Mehrtens: Time for SA to go

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:34
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Andrew Mehrtens believes that the future of rugby should grow along provincialism and tribal lines, intending a separation of Australasian rugby from South Africa.

Andrew Mehrtens believes that the future of rugby should grow along provincialism and tribal lines, intending a separation of Australasian rugby from South Africa.
 
The former All Black flyhalf's primary argument is that the time-zones and travelling distance are playing havoc with public interest within different regions in Super Rugby. 
 
Mehrtens has noted that games played in South Africa which are broadcasted in the early hours of the morning are not drawing the same interest as local derbies in New Zealand and Australia.
 
Perhaps the way forward for South African teams would be an alignment with the European clubs, similar time zones would allow for interest in both regions to be peaked - according to Mehrtens.
 
However, a consideration is that the European Professional Club Rugby organisation has very recently been formed, consolidating  the European competition.
 
As such, it would be foolish to believe that South Africa would be welcomed in with open arms.
 
Mehrtens is looking for Australia and New Zealand to align themselves with Japan and the Pacific Islands - once again to keep within similar time-zones.
 
In all actuality, the IRB would be the one to decide on a matter of this magnitude and at present they are more focused on gaining a consensus on a global international window.
 
"I can't help thinking we might have lost a little interest in playing South African teams, and that ultimately the future of this competition might be more localised round time zones," Mehrtens said in a column for Fairfax NZ News.
 
"Where it's going to end up in 20 years' time is having competitions within time zones, and the sooner we get to that point the better for the development of the game.
 
"The logistics of involving South Africa are problematic – the travel and time difference – and maybe it would be better for all concerned just to play within our time zone and include teams from the Pacific Islands and Japan.
 
"Maybe there could still be post-season involvement with South Africa, but their natural alignment is more with the UK and Europe, in the same time zone.
 
"Any re-alignment, though, would need to be led by the IRB. If there's to be any form of consensus or consistency with a global international window, it has to come from them," he added.
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Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9