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Sunwolves Reprieve?

saulan

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https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby...y-may-be-reviewed-after-japans-success-at-cup

hope this isn't true as it will also mean the reprieve of the hated conference system.

I believe that the conference system has done untold damage to Super Rugby

BTW I don't see it happening

As a Super Rugby fan, I'm not the biggest fan of this happening. Mainly because of the conference system, as you mentioned. But also because they didn't take the competition seriously in the last year, fielding a new team almost every week, which is frustrating for the quality of the tournament. It is what it is though, they didn't get kicked out because SANZAAR didn't want them, they got kicked out because JRFU were unwilling to financially back them. I am quite open to them joining the Rugby Championship though.
 

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Look, it was the JRFU that didn't want to continue with the SR deal. Not SANZAAR. JPRU pulled out. But now, because of the World Cup being over for their team, they want to revise that.

For SANZAAR it's about having a financially strong model and trying to keep bums on seats. Now the Sunwolves games were some of the most attended games when they played at home in Japan. So of course SANZAAR will want to keep them involved.

But SANZAAR have also spoken about the conference system and that it's not working, which we all knew for a very long time.

So the question will be, that should they decide to keep the Sunwolves involved after 2020, will we still have the round robin tournament just with 15 teams instead of 14?
 

Bruce_ma_goose

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The conference system is perfectly fine in various sports leagues around the world. With a round Robin in recent years you'd have had the top 4 all NZ based and all NZ semis, maybe barring the Lions (I'm not counting last season as NZ rotate their players so much in a RWC year). I find it hard to grasp that the tournament will become more competitive as a round Robin. Please someone explain that to me.

Yes the JRFU were unwilling to continue paying. But I understand that this was a payment that nobody else was being asked to make. And nobody else was being asked to move home games to Singapore. There is a lot of potential for movement on both sides to compromise and a lot to gain for both sides by doing so.

The Sunwolves side were disappointing this season, but we now know exactly why Joseph took al his star players away. And it worked. Next year they could all be playing in SR again and, if well coached, should be more competitive.
 

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The conference system is perfectly fine in various sports leagues around the world. With a round Robin in recent years you'd have had the top 4 all NZ based and all NZ semis, maybe barring the Lions (I'm not counting last season as NZ rotate their players so much in a RWC year). I find it hard to grasp that the tournament will become more competitive as a round Robin. Please someone explain that to me.

Yes the JRFU were unwilling to continue paying. But I understand that this was a payment that nobody else was being asked to make. And nobody else was being asked to move home games to Singapore. There is a lot of potential for movement on both sides to compromise and a lot to gain for both sides by doing so.

The Sunwolves side were disappointing this season, but we now know exactly why Joseph took al his star players away. And it worked. Next year they could all be playing in SR again and, if well coached, should be more competitive.

Well the Conference system lets every team play all the teams in their on conference twice. But the teams in the other conferences once. Plus you only play against 4 of the 5 teams in the other conferences.

Some teams benefit a lot from this. There may even be a difference of about 20 points because of this...

Round Robin - Every team plays every other team once. Simple, effective, Winner takes all. No need to get the calculators out..
 

mdaclarke

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Well the Conference system lets every team play all the teams in their on conference twice. But the teams in the other conferences once. Plus you only play against 4 of the 5 teams in the other conferences.

Some teams benefit a lot from this. There may even be a difference of about 20 points because of this...

Round Robin - Every team plays every other team once. Simple, effective, Winner takes all. No need to get the calculators out..

It is the fairest way. If NZ are too good then it for the other teams to get better.
 

Tigs Man

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Whilst I love the Jags they are the biggest problem for the Super rugby comp IMO.
 

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Whilst I love the Jags they are the biggest problem for the Super rugby comp IMO.

Oh no you didn't!!! Man you are going to get some backlash from the Argentines about that remark, especially since their team was in the finals and they want everybody to know that, and not forget that...
 

mdaclarke

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If the Sunwolves do have to remain I hope SANZAAR aren't stupid enough to keep the conference system.

More than anything the conference system has damaged Super Rugby
 

Bruce_ma_goose

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Well the Conference system lets every team play all the teams in their on conference twice. But the teams in the other conferences once. Plus you only play against 4 of the 5 teams in the other conferences.

Some teams benefit a lot from this. There may even be a difference of about 20 points because of this...

Round Robin - Every team plays every other team once. Simple, effective, Winner takes all. No need to get the calculators out..

No doubt it is the fairest and simplest. Two big bonuses. But I ask how does it make things more competitive?

If anything it makes the strongest union stronger whereas Conferences keep a lid on NZ dominance. It also involves the more travel and less domestic rivalry than Conferences.

I guess I'm just arguing that this isn't a complete no-brainer and shouldn't be considered a huge obstacle to Japan retaining a SR presence.

I'd get the JRFU to make commitments about play time for their internationals, funding for higher quality imports etc and see what sort of response I got. Assuming Japan is even interested.
 

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No doubt it is the fairest and simplest. Two big bonuses. But I ask how does it make things more competitive?

Because every team plays each other. Not like now. So the competition is tougher, and there is no worry that a team is advantaged by not playing a certain team in another conference. Like missing the Waratahs and the Crusaders if you’re a South African team.

If anything it makes the strongest union stronger whereas Conferences keep a lid on NZ dominance. It also involves the more travel and less domestic rivalry than Conferences.

not really no. The Bulls managed to win the Super Rugby 3 times when we had this system.

I guess I'm just arguing that this isn't a complete no-brainer and shouldn't be considered a huge obstacle to Japan retaining a SR presence.

it is a no-brainer. The conference system does not work. So much evidence to support that.

I'd get the JRFU to make commitments about play time for their internationals, funding for higher quality imports etc and see what sort of response I got. Assuming Japan is even interested.

well yeah, but it also depends on SANZAAR, the broadcasters and the logistics behind it. If everyone can get on the same page, it should work.
 

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One thing that did make me chuckle was the arrogance of Clive Woodward, expecting SANZAAR to accept Japan and the Pacific nations into the RC, and have promotion and relegation.

If I was SANZAAR I would "yes mate, as soon as the 6N invite Russia and Georgia in and have 2 4N competitions with promotion and relegation"

Neither are ever going to happen.
 

Jabby

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The conference system is perfectly fine in various sports leagues around the world. With a round Robin in recent years you'd have had the top 4 all NZ based and all NZ semis, maybe barring the Lions (I'm not counting last season as NZ rotate their players so much in a RWC year). I find it hard to grasp that the tournament will become more competitive as a round Robin. Please someone explain that to me.

Yes the JRFU were unwilling to continue paying. But I understand that this was a payment that nobody else was being asked to make. And nobody else was being asked to move home games to Singapore. There is a lot of potential for movement on both sides to compromise and a lot to gain for both sides by doing so.

The Sunwolves side were disappointing this season, but we now know exactly why Joseph took al his star players away. And it worked. Next year they could all be playing in SR again and, if well coached, should be more competitive.

didn't they beat the Tahs and Chiefs away form home this year?

I say let the sunwolves and brave blossoms into SR and RC respectively

full round robin for super rugby
drop the RC to play each of the four teams once like the 6N, bring a bit more rarity to some of these games, a couple less internationals might mean some of these top players actually get to play a couple of games of domestic rugby, reconnect all levels by simplifying a bit
 

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I wonder if Japan would want to stay in SR, even if SANZAAR dropped the participation fee and neutral home games. It's a ridiculous amount of travel, even compared with other SR teams, and in terms of market development it only serves one Japanese city.
Maybe they see the Sunwolves continuing in SR as fighting the last war. Their priorities will change now that RWC 2019 is mission accomplished, they want to grow the market around the whole country, they want to build depth long term, and focusing all their top talent in 1 team beyond 2020 is an answer looking for a question.

Outside of focusing on their own league, their other options aren't great TBF. But they should look at having multiple teams in the Champions Cup or GRR. Not a problem if some of their players want to mercenary for other SR teams.

I'd rather see Japan in the 6N than TRC, too. They would be more competitive there. Even if TRC is a better fit climate wise.

Is the conference system really that bad? Isn't it just the bizarre 2 year alternating 18 team format, with both groups and conferences, that was the problem?
 

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thats a good point re their domestic league, i thought i read it was planned to be at the same time as super rugby
 

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The way I see it, there is a long road ahead in order for this to happen. Because it's a two-fold issue. 1. Super Rugby & 2. Rugby Championship/international test window.

1. Super Rugby

Now that SANZAAR finally realised that the conference system is not working, and that it also influences the amount of revenue due to less bums on seats, they have the plan to revert back to the strength for strength Round Robin style. We should all remember that the conference system was introduced when that idiot John O'Neill was in charge of Rugby Australia, who had the plan of the conference system because he wanted to introduce the 5th Australian team, the Rebels to SR, as he felt that the only way for Australian Rugby to grow, was to have more teams (not quality). But because he wanted an additional team, South Africa wanted another team as well, so in order to get the votes, the Cheetahs were also introduced. And then later the Jaguares, Kings and the Sunwolves joined.

When we revert back to the round robin, all the teams will travel a bit more than they did during the conference system, and the 5-week tour is back on the cards (Well for the Saffa teams at least). If we add the Sunwolves, the tour could become a 6-week or 7-week ordeal. This is because the Sunwolves will be added as an additional team, not replacing a current team. And here is the first hurdle. Not only will it be a financial nightmare for the franchises to have a squad travelling such a long period, and staying in hotels, but the amount of travelling involved could be brutal. Should the schedule be like it was in the past, most teams only travelled once during the season. So a team might end up with a schedule where he plays the 1st week in Japan, 2nd & 3rd week in Australia, 4th and 5th week in New Zealand and 6th week in Argentina.

That's a very tall order indeed.

2. The Rugby Championship

As it is in a non-world cup year. Every team plays each other twice. Once at home, and once away from home. By adding Japan the tournament adds 2 games extra per team. Now by my reckoning, as it is now, each team play 2 weeks, then have a bye-week, and then plays again. So there is basically a 3-week cycle. By adding Japan, a whole cycle will be added. So in essence, the SH teams will play The Rugby Championship, and then the week thereafter go on their EOYT.

So if we combine this, the SH teams will play January to November without a break at all.
 

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Maybe they see the Sunwolves continuing in SR as fighting the last war. Their priorities will change now that RWC 2019 is mission accomplished, they want to grow the market around the whole country, they want to build depth long term, and focusing all their top talent in 1 team beyond 2020 is an answer looking for a question.
And it would seem to be the wrong answer for any nation. It would seem like 4 is the minimum number of top tier clubs necessary to provide a growing national game - let's take a look at the top tier of rugby:

Argentina has 1 top table club - struggling to stand still in quality, even when they allow their overseas players to join in.
Scotland has 2 top table clubs - struggling to stand still in quality
Italy has 2 top table clubs - strugging to stand still in quality
Wales has 4 top table clubs - very hit and miss at club level, mostly hit but occassional miss at national level with excellent coaching
Ireland has 4 top table clubs - very strong at club level, growing stronger at national level now they've got good systems in place
Australia has 4 top table clubs - falling off a cliff at both club andnational level as rugby drops to 3rd / 4th choice of football variants
New Zealand has 5 top table clubs - holding place at the top, some advantages due to history of the sport meaning that rugby has 1st pick of available athletes
South Africa has 6 top table clubs - largely very strong at both club and national levels
England has 12 top table clubs, though the clubs just about winning the club vs country power stuggle - variety of strengths at club level, getting stronger at national level now they've got decent systems in place - still plenty of wasted talent, some issues with overseas players blocking local talent
France has 14 top table clubs, though the clubs have absolutely won the club vs country debate - variety of strengths at club level, national team held back by clubs holding power over the union, major issues with overseas players blocking local talent

4 seems to be the minimum to have depth, development and enough talent in all positions to supply a coherent national squad
12 seems to be a little unwield and starting to wobble, with not enough talent involved regularly enough at the sharp end
Somewhere between 5-11 is likely to hold the perfect balance of spread and competition, but the higher numbers lead to a lot of imports, which can limit options in important positions (random example - 12 premiership clubs can amass 6 first choice scrum halves who are EQP). Any less than 10 though, and you can't really maintain a domestic league (not enough games), needing to cross borders to get enough game time.
To me, 6 seems the ideal number of clubs if you don't want any/many imports; with 10 being the maximum desireable number if you're fine with imports.
 

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didn't they beat the Tahs and Chiefs away form home this year?

I say let the sunwolves and brave blossoms into SR and RC respectively

full round robin for super rugby
drop the RC to play each of the four teams once like the 6N, bring a bit more rarity to some of these games, a couple less internationals might mean some of these top players actually get to play a couple of games of domestic rugby, reconnect all levels by simplifying a bit

I like your idea Jabby. :cool:
 

Tigs Man

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Honestly give Japan to the 6N's IMO
 

RugbyUSA

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The article linked by the OP from Oct. 21 say's SANZAAR was meeting on Friday. Does anyone know the results of that meeting?
 
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