40 games. Ten injuries and more this season, would indicate that it has taken its toll and another loss to a side that hasn’t managed a win this year, suggests the same.

The match between the Brumbies and Crusaders, although at times producing periods of play of test match standards, especially from the Crusaders with Dan Carter back and in top form, was also riddled with mistakes that you just did not see in the earlier rounds.

Then there’s the Bulls who in another good victory at home are seemingly just starting to build momentum and reaching their peak form, defying the logic of a fatiguing players in a lengthy season. The Waratahs are another team that has just started to play some of their best rugby in recent weeks this season. Maybe their player management was just better, or they were just lucky, but the fact is that most teams seems to be suffering the toll of too much rugby.


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