Monday, May 1, 2017


Australian Rugby is very ill and it may be terminal.
Last evening the NZ super rugby cellar dwellers revealed just how difficult it is for a team in the shaky isles to win home games, crossing the ditch to fortress Bruce Stadium Canberra and winning.
Once great Auckland Blues with titles to prove it beat the ACT Brumbies and it was much closer on the score board than it should have been with three tries all unconverted by Welsh Wizzard  Warren Gatlands son having an appalling night with goal kicking.
Bryn Gatland only kicked one penalty yet his team won with a three try bonus point to reach ninth place out of the eighteen teams in Super Rugby and that would be top eight if the totally unjustifiable conference system did not give a free run to fourth for the Brumbies, arguably Strayas best,   sitting currently fourth on eighteen points four behind The Blues  twenty two.

After nine rounds the Straya teams are still looking for a win against a NZ franchise this year, and a crowd that barely registered in the crowd shots I viewed with paltry being generous.

With Union being a distant fourth behind Rules, League and fast growing Football it is hard to see where to begin but should Bill Culver want to avoid the sort of legacy Neville Chamberlain enjoys today he should as a first step just stay in bed and hide under his doona.


Anonymous said...

When I first joined a UK rugby club about 25 years ago I was amazed to find that even the most hardened player fervently supported a football team mostly inherited and mostly in places they had never visited. The difference between sport and religion is still obvious today.

Aussie rules and league are a religion, rugby is a sport.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Oz Rules is the only truly national winter code dominant in Vic, SA, WA, Tas and the NT and with a significant presence in NSW and Qld. League is dominant in NSW and Qld. In contrast Rugby is a poor cousin. Five franchises were never going to cut the mustard ... the playing numbers arn't there.

If they're looking to cut a franchise then I think the Western Force has a good case to remain. There are significant numbers of South Africans resident in WA and they have a good player base to build on. A Melbourne based team is always going to struggle while I think the Brumbies have earned the right to stay especially given that they have two elite development squads ... Brumbies A and ACT Under 20 teams.

I guess you could argue that soccer is also a national sport across the ditch but as their teams comprise mostly immigrant players and in the words of WRP and Andrew Little they don't count and should be sent back from whence they came.

David said...

vet, I think you'll find that Rugby ranks lower than soccer, cricket and netball, as well. It is almost lower than tiddlywinks.

A Melbourne team may struggle to win, but Melbourne is the most sports mad of all Aus cities. It managed to get around 90,000 to a Bledisloe Cup game, and IIRC, around 60,000 for a pre-season NFL game.

Anonymous said...

Most senior sports success starts at school level. When you play the Wallabies you're playing the influence of less than a dozen NSW parochial boys colleges. They're expensive and rugby is not the only thing they compete for, academic honours is another. Asiatic arrivals now make up a larger portion of these schools than they once did. The Chinese don't place quite as high a priority on their chosen sons getting the crap rucked out of them. They see it rationally, not as character building, but as a form of barbarism.
League is another matter. Bob Jones once wrote that the code was the criminal classes at play; A class that Australia was founded on, with a multitude of descendants today.
Should half the Aussie criminal class ever convert to Union, then forget about All Black dominance. Their bogans are better than ours. The Warriors prove that most weekends.