“The whole point of rugby is that it is first and foremost, a state of mind…a spirit.”
Jean-Pierre Rives.

There are nine primary areas of difference and distinctiveness between 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa (New Zealand) and 2020 Super Rugby Australia according to analysis by the Keith Lyons Academy of Qualitative Analytics:

  1. Much has been written about the positive culture and characteristics of New Zealand rugby. These form the base of any successful team. In terms of championship-ready status, New Zealand teams are assessed as closer to this – Level 4 (of four levels) in our Team Organics™ model whereas Australian teams oscillate around Level 3. This difference is observable to the trained eye;
  2. ‘Intensity’ of New Zealand rugby is often commented on very positively. Intensity is more than ‘counting pressure acts’ or ‘time over distance.’ In fact, Intensity is a ‘compound’ model comprising five totally separate aspects which must combine to produce Team Outcomes. Our analysis reveals that there can be up to a 10% margin in favour of New Zealand teams. This directly contributes to scoring and defending;
  3. When applying sport risk analysis to both competitions, New Zealand rugby ‘naturally’
    protects its game better than Australian teams. Risk applies at given points of play and in random actions. Risk covered often produces opportunities;
  4. Match TV coverage now shows the value of scoring first and early – establishing early
    dominance – this does in fact create a higher chance of winning. We call this Type A
    Performance. It applies particularly in rugby and football (soccer). Type A Performance can be planned. New Zealand rugby demonstrates a better understanding of this;
  5. Momentum is a structured part of play and not accidental – it follows successful application of Compound Intensity and defined aspects of play. Here again, New Zealand teams are more likely to trigger and maintain momentum than Australian teams;
  6. Transitioning between offence  defence has ‘hidden opportunities’ for gain through
    understanding ‘behavioural science and risk.’ This is a more ‘natural’ part of New
    Zealand rugby whereas it is not demonstrated consistently in Australian rugby;
  7. ‘Effective Creativity’ is a measurable and critical component of scoring and New Zealand is ahead of Australian teams, often apparently creating ‘something from nothing;’
  8. Stoppages can be a defined and valuable part of winning games. New Zealand
    Rugby teams observably use stoppages to greater effect than Australian teams; and
  9. Today’s rugby, like sport overall, is about adapting to change and innovation – this requires an open mind and willingness to embrace what is really Sport 3.0