Different approaches to Super Rugby break- 25 Jun 2012 00:00:00
Super Rugby experienced a mid-season break for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 1996, and with the three test weekends of the June internationals now concluded, Super Rugby is now set to resume – but the break gave many teams and players a unique opportunity for a mid-season break, with several different approaches taken on how to spend the time.
Over 100 Super Rugby players were involved in test action, but for those left behind, not all opted to take a break from the sport.
Some Super Rugby teams chose to keep their powder dry during the June International test window, while others decided to keep themselves match fit with a series of fixtures played throughout the historic first ever season break.
Former Springboks captain John Smit took his ‘Barney’s Army’ and World XV to Mr Price King’s Park to take on the Sharks for a mixed farewell match and charity fundraiser.
The veteran and his team – filled with stalwarts including Percy Montgomery and Brent Russell – went down to a strong Sharks selection 47-21.
Meanwhile, The Brumbies were the first team to suit up for action during the test break, playing Wales in a midweek touring match, with the Six Nations Grand Slam champions winning 25-15 at Canberra Stadium.
In New Zealand, the reviving of the historic North Island versus South Island match took place in Dunedin, with the ‘home team’ winning 32-24, organised to assist with Otago Rugby’s recovery.
The Reds took themselves to the Sunshine Coast during the break, playing one team they were not scheduled to face during the 2012 regular season in the Hurricanes.
The Chiefs played two halves in a ‘three half series’ against the Counties Cavaliers and the Bay of Plenty Wasps, with the two latter invitational teams playing each other for a half before they played a Chiefs selection.
The Super Rugby side, minus their All Blacks contingent, accounted for the Cavaliers 45-0 and the Wasps 43-0 in games that featured the return of fullback Tim Nanai-Williams.