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.



  • @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.



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

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

    It helps, but everyone wants to play for winners. The French don't lack for players, and England lose far less to overseas clubs than we do. Central contracting would make zero difference for them.

    I think it is mainly two things.

    Firstly, who has the best coaches. The Boks and French in particular have had a series of poor to terrible ones. Wales' and Ireland's relative success have not coincidentally been since they stopped only picking locals.

    NZ success has, IMO, been about having the best coaches, not athletes. I can only assume NZ gets the best coaches because we have a very non-hierarchical society, so the school and club you went to aren't half as important as how good you are. Also our system encourages innovation at the lower levels.

    Secondly, NZ has a policy of expecting Super sides to play styles that are consistent with the AB game. That filters down to provinces, clubs and schools. We drill and pick from young for skill and athleticism, not size.

    So when the ABs want to play a fast game, they have players used to it. When the French want to, they have players who play the horrible French style at club level who cannot adapt quickly enough.



  • I don't think it would zero difference to England, look at all the club v country battles there are. But I think the coaching and rugby systems in NZ are second to none - and Ireland have followed suit. Like us they don;t have huge amounts of money, tho more than us, but using the lure of Ireland jersey and great coaching plus good player management ( see how much time they give Sexton off) to keep their players



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

    I don't think it would zero difference to England, look at all the club v country battles there are. But I think the coaching and rugby systems in NZ are second to none - and Ireland have followed suit. Like us they don;t have huge amounts of money, tho more than us, but using the lure of Ireland jersey and great coaching plus good player management ( see how much time they give Sexton off) to keep their players

    The player management control idea was brought in by Eddie O’Sullivan in 2004. Other unions started giving out about Provinces fielding “second string teams” aka “not putting test players out for every league game” in 2011 after Leinster won the Heineken again. 14 years later, it’s become the key reason for Ireland’s success along with the tax breaks they give to players. Apparently.**

    IRFU have more money than NZ? I doubt it.
    NZRU had turnover of $NZ 250m last year, of which the Lions tour contributed about $40m. So let’s say $210m which is €118m at today’s rates.
    IRFU turnover last year €85.7m after an exceptional bumper year with Grand Slam and European Cup/PRO14 that added €9m extra to the normal annual pot.
    (Previous year NZRU turnover $162m - €91m.)

    **In my view, the single best investment and new policies in the IRFU in the last decade was the introduction of the Player Succession Policy in 2012 from Eddie Wigglesworth that set organised and planned rules/guidelines on foreign player contracts, and the Domestic Player Pathway policy from David Nucifora which shifted monies from part-funding foreign player contracts into the four provincial academies and effectively tripling the number of academy players in the last four years. Phillip Browne, the CEO, goes largely unheralded as an extremely good top administrator who allows his people to function and facilitates them to do their job by getting out of their way.



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

    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.

    Dude, we sacrificed ourselves for the good of world rugby for 24 years. Surely we deserve some payback ...



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

    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.

    I disagree with nearly every sentence in this bar this one:

    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.



  • To answer the question in the title, the point is to have a competition for the ABs to ream the rest of the top Southern Hemisphere teams.



  • A good weekend for the competition



  • What were the TAB odds on a SA-Arg double?



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

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

    Flip that around: our complete and utter lack of anything like forward thinking has led to our stagnation and ALLOWED that level of dominance.

    It's too easy for our fish heads to just point east and say "we can't set our KPIs on anything about winning while those guys are so good!"

    Meanwhile the shit sharks at club level circle, and think they've got the answer in "grassroots" rugby aka Premier Rugby aka Not Fucking Grassroots Rugby.

    Anyone looking from outside the systems we have can't fathom the complexity of WHY it's fucked, but can look at the numbers and lack of organisation, and say "this isn't working, and never really has".

    Our periods of superiority (not dominance) have coincided with a batch of freak players and some flat points in opposition history.

    Burn it down. Start again.

    Penrith were booted from Shute Shield this year. West Harbour (and other clubs) are hanging on by the skin of their teeth, financially. The common theme is a lack of interest and commitment, financial or otherwise.



  • table certainly looking more interesting now with the ABs due a couple of long plane rides

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