The Roar
The Roar

Geoff Parkes


Joined October 2012







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 Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.



🙂 Well, we do live in a world full of spin and b/s mate, and I guess there’s no reason why rugby should be any different.

The bottom line is, for all of the grey on either side, if the JRFU really wanted the Sunwolves to be in Super Rugby, they would be.

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

It’s logical to link the two Jez, I initially did that myself.

But the reality is that the SR decision is entirely divorced from whatever may or may not happen with the Nations Championship. If the NC proceeds, broadcast rights negotiations for international rugby and for Super Rugby are separated, and will be on different timelines.

And there’s not actually anything illogical about Japan entering the NC, but not being in SR, if it happens that they view their own top league as their primary professional competition/pathway.

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

I don’t believe SANZAAR have any desire to get involved Andy. But if we look at the long-term view, it would be logical and beneficial for all in the game that there be a coming together at some point down the track.

GRR is only going to be financially viable for as long as Twiggy underwrites it. It is hard to see how it will survive on it’s own merits, in all of those markets, with all of the costs involved, with second and third tier players.

Also, what might potentially be won by GRR in a marketing sense, might be a rod for their own back (as you suggest), and they may eventually benefit from the legitimacy that comes from playing to standard laws.

IMO that’s a more likely outcome that GRR suddenly taking off as a ‘product’ in such a way that it forces World Rugby to adopt their innovations and law changes.

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

Sheek, rugby went professional in 1995. You might not like it, but rugby is both a sport and a business.

You describe it as greed, but any administrator at any level of the professional game who isn’t trying to improve the financial position of their organisation – while their competitors are doing so – would be derelict in performing their duty.

Please tell me you understand that, at least.

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

Jez, all of the participating nations are required to underwrite their financial contribution to the competition. That’s not the same thing as a “fee to play”.

The issue is more about Japan not being a member of SANZAAR. The four SANZAAR nations are obviously fully invested in SR, it’s their primary professional competition just below Test rugby.

The JRFU aren’t invested in SR in the same way – partly because they are like a ‘guest’ as opposed to a full member, but more so because they don’t see SR as their preferred pathway for their players into Test rugby. Their primary interest is their own domestic league.

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

Good comments WB, although I’d much rather see alert TMO’s take those things out of the hands of the players and notify the ref straight away that a review is required.

I don’t think it should be up to the players to referee the game – although some of them do make a good fist of it! 🙂

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

Happy for you to explain how any of the comments in the article constitute ‘sniping’ CH.

You too fail to explain how reducing the game to 70 minutes provides any benefit.

And who are ‘the broadcasters’ you say that instigated this move? SBS? Surely not?

As you know, I visited Perth last year and attended a match. I wrote about how the match day experience for fans was very good, and how the game itself looked like most other games, good mixed with bad. What I saw on Friday night looked much the same to me.

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

Depends on who you want to believe I guess, Jez.

The JRFU have spun things their way, why wouldn’t they, but imo it’s quite a stretch to say they were required to pay a fee to play SR.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather see the Sunwolves playing SR, and playing all of their home matches in Tokyo. It makes sense on so many levels. But I’m happy with the information I have, as to why they’re not.

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

Yes, the ‘Not Dead Yet’ tour, I believe.
Which rather opened himself up to some trolling…

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

That was a very weird moment wasn’t it Chook?
Even without the acid, I was really struggling to comprehend what was going on. How can the Stormers be lining up for a conversion when the sides have already left the pitch for half-time??

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

Yeah, I guess the fact that Collins stepped away from the drums to go out front reinforces the respective difference in status, Harry.

He’s certainly successful, but were there better drummer/vocalists? My mum might go for Karen Carpenter and I recall Debbi Peterson from the Bangles went ok.

But the best is surely Levon Helm from The Band. His performance of ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ from ‘The Last Waltz’ is too good for words.

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

So what do you think happens from here BF? Has that win raised expectations enough to put a finals appearance back on the table?

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

I noticed a couple of weeks ago BF, that Robinson’s running lines were a wee bit shallow and he was sometimes getting caught ahead of the ball, and wasn’t always able to make an effective involvement.

But on Saturday he and Ioane seemed to have their timing and positioning better sorted out, and they were very effective. Obviously the Blues have a couple of talented 7’s as well, and this will also help Ioane in his case for higher honours – he’s better when it’s less about him, and more about the whole unit functioning well.

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

Fair point Peter, in so much as the people who howled so much about too much TMO are now seeing the other end of the stick.

I don’t subscribe to the general view that we should strive for a certain level of TMO involvement. If they need to be involved ten times a game, or none, I don’t care as long as it’s all for the right reasons and they get the big calls (and no calls) correct.

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

Spinal Tap had a song called ‘Just Begin Again’, CB.

Which is kind of what’s happening to Super Rugby, reverting back to 14 teams.

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

Congrats on the good win for the Blues RT! There were some excellent tries and some welcome composure. It’s not like the Highlander’s are a poor side.

That game in Pretoria perfectly suited McKenzie. Dry track, some loose play, his own pack finally having figured how to go forward (Retallick and Ardron were both great) are much more his go than – as you say – playing at 10 behind a battling forward pack. His goal-kicking was excellent too.

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

The Singapore business is emblematic of the whole sorry Sunwolves mess cs.

They’ve never drawn a crowd in SIN and – having attended one of their matches there myself – the atmosphere at the stadium is sterile and soulless.

But while it makes no sense for rugby reasons, the relative power of South Africa comes into play, directing that matches are (were) played there instead of Tokyo. But more than that, the main issue is (was) the lack of interest on the part of the JRU. If they had fully invested into the concept, and got behind the Sunwolves, I’m sure we would have seen more games in Tokyo.

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

That’s the thing about food-chains Digger. There’s always someone at the bottom.

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

I guess Jez, that if the overall world deal includes Super Rugby, then it wouldn’t make sense for SANZAAR to offer SR to the pot including the Sunwolves – if they were intending to take the Sunwolves out of it straight afterwards.

BREAKING: Sunwolves forced to play one more year of Super Rugby before being axed

Why you’re unclear Jez is because what you describe outlines how complex these arrangements are.

If the Nations Championship comes off, the commercial deal will involve components for Test Rugby, Super Rugby etc… (thus different weightings depending on who plays where), primary TV rights holders, secondary rights holders, digital rights holders, and so on, all across multiple markets.

It’s a huge undertaking, but essential because it is the scale of it that underpins the $ value – compared with each country going it alone.

BREAKING: Sunwolves forced to play one more year of Super Rugby before being axed

Not really. For that one it was the broadcasters who pressured SANZAAR to immediately reduce the number of teams.

This one isn’t being driven by the broadcasters, but by 1. South Africa, and 2. SANZAAR’s own concerns about the JRU supporting the team.

So, quite different circumstances/reasons.

BREAKING: Sunwolves forced to play one more year of Super Rugby before being axed

Unlikely conspiracy theory Jez.
More likely because that’s what the existing broadcast agreement requires.

BREAKING: Sunwolves forced to play one more year of Super Rugby before being axed

What it means Neil, is that Harry can introduce you to a bloke who can cryopreserve your sperm.

Thanks Harry, a lovely surprise for a Friday afternoon!

Gold mines in cloud forests, axes and ferrets: 2019 Rugby World Cup taking shape

Thank goodness the new competition that you refuse to watch will be better than the old competition you refuse to watch.

SANZAAR's Sunwolves decision is all dollars and no sense

Thanks for saying hello Neville. All the best mate.

Super Rugby Round 6: We’re with Christchurch