Geography doesn't dictate style

by staff

Wherever you go, you take the weather with you.

That’s Matt Giteau’s take on the hemispherical divide in rugby, with European countries tending towards a tighter play and southern hemisphere countries renowned for their running rugby.

“I think the weather dictates a lot to do with the style,” he said.

“In the winter when the Six Nations is on, the ball’s a bit more greasy and it’s harder to shift.

That’s why the game is played a bit tighter but when the ball is dry, you see those games when they are able and capable and they’re playing that fast brand.

Giteau dismissed the notion of a gulf between the north and south, with four Southern Hemisphere semi-finalists for the first time in World Cup history.

“That North v South, I haven’t really thought about it all,” he said.

“A bounce of the ball at the weekend and it could have been totally different. There’s not a massive difference at all between the teams.”

Playing in Toulon, Giteau said there wasn’t so much a difference between what kids were taught as junior rugby players, but rather whether they were playing it, in a competitive sporting market.

“Most French kids are playing with a soccer ball,” he said.

“I know at Toulon, we’re playing in a style which we think works.”

After three matches against European sides, the Wallabies will be back to more familiar territory against Argentina, whom they know well through the Rugby Championship.

However the game pans out on the weekend, Giteau was adamant there’s one thing the Wallabies won’t do.

“For us, it’s a semi-final; there’s only really good teams left,” he said.

“Every game’s tough, you can’t underestimate them, we won’t underestimate them.

“It’s a semi-final. you can’t. it just won’t happen.”