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Spirit v Rising - who's done the NRC right?

Discussion in 'National Rugby Championship (NRC)' started by D-Box, Oct 2, 2014.


Spirit v Rising - who's done the NRC right?

Poll closed Oct 9, 2014.
Spirit 2 vote(s) 14.3%
Rising 9 vote(s) 64.3%
Neither - a compromise would be better 3 vote(s) 21.4%
  1. D-Box Charlie Fox (21)

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    Heading into the NRC I think most would have argued that the Spirit and Rising looked good, with the potential to field teams made up of Super Rugby players, plus local guys many of whom would have been around the Super set ups as development players or human tacking bags across the season. However with three rounds to go we have one team untouchable out front and the other scraping for fourth place. Much of this comes down to how the two teams have approached the season. The Rising have played close to their full strength squad in every game while the Spirit have sent predominantly their local boys (admittedly with players with Super experience in key positions) to their interstate games, including their "home" game in Adelaide. While the Rising have occasionally had someone score a try against them, the Spirit boys have been competitive but often fading out in the latter stages of halves.

    So who has done it right? The Rising with their development of combinations leading into next year's Super season, winning casual fans by dominating the comp and trying out a few local boys. Or the Spirit who claim to be protecting their regular players from travel, but are exposing plenty of local boys to the third tier widening the Australian player base, but risk alienating already frustrated Perth fans by sacrificing the chance to bring some silverware to the extreme west.

    Personally I think the ideal approach would be somewhere in the middle of these two extremes (see perhaps the Queensland teams), but of the Rising and Spirit, I think the Spirit have it right and if they had won their first home game would be more vindicated. It may be that we have to wait until the end of the comp to truly make a call.

    Debate away
    Lee Grant likes this.
  2. swingpass Jim Lenehan (48)

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    i suspect each of the parent franchises had different objectives. time will tell. as a rebel/rising supporter i am glad the Rising are doing well, its been very enjoyable watching them and has re kindled my enthusiasm for the rebels, which had waned considerably after this poor season.
    most of the Rebels playing for the Rising had limited super game time this year, the exceptions being inman, english, jones, neville, smith and leafa. the others had spent most of the year injured or as reserves. giving them plenty of game time will hopefully benefit next year. the spirit may have completely different expectations from their super players. ask the question again in 2 -3 years and it will be easier to answer
    Bobby Sands likes this.
  3. Pass it to Dunning! Watty Friend (18)

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    Frankly I think the Force aren't taking the NRC seriously. Why else would they be resting their best players? So they can not be too tired for February? I mean, seriously. Meanwhile, the Rebels could field their usual Rising side all season and do really well. Players like PAE, Sam Jeffries, Lopeti Timani, Debreceni and Velainu are getting great experience. I don't see any drawbacks for the Rising approach.
  4. Jagman Trevor Allan (34)

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    I hope the Spirit don't make the top 4 cause there's little chance they'll get a home final and therefore they'll leave their best team at home.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. D-Box Charlie Fox (21)

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    It would be interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if come finals the Spirit come out all guns blazing and go for the win. Would end up best outcome for us out west. Exposure for WA players and a trophy
  6. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I think both teams have done a good job. They both are in pretty different positions.

    The regular Super Rugby players from the Spirit have done a huge amount of travel during the year and it is understandable that coaches want to limit that now. The Spirit also have a lot more quality players coming through from local club rugby and the under 20s who are getting a good crack in this competition.

    The Rising on the other hand have most of their Super Rugby squad available and are playing them most weeks. They have been giving huge amounts of game time to players who didn't play much Super Rugby like Timani, Debreczeni, Jeffries etc. and some of those players have been absolute stars of the NRC. They've also given a crack to local club players and one of those players, Naivalu has earned a Super Rugby contract from it.

    In terms of the NRC, I think taking the competition seriously and trying to win every game are somewhat mutually exclusive. All teams have rested players and have cycled their teams around to give other players a crack irrespective of form and injury. Trying to win each and every game is clearly not the only priority for most teams.
    Pfitzy, D-Box and Lee Grant like this.
  7. Forcefield Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    Like Braveheart, I would say each to their own. The Force need to develop depth and provide that pathway for the local players. Would NSW fans prefer if we didn't try to develop Brad Lacey up to Super Rugby standard and instead tried to recruit Andrew Kellaway? Who would that help? They also need to manage the workload of Super Rugby players. I think they take this competition very seriously, but are measured in their approach and priorities. There would be a good argument for them not taking the competition seriously if they don't send their best team up against NSW Country in the final round. The Rebels have different needs. They need to develop their current squad, build combinations, trial different team compositions, actually win some games to give the fans hope, etc. Horses for courses. Each quite rightly justified.

    The issue regarding the broadcasters is a tricky one. At the end of the day they want a competition people will watch. Which is more appealing, a highly competitive no stars Perth Spirit line-up or a far-too-strong-for-the-competition Rising line-up that nobody gets within 20 points of? I'd argue for the former that the Average Joe NRC fan doesn't know the difference between Spirit A and Spirit B. As for Perth fans, the Spirit will be supported and more so if there is any whiff that anyone from the Eastern States disapproves of us.
  8. Train Without a Station Steve Williams (59)

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    I'd argue anybody who is watching NRC, watches super rugby. And if a Force fan sees a bunch of names they've never heard of, likely asks what the fuck as they switch over the Matty Johns on Thursday night or whatever else is on.
  9. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    I've thought about this for a while.

    Rising gets my vote. It values the competition for competition itself.

    D-Box indicated in the OP that the ideal approach should be somewhere in the middle. And that's fair enough; there's got to be development of new players. But it also has to be as tough a level as possible. I don't want to see 11 weeks of trials or U20s.

    So perhaps split it Mebourne's way 80%, Perth's way 20%.

    The Rising aren't my side but I'd like to see them smash the lesser teams this year and send them back to try to lift their games. Shows them where they need to improve.
    Brumby Runner likes this.
  10. Forcefield Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    A lot of diehard WA rugby fans have club affiliations and are more likely to be saying something along the lines of "Finally RugbyWA are giving club players a chance". Some would like the full strength Spirit playing all of the time but I think almost all understand the need for a) a local pathway b) developing depth in the wider squad and c) managing the workload of the rugby franchise that has the most demanding travel schedule in the work (I think).

    Finally, a Perth fan switching over on a Thursday night would only happen precisely once. That is a non-issue.

    But is it competition if noone gets within a stones throw of you? Maybe it is the ARU's fault for not ensuring that a situation like this wouldn't happen (although I have to confess I thought the pre-season decision to allow only 16 Super Rugby players was too low) like quotas for the match day 22s. Maybe two Melbourne franchises should be considered with a view to moving one to South Australia. Or maybe the balance will change if there are more Rebels in the Wallabies next year. But I can guarantee you that this competition will lose a fair bit of public interest in a year or two if nobody can beat the Rising team.
    Steve McLeod likes this.
  11. TOCC Guest

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    playing no-names or passing over selection of the better known players also risks to devalue the competition as well, broadcasters won't take too kindly if teams continually decide to play their b-team and hold their top players back. Understandably the Western Force have had quite a large amount of travelling conducted already in 2014 so some players might be fatigued, but at the end of the day professional rugby is about providing a product fans and crowds will want to watch, and fans want to see the best players.
    kiap and Train Without a Station like this.
  12. Forcefield Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    I am curious to know how much of a concern it would be for a broadcaster as I don't know much about that kind of thing. I don't see it as a big deal because it is effectively one team which means it is one game that they would be broadcasting. I think someone mentioned in the Rams vs Brissie City game that the viewer ratings went down a lot when Quade Cooper went off. I'd also be interested to know if that was because Quade is the spectacle they turned in for or because Quade coming off meant that City were well and truly up the shitter since their only hope was now off the field. If it is the former, I guess that supports what you say and is a good bit of evidence to back it up.
  13. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    Fair point, but in that case we'd need to look at why.

    If something is causing a genuine unfair roster imbalance that is persistent then that should be corrected. But if teams are tilting too far with running their development sides then (for mine) those teams are feeding the imbalance. The Rams did well tonight after making a lot of changes so it's not a black and white sort of question. Will have to wait a few more weeks to get a clearer idea of how this year has worked out.

    Maybe. Dunno. I suppose the question is how many 2014 Super players, excluding those off contract for 2015 and any on international duty, were left out of an NRC squad? If fit Super players are out of the comp then that's an issue.

    While the VRU are the leaders this year, is their overall franchise strength better than Canberra's or Rugby WA? I suspect that a combination of a few factors have lined up the right way for the Rising this year that won't stay permanently (but, in the unlikely event that it's unfairly set in stone, it would be easy enough to fix).

    Players in the NRC should be getting exposed to rugby that is close to Super level. If the Rising (or another team) are the benchmark for that, then that's what we want. It is what the emerging players should want. They learn where they are relative to the mark and work on it. It's not much use playing mainly against other club-level players because they already do that. Spectators and TV won't be so interested either when the standard is lower.
  14. Train Without a Station Steve Williams (59)

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    Rising at their strongest have faced a lot of teams at their weakest. (Eg. Stars and BC). Just the way it fell.
  15. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    Do the Stars have a "weakest"? All seems about the same to me.

    That's a complete fucking dick of a statement to make.

    I think you completely undervalue the strength and passion of the WA Rugby scene. Fans in the west want to see their local competitions grow and see their local boys get a shot, rather than just the offcuts from other franchises.

    They know that they've got probably the toughest schedule in either the NRC or Super comps, and if the plan is to concentrate on winning the home games with their best players, and give blokes opportunities, then that is EXACTLY what the NRC has promised to provide.

    Its a competition in and of itself, but let's not forget it is meant to firstly drag up the levels below it, and boost up the levels above it.
    chiraag and Forcefield like this.
  16. Train Without a Station Steve Williams (59)

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    If fans are so passionate about club rugby, why the fuck isn't it taking in shitloads from attendances?
  17. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    Are you talking about WA club rugby? Or the NRC?

    Using my prescience, I believe this is going to go into a spin as follows:

    1) I keep telling you to stop being a negative nancy about all this

    2) You carry on sniping on random points, before going over to thebore to have a circle-jerk with the other haters like Sheek.

    Enjoy it. I'm casting my vote and then leaving this thread forever.
  18. D-Box Charlie Fox (21)

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    It is interesting that the impact on broadcast value has been mentioned as it hadn't crossed my mind. I would think from Foxtel's point of view the biggest disappointment would have been the Spirit Rising game, where they had the potential for two virtual Super teams to go up against each other and ended up with Spirit B. It must be a challenge to try and manage winning and development.

    With regard to the comment about week teams coming up against Rising, anyone think that this is by opposition choice. If you are going to get done anyway do you send the sacrificial lambs to the slaughter just to see what they've got?
  19. Train Without a Station Steve Williams (59)

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    Club rugby.

    NRC is fucking great. It's great because it's close to a full professional competition. The blow outs are due to hole in defence as the non-professionals are struggling to keep up with the speed of the game. More club players will reduce the quality. The BEST club players should be getting an opportunity. Not the best, then basically the same amount again.

    How many attend amateur rep games? Sweet FA from my experience.
  20. Forcefield Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    A lot of really good points but I will focus on this one because I think this is the "main argument" of the thread.

    I was thinking a bit about this one and it occurred to me that our tight five against the Stars (2 Super Rugby players) demolished a Stars scrum (3 Wallabies) in Perth. Now this is only one instance in an entire competition and I don't take it to mean much. But maybe sometimes the difference between club players and Super Rugby players is not as great as some people make out.

    I also wonder if being completely trounced by another side doesn't just shine a big spot light on the difference in standard between two teams than the standard of the competition overall.

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