Does size matter?

Zelím Nel

The five New Zealand franchises have collectively scored more tries (167) than South Africa’s six teams (161).

It’s unanimous that the Kiwis have a more potent attack than any of their South African rivals can muster. However, while the popular view is that teams from these shores cannot score tries because of a lack of skills, a review of the playing stocks available to each country paints a different picture.

It’s not too difficult to make metres, offload in contact and sustain the attack when a physically bigger ball-carrier dominates the collision with a smaller tackler.

New Zealand’s teams are stocked with backs that dwarf some SA forwards. The Kiwis boast 21 strikers over the weight of 100kgs and just 24 that are sub-90kgs, while the SA contingent are deploying for battle with the least one-tonners (12) and the most mini-backs (45).


- Zelim Nel

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  • Rudi Coetzee

    Quite an interesting analogy. However, there is a size / skill ratio – dominating the collision is one thing, but skillfully tackling a big player, will bring him to ground. We place quite a lot of emphasis on defensive structures, but why do we not revisit good tackling technique?

    Example – the best take down technique in MMA is achieved with your head / chin up, yet note how many tacklers tackle for the waist, head down.

    Perhaps we need to get a Garreth “Soldier Boy” McLellan and help with defense training.

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