What a fantastic three weeks of rugby we had – not only in South Africa but also in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
After two years of world sport, including international rugby, heavily affected by Covid-19, it returned with a bang this July. And this can go on for a long time.
In all four major “rugby southern territories”, the series came down to the last game of three Tests, providing a thrilling and thrilling climax.
In South Africa Springboks beat Wales after the streak was fixed at 1–1, so did Argentina, who beat Scotland in the final seconds of their third Test to end the streak 2–1.
How wonderful that this month all the tests were closed, and the series stopped only at the final tests. That’s what makes the three-test series so special: Not only do coaches and players have one opponent they’re trying to work off and focus on, but there are nuances from one test to the next that make it all so exciting.
In addition, fans can properly participate by learning about opponents and their players. There’s also something at stake in the series – win and lose – as opposed to previous July test windows and when southern teams travel across Europe in November and take on three or four different teams.
Imagine if the Boks were to have a schedule of 3 Tests lined up against all Blacks beaters, Ireland in November rather than what’s on the table: Tests against Ireland, France, Italy and England.
I know I’d rather have a series against one of those “big guys” where there’s really something at stake, rather than a “one-off” game every weekend. I’m sure local fans will love it too.
As Irish rugby writer Ruaidrey O’Connor tweeted Sunday, imagine boxing against Ireland in Cork, Belfast and Dublin three Saturdays in a row. This sounds exciting to me.