Rugby Union

Wasps' giant killing against Toulon is only one example of competitive European rugby.

How does Super Rugby compare to the Aviva Premiership and European Cup?

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There is a long debate over which half of the world boasts the better domestic game. The southern hemisphere's Super Rugby has some of the best plays week in week out and is a cauldron of fast-paced attacking rugby.

Meanwhile, the Aviva Premiership and the European Cup are generally dominated by brutish defences and epitomised by driving mauls to the try line, rather than scintillating backs moves and counter attacks.

Whilst Toulon and other French sides play similar to a Super Rugby style, they still rely on basic principles of the northern hemisphere game to dominate.


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So who would win? Well, most southern hemisphere sides would fancy their chances, and based on the dominance of the south in the international game, you can understand why.

However, at a domestic level, it could be a lot closer than first thought. Whilst there are more tries at the Super Rugby level, a lot of these tries are put past weak defences.

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The clubs seem to pride themselves on an attacking style that, occasionally, the basics in defence is lost. Look back on some of the tries of the year at the championships, there are some weak challenges, with gaps in the defence easily exploited.

But with some of the superior sides, especially teams like the Hurricanes or Crusaders, they are more robust. However, even they are prone to rash defensive decisions.

Focus on defence in northern hemisphere

In Europe, defence is key. The Aviva Premiership may be labelled dull by their southern hemisphere counterparts, but they manage to get the balance between defence and offence to near perfection. London Wasps, a high flyer off the back of two major European upsets, have struck the balance for all to see.

London Irish v Wasps - Aviva Premiership

Their defence has been very solid throughout, epitomised by recent wins at Bath and Gloucester. With one of the best defences in Europe, Wasps have a lethal attack too, with a back three of Charles Pitau, Frank Halai and Christian Wade.

Wasps Media Session

So whilst Super Rugby is fast paced with tries to make your mouth water and the occasional bone-shattering hit, the European equivalent would likely do a lot better than many of the southern hemisphere supporters give them credit for.

How would a European team get on in the southern hemisphere? Give your opinion in the comment box below!

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