The Roar
The Roar


Roar Rookie

Joined December 2016









RA just do not understand rugby and its supporters. They just keep on chasing a mythical fan base as if they are the NRL or AFL. Trying to please minority groups who have no interest in attending a game, unless they are already players or rusted on supporters.

Substituting a club championship for the NRC as the 3rd tier will gradually strip players away from the bottom half of each competition to the top half. I am not sure that it will be easy to drag support from the rest of rugby to support a few elite clubs in a club championship.

I have finally embraced the idea that the Waratahs are not a NSW representative team but a club based in Sydney which is “our club” representing NSW. Now I am being asked to continue supporting the “Waratahs” club in a TT competition and then support a different “Waratahs” in state of the union.

I can’t imagine emotionally connecting to both, but maybe I could. At the end of the day I will probably continue supporting the ‘club’, especially as the origin thing is just a try hard imitation of NRL. How much do we pay these guys to come up with this?

I may just turn off professional elite rugby altogether, like many of my old team mates.

I wrote here a couple of weeks ago that Foxtel’s smartest move after Castle walking away was going after SS and Brisbane competition rights. Much cheaper. I went on to suggest that Kayo could be streaming every club’s games using the clubs’ own footage.

Look at Cluch TV on Facebook. Want to watch all grade and colts games with the women to follow. No problem. Want to watch a subbies game, no problem. Schools, country rugby. They could cover every game in the country.

The most valuable asset is club rugby and Cluch TV will come here and clean up. If RA lose their supporters to watching club and school rugby on Cluch they can kiss professional rugby goodbye.

Let’s be realistic about Rugby Australia’s new broadcast offering

Interesting analysis Nick

I was so disappointed to see Wright have a poor game, he is much better than that. Let down by his team though.

The Reds simply did not turn up, obviously expected to win easily and left it to everyone else to do something. An old story but a good one.

Ironic that the team expected to win easily but Thorn went conservative with Wright at 7 and bring ASY into the team.

I agree on Wright increasing weight, I think he will do so relatively easily, might possibly even had difficulty keeping himself as a 7 anyway. Dave Dennis was a good example of someone who very effectively increased his weight to shift from 8 to lock.

Hanigan will need to do similar as he hasn’t quite cracked it at 6. More suited than LSL but has not proved himself test standard.

The prime example on Saturday night was TT. Would go through the motions pushing straight and expecting to dominate. When it did not work he reverted to angling in. Went back and looked at the Slipper scrums last week and same thing. TT definitely getting a free ride at the moment.

Michael Hooper shines in sky blue slaughter at the SCG

Hi Nick

Thought I would come back to this article after the weekend’s game. There are probably a few aspects of the refereeing in the SRAU comp that are inconsistent. One of them that concerns me is the management of TT in the scrum.

My take on Bell’s YC in the first game was that TT was given free license to bore into the chest of the hooker and drive him up. From memory that more easily forces a split in the bind of the opposing hooker and prop.

I just went back and looked at the scrums against Slipper where TT again was driving straight in. It also seems to me by driving in and up, if the bind splits it allows Tupuo to drive over the top of his opponent and force him to the ground.

Kafer’s comment on the scrum you highlighted was that it was fantastic to see TT packing straight and then turning on the power and angling in. As far as I could see he did that in every scrum against Slipper, right under the nose of the referee. The scrums end up a real mess with the force heading laterally across the front row and collapsing.

My concern is that we are building TT up to some sort of THP marvel, where a lot of referees would just blow him off the park.

THP dominance was about the only thing the Reds won on Saturday night. This time I had a distinct impression that TT resorted to angling in because he was not getting any pay in a straight on contest. Given the weight differential between the two packs I am not sure it was a great scrum performance from him.

Any which way you can: Australia’s intriguing choice at tighthead prop

The biggest problem with two teams in TT is that there is no proven capability that RA could establish a useful, successful and valuable NRC.

Ditto three teams which is a step backwards from longer term international success.

Hanging in for a 5/5 TT and hoping that NZ runs out of options is the scenario RA is best equipped not to screw up but there is no upside. Will be surprised if this is successful commercially and staggered if it returns the Wallabies to better times.

Will be happy to be wrong. Very happy. But not seeing it.

The pub test: What is actually plausible for 2021?

We should all get over this. He needs to step it up and some time in Europe as a tight 5 is the best place to do it.

Nobody will be taking their play to the next level in AU SR

Waratahs skipper Rob Simmons seals move overseas

I will probably have to give reading all 446 comments a miss Nick but I hope they all agreed with you that a 5/5 competition is a massive gamble with whatever is left of Australian Rugby.

I would happily send 2 teams into the NZ competition and then build as fast as I could back up to the number of teams that can be managed. Creating a quality NRC competition that reinforces the local rugby competitions and acts as an effective 3rd tier is marketable content that will create rugby foundations for the 2020s.

I wrote on another post that I am also concerned that ignoring NZ creates a vacuum that could be filled by Private Equity coming in and funding a couple of Australian based sides.

When the Kangaroos hybrid proposal came up I was concerned that any rugby side will be at a disadvantage in a hybrid version or a game of two halves. The Kangaroos might also fill the vacuum created by RA ignoring overtures for a TT competition.

The Kangaroos beating the ABs is a serious backward step for the credibility of rugby in Australia.

Too big to fail: Why Rugby Australia must not make the same mistake again

Really felt for Maddocks on Saturday. This is where the best coaches can make a player and it will be interesting to see how Penney manages him.
What a fine line to run.

The Wrap: Truth proves elusive as Superman Suaalii saga rages on

Ironic because if he goes OK, makes the 7s, plays well in Tokyo and Australia gets a medal he will probably have generated $3m worth of interest in rugby.

You just have to hope RA is then ready to capitalise. Really hope.

While some journalists feel the need to manufacture stories, exaggerate events etc, I still feel RA do more than enough to justify the ‘incompetent’ tag.

The Wrap: Truth proves elusive as Superman Suaalii saga rages on

RA’s pig headed attitude is a recipe for disaster. All of their problems are of their own making over the last 10-15 years and NZ merely has no interest in being caught up in them.

RA is creating a vacuum here. I am dead set against private equity but many seem to think it will be the saviour of the game. If we think bailing out Australia is an attractive proposition how attractive is a premier NZ competition?

PE money could fund two Australian barbarian sides or perhaps a west coast and east coast team with Twiggy involved somewhere. RA will have trouble enforcing player contracts and in a COVID world, and also taking into account the extensive and growing involvement of CVC, I can’t believe that WR will sanction players.

A Wallaby ban will make players think and weigh up their financial situations. Given the history of these types of bust ups it is a bit hard to imagine that players won’t be representing the Wallabies in 2023.

A solution to the latest trans-Tasman rugby pickle

I suspect BF might have a point and a can of worms is opened and a genie let out of the bottle.

I assume contracting players closer to home would probably be universally welcomed by players and unions in the Pacific. Spreading them across the competition is probably the path of least resistance but is probably not making the statement NZ want to make (and I suspect RA might want to make).

One circuit breaker could be top release players back to the SR Pacific sides based on hereditary or place of birth factors. That way you might get three competitive Pacific teams but they maybe TOO competitive and just weaken Australia more.

A solution to the latest trans-Tasman rugby pickle

Priceless, so self aware

A solution to the latest trans-Tasman rugby pickle

The problem with all of these ideas is cost and there is just not enough information available to even hazard a guess at what the costs would be to run extra teams. The best anyone can do is pick very high level consolidated numbers out of the NZ and RA annual reports and perform simple arithmetic based on numerous assumptions.

Unless the economics work differently to anything else on the planet then each additional team will lower the average cost as more lower paid players are brought into the mix. However I would also think the average income per game comes down, and most likely there is a point where the incremental cost is greater than the incremental income.

The trick is to to provide enough teams to cover the fixed administration costs. This is something that has not been mastered in 25 years so care needs to be taken in being too aggressive. As we also have seen, fixed costs tend to rise quickly when new revenues suddenly appear.

COVID is likely to be a great leveller, reining in many of the NH excesses. However, this does not mean it is a good time for RA to gamble. Through our own ineptitude, we have fallen a long way and instead we should thank our lucky stars we are not the only rugby country in a big hole.

It is possible Twiggy or other supporters may lend a financial hand. Maybe they won’t and there is a general acceptance private equity money will be available. There is a huge risk here as PE is only interested in its share of revenue. Every extra dollar of costs to support the increased number of teams and games must be funded by the unions.

Rugby versus private equity: No prizes for guessing who wins (Part 1)

Know when to hold 'em, know when to walk away

England were clearly the best team in the world 2002 and 2003 but I still think it was one of the weaker periods of international rugby since 1987.

Know when to hold 'em, know when to walk away

I would think that can be worked through between the unions.

The bigger problem is the constraint on players living and playing in Australia (and possibly with ancestral ties) being unable to play for the Wallabies.

There would be significant financial advantages to international selection so there could well be restraint of trade issues.

Know when to hold 'em, know when to walk away

The CVC type PE deals might be a long term millstone around the necks of many unions.
However NZ is probably one country with the necessary solid foundations to negotiate a reasonable structure and then make it work.
As CVC starts our journey towards a ‘circus’ like existence it is not to big a step for a competition to be arranged with contracted internationals making up the other three sides in an eight team competition.
In some ways it works for Australia, they have a whole lot of players being paid by somebody else to play top shelf rugby. Then of course the pushing and shoving over Wallaby jumpers starts and inevitably the “rebels” are exiled for a year or two before some sort of reconciliation before the 2023 RWC.
None of this is a good idea, but if RA refuses to engage funny things happen in vacuums.
My opinion is that RA is again playing a high stakes strategy using the future of the game as chips. If the decision is to go it alone, then the Wallabies better deliver against the All Blacks later in the year.

Critics keep coming for NZ Rugby over proposed breakaway comp

This is the big problem with private equity.
CVC adds no value but gets a massive windfall if SA joins the 6N.
Given the fact that CVC are rumoured to have dropped their offer to STG200m from STG300m the 6N will probably be prepared to give away even more of the revenue above a given ratchet level (as the EPL did) to get a greater amount upfront.
CVC will also have negotiated a few rights to protect their position as well, so they may have a significant say on whether or not other countries can join. As another contributor said, it is a numbers game, the more content, the greater the revenue, and the bigger slice CVC gets.
The individual unions still have to manage the costs of the competitions within the net revenue after CVC’s slice. Inevitably more games, more players and more teams so that rugby itself is over exposed and lucky to break even.
Have to admit that CVC has played a clever hand and will make a hell of a lot of money out of rugby.

Critics keep coming for NZ Rugby over proposed breakaway comp

Does not matter if your neighbour is a 95 pound weakling and the other neighbours who used to back him up have moved away.

Critics keep coming for NZ Rugby over proposed breakaway comp

Sure does Andy. The point was that for PE to work, the cash has to be invested to stabilise. Then revenue has to be driven up immediately to cover the fact that PE is now taking a share directly off the top. Then costs have to be controlled because of the revenue shortfall, and also because we were losing money already.

As you correctly point out Rugby Australia has no track record in either building revenues or controlling costs. PE will be a death knell. Presumably the PE lender will understand that as well, so even if RA goes bankrupt and is replaced by a new entity, the PE firm will still have control over the income stream.

This is a con. The comments coming out of RA really concern me. They are either stupid, or assuming we are.

Rugby versus private equity: No prizes for guessing who wins (Part 1)

Did not think that was the case. Your reference?

After the Aratipu report, can’t we all just get along?

No they paid a consultancy for a different review earlier in the year which 32 parties are now working on.

The point was that this Aratipu report has not been rushed out because after three rounds the competition seemed to be going well. It is part of a long methodical public process.

We have been a mess for years and nothing gets talked about outside the boardroom. If Australian Rugby is united in thinking playing in a 5/5 competition is a great plan then the end must be near.

After the Aratipu report, can’t we all just get along?

Then ‘more teams more revenue’ got in everyone’s way. The original 3/4/5 split looks about right with the benefit of hindsight.

From this distance SA did not manage on-boarding teams 5 and 6 very well.

Lets accept for commercial and participation growth Australia needed 5 and SA 6. Then NZ also needed to expand to at least 7. South Africa and Australia needed to start planning and implementing the structures to grow the base that supported that.

None of the three countries did anything, and certainly not together, to ensure the right structures were in place in their partners’ systems. Once the competition was strong enough we just added teams on and expected the competition to sustain them, not the foundations on which new teams should have been built.

Possibly the root cause is creating SANZAAR as a separate commercial entity, or fiefdom as they used to be called.

Critics keep coming for NZ Rugby over proposed breakaway comp

We are lucky the whole global rugby world is a mess. Without COVID, it was just us.

Can’t see SR surviving in the old format. 4 Australian sides is a tombstone around its neck as well.

RA does not even have a broadcaster in place, or the likelihood of one at a price that covers RA costs.

Having the autonomy to sort ourselves out, whether it is some participation in TT and a domestic competition, or just a competition at least leaves our fate in our hands.

Given our track record that is no guarantee of success of course.

Critics keep coming for NZ Rugby over proposed breakaway comp

Feelings of guilt by association?

It is about the time non-rugby directors moved to as majority on the board.

Critics keep coming for NZ Rugby over proposed breakaway comp

Touches of genius.

Crowdfunding is not the answer but broader, more meaningful engagement with supporters is. Financial support is then feasible, whereas right now it isn’t.

Greater engagement with the NRL would benefit both codes in the long run, making them collectively stronger in response to the relentless push from a game I refuse to acknowledge by name and the influence of soccer on youngsters.

It would be awesome for players to be able to access both games easily but not in the interests of the NRL clubs who still hold the power.

Four more years: Season 1, Episode 1

We are ignoring that NZ is concerned about this drop off at SR and world cup. They need competitions that make them stronger, not ones that have a big risk of making them weaker.

Lets just pretend for a moment that the Kiwis are streets ahead of us here. If we hitch our best 60 players to a competition the Kiwis have designed to make them stronger, then it is a fair bet that Dave Rennie will be world coach of the year in 2022. Why not set him up for success?

We just need to make the NRC pay for itself and connect it to local rugby properly in each state. As a mate of mine said the other day, we never needed to have hot and cold running marketing and events staff. Rugby knew how to market itself to rugby supporters.

I doubt if we have forgotten how, but we left it to paid employees and we assumed they knew what they were doing.

After the Aratipu report, can’t we all just get along?