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Geoff Parkes

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Joined October 2012

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Geoff is a Melbourne based sports fanatic and writer, who started contributing to The Roar in 2012, originally under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Conflict; the Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy was released in Dec 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 chances are they will Ad-O. (They key word above is “if”)

The home unions and France have far less to gain from the global concept than the SANZAAR nations, and it seems also that they are all terrified of relegation from the top tier.

On the other hand, it would be a chance for them to regain some power over clubs, via Test rugby retaining primacy over club rugby. If they elect to go the other way, clubs will become relatively more powerful, plus, they will have to sell off some of the equity in their game to private interests.

It isn’t really the ‘devil you know’, at least not for rugby. They would essentially be confirming that rugby goes down the soccer path. An EPL equivalent might be good for the most powerful clubs, it will certainly be good financially for the players, but it would severely imbalance and diminish the international game.

Sunwolves saga is SANZAAR’s failings laid bare

Hong Kong was the match I went to last year, and yes, it was noticeable that they didn’t have the conditioning of the Force players.

All of those sides will benefit once a proper competition gets up next year and they have regular, meaningful rugby, playing for points.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Agree. A number of players were visibly affected by the heat on Sunday and the quality of the game suffered as a result (although I’m sure Reds fans wouldn’t care too much)

I don’t think that’s good for the game. I also don’t see NZ agreeing to sending their unacclimatised players into those types of conditions.

One other small factor, the A-League runs a summer season, which has it’s supporters, but also a large section of followers who believe it hasn’t been a success.

I do agree with Johnno that there needs to be some ‘out of the box’ thinking if there is to be a workable global season constructed. But when the Top 14 runs for 9 1/2 months, and French club owners don’t give a rats about the rest of the world, then all the innovative ideas in the world still aren’t going to help much.

Sunwolves saga is SANZAAR’s failings laid bare

“Poison pen” “turned on GRR”

You’re kidding aren’t you Timbo? A couple of weeks ago I was critical of the quality of the Tahs v Reds game, and of staging it at the SCG. The whole event was a terrible advert for Australian rugby and I said so. Would that represent ‘turning’ on Super Rugby to you?

This criticism of the Force v World XV match is mild by comparison. In fact, I’m not even criticising the game, just saying that the rugby itself looks like regular rugby and not some brilliant new innovative ‘product’ that the commentators say it is.

Mate, if you think that represents some kind of conspiracy against GRR, you’re well off the mark. I went to Perth last year, had a look at what was happening with the Force and WSR as it was at the time, and wrote about it as I saw it, positive and negative comments included. Disagree about my findings all you like, if that keeps the East v West thing happening for you, but I personally don’t know anyone in rugby – journo, player or fan, West or East – who wants GRR to fail.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

“…World Rugby’s Nations Championship, which, if it happens to progress and edge closer to reality, will only raise more questions as to the usefulness of the SANZAAR partnership in its current form.”

Thanks Brett, this piece is key. If the NC comes off, it will provide a much more stable revenue source, and link Australia and NZ more closely with the home nations, and lessen the reliance on SANZAAR itself to be the main revenue source.

They will still have an alliance and still have Super Rugby of course, and it will still be an important part of the overall financial equation, but proportionately less so. Which should allow all four of the SANZAAR partners to pursue the solutions that best suit their own needs, and not be quite so reliant on each other as in this clunky collective.

Sunwolves saga is SANZAAR’s failings laid bare

Thanks Midfielder, appreciate the post.
Truth be told, the music isn’t my cup of tea, but there’s some fantastic video in there – Charlotte Caslick and the AB’s both look awesome.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Great call on Percy, Don. He has ‘rock star’ written all over him!

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Yes Nick, I expect that there’s a bit more movement to come from SA before they achieve the desired balance for the ‘foot in both camps’ strategy.

On thing dropping the Sunwolves from SR achieves is to reduce the length of that competition to 13 matches plus finals. At a local level that allows Australia to beef up their domestic competition (either the NRC or a new competition built around the SR franchises), and at the international level, that potentially provides a little bit of extra breathing space to help with creation of a properly structured global season.

The real issue though remains the length of the Premiership and Top 14, at 9 1/2 months. It’s pretty hard to build a global season around that isn’t it, and it’s hard to see them willing to concede ground.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

“GRR games are intended to be played at even more lung busting pace than 80 minute Super games”

Thing is JSJ, GRR can shape the laws all they like to speed things up to ‘lung busting pace’, but that will only bring about more errors from players who are fatigued and/or aren’t elite players.
Which means more scrums…

You tell me – is rugby really unattractive and thus does it need ‘speeding up’?
Does ‘speeding up’ actually equate to being more attractive?

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Sorry, that was meant for JSJ! 🙂

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

ps, glad you enjoyed the night out!

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

I agree with Paul, JSJ, we need to be very careful about seeking more ‘ball in play’ time, in isolation of other factors that contribute to the game.

Taken too far, all it does is change the style of rugby being played, rather than ensuring it’s better rugby being played. And it risks de-emphasizing the set piece and taking the big guys out of the game.

Harry is a close student of ball in play time, and I’m sure he could tell us – along with World Rugby’s own data – that this has been creeping upwards in the last couple of years on its own, without any help from artificial new laws.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

He’s a tidy, skilful player, but I think there are two issues with him Muzzo,

1. he lacks pace, so isn’t a running threat
2. he lacks the authority you like to see from a good 10

Here’s hoping he can make that improvement he’s looking for.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Correct Glen. They are basically a glorified committee.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

JN, Louis Luyt was a man of very low standing in NZ across players, administrators and press.

But in completing research for my book, I was surprised to learn that he was a very positive and constructive force during the transition to professionalism, and possessed a vision that many other administrators of the time (particularly in the UK) lacked.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Absolutely the gap is closing Bob. The raw numbers tell us that, and the action tells us that too. There’s still a gap, mind, but yes, it’s smaller and you’re entitled to enjoy the wins!

Yeah, next year for the Sunwolves might be a struggle. The players and coaches will of course give their best, but it’s all a bit like ‘dead men walking’ isn’t it?

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Very good point JN! 🙂

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

I think Stewart should be given an opportunity at 10 Fin, and to play 10 that is, not just wear the number and stand aside for Hegarty.

Things were a bit topsy turvy yesterday weren’t they? The Reds dominated the lineout and the Brumbies the scrum, when most would have expected it to be the other way around.

But I wouldn’t be too worried about Tupou, this is a big year for him and while he’s not dominating, I reckon he’s going ok.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Hi Muzzo
I guess that’s one of the positives from dropping the Sunwolves from SR.
The competition will drop back down to 13 rounds plus finals, so we won’t see anywhere near so much of this rotation – all sides will be required to go ‘full gas’, every match.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

I agree that South Africa isn’t doing much more than protecting their own interest JN. And that there isn’t anything surprising or controversial about that.

It just goes to show how complex and troublesome the SANZAAR alliance is. All four nations have different needs, and domestic situations and tensions that differ markedly. But they need to stay together as one – individually they would lose revenue and influence.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Yes. You’d have to think the potential is greater for there to be sponsor losses.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

As it happens Fin there’s a fair bit of Dragon history in my upbringing, including rehearsals in our living room when we were kids. Come to think of it, Marc Hunter was a drummer/singer too – another one to ditch the drums and move to the front of the stage.

Just reading about The Autumn Sun likely going to stud. Good gig for him, but a shame we won’t see him race on.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

My favourite Stones album John!
As an album closer, the mood and atmosphere of Moonlight Mile is pure perfection.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

“if SANZAAR really wanted the Sunwolves to be in Super Rugby, they would be.”

I think that’s fair comment too.
But with the $ not adding up, that influences how much “want” there is.

The Japanese corporate sponsorship matter in Australia is interesting. On one level not having a Japanese team in the comp will potentially make things harder for the franchises (it’s not just the Tahs who have Japanese companies on board), but on the other hand, it works both ways, and those companies are still looking to promote their businesses here, via an association with rugby.

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?

Must say, I enjoyed Keef’s book, Tim.
Fair to say he’s had quite an interesting life…

The Wrap: Is this SANZAAR’s ‘Spinal Tap’ moment?