robdylan

Smit confirms Zeilinga release


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 27 May 2015 at 14:02
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Sharks CEO John Smit has just confirmed to Sharksworld that flyhalf Fred Zeilinga has been released from his contract in order to move to the Cheetahs ahead of the Currie Cup season.

Zeilinga, who has battled a little to establish himself as a viable Super Rugby alternative to Pat Lambie over the last two seasons, will use the move as a platform to reinvent himself – rediscover his “mojo” if you will – with the Sharks opting to give him the benefit of a Currie Cup campaign with his new team in order to find his feet ahead of Super Rugby for the Cheetahs in 2016.

In a reverse move, Joe Pietersen will join the Sharks on a two-year deal, when his Super-Rugby-only contract at the Cheetahs comes to an end. With the Sharks set to invest heavily in young talent like Innocent Radebe at flyhalf, having Pietersen in the squad and able to provide experienced cover at both flyhalf and fullback should ease the pressure on the youngsters coming through.

We’d like to wish Fred all the best for his new challenge – we’re sure it will work out well for him and he’ll go on to become a real start in orange and white in years to come.



76 Comments

  • Aww man. He’s going to be good there. Good luck Fred!

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.05.15 14:03:42 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • Aaaand we stuck with Lionel Cronje…

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.05.15 14:09:08 by pierre_mackie Reply
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  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 2) : I dont know, I think Lionel has proved he’s a better option

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.05.15 14:11:25 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Yeah Happy with Lionel, he makes the odd stupid mistake but with more game time he will come good.

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.05.15 14:15:38 by Rvw Reply

    RvwCurrie Cup player
     
  • Wish him well. Believe he will be allowed to play his natural game. That way building confidence when you’ve got the backing of your coaching staff. Think Cheetahs is very good for any player in that regard. Enjoy! :grin:

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.05.15 14:18:25 by Coco Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • All the best Fred! Hope you do well.
    @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 3) : Agree. Fred is still young and definitely has talent, but Lionel has been better this season.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.05.15 14:19:01 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
     
  • Can’t say I’m not bummed to see Fred leaving, but I totally understand it both from his point of view and the Shark’s. I really rated Fred as a young stand in to Pat and was pleased when he was given the opportunity to start. Unfortunately for whatever reason he failed to grab the opportunity that was presented to him and was therefore over-looked with Lionel Cronje emerging as the prefered option. As far as Fred is concerned, moving to the Cheetahs will be good for his career, and hopefully he will improve with more game time and end up a more rounded player, as I’ve no doubt the raw talent is there.

    Good luck Fred, hopefully we will see you back in Black and White in the not too distant future.

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.05.15 14:40:09 by jonnow Reply

    jonnowSuper Rugby player
     
  • Joe is not young, but he is better then any fullback we have so will take him. I am keen to see Radebe play.

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.05.15 14:44:09 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 2) : Be honest with your self, at this current time, Cronje is playing way better than Freddy.
    I like Fred, but since he was dumped last year in the CC, he has never gotten back to the same form he used to have before then.

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.05.15 14:54:31 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • I think Fred will do very well at the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.05.15 15:01:12 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Wishing you the best of luck at the Cheetahs Fred!

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.05.15 15:18:00 by vanmartin Reply
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  • All the best Fred. I hope you do well (just not well enough to help the Cheetahs beat the Sharks… :lol: )…

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.05.15 15:22:17 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I’m happy to see them back Inny with Cronje and Pietersen around to play important roles too…

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.05.15 15:23:07 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Can we please get RdP back from WP now?

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.05.15 15:25:18 by Here be dragons Reply

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  • I believe Joe Pietersen has signed a 2 year deal with the Sharks.

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.05.15 15:32:27 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Once a young player that cam through the Sharks junior ranks moves on and gets replaced by a seasoned player coming to the end of his career and looking for last 2 years of a good payday. getting more and more depressed with this happening. RdP will never come back. there are no class flyhalves at WP and he entrenched in the Vodacom cup side. he will be Stormers main flyhalf within 2 years. Another loss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.05.15 15:36:17 by rob Reply

    Under 19 player
     
  • @rob (Comment 16) : To be fair, Pat is the top dog with the Sharks…and I am happy for them to back Inny…so we would have been sitting with the question of enough game time for Robert anyway…would he then not have gone off to WP where is going to get a better long term shot?

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.05.15 15:40:12 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Looking at the future.. we will have Pat, Cronje and Inny? Sounds good to me. Does anyone know how long do we have Cronje for?

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.05.15 15:50:25 by Another Nick Reply

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  • @rob (Comment 16) : Er Rob, he doesnt play flyhalf for WP, that is done by another ex Shark player, JL du Plessis. Du Preez is being used at inside centre.

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.05.15 16:06:24 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 17) : I like Robert du Preez at inside centre, which is where he is playing for WP.

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.05.15 16:09:21 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • John Smit further bolstering the geriatric stocks at the Sharks.

    On the plus side – several players will be able to share a retirement party… cost saving there I suppose.

  • Comment 21, posted at 27.05.15 16:10:44 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 21) :

    Might even be a shared benefit game – retirees versus about-to-be-retirees.

    Or perhaps – 2015 retirees versus 2016 retirees.
    Could fill 2 sides and a bench… ;-)

  • Comment 22, posted at 27.05.15 16:15:46 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Here be dragons (Comment 14) :
    @rob (Comment 16) :

    We’ll swap you – just send back Pieter-Steph.

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.05.15 16:20:45 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 21) : Youll be happy to know that WPRU were also trying to get their hands on Joe Pietersen.

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.05.15 16:27:35 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 23) : What do you mean send back, PSdT has never been with WPRU in any form.

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.05.15 16:29:04 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 25) :

    Home is home fella.

    At least Im told that was the argument Smitty used when luring Stevens back…

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.05.15 16:39:27 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 24) :

    Not the worst signature battle to lose!

    That said, it probably wouldn’t be so bad for us though as we dont have the rest of the geriatric baggage that the Sharks have currently.

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.05.15 16:40:48 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • here’s the official release:

    The Sharks Media Release
    Fred Zeilinga Joins Free State Cheetahs

    Durban, 27th May 2015: Further to current media reports, The Sharks confirm the departure of flyhalf Fred Zeilinga who has been given an early release from his contract to join the Free State Cheetahs ahead of the start of the Absa Currie Cup tournament.

    Confirming his departure, The Sharks CEO John Smit said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Fred for his commitment and dedication to the Cell C Sharks over the past few years. We wish him every success for this new chapter in his career and we look forward to seeing him further progress in Bloemfontein.”

    At this time, The Sharks are pleased to announce the signing of Cheetahs fullback Joe Pietersen, who will join the Cell C Sharks at the end of May.

    This seasoned campaigner brings with him a wealth of experience and an astute knowledge of the game. In amongst his role will be to provide the necessary mentorship and guidance to the talented young players in our Currie Cup squad, namely Innocent Radebe and Garth April.

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.05.15 16:42:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 26) : So you want him to turn out for Boland.

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.05.15 16:44:19 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 26) : “Home is home fella.”
    Does this mean I can welcome you at Cpt International with a cardboard placard in the near future?

  • Comment 30, posted at 27.05.15 16:46:57 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : Interesting that they refer to him as the Cheetahs fullback, maybe an indication of where they really see him playing (me too)

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.05.15 16:49:21 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 30) :

    Perhaps not the near future, but hopefully one day.
    You get the job offer right and im there.

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.05.15 16:51:30 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 31) :

    Personally always thought he made a better fullback then a standoff.

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.05.15 16:51:59 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 32) :

    Oops…
    Not Landbou, but Swartland in Malmesbury.
    Apologies.

    Not that it makes one iota of difference. Boland is part of the Stormers.

  • Comment 34, posted at 27.05.15 16:53:47 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • I would have liked to keep Fred. Think he is a way better player than he has been given opportunities to prove at the Sharks.

    Hope he gets more game time at the Cheetahs and fulfill his potential.

  • Comment 35, posted at 27.05.15 17:01:12 by Letgo Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 33) : agree, but played some nice games at 10 for the Cheetahs this year. Makes you think he might have learned a few new things in France.

  • Comment 36, posted at 27.05.15 17:03:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) :

    Agreed he is a much better player than he was when he left.
    Perhaps he wouldve developed similarly if he had stayed, but still looks like he developed his game in France.

  • Comment 37, posted at 27.05.15 17:13:04 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 36) :

    Dont worry LetGo – he’ll be back – in ten years.

  • Comment 38, posted at 27.05.15 17:13:24 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • Well, Fred was a good-enough CC player, but a very average SR player…can’t see him ever progressing higher than an average SR fh (sort of in the league of Catrakilis :twisted: ).

    Good luck to him though, he’ll probably be afforded more game time at the Tsietas during CC…not so sure about SR though, that probably depends on their new exchange deal with their Japanese partners.

  • Comment 39, posted at 27.05.15 17:19:06 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 39) : Well looking at cheetahs style of play he will have to be a lot more tactical. Which is what he was lacking. So things could still work out for him. Would be interesting to see him progress.

  • Comment 40, posted at 27.05.15 19:10:24 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : Might just be me but it seems that on average players contracting to euro teams get better whilst Japanese league players get worse.

  • Comment 41, posted at 27.05.15 19:13:02 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 41) : yeah, I think that’s fair

  • Comment 42, posted at 27.05.15 19:57:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • My 2c worth! Fred was impressive last year. Think this was a difficult year for a young pivot to impress in S15 at the Sharks. They were all over the place and horrible early season. In addition, the kick and chase game plan doesn’t suit Fred’s game. I personally think, if the Cheetahs can get their pack firing again, that Fred will flourish in their type of game. Also with Franco as coach, he will have an astute coach, that has played flyhallf successfully.

  • Comment 43, posted at 27.05.15 19:59:07 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @rob (Comment 16) : Just because someone comes from KZN doesn’t automatically make him a brilliant player. Fred is a good CC player. I wish him the best in his new union.

  • Comment 44, posted at 27.05.15 20:38:25 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 23) : Thanks…but no thanks… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 45, posted at 27.05.15 21:05:21 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 43) : mate, Fred’s issue right now is in his head. He’s a confidence player and Jake somehow ruined that confidence.

    He is going to thrive in Bloem. You okes have picked up a good ‘un, mark my words.

  • Comment 46, posted at 27.05.15 21:10:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : Jip, inclined to agree. Miss an instinctive player with good hands, and vision. Fred has that. Goosen was good too, but injuries ruined his career.
    Joe was a great option for the year, but we need to rebuild with a new coach. I have always supported Naka, but I am excited about the changes to the coaching structures.

  • Comment 47, posted at 27.05.15 21:22:36 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : What else you going to blame on Jake.
    Thought you’d got over that by now.

  • Comment 48, posted at 27.05.15 22:01:50 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 48) : I’m like a dog with a bone.

  • Comment 49, posted at 28.05.15 00:04:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : Fred got injured last year. He looked so good against the Lions before he did too. I can’t remember for how long he was actually unavailable, but by the time he came back I think Jake thought it would be to risky to chop and change and stuck with Steyn who was doing a solid job at 10 at that stage. I think if he had stayed fit last year would have been his breakout season.

  • Comment 50, posted at 28.05.15 00:49:19 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 50) : He was out for 2 weeks with his hammy, but selected in the tour group then injured it again and was replaced by Jaco van Tonder. Didn’t get much chance after that. Reports were that he continued to struggle with his hammy.

  • Comment 51, posted at 28.05.15 01:02:07 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : To me that says he only plays well when things are going his way…at the Sharks, he will inevitably be faced by situations where he needs to dig himself out of a hole.

    In SR, you need the character to fight through your feelings and emotions until you overcome the opposition.

  • Comment 52, posted at 28.05.15 05:52:41 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • I see Montpellier announced the 11 players they bought for next season – the brothers Doep are not on that list…might be due to the official contracting window regulations (or whatever it is called).

    But JW sure won’t be building his team using the French – 6 South Africans and two Brumbies (and three other fellas, one of which a Fijian).

  • Comment 53, posted at 28.05.15 07:14:04 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 41) :

    @robdylan (Comment 42) : Except for Elton . He seem to have regained his 2011 form in Japan .

  • Comment 54, posted at 28.05.15 07:31:29 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : I’m curious why you say Jake ruined his confidence? If I recall correctly he started playing badly before Jake arrived.

    On another Jake related note, he has announced the signing of 11 new players.
    THAT IS HOW YOU DO BUYING PLAYERS PROPERLY!
    Sometimes I feel like he is the only coach who sees the future of rugby for what it is. He has bought in a mixture of youth and experience and all players who play well or who are expected to be very good.

  • Comment 55, posted at 28.05.15 09:15:48 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 52) : 100% Agree.

  • Comment 56, posted at 28.05.15 09:17:41 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 54) : I think Japan offered Elton an opportunity to clear his head and regain some confidence. I doubt many other players approach it in that fashion. I’d wager that for most it’s a great way to hike your salary while reducing your workload.

  • Comment 57, posted at 28.05.15 09:35:56 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 54) : @vanmartin (Comment 57) : Schalk Burger has also come back from Japan in good form.

  • Comment 58, posted at 28.05.15 09:46:13 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 55) : I dont understand what you mean by “THAT IS HOW YOU DO BUYING PLAYERS PROPERLY!”, are you refering to the mass announcement or the quality of the bought players?

  • Comment 59, posted at 28.05.15 09:51:25 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 59) : A mixture. I like the fact that instead of a slow trickle of players they brought in a bunch. And I feel that the general quality of players brought in is very good. As I mention a good mixture of youth and experience.

    If you are going to base your growth on bringing in players rather then building them then you need to go all out. The Sharks have been hesitant to both bloood new players or bring in enough players. Leaving us with a lot of gaps in the squad after this season, and only a handful of rather old players announced to be coming in.

  • Comment 60, posted at 28.05.15 09:58:28 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 55) : Fred was a star performer in the 2013 Currie Cup – second-highest points scorer (just 1 behind Boshoff). His slump coincided directly with Jake’s arrival.

  • Comment 61, posted at 28.05.15 10:09:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 60) : Jake is a visionary. Sharks would have really benefited in the long run had he stayed. We buy for the sake of it….this is clear from the non focus of recruiting quality backs in numbers. Only SP over a period of how many years. Joe and Claasens have not joines us yet.

  • Comment 62, posted at 28.05.15 10:12:32 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @Seth101 (Comment 60) : Ok, thanks. Its frustrating not actually knowing what gaps we are going to have after the season as its all speculation at this stage. I suppose the ideal would be if your fringe / juniors could just move up and fill the gaps when needed. Its never going to happen though.

    Regarding Jakes acquisitions, I think all our coaches/unions (SA) would be able (love) to go the same route but our budgets are in totally different leagues. The big question is going to be whether jake bought well considering the amount of cash he had available. The playing fields are nowhere near even when it comes to comparing purchases made by SA unions as opposed to French / Jap / UK clubs.

  • Comment 63, posted at 28.05.15 10:21:40 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 63) : I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I just think the blame is still on the Sharks and SA rugby in general.

    “I suppose the ideal would be if your fringe / juniors could just move up and fill the gaps when needed. Its never going to happen though.”
    Definitely, but if we are going to do this then the players need to have experience before we throw them into the deep end. This weekend was the perfect example of an opportunity we had to give some players Super Rugby experience without any pressure on them.

    As for the money gap between us and other countries, that definitely can’t be argued against. However I would argue that it is due to bad business on our part. I would be interested to see world wide viewing figures for all the rugby leagues, but I would be surprised if Super Rugby wasn’t the most watched. So how is it that we have failed to capitalize on that with better international sponsorship and promotion. How is it that there is more money in Japanese rugby than ours?

  • Comment 64, posted at 28.05.15 10:30:59 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : And since then? Did Jake damage him so badly he can’t play well even when he is gone? If the effect of one coach can cause a period this long of bad play then he definitely does not have the mental strength required of a top athlete and we are making the right choice by letting him go. We have enough at fly half to not need him at all.

  • Comment 65, posted at 28.05.15 10:33:47 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 61) : One good thing about the move to the Cheetahs is that Fred moves out of Pat’s shadow. I really hope he makes a name for himself there.

  • Comment 66, posted at 28.05.15 10:37:23 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 64) : You might be in for a suprise if you think super rugby is the most watched comp . The ozzies and NZLanders dont even watches the SA derbies ..

  • Comment 67, posted at 28.05.15 10:47:42 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 67) : And yet when Sharks play Crusaders in Twickenham it is a club rugby record?

    So you think more people watch Japanese rugby than Super Rugby?

  • Comment 68, posted at 28.05.15 10:50:31 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 68) : Not sure about Japan . But i think Europe might draw more viewers with their super treams they have assembled

  • Comment 69, posted at 28.05.15 10:54:50 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 64) : I dont know that our international sponsorships and viewerships are better than the European leagues, maybe the three quarter empty stadiums is also being echoed in viewership numbers.

    I think the main difference though is that 1 British pound buys R18.49, 1 Euro buys R13.18 and 1US$ buys R12.04. That is a hell of a market to compete against.

  • Comment 70, posted at 28.05.15 10:58:01 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 69) : So maybe we should also form star studded teams and see if it improves our brand. That is pretty much how the BPL grew into what it is today.

    @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 70) : No doubt the exchange rate comes into it. But hence my argument that we should be trying to draw international sponsorship who pay international monies. The stadiums are hugely miss representative because while they full stadiums, their stadiums are much much smaller.

    Also it is 10 Yen to R1 so on that argument Japanese clubs should not be able to pay the salaries they are.

    This is why my argument all comes down to bad business on our part. We don’t take the risk or make the effort to bring in the funds that would allow us to operate like these clubs.

  • Comment 71, posted at 28.05.15 11:05:35 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 71) : Im sure that between the SANZAR franchises there must be some serious marketing, sales and advertising brain power and none have yet come up with an effective tool to keep players at home. The Stormers, Cheetahs and Lions all have leaders in their fields international sponsors and they are also bleeding players.

  • Comment 72, posted at 28.05.15 11:42:10 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 72) : I think SANZAR care more about lining their pockets. These ridiculous tournament setups are definitely not for the fans.

  • Comment 73, posted at 28.05.15 11:45:59 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @Seth101 (Comment 73) : I am with you on that one. Next year’s proposed setup is underwhelming!! I yearn for the days of Super 12 or 14…

  • Comment 74, posted at 28.05.15 21:33:13 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I wish Fred all of the best – he certainly has a lot of potential. I reckon MJ will bring out the best in Fred and will make the sharks look silly for letting him go :twisted:

  • Comment 75, posted at 29.05.15 08:58:36 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 68) :

    European rugby is notoriously poorly attended.

    A few sides get good crowds – Toulon, Munster – but the vast majority of crowds dont get to 10k.
    Munster is more a get-together for the Irish diaspora to be fair.

    Allianz Park, home to Saracens, only has a capacity of 10,000.

  • Comment 76, posted at 29.05.15 13:24:33 by VinChainSaw Reply
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