I hope we all enjoyed our democracy sausage on the weekend and as Georgia Satellite said about my “no tanks on the streets come Monday”, amen to that.
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Super Rugby the Happyman model
I read a comment this week about how some have enjoyed the Super Rugby this week as much as I. My question would be: how would I make it better? (This will never happen but it would be good)
Firstly RA and the NZRU would have to park the long held animosity and work together. Currently the Australian and NZ Super teams are set up to make each national team as strong as possible and while that is admirable it is to the long term detriment of the local league.
Both unions would have to look to make the comp as even as possible. The reason that AFL is so engaging is that it is literally set up to make it impossible to have long term success. The Crusaders, while they have very good set up, have made the competition worse for ten years as they have removed the jeopardy. When a game is in jeopardy people turn up to watch it. How would rugby achieve this aim? I would advocate for an NFL model whereby players are put into a draft system. Each team can still have an academy but they get a certain squad size say 40 and then players go into a draft. This along with a salary cap would even the playing field.
I would also have a salary cap which is even across the comp and any player from any team is still available for the Wallabies or the Darkness. A system where there are trades and trade deadlines would introduce even more.
2029 Women’s World Cup for Queensland
A bold five venue plan for a Queensland-based Rugby World Cup for women in 2029 is being discussed as a possible hosting model. The idea is in its infancy but the fact it is already being discussed in Queensland is a positive pointer that the showpiece of the women’s game is a sought-after event. Any hosting model around Australia will require the backing of the relevant state or territory government as a persuasive piece of the puzzle.
The women’s tournament is unlike the men’s event in hosting terms. Next year’s World Cup in France and the recently-won 2027 World Cup for Australia will take the tournament around the respective countries with a multitude of big, crowd-pulling match-ups.
The editions of the World Cup for women have traditionally been based more around regions of countries. For example, this year’s tournament in New Zealand is centralised around three venues in Auckland and Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island. The 2017 Irish model was pool play in Dublin and the play-offs in Belfast. The Australian bid that lost out to NZ was a Hunter-based model with significant NSW Government backing to bring that event to Maitland and Newcastle.
The scale of the women’s tournament makes a regional hosting viable with just 26 matches among 12 nations rather than 48 among 20 nations for men. The women’s game is growing on a major scale worldwide and the 2025 edition, recently awarded to England, will set new standards.
My personal view is that by the time we get to 2029 the event will be worthy of the big stadia across the country and we need to think big.
Watch out, the Tongans are coming
This is a potential Tongan team for the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup. Better sharpen up the shoulders boys.
1. Siegfried Fisiihoi
2. Paul Ngauamo
3. Ben Tameifuna
4. Lopeti Timani
5. Sam Lousi
6. Samipeni Finau
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Lui Naeata
9. Sonatane Takulua
10. James Faiva
11. Tevita Li
12. George Moala
13. Malakai Fekitoa
14. Israel Folau
15. Charles Piutau
16. Siua Maile
17. Abraham Pole
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Steve Mafi
20. Solomone Funaki
21. Augustine Pulu
22. William Havili
23. Hosea Saumaki
Decent team and once they gain cohesion under head coach Toutai Kefu they will be a handful.
Reds team to face the Saders on Friday
The injury-plagued Reds will probably face the Crusaders twice in a row in the final round this week and a final next.
- Dane Zander – Norths
- Matt Faessler – Brothers
- Feao Fotuaika – Sunnybank
- Seru Uru – Wests
- Ryan Smith – Brothers
- Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland
- Fraser McReight- Brothers
- Harry Wilson – Brothers
- Tate McDermott (cc) – University of Queensland
- Lawson Creighton – Brothers
- Filipo Daugunu – Wests
- Hamish Stewart – Brothers
- Jordan Petaia – Wests
- Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests
- Jock Campbell – University of Queensland
- Richie Asiata – Easts
- Harry Hoopert – Brothers
- Sef Fa’agase – University of Queensland
- Angus Blyth – Bond University
- Connor Vest – University of Queensland
- Liam Wright (cc) – Easts
- Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland
- Mac Grealy – University of Queensland
I’m going to call this the last man standing tour as it’s a long way from the squad that ran out in round 1.
NRL Players Having a Run
Which well known NRL bad boy ran out for the Norths Eagles reserve grade after leaving the NRL Warriors a week or so back. None other than Matt Lodge; it will be interesting to see if he has a run on the weekend or if this was a one time thing.
Dumbest comment of the week
Well done Justin Marshall, you win the prize. The comment about Michael Hooper milking getting dropped on his head was infantile and stupid. Fortunately he walked it back.