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The Roar

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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“…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?

🙂 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?