A Third Team In Sydney - It's Only a Matter Of Time !!

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BringBackTorps

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1. "Ratings up an average of 144% as Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU prepares for Finals
Mon, 26/04/2021, 02:00 pm
RUGBY.com.au staff
by RUGBY.com.au staff


The 2021 Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU season has proven a hit with fans across Australia with record-breaking numbers tuning in on television, at games and at Rugby fields around the country.
Anzac Round capped the last round of Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU regular season with the domestic television ratings up an average of 144% across the season year-on-year.

These television audience figures do not include those who streamed on Stan Sport.
Meanwhile at-match attendance has also surged with the competition seeing the biggest crowd in more than five years for the Round Eight clash between the Queensland Reds and the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium.

The impact is also being felt at the community level with a 16.4% surge in player registrations from the same time in 2019. This is largely due to the greater broadcast reach as well as dedicated marketing campaigns, further Sporting Schools integrations for Rugby, an increased rollout of Get Into Rugby programs and more Rugby Sevens competition opportunities".


Excluding the Waratahs (where crowds have been very poor), there have been very good crowds in Queensland (& possibly WA).
Crowds for the well-performed Brumbies in Canberra have often been poor in 2021, cf previous years.

Some very good news for pro & GR RU in Australia with FTA ratings on Nine Gem (cf average of 2 broadcast Foxtel games) having a huge increase of 144%, cf 2020 (but Stan ratings not stated).
As for the 16.4% increase in "player registrations" cf 2019, also a good result- but it does not state if the increase applied also to male contact RU (where there has been a long term signifiicant decline). My understanding is that the Sydney Subbies adult male RU comp. has continued its decline in nos. in 2021.






2. RA had a net loss of $27m in 2020, & a $46m reduction in revenues- & is seeking private equity to own part of RA's revenues (ie not profit), Wallabies, Rights & sponsorship $, ticket sales etc. (Probably c. 12.5%).

RA Chairman H. McLennan said "...we've got to reinvest in the grassroots"- implying the GR will be the beneficiary of the PE investment one-off payment.


Does RA need an emergency injection of PE funds, so RU can continue to survive, & continue to have pro comps. in Australia?

PE, IMO, has no strong interest in investing significant amounts into GR RU in Aust. (& NZ)- because GR player registration fees (required to pay insurance, ground & referee costs etc.) are not a major revenue stream!
The danger for NZRU (& RA) is that they have fixed costs to run their comps. etc.- but PE will have, in perpetuity, 12.5% of NZRU revenue streams.
What happens if revenue streams don't increase- but rugby costs do?




3. SMH V. Rugari 17.4.21 (Full SMH article in link below).

Long term Sydney resident & passionate soccer fan, & a soccer journalist, V. Rugari has written a feature article that "Australian Rules Football Is Booming In Sydney"...."mainly in the northern suburbs, & around the city". AF has become part of the "culture" of Sydney.

In his twitter soccer blog, he expands (ie adds further insights to his SMH article, in link below) on the reasons for the GR AF & AFL boom in Sydney- & c. 38 soccer supporters provide their views on the Sydney AF "boom" etc.

 
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RedV3x

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I came across a headline that stated that the Perth Pussies were upset with the NRL considering a second NRL in N.Z. ahead of Perth.
It's a good idea. Maybe they could insert a "Z" into "NRL" because I understand that half of the NRL players are from the Pacific region.
The NRL is still talking about expanding despite a contracting player pool in Australia.
There are concerns that this could adversely affect longterm attraction to the game.
If the Pacific content of NRL continues to rise will it still be seen as an Australian game.
Australian Football arguably has a barrier to it's take up in N.Z. because it is indeed Australian.
Will the reciprocal occur and Australians become disillusioned with losing NRL to N.Z. ?
 

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BringBackTorps

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1. "It now appears inevitable that the AFLW starts earlier in December, as forecast"-S. Edmund (& The Age D. Cherny).


The creation of the AFLW in 2017 has had almost the same effect, re the boom in GR female AF club & school comp. nos. in NSW, ACT, & Qld., as placing an additional AFL club there in 2017.
For NSW/ACT, however, since GWS has a FAR lower profile than the Swans, the GWS AFLW side's impact on female GR has been muted.
When the Swans have their own team (no AFLW expansion in 2022), the impact (ie bigger growth) on female GR AF nos. there will be much higher.

Notwithstanding the absence of a Swans' AFLW team, starting the AFLW in December will boost the profile of the AFLW in NSW & ACT- & should act as a catalyst to boost GR nos. further. The AFLW has much more clear air/exposure, when not played concurrently with the AFL (as ratings/crowds/MSM interest etc. collapse as soon as the AFL starts late March).

I assume no, or minimal, AFLW matches, will be played concurrently with (to ensure as much AFLW clear air as possible):-

. cricket Test matches
. BBL Finals
. Aust. Tennis Open Men's & Women's Semi-Finals, & Finals.

For these events, AFLW games will be played on other days; or the same day, but not concurrently.






2. Curtis Woodward has his own extensive NRL blog & website, & commentates live on radio on GR snr RL matches in Sydney.

He often expresses concerns about the NRL's general problems with its diminishing GR contact nos. Here, he mentions the major decline in jnrs, specifically in Campbelltown City- "once had 3 or 4 jnr teams in each year" ie each age group. Now a total of 5 jnr teams, across all jnrs, in the whole club.












3. The annual Tom Brock Lecture in Sydney is usually presented by RL historians, or experts on RL strategic & cultural issues.

R. Masters regularly comments, in the SMH etc., on NRL strategic issues, opportunities, & challenges; & on AFL challenges, & expansion issues in NSW/ACT/Qld.
In this link, from the 2018 Brock Lecture, R. Masters predicts that the AFL will eventually devote major financial etc. resources to the Campbelltown area.

Masters said

. "...We are losing to AFL in players continuing to play the game". And it is probable in the next 2 decades the AFL "... will move into Campbelltown (why nominate Campbelltown, or the SW?) with a great deal of wealth & resources".
He also says the NRL's one major advantage over the AFL, is that the NRL can capitalise over, & grow, international RL; & "...get a greater foothold in NZ"

. "Rural NSW is under siege (my emphases, & words in brackets)", referring to the GR male contact RL decline, & strong growth of GR AF in rural & regional (mainly the latter) NSW.
Go to 37 min., 20 secs.- 40 mins. 45 secs.



It can be inferred from Masters' comments that he believes the AFL will, before 2038, strongly consider placing a 3rd AFL Club in Campbelltown, or SW Sydney.
I assume this 3rd club will be a joint club with Canberra.
 
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RedV3x

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AFLW has much more clear air/exposure, when not played concurrently with the AFL (as ratings/crowds/MSM interest etc. collapse as soon as the AFL starts late March).

I assume no, or minimal, AFLW matches, will be played concurrently with (to ensure as much AFLW clear air as possible):-

. cricket Test matches
. BBL Finals
. Aust. Tennis Open Men's & Women's Finals

For these events, AFLW games will be played on other days; or the same day, but not concurrently.
This is a no-brainer though I'm not worried about cricket matches etc.

For NSW/ACT, however, since GWS has a FAR lower profile than the Swans, the GWS AFLW side's impact on female GR has been muted.
When the Swans have their own team (no AFLW expansion in 2022), the impact (ie bigger growth) on female GR AF nos. there will be much higher.
I'm not sure that i would use the term "muted", unless you're talking about Sydney's general muting of AFL.
 

RedV3x

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Here, he mentions the major decline in jnrs, specifically in Campbelltown City- once had 3 or 4 jnr teams in each age group, now a total of 5 jnr teams across the whole club.

R. Masters predicts that the AFL will eventually devote major financial etc. resources to the Campbelltown area.
Campbelltown was once strong in the SFL, so much so that they moved to the ACTFL.
I think it was the first privately owned football club by one Edelstein. (cannot find a link).


Masters said

In the next 10 to 20 years, it is probable "...the AFL is moving into Campbelltown with a great deal of wealth & resources" 37 mis 20 secs.
Also "Rural NSW is under siege", referring to the GR contact RL decline, & strong growth of GR AF. 39 mins. 30 secs.

It can be inferred from Masters' comments that the AFL will, eventually, consider placing a 3rd AFL Club in Campbelltown, or SW Sydney.
Must be dire if Roy is worried. MacArthur Rams - why not
 

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BringBackTorps

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RA CEO A. Marinos said 7.5.21, re the Super Rugby season in 2021 "There certainly is an optimism. All our metrics are are tracking upwards".

Many expect the Qld. Reds v. Brumbies GF (also shown on FTA- Nine's main channel) at Suncorp on 8.5 will break the Super Rugby record crowd of 41,645 (2002 Tahs' game at SFS).

There has been a big increase in overall Super Rugby ratings, & Queensland has been attracting good crowds some 20K+.
Western Force has also been reintroduced (also with reasonable crowds), & defeated Qld. recently. The only disappointment has been the poor form of the Tahs, & their poor crowds; Brumbies' & Rebels' home crowds have also been poor.


The successful Super Rugby domestic comp. has raised much needed optimism amongst RU fans, due to its success. Any crowd of 40k+ will be a triumph for RU in Australia. It is arguable it has overtaken the A League (though the A League total crowds, over its longer season & much bigger no .of games, far surpass Super Ruby crowds).

It will be interesting to see how Aust. teams perform against their nemesis NZ, when they soon start a Trans Tasman Super comp. in 2 weeks.




EDIT:

This article from The Australian says Super Rugby ratings on Nine Gem have "slumped" this season- contradicting the above link!

(Can anyone open, & pots here please)


EDIT 2:

41,637 attended a pulsating Final at Suncorp. RU has shown it is still an important part of pro sport in Australia.



According to Wookie Sport Industry twitter, average audience on Nine main channel- 285K.
Stan- 100K+
Biggest Super Rugby ratings since 2011.
 
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BringBackTorps

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Daily Telegraph P. Crowley 29.4.21 Feature article re the dire state of male contact GR RL in many areas of country NSW.

Crowley said

"Bush footy legend Noel “Crusher” Cleal has opened up about an emotional email he sent to Peter V’landys this week pleading for help to save grassroots [NSW Country] rugby league.


CRUSHER’S FEARS

“Because I have been involved in the game at a senior level for nearly 50 years and I have never seen it in poorer shape.
“And I am thinking, gee, our great game is going to suffer irreparable damage over the next five to 10 years.
“It might not even be played in the bush".[This fate very unlikely-RL will always be played in the bush, but will shrink]

... one of bush footy’s most iconic figures worries about where the future at the top [NRL] might be if the game is not producing at the grassroots country regions.
Yet in some towns, like where he grew up, Crusher fears it may be already too late to save.
“There is only six teams in Group 10 now (Snrs First Grade in Orange, Bathurst, Mudgee etc. area),” Cleal explained.

“There is only five teams in Group 21 (Snrs First Grade in Singleton/Muswellbrook/Scone etc. area).
“Warialda (New England), my home town, has produced two internationals and 13 NRL players over the years, they don’t have one senior team now.

“And in the 60s and 70s and 80s in the bush rugby league was a lifestyle.
“Every second weekend there would be a home game and everyone in the town would go to it.
“But that doesn’t happen anymore.”


SAVING THE GAME

To his credit V’landys not only listened but almost immediately got back in touch with Cleal.
And that was after V’landys and chief executive Andrew Abdo had already been involved in some serious discussions about what can be done to try and fix the game in country areas.
Among the people they have spoken to is Wayne Bennett who expressed his own concerns about the lack of attention the grassroots has been getting for too long... .

Incredibly, Cleal revealed how it would have been “15 or 20 years ago” that former NRL executive Ian Schubert put together an almost identical plan to the one the NRL is now investigating but “it fell on deaf ears”.
At another time Cleal and former Parramatta chief executive Denis Fitzgerald also came up with a separate plan to divide up regions of the state but again it was a wasted effort.
But if something doesn’t happen this time Cleal reckons it could end up being the final nail in rugby league’s coffin in respect to its survival in bush towns.
“The coastal areas are not doing too bad because there is plenty of work there so you are always getting players from out west coming over to play on the coast,” he added.
“But I think there is something like two under 18 teams in Group 21 and two from Group 4 (Tamworth, Gunnedah etc. area) which is crazy, crazy, crazy".

... the [NRL] club’s will have to buy in.
It would need the NRL to divvy up the regions and while that will naturally have some complaining about who gets what, at the end of the day they all have to just remember this is not about winning but survival.

Cleal added "There is no magic wand that is going to fix it. It needs an injection of cash and probably more community people.
It is nice to have coaching and development people out there but once they leave the town it is virtually all forgotten".
“The smaller towns will always struggle because of limited employment opportunities, but I just can’t believe some of the bigger places.
“It was only a couple of years ago Inverell and Armidale didn’t have a team. Places as big as that not having a footy team".


NRL’S $1.5M BUSH FOOTY RESCUE PACKAGE

The NRL is preparing to fast-track a $1.5 million [Not enough $!] bush footy rescue package that Peter V’landys wants up and running within the next 12 months.

The urgent stimulus for bush footy has been triggered following the revelation that six proud footy clubs from the NSW Country Rugby League will fail to field enough players for an under-19 competition this year.
There are not enough players between the ages of 16 to 19 for previously strong bush footy clubs including Walcha, Uralla, Warialda, Bundara and Bingara while Tenterfield have been forced to pack up and go play in the Queensland competition.
The Tingha Tigers — famous for being the junior club of former NRL stars Preston Campbell and Nathan Blacklock — have folded.

The rescue package will involve every NRL club taking on a ‘big brother’ role to help save the game at the grassroots level.
The Daily Telegraph can also reveal that, as part of the plan, clubs will be expected to take at least one ‘home’ game to their designated country or regional area every season.
On top of that they will also be told to make top-line stars available to promote the game in these towns, while helping out with junior development to create a clear pathway to the top.
“We’ll do what it takes,’’ V’landys said.
“One of the reasons why I got on the commission in the first place is that I want the country rugby league healthy again.
“It’s definitely sick at the moment and the impact of COVID-19 hasn’t helped our regional competitions either. We need to invest in these areas, we need our NRL players to play their part for the entire code".

NSWRL chief executive Dave Trodden and chairman George Peponis recently met V’landys and NRL CEO Andrew Abdo to discuss the urgency surrounding the code’s need to support bush footy participation.
Included within the NSWRL strategic plan that part of the stimulus will cover is the funding of bus travel for teams that exist and have to travel in excess of 150 km.
Trodden said the game also needed to cater for a decrease in population in some regional centres by constructing nine-a-side competitions instead of 13-a-side competitions.

Guyra Super Spuds skipper Jack Armatage [said]

“I don’t understand how there can be a town like Armidale with like 30,000 people and they can’t get 15 young fellas (U19's) to play footy.
“Rugby league in the country has been dying for a while now and it has got to the point where we can’t even get a bloody comp. (words in brackets, & emphases, mine)’’ ".
 
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RedV3x

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SAVING THE GAME
A lot of interesting stuff there though I'm not quite sure what it has to do with the topic.
Rugby league is declining and Australian Football is rising but i don't know if there is a connection.
Last century i suggested that football clubs needed to become sports clubs.
I believe that in country towns that clubs should be helping and not competing with each other.
Nobody like that suggestion then and i guess it's not going to happen now either.
 

Gigantor

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“I don’t understand how there can be a town like Armidale with like 30,000 people and they can’t get 15 young fellas (U19's) to play footy. "

Any town of around 30,000 in Victoria, like Mildura, is going to have a couple of senior footy clubs (at least).
Even Wang, with around, what, about 18,000 people? can muster a couple of senior footy clubs, and both would have U18s or U19s.
That's not to say country sport doesn't have its challenges, it definitely does, but I'd be shocked to find any 30k town in the Southern states that can't put an u19 footy team together (of 20 players).
 

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NoobPie

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“I don’t understand how there can be a town like Armidale with like 30,000 people and they can’t get 15 young fellas (U19's) to play footy. "

Any town of around 30,000 in Victoria, like Mildura, is going to have a couple of senior footy clubs (at least).
Even Wang, with around, what, about 18,000 people? can muster a couple of senior footy clubs, and both would have U18s or U19s.
That's not to say country sport doesn't have its challenges, it definitely does, but I'd be shocked to find any 30k town in the Southern states that can't put an u19 footy team together (of 20 players).
Wang has at least 3 senior clubs and several in the little satellite townships within 10 to 15K of it



Most of the 10 clubs in the wang juniour football league seem to be from there as well


I suspect a big part of the participation differences between the codes is that Aus football is still ubiquitous in country regions of its heartland whereas perhaps rugby league has never been as culturally central?
 

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