Sir John Kirwan's idea to save Super Rugby

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by Jabby, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. smartcooky

    smartcooky Referee Coach and Advisor

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    One of the reasons the Heineken Cup works so well is that it has a complimentary second tier (used to be called the Amlin Challenge Cup; not sure what it is now as I haven't followed European Rugby since moneybags McCaffrety stuffed it up). It allows the next ranked lot of teams who did not make the HC, to have meaningful competition on HC weekends, thereby exposing a second tier of players to what is still a high level of competition. It would be an absolute must for us to have something like that as well, but the problem is, who is going to pay for it? There is nowhere near enough money in NZ, Aus or SA to back a second tier cross-borders competition.
     
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  3. Jabby

    Jabby Senior Member

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    id like to hear from a NH fan about how essential a secondary cup comp would be, im aware of the comp but never hear any excitement about it so wonder how important it actually is
     
  4. Steve-o

    Steve-o Senior Member

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    Is there any other televised yearly competition that is across as many timezones as Super Rugby? Struggling to think of one.
     
  5. Jabby

    Jabby Senior Member

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    Can’t think of one either
     
  6. smartcooky

    smartcooky Referee Coach and Advisor

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    The nearest would be most major American sports, televised from Eastern Standard Time (New York) to Hawaiian Standard time. That would make it six time zones, however technically, an argument could me made that its broadcast as far west as the American Territory of Guam, which would make it nine time zones. American Football is broadcast live into Guam by a number of channels, including AFN/AFTRS for US servicemen & women stationed at Andersen Air Force Base and at the Naval Base in Apra Harbour.
     
  7. Steve-o

    Steve-o Senior Member

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    Sorry, to clarify I also meant more played in as many time zones. So in the US I guess the greatest timezone a team would experience is 3 hours.
     
  8. Jabby

    Jabby Senior Member

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    If you count they’re college football (which I think is televised) it’s probably more as there’s actually a team from Hawaii...maybe Guam?
     
  9. Steve-o

    Steve-o Senior Member

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    Oh yeah, I didn't consider Hawaii.

    Anyway I was trying to see if there is another successful sports league that is a spread out as Super Rugby.
    I agree with John Kirwan that tribalism needs to be factored in again. Super Rugby has a reputation for being soulless. I don't know the history of NZ provincial rugby so I can't comment on that.

    Without all the countries delivering excellent rugby people will lose interest. The only reason why SA, AU and NZ have a rivalry is because of we've been the best 3 for awhile. AU and NZ have an additional friendly rivalry but nothing to write home about in my experience. The only way to keep that interest going is if all 3 keep strong. Sorry but I don't think Argentina offers much value to the product and I think the Sunwolves were a terrible idea and still are.

    I don't think it's completely a lost product and the countries involved are never going to be able to overcome the geography of the southern hemisphere.
    However the current model is not going to work. Argentina and Japan need to be cut. SA needs to drop its leftist quota policy (pressure from NZ and WR will do the trick), NZ and SA need to help AU get back some ground from the other football codes in Aussie. NZ, more than anybody else, needs a strong Australian rugby union. Get back to a strength vs strength SANZAR competition and stop trying to take over the world.
     
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  10. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    The only why we will get tribalism back is if NZ and SA stop helping AUS every wish and whim. When it was the Super 10, tribalism was strong, but then to accomodate Aus who had to create teams and areas, tribalism slowly disappeared.

    I honestly don't know why SA and NZ are more of an alliance when it comes to the health of Super Rugby as all indications are that we are both on the same page on most of the issues, but it seems like politics prevents us from being a united front.
     
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  11. Steve-o

    Steve-o Senior Member

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    AU has screwed up for a long time and in the perfect world NZ wouldn't need a competitive AU however SA is on the other side of the world and they're not a very good bed fellow in the short or medium term. Economy, and like you mentioned politics, etc. They are a risky partner to go it alone.
     
  12. Jabby

    Jabby Senior Member

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    the more i think about it the more i think its the manufactured rugby regions (franchises) that are the problem, the most successful sports teams in the world are all "local" clubs that have become popular and successful over time, not whole state/regional teams (state of origin being the exception but outside of AUS/NZ they are nothing), we might just need to accept rugby needs to stay small in aus and let the ARC grow over time. Maybe go really basic and let Aus and Japanese local comp champions play in a SANZAR cup comp to give them something extra to play for
     
  13. Steve-o

    Steve-o Senior Member

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    Not really the case in SA. The super rugby franchises are basically the same as the provincial unions (aka Currie Cup teams) and people treat them as such. However as a purist I would prefer if the Sharks were instead called the Natal Sharks and wore their traditional kit.

    That said SA did go down the manufactured team route with the Cats (Lions & Cheetahs combined) and it was a failure in general.
     
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  14. Jabby

    Jabby Senior Member

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    fair enough when they are so closely related to an existing team
     
  15. smartcooky

    smartcooky Referee Coach and Advisor

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    In case it has escaped your notice, Provinces are manufactured too, with arbitrary boundaries, its just that they were manufactured so long ago that they have become, traditional.

    As for the most successful domestic sports clubs in the world being built on "local" talent, well that is just complete rubbish.

    The most successful Football club in the world is probably Manchester United. How many of ManU's team were born in and grew up in Manchester? How many of them were even born in England!!? Same applies to Man City, Arsenal (the players did not grow up the the vicinity of Woolwich), Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton, Tottenham. Those teams are local in name only.
     
  16. Derpus

    Derpus Senior Member

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    Super Rugby is completely cooked. It's unworkable, not least because the three major nations are on completely different levels. South Africa are a basket case (no offence intended) economically and politically. Rugby is always going to be intertwined with politics over there, and politics and sport do not mix.

    Australians just don't like rugby. It's that simple. You have the tragics (me, sadly) and the private school boys (most of whom only watch it around other sports) and that's it. We cared for about 5-10 years when we had some half decent players, and hosted the world cup. But we ****** away any money and interest in the sport by splurging on a few big stars (still doing it with Folau, Hooper etc.) and completely neglected to grow the base when we had the chance. I was in Auckland the other week and people kept telling me the Wallabies will come good again. They won't. Their performances are finally starting to reflect the relative interest in the sport here. Well below 5th in terms of viewership and around 30th for participation.

    And NZ are too good, because they live and breathe rugby. No one else does, except maybe South Africa, but even then not to the same extent. They will continue to be the best rugby nation in the world, probably forever. In the long term only England will be able to match them in terms of interest and participation, and probably outmatch them financially.

    How do you combine these three into a workable quasi-domestic competition across x time zones with a team from the northern hemisphere and a team from South America thrown in? It's amazing it's lasted this long.

    Combine all this with the growing realization that getting your head smacked a hundred times a year actually does some serious long term damage to your noodle and this thing is more sunk than still sinking. Young kids are playing AFL and Soccer and they don't even know what Rugby is. I hear even in NZ the level of participation in Soccer is growing at a far greater rate than Rugby. The damage it does to your body really does make it a mugs game.

    P.S: i'd add that having to watch the Wallabies get absolutely thrashed three times a year against the All Blacks, including the first game of the RC, does some pretty serious harm to interest as well. Particularly when it's billed as the biggest game of the year (and interest in Super Rugby is intertwined with a successful Wallabies.
     
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  17. Jabby

    Jabby Senior Member

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    I don’t how how else to explain it’s not just about the players, it’s about the fans, a sport in nothing without fans, that’s why a close provincial connecting is where we should be looking
     
  18. mdaclarke

    mdaclarke Senior Member

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    Not sure I agree with this. The new President seems to be sensible. In the long term the Boks will always be a strong team.

    If it were me. in charge I'd go back to Super 14. Get rid of the the Japanese and each team play each other once.
     
  19. miccloarch

    miccloarch Junior Member

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    You're joking right? If by "value" you mean money, you might be technically correct, but did you forget so quickly how the Jaguares did what no SA team has ever done i.e. win all 4 games in Australasia? And how even the Sunwolves beat the Blues, the Bulls (twice) and the Stormers to bigger crowds in Asia than you'd get in Australia? Ok bud.

    This seems to be the best compromise to JK's idea. It's not exactly the same tribalism of the old days, but it would presumably solve the problem he and others keep moaning about, i.e. Aucklanders refusing to play for the Blues.
     
  20. Steve-o

    Steve-o Senior Member

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    Has either added anything to the tournament that it didn't already have? Seems to me all that has happened was the tournament got less viewers and more timezones/travel.
     
  21. miccloarch

    miccloarch Junior Member

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    Games and fans in Asia and South America for starters. Growing the game globally is important, even if some fans would apparently prefer an endless repeat of the same old rivalries from 15 years ago. Maybe the current mix of teams isn't quite right, with the Sunwolves proving a little bit too weak to compete, though they still provide entertainment value. In 2018, they were actually more exciting to watch than the Reds, Brumbies, Stormers, and Blues.
     
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