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Thread: Which sport is more popular in SA - Rugby or Cricket?

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    Which sport is more popular in SA - Rugby or Cricket?

    Being from the U.K., I am wondering which sport, Rugby Union or Cricket, now has the strongest following in SA?

    Also I have very little knowledge of SA Football and would be pleased if someone could point me towards a good blog or commentator.

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    I know absolutely nothing about such things - hopefully someone else can tell you more.

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    We have a stereotyped view of South African men as keen on sport; this stereotype has been confirmed by my experience and so it is good to meet someone who doesn’t conform to it. My understanding is that Rugby and Cricket are widely played in schools on SA and so you must have had them foisted on you at some stage. I enjoyed the former but was rubbish at the latter.

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    I went to an Afrikaans primary school and an English high school. The primary school was big into rugby and the boys didn't play much else. The high school that I attended played soccer and cricket.

    My dad was an orthopedic surgeon and he despised rugby with a passion - reason being that he continually had to treat schoolboys with broken necks and serious injuries mostly due to collapsed scrums and high tackles.

    I can watch international soccer (football) because I find it to be a very fast tactical sport.
    I don't like rugby - its such a stop start thing - kick the ball out that side - stand around - run to the other side - bash a guy, crawl around holding onto one another pants - break a neck, kick a ball out on the other side - stand around again...doesn't flow.
    Cricket - walk up - knock a ball - have tea - stand around - scratch your nuts - chat - throw a ball - run a bit - have tea.....not for me.

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    Different communities have different sporting preferences, depending on available facilities. Traditional white schools play rugby and cricket and also athletics, but more schools now include other sports, depending on the availability of coaches and facilities. This may include sports such as hockey and surfing and even golf.

    In more disadvantaged communities with no facilities, soccer or football is more widely played. This is evident in the poor performance of the national soccer team, as youngsters are not properly coached from an early age. Their training mostly start when they join a snr soccer club. We all know that it takes about 10 years to become a master of your art, whether it be sport, or any other skills.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I went to an Afrikaans primary school and an English high school. The primary school was big into rugby and the boys didn't play much else. The high school that I attended played soccer and cricket.

    My dad was an orthopedic surgeon and he despised rugby with a passion - reason being that he continually had to treat schoolboys with broken necks and serious injuries mostly due to collapsed scrums and high tackles.

    I can watch international soccer (football) because I find it to be a very fast tactical sport.
    I don't like rugby - its such a stop start thing - kick the ball out that side - stand around - run to the other side - bash a guy, crawl around holding onto one another pants - break a neck, kick a ball out on the other side - stand around again...doesn't flow.
    Cricket - walk up - knock a ball - have tea - stand around - scratch your nuts - chat - throw a ball - run a bit - have tea.....not for me.
    It’s interesting to hear that the Afrikaans school played Rugby whereas the English school played Soccer and Cricket.
    I don’t know whether that denotes a cultural difference?
    I went to a private boys’ school divided into Houses and was lucky (or unlucky you might say) enough to be chosen to play Rugby for a House team. My Housemaster was a Rugby fanatic and so there was some prestige in being in the ‘Rugger team’ - it was considered more important than academic achievement! Once in you had to stay, even when you had crucial exams coming up. I continued with it (out of masochism?) as an undergraduate. There was actually a lot about it that I enjoyed and I had some great teammates and coaches. My injuries were only minor and put me out of action for a few weeks at most. There is a lot of fairness however in your father’s assessment and your caricature!

    Your caricature of Cricket is also accurate, but then I was never much good at it; I liked the tea and I liked wearing Cricket jumpers but that’s about it. I used to enjoy watching it but it’s become a bit tacky and corporate now.

    We didn’t play Soccer and so it wasn’t a strong part of my upbringing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    Different communities have different sporting preferences, depending on available facilities. Traditional white schools play rugby and cricket and also athletics, but more schools now include other sports, depending on the availability of coaches and facilities. This may include sports such as hockey and surfing and even golf.

    In more disadvantaged communities with no facilities, soccer or football is more widely played. This is evident in the poor performance of the national soccer team, as youngsters are not properly coached from an early age. Their training mostly start when they join a snr soccer club. We all know that it takes about 10 years to become a master of your art, whether it be sport, or any other skills.
    There’s something of a division - or has been - here as well, in that private boys’ schools have tended to play Rugby (‘Rugger’) rather than Football (Soccer). That was my experience and is still the case to a large extent.
    I had wondered why the national Soccer team in SA seemed to be under-resourced in comparison with Cricket and Rugby. I also greatly admire the determination of those Soccer players who come from economically deprived communities with few facilities but persist anyway.

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    Growing up Rugby was always seen as an Afrikaans sport and Soccer as English. I don't think I've ever encountered an Afrikaans soccer player.

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    Soccer certainly has very deep roots in English popular culture and is one of our greatest global exports.

    Rugby is also very much an English sport by origin, but seems to have a stronger following in NZ, France, parts of Spain (the Basque Country for example), parts of Northern Italy, South America and clearly among Afrikaners more than other South Africans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    Growing up Rugby was always seen as an Afrikaans sport and Soccer as English. I don't think I've ever encountered an Afrikaans soccer player.
    When I was at school, soccer players were regarded as sissies. My opinion has not changed much, seeing that soccer is such a dangerous sport that players fall down in agony when an opposing player just frown at them. Rugby appears to be a much safer sport where players take the tackles and put their bodies on the line for their team without crying about it.
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