Who can blame broadcasters for wanting a Super Rugby restructure?

Will Knight Columnist

By Will Knight, Will Knight is a Roar Expert

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    It’s a sad indictment that when Australia’s Super Rugby teams now travel to New Zealand, the prevailing mindset is one of damage minimisation.

    Wins seem almost fanciful, losses inevitable.

    The trip to Auckland to face the Blues is the only clash – to any sane Strayan rugby fan – that truly offers any hope of jagging a precious victory.

    The other four foes have the potential to humiliate, as the Melbourne Rebels found out in Round 2 when they were hammered 71-6 by the Hurricanes in Wellington.

    Depressingly, the Waratahs’ 38-28 defeat to the Canes a fortnight ago is about as good as it currently gets: blasted off the park in the first half and in all sorts of trouble down 33-7, the Tahs showed a fair bit of ticker against a bruising opposition to edge reasonably close.

    Nonetheless, they were never a realistic chance of knocking over the reigning champions. The 10-point losing margin was honourable.

    Trips across the Tasman have been the competition’s most arduous for many years, but certainly over the past 12 months the gap between the five Aussie sides and the five Kiwi teams has widened and the inequality shows few signs of receding. It’s a harsh reality.

    This season’s 12 straight losses to Kiwi teams proves travel isn’t the only impediment to victory.

    Matt Hodgson Western Force Super Rugby Union 2017 tall

    The Brumbies take on the Hurricanes in Napier tonight and it could get ugly. Already red-hot, there are enough Hurricanes who have aspirations to win an All Blacks jersey for the first Test against the British and Irish Lions.

    The Hurricanes are at odds of $1.12 to win; the Brumbies at $8.

    In fact, this round of Super Rugby looks like the perfect example of why the broadcasters are so keen to urgently reduce the number of teams to improve competitiveness.

    Out of the eight games, four or five could conceivably be blowouts.

    The Roar’s erudite rugby fans will be aware of the discrepancies in form and class of some of this round’s adversaries.

    On top of the Canes-Brumbies, the Waratahs ($1.06) face the Kings ($9.50), the Lions ($1.13) take on the Jaguares ($6.05), the Highlanders ($1.002) meet the Sunwolves ($81), the Western Force ($5) host the Chiefs ($1.18), the Crusaders ($1.13) are at home to the Stormers ($6) and the Rebels ($6.50) are in Durban to battle the Sharks ($1.12). The remaining clash is – at least to the bookies – relatively even with the Bulls ($1.36) against the Cheetahs ($3.15).

    Hopefully we’ll see some boilovers. But for now it can be regarded as a fairly straightforward tipping round.

    So who could blame the broadcasters for bemoaning the lack of close matches and therefore their push for the much-maligned restructure?

    For Fox Sports, they’ll be lobbying SANZAAR and the national unions to deliver a trimmed-down format that resembles the competitiveness of the NRL and AFL.

    If you take the NRL as an example, you could argue that just about all 16 teams have a chance of beating any other team on any given day. There are many factors in play, but it’s a big reason why Fox Sports often get TV ratings of around 250,000 for NRL games. They will probably be cringing at what numbers the Tahs-Kings match tonight will dish up.

    The ARU decision on which Australian team is being cut is likely for next week. It’s arguably a bit easier to deliver the news if the Rebels or Force have been carved up, which is entirely possible.

    There’s plenty of doom and gloom around Australian rugby, but fast forward to next year when there are four teams and the quality has been condensed.

    Hopefully for Australian fans, the impending Super Rugby reset will bring optimism that matches in New Zealand – and even at home – won’t need to be viewed nervously with the solid dose of dread that currently lingers.

    Will Knight
    Will Knight

    An AAP writer for more than a decade, Will Knight does his best to make sense of all things cricket, rugby union and rugby league, all while trying to have a laugh along the way. You can find him on Twitter @WKnightrider.

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    The Crowd Says (91)

    • April 21st 2017 @ 7:50am
      Pinetree said | April 21st 2017 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      “Depressingly, the Waratahs’ 38-28 defeat to the Canes a fortnight ago is about as good as it currently gets”

      How about the Brumbies losing 17-14 to the Crusaders in Christchurch in round one? They stayed in the game for the whole game, unlike the Tahs playing catch up 2nd half rugby, and the Brumbies only lost by 4 points.

      • Columnist

        April 21st 2017 @ 10:05am
        Will Knight said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

        Yep fair enough. That’s certainly as close as an Aussie team has got over there this season…

      • April 21st 2017 @ 10:07am
        Pinetree said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        “How about the Brumbies losing 17-14” whoops, that score was meant to read 17-13

        • Roar Guru

          April 21st 2017 @ 7:12pm
          Cadfael said | April 21st 2017 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

          The Tahs game against the ‘Canes looks great compared to the Brumbies. They only beat us by 10 after leading by 33.

    • April 21st 2017 @ 8:01am
      James P said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Or the Rebels v Chiefs where it was 14 all with 10 minutes to play …

      • Columnist

        April 21st 2017 @ 10:04am
        Will Knight said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        that was in Melbourne. I was mostly focussed on the forlorn attempts to win IN New Zealand…

      • April 21st 2017 @ 10:16am
        Pinetree said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        As Will says, the article was talking about games in NZ, but I think that the Reds/Crusaders game in Brisbane would of been a better example if we were talking about games in Aus as well. The Reds lost 20-22 and the Crusaders made a very late comeback.

    • April 21st 2017 @ 8:10am
      concerned supporter said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

      Will,
      Do you have proof that reduction of Super Rugby teams will result in closer games?
      Will culling an Aust. Super Rugby Team be detrimental or beneficial for Rugby in Australia?
      Have you watched all Super Rugby games this season?
      Has anyone in Australia watched all Super Rugby games this season?
      Should the Six Nations competition ditch Italy to improve the standard?
      Many sports go through their ups & downs, Australian Super Teams are currently down.
      Egg on your face if an Australian Team wins this weekend.
      Plenty of doom & gloom from you.
      Foxtel lost AUD $ 244 M -six months ended 31 December 2016.Read Page 5 on the following links:
      “http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20170210/pdf/43fx5zppljz7l0.pdf”

      Do you go to any club rugby games?

      • April 21st 2017 @ 9:45am
        ads2600 said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        Great post concerned supporter. Foxtels loss in revenue, is surely down to over pricing. Every household in my Court (14 houses) has ditched Foxtel for the much cheaper Nextflix, Stan, et al. And I wait for half an hour after every game to catch the replays, for free on YouTube.

        • Roar Pro

          April 21st 2017 @ 12:20pm
          Crazy Horse said | April 21st 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          Which is exactly what I’ll be doing if the Force is axed.

      • Columnist

        April 21st 2017 @ 10:10am
        Will Knight said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        No of course there’s no proof. That’s impossible. Can be guided by logic though – and taking away a team should boost the quality of the four teams.
        I’d love an Aussie team to score an upset this round. Have you tipped any Aussie teams apart from the Waratahs?
        And the ARU should commit whatever savings they make on one less Super Rugby team directly to club rugby and other grassroots programs. Non-negotiable.

        • April 21st 2017 @ 10:35am
          concerned supporter said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

          Will,
          The savings should be 1/5th of AUD $ 57 M = AUD $ 11.4 M
          But less payouts:
          Some of those payouts would be:
          a/ ARU Legal Expenses
          b/ Contract Payouts to up to 30 players, and coaching & support staff.
          c/ Recompense, damages to WF or MR.
          d/ other expenses which will certainly arise.

          Maybe these expenses would be greater than AUD $ 11.4 M?
          What then?

          • Roar Guru

            April 21st 2017 @ 1:05pm
            Train Without A Station said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

            You are considering if one off expenses are going to be greater than income, and ignoring the future income for 2019 and 2020.

            Secondly, there will not be payouts for up to 30 players.

            There will only be obligations for players under contract beyond 2017. As most contracts are 2 years now, common sense this will be somewhere between 10 and 20.

            But then between the other teams, there will also be between 40 and 80 players off contract, so you don’t consider how many of these are picked up under existing expenses. If another franchises wants to lock in a Force player I’d imagine they will pick up the tab (by pick up the tab I mean include it in their cap as the ARU pays all salaries anyway).

            As for coaching and support staff. Again, how much is on contract beyond 2017? Many will merely be on typical employment agreements and made redundant.

            With coaches the ARU will likely honor their contracts to remain in Australia, however if an overseas offer comes up they would need to gain a release to take up a longer term offer.

            Then there’s the fact that if the Force are cut there are no damages. They are posting losses. The removal of their Super Rugby obligation removes their financial liabilities so therefore they are at no loss. The only financial liabilities are those that that ARU have to take on which you have already mentioned.

            • April 21st 2017 @ 1:14pm
              concerned supporter said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

              TWAS,

              I am not a lawyer, are you?

              As well as damages for losses of a financial nature, there are other damages for other areas.

              Maybe a lawyer could explain?

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:20pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

                I’m not a lawyer, but I know enough to understand that to sue for damages, you need to demonstrate loss, otherwise you have no damages.

                The Force can try and achieve a judgement to enforce specific performance certainly. But that is to keep them in the competition.

                If the Force are cut, there will be no damages paid to the Force/RugbyWA as there is no financial loss as a result of the action.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:23pm
                Fionn said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

                It depends completely on the contracts, concerned supporter. You’d have to be privy to the contracts to know these details. There is simply so much variation in contracts that can vastly change the meaning of them.

                If the ARU have been aware of the need to cull a team for some team then you’d think they have been smart enough to write all contracts in such a way as to minimise the possible damages and legal challenges they face.

                That being said, the way they backflipped from ‘we will tell you which team is being cut in 72 hours’ to ‘oh wait, they’ve threatened legal action [what a surprise!], now you’ll have to wait an unspecified length of time to find out who is being cut’ doesn’t fill me with optimism that they’ve structured the contracts brilliantly.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:32pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                Fionn, I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure that backflip was purely because the Force got an interim injunction.

                Now I may be wrong and rt can correct me if he reads this, but it essentially means the court has decided that the Force merely have enough of a case to not warrant it being immediately dismissed without consideration.

                Perhaps rt can shed some light on how often interim injunctions are achieved on cases that are ultimately lost anyway.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 2:04pm
                Fionn said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

                You’re essentially right, TWAS. If it was a short-term legal stop-gap that means the Force can’t be gotten rid of before the court has heard the arguments of both sides to judge whether or not the Force have a case that can proceed.

                They’re pretty common, and they’re used by the courts to ensure that one party doesn’t breach the contract before the other side can prove to the court that the other side would be breaching the contract with their action: for example, if a business decide to demolish a building, a certain group might go to the court and get a temporary injunction to stop it being demolished before the court got a chance to decide whether demolishing it was legal.

            • April 21st 2017 @ 2:25pm
              concerned supporter said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

              TWAS,

              Just spoke to a lawyer.
              There is a lot more to damages than for financial loss.Below is a link for the definition of damages by reputable people.

              “http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/damages’

              Read it if you have time.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 2:42pm
                Fionn said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

                Concerned, I’m not a lawyer, but I did study lawyer.

                Most damages in Australia are compensatory (e.g. the Force/Rebels would be compensated for any losses due to the ARUs breach of contact, if there is a breach of contract).

                It is usually in America that you get massive punitive damages awarded.

        • April 21st 2017 @ 12:40pm
          Unanimous said | April 21st 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

          Guided by logic?

          The Aussie salary cap exempts Wallabies pay. This results in the Waratahs and Reds (and to a lesser extent the Brumbies) getting much better team lists than the Rebels or Force. There has been very little dilution of talent with 5 teams. The Reds and Waratahs have both won their only championships while there has been five teams.

          The expansion has simply lead to the addition of two dud teams purely because the ARU has put things in place to protect the traditional teams. The poor performance of all teams last year and this is due to an ordinary bad period occurring for the Reds and Waratahs (and to a lesser extent the Brumbies) which all teams go through sometimes, together with the fact that the expansion teams are given no chance to get equivalent lists of players.

          Cutting a team will simply result in one less dud team. It will not make the other teams better. They may improve anyway due to different coaching, game plans, or something, or they may not, but the traditional Australian teams are not weak because of a dilution in players.

          • April 21st 2017 @ 12:49pm
            James Pettifer said | April 21st 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

            The ARU are seriously crazy here. How can you create expansion teams and then ensure that they have a significantly lower spend on players.

            Last year the Rebels finished 12th with a $5.1 million salary cap. The Waratahs finished 10th with $7.6 million. I’m sure if the Rebels had a little bit more spend, then they would have won one more game and finished ahead of the Waratahs.

            If anything good is to come out of this ridiculous farce perhaps we can look at having a salary cap including the top ups. And yes I know this means that the Waratahs will lose players to either the Force or the Rebels (who ever survives) but that it the point of a salary cap.

          • Roar Guru

            April 21st 2017 @ 1:06pm
            Train Without A Station said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

            They haven’t put things in place to protect the traditional teams.

            They’ve put things in place to protect the Wallabies.

            This benefits teams that produce and retain Wallabies.

        • Roar Pro

          April 21st 2017 @ 1:24pm
          Crazy Horse said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          Don’t write off the Force. They have won over the Chiefs at home before.

      • April 21st 2017 @ 12:46pm
        markie362 said | April 21st 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

        Whn they cull a team all the good players will go overseas.super lists will get clogged upby mediocre players with the odd gem howd this improve anything.are the kiwis going to get worse cos australia s lost a team.i dont think so

    • April 21st 2017 @ 8:17am
      concerned supporter said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      70%, yes 70% of Australians 21 & under, being those who do not have Foxtel, have never watched a Super Rugby Game.
      How many millions would that represent, do you think?

    • Roar Rookie

      April 21st 2017 @ 8:19am
      Paul D said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      “fast forward to next year when there are four teams and the quality has been condensed”

      Its a shame that the problem isn’t the players but the coaches, and even with sending McGahon or Wessels to the soup line you won’t fix the dire lack of quality that remains.

      There is no one close to a McQueen, Jones, McKenzie, White or Cheika among the current crop. And that is the biggest difference between now and previous years of success in my opinion. Australian Super Rugby teams have generally always had at least one experienced and quality coach at one of the franchises that has got them into the pointy end of the competition. Since Cheika, Mckenzie and White moved on, look how far the Waratahs Reds and Brumbies have fallen off the pace.

      Unless the Brumbies can recruit a star coach nothing will change next year either.

      • Roar Guru

        April 21st 2017 @ 2:09pm
        Cadfael said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

        100% agree with you. When you look at the same old same old tactics week after week it is hard to lay all the blame on the players. Most of those who have gone overseas have been a roaring success. So why not here. Gibson isn’t the answer at the Tahs, neither is Larkham at the Brumbies but he goes at seasons end anyway. Getting good coaches for our sides is essential and if that means poaching from other countries, fair enough.

    • Roar Guru

      April 21st 2017 @ 8:24am
      sheek said | April 21st 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

      Will,

      This is the hypocrisy of SANZAAR & the broadcasters then, they want a more even, competitive, tighter comp, like the NRL you say, but which doesn’t include culling the Sunwolves.

      Oh no, we can’t get rid of the Sunwolves, they are the gateway to our fortune in Asia.

      Yeah well, The Donald & Uncle Kim might change that very soon.

      It was the Sunwolves who were part of the original problem, to wit, the ridiculous structure thrust upon the sporting public. In addition, the lack of balls by SANZAAR to stand up to the ANC demanded Kings inclusion.

      So because SANZAAR basically stuffed up because they were too greedy & too needy, someone else, like an Aussie province, has to suffer.

      There’s no doubt Australian rugby has imploded, or is imploding, with evaporating talent & poor coaching.

      The urgency therefore, is to fix these two significant problems, not cull teams.

      Besides, I recall super league telling us way back in 1995 that a smaller comp will mean grand final matches every weekend. That never happened. There were still plenty of dud matches.

      And it won’t happen here if super rugby reduces back to 15 teams. In my humble opinion, super rugby is outdated.

      • April 21st 2017 @ 9:31am
        mania said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        nah sheek. bottom line, wolves bring money. they bring a huge asian tv audience
        what does force and rebels bring that the other 3 dont?
        wolves won their first game a lot sooner than either force or rebels did.
        this conference system was well in place and fking things up long before wolves came along
        aru (and SARU) were greedy too asking for 5 teams to increase their revenue when a lot of people were pointing out that y’all couldn’t sustain it.
        sorry i disagree that its just the coaches fault. the quality of the players ultimately comes down to the players.
        u can have the best coach in the world with bad cattle and still lose. in fact i think the WBs made that point during Deans era.

        • Roar Guru

          April 21st 2017 @ 10:35am
          sheek said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

          Mania,

          A lot of what you say is true, & I know that, but I don’t care.

          Australia comes first. It might mean withdrawing, regrouping & then moving forward again.

          We don’t have the player quality of NZ, but we have a bigger market that we can potentially tap into.

          Sure, it’s not Asia, but it’s home.

          Talking to my rugby mates & reading comments on Facebook, many rugby fans want their provinces back in Australia, playing in time friendly zones on Aussie grounds before Aussie audiences.

          Initially, watching Aussie derbies will be hard to take, because the talent has dropped out the bottom, but we have to start somewhere.

          And there’s no place like starting at home…..

          • Roar Guru

            April 21st 2017 @ 10:37am
            sheek said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

            TBH, I don’t give a stuff about the Sunwolves.

            The Cherry Blossoms aren’t a part of the Rugby Championship, so we don’t need Sunwolves in super rugby.

            The Japanese prefer football, baseball, wrestling, boxing & marathon running in any case.

            • April 21st 2017 @ 12:15pm
              mania said | April 21st 2017 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

              sheek – why aren’t you in the ARU? obstinate characters like you who don’t give a d4m bout whats “proper” but willing to do what is right never would’ve let aus rugby get to this state.

              I fully agree that aus needs to sort out its domestic situation. however that could mean aus getting kcked out of super, which might not be such a bad thing in the long run if it forces the ARU to actually address its domestic environment and grassroots.

              I don’t have the answers. I just have ideas.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 3:29pm
                sheek said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                Mania,

                I don’t care about Sunwolves & frankly, at present, i don’t care about NZ, SA or super rugby.

                I care about Australian rugby. There’s enough rationalists here telling ARU & everyone else what they should do.

                It’s not always about the money, although I acknowledge I’m probably wrong about that.

                Anyway, I’ll have my say until the decision is made, which will probably be to cull an Aussie team, in which case sayonara from me.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 6:01pm
                sheek said | April 21st 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

                Mania,

                Yes, you’re right, I am obstinate about many things.

                It took me 50 years of hard life-experience to become obstinate.

                And if you’re around my vintage, say about 60 or so, you’ll understand precisely what I mean by that.

            • April 21st 2017 @ 1:04pm
              Darwin Stubbie said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

              and Aussies prefer football, AFL, NRL, cricket, netball and swimming – you can make an argument fit any form you want to take – you don’t give stuff about the sunwolves – others could easily say the same about all 5 Aust franchises … The thing is this is an international competition – either you’re in or you’re out

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:10pm
                Fionn said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

                Do you ever stop spouting clownish comments? How can you even pretend there is a similarity between the Sunwolves and the Australian teams.

                Super Rugby, along with the Rugby Championship, is built completely on the Tri-Nations countries. Argentina is becoming more and more important, but at the end of the day it is still basically about NZ, SA and AUS. Japan is a money-making scheme rather than an integral part of SR.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:12pm
                piru said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                The AFL looks after the AFL
                The NRL looks after the NRL
                Shouldn’t the ARU worry about Australian rugby?

                Why is the ARU looking after Japanese rugby at the expense of one of it’s own teams?

              • April 21st 2017 @ 3:21pm
                Lostintokyo said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

                The ARU states it is cutting a side as they can’t afford five teams. Cutting the Sunwolves will send the ARU closer to bankruptcy as the bigger Sky deal was in part due to Japan’s audience being added.

                You are mixing things up on emotional grounds. The Sunwolves were dragged into the comp due to money.

              • April 21st 2017 @ 1:28pm
                Darwin Stubbie said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

                and SR, TN and SANZAAR are about what ?? … Money – duh ? … before racing in to score quick points why don’t you stop and try and comprehend … the sunwolves are in and part of the competition that’s a fact which isn’t going to change – and clearly that means that SR isn’t just built on the TN countries … the fact that some Aussie supporters don’t give a stuff about them can equally be spun around and compared to whether fans in the other competing countries give a flying toss about some of the Aust franchises – that shouldn’t be that hard to work out

                quite simply Piru because they’re bleeding money and they need to remain in a competition that pays the bills and one that is sustainable

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:33pm
                Fionn said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                That’s not what you said, Darwin Stubbie, you said ‘you don’t give stuff about the sunwolves – others could easily say the same about all 5 Aust franchises’, don’t try and change what you said now that we’ve pulled you up on the nonsense you were trying to pull.

                ‘the sunwolves are in and part of the competition that’s a fact which isn’t going to change – and clearly that means that SR isn’t just built on the TN countries’

                The point being that they don’t need to be part of the competition, champ. Apparently SARU wanted to get rid of them, and it was NZ and AUS that were for keeping them. Your argument that they are integral to SR is ridiculous.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:36pm
                piru said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                Darwin you’ll need to explain to me how the Sunwolves being walloped by every Aussie franchise is going to generate more cash for the ARU than the Force playing derbies against them.

                And how the f… does a Japanese team that can’t compete make the comp sustainable?

              • April 21st 2017 @ 2:14pm
                Darwin Stubbie said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                Er I know exactly what I said and in fact I repeated it and I haven’t changed my position … the original poster clearly stated he didn’t give a stuff about the sunwolves – all I’m saying other supporters from other countries could have a similar viewpoint about the the Aust franchises … the thing being this is a multinational competition which is broadening into new markets and the arguments around why both Arg and Japan were included have been rehashed … I never said whether I considered them integral (or in fact if they should be in) – all I said was they were in – hence SR is more than the TN countries – an obvious observation I would have thought … happy to come back an explain anything further if you still can’t grasp logic …

                Piru not being privy to financials it’s hard to say … but it seems Japan is is seen as a growth market and Aust in failing one on a number of fronts – if the franchises are bleeding cash (and the payouts over the years suggest that most aren’t operating well) then I’ve always said that if the ARU were offered the same level of revenue with the payoff being the need to cull a side they’d jump for it … which appears to be what’s occurred

              • Roar Rookie

                April 21st 2017 @ 2:25pm
                piru said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                Let’s for argument’s sake say that Japan is a growth market and there’s money to be made.

                How does that benefit the ARU?
                I mean you could maybe argue that if all of SANZAJAR does well they by extension will do well, but I still don’t see why the ARU sees it as their role to promote Japanese rugby ahead of Australian rugby.

                We could go in circles all day I suppose as none of us really know

              • April 21st 2017 @ 2:37pm
                Darwin Stubbie said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                It’s exactly that … the more $ generated via broadcast deals the better the revenue split for the ARU … it’s then up to them to use it in their own patch to grow the game

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 3:11pm
                Fionn said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                Darwin Stubbie, you could well be right about Japan being a good growth market, maybe it is a good financial decision, but the argument that ‘the fact that some Aussie supporters don’t give a stuff about them can equally be spun around and compared to whether fans in the other competing countries give a flying toss about some of the Aust franchises’ is completely irrelevant. Japan doesn’t have a veto in SANZAAR, Australia does.

                I don’t care if an English person or a Japanese one or a Kiwi or a Safa or even if an Aussie doesn’t care about the Australian teams, it’s irrelevant, because the ARU does care about Australian rugby, and it is the ARUs job to represent the best interests of Australian rugby.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 3:24pm
                sheek said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                DS,

                Original poster that you responded to has a name – Sheek.

                Feel free to quote me. As long as you’re accurate I don’t mind.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 21st 2017 @ 3:29pm
                Paul D said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                Japan doesn’t have a veto in SANZAAR, Australia does

                It was not about whether the ARU chose between the Sunwolves or an Australian team was cut. By all accounts the ARU went to the meeting with the intention of cutting a team, irrespective of the Sunwolves participation.

                You can argue the merits of that all you like, but it has nothing to do with whether the Sunwolves are in Super Rugby or not.

                I think Japan has an important role to play in SH rugby. In the long run I’d like to see Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship make way for a 6N type tournament. With each partner country focusing primarily there own domestic competitions. The lack of domestic footprint will be the death of Super Rugby whether we have 4 or 5 teams in Australia.

                I believe the ARU needs to limp through a shoddy period without going completely broke while it builds the NRC. Hopefully then we’ll have more domestic rivalries in a slightly expanded NRC, and more Wallaby tests to spread across the country by way of a 6N comp including Japan and a PI presence.

            • Roar Pro

              April 21st 2017 @ 1:25pm
              Crazy Horse said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

              +1000

      • April 21st 2017 @ 9:56am
        Bugaluggs said | April 21st 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        Sheek as always you are spot on.

        This competition is very short sighted and holding back the game in Australia. It limits opportunities.

      • Columnist

        April 21st 2017 @ 10:19am
        Will Knight said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

        Good points Sheek. Sunwolves have been a flop but they’re only a season-and-a-bit in. The Western Force have been battling away for 11 SEASONS now – and have finished mostly 12th to 16th. The Rebels in 6 seasons have finished 10th to 15th. Based on this, the Sunwolves probably deserve a crack over the Force. It’s a shame Jake White is headed to Japan. A coach of his calibre – one feels – could spark the Rebels.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 21st 2017 @ 10:44am
          piru said | April 21st 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          the Sunwolves probably deserve a crack over the Force

          So let the JRU champion their cause, why is the ARU doing so at the expense of its own?

        • Roar Pro

          April 21st 2017 @ 1:29pm
          Crazy Horse said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

          Before the bye, having only played 5 games, the Force were second in the Australian Conference. Two wins and a bonus point loss against the Tahs. Only defeats were by the undefeated Crusaders in Christchurch and the conference leading Brumbies. Beaten but not disgraced in both games.

          • Roar Guru

            April 21st 2017 @ 1:34pm
            Train Without A Station said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

            WOW!

            2 whole games!

            But seriously, what’s to say the Force will win another game all year?

            The Rebels were something like 0 from 5 but they’d also faced 4 NZ teams that haven’t lost to anybody but an NZ team.

            It’s hard to judge anything with a small section of a draw, as everybody has vastly different opponents. Perhaps this is just the easiest part of the Force’s draw (may also be the hardest).

            • Roar Rookie

              April 21st 2017 @ 1:39pm
              piru said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

              Agreed TWAS, but the results are actually pretty good compared to the rest of the Aussie conference.

              I suppose that’s part of the problem but it’s hard to see how cutting a side will improve that.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:48pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

                I don’t think it’s meant to to.

                It’s just meant to save money to trying and build up participation (to create more fans long term) and have more money in the piggy bank when the next one comes knocking with the hand out.

            • April 21st 2017 @ 2:39pm
              Crazy Horse said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

              Beat the Reds and came close to beating the Tahs without McCalman or Hodgson and with 11 of the 23 home grown.

              This week against the Chiefs is a big ask but the Force have beaten them before at the same venue. BTW the forecast is for “possible storm Saturday afternoon”.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 21st 2017 @ 2:56pm
                Paul D said | April 21st 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                You lost the set piece, possession, territory, penalty count, the breakdown and missed 4 times as many tackles against the Waratahs short their own share of players, including Foley.

                The only thing reasonably close in the game was the score line.

        • April 21st 2017 @ 6:09pm
          davSA said | April 21st 2017 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

          Its a shame all round . I know he has aspirations of another test gig but the way forward would clearly have been better in Australia than Japan. He cant get a job in SA because he is too outspoken . Its a pity.

      • April 21st 2017 @ 4:58pm
        davSA said | April 21st 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

        Yes Sheek . All the expanded competition has done is expose the underlying issues which were there all along. Keeping the Sunwolves as a long term investment seriously strengthens the Kings case for inclusion.

        Cutting teams to improve standards is a pipe dream. Merging teams smacks of desperation.

      • April 22nd 2017 @ 8:10am
        Deano said | April 22nd 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

        @Sheek
        “So because SANZAAR basically stuffed up because they were too greedy & too needy, someone else, like an Aussie province, has to suffer.”

        No. An Australian franchise has to go because it makes a huge loss and propping it up will eventually bankrupt the national union. The decision was Australia’s…just as the decision was to browbeat SANZAR into accepting the Force and Rebels in the first place.

        The structure of the competition had to change because the spectator and TV viewer numbers have plummeted.

        SANZAAR: the new strawman for Australia. You can accuse it of anything you like because that’s far easier than facing the unpalatable facts about rugby in Australia.

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