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RU in Australia on “life support”

Discussion in 'Rugby Union' started by DC80, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. taipan

    taipan Referee

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    That's sacrilege.
     
  2. DC80

    DC80 Juniors

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    Basketball has never had its time in the sun in the UK. After receiving some funding for the 2012 home Olympics, funding has since been cut completely. Twice before (to my knowledge) basketball was on UK TV...first time in the 90s on Channel 4 before it was axed, and again on Sky Sports in the mid 2000s, before it was axed.

    To give my own reasons why. 1.its too back and forth, repetitive..you score, no you score, no you score... lacks one team having a spell of dominance as is the case in most other sports. It’s akin to a 12 round boxing fight where they take turns in winning rounds...you just want to get to the end part quickly to see who wins it. 2.Expanding on point 1, scoring is way too easy. You can’t really celebrate a score, as the opposition are about to do so in another 15 seconds, and 15 seconds later so will your team, and so on. The whole specialness of scoring is missing. It’s infinitely less meaningful. A winner right at the very very end can be exciting...but that’s a long time to wait for excitement. 3.Game for giants. How many 6 foot 5 plus people are there? It’s an exclusive club. You are precluded from excelling because of height, not ability. A 7 footer placing a ball inside a hoop that’s next to him is straightforward, doesn’t require much talent. One reason I always liked the 6 foot “midgets” far more. 4.its African American cultural feel.. the game being the domain of African Americans, think courts in the hoods, it feels alien, like somebody else’s thing (more extreme example, like Sumo wrestling to the Japanese). Hard to relate to.
     
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  3. RoosTah

    RoosTah Juniors

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    To be honest I think from an australian standpoint the basketball analogy fits soccer better than Rugby.

    Both sports owe their support to fundamentally to a group of fans obsessed with overseas competitions and the culture around it, both suffer from the inability of their local competition to live up to the hype the sport generates based on its international counterparts and both have alien scoring systems (though they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum).

    We’ve actually seen this play out this year too - for all the issues with super rugby its ratings are actually up 3% this year compared with last year, whilst the A-League soccer comp is down a whopping 18%.

    That’s the dilemma for the rugby separatists in Australia (the Force etc) - Super Rugby remains a premium rugby product in the global rugby market that gets interest from other major markets. That’s not something that the NBL or A-League will ever be able to attest to and might explain the drop offs in those comps more; ultimately their fan base isn’t interested in a weak local comp - they want the big show.
     
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  4. DC80

    DC80 Juniors

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    Problem with football in Australia (similar to basketball) is the level is dwarfed by overseas competitions, which you have mentioned, so there’s much greater emphasis on the Premier League than the A League for example. I doubt an A league team (or a RU team) could get this at the MCG..



    Same thing in Ireland..domestic football crowds are tiny, yet football is easily the biggest sport on the island. I do however think though that Australia, in time, could have a pretty strong football league (given the increasing population and participation levels, and the stadia), which won’t ever be the case in Ireland...essentially the English Premier League is “Ireland’s home league”.

    Regards RU, it’s profile is so low in Australia few could name a current Australian player...check out some of the answers when asked to name one (begins at 5:00, listen out for the name of a famous French footballer as one fellas answer)...



    It’s unreal how much RU is suffering there. Regards Super Rugby, it is the cream of rugby, so naturally it will do ok than say a weak version of another sport. The RU participation levels are minuscule also...

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/sport/football/2016/12/08/most-popular-sport-in-australia/
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
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  5. Twizzle

    Twizzle Administrator Staff Member

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    I dint think thats actually a fair comparison as LFC play in Australia once a blue moon so their fans rarely get a chance to see them live.
     
  6. axl rose

    axl rose Bench

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    Hard to argue with that, ive found it dull to watch unless its the decider of the playoff series, so much scoring makes it dour, there is no battering away at a defence to score for 10-20 minutes so there is little payoff. Jordan had to invent his own ways to make the game look more exciting and alleviate the boredom. Could just lay it up but what the hell, ill do a few twists and turns and dunk it backwards instead, hopefully the crowd will wake up. It would be like a Rugby player doing a somersault on the way to the try line.

    Its origins as a school kid sport played in a gym on rainy days with a peach basket is where it belonged.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  7. RoosTah

    RoosTah Juniors

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    I really don’t see soccer becoming competitive in Australia really... the domestic league will always be a back water because all the best Aussie talent goes overseas, and frankly the participation numbers are only high because it’s a soft and safe non contact sport that middle class mums approve of for their little ones.

    Ultimately though most of these kids don’t grow up watching or supporting the code, but instead turn to our 2 key cultural icons- the AFL and NRL.

    Soccer will always have its niche but the football market is too competitive here for them to become a major player, particularly given the game can’t hold onto talent and the level to which it’s dwarfed by the overseas competitions those players go to
     
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  8. DC80

    DC80 Juniors

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    Depends...Australia is a small market (22 million?) so yes it will struggle to hold on to its quality players. However, a World Cup in Australia (and it’s inevitable) with the massive increase in revenues for better facilities, coaching etc. would be a springboard for a far more respectable domestic league.

    Collision based sports have always had much lower participation numbers, and with an increase in visibility of the consequences of concussions and other neurological conditions the numbers will only decline further. Rugby league is now down to 44,900 participants in the north of England, it’s hotbed (and home), that’s a 39% drop from a decade ago.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2017/02/15/popular-sport-england/rugby-league/

    Also, collision based sports now require players to be body builders - Rugby Union is especially suffering with numbers due to this - so this requires spending a lot of time in the gym rather than being outside and enjoying playing with a ball and developing skills, another thing that puts off potential participants.

    Videos showing skills have always generated the most hits/views, so a kid seeing Messi do something on the ball will be more inclined to want to emulate that, as opposed to seeing two blokes smash into one another. Collision based sports could increase their popularity by having more focus on skill, but whether any of them will make changes I don’t know.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  9. DC80

    DC80 Juniors

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    Wasn’t aware basketball was a school kid sport, though I do remember that it was a Canadian who came up with the idea. Rounders (baseball) most certainly was invented for children.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rounders

    How it became America’s national pastime is something that has always baffled me (a suggestion it did is because of the ‘Doubleday myth’ from 1905 which propagated the lie it was invented in Cooperstown New York, as opposed to mid 18th century England as a game for young children.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubleday_myth

    Not the only sport to make up it’s origin of course, Rugby Union and the Webb Ellis myth a notable other example.
     
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  10. RoosTah

    RoosTah Juniors

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    I hear that sort of thing from soccer fans a lot, but I just don’t see us ever getting a World Cup... FIFA are just way way too corrupt for a country like us to ever have a realistic shot and the public backlash from the last campaign that received millions in public funding to bid for means it’ll be a long time before a federal government here throws any serious resources at an event with the tainted FIFA brand in front of it. Even if we somehow did, the idea it would give the game a huge boost is questionable... we hosted and WON the Asia Cup after all, and what followed that was a decrease in viewership for the A-League.

    Moreover, the issues with collision based sports aside (and they’re no where near as bad in the rugby codes as they are in the NFL), Australian culture also has long held a strong association between soccer and softness/weakness.

    Growing up it was always seen as a game for girls or pansies, or more generally outsiders and foreigners and that’s a view that is a long way from dying in my experience. Parents like it because it’s safe, but it’s not “the game” on the school yard because there’s a strong cultural norm of deriding it as the game for the weak, soft or even worse foreigners who don’t like Australian culture. That’s a less pleasant view, but the game is by far the sport that is viewed as the most alien and foreign of all the football codes.

    Again, looking at the A-Leagu’s huge drop off this year, I’d contend the code is actually losing ground when it comes to perceptions about what the “elite” games played by Australians are.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  11. axl rose

    axl rose Bench

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    Very interesting, that actually makes a lot of sense.

    This interview with James Naismith from 1939 is a fascinating piece of history. See the kids just started tackling and just wanted to play Rugby :D



    Right, you know what they say if you keep telling the same lie enough times. AFL 'origins' as the Aboriginal game of Marn Grook is a load of nonsense as well.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  12. clarency

    clarency Juniors

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    Football was and to an extent still is considered a sport for immigrants and pansies but that is slowly changing. The introduction of the A league and the decision to ban any clubs from having ethnic ties have brought the game a long way in the last decade and a half.
    On top of this the Australian players and league in particular have a very negative view towards flopping compared to other countries. View the Western Sydney Wanderers reaction to Vitor Saba as an example. Other countries might accept that kind of garbage but it certainly isn't viewed kindly in the Australian football community.

    In regards to its size, the A-league have recently called for bids to expand and received an unprecedented 16 bids for new teams. It's nothing to sneeze at.
     
  13. RoosTah

    RoosTah Juniors

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    If the A-League expands, it’ll be the first time we’ve seen an Australian football competition decide to dilute its product and throw money at green field operations in the midst of falling revenue, ratings and attendances.

    Gallop was a dreadful and money losing administrator for the NRL and his decision here is frankly the reason so many of us were glad to see him go; he just does very stupid shit.

    Good luck to the A-League, but it won’t surprise me if the whole competition and the FFA head into administration in a few years time the way they’re going.
     
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  14. DC80

    DC80 Juniors

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    I don’t think there’s any doubt Australia will host the World Cup (regardless of how corrupt FIFA is). It’s one of the last geographical regions which hasn’t yet hosted it, and giving it to a different confederation each time is a FIFA policy. Plus Australia has the infrastructure, a pro league, the fan base (at club level predominantly towards teams from abroad as is the case in Ireland), the numbers playing it etc etc. It’s a guaranteed success. Four million Aussies watched Australia vs Italy in the 2006 World Cup last 16 at 5am in the morning, 800k Aussies watched Australia vs NZ in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final at a similar time. So if 5 times more Aussies watched their football team than rugby union team (and their rugby union team was in the final, not just the last 16) it’s safe to say a home tournament would generate massive home support.


    I know I started this as a rugby union topic, but similar issues applies to rugby league. They both could take action to make the game more appealing to potential viewers and participants. The attritional game that Rugby Union has become also applies to Rugby league.

    The last RLWorldCup final was an 80 minute arm wrestle. Run straight into an opposing wall x 5, then kick the ball away. That won’t entice new viewers to the sport. The games were poorly attended, and this the one nation where rugby league is hugely popular.

    At 13:00 the great Mal Reilly touches on these issues..

    http://www.totalrl.com/watch-rugby-league-back-chat-show-11-on-totalrl-com-now/

    “Game is now defence orientated”
    “Wrestling”
    “Five drives and a kick chase”

    There’s a good 10 minute talk on this. Reilly adds that the sport is unlike it was when he played when it was more open, attacking, expressive etc. Presenter Dave Woods asks, “what can we do to change it...instead of going down the Melbourne route of ‘we are going to wrestle in every tackle’ “.

    Neither code helps itself with its stifling, attritional, defensive play. Having wrestling coaches show where rugby league has headed..Schofield was livid at this. Eight interchanges in rugby league was one thing they suggested that could be changed, take it down to four, that way players would have to last the full 80 minutes which would mean they would be forced to have more endurance...the game would be less body builder focused, resulting in trimmer athletes who could also focus more on skill with less time in the gym. Rugby Union has really become an abomination to watch with 30 mammoth blokes waddling around the overcrowded field... then around the 50 minute mark about five each side slowly trudge off knackered to be replaced by five more huge meatheads who can just about last the final 30. These pundits make a good point on this change in substitutions I think which applies to both. Rugby Union needs opening up, more space, more line breaks, more emphasis on skill and open attacking play.

    Football (and basketball) are the most successful as they’re skill based. Videos of skill online go viral as that’s mostly what people want to see, which in turn kids want to emulate. God knows how many people Messi alone has inspired to play the game, buy a jersey, ball etc. just from watching footage of him. Other examples in sport include Ali in the boxing ring, Federer on the tennis court. These athletes are elevated as they play in sports that allow them to showcase skills. The Rugby codes are their own worst enemy with their rules/game play not allowing potential stars to shine and thus inspire others.

    In relation to this thread and the decline of the Wallabies...Campese was one of my favourites to watch, a genius in open space with ball in hand, but nowadays he’d get taken out by an 18 stone limited bruiser in a sport that is unrecognisable to what it was.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  15. clarency

    clarency Juniors

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    We can definitely agree that Gallop is a poor sports administrator and generally maintains his career based on purely being there for so long.

    People have been saying the A league won't last since it first started. I genuinely thought it was on it's knees several years ago, and then one Del Piero and one WSW later its popularity exploded. A league will survive and will continue long term, but it won't use the same model as AFL/NRL.
    I think the general sports fan in this country forgets just how far Australia punches above it's weight in just about everything. The fact that an Australia league (AFL) gets the 4th highest attendance (3rd if they didn't bother with GWS/GCS) in all sporting leagues across the world is mind boggling for such a small player.

    The situation with the AFL and NRL should be considered isolated situations that will not happen in any other sport, not to mention they receive full media support in their respective cities. A league should be looking at nuzzling into the 8-12k attendances figures playing out of small(er) stadiums. The problem is so many people consider that kind of outcome a failure.
     
  16. clarency

    clarency Juniors

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    Unfortunately this was the outcome of making the game professional. Spend all day at the gym, eating, staying fit. For games where size gives advantage it has become more of a solved game it appears.
     
  17. Te Kaha

    Te Kaha Moderator Staff Member

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    Its clear you haven't watched any Super Rugby NZ Derbies or All Blacks games. None of what you have stated here applies. Its not the game itself that needs changing its the tactics of the teams and the skills of the players and that applies to both Rugby codes. If coaches and players were playing to win rather than playing safe and not to lose you wouldn't have these issues.

    Reilly is right. The fear of making mistakes is coaching out the skills of players.
     
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  18. RoosTah

    RoosTah Juniors

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    Why is it inevitable? When you have a mass of countries willing to bribe and cheat their way to hosting a WC, I don’t see how a country like Australia where transparency rules and the support for the code is lukewarm at best would ever be a real shot. If we did host it of course it would be a success, but FIFA strips out all the financial benefits from hosting the cup anyway, so the code as a whole may actually end up worse off and any new infrastructure they build would most likely end up benefiting the NRL more (which I’m all for).

    Soccer (you really need to call it soccer with us Aussies mate - football is too broad a term here) and basketball aren’t successful because of “skills” - they’re successful because they had first mover advantages in big urban markets. Also, basketball and the NBA has nothing on the NFL... indeed, on a per match basis, you’d struggle to find any sporting event with matches as lucrative as the NFL at the club level. You’re also ignoring that soccer has been around in places like the US, Canada, Australia and NZ forever as well, and yet has never really had real cut through culturally with any of them.

    Ask most Aussies what they think of when you ask them about soccer and it’s not skills, it’s diving and boring 0-0 snore fests where players run around and nothing happens. If you ask a kiwi what they think of when it comes to sporting skills and it’s slick All Blacks back line moves - not a soccer player doing a bycicle kick. Soccer has never captured the imagination of Australians because we’ve had a more competitive football market place from the start of the code wars, whilst most countries just had soccer and so didn’t know what they were missing out on with other codes.

    It’s greatest attribute isnt skill, it’s actually that it doesn’t require much skill to play.. it’s accessible, and frankly that’s about the only positive thing I think it has going for it.

    Personally I find it more mind numbingly boring than even the most dry of Union penalty fests.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  19. Twizzle

    Twizzle Administrator Staff Member

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    I think the support for the code is much more than luke warm, unfortunate;y most of the support is for European football rather than the A League
     
  20. RoosTah

    RoosTah Juniors

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    Even accounting for the focus on Euro soccer, it’s small fry here. It’s just harder to be a passionate fan of an abstract foreign brand than a local footy team that is directly connected to your community.

    European soccer fans in Australia are more like consumers of brands like coke and Pepsi than real sports fans; their connection is weak and tenuous and most would forget it existed if you turned off the tap. For others supporting Euro soccer is more a simple means to send a f**k you to Australian sports - it’s often an attempt at virtue signalling between the anti-sport hipster class who think wearing some pretty Euro soccer shirt makes them look more cosmopolitan some how. That’s why their numbers aren’t exactly making Fox clammour for the EPL rights back from Optus... they actual number of hardcore fans that care enough to get up for those games is minimal and doesn’t drive subscribers
     

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