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Thread: Global Rapid Ruggby in The Australian

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    Global Rapid Ruggby in The Australian

    Anyone able to read it. It's behind the paywall.
    The bit I can see says there was no nine-point try. Didn't the World side get one just before the break?


    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/spo...61c601d2e3dbae

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    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    Twiggy, the mad scientist of rugby
    MARCH 26, 2019
    No one got nine points for a try last week but, for the first time, the full nine-pointer was available. For the first time, also, a professional game was 70 minutes long. For the first time too, a red card was a 20-minute penalty, not the whole game.

    The game in question was in Perth last Friday night, when Western Force beat a World XV 26-16. More interesting than beating a World XV, though, was whether this may, in any way, change the world game.

    Rugby union stands at a critical point in its history. Last week, in Paris, leaders of the world game gathered to discuss how it may change to become safer, to protect players, to reduce injuries, particularly concussions. You may have read about it; my colleague, Alex Lowe, was in Paris reporting on it.

    You may say that such a summit was overdue and you would be right. The point, though, is that the leaders are embracing the phenomenal responsibility that happens to have landed on their shoulders at this time when the game’s very future is threatened.

    History will be the judge of how successful they were. It may also record the events that took place on the other side of the globe, two days after the Paris symposium had come to an end.

    It was with that Western Force game in Perth that Global Rapid Rugby was launched by Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, the local iron ore billionaire. Forrest describes his creation as a “petri dish” for the game in which experiments with rule changes can be conducted. He wants to see if he can get Rapid Rugby to grow. Having an Aussie’s can-do positivity and a wealth that has had him ranked for a decade among Australia’s top 10 richest people, he most definitely believes he can. When I spoke to him last week, he was pretty persuasive too.

    There is some backstory to all this. Two years ago, Western Force were one of the five Super Rugby franchises in Australia where, collectively, an unsustainable balance sheet and an even worse results sheet meant that something had to change. The decision taken by Rugby Australia was to euthanise one of the five franchises. When it decided that Western Force would be the one to go, it hadn’t accounted for Forrest.

    Forrest — known as “Twiggy’’ — led a sustained rearguard action. He underwrote Force’s legal challenge. When that eventually failed, he stuck two fingers up to the establishment and said: “Well you still can’t kill us off, Western Force might not be welcome in Super Rugby but they can play in my own international rugby competition instead.”

    Thus, last year, he launched World Series Rugby, a sequence of exhibition matches against teams from Hong Kong, Samoa and Tonga as well as some Super Rugby teams. He pledged, at the time, to have a proper league up and running for 2019, with teams from the likes of Malaysia and Sri Lanka. He hasn’t completely managed that; his 2019 edition is instead a 14-match “showcase series” from six venues including Hong Kong and Singapore.

    His masterplan may take some time — and I need some persuading that it will work. What is fascinating is what is in his petri dish.

    Last year, he trialled the “power try”, which earned a team seven points if they scored from an attack that started in their own 22. This year, that has been upgraded to a nine-pointer (though with no conversion).

    His thesis is that rugby has to adapt to survive. He wants to return rugby to a game that caters for all shapes and sizes. He wants family audiences rather than a beer-and-boys brigade. And he wants entertainment.

    “What the audience doesn’t like is the ball continuously being kicked out deliberately,” he said. “Running the ball is what people love to see. When the ball is moving, that is action, that is gold, that is what rugby can deliver. When you kick it out or slow it down deliberately, that is what turns audiences off.”

    How can rugby ensure a healthy future? It needs to be entertaining and it needs to be safe.

    From our conversation, Forrest sounded inspired marginally more by the former. He wants less stop-start and a 15 per cent increase of ball-in-play time. For instance, those teams in Global Rapid Rugby gain nothing from kicking the ball out on the full from within their 22; instead they concede a lineout from where it is kicked. This should bring longer periods of play and more pressure on the defending team to run from deep.

    Now it gets interesting. More ball-in-play time equals a more aerobically challenging game which requires athletes who are conditioned differently, with less power and more speed and endurance. Partly with that in mind, Forrest has reduced the game to 35 minutes each way. This has had it dismissed as rugby’s version of Twenty20 cricket. Whatever. More interesting, though, is what it can do for the game outside Forrest’s own private domain.

    At the Paris symposium, World Rugby discussed reducing the number of substitutes. Fewer substitutes would oblige more players to be conditioned differently — just like Forrest’s Rapid Rugby players.

    However, every change that World Rugby wishes to test needs to be trialled. Think about that: you want a whole league of players to recondition, just for a trial? That is a big ask. World Rugby is fortunate that Forrest is indirectly trialling this for them. It may not be such a surprise, then, that World Rugby gave Rapid Rugby the endorsement it required.

    As Lowe reported from Paris, World Rugby wishes to trial a new “50-22” law, whereby the attacking team would be rewarded with the lineout throw if the ball was kicked from within their own half and bounced into touch inside their opponent’s 22-metre line. The intention would be to persuade opposition wings to hang back to defend the kick — and this, in turn, would create space for an attack. It just so happens that Rapid Rugby is playing a version of this law change too.

    Forrest says that “it took guts for World Rugby to endorse” his competition. I am not sure how brave World Rugby was being, given that Agustin Pichot, its vice-chairman, is on the Rapid Rugby board.

    THE TIMES

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    I'm pretty sure the world 15 got a nine pointer

    Quote Originally Posted by valzc View Post
    Twiggy, the mad scientist of rugby
    MARCH 26, 2019
    No one got nine points for a try last week but, for the first time,

    THE TIMES

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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    How dare you impugn the professionalism and quality of eastern states journalism

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeansyjive View Post
    I'm pretty sure the world 15 got a nine pointer
    They did.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingbison View Post
    How dare you impugn the professionalism and quality of eastern states journalism
    That article was originally published in The Times (I presume the London Times, but who knows - it could have been the Hyderabad Times). The overall tone of the article was suprisingly positive though.

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Hahaha obviously that journo didnt even watch the game. What is his email so we can casually inform the journo that they are gutter trash at Georgina Robinsons level with the inaccuracies of their reporting.

    How can ththe east coast keep regurgitating this rubbish.

    When the World 15 scored a try and then didnt have to do the conversion, what was this journo actually thinking...

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Twiggy, the mad scientist of rugby
    MARCH 26, 2019

    His thesis is that rugby has to adapt to survive. He wants to return rugby to a game that caters for all shapes and sizes. He wants family audiences rather than a beer-and-boys brigade. And he wants entertainment

    MOD.....I thought we agreed you wouldn't go on about it....

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    Last edited by travelling_gerry; 27-03-19 at 16:27.

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPaRTAN View Post
    MOD.....I thought we agreed you wouldn't go on about it....
    I didnt agree to anything. Is censorship the new thing at TWF? Very dangerous precedent to set. Raising concerns should be encouraged and not condemned.

    You basically allow anyone else to throw stones at have petty little digs whilst they posting nothing of substance and yet delete a legitimate concern.. pathetic.

    Good luck backing the cheerleading boys club, this place will be a ghost town again before you know it. Similar to the way it was over Christmas before I got things moving again.

    Enjoy your little circle jerk

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    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    Time to play nice guys-abuse directed at other posters is the behaviour on other forums, not here.

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    Thank you for your feedback, we would welcome pre Spartan times.


    Besides...What have the Romans ever done for us?

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valzc View Post
    Time to play nice guys-abuse directed at other posters is the behaviour on other forums, not here.
    Unless ofcourse its directed at me, complete double standards, I'm happy to play nice but it works both ways.. I'm happy to take on a bully or two, but like always the cheerleading beer drinking bully brigade can't take their own medicine which I find hilarious. Throw stones, talk tough, and then quiver away in a corner with their lips trembling hiding behind a mod because they can't handle someone calling them out on their genuine nonsense and rose tinted glasses.

    Plenty of people here have raised concerns about the times GRR is on. Plenty. But the cheerleading boys club bully boys just drowned out those concerns without wanting to genuinely buy into the discussion, and that's on them for embarassing themselves. I think 11.5k fans speak for itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    Thank you for your feedback, we would welcome pre Spartan times.


    Besides...What have the Romans ever done for us?
    Are those the days when only newsbot posted happy birthday messages? Oh how we all yearn for those days

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    Rookie WF2404's Avatar
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    More from Alan

    RA’s tent collapsing on itself
    MARCH 28, 2019
    12:00AM March 29, 2019

    The board of Rugby Australia can no longer hide from their appalling indifference to the wellbeing of the game. The anger at where our game is, and is heading, is palpable.

    Last week I wrote that we were facing a rugby drought, the worst in rugby’s history. I’m grateful for one thing. Readers are writing to me and sharing their anger and disillusionment.

    In the last weeks I have received a tsunami of correspondence from a group that could be called loosely, rugby volunteers. It is a veritable rugby army and they have had a gutful.

    The chairman of Rugby Australia, the CEO and the board don’t seem to know these volunteers exist, let alone how to respond to their concerns.

    Rugby’s problems right across the board — in the performance of the Wallabies, of the Super Rugby teams, of the senior coaches — these problems are worse than ever.

    People are saying “how much further downhill do we have to go before the slide is arrested?”

    It is depressingly clear that the board of Queensland Rugby and the board of New South Wales Rugby won’t do anything or are powerless to secure appropriate change.

    The answer might be that the silent majority is not raising its voice, for as Tony Abbott said earlier this year: “When the silent majority remains silent, they’ll cease to be a majority.”

    There is an army of volunteers everywhere and they are demanding to be heard.

    If you just take Sydney alone, the statistics are staggering.

    Fifty clubs, 174 teams and 5257 players.

    Paid staff?

    One.

    An army of volunteers! But they will pay $180,000 in fees to the New South Wales Rugby Union. What the hell do they get for that? I venture to say not much. Think of it.

    Suburban rugby clubs field 32 colts teams. They have made endless representations to New South Wales Rugby. They want the standard of refereeing to be improved. They want the coaching to be improved. They want to see something of a coaching plan, which will assist clubs to develop talent. They need help with administration.

    And, of course, they need some money, call it grants, call it what you will.

    The simplest word is “action”.

    Surely there should be a website which can provide updated expertise for clubs to guide their players and their progress.

    Why not a “subbies” round at every Waratahs game. In 2018, the Blue Mountains club won the second division of the subdistrict competition and have been promoted to first division for the first time ever. The Blue Mountains are not far from Penrith.

    Those who run rugby, at state and national level, have abandoned Penrith and the west of Sydney. Andrew Forrest tried to give Penrith a life and incorporate them into his West Australian competition; Australian rugby knocked that on the head.

    Yet, rugby in Western Sydney is alive at grassroots level.

    When you have a competition, just in Sydney alone, suburban rugby, with over 5000 players, 174 teams, an army of volunteers and one paid employee and you compare this with the incompetence of the administration of the game at the Australian Rugby level with over 150 highly paid staff, you throw your arms up in dismay.

    Readers are writing to me and saying this massive army of grassroots rugby volunteers needs a Facebook page where their voice can be seen and heard — a Facebook page to be the voice of Australian grassroots rugby and its volunteers.

    Would that shake up the mob at headquarters? Consider this.

    The board of Rugby Australia no longer includes a director with any experience in a non-heartland union. Indeed, there is only one director with experience in the administration and management of a member union or a Super Rugby team.

    Why is it called Rugby Australia when seven directors are from Sydney and two are from Brisbane?

    This hardly reflects the appropriate level of diversity that the game warrants if it is to survive; let alone the necessary level of diversity that should exist in the administration of a modern, relevant and national organisation.

    Then you have this further nonsense, the Nominations Committee. This is shorthand language for saying put a system in place at head office so that head office can look after its mates and their hold on to power.

    The revised Constitution states that a Nominations Committee “must be established to source, consider and nominate persons for consideration to a Rugby Australia board of directors”.

    So, if you are committed, vastly experienced in the game as a former player with administrative experience and business acumen, what chance have you got of making it onto the board of Australian rugby?

    Well, you have to jump through this hoop called the Nominations Committee.

    Funny isn’t it that the chairman of that committee just happens to be the chairman of RA; and another person just happens to be someone elected by the directors of RA. Do you get the drift?

    As I wrote last year, you can’t get inside the tent. It has locks on it.

    The responsibilities of this committee include board appointments, reappointments and performance, together with the politically correct cultural and diversity obligations of the board.

    These are difficult tasks given that both members are on the Rugby Australia board. It gets worse. There is no process for nominating someone to the Nominations Committee.

    But as this committee is currently constituted, those who hold office on the board of Rugby Australia can prevent anyone with a differing viewpoint, or might I say with a viewpoint at all, from being elected to any position of influence or importance in Australian rugby.

    The Nominations Committee was established to help facilitate independence. That seems its last consideration. Worse, it appears that its composition and its role are not a priority for Rugby Australia. Why would it be?

    You have two of your own who can block anyone they don’t like and endorse those who commit to agree. The real rugby world is utterly disenfranchised.

    As I write, I’m not aware of what director positions are becoming available at this year’s Annual General Meeting.

    But if there are any, it is totally inappropriate that anyone wanting to nominate has to jump through this phony and unconstitutional Nominations Committee of two people, one being the chair of Rugby Australia whom most people in the game see as a rugby administrative eunuch.

    I might add, the Constitution allows for the tenure of the chair to be extended for up to an additional three years.

    Surely in the name of our game’s proud rugby history, we can start reform with one simple change: All members of the Nominations Committee must be independent of the board of Rugby Australia.

    The wellbeing of the game, is at best, secondary.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    The RA AGM is being held on 8 April. Maybe Alan should get those volunteers to form a picket line outside the building to greet the arriving attendees.

    Mind you, even the attendee list is controlled. I know that from personal experience.

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    Proudly Western Australian; Proudly supporting Western Australian rugby

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