The Wrap: It’s official, New Zealand beating Australian franchises is a thing

Geoff Parkes Columnist

By Geoff Parkes, Geoff Parkes is a Roar Expert

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    Late in 2017 rugby analyst website ‘Rugby Vision’ released its ranking of 58 major global professional teams. The Hurricanes topped the list (just ahead of the Crusaders), with the Rebels ranked 56th, ahead only of two Russian clubs most local fans will have never heard of, Enesei and Krasny Yar.

    With that in mind, the Hurricanes’ 50-19 win in Melbourne merely franked the form guide, and it should be no surprise that the tally of consecutive wins by New Zealand franchises over Australian franchises now stands at 33.

    The trans-Tasman dominance has been clear and obvious, also evident in the Bledisloe Cup, Womens XVs, Under 20 and Schools arenas, so much so that the enormity of the number has begun to take on Black Caviar and Winx-like proportions.

    Only in Women’s Sevens is the situation reversed, although the sides play so infrequently there is little opportunity for the Pearls’ magic to rub off onto the rest of Australian rugby.

    Midway through last season it wouldn’t have mattered, but Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd effectively confirmed in a chat after Friday’s match that the sequence has taken on a life of its own, noting how his side is desperate not to become the first New Zealand side to blow the winning streak. And you can bet your last dollar that all four other New Zealand coaches think the same.

    TJ Perenara

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    As if to offer a small ray of hope, Boyd doesn’t expect the run to continue, and that an Australian franchise win will come soon. Just don’t expect it to be at the expense of his immensely talented team.

    Whatever improvements are being made in Australia – and it would only be churlish to suggest there hasn’t been progress at at least three of the franchises – the New Zealanders aren’t standing still.

    Super Rugby badly needs the ledger to be squared up, but because the reasons for the disparity are rooted deep in the cultural and intuitive understanding of players and coaches, a willingness to embrace risk-taking and superior athletic ability, it is plain to see that future gains for Australia will be incremental and hard fought.

    A healthy crowd in excess of 16,000 spoke to the Rebels now being a far better side than their 56 ranking suggests and, in a frenetic first half, they gave as good as they got.

    A horrid decision by Jack Debreczini to trust the bounce marked a momentum shift to the Hurricanes that never looked like being arrested by the home side. As in their loss to the Waratahs, when the blowtorch was applied the Rebels’ confidence ebbed, and good ball that was being run with purpose in the first half was now being aimlessly kicked away.

    Six matches in, coach Dave Wessels is still to sort out his best combinations, and a tactical approach that will last 80 minutes against top-flight opposition. The Rebels organization has an interesting challenge too, to tap into the Kiwi fans who flock to support their native team when it visits, and somehow keep them coming along every week – even if they make the Rebels their second team.

    Dave Wessels

    (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    The opening game of the round revealed the rationale for the Highlanders’ hi-viz shirts. With Good Friday a public holiday the tradies were all on double time and a half – at least providing them some financial recompense for the disappointment of their 27-22 loss to the Chiefs.

    The Chiefs were full of their usual enterprise but lacked a clinical edge, right up until Solomon Alaimalo finished off a classy ‘alley-oop’ move in the 40th minute. There were some hair-raising moments late as they withstood a typically tenacious Highlander fightback, but there were enough cool heads around like Charlie Ngatai to get the job done.

    With Tawera Kerr-Barlow now in France, there’s a lot to like about how Te Teroi Tahuriorangi is developing this year. An Aaron Smith type, tongue-tied commentators around the world will be hoping he isn’t earmarked for higher honours in the future.

    A bizarre game eventuated in Auckland, the Blues playing 70 minutes of the most insipid, soul-destroying rugby imaginable. The other ten minutes were sparkling, but that ratio somehow needs to be reversed if they are to win back the respect of their fans.

    Young fly-half Stephen Perofeta is a talented footballer, but it is unfair and unwise to ask him to lead a side around the park that is so deficient in leadership and cohesion. How coach Tana Umaga could suggest post-match that he was happy with his teams’ effort, after shipping 60 points at home, was eyebrow-raising.

    Blues fans might fairly question how many points would it take before the effort might be considered below par? 70 or 80? I’m tipping that most watchers knew as soon as the Sharks jumped to a 26-7 lead, that things were far from right, and that team 58, Krasny Yar, would fancy their chances right now.

    Tana Umaga

    (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

    The Sharks were rewarded for finally finding a way to bring Curwin Bosch into the play, and to honour the energy of Jean Luc Du Preez with a confidence building team effort. Brother Robert had a heck of a night out too, kicking 13 from 13 for 38 points, the second highest individual score in a Super Rugby match.

    The Hume derby went to the Waratahs, 24-17, in what was a typically dour affair – the email that came through from the Waratahs media unit late on Saturday night titled, “NSW Waratahs claim thriller in nation’s capital” perhaps slightly over-egging things.

    The Waratahs struggled to retain possession and build pressure for most of the first half, but a try after the halftime siren to Taqele Naiyarovo, with the assist going to Henry Speight who kindly showed him both the sideline and the tryline, proved to be the crucial score of the match.

    Not for the first time this season, the Waratahs grew stronger the further the match progressed, Harry Johnson-Holmes again impressing in the second-unit scrum.

    For someone who has been out of Australian rugby for an age, David Pocock made a pretty fair impression of a rugby player. But the Brumbies were guilty of playing too much rugby at the wrong end, and then kicking away possession after hard won field position had been gained.

    Most concerning for them however is their lack of scoring power. Their play is too narrow, relying too much on one-off running. And their much vaunted, ‘go to’ lineout maul is seemingly now a distant memory.

    David Pocock

    (AAP Image/Rohan Thomson)

    Back at home, the Bulls got their lineout maul working against the Stormers, experienced hooker Adriaan Strauss helping himself to two tries then adding a third when a Stormers’ defensive lineout went haywire.

    The 33-22 loss will frustrate Stormers fans who are looking for more consistent performance from their team, while the Bulls reinforced that this year, the impost of long distance travel on sides returning home, is less of a handicap than it has been in past seasons.

    The replay of last year’s final was a frantic affair in the first half, although a steady string of handling errors from both sides kept a lid on the score. A little more patience and the introduction of Manasa Mataele made the difference for the Crusaders, who dominated field position and, despite shutting up shop a few minutes too early, fully deserved their 14-8 win.

    With South Africa leading the rugby world in the ability of local TV producers to influence match officials, it should have come as no surprise that the Crusaders were denied a try to George Bridge in the first half after referee Jaco Peyper ruled an on-field try, while feeling it prudent to check the final pass from Mitchell Hunt.

    The law dealing with the movement of the passer’s hands relative to his forward momentum has been clarified repeatedly in recent times, yet Peyper was ‘conveniently’ provided with only a ground level view that showed the ball travelling forward relative to ground markings, and no standard side-on view of Hunt releasing the ball, which would have supported his original decision.

    The selective replay was enough for Peyper to change his decision and the Crusaders to wonder how, in 2018, they could still be subject to a home town decision manipulated by someone outside of the game.

    As it turned out, there was no damage done this time, but this remains a messy and unsatisfactory area of the game that administrators need to take control of.

    Geoff Parkes
    Geoff Parkes

    Geoff is a Melbourne-based sports fanatic and writer who started contributing to The Roar in 2012 under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Union Conflict; The Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy, was released in December 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit www.geoffparkes.com. Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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    The Crowd Says (384)

    • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:11am
      Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      By the time oz rugby reaches parity with NZ there won’t be any fans left.
      Playing NZ teams so often has not improved the quality or standard of Australian teams, and has only led to the erosion of the fan base to the pitiful levels now seen.
      Add to this a ridiculous match schedule in SR and you get the failed competition we have today.

      Major changes are needed to deliver a March to July comp that a domestic audience can engage with.

      • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:41am
        KFar said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

        I haven’t watched a game of SR this year and don’t actually miss it.

        The schedule is a joke. The conference system is a joke. People are laughing at Twiggy but I think he’s onto something.

        • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:09am
          Jacko said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

          Its so odd that you dont watch any games, think the schedule is a joke, the conferences are a joke and you dont miss it yet here you are reading articles about it and commenting on the articles…..It just seems odd

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:22am
            KFar said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:22am | ! Report

            All the different time zones for one.
            I used to be a massive SR fan (crusaders supporter since the beginning) but that conference system is stupid. The best teams don’t even compete in the finals. Try and explain that to someone who isn’t a rugby follower. IMHO ever since that has been introduced I started losing interest.
            Having the Jauagers and Sunwolves enter the comp was a mistake. I can’t see any benefit for the comp of having them in it.

            The Australian commentators are terrible! Boring and mono tone. Nick McCardle is the best of the lot.

            I’ve watched more NRL this year than I ever have. And find myself watching the more entertaining NRL shows than the rugby ones.

            Things will be different when the internationals start.

            • Roar Guru

              April 2nd 2018 @ 9:28am
              Machooka said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

              Saders fan you say KFar… mmm nuff said then 😉

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:43am
                KFar said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

                Hahaha.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 12:53pm
              Redsfan1 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              I don’t know how foxsports thinks Sean Maloney, Drew Mitchell and Brendan Cannon are interesting enough to call a game of rugby.

              If people are paying money to watch rugby they want a bit more then monotones and silly cliches.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 4:31pm
                Muzzo said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

                Hahaha Redfan, it was so laughable listening to Cannon, trying to pronounce Wharenui Hawera’s christian name. lol Cannon would be better off just calling him Bighouse.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 5:54pm
                Akari said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

                Not as bad, Muzzo, considering Grant Nisbett keeps calling Sam Lousi as Sam Lousy and then we have Karl Te Nana calling Fiji 7s Eroni Sau as Eroni Sow.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:18pm
                Zane said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

                Commentators call Ritchie Mounga.. Ritchie Mowyanga.. why not just ask the kid how its pronounced?

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:43pm
                Muzzo said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

                Pretty right there Akari, as you wonder how some of them keep their jobs.lol. It’s pathetic how most of them don’t even try to rectify, this, especially with quite a few commentators, being there season after season.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:57pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

                the saffa commentary did not know how to pronounce Manasa Mataele.

                i dont even know what he was called to type here 😀

                am sure many will just say T3 – as in terminator later episode – to Te Teroi Tahuriorangi 😛

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:29pm
                Ex force fan said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

                At least the Saffa commentators managed to pronounce Saffa surname. The pronunciation of Aussie and Kiwi commentators are comical.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 2:03am
                Carlos The Argie said | April 3rd 2018 @ 2:03am | ! Report

                Why are you whining? Is this your new national sport?

                Almost all Argie players get their names butchered by the rest of SANZAAR. So what? You patiently try to tell them how to do it and move on.

                Not Del-guy, but Del-gEE. For example.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 4:26am
                Ex force fan said | April 3rd 2018 @ 4:26am | ! Report

                Carlos I agree. To moan about some foreign commentator’s pronunciation of surnames without realising that your own commentators also also getting it very wrong is hypocritical.

                I wonder how many commentators can pronounce Labuschagne, Potgieter, Viljoen or even de Jager correctly, despite these surnames being common surnames in Superugby for years.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 4:08pm
                Akari said | April 3rd 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

                So, he’s not Del da guy then, Carlos.

                Nisbett and Te Nana are Kiwis and one would expect (given the large number of Polynesians playing the game in NZ) that they could and would try and get the pronunciation of at least easy to pronounce Polynesian names correct. They don’t even seem to be interested in getting it right and Sam Lousi is in his 3rd year with the Canes.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:40pm
              cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

              i thought the commentary was neat

              with wise cracks like when Brad Shields ran and passed for a try

              ” that is the next number 6 for England !” LOL

              • Roar Rookie

                April 2nd 2018 @ 9:30pm
                Kirky said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

                A lot of the pronunciation of the beautiful Maori Language, Personal names, Street and Town names and what ever, need to be broken down into distinct syllables, eg: Teroi Tahuriorangi would be as Teroi ~ Tahu rio rangi! Hey Muzzo!!

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 8:45am
                ads2600 said | April 3rd 2018 @ 8:45am | ! Report

                #Te Toiroa not Teroi.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 2nd 2018 @ 9:40pm
                Kirky said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

                CUW, ~ I have a very good mate in New Zealand whose christened name is Tutae Wharenui, I won’t tell you what the translation is though, We all call him ”Tu”!

                I also have Brother in Law married my Sister whose Christened name is Ropata Rangi but he won’t wear the Ropata side of it at all and as the English translation is Robert, that
                s what he goes by but I call him Ropata to annoy the hell out of him!

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 8:57am
                Muzzo said | April 3rd 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

                As I Kirky, mate. I have a Bro in law, who goes by Bill, but I too refer to him as Wiremu. Lol. Cheers mate.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:44pm
              cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

              i dont mind the Jags but the Japs was a grave mistake – just looked at the money and forgot all else.

              15 teams : 5NZ , 5SA , 4AU , Jags.

              all play on a round robbin basis and home and away basis in a 2 – year cycle.

              that is 14 matches – 7 at home and 7 away. finish super rugger early and give players a rest.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 4:33pm
                Muzzo said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

                That’s why the Japanese are there cuw. Money talks!!

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 5:00pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

                @ Muzzo

                but it is failing.

                if u watch the Japs now – previosly their Prince Chichibu stadium was filled fully.

                this season there are empty seats – even when NZ teams play.

                and look at the Jap team – not really top class , is it?

                cerrtainly not all players who will go on and play for Japan at world cup… silly decision.

        • Roar Guru

          April 2nd 2018 @ 12:59pm
          Cadfael said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

          I watch it and enjoy some of it. I agree totally about the scheduling. It’s rubbish. Every team should play each other once and the top four or whatever at the end play off.

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:16pm
            cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

            scheduling overlapped with not Heineken cup 1/4 final matches.

            watched Crusaders but the better one had been Clearmont v Racing … 🙁

      • Columnist

        April 2nd 2018 @ 9:03am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        Rugbyfan, KFar

        Any detail on what those “major changes” that are needed, might be?
        And how Twiggy’s competition is going to improve standards in Australian rugby?

        Also, are the problems in Australian rugby, ie, player identification and development, skills development, inferior athleticism and fitness, coaching depth, state based parochialism, limited funding relative to other rugby nations, to name a few… because of the Super Rugby competition? Or are they fundamental in Australian rugby anyway?

        • Roar Guru

          April 2nd 2018 @ 9:08am
          PeterK said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          exactly, additionally without super rugby aust rugby standards would be even worse

          1) additional drain to europe since the money disparity would be even higher
          2) playing games of lower standard never improves the skills of the players

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:26am
            Noodles said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:26am | ! Report

            In my mind there’s got to be an upheaval. I’m thinking of a single national rugby commission like the AFL. It would have National organisation. SR franchises under its management. A single focus on developing the game at all levels. It would remove a lot of waste and focus the resources on what’s good for the game.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:41am
              Garth said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:41am | ! Report

              Isn’t that the ARU’s job?

              At least in theory…

            • Columnist

              April 2nd 2018 @ 9:55am
              Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:55am | ! Report

              Hi Noodles

              There’s a very strong argument that an independent commission would improve and enhance Super Rugby. If everyone accepted that the club/franchise game was the most important level of the game, then such a move would result in a better competition and ultimately attract more money and help balance things v the English Premiership and French Top 14.

              But there is little prospect of this happening in the forseeable future because the SANZAAR national unions are (rightly IMO) so protective of Test rugby, and won’t risk enhancing SR if it comes at the cost of diminishing the international game.

              The problem is perhaps more about the Rugby Championship never really taking off, due to Argentina never really becoming truly competitive, and casual fans not really understanding it relative to the Bledisloe Cup. If this competition was stronger, in the sense say of how the 6N is a rock-solid rugby institution, then perhaps the SANZAAR national unions might be more prepared to let Super Rugby have its head.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 12:30pm
                Noodles said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

                I take your points GP. But I’m assuming that the success of AFL at the local and schools level is because they value the national health of the game. It seems to me that strong local support inevitably breeds the depth and quality and underpins the national team success. I don’t believe that the existing provincial admins focus enough on either the local game or the national team. Rather they have a weird idea about tradition and exclusivity that makes me think of the old London gentlemen’s clubs.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 12:58pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                It’s strange Noodles because the construct behind the SR sides in Australia, where they are essentially the state provincial sides, who already had a strong identity and supporter base in Qld, NSW and ACT, as opposed to being implanted, manufactured professional sides as in what happened in Wales, should have ensured its success.

                But it seems that two things happened

                1. the problem was more that too few people engaged with the competition itself, and the fact that too many games were against South African teams in the middle of the night

                2. administrators for too long took their support base for granted, and fans either drifted out – hastened by Australia’s appalling Bledisloe Cup record – or they drifted back to club rugby, but disconnected themselves with the professional tier in doing so.

                There are efforts being made to right this but it will be a tough battle to re-engage people, at least until there is more on-field success.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:12pm
                andrewM said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

                Or they simply did nothing to encourage the game where their was interest..

              • Roar Pro

                April 2nd 2018 @ 10:03pm
                robel said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

                You’re right AndrewM, infact it could be said that the ERA did everything they could to actively kill off support.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 10:00am
              Train without a station said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

              Bit easier to take a pretty successful suburban competition of 100 years that already has national interest and then add interstate teams to that.

            • Roar Guru

              April 2nd 2018 @ 12:26pm
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

              But there is little prospect of this happening in the forseeable future because the SANZAAR national unions are (rightly IMO) so protective of Test rugby, and won’t risk enhancing SR if it comes at the cost of diminishing the international game.

              Hi GP

              How would it hurt Test rugby if SR was allowed to be more “free”? Would not a strong and popular SR competition actually increase interest in Test rugby?

              Just because one let SR become more “free”, does not mean it has to be the wild west. There is a middle ground to be found, it is possible to have regulations and quotas.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 12:33pm
                Bakkies said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

                Exactly. A poor Super Rugby comp is affecting the quality of the teams facing the ABs in Sanzaar’s other competition.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:22pm
                Malo said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

                Super rugby is basically test trials, no one really cares who wins.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 1:05pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

                I’m talking in the bigger picture NV. Let’s say SR was restored to being the best provincial competition in the world? Which I agree would be made easier if the sides were equalized via free player movement. And broadcasters liked it so much they pumped enough money into it that all of the best SH players stayed in the competition?

                I have no doubt that the combined power of all those clubs, and the major competitions would ensure that the next logical step is a world club competition, something like the European Champions Cup, and Test rugby would become like football – a meaningful World Cup every 4 years and, aside for the 6N, not much else in between. The Lions would almost certainly be a casualty too.

                Many people would say, so what, bring it on. But the heads of the SANZAAR nations don’t want to be the ones with that as their legacy, and I can understand why.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 1:30pm
                Bakkies said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                Geoff keeping the status quo will see it dwindle further. Test grounds aren’t selling out and as a result the unions are hosting them at smaller venues.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 2:08pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

                I am surprised that you only can see this in black and white GP. As said, regulations and quotas and can be used. There is a middle ground. Just because one opens up the player market (and thereby equalize the competition) does not mean it has to be completely open. Remember, we are not talking about the EU here who has laws about free movement for workers within the union.
                No-one wants to see 15 All Blacks running out for the Sunwolves or the Tahs, but to have a couple of All Blacks mixed with local talent has a lot of appeals.

                I have serious doubts that a world league is on the table anywhere. No-one is asking for it and if travel and timezones are a problem for SR, well what do you think it would be in a world league? Do you seriously think anyone (broadcasters and fans) in Europe is interested in watching rugby 7.30 in the morning on regular basis?
                If anything, the trend is moving towards playing rugby in attractive timezones, not to spread the games out even more.

                Test rugby sits in a much stronger position than the international game of football has post WW2. Most football clubs have 100 plus years of history and are ingrained deeply in their local communities. But while saying that, international football still holds a massive grip on many football fans, just look at the crowds around the world from last week friendlies to use a recent example (most of them sold out in huge venues all around the world). So to say the international game in football is only relevant during the World Cup is a big stretch.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 2:52pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

                Not at all mate, it is far from black and white, it’s a very complex problem with no easy solutions.

                The thing is SANZAAR has conducted a number of reviews, which would have canvassed any number of possibilities. If there was an easy fix they would have grasped at it.

                All I’m saying is that in New Zealand’s case in particular, they are very risk averse when it comes to the All Blacks’ brand and standing as the worlds’ leading rugby nation. I’m certain NZ rugby would like SR to be better as much as the next person does, but if you put yourself in their position – and these are smart, experienced rugby administrators – their reluctance to solve one problem by potentially damaging their greatest asset, becomes more understandable.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 3:35pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                I agree GP, this is very complex and complicated, but that is also one of the reasons why it is intriguing and interesting to talk and speculate about it. Especially for me as an outsider looking at it

                I understand NZR thinking and their hesitance to change. The last ten years the current setup has worked as a dream for NZR.

                What I think might be overlooked is this:

                A more open player market within SR would in many ways benefit NZR more than anybody else. I think it safe to assume that if the window opens, most non-NZ teams would set their sights on signing star AB’s players. That would mean that NZR would get a lot of extra room in their salary budget and the Shag Hansen would get a deeper player pool to select from.

                I well aware that there is a school of thought that players drop in quality if they leave NZ. But if they still played in SR, most of them coached by NZ coaches and they played against NZ SR teams regularly, is it really valid to expect them to drop in quality?
                If all SANZAAR members agreed on central rules for player movement, it would also be possible – actually easy – to have rules that players are not allowed to play more than 14 games during the regular season (same rules as NZR have now for their All Black players).
                SANZAAR does not operate within the EU, so there are no laws of free movement etc to abide. What SANZAAR decides will stand. Super Rugby could still work as a great feeder to the Test teams.

                The big problem – as I see it – is that all members of SANZAAR suffer from the declining interest in both SR and TRC. The “fans” vote with their feet and wallets and right now more and more “fans” spend their money and time elsewhere. If this continues it will affect all rugby in the SH in a very negative way.

                The tide must be turned and – at large – doing more of the same is very unlikely to cut it. What is frustrating to me is from my outside perspective I see that the overall talent pool and coaching know-how to create the world best and most competitive rugby tournament is already there. There is no need for SANZAAR to change the hardware, an update to the software is all that is needed really.

                And mate, thanks for your never-ending patient and classy manners in your comment threads. it is very much appreciated.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 2nd 2018 @ 10:15pm
                Die hard said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

                I disagree with your first point NV. As a Queenslander for the last forty years I can tell you that targeting All Blacks would be most unlikely. More like good young up and comers that might swap allegiance in five years more likely.

                Test stars can be lost at inopportune times to call ups and injuries and cost too much.

                Qld can be a closed camp. Us vs all you. But yes I agree. If only some way the teams were more equal. It wasn’t always so one sided. It needn’t be from now on. Aussie is known for not losing for long. Times change

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 11:00pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 11:00pm | ! Report

                @Die Hard

                I would assume that if SANZAAR’s members agreed on some form of an open players market, a key thing would be that it would not be possible to targets each other players via residence etc.
                What you are suggesting is very much possible today and is happening sometimes.

                Test stars can be lost to injuries, but that is a part of the game that always has been there and always will be there, one just has to accept it and role the dice.
                The upside with a couple of All Black stars in the Reds (apart from the obvious quality and professionalism they bring) is that they are marketable (they are the superstars of sport) and they would provide a fast lane to tap into to all Kiwis in the region and raise the profile on the Reds, which can lead to that more Aussies buys into the Reds also.

                Things change over time, but it can take a very very very long time sometimes. And whatever positive changes that might happen in Australia, the rest of the world is not standing still. There is no law of nature that says that Australian rugby will be great again.
                From my own experiences in life, the best way in life to achieve positive change is to act, not react . Right now it appears that SANZAAR – and the member unions – do a lot of reacting and very little acting.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 2nd 2018 @ 10:45pm
                Shane D said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

                NV, the NZR are very reluctant to make changes that dilute the All Black brand as the brand allows them to sign very lucrative sponsorship deals etc.
                I have addressed the cons of allowing selection of NZ players from non-NZ franchises in the past but these are the main impediments as I see them.
                – loss of the NZR central contracting arrangement.
                – loss of control over player workload
                – loss of control over player development
                – lack of access to players for camps
                – lack of access to players for marketing purposes.
                – loss of control of players injury management.
                – lack of access to players performance data
                With regard to workload, performance data & injury management I am referring to training in the main.
                The NZR see these things as being factors in the ongoing success of NZ rugby are aren’t going to weaken their position.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 11:31pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

                @ShaneD

                I understand where NZR is coming from and as mentioned before, this setup has been golden for them the last ten years. But if SANZAAR falls or gets severely weaken, the whole setup will most likely fall. There is no room to see all events in a strict Kiwi perspective only, hence NZR have a lot of kids with the other members in SANZAAR.

                What I am looking for – if I wear my All Black jersey – is a golden middle way. Something has to give, but least be in control the process and try to be a step ahead of current events so we don’t wake up one morning and realize that the clubs in England and France have won the endgame and the All Blacks selectors are forced to pick players from Europe, hence that is where all the top talent is.

                Of two “bad” options, it is still a much better option for NZR to have top talent within SR than to have it England and France. And if the option to have the top talent spread out in SR also helps to strengthen the competition, there is a chance that fans will warm towards the competition again, and that equals more money that could help to stop the overall player exodus to the north.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:02pm
                Jacko said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                neutral you are yet again asking for all NZ fans to let their players go and play elsewhere where they are being coached by people who have no “bigger picture” of player welfare and have no centralised coaching philosophies.
                Q1/ Why is NZ so good?
                A/ Because they all work together for the greater good of the sum of their 5 parts in Sr and all the tiers below as well.

                Why would NZ give up all of their winning philosophies so that other teams can be competitive so you see games that are closer in score. I do not see why NZ rugby would ever entertain the idea and i do not see this improving any comp, and i see NZ being weakend by this sort of thinking.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 3:45pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

                Agree Jacko.

                NZ Rugby very much wants Australia to be strong, but believe that potentially weakening themselves to help achieve that would be counter-productive.

                It’s up to Australia to fix its own domestic issues – above all else to get all rugby people pulling in the same direction. And NV, that’s the real reason why Aust SR sides are less than competitive – not the structure of the competition itself.

                Ireland has shown how it can be done, and real strength built up at grassroots, schools, club and international level.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 4:18pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                NZ Rugby very much wants Australia to be strong, but believe that potentially weakening themselves to help achieve that would be counter-productive.

                It is only counter-productive if it actually weakens NZ Rugby. It could just as well strengthen NZ Rugby (I explained why that is possible above).

                It’s up to Australia to fix its own domestic issues – above all else to get all rugby people pulling in the same direction. And NV, that’s the real reason why Aust SR sides are less than competitive – not the structure of the competition itself.

                Yes they certainly have to address their own problems, but as you know the clock is ticking and the question you and NZR have to ask yourself, is there enough time to wait for the Aussies to get their act together? We are talking serious structural flaws that usually take ten plus years to fix. And as you know really well GP, if SR in Australia continues downward and finally collapses, that would spell serious bad news for NZ Rugby.

                Ireland has shown how it can be done, and real strength built up at grassroots, schools, club and international level.

                Ireland has done it and done it really well. Hats of to them. But what is missing from the equation here is one reason it has paid off so well for Ireland is that no-one else in Europe is doing it. Australia will never enjoy that luxury.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 4:41pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

                Which is why NZ played a very strong hand last year, along with the broadcasters, in insisting that Australia revert to four franchises.

                That sort of influence is one thing, but what you’re asking for is a bridge too far for them.

                They are genuinely fearful that if they cede power to clubs either directly or through an independent commission, no matter the improvements to SRthey will be signing a death warrant for international rugby.

                The continual comments from Premiership Rugby leaders indicates that they have good reason to be wary. Premiership Rugby is totally concerned with itself and not the traditions or health of international rugby.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 5:39pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

                As the German chancellor, Angela Merkel says: “fear is a bad advisor”.

                How would NZR give up any power of the NZ SR franchises when they own them all?. As said before, there is no need to change the hardware, just the software.
                To compare one single franchise in SR with the clubs in England and France misleading GP. It is totally different landscape down south compared to the north (as I know you know, you have written a rather good book that touches the subject in depth).

                With Premierships agenda in mind, I say even more reason to look how to vitalize and look at some real changes for SR. Sitting down just protecting what is left is playing straight into the hands of the clubs in England and France. By the look of things now, they are winning the battles and are in a better position to win the endgame.
                As we say in Sweden: scared boys will never get the chance to kiss beautiful girls…

                That NZR was a very active player to force RA to cut one side is not common knowledge and if that rabbit jumps out of the bag it will only help those in Australia who wants to drop SR all together and set their own league.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:21pm
                Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

                You are asking for NZR to dilute its players across 15 teams instead of 5, how does this make NZ better.
                How do you tell SA players sorry you missed out to a kiwi but theres a spot in Japan.
                Others must rise to the challenge not just dilute NZ, we are the smallest nation of all, everybody else just concentrate on getting your own house in order however long it takes quick fixes don’t work either.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 5:58pm
                Diggercane said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

                Of course it’s ALL black and white, as it should be. 😎

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 6:52pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

                It’s no secret NV. The broadcast rights deal is a combined one. The SANZAAR nations rely on each other. The broadcasters were shouting “fix this up or else”. NZ saw it’s revenue base dissolving.

                It’s not their place to tell Australia what to do internally but it was certainly their place to tell them what to do when it came to Super Rugby.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 1:28pm
              Bakkies said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

              In an ideal world yes however cutting sides will ensure it will never happen.

          • April 3rd 2018 @ 1:18pm
            woodart said | April 3rd 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

            your post should be pinned to the top …..+1000

        • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:17am
          Jamie said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Spot on plus how is lowering the bar going to help us?

          The rugby that I’ve seen so far has been great across all conferences and hopefully that continues

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 1:47pm
            Joe King said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

            What do you mean by lowering the bar, Jamie? Not arguing against you, just wanting to clarify what you mean.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 2:06pm
              Jamie said | April 2nd 2018 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

              No worries. I mean by playing a Como without OS sides specifications NZ. You don’t get better by walking away from the challenge.

        • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:42am
          KFar said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          Get rid of the “Giteau law”. Retain the best players here by making it attractive for them to stay. Players are choosing money over the Wallabies jersey. That right there is a major issue.

          Pick some decent and proven coaches. Richard Graham, Daryl Gibson….wtf? Richard Graham should never have got a start at the Force let alone back atvthe Reds. The then ARU should have squashed that appointment.

          The years of not having NRC are hurting.

          The years from not injecting money into grass roots is now showing through. RA needs to compete with AFL, soccer, NRL at this level or potential players will be lost. Angus Creighton is a good example of losing a potential super star. And he was a Wallabies U20s player who was poached my Michael McGuire at South’s.

          I look at the massive difference between how the NRL and RA are run. The NRL to me pisses all over RA. They have their woman in league round, retro round, indigenous round. Look how big state of origin is now, the hype around that is more than an international test match on home soil.

          Then you look at what RA did to the Force. For a “national” game I cannot see the long term gain in cutting any of their SR squads. There are buckets of talented Australian players overseas that should have been brought home to strengthen SR sides here.

          • Roar Guru

            April 2nd 2018 @ 9:51am
            PeterK said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:51am | ! Report

            hahahaha players choose money over the AB jersey as well you know

            agree re the quality of coaches

            NRL have a lot more money , 10 x’s the revenue per year

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 10:23am
              KFar said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

              They do, that’s true. But their test career is over in the Black jersey.
              The major difference being that AB’s have the depth to cover that position. Ie Smith and Nonu. Sopaga, DC, Kaino.
              The RA doesnt have the depth to cover these positions at SR or Wallabies level, which comes back to grass roots or not letting the younger players go ie Toouma etc.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 10:32am
              KFar said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

              $50 million would have done alot.

        • Roar Guru

          April 2nd 2018 @ 11:14am
          Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

          It should be a round robin. Everyone plays each other once. 14-16 teams with a second division. A relegation too – top two bottom two. When a new club enters the Comp they go to the second division, and try and move up.

          That is simply how it used to be in the old days. Except now you would have a second division to create expansion without hurting the awesome (but very simple eh:)) format!

          Easy cuz 😉

          • Columnist

            April 2nd 2018 @ 11:54am
            Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

            Not sure how a 2nd division improves the quality of the competition or improves the finances Jokerman, but there you go.

            If by the “old days” you mean club competitions that existed before the game went professional, in a global marketplace, there is absolutely no correlation to the administrative challenges faced then and now.

            • Roar Guru

              April 2nd 2018 @ 12:38pm
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

              Every single soccer league in Europe is structured the way that Jokerman suggests. And mind, far from all leagues were professional from the start.but when they went pro, they did not change the structure, they just started to pay the players.

              The equals play each other in their league division, the best team win (in the top-division the title, in all other divisions promotion) and the worst team go down, and then you have cup competition open to all teams from all divisions to vitalize things and give the “minors” and chance to tussle with “majors” in one-offs.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 1:07pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                As you know NV, Europe equals far higher fan bases and TV sets. And far less travel.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 2:19pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

                Not sure what that has to do with it GP.

                If the comments here at the Roar is used as an example, most Kiwi fans are not happy with the current structure either, despite their teams are winning a lot and have far less travel than anyone else.
                Decreasing crows numbers all over SR tells us the same story.

                Perhaps the strong connection all SANZAAR members have to their European heritage is at play here? The need and the desire for a fair competition is the DNA?

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 2:57pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                It has everything to do with it. Professional sport must generate money to fund itself and pay players.

                Because of strong domestic competition the size of the potential rugby market in Australia is small. And New Zealand is just small full stop.

                Things are compounded on the cost side because of the distances and cost of travel.

                These are significant impediments/differences to European professional sports, thus any direct comparisons to how sports are organised there, and in the US domestic market, should be approached with caution.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 3:48pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                It is a double-edged sword GP

                Keep in mind that Super Rugby golden years were when they used a Round Robin and I don’t think that should be ignored.

                Extra costs for travel can be negated by happy fans who put bums on the seats.

                At the bone, it is the fans that “owns” the game. And there are concerns that SANZAAR and its members have not been listening enough to their voices and wishes. Bottom line, with no fans, there is nothing.

                These are significant impediments/differences to European professional sports, thus any direct comparisons to how sports are organised there, and in the US domestic market, should be approached with caution.

                Fair enough and point taken.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 5:02pm
                Machooka said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                Numbers Neutral… numbers are god!

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 5:55pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

                The Kraftwerk song “Numbers” is not only good, it is great.

                But maybe you thought of some other numbers Machoka?

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 7:30pm
                Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

                Those numbers can fade in the ether !!

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 2:09am
                Carlos The Argie said | April 3rd 2018 @ 2:09am | ! Report

                Geoff,

                Tell him to read your book. You do spend a lot of (electronic) ink explaining the difficulty of the situation….

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 12:51pm
              Campbell Watts said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              I think he means the pre-conference/pre-expansion days when you played EVERY team once per season.

              And I agree!

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:51pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                i think up to super 14 – if im not mistaken.

                super 10 – super 12 – super 14 – after that it became a mess…

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 5:35pm
                Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

                Yeah man – that’s what I meant !!

                Neutral is on to it man!!

                Geoff in another thread thought last years Super format was fine and fair!! And he used US comparisons! Ah but not today ??

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 5:50pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

                Nah, just used the USA as an example that conferences work in some places (some posters at the Roar claimed that kind of system has never worked anywhere). I born and raised with European soccer Jokerman, conferences and ring-fencing et al has never attracted to me.
                But I guess for a spiritual man as you right and wrong or truth and false, is relative? 😉

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 7:12pm
                Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

                First division, second division – that was all I was saying bro!

                Relative? Hmm, it’s always super fine if the spiritual paradigm enters this sphere and then it delivers simplicity and a evolving, joyous structure. But life, ego greed can get in the way…

                Can’t save the world but one can save the self huh?! Indeed cuzzzz !

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 8:08pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

                My bad Jokerman, and I apologize.

                I can at least share that I am working on myself, spending at lot times meditating and hanging around in Buddhist temples (there are a couple of thousands of them here in Chiang Mai). And the last book I read was “Ego is the enemy” by Ryan Holiday, so there is hope even for a dark soul like me ;).

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 8:31pm
                Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

                Haha sweet! Just monitor those thoughts, and never have a negative one, and if you do follow it up with a positive (but always listen to your feelings). Just when you think you’re mindless though it comes back through a side entrance and tricks ya’. The mind does tend to zone in on your weaknesses – then it has your attention you see. Very Annoying.

                Keep it simple. Four divisions – soul, heart, body and mind. The mind at that bottom – fourth division, but you often allow it to be your starting team in the first division. Silly eh. 😉

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 9:05pm
                Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

                I read the first free part of the book on Amazon. Ten or so pages. Where can it go on from there? It could be a bit negative.

                He mainly goes on theory – other people’s experiences without really walking the path deeply.

                He tries to take away the part of someone feeling special. He’s got that tangled up – one can be and feel special and be egoless. The All Blacks show that in moments. Doesn’t seem to me that he’s breaked down the divisions (rugby metaphor – division 1,2,34).

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 12:07am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 3rd 2018 @ 12:07am | ! Report

                The book is not my “bible” by any means. It is just an easy read on a subject I am very interested in.

                The real changes and development happen when I meditate or do different kind of mental/mind exercises. I do one exercise now that focus on feeling compassion for total strangers. It is a rather tricky exercise to execute, but when it works for me, there are very clear and obvious benefits for me and people (and animals) that are around me on an everyday basis.

                Also doing some volunteer work with kids who have HIV and take care of some of the stray dogs and cats in my neighborhood. Not because I am a special person or yada yada yada, but to get used to help others and have less focus on myself in a negative way. Plus the rewards I get from those kids, dogs, and cats are pretty nice. It provides a very healthy balance to the rest of my life, that is partly lived in a pretty selfish and vain way.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 6:55pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

                Never said it was fair Jokerman.

                But I would have said that it shouldn’t have been the major issue that many people made it out to be.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 7:15pm
                Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

                Okay Geoff, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. You may have just been channeling the horse that day.

              • April 4th 2018 @ 7:27pm
                Mr Hollywood said | April 4th 2018 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

                Valid point, and it takes away his responsibility if indeed he was taken over by the horse.

                I don’t know if anyone can remember ‘Cattle Dog’ who used to comment here. Some days he would make perfect sense and then suddenly it was like something had taken over him.

                I asked him politely if he was channeling the dog. I made it very clear that the dog was the one making the good sense. Hit a nerve I think – never heard back from him. I just hope the dog is safe.

              • April 4th 2018 @ 7:29pm
                Mr Hollywood said | April 4th 2018 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

                Valid point, and it takes away his responsibility if indeed he was taken over by the horse.

                I don’t know if anyone can remember ‘Cattle Dog’ who used to comment here. Some days he would make perfect sense and then suddenly it was like something had taken over him.

                I asked him politely if he was channeling the dog. I made it very clear that the dog was the one making the good sense. Hit a nerve I think – never heard back from him. I just hope the dog is safe.

              • April 4th 2018 @ 7:51pm
                Mr Hollywood said | April 4th 2018 @ 7:51pm | ! Report

                A double-up and it refused to allow me to delete it.

                Also saw a UFO on someone’s picture. ‘Robel’ I think (above, yes really). Could be a Russian spy. Say you know nothing, Neutral.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 7:50pm
                Mr Hollywood said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

                Try and keep that Russian accent down, Neutral. They are getting deported everywhere. And if you go to a bar don’t drink vodka – dead give-away. Very tolerant in New Zealand mind you.

                Such a liberal country with this new PM and stuff. I’m still talking about New Zealand here…no no not Russia.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 9:00am
                Bruce Peters said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

                Brilliant!

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:32pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

                Thai Buddhism is strange – they love the gold statues.

                and their temples are more like the Burma Vietnam Cambodia architecture – as opposed to India Sri Lanka.

                dont know if they do still – but they had a rule that meant all men had to spend two years as a monk …..

            • Roar Guru

              April 2nd 2018 @ 5:28pm
              Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

              A second division would enable an uninterrupted the first division format. Under such a guise the Force would still remain, and new entries would not cause any problems to the top division.

              The Super was perfect seven or so years ago. It was the added teams, which in part, altered the structure. With a second division this wouldn’t happen as the new team would go straight to second division.

              The Super was perfect. I would like it to go back. A second division I’m not terribley fussed but it would be cool and I’m open to it as I think it’s a good way to expand without hurting the Super as they have done with an unfair system.

              Oh – and clubs, I just meant franchise, but I loath that word – it sound pretty soulless huh ?!

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 5:35pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

                the expansion was wrong – i am not sure any of the countries have enuf talent for more teams.

                i think the critical mass is NZ – 5 ; SA – 5 ; AU – 4.

                if u really want add the Argies but Japs is a serios and stupid mistake.

                more teams needs more top class player – not just average club players.

                more teams diluted the quality. anyway in most leagues of the world , only few teams have top quality players .

                look at the most successful franchise game – IPL. it has only 8 teams even after 10 years.

                it is not as if they lack money : Hell Ambani alone can own all of them – he is valued at over $30 billion by Forbes.

                but they realize expansion will dilute the talent and the format.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 7:57pm
                Mr Hollywood said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

                You can make fun of the horse, Jokerman but I’m thinking there may have been some good sht in the paddock.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:07pm
              Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

              Rugby in NZ was 1st, 2nd and 3rd division with relegation – some of the relegation games were brutal.
              Don’t think this works in the professional era, would a sponsor commit to a deal if relegated at end of season.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:23pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

                ” Don’t think this works in the professional era, would a sponsor commit to a deal if relegated at end of season. ”

                well it happens in european footy for sure ” tho am not sure about rugger ”

                but the issue is not that – mny peeps seem to be confused between club/ provincial competition as opposed to a franchise competition.

                both rugger and footy is a club competition. things below super rugger is either club or province based.

                the only real franchise competition i can think of is IPL cricket ( and then there are few more mushrooming all over the place)

                if u take european footy or rugger – its the same team / club that goes to play at regional level. they dont make new teams for Euro or no Heineken cup matches.

                but super rugger makes new teams – from players from different clubs/ teams/ places.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 7:20pm
                Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

                Seems to have worked for Force, got dropped and there sponsor starts a whole new comp – I think I answered my own question

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 7:19pm
                Jokerman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

                Higher stakes for sponsor but one just plays it – risk vs reward and it all just gets priced in.

                They should do it.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 8:04pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

                I can imagine those Kiwi relegation/promotion games back in the day the was something else. Like brilliant theater with lots of drama, passion, tears, and joy. What is not to like about that?

                There are a lot of studies from European soccer that promotion/relegation keeps all games relevant and fan engaged from the first day to the last. As mentioned, promotion/relegation battles can almost be as intriguing as the title fight. It sure gives an extra edge to games that otherwise would be dead rubbers.

                From a fans perspective, it is a very good thing. Being stuck in the bottom of the league and all you have to look forward to is another season being stuck at the bottom is not attractive at all. Of course, being relegated hurts, but it at least opens the opportunity to reboot in a serious way and have a winning season and if it all clicks get promoted (and that is the closest things there is to actually winning the top prize from a pure happiness angle).
                .
                Very very few football clubs, even the biggest ones, have never been relegated at least once. And they all survived and came back.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:32pm
                Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

                I’m from Southland there was nothing fun about being at the bottom and nearly or being relegated or at top of division 2 and failing to get promoted either way depressing – and then you lose your best players to D1 teams so they can make All Black and it got even more depressing.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 10:12pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:12pm | ! Report

                I guess there are fans of the teams Southland faced that will tell a very different story? And have your boys never won a promotion? Always going downward?

                The philosophical view is without pain and despair there is no joy and happiness. The more it hurts getting dropped, the sweeter it feels getting promoted.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 3:20am
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 3:20am | ! Report

                We dont have the numbers to sustain multiple divisions. Non premier players in the UK still get million dollar salaries.

                No way players like Reiko, Kaino are going to command the same sort of money in a lower division so if say the Blues get relegated their stars would be picked up and the Blues would be stuck there, the road back far too difficult.

                It worked in the amateur game because there was little movement and players generally played for who they grew up with. That started eroding with travel became much easier and the city based teams started picking up the rural guys.

                That lead to the inevitable drift towards pro rugby.

                Im just glad to have grown up at a time when loyalty to ones birthplace was important, that pride in playing for the same team as your father, grandfather etc before you meant something.

                Much of the game today is better, but for different reasons but there are facets of it that the mighty dollar is over dictating. And thats a shame.

              • Columnist

                April 3rd 2018 @ 10:39am
                Geoff Parkes said | April 3rd 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                Well put T-man.

                We”re seeing that play out in the English premiership now. Most of the 2nd division teams see it as a waste of time pursuing promotion as they will come up against sides who are better resourced and who have better players.

                In a free market, without old provincial loyalties of the amateur days, the best players won’t sit around biding their time in a lower division.

                Bristol is an exception, they think of themselves as a Premiership team but it is fanciful to suggest that promotion/relegation works effectively. In fact most of the recent chatter has been around dropping it altogether.

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 12:01pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 3rd 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                I think you miss the point here. A second division is by far the best way to introduce new teams to the competition. Especially since SANZAAR are pretty clear about in order to survive the competition has to expand. New teams from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and who knows where else would get slaughtered, better to give them a softer start and let them earn their spurs before mixing it with the big boys.

                And don’t look at everything from the worse case scenarios (unless you also use the sunshine scenario to balance it out) and cherry pick “stats and info” from the Premiership. It is a different world and landscape up there.

                Losing players when dropping a division is a fact of life yes, but what so bad about that? Players are already changing clubs for money and glory. There is no Law of nature that says Rieko Ioane has to play for the Blues. Maybe he would benefit from playing for the Crusaders or the Highlanders?

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 12:39pm
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

                No, youre missing the point. It wouldnt work, and you dont know enough about NZ rugby to be able to have an informed opinion either way.

                There’s no way an entire team could play in a non Super rugby environment then be promoted into one all of a sudden, and pitched against the likes of the Crusaders, canes etc.

                The gulf is too wide. And where would that second division come from in terms of NZ sides?

                The five franchises already take up 100% of the catchment area. You’re saying the five franchises should have ‘B’ teams? or should we redivide up the entire country into what? Ten regions which cut into the 5 franchises?

                And where does this second division play. Do we have an entire new set of five teams from NZ travelling across the Southern hemisphere? At who’s expense? Which grounds host this new rung of teams?

                Here everyone’s advocating the decline of SH rugby due to lack of money and crowds, and at the same time you’re suggesting an entirely additional league? good luck with that.

                Our Mitre 10 level is perfect in every way for developing our players so we certainly don’t need another tier of competition. It would be a complete waste of time, and especially, money.

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 12:49pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 3rd 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                No, youre missing the point. It wouldnt work, and you dont know enough about NZ rugby to be able to have an informed opinion either way.

                Well, you don’t know enough about anything outside NZ to have an informed view. And until you show any kind of effort to try to understand the problems SH rugby have from a collective approach, and not only from your fanboy Kiwi only approach, it rather pointless and a waste of time to engage with you on these matters.

                When you show some genuine interest in these matters, then I will try to explain how a second division could work.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 3rd 2018 @ 1:32pm
                piru said | April 3rd 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                Neutral there’s one obvious difference I see between your football example and rugby in NZ

                Crusaders, Blues, Highlanders etc are not clubs, they are franchises – they sit above the clubs and provinces.

                If you were advocating that provincial sides be organised into tiers it might still work – but it would mean dissolution of the Super franchises

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 1:51pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 3rd 2018 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                With all respect piru, I know that there are franchises in SR, not clubs.

                I have high-jacked this thread enough from Geoff to go into detail, but I give a very quick breakdown how it could be done. If we still have 18 teams it would look like this

                Division A
                Crusaders
                Hurricanes
                Chiefs
                Highlanders
                Waratahs
                Brumbies
                Lions
                Stormers
                Blues

                Division B
                Western Force
                Rebels
                Reds
                Sharks
                Bulls
                Kings
                Cheetahs
                Sunwolves
                Jaguares

                The bottom team in Div A drops, winner Div B goes up.
                Team 7-8 in Div A plays promotion/relegation qualifier against team 2-3 in Div B.

                If competition gets expanded with two teams, they both slots into Div B and top two teams from Div B gets automatic promotion.

                Important detail, both division are still Super Rugby and all teams would still get the same amount of money. In so many words, it is still the same competition with the same administrator.

                This way we would get extremely few blowouts or dead rubbers.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 4:48pm
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

                Ok, you said it was the best way of bringing depth through. How does that setup bring NZs depth through?

                There are no additional NZ teams in that model, so where do the players come from?

                The same place as now? Well gee, that helps.

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 5:10pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 3rd 2018 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

                Ok, you said it was the best way of bringing depth through.

                Did I? Or are you making up things I never said again?

                There are no additional NZ teams in that model, so where do the players come from?

                From allowing AB’s players playing for overseas SR teams. That would leave many spots open in NZ SR teams (and also open a lot of “space” in NZR’s salary budget which would help to retain fringe All Blacks in NZ).

              • April 4th 2018 @ 1:40am
                Taylorman said | April 4th 2018 @ 1:40am | ! Report

                Oops, my bad. Oh well wouldnt work anyway. How can both divs be Super rugby when none fron one div can win the Super rugby title? When has that ever been super rugby?

                And Reds fans are supposed to turn out for their side all year in the hope of what? That they get to maybe watch them turn out for the title next year? And if not, watch them for another year, and another, in the hope that one year theyll actually get to compete for a title.

                Youre also expecting the Reds to do all that travelling in the hope of competing for a title the following year, in much tougher company?

                Cant see it.

              • April 4th 2018 @ 9:31am
                AndyS said | April 4th 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

                Indeed. Had they gone to divisions in 2006, the Bulls wouldn’t have won it in 2009, and neither the Reds or Waratahs would have got their titles. Nothing like divisions for making for nice predictable outcomes…

              • Roar Rookie

                April 3rd 2018 @ 2:04pm
                piru said | April 3rd 2018 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

                I wasn’t suggesting you don’t know the difference, just pointing out that football clubs in England are not the same as rugby franchises in NZ.

                Personally I quite like the way you pitch it, I think the administrators need to focus on looking after the hard core fans, and let them do the recruiting of casual fans – instead of screwing over the supporters in pursuit of people who might be interested.

                With your model, that could work – but I would suggest the top/bottom two or even three are promoted/relegated – to keep things interesting longer into the season

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 2:56pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 3rd 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                I wasn’t suggesting you don’t know the difference, just pointing out that football clubs in England are not the same as rugby franchises in NZ.

                I know piru… 🙂

                I heard rumors that this idea – at least briefly – was discussed in that infamous meeting in London when they decided to cut three teams instead. I have no idea why they choose not to go with it. Maybe it was not discussed at all, as said I only heard rumors about it, no official comments.

                Direct promotion for team two and three from Div B or playing qualifiers is not a big issue per se, that important thing is to keep the doors open between the two divisions. Whatever way one chose to do it, it would be very interesting all the way to the end of the season, hence to get into the top three in div B or avoid the bottom three in div A would be a major thing all through the season. Personally, I like qualifiers, hence they are just brilliant sport to watch and would add extra games to the business end with real meaning and nerve. And whatever team that gets relegated, that can’t have any complaints at all hence the played about it and lost. Suck it up and do better next year and earn your place in the top division.

                Another upside with this idea is that all teams in both divisions would play everyone home and away (in their own division), so we would get real sporting justice, something all fans have been very vocal about that they want.

                This idea is also possible to use from 2020 also, even if Cheetahs and Kings not returns (they are signed up with Pro14 until 2023 so it is highly unlikely). But the word is that SANZAAR wants to stick with conferences so there are a lot of derbies.

                And as said, with more expansion teams on the agenda (Western Force being the most obvious one), this idea would solve so many problems. Now it is a huge problem to get the conferences right with new expansion teams, but with this idea, it would be both easy and very straightforward to bring new teams in.

                By all means, they could reinstate Western Force already next year this idea, hence it works just fine with 16 teams also.

                The maximum numbers of teams would probably be 20 teams (10 in each division) and still play everyone home and away (in their own division of course), but that is probably the limit anyway the next ten years at least (there is not enough talent around to fill more than 20 teams at the moment me think).

                So from 2020, it could look like this:

                Div A
                Crusaders
                Hurricanes
                Chiefs
                Highlanders
                Waratahs
                Brumbies
                Lions
                Stormers
                Blues
                Rebels

                Division B
                Western Force
                Jaguares
                Reds
                Sharks
                Bulls
                Sunwolves
                Argentinas second team
                Japans second team
                Hong Kong
                Fiji Drua/PI team/Singapore

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 4:39pm
                cuw said | April 3rd 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

                super rugger cannot expand – not in the way Europe play in not Heineken cup .

                the distances and time differences are too much for simillar standard opposition.

                the problem with closer opposition is – either they dont have the money or they dont have the quality.

                Asian teams are the closest to Aussy/NZ – but aside from japan they lack quality ; even Japan lack the quality o compete on their own.

                The Islands have quality but they dont have money to be viable markets.

                the biggest markets of the world – USA INDIA CHINA are both too far away and not very interested in rugger.

                how silly and stupid the decision to include Japan – purely on money factor – is shown by them having to play their home matches at an adopted home in Singapore or HK.

        • April 2nd 2018 @ 11:38am
          Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 11:38am | ! Report

          Twiggys comp is a waste of time and resources.
          The administration of the sport in this country is abysmal – and I include in that coach and player development, selections etc.
          And no they are not because of SR.
          But I think it’s time we acknowledged that they are constants in Australian rugby. Being in SR isn’t going to fix as much as being outside will fix it.
          What I do know is that SR is sliding into irrelevance – and the end result will be reduced TV and game day revenue. The latter is already happening.
          TV scheduling and timezone is the biggest problem. Followed by the disparity in performance between Aus and NZ. The former is much easier to fix than the latter. But all decisions come with a financial consequence.

          It just a matter of when you want to face those consequences. But they are coming regardless. And it would be nice to still have a fan base for support when you make that decision to face the consequences.

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 11:58am
            Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 11:58am | ! Report

            Just to clarify above – being in SR isn’t going to fix our administration problems and being outside SR isn’t going to fix it either. The entrenched hierarchy and ‘types’ of people who manage to get to the top of oz rugby is not going to change any time soon. As sad as that thought is.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:14pm
              Jacko said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

              RF86 there has just been some massive changes in RA administration starting with an NZ female CEO so maybe what you say is not possible is already starting to happen. give it time to either succeed or fail

            • Roar Rookie

              April 2nd 2018 @ 9:17pm
              Kirky said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

              Rf86 ~ Therein lies the problem, the general consensus from the real ”True Blue” rugby Australian is the simple fact that they do not and will not wear anything New Zealand, Coaching and Administration included!

              They love poaching Kiwi players but that’s where it ends, ~ Shades of Robbie Deans and John Mitchell for example both Coaching in Australia and, two of the very best of International Coaches Kiwi style, one had an 83% winning record with the All Blacks ~ we all know what happened to them both, and in Deans’ case part of the reason he left was because of a couple of stirrers still playing today in fact, ~they couldn’t get their way!

              A massive shift in attitude in all things rugby in Australia is needed immediately if not, sooner!

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:51pm
                Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

                Dean’s missed out on ABs coach to 2nd term for Henry, reports were that Henry interviewed better and mainly because of his approach to a team of coaches around him where as Dean’s was a solo act with little idea of who to use as assistants, NZ had just lost another world cup, most NZ public expected Dean’s to get the role including to his demise did Dean’s.
                Dean’s maybe thought he could use the Australia role to prove NZR wrong but didn’t and so is history.
                He is still one of the best coaches NZ has produced just ask Canterbury where the current AB coach also comes from, Dean’s and Hansen played and coached together Dean’s should never have taken Australian job he shut to many doors in NZ and underestimated the issues in Aus, he didn’t have the structures around him that make Kiwi coaches successful.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 9:06am
                Muzzo said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

                Kirky, mate!1
                If you ever get a chance, to pick up a copy of Anton Oliver’s book mate, do so, as it will give you a very good insight to the Mitchell/Deans era of holding the reigns of the AB’s. All that Anton stated was true & it is a very good read. Oliver was offered a fairly high position in the NZRFU, but declined, for other reasons. Cheers.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 9:07am
                Muzzo said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

                PS Kirky, The book is called, ” I, Anton Oliver”.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 9:11am
                Muzzo said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

                Ah, Peter, perhaps you should try reading Anton Oliver’s book, as that in itself, does explain why Deans, really missed out. Deans was a great provincial & super rugby coach, but AB’s is another story.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 3rd 2018 @ 4:00pm
                piru said | April 3rd 2018 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

                Jeez Muzzo have you got a new job as Anton’s press officer!?

              • April 4th 2018 @ 6:14am
                Muzzo said | April 4th 2018 @ 6:14am | ! Report

                Nah piru, I missed out badly, I’m afraid. Lol.

          • Columnist

            April 2nd 2018 @ 12:00pm
            Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

            Some fair observations there RF although I’m not sure how much Australia fixes anything by going it alone outside of SR.

            If that happens no elite Australian players will play in Australia because the pay disparity will grow even wider. I can’t see how having the equivalent of Football’s situation – in a domestic market that is dominated by AFL and Rugby League – is desirable. Unless of course people are happy with a niche outcome that is semi-professional at the top tier.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 12:17pm
              Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

              our own revenues from SR will start going backwards and the pay disparity will occur anyway. My long term prediction for Oz rugby is a form of semi professionalism – that will occur with or without SR – just different paths to the same outcome. Interest in SR has collapsed in oz. and SA is on the same path. The TV people are all over this. They aren’t charities. They know there is zero other suitors for TV rights at current prices. The next movement is down in real terms – best outcome is same amount in nominal terms. All the while Europe pushes onward and upward.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 3:01pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                Well it is certainly true that the next round of broadcasting rights negotiations is critical for the SANZAAR nations RF.

                Everyone, including the administrators, will know a lot more about where the sport is heading after that.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:41pm
                Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

                I all feels very passive.. administrators should know where it is heading before that… not after that. That they don’t know shows how clueless they are.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:16pm
                Jacko said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

                RF86 you arnt sitting in a bar in Thailand by any chance are you? Strating to sound very similar to another bloke who sits in bars in Thailand with your theories

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:39pm
                Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

                Nope. Suburban brisvegas

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 7:55pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

                Rugbyfan, understand that it feels passive, but one of the things that stood out when conducting research for my book was how little control both the national unions and the broadcasters have over this process. No-one really knows what will happen until it happens.

                They all enter it with a plan but things can take a life of their own, depending on how many players there are to create competitive tension (will new media play an important role this time around or not?) and the situation in other sports being only two of many factors.

                Cricket Australia is going through this right now – a perfect example of how little control the national bodies have, and how quickly they can be converted to price takers.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:21pm
                Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

                I get this. But what happens when the stadiums remain empty and the viewership numbers remain barely sustainable (as they are in oz) – you then need to ask “why are we playing rugby?” And also “for whom are we playing rugby?”
                Because the broadcasters will ask the same questions.

                Are NZ and SA willing to share the pie when Oz are contributing nothing? Is it sustainable for Oz rugby to be reliant on money from NZ, SA and Euro tv deals???

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 10:07pm
                Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

                NZR got a huge deal from AIG and Adidas based on All Blacks, this money is also important – you also can’t underestimate what teams like All Blacks, and winning a yatch race does for NZ govt and business interests out side NZ, the All Blacks brand will and should be protected at all costs – plus there is that little thing called identity which kiwis have invested in that black Jersey and all it represents.

              • Roar Guru

                April 2nd 2018 @ 10:29pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

                Revenue from TV-deals via SANZAAR delivers about 50 percent of all income to NZR. Yes, other deals are important also, but let us not kid ourselves what the most important thing – by some distance – is. And if the TV-deal gets smaller or don’t grow with time, it will weaken the All Blacks and long term it will make it harder to cash in on the brand.

                As I see it, the All Blacks bring an identity to the people in NZ that are interested in rugby, but there are more people that don’t care about the All Blacks in NZ (and build their identity as Kiwis on other things) than people that care, at least if we use TV-ratings as hard facts.

                How does the All Blacks help NZ business development in general outside NZ? Can you give a couple of examples?

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 9:20am
                ads2600 said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

                Still trying to be an expert on all things New Zealand, but have no clue on what’s really going on I see?

                TV ratings as hard facts, means nothing without looking at the socio-economic status of New Zealanders. With the advent of digital content, and it being vastly cheaper then SkyTV, not to mention being able to stream the rugby for free on various websites, many people do not waste money on payTV.

                With wages being next to stagnant for nearly 20 years, & the price of Sky increasing annually, people can simply not afford it. Wages are pathetically low, & Kiwis just don’t have the disposable income. My father was a butcher for literally 50 years, and is earning less per hour now then 20 years ago.

                The vast majority of people in my family (approx. 200 people, not a typo), & friends still love the All Blacks, & rugby, but have got smarter in how they view games. As I mentioned before, free streaming for some, & others chipping in to get SkyTV setup in the garage at a Grandparents house, & making a family night of it. Viewing numbers may be “low” according to people actually buying an using the service, but actual viewers still remains high.

                My wife & I know a lot of whanau who do this both in Nz & Australia.

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 11:46am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 3rd 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

                So if we don’t use TV-ratings (or bums on seats in the stadiums) as hard facts, what shall we use?
                Surely you understand that you and your family is not a deep enough pool (despite its impressive size) to use if one want asses how many people are watching rugby in NZ?
                Has there been any kind poll or investigation done how big the “dark numbers” (meaning how many watched games through not so legal streaming. at friends houses, at bars) really are?

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:27pm
                Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:27pm | ! Report

                My strong belief is that Oz rugby has failed in its first incarnation of professionalism. We are the obvious standout as the top tier rugby nation that has been the worst at adapting to professionalism. People will rattle off RWC success etc … but this has mainly been achieved despite the lack of professionalism in our administration. We papered over those massive flaws for a long time – but slowly that continued incompetence and mediocrity in administration has resulted in a hollowed out game. All top heavy in focus and funding with barely anything supporting it from beneath.

              • Columnist

                April 2nd 2018 @ 9:36pm
                Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:36pm | ! Report

                I don’t think anyone could argue that Australia has handled the last 10-12 years well RF, but Australia are only third graders compared to how Wales managed things. They are the masters at disconnecting the grass roots from the professional game.

                Not that this makes the situation here any more palatable, I understand.

                The thing is, if Australia divorces itself from SANZAAR and goes it alone in some form, that’s fine, but everyone must accept that this means a semi-professional game without the best players and compromised performances in the World Cup.

                If Australia want to try to stay a major world rugby nation – which despite all of the frustrations, it is – then it needs to stay in the SANZAAR brotherhood because that’s the only way to generate meaningful revenue.

                There is no in-between. The market is too small, the competition from AFL and NRL too strong, to be domestic AND have money.

                I agree that this outcome might happen anyway, as you say different paths to the same place, but rather than simply give up, I understand why the game’s administrators want to do all they can to keep fighting to at least maintain what they have.

                Don’t forget that SANZAAR’s broadcast revenues aren’t all about this part of the world – there is a significant contribution from the NH, which is why they see it as important to try to keep standards high and the games close etc… and tap into some of that money.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 11:42pm
                Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 11:42pm | ! Report

                So they cut teams in an attempt to improve quality of matches to appease a distant tv audience whilst sacrificing its domestic fan base… that is not going to end well…

                I get that it’s a massive Catch 22 situation – but at some point it will just go “pop”! And there will be neither a domestic fan base nor a distant one.

                Sports broadcast deals are on the wane – the promised land of new entrants from the shiny new digital and/or socmed world just haven’t materialised.

                I hate being so pessimistic about the future of oz rugby. But in a professional career made of analysis and understanding markets and trends I see nothing yet that will turn SR around in Oz. It’s a huge concern.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 7:35am
                Bakkies said | April 3rd 2018 @ 7:35am | ! Report

                You are spot on with your last post.

                Kiwi fans have got their heads in the sands as they haven’t been in the position of poisonous debates about cutting teams and alienating fan bases. Through in a Senate Inquiry where dodgy financial deals and abuse of position has been revealed. The other shocking thing that was revealed was the RA had undergone 13 reviews in five years. The most recent one conducted by a mate of de Clyne’s from Sydney Uni Patrick Allaway. Then you have another mate of de Clyne’s the Sukkars rubber stamping board nominations. This has led to an ASIC investigation.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 8:31am
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 8:31am | ! Report

                Bakkie’s its not about having a head in the sand for me. For me its about the monotonous doom and gloom being painted here and the ‘need’ to cement it into every conversation that’s going. I know change is required, I just choose not to be part of that solution as a viewer. There are many (many) talented kiwi’s who will be plotting in the background over that one.

                The Swede for example will discuss a match that NZ loses in but where they win will roll out the usual diatribe about the game being doomed and kiwis ignoring the fact.

                He did this twice over the weekend, and my view is its not actually about the future he cares about, but getting one over kiwis like many do, when their teams cant win on the field. He likes to feel superior to kiwis in some way by endlessly presiding over our bleak destiny. (A bit pitiful really) where the average joe he just doesnt care.

                Its probably apt for discussion within Geoffs article here but in a match report? Na. Thats about the game we are watching, no need to repeat it all over again there.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 2:49pm
                Bakkies said | April 3rd 2018 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                Tman you simply just don’t get it Kiwis are just blind to what is going on elsewhere as apparently all things are rosy in NZ.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 5:03pm
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

                Bakkies everyone follows kiwis and their rugby. We lead the game, we dont follow. Our rugby people are the most sought after worldwide. The top 6N coach is now a kiwi, oz have hired a kiwi to run their rugby and as players and coaches kiwis are all over the globe, after being asked to help because the cant do it themselves.

                You really think we dont have our finger on the pulse because of a few kiwi comments on a rugby site.

                You and the swede honestly think that? Its you Id suggest are the naive ones. Clearly.

                We dont follow in this game. We lead, at every possible level. And it shows.

                Where is your evidence that kiwis dont know whats going on, when it is clear on a global basis we do.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 6:03pm
                Bakkies said | April 3rd 2018 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

                What a load of pretentious rubbish in that post I don’t know where to start.

                ‘Bakkies everyone follows kiwis and their rugby. We lead the game, we dont follow.’

                Newsflash this is an Australian site of course people are going to discuss the issues hampering Australian Rugby. The longer Australian Rugby is in the doldrums it affects the quality of the cross border competitions that NZ participates in.

                If you want to blow smoke up NZ Rugby’s a..e and talk about how and mighty you are there is a website called the Silvernfern that suits that purpose.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 8:50pm
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

                Not blowing smoke bakkies its the reverse of your suggesting we are naive when the leadership of this game is heavily dominated by kiwi thinking. In playing it, coaching it, managing it. The evidence is everywhere. Where is yours that we dont know where its going? A few ROAR posters like yourself? Pleease.

              • April 4th 2018 @ 10:10am
                Bakkies said | April 4th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

                ‘Not blowing smoke bakkies its the reverse of your suggesting we are naive when the leadership of this game is heavily dominated by kiwi thinking. In playing it, coaching it, managing it. The evidence is everywhere.’

                What has that got to do with Super Rugby (which directly affects the quality of the 4 Nations) going to pot and Kiwis turning a blind eye to it due to things being so rosy across the ditch.

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 12:22pm
            Bakkies said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

            It is Twiggy’s resources not the RA’s. Had the RA not sold the Rebels to a man who was technically insolvent at the time they would have got some of the 13 million back and not thrown additional money at the team that should have come from the pockets of the benefactor. Money that is now gone which should of been towards the development of Australian Rugby.

            Twiggy’s Force already have the best CEO in the game Nick Marvin and the players are contracted to put in 350 hours of community Rugby service. The game already has 30 more Rugby development officers due to the players taking on the responsibility in the state then they would have got after years of underfunding from the RA to Rugby WA.

            The Force have also sold close to 3,000 memberships for their one off fixtures this year.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 12:27pm
              Rugbyfan86 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

              Totally agree they are Twiggys resources. The fact they are being applied in some splinter faction is the sad thing. The fact RA couldn’t somehow bring Twiggy into the tent is even sadder.

              My comment wasn’t meant to disparage Twiggys commitment. More that it’s wasted in that it is needed to fix RA bungling.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:45pm
                Ex force fan said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

                Agree with you that it is sad that Rugby Australia didn’t had the foresight to get Twiggy in the tent, it is was more important for the ARU to kill WA Rugby. Now Twiggy is repairing the damage in WA Rugby while Rugby Australia continue to serve as an extension to NSW. Twiggy has been doing Rugby Australia’s job for them and we in WA is 100% behind him.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 11:56pm
                Bakkies said | April 2nd 2018 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

                He was never to get much traction with the RA while de Clyne is still stinking up the joint.

                As for Raelene Castle she has barely been in the press lately.

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 9:36am
                PeterK said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:36am | ! Report

                the very very poor decision by Clyne to turn his nose up at 50 million (the lack of consideration or negotiation) sums it all up

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 6:04pm
                Bakkies said | April 3rd 2018 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

                He has to go and no one has the guts to get rid of the poison ivy.

        • April 2nd 2018 @ 2:38pm
          Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

          All the issues are Australian – The NZ teams have further to travel and still keep on winning, don’t seem to see all the whining about the format etc in NZ, even the Blues don’t blame the comp or having to play more NZ sides.
          As for Crusaders fan you should be happy out team is still winning and generally playing well – to be a fan is to take the good with the bad not switch to NRL when it doesn’t suit you or not winning.
          My second team the Rebels since living in Melbourne weren’t easy to watch but I kept turning up hoping for the best – actually missed more games this year but keep playing my fees to support my teams.
          All Blacks no1, Crusaders no2, Rebels no3 and anybody beating the Poms and Wallabies no4 – going to see the Irish in June who should possibly be my no2 with my last name.

          • Columnist

            April 2nd 2018 @ 3:03pm
            Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

            🙂

            • April 3rd 2018 @ 4:03am
              Ken Catchpole’s Other Leg said | April 3rd 2018 @ 4:03am | ! Report

              Geoff, here is the problem in a nutshell. Big bad Kelly in a discussion about what is good for the whole code in the region sagely calls Aussies ‘whingers’ wears his ’I support two teams – the All Blacks and anyone playing Australia’ Tshirt and your well read, normally magnanimous self just smiles.
              In a search for a solution to a looming problem why are you encouraging chest beaters in black to sail on to a lonely reef?
              What the Kelly’s and the Jacko’s of this world will one day discover is that the dominance that they ‘earnt’ becomes the fire that burnt. When SR fails (and it is failing atm with no signs of resuscitation) where will the money come from to pay All Blacks to stay in NZ?
              Will it come from chest beaters in lonely stadiums whinging that another country ‘should have got their act together’?
              A competition will only work if there is y’know ……some ‘competition’.
              Disappointed that your intelligent article has been soured by bone headed triumphalism that you seem to be giving tacit approval to.
              The sound logic within opinions like Neutral’s seems to be lost on some. I don’t agree necessarily with his solution (eg spreading ABs around SR) but it should be pretty simple to agree on the problem – without competition there is no competition.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 9:22am
                Muzzo said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                Oh pull the other leg Ken, in regards to financing the AB’s. That really shows your lack of knowledge as far as the game goes in NZ. We don’t rely on a GPS system , & follow on hierarchy to make our game what it is, & has been for decades, in NZ. Many in NZ, would still rather do away with super rugby, to concentrate, more, on our domestic comps. Don’t worry, mate, in the long run, NZ rugby will survive, as the grass roots, in schools & clubs, etc. is still very very strong & solid. .

              • Roar Guru

                April 3rd 2018 @ 9:33am
                PeterK said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

                very good post, a lot just don’t get it.

                The desire for the wallabies to keep losing, and lets leave aust rugby to sort it’s mess out.
                The schadenfreude enjoyed by many kiwis at oz rugby will come back and bite them.

              • Columnist

                April 3rd 2018 @ 10:53am
                Geoff Parkes said | April 3rd 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

                Hi Ken

                You’ve read enough of my stuff to know that I’ve been warning for a long time that NZ fans should be wary of becoming the kings of nothing. It’s a concern that NZ Rugby is very aware of btw, but while they are able to wield influence at a SANZAAR level, they rightly believe it is up to Australia to sort out their own problems.

                As for Peter Kelly’s post, it’s clear from his contributions that he’s a genuine rugby man, and his last pgh on the post above is actually how many Kiwi’s feel when it comes to Australian sport. It’s not made with any malice, it’s probably reflective of a ‘little brother’ syndrome that Kiwis have, but it’s just how it is.

                Peter’s shown his true colours and kept following the Rebels through the good and bad (not much good) so if that entitles him to a light hearted comment then fair enough I reckon.

                As for other posters, I’ll comment and try to inform the debate if I can clarify or add something, and will sometimes call out smugness or arrogance, but I’m not here to be a policeman, and it’s wrong to assume that any non-comment on my part is tacit approval of anyone’s point of view. Hope that clarifies things? Cheers.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 11:18am
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 11:18am | ! Report

                What absolutely astounds me Ken is that so many assume Kiwi’s arent aware of what faces us ahead.

                With hundreds of posts on it from the Swede and many others putting it up in neon lights on a daily basis, how is it possible that we don’t know this?

                I mean Ken…’what Jacko will discover is…’

                Really? No one has pointed this out to Jacko a hundred times already? Thats laughable.

                If anything Sports social media is about the here and now. let the bean counters and admin folks take care of the ‘to be’ stuff. Yes the odd article should examine it, but just about every article has it in some shape or form.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 12:22pm
                Pistol Pete said | April 3rd 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

                “”With hundreds of posts on it from the Swede and many others putting it up in neon lights on a daily basis, how is it possible that we don’t know this?””

                maybe by the fact that you do your utmost to discredit the swede?
                i certainly not agree with the swede on all accounts but to brand him as anti-kiwi, when it is clear and obvious that he wants sh rugby and sanzaar to be strong tells me that you have not, or dont want to, understand a word about what he is saying.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 5:06pm
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

                You honestly believe that? I think hes just someone who likes to show off his surfing skills… and is putting it to very poor use.

              • April 3rd 2018 @ 11:21am
                Taylorman said | April 3rd 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

                ‘The schadenfreude enjoyed by many kiwis at oz rugby will come back and bite them.’

                Yes Pete, it might, but unfortunately you’ve had to lower yourself to say that because your teams can’t. If thats some feel good defensive mechanism then good on you. Fill yer boots! 🙂

          • Roar Guru

            April 3rd 2018 @ 4:26pm
            Fox said | April 3rd 2018 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

            Well said Geoff and great reply.

            It is not up to NZ to help Australia sort its mess out though with two former All Blacks as coaches in SR and one ( though Australian born and bred) in Byrne at the Wallabies plus a kiwi at the head of the ARU – maybe I am wrong there.

            New Zealanders should not have to apologises or hide their pride at being good at rugby any more than Australia should or does in league or cricket ( until recently I guess in the latter).

            New Zealanders have had to take constant back swipes – smug comments – put downs – and belittling rhetoric by Australian fans and the media over many years when it comes to league and cricket and big brother puts the boot in. Bit rich when one nation likes dishing it out but is thin skinned when it’s the other way round.

            No one or a nation, should ever not have the right to claim they are the best at something if indeed they are, with some bragging rights thrown in . And there is nothing worse than false modesty or giving a weaker opposition compliments when they are clearly not deserved – in any sport. It is a back handed way of apologising for being so much better at something.

            Take the Rebels game. For 25 minutes they were the better side, but once Mafi got knackered and then left the field after a head knock they looked a bit rudderless.

            Sensing they had weathered the initial storm ( which two Canes players said they had expected and planned for in the 20 – 30 minutes even expecting they may be behind) the Hurricanes went up a notch and from that moment on out gunned and outclassed the Rebels with 42 unanswered points. What was interesting. was two Canes players said that was always the plan – let the Rebels go hell for leather and weather the hits – then pounce. Mafi leaving the field was the trigger IMO.

            But the difference in class was no more evident than when the much vaunted Rebels bench, in the pre-match from Australian commentators with 4 Wallabies, was outplayed but the Canes bench with just one AB.

            There are also plenty in Australia – and I know some of them as my friends – who love to see the AB’s lose and want them too and rib me about it when it happens. It is a sentiment we should all understand – wanting your arch rival to take a beating from someone else and of course, in the case of the AB’s tall poppy syndrome, I think it is fair to say.

            That is human nature. Doesn’t make them any less my mates because they are the first to shake my hand if they win and vice versa when the Wallabies win.

            • Roar Rookie

              April 3rd 2018 @ 5:51pm
              piru said | April 3rd 2018 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

              We heard all the same jokes sent the other way for a long time.

              Then the endless schaudenfraude of the ‘peaking between world cups’ years.

              Then the sour grapes “Richie McCaw’s a cheat years”

              Bringing us to the “All Blacks only win because the refs favour them” years

              From experience, any comment here expressing pleasure, pride or appreciation of the All Blacks as a kiwi will inevitably be met with accusations of chips on shoulders and requests to go back there if you love it so much.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 2nd 2018 @ 6:23pm
          Huw Tindall said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

          We are in a major catch 22 situation – can’t let Super Rugby go as it provides $$$ from SANZAAR (mainly the SA in SANZAAR) yet the fans clearly don’t like the Super Rugby comp!

          As tough as it will be I think we just need to pull the plug on Super Rugby. I’m not sure it can even survive until 2020 if current trajectories continue.

          Could a beefed up NRC/Twiggy Comp get enough interest to start to demand some TV $? I think it could. If you’ve seen NRC you know how good the games can be. I just think we’ve got to take the risk. Sure would have been nice to have Twiggy $ supporting things too!

          • Columnist

            April 2nd 2018 @ 7:00pm
            Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

            Not sure what a NRC/Twiggy Comp actually looks like Huw.

            Understand the frustration with the current situation but any alternative solution that might realistically be taken up, actually has to have some detail (and $) attached to it.

            Speaking generally, not having a go at you 🙂

            • Roar Guru

              April 3rd 2018 @ 5:01am
              Nobrain said | April 3rd 2018 @ 5:01am | ! Report

              All this staff is already back into discussion because the Rebels lost to the Hurricanes? You guys aare hard to believe.

            • April 3rd 2018 @ 7:39am
              Bakkies said | April 3rd 2018 @ 7:39am | ! Report

              Geoff how can they put detail on it as the RA led by de Clyne has put 50 conditions on it which includes contributions from deluded Sydney clubs who don’t even contract players. This has led to a delay in negotiations.

              • Columnist

                April 3rd 2018 @ 10:57am
                Geoff Parkes said | April 3rd 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

                Not arguing that Bakkies, just pointing out that people who are promoting Twiggy’s comp as a solution don’t actually know what it is they’re promoting.

                Look forward to some interesting discussions about it when we do know, and we can all get our heads around the detail and what the possibilities are.

    • Roar Guru

      April 2nd 2018 @ 8:23am
      Kia Kaha said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      Cheers, Geoff.

      The Waratahs will be thanking the stars they don’t face any NZ sides for a while yet with Folau out but then again the longer they wait, perhaps the bigger adjustment they’ll need.

      I actually think the Reds have the best chance of scoring an upset against a Kiwi side thus far but it’s good to see although there are front runners in each conference it is far from a foregone conclusion.

      But with respect to the eventual winner, few would be putting money on a winner outside of NZ even at this early stage.

      • Roar Guru

        April 2nd 2018 @ 9:09am
        PeterK said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        crusaders are fortunate with the draw that they don’t play any other kiwi teams until end of may , almost 2 months , with their injury list

        • Roar Guru

          April 2nd 2018 @ 4:25pm
          Kia Kaha said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

          But they’ve already played the Highlanders, Chiefs and Hurricanes. Shame they haven’t played the Blues! 😉

          The tour to SA has come at an opportune time, Peter. They negate the strengths of a lot of SA franchises and their line out play means they have an attacking platform. ABC rugby until you get some players back. Props, Read, Dagg and Mo’unga will make them a more rounded team.

      • Columnist

        April 2nd 2018 @ 9:10am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        Hi KK

        The number of upset results and the noticeably more difficult task of tipping this year speaks to one of SANZAAR’s objectives – to increase the number of matches where the result isn’t a foregone conclusion – is being achieved.

        But it’s another step again to expect one set of changes to bring about an instant turnaround in Aus v NZ fortunes.

        There is a long way to go but you’re right, it’s hard to see the winner coming from outside the Hurricanes, Crusaders, Highlanders or Chiefs at this stage.

      • Roar Guru

        April 2nd 2018 @ 1:00pm
        Cadfael said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        The Hurricanes ran 50 points up against the Rebels as did the Waratahs. Let’s see how they go first before condemning them.

      • April 2nd 2018 @ 1:08pm
        Akari said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

        Based on their last two outings against then supposedly mediocre opposition, I’d suggest that the Rugby Tragic Blues are the most vulnerable to a thrashing by any if not all of the franchises on this side of the ditch, KK.

        • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:57pm
          cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

          yessss.

          i dont know much like TANA , but im wondering about his selections.

          Pulu – while he was around seemed to be a leader.

          but way back in time when they was recruiting – i said to Rugby Tragic that they shud have gone for an OLD 10 – someone like Delany at Crusaders.

          it seems all eggs was put in Otere Black basket and when he went down – the season was over like.

          just hope Reiko does not get unsettled by playing all over the park – he is either w wing or a 13 . he is not Isa Nacewa ffs!!

        • Roar Guru

          April 2nd 2018 @ 4:31pm
          Kia Kaha said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

          Akari, the Blues had a shocker, no doubt. But they are the Jaguares of the NZ franchise. Just when you put all your money on the opposition to win, the Blues will take you to the cleaners.

          It’s organization they lack. They could look no further than the Warriors this year to see how they curb their natural passing game and look a more structured particularly on defence. Tana seems to have got carried away by that first half against the Highlanders and the comeback against the Lions. Defence is the best form of attack.

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 5:50pm
            Taylorman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

            Amen to that. The looseness of the Blues structure is a crime in this day and age. Theyre just playing a hybrid of touch and sevens where they think if they do something over and over again eventually theyll get through. And we know what the definition of that is.

            • April 3rd 2018 @ 2:16am
              Carlos The Argie said | April 3rd 2018 @ 2:16am | ! Report

              The try they scored in the first half was a real beauty. A team that can do that should be much better. What a dissapointment!

    • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:28am
      AJ said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      One of my sons (6yo) wondered at the fairness of playing against a whole team of referees when he saw the highlanders.

      • Roar Guru

        April 2nd 2018 @ 8:37am
        Machooka said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        Ha AJ!

        I thought them a bunch of tradies… on penalty rates 😉

      • Columnist

        April 2nd 2018 @ 9:12am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        Take him to a Hurricanes’ game AJ. You’ll need to give him double strength earplugs.

        • April 2nd 2018 @ 9:26am
          rebel said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          I think it may have been a reference to the high vis jerseys.

          • Columnist

            April 2nd 2018 @ 9:57am
            Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

            Ok, got it! 🙂

            I thought he was talking about the number of on-field referees – of which the Hurricanes have many!

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 10:19am
              rebel said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

              Yes way too many arm flappers in many teams, and in the stands and loungerooms.
              I love the innocent 6yr old’s view.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 10:38am
              Jacko said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:38am | ! Report

              Thank goodness the Canes do have some players who can correct the ref…I remember 2 times where TJ has got the ref to change his mind because TJ pointed out the rules. Both times against Gardener

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 4:01pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

                last year he single handedly managed SECONDS.

                ” you have to even it up mate – 6: 0 against us is not a afir reflection of the game!”

                and even it up he did LOL

    • Roar Guru

      April 2nd 2018 @ 8:34am
      Machooka said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:34am | ! Report

      Morning G… thanks for the read. And when one reads such a heading which accompanies said article, I suppose one can reflect while taking solace, that is it, after all, Easter.

      Hence death and resurrection are, for some, a faith based dynamic, as opposed to others who rely more on proven statistical evidence 😉

      Anyhow, moving on, like onwards and upwards… be buggered eh as there where a couple of OMG moments this past w’end!?!

      Debra… guilty.

      Blues… guilty.

      Henry… guilty. Bless him 🙂

      • Columnist

        April 2nd 2018 @ 9:17am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        That a bloke did it tough just so that the rest of us can enjoy chocolate and fruit buns is pretty mind blowing really.

        Of your guilty parties, surely the Blues were the most culpable? No disrespect to the Sharks but…

        • Roar Guru

          April 2nd 2018 @ 9:24am
          Machooka said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

          Oh without a doubt the Blues!

          Crucified.

          No disrespect to the Sharks… or any other top feeding predator!

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:28pm
            Taylorman said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

            Sung to the tune of ‘Well I guess thats why they call them the Blues’🎵🎶

            • April 3rd 2018 @ 9:24am
              Muzzo said | April 3rd 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

              Gold T/man… Lol.

    • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:44am
      Worlds Biggest said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      Cheers Geoff, what a second half blitzkreig from the Canes, the potency in there game is frightening. The Rebels played well in the first half however all momentum was gone with that error. As expected a dour game in Canberra, the Tahs have not won this away fixture for a while and to do it without Izzy was encouraging.

      Big Naiya is a great sight marauding down the sidelines in full flight. If only someone didn’t move him to Number 8 when he first signed for the Tahs to eventually take over from Cliffy Palu.

      • Roar Guru

        April 2nd 2018 @ 9:10am
        PeterK said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        he was doing some hard runs in the middle as well

      • Columnist

        April 2nd 2018 @ 9:24am
        Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        Hi WB

        Yes, that potency or scoring power marks one of the biggest differences between Aus and NZ franchises.

        For example Koroibete and Naivalu are Test wingers but they looked small, slow and markedly less threatening in comparison to Ben Lam who, so far at least, isn’t near a Test jumper.

        • Roar Guru

          April 2nd 2018 @ 9:28am
          PeterK said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          have to say Julian Savea is quite underwelming now, no where near the threat he used to be

          • Roar Guru

            April 2nd 2018 @ 10:58am
            Machpants said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

            He was solid tho, defensively and positionally, and massively improved under the high ball. He also made most metres and beat second most defenders. But he just doesn’t seem to have that amazing bulldozer surge that he used to have – The Bus of three years ago would have scored from the cross field kick. However he still is great at SR level, but I can;t see him staying much longer – NZRU might breathe a sigh of relief with the huge contract he has!

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 1:19pm
            Akari said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

            I trust Julian Savea moved to the right wing as he had buckleys chance of unseating Rieko Ioane in the ABs starting 15. He now has to contend with Lam owning that left wing. How so unfortunate for Savea as the right wing move hasn’t worked thus far. I can’t say he was “underwhelming”, yet he couldn’t do the Maori side-step against the smallest man on the field or run around him when he had an opportunity to stake a claim.

            • Columnist

              April 2nd 2018 @ 1:29pm
              Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

              I think a wee bit of credit is due Genia as well. That was a tremendous tackle.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:23pm
              Jacko said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

              Akari I think he was selected as a left wing for the ABS from the right wing of the Canes in the first place.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 4:07pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

                nope – he played on left for the Canes becoz Cory Jane owned the right wing at the time.

                Savea was on the right for Wellington on and off – when NMS was on left.

                he has no chance against Naholo now – in much better form.

                Savea for some reason has lost pace – i said he was slow in Miter 10 last year. Naholo chased him down – and easily.

                perhaps NZ may play LAM on left and Reiko at 13 – for all the pace and power.

                but i just think CROtty’s days are numbered. he comes off second best in heavy contact most of the time.

                PITY

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 5:48pm
                Diggercane said | April 2nd 2018 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

                Hey Jacko,

                Yes, I recall Savea starting on the right in ITM, moves to the left for Super after Hosea left from memory and with Jane playing on the right.

                CUW, NMS is a Manawatu boy, never played for Wellington and spent some time at FB with Savea and Jane in the side before permanently going to the right after AB selection in that position, similar to Jane.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:49pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

                tnkx – getting mixed with super and club teams 🙁

                im trying to recall who was on left – maybe a 7S guy but he was quick.

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 2:47pm
            Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

            27 is the cut off point for All Black wingers according to nz herald article

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11900326

            Fast twitch fibres start to slow and the younger talent just keeps coming
            Savea was dropped from ABs on his 27th birthday.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 3:37pm
              Johnny Boy said | April 2nd 2018 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

              Savea started slowing down at 25. As for the article, that’s nonsense. He mentions Jeff Wilson and Cullen. Wilson actually came back and played Super rugby in 20012 when he was 29 and was the best winger in NZ. He made himself unavailable for National selection otherwise would have been one of the first players picked. Cullen suffered from a serious knee injury and that caused him to slow down.

              The best sprinters are still at peak form into their 30s. In terms of rugby players, Ben Smith is 31, Folau is 29 and both still could still easily play on the wing. Habana was 31 when he last played for the Boks, Cory Jane was 31 when he was no longer wanted by the ABs and Jason Robinson was still killing it at 30. Savea’s loss of pace and power at such a young age is an exception rather than the rule.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 4:12pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

                not sure about the pace of FOLAU but HABANA was quite quick even when he left tests.

                so was Cory Jane.

                article is silly – i think it is very wrong to compare sprinting with rugger – coz most rugger players suffer leg injuries that slow them down.

                Charlie Ngatai was very quick when he came to play super rugger – but year after year he kept hurting the legs and slowed down.

                Izzy Dagg is another who has lost pace due to injuries. NMS – everyone saw how he could not outpace the defence. again many leg injuries.

                Even Goodhue was super quick at under 20 – he was a winger . then he suffered a leg injury and lost pace.

                the two best sprinters of last year are both over 30 – but it is not the same as rugger and running on a Mondo track in a straight line with spikes on.

                and if u look at 7S circuit – there are many 30+ guys running like rabbits . Dan Norton , Collins Injera ….

                not sure what happened with Savea but he was slow in Miter 10 last year.

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:47pm
                Peter Kelly said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

                Biggest issue for Savea is generally his weight, Rieko Ioane fastest in ABs then Naholo, Barrett and Dagg.

                FASTEST 100 METER RUGBY TIMES
                By Allyn Freeman | 11.05.14
                Compiled by the New Zeland Herald newspaper.

                Best 100m times:
                Usain Bolt (world record holder) – 9.58 secs
                Carlin Isles (Fastest in rugby sevens) – 10.13
                Tonderai Chavhanga (Fastest in Super Rugby) – 10.27
                Bryan Habana (Springbok) – 10.4
                Joe Rokocoko (former All Black) – 10.66
                Doug Howlett (former All Black) – 10.68

                http://www.menstuff.co.za/features/who-is-the-fastest-rugby-player-in-the-world/

              • April 2nd 2018 @ 6:53pm
                cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

                am sure BB is faster than Naholo or Dagg . at least over 60 meters.

                Last year Tony Brown said Faddess is the fastest Highlander – not Naholo.

                And Jone macilai was the fastest crusader – before he got injured .

                am sure Bridge is quite quick – definitely faster than Seta and Havili. not sure about Mataele.

                the timing of BOLT is anomaly – i doubt he ever came close to it.

                most recent timings of the best 100m runners are around the 9.7 – 9.8 mark.

                i doubt anyone has gone under 9.7 recently and legally ( meaning un aided by wind).

        • Roar Guru

          April 2nd 2018 @ 9:30am
          PeterK said | April 2nd 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          How can you judge that though Geoff.

          Koroibete had zero carries and Naivalu 1.

          • Columnist

            April 2nd 2018 @ 10:07am
            Geoff Parkes said | April 2nd 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

            Don’t get me wrong, they’re both good players. But based on what we’ve seen this year – not just this match – they’re a class below the very best NZ wingers.

            Naivalu for the 3rd consecutive week ran towards the corner carrying the ball in the inside hand. No chance of him fending the tackler to create room to score like that.

            And Koroibete looked a bit like a boy trying to tackle a man when Lam ran through to claim the kick Debreczini let bounce.

            But true Peter, there’s some subjectivity in my comments. More to do with on-field presence.

            I’m sure the Rebels are working hard on giving their wingers more running opportunities, and that we’ll get to see more of them.

            • April 2nd 2018 @ 4:20pm
              cuw said | April 2nd 2018 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

              a little hard on Kori – i thought he did his best. the 10 did a Beale and put everyone in trouble.

              the problem is both those guys and Spieght and the big guy at Tahs are not quick.

              i think Maddocks has pace comparable with those in NZ and SA and even Boffeli.

              not seen anyone else with sprinting ability.

              last year i thought Magnay was quick – but he is not playing this year ….

            • Roar Guru

              April 3rd 2018 @ 2:31pm
              Fox said | April 3rd 2018 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

              Hi Geoff – agreed – I think the kiwi wingers are in general much better readers of the play and go looking for the ball more as a result and they seem to become more involved in 80 minutes even when their side does not have the ball.

    • April 2nd 2018 @ 8:48am
      MH01 said | April 2nd 2018 @ 8:48am | ! Report

      Brumbies v Tahs was poor – well done Tahs, though you could have won by much more .

      Brumbies look clueless in attack – though that blame can be attributed to Larkham , problems started under him – Brumbies biggest blunder post White was not getting another quality coach.

      As a Brumbies fan, bad days are back – maybe Eddie Jones will come back after he grinds the English down 🙂

      • April 2nd 2018 @ 12:31pm
        Bakkies said | April 2nd 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

        The Brumbies showed no ambition in hiring McKellar a man who coached a Super Rugby side to sixth in the NRC. He reminds me of Nollis Marais at the Bulls who had to be demoted as head office didn’t have the funds to pay him out and correct the mistake they made in hiring him.

        • April 2nd 2018 @ 1:23pm
          Akari said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

          I thought it was an astute call to hire Laurie Fisher. Have to acknowledge however that the Brumbies are looking clueless for now.

          • April 2nd 2018 @ 1:33pm
            Bakkies said | April 2nd 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

            Is Fisher mentoring the P Player? If so that can’t be helping.

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