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Thread: Is the World Cup bad for Rugby?

  1. #1
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Is the World Cup bad for Rugby?

    Apropos of some of the reactions to Albion's unexpected revival, an example of which is Perm's post in the "knockout stages" thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Perm View Post
    England are ****, they've played two very good games, pretty much the only thing they have done in the last four years. I'm not so much complaining about the format as such, but it's definitely a kick in the nuts for those teams that have played well for four years and then failed, whereas England have been utter crap and still manage to make the final. I hope the Saffies/Argies put 50 points on them.
    Is there altogether too much focus on securing the Webb Ellis trophy at the expense of all other Rugby?

    This year we've had the All Blacks resting their best 22 players for the first 7 rounds of the Super 14, South Africa sending a weakened squad to the Antipodes in the Tri-Nations & Wales playing a third or fourth choice XV at Twickers in one of the warm-up games and going down by a record score. All done in the name of the World Cup.

    As Perm observes England have been fairly ordinary 4 years but have now found ourselves in the final. Does this mitigate what has gone before? Conversely does New Zealand's failure to make the semi-finals negate a period of almost unprecedented success? Three consecutive Tri-Nations titles, a whitewash of the British Lions and a grand slam tour of Britain are impressive achievements, but will ultimately Henry's reign be judged as a failure because he couldn't land the "big one"?

    Is Rugby going down football's (the association variety) route of "friendlies" and thus sacrificing the concept of test match Rugby on the World Cup alter? Would Rugby be better served by a league table like cricket has? Or is the tournament the jewel in the sport's crown and the only chance for the lesser nations to match up to the big boys?

    Thoughts?
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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    A key for Unions commercial growth is its exposure to those who otherwise may have little to do with it.

    Ive watched a lot of these games purely because it is the World Cup whereas I wouldnt turn on the TV in virtually any other circumstance to watch Union.

    The WC aspect holds an attraction to the occasional fan far more than the other tournaments do.

    I dont have them but Im sure if 6 nations and Tri-nations viewing figures were compared to the WC then they would be far, far smaller.

    In terms of revenue and exposure the WC is key.
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    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    The World Cup is not the only thing bad for Rugby - the tactics are dire IMO because of the point scoring..

    Good point raised about the resting of NZ players for the World Cup, how bad a move was that!

    England have done well playing boring Rugby but getting the job done. Great achievement making 2 finals in a row in easily the most important tournament.

  4. #4
    Hall of Fame Member Johnners's Avatar
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    The World Cup in general is great for Rugby. It's basically the only time Rugby gets worldwide coverage, which is great for the minnow teams in terms of the $$$$ it should raise, and for (hopefully) getting more fans interested in the game. Also, imo there has definetly been an improvement in the performance of the minnow teams in the four years since the last WC. Whilst it has obviously produced some questionable tactics (such as the resting of star players etc.) i'm slightly optimistic that it'll only be a once off thing, because as we saw with the All Blacks, it's not going to guarantee you a positive world cup result.

    As NUFAN said though, i think Rugbys biggest problem atm is the defensive tactics employed by many teams, particularly those from the Northern Hemisphere. Whilst it may produces close games, it also generally produces what could be described as a very bland, boring game of rugby. It's good to see that the IRB (well i think it was the IRBs initiative?) has taken some positive steps to overcome this problem though, with the trialing of new/updated laws which are attempting to encourage more attacking rugby instead of a penalty/drop kick-athon. The Australia Rugby Championship has just finished, and they were playing under the proposed new laws and i must say i found the games very entertaining. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but i'm under the impression that the Super 14 will play under these laws next season?
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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clapo View Post
    It's good to see that the IRB (well i think it was the IRBs initiative?) has taken some positive steps to overcome this problem though, with the trialing of new/updated laws which are attempting to encourage more attacking rugby instead of a penalty/drop kick-athon.
    I thought that was done over 100 years ago

  6. #6
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Perm's Avatar
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    Hmm, not too sure TBH. Obviously it's great to have a World Cup and the concept is fantastic, but sometimes I do feel that Test football is sacrificed. We're living in the past if we think we'll get 3 or 5 Test tours to a country and for the touring team to take on the provincial or regional sides though, which would still be a bloody good idea but not a feasible one in this professional age.

    However, teams should be putting out their strongest XV for every Test, unless it is against weaker sides like Fiji, Tonga etc. I don't like experimentation at the highest level and never have, because I beleive that you should trial those fringe players during domestic rugby and see if they are good enough. Really, the step up from the Super 14 or Heinekin Cup to Test rugby isn't that big, except in intensity. I was totally against the moves made by Jake White and Graham Henry to rest top players, and also don't like handing out Test caps like they're going out of fashion.
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    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Perm how can you call Fiji a weaker side?

    They lost to South Africa 37 - 20 - South Africa beat England by 36 points, and England beat France by 5 who beat New Zealand by 2 points.

    Any team who reaches a quarter final and does well is a good side..

  8. #8
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Perm's Avatar
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    Weaker compared to the top nations. France, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia. Below them would be England, Ireland, Wales and Argentina while Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Italy would all be third tier.

  9. #9
    State Vice-Captain ohtani's jacket's Avatar
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    Any problems there are with the World Cup is simply a result of the game turning professional. That's when Test match rugby began being devalued. In the amateur era the WC was an adventure. These days it's a four year slog.

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    International Regular simmy's Avatar
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    I love how Perm is keeping his clear bias to one side....

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    Hall of Fame Member Jamee999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perm View Post
    Weaker compared to the top nations. France, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia. Below them would be England, Ireland, Wales and Argentina while Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Italy would all be third tier.
    And Scotland non-existant?
    Or something.

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    School Boy/Girl Captain Stefano's Avatar
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    I think the RWC is a great thing, simply because it puts on the same field all the best nations in the World. Then, it is a great opportunity for the minnows; they have a chance to play against the great teams. If not for the RWC, Portugal would have never played against the All Blacks or Georgia would have never played against South Africa (in 2003). And because of the World Cup, rugby can have some interest in more countries.

    However, I can see the point: test rugby is being devaluated.

    This year we've had the All Blacks resting their best 22 players for the first 7 rounds of the Super 14, South Africa sending a weakened squad to the Antipodes in the Tri-Nations & Wales playing a third or fourth choice XV at Twickers in one of the warm-up games and going down by a record score. All done in the name of the World Cup.
    I would take Wales out of this picture. Usually there are no test matches in Europe in August and September; and outside the 5/6 Nations, seldom VERY seldom do British teams, France and Italy face each other. That match at Twickers was just a warm-up game! A match where you try new tactics and test those players who are not 100% that they will be in the final squad. And where best players are often removed because you don't want that they get injured. Before the 2003 RWC, England lost to France in Paris... If it were for me, I would not give test status to those warm up matches.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    These tactics whinges come out every time a team succeeds through forward play.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Perm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamee999 View Post
    And Scotland non-existant?
    Forgot about them TBH, probably place them with Ireland, Wales and England.

  15. #15
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Perm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simmy View Post
    I love how Perm is keeping his clear bias to one side....
    Care to explain?

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