Stop messing with a working formula

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super 14 on 7 May 2009 at 10:24
Tagged with : , , , , ,

There is nothing wrong with Super Rugby – or rather, nothing that adding more teams to the mix is going to solve.

Looking at the mix of teams – and the historical results – one can’t argue that the balance was closest to being right back in the Super 12 days, when the Kiwis had five teams, South Africa four and the Aussies three. South Africa does not have the quality to field five teams; this is patently clear when we consider that we regularly occupy two of the bottom three positions on the log. More often than not, three South African teams will be among the bottom six.

The Aussies don’t have the player base to field four competitive sides, as can be seen in the decline of the Reds and (to a lesser extent) the Brumbies, since the Western Force was introduced. Increased depth will come for them as they increase the grassroots popularity of the game and I’m afraid that shoehorning yet another sub-standard team into Super Rugby is going to do little to accomplish that goal.

SARU also needs to catch a wakeup here. Nobody else in the SANZAR alliance gives a fig about the Southern Kings or the political imperative behind their inclusion. Fact is, we need to have the balls to take the tough decision and bin either (or preferably both of) the Cheetahs and/or the Lions to make way for the new franchise. Hell, it’s hardly like those teams have a collective leg to stand on based on a truly woeful set of results over the last four years.

The main culprit, of course, is that John O’Neill chap who, as usual, is trying to subvert the entire process to accomplish his own selfish aim. Trying to turn the Super 14 into a souped up Aussie domestic league when he didn’t even have the balls to give his own domestic competition a second season (after the first one tanked) really is a little bit rich. Face it, pal – your own people aren’t that keen on rugby union. Why should South Africa and New Zealand pay the price for your own failings?

Leave the competition (or at least, the allocation of franchises) as is, I implore you. Let each country take the tough decision that are necessary to ensure that the right teams play every year and if that ends up being decided by promotion and relegation based on performance in a national provincial competition, so much the better!


  • ditto

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.05.09 10:27:39 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Nice article Rob! Now how can we get those Aussies to read it!

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.05.09 10:43:34 by Rahul Reply

  • @Rahul (Comment 2) : A is for Apple…

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.05.09 10:59:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : I like fast fowarding to the end…

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.05.09 11:01:13 by Rahul Reply

  • i disagree. get rid of the competition. it has never benefitted sa sides. with the player drain happening in sa, it would be in our best interests to play the northern hemisphere teams and compare sa players against eachother. that way the boks don’t get effected. as long as our guys have to do five week trips to their three we will always get the raw end. not to mention tv schedules etc. DEATH TO SUPER RUGBY!

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.05.09 11:03:26 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @try time (history forgets losers) (Comment 5) : I hope you just going for a reaction here?

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.05.09 11:25:51 by Rahul Reply

  • Bugger you RobDylan.

    I started penning an identical article this monring!
    Mine was entitled “Don’t budge an inch Andy”.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.05.09 11:34:58 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Rahul (Comment 6) :

    I will never accept playing Super rugby on a weekend and test matches in the week.

    If the price that needs to be paid for that is to scrap Super rugby then sobeit.

    Denegrating the northern hemisphere test nations to playing midweek games like dirt-trackers is disrespectful to the extreme and not in the spirit of rugby in hm humble opinion.
    It will also result in the NH sending even weaker teams down for the tests or simply scrapping them altogether.

    The chasm between north and south will widen even further.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.05.09 11:39:42 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Mense: Get realistic , it wont happen no matter what we wants or say.

    You are going to get a S15 three conferense format in the future. All whats going to change is if SA still will be involve or not. Thats the fact.

    I am worried like hell because what we get from the press dont have that message.

    I put this op on TSF with the Kiwis and I havent find one Kiwi that wants this.

    This is the future S15 Competition on the cards:
    3 Conferences playing the teams in the conference home and away first, then the conferences teams play each other.

    Inpractise this mean:
    Stormers will play Sharks, Brutes, Lions & Cheetahs home and away then they go on a 10 week tour and play first Aus conferense (Brumbies, Reds, Tahs, Force Another Team) then NZ ‘s 5 teams. + 18 matches , 9 home.

    This leave you with 4 business end rugby, now this is the one I dunno. Last they were talking about a 6 team play off. This meaning 2 from each conferense I think.

    In total 22 weeks of S14 rugby. My question for the Kiwis is: Is it fair their teams have to play another twice to a Aus or SA conferense?

    You will see the Sharks will have to play the Stormers at least 4 times per year.

    The question isnt if the current one is exciting or work well or what. Its going to change and only that 5th Aus or 6th SA team or the start of this one are the only problem at the moment.

    To sum this all up is we are either going see the one I qoute get going or SA conference will be replaced by a Jap/PI/whatever one.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.05.09 11:43:06 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 8) :
    Rugbywise I think we must scrap both S14 and 3 Nations and replace them with the old tours and get in a NH provincial like competition. We’ll make a lots of money.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.05.09 11:50:35 by PaarlBok Reply

  • Hey Rob you are getting rid of the Chetahs and the Lions what about the Stormers they have done no better??

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.05.09 11:52:27 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 11) :

    That is highly debatable dude.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.05.09 11:54:59 by wpw Reply

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.05.09 11:57:28 by Whindy Reply
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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 9) :

    I know what you mean PB. The boys on the fern are dead against any further change and really would rather team up with us than the shackledraggers.

    But then rugby has moved so far beyond giving the fans what they want that it really doesnt matter – we’ll just take any shitty product they give us and they’ll keep on worrying and obsessing about why viewership numbers are down.

    From my perspective it really shits me that they moan about viewership numbers when you can only wathc two or three S14 games a weekend in Europe because sky dont broadcats the games and dont allow you to watch it either if you ahve a UK-registered IP address. And sky is owned by the Ozzies.

    I’m rapidly losing interest but thankfully pre-season training starts soon and I can get my rugby kicks from actually playing instead of watching.
    SANZAR just dont understand how fickle fans are and if they dont provide the product I want I simply wont watch. It doesnt mean I’m losing interest in rugby – in contrats it’s made me get more involved. I’m just shunning the product they provide.

    For all the “business mogul” that JON claims to be I’m surprised he cant see this.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.05.09 11:58:40 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Whindy (Comment 11) : sure, why not?

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.05.09 11:59:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • The biggest issue have with expanding the S14 is that if your team is not in the top 6 it gets boring very qucikly. Adding in more teams will make this even worse.

    4 goes into 10 quite nicely. It even goes into 12. But 4 doesnt give a good enough return from 14… even worse for 15.
    A whole legion of fans and players lose interest when, after only 5 or 6 rounds, they are no longer in the running.
    Before any of you bring it up – this year is the exception to the rule.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.05.09 12:01:18 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 14) : I agree, that arsehole O’Neill is only interested in $$$ signs. He was dumped by Aussie rugby once before and joined the fsoccer scene and caused just as much sh*t there

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.05.09 12:01:58 by Whindy Reply
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  • Anyway just on principal we shoudl walk away from SANZAR.

    I dont buy the whole “this will kill SA rugby” anyway.
    We survived 30 years of isolation and have been near the top of the pile ever since. That’s only thanks to the Currie Cup and anythign that devalues that is bad for SA Rugby in my humble opinion.
    CC is the lifeblood of the game in SA.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.05.09 12:03:00 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @wpw :
    G G M U! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.05.09 12:10:18 by Rahul Reply

  • @Whindy (Comment 13) :

    Nou hoekom SKREE jy?? πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.05.09 12:10:29 by wpw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 18) : Plus Vinnie I would prefer to watch Currie Cup, with the Boks in it, than super 14, maybe I am a dinasoar, but I get a lot more pleasure watching a hard game of Currie Cup that super 14

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.05.09 12:10:51 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 17) :

    He really is poinson that little man.

    I detest the way he tries to goad SA and baits them in public. It shows a real lack of character and quite frankly I’d rather not be associated with him or his product. It taints our rugby, especially in the eyes of the NH.

    Furthermore somebody really needs to explain to him the difference between quality and quantity.

    I find it laughable how he in anyway thinks the PI or Japan will be able to produce sides that ar ein anyway competitive.
    Fans will very quickly grow tired of watching one-sided games.

    Remember the world cup where NZ put more than 100 points on Japan?
    Recruiting a few over-the-hill players to play for the Japanes will hardly change this.

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.05.09 12:11:41 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 20) : I am not Screaming I am debating 😈

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.05.09 12:11:51 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Rahul (Comment 19) :

    Huh?? ❓

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.05.09 12:12:22 by wpw Reply
  • @Whindy (Comment 21) :

    The think is, is that if CC is your premier product more people will watch.
    I think the old rivalries will flair up and make it much more interesting.

    Plus, not having 15 games of super rugby will do wonders for our top players.

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.05.09 12:12:51 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 22) : I reckon we should, walk away, get Riaan, to revive his welsh/Scottish league talks in the N/H, or whatever he was up to and go back to a decent Currie cup. Then wait for the Kiwis to come back with there tale between their legs, and then we will show them who the Jaapies are!!

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.05.09 12:17:23 by Whindy Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 24) : Glory Glory Man United! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.05.09 12:18:30 by Rahul Reply

  • @Whindy (Comment 26) :


    The funny thing is that I think this is a golden opportunity for SARU to launch a Best-of-the -Best comp.
    Make it invitation only and invite the top teams from Europe, two or three saffa sides, an Argie side, and handful of kiwi (and if we must) Ozzie sides.
    Based in SA, 6 week tournament for bragging rights as the worlds best club/province.
    Structure the comp with no more than 8 or ten sides, early round robin stages and then knockout.

    I know the rosters are already chokka-block, especially in Europe but I think the lure of calling yourself the very best in the world will be too strong.

    Other than that have the Currie Cup as your absolutely premier product.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.05.09 12:25:41 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 18) : Gee die man a bleddie bier! πŸ’‘

    Feel the same way at the moment. We need to break from Sanzar now before Oneil break our game.

    I qoute this before and sussie was on my in a flash but he never learn the secret of sex, qualty rather then quantity. 😳

    A year or two we do the CC thingie and NZ will come back to us. Rugbywise all three nations needs each other but this new proposed S15 sucks big time.

    I am actually shocked Saru havent saw the light earlier.

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.05.09 12:28:00 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 25) : Comparing wise to NZ & Aus it already is a premier product in fact the Kiwis are jealous about our CC.

    Thats just the top teams, what about the youth teams, U19s & U21s. W’ll sign our death certificate if we dont make it our prime product.

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.05.09 12:31:18 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 29) :

    I’m actually really of the opinion that even if this didnt happen I’d still want to break with them.

    I’m so over listening to the Ozzies commentators and it realyl spoils the experience for me.

    I enjoy the kiwis as their knowledge of the game is fantastic, their fans and commentators are fair and their players, for a large part, play a similar game to us – unforgiving and hard. The Ozzies on the other hand spend the comp whingeing and chaeting and I’m just tired of it.

    I fin it shocking when commentator who have been around since year nought can still not pronounce the names of South african players.

    I’m tired of the Ozzie whingeing, I’m tired of their fans, I’m tired of their comentators, I’m tired of them always trying to change the game, I’m tired of their coaches and administrators makign daily blatantly baiting statement i the press, I’m tired to the heavens of John o’Neill, I’m tired fo the strangelhold Sky has on the game in the UK but most of all I’m tired of watching them play.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.05.09 12:34:39 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • And apologies for the spelling above. I know it’s atrotious but I’m too lazy to edit it.

    anyhoo I’m off to pen an article pretty much summarising all my points above.
    Hopefully I finsih it before Rob steals anymore fo my ideas!

    Overs kadovers for now boytjies.

    Nice seeing you again Jan. Chat soon.

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.05.09 12:38:18 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Rahul (Comment 27) :

    I thought as much… πŸ™„

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.05.09 12:38:29 by wpw Reply
  • Oh, and before I go… last night I witnessed everything that is wrong with football… please, please, please may rugby never go down that road.

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.05.09 12:40:20 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Rahul (Comment 6) : i am being 100% serious. 1 sa victory in 14 years is laughable. sa have always got the raw end. end the competition, i want sa players to taste success, not learn how to accept loss.

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.05.09 12:44:02 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 34) : What goes under the heading of everything?

    1. 90 minute yawnfests which end in 0-0 draws. (OK that didn’t happen last night I hear but still)
    2. Anyone giving the ref a mouthful whenever they feel like it.
    3. Blatant cheating by diving in order to get penalties. (not even McCaw cheats so obviously)
    4. Fan hooliganism. “Well you beat us today. Congrats. Here’s a splintered Heinekin bottle in the guts for you.”
    5. Overpaid yobs who think the world is theirs to abuse wherever and whenever they like.

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.05.09 12:46:23 by klempie Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 9) : paarlbok, and this is supposed to get crowds into the grounds. this will chase fans away. it is a joke.

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.05.09 12:47:21 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 18) : this could actually save sa rugby as players we can focus on our player depth, rather than killing the 100 players that are contracted. kill super rugby.

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.05.09 12:52:01 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • Anyone interested in Sharks v British and Irish Lions tickets? R230 a pop.

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.05.09 13:00:05 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 39) :

    Can I pay you in Zim Dollars?? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.05.09 13:02:01 by wpw Reply
  • why dont we kick the aussies out and get argentina, jpn and pi teams to join πŸ‘Ώ or just host the competion in 1 country each year that will get rid of the traveling problems

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.05.09 13:03:34 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 40) : I dunno. Are they appreciating these days? πŸ˜•

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.05.09 13:06:49 by klempie Reply

  • Its actually easy to fix this. Play the CC first and use it for the Conference. Let SA’s top 4 , NZ Top 4 & Aus top 4 qualify for super rugby. Make the teams less, say 12 and play the damn thing as it was. That way our Top Bokke can get a extended rest, only 4 weeks from CC and even the Leopards or Boland have a change to get in Super Rugby.

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.05.09 13:09:18 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 9) : It all fits pretty good.

    Right now the CC is 5 SA teams playing each other home and away.
    Why not call the SA conference the Currie Cup and award it to the best team from that round.
    AUS and NZ can vary their formats as they choose. Local provincial competitions?
    Then the teams all go on a nice long tour. Traditionalists rejoice!
    The best 2 teams from each nation go into the finals. Promotion relegation system.

    All that’s needed is to shuffle the season around a bit.

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.05.09 13:11:06 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 44) : Suppose you havent read my @PaarlBok (Comment 43) : when you posted. πŸ’‘

    Look they have the Febr issue. If you play the CC first we can satrt 1 January for that matter and they can start in March if they want to. So no problem.

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.05.09 13:17:54 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @PaarlBok (Comment 45) : you don’t want to be playing rugby in Durban in January!

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.05.09 13:28:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 43) : thats what i have always thought would be the best schedule. but maybe it is too logical for the ozzies to work out.

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.05.09 13:28:46 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @fyndraai (Comment 44) : 8 not 5 cc teams

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.05.09 13:29:14 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 46) : Why ever not? πŸ˜›

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.05.09 13:35:29 by klempie Reply

  • @try time (history forgets losers) (Comment 48) : Thats your fantasy. The reality is 5.

  • Comment 50, posted at 07.05.09 20:31:54 by fyndraai Reply
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