Boredom at Super Rugby matches leaving fans cold

Rob Davison Roar Rookie

By Rob Davison, Rob Davison is a Roar Rookie


117 Have your say

    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.

    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.

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    The Crowd Says (117)

    • May 18th 2018 @ 4:42am
      Gav said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:42am | ! Report

      It is tough being a fan of the winter football codes in Australia at the moment. The standard and excitement of all 3 codes is abysmal at the moment. Maybe there’s too many teams and competitions have expanded too quickly and we just don’t have the talent. We also have many stadiums that are just too big and not fit for purpose.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 6:11am
        chris said | May 18th 2018 @ 6:11am | ! Report

        Too many codes in Australia as well but I loved watching the big 3 oval codes from the late 1980’s to mid 90s as the game’s, jerseys and everything about them seemed just fine but SL, Union going pro etc has not been for the better.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 7:33am
        i miss the force said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:33am | ! Report

        nope, thats not it

      • May 18th 2018 @ 9:35pm
        union was always like that said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

        Rugby was always a penalty fest. Point is, maybe you are following the wrong sport. Aussie rules was invented to avoid exactly what you describe back in the day.

        You need to change, don’t expect the world of rugby to.

        • May 19th 2018 @ 12:24am
          In Brief said | May 19th 2018 @ 12:24am | ! Report

          Actually, rugby has changed, the statistics don’t lie. The ball in hand time, the number of rucks, the number of tackles the amount of play have increased dramatically. It’s just not doing so well in Australia where the play is pretty abysmal. But watch other countries play, even the Sunwolves and Jags are exciting in comparison. Rugby has the kick passing of AFL now, lots of skill but also the physicality AFL lacks.

          • May 24th 2018 @ 10:29pm
            chris said | May 24th 2018 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

            Seen some lovely style Aussie Rules type marks in both Rugby codes.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 6:08am
      Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 6:08am | ! Report

      Do you think more would have turned up id it was a 2pm game?

      • May 18th 2018 @ 6:22am
        Herby said | May 18th 2018 @ 6:22am | ! Report

        7:30pm games in the winter time in Canberra make people stop and think if they really want to go the football or not. When you start throwing in other factors such as how well the team is playing, cost of admission and parking, paying $7.50 for a can of crap beer, no curtain raiser game, poor ground atmosphere, then it becomes easier to see why people would just rather stay at home and watch it on the tv. I like what the waratahs did taking a game to Brookvale the other week. I think there may be some answers there.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 7:33am
          i miss the force said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:33am | ! Report

          but they are not watching on tv either

      • Roar Pro

        May 18th 2018 @ 8:39am
        Ballymore Brumby said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        A few more, especially people with younger children (based on who I talk to), but afternoon kick-offs aren’t the panacea for the current issues.

          • May 24th 2018 @ 11:09pm
            chris said | May 24th 2018 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

            I think having Subbies Rugby been played Friday nights and Junior Rugby Saturday mornings then have Shute Shield on Saturday afternoon and have a free Saturday if Wallabies are playing and have Super whatever number its or better still a Trans Tasman comp on a Sunday.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 3:50pm
          Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

          Agree with the bigger problem but I don’t believe that there is one silver bullet. There are probably a dozen reasons SR is in the toilet. Each one contributing to 5%.
          Last year the Force games were all over the place trying to fit into Fox’s Broadcast schedule, not much fan for fans with kids or in some cases, clashed with grade games.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 18th 2018 @ 10:34am
        Rob Davison said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        I definitely think more people would turn up but not maybe only a couple of thousand. I guess we will find out in a couple of weeks time when the Brumbies take on the Sunwolves on a Sunday afternoon.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 18th 2018 @ 11:07am
        piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:07am | ! Report

        You know what Timbo, I think if people wanted to go, they would go regardless of the time.

        I think we make too many excuses for crowd numbers – it was too cold, too hot, too late, too early, the sun wasn’t in the correct phase as compared to the solstice.

        If the New England Patriots fans can sit in sub zero temps in Foxboro for 4 hours at a pop to watch what is usually a foregone conclusion, what argument can we have in Australia?

        Prior to Forsyth Barr Dunedin fans would often be sat in pouring rain and howling gales, still got the crowds.

        Hell, in Christchurch sometimes they couldn’t even see the field through the fog – still got the crowds

        • May 18th 2018 @ 12:31pm
          Baroness said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          There is no competition on a Sunday arvo in New England , they are a winning team , seats are sold out for years and their team covers a population of over 5 million.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 18th 2018 @ 12:38pm
            piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

            So roughly the same population as Sydney then?

            Green Bay is another example – tickets are sold out years in advance – what is the NFL doing that rugby could learn from?

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2018 @ 1:10pm
              PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:10pm | ! Report


              and Grid Iron is the no 1 football code in the USA with lots and lots of money.

              A better analogy would be what is US Rugby doing in the USA , they are a niche sport like rugby is in aust.

              It doesn’t hurt to look at NFL, or soccer or rugby in NZ but the fact is it is a vastly different situation for rugby in aust and you can’t just copy or transplant what works for them to oz rugby.

              Perhaps better to look at rugby in Ireland , it competes with other football codes, is not rich, is not the no 1 football code, small population interested in it.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 18th 2018 @ 1:18pm
                piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                NFL is pure entertainment product though – few fans play the game, many have never played at all, but the investment in the sport and their team from the fans is unbelievable.

                And yes, they don’t compete with other football codes, but they do coexist with the biggest and richest Basketball, Baseball and Hockey competitions in the world


                And we were talking about commentators – the media around the NFL is on a different planet to rugby

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 3:32pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

                A better analogy would be what is US Rugby doing in the USA , they are a niche sport like rugby is in aust.

                Seriously? Compared to the USA, rugby in Australia is huge.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 4:06pm
          Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

          I still go, my family and friends are less battle hardened don’t.
          You Kiwi’s are made of much stronger stuff and used to living in 9 months of winter conditions.
          I am from Brisvegas where if the day isn’t sunny, you wait until tomorrow when it is. Winter starts 2 weeks into July with the westerlies and ends on the last day of the Ekka ( Royal Show) early in August
          Victorians are more used to it and better at it due to their long winter.

          In an environment where the fan base is dwindling you need to cast a wide net, and if you can’t get kids and WAGs to the games you won’t get the rebuilding that is required.

          Solve the little problems as well as the big ones, In this case, the crowd numbers take a hit to suit Pay TV revenues. The Franchises lose out on the cash.

          Another solution is to accept the numbers, and use smaller stadiums that are cheaper to run and drop the ticket prices..

          • May 19th 2018 @ 2:23am
            Bakkies said | May 19th 2018 @ 2:23am | ! Report

            Victorians are pretty soft when it comes to cold weather. Melbourne is not really cold it is just bleak in Winter.

            • May 19th 2018 @ 9:24am
              union was always like that said | May 19th 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

              Ever heard of AFL? Record crowds, and it has been like that since the sport was first played in the 1850s. Rugby and soccer didn’t even exist yet. Difference is, some people were more easily influenced by the ‘mother country’ than us rebellious Victorians.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 6:42am
      Rhys Bosley said | May 18th 2018 @ 6:42am | ! Report

      I reckon a large part of the problem with the “boring” perception of rugby in Australia is that many fans don’t really get the game, they think it should be like League with perpetual motion. It just isn’t, unlike League the ball is easy to turn over and counter attack in Rugby. Keeping the ball in hand for too long is a poor tactic, as we have seen with the Wallabies against the All Blacks and England.

      Coaches who want to win rugby matches need to have their team kick as an integral part of their game plan. The All Blacks kick more than any other teams and if people care to look up some replays of the epic Brumbies/Crusaders clashes of last decade, they will see Stephen Larkham repeatedly dropping kicks into the corners.

      The fan’s lack of understanding puts Australian coaches into a hard position. They are under pressure to play “ball in hand” or “Australian running rugby” to keep a discrete group of fans happy, while trying to win and having that objective undermined by reluctance to use a kicking game. I think coaches just need to ignore the former group of fans and play their own game. The team won’t learn the skills of playing a good kicking game if they give up trying and they won’t win against good teams if they don’t have that gave.

      Winning is the most important consideration in getting fans back to the game, you aren’t going to get much better crowds turning up on freezing Canberra nights for more aesthetically pleasing losses.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 8:58am
        Mattocks. said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        I don’t get how people think league is “perpetual motion”. It just isn’t. It’s stop start. Stop start. 5 times and kick it to the other guys unless you’ve scored. The ball ceases to be alive once you’re tackled/grappled by the opposition. The rugby ball can be taken if you’re good enough in a tackle situation. It can be in league, I know, but the rules mostly stop this happening.
        They are completely different games. I used to play both. I prefer Union these days and rarely watch league as I find it one dimensional and predictable.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 9:30am
          nutter said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          Yeah, league is just constant mini stoppages.

          I’ve got no issues with kicking for field position and tactical kicking but poorly placed and timed kicks which aren’t contested and do nothing but hand the ball over to the opposition are a hallmark of the Aussie sides.

          I’m sure I’ve read stats that Kiwi sides (and the ABs) kick more than Aussie teams but their kicks either slice off large chunks of territory or add to excitement but putting pressure on defences or creating attacking options.

          They could implement a time period on set pieces though. If you’re not packing the scrum/stnading in the lineout withing 30 seconds of the whistle being blown then it’s a free kick to the feeding side. Including if you have a player down injured.

          That said, injury stoppages for front rowers are almost as bad as diving in soccer.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 9:37am
          jameswm said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          I can’t handle the lack of contest for the ball in league, and how it has been dumbed down. Lowest common denominator stuff.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 18th 2018 @ 9:52am
            Paul D said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

            Yeah I watched about 20 minutes of league last night, for the first time in a while. It was just. so. dull.

            5 tackles & uncontested kick, 5 tackles and uncontested kick. Barely more than a few passes at most and the commentators seem to near wet themselves at an offload.

            Perhaps some people get a kick out of players “hitting the ball up”. But it’s just not for me.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 18th 2018 @ 11:13am
              piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:13am | ! Report

              Maybe if our commentators would act a bit more like they were enjoying themselves and not just shout their favourite players names and think job done

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 11:19am
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

                Most commentators are quite poor.

                I love it if anyone provides insight , explanation of tactics (especially since they have a wider view), or just some added value.

                Most just state what is happening which anyone can see for themselves anyway.

                i.e Rona makes a break out wide or whatever. They should add the why
                like Clarke makes a break by stepping inside because the inside cover is to late sliding across.

                It seems they have no understanding of the game.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 18th 2018 @ 11:40am
                piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

                Peter have noticed a difference between Fox and Handy and Bray in the WSR.

                Handy is good at conveying player positioning, why they are where they are and what might be about to happen.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 12:35pm
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

                piru – exactly an example of a better commentator.

                He adds value.

                Kafer adds value but in breaks where he can sum up tactics and strategies rather than on live play.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 4:21pm
                Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

                I heard one of them talking about one of their favorite Tahs players in a game they weren’t playing. It is like they get paid each time they mention them.

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2018 @ 11:14am
              John R said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

              After successfully indoctrinating the missus into the code, I thought I’d give State of Origin a shot with her.

              Long story short, she forced me to turn it off cause she found it far too repetitive and boring, and ya know what? She was bloody well right.

              It’s just hitting it up and hoping for a line break. Like if I wanted to watch that kind of code, I’d watch the Brumbies or the Rebels and their give it to Naisarani/Mafi and hope for the best strategy aye.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 11:23am
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

                Yeah, I don’t get it.

                I also don’t understand why Australians are so enamoured with rugby league. It’s just so repetitive and boring. The only exciting thing is when they go for chip kicks on the 5th tackle near the tryline.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 11:29am
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:29am | ! Report

                Fionn – The marketing is very good, the media is saturated with it,

                It is a very simple game so easy to understand and easy to pick up when a child.

                It is very tribal so it becomes a thing boys through to men you do and follow with your mates.

                The commentators add to the colour with their OTT yelling and exclamations.

                Try watching it with out sound and it is very very dull.

                Nothing to do with it being an entertaining game of itself.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 11:31am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

                She is a keeper mate.

                Buy her a ring soon.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 11:35am
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

                I find it dull even with the commentators…

                Tennis, rugby, a good soccer match. They’re the sports I like to watch the most.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 11:36am
                John R said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                Planning to Neutral.

                She was even getting on Mumm and Skelton’s case when they were still at the Tahs!

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 12:40pm
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

                Fionn – League wasn’t always so boring and predictable.

                I enjoyed playing it along with Rugby when a teenager. Only played Rugby into my 20’s.

                I enjoyed watching and discussing it my mates and later people at work , partly because no one was really into rugby since I am from an immigrant working class background.

                Still preferred rugby though but not a lot of the tweed jacket people associated with it.

                League had a genuine contest for the ball though. You could steal the ball in tackles , no restrictions. You could strike for the ball in play the ball, the scrum was a genuine scrum.

                They took all of that away and it became very simple and boring whereas it was just a bit simple before.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 1:01pm
                jameswm said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

                Fionn do you ever watch the Diamond League?

              • May 18th 2018 @ 1:44pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

                Nah, James, I’ve never seen it.

                When did they change league to make it less of a contest?

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 1:55pm
                John R said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                “When did they change league to make it less of a contest?”

                When they took away the bifffff m8

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 3:48pm
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

                Fionn – 81 the scrum was no longer contested, 91 no longer allow stripping the ball, 97 no longer strike for the ball in play the ball.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:13pm
                On the Ball said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

                Union fans saying NRL is boring!

                State of Origin is the highest rating TV show in Australia!

                Kangaroo v Kiwi games outrate anything the Wallabies v All Blacks come up with year in year out!

                The lowest rating NRL club game in a year would still be 3 times more than the highest rating Super Rugby game on Fox.

                This kind of thinking is why Union is dead in Australia!

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:49pm
                concerned supporter said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

                On the ball,
                “Kangaroo v Kiwi games outrate anything the Wallabies v All Blacks come up with year in year out! ”
                Want to bet? AUD 500

              • May 18th 2018 @ 4:22pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

                Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time. Avengers: Infinity War is the highest grossing of 2018, Star Wars: the Last Jedi was the highest grossing of 2017, Captain America Civil War was the highest of 2016, Star Wars: the Force Awakens was the highest grossing of 2015 and Transformers: Age of Extinction was the highest grossing of 2014.

                Blade Runner: 2049 was released in 2017, Arrival was released in 2016, Mad Max: Fury Road, Brooklyn and Room were released in 2015 and the Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash were made in 2014.

                Most popular isn’t always the best.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 5:02pm
                Simoc said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                Yes why watch league hit ups when you can watch a scrum get reset about 5 times over a few minutes and then a short arm penalty, given. Great competing for the ball when the team putting in wins most every time as they do in lineouts.

                Then the union hit ups where they run one out over and over going nowhere till they’re puffed and its time for a prop to have another injury. Or everyone standing around as the players kick back and forth to each other in forcing back because that’s the best they can think of.

                The refereeing or the Rules are Unions worst enemy. NZ play well, Australia are rubbish.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 5:08pm
                On the Ball said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

                @concerned supporter. You owe me $500!!!

                First Test in Sydney RUGBY: 2017 WALLABIES V NEW ZEALAND 371,000


                Kangaroo v Kiwi ANZAC test 2017 Nine 776,000


                That’s without adding Vic, South Australia and Western Australia TV ratings on GO.

                But you find me one year union has ever beat the Kangaroos in the TV ratings?


            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2018 @ 4:19pm
              Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

              I had the same experience last year. Watched it again for the first time in ages.
              Fast restarts when the ball goes out and a few other changes to speed up the game.

              I don’t enjoy it because there is little or no variety in the attacking patterns. You can predict exactly what is going to happen next – Much Like Cheika’s 1 Dimensional game plan.

              But watch a quality side, and at every breakdown there are half a dozen options for what happens next. There is excitement in the unknown.

              Hold onto those aspects of Rugby, including the strength contest of a scrum and the skill contest in the line out. Just get it done quicker. If the players get fatigued, use a limited interchange bench.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 5:13pm
                Ralph said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

                I suppose if I was drunk the endless repetition of league wouldn’t bother me.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 7:09pm
                Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

                Are you making a statement about NRL Fans?

                I think you are right.

                Try watching baseball sober.
                Or test cricket.

              • May 20th 2018 @ 1:08pm
                Peter Davies said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

                If you want endless repetition Union is your game. I was watching a game of union and I thought it was never going to end as it was past the 80 minutes and you had a ruck or maul and then the ball comes out passes thru a few pair of hands and then another ruck and another one and another one. Of course Union is a game for mental giants.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 6:31pm
          Rhys Bosley said | May 18th 2018 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

          Fair point about stop start League Mattocks, though my intention with the description of League as perpetual motion was more to describe how Aussies see it, than the way it actually is. Perhaps “perpetual motion” would be better?

          I agree with other by PK, Piru and others that the perception is to do with saturation brainwashing …. I mean advertising, by the NRL. I also agree that union should highlight its unique selling propositions of variety and unpredictability over trying to be just another “running football” code.

          I also think it all comes down to skills, including kicking. That is why calls to stop it are misguided, teams aren’t going to get better at it if they don’t practice.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 10:06am
        PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:06am | ! Report

        Rhys – Other than agreeing with others that Rugby Lite is not perpetual motion but motion interrupted I disagree with the point that fans want ball in hand rugby.

        What fans object to is poor skills, pointless kicking, and poor decision making.

        Kicks that are well directed putting pressure on the team i.e deep into corners or high with chasers that actuall contest the ball are quite appreciated and enjoyed.

        Everyone loves pressure rugby that is intense.

        The issue is oz teams struggle to build pressure. In attack they have predictable mindless attacks easy to shutdown and then do a poor box kick handing possession over. Or they throw the ball with wild abandon and then promptly drop it or throw an intercept pass.

        In defence they are often passive and just give ground and the advantage line up too easily, if they drove them back then that too is appreciated.

        They do dislike scrum reset after scrum reset and constant wasting time.

        Oz teams lack rugby smarts and skills and effort and they are the major issues.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 10:58am
          Rabbitz said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report


          I suspect some of this stems from the youth pathways.

          Each day on my commute I pass a well known rugby school. Each time I see the boys out training they seem to just be doing unopposed, robotic, set-piece drills.

          Now this is a very short view of them and it may be that at that time that is their schedule, but it doesn’t really give one hope for creativity.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 10:14am
        Markus said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

        Tactical kicking can be extremely entertaining. Seeing a corner kick land in the opposition 10m line then hammering their lineout on the ensuing throw in is fantastic to watch.
        But Australian kicking in recent years is marred by aimless, poorly executed kicks into midfield or off the side of the boot when no other option is on.

        Even scrum dominance is very entertaining at times, though repeated resets are a blight as the time it takes for both packs to dismantle, stretch then rebind is unbearable.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 11:24am
        Onside said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:24am | ! Report

        ‘many fans don’t really get the game’ . Poignant Rhys.

        If you haven’t played the game, it can be hard to watch

        Even if you’ve played the game, it can be hard to watch.

        Some people want Big Bash Rugby 15’s, played like 7’s.

        Of all football codes, Rugby Union is the hardest to sell.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 11:30am
          PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

          only in this country

          • May 18th 2018 @ 5:17pm
            Sydneysider said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

            Some of the delusions on here from the rugby fans is amazing.

            I won’t say rugby league is a better game or a more exciting game, but I will say this: the NRL has one thing that works – tribalism. It’s about wearing your colours and going head 2 head with other teams from your country.

            Super Rugby to the average Aussie sports fan means nothing. You need to create a domestic league with Australian rivalries and tribalism to have any hope of expanding rugby in Australia.

            • May 21st 2018 @ 1:02pm
              Macho said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

              Unfortunately the tribes are getting smaller

              • May 24th 2018 @ 11:20pm
                chris said | May 24th 2018 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

                Tribes are getting smaller so maybe it’s time that World Rugby and Rugby League should work out the best way for both codes to become one.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 18th 2018 @ 12:03pm
          piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

          It’s not hard to sell if you sell it right.

          Rugby has features no other sport can claim
          The scrum, ruck, maul, lineout are unique in sports, so what do the marketers do?

          Advertise ‘running rugby’, something league, AFL, soccer and every other football code already does.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 18th 2018 @ 12:22pm
            piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

            Or the even more vague recent ad campaign – effectively translating to

            “It’s nice to be on a team”

            thus differentiating rugby from every other team sport

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 3:14pm
          Ralph said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

          One of the those enjoyable things about watching NFL was the enthusiasm of my American mate you was explaining it all to me as it went along. But on the face of it, the game can be very, very slow and the action moments quite spaced out. Also, the game goes on for a super long time because they stop the clock so much.

          But a game can have many less than ideal characteristics, and still be really popular.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2018 @ 3:51pm
            PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

            Live NFL was ok with mates drinking beer. They explained it to me it wasn’t about the game but about the companionship where some action happens sometimes, you spend more time socialising than watching the game.

            If you want to actually focus on the game you record it and watch it skipping dead parts, and replaying interesting technical things

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2018 @ 4:03pm
              Ralph said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

              Stadium attendances are also pretty good too.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 18th 2018 @ 4:19pm
              piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

              PeterK live NFL to me is a bit like cricket – something to focus on a bit while drinking and chatting with your mates.

              The college version of American Football is a different beast and much less prone to long stoppages and endless mucking around

      • May 18th 2018 @ 3:05pm
        MH01 said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

        I actually really enjoyed the Brumbies under Jake white. Be it running rugby or Jake ball – I’m in. But I’m out when they play this brain dead …. whatever it is .

        And the weather – does not matter , I live in London , and I’ve stopped watching it on TV – the entertainment is gone .

        Watching two oz teams is terrible – last week I watched an exciting game where tahs lost , it was very good game – and Brumbies bored me no end , any the end I was glad they lost, if that is what they turn up and deliver , they can sit at the bottom. I just want them to be “Brumbies” not …. what ever this team is under the current coach.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 4:13pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

        Twiggyball pushers for shorter scrum and lineout delays. and the multiple subs was blocked by RA cronies.

        A problem identified and a solution trialed.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:01am
      Masher said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:01am | ! Report

      Mate don’t lose heart. This phase will pass and Australia rugby will start winning again. Once that happens the fans will come back. Not sure how long it’ll take but it’ll happen

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 10:09am
        PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

        this is optimism without any basis other than thinking history will repeat.

        History is not a prediction of the future.

        Where is the growth is grassroots, in public schools, or the improvement in pathways and coaching at all levels that will achieve this.

        In fact numbers playing for men keeps dropping, less private school play rugby, the revenue declines year after year, as the performance and skills decline.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 12:10pm
          Toanuiunno said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

          Quite right Peter.
          What is also alarming is that some private schools seen as the safe haven of rugby are going to begin playing league in addition to union.
          The AIC in Brisbane have just agreed to trial it for next year.
          A good kicking game is enjoyed by the fans. As someone pointed out earlier the all blacks kick more than many other teams and back when they were doing well so did the Reds.
          As you said it is the poor aimless kicking that the fans don’t like to see.
          Unfortunately the Australian derbies are boring games to watch and I really do t understand why the ARU or RA or what ever they want to be known as pushed so hard for extra local derbies.

          • May 18th 2018 @ 5:20pm
            Sydneysider said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

            Those private schools are also playing AFL, which rugby fans seem to like for some reason, even though as evidenced by the Sydney Swans getting huge crowds and the Waratahs getting tiny crowds when directly playing next to each other at Moore Park, that rugby is losing fans to that game.

            Those schools have invited the devil into their house.

            • May 19th 2018 @ 3:17pm
              Ed said | May 19th 2018 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

              Tahs and Swans play next to each other tonight.

              We’ll find out what the crowd is at the Swans, but the Tahs have been shy this year about their’s.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:18am
      Paleocortex said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:18am | ! Report

      Hi Rhys. I have been playing, coaching, reffing and / or watching rugby for 58 years. Love the game and have a fair understanding of it ( though I was a bit confused by some of Mr O’Keefe’s interpretations last week).
      IMO since the focus on local derbies in the conference system version of super rugby, the Australian games have been dead boring. I still watch on TV, but no way in hell would I fork out cash to see one live. I suspect I am not alone on this 🙁

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:29am
      Rilo said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      And then there’s the scrums. A few minutes each time as the players walk to the mark, stand around, have a drink, a couple sit down and have a trainer attend to them, before they slowly join together and try to pack the scrum a couple of times while the referee tries to tell them how to do it. Then it collapses so they redo the whole thing, until either a penalty is called or the ball pops out. Then another dropped ball in the next passage of play and we do it again. All the time while some moron commentator cracks dad jokes. It’s unwatchable. And don’t start me on the ruck penalties.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 10:10am
        PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        a major reason to watch recorded games to fast forward through that crap to the actual scrum.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 11:57am
        Bobbo7 said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:57am | ! Report

        Agree – the game time lost for scrums and kicks at goal is too much. Some games I’ve watched, with reset you can lose 2-3 minutes where basically nothing happens – this only contributes to low scoring games. Either fix the reset issue or stop the clock until engaged

        • Roar Rookie

          May 18th 2018 @ 12:04pm
          piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

          I think the WSR rule change has helped this immensely, something I wasn’t expecting to work

          • May 18th 2018 @ 12:12pm
            Toanuiunno said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

            Sorry Piru I haven’t been able to watch any of those games. What was the change?

            • Roar Rookie

              May 18th 2018 @ 12:20pm
              piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

              The rule is scrums are to take no more than 1 minute from the time the referee makes his mark.

              It seems to be working, no more mucking about, the scrum is formed and generally no more than one reset. Refs seem to have taken some responsibility too, if the ball is playable after a collapse, they are letting it go on

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 4:24pm
                Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                There seems to be a lot more injury time leading up to them though.

                That is why I like the Interchange idea. Extend it to include coming off to be assessed by the doc.