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Ball Handling 101

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Joined August 2017

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Loves to pull out the back and jam hard on the leading pod runner. And gardening.

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Does grass roots not include Amateur clubs (mens / womens) also? Does the focus on exclusively schools and juniors place more emphasis on talent pipelines from school leavers and U20s and less on “late bloomers” through the club competition such as your Scott Fardys for instance?

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Interesting: looks like we need a clear distinction between what does and does not constitute as grassroots.

I also believe that an NRC would be far more important than the Shute Shield for aussie rugby.

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Wow, interesting, I hadn’t heard. That’s big

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Was not aware. Canberra’s a big town with a good handful of decent sides. Some of these canberra based clubs sometimes play trials against some of the SS teams.

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

AFL does it in an interesting way in Sydney from what I’ve seen. Clubs have heaps more teams like UNSW for example has 6 teams. The bottom 4 are pretty much subbies div 1-4 and the top 2 are pretty much Shute shield

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

So what if the NRC was our premier domestic comp? With all the funds and resources that would’ve been used for super rugby? Roughly 8 local teams:
Effectively the five current Super teams:
Sydney (Tahs)
Brisbane (Reds)
Canberra (Brums)
Rebels
Force
And then probably 3 more non capital city teams to start off with:
Western Sydney
NSW Country
QLD Country

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

With this one I’m not sure I’m fully sold on the idea of the Western Sydney franchise.

Even at NRC level the “Greater West” team got the flick I believe.

I think that expansion into other states (WA, VIC) may’ve been more important than expansion into Western Sydney. But hey would love to have seen how it would’ve gone in a parallel universe where the Western Force was set up in Western Sydney.

I’d have to say that they’d be my pick for a Sixth Aussie team however.

This is where I wish Southern Hemisphere Rugby was in a tiered / division based structure where new teams could enter the comp at a lower tier, gain strength by finding their feet in their early days and earn their right to play in the top div. Less cricket scores, less disillusioned players, less bombed franchises.

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

The tough one for me was 2019 I think where the rebs with their all star lineup from the Force’s leftovers, plus their own decent cattle, with Genia and Cooper and promising coach wessels, produced one of the most underwhelming seasons of all time.

But then again we’re talking about building community and culture to grow the game and produce long term on field success.

Perhaps I’m naive but I personally don’t put the Rebs in the same league as Force, and Reds who do a lot of community stuff, but would be keen to hear your thoughts on some of their approaches.

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Sure is, pretty sure Nic White is from Campbelltown or at least went to school there.

I reckon the last areas in NSW where Rugby can win the race would have to be the central west. League and particularly the Panthers sniffing around there should really have Rugby worried.

Strong comps in a number of regional centres such as Illawarra and Hunter too. A guy who commented above is from the Far North coast where there’s also a comp with I believe 10 or more sides.

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

So do you think the players in the social grades should be diluted amongst the subbies competition while the SS retains only a First and maybe Second grade?

The clubs themselves are still entities with fans, community, history and more. Removing lower grades and even juniors could really sterilise the competition. Lower grades bring a lot of support on game day and are just as much a part of the club culture as the first grade side, just like at any side in a subbies, central west, illawarra comp, etc.

Tricky one

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Well just like any other sports comp, should an overarching body (SRU???) place a salary cap limit? However, of course some clubs are more affluent than others how is the problem of the lower clubs not having as much disposable income going to be solved?

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Run by smart people too. Embarrassing for our game

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

“Trouble is the people controlling the elitist closed shop don’t want to change” pretty much bang on. What can we do though… Really says it all how unprofessional the game is that there isn’t enough authority from a centralised overarching body to take control of the spoilt kids…

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

The Shute Shield is the highest level of club rugby in Sydney and players are semi – pro; those at the big clubs receive match payments.

Each club has a number of grades and U21s sides, as well as junior programs that compete at a tournament over the June long weekend.

After 1992 Shute Shield “Division 2” split from the Shute shield into a separate competition, the Sydney Suburban comp.

Subbies is a separate competition and at a junior level the Subbies clubs act as feeder clubs to the Shute Shield clubs.

Historically teams have been promoted and relegated from the SS although it hasn’t been done for years now, with clubs like Illawarra and Canberra being removed from the competition in the early 2000s. In 1995 Drummoyne were dropped from the Sydney (now NSWRU) premiership and Canberra, Newcastle and Penrith were added.

I have often thought about them being considered all one competition with a number of divisions before but it’s a really open ended discussion.

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Yeah fair point although this article isn’t really a knock at the schools at all, it’s a knock at the handling of the Penrith situation and the direction of the game and efforts to support and grow the game at grass roots level in the state. But overall I tend to agree. What would you change from a RA point of view?

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

No one’s arguing with that. I just don’t believe it means Rugby should give up on these areas, just as soccer, AFL, etc. didn’t.

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Love that. How are you liking the comp and the culture up there? Are you seeing a lot of unity between juniors and seniors on game day?

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Sadly…

I also think the Force are a great example of a sustained effort into building a community, culture and fanbase. I’d love hear the thoughts from some locals on the state of the local competition.

Wallabies currently parked up in Perth and seem to be connecting with the fans at a number of clubs really well.

Talking about the Tahs and NSW is pretty draining and as we all know they’re not exactly the epicenter of world rugby. Guys like the Force and probably the Reds as well give us a bit of hope.

Rugby in New South Wales must adapt or die

Probably just getting some game time in

WILL GENIA: Why I'm impressed with Rennie, and how we shape up against All Blacks

Cheers Peter

Operation McMahon: How Aussie rugby can keep its cattle

For sure, the contracts don’t have to be taken but could be agreed upon on a case by case basis to suit the situation of all the different players.

Operation McMahon: How Aussie rugby can keep its cattle

I agree that there’d need to be some flexibility and some aspects would need to be fleshed out more. Will leave that to management to discuss at their next cocktail & caviar party.

Operation McMahon: How Aussie rugby can keep its cattle

Articles have to be approved once submitted to be published on the roar and I didn’t want to waste my time writing a 2000 word article by throwing Folau’s name in there.

Operation McMahon: How Aussie rugby can keep its cattle

Not a bad position to be in to be able to choose between Gordon, McDermott and White.

I find it interesting how our halfbacks get stereotyped. Tate is a running 9, White is a kicking 9, etc. But I feel like this neglects the players’ other strengths. Whilst Gordon was picked over McDermott last year due to his superior box kick and ability to better execute Rennie’s game plan, he also set Super Rugby alight this year with his running game and proved himself to be the most dynamic halfback in the competition despite playing in a weak side.

Do you have any ideas how Gordon might look to inject more of his running ability into his game for the Wallabies? It seems he plays quite noticeably different for Australia than for NSW.

Great to have you writing on here Will. Don’t go anywhere!

WILL GENIA: Why I'm impressed with Rennie, and how we shape up against All Blacks

Brumbies have become a tight forward factory. Other clubs should take a leaf

Wallabies break six-year series drought on the back of doing little things well

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