Kiwis kill travel curse
4 Apr 2006
New Zealand’s teams are outperforming South African and Australian franchises by more than 30 percent when playing away from home in this year’s Vodacom Super 14 — a sure sign of who will claim the first trophy in the expanded series.
After eight rounds of the tournament, the New Zealand teams are once again the most successful on the road. The South Africans and Australians, generally, are equally poor — and it is consistent with away form during the history of the Super 12.
The Reds, in early years, were good tourists but in the last few seasons their shares have dropped. The Brumbies and Waratahs have always struggled abroad, while none of the South African teams has even managed sustained success in Australia or New Zealand.
The Kiwis, led by the Crusaders and Blues, who both average an away win ratio in excess of 50 percent over a course of 10 years, have shown themselves capable of winning more than they lose when playing in South Africa and Australia.
To date the Kiwi teams have won three from five in Australia and four from eight in South Africa. That’s seven from 13.
Compare that to the SA teams who have won two from seven in Australia (thank goodness for the whipping boys in Perth) and one from seven in New Zealand, and Australia’s franchises who have yet to win in New Zealand this year in three starts and have managed only two wins in six appearances in South Africa.
Overseas success rate
New Zealand teams: 7/13 = 53.8 percent
Australian teams: 2/9 = 22.2 percent
South African teams: 3/14 = 21.4 percent