The state of South African franchises in the spotlight

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The British and Irish Lions’ second victory, another 50-point blow to a South African club franchise, highlighted the competitiveness of their opponents.

When the Lions toured New Zealand in 2017, most of the New Zealand Super Franchises were competitive against the Lions, who were often filled with test-caliber players.

Only the Chiefs found themselves on the wrong side of an imbalanced score, with the Blues and Highlanders winning while the Hurricanes drew. The Crusaders lost in a 12-3 no-try game, which was played to the intensity of testing.

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After two games in South Africa, the Lions have so far had a breeze against the Sigma Lions and Cell C Sharks, winning by 56-14, 54-7.

The Springboks withdrew all of their squad members from their franchises, leaving the national teams short of firepower to match it with the British and Irish Lions. Combined with a largely offshore playing base, the local teams are “as weak as they are.” have never been ”.

South African rugby fans have been brutally honest about the state of the domestic game, calling it “embarrassing” and “weak”.

The Bulls, who won the South African Rainbow Cup conference, were called “still quite weak”. They are expected to put up the most resistance to the best in the countries of origin.

The final between Benneton and the Bulls last month showed the gap between the European teams of Pro14 and the South African franchises. Against the Lions without any Springbok players, they turned into cannon fodder leaving fans without a show.

With few questions on who will win the remaining warm-up matches, the discussion turned to who will be best prepared for the test series, with the Lions failing to complete a real challenge before the Springboks.

The Springboks themselves, who weren’t convincing in their first test against Georgia, saw their second test called off after a spate of Covid cases in both teams and could jump into the series with just one game to go. their assets.

South African journalist Mark Keohane, who predicted a 3-0 win over the Springboks, is confident the gala games the Lions are playing will leave them under-prepared for testing.

Write for the Daily maverick, South African rugby writer Craig Ray wrote that the mood in the Springboks camp was becoming increasingly “pessimistic”.

The word from inside the camp is that the mood becomes more and more pessimistic as the reality that they will be hopelessly undercooked when and if they face a British & Lions, crystallizes for the Bok team. “, he wrote.

The Springboks are unable to train together while key members isolate themselves, further delaying the team from getting into test match form.

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