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Loosehead Greg

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Joined August 2011

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Yep. I think the quality of rugby has been pretty good actually, across all this year’s tournaments. I have enjoyed watching it all, even the Tahs have scored some great tries.

Players and fans deserve better tournaments though.

Over the years administrators have made a string of bad decisions about competition formats. And as a result, we’re still arguing about the best SR format 25 years after inception in 1996!

Fortunately, the pandemic has snapped the administrators out of their coma. We’ve seen the potential of AU. Let’s hope the administrators seize on that, and grow it over time, and keep other competitions short and sweet.

What the Australian teams can learn from the Blues and Highlanders

It’s true the Australian style of play isn’t fully developed. But then, we’ve only had two seasons of AU to nurture it, while the kiwis have had their NPC since 1976.

An Australian style will become clearer the longer AU / NRC is played. Hopefully we’ll see regional styles emerge too, as they have in NZ to some degree, with the South Island teams the most exciting to watch.

What the Australian teams can learn from the Blues and Highlanders

There’s something true about your quick fix observation.

More important than one-off events, RA needs a unifying vision for Australian rugby, that delivers a healthy and popular sport, whether the Wallabies win or lose.

The Trans-Tasman highlights the need for investment into Australian rugby

I’m not sure money is the most important issue. There are much richer unions – England and France say – who also struggle to consistently beat New Zealand opposition.

NZ are very good at rugby, always have been, and we shouldn’t shackle ourselves to them. We need take responsibility for our own rugby destiny.

The instant success of AU – where an Aussie team wins every game – has shown a way forward to reinvigorate the game in Australia.

By the way, how do you think this week’s TT final will rate with Australian TV audiences compared to the Australian ratings for the AU final?

The Trans-Tasman highlights the need for investment into Australian rugby

Yeah. Usually, the person who resorts to name calling – playing the man instead of the ball – does so because they are losing the argument. And that is the case here.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

I agree, an NRC level tournament is needed.

We need at least one national rugby tournament. I don’t have a preference for NRC or AU actually. If it turns out to be NRC level, fine. But as a result of the learnings from AU’s success make sure we exit covid with an Australian national rugby tournament in place.

The organic public support for the AU competition makes me believe either AU or NRC would be financially viable, if managed and marketed correctly. Put that another way, RA could actually be leaving money on the table by not properly developing a national rugby tournament.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

I’m not convinced that AU isn’t financially viable.

We’ve seen explosive growth in interest after just two seasons, and Australia has a large economy and domestic market of 25 million to grow in to.

Let me repeat, I’m not saying put all eggs in one basket or other. By all means play TT or Champions as well. I’m simply saying, AU is worth nurturing and it may prove commercially viable too. There’s no evidence otherwise, at this point since we haven’t actually played AU long enough to determine how big it might become commercially.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

Hey Waxhead, my perception is you may not have read the article properly before commenting. Or maybe you just didn’t understand it?

I have never suggested we stop playing NZ completely.

I support playing both AU and TT, or some format of champions tournament, in varying degrees. What quantity of each, is the question.

By the way, is Jacko, Waxhead, and Numpty the same one ridiculous person?

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

The Sanzaar company, in which NZR is a joint venture parter, wasted all the money.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

Thinking more about the TT 2022 format Brett. NZR publicly stated consideration of a 12 team tournament, with Drua and Moana Pasifika, and talks with Japan, but have any details been communicated about which formats are in consideration: whether one round-robin, or 2 rounds home and away? How many finals matches?

If so, I missed it.

I think it’s a critical point because previous failings have resulted from forcing a format to bend accommodate the existing dependancies (remember the 4 ladders?). The format, and number of teams involved, should be agreed first, as an abstraction, with team names filled in later on.

Perhaps you, or another journalist, could probe RA to share more details?

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

Well said Wayne.

I am still to be convinced about Andy Marinos. He was CEO of Sanzaar, that’s an alarm bell for me, and he’s been a rugby mercenary all his career. I’m sure he’s a nice bloke though!

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

I hadn’t heard Rod Kafer’s comments. Obviously he’s a very smart guy.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

The writing is on the wall but some people don’t want to see it.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

I think we need to commit to improving the standard of play in SR AU.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

What Dave Rennie, the players, and the other employees of Rugby Australia want is one thing; but Hamish McLennan and the Board have to balance their demands with those of the rugby community who are sending pretty clear messages about what we want.

For two decades now, RA has not been very good at reading the room.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

I agree, conferences were a terrible idea. Partly because they were so complicated casual sports fans couldn’t follow the narrative of the tournament.

I’m in two minds about the pools too, I must admit, but I think it’s worth considering, in the context of a mini Rugby World Cup format, because we know that format captures the imagination.

Again, I can’t understand why people are opposed to more sudden death finals – it’s great for TV.

I have tried to argue logically, the push for more TT and less AU just doesn’t follow from the evidence. Sometimes, we have to listen to what the market is telling you. I wonder if Stan will share the ratings for AU compared with TT? (I’ve watched every game of both).

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

“A bit unweildly”

It was an intercontinental flying circus which wasted 25 years, and millions of dollars of broadcast revenue, that would have been invested in the proper development of Australian grassroots rugby. That’s what it was.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

That’s a very telling anecdotal story Rusty. I hope RA board members hear about it.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

It’s interesting, your reason why SR wasn’t dreadful is because the Wallabies did well in the rankings. The Wallabies were not in SR! Also, the Wallabies won one of their World Cups in 1991 – 5 years before SR even started. And no World Cup wins this century.

The longer the SR intercontinental flying circus droned on, the less Australians enjoyed rugby. Rugby was dying. Covid has saved us from a long slow suffocation.

We have a small window now to get it right. Tough decisions need to be made that achieve the national domestic tournaments we need to prosper in the long term.

Also SR was not a domestic comp, it was always an international comp.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

Well said Butcher.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

Why would you not have a final for AU Joe?

This years Queensland v Brumbies final attracted 41,000 people, and massive TV ratings.

I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want more of that next year?

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

Thanks for your comments Brett.

Fair call on the full TT explanation. If that’s the case, couldn’t we just count the points from the second rounds of AU and AOT? I mean, that’s what happens with TRC and Bledisloe: the games span two tournaments.

My point about appealing to 25 million, isn’t about appealing to every person, I agree with you there. Perhaps I wasn’t very clear. I’m suggesting there’s a large domestic sporting audience that can be developed with the SR AU product: especially now there is coverage on free to air.

The Australian population is 5 times larger than NZ, and our economy is 7 times larger than theres. Why are we fascinated with commercial partnerships with NZ? I understand it from a rugby perspective, but not from a commercial perspective.

I think it’s naive to suggest that Super Rugby isn’t in competition with other football competitions.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

Exactly.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

I think you are right Paulo. Kiwis will subscribe to Stan to watch AOT and the All Blacks. TT isn’t required to make them subscribe.

Doctordbx,

I think RA needs to develop a new domestic audience from Australia’s 25 million population.

I think RA needs to develop products for Japan’s 125 million population.

New Zealand is a drop in the ocean. Literally.

To TT or not TT, is that the question?

Micko, televising NZ’s own rugby tournaments (AOT, NPC, AB tests) on Stan is sufficient to have the kiwis open their wallets.

They paid this year didn’t they? And we didn’t need 50 games of TT to get them over the line.

In my opinion, in 2022, the Stan business proposition will be stronger with an increased number of AU games, and less TT games.

The Trans-Tasman showed a glaring weakness in Australian rugby

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