There’s no easy way of looking at it for the Northern Hemisphere sides. The Rugby World Cup is being held on their turf yet here we stand with not one of the sides able to make it past the quarter final stages.
Alan Quinlan and rugby journalist Tom English discussed the gap between the two hemispheres this evening and it makes for some interesting reading.
Quinlan was asked about Ireland and their exit and he believes that a lack of talent is not the issue in their case.
I think it’s a mental thing more than anything. I think we do have the players, we do have the skillset but we just approach the game differently. We kick a lot,” he said, explaining that a tweak of approach is the way to go looking to the future rather a drastic overhaul.
In New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and now in Argentina, they just look comfortable playing a wide-wide game. They take risks with the ball.”
He also added that in the Northern Hemisphere “we wait for the scrum-half to get to the breakdown” in contrast to an example he referenced in New Zealand.
There’s a mentality in the Southern Hemisphere that everybody can play ball,” he said, pointing out how that that approach is promoted in those nations.
Both Quinlan & English however feel that drastic change is not required. English also pointed out the weaknesses that Southern Hemisphere sides like South Africa and Australia have displayed at times in the World Cup, adding that he believes the Wallabies have been “over-hyped” to a degree.
Instead English points towards the rise of Argentina and the strength of New Zealand as the most relevant cases in the growing debate.