Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby journalist
2 minute read
17 Jul 2015
2:35 pm

‘Super Rugby could have a bearing’ – Meyer

Rudolph Jacobs

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has admitted that the displays in this year’s Super Rugby campaign could have a bearing on the World Cup, despite popular belief that it won’t.

FILE PICTURE: Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. Picture: AFP / Patrick Hamilton.

“I would like to say the Super Rugby won’t have any bearing, but it probably will if you look at 2007 as well, the Bulls and the Sharks were in the final and they took it into the World Cup,” said Meyer. “It’s all about confidence which could be contagious and so is a lack of confidence so you take that together with ability into the tournament and that’s why you see Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel who has performed in Super Rugby can now also perform in Test rugby.

“We have also seen Australia and New Zealand have big, fast and skillful backs and that’s something we have to counter,” said Meyer. Meyer believed they have to be up for the challenge against Australia on Saturday.

“As a Bok coach it’s always important to win and give the country hope, everything starts with set phases but Australia under Michael Cheika moves the ball around so we have to be defensively good and hopefully pounce on their mistakes. Meyer said he had visited most of the World Cup venues.

“There’s a perception that the World Cup would be played in slow and muddy conditions but having visited most of the venues there’s brilliant surfaces and mostly soccer fields with very thin grass, and quite fast, so gone are the days where the World Cup is just short ball in play, and scrumming and kicking for points.

“If you take the Super Rugby final, and even though you can’t take that into a World Cup, but even in the previous World Cup the ball in play was very high, and guys will attack and take each other on, you can’t just rely on a kicking game, you have to be fit and have guys who can play at a high pace, that’s probably where rugby changed the most the last few years and suddenly you see smaller 9s coming back into the game, because everybody wants quick ball.”

“Even the northern hemisphere sides move the ball around’

“So the World Cup could be played as fast as Super Rugby and if you look at the Championship, in previous years especially the last 2,3 years it has been exciting rugby with a lot of tries scored, even the northern hemisphere moves the ball around and the smaller countries have improved.”