NZ Rugby League

NZ Rugby League

Post by Jamie Walke » Sat, 14 Sep 1996 04:00:00


I thought I'd attempt ot get some discussion going on league in NZ
(though this newsgroup is dominated by UK / Aust chit-chat). Just for
the sake of argument, it seems on the face of it that the Superleague
cash has been beneficial for league in NZ at a fundamental level. Here
in Otago the game struggles against a *** rugby union, but the
Superleague cash has enabled local teams to participaate in competitions
that they haven't been involved in before. (eg this years North Island
youth tournaments). This has seen some recognition for the game in the
local media which, aside from the Warriors, tends to almost completely
ignore league in favour of union. Any comments?

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by rich » Sun, 15 Sep 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>I thought I'd attempt ot get some discussion going on league in NZ
>(though this newsgroup is dominated by UK / Aust chit-chat). Just for
>the sake of argument, it seems on the face of it that the Superleague
>cash has been beneficial for league in NZ at a fundamental level. Here
>in Otago the game struggles against a *** rugby union, but the
>Superleague cash has enabled local teams to participaate in competitions
>that they haven't been involved in before. (eg this years North Island
>youth tournaments). This has seen some recognition for the game in the
>local media which, aside from the Warriors, tends to almost completely
>ignore league in favour of union. Any comments?

Interesting comments but I would have to disagree.  All the commentaries I
have heard/read/seen agree that RL in NZ in 1996 has been backpeddling fast.

First, the ARL/Superleague battle prevented early Warriors games and showed
clear rifts between players (pro SL)/NZRL (pro SL)/Warriors Board (Pro ARL).
The arguments and bitter images (eg: Bailey tearing up NZRL letters and
throwing in a dust bin) were prolonged and unedifying and turned off many
new found fans.

Secondly, the Warriors failed to perform..showing a lack of consistency and
true top eight ability.Their crowds fell by a third, the hype died down,
they are looking at a huge loss for the season...

Thirdly, we have yet to see any international RL. The upcoming  Papua New
Guinea is scarcely a crowd puller in a land used to the Wallabies and the
Springboks, and the GB side in the past have struggled to attract much
interest, usually content to base themselves in Auckland and fly to venues
on a day by day basis...scarcely the tactic to gain credibility from NZ's
sporting public.

Fourthly, with RU professionalism, the drain of top class RU players to RL
in NZ has well and truly stopped..in fact the reverse is starting to happen
with Dave Drummond and Earl Va'aa in Wgtn in particular going to RU.

Fifthly, the domestic RL competition continues to flounder. Pitiful
attendances, minmal interest, lack of 'name players'..all contribute to a
big yawn.

Sixthly, RU changed its rules to increase running, big hits, clean
possession, fewer scrums...

Seventhly, it worked!! RU has never had a better season. Starting off with
the Super 12 the NZ public was enthralled by the best 12 provincial teams in
the world playing spectacular, skilled, fast , open rugby. Attendances were
huge around the country and in Aus and in SA. Next the mighty All Blacks won
9 out of 10 internationals in engrossing and incredibly intense games. They
were feted in a huge ticker tape parade down the main street of NZ's biggest
city on their return from SA..true national heroes! And now we are seeing
the Ranfurly shield sparking intense emotional and parochial pride as it
travels from Auckland to taranaki to Waikato to who knows where next?
and finally of course the NPC is in full swing and interest, once again, is
high.

Eighthly, to cap it all off, the NZ Barbarains will travel to UK at the end
of the year (rumoured to include John Kirwan and Mark Ellis) to rout
England.

RL in NZ in 1996 has lost a lot of ground.

richie#1

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by jason ros » Mon, 16 Sep 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>I thought I'd attempt ot get some discussion going on league in NZ
>(though this newsgroup is dominated by UK / Aust chit-chat). Just for
>the sake of argument, it seems on the face of it that the Superleague
>cash has been beneficial for league in NZ at a fundamental level. Here
>in Otago the game struggles against a *** rugby union, but the
>Superleague cash has enabled local teams to participaate in competitions
>that they haven't been involved in before. (eg this years North Island
>youth tournaments). This has seen some recognition for the game in the
>local media which, aside from the Warriors, tends to almost completely
>ignore league in favour of union. Any comments?

 Well with myself coming from the West Coast South Island NZ. Which is one
of the few places in NZ that rugby struggles against league and now living
in Auckland have some view points.
  Super League is  a very good thing to happen to rugby league in this
country and the world. The ARl has in the past been the leader in league
in the world. And they want it too stay that way.
  But with Super laegue money the game at the grass roots level can only
improve.

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by Jamie Walke » Mon, 16 Sep 1996 04:00:00

"Interesting comments but I would have to disagree.  All the commentaries I
have heard/read/seen agree that RL in NZ in 1996 has been backpeddling fast.

First, the ARL/Superleague battle prevented early Warriors games and showed
clear rifts between players (pro SL)/NZRL (pro SL)/Warriors Board (Pro ARL).
The arguments and bitter images (eg: Bailey tearing up NZRL letters and
throwing in a dust bin) were prolonged and unedifying and turned off many
new found fans."

That's certainly true to some extent. However I get the impression that that unpleasant
period is pretty much behind us. I also wonder whether many if those 'new-found league
fans' are merely part of an ever present group of transient sports followers who have no
real loyalty for any particular code, but are quick to be involved with whatever is
'hot' at the time. The majority of true league fans would, I suggest, require more than
the missing of a couple of early season games and the exchanging of hollow rhetoric to
change allegiances.

"Secondly, the Warriors failed to perform..showing a lack of consistency and
true top eight ability.Their crowds fell by a third, the hype died down,
they are looking at a huge loss for the season..."

Yes, certainly a frustrating lack of consistency - though by no means the only quality
side to have had that problem this season. This should not be confused with any absence
of top eight ability. The potential is overwhelming. Despite their inconsistency the
Warriors only narrowly missed out this season. Would you have said the same thing about
Brisbane and Canberra in their second year of competition? What's more, I don't believe
that NZRL's involvement with Superleague has played any significant role in this.

The hype is less than season '95, but you would expect that to some extent. It may be a
result of Superleague uncertainty in that marketing and TVNZ were forced to make a
standing start at the beginning of the season, rather than hitting the season at pace -
in stark contrast to the build-up to the Warrior's first season.

As to the "huge loss", my understanding is that it will only eventuate if Superleague
doesn't get off the ground, which remains to be seen...

"Thirdly, we have yet to see any international RL. The upcoming  Papua New
Guinea is scarcely a crowd puller in a land used to the Wallabies and the
Springboks, and the GB side in the past have struggled to attract much
interest, usually content to base themselves in Auckland and fly to venues
on a day by day basis...scarcely the tactic to gain credibility from NZ's
sporting public."

Spoken like a true rugby fan. If I may be equally parochial, neither the Wallabies nor
the Springboks are of much interest to me. The Kumuls are a historical NZ Rugby League
rival, and have beaten many good NZ sides when played at home. I think you'll find the
GB side will attract more interest this time round with the increased profile of UK
Rugby League in NZ (through SKY for example), and the involvement of Betts and Platt
with the Warriors. The GB side does not have a credibility problem with the NZ public.
How could they with that much talent? The fact that Brisbane or Manly etc etc base
themselves in Australia and fly to Auckland the day before a game doesn't seem to affect
their credibility.

"Fourthly, with RU professionalism, the drain of top class RU players to RL
in NZ has well and truly stopped..in fact the reverse is starting to happen
with Dave Drummond and Earl Va'aa in Wgtn in particular going to RU."

The balance was bound to be redressed to some extent now that Union is finally starting
to get its act together. The pro-Union media has been quick to shout fire on this issue,
but the fact is that the top League clubs will still provide better and more
professional facilities, coaching, and non-league opportunities for some time to come.
You might also be interested to know that the Otago Rugby Union tried all out to
convince Timu and Ellis to return temporarily now that their league season is over.
Neither of them were prevented from doing so by their respective league club, yet
neither agreed.

Secondly, there has been growth at the other end of the spectrum. League has experienced
phenomenal growth at the younger age group levels this season. Many secondary school
students are playing League for their school when before they could not have (even had
they wanted to) and would have instead played Union. This will impact on both codes in
around 5 years time when those kids become the next generation of players entering the
top-level. This is due in no small part to the Superleague funds that the NZRL had at
its disposal this year, allowing it to go beyond the bare necessity funding of the game
at higher levels.

"Fifthly, the domestic RL competition continues to flounder. Pitiful
attendances, minimal interest, lack of 'name players'..all contribute to a
big yawn."

Again the pro-Union media have done their part here, though the Footy Show contiues to
rate well. Attendances continue to improve. The Lion Red Cup will always struggle to be
more than a source of players for the overseas clubs. However, even in that respect it
is valuable. Players who are discovered via the Lion Red Cup get all the benefits of the
massive resources the overseas clubs have to offer and thus the Kiwis get stronger with
every passing season. The Grand Final today was not "...a big yawn.", and I think
"flounder" is a gross exaggeration. There is some very real talent on display.

"Sixthly, RU changed its rules to increase running, big hits, clean
possession, fewer scrums...

Seventhly, it worked!! RU has never had a better season. Starting off with
the Super 12 the NZ public was enthralled by the best 12 provincial teams in
the world playing spectacular, skilled, fast , open rugby. Attendances were
huge around the country and in Aus and in SA. Next the mighty All Blacks won
9 out of 10 internationals in engrossing and incredibly intense games. They
were feted in a huge ticker tape parade down the main street of NZ's biggest
city on their return from SA..true national heroes! And now we are seeing
the Ranfurly shield sparking intense emotional and parochial pride as it
travels from Auckland to taranaki to Waikato to who knows where next?
and finally of course the NPC is in full swing and interest, once again, is
high."

Have you ever noticed how all the changes that the fans believe make Rugby a better game
have one thing in common? They all make Rugby more like League! League at its best, in
my opinion, will always be a more exciting spectator sport. Rugby, of course, is the
traditional main stay of New Zealand sport, however there are plenty of League fans
around the country and increasingly pockets of support where Rugby comes very much
second. So while this season is shaping up to be a good one for Rugby fans, to true blue
League fans....it's only Rugby.

"Eighthly, to cap it all off, the NZ Barbarains will travel to UK at the end
of the year (rumoured to include John Kirwan and Mark Ellis) to rout
England."

They can have Kirwan (he should have stayed in retirement), and I doubt Ellis will be
there.

"RL in NZ in 1996 has lost a lot of ground."

SOME ground, but when the Superleague appeal comes through much stability will be
restored and Rugby League will be consolidated in Australia and the UK, continue to grow
in support in NZ, and continue to develop in new countries as it has been over recent
years.

J.W.

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by Jamie Walke » Tue, 17 Sep 1996 04:00:00

Quote:


> >I thought I'd attempt ot get some discussion going on league in NZ
> >(though this newsgroup is dominated by UK / Aust chit-chat). Just for
> >the sake of argument, it seems on the face of it that the Superleague
> >cash has been beneficial for league in NZ at a fundamental level. Here
> >in Otago the game struggles against a *** rugby union, but the
> >Superleague cash has enabled local teams to participaate in competitions
> >that they haven't been involved in before. (eg this years North Island
> >youth tournaments). This has seen some recognition for the game in the
> >local media which, aside from the Warriors, tends to almost completely
> >ignore league in favour of union. Any comments?

>  Well with myself coming from the West Coast South Island NZ. Which is one
> of the few places in NZ that rugby struggles against league and now living
> in Auckland have some view points.
>   Super League is  a very good thing to happen to rugby league in this
> country and the world. The ARl has in the past been the leader in league
> in the world. And they want it too stay that way.
>   But with Super laegue money the game at the grass roots level can only
> improve.I was a bit sceptical about Superleague for a start (probably because I wasn't sure what

it would mean for TV coverage!), but lately it seems to have been more and more
positive. (see my comments to the other article posted on this subject) I think the ARL
may have been its own worst enemy here. They had plenty of time to try and make a deal
with Superleague. It would have been better for the game, and what's good for the game
is good for the ARL.

JW

P.S. I'm sort of an ex-coaster myself. North Island born, but I lived in Greymouth for 3
years as a kid (and before I was the raving league fan I am today!) E-mail me personally
if you're interested to see whether we have any mutual acquaintances!

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by Jamie Walke » Tue, 17 Sep 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Interesting comments but I would have to disagree.  All the commentaries I
> have heard/read/seen agree that RL in NZ in 1996 has been backpeddling fast.

> the domestic RL competition continues to flounder. Pitiful
> attendances, minmal interest, lack of 'name players'..all contribute to a
> big yawn.

> RL in NZ in 1996 has lost a lot of ground.

> richie#1

Here's some recent comments you may not have seen re the Lion Red Cup comp.:

"The competitive nature of the rest of the competition also augers well for 1997 and,
more particularly, is great testimony to the quality of the players and the quality of
the coaching which has been evident in this current season...

As the Lion Red Cup settles into its rightful place in the New Zealand Rugby League
scene we are now beginning to see just how valuable this national concentration of
talent has become to the overall development of our great game. During 1996 we witnessed
the inaugural North-South challenge and we also saw the New Zealand XIII and the New
Zealand Maoris participate in the Pacific Series. When you look at the performance of
the Auckland Warriors Reserve Grade team it is also encouraging to note that out of the
first weekend's lineup for Frank Endacott, 12 of the 17 players have had Lion Red Cup
experience."  Graham Carden. President NZRFL.

-sure he has a vested interest, but noone who follows the local scene closely could
disagree. Same goes for the following:

"Now in its third year, the Lion Red Cup competition is firmly established as the
premier grade football for New Zealand based rugby league players.

The opportunities for those players have grown with the Lion Red Cup. This year has seen
the introduction of the Lion Red Challenge between North and South and a full
international programme for the Lion Red Cup XIII.

Both opportunities represent another step up for our best players on the domestic
scene..." Kevin Stratful, Managing Director, Lion Breweries.

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by rich » Thu, 19 Sep 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
> the fact is that the top League clubs will still provide better and more
>professional facilities, coaching, and non-league opportunities for some

time to come.

You've lost me. What RL facilities are "better and more professional" than
Eden Park, The new Albany stadium, Lancaster Park, Carisbrook, McLean Park
et al and even dare I say it Athletic Park which dreadful as it is is the
NZRL are paying to use it for a match against the GB side?

 Coaching?? Surely you don't mean good old Frank "Plonker personified"
Endicott? I suppose his coaching talent has been well demonstrated in the
NZRL NZ team's sparkling record of recent years..  They should turn up
to a few All Black training sessions (if they can find a spot given that
average attendance at an AB training session is about 3,000 these days, and
in the wet too)..they might learn something.

What "non-league opportunities"? Dodging shot gun blasts perhaps at club
games, trying not to offend the local gang members..

Quote:
>Secondly, there has been growth at the other end of the spectrum. League
has experienced
>phenomenal growth at the younger age group levels this season. Many
secondary school
>students are playing League for their school when before they could not
have (even had
>they wanted to) and would have instead played Union. This will impact on
both codes in
>around 5 years time when those kids become the next generation of players
entering the
>top-level. This is due in no small part to the Superleague funds that the
NZRL had at
>its disposal this year, allowing it to go beyond the bare necessity funding
>of the game
>at higher levels.

Interesting comment but unfortunately not supported by the facts. get a copy
of the latest Hilary Commission Report..Total school boy RU players 117,000,
Total RL school boy players 3,400.  Says it all really.

Quote:
>Again the pro-Union media have done their part here,

Is this anti-media paranoia shared by all RL fans? So RL fans will not
support RL matches because somehow a pro RU media tells them not to!!  Go
check out alt.jfk.***...you'll feel at home mate.

 >though the Footy Show contiues to

Quote:
>rate well. Attendances continue to improve.

Again some facts...NO RL match has rated in the top 20 weekly programmes all
year.

Quote:

>Have you ever noticed how all the changes that the fans believe make Rugby
a better game
>have one thing in common? They all make Rugby more like League! League at
its best, in
>my opinion, will always be a more exciting spectator sport. Rugby, of
course, is the
>traditional main stay of New Zealand sport, however there are plenty of
League fans
>around the country and increasingly pockets of support where Rugby comes
very much
>second. So while this season is shaping up to be a good one for Rugby fans,
to true blue
>League fans....it's only Rugby.

None of which contradicts my point...The ABs played in Greymouth last year
and attracted  a record crowd...the Blues (let alone the ABs) attracted more
crowds per match in Auckland this year than the Warriors..I know of no area
in NZ where RU comes second to RL.

Quote:

>SOME ground, but when the Superleague appeal comes through much stability
will be
>restored and Rugby League will be consolidated in Australia and the UK,
continue to grow
>in support in NZ, and continue to develop in new countries as it has been
over recent
>years.

My legal sources in Sydney are whispering that SL is going to take a second
dive.

richie #1

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by David Cook » Fri, 20 Sep 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> it seems on the face of it that the Superleague cash has been
> beneficial for league in NZ at a fundamental level.

Jamie, do the Super League rules introduced in Europe (England) also
apply to New Zealand RL? I assume so, since the NZRL is Super League. If
that is the case, then we have the Auckland Warriors playing under the
"pre SL rules" while the rest of NZ RL playing under "SL rules".

With the ARL "pre SL rules" Optus Cup games on TV with the NZRL "SL
rules" Red Lion Cup, wouldn't that confuse a newcomer to Rugby League.
What rules are taught at the school level? Just curious?

While I'm on the same topic, doesn't BARLA in England play under the
"pre SL rules"? If so, do they teach the "SL rules" or the "pre SL rules"
in the schools in England?

I'm confused about the rules,
Dave.

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by Stev » Fri, 20 Sep 1996 04:00:00


writes

Quote:

>What "non-league opportunities"? Dodging shot gun blasts perhaps at club
>games, trying not to offend the local gang members..

Is there a story behind this?

Do tell
--
Steve

 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by Simon Sherbur » Fri, 20 Sep 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

>> it seems on the face of it that the Superleague cash has been
>> beneficial for league in NZ at a fundamental level.

>Jamie, do the Super League rules introduced in Europe (England) also
>apply to New Zealand RL? I assume so, since the NZRL is Super League. If
>that is the case, then we have the Auckland Warriors playing under the
>"pre SL rules" while the rest of NZ RL playing under "SL rules".

>With the ARL "pre SL rules" Optus Cup games on TV with the NZRL "SL
>rules" Red Lion Cup, wouldn't that confuse a newcomer to Rugby League.
>What rules are taught at the school level? Just curious?

IMO Schools should be taught under a basic set of rules (who defines
this basic set???), this will allow the kids to concentrate on the
skills needed in the game and the enjoyment.  The rules of the game can
be gradually added as the kids as they move through the school.  

As to which rules are taught now, probably "pre SL rules".  (I am
guessing)

Quote:

>While I'm on the same topic, doesn't BARLA in England play under the
>"pre SL rules"? If so, do they teach the "SL rules" or the "pre SL rules"
>in the schools in England?

>I'm confused about the rules,

You qualify to be a ref...

Quote:
>Dave.

Simon Sherburn, Castleford, West Yorkshire, England.

No real signature yet but still thinking....
 
 
 

NZ Rugby League

Post by Jamie Walke » Sat, 21 Sep 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Jamie, do the Super League rules introduced in Europe (England) also
> apply to New Zealand RL? I assume so, since the NZRL is Super League. If
> that is the case, then we have the Auckland Warriors playing under the
> "pre SL rules" while the rest of NZ RL playing under "SL rules".

Yes, that's right.

Quote:

> With the ARL "pre SL rules" Optus Cup games on TV with the NZRL "SL
> rules" Red Lion Cup, wouldn't that confuse a newcomer to Rugby League.
> What rules are taught at the school level? Just curious?

Possibly would confuse a newcomer, though by now I suspect the only newcomers not aware
of the Superleague / ARL dispute would still be waiting on their first birthday! For the
newcomer there are only a few basic changes to the rules that are of particular note,
and the commentators (often the same NZ commentators that call the Warriors games)  make
regular mention of the changes.

I have no firsthand knowledge of what is being taught at schoolboy level. I suspect that
those volunteering their time would be of the pre SL school, but that the Secondary
Schools competitions are played under SL rules and therefore SL rules will be taught.

Quote:

> While I'm on the same topic, doesn't BARLA in England play under the
> "pre SL rules"? If so, do they teach the "SL rules" or the "pre SL rules"
> in the schools in England?

You tell me...
Quote:

> I'm confused about the rules,
> Dave.