It’s Time For Two Tiers In Super Rugby

super rugbyIn the words of the Katie Perry “Super Rugby changes structures, like a girl changes clothes” and very few fans would disagree that the current system is in a shambles.

There is no doubt that the most recent venture into expansion and the inclusion of the Argentinian Jaguares and the Japanese Sunwolves, was intended to broaden the marketing base, hopefully providing a gravy train for the host nations. Yet,the most recent evolution of the competition to a two conference, four group structure, in which many teams will face off only once every second year has proven confusing at best, and disastrous at worst.

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Most Improved Australian XV

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The player depth for the Wallabies is a reason for optimism. Photo sourced from http://www.stuff.co.nz

There is a lot to loath from the Australian Super Rugby conference in 2016, but there is also something to love. Depth.

It may not be immediately evident but once digging through all the hysteria of the post-Rugby World Cup exodus and the performance of the Aussie conference, there are some positive signs to draw hope. Continue reading

The Prospects: Pathway to green and gold

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Jed Holloway has been devastating for the NSW Waratahs in 2016. Photo sourced from: Zimbio

How many fresh faces will we see wearing Wallabies gold in June 2016?

Over the last five non Rugby World Cup (RWC) or Lions Series years, roughly five players have made their Wallabies debuts each June Test series. After seven rounds of Super Rugby, the collective health of Australia’s rugby stars has remained relatively intact. Yet, with the likes of Wallabies incumbent Kane Douglas’ unlikely to recover from a knee reconstruction in time and a number of Super Rugby rounds to come, there will be the opportunity for new blood.

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Hypothetical Pacific heritage rugby teams: Samoa

Manu Samoa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Manu Samoa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup

A little while back we looked at the hypothetical Fijian side, which was overflowing with barnstorming backs who were accompanied by some great forward talent.

There was a 9-6 split of Fijians and ‘foreigners’ in the starting XV, with a further 4-4 split on the bench.

This weeks Samoan side is heavily laden with Samoan talent who have pledged allegiance to other nations. Similarly to the Fijian side, a lot of top tier nations sport Samoan talent among their ranks, however the Wallabies and All Blacks dominate this squad with 5 and 4 respectively.

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Tier 2, Super Rugby and the National Rugby Championship

super rugbyThe penultimate week of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) is upon us and if there is one inarguable truth that can be taken out of the 2015 tournament and that is the closing of the gap. The gap between the tier 1 nations (10 teams) and the chasing tier 2 nations (13 teams).

Since round one, Japan’s performances have been the story of the RWC, Fiji have overcome some poor form in recent years, Georgia have improved by leaps and bounds and the days of 100+ point wins are evidently over.

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NRC Round 8 Review: Perth full of Spirit against the Greater Sydney Rams

Ryan Louwrens delivered the ball well for the Perth Spirit against the Rams.  Photo sourced from www.Zimbo.com
Ryan Louwrens delivered the ball well for the Perth Spirit against the Rams.
Photo sourced from http://www.Zimbo.com
The Perth Spirit have launched themselves into a playoff position (top 4) in their final regular season match, handing the Greater Sydney Rams a convincing 63 to 39 point shellacking.

Fans were thrilled with a try every 320 seconds (5.33 mins) of play, with a total of 15 five pointers being scored throughout the 80 minute encounter, the most of any National Rugby Championship (NRC) match in 2015 with only one round remaining.

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NRC Review Rd 6 Review: The Sydney Stars shine against the Greater Sydney Rams

Jake Wainwright on a barnstorming run for the Stars. Photo sourced from Zimbio
Jake Wainwright on a barnstorming run for the Stars.
Photo sourced from Zimbio

Both teams started strong in front of the 2600 strong crowd, majority of which appeared to be travelling Rams supporters. It was a windy affair at Leichhardt Oval but that did nothing to slow the barrage of tries at either end of the paddock.

The Stars earned a 44-32 win against the winless Rams, keeping them in touch with the undefeated competition leaders; the Canberra Vikings and Brisbane City.
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