The dismal crowd attendance at local Super Rugby matches is not because winter is starting to settle in, it’s because Australian rugby is in complete disarray.
Last Saturday night, I called up a few mates to see if they wanted to go to the Brumbies versus Rebels game in Canberra. They were up for it, but just 5000 others agreed.
Yes, it was cold (about 7 degrees), but it has been and is going to get colder. Traffic, what traffic? I left my house 30 minutes before kick off, parked the car at the stadium, got a drink, found my seat, and there were still a few minutes left until kick off.
What happened to the days when there were close to 15,000 coming to see the Brumbies play? Easy answer: watching rugby is just boring, especially when Australian teams are involved.
You can hear the frustration from the dedicated fans who always go to the games. There were boos at the end of the game and quite a few expletives whenever the ball was kicked mid-play, and then out of possession.
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The players themselves are also partly responsible. The number of stoppages because of ‘injuries’ was ridiculous – I lost count of how many. Just because you have a niggle doesn’t mean you need to stop play for a couple of minutes and get checked out. You are playing a contact sport, of course you are going to get a niggle or two!
In rugby league, if you have a slight issue, you get checked out by trainer while play goes on – great!
A couple of weeks ago I watched the Kiwi match between the Blues and Chiefs, and it was so good! Both teams playing exciting, flowing, talented rugby. No wonder we are approaching 40 games in a row lost to New Zealand teams.
The day after the Brumbies-Rebels game, the Raiders played the Cronulla Sharks, with close over 10,000 fans turning up – and yes, it was cold. But there were families of all generations there and it was a great game!
This is happening week in, week out and it’s just sad comparing the two all the time.
I’m going to have to seriously consider if I want to go spend the money for a rugby game or stay at home to watch several sports on the couch.
I hope it’s not the latter.