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Shute Shield 2016

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Done that

Ron Walden (29)
1. Bigger crowd - North Sydney is in a 'heartland' area and much more likely to pick up casual rugby fans. Concord tends to only get die-hards and the club-affiliated.

2. Better atmosphere - The crowd is spread around the ground, with blokes standing on the hill. It's a lot of fun, and looks great on TV... unlike Concord.

3. Event precinct - Nearby pubs mean the party can continue nearby, and people don't feel obliged to get straight in their cars and leave.

4. More child-friendly - with a big grassy hill there were so many kids, and they all ran onto the ground at half and full time to have a kick around. Combined with the close location to many fans and it's much easier to bring the kids.

5. Quality of field - after a week of rain the North Sydney turf was immaculate.

So they are the main five. I suppose it's not so much about the death of Concord, rather the birth of North Sydney Oval as the home of the SS Final. Though I have to mention the only point where NS Oval was a massive let-down...

1. Shortness of goal posts - at only 23m high the North Sydney Oval goalposts were a whopping 48m shorter than those at Concord.
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!.Bigger crowd? They vast majority of the crowd yesterday were North's supporters.How big would the crowd have been if North's weren't playing?Do you think that crowd would have been there if Norths were not in the grand final?
2.Have you been to Concord for the grand final?The crowd is in both grandstands & behind the posts.The atmosphere last year was great.The atmosphere yesterday , was largely influenced by the big North's supporting crowd,which no doubt were present because of the long time between their last appearance in a G.F. Were you at the game yesterday?
3.There are 2 pubs 3 minutes walk away from Concord Oval. Also the bars under the grandstand at Concord stay open after the game & until the crowd leaves.
4. There are 2 "grassy hills" at Concord.If you were at Concord in recent years' grand finals you would have seen crowds of "kids" running on the fields at half time at at games end also.
5. Concord Oval has one of the best surfaces & drainage of any major football field in Sydney, & no cricket pitch. A muddy playing surface is unheard of there no matter how heavy is recent rain.
I ask again,were you at the game? It took me about 15 minutes driving around the surrounding streets & about 20 minutes walk when I did manage to find a parking spot.Parking at Concord is more than ample at the adjacent St Lukes park 100 metres away.

Why is North Sydney the "heartland " of Sydney Rugby.It's attitudes such as yours which condemns the development & spread of Rugby in Sydney anywhere West of Camperdown.And are you saying that the vast majority of the crowd at NSO ,most of whom who were wearing black & red in some fashion,were not "club affiliated"?

You fail to mention a large negative re NSO,& that is the fact that it is fundamentally a cricket ground,not particularly suitable for Rugby ,because the crowd are forced to watch from a large distance away from the players.Compare this to Concord which is designed for Rugby ,& where crowds are close to the action.

Anyway,well done to Norths, who were the better team yesterday.
 

paul martin

Ted Fahey (11)
Was a great match and very happy to see someone other than the usuals get the win. Loved seeing the crowd invasion at the end. Terrific to see fans excited about club rugby.

Obviously agree with all of the above, especially having the game at NSO with Norths in the GF boosted crowd numbers.

A one can limit is just horrendous though. It reminds me of years ago back in about 85 going to Bathurst 1000 where they had a 2 can limit. A mate spent the entire weekend walking back and forth to the beer tent fetching 2 cans. He'd no sooner be back at camp when his cans would be nearing empty and he'd have set off again!!
 

Lindommer

Steve Williams (59)
Concord Oval v North Sydney Oval

1. NSO might be in rugby's traditional "heartland" but I thought we were all committed to the growth of the game. Preaching to the converted in the game's "heartlands" the last 60ish years has got us in this mess we're currently wallowing in. I doubt very much if the "heartland" location of NSO got an extra paying spectator to the SS GF. Same for Concord, supporters, club members and family come to see their fellow club players/son/brothers, etc. run around but it is in Sydney's growing west. The "heartland" issue shouldn't be a determining factor.
2. NO stand at NSO's square on to the ground. It's a great ground I'll give you that, for looking at. And minor cricket matches. The stands that are at NSO are well set back from the sidelines compared to Concord. It's not a rugby ground, Concord is.
3. There're two pubs within five minutes' walk from NSO. There's one pub within five minutes' walk from Concord. The grandstand bars at Concord are much friendlier than NSO's.
4. Concord Oval has grassy slopes at both ends for children to run about on and roll down. And catch the ball when kicked over the posts.
5. Quality of ground surfaces are both very good, one's not better than the other.

And for the clinchers:

6. Parking. Impossibly difficult around North Sydney. Concord Oval has a car park on the northern end for about 150 cars, any more and the St Luke's Ovals can be opened.
7. Canteens/kiosks/bars. The money taken on match days at Concord stays in the rugby community (West Harbour) rather than the coffers of North Sydney Council. WH volunteers take great pride in putting on a decent show when matches are hosted at Concord. NSC staff take home their pay, presumably generated from the day's takings.

Nice to have high goalposts but points 1, 2, 6 and 7 are far more important for me.
 

paul martin

Ted Fahey (11)
I just clicked on the Craft Beer Mixed cases where with a $20 off discount the beers are still more expensive than at the bottlo.
 

barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
!.Bigger crowd? They vast majority of the crowd yesterday were North's supporters.How big would the crowd have been if North's weren't playing?Do you think that crowd would have been there if Norths were not in the grand final?

I still think the crowd would have been healthy, though I agree it wouldn't have been as big.

I am not affiliated to any club, but went on Saturday because it's fairly convenient for me. Same with the three mates I was with. None of us would have driven to Concord. Which brings me to my next point.

Why is North Sydney the "heartland " of Sydney Rugby.It's attitudes such as yours which condemns the development & spread of Rugby in Sydney anywhere West of Camperdown.

Because it just is. The rugby heartland of Sydney is the North Shore/Beaches and Eastern Suburbs. Why? Because that's where most of the Shute Shield Clubs are based, funnily enough.

I'm not saying it's a good or bad thing, it's just what the situation is. And it's one of the reasons yesterday got such a big turnout, because the North Sydney area is where a shedload of rugby fans live!
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barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
Lindo I take your points, and they are all valid enough. Ultimately it's a subjective exercise and I understand people like watching rugby in different venues.

But I do take exception to this:

1. NSO might be in rugby's traditional "heartland" but I thought we were all committed to the growth of the game. Preaching to the converted in the game's "heartlands" the last 60ish years has got us in this mess we're currently wallowing in. I doubt very much if the "heartland" location of NSO got an extra paying spectator to the SS GF. Same for Concord, supporters, club members and family come to see their fellow club players/son/brothers, etc. run around but it is in Sydney's growing west. The "heartland" issue shouldn't be a determining factor.

It did get an extra spectator- me and my three mates. I don't support Norths or Uni, but I went because it was near my mate's place. I suggest that is true of a lot of people, actually, who saw it was on their doorstep and decided to wander down.

But this notion that we have to bend over backwards to 'grow the game' in everything we do is, frankly, exhausting. I am the biggest advocate for growing the game there is, but we don't have to do EVERYTHING in Western Sydney.

Why do we even have teams on the North Shore at all, if that's your logic? Let's just move them all out to Western Sydney.

I hardly think the Shute Shield Final has done anything to grow rugby numbers in Western Sydney.
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Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
Pretty sure I remember TC announcing his retirement at the end of 2014 and 2015 SS. What makes you think he won't be around again next year?
If he plays he needs to play 6 or 7.
He's given the Uni backs a seriously bad bout of constipation.
In the last 2 weeks you could count on one hand the time the ball went through TCs hands to a player outside.
His post match was classy though.
 

ReggieJackson

Frank Row (1)
I don't think it will be hard for 11 clubs to find a new villain at SUFC post TC. Hickey seems ready to fill that role. The way he shoved Dowsett in the back post Carter's try won't endear him to the opposition too much
 

Gagger

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
Staff member
Well, having it at NSO pulled in the 8 I was with (including a 4 year old who loved the free bouncy castle etc), none of whom would've been trekking out to Concord.

I woulda thought it would be a no brainer to rotate the final around the place. NSO is great for both North and East - how much of the SS base do they account for?

And there are major council car parks around the corner from NSO.
 

drdave

Bob McCowan (2)
A one can limit is just horrendous though. It reminds me of years ago back in about 85 going to Bathurst 1000 where they had a 2 can limit. A mate spent the entire weekend walking back and forth to the beer tent fetching 2 cans. He'd no sooner be back at camp when his cans would be nearing empty and he'd have set off again!!

From what I've heard the reason this was imposed was due to the "disagreements" between the supporters from the reserve grade fixture. Agreed though, a can limit is pretty ordinary.
 

drdave

Bob McCowan (2)
Lindo I take your points, and they are all valid enough. Ultimately it's a subjective exercise and I understand people like watching rugby in different venues.

But I do take exception to this:

It did get an extra spectator- me and my three mates. I don't support Norths or Uni, but I went because it was near my mate's place. I suggest that is true of a lot of people, actually, who saw it was on their doorstep and decided to wander down.

But this notion that we have to bend over backwards to 'grow the game' in everything we do is, frankly, exhausting. I am the biggest advocate for growing the game there is, but we don't have to do EVERYTHING in Western Sydney.

Why do we even have teams on the North Shore at all, if that's your logic? Let's just move them all out to Western Sydney.

I hardly think the Shute Shield Final has done anything to grow rugby numbers in Western Sydney.
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Agree Barbarian that different people will have different views on what makes a good ground. Yes, I think the crowd was likely boosted somewhat by the fact that Norths were in their first final in 18 years, but I think that, despite some parking issues, it's an easier venue for those who are not rusted on club rugby followers to get to. I haven't seen all the footage yet, but I think the vision would be pretty favourable for those watching on tele. From a viewership point of view we might get 10,000 or so at the ground, but many more on TV. The more attractive is looks - the better that is for the code.

In relation to Western Sydney, yes there are substantial issues with what is happening with developing rugby in the area, but I don't think the location of the grand final is going to be a major factor in dealing with that. It does deeper in to how we support the clubs more broadly.

Yes, a few logistical issues need to be worked out, but for a first up hosting - I think it worked out pretty well yesterday. Could be a little biased though...
 

GunnerDownUnder

Jim Clark (26)
I live ten minutes from concord, so getting there is easy for me.
Getting to NSO is also very easy, train to Wynyard change to NS then walk to ground via Rag and Famish for a Guinness and pie
I must say however that I guess I was too early for a free bus from the station but didn't see a single sign saying way to ground or anything
Also work happening at Wynyard and no signs there for fans travelling as to which platform to take
I guess most of us have been there many times before and know the way but.....

The main thing to take from game was that it should be at one teams home ground, no ground is that bad to get to and is certainly helped the atmosphere
 
B

BellyTwoBlues

Guest
From what I've heard the reason this was imposed was due to the "disagreements" between the supporters from the reserve grade fixture. Agreed though, a can limit is pretty ordinary.

It's called Responsible Service of Alcohol isn't it?
 

TheRiddler

Dave Cowper (27)
A few handbags thrown by Beasties and Wicks groups on the hill and then Wicks and Uni had a disagreement before the Uni players ran out
Spoke to a security guard and the limited drinks order was due to cans being thrown during the hill incident
They were worried that some cans may be directed towards a certain university centre during the game


Looked a little bit more than a "few scuffles" from the other side of the ground and when young kids see a bunch of pissed blokes beating the shit out of each other and police having to respond with pepper spray to break things up (as some have reported), not quite the image of the game we want them to have.

And then more "scuffles" in the welcome line as the players came out of the tunnel for the main fixture. Pretty ordinary all round really and a sad blight on what was otherwise a fantastic afternoon.
 

couldabeen

Alfred Walker (16)
Looked a little bit more than a "few scuffles" from the other side of the ground and when young kids see a bunch of pissed blokes beating the shit out of each other and police having to respond with pepper spray to break things up (as some have reported), not quite the image of the game we want them to have.

And then more "scuffles" in the welcome line as the players came out of the tunnel for the main fixture. Pretty ordinary all round really and a sad blight on what was otherwise a fantastic afternoon.
The people involved need to be identified and dealt with firmly. Good thing Rugby flies under the media radar. If that had happened at Mungo or Soccer it'd be all over the news. Very sad.
 
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