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Thread: Results-based evidence points towards second Super Rugby cull

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Results-based evidence points towards second Super Rugby cull

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...per-rugby-cull

    Bret Harris

    After a woeful round for Australian teams it may be time to think the unthinkable

    In an alarming round Australia’s Super Rugby teams – the Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels, NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds – all lost their games even though three of the matches were played on home grounds. It exposed the weakness of the Australian conference and also raises the unpalatable question: can Australia support four Super Rugby franchises and be competitive against New Zealand and even South African sides?

    Rugby Australia would have no appetite to cut an Australian team after the agony of culling the Western Force last year and that is entirely understandable. It was a messy and painful execution, which has left scars on the Australian rugby landscape, particularly in Western Australia.

    The reduction to four Australian teams was meant to make them stronger by re-distributing the ex-Force players among the surviving teams, but the evidence so far this season suggests RA did not go far enough. Australian rugby is operating in a false economy. When Australia expanded to five Super Rugby teams the prevailing wisdom was bigger is better, but history tells us less is more.

    The biggest problem facing Australian Super Rugby is the player drain to Europe. There are now more professional Australian players playing overseas than in Australia. While RA is still able to retain sufficient leading Wallabies to keep the Australian team reasonably competitive in Test rugby, it is the loss of talismanic Super Rugby players which is really damaging the game.

    Many of the Brumbies’ current problems would be solved by playmaker Matt Toomua, who is playing for English club Leicester, while flanker Scott Fardy’s outstanding form for Irish province Leinster is drawing comparisons with Heineken Cup hero Rocky Elsom. Boom backrower Sean McMahon has already been lost to Japanese rugby, while Reds five-eighth Jono Lance, Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro and Brumbies centre Kyle Godwin are leaving at the end of the year. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Australian rugby cannot compete financially with rich clubs in Britain, France and Japan for players, which means the game in this country has a stark choice – either it starts to find ways to generate more income to retain players or makes more cost-saving measures.

    The culling of the Force was a financial disaster for RA, but from next year it will have an extra $6m to spend annually and much of this money should be directed towards retaining key Super Rugby talent. If that is not enough to make a difference, Australia will need to seriously contemplate reducing the number of teams again to save more money which it can re-invest in the remaining sides to make them more competitive and marketable.

    Of course, Australia’s Super Rugby teams could make more money if more people attended games and watched on TV, but that will not happen while teams are not performing satisfactorily and they will not perform while quality players continue to leave. It’s a vicious circle. Three strong and competitive Australian teams would help to generate revenue by attracting crowds to games and viewers to television sets. It is not the number of teams that generate income, but the number of eyeballs watching.

    Also, concentrating Australia’s talent into three teams would help to enhance the cohesion of the Wallabies and make them more competitive, which would also be good for the financial health of the game. It is worth remembering the last time the Wallabies held the Bledisloe Cup in 2002 there were only three Australian Super Rugby teams.

    So if you had to make the cut, who would it be? Clearly, the heartland states of NSW and Queensland are too big to fail because between them and the Wallabies they generate the vast majority of the broadcast revenue which underpins the professional game in Australia.

    After what happened with the Force, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for RA to come wielding an axe at the Brumbies or the Rebels, but a merger between the two teams, an idea which was floated during the Force culling saga, could help to solve the twin problems of Australian competitiveness and commercial viability.

    The iconic Brumbies brand is a valuable asset which should not be lost if that can be helped, but growing the game in Melbourne, a city of four million people, is potentially important to the future of the code. A scenario in which the Brumbies play half of their games in Canberra and half in Melbourne could be the answer, but that outcome would need to be negotiated with all parties agreeable.

    Australian teams have now lost 35 Super Rugby games in a row to New Zealand opposition, which is more than Malcolm Turnbull has lost consecutive news polls. If Australian rugby has not got the wherewithal to break this cycle, the game will just go around in ever diminishing circles.

    Whatever RA decides to do, it must act before the expiry of the current broadcast agreement in 2020, which may well be Australia’s last chance to get the balance right between income, expenditure and results.

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    Bret Harris does not address the real problem that Sanzaar and Super Rugby are now dead dogs, ever since the introduction of Argentina, Japan and the conference system. Sanzaar have lost their audience in Aus, NZ and RSA. People don't watch even their own teams , when they play at funny hours of the night or morning.
    Twiggy is right. The future of rugby, depends on moving to time-zone based competitions.

    RA needs to pull all the teams out of Sanzaar and join Twiggy's IPRC/World Series, even if NZ dont want to initially. And let Twiggy's team of professional sports administrators/promoters run the competition for heavens sake. RA can run the Wallabies.

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    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    This is the same codswallop that was trotted out last year- cutting teams isn’t the problem! $6 mill is saved where? It’s the RA who are the problem, doesn’t matter how much money is available, it just means more for their greedy snouts to snaffle away into their offshore trust accounts or wherever all the previous $ have gone(believe Cox is STILL being paid!). Clyne & Board are interested in only 1 thing-squeezing rugby coffees dry.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    It appears that Ms castle has finally grown enough backbone to tell Clyne she's not making a stupid announcement like that and cam has called his lapdog Brett Harris to do the dirty work.

    If killing the force was a financial disaster that had no impact on results and alienated a significant proportion of the rugby viewing public, not just in WA, then what possible impact would come from doing exactly the same thing to the brumbies (Melbourne is a protected species remember)

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    My 2 bobs worth is this
    1. Clyne and co need the boot.
    2. Kafer and all the other hangers on need to stop feeding from the teet.
    3. Stop paying over rated and under performing players who can't hold their own. Start rewarding inform players and more performance based pay structure.
    4. The players, coaches, administrators of the game have got to start to realise the game is now in an entertainment industry. Play and administer entertainment and the crowds will come hence incentive based pay plans. Fark me it makes it hard to attract new people when all some teams want to do is kick goals and play negative shit. The kiwis figured it out years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    It appears that Ms castle has finally grown enough backbone to tell Clyne she's not making a stupid announcement like that and cam has called his lapdog Brett Harris to do the dirty work.

    If killing the force was a financial disaster that had no impact on results and alienated a significant proportion of the rugby viewing public, not just in WA, then what possible impact would come from doing exactly the same thing to the brumbies (Melbourne is a protected species remember)
    I reckon the noose is tightening around that oxygen thief's head.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    And yet, they wheel out the matt too much story to justify cutting yet another team.

    Matt EFT years ago, mainly because he wasn't being selected in the wallabies in favour of an underperforming gimp. Matt would still be playing in Australia if selection for the wallabies was in any way performance based, but Foley over anybody, Hooper over pocock, the continued selection of Nick phipps, the continued ignorance of defence naivalu, Scott far dying never being used as a lock even though he was better than any other lock until Adam Coleman showed up, the years it took Coleman to be selected all these decisions are the key reasons our best players are overseas, reducing to three teams only narrows the selection pool further, at least, once they go to two, nobody will question the selection of heartland juniors over capable athletes

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    So a Rebels/Brumbies mix playing 4 matches a year in Melbourne and 4 in Canberra is the best outcome?

    It's worked so well for the Sunwolves that they've moved away from playing half their games in Singapore (they play 6 in Tokyo, 1 in Hong Kong and 1 in Singapore this year).

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueandblack View Post
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...per-rugby-cull

    Bret Harris

    After a woeful round for Australian teams it may be time to think the unthinkable

    In an alarming round Australia’s Super Rugby teams – the Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels, NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds – all lost their games even though three of the matches were played on home grounds. It exposed the weakness of the Australian conference and also raises the unpalatable question: can Australia support four Super Rugby franchises and be competitive against New Zealand and even South African sides?

    Rugby Australia would have no appetite to cut an Australian team after the agony of culling the Western Force last year and that is entirely understandable. It was a messy and painful execution, which has left scars on the Australian rugby landscape, particularly in Western Australia.

    The reduction to four Australian teams was meant to make them stronger by re-distributing the ex-Force players among the surviving teams, but the evidence so far this season suggests RA did not go far enough. Australian rugby is operating in a false economy. When Australia expanded to five Super Rugby teams the prevailing wisdom was bigger is better, but history tells us less is more.

    The biggest problem facing Australian Super Rugby is the player drain to Europe. There are now more professional Australian players playing overseas than in Australia. While RA is still able to retain sufficient leading Wallabies to keep the Australian team reasonably competitive in Test rugby, it is the loss of talismanic Super Rugby players which is really damaging the game.

    Many of the Brumbies’ current problems would be solved by playmaker Matt Toomua, who is playing for English club Leicester, while flanker Scott Fardy’s outstanding form for Irish province Leinster is drawing comparisons with Heineken Cup hero Rocky Elsom. Boom backrower Sean McMahon has already been lost to Japanese rugby, while Reds five-eighth Jono Lance, Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro and Brumbies centre Kyle Godwin are leaving at the end of the year. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Australian rugby cannot compete financially with rich clubs in Britain, France and Japan for players, which means the game in this country has a stark choice – either it starts to find ways to generate more income to retain players or makes more cost-saving measures.

    The culling of the Force was a financial disaster for RA, but from next year it will have an extra $6m to spend annually and much of this money should be directed towards retaining key Super Rugby talent. If that is not enough to make a difference, Australia will need to seriously contemplate reducing the number of teams again to save more money which it can re-invest in the remaining sides to make them more competitive and marketable.

    Of course, Australia’s Super Rugby teams could make more money if more people attended games and watched on TV, but that will not happen while teams are not performing satisfactorily and they will not perform while quality players continue to leave. It’s a vicious circle. Three strong and competitive Australian teams would help to generate revenue by attracting crowds to games and viewers to television sets. It is not the number of teams that generate income, but the number of eyeballs watching.

    Also, concentrating Australia’s talent into three teams would help to enhance the cohesion of the Wallabies and make them more competitive, which would also be good for the financial health of the game. It is worth remembering the last time the Wallabies held the Bledisloe Cup in 2002 there were only three Australian Super Rugby teams.

    So if you had to make the cut, who would it be? Clearly, the heartland states of NSW and Queensland are too big to fail because between them and the Wallabies they generate the vast majority of the broadcast revenue which underpins the professional game in Australia.

    After what happened with the Force, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for RA to come wielding an axe at the Brumbies or the Rebels, but a merger between the two teams, an idea which was floated during the Force culling saga, could help to solve the twin problems of Australian competitiveness and commercial viability.

    The iconic Brumbies brand is a valuable asset which should not be lost if that can be helped, but growing the game in Melbourne, a city of four million people, is potentially important to the future of the code. A scenario in which the Brumbies play half of their games in Canberra and half in Melbourne could be the answer, but that outcome would need to be negotiated with all parties agreeable.

    Australian teams have now lost 35 Super Rugby games in a row to New Zealand opposition, which is more than Malcolm Turnbull has lost consecutive news polls. If Australian rugby has not got the wherewithal to break this cycle, the game will just go around in ever diminishing circles.

    Whatever RA decides to do, it must act before the expiry of the current broadcast agreement in 2020, which may well be Australia’s last chance to get the balance right between income, expenditure and results.
    Really!! They are so stupid over there.. no account for the loss of fans to super rugby or the wallabies by cutting the Force, no mention of the loss of money coming from Force sponsors, merchandise etc just the saving of 6 million for what keeping the RA in money to pay more consultants.. so annoying 😡

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    Why are you letting it annoy you Jules? The WSR and the Force are building to a nice strong thing. if we can get on board including trying to introduce new people as well top make it strong. Don't get mad, get even. Those idiots over there are gonna get their come uppance. It's already starting to happen. When you read most of the forum posts now the majority are starting to see the shit results and are now starting to voice and vote with their feet. Even some die hard Rebels fans are starting to see the shit about to hit the fan.

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    (Previously WFDS) WFDom's Avatar
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    Only way to prove them wrong is to vote with your feet.

    Fill NIB!

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    Great game, Fucken battled right through to the 80!

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    Pack and Pumping is how Triggy wants NIB. It how I want it at well. Club land has to mobilise.......

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    (a.k.a. Mr Pinkbits) Stone Cold's Avatar
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    In the same vein. It would be better to only have the one team in Super Rugby. It would save a lot of money...

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    coz Stone Cold says so

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone Cold View Post
    In the same vein. It would be better to only have the one team in Super Rugby. It would save a lot of money...
    But then that team would be the Waratahs and they would be the sole supplier of talent for the wallabies Actually, that's no change from the current situation so it'd probably work.

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    What a fool.
    In the beginning of the article he is whinging about the player drain to Europe, which was caused by cutting a Super Rugby team.
    Then later in the article he suggests dropping another super team, which will cause another wave of players to go off-shore.

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