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There must be some positives about Australian rugby, right?

moondoggie Roar Rookie

By moondoggie, moondoggie is a Roar Rookie

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144 Have your say

    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 @ 11:39am
      Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

      Nope … none

    • August 13th 2017 @ 11:40am
      Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

      You reap what you sow… so I’ve no sympathy at all for Wobbly rugby… good job. “4 more years”? More like never ever again…

      • Roar Rookie

        August 13th 2017 @ 4:53pm
        SolidGold said | August 13th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

        “Four more years” – Still the best sledge of all time ??

        • August 13th 2017 @ 5:46pm
          Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

          Was ok… but the irony is that it was exactly that arrogance that led Wobbly rugby to the joke they are. So like I said “never ever again”.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 8:21pm
            Me said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

            How bout you take your anti aussie c#@p to a new zealand site pal. Oh wait…

            • August 13th 2017 @ 10:17pm
              Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

              Insular much… lol you’re exactly the reason why Wobbly rugby is such a joke. Enjoy what you’ve created, you deserve it.

              • August 13th 2017 @ 10:40pm
                Matt dustby said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

                You must be a delight to have at a party

          • August 14th 2017 @ 12:44pm
            Ruckin Oaf said | August 14th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

            Wow a die hard NZ Rugby supporter who’s also completely embittered and ungracious.

            What are the odds of that ?

            How can a country produce such exceptionally good players and such exceptionally poor supporters ?

            (In the interests of balance it should be noted that there are some exceptionally good supporters too)

            • August 14th 2017 @ 1:53pm
              Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 14th 2017 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

              Call it how it is… funny how Wobbly supporters play the victim when Aust sports fans are world renowned for their arrogance.

              • August 14th 2017 @ 9:19pm
                Ruckin' Oaf said | August 14th 2017 @ 9:19pm | ! Report

                No I’m pointing out that you’re behaving like a dill. That’s not playing the victim that’s just pointing out that you’re behaving like a dill.

                If you could see past the chip on your shoulder you might have worked that out yourself.

              • August 14th 2017 @ 10:03pm
                Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

                why just like you say.., telling it how it is… Wobbly rugby is rubbish and it’s own arrogance is to blame…

              • August 15th 2017 @ 5:55am
                Ruckin' Oaf said | August 15th 2017 @ 5:55am | ! Report

                So in 2003 that wicked George Gregan said something so mean and nasty that you’re still recovering from it. And that’s the reason for the current Wallaby slump.

                I realise that fan can be short for fanatic, but maybe you could try to stop short of the kind of fanaticism where you lose the ability to think clearly.

              • August 15th 2017 @ 10:22am
                Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 15th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

                It’s just one example of Australian arrogance, you really want me to list all of them. But I especially like this one, as it’s turned out. “Never ever again” hahAha

              • August 16th 2017 @ 6:25am
                Ruckin' Oaf said | August 16th 2017 @ 6:25am | ! Report

                Never huh sure, like the Yanks will never lose the America’s Cup, the English will never win back the Ashes, Cronulla will never win a premiership, and you’ll never get over Gregan.

                Well at least one of those statements is true I guess

      • August 13th 2017 @ 5:13pm
        Fionn said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

        Might be time you built a bridge and got over it, champ.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 7:55pm
          Jacko said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

          I doubt he could read the plans Fionn…at least not until a detox

        • August 14th 2017 @ 7:40am
          Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 14th 2017 @ 7:40am | ! Report

          Over it? Mmm 15 years of AB’s dominance has taken the edge off a little.

          • August 14th 2017 @ 8:42am
            woodart said | August 14th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

            dont be like them humble in victory. kia kaha.

      • August 14th 2017 @ 3:56pm
        Jake said | August 14th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

        You claim Aussies are playing the victim yet you’re hanging onto George Gregans astute observation after 14 years?
        I’m glad that it affected you much and continues to do so.

        • August 14th 2017 @ 10:05pm
          Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

          I like my astute observation better “Never ever again” just rolls off the tongue.

          • August 14th 2017 @ 10:07pm
            Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

            And I use Georgy Grogens infamous call to highlight that kind of arrogance that has led Wobbly rugby to where it is now… mmm so worth it …

    • August 13th 2017 @ 11:41am
      Rhys Bosley said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

      No mate, there are no positives, Australian rugby is in for a rough ride and this is not the worst things will get.

      The primary problems with Australian rugby is disunity, greed and selfishness, and the ARU has reinforced those attitudes with this decision. Now we won’t be able to solve problems like for example central player management, because by dishonestly screwing over the Force the ARU has shown that member unions cannot trust it enough to hand over any power to it. The very governance model that Clyne has been whinging about will be here to stay irrespective of who is in charge, because the root cause of the problem are selfish attitudes in the member unions. Roger Davis of the NSWRU said as much “I am unequivocally selfish on this” when it came to where the money should go from cutting the Force – NSW.

      I also anticipate that the supposed windfall coming to community rugby from cutting the Force will be cannibalised by professional pay rises within a few years. The Waratahs or Reds will want to pay more league players to switch codes and they will go cap in hand to the ARU, and the player’s agents will put the screws on during salary negotiations, because the pay in league and overseas is so much higher. And the female players are now expecting to be paid the same as the men, something I don’t have a problem with if Women’s rugby is going to be run as a genuine profit making venture, but I see no plan out of the ARU that will make it happen. The professional women’s game will just become another net cost that will eat into the savings and one that would be politically impossible to cull. I would also expect that the ARU will make a loss from test matches held in Perth for quite a while to come, Western Australians aren’t going to want to support the Wallabies after this.

      So the ARU might shut up a few vested interests for a few years by throwing a bit of cash their way, but I reckon we will have nothing to show for the destruction of the Force within three or four years time.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 2:42pm
        Haradasun said | August 13th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

        A centralised model probably better than the current state of state bickering. I heard a rumour that the aru were deliberately trying to bankrupt the state unions so they could step in and hand down a centealised model. Geez maybe get some professional admistrators in to administer the game!

        Id love to see rugby develop their own digital broadcasting model like a netflix subscription and gain some independence from the short sighted objectives of news ltd

        • August 13th 2017 @ 5:39pm
          Stephen C said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

          This already exists in the form of Rugby Pass –, but it is not available in Australia. Nothing a VPN won’t fix.

          • Roar Pro

            August 14th 2017 @ 12:49am
            Crazy Horse said | August 14th 2017 @ 12:49am | ! Report

            Thanks for that. Turned on my VPN and there it is.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 9:25pm
        BeastieBoy said | August 13th 2017 @ 9:25pm | ! Report

        Rhys exactly right. The Force only cost them $5m over 12 years and they had a billionaire ready to back them. The game was growing over there with plenty of expat Saffas and Kiwis too. They got rid of them cause they were the easiest Legally too. All to keep a third rate Japanese Team in Super Rugby at the expense of an Australian one. AND.. we get to keep the expensive Board that got us into this mess. South Africa will move their competition out of Super Rugby with 5 years to a more friendly time zone. How does blooding less players help Australian Rugby depth?

        • August 13th 2017 @ 10:42pm
          Matt dustby said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

          Some untruths there.
          They did not cost 5 million – it was much much more
          They were not improving 6-9 is bad

          They have a couple of wallabies but that’s a one off and not going to continue

          • Roar Pro

            August 14th 2017 @ 1:01am
            Crazy Horse said | August 14th 2017 @ 1:01am | ! Report

            1. The Force suffered major injury problems early in the piece but once the full squad was available (except Ben McCalman) they were more than competitive. They lost to the Tahs by 6 points in the opening round then beat the Reds and Rebels twice each before finishing with an absolute shellacking of the Tahs. Along the way, they also beat the Jaguares and Kings, something the Tahs couldn’t do. Despite the disgraceful behaviour of the EARU hanging over them all season this dynamite young squad only got better as the season progressed. THe prospects for 2018 and beyond were very bright.

            2. These same players along with others brought in from the Pindan Premier Grade are the reigning NRC Champions under the Perth Spirit name.

            3. The local competition has already produced several wallabies. They are the first products of a 12 year program that is just coming to fruition. There are many more in the pipeline. The junior representative sides are full of talented youngsters all dreaming of a place in the Force and then on to the Wallabies. Those dreams have been shattered with not justification given.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 11:43am
      TT said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

      “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.”

      That, I think, my Ozzie friends… Is the root of all your ill’s and will continue to be until the NSW/Queensland voting power base on the ARU is diluted fairly and equitably between all state unions.

      Very sad to see..

      C’mon Ozzies, sort it out will ya!

      • August 13th 2017 @ 3:54pm
        Ben said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

        Too right, TT. Pro rugby is stuffed in Aus until the bickering maggots are gone…which won’t happen anytime soon as it’s institutionalised through to school boy level in NSW and QLD

    • August 13th 2017 @ 11:48am
      iSteve said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      I’m sorry moondoggie but I just don’t have the enthusiasm to think about th Wallabies after the Force being cut. My desire, motivation and interest are totally shot. I will not be following the Wallabies as a boycott and consequence of the ARU’s decision. They have lost me until such time as the Force are reinstated. I am gutted by this situation, however, that is price I am willing to pay. Tiddlywinks anyone?

      • August 13th 2017 @ 12:07pm
        Ex force fan said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

        Me too. I am a little bit worst, I will do everything in my power to make the ERU fail.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 10:42pm
          Matt dustby said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

          ERU -93% of Australia

          • Roar Pro

            August 14th 2017 @ 1:08am
            Crazy Horse said | August 14th 2017 @ 1:08am | ! Report

            1/3rd of Australia. They do not represent the two thirds of the country west of the Qld/ NSW/ Victorian borders. You know the bit where the money comes from to prop up the rest of the country.

            20 % of Australian Rugby players are registered to Rugby WA.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 12:17pm
      Yeats said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

      Shameful, corrupt and inept are all words that spring to mind. Well done eastern states rugby union – you got your wish. I think Rugby WA should be looking to Japanese Rugby just as the SARU is looking to Europe.Same time zone makes it very attractive. Best way to stop the player drain to Japan is to have a team there.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 10:44pm
        Matt dustby said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

        The Japanese won’t be interested in funding a team in Perth. Get real

        • Roar Pro

          August 14th 2017 @ 1:08am
          Crazy Horse said | August 14th 2017 @ 1:08am | ! Report

          We can fund our own. Money is something we have no shortage of.

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