West Australian rugby razed

robel Roar Pro

By robel, robel is a Roar Pro New author!

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    Rugby union in Western Australia has been abandoned by its supposed parent union, which must now be known as Eastern Rugby Union.

    The blatant and unnecessary extermination of the Western Force, the vital and only – but now extinct – Western Australia team has eliminated a pathway for young WA players to the national side.

    This most appalling and gratuitous act of self-destruction must be acknowledged as one of the greatest betrayals of a parent body on one of its subsidiaries in the history of Australia sport, probably a first.

    I am a Western Australia-bred player, my mother is a second generation West Aussie and my father in an Australian of the AFL persuasion. My brother and I are unequivocally rugby players, coaches and supporters – until now.

    All the great cultural attributes that I associate with rugby union have been abused by the new ‘ERU’. Mates on your team are meant to back you up, ruck over you to protect you, give you an encouraging word if you drop a pass, lift you in the lineout and bring you back to earth safely.

    There is plenty of opportunity for bastardry during a game, but rarely are any of those chances serized. Yet here we are. Betrayed.

    In hindsight none of this is surprising. It has been evident that ERU, over the entirety of the history of ‘Australian’ rugby union, has been at best indifferent, but this must now be seen as deliberate neglect towards Western Australian rugby.

    It must be acknowledged that even the awarding of the fourth franchise to Western Australia over Victoria was begrudging, especially in comparison to the concessions, money and hubris given to Victorian Rugby Union when awarded the Rebels franchise. This was the harbinger of the ERU’s betrayal of RugbyWA.

    I feel so utterly betrayed, so absolutely eviscerated and flayed by the ERU; my first feeling is disbelief of the foolishness of alienating the third largest source of registered players in the nation.

    Beyond the disenfranchisement of 10 per cent of the resource – WA has twice as many registered players as the next state – the state with only two AFL teams, one national football team and no NRL teams, cutting the Western Force is incredibly short sighted.

    Three questions have to be asked:

    1. Does anyone in the ERU really think it can take back this sort of opportunity or community support whenever it wants?
    2. Does the abysmal funding Western Australia has received relative to all over states now decrease further?
    3. Does the ERU only think of New South Wales?

    I can only assume the answer to all three question is ‘yes’.

    The only possible conclusion that can be drawn from all this is the ERU headquarters does not act for the promotion of the game at a national level.

    (Image: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

    The pathetic arguments for reducing the Australian conference to four teams have been shown to be absolute guff.

    First, the rugby public of Western Australia will not forget. We, whether born here of WA parentage or of our own volition, have been burnt, betrayed, stabbed in the back and are not likely to forgive in a generation.

    Second, the remaining teams will be stronger for only one or two seasons before reverting to the current or a lower ranking due to the reduced player pool.

    Third, the Force are financially secure beyond the level of all other Australian Super Rugby teams for the next dozen years.

    Four, the Force, full of locals and fringe players from the other states, at two-thirds the cost of NSW and Queensland, humiliated both states to win as many games as the Australian conference winner this year.

    Finally, fifth, allegations of a drain on ERU finances by the Force have been shown to be rubbish, and the greatest drains on the adminstration’s purse are still there and likely to become only more needy, no doubt to the further impoverishment of rugby in Western Australia. This was laid bare by the financial investigation by Alison Foskett posted on the Green and Gold Rugby website earlier this year.

    The huge sums of money spent on, the debt forgiven for and the probable future bailing out of the Rebels makes this argument by the ERU seem farcical. In the space of five years they have consumed more money than the Force has in 12 years.

    Where to now for the West Australian rugby fraternity?

    We enjoy rugby and will continue to do so, but we will not be Australian rugby supporters when Australian rugby does not support us.

    I hope my son and his mates will continue to enjoy rugby – playing, watching and mixing with others around the world – but I’m sure he will never feel as proud of the Wallabies from now on as he did before.

    This is the legacy Bill Pulver and his cronies have bequeathed Western Australia rugby, and it is a poison that could afflict the rest of Australian rugby as well.

    I’ll continue to be involved at a club level, but not for the ERU. I’ll be encouraging the local kids to go to France, England, Japan – wherever. The cost would be the same as heading to the east coast, but the experience would be a lot more fun and profitable as the opportunities inside Australia have just been slashed by 20 per cent, the weighted effect in Western Australia by even more.

    I can barely see myself barracking for anyone else other than the Wallabies, but it will be muted, even though I wish the very best for the West Australians in the side – though I’m sure there will be fewer of them over the coming years. I can see my support waning more as fewer have the opportunity to make it.

    The ERU board – all of them bar Geof Stooke – should be ashamed of themselves, and none of this Sydney-based administration is welcome in Western Australia anymore.

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    The Crowd Says (108)

    • August 13th 2017 @ 7:37am
      Gurudoright said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      As a New South Welshman I can only feel sympathy for you and your fellow Force supporters. It is obvious to every rugby supporter except the ARU that this was the wrong decision. I will wear blue to the Bledisloe on Saturday to show my support for the Force.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 9:28am
        Hannes said | August 13th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        After Stooke’s media release it is clear that the ARU Board must resign. The disgusting way this was handled goes all the way to the top. Robertson, Clyne, Eales, etc lost the trust of rugby supporters and must go.

        Rugby supporters still do not know what these “financial” reasons are or the criteria that lead to the decision to axe the Force instead of the Rebels Why the the secrecy, why did the CEO, CFO and COO exit the organisation as soon as they can. If the case to cut the Force is so clear why not state it? I think the Chairman F-ed up when he agreed to cut a team at SANZAAR as he did not know that there is only one team he can legally axe, the culling process was a farce, the ARU already planned to axe the Force when they signed the support agreement, there is no rationale case to axe the Force other than it is the team you can axe and the whole exercise was to protect Clyne’s bungle We demand a independent investigation to get to the facts.

        If you have emphathy or support the Force, please wear blue to all test matches. If you are in Perth, there is a public protest planned for the afternoon on 26 August, do not buy tickets to the Bok-WB game, however if you did wear blue to the game South African supporters instead of paying $90 a ticket, set up game and braai events across Perth with friends and post your support on facebook. Let’s make sure there is no-one at nib stadium in September as the $ raised at this game will finance the ARU litigation team. I feel for the WA players in this team that want to use the opportunity to show what they can do, but they need to consider if they want to play for an ERU team that will use the money raised from this game to fight your team. There are contractual issues involved but we need solidarity as this is a David vs Golliath battle and you can help to ensure that the ERU Wallabies is a ERU team when they play in Perth.

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

          The good news is Daly, Coleman, Philip, Naisarani, Arnold, Hardwick, Ross HP, Dane HP, Rona, Peni, Louwrens, Meakes, Ruru and Jono Lance can join Faulkner at the Rebels. The rest can collect a gold watch along with a few current token players in the Melbourne Squad (Stirzacker must be nervous after his last two seasons)
          I’d also take Wessells as coach.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 12:51pm
            Sheikh said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

            Moving the Force players (and coach) en masse to the Rebels to create an amalgamated side would certainly be a boost to the Rebels side, but I’d bet reasonable money that the Waratahs get first pick, especially of the likes of Coleman and DHP.

            • Roar Guru

              August 13th 2017 @ 3:07pm
              Timbo (L) said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

              After the way Cheik treated DHP earlier this year I doubt he will go anywhere near the Tahs.

              So he can play 14 to an ineffectual 15? You have got to be kidding. He and Rosco will be living it up in the south of France or the UK.

              • August 13th 2017 @ 4:24pm
                Sheikh said | August 13th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                I certainly hope you are right, Timbo. I wonder if Biarritz can afford them both; Dane seemed to enjoy his time there

              • Roar Guru

                August 14th 2017 @ 10:35am
                Timbo (L) said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

                Rosco named in the Australian team of the year and doesn’t get an invite to Cheika’s extended playing group. He is hot property and his stocks are on the rise. Dane could well be riding his coat tails soon enough.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 13th 2017 @ 1:18pm
            Kirky said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

            Realist, You can almost guarantee that no Force players will go to the Rebels, why would they?

            They’re a rubbish team badly run, poorly coached and are broke all of which indicates the Rebels as a team have no logical right to be there!

            Remember also the Force players can please their damn self where they go mate the ARU can’t force them to do anything whatsoever, so if you think the Force players are going to subsidise your no hoper team, you’re dead wrong!

            None of them want to go to any other Super rugby side than the Force so I hope that they all go overseas and tell the ARU to get stuffed, there’s a heap of Kiwi and South African ex pats in this side so they may just go back home and play where proper rugby takes place!

            • Roar Guru

              August 13th 2017 @ 3:04pm
              Timbo (L) said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

              Rebs should be looking for a new coach (Wessels) and the addition of some locks and inside backs could finish top of the conference.

            • August 13th 2017 @ 5:04pm
              Mark said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

              Rebels had more injured than fit players this year, after last years effort I was looking forward to this year but circumstances were against us. No doubt we need a better coach. I am very sad that Force has been axed due to the ARU mismagement of things.

              • Roar Guru

                August 14th 2017 @ 10:38am
                Timbo (L) said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

                Assuming the Force have no way back, I would imagine that many of us Sea of blue would feel better if our boys (and Coach) end up in Melbourne. It would be a pretty intimidating list that would easily beat the heartland franchises.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 14th 2017 @ 12:59pm
                piru said | August 14th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

                I’d consider that a slap in the face Timbo

        • August 13th 2017 @ 12:57pm
          lobby said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

          Unfortunately some of us have to go Hannes, my wife bless her, bought tickets for my birthday and with money being tight, there is no way we can not go and waste the money. I will be wearing blue and imagine I will be very silent.

          • Roar Pro

            August 13th 2017 @ 1:38pm
            robel said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

            If you already have a ticket go along, but please ensure you have the Force blue on.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 4:21pm
            andrewM said | August 13th 2017 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

            You won’t be silent Lobby – You’ll be chanting F U A R U with the rest of us!

            • Roar Pro

              August 13th 2017 @ 11:25pm
              Crazy Horse said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:25pm | ! Report

              Lead the chant, loud and long but don’t start until the TV goes live. Those with sports ears will know when that happens.

          • Roar Guru

            August 14th 2017 @ 10:42am
            Timbo (L) said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            Great option. It is going to be a pretty powerful Boks side, you will probably see history in the making. Unless of course, Chieka sees reason and changes his game plan and benches his entitled passengers. That is of course if he still has a job.

            • Roar Rookie

              August 14th 2017 @ 11:10am
              piru said | August 14th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

              I think the better option is to sell it out and wear blue.

              Poor attendance will just give the ARU* more ammunition

      • August 13th 2017 @ 6:18pm
        tc said | August 13th 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

        Get Twiggy and some other investors on board, then ask the Japanese Top League for permission to enter the Force. The only sticking point is you need to ask ‘World Rugby’ to secede from the ARU. Just a thought.

        • Roar Guru

          August 14th 2017 @ 10:44am
          Timbo (L) said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          Exiles don’t need to succeed. That job has already been done by the EARU.

    • Roar Guru

      August 13th 2017 @ 7:53am
      Harry Jones said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Excellent writing.

      • Roar Pro

        August 13th 2017 @ 11:40am
        robel said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

        Thanks Harry, the editors did a good job to..

    • August 13th 2017 @ 8:01am
      Milan said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      The western force propoganda machine has Brainwashed nearly all of the Australian rugby union fans, if it wasn’t so ridiculous it would be funny.

      For years the force have been laughed at due to their miserable boring losing rugby. Preminent experts have been calling for the force to be moved to western Sydney.

      All of a sudden the whole of Western Australia is up in arms shouting like madman about the great, fantastic support for the force and the whole of Australia apart from the aru believe every word,

      This despite barely being able to attract 10,000 measly supporters through th gate and nobody watching the force on fox (which incidentally means that the force add nothing to the broadcasting deal which is king for Australian rugby)

      The way the force propoganda machine has been well oiled would have made a certain Austrian politician from history proud as I’m almost believing that nib stadium had the full house signs up every week and that 200,000 watch the force on fox week in week out.

      However, I am not fooled. Whilst I am not happy about seeing any team culled, let’s at least not be stupid enough to fall for the rhetoric. The simple facts are that not nearly enough people in Western Australia have been bother d enough about the force, so no good coming to the party which beer and wine when the lights are being turned out.

      I say that not enough people are interested in the force but strangely enough there are plenty interested in rugby. However, being interested in the force and being interested in rugby are not necessarily the same thing.

      Ultimately it is the same people jumping up and down who are responsible for the forces demise. You haven’t been there when it counted either through the doors or on tv. It is your fault and nobody else’s. Don’t not do anything and then cry about it.

      Rip the force

      • August 13th 2017 @ 10:29am
        Justin Kearney said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

        Milan point us to the super rugby franchise in australia which gets big crowds and 200000 viewers. There isnt one. Rugby union in australia is retreating to the eastern see board because its gutless and has no vision for the future. Vale australian rugby.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 4:58pm
          Milan said | August 13th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

          I agree Justin, however it is only the force that boast about the ‘sea of blue’. In reality it is a stream of blue.

          Ultimately fox are not bothered about the force as they just don’t rate sadly compared to the other four teams.

          And as I said above the interest in rugby in WA does not translate into interest in the force

          • August 13th 2017 @ 5:18pm
            Justin Kearney said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

            So your imaginary facts prove your case against the force’s alleged propaganda? Most amusing milan. Most amusing.

            • August 13th 2017 @ 7:31pm
              Milan said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

              The propoganda being that the whole of Western Australia supports the force. Sadly tv audiences and crowd figures prove that to be a sham.

              Are you saying that. Am wrong Justin and that the force do well on tv ratings or are they the worst in australia??

              Over to you

              • August 13th 2017 @ 7:38pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

                Nobody ever said all of wa supports the force. Certainly not me. As for crowds and tv audiences all are terrible across all 5 franchises. By the way force crowds were higher than the rebels this year. But continue on milan. You are short on any facts but you do trot out a lot of propaganda.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 14th 2017 @ 11:12am
                piru said | August 14th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

                A lot more WA folk support them now that they’ve been betrayed and murdered by the ARU*

                Thanks for that then, I guess

                you’ve gotta wonder at the mindset of someone who makes a post like this.

                Effectively turning up at a funeral and telling the mourners it’s all their fault.

                Such class

          • Roar Guru

            August 14th 2017 @ 10:47am
            Timbo (L) said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

            Fox aren’t thrilled about viewer numbers in Melbourne and Canberra either.
            If the Force had little or no support and had no grass roots, I think the reaction would have been different. BUt this isn’t the case and it is clear that no consideration for this was taken when the decision was made.

            • Roar Guru

              August 14th 2017 @ 11:01am
              Train Without A Station said | August 14th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

              They aren’t but due to time zones you can more crossover viewers for those teams.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 7:30pm
          Jacko said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

          However, I am not fooled

          it doesnt seem that way

      • August 13th 2017 @ 11:06am
        Hannes said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        Unfortunately you are fooled. The amount of funding the Force received is 1/3 less than what was pumped into NSW. The Force was established with three objectives:
        – Grow the game in WA
        – Produce Wallabies
        – Secure your financial future

        Over the past decade rugby grew in WA when it faltered in the heartland states to a position that WA has the 3rd most registered rugby players in Australia. We produced many Wallabies over the years and this year there are 6 Force players in the Wallaby side and should be more if the coach did not pick his favourites. Our financial future is secure through the Own the Force and we have a billionaire that underwrite our losses.

        Yes, it took some time improve our junior and club rugby, to grow the game and secure our financial future, but we have done it. However the ARU is hell bend to cut the Force.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 3:53pm
          Sandgroper said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

          Actually at the time of ARU assessment our juniors were 5000 as opposed to Victoria’s 3000. Since we have improve another 4000 and Victoria has not improved at all.

          What about our state’s rep on the ARU board being banned from discussions and the vote? In Australia we stop and exclude people who might disagree or put up a good discussion on the correct choice. In my day this was called manipulating the facts. Obviously is allowed in the ARU.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 1:31pm
        Ben said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

        You and your EARU cronnies taking great strides to complete collapse of pro rugby in Aus. Well done, loser. You can now revert back to your east coast squabbling. Rebels will be next scapegoat until they get axed. Who will you blame then for sh+t performances?

    • August 13th 2017 @ 10:37am
      Red Menace said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      Well may you say God save the Queen because nothing will save the ERU.

      WA Rugby should immediately withdraw from any association with the ERU. WA Rugby should get a representative team from the local clubs and tour Asia, play against Hong Kong, South Korea and Sri Lanka – ranked 41st. Those countries would love the extra games and something for the local players to aim for and to be seen by the clubs of Europe and Japan. In the future hopefully WA would join Asia Rugby Association.

      Who would pay for this? The Own the Force fund. I would write to each subscriber, which includes myself, if they would like the funds, refunded or used by WA Rugby for the future of the game in this state. I say, YES.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 10:40am
      republican said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

      ………well, WA have long felt a need to secede so they should all feel quite comfortable in their indulgent isolationist sentiment…….

      • August 13th 2017 @ 7:36pm
        Jacko said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

        indulgent isolationist sentiment

        Yes how dare the Force kick themselvse out of the comp eh…

    • August 13th 2017 @ 10:42am
      Stu B said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

      Milan,while I respect your views please put in writing on this page how many times the Force fans have booed their team off the field.Nuff said!!

      • August 13th 2017 @ 3:49pm
        Sandgroper said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

        Since when, I think you are dreaming. Being a member since the beginning never seen this happen. Buff said!

        • August 13th 2017 @ 4:24pm
          andrewM said | August 13th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

          which is exactly what Stu B means Sandgroper! Whilst they have not always been the Best team they are OUR team!

      • August 13th 2017 @ 7:33pm
        Milan said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

        Understood but the waratahs are much more important to the broadcasting bucks than the force. Doesn’t matter how many times they have been booed off. The same goes for the reds the brumbies and the rebels mate

        • August 13th 2017 @ 7:37pm
          Jacko said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

          I think you have been fooled

        • August 13th 2017 @ 7:45pm
          Justin Kearney said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

          Keep living in that delightful eastern sea board bubble milan. Thats the attitude killing the game.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 10:53pm
            Bakkies said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

            Justin he lives in northern England.

            • Roar Pro

              August 13th 2017 @ 11:32pm
              Crazy Horse said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:32pm | ! Report

              He obviously has no experience of Australia and in particular Western Australia.

        • Roar Guru

          August 14th 2017 @ 10:49am
          Timbo (L) said | August 14th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          Sou you would rather the Tahs continue on their winning way and the Wallabies continue their outstanding on-field performances.

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