The Tuesday Top 5 - Green and Gold Rugby

The Tuesday Top 5

The Tuesday Top 5

It’s Tuesday! It’s the Top 5! Do I really need to tell you how this works? No? Good Enjoy.

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Good – An Aussie team making the semi finals! At the end of last season that seemed like an impossible task, but here we are. And you never know, if all the cards fall the right way Sydney could be hosting another final.

Bad Another Good – It was good to see limited use of the TMO in the first week of the finals. Given the recent spate of referrals, interruptions and cards, it was good to see the TMO stay out of it!

Ugly – With the dust hardly having time to settle on the Mafi/Timani “incident” (and I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of that one) the Rebels are again in the spotlight. This time it is Pone Fa’amausili and extended contracted player Hunter Paisami who are giving the club headaches. They have both been suspended indefinitely after accusations that they were involved in an altercation with a man in the early hours of Sunday morning. The pair have been accused of punching the man in the head from behind, the man’s sister made the accusation over social media saying that her brother had lost consciousness and needed to be revived.

Tahs on top.

Tahs on top.


Play it and they will come … won’t they?

It’s finals time, and that means all those supporters that like to come out of the woodwork once their team is winning again were out in force, right? Or maybe not. Talk on social media during at least two of the four finals was more about how poor the crowds were than about the game.

Now some crowd numbers can be pretty hard to track down. Internet searches, reaching out to those in the know and the power of social media can only help so much. So I don’t have exact number for the Hurricanes v Chiefs game. But the crowd did look larger than the regular season crowds the Canes were getting. It still looked small in the Cake Tin though, well under capacity.

Next was the Crusaders v Sharks match. With the Saders looking like favourites to take out the title this year, you’d have thought their fans would be out in droves. But one estimate I got was a crowd of around 7,000. The Crusaders usually get pretty good crowds, and AMI Stadium only holds around 18,000, but the stand at one end of the field looked completely empty.

On to Sydney, and we have a crowd figure of 12,067. In a stadium with a capacity of 45,500. I’m hearing all sorts of reasons being thrown up for why the crowd was so small, apparently there were other events on and it was cold (although being from Canberra, having been to games when it has been 0 degrees and waking up to -7.9 degrees on Monday you can take that excuse and shove it – and I mean that in the nicest way possible). Crowd numbers weren’t released for 5 of the Waratahs home games so it’s hard to know how this compares, especially as I have a suspicion that it was the smaller crowd numbers that weren’t released, but for a home final for the first time since 2015, I would have expected a larger crowd.

Beale chases the chip.

Beale chases the chip.

Finishing up in Johannesburg and 21,065 fans showed up to watch the Lions take on the Jaguares. That is better than their 15,625 average over the season. There were still comments on Twitter that the crowd was tiny, and it may have looked it in a stadium that holds over 63,000. A disadvantage of having a big stadium, even with decent crowds it looks empty.

Is this yet another sign that no-one really cares about Super Rugby anymore? Or are there other reasons for smaller crowds, such as the cost? Are people going to games based on who the opposition is? We know certain teams are just not a draw card, while other teams hold more interest. Which then begs the question, are we going to games to support our team or watch the opposition?

Crowds have been steadily falling in Australia at Super Rugby games for a few years now. This article has some interesting graphs showing the rise and fall of Super Rugby crowds.

Rugby World Cup Sevens

Over the weekend the World Cup Sevens were held in San Francisco. At a baseball stadium. Yep, AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, was transformed into a Rugby Wonderland for the weekend, and the crowds definitely came in droves. There were packed stands, and they were treated to some great rugby.

New Zealand did the double, taking out both the men’s and women’s titles.

The women completely shattered hopes that the French could follow in the footsteps of their soccer team and take out another World Cup, taking out the final 29-0. The Kiwi’s put on a superb display of attacking rugby, leaving the French with no way of halting the points drain. The French team had earlier knocked the Aussie girls out of the competition, with a last ditch 19-12 win.

Our Aussie women took out the bronze medal, defeating the USA 24-14 in their playoff.

Just like the women, it was the French who threw a spanner in the works for the Aussie men, defeating us in the pool stages 22-17 and ending our chances of winning the title. The men made it through to the Challenge Final, but lost 24-14 to Ireland.

In the Championship Final, it was the Kiwis who scored five tries to two to defeat England, 33-12. They were lucky to make it past the quarter finals though, after receiving three yellow cards in the first half of the match against France. But they came back from 0-7 down to win 12-7 in a mighty effort.


Still at the Sevens

What is it with rugby players at the moment? Mafi, Timani, allegedly Pone Fa’amausili and Hunter Paisami … and now this. A police investigation has been launched after an incident at the World Cup Sevens where Welsh player Tom Williams, was injured and unable to take further part on the tournament.

The cause of his injuries? He was allegedly assaulted by Samoan player Gordon Langkilde in the tunnel following the match between the two nations, which Wales won 24-19 in extra time.

Williams’ teammate Luke Treharne spoke about the incident, saying “There was an incident. I am not sure how much I can say but a couple of our boys were pretty seriously injured at the end of it, and the police are involved. It was shock. When everything comes out you will see all the details of it – it is pretty shocking stuff. The boys used it as a bit of motivation today. We were all there, all the boys were there so we all knew about it straight away. There was absolutely nothing at all, nothing really sparked it – it was unprovoked. It was nasty stuff to see. Even after that [extra-time win] the boys shook hands, we thought that was the end of it but there was nothing, no niggle in the game.”

Californian police are investigation the incident.

So by my count that’s 3 (alleged) serious cases of violence in around a week. Aren’t these the kind of things we usually read about relating to a different code? I really hope that Rugby isn’t going the way of League ….

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  • Bobas

    I watched a first season NRC game where the reff was mic’d up on the stadium speakers. Was the most I enjoyed taking friends to the rugby as it meant I didn’t have to explain nuances at every stoppage.
    This needs to be a thing, or the stadium MC needs to pull his finger out.

    • Huw Tindall

      Really interesting idea. Was the ref mic’d up all the time or just when he was blowing a penalty and explaining what it was for? May not want all the jibba jabber that’s said on a pitch broadcast over the PA for 80 mins!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Hands of the ball No.7!
        No.9 stop gibbering and leave me alove!
        Probably the two most used sayings of a referump!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          oh yes. Plus “No! That’s not the law!”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah yeah forgot that one!

        • Hoss

          The most frustrating thing dealing with you refs KRL was not tripping over your guide dogs and that bloody cane. Damn nuisance.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I carry my glasses to show the odd spectator that yells out that I have them lol

        • John Tynan

          Don’t forget “No I won’t come and tell your team what I’m looking for Mr Hooper”

        • Brisneyland Local

          JT! That one is gold!

  • cantab

    Crowds were sad on the weekend.
    Kiwi papers reporting 8,500 at the crusaders game, didn’t help they had the temporary seating up making it 22K capacity. $55 was the cheapest under cover ticket. Papers also reporting the Crusaders made a loss from hosting the game.

    Hurricanes CEO was targeting a 25K attendance, think they fell well short but props to them for the extra advertising they done and the slashing of ticket prices to $30NZD for an adult and child.

    Waratahs get 18K for a round robin game against the sunwolves and 12K against the highlanders in the ¼ final, go figure.

    • Missing Link

      The cake tin also had a huge KIA motors sign covering up a few bays. I don’t have a problem with that, Hurricanes marketing team did a good job selling the seats, however it seems like crowds are down across the board in NZ, not just Aus.

    • disqus_NMX

      I can explain the 18K for Sunwolves, but only 12K for finals against Highlanders. It’s a lot more fun to watch your team win than lose. It’s been proven that fans of a winning team get a boost in testosterone after the win, whilst fans of the losing team get a decrease in testosterone. So basically, the fans gain the physiological and psychological effects as if they’d actually won or lost themselves. Most people don’t know this at a conscious level, but they know it at an instinctive level. Who wants to pay money to lose? Especially extra money for finals. Only die hards!

  • Jack Mallick

    Crowds…yeah it was disappointing to see that small crowd at the Tahs game but Aussie rugby has been in the doldrums so long that fans are too cynical. Outclassed, inconsistent and rudderless from Supe to Wallas (including Link) it is going to take years of consistent performances and a Bledisloe cup win to turn it around.

    The players have it in them, just need to take two steps forward for every one back. Rather than one forward two back like most of the last decade

    • Missing Link

      Spot on, people don’t go to Coles and buy a product that doesn’t work, you have to prove to them that your “new and improved” product actually works, give it time, and if the Waratahs continue winning, the faith will be restored, same goes for the Reds, Brumbies and Rebels, and Wallabies of course

      • disqus_NMX

        Yep, every Aussie team has been in a “building” phase for over a decade now. Wears a bit thin.

        • SuckerForRed

          Excuse me. Reds have only be “building” for 7 years. ;-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold

  • Mart

    “And you never know, if all the cards fall the right way Sydney could be hosting another final.”
    Don’t think that is a possibility?
    all teams left are above us on ladder

    • Missing Link

      If the Canes and Waratahs win, the final will be in Sydney

      • Mart

        Really? But doesn’t the higher ranked team get home game?
        Tahs are on 44 points canes 51

        • Missing Link

          good question, I thought the conference winner would have home advantage

        • Mart

          Oh yeah cause Crusaders won conference before final time. got it
          Go Canes!!!

        • Sam

          This discussion thread highlights the major problem with the conference system… Canes vs. Tahs in Sydney is not out of the question.

        • Archie

          Nope. Canes and Chiefs finished with more points than Tahs and Lions… but get penalised for being in NZ conference.

        • Mart

          So they bloody should….

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate bounce of the ball, a few calls going the right way and who knows

  • RugbyM

    I mentioned it earlier in the year, but I think another part of the whole low crowd numbers is the advertising (or lack of). I can not recall seeing any advertising for any Super Rugby matches other than on Foxtel – no bus stops, no FTA TV, no papers, no internet ads, no banners around the city… so if you don’t have foxtel and you aren’t a die-hard supporter, its difficult to work out if/when a match is on

    I can tell you exactly which NRL/AFL matches are on this week despite no following either sport.

    Sure, you actually have to have people that want to go to the matches to make up the crowd numbers, but how about advertising it to the broader public so people would at least know its on.


    And lets not get started on the whole “there’s 14 other teams in the comp, but your team will only play 12 of them…” argument

  • Tah Tragic

    Interesting article on regarding payments for hosting finals in Super Rugby.

    For the QFs on the weekend the hosts had to pay $75k (not sure what currency) to the visiting team plus 1/3 of the travel costs. This is bad enough for the Tahs but think of the Crusaders who had 8k in attendance and had to pay for the Sharks travelling from SA.
    Rather than benefiting the hosts it is a financial curse. The payments go up for a semi ($100k) and final ($125k). Let’s hope the crowds improve for the last 2 rounds.
    Also, why do we have QF’s? Isn’t it meaningless to have more than half the teams qualify for finals? Is this why all crowds were disappointing over the weekend?


Brumbies first, then for the love of the game. "It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right." —Moliere

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