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End of Three Seasons

Al Bangor

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I've been thinking.

This is the tail end of my first full year following rugby. I have watched a TON of rugby, catching all the Pro14, all the Premiership, and all the Super Rugby, on top of internationals and random events.

In each league, the most predictable result has come about- the Irish national team (i.e. Leinster) won the Pro14, England (Saracens) won the Prem, and now, the All-Blacks (Crusaders) will face the Pumas/Jaguares for the Super Rugby ***le...

On one hand, I know I should feel lucky for all the top quality rugby, and should be able to appreciate just how good these top teams are. But on the other, it all feels... anticlimactic? Predictable?

In each of these leagues, is the divide just too big? Or am I only seeing it short-term, being relatively new?

Just looking for thoughts - it's been a fun year, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself until September!

I've been watching USA Eagles for 10 years and Major League Rugby for 2 years, but this was my first year watching Pro14 and SupeRugby thanks to ESPN+ and I loved it. They were some exciting firsts, Benetton made it to the Pro14 playoffs for the first time and the Jaguares are in the SupeRugby finals for the first time. It's been a fun ride! :cool:
 

Al Bangor

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I'm a Glasgow Warriors fan and they lost in the Pro14 finals. And I'm a San Diego Legion fan and they lost in the MLR finals. June was a rough month for me. :eek:
 
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TRF_heineken

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I've been watching USA Eagles for 10 years and Major League Rugby for 2 years, but this was my first year watching Pro14 and SupeRugby thanks to ESPN+ and I loved it. They were some exciting firsts, Benetton made it to the Pro14 playoffs for the first time and the Jaguares are in the SupeRugby finals for the first time. It's been a fun ride! :cool:

Well I have some exciting news for you! Youtube is trying to make an agreement to livestream all local sport which includes rugby. Which will mean you will be able to watch:

Currie Cup
Craven Week
SS Challenge
Varsity Cup
High School Classic Clashes
Club Championships.

Plus Super Rugby and Internationals.

If all goes well this system will be in place before the World Cup kicks off.
 

Al Bangor

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Brave Lupus

Well I have some exciting news for you! Youtube is trying to make an agreement to livestream all local sport which includes rugby. Which will mean you will be able to watch:

Currie Cup
Craven Week
SS Challenge
Varsity Cup
High School Classic Clashes
Club Championships.

Plus Super Rugby and Internationals.

If all goes well this system will be in place before the World Cup kicks off.

That's awesome! Thanks for letting me know. I'll keep a look out for it. :cool:
 

Dai Perk

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Youtube is trying to make an agreement to livestream all local sport which includes rugby.
There may be international restrictions, I've run into that before... Rugby Pass isn't available here, except in bare-bones content form, and I've had YouTube shut me out before because I was in the wrong region... Not trying to be a wet blanket, just saying don't count your chickens, ya know? :)
As for MLR, I put in my season ticket deposit for the New England Free Jacks, who enter the league next season. Now they just need a training facility, a roster, and a place to play! :p
 

unrated

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Yea we might have a clear favourite for the Super rugby final, well we will still see what the Jags can do so let’s not jump to conclusions but please let’s not forget how completely and utterly unpredictable this super rugby season was... every round had suprises and an unprecedented amount of draws. It’s not just the final winner that matters.


On the YouTube thing, it sounds very interesting... you maybe have a source? This would be amazing for local fans who can’t afford Supersport and it would help grow the game in other communities but I just can’t see how the cash cow of SH rugby in Supersport will allow it in Any sense whatsoever. Unless you have to watch it on the Supersport YouTube channel but then they would lose subscriber money. Not just them but also the larger pay tv conglomerate multichoice and by extension their owners Naspers. Supersport is a key driver in Subscribers for these pay tv companies and without international rugby and Super rugby being exclusively on Pay tv I would say they might lose something close to 70 to 80% of their subscribers. It’s not financially smart for them, therefore unless you know of some extraordinary evidence i just can’t see it happening
 

mdaclarke

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I watch as much rugby as I can and my order of preference (club)

1. Super Rugby
GAP
2. Premiership
3. Pro 14
4. Top 14

Super Rugby just seems better quality and more fun and (with the exception of the Sunwolves) the teams seem much closer than the other leagues
 

mdaclarke

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"When a lot of SH players move abroad to cash in, and where the SH teams bring in a lot of new faces and talent."

The fact the SH players go north mean that the SH young players get opportunities earlier than their NH counterparts and makes the SH national teams stronger
 

TRF_heineken

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Yea we might have a clear favourite for the Super rugby final, well we will still see what the Jags can do so let’s not jump to conclusions but please let’s not forget how completely and utterly unpredictable this super rugby season was... every round had suprises and an unprecedented amount of draws. It’s not just the final winner that matters.


On the YouTube thing, it sounds very interesting... you maybe have a source? This would be amazing for local fans who can’t afford Supersport and it would help grow the game in other communities but I just can’t see how the cash cow of SH rugby in Supersport will allow it in Any sense whatsoever. Unless you have to watch it on the Supersport YouTube channel but then they would lose subscriber money. Not just them but also the larger pay tv conglomerate multichoice and by extension their owners Naspers. Supersport is a key driver in Subscribers for these pay tv companies and without international rugby and Super rugby being exclusively on Pay tv I would say they might lose something close to 70 to 80% of their subscribers. It’s not financially smart for them, therefore unless you know of some extraordinary evidence i just can’t see it happening

I see they updated the article since I've read it. So seems like there is a spanner in the works.

Anyway, here's the article:
https://businesstech.co.za/news/med...ort-to-stream-cricket-rugby-and-soccer-games/
 

Umaga's Witness

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"When a lot of SH players move abroad to cash in, and where the SH teams bring in a lot of new faces and talent."

The fact the SH players go north mean that the SH young players get opportunities earlier than their NH counterparts and makes the SH national teams stronger
Interesting insight
 

TRF_heineken

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"When a lot of SH players move abroad to cash in, and where the SH teams bring in a lot of new faces and talent."

The fact the SH players go north mean that the SH young players get opportunities earlier than their NH counterparts and makes the SH national teams stronger

Yeah, I don't buy that.

The experienced guys go North, so the younger NH players are exposed to the best of the best up North.

The SH younger players get the opportunity to play perhaps earlier than their NH counterparts, but the experience they gain might not be of the same quality.
 

profitius

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"When a lot of SH players move abroad to cash in, and where the SH teams bring in a lot of new faces and talent."

The fact the SH players go north mean that the SH young players get opportunities earlier than their NH counterparts and makes the SH national teams stronger


True to a degree. When NZ players first started going to Europe in big numbers it was usually the 30 something. That paved the way for the next generation to arrive on the scene. It was a good system for the All Blacks.


Not sure what effect the current mass exodus will have. It can't be good for attendances!


In the NH we would have a problem of players hanging on a few years past their best. Young blood gives the team a boost but its all about balance.
 

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I suspect the reason why RU appears to have clear favourites in each competition, who then go on to win, or at least compete against each other for the prize (e.g. Sarries/Leinster in the Euro Cup) is a result of the nature of the game.

Whereas some sports, like football or hockey, allow a weak team to overcome a superior opponent because of the performance of a great goalkeeper, in RU, the team that has most of the ball, and most of the territory almost inevitably racks up the most points, thus the number of upsets is reduced.
 

die_mole

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It is incredibly difficult to watch rugby in the US in general, and as far as my searches have gone, the Top 14 simply isn't available at all. I pay a yearly fee to NBC for Prem and internationals (which they don't always carry), and a monthly fee to ESPN for Pro14 and Super Rugby. They also sometimes have Major League Rugby (desperately trying to get into it, but it's tough when you're watching much higher levels of competition elsewhere), but that's not even reliable. It's tough, too, because I basically never see games live (I got my ass up at 3:00 AM to watch Crusaders/Hurricanes last weekend, though), which means I have to stay away from all social media until I've found time to watch the replays.

Top14 is available on Florugby who has our internationals as well.

Don’t support florugby. If they go bankrupt it’d be the best thing for American rugby.
 

Umaga's Witness

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I suspect the reason why RU appears to have clear favourites in each competition, who then go on to win, or at least compete against each other for the prize (e.g. Sarries/Leinster in the Euro Cup) is a result of the nature of the game.

Whereas some sports, like football or hockey, allow a weak team to overcome a superior opponent because of the performance of a great goalkeeper, in RU, the team that has most of the ball, and most of the territory almost inevitably racks up the most points, thus the number of upsets is reduced.
Absolutely the nature of the game has a big part to play. The main aspect to me here is luck. While there is a lot of subjectivity in referee decisions and odd bounces if the ball in rugby, there is more of an inherent random aspect in many other sports.

This random aspect comes about because of the relative number of significant moments in a game that one team or the other can win. There is a lot more in rugby compared to most other sports.

The best comparison to illustrate the point is football vs rugby. In football, going from one end to the other isn’t that big of a deal, whereas in rugby it is- if you get into the opposition 22, for example, you are more likely to score. And there are more opportunities to score from a break away anywhere on the field.

In football the scoring opportunities are few and far between, and comprise of the number of possessions where the team is able to Take a realistic shot at goal. Football games typically only have a few goals In total. If a game finished 1-1 it could easily have finished 2-1 or 1-3, as examples, with just minor differences in creating and taking opportunities. There is therefore a random aspect. Another way of looking at this is if a team scored on average 1 goal per 70 minutes then some games they will score 1, some 2, due to randomness some 0 or 3 or even 4.
A team that was half as good may score on average 1 every 140 minutes. This team will still beat the other team sometimes, just out of luck. And this is why everyone loves football, because their team is always in with a chance

Now what if their were more goals scored in football? Say one team scored 10 goals on average every 70 minutes, and the team that was half as good scored 10 goals every 140 minutes. How often would the latter beat the former? Not very. Is that intuitive?

Rugby is more like the football with more goals scored, except it’s not just about goals, it’s about the number of winning moments - these are the number of opportunities for the better team to dominate, hence get closer to scoring points. If your team has a better scrum and line out then every time there is a set piece there is an opportunity to get an advantage, for example.

I doubt I explained that well. Chocolate fish to anyone who got what I was saying
 

Rinkadink

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The biggest problem I have with Super Rugby is the lack of regular intensity from both teams and the crowds. Echoed by many talented players who move to the NH that the step up in demands week in and out is marked but this can sometimes also result in a bit of pace being lost in matches. South Africa is probably the closest to recreating the above IMO.

For what I enjoy most;
Premiership
Top14
-champions cup-
Super Rugby
-challenge cup-
Pro14 (derby days can put it above Super Rugby)
-------
D2
RFU Championship
Mitre/Rugby Challenge

Each competition can provide great, exciting contests and horrible snorefests though. Would like to copy Rugby League (Which OP should definitely check out too, NRL and Super League) and do a World Club Challenge one off or a semi-final composed of the winners of the four big leagues in a random draw over two weekends for the World Club ***le.
 

Kiwiwomble

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The biggest problem I have with Super Rugby is the lack of regular intensity from both teams and the crowds. Echoed by many talented players who move to the NH that the step up in demands week in and out is marked but this can sometimes also result in a bit of pace being lost in matches. South Africa is probably the closest to recreating the above IMO.

For what I enjoy most;
Premiership
Top14
-champions cup-
Super Rugby
-challenge cup-
Pro14 (derby days can put it above Super Rugby)
-------
D2
RFU Championship
Mitre/Rugby Challenge

Each competition can provide great, exciting contests and horrible snorefests though. Would like to copy Rugby League (Which OP should definitely check out too, NRL and Super League) and do a World Club Challenge one off or a semi-final composed of the winners of the four big leagues in a random draw over two weekends for the World Club ***le.
really? the most common comment i read from players heading north is its a step up in number of games and crowd support but that the actual skill level/intensity of the game is much less
 

Rinkadink

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really? the most common comment i read from players heading north is its a step up in number of games and crowd support but that the actual skill level/intensity of the game is much less
Was reading an article on Joe Latta and was instantly reminded of this;

"They're sort of different in the way they try to get the best things out of you. A big learning curve really.

"The game has developed over there the last 10 years though. They are trying to do more what the Kiwis do as they have had the success."

Latta said it was a more physical game in England and injuries had got in the way during his time.
https://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/otago/short-stint-otago-latta-move-japan

It's a pretty good piece and I hope he goes well.
 

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