DURBAN – Since the 2015 World Cup there has been a major shift in playing styles towards try-scoring rugby but will teams hit the World Cup default button and tighten up how they play in Japan?
In 2015, the All Blacks were miles ahead of the rest of the pack and this prompted the major rugby powers to start copying the kings, and four years later they have mostly got it right. It has no longer been about accumulating points via penalty goals and the occasional try but the other way around.
These days you very seldom see teams trying to manufacture a situation so that the flyhalf can kick drop goals ... they rather push for the try.
I’m wondering if a lot of this positive progress towards entertaining rugby will perish in the excruciating heat of the World Cup cauldron.
It is inevitable that the pressure on teams to win (or go home) is going to see them tighten up their games, and at a World Cup, you are not chasing bonus points.