Syd Malcolm (24)
I like the premise. The idea that if a club is winning games they must move up a div and field extra teams with numbers they may not have is crazy and is often going to kill a club as resources are stretched thin.Example: Northern Saints and Lane Cove got together to try and support each other and help build back both clubs. They had to Forfeit 2nd Grade in Round 2 and tomorrow's Round 5 game against us.
These are clubs with serious history, that are in former rugby heartlands. The rugby population has been eroded by the massive change in demographics in their areas. The influence of Gordon is significant in the area as well, particularly in that northern strip of suburbs behind the beaches.
Yet, we've got some strong Subbies clubs in that area - Lindfield and Forest are just around the corner. Hunters Hill are wedged between Pirates and Chatswood, with Drummoyne over the road.
Therefore, it isn't all down to demographics.
Some clubs simply run out of volunteers, or aren't able to keep the momentum going for a range of factors.
Rugby schools in these areas are running multiple XVs and yet a lot of those players don't seem to make it into Subbies or any rugby which is the real shame here.
The fact that we continue to try and have senior clubs with 5+ teams at any level is IMHO becoming redundant. And that's Subbies or Premier.
I think we need to seriously look at limiting Subbies competitions to 3 Grades + Colts for regular grades, which would be aimed at stabilising the Divisional structure and give clubs something realistic to look at when they're getting promoted or relegated. Fourth Grade gets hived off as your Old Boys competition. Fifth Grade is carnival stuff, really.
I'm not saying we punish clubs for success. Nor am I advocating we force players to split from their mates or a vibe they like.
However, unless we have a serious shift in thinking we'll continue to see clubs die.
It has been good to see subbies drop a grade across the divs.
Would you eventually get rid of Subbies altogether and just grow premier rugby? Maybe to a 2 division comp.
It gets rid of 1 union fighting for their own cause and streamlines pathways...