The Roar
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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No-one would ever accuse me of being a unionist Nick, but it’s clear (and Mark Evans reinforced a lot of this to me) that what applies in normal commercial markets don’t work so well when applied to sport.

Thus things like equalisation and central control of collectively bargained salaries are generally good things for sport, because it’s optimal to have all participants stay competitive.

Which isn’t to say that the PSDT’s and Beauden Barrett’s of the world shouldn’t earn substantially more than run of the mill players.

The next six months are going to be fascinating as players scramble to wherever they can get the best deal, and nations and clubs try to impress/enforce the reality of reduced budgets upon them, while some French owners, and perhaps some Japanese clubs, try to continue on as if nothing has happened.

Has South African rugby let the genie out of the bottle?

I think he’s big Will Skelton in disguise…

Has South African rugby let the genie out of the bottle?

No. We’re taking a bit of liberty ozinsa in thinking that Peter V’Landy’s will do all of the spadework in the NRL, and then, by the time the rugby Tests are on, people will be allowed into stadiums.

All highly speculative of course.

Force ready for Super Rugby AU scalps, but Sunwolves won’t make the trip

Absolutely, there’s plenty to get excited about AJ.

Bledisloe Cup crowds in Sydney have been down in recent years. My guess is that with things being so tough financially for RA, and with so little rugby being played, a half decent promotion, appealing to people to get behind the game, should see Homebush sold out.

Force ready for Super Rugby AU scalps, but Sunwolves won’t make the trip

Very funny mate! At least she gave you first shot at the leading role. 😂

Force ready for Super Rugby AU scalps, but Sunwolves won’t make the trip

I think all of those thoughts are reasonable discussion points Muglair, but the broadcasting situation is much more straightforward than that.

Australia is in SANZAAR. They are required to bring something to the table, as SA and NZ have done. It’s now very difficult for them to do that without a 2020 Test schedule in place, and a pro comp for 2021 determined (compared to the other two who, once the schedule is known, can negotiate/adjust with their broadcasters knowing they’re already contractually tied)

The Tests are the priority. It is also where RA has something value to offer to Foxtel. Club rugby is neither here nor there for this year. More of a discussion point for the next term, but even so, it will contribute little value.

Similarly, discussions about potential break-up of SANZAAR, SA going north etc… are for the next phase. Even if that happens, I can’t see that happening before RA strikes an arrangement with Foxtel in the next few weeks. SA isn’t going to leave without first knowing for certain what its future is in the UK.

So yes, it is tough to finalise any broadcasting deal for 2020 , let alone 2021-25, while today there is no Test schedule. But that’s their hand and if there is any goodwill at all between the parties they will sort something out.

And to Andy’s point, yes they will need to know how much money they have to work with before they can figure what they will be offering/asking of the players. Clearly, Sept 30 looms as a key date.

Force ready for Super Rugby AU scalps, but Sunwolves won’t make the trip

For the Jimmy’s of the world, let’s spell out that the substantive part of any TV deal for this year, with respect to content and value, are the international matches.

Obviously there is time pressure on RA to get a deal done quickly, to allow this domestic competition to be funded and broadcast. But the key to the deal is what RA (and SANZAAR) can put on the table with respect to a Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup program for later in the year.

In that regard, despite looking on enviously at the NRL already underway, it’s a good thing for rugby to be starting in July. This buys some time to get its domestic component AND it’s international component in place.

It starting to look more like we’ll see no end of year tour to the north, an expanded Bledisloe Cup with two matches each in Aus and NZ, and a contracted Rugby Championship where all four nations bed down in either New Zealand or Australia.

Fox may still show little interest, and will almost certainly lowball any offer. But I find it difficult to believe that if a decent international program is put together, that they wouldn’t want a piece of it.

Force ready for Super Rugby AU scalps, but Sunwolves won’t make the trip

Cheers James, hope it wasn’t too much of a slog…

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Yeah, but they might not get it back off him!

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

That’s a comparison fraught with danger, Cassandra.

You can’t ask forwards to scrum with everything they’ve got and expect them to keep running for 62 minutes. AFL is battling to accomodate the drive to keep speeding the game up, and taking the big men out of the game. At some point you have to say, this is rugby and this is rugby league, and celebrate the differences.

That said, can rugby do better? Absolutely. Highlander had this right in his piece last week. Cut down on the time wasted to form scrums, the impromptu drinks breaks, stoppages for replacements, and lengthy TMO reviews, and you’re a long way to improving the spectacle without changing the essence of the game.

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Hope the hangover isn’t too brutal, JN!

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

You’ve hit on the real reason why fans have been locked out of stadiums, Bob.
It would be anarchy inside and outside the toilets!

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

It’s absolutely raining loose forwards down here at the moment, isn’t it?

Let’s hope we get to see a few of them in action, soon. The players must be absolutely gagging for it, although they’ve still got a month to go!

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Interesting concept, mate!
Long odds on it getting up, though… 😂

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Hasn’t McLennan been hopeless, Tooly? I can’t believe he hasn’t fixed Australian rugby in all the time he’s had.

RA to reveal details of overhaul

Possibly Carlin, although let’s not forget that one of the reasons for retaining a kick out on the full from the 22 but not elsewhere, was not just to discourage sides from kicking it out anywhere on the field, but also to discourage attacking sides from kicking it into the 22, knowing that the defender was allowed to kick it out, back towards halfway.

I actually think the balance around that law is ok. And I like it when a side efficiently exits their 22. I like that they have a choice about how to get down the other end – by running or kicking.

Another point is that if the side without the ball knows that their opponent must run the ball and not kick it out, I think we’ll see them coached to provide intense defensive pressure, and it will force a lot of boring pick and drives, to minimise risk.

Agree that the line drop out is worth trialling, and indications are that this is one we might see adopted.

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Couldn’t agree more guys. COVID or no COVID, the game would be much better for stamping both of those out.

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

I didn’t detect the same antipathy to World Rugby when Australia won the World Cup in ’91 and ’99, Sheek.

Surely you’re not suggesting that given the lack of success since then, and all of the internal bickering, Australian rugby is looking for someone else to blame?

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Unfortunate but no surprises there, Mark.

It would have been beneficial to avoid the bye, and to have those guys playing, but in the circumstances it was all a bit of a long shot, really.

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Even then, from over the sideline, Muglair!

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

It’s a bit like the old hooker’s code where they’d agree before the game not to strike for each other’s ball. But of course it wouldn’t see out the game!

I remember a match once where Hika Reid was the opposing hooker, and our hooker told me not to stress about the scrum feeds because he was mates with Hika and they had an agreement not to go for each other’s ball. Sure enough, just after we’d all relaxed, Hika blitzed us with a tighthead! Which helped explain why he was an AB and our hooker wasn’t…

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Was thinking about some morning tea, but not any longer, thanks hammer.

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

To be fair to the Tahs, mz, they did create that fantastic team try scored by James Ramm – so hopefully they’ve got a few more like that up their sleeve!

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Tree, I recommend you have a look at the World Rugby release, where they explain the rationale behind each variation, and by what extent each one reduces potential contact in a match.

It’s actually very interesting, and does show that there is a bit of science behind the thinking, even if some of the practical outcomes are a bit hairy.

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby

Cheers, Tree. I think Brett and I are good. We abide by the old halfback’s code of ‘I won’t complain about you feeding the scrum crooked if you don’t complain about me doing the same.’

The Wrap: COVID-19 laws set to revolutionise Australian rugby