Has the high number of replacements skewed the game?

Marc Wakeham


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who decides its entertainment? The players?


Or are they taking the £££ that o0thers are offering for their skills and doing what they feel works collectively for tyhem - which is demonstrably at times not "entertainment" but playing rugby - generally to win.
If Sky/BT/whoever want to0 package it as "entertainment" thats up to them. But Id be very surprised if many players at those levels see themselves as entertainers, and not sportsmen.
The people paying the cash (SKY / BT Sport etc). If they say "we" want X / Y or Z or we stop covering your "sport"", WR either buckles and gives in or loses cash. The result is an effect on player pockets.
 

didds

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... and by dint of which gets them sponsorship deals?
 

didds

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as an aside... for the watching demographic that does see pro sport as an entertainment, that just means they are in the same hat with films, theatre, monster truck racing, days out to castles, gigs etc etc etc. So its a pretty fickle "fan base" just as likely to decide to go on a train ride or watch celebrity talent baking in the jungle on ice instead.
 

Marc Wakeham


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How do the players get more cash in their short careers ... by winning matches/competitions/being selected by higher/national teams or by enticing more paying/drinking spectators?
That all is bassed on the premiss that the money is there . Without TV money the cash is not there. We've already seen a drop in player incomes due to economics. The Sugar daddies are disappearing. TV will increase its financial clout as it has done with football.
 

Marc Wakeham


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as an aside... for the watching demographic that does see pro sport as an entertainment, that just means they are in the same hat with films, theatre, monster truck racing, days out to castles, gigs etc etc etc. So its a pretty fickle "fan base" just as likely to decide to go on a train ride or watch celebrity talent baking in the jungle on ice instead.
EXACTLY. If you want the money you have to pander to the fickle!
 

BikingBud


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Maybe I'm caught up in a romantic ideology, the ghost of rugby past!

Maybe too many teams are scared of losing other than being drive to win.

The Rugby Charter offers:

Object​

The game’s objective is to score as many points as possible against an opposing team by carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball, according to the laws of the game, its sporting spirit and fair play.
And
The team in possession aims to maintain continuity by denying the opposition the ball and, by skilful means, to advance and score points. Failure to do this will mean the surrendering of possession to the opposition either as a result of shortcomings on the part of the team in possession or because of the quality of the opposition defence; contest and continuity, profit and loss.

I'm not sure it is just the entertainment but more as a player, the spirit and philosophy of the game is the attraction. The desire to win in sport is a major driving factor however, just having a smashathon with limited flair or skill was never an attractive type of rugby to play. Yes happy to front up and not be bullied but why over-extend the arm wrestle when you can apply skill and guile.

Physical prowess (size, bench press stats etc) are not markers of the highly skilled players or even perhaps sufficiently fit players that we should demand for international sport, seeing any number of props or Tuilagi or Esterhuizan trying to barge through the middle and the high/dangerous tackles that some seem to think are appropriate ends up just being a snore fest. Only further degraded by pointless kicking where the "Bomb Squad" end up parked in the middle of the pitch while the back three have a vanity kicking session. Surely better to have confidence in your own; skills, abilities, pace, footwork, handling, game plan and attacking prowess rather than hoping the opposition would knock on!

Much better to see such players as Saint Andre, Guscott, Grenwood, Sella to name but a few, drifting off defenders and gliding past, to see a winger stand defenders up and take the outside line, to see forwards capable of deft offloads just before contact and remain in the game to recycle further downfield.

Advice on here frequently offered to newly qualified refs, is to let the game breath but the game is currently being strangled by the players, the coaches and not least the lawmakers.
 

BikingBud


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That all is bassed on the premiss that the money is there . Without TV money the cash is not there. We've already seen a drop in player incomes due to economics. The Sugar daddies are disappearing. TV will increase its financial clout as it has done with football.
Drop in player incomes because the fans are losing interest? Because the product is now poor?

I do wonder where the line for self sustainment currently lies for Football, lower premiership, upper championship, below that all are subsidised or die?

For rugby post 95, the transition into the open game was not a watershed but a continuous path and for some that is very rocky, some have had the benefit of benefactors and still get good crowds, Sarries, Quins etc others at various times have fallen by the wayside; Wasps, Worcester, Richmond, and this is throughout the game.
 

didds

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EXACTLY. If you want the money you have to pander to the fickle!
yeee...eee....eee...sss but where I was going with that is then pandering to the fickle doesn't mean the fickle will turn up even. they may have decided to go and watch some hare coursing or badger baiting, or gone shopping at an out of town shopping experience instead. And now you've pandered to the missing demographic leaving an at best disgruntled demographic having to now put up with the "entertainment" when they actually want the sport with its warts and all.
 

Volun-selected


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But also - who is watching the sport? Current and ex-players, those who follow the game, etc. may have in general a fundamentally different appetite and want a balance between forward power and flowing rugby.

But, what about the average sports viewer flicking through channels that the providers are trying to hook in, what do they want? Flowing rugby with no interruptions, or just big beasts smashing into each other leaving broken bodies in pools of blood and mud? (And yes, even among those who follow the game there are those who want rugby to return to its bloody roots.)

Maybe the watershed here is going to be the neutrals’ opinion of France (whose move to lower tackles seems to have spawned a fast and entertaining balance of rugby) or South Africa (Eben on a rampage seems about as big a beast as you’ll get and a sight to behold). Which one will be seen as the more attractive product for the masses?

As long as WR are chasing revenue then the majority will drive the flavor of bread and circuses the majority demand. Maybe WR need to decide are they chasing volume, or building a sustainable product.
 

Marc Wakeham


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Drop in player incomes because the fans are losing interest? Because the product is now poor?

I do wonder where the line for self sustainment currently lies for Football, lower premiership, upper championship, below that all are subsidised or die?

For rugby post 95, the transition into the open game was not a watershed but a continuous path and for some that is very rocky, some have had the benefit of benefactors and still get good crowds, Sarries, Quins etc others at various times have fallen by the wayside; Wasps, Worcester, Richmond, and this is throughout the game.
Because of the downturn of the economy arpund the world. Palyers are taking the hit. Only TV seems to have the money. THe Sugar Daddies are gone, for now at least.
 

Marc Wakeham


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yeee...eee....eee...sss but where I was going with that is then pandering to the fickle doesn't mean the fickle will turn up even. they may have decided to go and watch some hare coursing or badger baiting, or gone shopping at an out of town shopping experience instead. And now you've pandered to the missing demographic leaving an at best disgruntled demographic having to now put up with the "entertainment" when they actually want the sport with its warts and all.
Of course it does not. but TV is the driver. What IT thinks is what puts or does not put money into the game. More people watch the Welsh premiership in Wales on streaming S4C (it brings ZERO cash into the semi pro game by the way) than watch the URC games in Wales. But it is the URC deal that brings cash into the game.
IT matters not what the public want. What matters is what the marketing people say they want. The two can be very different things.
 

SimonSmith


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So, I watch a lot of the NRL over here - as in, 95% of the games over the weekend. Even when Super Rugby is.

Why?

Well, the tv product is better. It is still 5 and a kick; but that's not any worse than "a kick, a ruck, and a box kick" that we get in Union. They get the ball back in play a lot quicker than most Union breakdowns, and the skill level is very high.

The commentators...good and bad. But what they have going for them, in the main, is that they come across as well informed fans. Incredibly enthusiastic about the good stuff, and not afraid to call out bad or boring games. I've heard "there is a balance to be struck between winning and entertaining" (or something similar) more than once.

Almost everyone seems to understand that money comes from somewhere, and "somewhere" wants value for money

If boofball can get it right, why can't Union?
 

BikingBud


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Well, the tv product is better. It is still 5 and a kick; but that's not any worse than "a kick, a ruck, and a box kick" that we get in Union. They get the ball back in play a lot quicker than most Union breakdowns, and the skill level is very high.
And perhaps that is the crux for me, speed of play, speed of thought and speed of execution we are often told is the marker of top-level sport, unfortunately recently I am not recognising that in the games I have been watching. We don't need some poorly controlled and frantic attempts late in the game when they realise they are losing and it is obvious individuals are trying too hard but an intelligent, controlled, multi-facetted and deliberate tempo game that from the outset stresses the opposition.

Let's see how the RWC pans out but I expect the usual suspects will play to their usual patterns.
 

Ciaran Trainor


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So, I watch a lot of the NRL over here - as in, 95% of the games over the weekend. Even when Super Rugby is.

Why?

Well, the tv product is better. It is still 5 and a kick; but that's not any worse than "a kick, a ruck, and a box kick" that we get in Union. They get the ball back in play a lot quicker than most Union breakdowns, and the skill level is very high.

The commentators...good and bad. But what they have going for them, in the main, is that they come across as well informed fans. Incredibly enthusiastic about the good stuff, and not afraid to call out bad or boring games. I've heard "there is a balance to be struck between winning and entertaining" (or something similar) more than once.

Almost everyone seems to understand that money comes from somewhere, and "somewhere" wants value for money

If boofball can get it right, why can't Union?
I watch NRL and Super rugby highlights on you tube so I miss out the boring bits in both codes.
One thing that baffles me in RL is why do defending wingers come in so regularly and leave an overlap allowing tries?
I was always coached to stay with your winger until the last possible moment.
p.s. I did play both codes.
 

crossref


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And perhaps that is the crux for me, speed of play, speed of thought and speed of execution we are often told is the marker of top-level sport, unfortunately recently I am not recognising that in the games I have been watching.
i thought SA v NZ had that.
(but I would agree England, not so much!)
 

SimonSmith


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I watch NRL and Super rugby highlights on you tube so I miss out the boring bits in both codes.
One thing that baffles me in RL is why do defending wingers come in so regularly and leave an overlap allowing tries?
I was always coached to stay with your winger until the last possible moment.
p.s. I did play both codes.
I'm probably wrong, but are they not forced to come in to cover the potential gap left by having two players at the play the ball, especially if the dummy half breaks?
 

didds

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Almost everyone seems to understand that money comes from somewhere, and "somewhere" wants value for money

If boofball can get it right, why can't Union?
shrug.

maybe its an indicator that rugby UNION isnt entertainment and is unfeasible as a high £££ business?

radical.
 

Marc Wakeham


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I think it is entertaining but to a limited audience.
 
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