In order:I am thinking of going tomorrow, a few questions. How much does it cost to get in? What's the parking like at Quinn's? Can you bring your dog in with you to sit on the grass?
yes it was an interesting approach. the Rebels/Rising management clearly decided on the lets look at prospects approach. the backline youngsters performed admirably but the forwards got towled up in the games i saw. clearly there were a number of Rebels who needed rest and repair and a number who have/were moving on. Would have been different if Smith, Hanson, Lomax, Weeks, (Cummins more than a couple of games) , Faingaa, Reid, English had been available and played. However, overall as an experiment i think it was useful. the backline tyros have shown they are all probably up to super rugby eventually and some, Maddocks, Tuipoltu, Semisi are ready now. Leota, Meafa and Tupai in the forwards all show promise as well. but a win every now and then is nice.Well, all things considered, the Rising have capped off a very poor NRC season, mirroring the senior team. 1 win in 8 games, and not even looking like being semi-competitive in most of those losses. Zane Hilton has not covered himself in glory over several seasons as HC.
Having had a chat to various people, the gambit of blooding some youngsters for the future was good in intent, but woeful in timing.
The Rebels had a terrible year, but supporter engagement is critical for success. We can't have both the Rebels AND the Rising play out wooden spoon seasons, back to back. While I don't really give a flying fart about what others think, the fact of life is that in pro sports, perception is reality. And the reality is, there is a general perception that Vic rugby is a pile of steaming shite.
Based on the results for both pro teams, and W/L ratio alone, its hard to argue otherwise.
I'm sure things will be different in 2018 for the Rebels, but we have to decide if we are in the NRC to have a competitive crack, or to simply give Rebels selectors a look at youngsters.
If it is both, then the balance needs to be shifted.
Either way, much like the Wallaby Scrum in recent years, the Rebels and the Rising need to lift the profile and start smashing perceptions.