The Roar
The Roar

The World in Union

Roar Rookie

Joined August 2021









Peter, I have to say I feel very differently from you. You think that most rugby supporters feel like you – I think that most supporters feel like me. This is the first year where there has been so much rugby content on Stan that sometimes I can’t even get through it all. For the first time we have a rugby chat show, Rugby Heaven. The NZ equivalent, Breakdown, is pretty good too. Stan does a great job of providing full matches, mini-matches and highlights so you can pick the one that suits you. If Shute Shield and Hospital Cup are not a good enough standard then another option is NZ NPC. Of course it would be better if we had our own strong 3rd tier competition but we can hardly blame the current administration for not having this as an offering on Stan this year. Stan has also just picked up English Premiership Rugby and today I spent 2-3 hours watching 6 mini-matches that were very entertaining. Was there an NRL game last Saturday night? After the Wallaby game, I watched NZ v Arg and I’m sure most viewers who genuinely prefer union to league would have done the same (and if your secondary preference is also important then it’s easy enough to stream it straight afterwards without knowing the result). Sure a few thousand extra casual eyeballs would have been good for short term ratings but it’s more important to prioritise millions of viewers from NZ, SA and Arg. This year is the most engaged I have felt being a rugby supporter in Australia.

Note to administrators: Rugby is no longer an amateur game

The rankings should be viewed as a guideline over a period of time rather than as a short term determinant of success in upcoming games. So much depends on which teams are playing each other and various other factors. If the Rugby Championship was currently being played in South Africa rather than Australia then the outcome may well be different. There is also very little points difference between #3 and #9 so it’s not surprising when a team moves several places based on 1 or 2 results. Any top 9 team should be competitive with any other top 9 team (although NZ always stands out as the team to beat). A specific result then comes down to whether the game is played home or away, whether significant players are missing on the day, etc.

Are the Wallabies really good enough for third in the world?

“There aren’t infinite amount of spots for Australians to play rugby and vanish into good teams. It just doesn’t happen that way… I don’t buy it.”
This is definitely the most important point. If we accept this reality then it should change our thinking in Australia. Overseas competitions already have rules regarding using foreign players, e.g. in the English Premiership, a club may not have more than two foreign players in the match day squad of 23 at any one time. Considering South Africa has completely opened up, many overseas spots are now taken by South Africans thereby reducing the number of spots available for Australians. In fact, the best thing that could happen to Australia is if NZ opened up thereby further reducing the number of available overseas spots. You’d think that even if NZ lost several more players overseas, they’d still have the depth to have a good quality local competition. It would even help Super Rugby in this region because NZ teams would be a little weaker and Australian teams would be a little stronger. Probably still a gap but a smaller gap.

'There's so many guys OS who could play for Australia': Kellaway says 'scrap Giteau Law'

Maximus, we’re actually half in agreement. I agree with your apples with apples comparison today. You don’t agree with my apples with apples comparison in 10 years’ time. Revolution is always hard to imagine but when it does happen then it happens quickly. Let’s see what happens 😊

Rugby's greatest strength can make it Australia's number one international sport

Thanks for the input Maximus. The financials for AFL and NRL are very impressive but we can’t be comparing apples to apples. The TV viewership for AFL and NRL is less than 10 million and while they have clearly done very well to grow revenues over the last 20 years, there wouldn’t be much upside to go. Let’s say rugby can achieve an international club competition (like Champions League) in 10 year’s time, the potential viewership would be at least 100 million especially if there are strong teams in Japan and USA. Hard to imagine this today but that’s what I mean by rugby achieving it’s international potential.

Rugby's greatest strength can make it Australia's number one international sport

Pretty sure it’s a “typo” and the author meant the opposite 😂

How the Springboks can overcome the All Blacks – and not just this year

Sheek, you have accurately described the status quo and common view in Australia and this sums up rugby’s tough challenge in this country. However I share the optimism of the author although I see it happening like a “reverse takeover” rather than primarily from local efforts. I do believe that one day international rugby will get its act together (this is in entertainment value of the code as well as leveraging the power of international competitions at country and club level) and that will result in 10x as much money being in the code internationally and locally. Let’s face it, that much differential in money between NRL/AFL and rugby will be impossible to ignore, and rugby will attract the best players, coaches, administrators, etc in this country. The big unknown is how long it will take for international rugby to get its act together so that the money flows. It’s unlikely to be less than 5 years and it could be more than 20 but I’m optimistic so I’m guessing 10 years!

Rugby's greatest strength can make it Australia's number one international sport

The price is…… very few people outside SA will want to watch the Boks play
This is the key for the health and continued growth of the international (rather than local) game but the impact of this price is not felt today. If something was in place to incentivise teams to have this front of mind then it would result in a very different outcome to what we have today. Let’s say that instead of being paid salaries and fixed match payments, every player was paid based on the international viewership of each specific game (i.e. TV ratings). This would mean that over a period of time, the teams who play attractive rugby (thereby attracting larger viewerships) would earn more. I’m dreaming of this world 😊

Why I don't understand the Springboks hate

I suspect World Rugby would be in favour of a biennial World Cup because it’s a very simple way for them to keep tighter control of international rugby as well as better satisfying the overall appetite for rugby thereby reducing the incentive for private equity to disrupt their show.

World Rugby explores option of making RWC a biennial event

Probably also to do with squad rotation. Slipper could do with a lighter load for one game and there is another Bok game as well as 2 Argie games to follow.

CONFIRMED: Quade Cooper returns for Wallabies at No.10, Rodda starts, two debutants

Except that his form has been from the training ground and Japanese division 2. Fingers crossed he steps up to the toughest test match pressure!

CONFIRMED: Quade Cooper returns for Wallabies at No.10, Rodda starts, two debutants

If O’Connor isn’t fit and we want to give Hodge a go at 15 then I’m going to drop a bomb and say it’s worth considering To’omua at 10! I know he hasn’t done himself any favours in recent games but maybe he just doesn’t gel with Noah inside him but would combine well with Kerevi outside him.

Stick or twist?: Ex-players call for Noah's removal as Wallabies weigh up No.10 options

I suspect the real objective is to shake up World Rugby. Something will come of this eventually but it won’t be World 12s. They’ll have a few more ideas up their sleeves.

Why Hansen says new, big money World 12s format, touted as rugby's IPL equivalent, will succeed

It’s cover for Alaalatoa who will be leaving the squad soon – yet another rugby player with a baby on the way! I suspect Fa’amausili would be ahead of Holmes for selection.

Back to the future as Greg Holmes makes shock return to the Wallaby camp

Agree – replacing Wright has been straightforward but unfortunately the players lining up to replace Noah and Paisami have not been as obvious.

Get your questions in for Issue 25 of Coach's Corner

The easiest fix has already happened – we won’t be playing the ABs for a while! The ABs are simply the best at scoring tries from the opportunities we gift them, often resulting in 14-point impacts on the scoreboard. I’m not confident we’ll beat the Boks in the next game but we should be more competitive, as long as we don’t gift them too many 3-pointers.

Get your questions in for Issue 25 of Coach's Corner

My catchcry is “Rugby Union in Australia is the toughest gig in world sport.” This article is the 3-page John Cleese version 😂 But I do have a vision that one day international rugby will get its act together and that will result in 10x as much money being in the code. That will attract the best players, coaches, administrators, etc in this country and then we will be a force to be reckoned with. There is hope 😱

You think you know pain? We are Wallabies supporters, doomed to live in hell forever

Because it’s about finding the right balance. Fans are most important because the game is there for the fans, but it’s also about punishing the player and the team on the field, as well as punishing the player more if required for upcoming games. It may even result in the card being cancelled as we saw when Koroibete was red carded against the French – considering that incident happened in the 5th minute, it incorrectly penalised the player and the team on the field for 75 minutes and would have been the perfect example of a 20 minute red card being more appropriate.

Would a 20-minute red card work in rugby union?

I’d prefer to stick to 20 minutes, mainly for the sake of spectators/TV viewers who don’t want to see a lopsided game. The real sanction comes after the game when the severity of the incident is assessed and the player is suspended for the appropriate number of games.

Would a 20-minute red card work in rugby union?

Thanks Tony, there are several Roar articles on yesterday’s game and I preferred reading this one. Seems I’m in the minority in enjoying yesterday’s game too, even though there was pain along with the entertainment value of every AB try. The thing I find more painful is the overcritical comments from Wallaby supporters in the other articles. I guess my expectations are more realistic and that allows me to enjoy the game as strange as that may sound.

NZ View: Wallabies' 'first half was a joke', 'own worst enemies', while Foster decision 'puzzling'

This article doesn’t get debate going hence the low number of comments. There have been hundreds of comments on other articles related to Drua and Moana. No question the interest is there. Absolute respect for Drua and Moana.

'It will be a sacrifice for our players': Fijian Drua to call Australia home in 2022 Super Rugby

Agree Eddie has had results…with England union team, and deserves his good standing. He did have initial success with the Wallabies but was later dismissed for poor results. He then went on to coach the Reds and was dismissed (or resigned) after the Reds finished bottom of Super Rugby. In both these cases, the teams suffered from a significant number of player injuries. Which comes back to my point that it’s the Aus player depth that’s the main issue, not the coach.

Seibold's code switch: ex-Broncos coach joins Eddie Jones in England's RWC quest

Eddie certainly is an out-of-the-box thinker. He must also be a great negotiator if he can convince English Rugby to back his choices. He’s already had a go with the Wallabies but maybe we do need him back here in some capacity. Interesting how so many coaches struggle with the Wallabies but are still well regarded internationally and go on to better success elsewhere. Tells me the main issue with the Wallabies is player depth, not the coach.

Seibold's code switch: ex-Broncos coach joins Eddie Jones in England's RWC quest

That’s weird. The program says Lonergan is 186cm, 112kg ( I think I’ll believe the Brumbies website!
LOL – Rob Leota is just below Lonergan so I reckon they copied Leota’s height/weight in error!

Wallabies make the call on Quade Cooper, Rodda and Kerevi return, as Bledisloe team is named

True but I guess there is “mitigation” – O’Connor injured, Vunivalu injured, BPA going overseas so need to build depth, Salakai-Loto and Paisami unavailable. Kerevi is effectively a Red and perhaps takes a starting spot from Petaia? McReight didn’t always get a Reds start so it’s only Wilson who misses out and I’m sure he’ll be back.

Wallabies make the call on Quade Cooper, Rodda and Kerevi return, as Bledisloe team is named