The Roar
The Roar

sheek

Roar Guru

Joined May 2007

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A former rugby lock, cricket no.11 bat and no.10 bowler, and surfboat rower. A fan of the major team sports in Australia.

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Yes Internal Fixation,

Good point. And Harry, there are indeed two sides to every coin.

It’s taken a few years for the penny to drop but hopefully it has dropped with CA. Get the domestic structures right.

Test cricket needs Sheffield Shield. You know, horse & cart, love & marriage, you can’t have one without the other, etc. They stay here together or they go away together.

Interesting to read that in India, despite the popularity of the IPL, the Indian authorities have not peeled back the Ranji Trophy, the finishing school for future test stars.

The trick is to better organise the season recognising that if the tests take prime position in summer, the SS must both precede & accompany it allowing players to find & maintain form.

The BBL, soulless as it is, is the main domestic bread winner after test cricket, so it has its place.

However, I will be shocked if BBL expands. Live attendances are apparently down 10% & TV viewing 4%. More games might kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

RA & SANZAAR refused to listen when told expanding super rugby from 15 teams to 18 teams will be a gross mistake. Now both RA & SANZAAR are struggling to resurrect a revamped super 15 rugby comp.

Will CA listen to its advisors warning that an expanded BBL format might backfire on them?

Besides, the more “content” you cram into a season, the quality will eventually deteriorate. And the fans will tire of “overkill” viewing.

BBL07: Here's what’s grinding my gears this summer

They would be as far as the Islanders are concerned.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Steve,

The first two years of super rugby were a struggle for Australia.

Then MacQueen had an epiphany & decided to trial Larkham at no.10.

That one decision had a positive knock-on effect to a lot of other things.

Yes, the 90s firstly with Dwyer then MacQueen, Australia was considered at the forefront of rugby thinking. But somewhere in the mid-2000s we lost our way & have never recovered to date.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

How can you get to the national team if you can’t tackle properly?

Sure, some people aren’t great defenders, but you have to make the tackle when required.

Also, key playmakers need to be rested form a heavy workload. Not every no.10 can be a Larkham.

When you have to “hide” players in the defensive line, it’s time to find someone else for their position.

But it shouldn’t even get to that. Ella wasn’t a great tackler, but he made his tackles when he had to.

Can the Wallabies defence win them the World Cup?

Steiner,

i love that quote. I’m gonna use it.

It kinda backs up what I was saying, everyone has a plan & should have a plan, but ultimately, in the heat of battle, the plan flies out the window, & you just have to do what you have to do.

Another military maxim is appropriate here, drummed into infantry recruits: War is all about movement & fire, movement & fire.

If you stop, you’re dead. Same in sport, you have to keep moving & keep asking questions of your opponents.

Can the Wallabies defence win them the World Cup?

TM,

” ‘flicking’ isn’t something anyone can afford”.

ARU just did it recently when they flicked the WA Force.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Yes Bakkies,

Professionalism didn’t help any of the countries not already well established in their domestic setup – Canada, USA, the Pacific islands.

You could even add Australia based on current evidence.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

The reality unfortunately is that the genuinely good rugby talent is concentrated in too few countries. Furthermore, there are far too many more countries playing rugby than have the genuine top shelf talent available.

Fiji, Samoa & Tonga are top 15 rugby nations, yet they have ridiculously small population bases. What are some of the nations with bigger populations & greater wealth doing?

David has been attacked for highlighting the poor competition records of both Italy & Argentina. We wish & wish & wish & wish that they might start winning major tests regularly, but they don’t. The Pumas rise occasionally but not consistently enough.

We wish & wish & wish & wish for rugby to become stronger in USA, Canada & Japan, but it’s happening at snail pace.

Canada had a wonderfully talented & abrasive team that made the quarter-finals of the 1991 world cup. But that’s now 27 years ago. Where did all that talent disappear to?

Even here in Australia, one of the original ‘big 8’ rugby nations, is struggling for national traction. It’s idea of progress is to disenfranchise an entire state. Shrinking our way to success!

What rugby does so well, both internationally & here at home, is to play a wonderfully deceiving game of smoke & mirrors.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Jacko,

This is tricky I know.

I’m assuming the Islanders, if this ever came about, would treat super rugby games as tests for them. I think that’s reasonable.

Although the records of other countries would show these games as provincial.

It wouldn’t ever be the first time we’ve had anomalies in sport!

SA consider their internationals against the NZ Cavaliers & World XV in the 1980s as official tests for their players.

NZ especially refuses to recognise the Cavaliers Internationals in any official capacity.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Jacko,

Ideally Fiji, Samoa & Tonga, outside of world cup years, would play as provinces in super rugby & as South Pacific in the Rugby Championship. At one time this was seen as a possible vision, if only briefly.

Because of their small population & wealth value, this arrangement made sense. It was tried about a dozen years ago but the Islanders themselves kiboshed it. I sometimes wonder if they just didn’t give it enough time.

Now we have the daft situation where talented islanders are fleeing for better pastures, while the Islands’ national teams are being propped by second-rate players (I say this for illustration) who might actually be Kiwi or Aussie born.

If this is not an example of how to unnecessarily complicate matters, then I don’t know anything.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Bluesfan,

The alternative is that the Islanders flock to Australia, NZ, England, Wales, France & Japan to declare themselves citizens of those countries so they can play professional rugby.

Who does this benefit?

It might benefit the individual to some extent & the various countries to some extent, but ultimately I don’t think it helps anyone.

For examples, the influx of Island-heritage players into the Wallabies hasn’t made the team any stronger. Although it might be fairly argued, they are preventing the Wallabies from being worse.

And what about the Islands themselves? They have low populations sure, & they are not considered wealthy countries. But their natural talent is awesome.

Wouldn’t it make sense to find a way for the best talent from Fiji, Samoa & Tonga to play for their island homes instead of seeking recompense elsewhere.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Basically RA is stuffed, so it has to do the bidding of there.

From my viewpoint, this is the ‘crime’ of Australian rugby for failing to develop the game nationally during the amateur era, when in fact it was actually easier to spread the game.

The reason being, people transferred for work, but used their leisure time to impart their love of a sport. It was done from passion, not for money.

Should I remind people that NSW first played Qld way back in 1882. Yep, 1882.

Rugby quickly gained a toehold in WA around the mid-1880s but quickly converted to Aussie Rules in the early 1890s.

Victoria had several attempts to get the game going – 1893, 1909 & then again around 1926. In the 1930s Victoria was a genuine third power in Australian rugby.

SA established a domestic comp as far back as 1936 while ACT broke away from NSW country in 1974.

A two division Wallaby Trophy existed 1968-77 but unfortunately this also co-existed with one of the weakest eras for the Wallabies.

There have been many attempts to develop Australian rugby nationally. But unfortunately, too many of them were half-hearted efforts without enough resilience to see the process through.

Come the professional era & Australia started way behind NZ, SA & even Argentina. And we’re still playing catch-up.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Jacko,

You’re probably right.

If Australian rugby teams start winning super rugby matches left, right & centre, only a few hardened, jaundiced old-timers like myself will regret RA getting any reflected glory.

Most people love a winner & damn the details!

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Fionn,

The “restraint of trade” wasn’t meant to be directed at you personally, but as a general pre-empted response.

Whenever I say we need to look at things like ‘transfer fee’ for developing home grown talent, restraint of trade is quickly thrown in.

Sometimes unfortunately, protectionism is required to protect countries & sports from their own excesses.

What SANZAR did wrong to become SANZAAR

Good morning David,

Firstly, RSA ended up with 6 teams in SR because the SANZAAR member countries didn’t have the guts to stand up to ANC. The inclusion of Kings was a political decision, not a sports decision.

The lack of guts continued when it was realised SR had to reduce back to 15. Again, rather than admit their original culpability, SANZAAR & the member unions went looking for scapegoats, namely, Force, Cheetahs & the aforementioned Kings.

This is what happens when you have people with no backbone running the game. They fold & collapse in front of whatever prevailing wind.

Raelene Castle is doomed. I wish her well, but she has accepted a poisoned chalice. Being RA chief executive will kill her career stone dead.

No doubt she will go to WA with sincere intentions. But what can she give them? Until the Force are rightfully returned, their absence will continue to fester like an unhealing ulcer.

I have no charity left. Although I feel sorry for the players & coaches who have been given such duplicitous & feeble administrators (before Castle), super rugby must be destroyed.

This is my wish, that super rugby in 2018 is so disastrous in TV ratings & live attendances that SANZAAR & RA, both of them especially, are forced to admit they have lost the fans & their reputation.

However, this won’t happen because most fans will place being entertained before principle.

Sad, because the “bad” guys win while decent people stay silent. This happens everywhere.

Raelene Castle won't shake up Rugby Australia - yet

In the mid to late 1800s we had the Robber Baron Industrialists of the USA.

They certainly did create some incredible things, like massive miles of railroads & sumptuous hotels, producing steel & processing oil, monuments to their money & industriousness, & names that still exist today – Astor, Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, etc.

A few but not many were philanthropists who gave back to the community. But many sent thousands, perhaps millions, into servitude.

Today we have the Sporting Robber Barons, they might be players, coaches, administrators, stadia owners but most probably TV executives, bleeding sporting communities dry while they build their personal empires.

It’s a different paradigm we live in today & fascinating how it will play out. The boundaries by which we judged players, teams, coaches, administrators, have all changed.

Today it seems to be just about the money. Things like character, integrity, loyalty, etc are meaningless. It’s just all about the money.

For every Twiggy Forrest striving to give back to his community & sport, there are tens or perhaps hundreds who just line their own pockets.

The Wrap: Australian rugby shoots itself in the foot, again

Thanks Cam,

Good stuff!

I’ll tip Johannes Vermeer simply because I like the name!!

2017 Caulfield Cup: Tips and preview

Scott,

Of everything you have said, I like the last para best of all:

“I’m expecting a solid performance from the Wallabies tomorrow night but I’m also braced for an All Blacks onslaught and unfortunately I don’t think the Wallabies will come out on top”.

Right now, for the Wallabies to win will not only require them to play at their best, but for the ABs to play below their best. That’s the reality.

Keeping it real is perhaps the most important thing we can do day to day.

Should the Wallabies be chasing perfection?

Between 1969, when Hall & Griffith arrived, & 1975, when Roberts & co reappeared, the Windies went through many false dawns waiting for their next fast bowling find

In 1973 when the Aussies toured the Caribbean, they thought they had found their new thunderbolt in Jamaican Uton Dowe.

In his first six overs Dowe was mercilessly thrashed by the Aussie opener Keith Stackpole & Windies captain Rohan Kanhai banished Dowe to the outfield.

Late in the day, Kanhai decided to recall Dowe, when a wag called out from the crowd in the lilting Caribbean way: “Hey Kanhai, haven’t you heard the 11th commandment, Dowe shalt not bowl”!

Who should you support in Bledisloe 3 if you can't tell an Aussie from a Kiwi?

Doug Walters was one of Australian cricket’s most beloved players. A laid-back personality who played the game attractively, he also had a droll sense of humour.

On the disastrous SA tour in 1970, Australia having lost the test series 0-4, played Western Province in their last tour game.

Brilliant SA allrounder Mike Procter, then playing for WP, was carting the off-spinner Ashley ‘Rowdy’ (because he was actually quiet) for numerous sixes into the stands.

After half a dozen or so balls had sailed over the fence, the ball eventually found its way back to Walters, who sided up to Mallet & said dryly” “Well Rowdy, that takes care of the reds, now we can start on the coloureds”.

Proctor heard the comment & apparently finding it hilariously funny, took many minutes before he had the composer to take his stand.

Walters was a master of the understated delivery line.

Who should you support in Bledisloe 3 if you can't tell an Aussie from a Kiwi?

Shane Warne to Daryl Cullinan: “I’ve been waiting 3 years for my bunny to return to Australia”.

Darryl Cullinan to Shane Warne: “It looks like you’ve been spending your time eating”.

This was back in the day when Warnie was a bit pudgy.

Who should you support in Bledisloe 3 if you can't tell an Aussie from a Kiwi?

Harry,

I can’t recall who said it, but if you’re going to be good at anything, make sure you’re damn good at one thing. Or something like that.

So Kiwis concentrated on rugby union.

Apart form a couple of cricketers here & there, the Kiwis are mostly crap at the game. Ditto rugby league. The Islander-dominated league teams will toss you around like chaff for about an hour before running out of puff. They also lack the discipline, structure & nous of their union cousins.

The Kiwis have been occasionally successful in Olympics at athletics, equestrian & canoeing, among other sports. But certainly not better than Australia, which has been consistently better at more sports over a long period.

They are also an ungrateful lot. They come here to ingest themselves into our bigger economy, pick up better paying jobs, develop a better lifestyle & enjoy our generally better climate.

Any thanks or gratitude? Nah!

I guess it’s the big brother/little brother thing. In times of war though, the two countries pull tight close together, & that’s the main thing.

Back to the rugby. Kiwis have a love/hate relationship with Australia. They love to hate us when thrashing us at rugby. Which happens far too regularly.

Way back in the 1920s when rugby was suspended in Queensland & existed only in Sydney & Newcastle, the ABs engaged in annual matches with the Waratahs. I seriously doubt if Australia would return the favour if say, NZ cricket were about to fold.

It would have killed the Kiwis if rugby died & they couldn’t go on beating us!

So no matter how bad Australian rugby gets & no matter how sneeringly disinterested the NZRU may appear to be, if the game is about to collapse here, the Kiwis will be over in their long boats in no time at all, to prop the game up.

Who should you support in Bledisloe 3 if you can't tell an Aussie from a Kiwi?

Harry,

I can’t recall who said it, but if you’re going to be good at anything, make sure you’re damn good at one thing. Or something like that.

So Kiwis concentrated on rugby union.

Apart form a couple of cricketers here & there, the Kiwis are mostly crap at the game. Ditto rugby league. The Islander-dominated league teams will toss you around like chaff for about an hour before running out of puff. They also lack the discipline, structure & nous of their union cousins.

The Kiwis have been occasionally successful in Olympics at athletics, equestrian & canoeing, among other sports. But certainly not better than Australia, which has been consistently better at more sports over a long period.

They are also an ungrateful lot. They come here to ingest themselves into our bigger economy, pick up better paying jobs, develop a better lifestyle & enjoy our generally better climate.

Any thanks or gratitude? Nah!

I guess it’s the big brother/little brother thing. In times of war though, the two countries pull tight close together, & that’s the main thing.

Back to the rugby. Kiwis have a love/hate relationship with Australia. They love to hate us when thrashing us at rugby. Which happens far too regularly.

Way back in the 1920s when rugby was suspended in Queensland & existed only in Sydney & Newcastle, the ABs engaged in annual matches with the Waratahs. I seriously doubt if Australia would return the favour if say, NZ cricket were about to fold.

It would have killed the Kiwis if rugby died & they couldn’t go on beating us!

So no matter how bad Australian rugby gets & no matter how sneeringly disinterested the NZRU may appear to be, if the game is about to collapse here, the Kiwis will be over in their long boats in no time at all, to prop the game up.

Who should you support in Bledisloe 3 if you can't tell an Aussie from a Kiwi?

Hi Riordan,

What happened to the follow-up on whether professionalism has been successful for sport? I suspect you guys got a lot of answers you weren’t expecting!

As for your question here – it’s grassroots participation. All the other metrics – ratings, crowds, financial stability – don’t even get off the grid if there’s no players.

No players = no sport.

TELL US: What's the most important indicator of success for a sport?

Hi Middie,

See how that bloke who uses Border’s image as part of his nome de plume responded to you.

Didn’t offer anything positive himself. Just waded negatively into your comment.

TELL US: What's the most important indicator of success for a sport?