The Roar
The Roar

Istanbul Wingman

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Joined February 2019

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Former New Zealand journalist teaching in Istanbul. Fave teams - Canes and Jags. Can be found chatting live about rugby here in my free time: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/roonbafr/wingman-s-global-briefs-t3372.html

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Canada and Romania have struggled in the pro era for sure, and there were other issues involved in the latter country, but by and large the game has made great progress since 1987. This has come about due to a change of attitude within the international governing body itself, of course, with proceeds from the tournament itself being used to fund the game’s development all around the world.

If rugby's World Cup had begun in the same era as football's

There were other factors involved too, such as Maori being left behind on All Blacks tours of SA prior to 1970. But when people question the dominance of SA over NZ in the amateur era, we only need look at the fact they had completed 4 Grand Slam tours of the Home Unions long before the All Blacks had managed to do one.

If rugby's World Cup had begun in the same era as football's

Yes, the Home Unions would’ve only agreed in the pre-war era on the condition they were hosts. Trying to get 5 European teams to Australasia in those times, along with SA, would have been far more trouble than it was worth. & that’s precisely why the Lions tours were arranged. Tours Down Under by individual European nations only really began in the 1950s, with inter-continental flights having become much more popular, but nonetheless remained quite rare until the 1980s.

If rugby's World Cup had begun in the same era as football's

The major problems with XVs at the Olympics were the number of players required and the amount of time needed to run a tournament. This is precisely why they decided to go with VIIs when the abbreviated code began to take off in the 1980s – largely as a result of televised coverage of the HK VIIs. It was a match made in heaven!

If rugby's World Cup had begun in the same era as football's

Excellent point. Globalization would have come a lot earlier if the World Cup had done so as well. Remember that the USA had won the second of the Olympic rugby gold medals in the mid-20s, so if a RWC had come along the following decade they would have had some incentive to keep at it. But instead the Olympics program ended and the Eagles got shut out by the closed-shop nature of the IRB during the era.

If rugby's World Cup had begun in the same era as football's

Yes, if the form book were a reliable indicator we would have had a very different set of scenarios since 1987 as well. NZ would have won practically all of them, in fact, although England were full value for their 2003 victory, coming on the back of a 6 Nations slam and Test wins Down Under. Incidentally, no team has yet done the World Cup-Rugby Championship double. 2011 & 2015 are the only two years so far this decade that NZ didn’t win the latter, in fact.

If rugby's World Cup had begun in the same era as football's

Thanks for your reply. Yes, the idea had been around for a long time, and indeed it was SA who cast the crucial vote. You are right about that, and the rumors go that it was part of the deal in getting the Cavaliers to tour – even though the NZRFU publicly washed its hands of the series.

It was a fun article to write but required a fair bit of research of course. I’d like to have written more about the great players involved but that would have turned it into a Russian novel!

I am a Kiwi myself, so I don’t think I’ve over-stated South Africa’s dominance at all. If I’ve been unfair to anyone it is probably England, who beat both NZ & SA in their own back yards in the early 70s. But it just didn’t coincide with World Cup years and they were in firmly in Wales’ shadow in the 5 Nations that decade anyway.

All of this is pure speculation, of course, and even on re-reading it I thought perhaps I could have come to one or two slightly different conclusions.

If rugby's World Cup had begun in the same era as football's

It should more appropriately be called the ‘Ancestry World Cup,’ because half the players at the tournament were speaking with Aussie accents.

League and union cannot afford an all-out Pacific code war

Spain are touring South America next month. They will play Brazil on the 8th, Chile a week later and Uruguay on the 22nd.

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

League has been making a huge play for the Polynesian players ever since Samoa made such a huge impact at the 1991 World and a certain Jonah Lomu ran riot in South Africa. You’d have to be blind not to have seen it. The mega hakas, the indigenous tests, the lax eligibility rules that allowed tiny Tonga to KO the Kiwis in the so-called league World Cup.

League and union cannot afford an all-out Pacific code war

Folau was always more of a show pony than a work horse. That overlap he ignored against Argentina, causing the Wallabies to lose the match, was unforgivable. Reminded me of a certain All Black Warwick Taylor who did the same thing late in a drawn match against Argentina in 1985.

The Wallabies are a better team without Israel Folau

For your edification, my inquiry as to just how a city so far off in Siberia became Russian rugby’s stronghold has been answered on the Youtube site itself:

“After the collapse of the USSR, Russian rugby was in decline. But in Krasnoyarsk there were two clubs. The city is divided in half the largest Siberian river Enisei. On the left bank of the river based Krasny Yar. On the right bank based Enisei-STM. This derby helped keep rugby in city. Nobody wanted to lose, so they looked for sponsors, invited good players, developed their schools.”

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

Don’t write off the Jags!!

The Rebels have left the Australian conference door ajar and it could cost them

Perhaps, if the Maghreb Tri Nations does go ahead, they could stage a match between the winners, and the winners of that play Namibia for the defacto championship…

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

This is good news. & perhaps the North Africans will play their Maghreb Tri Nations again. No substitute for the African champs, of course, but it’s something.

“The Victoria Cup pitting Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe is set to be revived this year. Following the cancellation of the Africa Gold Cup early this year by Rugby Africa, Kenya will play matches against the two African rivals in a bid to keep the Simbas competitive this year”
https://www.the-star.co.ke/sports/2019-05-22-simbas-uganda-and-zim-as-victoria-cup-is-revived/?fbclid=IwAR2Qm-WOJoDb2uxXlAfJYvKRYnBHW_79PlDIUIvbfk68Xod5QlSF3AnYiWg

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

Do they still have an inter-state match between the NSW and Queensland representative teams? I wonder. My idea if NRC goes under (as rumored) is to play a mini-tournament involving the Aussie franchises plus the Force and Drua, since Super Rugby will apparently return to round-robin format in 2021 and thereby half the number of matches Aussie teams are currently playing against each other. However, an alternative might be to revive the inter-state fixture as a 3-match State-of-Origin between NSW and Q’land. They must have quite a few of their players scattered about the place these days. & why not copy league for once, since they’ve basically copied everything union has ever done.

Game of Codes, Episode 11: Folau's decision, Cronk's legacy and AFL player welfare

Does Australia still have an inter-state match between NSW & Q’land? If not, they should bring this back as a State of Origin. Who cares if league got their first? The 13-man has stolen enough ideas from union. Make it a 3 match series if NRC goes under.

Problems and solutions for rugby's new and existing tournaments

Batumi won the Georgia final last week with a 36-11 win over Rustavi.

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

The Romanian 2018-2019 SuperLiga CEC Bank final next Saturday 25th May (15:30h) will be contested by CSM Stiinta Baia Mare & Steaua Bucuresti.

SuperLiga semifinal results:
CSM Bucuresti – CSA Steaua Bucuresti 15-22 (3-9)
Timisoara Saracens – CSM Stiinta Baia Mare 30-35 (13-21)

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

Apologies again. The city which is home of the two strongest teams in Spain is actually Valladolid, just north of Madrid, nor Zaragoza. Their two powerhouse clubs El Salvador and Valladolid are through to the final again.

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

Sorry, those question marks at the end were supposed to be a geek icon. Zaragoza was in fact named after Augustos. I lived in Spain for 5 years but that’s one place I never got to.

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

I wonder how a city so remote as Krasnoyarsk became the rugby “capital” of Russia. Was it due to the local rivalry that developd between Krasny Yar & Yenisei themselves? I wonder. There’s a similar situation in Spain with both the top clubs based in Zaragoza, a small city located between Madrid and Barcelona (and named after Caesar Augustus ????).

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

So, we can be sure the Saders will be going to the playoffs as the number one ranked team, and the Canes will almost certainly get a home semi as well. But the rest is as clear as mud right now, with the Bulls and Jags tied atop the SA conference and the Lions and Sharks just 2 or 3 points behind. Similarly, while the 3rd-placed Brumbies may appear miles ahead of the Rebes and Tahs, ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, the advantage is only 1 and 3. So anything can happen. With just a few rounds to play, only the NZ conference looks sorted at this stage, the main question being whether the Landers can make the playoffs cut.

The Rebels have left the Australian conference door ajar and it could cost them

Krasny Yar have beaten cross-town rivals Yenisei STM 17-10 in the Russian club final. These two powerhouse clubs often contest the national final, and also compete in European competition. They are based in the city of Krasnoyarsk, the unofficial “capital” on Russian rugby. This is located in the middle of Siberia, a few hundred kms north of the Mongolian border, and have to play their “home” games in Europe at venues much further west, such as Sochi on the Black Sea.

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise

Apologies, the Seattle team’s nick is the Seawolves, not the Seahawks. That’s the NFL team!

Global wrap: Colombia, UAE and Ukraine on the rise