Super Rugby

Burger: SANZAAR’s Conference system must go

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South African Rugby legend Schalk Burger has urged Super Rugby bosses SANZAAR to change the current Conference system as it is not working.

Springbok loose forward Burger’s Stormers side were eliminated from the Super Rugby tournament when they were beaten 21-60 by the Chiefs at Newlands.

The match was the first time that the Stormers had played a New Zealand team so they had become unaccustomed to playing against a Kiwi side.

Burger has joined the chorus of fans and critics by calling for SANZAAR to lose the conference system in favour of a Super 14 style tournament where all teams play each other.

“They [SANZAAR] needs to get rid of the conference system and get back to the old round-robin format” Burger told TimesLive

“The conference format has been a bit complex to follow even for the players. To be honest you want to test yourself against every team.

“You also want those life experiences of traveling to play against the Crusaders at 9pm on a cold wet night in Christchurch. You want those challenges as they ensure you keep growing and that you remain up to speed with where other teams are.

“I know that the Stormers will be on the other end of the draw next year when they play all five New Zealand sides. But again, they might miss something by not playing the Aussie teams.”

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck echoed Burger’s words by saying that the current format did not prepare them adequately for what they faced in the quarter finals despite having played 15 matches.

“Not playing any New Zealand teams in the buildup to this game was a big factor [in the loss to the Chiefs],’ said Fleck.

“I said it earlier in the week: The New Zealand sides play at a different intensity.

“The Chiefs showed that in the first half against us. They played at an incredible tempo, something we hadn’t experienced at all in previous matches. We would have liked to have tested ourselves against these teams earlier in the season.”

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