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Ideas for NRC

Discussion in 'National Rugby Championship (NRC)' started by Hugh Jarse, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Rugbynutter39 Geoff Shaw (53)

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    I don't think quality of grounds such a big issue for country matches as at least good crowds and that makes up for any deficiencies ground wise. Bigger problems more with some of city based matches. Spirit got very small crowds, which would be good to improve.

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  2. Train Without a Station Steve Williams (59)

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    Come on Lindo stop being so Xenophobic and small minded.


    Sell it to the Vic Government and hold it at the 'G and fill it up with 100k!
  3. Rugbynutter39 Geoff Shaw (53)

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    Maybe play it at twickenham as apparently that is become a new favourite home ground

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  4. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    Yep, smaller grounds are the way to go at this stage.

    While the UWA ground/McGillivray doesn't have a grandstand (only a grass bank and a clubhouse), the rectangular geometry is actually okay for spectators.

    It's like Concord Oval is not really an "oval". The Perth Spirit fenced it off in previous seasons, but didn't bother when they made entry free.

    UWA Sports Park.jpg
  5. RugbyReg George Smith (75)

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    its a perception thing. If the cameras were on the other side of the field showing a pretty full and colourful hill of supporters, rather than fields and fields of emptiness other than some random soccer players or kids walking dogs, it'd look much better.
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  6. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    Yep. Good point.

    The Spirit did actually play one match at quite a nice oval in 2014 with a proper covered grandstand for about 3,000 and banks all round for another 10,000 or so to sit.

    And while that would be a good ground to watch cricket or aussie rules, for a rectangular sport it felt like you needed binoculars.

    McGillivray is actually better for watching rugby.

    The only time there might be an argument against is when it rains … which of course is when a grandstand comes into its own.
  7. Clarence Stan Wickham (3)

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    I don't actually follow the NRC and after looking at it for a bit I'm not feeling particularly compelled to watch any of it. I'm also a former NRL fanatic and presently watch just about any sport so from a general sports consumer perspective this is my two cents (knowing full well none of this is going to happen..)

    * Why is the comp scheduled to align with the other domestic competitions (SA/NZ) in two completely different markets? It might be nice and prim but from a sports fan perspective why would the average viewer want to watch the B grade competition after watching A grade for several months? Fixing that requires playing through the summer, or overlapping with the super rugby season. both aren't ideal but I consider preferable to having NRC as a mere afterthought to super rugby.

    * The team branding is pitiful.. NSW country? Playing at how many home grounds? Who's going to form any emotional connection to that? Call me old fashioned but it should be 1 team, 1 area, 1 home ground.

    An NRC I would actually follow and I believe would get significantly more success than it is now would look like this:

    Round 1: Early February - start before AFL and NRL and you may get some curious new viewers. Will overlap with Super Rugby but hardly unmanagable.

    Format: Nothing changes. 7 rounds. Finals. Two months in length.

    Teams: There should be 1-3 teams with an association status to every Super Rugby side.

    Based on no research at all I would look at this:

    QLD Reds (Pick 2.5-3)
    - Brisbane (obvious choice)
    - Ipswich (large population centre undergoing major urban developments with no pro sport presence)
    Sunshine Coast (Large population centre ignored by most everyone)
    - Central QLD (lobbied hard for an NRL team but by most accounts failed)
    - North QLD (difficult due to major NRL competition)
    - Toowoomba (current home ground of QLD Country if I'm not mistaken)

    NSW Waratahs (Pick 2.5-3)
    - Sydney (obvious choice)
    - West Sydney (the Sydney-West Sydney rivalry is too easy to ignore. Homeground would be a difficult choice).
    - Macarthur (An area ignored by almost everyone but is currently undergoing major development. Leumeah stadium would be ideal and takes advantage of West Tigers shrinking presence in the area)
    - Gosford (Would work well due to smaller stadium availability and limited pro sport presence)
    - Newcastle (can't say much. Big city. Can't ignore it.)
    - Wollongong (Another decent size city that the NRL are leaving behind. NRC could slide in to fill the void)

    Brumbies (Pick 2-2.5)
    - Canberra (obviously)
    - Wollongong (see above)
    - Riverina (A large population centre ignored by most everyone)

    Melbourne Rebels (Pick 1.5-2)
    - Melbourne (obviously)
    - Riverina (lies halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, and on the border of NSW/VIC)
    - Adelaide (can't say much. Big city, Can't ignore it.)

    Western Force (Pick 1-1.5)
    - Perth (Obviously)
    - Adelaide (see above)
    - Fremantle (can't say much. Only other major population centre with enough distinction from Perth).

    The biggest advantage I see here is that they can target areas that the bigger leagues can't due to size. Aim for the medium cities that no other sport can afford to risk and there is an easy avenue for more fans, players, and income.

    Will this happen? No.
    And certainly my ideal system would be riddled with problems, most of which I'm not even aware of. But as a sports/rugby fan in Australia I'm not at all interested in the NPC as it currently. I don't know what else to say *shrugs* I'm just not.
    Strewthcobber and stoff like this.
  8. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    The NRC already has 3 NSW teams, 2 Qld teams and a team from Canberra, Melbourne and Perth. So 8 teams playing each other once for a total of 7 rounds. How's that really any different to your suggestion?

    It will actually feature a Fijian squad in 2017 to add another game. All you are really suggesting is a change in window.

    Also, if you have any interest in Rugby, do yourself a favour. Watch the NRC.
    Rugbynutter39, amirite and RugbyReg like this.
  9. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    Out of interest, why are you a former NRL fan? - What action tipped them out?

    Three (x5) is too many, I think most would agree.

    Eight + Fiji (so 9 teams) is sustainable for now. Ten could be do-able down the track but even twelve would be a stretch IMO. For now.

    Going down your five lists, the top one in each case is already there; as is the second one in NSW (Western Sydney).

    And for all the boosting of Canberra, Newcastle and Woollongong – even Fremantle fercryinoutloud :b – you've missed a city bigger than all of them. And home base for an NRC team.
  10. Clarence Stan Wickham (3)

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    I don't want to derail the discussion but the hardcore NRL fan mindset was not too dissimilar to being in a cult. NRL is factually the greatest invention of all time. All other sports are the enemy. There is no room for disagreement. Once I left this mindset and started watching all sports (which I do). I was a bit dumbfounded when I saw how others (and I previously) would talk about the subject.
    AND I can't stand the whinging. Can. Not. Stand. It. Everyone blames referees. Coaches, players, fans, commentators. Added to the fact that most fans (and commentators) often get the rules wrong it makes incessant finger pointing more tiresome. I know what you're thinking: "Every sport complains about referees". Seriously. No sport takes it as far as rugby league does. It's that bad.
    I could take ad nauseam about it but I'll stop. Also should note that I still watch NRL occasionally but nowhere near as much.


    Well the teams really come down to what they are meant to achieve. I assume it's a mixture of increasing player base, increasing fan base and (very unlikely) creating a stream of income.
    And yes as you guys point out most of the main city teams I think would make a successful comp are already in. That's not really who I'm fussed on though. I guess you could say that I'm a bit frustrated that there is a clear opportunity to snatch away smaller communities as the NRL/AFL are becoming more focused on big cities and big stadiums. The NRC seems to have that middle ground 2,000-7,000 fan base target that makes it unique.
    I think it would be most beneficial to target areas that are now being left behind. and making a NSW/QLD Country side and splitting them across several home grounds is not going to do that job effectively.

    Just my opinion.
    Rugbynutter39, Dave Beat and kiap like this.
  11. TOCC Guest

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    I liked the concept of the Country teams at inception, but I tend to agree that having a team with no home and little TV coverage makes it hard for fans to have any kind of emotional investment and really buy into the concept.

    It's further complicated in QLD with QLD Countries main sponsor been the Gold Coast based Bond University, subsequently half the games will be played on the Gold Coast.. whilst technically part of QLD's lCountry catchment" is not exactly quintessential 'county' as we know it.

    From a QLD perspective I think Brisbane City works quite well, although in 2016 they lost a bit of momentum.. but in terms of fan numbers it always pulls a healthy crowd.

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  12. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    All those, but:

    Not any old player base. There are already 12 premier shute teams, 9 (going on 10) qld premier teams, and so on in the other states. While there are good players in those comps, they're not condensed. The national competition is about developing elite players to become pro players.

    That's one reason why there's not a licence for any city with a 5k stadium that can support a franchise. Super Rugby players (the non-test guys) are needed in this competition. It's desirable for the future pro players to play with and against the existing pros. This will limit the number of teams.

    Another thing is cost. For historical and rugby-political reasons, this competition has to run a very tight ship. The first iteration of this comp, the ARC, folded in 2007; the lesson there is that you can't be incurring a quarter million plus in reddies to relocate a squad to live and train in a far-flung city for a few months each year.

    The NRC teams for now are based in capital cites near where the Super players already live. Country teams are fly-in, fly out for game day only.

    Could the marketing and branding of the NRC and all teams improve? Yes, but the foremost goal of the competition is to survive, and then grow. The format will evolve from here.

    In terms of income stream, no one is suggesting it can rival AFL, NRL or even A-League, but dollars are possible. Pay TV worldwide has hours and hours of programming slots to match with "filler" … sure, it's patrononising to describe the national comp as filler but that's all you need to get a few million duck beaks as they do now (or longer term, tens of millions).
    Getwithme likes this.
  13. stoff Alex Ross (28)

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    Following on from kiap above, as the comp solidifies and gains a reputation, it will find a market overseas just like curry cup and NPC. Australian rugby still has a big brand and reputation overseas. That's why our players are sought after and our team respected. This thing will grow bigger.

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  14. chibimatty Jimmy Flynn (14)

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    Has there ever been any talk of an NRC competition in which Sydney and Brisbane are represented by clubs qualifying from Queensland Premier Rugby and the Shute Shield? Not a full, combined league, but sort of a cross-over competition by which the top Premiership clubs join the likes of the Perth Spirit, Canberra Vikings, Melbourne Rising and the Country NRC teams?

    I know there would be logistics involved as to which players go where, if there is a clash or a talent disparity, but I wonder if this could work, seeing as it combines the current NRC financial model with the culture of the traditional clubs of the rugby landscape?
  15. RugbyReg George Smith (75)

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    yes there has been some behind the scenes talk of a club champs competition. Fox apparently have some interest.
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  16. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    I thought that was a seperate concept.
  17. RugbyReg George Smith (75)

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    separate from what? The NRC? Yes it will be separate from that
  18. Rugbynutter39 Geoff Shaw (53)

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    I personally would probably be interested in attending championship games if they did that as would add to nrc games I attend as losing interest in attending super rugby games unless conference structure Changes so need some new product that at semi professional level at minimum. Reckon right time to launch this club championship comp if Fox will televise it etc

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  19. TOCC Guest

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    what happens to the NRC when a 5th Aussie team is scrapped.. Without a Super Rugby team to provide the financial backing, the coaching, management, S&C and logistical resources i cant see a Perth Spirt or Rising team been competitive. With the addition of Fiji, does that mean the comp will remain at an 8 team competition in 2017 with the NRC associated with the disbanded Super Rugby team cut?
    RugbyReg likes this.
  20. RugbyReg George Smith (75)

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    yeah, you'd have to imagine that will be the case. Unless Adelaide wants to jump in for a year, but they should just keep it as 8

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