There must be some positives about Australian rugby, right?

moondoggie Roar Rookie

By moondoggie, moondoggie is a Roar Rookie

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    Finally a decision about Super Rugby has been made.

    One thing that really strikes me about the reaction to cutting the Force is that it’s the wrong decision, but very little has been said about the right decision to keep the Rebels. There is sure to be further legal action, but I find it pretty unlikely that the decision will be changed, certainly before 2018.

    But it’s time to put the whole sorry saga behind us and attempt to unify Australian rugby. Despite the negativity surrounding the game, there has to be something positive to look forward to, right?

    For starters, the biggest match of the year is just one week away. The Lions showed that the All Blacks are in fact human, so an opportunity exists for the Wallabies to claim their first major scalp in some time. One can hope, anyway!

    After the poor showing in the June series, the time is now for Michael Cheika to show his worth as a motivating coach and instil some belief in his charges. The game needs the boost of a respectable showing, so win, lose or draw, let’s hope the hard work we’ve been hearing about delivers some positives. And despite the Wallabies’ performances in the last two years, the international game in general is in great health.

    The NRC gets underway in a few weeks, which, despite minimal traction within the rugby community and indeed beyond, is a great competition achieving its primary objective of providing opportunity in a high-performance environment.

    According to Rugby Union Players Association, of the 53 players to debut at Australian Super Rugby clubs in 2017, over 70 per cent previously played in the NRC. Dave Wessels, Nick Stiles and Dan McKellar have all also been head coaches at NRC level prior to taking up Super Rugby head coaching roles.

    Having watched a bit of the Shute Shield on 7Two, I feel like there has been a step up in quality recently, which can only be helped by the NRC. It would be great to get some NRC games on free-to-air like they have with club rugby.

    I applaud the creation of a national coaching advisory panel, and let’s hope Rod Kafer can create a culture of high performance and inclusion among coaches nationwide. They must also ensure that Dave Wessels is put in charge of the Rebels immediately. He seems to be the best young coach in the country, so simply put he must take over at the Rebels.

    Securing Mick Byrne’s services will also be a major long term boost to the professional game. It will take some years for the effects to show, but his appointment is a change for the better.

    The clear out of the ARU executive also presents the chance for serious cultural change. Let’s hope they can appoint some independent, innovative sports administrators without ties to state-based factions.

    There needs to be clear two, five and ten year plans to solidify and expand the game, with key issues including stopping the player drain to Europe and Japan, re-engaging disenfranchised fans, building the national profile of the game – including greater media coverage and more free-to-air games – and perhaps hosting the 2027 World Cup.

    These are challenging times indeed for the game they play in heaven. As a rusted on fan, I need to think there will be some long term improvements – if nothing else, my own sanity depends on it!

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    The Crowd Says (144)

    • August 13th 2017 @ 7:14am
      concerned supporter said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      Yesterday I watched the Shute Shield playoff between Manly (1st) and Eastwood (6th)Ch 7 TWO.
      The match was played in front of a noisy & animated crowd at Manly Oval, (close to a full house)
      Eastwood won 40-29, a very good advertisment for Rugby.
      Please dont let this Cameron Clyne or Roger Davis get their stained and grubby hands on Club Rugby.
      The ARU released their “strategic plan” for Rugby in 2016.
      The ARU have tuned their back on their own “strategic plan”, Their seems to be a massive loss of confidence by the Australian Rugby public in the ARU Bioard.

      • August 14th 2017 @ 1:01pm
        The Fatman said | August 14th 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

        No. there is no positives.




        no one cares.

        • August 14th 2017 @ 6:14pm
          Uncle Eric said | August 14th 2017 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

          ‘No one cares’. By virtue of this comment Fatman you’ve negated your own argument, as you clearly care enough to say your piece, as trite and pointless as it is. My earnest plea to you is to go away and find some other outlet for your inane viewpoints.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 8:19am
      Haradasun said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      Yes the shute shield is blossoming probably due to no aru involvement. Looking forward to the new national comp with brisbane rugby and the force.

      No interest in nrc sorry. Its a development pathway for players not a game for club supporters.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 11:00am
        Jock Cornet said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        Yeah ARU don’t come near the Shute shield. Everything you touch turns to crud. The wallabies are going to be absolutely destroyed next weekend and people have lost all confidence and soon won’t go. Losing the western force is the least of our worries. Get rid of the ARU is our only hope of saving rugby. Le Revolution is required.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 7:21pm
          Realist said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

          Ditching your beloved Waratahs including Chieka, Hooper, Hannigan and co is the only way forward at Test level Cornet. Lucky for you the ARU have no interest whatsoever in upsetting that applecart.
          Who cares about the breakdown anyway – it’s not as if the Wallabies were more competitive prior to 2013 right?

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2017 @ 8:28pm
            eagleJack said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

            I think you mean 2003. That’s the last time the Wallabies were competitive.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 10:43am
      platypusFC said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:43am | ! Report

      “But it’s time to put the whole sorry saga behind us and attempt to unify Australian rugby.”

      Yeah right. The game is now shattered more than ever.

      Cannot wait to see a half empty stadium for the first Bledisloe. Maybe then the ARU will realise how much damage has been done through their sheer incompetence.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 12:49pm
        Ruckin' Oaf said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

        Can’t wait to see what the crowd’s like for the Perth test.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 3:16pm
        PiratesRugby said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

        I’m relieved that the Rebels survived but I cannot express any pleasure while the Force suffers. And even though the Rebels live on, the goodwill we have with members, sponsors, fans and the sporting public has been badly effected by the protracted process and relentless undermining.

        • August 14th 2017 @ 7:23am
          NaBUru38 said | August 14th 2017 @ 7:23am | ! Report

          Uruguay has 16 professional football teams in First Division, and Australia can’t have 5 professional rugby union teams? That’s absurd.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 10:47am
      Carltonian said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

      VFL cum AFL was similar to Shute Shield up until the 1980s. Then they decided to build a competition for a national tv audience. So they sent the broke South Melbourne to Sydney, the rest evolved since.

      Could Sydney rugby union take up the challenge and build a competition to be attractive to a national tv audience, or at least the Sydney and Brisbane markets?

      The NRC competition won’t ever amount to much I am afraid.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 11:35am
        DaveJ said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        I’m a rugby supporter, but you cant compare Shute Shield to VFL pre-80s. Even in the 1950s they were getting 100,000 plus to finals games. The only limited was the size of the MCG. It probably had as big attendances as any sport around the world, perhaps excepting soccer in South America. And the best players from other states were all playing in Victoria by the 70s. Just shows how fanatic they are about in Melbourne. Maybe another reason to drop the Reds.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 10:36pm
        Matt dustby said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

        You are rurally inaccurate

      • Roar Pro

        August 14th 2017 @ 12:42am
        Crazy Horse said | August 14th 2017 @ 12:42am | ! Report

        Shute Shield is just local Sydney rugby, just one of several Premier Grade competitions. Nothing more. Sacred to Sydneyites but the rest of us don’t give a stuff about it. We’ve got our own comps/

        • August 14th 2017 @ 5:47pm
          Nicolai said | August 14th 2017 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

          Crazy Horse – AGREE!!!

    • August 13th 2017 @ 11:01am
      Jock Cornet said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

      Get rid of the NRC. It is pointless. Why change the rules.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 8:26pm
        Baz said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:26pm | ! Report

        Did you even read the article about how many super players coming thru nrc? But of course Shute shield greatness is we’ll reflected in the waratahs of 2017, or a, I wrong and tans are crap for some other reason

        Try thinking about the need for a national code and stop dreaming of the amateur era

        • August 14th 2017 @ 10:08am
          Jock Cornet said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          See you and your dog at an NRC game. The amateur era was way more professional than today’s amateur hour. The wallabies are atrocious and would not make the 90s side .

          • August 14th 2017 @ 2:18pm
            Perthstayer said | August 14th 2017 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

            JC – other than saying “Get rid of the ARU” you provide bold statements backed with no alternative solutions.

            Sowing your statements together above seems to suggest NRC is the cause of WBs downfall? If so where will the supply of players to SR come from?

            NRC provides cross and inter state rivalries. More rivalry will see the fun of derbies return. Crowds are lower than hoped but channeling players has worked well.

            The more “rugby supporters” that attend NRC would improve the comp even faster. Alternative suggestions on a set up that provides a flow of domestic players would be useful.

            More Aussie players channeled upwards can only be a positive in the face of European migration.

            • August 14th 2017 @ 5:51pm
              Nicolai said | August 14th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

              Agree with BAZ and Perthstayer — BUT DON’T AGREE with Jock.

              The reason that AUS rugby is in the current BAD state is that NRC started 30/50/100 years to late.
              Just have a look at NZ and South Africa as an example and see what NRC type competitions do for Rugby.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 11:17am
      Ex force fan said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

      I have lost interest in the ERU team. I hope the AB put 50+ on them and that all the Force players are not available for the game against the Boks in Perth. I hope the stadium will be empty and that the Boks put another 50+ on the ERU team. May this tore Australian rugby apart, bankrupt the ERU until we get a Board selected that will be the custodians of rugby across Australia. There is no moving on from me after this disaster.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 6:07pm
        Redsfan1 said | August 13th 2017 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

        The Force were created by ripping the guts out of the Reds. Ensuring years of poor results for both teams. In a small playing pool I watched Brisbane players going West to play in front of tiny crowds in a AFL state.

        In that time, and for all the emotional talk, WA didn’t do much. Nearly all players were from NZ, SA or the East so didn’t help grow the game at all.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 10:22pm
          Bakkies said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:22pm | ! Report

          The Reds were a mess not the Force’s fault their up and coming players left. Poor results and a revolving door of coaches. The Force weren’t the only team to recruit from the Reds around that time, players left to go to the Brumbies (Chapman, Moore, Heenan) and the Tarts.

          The Force had 20,000 members and were averaging around 30,000 in their first two years so no they didn’t play in front of tiny crowds.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 10:38pm
            Matt dustby said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

            You are rewriting history there
            They have been woeful from th cbeginning when they ripped apart the reds

            • August 14th 2017 @ 8:19am
              Bakkies said | August 14th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

              The Reds destroyed themselves dustbin. What sane player would have stuck around when they were bottom of the log and sacking coaches year in, year out?

        • Roar Pro

          August 14th 2017 @ 12:45am
          Crazy Horse said | August 14th 2017 @ 12:45am | ! Report

          15 players in the current Force squad are the product of Rugby WA development. This includes several Wallabies and if Cheika actually picked on merit would be several more.

        • Roar Rookie

          August 14th 2017 @ 10:50am
          piru said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          I watched Brisbane players going West to play in front of tiny crowds in a AFL state.

          No you didn’t, we were averaging 25-30k crowds in those days.

          • August 14th 2017 @ 8:36pm
            Matt said | August 14th 2017 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

            The Force’s season ticket holder numbers were so high that they had to stay at Subiaco because NIB Stadium was too small.

            That it has shrunk by such an extent is an indictment on SANZAAR, the ARU and RugbyWA.

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