Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: It's the Super 14, baby!

42 Responses

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  • giovanni tiso,

    I have also become bored with Super rugby. After loyally buying three stadium tickets every year since the Westpac Stadium opened this year I gave it away

    Whenever we drive past the comically hectoring Hurricanes billboard with all he players lined up ("We will be there - will you?") we take turns answering: "Nope".

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The most interesting thing about the Super 14 is the uniforms.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Daniel Wilton,

    The games weren't fun to go to anymore; the crowds were pathetically small and disengaged from the game happening on the paddock and there were too many breaks in play which interupted the flow - maybe rugby has been taking a cue from American football or gridiron.

    Two Refs simpler tackle ball rules, matching numbers in the lineouts all of these things would make rugby flow better and be more fun.

    The NRL is great to watch at the moment.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The most interesting thing about the Super 14 is following who’s been misbehaving.

    Interesting contrast between rugby and Phoenix. A rugby crowd can be 3 times the size of the Phoenix yet somehow manage to generate 10% of the atmosphere.

    Not sure where rugby has gone wrong. A combination of the complex rules (why not just revert to c 1997?), a perception of bullying fans, and not just rugby fans, and the uber commercialisation of the Adidas All Blacks.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    @Daniel Wilton
    I can't help but completely disagree. The only problem I have with the actual rugby at the moment is that forwards aren't having enough to do. I first noticed it with my club team, but now that I've picked it up I can see it in S14, internationals etc. Anything with ELV's.

    What it is is that the forwards on the attacking team don't need to commit as many to the ruck any more. So they hang out in the backline and ruin all our moves!

    Two referees in union would be a ridiculous idea. Sorry, but the prospect of Stu Dickinson and Matt Goddard officiating the same match is like a black hole of hair pulling for me.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Ok on a more serious note.

    I don't think there is much wrong with Super Rugby in terms of the rules. There will always be some dicking around with the rules as admins adapt to improving player skill and technology. It is actually a better game now than it used to be.

    What I've seen of the games is fine too. The chiefs play nice rugby that is athletic and entertaining. It is an athletic spectacle the in a way that Rugby wasn't in the past.

    The issue is getting the public interested right?

    But the dominant feeling I get amongst the few of my friends that care anything about sports, is that it's too early for Rugby.

    This isn't just me being a cricket nut. There is something inherent about Rugby that makes it a winter sport. It's like strawberries at Christmas time, it may not make sense but it's part of the culture. Rugby just ought to be played in winter.

    So along comes February with it's long beautiful summer days spent painting the house or at the beach listening to the radio and hearing a Rugby game seems odd. Turning on the TV and seeing Rugby while the BBQ is still hot is wrong. And no amount of marketing can change that.

    So now it is starting to feel like winter and I'm starting to think about Rugby and there is this competition that is half over? How am I going to get interested in that? The answer for me is that I'm not interested. League is just starting their comp and I can join in and feel like I'm engaged, same for Netball but the Super 14 comp, why bother it's almost over already.

    The NZRU et al all want to get more money and so they've gone down the path of Super 14. It sells well in England (in winter BTW) and they get pots of cash from TV rights. But they've failed to engage the general NZ public and so they have empty stadia which looks bad on TV and makes the product less valuable. Oh dear.

    So give up and play Super 14 in smaller stadia or only open a quarter of the stands and make sure the cameras focus on the packed crowd rather than the bare seats.

    OR

    Play Super 14 in winter, when kiwis give a damn about Rugby and play games at 2:30 pm. That will get you packed stadia. But won't get you good TV payments.

    Two choices really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    it's too early for Rugby.

    Club rugby season now finishes just as the grounds are getting good. I love playing, but I hate having a big fuck-off blister where the stud is by my big toe on both feet for the rest of the week.

    Of course, if I were in S14 I'd be playing on proper pitches.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    League is just starting their comp and I can join in and feel like I'm engaged, same for Netball but the Super 14 comp, why bother it's almost over already.

    Also the rugby season in NZ is the wrong way around.

    We start with the higher level competition (Super 14), then have a bit of top international, then go to the lower level competition (Air NZ Cup), which dwindles off into nothing with no All Blacks, and then we finish with the northern tour which is tremendously difficult to watch because it's on the other side of the world.

    If everything swapped around (NPC, Northern hemisphere tour, Super 14, Northern Teams downunder/Tri-nations in order) then it would build from small to big at all levels and the climax of the season would actually be here in New Zealand so people could see the game, rather than having to get up at 6am to watch it on TV.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, you're not going to convince the northern emisphere nations to tour here in November. I see merit in swapping the NPC and Super 14 around though.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    The most interesting thing about the Super 14 is the uniforms.

    Don't tempt me

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The problem with swapping around the NPC and S14 is the effect on club rugby.

    And, right now, that’s probably my favourite.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Wouldn't that just move as well?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Whenever we drive past the comically hectoring Hurricanes billboard with all he players lined up ("We will be there - will you?") we take turns answering: "Nope".

    Now look here Mr Tiso, I'd love to be a regular at the 'Canes games but have to content myself with the occassional game against the Warratahs in Sydney... (which we mostly win)...

    I'd not commend going to the Sydney Football Stadium for the Warratahs, aside from being a crap side, their supporters are an odd bunch who hardly watch the game. Compared with the Swans fans... now there's a good mob!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Isn’t the SFS for a Warratahs game the place to be seen if you’re on your way to a restaurant in Double Bay?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    LegBreak, that extends to most Eastern Bay restaurants as well as those on the Harbour.

    I'd highly commend going to a AFL game at the SCG, very highly. In fact, I'd recommend not watching AFL on tele until you'd seen it at a stadium. It's actually a damn fine game and a pretty friendly environment (for most of the three hours it's played).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    And while I'm at it, I'd say the best venue in Sydney is the North Sydney oval. I understand some pre-season AFL games are played there as are Shute Shield games (club rugby) - I watched a number of the ICC Womens' World Cup games there.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Problem is that people are complaining about the rules now but in actual fact if you were to watch some old tapes of games from the 80s and 90s you'd slit your wrists. It is a problem now with forwards not comitting to the breakdown because the breakdown is over so much faster and theres no time or need to commit 5, 6, 7 guys.

    A lot of the enjoyment/tension we remember from years gone by isn't that it was a spectacular extravaganza of running rugby, but stems through the fact that there was less rugby on and so what rugby was on meant something big. There was ONE final in NZ worth watching each year (the NPC final) and so it meant something. There were fewer test matches and they meant something. There were tours where your side played the touring Aussies or Lions or Poms and those games really meant something.

    So really its not the rules that need changing its the entire freakin season. They are going on about good crowds in the NH and they love the game. Well thats because they have a simplified structure over there, the games are all played in the same fu*%ing time zone so you can see all of your teams games (when teams go to SA for 3 weeks it like they disappeared down a black hole). The quality of the rugby there is mud regardless of how they think or tell us it is. There sides are made up of many second rate NZers (Riki Flutey anyone) and a whole load of PI players none of you would ever have heard of and if the quality is so great how come Aussie, NZ and SA dick them pretty much all the time?

    Nope, the problem is with a comp that starts too early and it being over complicated with club teams, super 14 teams, NPC teams, AB teams, Junior ABs, Maori ABs.

    But there is no major solution. They can certainly make things a bit better but what people want is what we used to have and that doesn't make enough money to sustain a quality product. Maybe an inferior product that starts at the right time and is simple and easy to follow will actually work though and maybe thats what they have to look at.

    I doubt it though, we will no doubt end up with a super sized version of what we have now with games played in 10 different time zones instead of 5.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

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