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Is rugby going the way of football?

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jsp_clarke

Guest
Do people here think rugby is in danger of going down the road of football and losing the friendly athmosphere that usually pervades the stands?

Just this last week the Ulster manager has resigned, partly due to terrible results but also because of very personal and threatening language from a section of his 'support'. Ulster have always been a bit odd so maybees that's no surpirse. But anyone who goes regularily to club games will have noticed a more general decline. After the recent game between ospreys and London irish the Ospreys management had to issue a public apology after an LI fan wrote to them about his wife and daughter being abused and Ospreys fans making racist remarks about Topsy Ojo.

When I went to the Wasps v Munster game last weekend there were Cork boys hurling abuse at the ref which surprised me as Munster fans are renowned for their good behaviour and the absolute silence during penalty kicks by either side. And listening to the Leinster v Leicester game there was loud shouting during the build up to Goode's kicks.

Is this a temporary blip caused by casual fans who got excited enough by the world cup to come along and who will eventually disappear? Or a function of the increasing commercialisation of the game?
 
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An Tarbh

Guest
In fairness any abuse hurled at Changeling is generally waranted, both those refs should not be allowed near a top level rugby match let alone one of even greater magnitude than normal.

Getting back to your main point I do think you're onto something, certainly in my experience I've found the away fans particularly at the Wales and Scotland matches to be far more chavish than their English counterparts and displaying very little knowledge of the game itself yet they seem to get their hands on tickets, certainly a worrying trend.

However the banter and craic with English, French and Southern Hemisphere fans hasn't changed for me.

I'm certainly surprised to hear of any jeering at the Leinster match, it's usually as silent as an Ireland match so that's a new one to me.
 
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RoyalBlueStuey

Guest
Great post, I agree with you but it's only natural if the game is going to try and appeal to a wider audience....as new paying customers come in they aren't going to have the same loyalty and affinity to their club as the loyal hardcore fans have. I think we are in an era where you have your "big rugby" franchise type teams which would kill to have the sort of support the footy teams enjoy and the "little rugby" teams where people will always go along and loyally support their club.

I think the word Club is key to this...I've been following Everton FC since I was a nipper and I always will but I am the first to admit that it's not a 'club'. I am just a customer albeit a very long-standing very committed one. I 've only been going to to Waterloo for three years and yet I stroll round the clubhouse talking to the players and officials and am treated like one of the family. Ultimately it is a size thing, with the bigger organisation you are much further removed from the players & staff, the personal relationship is gone. I am an Everton fan first and a Waterloo fan second and whilst I'm not going to say I am mates with Chris O'Callaghan & Martin O'Keefe at Waterloo but they will be standing next to me in the bar about half an hour after the game's finished. The link is there....whereas it's not with David Moyes and Phil Neville. When you get to a certain level you lose the closeness, but you've lost it because of the gravity success brings. It's the same with bands too really, when a band start out there is just a dedicated gang of fans and the gigs are intimate, then they go platinum and all of a sudden there is 5,000 people watching them and the long-standing fans are just faces in the crowd.
 
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dullonien

Guest
I don't think you can say Welsh supporters have little knowlage of the game, proberly ther most educated. But I do agree on them getting steadily more chavish, f***ing chavs! I am always embarraced by people booing the kicker etc. one thing I applaud english (club more than country) fans for, there's usually complete silence during penalties etc.

I do still think, rugby fans are generally well behaved (compared to football, they're saints), pitty there's allways a few who spoil everything i.e. the O's supporters mentioned above.
 
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RoyalBlueStuey

Guest
I don't think you can say Welsh supporters have little knowlage of the game, proberly ther most educated. But I do agree on them getting steadily more chavish, f***ing chavs! I am always embarraced by people booing the kicker etc. one thing I applaud english (club more than country) fans for, there's usually complete silence during penalties etc.

I do still think, rugby fans are generally well behaved (compared to football, they're saints), pitty there's allways a few who spoil everything i.e. the O's supporters mentioned above. [/b]

That's the tricky part though...you appeal to a wider audience, people will come along who don't have the same knowledge of the game's traditions. The club is undoubtedly better off 'cause of the extra revenue but something else is inevitably lost.
 
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An Tarbh

Guest
I don't think you can say Welsh supporters have little knowlage of the game, proberly ther most educated. But I do agree on them getting steadily more chavish, f***ing chavs! I am always embarraced by people booing the kicker etc. one thing I applaud english (club more than country) fans for, there's usually complete silence during penalties etc.

I do still think, rugby fans are generally well behaved (compared to football, they're saints), pitty there's allways a few who spoil everything i.e. the O's supporters mentioned above.
[/b]

As I said it's been my experience that Welsh and Scottish fans I've come across show little knowledge of the game and are generally far more chavish. Obviously I don't meet every Welsh or Scottish fan who come to Dublin but the ones I've come across have just been knackers. Who's to say it'll be like that in the Spring though.
 
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O'Rothlain

Guest
I think it's only reasonable to assume that this will be a trend in Rugby. RBS hit the nail on the head with the club vs. pro-franchise thing. I hope and pray it never gets to an Italian Football level, but I think we can only expect to hear more jeering. Do you honestly think all the supporters at huge matches now played rugby themselves? There is where the difference lies in my eyes. If you've played rugby, then you know the environment well. There is sort of a Gentleman's Agreement or Code between everyone. We're bonded together (look at this magnificent forum for example) in a brotherhood where we respect our enemies. Respect is key. People who haven't passed through the ranks, and are merely supporters do not have this respect. They've never had the sh_t knocked out of them, and then had a drink with that same opponent an hour later.
 
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stormmaster1

Guest
In any group of people, and rugby fans are no exception, there will be some idiots. Some people will be abusive and not respect the way things are done. The more fans there are as rugby gets more popular, the more frequent this will be. Also, there is a very different crowd at internationals to club level, more football fans and such. I don't think it will ever become central to rugby as the majority of fans and clubs make it clear what is and isn't associated.
 
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danny

Guest
There was booing by both sides during place kicks at kingsholm last night. I have heard it before but never as bad. This needs to be addressed by the clubs. Also kicking of at 8 meant that a lot of the crowd were ****** and more likely to boo and use abusive language. Not nice if you take your kids.
 
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leicester fox

Guest
Rugbys fans will always be a better bunch than their football counterparts for me. I go and watch fotball quite regularly butyou never sepnd time with oppo fans It's still a good laugh for me at the rugby compared to the football and I think although idiots are becoming more commonplace the games still fine and it's all in banter, just people occasionally act like idiots, more often than not in the heat of the moment. The last away game I went to at football we got abuse hurled at us and it wasn't particularly enjoyable apart from the win ;) but when I went to the RWC the only fight I saw was between too Frenchman over 1 pushing in the line for the bar!
 
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popdistortion

Guest
In general I have to say that most rugby fans are quite chilled. In football the supporters have to be separated... not in rugby.
 
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Prestwick

Guest
However the banter and craic with English, French and Southern Hemisphere fans hasn't changed for me. [/b]

Agreed. The funniest moment of banter this year was when we were trudging back from Twickenham after England lost to France. Next to us in the queue for the train was a guy dressed in a blue tuxedo with a top hat decked in tri-colours of France.

"Did you enjoy the match?" I said, clearly and normally so the Frenchman would understand.

"Yea mate, top game!" he replied in an Australian accent. Apparently he got tickets for the game and him and a load of other Australian mates dressed up as Frenchmen. Genius :lol:

I still maintain that us English are the most boring and dull fans (although not sour tempered or bad losers however, just not prone to doing...well...anything really apart from drink and stand there with one hand in a pocket while the other holds a pint), the Irish the most jovial, the Welsh the most passionate, the Scots the most serious and the French the most friendly (sometimes).
 
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RoyalBlueStuey

Guest
<div class='quotemain'>
However the banter and craic with English, French and Southern Hemisphere fans hasn't changed for me. [/b]

Agreed. The funniest moment of banter this year was when we were trudging back from Twickenham after England lost to France. Next to us in the queue for the train was a guy dressed in a blue tuxedo with a top hat decked in tri-colours of France.

"Did you enjoy the match?" I said, clearly and normally so the Frenchman would understand.

"Yea mate, top game!" he replied in an Australian accent. Apparently he got tickets for the game and him and a load of other Australian mates dressed up as Frenchmen. Genius :lol:
[/b][/quote]

There are plenty of examples of footy fans chipping in with great bits of banter though, it's just the tribalism is taken to the nth degree with footy and the loyalty to you team is everything (which isn't totally the case with rugby).

To the tune of Volari (by the Cardif fans sung to Kasper Schmeichal) :

Oh Kasper, Whoah.
Oh Kasper, Whoah.
He stands between our posts
He's named after a ghost.
 
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DC

Guest
i dont have a problem with fans making a stadium intimidating myself.

but only as long as the intimidation is still peaceful.

look at Ohio State vs Michigan, most likely the fiercest rivalry in all of sports, dating back to a border dispute, i hate them up north i hate everything about them just like they hate everything about us, but you dont see big ass riots or **** like that or fights breaking out all over, of course there might be one or two but its not like those soccer riots i always see.

i dont have a problem with it as long as it is intimidating during the game, but remains violence free.
 
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Brodizzle

Guest
look at Ohio State vs Michigan, most likely the fiercest rivalry in all of sports, dating back to a border dispute, i hate them up north i hate everything about them just like they hate everything about us, but you dont see big ass riots or **** like that or fights breaking out all over, of course there might be one or two but its not like those soccer riots i always see.
[/b]
Maybe a big Yank sport rivalry...
 
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SaintsFan_Webby

Guest
<div class='quotemain'>
look at Ohio State vs Michigan, most likely the fiercest rivalry in all of sports, dating back to a border dispute, i hate them up north i hate everything about them just like they hate everything about us, but you dont see big ass riots or **** like that or fights breaking out all over, of course there might be one or two but its not like those soccer riots i always see.
[/b]
Maybe a big Yank sport rivalry... [/b][/quote]



Exactly. Until you mentioned it, I would have had no idea there were any issues between the two.



Boca Juniors vs River Plate - now that's a fiery rivalry.
 
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stormmaster1

Guest
When i went to the Walkers stadium for a European match it really confused me that there was an inbuilt segregation of fans in the stadium (so i couldn't meet up with a friend at halftime :ranting: )





n rivalries, one of the bigger rivalries at Tigers is with Northampton, and i've enjoyed every occaision i've been there whether we one or lost, mainly due to the friendly nature between fans.
 
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shazbooger

Guest
I still think were a long long way away from Premiership standards. In any of the premiership matches I've been to, the match tends to become secondary to the events in the stands. I mean, the two sets of supporters just use what goes on, on the pitch, to justify the type of abuse they throw at the other supporters.

Rugby is still very much focused on the pitch, for now. As the guys have mentioned, the game is growing and more and more people are getting involved. Average attendances for club games have doubled over the past 5-10 years so the atmosphere is changing.

The game itself though is changing. Money is starting to dominate and results (winning) are the priority. These are things that worry me more. Chabal "simulating" injuries once or twice during the world cup, players starting to shout at the ref and linesmen more. All small little things that are possibly signalling the end of the "camaraderie" that made rugby what it is.
 
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RoyalBlueStuey

Guest
In any of the premiership matches I've been to, the match tends to become secondary to the events in the stands. I mean, the two sets of supporters just use what goes on, on the pitch, to justify the type of abuse they throw at the other supporters.
[/b]

Can't agree with that....The only place I've heard of anything like that was when Everton played Millwall in the cup. Apparently there was a large percentage of their fans who barely looked at the pitch. Their sole focus was the away fans.

Generally however you can't say footy fans aren't watching the game, just look at the barracking the refs or the opposition get from the crowd. Footy just has a much stronger tradition of being partizan. It's just a way of getting one over on your opposition. Whenever Chile play Bolivia they sing "Let's all go to the beach" because there was a war years & years ago which resulted in Bolivia losing it's only stretch of coastline. Genius.
 
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