Has cutting the Force been worth it?

Peter Taylor Roar Rookie

By Peter Taylor, Peter Taylor is a Roar Rookie

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191 Have your say

    Last year, Australian rugby was in the midst of its worst debacle in recent memory. Results were horrific, clubs were at loggerheads with administrators and a path for resolution was as clear as mud.

    Only now can we take stock and analyse if the amount of bad press and vitriol that was generated from the Western Force’s culling was worth it.

    One of the key issues with Australia having five Super Rugby teams was that player talent was supposedly spread too thin, with a team being dropped supposed to lead to an on-field performance gain.

    And, allowing for adjustments in the number of teams and the amount of games played, the Australian conference has improved in both an attacking and defensive sense.

    In the 2017 regular season, the average points scored per game from an Aussie team was 21.08, with the average points conceded being a massive 30.04. In 2018, those figures had improved to 27.79 points scored per game and 28.57 points conceded.

    A growth of an extra six points scored per game is a large attacking improvement year on year but the defensive stats are the real worry with a reduction of only 1.47 points a game. This is reflected in the average tries conceded per game, with 2017 having a terrible average of 3.93 tries conceded and 2018 only slightly reducing this figure to 3.83.

    This speaks volumes about where Australian rugby is at: scoring is not the issue – our top teams have some of the best attacking players in the world – but our defence and discipline is worrying.

    With the consolidation of playing talent in 2018 – and such a low bar to work from – improvements were expected, but if we don’t see continual gains in defence, then we can look forward to seeing Australian teams continuing to occupy the lower half of the Super Rugby table.

    Relative performance against South African and particularly New Zealand teams give us a greater insight into just how far we have improved in 2018.

    Again, across the board the figures are up. In 2017 the win rate against foreign opposition was a lowly 13.3 per cent – just six games out of 45. On top of this, Aussie teams did not win a single game against the Kiwis, who are the ultimate benchmark.

    In 2018, the win rate against (not counting the Sunwolves) rose to 31.25 per cent, or ten out of 32 games, and the winning percentage against New Zealand sides rose from 0 to 18.75 per cent.

    Australian teams won three out of 16 games across the regular season against New Zealand opposition – which still isn’t huge, but considering that these wins were shared across the Waratahs, Rebels and Brumbies, it shows that improvements are not just isolated to one team.

    Even more promising is that in 2017, Aussie teams averaged minus 14.9 points per game against overseas opponents, while in 2018 this figure was minus 5.4. This shows that not only are Australian teams winning more games, they are also losing by less, which is a great indication that the culling of the Force has indeed improved performance.

    Pekahou Cowan Western Force Super Rugby Union 2017

    Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

    After their farcical exit from Super Rugby, the Western Force had every right to be upset at rugby administrators, and they showed the kind of raw emotion and passion that has been a hallmark of their club.

    Rugby at a grassroots level in Western Australia is strong and the commitment from players and fans is commendable. The Force developed one of the best cultures of all the Australian teams, which is why they haven’t simply sunk into anonymity.

    With the backing of their richest fan – Andrew Forrest – the club developed a plan to launch an entirely new competition, the Indo Pacific Rugby Championship (IPRC), and are running their own interim series this year called World Series Rugby.

    Praise must be given to the Force and Forrest for being so ambitious, but whether the IPRC is a viable long-term competition remains to be seen, particularly considering most of the target nations – like Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka – have little experience with professional rugby.

    But from an Australian rugby perspective, this is a win. Having the Force backed by a billionaire along with the prospects of a yearly regional competition that exposes emerging rugby markets to a professional set up can only add to Australia’s rugby depth.

    The initial endorsement of the competition from Rugby Australia is also a plus and proves that the strained relationship with Western Australia may still have life – even just the fact that the Force isn’t completely lost to Australia as a professional team is fantastic.

    Overall, Australian teams have certainly improved since the 2017 season and although the process was handled terribly the culling of the Western Force has definitely strengthened the remaining four Australian Super Rugby franchises – particularly the Rebels.

    Taking this improvement in context is also important, as 2017 was one of the worst years ever for Australian Super Rugby teams. While gains have been made, there is still a long way to go before an Aussie team can vie for the title and an even longer way to go to lift the conference as a whole off the bottom rung.

    But, at least for now, we are stronger than we were a year ago.

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    The Crowd Says (191)

    • August 8th 2018 @ 10:00am
      Jules said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

      I’m not sure an extra few wins by one or two teams has been worth alienating an entire State from Super Rugby and the Wallabies has been or will have ever been worth it.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 10:09am
        kkovak said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

        This comment has been removed for breaching The Roar’s comments policy.

        • August 8th 2018 @ 12:41pm
          Max Danger said | August 8th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

          how many of these board members do you know?

          • Roar Guru

            August 9th 2018 @ 10:07am
            Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

            Do you need to know them to realise that they are dunderheads?

      • Roar Rookie

        August 8th 2018 @ 10:20am
        Peter Taylor said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:20am | ! Report

        Hi Jules, yes I was certainly in the corner of continuing the five franchises or even if a team had to be cut maybe cutting the Rebels as they were the worst team in Super Rugby last year. What we will now never know is if we pushed through with five teams would this actually foster more Super Rugby level talent in the long run.

        • Roar Guru

          August 9th 2018 @ 10:09am
          Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          Not only that Peter the Rebels have drained tens of millions of un-budgeted funds from the RA, receiving incremental payments above their annual funding and still haven’t produced a sustainable business plan.

          The RA needs to clear deck and tell the Rebels sort out your finances, stand on your own two feet or get out.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 10:28pm
        Ex forcs fan said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

        The marginal improvement is the only positive but you missed most of the negatives. The professional arm of WA was destroyed, WA Rugby was driven to bankruptcy, player registrations plummeted, Australia lost 20% of their professional players putting Ausrralia at a disadvantage to SA and NZ that did not drop a side and a competition outside RA control will start next year in direct competition with Superugby. The relationship between WA and RA remains toxic, a section of WA rugby supporters openly support any team that plays against the Wallabies as they were disrespected and alienated by RA, RA will continue to be the laughing stock of the rugby world and this will continue for at least a decade to come. RA cannot take credit for what Twiggy and the WA rugby public are doing to reinvigorate interest in rugby and rescue rugby from RA’s betrayaL. This happened despite the opposition from RA not because of anything RA did. The whole impact of dropping WA from the Australian rugby landscape has not yet played out. The 2017 debacle will in my view one day be seen for what it is, the lowest point in Australian rugby, an incredible dumb self inflicted wound driven by selfish and short term interest fromthe NSW and QLD rugby unions at the expensive of rugby in the rest of Australian. RA will not be trusted anywhere or seen as the custodians of the game. John Eales, Bill Pulver and Cameron Clyne will be remembered for their role, their lies and the underhanded way everything were done. They should be ashamed of themselves and only two had the decency to resign.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 11:56pm
        Rugger said | August 8th 2018 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

        Cutting the Force was the only sensible and ethical thing for the ARU to do after so many years of failure

        I take my hat off to Twiggy and the club for hanging in there this year. If only they’d shown this kind of fight 10years ago they wouldn’t be in this position.

        • August 9th 2018 @ 7:41am
          Ex force fan said | August 9th 2018 @ 7:41am | ! Report

          After the 2017 axing Force debacle it must be a crime to use “ARU”, “sensible” and “ethical” in the same sentence. No even our local ARU apologist, TWAS, will support that.

        • Roar Guru

          August 9th 2018 @ 10:10am
          Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

          Rugger are you de Clyne in disguise?

      • Roar Guru

        August 9th 2018 @ 12:03pm
        jeznez said | August 9th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

        Fully agree Jules, and I’m not sure that you can attribute any improvement in NSW or QLD to the cull.

        The Tahs picked up Rona and Vui. Vui they hardly played and Rona’s role could have been covered adequately within the squad – the major reason the Tahs improved was the return of Beale and improvements in the pack.

        The Reds picked up noone from the Force and their improvements came through their young pack being another year older and improved.

        Brumbies picked up some Force players like Godwin and Naisarani but having only won a single game more than they did not sure that is anything to crow about.

        Ultimately the big improvers were the Rebels who had a massive transfer of talent into their squad – BUT how much of their improvement was the return of Genia? Their fortunes really seemed to swing on him being fit or not.

        The improved playing depth/performance argument is a red herring.

        • August 9th 2018 @ 4:19pm
          Sheikh said | August 9th 2018 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

          “Ultimately the big improvers were the Rebels who had a massive transfer of talent into their squad – BUT how much of their improvement was the return of Genia? Their fortunes really seemed to swing on him being fit or not.”
          In 2017 the Force won 6 and the Rebels 1. (1 of the Force’s wins was against the Rebels.)
          In 2018 the Rebels won 7.
          How much would the Force have improved in 2018 if they kept the 2017 squad and added Genia? The 2018 Rebels/Force had a pretty similar number of wins to the combined 2017 squads.

          • Roar Guru

            August 9th 2018 @ 6:02pm
            jeznez said | August 9th 2018 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

            Yep, and the other thing I missed in the comment above is that the Brumbies got Pocock back which was potentially more influential than any other addition to their squad.

            As I say, the concentration of talent argument is a furphy

            • Roar Guru

              August 9th 2018 @ 11:35pm
              Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

              The Brumbies had a number of injuries in the forwards. McKellar needs to settle on a stable lock pairing next year regardless of Wallabies caps and leadership roles.

        • August 10th 2018 @ 1:24pm
          Akari said | August 10th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          Godwin was already playing for the Brumbies long before the cull, jez. Chance Peni however joined along with Naisarani

      • August 10th 2018 @ 7:13pm
        sheek said | August 10th 2018 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

        Jules,

        You’re not sure whether culling the Force has been worth it. You are too kind. To them, RA, that is.

        The whole lot of them need to go, including the Wallaby GOAT.

    • August 8th 2018 @ 10:19am
      Stu B. said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

      What a load of codswallop! This is not the reason RA. gave for killing the Force, the reasons given by RA are totally at odds and neither of them stack up. Just look at it from a west Australian view the narrative above is totally eastern states selfishness. How great the four super teams went with the top up from the Force, how great it is Twiggy Forrest will benefit the Wallabies. How bloody amazing the four super teams won 3 games against NZ sides this season Hallalula. You eastern states rugby (tainted by league) fans and administration are so insensitive, self cantered, lacking intelligence and blinded by your own brilliance you can’t comprehend by shrinking Aus rugby the Wallabies also have a shrinking base, the casual public have turned off big time after RAs latest machinations and here you are spruiking front page what a wonderful score this has been for Australian rugby. The top 3 inches son, all in the top three inches.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 12:43pm
        Max Danger said | August 8th 2018 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

        well the super force never made a finals series in ten years – they were a great side taking nearly all their players from eastern states

        • Roar Rookie

          August 8th 2018 @ 1:10pm
          piru said | August 8th 2018 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

          inaccurate
          sad
          lame
          go away

          • August 9th 2018 @ 12:07am
            Rugger said | August 9th 2018 @ 12:07am | ! Report

            Piru,
            You make a lot of very inciteful contributions to this forum however you can’t argue with Max Danger’s comment. If one of two swallows don’t make a summer neither do Dane Hayley-Petty or whoever else is considered a ‘WA Product’ after 12 dismal seasons justify the failed franchise’s existence. Pocock and O’Connor were stolen from Queensland as 18 year olds with ARU top-ups along with Drew Mitchell, Digby Ioane and countless others.
            Kyle Godwin was a flop and Michael Ruru is still a nobody. What else has the Force contributed??????

            • Roar Rookie

              August 9th 2018 @ 10:31am
              piru said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

              I can certainly argue with Danger’s comment that the Force ‘took’ nearly all their talent from the East.

              With the exception of a few high profile names in the first year, no one was ‘taken’ – players who were not given a shot in the East were instead given a shot in the West, which was the point of having another Super side.

              Pocock, Hodgson, O’Connor, Cummins all got their opportunities here when they were sidelined in the east.

              Players were not taken off the streets of Sydney and Brisbane in darkened vans by desperate RugbyWA agents.

              • August 9th 2018 @ 8:25pm
                Rugger said | August 9th 2018 @ 8:25pm | ! Report

                That these players were ‘sidelined’ is a false statement.

                No they weren’t taken off the streets but O’Connor, Pocock and Ioane were signed up out of high school. O’Connor debuted as a 17yr old.

                Hardly players who were ‘never going to be given an opportunity’ in their home state

              • August 10th 2018 @ 1:34pm
                Akari said | August 10th 2018 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

                Market forces at play in those instances, Rugger, or is it not? And are you saying that the Force should not have competed with the eastern states and sign up talent?

                The Brumbies after all signed up talented ‘rejects’ from NSW and Qld in the early 90s only for the Tahs to then poach some of the ‘rejects’ like AAA, Vickerman, etc, from the Brumbies.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 10th 2018 @ 1:42pm
                piru said | August 10th 2018 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                I never said they were ‘never going to be given an opportunity’ that’s your quote (why you’ve attributed it to me I don’t know).

                They still chose to leave, for whatever reason, no one took them

            • August 9th 2018 @ 10:23pm
              Moono74 said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

              What Rugger and Max Danger fail to acknowledge is that the Force gave many young and journeyman players an opportunity to play Super Rugby. We gave Pocock and O’Connor a chance to play Super Rugby rather than being buried on the East Coast waiting for a chance.

            • Roar Rookie

              August 19th 2018 @ 4:44pm
              Kirky said | August 19th 2018 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

              Rugger! ~ You post rubbish sunshine, no player, repeat no player were ”stolen” from anywhere because as ‘Piru’ says they weren’t dragged off into the night kicking and screamingto Western Australia, ~ the simple fact of the matter is, ~ they were all offered a spot in a new Team ”out West”, they never ever had the big word put on them, they went to WA of their own accord willingly!

              You are either a Queensland, Tah. or Brumby supporter no doubt

        • August 8th 2018 @ 10:30pm
          Ex force fan said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:30pm | ! Report

          At least the Force made the top 8 in 2014…something the Rebels never did despite benefiting the most from the Force’s carcass.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 2:07pm
        KCR said | August 8th 2018 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

        Stu, I can appreciate that many fans in the west have been hurt, and that reading an article that states that suggests that positives have come from the decision to release the Force would make those fans relive that pain. But you can’t be angry at Eastern fans who support their own teams. Most of the Eastern states are full of good rugby people who were, and still are, appalled that the Force were cut and the way they were cut. I know that I will be watching WSR on Friday, hope you enjoy it too.

        • August 8th 2018 @ 9:24pm
          andrewM said | August 8th 2018 @ 9:24pm | ! Report

          I have to admit I actually said some kind words about the Tahs this year..who would have thought?

        • August 8th 2018 @ 10:34pm
          Ex force fan said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:34pm | ! Report

          The axing of the Force was designed to benefit the Eastern States financially and providing them with a Smorgasbord of Force players to pick from. RA are controlled by NSW and QLD interests, so the Eastern States are not as innocent as you suggest.

          • Roar Guru

            August 9th 2018 @ 10:12am
            Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:12am | ! Report

            I wouldn’t tar the Brumbies with the Rebels, Roger Davis led Tahs and rudderless Reds led brush.

            • August 9th 2018 @ 11:44am
              concerned supporter said | August 9th 2018 @ 11:44am | ! Report

              Hi Bakkies,

              I thought that you may be delighted to know that Sydney University are long odds-on to win their 15 th consecutive Club Championship in Sydney. Current table with one game to play is:

              Sydney University Rugby Union Football Club 2847
              Warringah Rugby Union Football Club 2613
              Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union Football Club 2582

              Cameron Clyne, Roger Davis & other members of FOSUFC should congratulate themselves, and give themselves a big tick.

              But worrying cracks appeared this year in Premier Rugby in Sydney, they are,

              1/ Culling of Penrith Emus this year after 4 completed rounds. They had a full complement of teams, 4 Grade + 3 Colts, operating in a massive area,. 150+ players and their family & friends lost to Rugby, unbelievable.

              2/ Both Parramatta & West Harbour have been forfeiting their 3rd Grade Colts games. With their large areas, they cannot field 3 colts sides.

              Doubt whether the elites from FOSUFC give a stuff about Rugby in Western Sydney.

              • Roar Guru

                August 9th 2018 @ 12:34pm
                jeznez said | August 9th 2018 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

                Will be down at Southern Districts v Warringah this weekend – will be cheering for the Rebels, as much as I would like to see Warringah overtake Uni that does look too big a gap to make up.

                Very frustrated by what happened to Penrith and worrying that both Parra and West Harbour have issues. Would be great to hear from RA, NSWRU and SRU what they are doing to support the game in the west of Sydney.

              • Roar Guru

                August 9th 2018 @ 11:42pm
                Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 11:42pm | ! Report

                CS long time no read. With declining rates in adult senior Rugby in general it is high time the Sydney Rugby Union address their criteria for entry in to the Shute Shield. 4 grades and 3 colts sides are too many teams to field particularly in the era of 8 man benches and dwindling adult player numbers. Also a very costly exercise to put that many sides on to the field and to give them the support they need.

                It needs to be addressed as there are too many struggling clubs and those players in the lower senior and colts grades are probably subbies standard at best. Playing those grades in a club that regularly gets hammered would be utterly demoralising.

      • August 9th 2018 @ 11:49am
        Bob said | August 9th 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

        Need to remember that the whole point of the force entering was to strengthen the rugby in the long term. just as the force were starting produce they were cut.

        ARU gave up a long term fruit for a short term sugar hit. If the ARU wanted the force to succeed they should of taken a leaf out of the NRL or AFL book and actually help the expansion teams.

        • August 9th 2018 @ 11:54am
          Joe said | August 9th 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

          Because The Gold Coast teams are a shining example of how to be successful in the AFL and NRL, especially in the AFL

          • Roar Rookie

            August 9th 2018 @ 1:13pm
            piru said | August 9th 2018 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

            Suns average 18,500 crowds

            • August 9th 2018 @ 1:37pm
              Joe said | August 9th 2018 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              All AFL teams average bigger Crowds than the NRL and Super Rugby. Crowds don’t equal profit or even sustainability.

              The organisation is a sham.

              Players and staff are constantly leaving and they are no closer to playing finals than when they began.

              They are just making up the numbers and have been since their inception.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 9th 2018 @ 1:51pm
                piru said | August 9th 2018 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                I wouldn’t say making up numbers, I don;t particularly care about afl but according to their own stats at the end of last year:

                Gold Coast
                38,457 participants – 26% growth year on year
                AFL Gold Coast Juniors – 2,950 registered players, including 15 new youth girls teams
                144,321 promotional touchpoints across community and school promotions

              • August 9th 2018 @ 2:30pm
                Joe said | August 9th 2018 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

                their membership and finances are much less impressive

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Coast_Football_Club#Corporate

              • Roar Rookie

                August 9th 2018 @ 2:52pm
                piru said | August 9th 2018 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

                I think that’s kind of the point though Joe, the AFL are throwing support behind them in the hopes of a future in the area. Rather than letting them twist and die they are investing in tthe future

              • Roar Guru

                August 9th 2018 @ 11:44pm
                Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

                The Lions and the Suns may have the junior numbers however the on field results of those clubs in the AFL is not a good look for the competition. Clubs like Collingwood hated it but when Brisbane were very strong it was a much better competition.

              • Roar Guru

                August 10th 2018 @ 12:17pm
                Train Without A Station said | August 10th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

                Piru the difference is though the AFL has the resources to do so.

      • August 9th 2018 @ 4:18pm
        Danny said | August 9th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

        While understanding your argument Stu, but were the ‘casual’ fans turned off? Because if there were many they didn’t seem to turn up for Force games when they were in Super rugby, in fact it seems they now have more coming to watch games. I in no way agreeing with what happened, but I do think some of the arguments maybe getting a little skewed!

        • Roar Guru

          August 9th 2018 @ 11:48pm
          Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 11:48pm | ! Report

          The Force are getting more to games now as they actually have the backing to put Rugby out there in the public eye through advertising and the local media without having their hands tied. Super Rugby had it but it is long gone now. There is no hype in the build up to Waratahs v Reds and Brumbies v Waratahs matches these days and the small crowds reflect that. There is more atmosphere at the Golf than there is at these matches.

          • Roar Guru

            August 10th 2018 @ 12:18pm
            Train Without A Station said | August 10th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

            Nothing prevented them from advertising their games in the past. Other than their budget.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 8th 2018 @ 10:49am
      piru said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:49am | ! Report

      With the benefit of a year’s hindsight, I’m still dirty with the ARU over the way they handled things. Not so much the decision itself but the obfuscation and mucking about that drew things out, gave people false hope and caused so much heartache in the meantime.

      I’m reasonably happy with the way things have turned out considering, but make no mistake – most WA fans no longer really care too much about what happens in the east – don’t imagine that because we’ve landed on our feet somewhat that there’s any forgiveness or need for a connection to the ARU.

      The mindset in WA has largely reverted to what it was pre Force – that being we are not really considered part of the Aussie setup, but are instead a conglomeration of expats and locals who love the game and will make our own way.

      For it to be otherwise will require some real commitment from the ARU to include WA in the national picture and to be honest, I’ve seen nothing that suggests there’s any interest in our grassroots, apart from Twiggy’s efforts.

      That said, the NRC may show some changes around the way we are included, time will tell

      • August 8th 2018 @ 10:40pm
        Ex force fan said | August 8th 2018 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

        The attitude of RA under Clyne can best be described by his refusal to fly to Pertg to meet with Twiggy despite Twiggy offering to pay for his ticket. When the meeting was held after several weeks of Twiggy trying to set it up, he told Twiggy you are too late(sic). Clyne see WA as some kind of backwater and that Australia ends at the Eastern side of the Nullabor. While he is in control of RA and appoint lame duck CEOs that will dance to his tune there is no prospect of an improvement in relations between The Eastern State controlled RA and WA. We are better off on our own.

        • Roar Guru

          August 9th 2018 @ 10:15am
          Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

          Not only that de Clyne gave a lame excuse for not attending a hearing in Perth where Pulver got rightfully slagged off by angry Force supporters so he could face the committee in front of an empty room in Canberra.

          Piru, the biggest challenge now for Rugby WA is to claw back the 30% that declined to register for Community Rugby this year in the state.

    • August 8th 2018 @ 11:13am
      Deborah Buckley said | August 8th 2018 @ 11:13am | ! Report

      Ever think the improvement was largely due to having a Sunwolves in the Aus conference? Take the stats from those two games out and is the improvement still so profound?

      • Roar Rookie

        August 8th 2018 @ 2:06pm
        tsuru said | August 8th 2018 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        I suspect the Sunwolves inclusion in the Oz conference didn’t affect the stats greatly – at least in a positive way. Remember they beat the Reds 63-28. But I would like to see the stats of the Oz teams with them taken out. Mind you I also seem to remember the Sunwolves only losing to the Lions by a couple of points, so you can’t consider them pushovers.

        • Roar Guru

          August 8th 2018 @ 8:10pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | August 8th 2018 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

          Sunwolves got really hard done in the last two games against the Tahs and the Reds with two of the dodgiest red cards ever.
          If they can keep their squad together for the next season, and maybe add 2-3 quality players they will be a proper SR side.

        • August 9th 2018 @ 11:10am
          WARugbynut said | August 9th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

          Dont know how you could say that the force beat the reds rebels and Tahs twice in their last year something the sunwolves didnt do….

      • Roar Rookie

        August 9th 2018 @ 8:58am
        Peter Taylor said | August 9th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        Hi Deborah, the stats in my article are specifically for Australian teams and not the Sunwolves. I did not include any stats against the Sunwolves in my calculations as I wanted a fair assessment of where our teams are at versus SA and NZ teams.

      • Roar Guru

        August 9th 2018 @ 10:17am
        Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        Deborah no surprise to see Foxsports include the 7 wins against the Sunwolves in their overseas stats.

        The other thing that wasn’t mentioned by Foxsports was that only one win was recorded in SA this year by an Australian side after their led ‘cull’ to reduce SA participation didn’t materialise.

    • Roar Guru

      August 8th 2018 @ 11:17am
      Train Without A Station said | August 8th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

      Ultimately had Australian teams finished 1st to 4th on competition points, had an all aus final, this would not have been justification.

      You can’t judge it on one year. The cut wasn’t for the purpose of purely improving 2018 results at the expense of everything else.

      One objective was immediate performance improvement. That did occur but there’s a whole lot more that needs to be achieved also and won’t be known until the coming years.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 9:21pm
        andrewM said | August 8th 2018 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

        The problem is TWAS, how are we going to measure that impact of not having the Force in Super Rugby in future years? Indeed, if WSR takes off there will be a larger drain on Australian players to populate the other WSR teams who won’t be eligible for Wallabies.

        You might say that the standard of WSR is low – somewhere above NRC but below Super Rugby arguably, and won’t attract top level talent but

        A) As Europe has shown, Money Talks
        B) The standard can only get better once teams have been able to establish rosters and coaching teams.

        • Roar Guru

          August 9th 2018 @ 10:20am
          Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:20am | ! Report

          Agreed Andrew the Brumbies will be down to one former Force player next year and he will be lucky to keep his contract after two suspensions, Peni.

          No surprise to see Erasmus and Verity-Amm go down to Melbourne to join the Rabble’s 50 man squad to play local club Rugby there with the rest of their fellow squad members who can’t get game time.

          • Roar Guru

            August 10th 2018 @ 12:19pm
            Train Without A Station said | August 10th 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

            But that’s a simplistic way to look at it. The Brumbies have recruited new players for next year also. They had 1 less Australian Super Rugby team to compete with to recruit those players now.

    • August 8th 2018 @ 11:19am
      Deborah Buckley said | August 8th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

      You lost your third largest player base for a few wins but no actual improvement. Still only one Aus team made it to finals, no silverware,(apart from the participation trophy the Tahs got for coming top of the conference), the team given all the money and players still couldn’t make it to the top half of the comp and are now having investigations done. Sounds like a real winning scenario.

      • August 8th 2018 @ 12:43pm
        Max Danger said | August 8th 2018 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

        the third largest – yeah thats massive considering there is no one in the other 3 states at all

        • Roar Rookie

          August 8th 2018 @ 1:10pm
          piru said | August 8th 2018 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

          There’s no one in ACT or Victoria? That’s…surprising

          Can you stop changing your name, it’s pathetic.
          You pop up on every article that mentions the Force, make the same sad, inaccurate points and then disappear.

          • August 9th 2018 @ 7:46am
            Ex force fan said | August 9th 2018 @ 7:46am | ! Report

            If he refers to the crwod figures, he is absolute correct – in that case WA is not 3rd but 1st.

            • Roar Guru

              August 9th 2018 @ 10:22am
              Bakkies said | August 9th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

              Ex, he is referring to overall player numbers.

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