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1818 Topic: How important is the RWC

Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 273
How important is the RWC
July 31, 2012, 11:44:10

An interesting question that I posed on a different post.


If South Africa won every game in between the RWC but then lost the RWC would we be deemed to have failed for the previous four years?


Would SA be happy to win the RWC but struggle inbetween each RWC competition and settle for second or third on the IRB rankings.


How important is the RWC and is it taking away too much from what we really want to achieve?




Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 240
RE: How important is the RWC
July 31, 2012, 12:04:31

Any world cup for that matter.

The problem is that provincial/international annual sporting seasons take up far to much time in most sports.

In rugby we have been playing Super Rugby since February and in three weeks will start Rugby Championship. This means the south giants are not able to tour around the world playing smaller nations regularly, getting a far better picture of the world standings. So tournaments like the World cup come into the picture, giving nations an opportunity to play each other.


How does the IRB counter this? They introduced the rating system.

But that is flawed, let’s look at the Springbok 2012 matches; 


England (IRB 4th) - 4 matches

Australia (2nd) - 2 matches

New Zealand (1st) - 2 matches

Argentina (8th) - 2 matches

France (5th) - 1 match

Scotland (9th) - 1 match


We trade the vast majority of our points with the team directly below us? Which means we take a lower points from each win and ultimately the table will, in time, look exactly the same. Then we only play France and Scotland away from home...


Please don't misunderstand, I am not whinging here, I am just trying to highlight that our longer annual seasons are the reason we need things like the World Cup, and this is for every sport.


Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1236
RE: How important is the RWC
July 31, 2012, 12:24:57

I reckon peopl over [removed]yze things like this, but it is really simple. The world cup is massive, no matter what people say or like or don't like. If that was not the case then why do all things rugby revolve around the four year cycle of world cups? Players retire just after world cups, teams start preparing and planning for the next world cup directly after the previous one. In non-world cup years tournaments are rated (From most to least important) as follows; Tri nation/Six Nations, Inbound/outbound international tours, Super Rugby/ Heineken Cup, and then Currie Cup and similar competitions in each country. (Lions tour every 4 years sits comfortably under the World cup and above the Tri-Nations and six nations. If one were to rate their importance from an international point of view it would be as follows;

World Cup: 10/10

Lions Tour: 8/10

Tri-Nations/ SIx Nations: 7.5/10

Inbound/Outbound: 6/10

Super Rugby/Heineken: 5/10

Currie cup etc: 2/10


Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 240
RE: How important is the RWC
July 31, 2012, 14:34:43

I think I would rate it slightly differently, but this would be my personal opinion.


World Cup (pinnacle of rugby tournament)

Tri-Nations (The top 3 teams in the world competing annually)

Six Nations (Teams from top 10 in the world competing annually)

*Super Rugby (same as Tri Nations, this tournament is followed by far more people than the Heineken Cup) 

Inbound/Outbound & Lions Tour (Countries also have vested interest in tours, again these happen annually)

*Heineken (I get the impression that this is not as closely followed by public, here and that the UK is far more interest in the Aviva championship)

Currie Cup, Rugby League and others (Filler and a breeding ground for the younger players)


The points regarding Super Rugby, Heineken Cup and Aviva championship may been bias views, but this just my opinion


Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1396
RE: How important is the RWC
July 31, 2012, 14:53:51

the RWC is the ultimate achievement but saying that i must not be the only achievement the players should aim for. since the days of jake the RWC is almost seen as the only thing we as a rugby country should aim for rather then building towards it and achieving success along the way. which is almost just as important in terms of development of a winning culture and mentality

i just hope that we need to see the years leading up to the RWC as development of a playing style and pattern rather than just being obsessed with winning everything.

sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5868
RE: How important is the RWC
July 31, 2012, 16:37:57

blueboks points are pretty much on the money, regardless of anyones opinions, RWC is the pinnacle and what all the teams aspire as it does influence plenty of players desicions and the way coaches plan for their team.

in saying that, i find that the IRB rankings to be a more true indication of who are the champions of the rugby world, as it takes into account EVERY SINGLE test match, unlike the RWC which comes around once every 4 years.

i blame the emphasis put on the RWC on unjustifeid selections which have cost the All Blacks test matches and i would imagine the same for other nations, like the Bok team sent to play in NZ and OZ during the TriNats, or the All Blacks team sent to port elizabeth to play the Boks. so much priority was given to the RWC, that full strength teams werent fielded as a result. the wallabies played every TriNat test with a full strength team and became desereved champs.
this really pissed me off, cos IMO henery chepaned the All Blacks jerseys by not doing his all to win every match and against the wallabies and Springboks, we need our full stregnth or near it team, least we suffer the consequences.

i would gladly the All Blacks not win the RWC, if it meant winning every test match in between.

i wouldnt rate the lions tour as highly as an 8/10, but could ur rating be based on the fact the Boks only have 50% of their matches against them???
i rate any test match with the Boks or wallabies higher then a lions test. All Blacks have beaten the british lions 77% of the time, so while its always a pleasure to watch the All Blacks win a british lions test, it is something ive come to expect.


Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1258
RE: How important is the RWC
July 31, 2012, 17:01:19

RWC is the pinnacle of achievement for a rugby playing nation. The winner has the right to call themselves World Champions for the next 4 years and deservedly so.  At no other point and in no other venue is there the same amount of pressure and intensity - the winner in this type of environment is truly the best in the world and the intensity exposes weaknesses and shortcomings in those teams who fall short.


The world rankings are informative, but in the end its just an algorithim, a numbers game, a handy little chart to make people feel good about themselves. No single game or test series in the years in between carries the same importance or requires the amount of physical and psychological skill as the World Cup.


The same is true in every other sport in the world.



Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 240
RE: How important is the RWC
July 31, 2012, 17:06:32

Could not agree more with oimatey

sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5868
RE: How important is the RWC
August 01, 2012, 03:56:18


an algorithim, a numbers game, a handy little chart to make people think good about themselves, LMAO, :P

if the Boks had been ranked No1 over 80% of the time since its inception, then i would feel the same way too.
if meyer feels the same as u that the tests inbetween RWCs carries little importance to the tests during the RWC, then prepare for the All Blacks to dominate the Boks for another 3 years easy.

every test match is important and every nation deserves the respect that their national jersey commands, it may be why All Blacks dont know what its like to lose ireland and scotland??? i mean jeebers, scotlands last games against the Boks and wallabies have left a huge smile on the 6nat whipping boys face. but dont worry boys, All blacks will represent southern hemisphere hard and keep the bravehearts in their place, :P


Status: Senior player
Posts: 3800
RE: How important is the RWC
August 01, 2012, 06:04:07

 Their is only 2 things- Winning a world cup, and winning all other games. 

Winning as the favourites is much better than as the under dogs. It is more deserved and rewarded. 

PDV and Roedolf Straueli allways used the excuse- "judge them by the results of world cup- when things were going bad". 

That is either luck or just bull[removed]

I say a team should build on performance- like Kitch Kristies team that won in 2005. 

If a coach has a roadmap to success and the team players are improving it should be obvious.

Their is no time like the present- who knows if the a team will lose on bad ref decisions, injuries to key players or just to a better team. 

I say long term plans are only good it they compliment short term plans that deliver results. Rugby careers are short- and so it top performance. It is impossibale to plan to far due to injuries, form and anything else.

The best path to winning tomorrow- is to do so today


Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 13162
RE: How important is the RWC
August 01, 2012, 07:50:41

Lets put it bluntly - there are four major sports tournaments in the World, namely -

1.    Olympic Games

2.    Soccer World Cup

3.    Rugby World Cup

4.    Cricket World Cup

For the latter sports codes - winning the World Cup is equivalent to win most gold medals in th Olympic Games.   Incidentally we are now ahead of England and Australia on the Olympics medal table.   Lets hope for another 3 gold medals.

Jake White had the right idea about the importance of the Rugby World Cup.   You build up a team to win the RWC - bugger what happened in between.   You may lose most other series - but if you win the World Cup - you have it made.    Since 1991 virtually throughout the period New Zealand was the number 1 ranked country in rugby in the world - yet the first time they won the World Cup was only in 2011.   How many Super series and test series they won in between?  I would say at least 80% - yet they only won the WC once.

There is no way in which the RWC can be under-estimated.   That is the ultimate in the code of sport of rugby.   That is why I say - start building a team to win the RWC in 2015 - forget about what happens in between.   Throughout the years there was a tendency of WC winners not to change players - especially if and when they win test series subsequently.   They keep on playing the same players to have them available for the next WC.   That practice - namely to keep on playing the players past their prime - has never worked and no team has ever won the WC twice in succession.  

As a rule of thumb - after you won the WC - all players over the age of 28 should be replaced as soon as possible after the relevant WC.   Forwards can go with a stretch and play top rugby until the age of 31 - backs probably not past 30.    There are rare exceptions to that rule - but those are few and far between.

Based on that scenario - the following players should be replaced asap due to the age factor:-

Jean De Villiers, Habana, Bekker, Jannie Du Plessis, the Beast

The other issue is obviously player competency.   Here we have the following urgently requiring replacement:-

Morne Steyn and Spies.

Other replacments may be required due to injury of declining coimpetence - as well as emergence of stronger candidates.   However, the key of a good coach is to identify the best polayers for the next WC and drop those not meeting the requirements.

Based on the above we have to replace at least 7 of the Springbok team over the next two years - the process should start sooner rather than later.

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