29 Jan 2008 16:23:13
grant
Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

Oz rugby is losing the battle in relation to other codes and the
broader game is in trouble too with an "ugly" RWC 2007 final not
helping according to John O'Neil. He argues the game has become boring
apparently. Interestingly he doesn't mention the ELV's and their
potential to address this.

grant.
---

Read on...

http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/news/were-boring-and-broke/2008/01/29/1201369134474.html

Running out of time and money: O'Neill's dire assessment of code at
the crossroads

Greg Growden | January 30, 2008

John O'Neill has provided a bleak picture of the state of Australian
rugby, describing the ailing code, which will suffer at least a $7
million loss this year, as being "at the crossroads".

Since returning to the organisation's Crows Nest headquarters - after
recuperating from neck surgery - the Australian Rugby Union chief
executive has been reminded that the game's health has also
deteriorated. O'Neill said yesterday that player and spectator
interest had slumped, the game's status as one of Australia's leading
sporting codes had been seriously eroded and that the ARU was no
longer in a strong financial position.

"Were it not for the reserves the ARU generated from the 2003 World
Cup, Australian rugby would now be broke," O'Neill said. "And those
reserves are being rapidly eroded. It is imperative that the ARU
doesn't go broke. Because if it does, then the game goes broke."

Four years ago, the ARU's reserves stood at $35m. However, the ARU is
anticipating it will report a $7-8m loss for 2007 in April, meaning
its reserves will drop to just $15m.

The situation would be far worse had the ARU not received a $7m grant
from the International Rugby Board - indicating that it had been
heading towards a $14-15m loss.

Making the position even more depressing is that O'Neill is deeply
concerned that rugby has lost its appeal after several poor domestic
and international seasons, followed by a boring World Cup tournament.

"Our position has been eroding. Unless we find some transforming
initiatives, that erosion will continue until it reaches an
irreversible decline," O'Neill said. "It's not a pretty picture. It's
not all bad. But it's clearly not all good as well."

This was emphasised by Australia losing considerable ground at both
international and provincial level.

"The position is fairly disturbing," O'Neill said. "The Wallabies over
the last four years have a win-loss ratio of 60 per cent, compared to
70-80 per cent they enjoyed in the 1998-2003 period.

"At the World Cup, the Wallabies were knocked out in the quarter-
finals for the first time since 1995. There are no big trophies in the
cabinet ... no World Cup, no Bledisloe Cups, no Tri Nations in the last
four years.

"Our Super rugby teams have only won two years out of 12. Even worse,
the two teams representing our heartland - NSW and Queensland - have
never won the Super championship, and were the two bottom teams last
year. Our win-loss ratio aspirations should be between 75-80 per cent.
And if you're winning 75-80 per cent of your games, it is likely you
are going to pick up some big trophies."

The Wallabies' playing style had also proved a turn-off to supporters.
"The spectacle of matches doesn't provide the entertainment fans
demand," O'Neill. "And rugby has been too slow in responding.
Entertainment is part of our business. In recent years, not only have
we been losing, but the quality of the games has not been what it
should be.

"When the fans start booing at half-time in a Test match, such as in
Brisbane against Wales last year, it is worrying. And it was certainly
happening during Super 14 games as well.

"Many of our passionate fans are disillusioned. You get very lengthy
but very well thought-out emails describing what's wrong with the game
from people who have been supporting the game from their youth, and
they are so disillusioned.

"Clearly, that has been reflected in attendances at Super rugby and
Test matches. Our TV ratings are falling, while broadcasting revenue
has declined substantially. State union finances are under great
pressure, as are those of the ARU."

O'Neill, who rejoined the ARU in June last year, said the national
body could also gain no encouragement from player numbers. Although
the previous administration, headed by Gary Flowers, repeatedly
attempted to portray participation figures as a positive, O'Neill was
not enthused.

"Participation has been growing year by year, until last year," he
said. "It went down by 1.8 per cent. And if you dig even deeper in the
numbers, the only real growth has been in the category involving
irregular players. Elsewhere it is declining."



30 Jan 2008 01:22:34
johnmhill
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Jan 30, 12:23=A0am, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au > wrote:
> Oz rugby is losing the battle in relation to other codes and the
> broader game is in trouble too with an "ugly" RWC 2007 final not
> helping according to John O'Neil. He argues the game has become boring
> apparently. Interestingly he doesn't mention the ELV's and their
> potential to address this.
>
> grant.
> ---
>
> Read on...
>
> http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/news/were-boring-and-broke/2008/01...
>
> Running out of time and money: O'Neill's dire assessment of code at
> the crossroads
>
> Greg Growden | January 30, 2008
>
> John O'Neill has provided a bleak picture of the state of Australian
> rugby, describing the ailing code, which will suffer at least a $7
> million loss this year, as being "at the crossroads".
>
> Since returning to the organisation's Crows Nest headquarters - after
> recuperating from neck surgery - the Australian Rugby Union chief
> executive has been reminded that the game's health has also
> deteriorated. O'Neill said yesterday that player and spectator
> interest had slumped, the game's status as one of Australia's leading
> sporting codes had been seriously eroded and that the ARU was no
> longer in a strong financial position.
>
> "Were it not for the reserves the ARU generated from the 2003 World
> Cup, Australian rugby would now be broke," O'Neill said. "And those
> reserves are being rapidly eroded. It is imperative that the ARU
> doesn't go broke. Because if it does, then the game goes broke."
>
> Four years ago, the ARU's reserves stood at $35m. However, the ARU is
> anticipating it will report a $7-8m loss for 2007 in April, meaning
> its reserves will drop to just $15m.
>
> The situation would be far worse had the ARU not received a $7m grant
> from the International Rugby Board - indicating that it had been
> heading towards a $14-15m loss.
>
> Making the position even more depressing is that O'Neill is deeply
> concerned that rugby has lost its appeal after several poor domestic
> and international seasons, followed by a boring World Cup tournament.
>
> "Our position has been eroding. Unless we find some transforming
> initiatives, that erosion will continue until it reaches an
> irreversible decline," O'Neill said. "It's not a pretty picture. It's
> not all bad. But it's clearly not all good as well."
>
> This was emphasised by Australia losing considerable ground at both
> international and provincial level.
>
> "The position is fairly disturbing," O'Neill said. "The Wallabies over
> the last four years have a win-loss ratio of 60 per cent, compared to
> 70-80 per cent they enjoyed in the 1998-2003 period.
>
> "At the World Cup, the Wallabies were knocked out in the quarter-
> finals for the first time since 1995. There are no big trophies in the
> cabinet ... no World Cup, no Bledisloe Cups, no Tri Nations in the last
> four years.
>
> "Our Super rugby teams have only won two years out of 12. Even worse,
> the two teams representing our heartland - NSW and Queensland - have
> never won the Super championship, and were the two bottom teams last
> year. Our win-loss ratio aspirations should be between 75-80 per cent.
> And if you're winning 75-80 per cent of your games, it is likely you
> are going to pick up some big trophies."
>
> The Wallabies' playing style had also proved a turn-off to supporters.
> "The spectacle of matches doesn't provide the entertainment fans
> demand," O'Neill. "And rugby has been too slow in responding.
> Entertainment is part of our business. In recent years, not only have
> we been losing, but the quality of the games has not been what it
> should be.
>
> "When the fans start booing at half-time in a Test match, such as in
> Brisbane against Wales last year, it is worrying. And it was certainly
> happening during Super 14 games as well.
>
> "Many of our passionate fans are disillusioned. You get very lengthy
> but very well thought-out emails describing what's wrong with the game
> from people who have been supporting the game from their youth, and
> they are so disillusioned.
>
> "Clearly, that has been reflected in attendances at Super rugby and
> Test matches. Our TV ratings are falling, while broadcasting revenue
> has declined substantially. State union finances are under great
> pressure, as are those of the ARU."
>
> O'Neill, who rejoined the ARU in June last year, said the national
> body could also gain no encouragement from player numbers. Although
> the previous administration, headed by Gary Flowers, repeatedly
> attempted to portray participation figures as a positive, O'Neill was
> not enthused.
>
> "Participation has been growing year by year, until last year," he
> said. "It went down by 1.8 per cent. And if you dig even deeper in the
> numbers, the only real growth has been in the category involving
> irregular players. Elsewhere it is declining."

So he wants to change the game to what, exactly ? Perhaps if the
national side fielded a front row and did the confrontation bit better
instead of chasing their tails with froth they wouldn't be in this
state.

JH


30 Jan 2008 13:48:18
grant
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Jan 30, 8:22 pm, johnmhill <j...@recruitcrm.co.uk > wrote:
> On Jan 30, 12:23 am, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Oz rugby is losing the battle in relation to other codes and the
> > broader game is in trouble too with an "ugly" RWC 2007 final not
> > helping according to John O'Neil. He argues the game has become boring
> > apparently. Interestingly he doesn't mention the ELV's and their
> > potential to address this.
>
> > grant.
> > ---
>
> > Read on...
>
> >http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/news/were-boring-and-broke/2008/01...
>
> > Running out of time and money: O'Neill's dire assessment of code at
> > the crossroads
>
> > Greg Growden | January 30, 2008
>
> > John O'Neill has provided a bleak picture of the state of Australian
> > rugby, describing the ailing code, which will suffer at least a $7
> > million loss this year, as being "at the crossroads".
>
> > Since returning to the organisation's Crows Nest headquarters - after
> > recuperating from neck surgery - the Australian Rugby Union chief
> > executive has been reminded that the game's health has also
> > deteriorated. O'Neill said yesterday that player and spectator
> > interest had slumped, the game's status as one of Australia's leading
> > sporting codes had been seriously eroded and that the ARU was no
> > longer in a strong financial position.
>
> > "Were it not for the reserves the ARU generated from the 2003 World
> > Cup, Australian rugby would now be broke," O'Neill said. "And those
> > reserves are being rapidly eroded. It is imperative that the ARU
> > doesn't go broke. Because if it does, then the game goes broke."
>
> > Four years ago, the ARU's reserves stood at $35m. However, the ARU is
> > anticipating it will report a $7-8m loss for 2007 in April, meaning
> > its reserves will drop to just $15m.
>
> > The situation would be far worse had the ARU not received a $7m grant
> > from the International Rugby Board - indicating that it had been
> > heading towards a $14-15m loss.
>
> > Making the position even more depressing is that O'Neill is deeply
> > concerned that rugby has lost its appeal after several poor domestic
> > and international seasons, followed by a boring World Cup tournament.
>
> > "Our position has been eroding. Unless we find some transforming
> > initiatives, that erosion will continue until it reaches an
> > irreversible decline," O'Neill said. "It's not a pretty picture. It's
> > not all bad. But it's clearly not all good as well."
>
> > This was emphasised by Australia losing considerable ground at both
> > international and provincial level.
>
> > "The position is fairly disturbing," O'Neill said. "The Wallabies over
> > the last four years have a win-loss ratio of 60 per cent, compared to
> > 70-80 per cent they enjoyed in the 1998-2003 period.
>
> > "At the World Cup, the Wallabies were knocked out in the quarter-
> > finals for the first time since 1995. There are no big trophies in the
> > cabinet ... no World Cup, no Bledisloe Cups, no Tri Nations in the last
> > four years.
>
> > "Our Super rugby teams have only won two years out of 12. Even worse,
> > the two teams representing our heartland - NSW and Queensland - have
> > never won the Super championship, and were the two bottom teams last
> > year. Our win-loss ratio aspirations should be between 75-80 per cent.
> > And if you're winning 75-80 per cent of your games, it is likely you
> > are going to pick up some big trophies."
>
> > The Wallabies' playing style had also proved a turn-off to supporters.
> > "The spectacle of matches doesn't provide the entertainment fans
> > demand," O'Neill. "And rugby has been too slow in responding.
> > Entertainment is part of our business. In recent years, not only have
> > we been losing, but the quality of the games has not been what it
> > should be.
>
> > "When the fans start booing at half-time in a Test match, such as in
> > Brisbane against Wales last year, it is worrying. And it was certainly
> > happening during Super 14 games as well.
>
> > "Many of our passionate fans are disillusioned. You get very lengthy
> > but very well thought-out emails describing what's wrong with the game
> > from people who have been supporting the game from their youth, and
> > they are so disillusioned.
>
> > "Clearly, that has been reflected in attendances at Super rugby and
> > Test matches. Our TV ratings are falling, while broadcasting revenue
> > has declined substantially. State union finances are under great
> > pressure, as are those of the ARU."
>
> > O'Neill, who rejoined the ARU in June last year, said the national
> > body could also gain no encouragement from player numbers. Although
> > the previous administration, headed by Gary Flowers, repeatedly
> > attempted to portray participation figures as a positive, O'Neill was
> > not enthused.
>
> > "Participation has been growing year by year, until last year," he
> > said. "It went down by 1.8 per cent. And if you dig even deeper in the
> > numbers, the only real growth has been in the category involving
> > irregular players. Elsewhere it is declining."
>
> So he wants to change the game to what, exactly ? Perhaps if the
> national side fielded a front row and did the confrontation bit better
> instead of chasing their tails with froth they wouldn't be in this
> state.
>
> JH

Yep there's a fair degree of truth in what you are saying John. Oz
rugby decided about 10 to 8 years ago that the scrum wasn't worth
wasting any time on and with that any chance of being seriously
competitive up front started to evaporate - reaching the 2003 RWC
final really papered over the cracks that were starting to appear and
the result was the forward malaise got even worse.

However, I do think he has a point about the need for the game to move
on from being just a grind-fest too - as was personified by the 2007
RWC final. That is not the type of game that will translate into
international growth for the code. Purists might just like it but it
wouldn't win many converts I suspect.

grant.
---


31 Jan 2008 19:17:58
Brad Anton
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader game.


"johnmhill" <john@recruitcrm.co.uk > wrote in message
news:875ab1cb-beba-4212-b8d6-0c31826a9960@s13g2000prd.googlegroups.com...
On Jan 30, 12:23 am, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au > wrote:
> Oz rugby is losing the battle in relation to other codes and the
> broader game is in trouble too with an "ugly" RWC 2007 final not
> helping according to John O'Neil. He argues the game has become boring
> apparently. Interestingly he doesn't mention the ELV's and their
> potential to address this.
>
> grant.
> ---
>
> Read on...
>
> http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/news/were-boring-and-broke/2008/01...
>
> Running out of time and money: O'Neill's dire assessment of code at
> the crossroads
>
> Greg Growden | January 30, 2008
>
> John O'Neill has provided a bleak picture of the state of Australian
> rugby, describing the ailing code, which will suffer at least a $7
> million loss this year, as being "at the crossroads".
>
> Since returning to the organisation's Crows Nest headquarters - after
> recuperating from neck surgery - the Australian Rugby Union chief
> executive has been reminded that the game's health has also
> deteriorated. O'Neill said yesterday that player and spectator
> interest had slumped, the game's status as one of Australia's leading
> sporting codes had been seriously eroded and that the ARU was no
> longer in a strong financial position.
>
> "Were it not for the reserves the ARU generated from the 2003 World
> Cup, Australian rugby would now be broke," O'Neill said. "And those
> reserves are being rapidly eroded. It is imperative that the ARU
> doesn't go broke. Because if it does, then the game goes broke."
>
> Four years ago, the ARU's reserves stood at $35m. However, the ARU is
> anticipating it will report a $7-8m loss for 2007 in April, meaning
> its reserves will drop to just $15m.
>
> The situation would be far worse had the ARU not received a $7m grant
> from the International Rugby Board - indicating that it had been
> heading towards a $14-15m loss.
>
> Making the position even more depressing is that O'Neill is deeply
> concerned that rugby has lost its appeal after several poor domestic
> and international seasons, followed by a boring World Cup tournament.
>
> "Our position has been eroding. Unless we find some transforming
> initiatives, that erosion will continue until it reaches an
> irreversible decline," O'Neill said. "It's not a pretty picture. It's
> not all bad. But it's clearly not all good as well."
>
> This was emphasised by Australia losing considerable ground at both
> international and provincial level.
>
> "The position is fairly disturbing," O'Neill said. "The Wallabies over
> the last four years have a win-loss ratio of 60 per cent, compared to
> 70-80 per cent they enjoyed in the 1998-2003 period.
>
> "At the World Cup, the Wallabies were knocked out in the quarter-
> finals for the first time since 1995. There are no big trophies in the
> cabinet ... no World Cup, no Bledisloe Cups, no Tri Nations in the last
> four years.
>
> "Our Super rugby teams have only won two years out of 12. Even worse,
> the two teams representing our heartland - NSW and Queensland - have
> never won the Super championship, and were the two bottom teams last
> year. Our win-loss ratio aspirations should be between 75-80 per cent.
> And if you're winning 75-80 per cent of your games, it is likely you
> are going to pick up some big trophies."
>
> The Wallabies' playing style had also proved a turn-off to supporters.
> "The spectacle of matches doesn't provide the entertainment fans
> demand," O'Neill. "And rugby has been too slow in responding.
> Entertainment is part of our business. In recent years, not only have
> we been losing, but the quality of the games has not been what it
> should be.
>
> "When the fans start booing at half-time in a Test match, such as in
> Brisbane against Wales last year, it is worrying. And it was certainly
> happening during Super 14 games as well.
>
> "Many of our passionate fans are disillusioned. You get very lengthy
> but very well thought-out emails describing what's wrong with the game
> from people who have been supporting the game from their youth, and
> they are so disillusioned.
>
> "Clearly, that has been reflected in attendances at Super rugby and
> Test matches. Our TV ratings are falling, while broadcasting revenue
> has declined substantially. State union finances are under great
> pressure, as are those of the ARU."
>
> O'Neill, who rejoined the ARU in June last year, said the national
> body could also gain no encouragement from player numbers. Although
> the previous administration, headed by Gary Flowers, repeatedly
> attempted to portray participation figures as a positive, O'Neill was
> not enthused.
>
> "Participation has been growing year by year, until last year," he
> said. "It went down by 1.8 per cent. And if you dig even deeper in the
> numbers, the only real growth has been in the category involving
> irregular players. Elsewhere it is declining."

So he wants to change the game to what, exactly ? Perhaps if the
national side fielded a front row and did the confrontation bit better
instead of chasing their tails with froth they wouldn't be in this
state.

JH

Strangely enough I agree. I spent a month in the UK over Xmas/New year and
was impressed with the matches I saw. NH Rugby Union seems to be going the
way of soccer in terms of the multi-national nature of its club teams and
the quality as a result is excellent.
Here in Aus the RU situation is dire: no free-to-air coverage of S14 or any
internationals not involving the Wallabies and steeply declining interest in
the game at all levels resulting in fewer numbers at grass-roots level.
Went back to some (very) old haunting grounds in Bath, watched Bath vs
Gloucester and generally enjoyed myself that much I am seriously thinking of
a move back to the UK.

Brad




31 Jan 2008 03:32:40
johnmhill
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Jan 30, 9:48=A0pm, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au > wrote:
> On Jan 30, 8:22 pm, johnmhill <j...@recruitcrm.co.uk> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jan 30, 12:23 am, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au> wrote:
>
> > > Oz rugby is losing the battle in relation to other codes and the
> > > broader game is in trouble too with an "ugly" RWC 2007 final not
> > > helping according to John O'Neil. He argues the game has become boring=

> > > apparently. Interestingly he doesn't mention the ELV's and their
> > > potential to address this.
>
> > > grant.
> > > ---
>
> > > Read on...
>
> > >http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/news/were-boring-and-broke/2008/01..=
.
>
> > > Running out of time and money: O'Neill's dire assessment of code at
> > > the crossroads
>
> > > Greg Growden | January 30, 2008
>
> > > John O'Neill has provided a bleak picture of the state of Australian
> > > rugby, describing the ailing code, which will suffer at least a $7
> > > million loss this year, as being "at the crossroads".
>
> > > Since returning to the organisation's Crows Nest headquarters - after
> > > recuperating from neck surgery - the Australian Rugby Union chief
> > > executive has been reminded that the game's health has also
> > > deteriorated. O'Neill said yesterday that player and spectator
> > > interest had slumped, the game's status as one of Australia's leading
> > > sporting codes had been seriously eroded and that the ARU was no
> > > longer in a strong financial position.
>
> > > "Were it not for the reserves the ARU generated from the 2003 World
> > > Cup, Australian rugby would now be broke," O'Neill said. "And those
> > > reserves are being rapidly eroded. It is imperative that the ARU
> > > doesn't go broke. Because if it does, then the game goes broke."
>
> > > Four years ago, the ARU's reserves stood at $35m. However, the ARU is
> > > anticipating it will report a $7-8m loss for 2007 in April, meaning
> > > its reserves will drop to just $15m.
>
> > > The situation would be far worse had the ARU not received a $7m grant
> > > from the International Rugby Board - indicating that it had been
> > > heading towards a $14-15m loss.
>
> > > Making the position even more depressing is that O'Neill is deeply
> > > concerned that rugby has lost its appeal after several poor domestic
> > > and international seasons, followed by a boring World Cup tournament.
>
> > > "Our position has been eroding. Unless we find some transforming
> > > initiatives, that erosion will continue until it reaches an
> > > irreversible decline," O'Neill said. "It's not a pretty picture. It's
> > > not all bad. But it's clearly not all good as well."
>
> > > This was emphasised by Australia losing considerable ground at both
> > > international and provincial level.
>
> > > "The position is fairly disturbing," O'Neill said. "The Wallabies over=

> > > the last four years have a win-loss ratio of 60 per cent, compared to
> > > 70-80 per cent they enjoyed in the 1998-2003 period.
>
> > > "At the World Cup, the Wallabies were knocked out in the quarter-
> > > finals for the first time since 1995. There are no big trophies in the=

> > > cabinet ... no World Cup, no Bledisloe Cups, no Tri Nations in the las=
t
> > > four years.
>
> > > "Our Super rugby teams have only won two years out of 12. Even worse,
> > > the two teams representing our heartland - NSW and Queensland - have
> > > never won the Super championship, and were the two bottom teams last
> > > year. Our win-loss ratio aspirations should be between 75-80 per cent.=

> > > And if you're winning 75-80 per cent of your games, it is likely you
> > > are going to pick up some big trophies."
>
> > > The Wallabies' playing style had also proved a turn-off to supporters.=

> > > "The spectacle of matches doesn't provide the entertainment fans
> > > demand," O'Neill. "And rugby has been too slow in responding.
> > > Entertainment is part of our business. In recent years, not only have
> > > we been losing, but the quality of the games has not been what it
> > > should be.
>
> > > "When the fans start booing at half-time in a Test match, such as in
> > > Brisbane against Wales last year, it is worrying. And it was certainly=

> > > happening during Super 14 games as well.
>
> > > "Many of our passionate fans are disillusioned. You get very lengthy
> > > but very well thought-out emails describing what's wrong with the game=

> > > from people who have been supporting the game from their youth, and
> > > they are so disillusioned.
>
> > > "Clearly, that has been reflected in attendances at Super rugby and
> > > Test matches. Our TV ratings are falling, while broadcasting revenue
> > > has declined substantially. State union finances are under great
> > > pressure, as are those of the ARU."
>
> > > O'Neill, who rejoined the ARU in June last year, said the national
> > > body could also gain no encouragement from player numbers. Although
> > > the previous administration, headed by Gary Flowers, repeatedly
> > > attempted to portray participation figures as a positive, O'Neill was
> > > not enthused.
>
> > > "Participation has been growing year by year, until last year," he
> > > said. "It went down by 1.8 per cent. And if you dig even deeper in the=

> > > numbers, the only real growth has been in the category involving
> > > irregular players. Elsewhere it is declining."
>
> > So he wants to change the game to what, exactly ? Perhaps if the
> > national side fielded a front row and did the confrontation bit better
> > instead of chasing their tails with froth they wouldn't be in this
> > state.
>
> > JH
>
> Yep there's a fair degree of truth in what you are saying John. =A0Oz
> rugby decided about 10 to 8 years ago that the scrum wasn't worth
> wasting any time on and with that any chance =A0of being seriously
> competitive up front started to evaporate - reaching the 2003 RWC
> final really papered over the cracks that were starting to appear and
> the result was the forward malaise got even worse.
>
> However, I do think he has a point about the need for the game to move
> on from being just a grind-fest too - as was personified by the 2007
> RWC final. =A0That is not the type of game that will translate into
> international growth for the code. =A0Purists might just like it but it
> wouldn't win many converts I suspect.
>
> grant.
> ---- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

I think the trouble is that people watch the game for different
reasons. And then polarise. For me a well lifted line out and a
driving maul are things of beauty. I quite like the open play stuff,
but not too much. Unless it involves a Chabal vs Maso style hit.

But, defence will always win trophies
JH


31 Jan 2008 20:58:50
DC
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

grant wrote:

> That is not the type of game that will translate into
> international growth for the code. Purists might just like it but it
> wouldn't win many converts I suspect.

Why should it win converts and have international growth?

IMHO, quality is more important than quality.

RU is a premium product -- you don't see the makers of Chateau Petrus
increasing production by bottling plonk, just to sell more cases of
wine, do you?


31 Jan 2008 21:04:44
DC
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

Typo corrected

DC wrote:
> grant wrote:
>
>> That is not the type of game that will translate into
>> international growth for the code. Purists might just like it but it
>> wouldn't win many converts I suspect.
>
>
> Why should it win converts and have international growth?
>
> IMHO, quality is more important than quantity
^^^^^^^^
>
> RU is a premium product -- you don't see the makers of Chateau Petrus
> increasing production by bottling plonk, just to sell more cases of
> wine, do you?


31 Jan 2008 20:32:30
grant
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Feb 1, 8:04 am, DC <-...@yahoo.com > wrote:
> Typo corrected
>
> DC wrote:
> > grant wrote:
>
> >> That is not the type of game that will translate into
> >> international growth for the code. Purists might just like it but it
> >> wouldn't win many converts I suspect.
>
> > Why should it win converts and have international growth?
>
> > IMHO, quality is more important than quantity
>
> ^^^^^^^^
>
>
>
> > RU is a premium product -- you don't see the makers of Chateau Petrus
> > increasing production by bottling plonk, just to sell more cases of
> > wine, do you?

I couldn't agree more DC. Quality is far beyter than quantity. Now
give me your definition of quality in rugby.

grant.
----


31 Jan 2008 20:38:45
grant
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Jan 31, 10:32 pm, johnmhill <j...@recruitcrm.co.uk > wrote:
> On Jan 30, 9:48 pm, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Jan 30, 8:22 pm, johnmhill <j...@recruitcrm.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > > On Jan 30, 12:23 am, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au> wrote:
>
> > > > Oz rugby is losing the battle in relation to other codes and the
> > > > broader game is in trouble too with an "ugly" RWC 2007 final not
> > > > helping according to John O'Neil. He argues the game has become boring
> > > > apparently. Interestingly he doesn't mention the ELV's and their
> > > > potential to address this.
>
> > > > grant.
> > > > ---
>
> > > > Read on...
>
> > > >http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/news/were-boring-and-broke/2008/01...
>
> > > > Running out of time and money: O'Neill's dire assessment of code at
> > > > the crossroads
>
> > > > Greg Growden | January 30, 2008
>
> > > > John O'Neill has provided a bleak picture of the state of Australian
> > > > rugby, describing the ailing code, which will suffer at least a $7
> > > > million loss this year, as being "at the crossroads".
>
> > > > Since returning to the organisation's Crows Nest headquarters - after
> > > > recuperating from neck surgery - the Australian Rugby Union chief
> > > > executive has been reminded that the game's health has also
> > > > deteriorated. O'Neill said yesterday that player and spectator
> > > > interest had slumped, the game's status as one of Australia's leading
> > > > sporting codes had been seriously eroded and that the ARU was no
> > > > longer in a strong financial position.
>
> > > > "Were it not for the reserves the ARU generated from the 2003 World
> > > > Cup, Australian rugby would now be broke," O'Neill said. "And those
> > > > reserves are being rapidly eroded. It is imperative that the ARU
> > > > doesn't go broke. Because if it does, then the game goes broke."
>
> > > > Four years ago, the ARU's reserves stood at $35m. However, the ARU is
> > > > anticipating it will report a $7-8m loss for 2007 in April, meaning
> > > > its reserves will drop to just $15m.
>
> > > > The situation would be far worse had the ARU not received a $7m grant
> > > > from the International Rugby Board - indicating that it had been
> > > > heading towards a $14-15m loss.
>
> > > > Making the position even more depressing is that O'Neill is deeply
> > > > concerned that rugby has lost its appeal after several poor domestic
> > > > and international seasons, followed by a boring World Cup tournament.
>
> > > > "Our position has been eroding. Unless we find some transforming
> > > > initiatives, that erosion will continue until it reaches an
> > > > irreversible decline," O'Neill said. "It's not a pretty picture. It's
> > > > not all bad. But it's clearly not all good as well."
>
> > > > This was emphasised by Australia losing considerable ground at both
> > > > international and provincial level.
>
> > > > "The position is fairly disturbing," O'Neill said. "The Wallabies over
> > > > the last four years have a win-loss ratio of 60 per cent, compared to
> > > > 70-80 per cent they enjoyed in the 1998-2003 period.
>
> > > > "At the World Cup, the Wallabies were knocked out in the quarter-
> > > > finals for the first time since 1995. There are no big trophies in the
> > > > cabinet ... no World Cup, no Bledisloe Cups, no Tri Nations in the last
> > > > four years.
>
> > > > "Our Super rugby teams have only won two years out of 12. Even worse,
> > > > the two teams representing our heartland - NSW and Queensland - have
> > > > never won the Super championship, and were the two bottom teams last
> > > > year. Our win-loss ratio aspirations should be between 75-80 per cent.
> > > > And if you're winning 75-80 per cent of your games, it is likely you
> > > > are going to pick up some big trophies."
>
> > > > The Wallabies' playing style had also proved a turn-off to supporters.
> > > > "The spectacle of matches doesn't provide the entertainment fans
> > > > demand," O'Neill. "And rugby has been too slow in responding.
> > > > Entertainment is part of our business. In recent years, not only have
> > > > we been losing, but the quality of the games has not been what it
> > > > should be.
>
> > > > "When the fans start booing at half-time in a Test match, such as in
> > > > Brisbane against Wales last year, it is worrying. And it was certainly
> > > > happening during Super 14 games as well.
>
> > > > "Many of our passionate fans are disillusioned. You get very lengthy
> > > > but very well thought-out emails describing what's wrong with the game
> > > > from people who have been supporting the game from their youth, and
> > > > they are so disillusioned.
>
> > > > "Clearly, that has been reflected in attendances at Super rugby and
> > > > Test matches. Our TV ratings are falling, while broadcasting revenue
> > > > has declined substantially. State union finances are under great
> > > > pressure, as are those of the ARU."
>
> > > > O'Neill, who rejoined the ARU in June last year, said the national
> > > > body could also gain no encouragement from player numbers. Although
> > > > the previous administration, headed by Gary Flowers, repeatedly
> > > > attempted to portray participation figures as a positive, O'Neill was
> > > > not enthused.
>
> > > > "Participation has been growing year by year, until last year," he
> > > > said. "It went down by 1.8 per cent. And if you dig even deeper in the
> > > > numbers, the only real growth has been in the category involving
> > > > irregular players. Elsewhere it is declining."
>
> > > So he wants to change the game to what, exactly ? Perhaps if the
> > > national side fielded a front row and did the confrontation bit better
> > > instead of chasing their tails with froth they wouldn't be in this
> > > state.
>
> > > JH
>
> > Yep there's a fair degree of truth in what you are saying John. Oz
> > rugby decided about 10 to 8 years ago that the scrum wasn't worth
> > wasting any time on and with that any chance of being seriously
> > competitive up front started to evaporate - reaching the 2003 RWC
> > final really papered over the cracks that were starting to appear and
> > the result was the forward malaise got even worse.
>
> > However, I do think he has a point about the need for the game to move
> > on from being just a grind-fest too - as was personified by the 2007
> > RWC final. That is not the type of game that will translate into
> > international growth for the code. Purists might just like it but it
> > wouldn't win many converts I suspect.
>
> > grant.
> > ---- Hide quoted text -
>
> > - Show quoted text -
>
> I think the trouble is that people watch the game for different
> reasons. And then polarise. For me a well lifted line out and a
> driving maul are things of beauty. I quite like the open play stuff,
> but not too much. Unless it involves a Chabal vs Maso style hit.
>
> But, defence will always win trophies
> JH

Actually I think you can have power forward play, excellent set pieces
*and* flair and pace too John. They are not necessarily mutually
exclusive.

And yes defence is vitally important. But the rules at the moment,
particularly in regard to the defensive backline alignments, allow
negativity to flourish. That's where I find the ELV experiment
interesting because it appears to address that concern. Time will
tell I guess.

grant.
---


02 Feb 2008 13:19:35
Dave (SA)
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Jan 30, 11:48=A0pm, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au > wrote:
> On Jan 30, 8:22 pm, johnmhill <j...@recruitcrm.co.uk> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Jan 30, 12:23 am, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au> wrote:
>
> > > Oz rugby is losing the battle in relation to other codes and the
> > > broader game is in trouble too with an "ugly" RWC 2007 final not
> > > helping according to John O'Neil. He argues the game has become boring=

> > > apparently. Interestingly he doesn't mention the ELV's and their
> > > potential to address this.
>
> > > grant.
> > > ---
>
> > > Read on...
>
> > >http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/news/were-boring-and-broke/2008/01..=
.
>
> > > Running out of time and money: O'Neill's dire assessment of code at
> > > the crossroads
>
> > > Greg Growden | January 30, 2008
>
> > > John O'Neill has provided a bleak picture of the state of Australian
> > > rugby, describing the ailing code, which will suffer at least a $7
> > > million loss this year, as being "at the crossroads".
>
> > > Since returning to the organisation's Crows Nest headquarters - after
> > > recuperating from neck surgery - the Australian Rugby Union chief
> > > executive has been reminded that the game's health has also
> > > deteriorated. O'Neill said yesterday that player and spectator
> > > interest had slumped, the game's status as one of Australia's leading
> > > sporting codes had been seriously eroded and that the ARU was no
> > > longer in a strong financial position.
>
> > > "Were it not for the reserves the ARU generated from the 2003 World
> > > Cup, Australian rugby would now be broke," O'Neill said. "And those
> > > reserves are being rapidly eroded. It is imperative that the ARU
> > > doesn't go broke. Because if it does, then the game goes broke."
>
> > > Four years ago, the ARU's reserves stood at $35m. However, the ARU is
> > > anticipating it will report a $7-8m loss for 2007 in April, meaning
> > > its reserves will drop to just $15m.
>
> > > The situation would be far worse had the ARU not received a $7m grant
> > > from the International Rugby Board - indicating that it had been
> > > heading towards a $14-15m loss.
>
> > > Making the position even more depressing is that O'Neill is deeply
> > > concerned that rugby has lost its appeal after several poor domestic
> > > and international seasons, followed by a boring World Cup tournament.
>
> > > "Our position has been eroding. Unless we find some transforming
> > > initiatives, that erosion will continue until it reaches an
> > > irreversible decline," O'Neill said. "It's not a pretty picture. It's
> > > not all bad. But it's clearly not all good as well."
>
> > > This was emphasised by Australia losing considerable ground at both
> > > international and provincial level.
>
> > > "The position is fairly disturbing," O'Neill said. "The Wallabies over=

> > > the last four years have a win-loss ratio of 60 per cent, compared to
> > > 70-80 per cent they enjoyed in the 1998-2003 period.
>
> > > "At the World Cup, the Wallabies were knocked out in the quarter-
> > > finals for the first time since 1995. There are no big trophies in the=

> > > cabinet ... no World Cup, no Bledisloe Cups, no Tri Nations in the las=
t
> > > four years.
>
> > > "Our Super rugby teams have only won two years out of 12. Even worse,
> > > the two teams representing our heartland - NSW and Queensland - have
> > > never won the Super championship, and were the two bottom teams last
> > > year. Our win-loss ratio aspirations should be between 75-80 per cent.=

> > > And if you're winning 75-80 per cent of your games, it is likely you
> > > are going to pick up some big trophies."
>
> > > The Wallabies' playing style had also proved a turn-off to supporters.=

> > > "The spectacle of matches doesn't provide the entertainment fans
> > > demand," O'Neill. "And rugby has been too slow in responding.
> > > Entertainment is part of our business. In recent years, not only have
> > > we been losing, but the quality of the games has not been what it
> > > should be.
>
> > > "When the fans start booing at half-time in a Test match, such as in
> > > Brisbane against Wales last year, it is worrying. And it was certainly=

> > > happening during Super 14 games as well.
>
> > > "Many of our passionate fans are disillusioned. You get very lengthy
> > > but very well thought-out emails describing what's wrong with the game=

> > > from people who have been supporting the game from their youth, and
> > > they are so disillusioned.
>
> > > "Clearly, that has been reflected in attendances at Super rugby and
> > > Test matches. Our TV ratings are falling, while broadcasting revenue
> > > has declined substantially. State union finances are under great
> > > pressure, as are those of the ARU."
>
> > > O'Neill, who rejoined the ARU in June last year, said the national
> > > body could also gain no encouragement from player numbers. Although
> > > the previous administration, headed by Gary Flowers, repeatedly
> > > attempted to portray participation figures as a positive, O'Neill was
> > > not enthused.
>
> > > "Participation has been growing year by year, until last year," he
> > > said. "It went down by 1.8 per cent. And if you dig even deeper in the=

> > > numbers, the only real growth has been in the category involving
> > > irregular players. Elsewhere it is declining."
>
> > So he wants to change the game to what, exactly ? Perhaps if the
> > national side fielded a front row and did the confrontation bit better
> > instead of chasing their tails with froth they wouldn't be in this
> > state.
>
> > JH
>
> Yep there's a fair degree of truth in what you are saying John. =A0Oz
> rugby decided about 10 to 8 years ago that the scrum wasn't worth
> wasting any time on and with that any chance =A0of being seriously
> competitive up front started to evaporate - reaching the 2003 RWC
> final really papered over the cracks that were starting to appear and
> the result was the forward malaise got even worse.
>
> However, I do think he has a point about the need for the game to move
> on from being just a grind-fest too - as was personified by the 2007
> RWC final. =A0That is not the type of game that will translate into
> international growth for the code. =A0Purists might just like it but it
> wouldn't win many converts I suspect.
>
> grant.
> ---

Fair enough but defining current rugby using any RWC final as a point
of reference is flawed.
Finals are finals. Often Football WC finals have been horrible. I
don't see that affecting the view of the game.

The new rules could well help but rugby has its challenges. It has
always been enjoyed by the minority in most countries (perhaps NZ
being the exception). That is still the position today.
The difference today is that global games like football and wide
choice is making it more diifficult for rugby t draw crowds/players

A few days ago the IRB president was going on about transformation in
SA. Either he is being politically correct or he really hopes that SA
can take rugby to the masses.
I doubt it. We have football leading the way in Europe and SA, Aussie
Rules in Oz. And al global sports giving rugby competition

Still love the game


03 Feb 2008 18:32:37
Larry Olivier
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader game.


"Dave (SA)" A few days ago the IRB president was going on about
transformation in
SA. Either he is being politically correct or he really hopes that SA
can take rugby to the masses.
I doubt it. We have football leading the way in Europe and SA, Aussie
Rules in Oz. And al global sports giving rugby competition

Dear Dave,

Aussie Rules has major support true - but hardly 'leading the way'.
Rugby League is King in Queensland and NSW.
Football, aka soccer, is beginning to attract very large crowds to club
games in all our major cities - as many as 30,000 on a regular basis.
Rugby Union is in deep dark shite here unless we can get it together.Which I
doubt.
O'Neil is the man for the job.If he can't do it then we are really gone.
Meanwhile our cricketers are still without peer when it comes to sledging
and whining when someone swears back - so we have no problems there.




03 Feb 2008 12:04:37
Dave (SA)
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Feb 3, 9:32 am, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au > wrote:
> "Dave (SA)" A few days ago the IRB president was going on about
> transformation in
> SA. Either he is being politically correct or he really hopes that SA
> can take rugby to the masses.
> I doubt it. We have football leading the way in Europe and SA, Aussie
> Rules in Oz. And al global sports giving rugby competition
>
> Dear Dave,
>
> Aussie Rules has major support true - but hardly 'leading the way'.
> Rugby League is King in Queensland and NSW.
> Football, aka soccer, is beginning to attract very large crowds to club
> games in all our major cities - as many as 30,000 on a regular basis.
> Rugby Union is in deep dark shite here unless we can get it together.Which I
> doubt.
> O'Neil is the man for the job.If he can't do it then we are really gone.
> Meanwhile our cricketers are still without peer when it comes to sledging
> and whining when someone swears back - so we have no problems there.

Thanks Larry,

May certainly have overstated the position of Rules.

I suppose my point was that other sports are ahead of Union in Oz as
they are in most countries

I am still a little optimistic about the sport in SA. S14 draws big
crowds and Currie Cup draws probably bigger crowds than any national
championship anywhere in the world.
Sporting isolation created even more provincial rivalry (there was
plenty before)
The real bugger with the national championships is that the Test
players are invariably rested a lot. Understandable given their
schedules

IMHO - If a country does not have a good national compo (or at least a
rapidly growing one) then it is in the shit.

However having said that I cannot see Union growing much (in fact it
shoudl decline) in the established countries. There is just too much
competition for spectators time





04 Feb 2008 07:52:52
Larry Olivier
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader game.


"Dave (SA)" <david.baker.sa@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:8d0308ad-6192-461f-b341-bf050a777ba4@u10g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
> On Feb 3, 9:32 am, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au> wrote:
>> "Dave (SA)" A few days ago the IRB president was going on about
>> transformation in
>> SA. Either he is being politically correct or he really hopes that SA
>> can take rugby to the masses.
>> I doubt it. We have football leading the way in Europe and SA, Aussie
>> Rules in Oz. And al global sports giving rugby competition
>>
>> Dear Dave,
>>
>> Aussie Rules has major support true - but hardly 'leading the way'.
>> Rugby League is King in Queensland and NSW.
>> Football, aka soccer, is beginning to attract very large crowds to club
>> games in all our major cities - as many as 30,000 on a regular basis.
>> Rugby Union is in deep dark shite here unless we can get it
>> together.Which I
>> doubt.
>> O'Neil is the man for the job.If he can't do it then we are really gone.
>> Meanwhile our cricketers are still without peer when it comes to sledging
>> and whining when someone swears back - so we have no problems there.
>
> Thanks Larry,
>
> May certainly have overstated the position of Rules.
>
> I suppose my point was that other sports are ahead of Union in Oz as
> they are in most countries
>
> I am still a little optimistic about the sport in SA. S14 draws big
> crowds and Currie Cup draws probably bigger crowds than any national
> championship anywhere in the world.
> Sporting isolation created even more provincial rivalry (there was
> plenty before)
> The real bugger with the national championships is that the Test
> players are invariably rested a lot. Understandable given their
> schedules
>
> IMHO - If a country does not have a good national compo (or at least a
> rapidly growing one) then it is in the shit.
>
> However having said that I cannot see Union growing much (in fact it
> shoudl decline) in the established countries. There is just too much
> competition for spectators time
>

Agree with that.My father(an Afrikaner) grew up in Durban and was a fanatic
Natal supporter - Banana Boys - he never would have understood the name
'Sharks'. He loved their style of play and would have loved S14 today except
it does not have that really intense 'tribal' rivalry that the old
provincial teams generated.
We have the same thing here - being a devoted SM fan I've supported NSW(the
Blues) since I was born and love to see them thrash QLD.The S14 franchises
are not quite the same feeling.
However,football(aka soccer) reorganised and deliberately broke away from
the previous tribal mentality which were along ethnic lines and caused no
end of strife.
This kept family spectators away and caused mums not to want their kids to
play football.
Since the change the game has begun to take off and more mums want their
sons and daughters to play football.
League has a bad rep because many players have off field behaviour
problems - drugs,assaults,rapes etc.Aussie Rules have had similar problems
with some of their stars in recent times.
Rugby Union is seen as boring because of the penalties etc.
So the real threat may be football esp. if our national team performs well.




03 Feb 2008 13:45:24
grant
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Feb 4, 7:52 am, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au > wrote:
> "Dave (SA)" <david.baker...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:8d0308ad-6192-461f-b341-bf050a777ba4@u10g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > On Feb 3, 9:32 am, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au> wrote:
> >> "Dave (SA)" A few days ago the IRB president was going on about
> >> transformation in
> >> SA. Either he is being politically correct or he really hopes that SA
> >> can take rugby to the masses.
> >> I doubt it. We have football leading the way in Europe and SA, Aussie
> >> Rules in Oz. And al global sports giving rugby competition
>
> >> Dear Dave,
>
> >> Aussie Rules has major support true - but hardly 'leading the way'.
> >> Rugby League is King in Queensland and NSW.
> >> Football, aka soccer, is beginning to attract very large crowds to club
> >> games in all our major cities - as many as 30,000 on a regular basis.
> >> Rugby Union is in deep dark shite here unless we can get it
> >> together.Which I
> >> doubt.
> >> O'Neil is the man for the job.If he can't do it then we are really gone.
> >> Meanwhile our cricketers are still without peer when it comes to sledging
> >> and whining when someone swears back - so we have no problems there.
>
> > Thanks Larry,
>
> > May certainly have overstated the position of Rules.
>
> > I suppose my point was that other sports are ahead of Union in Oz as
> > they are in most countries
>
> > I am still a little optimistic about the sport in SA. S14 draws big
> > crowds and Currie Cup draws probably bigger crowds than any national
> > championship anywhere in the world.
> > Sporting isolation created even more provincial rivalry (there was
> > plenty before)
> > The real bugger with the national championships is that the Test
> > players are invariably rested a lot. Understandable given their
> > schedules
>
> > IMHO - If a country does not have a good national compo (or at least a
> > rapidly growing one) then it is in the shit.
>
> > However having said that I cannot see Union growing much (in fact it
> > shoudl decline) in the established countries. There is just too much
> > competition for spectators time
>
> Agree with that.My father(an Afrikaner) grew up in Durban and was a fanatic
> Natal supporter - Banana Boys - he never would have understood the name
> 'Sharks'. He loved their style of play and would have loved S14 today except
> it does not have that really intense 'tribal' rivalry that the old
> provincial teams generated.
> We have the same thing here - being a devoted SM fan I've supported NSW(the
> Blues) since I was born and love to see them thrash QLD.The S14 franchises
> are not quite the same feeling.
> However,football(aka soccer) reorganised and deliberately broke away from
> the previous tribal mentality which were along ethnic lines and caused no
> end of strife.
> This kept family spectators away and caused mums not to want their kids to
> play football.
> Since the change the game has begun to take off and more mums want their
> sons and daughters to play football.
> League has a bad rep because many players have off field behaviour
> problems - drugs,assaults,rapes etc.Aussie Rules have had similar problems
> with some of their stars in recent times.
> Rugby Union is seen as boring because of the penalties etc.
> So the real threat may be football esp. if our national team performs well.

I agree with most of what you say Larry.

However rugby would go ahead internationally in my opinion if the
refereeing subjectivity, leading to high penalty counts and associated
time stoppages, is reduced in the game. The ruck & maul area is an
obvoius point in this regard.

This is where the ELV experiment will be intresting to follow.
Although why for gods sake the IRB is doing it's usual half-assed
effort & trialling it only in the SH major comps and not world wide
from day one beggars belief. That has the potential to cause real
inter-hemisphere grief if it is not managed properyly.

Australia needs to find a decent national competition - and fast.
Starting one when all the best players weere heading off to the RWC in
07 was not the best of ideas. They can't rely on the super and SANZAR
comps alone. Getting some form of free to air coverage will be
crucial for the game to survive & prosper in Australia - as will a
return to a mentality that favours forward competitiveness and
agression linkerd to backline flair. Currently they only have the
latter and that is a major reason they are losing more than they used
to. Which in turn is a major reason the crowds are not turning up.

grant.
---


04 Feb 2008 09:14:06
Larry Olivier
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader game.


"grant" <gcairncr@scu.edu.au > wrote in message
news:1a4c2bbf-b29c-408a-982d-ce043a5e4ae6@f10g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
> On Feb 4, 7:52 am, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au> wrote:
>> "Dave (SA)" <david.baker...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:8d0308ad-6192-461f-b341-bf050a777ba4@u10g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
>>
>>
>>
>> > On Feb 3, 9:32 am, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au> wrote:
>> >> "Dave (SA)" A few days ago the IRB president was going on about
>> >> transformation in
>> >> SA. Either he is being politically correct or he really hopes that SA
>> >> can take rugby to the masses.
>> >> I doubt it. We have football leading the way in Europe and SA, Aussie
>> >> Rules in Oz. And al global sports giving rugby competition
>>
>> >> Dear Dave,
>>
>> >> Aussie Rules has major support true - but hardly 'leading the way'.
>> >> Rugby League is King in Queensland and NSW.
>> >> Football, aka soccer, is beginning to attract very large crowds to
>> >> club
>> >> games in all our major cities - as many as 30,000 on a regular basis.
>> >> Rugby Union is in deep dark shite here unless we can get it
>> >> together.Which I
>> >> doubt.
>> >> O'Neil is the man for the job.If he can't do it then we are really
>> >> gone.
>> >> Meanwhile our cricketers are still without peer when it comes to
>> >> sledging
>> >> and whining when someone swears back - so we have no problems there.
>>
>> > Thanks Larry,
>>
>> > May certainly have overstated the position of Rules.
>>
>> > I suppose my point was that other sports are ahead of Union in Oz as
>> > they are in most countries
>>
>> > I am still a little optimistic about the sport in SA. S14 draws big
>> > crowds and Currie Cup draws probably bigger crowds than any national
>> > championship anywhere in the world.
>> > Sporting isolation created even more provincial rivalry (there was
>> > plenty before)
>> > The real bugger with the national championships is that the Test
>> > players are invariably rested a lot. Understandable given their
>> > schedules
>>
>> > IMHO - If a country does not have a good national compo (or at least a
>> > rapidly growing one) then it is in the shit.
>>
>> > However having said that I cannot see Union growing much (in fact it
>> > shoudl decline) in the established countries. There is just too much
>> > competition for spectators time
>>
>> Agree with that.My father(an Afrikaner) grew up in Durban and was a
>> fanatic
>> Natal supporter - Banana Boys - he never would have understood the name
>> 'Sharks'. He loved their style of play and would have loved S14 today
>> except
>> it does not have that really intense 'tribal' rivalry that the old
>> provincial teams generated.
>> We have the same thing here - being a devoted SM fan I've supported
>> NSW(the
>> Blues) since I was born and love to see them thrash QLD.The S14
>> franchises
>> are not quite the same feeling.
>> However,football(aka soccer) reorganised and deliberately broke away from
>> the previous tribal mentality which were along ethnic lines and caused no
>> end of strife.
>> This kept family spectators away and caused mums not to want their kids
>> to
>> play football.
>> Since the change the game has begun to take off and more mums want their
>> sons and daughters to play football.
>> League has a bad rep because many players have off field behaviour
>> problems - drugs,assaults,rapes etc.Aussie Rules have had similar
>> problems
>> with some of their stars in recent times.
>> Rugby Union is seen as boring because of the penalties etc.
>> So the real threat may be football esp. if our national team performs
>> well.
>
> I agree with most of what you say Larry.
>
> However rugby would go ahead internationally in my opinion if the
> refereeing subjectivity, leading to high penalty counts and associated
> time stoppages, is reduced in the game. The ruck & maul area is an
> obvoius point in this regard.
>
> This is where the ELV experiment will be intresting to follow.
> Although why for gods sake the IRB is doing it's usual half-assed
> effort & trialling it only in the SH major comps and not world wide
> from day one beggars belief. That has the potential to cause real
> inter-hemisphere grief if it is not managed properyly.
>
> Australia needs to find a decent national competition - and fast.
> Starting one when all the best players weere heading off to the RWC in
> 07 was not the best of ideas. They can't rely on the super and SANZAR
> comps alone. Getting some form of free to air coverage will be
> crucial for the game to survive & prosper in Australia - as will a
> return to a mentality that favours forward competitiveness and
> agression linkerd to backline flair. Currently they only have the
> latter and that is a major reason they are losing more than they used
> to. Which in turn is a major reason the crowds are not turning up.
>
> grant.
> ---

Spot on! 100% agreement.
Hopefully the new rules will lead to more entertaining rugby.
The premature ditching of the national club competition was a bad move.Lack
of money must have been the only reason.




03 Feb 2008 14:54:40
Uncle Dave
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Jan 30, 9:48=A0pm, grant <gcair...@scu.edu.au > wrote:

> However, I do think he has a point about the need for the game to move
> on from being just a grind-fest too - as was personified by the 2007
> RWC final. =A0That is not the type of game that will translate into
> international growth for the code. =A0Purists might just like it but it
> wouldn't win many converts I suspect.

I've attempted to convert a few Germans in my time and the thing they
like most is the physical side and that is, if you like, rugby's USP.
The physical contest is the thing that strikes you most as a newbie,
that and the shape of the ball and the fact that you can carry it.
Honestly. In Europe rugby has missed out to gridiron which enjoys a
much higher profile even in countries where it is little played.
There is no excuse for this as rugby has a base in Europe and top
class teams whereas Europe has at best had imported semi-pro leagues
in gridiron.

Something has to give in Australia and it seems to be rugby of one
code or the other which weakens with Aussie Rules seemingly (from here
at least) immune to any monetary squeeze. I guess that's because
there is no international competition for them to do badly at so no
measure for the public to make - they just get on and enjoy it. My
heart pumps piss if that old tosspot is feeling uncomfortable though
obviously it would be a great shame for the Australian game to return
to the depths from whence it came about 25 years ago (IIRC).

UD


03 Feb 2008 14:59:31
Uncle Dave
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Feb 3, 7:32=A0am, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au > wrote:

> Aussie Rules has major support true - but hardly 'leading the way'.
> Rugby League is King in Queensland and NSW.

Ah, but the two codes compete for the same territory whereas the AFL
dominates its own territory with very little rugby. That, and it
being a purely national sport (yeah, I know they play "internationals"
against the gaels) ensure the public always think it's the best sport
around.

UD


03 Feb 2008 15:01:25
Uncle Dave
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Jan 31, 9:17=A0am, "Brad Anton" <ant_on_k...@yahoo.com > wrote:

> Went back to some (very) old haunting grounds in Bath, watched Bath vs
> Gloucester and generally enjoyed myself that much I am seriously thinking =
of
> a move back to the UK.

You can get typhoons and flooding in Australia so why would you want
to do that?

UD


03 Feb 2008 22:11:55
Dave (SA)
Re: Boring & almost broke. O'Neils assessment of OZ rugby & broader

On Feb 3, 10:52 pm, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au > wrote:
> "Dave (SA)" <david.baker...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:8d0308ad-6192-461f-b341-bf050a777ba4@u10g2000prn.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > On Feb 3, 9:32 am, "Larry Olivier" <larry1...@swiftdsl.com.au> wrote:
> >> "Dave (SA)" A few days ago the IRB president was going on about
> >> transformation in
> >> SA. Either he is being politically correct or he really hopes that SA
> >> can take rugby to the masses.
> >> I doubt it. We have football leading the way in Europe and SA, Aussie
> >> Rules in Oz. And al global sports giving rugby competition
>
> >> Dear Dave,
>
> >> Aussie Rules has major support true - but hardly 'leading the way'.
> >> Rugby League is King in Queensland and NSW.
> >> Football, aka soccer, is beginning to attract very large crowds to club
> >> games in all our major cities - as many as 30,000 on a regular basis.
> >> Rugby Union is in deep dark shite here unless we can get it
> >> together.Which I
> >> doubt.
> >> O'Neil is the man for the job.If he can't do it then we are really gone.
> >> Meanwhile our cricketers are still without peer when it comes to sledging
> >> and whining when someone swears back - so we have no problems there.
>
> > Thanks Larry,
>
> > May certainly have overstated the position of Rules.
>
> > I suppose my point was that other sports are ahead of Union in Oz as
> > they are in most countries
>
> > I am still a little optimistic about the sport in SA. S14 draws big
> > crowds and Currie Cup draws probably bigger crowds than any national
> > championship anywhere in the world.
> > Sporting isolation created even more provincial rivalry (there was
> > plenty before)
> > The real bugger with the national championships is that the Test
> > players are invariably rested a lot. Understandable given their
> > schedules
>
> > IMHO - If a country does not have a good national compo (or at least a
> > rapidly growing one) then it is in the shit.
>
> > However having said that I cannot see Union growing much (in fact it
> > shoudl decline) in the established countries. There is just too much
> > competition for spectators time
>
> Agree with that.My father(an Afrikaner) grew up in Durban and was a fanatic
> Natal supporter - Banana Boys - he never would have understood the name
> 'Sharks'. He loved their style of play and would have loved S14 today except
> it does not have that really intense 'tribal' rivalry that the old
> provincial teams generated.
> We have the same thing here - being a devoted SM fan I've supported NSW(the
> Blues) since I was born and love to see them thrash QLD.The S14 franchises
> are not quite the same feeling.
> However,football(aka soccer) reorganised and deliberately broke away from
> the previous tribal mentality which were along ethnic lines and caused no
> end of strife.
> This kept family spectators away and caused mums not to want their kids to
> play football.
> Since the change the game has begun to take off and more mums want their
> sons and daughters to play football.
> League has a bad rep because many players have off field behaviour
> problems - drugs,assaults,rapes etc.Aussie Rules have had similar problems
> with some of their stars in recent times.
> Rugby Union is seen as boring because of the penalties etc.
> So the real threat may be football esp. if our national team performs well.

Your dad would have loved to have gone back to the Sharks stadium in
more modern times
Back in the mid nineties the Sharks decided to change their package
they offered their spectators. The focused on families rather than
just males and it worked.
I forget the actual percentages but women make up a decent proportion
of the spectators. Great for the after parties when I reckon as people
arrive as those that leave

They also cater for kids and provide supervised areas where one can
leave the kids to rampage like they really want to (rather than sit on
the stands)

Its a wonderful atmosphere there. You get your beer on the stands
(unlike most SA venues) and you can make it into a reall outing. And
guess what. Less badly behaved drunkards as well. I suspect the
presence of women and kids causes men to behave better

Cheers
Dave