robdylan

Super 18? Does ANYONE think this is a good idea?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 13 Nov 2015 at 10:48
Tagged with : , , , , ,

For a long time now, whenever talk of Super Rugby expansion has come up, I’ve felt like the proverbial man crying in the wilderness about what a stunningly bad idea it is to keep squeezing this same stone and expecting more blood. Recent events lead me to realise that, unfortunately, I was probably right all along. Pity it’s too late to change it now.

The latest debacle surrounding the Kings has been the final nail in the coffin for me. For years now, we’ve been told that SARU is the union pushing hardest for expansion, with their absolute insistence on a sixth South African franchise the catalyst behind the frankly ludicrous split conference system that will be in place from next year – and one that will undeniably dilute the quality of rugby dished up by the two African conferences, allowing the Antipodean team to pull even further ahead. We’ve been saying for years that South Africa does not have enough quality players (or coaches for that matter) to sustain six franchises, but the ruling body doesn’t listen.

Turns out, though, that when it comes to this bloated six franchise concept, SARU really is all mouth and no money; the latest development is that there isn’t enough money to pay for them either.

Clearly, the appetite for major sponsorships of South African Super Rugby franchises is non-existent at the moment. Clearly, there aren’t even any big companies in the PE area keen to throw their weight behind the Kings. Clearly, based on Cheeky Watson’s travels to Australia, that same argument applies to South African companies as a whole, leading to the search for a foreign sponsor. In fact, about the only person who does seem to have an appetite for giving the Kings some money is maverick French billionaire Mourad Boudjellal.

So here we sit, with a bloated competition that nobody wanted, with six franchises that nobody wanted, with about 240 players of whom at best two thirds are good enough to even play Super Rugby and with an entire squad that cannot be paid because their franchise has no money and no sponsor. But somebody must have money, because we keep hearing that “bigger, better” Super Rugby is better for broadcasters and hence better for all of us rugby fans, since it means more TV rights money which in turn gets ploughed back into the game. Except in this case, clearly, that’s not happening.

So let me end with a simple question, aimed at SuperSport, at SARU, at SANZAR at anyone directly involved in the unholy alliance that has forced this crap product on us. WHERE IS THE MONEY TO PAY THE KINGS PLAYERS? You were the ones who decided this needed to happen – you are the ones who have to make it work.



51 Comments

  • No, year by year SANZAR are killing franchise rugby in the southern hemisphere by milking it dry.

    Ever year northern hemisphere franchise rugby gets better and better, as they buy our good players and make the tournaments more entertaining.

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.11.15 10:50:25 by Seth101 Reply
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  • NO!!! S14 was about the maximum we should have gone.

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.11.15 10:52:45 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • I will never fully be happy with Super Rugby until there is some form of promotion / relegation. Regardless of team numbers or countries involved.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.11.15 10:54:16 by Seth101 Reply
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  • Rob, how can you blame SARU for the Kings mismanagement of funds? If you go look a little bit closer they have been given a crap load of cash.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.11.15 10:56:19 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • We should have stopped at Super 12!!!

    Brilliant article Rob. With 10 games against ‘local’ teams, including the 3 against the Argentinean and Japanese teams, we basically get the Currie Cup with all of the Boks involved.

    Can’t say that this new format excites me at this present moment.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.11.15 10:56:55 by StevieS Reply
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  • I was so close to still giving a fuck but I failed.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.11.15 10:57:22 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I can only see it getting more crazy before it gets better. Wait till its Super 20 something. I now see World Rugby want Japan to join Rugby Championship. Funny they never make reference to the likes of Georgia/Romania etc joining the 6 Nations…and what about the USA also joining them. It seems they want all Southern Hemisphere teams to play in the same comps yet Europe is very selective…

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.11.15 10:58:54 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 4) : want to share some facts about that, since you clearly have many stashed away….

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.11.15 11:00:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 5) : Super14. Thats the only time I felt we had eventually had a better level playing field on the travel factor. During the S14 we wont the cup 3 times, and we had 2 all SA finals, and one bull chiefs final.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.11.15 11:00:46 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • Why not just have a global tournament where you play any other team every week?

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.11.15 11:02:29 by T-Shark Reply

    T-SharkUnder 21 player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : I read somewhere that they got a cash injection not so long ago. That said, why does the Kings expect to be handled like a little child and given pocket money weekly? Surely the other unions don’t get treated the same way.

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.11.15 11:03:27 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 7) : It is going to get worst, The biggest issue now is to make the comp smaller means you have to remove some countries and unions from the setup, which you cannot do now.

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.11.15 11:04:29 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • NO!

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.11.15 11:04:38 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 12) : Yup basically…then Argies and Japs will want 2 teams, then 3…and so on

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.11.15 11:09:12 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 11) : I think if you’re going to allege “financial mismanagement” then you should have something to back it up. Not just “I think I read” or “I heard” and then resort to juvenile name-calling.

    Where do the other teams get their money? Do you think any of them would last more than 3 months without a headline sponsor? The Sharks would be DEAD without Cell C. So let’s not talk about financial mismanagement in rugby as it if applies to the Kings alone – let’s rather ask why there is nobody prepared to step in and sponsor this franchise.

    Nobody wants 6 teams. Nobody wants the Kings. SARU made it happen, SARU must pay for it.

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.11.15 11:09:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • the fact of the matter is , the Kings are part of the problem why we are sitting with this expanded comp, yes SARU may have promised them a spot bla bla bla. but their insistence to being in the comp without deservedly getting a place, via some sort of knockout / promotion relegation match made this whole “cheeky kings” franchise a politically driven problem from the start. We as rugby supporters have to deal with on a yearly basis now and a super rugby comp that makes me really nauseous when I just think about what in for us next season.

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.11.15 11:17:29 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : For sure, but why SARU? Cheeky the asshole Watson should pay for it. He INSISTED that the KINGS be in the the comp at all costs. He got it and now SARU is to blame? come on. Cheeky should have planned better in this instance. Yes the reason nobody wants to sponsor them is because they are just plain crap, and most likely cant even win the Vodacom cup right now.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.11.15 11:21:59 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 11) : Especially not the Lions

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.11.15 11:22:01 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 17) : sometimes, a person makes it clear that they have such a massive blind spot about a particular person that continuing a discussion with them is just not going to be worth your while. I think this is just such a case.

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.11.15 11:32:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 18) : Obviously the Lions had to work their own magic to get where they are now.

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.11.15 11:39:43 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • Including a team that weren’t going to ad anything to the competition was the first mistake. I agree that SARU should be the ones held accountable. How could you hold the union accountable? They wanted to be part of Super Rugby. Who can blame them, but SARU allowed them in without thinking of the consequences.

    This whole thing is a mess. Super 18? In my opinion Super 14 should have already been prove enough that there should be some kind of first tier and second tier if we want more than 12 teams, because Super 12 was by far a better comp to watch than anything after that.

    I believe it’s time to create two divisions. Top and Bottom, with the bottom teams from premier division playing premonition regulation against secondary division teams.

    Determining who goes into what division can be results from the next 2 years, as we are now stuck with this comp until at least 2017.

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.11.15 12:06:20 by Letgo Reply
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  • Can someone please give a reason why I should renew my season tickets.
    The only reason I have so far is a Bok /AB Test,
    But almost R6K for two gold tickets and parking is a bit steep even for that game.

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.11.15 12:15:43 by The hound Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 17) : I think it has very little to do with Cheeky Watson or SARU and more to do with Fikile Mbalula rushed transformation policies

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.11.15 12:33:23 by byron Reply

    byronSuper Rugby player
     
  • My problem with Super XX rugby is it has lost the advantage it once held… In the begining we had currie cup (it was awesome) but it left the same teams playing each other which caused things to stagnate… then Super 10 came in 1993 and we could get experience playing Aussie and NZ teams… but guys got greedy and wanted more teams which meant more games… this continued successfully until 2011 where we went to Super 15 at this point we went to a conference style which means we get a Currie Cup clone with a few extra games vs a foreign team… at this point the plot was lost because now we are not playing enough foreign rugby which means local rugby stagnates… and how it has

    Look at our national side 2009 was our recent prime (a P Divvy loves to remind us) but 2010 was less successful and from 2011 it has been in decline. obviously Super Rugby is not the sole reason for this decline but I think that most would agree that rugby has become a bit to predictable over the last 4 years and this is basically because the coaches at a provincial level have to think how to win local matches (ie currie cup) day in day out each year and then a few extra games 1/2 home games vs a foreign team and 1/2 are away “hope you win” games

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.11.15 12:33:30 by Warren Harvey Reply

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  • Reality is based on the talent coming out of the eastern cape, this country does need the Kings in the Super15. Problem is you cannot create a professional sports team without investing large sums of money into both infrastructure and players. You also need to create the framework to be in a position to compete which provides both competition and consistency.

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.11.15 12:47:10 by byron Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 22) :

    I suppose because as a supporter you just have to believe that we’re going to turn it around and it will all be worth it again. Some other reasons:

    Robert du Preez as assistant.
    Willie le Roux and other new signings.
    Young players like Inny, Dan and Jean-Luc, coming through the ranks.

    Nothing else right now, but hopefully once the season starts there’ll be a bunch more.

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.11.15 12:51:15 by Letgo Reply
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  • Is still cannot get over the fact that the conferences and the groups are not mixed from each country. That in its self would have made things way better and more reasonable.
    The fact that the Africa conference has 3 fixed and Australasia 5 fixed positions for the quarter finals says it all. We will always be at a disadvantage in this competition.

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.11.15 12:57:12 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @byron (Comment 23) : not a topic that’s permitted here.

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.11.15 13:27:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) :No intent of making it a political discussion – just dont believe its very fair to call someone an “arsehole” without much justification when there are other factors at play in rugby. Cant really think of another way to say it without mentioning the dead horse in the room or not not conveying what needed to be said.
    I do apologise

  • Comment 29, posted at 13.11.15 13:53:20 by byron Reply

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  • @byron (Comment 29) : no worries. I know these rules make it hard.

  • Comment 30, posted at 13.11.15 15:23:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • I feel like screaming!!

  • Comment 31, posted at 13.11.15 15:42:12 by pastorshark Reply
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  • So I will: NOOOOOOOOO!!

  • Comment 32, posted at 13.11.15 15:55:19 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Rugby as it was – Curry Cup and Super 14 and Tri- Nations …. That was the best! .

    Rugby is being spoiled because players are exhausted !

  • Comment 33, posted at 13.11.15 17:20:31 by Den Reply

    DenCurrie Cup player
     
  • You don’t know quite how much I think this sucks!

  • Comment 34, posted at 13.11.15 18:36:12 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I watch CC to see SA teams play each other… I used to watch Superrugby to see our SA teams get a lesson in rugby from the best franchise teams in the world (ie NZ and a few Aussie teams)… Under the new format there is no point watching Superrugby :-(

  • Comment 35, posted at 13.11.15 19:49:45 by CS Reply

    CSCurrie Cup player
     
  • Many people have been making a big fuss in recent months about finding a quality head coach for the Sharks that can manage the stress and intensity of Superrugby (ie anybody but Gold)… But now that Superrugby is just a glorified CC it really doesn’t matter anymore does it :-(

    Normally I would’ve been equally emotional about an issue like Head Coach… But under the current circumstances what does it matter… How depressing :-(

    In fact, I would go as far as to say that having a quality coach like Eddie Jones at the Stormers is probably the biggest tragedy of all… Whilst it was an amazing coup to get him there… Isn’t it overkill for a team that’s only going to pit itself against a bunch of crap SA teams (except the up and coming Lions) and a couple of weak Japanese and Argentine outfits…

    Poor Eddie is going to wake up and realise he’s just a glorified CC coach… What a waste! :-(

    #SARUSUCKS!!

  • Comment 36, posted at 13.11.15 19:54:16 by CS Reply

    CSCurrie Cup player
     
  • So to answer Rob’s question: NO

  • Comment 37, posted at 13.11.15 19:58:06 by CS Reply

    CSCurrie Cup player
     
  • @CS (Comment 36) : I get all your points and basically agree…I just wanted to say that I think the Argies may be quite potent…

  • Comment 38, posted at 13.11.15 20:43:15 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 38) : True… I may have been unfair in my classification of the Argies… From all the talk, they seem to be the one outfit that are taking this opportunity really seriously

  • Comment 39, posted at 13.11.15 21:20:46 by CS Reply

    CSCurrie Cup player
     
  • @pastorshark (Comment 38) : Can you imagine the score when a “basically international” argentine team play against the 7-aside Kings (assuming they can afford to pay even those 7 players).

    And heaven help the Kings if they are drawn to play away in Argentina… They’re going to have to spend a week sailing there cos they won’t be able to afford the flights :-)

  • Comment 40, posted at 13.11.15 21:25:31 by CS Reply

    CSCurrie Cup player
     
  • You are being stupid here Rob.

    It’s not possible to have a serious discussion about off-field issues at The Kings without discussing SA politics. These matters are intertwined. Let’s rather just stick to Kings rugby (if and when they play).

  • Comment 41, posted at 14.11.15 02:21:17 by fyndraai Reply
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  • In terms of the kings, it’s kind of dumb bringing up a topic if you’re not going to allow for discussion on the base cause of the problem.

  • Comment 42, posted at 16.11.15 10:07:05 by Seth101 Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 41) : Discussing politics may be relevant on occasion but it opens a massive can of worms that just isnt worth it.

  • Comment 43, posted at 16.11.15 10:39:22 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • No it’s a STUPID idea!!!!!!!!!! Currently SA can only enter 4 truly competitive teams as the lure of the Yen and Euro is way to big!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 44, posted at 16.11.15 11:16:50 by JD Reply
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  • @CS (Comment 40) : I can’t see the Argies fielding their full international team as lots of their players are still under contract in Europe and can’t just walk out on those contracts. That said the Kings is in for huge pain as I can’t see them signing any Super rugby quality players and the one’s they have are leaving or seriously thinking about leaving!
    Really feel for the supporters as they did nothing wrong and will probably have a worse nightmare of a season we had this year!!!!!!!

  • Comment 45, posted at 16.11.15 11:26:07 by JD Reply
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  • TV rights > politics. This expansion is about making the TV rights pie even bigger. Politics was simply a very convenient and timely hobbyhorse used to argue for the inclusion of more teams. This boils down to greed in my opinion. The blame can be laid at SANZAR’s doors.

  • Comment 46, posted at 16.11.15 11:41:29 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Another weekend has come and gone…and I still don’t think this is a good idea…

  • Comment 47, posted at 16.11.15 17:22:38 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 41) : @Seth101 (Comment 42) : I get your points…but your use of language leaves something to be desired. How you say something is mostly at least as important as what you’re saying. And besides that, I think there is a lot to say on the topic of this thread that is possible to say while still respecting the rules of this site…

  • Comment 48, posted at 16.11.15 17:53:13 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 45) : Some of the players have already been released from their European contracts. I read an article yesterday that claimed that 29 of the squad members signed for the Argentinian Super Rugby side have been capped internationally! I can’t vouch for the accuracy of that, though looking at their squad as listed on Wikipedia so far I recognise plenty of names from their world cup squad. So I wouldn’t be so sure of your statement…

  • Comment 49, posted at 16.11.15 18:01:52 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 49) : Just to update that comment: 10 players have already been released from European Contracts and have signed with the Argentine Super Rugby team…

  • Comment 50, posted at 16.11.15 18:14:41 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 50) : Check out this latest squad list for the Argentinians…that is an impressive side:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_2015%E2%80%9316_Super_Rugby_transfers

  • Comment 51, posted at 16.11.15 18:17:00 by pastorshark Reply
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