S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

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jezzer
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by jezzer »

fourthirtythree wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 9:26 am As Ronk alluded to you could make a good case for "France - Unstoppable juggernaut?" too. Post world cup they'll crack down on the huge numbers of forwards on benches and the giant lumbering players walking round the pitch until they see someone to hit or just fall on top of but this far out it sure looks like France SA for the world cup.
South African teams are definitely the ones to beat now in the URC so bring on next season.
I mentioned France in the OP as the other big emerging threat. But whereas France have the power struggles between club and country, between T14 and H-Cup, between promotion teams and relegation teams.... S Africa as they're about to be set up have much less conflict, more cohesion, more money than they had, better distribution of players, experience/cash in all major comps.

And - on top - the Non-Afrikaans population is providing ever increasing player numbers, in a country where rugby is right up there in popularity .

It's kind of a perfect storm situation.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by Ruckedtobits »

munster#1 wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 9:15 am I personally think that the SA teams joining and winning the URC is a great thing.
For years the Irish teams have played in the most mediocre league in world rugby, where teams can play up to 60 players a season and still win most games handy. Where the best players almost never get into double digit appearances.
A league where a massive percentage of games are just a formality.

Now we will have a much more competitive league, we will see the best players play much more regularly, and hopefully increase attendances along the way.

Sure the SA teams will be even stronger next season, as they look to bring home some of their big names, and benefit from the increased finances resulting from the URC and HC, and will hopefully be impacted less by Covid, but this only means that the Irish teams will have to get stronger, which will inevitably mean that our national team will get stronger.

I for one am really looking forward to next season.
Or, more likely, that more of our players will get injured or be over-played, thus shortening their entire rugby careers. Playing our top players in more competitive league matches will inevitably lead to a lowering of our international performances and a reduction in international income from both prize money and sponsorship. Reducing international income will inevitably lead to less financial support for Provincial rugby and a probable drain of top players from Ireland because their wages are becoming uncompetitive yet their playing regime is becoming more arduous.

Beware of what you wish for, or at least evaluate the potential outcome objectively. Irish Rugby, both Provincially and nationally has enjoyed its best decade ever - even if Munster won nothing. If Munster rugby believes the advent of SA rugby into our competitions will benefit Irish rugby, they should have second thoughts or evaluate that prospect more closely.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by suisse »

SA are absolutely going to join the 6N in the near future. How near remains to be seen but I doubt it'll be 2024 as the reporter said. It makes no sense, whatsoever, for their provincial sides to be playing European club rugby but then South Africa to be in the RC.

Forget about history, tradition, the "6N is a European competition" etc. 27 years since the start of professionalism, this is the first major shift in the global game. More big changes are inevitable. Rugby is struggling to survive, firstly, due to issues around health and safety. Secondly, there is a major drop off in most countries when it comes to playing numbers (probably tied in with health) and thirdly apart from maybe Top 14, the club rugby calendar is boring. Rugby's international game is the only form that is profitable, is interesting and attracts causal fans. Flying teams all the world for utterly pointless league games. Rugby needs more of the games that are actually making money. SA joining the 6N is a step in that direction. There'll be more money for everyone involved
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by heno »

Maybe this is the start of a new era of domination by the South African's across all fronts but if they hadnt just had both teams in the final of the URC we wouldnt be having this conversation. And if one SF was 5 mins longer and the other 5 mins shorter, we could have had a Leinster Ulster final. So they didnt exactly dominate the URC just gone.

But should they have dominated it? With the Covid cancellations before christmas, we ended up with a distorted league, where the trips to SA were cancelled, so they had a lot more travel than planned before christmas, which in effect means harder games for them, and thus they were abnormally towards the bottom half of the table at christmas (cue lots of talk of whats to be done about the shite SA teams). But then from christmas to now, they had the reverse, an abnormal amount of home games, no distraction from the 6 nations, no distraction from Europe, the other teams having to travel in the busy part of the season so somewhat weakened squads being sent, so they had every thing in their favour to go on a run of victories. Which they did and they moved up the table and fair play to them.
But its not going to be like that every year. Next year hopefully there wont be any cancellations etc, so the travel will be more equalised, so you might see teams tackling them in SA with stronger squads, and in the autumn when they will be missing more players due to the RC. They will be in europe, so will have to tackle that with the whole question of what do you priotise, they will have less free weekends to catch up from their christmas/summer break, ie the 6 nation weekends, so will have more continuous weeks of rugby. So lets see how it pans out.
Im not saying they definitely wont dominate the URC going forward, but there are plenty of reasons to withhold putting your house on it.

Assuming that at the very least they go on to do very well in the URC. Does that in itself support the overall arguement? They have been in Super rugby for 25 years, which a lot of people put forward as the best league in the world. At the very least with the NZ teams, they were playing against some of the best players and possibly some of the strongest club teams. For the reasons we know, thats been traded in for the URC which is widely regarded (unfairly if you ask me) as the worst of the professional leagues (or top 4 leagues). From a rugby point of view, that doesnt support the arugement that something seismic has happened. OK the improvement in the TV timings and the money and the fan attention hopefully will improve things financially for them, but is that more about offsetting the poor Rand and trying to hold players in the country rather than world domination?

If they do join the 6N (which is a huge if), that will use up the free weekends that they have now for catching up for their missed games during the christmas/summer break. And these games are the local derby games. So they will end up playing them during christmas, midweek, start of the season during the RC or the same weekends as the 6Ns. All of which will have the effect of doing down the importance of the derby games, which damages the URC brand for them.

Them joining the 6N deserves a thread in itself, but you have the issues with will it be 7 teams which will mean bye weekends for one country who will then have their local club derby games that weekend, which damages the 6N brand. Are all the nations going to agree to that? Will be a 6 team competition, ie throw italy out, which will sh!t all over the supposed primary goal of World Rugby of growing the game.

If they dont leave the RC, that again throws up huge questions. Will they continue in the summer / autumn tours? If so that means they will essentially be on a 12 month calendar, their Sprinboks will hardly ever be released back to to the clubs, further harming their ability to attract attention from the fanbase and be successful in the URC. When will they have their off season? Maybe we should just have a worldwide season long international competition and be done with it?

A lot of the other points (ie schools, currie cup, overseas boks) will be no different next year than they have been last year, so I dont see how they are evidence of a step change. They are evidence of SA being a strong rugby country, which they have been for some time, and hopefully will continue to be - we cant afford any of the top 10 countries falling away. I see their joining the URC as a good reorganisation of their setup and hopefully will yield good results to them and the rest of the URC even if that means the rest winning it less (but not never).

The changes to the 6N/RC if they happen will be huge to the world game and will unbalance everything for everybody, so I wouldnt be in favour of those. If they do come to pass, it wont be because CVC want it, it will be because everyone has agreed to it. So we will have to see. But if they do happen, everything will be different so I would see those changes as discreet items on their own, and not part of an overall journey that has started with SA winning their first URC.

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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by ronk »

The team with a week off gets extra time for travel. Not sure exactly how it works out but I'm guessing something like the NFL where the London games are timed to be adjacent to bye weeks.

With a few years of successful participation I see them coming in to little resistance. 12 month calendars are all workable, SA have the panel to allow them rotate players and we may see players taking lengthy mid season breaks. Or we'll see a few players who are effectively full time internationals.

I still think people are reading way too much into the semis going against us.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by Dave Cahill »

heno wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 1:51 pm
Them joining the 6N deserves a thread in itself, but you have the issues with will it be 7 teams which will mean bye weekends for one country who will then have their local club derby games that weekend, which damages the 6N brand. Are all the nations going to agree to that? Will be a 6 team competition, ie throw italy out, which will sh!t all over the supposed primary goal of World Rugby of growing the game.

Italy own 1/7 of the Six Nations, valued at between 350 and 500 million euro. No one is throwing them out without a massive bag of used oncers.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by paddyor »

Think it's more likely the South Africa in the 6n is a wedge to force the issue of annual/biennial RWC lite fixtures.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by Ruckedtobits »

heno wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 1:51 pm Maybe this is the start of a new era of domination by the South African's across all fronts but if they hadnt just had both teams in the final of the URC we wouldnt be having this conversation. And if one SF was 5 mins longer and the other 5 mins shorter, we could have had a Leinster Ulster final. So they didnt exactly dominate the URC just gone.

But should they have dominated it? With the Covid cancellations before christmas, we ended up with a distorted league, where the trips to SA were cancelled, so they had a lot more travel than planned before christmas, which in effect means harder games for them, and thus they were abnormally towards the bottom half of the table at christmas (cue lots of talk of whats to be done about the shite SA teams). But then from christmas to now, they had the reverse, an abnormal amount of home games, no distraction from the 6 nations, no distraction from Europe, the other teams having to travel in the busy part of the season so somewhat weakened squads being sent, so they had every thing in their favour to go on a run of victories. Which they did and they moved up the table and fair play to them.
But its not going to be like that every year. Next year hopefully there wont be any cancellations etc, so the travel will be more equalised, so you might see teams tackling them in SA with stronger squads, and in the autumn when they will be missing more players due to the RC. They will be in europe, so will have to tackle that with the whole question of what do you priotise, they will have less free weekends to catch up from their christmas/summer break, ie the 6 nation weekends, so will have more continuous weeks of rugby. So lets see how it pans out.
Im not saying they definitely wont dominate the URC going forward, but there are plenty of reasons to withhold putting your house on it.

Assuming that at the very least they go on to do very well in the URC. Does that in itself support the overall arguement? They have been in Super rugby for 25 years, which a lot of people put forward as the best league in the world. At the very least with the NZ teams, they were playing against some of the best players and possibly some of the strongest club teams. For the reasons we know, thats been traded in for the URC which is widely regarded (unfairly if you ask me) as the worst of the professional leagues (or top 4 leagues). From a rugby point of view, that doesnt support the arugement that something seismic has happened. OK the improvement in the TV timings and the money and the fan attention hopefully will improve things financially for them, but is that more about offsetting the poor Rand and trying to hold players in the country rather than world domination?

If they do join the 6N (which is a huge if), that will use up the free weekends that they have now for catching up for their missed games during the christmas/summer break. And these games are the local derby games. So they will end up playing them during christmas, midweek, start of the season during the RC or the same weekends as the 6Ns. All of which will have the effect of doing down the importance of the derby games, which damages the URC brand for them.

Them joining the 6N deserves a thread in itself, but you have the issues with will it be 7 teams which will mean bye weekends for one country who will then have their local club derby games that weekend, which damages the 6N brand. Are all the nations going to agree to that? Will be a 6 team competition, ie throw italy out, which will sh!t all over the supposed primary goal of World Rugby of growing the game.

If they dont leave the RC, that again throws up huge questions. Will they continue in the summer / autumn tours? If so that means they will essentially be on a 12 month calendar, their Sprinboks will hardly ever be released back to to the clubs, further harming their ability to attract attention from the fanbase and be successful in the URC. When will they have their off season? Maybe we should just have a worldwide season long international competition and be done with it?

A lot of the other points (ie schools, currie cup, overseas boks) will be no different next year than they have been last year, so I dont see how they are evidence of a step change. They are evidence of SA being a strong rugby country, which they have been for some time, and hopefully will continue to be - we cant afford any of the top 10 countries falling away. I see their joining the URC as a good reorganisation of their setup and hopefully will yield good results to them and the rest of the URC even if that means the rest winning it less (but not never).

The changes to the 6N/RC if they happen will be huge to the world game and will unbalance everything for everybody, so I wouldnt be in favour of those. If they do come to pass, it wont be because CVC want it, it will be because everyone has agreed to it. So we will have to see. But if they do happen, everything will be different so I would see those changes as discreet items on their own, and not part of an overall journey that has started with SA winning their first URC.

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Good post with lots of good analysis. Agree with lots except the last para.

CVC will bring about changes consequentially and have explained that rationale to key investors. The 6N competition has been their primary target withe Heineken Cup their secondary target for massive change and financial development. They absolutely believe that they can engineer step changes in both competitions and get participants to agree those changes in exchange for more money. The same financial engineering will occur with NZ rugby, now that they have allowed external investors in to "influence the future marketing of the game".
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by riocard911 »

Ruckedtobits wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 9:09 am
ronk wrote: June 22nd, 2022, 10:44 pm Yeah. Putting SA in the Heineken Cup is the audition. Now all it takes is a few years without someone shitting the bed.

France will get light touch until the RWC, then law changes and/or refereeing interpretations will hobble the giant forwards somewhat. If we want to beat them in the RWC we won't get any help.

But after that World Rugby need to protect the game in Wales, Australia and Italy. There isn't enough money in rugby to play the French way and the game won't grow if the most watchable teams can't win.

I don't see living in 2 hemispheres are setting up SA for dominance. The bar got raised, but not to a height we haven't cleared before. Next season we're going to go to altitude, and we'll go to win. We gave them that shock, they struck back. Now it's our turn.
I will campaign and furiously fight against the inclusion of SA in the 6N. This is the best spectator-oriented Rugby tournament in the world, bar none. But it is a European Competition, based on sharing and enjoying the cultural and Rugby rivalry of our six countries. The extension, first to France and then to Italy were logical progressions when each occurred. There is no such logic in the inclusion of SA.

This possible move is solely driven by the greed of CVC and Irish rugby management must oppose it at every level. I have no interest in an annual trip to Cape Town or Jo'bourg to be beaten up (on or off the pitch) by S Africans. Nor do I have any desire to play them internationally more than every 4 or 5 years.

Irish Rugby does not need annual fixtures against S Africa. We have a traditional tournament which is competitive and attractive. Let's ensure it is not sacrificed in the short-term for commercial gain which will go outside the game and come from the pockets of rugby supporters.

This is precisely the type of manouver I anticipated when CVC started to court the European rugby authorities. Now they have enlisted a number of rugby media correspondents to promulgate their avaricious ambitions and in successive years their campaign will build.

In my view they can FRO!
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by heno »

Ruckedtobits wrote:
heno wrote: June 23rd, 2022, 1:51 pm Maybe this is the start of a new era of domination by the South African's across all fronts but if they hadnt just had both teams in the final of the URC we wouldnt be having this conversation. And if one SF was 5 mins longer and the other 5 mins shorter, we could have had a Leinster Ulster final. So they didnt exactly dominate the URC just gone.

But should they have dominated it? With the Covid cancellations before christmas, we ended up with a distorted league, where the trips to SA were cancelled, so they had a lot more travel than planned before christmas, which in effect means harder games for them, and thus they were abnormally towards the bottom half of the table at christmas (cue lots of talk of whats to be done about the shite SA teams). But then from christmas to now, they had the reverse, an abnormal amount of home games, no distraction from the 6 nations, no distraction from Europe, the other teams having to travel in the busy part of the season so somewhat weakened squads being sent, so they had every thing in their favour to go on a run of victories. Which they did and they moved up the table and fair play to them.
But its not going to be like that every year. Next year hopefully there wont be any cancellations etc, so the travel will be more equalised, so you might see teams tackling them in SA with stronger squads, and in the autumn when they will be missing more players due to the RC. They will be in europe, so will have to tackle that with the whole question of what do you priotise, they will have less free weekends to catch up from their christmas/summer break, ie the 6 nation weekends, so will have more continuous weeks of rugby. So lets see how it pans out.
Im not saying they definitely wont dominate the URC going forward, but there are plenty of reasons to withhold putting your house on it.

Assuming that at the very least they go on to do very well in the URC. Does that in itself support the overall arguement? They have been in Super rugby for 25 years, which a lot of people put forward as the best league in the world. At the very least with the NZ teams, they were playing against some of the best players and possibly some of the strongest club teams. For the reasons we know, thats been traded in for the URC which is widely regarded (unfairly if you ask me) as the worst of the professional leagues (or top 4 leagues). From a rugby point of view, that doesnt support the arugement that something seismic has happened. OK the improvement in the TV timings and the money and the fan attention hopefully will improve things financially for them, but is that more about offsetting the poor Rand and trying to hold players in the country rather than world domination?

If they do join the 6N (which is a huge if), that will use up the free weekends that they have now for catching up for their missed games during the christmas/summer break. And these games are the local derby games. So they will end up playing them during christmas, midweek, start of the season during the RC or the same weekends as the 6Ns. All of which will have the effect of doing down the importance of the derby games, which damages the URC brand for them.

Them joining the 6N deserves a thread in itself, but you have the issues with will it be 7 teams which will mean bye weekends for one country who will then have their local club derby games that weekend, which damages the 6N brand. Are all the nations going to agree to that? Will be a 6 team competition, ie throw italy out, which will sh!t all over the supposed primary goal of World Rugby of growing the game.

If they dont leave the RC, that again throws up huge questions. Will they continue in the summer / autumn tours? If so that means they will essentially be on a 12 month calendar, their Sprinboks will hardly ever be released back to to the clubs, further harming their ability to attract attention from the fanbase and be successful in the URC. When will they have their off season? Maybe we should just have a worldwide season long international competition and be done with it?

A lot of the other points (ie schools, currie cup, overseas boks) will be no different next year than they have been last year, so I dont see how they are evidence of a step change. They are evidence of SA being a strong rugby country, which they have been for some time, and hopefully will continue to be - we cant afford any of the top 10 countries falling away. I see their joining the URC as a good reorganisation of their setup and hopefully will yield good results to them and the rest of the URC even if that means the rest winning it less (but not never).

The changes to the 6N/RC if they happen will be huge to the world game and will unbalance everything for everybody, so I wouldnt be in favour of those. If they do come to pass, it wont be because CVC want it, it will be because everyone has agreed to it. So we will have to see. But if they do happen, everything will be different so I would see those changes as discreet items on their own, and not part of an overall journey that has started with SA winning their first URC.

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Good post with lots of good analysis. Agree with lots except the last para.

CVC will bring about changes consequentially and have explained that rationale to key investors. The 6N competition has been their primary target withe Heineken Cup their secondary target for massive change and financial development. They absolutely believe that they can engineer step changes in both competitions and get participants to agree those changes in exchange for more money. The same financial engineering will occur with NZ rugby, now that they have allowed external investors in to "influence the future marketing of the game".
I guess what I meant was cvc can't force their will regardless of what all the other stake holders think. If they manage to convince the rest of them to do it fair play(that's what they were brought in for). But then it's everyone's fault, not cvcs fault if it comes to pass.

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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by ronk »

Montpellier about to win the final.

It’s annoying to think that they get to win something after their season.

But I think it also shows that we shouldn’t be worried about France.
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Re: S Africa - Unstoppable juggernaut?

Post by Cheeses of Nazareth »

They’ll also get Lions tours every 12 years, another nice money spinner for them.
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