Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: Bledisloe Cup has become a sideshow to rugby's boardroom circus

  1. #1
    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    5,559
    vCash
    5500000
    Dry July! Ex-Staff MO-vember Donator TWF Contributor!

    Bledisloe Cup has become a sideshow to rugby's boardroom circus

    By Paul Cully
    October 3, 2020 — 12.01am

    The Wallabies and All Blacks will play a Bledisloe Cup Test in Wellington on Sunday week but Southern Hemisphere rugby is hurtling towards basketcase status so fast that you wonder if there is anything worth shouting for.

    The past few months have been an embarrassment. So much much for the opportunity to map out a post-COVID utopia. Instead, bastardry and buffoonery have stepped up in equal measure, and the heart sinks.

    Who's winning the boardroom battle between Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby? Sane folk stopped keeping score when they realised the pointlessness of it all (although, for posterity, let the record show NZ Rugby is in disarray).

    Rugby Australia boss Hamish McLennan on Tuesday described the relationship "at it lowest ebb".

    But that was on Tuesday – there was plenty of time for it to get a whole lot worse by the end of the week.

    And so it came to pass.

    Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, the self-serving billionaire (sorry, philanthropist), had been talking to New Zealand Rugby behind Rugby Australia's backs all along.

    Here's the chronology of that curious Faustian pact.

    In early July, a well-placed Super Rugby source in New Zealand told this column that there was a wild idea about the Western Force "joining" New Zealand.

    How we chuckled. It was like one of those blue-sky ideas that occasionally pop up in a company brainstorming session, which older heads nod along to and quietly wait to disappear.

    But it didn't. It kept doing the rounds until the point that a quiet inquiry was placed into Rugby Australia about a month ago to check its veracity. They hadn't heard anything. They still didn't know anything on Thursday. They did not know.

    As for NZ Rugby, its Super Rugby strategy seems to be to bring Rugby Australia to its knees before it brings them to the negotiating table, denying them their funder of choice (Forrest) and preying on the current lack of a broadcast deal.

    Smart, that – hoping that the only possible ally you might have left is weakened to the point of extinction. A truly cunning plan.

    South African rugby boss Jurie Roux must be lighting up cigars as he surveys the dumpster truck ablaze to his south.

    This week, Roux took South Africa into Europe's third-rated competition (the Pro14's best team, Leinster, were recently exposed by Saracens), thereby turning rugby in South Africa into a bizarre summer/winter sport, in which they will entertain sun-stressed Irishmen in a South African summer one week, and then travel to winter in Wales the following week.

    And yet, despite the absurdity of that competition, Roux appears to have struck the best deal of the week – it certainly looks better than New Zealand's plan to fling three new franchises into Super Rugby in 2022.

    Goodness knows what broadcasters and sponsors make of this bag of nonsense. In New Zealand, Sky was so panicked about South Africa's move north that it issued a statement to the NZ stock exchange to reassure investors it still had the rights to SANZAAR products.

    But here's the news. The Rugby Championship is dead. Maybe not now, or even tomorrow, but it's coming. Have a look at the Pro14 calendar, then the Rugby Championship calendar, and tell me how it still works.

    We should be talking about the rugby. We should be talking about how there is a storm coming for the Wallabies forwards next weekend.

    About how the All Blacks will tap into a sense of grievance about being asked to spend Christmas in quarantine (do you think they care about the finer details of the argument?) and carry that into every collision.

    About how men like Matt Philip, Lukhan Salakaio-Loto and Harry Wilson need to stand up to this coming storm – driven by hard-nosed All Blacks assistant coach John Plumtree – or else there will be Wallabies blood and guts strewn all over Sky Stadium in Wellington.

    We should be talking about Dave Rennie and Ian Foster, for goodness sake, a storyline so rich a million words could be written about it but there would still be new angles.

    But we aren't because the men in suits can't who run the show can't even agree what board minutes are.

    What an absolute, fair dinkum, grade-A shambles.

    From SMH

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

    Exile
    Sydney


    Oracle of Reality

  2. #2
    Veteran Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    4,935
    vCash
    5194000
    TWF Contributor! 141 Club Award
    Hard to disagree with any of that!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Senior Player
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    894
    vCash
    5548000
    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Hard to disagree with any of that!
    How can you agree with describing Andrew Forrest as a "self-serving billionaire" after he has dipped deep into his pocket to keep the Force and club rugby in WA alive for the last 3 years?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  4. #4
    Veteran Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    4,935
    vCash
    5194000
    TWF Contributor! 141 Club Award
    I was thinking more the points made rather than the language used, but given the Force has all but confirmed they are doing exactly as rumoured, I am sure that 'self-serving' is one of the nicest things being said about him in the halls of Australian rugby. I don't imagine he would or should care what people think, but such descriptions are in the eyes of beholder and most of those beholding will be wondering "WTF?"...

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  5. #5
    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    5,559
    vCash
    5500000
    Dry July! Ex-Staff MO-vember Donator TWF Contributor!
    my concerns with the Force joining Super Rugby Aoteroa are this:

    Will the Force be based out of (probably) Bay of Plenty and play their home games there. That will be 2 years straight of the Sea of Blue not having a home game in Perth.

    Has Dr. Forrest (bless him) said that Force games will be played in Perth but he will cover the cost of the Kiwi teams flying to and from Perth? Is accommodation included as well?

    If the Western Force are playing in Super Rugby Aoteroa and they wish to be competitive in that competition than the recruiting drive needs to be much stronger. And the number of Force "old boys" or WA produced players will dwindle dramatically.

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!

    Exile
    Sydney


    Oracle of Reality

  6. #6
    Player
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Brabham
    Posts
    237
    vCash
    5002000
    Hopefully joining SR Aetora is just negotiation postering. Be a good way to kill of interest in Rugby in WA except for rugby die-hards. The time zone is problematic too for Friday night away games. Given the finances of RA it might just be Twiggy assuring a back up plan and rugby for WA if RA decide finances don't stretch to the Force again or the entry fee is Twiggys right arm.

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  7. #7
    Veteran valzc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Shenton Park
    Posts
    2,709
    vCash
    5566000
    “.....bring Rugby Australia to its knees before it brings them to the negotiating table, denying them their funder of choice (Forrest) and preying on the current lack of a broadcast deal.”
    What makes RA believe Twiggy is saving them or even the fact they’re entitled? RA still haven’t sorted out ANY setup for coming seasons, and not even looking very positive, so why the hell shoudn’t the Force be looking at alternatives? I’m sure recruiting is with this in mind. The level of playing NZ teams can only give the guys better exposure, better benchmark. They could find it hard at first, but a great building curve for the future.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  8. #8
    Senior Player
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    894
    vCash
    5548000
    These discussions between Hodgo and NZ were reported in The Australian a month ago by Wayne Smith, who is more understanding and said:

    It might seem ingratitude by the Force to even be contemplating a trans-Tasman move after they have just been invited back into the Australian rugby fold. Yet it was not charity behind RA’s invitation but a crass need for a fifth team to give the Super Rugby AU competition credibility. After being unceremoniously culled from Super Rugby in 2017, the Force does not owe RA anything.

    “Whatever we are presented with, we will take the best option for the Western Force, that’s for sure,” Hodgson said. “We can’t just look at what 2021 is going to present but what does the future hold. That’s where we need to look at it. Align ourselves to make sure that the Western Force is secure in whatever path we take.”

    There seems no malice in the Force sounding out the NZ Rugby. But after spending three traumatic years on the outer, they can hardly be blamed for now using Forrest’s considerable financial might to their own advantage.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  9. #9
    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    5,559
    vCash
    5500000
    Dry July! Ex-Staff MO-vember Donator TWF Contributor!
    at the end of the day there has been nothing reported, that Dr. Forrest have accepted a deal from RA for the Western Force to rejoin Super Rugby after 2020.

    or that there has even been an offer made.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

    Exile
    Sydney


    Oracle of Reality

  10. #10
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mandurah
    Posts
    13,532
    vCash
    5550000
    The Bronze Star of Faith TWF Contributor!
    No matter what anyone thinks of AF and his business practices, it's HIS fuggen money!! I've been amazed as well as a little dismayed at the sense of entitlement some of these ES wankers seem to think OZ Rugby has to Forrest's funds. It's like keeping the best options for the Force open, given the farce RA has become and still is, is some kind of betrayal, FFS. Give yourself a giant uppercut Cully.

    3 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by shasta; 05-10-20 at 17:39.

  11. #11
    Champion andrewg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1,337
    vCash
    5544000
    Paul Cully is little more than a sycopohant for Rugby Australia.

    Andrew Forrest HAS NOT "been talking to New Zealand Rugby behind Rugby Australia's backs all along".

    It was Rugby Australia who requested for all Oz teams to stick together but WF informed them openly that the WF would be making a separate submission in order to ensure that all options were available.

    RA is broke - as are the other 4 Oz franchises.

    The playing in SRAo option appears to available only from 2022 so it's reasonable to expect that there will be Perth and away (in NZ ) games by then.

    The NZ teams have always pulled the biggest SR crowds in Perth so we can expect that to continue.

    Fiji and BoP are both GRR teams so would expect some level of Forrest involvement in both of these teams.

    What's not to like about this possibility? I'd be happy to get across to NZ to watch some games on a regular basis.

    Certainly better than just waiting for RA to screw us again as/when it suits them.

    3 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  12. #12
    Veteran Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    4,935
    vCash
    5194000
    TWF Contributor! 141 Club Award
    Agree that Mr Forrest is free to do with the Force as he wishes. But there is no avoiding the consequences of various choices, one of which being that aligning solely with NZ would be exactly the sort of declaration of independence from RA that they were at pains to avoid with GRR. Unless it is all somehow done with RA approval, there will be no games in WA. And if they are breaking away from Australian rugby, the no games in WA may extend to GRR too.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  13. #13
    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    7,108
    vCash
    5480000
    TWF Contributor!
    If RA can’t get a decent TV deal for super rugby, there will be no RA for AF or the WF to deal with as it will be insolvent, dead, buried and cremated.

    I’m very happy for AF to negotiate with whomever he pleases if it means that WA can have a professional rugby team to support and for our youngsters to aspire to.

    4 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Proudly Western Australian; Proudly supporting Western Australian rugby

  14. #14
    Player
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    perth
    Posts
    187
    vCash
    5104000
    AF at the beginning of SR Australia said that going forward there had to be fundamental changes at RA before he would commit to a future in the comp . There has been no change .... so he looks elsewhere.

    3 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  15. #15
    Veteran valzc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Shenton Park
    Posts
    2,709
    vCash
    5566000
    Time is rapidly running out for RA to have some kind of comp setup on the coming season. Is there actually a deadline date as to whether anything is even going to happen? The other franchises must be starting to shit themselves with nothing yet resolved.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 20-04-17, 08:04
  2. Mundine fight circus
    By .X. in forum Public Bar
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 11-02-13, 21:05
  3. Alternative Rugby Commentary Bledisloe Promo for C7
    By KenyaQuin in forum Public Bar
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-07-08, 19:12
  4. Replies: 40
    Last Post: 17-03-08, 12:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •