Rugby Championship - what's the point?



  • World Cup years aside, it doesn't look like NZ will lose it for a long time, and there has been little competition since 2015.

    Australia have very little depth, and rugby there seems to be headed to minor sport status. South Africa is turning into Zimbabwe, and will struggle to retain players. Argentina are a spirited Super Rugby team.

    Without quality opposition the future looks pretty dim.



  • It's quite good watching the Argies development
    Can't think of many other redeeming features 🤔



  • Saw this on match attendances at another site:

    '''
    2012 - 532'644 (44'387/match)
    2013 - 488,113 (40,676/match) - Down 8.4% from previous
    2014 - 430,582 (35,882 per match) - Down 12% from previous
    2015 - 243,416 (40,569 per match) - Only 6 matches compared to previous 12 matches - but average up by 13%

    2016 - 431,288 (35,941 per match) - 0.2% increase from 2014.
    2017 - 367,318 (30,610 per match) - Down 15% from previous

    So since 2012 to 2017.. the overall drop in crowds has been a whopping 31%....
    '''



  • @tim playing at a ground like Trafalgar Park vs say EP will distort attendance numbers, but assume they woulda got over 40k to EP last night?

    THere is a point, but with Aus and SA at low points, makes it less appealing, but with us at the arse end of the world, dont really have many other options to look at.



  • @taniwharugby said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    @tim playing at a ground like Trafalgar Park vs say EP will distort attendance numbers, but assume they woulda got over 40k to EP last night?

    EP was full - about 46k I think. That said, Brisvegas was worryingly ligt on attendance last night.



  • The draw shake-up can't come soon enough.

    That's the main issue for me, the whole thing just follows the same predictable pattern year in, year out.

    Round 1 - NZ roll over Australia, and SA get off to a good start against the Pumas
    Round 2 - NZ roll over Australia, and SA play out a tight one in Argentina
    Round 3 - NZ roll over a plucky Argentina (who bring their A game), while SA and Aus play out a fairly tight, dire match in Brisbane
    Round 4 - NZ roll over SA who look decent for 30 minutes but then fade, while Aus beat an underwhelming Argentina

    Then we actually get to the more variable games, with Australia and NZ going to SA and Argentina.

    It's just so damn predictable. Why can't we start with NZ in South Africa? Australia in Argentina? Change it up.

    I'd love a Bledisloe towards the end of the tournament, where NZ have more to play for and Australia may have a bit of momentum.



  • @barbarian was chatting to someone last week and he reckons the Saffas are extremely difficult to get dates out of for scheduling (he runs a tour business and tries to plan tours around the matches there and the Saffas are notoriously slow and inflexible)

    That said, yep, it'd be nice for a bit of variance, or throw the current format and making home and away alternate years, either 1 match v each opponent, or make it 2 but both in one country?



  • Blame Ozzie for that, they set the program of Bled 1&2 first, starting in Oz, under Pulver. He thought it was a great way for Ozzie to get the excitement going in rugby for Oz - sadly Oz have played like spastics since, a flaw in his grand plan



  • This is the last year of the Sydney deal isn't it?

    In theory NZ could wrap up TRC with a bonus point win in Welly.



  • Yeah it's different next year because of the RWC, not sure what the deal is, only one game vs each team. But open for change after RWC. Like big change, are the Boks still interested, for ex?



  • The problem isn't one of scheduling. it's one of competitiveness. If any one of these \four teams could win at home against all opposition, it would be a thrilling comp.



  • @machpants said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    Blame Ozzie for that, they set the program of Bled 1&2 first, starting in Oz, under Pulver. He thought it was a great way for Ozzie to get the excitement going in rugby for Oz - sadly Oz have played like spastics since, a flaw in his grand plan

    But like all things doesn't it require SANZAAR approval?

    I don't deny the push could have been done by the ARU, but everyone has to sign off on this, surely...



  • In 2015, NZ played Arg at home and Aust hosted SA in the opening round of an abbreviated RC. Otherwise since 2012, it's always been Aust vs NZ and SA vs Arg to start.



  • Yeah sure, but Oz really wanted it, and they got it. It wasn't worth a fight at the time - SA and NZ gave for Oz's take. I think it was a mistake, having same game set up year after year, no other tournament does it.



  • @machpants Do you have a source for that? Not necessarily doubting you, but I'd be interested to read more about that decision.



  • Would love the ABs to start TRC in South Africa. Hostile environment, travel factor would be a real test.

    Right now the Bledisloe has no real build up or momentum behind it. Have it at the end could do that.





  • If you take us out if it, it's a pretty good competition. The other teams are all pretty close, and tend to split their results (except for Argentina's strange mental block against Aus).

    Do you think the 6N would benefit from having us in it? (ignoring the huge geographical issue). You would end up with the same thing, and even competition with a runaway leader (less so because every team only plays us once).

    Which ever way you look at it, we're the anomaly.



  • @mariner4life good points.

    Fucken love being an anomaly!



  • @tim I din't realise you were a fat Samoan.



  • @act-crusader In the earlier draws (Tri-Nations) we seemed to often start in SA, then play Australia in Australia before playing the return games in NZ. It was reasonably challenging.



  • @nepia I don't know who those Planet Rugby guys are. 🙂



  • Honestly, there isn't a point. Training run for the All Blacks every week.



  • @tim said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    @nepia I don't know who those Planet Rugby guys are. 🙂

    Kovana is the guy obsessed with crowd attendance, he posts stuff like that weekly.



  • @beardie said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    @act-crusader In the earlier draws (Tri-Nations) we seemed to often start in SA, then play Australia in Australia before playing the return games in NZ. It was reasonably challenging.

    Definitely. I recall in 2005 after the Lions series we went to SA first and lost



  • @tim said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    Without quality opposition the future looks pretty dim.

    This is our chance to get past Cyprus!! This is why we need the RC so we can clean up the bottom feeders......



  • @rustycruiser said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    Honestly, there isn't a point. Training run for the All Blacks every week.

    We take one of those games lightly and we lose. We've a history of losing as soon as we take the foot off the pedal (usually after we've wrapped up the silverware, true).

    While the Wallabies and the Boks are off their peaks, it's more than a little condescending to call them "a training run". Neither the Irish nor the English found them to be push-overs.

    Our dominance dates back to when Auckland constructed a team of pure class. They refused to lower their standards and demanded everyone else raised theirs. Slowly they did. The result was a far better quality of provincial rugby -- fast and accurate, not the reliance on brute power of before.

    The world needs to come to us, not vice versa. We're not big or rich.

    That said, one poor coach and were back in the pack. Both the great Auckland and Crusaders sides found that out.



  • @chester-draws rusty is a Springbok supporter.



  • @chester-draws not sure Fred Allen would agree with your circle jerk about our dominance beginning with that Auckland team

    pfft millennials...😉



  • @mariner4life said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    If you take us out if it, it's a pretty good competition. The other teams are all pretty close, and tend to split their results (except for Argentina's strange mental block against Aus).

    Do you think the 6N would benefit from having us in it? (ignoring the huge geographical issue). You would end up with the same thing, and even competition with a runaway leader (less so because every team only plays us once).

    Which ever way you look at it, we're the anomaly.

    We need to find someone else to play



  • @kiwiinmelb our day will come I reckon.

    This last decade or more has been truly remarkable but while I savour the sweet taste, there's a lot of us that remember what bitter is eh?



  • @siam said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    @kiwiinmelb our day will come I reckon.

    This last decade or more has been truly remarkable but while I savour the sweet taste, there's a lot of us that remember what bitter is eh?

    Yeah , it has been a great ride ,

    And i think we have more in front of us ,last year we were a little flat at times ,

    but we are starting to hum again



  • @chester-draws said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    @rustycruiser said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    Honestly, there isn't a point. Training run for the All Blacks every week.

    We take one of those games lightly and we lose. We've a history of losing as soon as we take the foot off the pedal (usually after we've wrapped up the silverware, true).

    While the Wallabies and the Boks are off their peaks, it's more than a little condescending to call them "a training run". Neither the Irish nor the English found them to be push-overs.

    Our dominance dates back to when Auckland constructed a team of pure class. They refused to lower their standards and demanded everyone else raised theirs. Slowly they did. The result was a far better quality of provincial rugby -- fast and accurate, not the reliance on brute power of before.

    The world needs to come to us, not vice versa. We're not big or rich.

    That said, one poor coach and were back in the pack. Both the great Auckland and Crusaders sides found that out.

    Totally agree.

    I think what we have to get our heads around is that the ABs have worked out a style that when the ability/effort margin is a few % the score margin is a lot.
    The scores look like thrashings but the effort has to be fully focussed or the result will switch.
    We don't get many close wins, we get close losses or big wins that look easy on paper.



  • Would you be happy for the ABs to lose more often in order to make RC more tense?

    While you are deciding please take a seat on the rock over there or if you prefer there is a hard place to the right.



  • It's going to sound ridiculous, but in some ways the All Blacks are ruining World Rugby. It's obviously not their fault, but if things pan out as you would expect, another World Cup beckons.

    As in all sports, it's great to watch champions at the top of their game, but it's also great to see the occasional underdog step up and knock the champ off their perch.

    It's been way too long since the ABs have been knocked off their perch in a game that really matters. I'm not sure the Lions really count, either.

    I think NZ's dominance of the game at all levels has contributed to the malaise here (there are 50 other factors, sure).

    Maybe it's everyone else's fault for not being good enough. But I'm starting to get a bit bored with the state of rugby. It just feels like the same thing year after year. NZ dominance is a part of that, as is similar draws, Wallaby struggles, Super issues, etc.

    But NZ dominance is undoubtedly part of it.



  • @barbarian I felt the same way when Auckland dominated NZ rugby in the late 80s/early 90s.

    Also felt the same way about the Australian cricket team through the Taylor/Waugh/Ponting years.

    I guess the one thing these eras teach us is that all good thing come to an end!



  • But you'd have to admit we're approaching a decade of this, and there are no signs of it slowing down.

    Australia's cricketing 'golden era' lasted from, roughly, 1995-2005 (from Steve Waugh's heroics in the Windies to the Ashes in 05).

    I'd argue the All Blacks have dominated fairly solidly since 2008, and the gap could be as wide now as it's ever been.



  • @barbarian said in Rugby Championship - what's the point?:

    But you'd have to admit we're approaching a decade of this, and there are no signs of it slowing down.

    Australia's cricketing 'golden era' lasted from, roughly, 1995-2005 (from Steve Waugh's heroics in the Windies to the Ashes in 05).

    I'd argue the All Blacks have dominated fairly solidly since 2008, and the gap could be as wide now as it's ever been.

    Grand Slam was in 2006, and we thrashed the World Cup holders in 2004, and of course the 3-0 Lions series in 2005. I'd argue that we've been dominant for even longer (it's why the Barnes performance was such a big deal in 2007).

    As has been said before, it's not up to use to get worse, it's up to other teams to find ways to improve. There is more than one way to play rugby, and if England and the Boks play to their strengths they could strangle the All Blacks style of play.



  • Just look at Ireland - limited gameplan, but executed really well.



  • I'm guessing that it isn't a coincidence that the best NH team, Ireland, centrally contracts its players.


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