Posts tagged ‘rugby’
The T20 Cricket World Cup winds up this weekend and one wonders whether it was all worth it. The early rounds were tedious and predictable, and appeared to interest many true cricket fans. It appears that T20 cricket is about individuals rather than the team, and by that we are referring to the viewers rather than the players. It would appear that those who do follow this form of the game watch for key individuals rather than following a nation.
Viewers in the UK have been able to enjoy a certain individual in the commentary box, Kevin Peterson. It seems strange to have a player still hoping to play for England in the commentary box, but we saw it when Shane Warne was suspended for a year and we have also witnessed it with the injured Quade Cooper working for Fox Sports rugby coverage in Australia. It would appear inappropriate but obviously the producers feel that it will add something to the overall presentation. It rarely does.
It would appear that this was the case with Kevin Peterson, of whom the Independent newspaper said ‘There was no deep tactical insight, some of his research was lacking, but he clearly understands T20 batting and willingly imparts his knowledge.”
Also on the airwaves were two disgraced Pakistani cricketers, former Captain Salman Butt and Aamer Mohammed on two different networks. Butt being billed as “Stopped from playing but not from speaking.”
Giving such jobs to the bad boys of cricket surely cannot help the already tarnished image of the game?
The federal Court’s decision to rule in favour of Optus and its Now technology which allows people to be able to watch games virtually live, albeit through making a personal recording for their own use, rather than having to watch pay TV, is great news for the punter, but bad news for the business of sport, especially Football who were just about to renegotiate their TV rights with Fox Sports.
In fact the CEO of the FFA Ben Buckley made it quite clear his game’s position when he released his strategic plan for the game in November last year. He said “To achieve all the ambitious targets in our strategic plan we need capital to invest. Our next TV rights agreement is the opportunity to secure the financial footings for the game.”
There is no doubt that the court ruling will be appealed, but is it likely to be overturned? A similar case in Europe saw a similar outcome.
Technology has proven that it moves far faster than any law maker, which should be a warning to many. It may also spark a few lawyers to work a little faster for their dollars! If Optus wins again, there will definitely be calls for changes to be made to the law.
The argument against the ruling is that the technology was in this case designed and implemented to bypass the law, with potentially far-reaching financial damaging consequences.
Exclusive rights have been the drawcard to television stations and sponsors alike. The sport that we do not mention was paid $153 million for the internet rights alone by Telstra. If they no longer have that exclusivity the value is going to drop dramatically.
It may be prudent for many sporting clubs in the elite area to have their lawyers look at the contracts that they have with their playing staff. If revenue drops to the television stations, that means the revenue coming back to the clubs is going to drop considerably, and unless they have exemption clauses inserted player wages could well see long time established clubs go broke.
The wages in top level sport in the last twenty years have escalated to ridiculous levels, so much so that very average players are being paid far more than their ability by comparison warrants.
This has, as a result filtered down to the amateur ranks, where again players are expecting to be paid more than they are worth and more than their clubs can afford.
The dawn of professional rugby had a massive impact globally with many traditional clubs having to cut the number of teams they fielded, purely because their first teamers now expected to be paid cash rather than in ale. They simply could no longer afford to run so many sides.
This ruling will have a dramatic effect on the sporting landscape and if not over-ruled we may well have seen the last generation of sports stars on the set-up-for-life salaries.
Many will argue that this is a good thing as it will again filter down to the semi professional ranks, and may in fact save many a club that was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
This day had to come at some stage, as someone said today, ‘the geeks have been looking at ways to knockdown the jocks and it looks like their day has finally come.’
Will it be for the best, it could well be. More access to watch sport and salaries brought back to more reasonable levels at all echelons of the game, has to be good for the future. Time will tell.
When former Welsh flanker Richard Parks was forced to retire from rugby at the age of just 31, he did not opt for a life in front of the TV or behind the bar of a pub. Parks decided to become the fastest to climb the highest on every continent and trek to both poles. This challenge is known as the Explorers Challenge.
Now 33 Parks has just completed the Challenge in six months 11 days seven hours and 53 minutes and at the same time raised GBP1million for the Marie Curie Cancer Charity.
Guess it’s a case of up and over!
As the Springboks ran over the Wallabies in the dying minutes of last weekend’s test match at Loftus Versfeld, the Australian commentary team were venomous in their criticism of coach Robbie Deans for not sending on fresh legs and using his bench.
This is again a phenomenon that is becoming very common, the expectation that a coach in football or rugby should always empty his bench; because it is there he should use it? This is a view that this writer does not agree with. Sometimes if you have the momentum on the pitch it is best not to make changes.
Had the Wallabies line out been better, and had they looked to mix this set play up they may well not have lost crucial line outs five metres from a ‘Boks try line. Had they scored then when they were on top in the game, and Deans had still not used his bench would he have been a hero for sticking with those on the park? We will never know but I would suggest that it would have been a very different stance to the one that was adopted. Such are the margins by which top coaches live.
Having taken this stance, it was disappointing that the commentary team when face to face with the coach in a post match interview chose not to raise this issue with the man himself. I know he is a New Zealander, but an Aussie being sheepish, is a dangerous stance to take.
When we heard that Subiaco Oval was earmarked as one of the Stadia to be used in Australia’s World Cup bid, we were extremely disappointed. We felt strongly that a rectangular stadium was required to host rectangular sport rather than being treated as a second-class citizen at an oval venue.
It appears that we may well have jumped the gun in our criticism as an announcement is expected very soon that should make Football and Rugby fans in this city extremely happy.
When the news breaks it is likely to not make some of the other codes quite so happy.
Amazing how the picture in the newspaper of what every sport loving Western Australian dreams of, can fire up emotions. The thing that we all dream of is a decent sports stadium that will host top quality sport.
The government continues to invite designs and thoughts but as usual does absolutely nothing and has no foresight to see the revenue that this could actually bring into Western Australia. Neither do they see that during this so called boom time you may in fact get a Rio Tinto or Woodside who may pay for naming rights for ten years and therefore assist in the recouping of the costs.
What was equally distressing was hearing John Langolaunt the chair of the former Labor Government’s stadium taskforce on the ABC talk for ten minutes on the benefits of a new stadium referring only to the sport that we don’t mention.
Having read his findings they appeared at the time skewed heavily in favour of that one sport, and bring into question whether other codes had an open ear when the report was being compiled.
The author of this blog met with a former government minister on this very issue before the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre was built. You may recall that one of the conditions of the tender process for that construction was that the company with the winning tender was to build a rectangular stadium. The Court Government’s legal staff did not however check the contract that they signed off on, and the company concerned escaped without ever having to build the rectangular sports stadium.
The proposal that was discussed with the minister at the time, who on tax payer’s money had gone on a fact finding mission to Europe to visit key stadia for ideas was as follows:
Build a rectangular stadium that will double up as a convention centre. A retractable wooden floor to come out over the pitch so that exhibitions can be held on the ground.
A retractable roof for similar reasons, so that exhibitions can be held in the venue as well as concerts.
One side of the stadium to house football. They have their administrative offices in that side of the ground and their changing rooms. The other side is dedicated to Rugby Union and Rugby League. They too have their own changing rooms on their side of the stadium.
The corporate boxes along the side of the ground can open up and become one conference room, or a series of smaller rooms for similar use.
One end of the ground houses a hotel where the players can stay and from which there is a corridor straight to the changing rooms on either side. This way visiting teams can move straight from the hotel to the changing rooms with no hassle. Rooms in the hotel facing the ground have balconies that can double up as extra corporate boxes.
The opposite end of the stadium has the facility for a stage to come out and host concerts. Again a corridor from the hotel to the stage for the performers, should they wish to stay at the hotel.
Finally to assist in the covering of the costs of the stadium it was suggested that a debenture system like that used at Twickenham be set up for some of the stadium. When an international is played at Twickenham, now all of the ticket sales once costs of staff are covered are profit.
The way this would work is, if once the stadium is completed you wish to but a seat in the debenture area, and it was suggested again rugby have an area on one side of the ground, football on the other, you purchase a seat or two for a five year period. That seat is guaranteed to be yours for all events held at the stadium. However you still have to buy your match day ticket.
After the five year period if you bought in at the starting price you are guaranteed that price every time you renew it until you relinquish that seat. So whatever price you buy in at is fixed. Those who buy in later pay a slightly higher rate.
Should you decide you do not wish to use the seat leading up to a test match you are given a period of time in which to respond and purchase your ticket, or your seat becomes available on general sale.
This form of seating would be limited, so that general admission is still available to those wishing to attend games and concerts.
The final recommendation was to have the stadium managed by a proper stadium management company, rather than a sporting body. This way you are more likely to get a return on your investment far quicker, as they will not be interested in petty politics, just profits.
Seeing as the state has not reaped any benefit from that ministerial fact finding mission which was prior to construction on the Convention Centre which commenced in 2001, should not the costs have to be repaid to the state? But more importantly surely this would have been a better solution than the eyesore we currently have by the river, and it would have given us a first class rectangular venue.
That meeting was ten years ago, and what progress has been made? None of these ideas were original; all had been done elsewhere around the World, but were obviously too progressive for Perth.
Tonight, as always, we have a show that celebrates sport and sporting achievements.
You will also have a chance to win an overnight stay at the new Bannister Suites in Fremantle, so be sure to tune in to find out how.
We will be catching up with an absolute legend from the World of Squash Carin Clonda. If ever there was an athlete who has embodied the words “never give up” Carin does. Be sure to tune in.
Former Perth Glory defender Danny Hay was in Perth in January and so we thought it would be good to hear what he has been up to since leaving Perth for Leeds United.
WAIS Head Cycling Coach Darryl Benson will join us to talk about his charges and the fact that a record six cyclists are in the Australian senior squad.
West Coast Fever will announce their leadership group for the upcoming season tomorrow on the eve of their pre-season tournament in Sydney this weekend. One of that group will join us.
19 year old WAIS scholarship holder Rhys Mainstone just booked his place on the Australian teams for this year’s Pan Pacific Championships and July’s World Championships in Roberval, Canada when he won his first 10km Open water national swimming championship. He will share that experience with us tonight.
The Emirates Western Force are off to their worst start to a season of Super 14 Rugby and in some corners the knives are being sharpened. Tonight we will catch up with one of the coaching staff to see how they can use the bye to turn their fortunes around.
Barbarians tackle NZ All Blacks
In one of the most thrilling matches ever played on British soil, the Barbarians beat New Zealand at Cardiff Arms Park. Teh gane started at a frenetic pace with the length of the field try by Welsh Barbarian legendary halfback Gareth Edwards. Playing an all-action brand of Rugby the Barbarians led 17-0 at halftime. The All Blacks clawed their way back to 17-11 before a try by JPR Williams to seal the win five minutes from fulltime.
Most people will agree that the FFA’s Youth league is a great stepping stone for talented state league players around the country to showcase their ability to the A league coaches around the country. Although costly it will pay dividends, as such a bridge between the state league and the Hyundai A League is essential.
Powerhouse rugby union nations New Zealand and South Africa have this, Australia tried it for one season and is now regretting John O’Neill pulling the plug on it, even though at the time financially it may have been the correct management decision.
However some of the rules, which are aimed at development, may need to be looked at before it becomes the ideal breeding ground for young talented players and up and coming coaches.
Yesterday’s Perth Glory versus Brisbane Roar raised a few such issues. It was a great game of football where both teams should be applauded for playing some wonderful flowing football. Those to stand out were Tommy Amphlett for Perth Glory, Isaka Cernak and Josh McVey for the Roar.
For those unfamiliar with the youth League rules, with half an hour to go in the game, both coaches must empty their benches to ensure that all the boys have at least half an hour game time. Although this can effect the game quite dramatically this move is one that is to be applauded. The only exception to this rule is goalkeepers who must play a predetermined number of minutes in the season.
If in the last half hour a player goes down injured, then one of the players replaced may then return to the field of play. As we have seen with Rugby union, this rule is fraught with danger and open to being abused. We all know how footballers love to feign injury at the best of times!
Yesterday a Perth Glory player went down with cramp, is that an injury? This writer does not believe so, however, coach Gareth Naven believed it was and the referee Peter Chapman agreed and a replacement was allowed onto the field. So cramp must now be termed an injury, rather than a case of inadequate preparation.
Soon after Roar Veteran Bob Malcolm, one of the overage players on the park was given a straight red for telling the referee what he thought when he had been blatantly fouled and Mr Chapman waved play on.
He should have known better, and deserved the red card, even though the referee made a mistake to lead to his frustration. However it raises another question. If this league is about development, should the Roar have been allowed to bring one of their youngsters back on?
Or in such a circumstance would the referee not be better to approach the offending teams bench and advise the coach to make a substitution or face playing on with only 10 men?
Ordinarily we would not raise these issues as they contravene the rules of the game, however if the league is about development and players are already being allowed back on the park after being substituted then maybe they deserve consideration?