The Roar
The Roar


Joined March 2010









Bluesfan hasn't published any posts yet

That’s the key question around RA’s behavior.

If they were always going to settle – why didn’t they throw cash at Folau at the beginning vs. all the negative publicity, sponsor’s being made very unhappy and running up large legal costs?

To defend RA though – Folau might not have being prepared to settle quickly etc and they had no choice but to go down this route.

That being said, I’m not sure that given that a settlement has being made – if a lot of pain could have being avoided by RA proactively settling this dispute with Folau – by effectively paying him out on his contract amount and then saying goodbye and good-luck right at the beginning – however always easy to say that with hindsight.

That HSBC has disappeared off the scene indicates to my mind, just how damaging this issue has being for sponsors and effectively being associated with the code and probably is good evidence that RA made a miscalculation in not settling sooner.

Castle insists Folau settlement cost less than going to court

Think it’s key to remember that Folau had his legal costs covered via donations- so what actually did he have to lose?

For Rugby Oz – it faced someone in court where they were bleeding cash in legal costs vs. an individual who could call on donors etc.

So that along with all the negative publicity that RA was facing (noting that Wallabies just lost HSBC’s sponsorship couple days ago) and think the drive to settle would have being on RA.

Don’t think they were left with much choice as long as the amount was not silly money etc and if they kept it within his contractual amount (which it’s starting to sound like it was), then they would probably be happy to wipe their hands of the whole issue and get back to running rugby.

Castle insists Folau settlement cost less than going to court

According to The Australian, sum being paid out is 8 Million.

If that figure is correct, mind boggling and given how strong RA were talking about their case and how confident they were of winning, to pay out that sum (even if part covered by insurance) – calls into play their judgement around how they handled this matter?

Martin: Folau settlement like a Christmas present

Jan 31 is a crazy time to start Super rugby, but here is hopping it’s a good comp.

Whilst know that the year after the world cup you lose a decent amount of players, that I saw that the NZ Teams are composed of 25% rookie players is a bit of a double take moment. Eventfully with that type of turnover of players, the quality of the games must suffer.

On a more hopeful note now that a lot of senior AB’s have moved on, exciting to see the new crop of players coming through – some generally exciting talent in both Oz and NZ to feed through and will be interesting to watch how Gatland goes with the Chiefs.

For Oz, hopefully they can put the Folau case to bed and sign up a nice fat TV rights contract with Foxtel to ensure the financial viability of the code in Oz. Hopefully Castle gets some clear air to show if she has got what it takes etc to run RA without having to deal with Cheika/Folau etc.

Merry Xmas everyone and let’s hope 2020 brings some more great rugby games and hopefully all the talk will be about the game and not the personalties aka come in M.Cheika, I.Folau and A.Jones.

The Wrap: 2019’s rugby highlights, lowlights and wish list for 2020

Think I commented recently that figures out for NZ Super squads is that 25% this year are first year rookies (hate to think what the figures are for Oz and SA).

Which shows you how much the Super comp is turning into development and retirement comp. With youngsters and older players returning home to pick up a final couple of years pay-checks, that middle tier of experience is slowly disappearing.

Which then drives the next point, if the likes of Oz and NZ lose competitiveness due to more senior/established players playing overseas, if we like it or not, RA and NZ (eventfully) will be forced to lighten the rules.

NZ is already starting – look at Sam Whitelocks latest contract. Will be playing in Japan next year and is not available for Super Rugby but will be/is available for selection in the AB’s in 2020 – who says NZ does not pick from off-shore?

Why the Giteau Law has to be fit for purpose in 2020

Rugby A will stick with Foxtel, effectively it would be commercial sucide if they went to someone like Optus and effectively reduce their ability to get their game out to the general public and accordingly reduce commerical opportunities for sponsors.

However the key question is around the $$ they receive and unfortunately given the position of Rugby in Oz currently, it appears very unlikely that they will receive a premium simliar to other sports like the NRL and Cricket in their recent negotiations.

Brett is correct that the likes of Foxtel have to retain sports like Rugby due to the challenges of Disney+, Netflix etc and that the only point of difference between Foxtel and the likes of Netflix is Sports and which is something that the NZRFU was able to take advantage of recently in their negotiations with Sky TV.

However rugby in Oz is very different to rugby in NZ in regards sporting profile etc and currently their commerical appeal is limited (vs other more popular sports in Australia) so RA’s negotiating power is much reduced and Foxtel knows it.

Hopefully however both parties understand that they each need each other to survive and accordingly a deal can be worked out that is profitable for both Organizations, because if RA was forced to go to Optus, I can’t see how commercially that would work for RA and it’s sponsors aka Qantas, Landrover etc.

Trial by media: Australian rugby’s broadcast future to play out in public

Think the reason Europe stumped all that cash was because of the SA games – because they are in the same timezone for viewers – maybe 2 hours time difference between Ldn/Cape Town.

With discussion around competitiveness of SA teams and potentially more SA teams heading North to their comps – interesting to see what develops. Oz/NZ do need a competitive SA side of comp because they offer so much due to time zone and appeal to Europe.

Foxtel withdraws offer for Rugby broadcast rights, Optus move looms

From wht I’ve read – Optus currently only have around 700,000 subscribers – tough ask for Oz rugby to move to them and still keep sponsorships going etc, if you are going to limit viewing numbers like that.

One would assume that they are only using it as a negotating tool to get Foxtel to stump up more cash, because it would be crazy to remove yourself to a online site where you effectively reduce your view numbers and accordingly commerical appeal etc.

Foxtel withdraws offer for Rugby broadcast rights, Optus move looms

Yes the Kiwi sides are very much weaker – think I saw an article that something like 25% of NZ Super players are new to Super rugby this year – very clear indication of just how much talent NZ is losing overseas (and Oz just as bad if not worse).

However in that very much key 10 position – NZ super sides (bar Hurricanes) have either WC or AB Talent running teams.

Blues – Barrett
Chiefs – Cruden
Crusaders – Mo’unga
Highlanders – Ioane

So even with weakened squads, NZ squads are superior based around that 9/10 position. Even when you think of the 9 Position – NZ has not lost one of their AB squad 9’s in Smith, PJ and Weber, who are all still available vs. Oz – who have lost two Wallaby 9’s from Super ranks (even if people didn’t rate them!).

Oz now has 9/10’s running Super sides, who whilst all have good potential are very far from the finished article and that will be reflected in results in 2020.

Here’s a great idea: Let’s stop playing the All Blacks

Yes, sadly the games between Oz and NZ are becoming a little tired as we play each other so often now.

However Oz and NZ rugby need the games to get the gate receipts and TV rights cash in – so that they can then support respectively the game in both countries.

It would not be a bad thing if the AB’s do drop the BC in next couple of years to rekindle some of the competitive spices etc – only for a single year mind. And with Rennie coming in and with the recent success of the U20 Team – maybe matters are looking brighter for Oz?

On the other side – with the loss of players to off-shore contracts, think the Oz Super side are looking very weak and could be an extremely painful year in regards Super rugby and results. Reality is that all 3 Wallaby 10’s from this year are playing off-shore in 2020 – which effectively means introducing young 10’s or pushing players more comfortable at 12 into the 10 jersey (Toomua).

And if you don’t have quality 10’s running your team around the field, zero chance of long term success in a comp.

Here’s a great idea: Let’s stop playing the All Blacks

Personally given all the negative press around his appt in Oz, if I was Rennie I would be questioning if it would be the right move to coach the Wallabies.

Seems to be a pretty robust PR campaign against his appt – so potentially he is walking into a very much political environment and really would it be better to stick/stay in Europe and pick up one of the big paying/coaching roles say in the French/English Comp?

Also would be happy for Deans to be back in the NZ Environment, from interviews with him recently, he could be a real asset in the NZ system and now that the people who apparently had issues with him in the past – Steve Tew/Hansen moving on, might be a good opportunity to get him back to NZ.

That’s of course if he would be interested in taking a major pay drop etc – as sure he is currently being very well paid in Japan.

The Dave Rennie casebook: Can a Kiwi coach the Wallabies again?

The worry for the Sth (or one of them) is the Super Comp. How many boks will actually be playing in next years 2020 comp, as a lot seem to be decamping to Japan/Europe.

Which then begs the question – if NZ (and Oz) want to test themselves against the best players – how do you do that if a large % of your best players in the comp are decamping and that in fact, SA super sides look very weak and potentially non-competitive.

Hard to build or retain the world’s best comp if 1 group out of 3 will now be weak – though you have to acknowledge at the same time, that it’s not a “rugby” issue, as this is large part driven by political/FX – Rand factors, that are out of the hands of the SARFU.

From savvy selection to superior scrum: How the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup

This years pack for NZ U20 had for a change – size but couple of players actually looked fat.

But in past years – Nth hemisphere packs have dominated NZ U20 side – as seen by Irish U20 beating 2016 version and France just physically dominating the U20 side this year.

2017 side however did destroy England in the final, but that sides looks like it might be another 2011 version (2011 being replent with very large number of AB, Welsh (Anscombe) and English players -Shields).

2015 NZ U20 side – just beat England in the final, but if I recall the game, thought that the English Forwards dominated but Baby backs had the edge in backline skill

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

What I find surprising about the U20’s – is the physical difference between some of the Nth Hemisphere teams vs. NZ. Teams like England (and France) seem to be phsycially bigger, more advanced in rugby basics – scrum etc.

In this years tournament, thought NZ actually selected a couple of players on size – but the size turned out to be flab and NZ Forwards again came up short. As with England vs. AB, in the U20 match between NZ and Oz – NZ Forwards got marched back couple times in scrum and physically dominated.

Know NZ seem to take the view that they like NZ to have the ball-players etc and that over time, things like Maul/Scrum skills can be taught – but from viewing the tournament, not to sure if that is the correct way, but guess you have to have trust in NZ Rugby brains trust that this is the best way to develop young players.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

Think the big call for me was in 2016 when Hansen decided Barrett over Cruden, since then AB’s have played to Barrett’s strengths, which has continually come up short against these tough Nth Hemisphere opponents who play smart and hard rugby.

All that aside, you have to give England credit as they were superb and owned the AB’s in a way that I have not seen for a very long time – wonder if we have just seen a time in history where the Nth will grow stronger and AB’s weaken etc.

Would not surprise if this is the case, as if you watch the U20 WC the likes of England and France etc have looked very strong and seem to be feeding through some extremely good players.

U20’s bar 15 & 17 side have being poor past couple of tournaments, so will be interesting who the new AB coach will be and his first selection – that will obviously alot about how he will want the AB’s to play.

Whiteout! How selection confidence helped England beat the All Blacks

Will be interesting who gets up for the game. Still surprised that Ta’avao is getting game time, whilst mobile, is he really up to this level re: scrummaging.

Hopefully Smith, Crotty, Williams and Read etc go out winners as they have being good (and great in Read’s case) AB’s.

2020 could be interesting for the AB’s, hopefully some of the likes of Ennor, Jordan can break through into the AB team and with new coach, could be interesting in regards new selections etc.

All Blacks trio to get farewells as third-place playoff side named

No – Just highlighting that SA, is effectively where NZ is heading, if we like it or not.

For example you do realize right that Sam Whitelock, is not playing Super rugby next year but instead is playing Super season in Japan, but will be available for the AB’s e.g. he is playing overseas and will be selected basis form in Japan.

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?

How long has it being since France was a Force, well that question is not relevant unless NZ start to import and fill half the Super rugby slots with foreigners – maybe a more relevant question is what team is in the final of the WC and selects players worldwide now?

SA are just the precursor to both how Oz and NZ will be in the coming years – you just don’t realize it yet.

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?

No – what I’m saying is that we should be considering them for selection for the AB’s – it would be for the selectors to then decide if they were better than the incumbents.

All those players are high quality including Slade (remember his kick from sideline to win BC match in Brisbane) and all of whom would be in the selectors mind if playing in NZ.

But let me provide a better example (as you don’t appear to rate these ex AB’s) – Retallick is playing for the next 2 seasons in Japan and is not available for Super or AB duties.

Do you think him being available would stregthen the AB’s in 2020 or because he is suddenly playing overseas – has he suddenly gone from being the top rated AB lock to 3rd rate and he won’t be missed?

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?

The point I’m making is that we have already lost the battle – where exactly do you think Retallick is playing next year? He is gone for 2 years in Japan.

Then look at Whitelock’s contract – he is going to play in Japan next year (vs playing Super rugby) and funnily enough is still available for the AB’s – NZRFU are getting around not selecting players from off-shore by signing Whitelock to a 4 year contract.

So both of our only WC locks are playing rugby in Japan next year over Super rugby and only 1 of whom will be available for the AB’s. And that player (who will probably be next AB Captain) is effectively being selected from overseas.

So apparently the “allure” of the jersey is not enough for Retallick and others – horse has bolted I would have thought.

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?

Kerr Barlow over TJ P – lest you forget 1. Kerr Barlow can pass the ball which helps for a half back and 2. He was preferred ahead of TJ in the 2015 WC. Anyone remember just how bad TJ’s passing is for a half-back, if I want a loose forward I will select one – for half backs, then a key requirement is that they can pass the ball accurately.

As for Sopanaga – well he did not to bad for both Highlanders and AB’s when available – at was Mo’unga’s tackling in the recent game?

As for Taylor – class player and was preferred ahead of Mo’unga when at Crusaders – so yeah, all the really good players are in NZ. Bit like Josh Ioane right – right up there with Cruden, Slade (remember him maybe?).

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?

Yes and until then they will restrict the ability of NZ players maximizing their income by blackmailing them by effectively forcing them to stay in NZ, if they want to represent NZ.

Interesting to conside Charles Piatau – that when he signed for a European club he commented that the money he would generate from his European contract would set his family up, his coming from a pretty tough background in Sth Auckland.

It’s ridiculous that he is put/forced into the position of having to choose if he represents his country or put his families financial future/security first.

He (and others) should not be forced to make that choice.

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?

Geoff, in an earlier discussion you talked about how a lot of players decide to stay in NZ for lifestyle reasons – now if we pick AB’s based off-shore, it’s the end of the world?

Personnally I’m sure that some players would leave if they did pick AB’s from off-shore, just as some would stay for aformentioned lifestyle reasons. Given the 400 Million NZ rugby has recently picked up from Sky, they can afford to be pretty competitive on the salary front.

Somehow I think if they did decide to introduce a “Gitau” rule of circa 20-30 tests, yes we would lose some players but wholesale exodus?

Only wholesale exodus that is happening is probably SA rugby, where it’s unclear how many first string boks will actually be playing in Super rugby next year and what that then means for 1. Super rugby rights and 2. Competitiveness of Sth rugby and more importantly NZ rugby.

How exactly are you going to attract crowds to games involving SA teams, if they are in affect development sides because all the boks are playing in France, UK or Japan?

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?

It is blackmail – Restricting your abilty to represent your country basis a requirement that you have a contract with the NZRFU.

People are allowed choices and yes they can take a lifestyle choice and stay in NZ – however when it comes to teams representing NZ – the team that is being put out is not representative of the best NZ Players.

It’s in effect a NZ residents 15 – now good for you that you are happy to have that team representing NZ, personally I think the AB’s should be the best NZ players and that means the selectors should be allowed to pick who they chose – wherever they live etc.

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?

No – what I’m doing is giving an example of player who would be in the selection mix if he was available for selection.

However due to the NZRFU’s rules – he can’t be considered. He was or is a quality prop and most definitely would have being in the selection mix if available.

If he would have made a difference in the game on Saturday – who knows, my point is that NZ is restricting it’s ability to put the best 23 out on the field by not selecting overseas based players.

The Wrap: Do the World Cup semis tell the truth about the final?