World Cup Format Rethink

Discussion in 'Rugby World Cup 2019' started by Kai M, Oct 5, 2019.

?

which is your favourite format?

This poll will close on May 2, 2022 at 11:09 PM.
  1. format A

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  2. format B

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  3. format C

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  4. format D

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Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Which Tyler

    Which Tyler First XV

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    Its better than splitting the tiers completely, but... I'd be uncomfortable giving anyone below the top 4 a free pass.
    This, and I think it's doable too. If every top tier side was "obliged" to play at least 1 match a year against a 2nd tier side (they can host, and profit-share). I really don't think that would be too much to ask, but would make a big difference.
     
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  3. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    SH have to step it up big time here while the NH teams should send A teams out to Tblisi, Bucharest and Madrid to play the less "fashionable" European tier 2 sides. (Ireland played 5 tier 2 tests but one was against Fiji who always get a few tests because they're a good draw and two against Japan as world cup recon so it's not as charitable as it sounds)
     
  4. Which Tyler

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    Yup. England have their 4th AI every other year, with a tier 2 nation - usually Fiji. We also financed and pushed the Churchil Cup back in the day.
    It's a start, but it's not enough.
    Italy and Scotland usually play 1-2 tier 2 nations a year, but that's because there are only so many 6N teams the 4 N cannplay against.
    I love the BaaBaa.s but I'd happily sacrifice them to encourage more cross-tier matches.

    For me, the obvious options are either a touring team to visit a tier 2 en route - whoever's going to Argentina can easily drop in on Uruguay, same with Namibia on the way to South Africa, or a PI for tours to NZ/Aus; or each host nation has a "warm-up" against a tier 2 nation - or both!
     
  5. Zapphod

    Zapphod Academy Player

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    I could go with something like this but perhaps allow tier 1 nations to include non-competition development teams to the tier two competition to strengthen it.
     
  6. Canadian_Rugger

    Canadian_Rugger Academy Player

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    Hey gents,

    I've been registered on this site since around 2004 but have not posted in years.

    I lurk though and found this thread interesting so decided to log in and reply.

    Here is my take on the RWC format at present:

    1. The Group stage is woefully uninteresting. We still have one or two games left for most teams and I have basically zero interest in watching any further games other than Scotland vs Japan. The QFs have already been determined for the most part.

    2. The tournament needs to be expanded to 24 teams. Romania, Spain, Germany, Brazil, etc are as good as Canada and Namibia if not better. There are other reasons to expand to 24 as well:

    A. Moving to a round robin of 6 groups of 4 vice 4 groups of five. Allows for fairer scheduling and spreads out powerful teams better. Also easier to schedule with even numbered groups.

    B. Round robin moves to three games vic four with an elimination round of 16. Top 2 in each group move on and 4 best of the rest receive wildcard spots.

    3. With the above format, you get more teams, more media coverage, smaller nations receive better rest schedules which will make for better games. Also, every game will actually matter now.

    The biggest problem with the group format right now is the unequal schedule. Smaller nations can compete, but not with 4 days rest as they don't have the depth.
     
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  7. Goodey

    Goodey Bench Player

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    Your proposed format would have
    I'm confused about how you first said the problem is too many meaningless group matches, and then suggested a format that would have far more of them. The proposed format here would include 36 group matches with the sole purpose of eliminating eight semi-pro teams like Uruguay, Namibia and Russia. Since most groups would have three of the four teams progress, for most top sides the group stage would feel even more like extended warm ups where there is almost no jeapardy in losing a match. There shouldn't be sixteen teams going through to knockouts unless there is some other system to make group position meaningful (such as the pre-knockouts play off round from 1999).

    I also disagree that six groups, and therefore six-team pots, distributes the best sides more fairly. The gap between 8th and 12th is much bigger than the gap between, say, 2nd and 6th and rugby has been like that for a very long time.
     
  8. Canadian_Rugger

    Canadian_Rugger Academy Player

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    Here you go friend:

    24 team WC with 4 groups of 6 is easy to do. I've attached a photo of a hypothetical scenario:

    [​IMG]

    The Table was built based on World Rankings just prior to the RWC. Teams are put in to 6 tranches of four and then distributed evenly across the groups. This creates the most equitable spread of teams based on form and ranking. Teams would play three games each in their group with the top 2 teams automatically qualifying for the Rd of 16 and the 4 other teams with the best records (points diff being the tie breaker) making the round of 16.

    The teams I placed in the Knock out rounds are merely there as a hypothetical situation. In reality, a lot of teams could potentially qualify for the knock out stage and there is potential for a lot of upsets to happen. You also wouldn't ever run in to a scenario of a team like Japan going 3-1 and not qualifying for the knock out stage, which is stupid IMO.
     
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  9. Goodey

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    I appreciate an excel tournament as much as the next guy - believe me I do - but I understood what you meant which is why I think it's a bizarre choice of format.

    You said there were too many games this year which didn't matter. But you also think we should spend a month of the tournament watching Australia run training exercises against Georgia, Romania and Hong Kong, knowing full well that even if there were a massive upset and they lost a game, they'd still easily get through to the knockouts. Meanwhile the closest thing there to hard group is NZ-Scotland-Italy-Uruguay, which is significantly weaker than any 2019 cup pool, and three out of the four progress so the matches between them meant nothing anyway.

    If you had a 24-team world cup like this all the problems you have with the current format (with the exception of short turnarounds) would be worse.
     
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  10. Crags

    Crags Academy Player

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    I would keep it the same. You always have to think that shocks can happen. Give teams something to aim for. I actually thought there would have been a even higher score than there has been. I also thought there would be a 6-3 defence on top match. Probably happen when the best teams meet. There will always be huge differences between NZ and those who have some part-time players in their team. Still got to give everyone a chance. Global game after all. And a game for everybody too.
     
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  11. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    How do you guys expect this to happen when not even Fifa has expanded the World Cup with the highest total countries playing a team sport???

    Seriously, WR is doing so much to expand the game and for the first time in a long time the qualifiers for this WC was extremely close and competitive, in nearly every region.

    And lest we forget that some teams only qualified for this tournament because other teams got kicked for match fixing.

    If anything if you wanted the WC to be competitive in all games in the pool stages, then the amount of teams should be decreased to 16...

    Yes the difference in quality is massively different between tier 1 and tier 2&3. But if Japan can make that step up, then so could the other countries. It’s not just WR and the tier 1 nations that should look at expansion and remain competitive, the emerging nations should look at improving in all areas.
     
  12. RedruthRFC

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    Except that they by 2026, they will have done three times in my lifetime!
     
  13. Jabby

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    This has been my pet problem for ages, we simply have to make it so only the current champs and the hosts auto qualify for the world cup, everyone else has to play the other countries in their region home and at some point in the years in between. so one years NZ has the PI come and play the June internationals and the next year play them away

    mixes up the calendar a bit, not the same games EVERY YEAR! and gives these tier two teams more big games whilst keep the majority of the "money making" tours
     
  14. Leinster Fan

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    Don't like the 20 team format, mostly because of uneven scheduling. The entire concept of a 4 day turnaround in this day and age is ridiculous, it's horribly unfair on the players, especially when you consider that after the group stage, loads of them are going to be playing some of the biggest games of their lives. The necessary rest levels just aren't there.

    Will freely admit that I don't have a solution, not really a fan of the 24 team formats either..
     
  15. RedruthRFC

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    Bring back the Churchill Cup!
     
  16. Brigantine

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    Good idea making a poll, but including options for people who disagree with you is poll design 101. Otherwise it's "Would you like Crimea to join Russia now or later?"

    I like the kind of ideas you're talking about, and used to think about this sort of thing a lot. But eventually came around the the mainstream view. Unfortunately, designing a tournament is constrained by reality. The RWC is not an experiment to identify the best team, it's a business, and it's entertainment and spectacle. There is only so much time and resource available, and you need to cater to what normal fans will be interested in. That means you only have about 7 games for each team, you can only have so many teams that don't bring their own market or at least pose a threat to teams with rich fans, and once the big games have happened, any further small games are a waste of time.

    Your thinking can still work, if it isn't connected to the RWC. The World Rugby Rankings can be their own competition, if you tweak a few more games in test windows to pitch T1 vs T2 and T2 vs similarly ranked T2/3 teams from other continents. Especially if you increase the weightings on these games so points can move around the world more fluidly. Maybe throw in some silverware for the occasional #1 vs #2 challenge match to create more interest.

    For what it is, the tournament format of a group stage followed by knock out games, rising in intensity all the way through, is very good and there's a reason it's so widely used.

    Re a plate competition for teams that have been eliminated already - I've said this before, but I'd swap it out for a supercharged repechage qualification tournament before the RWC, with 3 - 7 qualification spots and a plate for winning the tournament. It would work best if you reduced the main RWC tournament to 4 pools of 4. (maybe even 2 pools of 6)
    E.g. 16 team RWC, 5 or 7 of which qualify through a 12 team repechage tournament. (maybe including 2 Six Nations teams and a Rugby Championship team)
    3 pools of 4, then top 4 play off for the Plate, next 4 play off for qualification. (23 or 21 teams involved in either RWC or Plate/qualification comp)
    This would still be difficult to organize. 5 games each the year before the RWC, even if it is replacing a few current qualification and repechage games. Also it wouldn't be so great for Scotland/France/Argentina/whoever if T1 are included.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  17. g6mcg

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    Definitely agree, but you have to love their dedication to righting the wrongs of 2015 by punishing Scotland with the four day turnaround!
     
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  18. TRF_heineken

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    Fair enough. But the number of international teams playing professional football and rugby are miles apart. How can we expect WR to expand the WC now when the other teams we want to include are worse than the minnows playing in this world cup? Not only will the quality of rugby be poor, there will be more matches with runaway scores.
     
  19. Goodey

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    So, if we don't agree with expansion but want weekly pool matches, what about five groups of four, champion's cup format?
     
  20. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Its once every 4 years. These matches don't happen otherwise and if you ask me if I were a Namibian semi pro I'd love the chance to have a crack at the likes of SA and NZ. If only that I could say I played against the best, we even held on to the game for 30 odd minutes.

    If we stuck to tiers we wouldn't have had Japan beating SA in 2015. It gives those teams a chance to test themselves. The margins are also improving with every RWC.

    Its fine as is. If anything tier 2 nations should get more chances against tier 1 in between RWCs.
     
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  21. The Alpha Bro

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    I don't like the idea that 2nd place teams going through would be decided on PD having played different teams. I don't mind the 5 group format as much as others, I think having games where adjacent seeds have to play each other off the back of a 4 day turnaround should be avoided because it's giving one side a significant advantage in one of the most important games of the pool for either team and I feel bad for Scotland and Canada that the game that always was going to be the one they needed to win to escape the pool or the only one they could win in their pool is off the back of such a turnaround.

    I think if World Rugby really emphasised growing the sport with T1 v T2 test matches and developing the best T3 nations like Brazil, Russia, remembering there's three better European sides not here, and maybe an African side like Kenya (no idea if their XV side is anywhere but their 7s side shows there's a wee bit of potential) a 24 team tournament would be viable for 2027 and I'm less against a third place side getting through based on PDs and BPs, just don't ask me why!
     
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