Archive for Super Rugby

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Super Rugby 2011, The pace of the game to fast for me!

I watched the Crusaders vs Chiefs last night. Bloody hell the pace of the game was like sevens rugby for 80 minutes.

Watching the game, was hard work, I had to keep one eye on the TV and one eye on the beer I was raising to my mouth, I just cant do two things at once.

Slow the game so I can at least drink a beer !

How does one get a tube beer hat, now I know why they were invented !

God help the northern sides, they better prey for rain and mud for RWC in Oct 2011.

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

NZ RWC 2011 Profiteering: Go for it !

Source: Rugby profiteering will hurt NZ


..” Either the seller meets the buyer or the buyer will go elsewhere or not come at all.”..

COMMENTS: No matter what you charge, give the buyer a fair service for the RWC period. But make sure you do profit and well at that, after all the NZRU and its unions have been fleecing the NZ rugby public ever since rugby went professional.

Some examples

1) Charging full prices for test matches at night in June/July.
2) $40 plus for a super rugby game for average seats.
3) Charging kids too much for the cheap seats.

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Super 14 2010 : Monkeys

Coaching  jobs on the line …

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Super Rugby: No 9 are kings

Source:  Selectors HalfBacks are Kings NOW !


..”The All Blacks selection panel appear poised to spring a surprise on us with confirmation coming yesterday from assistant coach Wayne Smith that he and head coach Graham Henry believe rugby has a new kingmaker: the halfback.

The reign and control once exerted by first-fives is now on the wane and the search is on for a No9 who, first and foremost, can run and therefore take advantage of the new powers bestowed upon the position by the game’s lawmakers.

Smith, a former All Blacks first-five, believes this year’s law interpretations “mean the halfback is much more important than he used to be”….

COMMENTS: Well, anybody who’s over 40 will not be upset with this analysis. Why, we can remember Loveridge,  Bachop and Going. These guys had to be equally clever and rugby smart as first fives , and they were. However to day, its not so much the person who is the half back its is anybody who is standing there at the base of the ruck as the current game is so fluid that all forwards need to be very rugby smart.

I feel this is a good sign, and the future of rugby is looking up. I also think that Aussie George Greagan replacement Will Genia may be the best in the world (at the moment).

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Why NZ teams failing in 2010 Super 14


Why are NZ teams struggling in the 2010 Super 14….hmmm

1) Bad coaching : YES, most coaches are still trying to play the loose game. Whereas our South African friends with their extra large men are playing are more tight forward game, and keeping the fatties out of the back line. I put the Blues and Chiefs on this list.

2) Injury: Well this is a factor, but the same for all teams.

3) Player exodus: Well this is also a factor however, same for the SANZAR countries so neutral effect there.

4) ELV Hang over: I guess this is also in (1), but wake up mauls are back. This is one factor Hanson (ABs coach) fails at.

5) Missing Penalty Kicks: Well the Chiefs take first prize here. Donald just doesnt have too many good days there days.

6) Just below par: I would say the Highlanders have never been in the running.

The Blues are awful, Pat Lam coaching days must be numbered.

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Super Rugby Game: Tweak Tweak CRASH

Every year of the Super 12 and 14 that I can remember there have been law changes (this includes the application of the laws by the refs), actually I cant remember a year were there has been no tweaking.

That is a VERY sad for Super rugby. It reflects poorly on those running the game. Its also reflects that MONEY influence in the game.

So what do we have now. GRASS  BASKETBALL. So far games are averaging 40 points per game, this is rugby basketball and a bore. Just look at this weekend scores (2010-03-28).


David Moffett has some seriously good points.


There have been some positives this year following yet another change to the law interpretation at the breakdown. However, the change has brought some unwanted consequences as a result. The latest law correction has seen the pendulum swing massively in favour of the attacking side, with the result that we have seen games resembling basketball on grass rather than rugby.

A modern day refrain is that there is no longer any room on the field to mount sustainable attacks. That should not come as much of a surprise as the backs are stacked with forwards for most of the game. Indeed most coaches are now opting for huge backs, which makes the situation even worse.I am sure it will not be long before an international coach picks 20 forwards and two halfbacks in their squads such is their lack of ability to conjure up genuine attacking options.

Source: Coaches to blame for rugby-law tinkering

Monday, March 8th, 2010

NZRU Super Loss on Super 14: ($7M)

Source: Super 14 budget shock

I am an devoted rugby fan, I watch it any where and any time. Last year not so much, this year a little more as the rules are better, well the ruling of them. The ELV’s pissed me off last year, and prior.

But no matter how much I like the game, rugby in February is just obscene.

Tri Nations with its massive repetition is boring, the extra Bledisloe cup game is a bore as well.

Players wages should be based on market conditions. 50% base salary, 50% revenue Super rugby performance based. Just like any investment bank (god bless them !).

If you love chocolate and you eat it every day, you will lose your desire for it. A balance must be found between the demand and supply in rugby, just like chocolate.  Just look at the massive supply of cricket, I mean they had to invest in 20/20 to get people to watch it again. I never know what type of game is on these days???

I get the feeling All Blacks will be doing more NZRU revenue matches, don’t you.

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Super 14 rugby:Basket Ball

Source: Super 14 Ladder after week 3 at 28/2/2010

As I write this, these are current for and against results of points in the Super 14. With averages.(3 games played, as at 28/2/2010)

So this is saying we can expect and average of 40 points per game (thats 20 for, and 20 against).

Thats werid ! And near basketball scores.

I would like to state that it’s not the level of score that matter, it’s the quality of the CONTEST ! The drama and tension of the battle.

A great game can be 9-0. Free flowing, tight and tough.

A game that reads 65 – 20 is one of generally of poor defense and unmatched skill between the sides.

Guess more time is need to see how this Super 14 evolves.

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Stephen Jones Concludes…

Source: Super 14 cops Northern Hemisphere serve

Well I am not surprised that Stephen Jones agrees with me. He has been too  tough making some judgments in the past.


“I’ve often written of the dangers of chasing the concept of entertainment in rugby. It made a complete joke of Super Rugby and it is in grave danger of doing so all over again,” Jones continued.

“It is living proof of the shambles that occurs when senior officials of struggling unions make the gross error to believe that endless sickly movements are the answer to their problems.

“By doing so, they put pressure on coaches and especially on referees. The biggest lie is that the pap rugby of last weekend was caused by a so-called crackdown by southern hemisphere referees on tackling.

“No doubt they were. But there was far more to it than that. Effectively, they abandoned any semblance of a fair contest for possession in any phases of the match and felt under pressure so that the attacking team were allowed to do so no matter what. They also feared that their paymasters would be on their backs if the game did not yield around 15 tries minimum.”

Some of the simple reasons why rugby is sooo good

1) It’s one of the last games on this planet where physical contact is real.
2) The drama, suspense, anticipation can be surreal.
3) A game of chess, tactics, strategy.
4) Big and small men going at it, no matter of eithers weight class.
5) A game that can be described as a battle, a contest.

Dilute these characteristics and WHO CARES. You know I can watch woman’s beach volley ball anytime.

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Super Rugby High Scores: Girl Fight !

Source: Chiefs, Hurricanes Set Super 14 alight


   Ever seen a boxing match between two tough men, a hard punching powerful contest and then watch a ladies boxing match, light slaps and little more than a contest between two five year olds fighting in the back yard (sorry ladies, thats why you dont get the big bucks in boxing).

Well then you know the difference between high scoring basketball popcorn games in the super rugby this weekend and real rugby.  The Chiefs vs Lions (72-65) game this weeked was a total disgrace. No defense from either side, you might as well watched NBL  basketball in the USA.

However that said, this wont last as teams get to grip with the same rules been used differently and realise that the top teams in Super rugby wont have points score against them.

Just dont believe the BS in the article I posted, the SANZAR cheerleaders are busy at work doing there marketing.

The new super is better so far, but the chicken is not cooked yet, needs more time ! ha

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

New Super Rugby: Its League (tongue in cheek)

First weekend of Super Rugby… and IT’S LEAGUE !

Ha, is it or is it not !

In league the tackler must release the ball by standing up and tapping it through the legs. There is NO CONTEST, defending players can not contest this process.

I rugby union, the only thing different from the above is that the player need not stand up to release the ball, placing the ball or rolling it back is exactly the same. Also, there is NO CONTEST.

A tackler is out of the game until he stands up, releases the tacklee and re enters the game from an onside position.

So far seams good for the game.

So as the ball retention is less contentious and there is more running. And some of it very aimless. Tactical kicking for territory must not be underestimated, and must be used more. Wait an see on that one, I guess.

AND GUESS WHAT… YOU DIDNT NEED ELVs to improve the game (subject to more time, wait until 4th round, I guess) you only needed correct interpretations of the laws to get a better game, we hope.

The camp for the negative on ELVs have another HUGE win. Yes you can still maul, and they cant be pulled down.

Scrums: Less resets so far. If a prop lets his shoulders fall below his hips then he is in a structurally week position within the scrum bridge. Proving he as failed to join the scrum correctly and in a safe and stable manner. The refs can easily see this fault, and I agree they should penalise a prop for this. Also the removal of anticipating the scrum hit is a good idea.. so engage cant be removed by a ‘false start’.

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Super Rugby Needs Destory NPC needs.

Source: Fight brewing Over NZ Rugby Changes – John Alexander

The fans, teams and media love the new NPC (or ANZC)  format. After years of the old NPC format falling way, its back with a vengeance.


…”NZRU rugby manager Neil Sorensen said the biggest problem with the current 14 team format was fitting it into the shortened window. He said the expanded Super competition has taken up the space, and a 10 team format was the only way they can achieve everything the non-Super 14 unions wanted.”..

COMMENTS:You cant have a 14 team NPC format, with an expanded super 14. Well what happens when supper 14 is super 18. Domestic rugby has died, get used to it. Dam the accountants running the SANZAR unions. Remember the ARU doesnt care about our local NPC, the bigger super rugby is the better it is for the ARU. Expect more death nails into the NPC in the future.

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Super14: Bulls win, but why so gay !

Well done to the BULLs, I see lots of hugs and kisses after the game, well after all this was the nation that had there national team train in the nude !

Please dont tell Victor where I live, l like the teeth in my mouth to stay there ! ha !

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Super 15: The downside ..

Source: Is this Sanzar’s biggest error? – Danny Stephens

POINT1..”the whole lot appears to be such a half-measured set of improvisations that it is doubtful whether anyone is truly happy. “….

POINT2..”a fifth franchise in Australia despite some of his finest coaches and figures in the game warning Australia does not have the playing stocks. His solution to that? Have a ‘hybrid’ franchise; a franchise consisting of players from the Pacific Islands, South Africa, New Zealand. What a lovely concept for the new host city. I bet Melbourne can’t wait to have a team of locals from South Africa, New Zealand and Tonga to identify with.”..”There are also 16 NRL teams with players with the required skills. We are not without a reasonable pool from which to fish”..

POINT3..”It also means that, in spite of all the positive noises and the repeated calls from fans and governing body alike, Argentina are set to be shut out of any possible SH competition for some time to come, as are the Pacific Islands”…

POINT4..”there’s the structure itself. In a flawless act of genius, the Super 15 will take a three-week break, right at the most critical point of the season, in order to accommodate the June Tests. Just as interest in a tournament should be peaking, along come the internationals to break up the momentum and – let’s not kid ourselves – plague the business end of the tournament with fatigue and injuries. “…

POINT5..”The peculiar wild-card play-off system and qualification thereto, the fact that some teams will play other weaker teams more than others while playing two other teams not at all during the conference period. The drawn-out play-off system that will see a number of internationals head back to domestic rugby for two or three weeks while it is all concluded before heading into the marathon Tri-Nations. “..

POINT6..”But most of all, it is the selling out of the provincial tournaments in South Africa and New Zealand that disturbs the most. “…

…”There must be an awful lot of money involved for anyone other than John O’Neill to be happy about that. I wonder which part of rugby’s soul will next fall foul of a deal so unswervingly self-serving in nature. “…

COMMENTS: Is John O’Neill the most destructive man off the field in world rugby? Not for Aussie rugby maybe, but how as he effected NZ and SA rugby structures, for better or worse. Not so long ago Aussie rugby had no internal competitions of note, SA and NZ had strong stable domestic competitions the world respected. Today, if not in the near future, NZ NPC and SA Currie Cup will nothing more than second tear amateur tournaments, ARU 2 steps forward, NZ an SA three steps backwards. So who’s winning then, who do ya think, ARU ! At least the Australasian Cup Idea would have had 8 teams from NZ and 6 from Aussie, that keeps the exposure very high in NZ, but the super rugby idea limits exposure to only 5 teams in NZ. Power to the super rugby few. Its about the money honey, CEO NZRU Mr Tew has proved that !

So whats instore for the future:
1) 3 x Bledisloe Cups games every year, the first game in Aussie each year. WTF !
2) The same long Tri Nations, playing each other three times.
3) Super rugby ‘its on’ and ‘its off’ again momentum.
4) Super rugby play off series, with different levels of involvement from international players (due to injury and planned rest periods (eg sabbaticals in contracts).
5) June test matches that will most likely continue with weaken sides from the north.
6) More loss of interest in NPC (what’s that again, Hawkes Bay vs who, who cares !)
7) More players going to the northern rugby competitions as they have there act together !
8 ) And after all the above is played, the November International tour.

If you are an All Black and your team makes the Super 15 finals each year, with the internationals as well, then you are in for a lot of rugby! I suggest that you get written into your contract a maxmium number of games per year, otherwise your life as a rugby player will get shorter. I see players trying the ‘Luke MacAlister Game’, two years off somewhere else, and come back for years prior world cup!

Na, I dont think NZRU are smart enough to know what they have agreed too, and the NZ rugby public wont know until its too late. I prefer the Australasian cup idea better. Wynne Gray where are you when we need you ???

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Super Rugby: The upside of a conference competition.

From 2011 there will be 3 x 5 team conferences: NZ, AU and SA. All producing 2 teams each for a 6 team play offs (two teams from each conference).

There is already talk of expanding the conferences to 6 teams to allow Japan and another SA team into the mix. (Source: Japanese set to join Super Rugby party– Greg Growden)

What about this expansion ! Super Rugby with the USA and Argentina. What will that be: 4 x 6 team conferences with the top two teams in an 8 team playoff. Or maybe 4 team playoff to reduce the amount of rugby, so only the winners from each conference in the playoffs. A mini world club competition. Who knows !

Conferences reduce travel demands, with a positive spin off in getting wider TV markets to watch super rugby all round the world. VERY commercial, looks like conferences will be here to stay.

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Super 15: ARU and ONeill wins, what does the NZRU get ?

Source: Wallabies go toe-to-toe with rival codes– Greg Growden

But it is after the Super season that rugby will have a critical effect on the other Australian football codes, with the Tri Nations being deliberately pushed back to the August-October period, enabling Australian rugby to have a major presence when the rugby league and Australian football seasons are reaching their finals crescendo.

Australian Rugby Union officials have been concerned that for well over a decade the code was all but dormant when the NRL and AFL seasons were at their peak. That has now changed because their finals series will coincide with the Tri Nations, and Bledisloe Cup fixtures will even be scheduled after the completion of the league and AFL seasons.

SANZAR has agreed that the Tri Nations will always start in South Africa. Australia will host the opening Bledisloe Cup in early September and the Tri Nations will always finish with two Bledisloe Cup fixtures.

COMMENTS:WTF ! The FIRST Bledisloe Cup match every year will be held in AUSSIE ! Did Mr Tew CEO NZRU leave the meeting with any carrots at all, or was he so in love with CEO ARU John ONeill that he was a ‘YES MAN’ to ‘every thing’ the Aussie wanted. I do not doubt that more exposure to rugby in Aussie is better for rugby in NZ, as they have more money (no doubt they will want our players in the years to come ), but I remember the old All Blacks manager ‘John Graham’ said that professional rugby will destroy the game in NZ and be very good for Aussie, he has proved to be mostly correct.  NZ will be 5 union strong hold forever, the other unions need not turn up at the NZRU meetings.

UPDATE: Source: Aussie to host Bledisloe Opener

The Australian Rugby Union has snatched an early Bledisloe Cup victory, even if it wasn’t claiming it.

Buried amid the detailed Super rugby expansion deal and revamped Tri-Nations series was confirmation that Australia would host game one of the three-test Bledisloe Cup series every year from 2011.

It would be a fixed early September date, aside from World Cup years when it would be played earlier.

The second test would be in New Zealand a month later in early October, with the third test the following weekend, alternating between the two countries year by year.

ARU deputy chief executive Matt Carroll insisted he and his boss John O’Neill hadn’t got one over their Tasman rivals.

“That was a mutual decision, a decision supported both ways. New Zealand quite like the idea of the set dates as well and they saw the value they would get, because they will have two test matches in a row in New Zealand every second year,” Carroll told reporters today.

COMMENTS: Do you need more proof that Mr Steve Tew (CEO NZRU) is an idiot, why give away the first game home ground, that removes the ‘ambush’ chance you need if you side is on weak side and home advantage is needed first up. Tew saw the money first, rugby logic second. Also having THREE Bledisloe Cup games every year, what a bore, if you have the cup that means its harder to lose it. Smell the motive here do you, more money, they think. I think the rugby saturation will bore the public to tears.

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Super 15 (22 weeks) – No ABs in the in finals.

Source: Frustrated players save Sanzar  – Gregor Paul

..”An extended Super 15 will further decrease the importance of the provincial championship as the overlap will be greater. If Super 15 runs until early August, followed almost immediately by the Tri Nations, All Black involvement is going to be zero.”..

COMMENTS: Well wont that be fun, the first 12 to 16 weeks of the Super 15 will include top international players from SANZAR but come the business end of the Super 15 they will be pulled out for preparations for the Tri Nations. And no doubt during the Super 15 any June tests will see there participation reduced further. Super 15 will be battle of the wannabies. Wont the sponsors love that !

This means that the 5 unions (Ak, Chch, Otgao, Ham, Well) in NZ will remain the top power brokers, the rest are to remain a non professional tear ! The Austrialisian cup idea would have had 8 teams from NZ, financial viable who knows, but better exposure for more, power better distributed, and better chance of keeping more players.

UPDATE: Source: Framework for 2011 Super series starting to take shape – Wynne Gray

…”Expect a late February start to the expanded Super rugby series when it kicks off in 2011, a June lull and an August completion”…”It is understood the partners have agreed to a conference system in each country before the top six sides split off into a finals series. That extended schedule will mean Super rugby being played at the same time as the national championship, unless that series is also refined.”…

COMMENTS : NPC and Currie Cup RIP ! National competitions are now the sole involvement of the non professional tear. The Super rugby structure is much like the AFL (gridion) in the USA (which is very successful). I guess we all have to wait for the official super 15 announcement to get the full picture.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Q:For the money or the game (Tew and ONeill must decide)?

Source: Big calls needed over Super 14 impasse  – Marc Hinton


New Zealand and Australia could split from South Africa, form a new alliance for franchise rugby, bring in Japan, possibly a presence in the Pacific Islands and start again with a blank canvas. Design the perfect season, with a heck of a lot less travel in it. In an ideal world the Tri-Nations would stay intact, but that would require significant goodwill from a  suddenly disaffected South Africa.

So, why wouldn’t they just go ahead and do it?

Money, that’s why.

At present South Africa bring in the lion’s share of the broadcasting revenue in Sanzar’s existing deal with News Corporation. That’s a tidy sum, and if the trans-Tasman alliance were to cut them loose they’d be sacrificing some pretty serious wedge.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter. Do Steve Tew and John O’Neill have the stones to make the big call?

Or will they fall meekly into line with the South Africans?

The next few weeks will tell that story.

COMMENTS: A: Of course they don’t, if it does happen (a split) it will because O’Neill says so, Tew is follow the leader. For the money or the good of the game, we shall see if professional rugby forces more stupid administration decisions.

Super rugby MUST:
1) Start latter !
2) Less travel demands.
3) 1 more Aussie Team.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Wynne Gray: He has spoken !


Wynne Gray – Senior NZ Herald Rugby scribe.

Source: Time to ditch SA from Super rugby – Wynne Gray

The words in this article are sourced from heaven.  They should be placed on a stone tablet.


The tyranny of travel and time difference in this Super rugby series is one of its greatest downfalls while the seasonal familiarity of the accompanying Tri-series has eroded much of the sport’s intrigue.

New Zealand and South Africa have a rich rugby history but it is in danger of being watered down the longer Super rugby and the Tri-Nations continues. Tests every second year would do much to recapture some of that spark while it would also free up more time in the congested annual schedule.

This is a chance for New Zealand to get into a Pacific series where they can drive the tournament, they can make the deals, they can regather some lost followers.

Perhaps they could also reintroduce RUCKS instead of those disgraceful pile-ups, eliminate tap kick penalties for scrum infringements and get players on side; however, that is another story.

COMMENTS: I concur 100%, the bearded one has spoken, long live the bearded one ! NZ/AU should try his Australasian Cup idea as well ( see previous posts for more information).

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Super Rugby, with ‘conferences’.

Source: Sanzar to expand Super 14

Conferences are a must for the SARFU, as it reduces the unfair travel demands and long periods away on tour for them. This also would make it easier for Japan or USA teams to join in (well not by much, but its the thought that counts – Auckland to Tokyo is 13 hours).

The other good idea about conferences is it allows the cream to rise to the top, and once the winning conference team is found, they play against the other winning conference teams, thus less one sided matches. I guess we will end up with NRL finals format as well.

Funny how the NEW super 15 will be a very close mirror of NRL, jes, that ARU CEO gets near every thing he wants. We could save several $100k, by allowing him to be a joint CEO of the NZRU/ARU as well. I mean what does our guy (ak NZRU CEO) win at !!

The Australaisan Cup wasn’t such a bad idea, but I guess the African TV coverage is just too much for a sponsor to miss out on.

Monday, February 16th, 2009

SARU – May quit the Super 14. The birth of the Australasian Cup

Source : South Africa ‘threatens’ to quit Super 14 – Neil Reid

I know for a fact the late and great John Drake would be pleased with this outcome, he would promote a true Australasian Cup. That would be 12 teams from NZ and 6 from Aussie going through 18 rounds of games with a 4 team play off, thats 22 weeks of professional or semi professional rugby. This would give the Aussies (and NZ)  a solid media program against there league mates, and give TV 22 weeks of competitive rugby over a very large market, any sponsor would love that !!

This is good for all, as all regional teams get exposure to top rugby. This would also dilute the power from old super 14 power regions (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin).  Just imagine Taranaki  or Hawkes Bay winning the ‘Australasian Cup’.  Yeah man, I would watch that !!

So whats the down side…I will miss the 3.30 am starts to watch SARU games, yeah right !

Of course the NZRU would have to stop the big money deals from pulling ‘Dan Carter’ types out of the NZ scene to the Aussie scene, we cant have Dan playing for Perth for a $1 mil a year can we !! But they (Aussie) will cry we must allow players to get larger financial rewards to ward off the Nortern clubs stealing our NZ/AU players. Well then no internationals for them then ! If the NZRU ever break the tribe vs tribe rule that would lessen the apeal of regional match ups in an Australasian Cup. I guess nothing is going to be easy.

Go SARU go !!

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Need new markets for new incomes streams, but…

Source: Super-sized Super 14 the saviour – Greg Ford

Nichol said the game was at a “crossroads” with rugby needing to expand into new markets to generate new income. He said if New Zealand wasn’t at the vanguard of change it risked losing an opportunity to create the premier rugby competition in the world.

“That’s the goal we need to achieve. If we [NZ] don’t, we risk becoming another Argentina or Pacific Island country, with all our players based overseas. We can’t let that happen. We need to embrace this change. The market for players is becoming more competitive every year so cutting down the amount of opportunities available just didn’t make sense strategically or financially.”

My Comments: Rob Nichol says we need to act or we may become a player feeder nation for other more wealth rugby nations. Tooooo late, New Zealand is a country that exports agriculture and interest rates we do nothing else, you can count the local billionaires on one hand, there is no wealth here. If you create new markets in Japan and USA then forget France as the nation who buys up the local ‘Lomus’, USA and Japan will be making huge offers that would make the french Toulon billionare look like a cheap skate.  A NZ player will be an All Black for a couple of years for CV value, then their gone for foreign exhange revenues, and how can you blame them, poor buggers.

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Super 14, Air NZ Cup gone, replaced with..

Source: Unions discuss radical shakeup of NZ rugby – Toby Robson

There could be two side by side competitions.

Trans – Tasman Cup : One professional window from March to October: 14-team home and away (Nine from New Zealand, five from Australia).

Heineken Cup style tournament (to run alongside trans-Tasman trophy): Matches every four weeks with 24 teams in four pools of six made up of teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Pacific Islands and America.

Whats good..

Travel to south Africa as frequently as it is with the Super 14 is proving too much for the current players, and I agree. The Heineken cup travel demands are not light either, but it looks less and with plenty of time between games so that bodes well for the competition.

I guess eventually NZRU has to soak up commercial dollars by allowing Aussie into our local competition, a sponsor may very well like the ANZAC market better than just soley a pure NZ market. I guess sponsors like Adidas would see the TV coverage more rewarding over 30 million people, more so than just 4 million.

I think players would like this competition better. Less travel stress.

I would hope that players are still contracted to the NZRU and ARU, rather than the club, so a central union owns the players and not a billionaire at the club that would be reluctant to release star players on demand ( eg England and France).

Whats not so good..

Would the talent scouts from Aussie now start poaching NZ secondary school kids for their sides. We may have more players than Aussie, but the $5 million dollar salary to Matt Gateau means that NZ kids maybe on sale to the Aussie teams. How would the debate go, a player like Dan Carter playing for the Western Force. Will NZRU retain the rule that only players playing for the NZ sides can be picked for the ABs, or will they widen that to NZ players playing in the Trans-Tasman cup.

More here : Super rugby – It’s in safe hands (not) !


Source: NZRU won’t back transtasman competition

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) will not back any push for a replacement of the Super 14 rugby competition that excludes South Africa.

The union’s general manager of professional rugby, Neil Sorenson, said today that such a restructure would be at odds with the union’s preferred position at the moment.

My Comments: A NZRU CEO that ignores strong opinion from the power brokers of the stakeholders of the union, will eventually loose. The NZRU constitution is based on votes, so who is the dog and who is the tail may be surface very soon !


Apparently, South Africa is the largest piece of the revenue cake for SANZAR, so I understand that we need them more than they need us, that is why NZRU says that South Africa must be in any new competition. John Graham (Auckland Grammar Head, and ABs Manager) said it first ‘The professional era will be the death of New Zealand rugby”, so was he wrong, well not so far when you have the NZRU chasing money, money and more money !


Source: Union ready for flak over its axing decision 

Tew also played down suggestions some of the bigger unions were seriously contemplating forming a breakaway transtasman competition.

“We have made it clear that as long as we are committed to Sanzar we believe we have to have a New Zealand only-based domestic competition. It is part of our competitive advantage and we want to protect it.”

The clandestine nature of the discussions between the bigger unions was disappointing but he didn’t completely rule out the idea of such a competition if the rugby landscape changed. “It might be plan B. We can’t predict everything that is going to happen in world rugby.”

My Comments: Is the NZRU getting all soft, and warming to the power unions of NZ rugby !

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Super Rugby – Six team finals, maybe !


Source: Sanzar faces biggest challenge – Dylan Clever

A revamped Super 14 (or 15, 16 or 18, depending on what the case may be) starting later and ending much later would put the squeeze on the June in-bound tests that have generally been dispiriting exercises in mediocrity, with Northern Hemisphere countries routinely sending substandard squads.

The Good.. 

Great, the southern rugby fan is sick of the sham tests in June. NO matter where the side comes from the northern clubs hinder in some manner the release of the best players for international rugby. These test matches are ‘A’ vs ‘B’ sides, and mean little. Just look at the England side that toured in NZ in 2008, what a joke. The only time I remember these test meant something was before the English win at the RWC, when Martin Johnston made it clear that his side needed ‘real’ tests to build his team up.

Also the play offs would be a better quality rugby game,  the new ELV games can be so very very bad as well as very very good, (the super 14 final 2008 was the best ELV game so far).

I bet that this would be mean more test matches in the north during the Oct/Nov window (and AB’s in Hong Kong, USA, Japan, etc), these are required for international sponsor ship demands and foreign currency revenue gathering.

The Not So Sure..

What happens to the British Isles tours, they are great, weren’t they played in the June window, hmm, so I hope they can fit these into the new window after the extension.

The Maybe Bad..

More games for players, I think they should start super rugby latter and finisher latter, talking rugby in Feb/Early Mar is just nuts. I guess this will be worked out with the players union. More play time is more player payments, and maybe bonuses if the the teams make the play offs.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Player Power Wins, Tew needs to grow some !


Source: Carter’s deal a special case, says happy Henry– Duncan Johnstone

But the coach clearly doesn’t want to see a rash of players heading away on short-term deals and says measures need to be put in place to control that. [ME: ha ha ha, too late now !]

“I think you need to qualify (for a sabbatical). I think there needs to be some criteria … maybe a number of test matches, longevity in the All Blacks, that sort of thing,” said Henry.

What does Henry care about the long term effect of this deal, his only concern is winning back his reputation at the next world cup, after that, thats for the next poor bloke ! 

The lack of big nuts by Mr Tew and the NZRU will see in future years the top 5+ players off overseas in the immediate years after the world cup. Dan will be eligible for the All Blacks selection when he comes back, but will not be required to play in the preceding super 14 like his other team mates. Sure he could loose his position, but special deals like this is leaving the door wide open for hungry agents to work harder for more lucrative commissions. Damn NZRU fools ! This is why they couldn’t run a real business. I am sure the current local sponsors (Murdoch) are just rapt, (not) !

I guess sabbaticals will happen, but if the player does not return and play in the Super 14, how can match ups be viewed. Then the selectors personal bias allows an overseas player to walk into the All Blacks, where as currently a one on one contest allows the not in favor player to better the in favor player, and get selected based on true performance.

 All this fuss over Nick Evans, who cares, they guy doesnt know how to pass, its all me me with him ! Far to much media hype has gone to this guys head, hell let go now !

 Other posts on the subject: Dan Carter rule, very naughty!


Source: Carter Clause sure to irritate – Wynne Gray

Where there is money, more money, different rewards and criteria, there will be some resentment. The NZRU have done well if they have been able to stitch together some deal but no matter the wording of the press release, when Carter’s sabbatical is ratified, it means they have agreed to pick All Blacks from offshore.

How many other All Blacks would like a similar break and following Carter’s exemption, will feel they deserve the same treatment?

My Comments: Confirmation, thanks Wynne!