Super Rugby 2019

greg0205

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Fluke win by the Lions, tough road ahead for them.
Yeah, no.

That was 5-26 at the turn and 5-33 after 43 minutes... 36-33 at the end.

31 unanswered points.

1 penalty conceded versus 18, and Seconds gave 'em more than their fair share of warnings.


Were you not entertained?
 

Agent_Smith

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Shocking discipline from the Rebels but one could argue that came about by the immense pressure exerted on them by the Lions. Full credit to the men from Jhb for that rousing second half performance.
 

Fulcrum29

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The Crusaders are now considering to change their name. I agree with drawing the match, but going this deep... no.
 

zeb

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Another pathetic performance from Seconds.
Rebels should have had a few more yellows and the Lions should have been penalized a few times for offside offenses and playing the ball on the ground. One standard for both teams.
 

Fulcrum29

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I agree. Calling off the game was fine but changing their identity is going overboard.
I see the Crusader identity is attacked world-wide, many schools, colleges and universities carrying the moniker are changing their identity. This is political, and in my opinion it is stupid.

I wouldn't be surprised that a mention will be dropped to change Christchurch into something which is regarded as political correct.

Anyhow, this is OT.
 

Fulcrum29

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The Sunwolves have extended their squad with three ethnic Japanese players:

Prop - Takuma ASAHARA
Flyhallf - Takuya YAMASAWA
Fullback - Ryohei YAMANAKA

Asahara and Yamanaka have been with the Sunwolves since 2016. Yamanaka is also a utility centre.

It is Yamasawa which is the stand out name and upcoming star in Japanese rugby. A pivot at Panasonic and also the player Eddie Jones labeled as a world class playmaker who has to be at RWC 2019. Jamie Joseph also sidelined him since his appointment as he didn't promote the youth and now Yamasawa is in the Sunwolves squad which is a obvious prep on this level.

All these players are currently teaming up with the Sunwolves in Singapore.
 

thestaggy

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Sunwolves punted in revamped Super Rugby competition

Japan’s ground-breaking Sunwolves team are set to be axed from Super Rugby, a report said on Wednesday, as the governing body prepared to make an announcement about the competition’s future.
Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said the Sunwolves would be sacrificed as the 15-team, globe-crossing tournament reverts to 14 sides and a round-robin format, ditching its unpopular conference system.

The unsourced report came as governing body SANZAAR (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby) said it would make a statement on the “future of Super Rugby” on Friday.

The Telegraph said Sunwolves officials and players were told about the decision on Tuesday, leaving them “devastated”.

A spokeswoman for the Tokyo-based team told AFP: “We are still waiting for Friday’s official announcement and at this stage have no comment to make.”
Seems they will be the victim of finances. SA teams unhappy with the travel and all of the teams not impressed that they are still propping them up as Japanese companies have not come on board as hoped.

On a positive note, I do hope they revert back to a simplified round-robin format.
 

Fulcrum29

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As expected:

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...et-to-be-culled-from-super-rugby-reports.html

Rugby: Sunwolves set to be culled from Super Rugby: reports
The Sunwolves' run in Super Rugby is set to end next year, according to multiple reports Wednesday from Australia.

No official comment was available from either the team or SANZAAR -- the body that runs the Southern Hemisphere tournament -- but it is believed organizers have voted to restore the competition to a 14-team round-robin event once the current broadcast agreement ends in 2020.

A Sunwolves spokesman told Kyodo News before the team flew from Tokyo to Singapore for Saturday's game against the Lions from South Africa that "there was a phone hook up with SANZAAR today. Decision will be announced Friday afternoon." But there was no further comment from the side.

SANZAAR later put out a press release saying "Please be advised that SANZAAR will issue an official statement on the future of the Super Rugby tournament on Friday 22 March at 2 p.m Sydney local time. SANZAAR and its stakeholders will not be making any comment on Super Rugby until the statement has been released."

While the move had been predicted by many, the team had hoped their competitive start to the 2019 season would earn a reprieve.

However, it appears the South African influence is such that Australia, New Zealand and Argentina have all caved in.

The South African teams have long cited their displeasure with the travel time to Japan and lack of interest in their games, in part due to the time difference.

In order to appease the South African sides, the Sunwolves played three "home" games a year in Singapore, but the poor crowds at the Singapore National Stadium are now being used as some as a reason for culling the team.

Displeasure at Japan's support for France over South Africa in the bidding war for Rugby World Cup 2023 is also believed to have played a role.

According to a report in The Australian, the Sunwolves were also unhappy at being asked to pay a Super Rugby participation fee, something that is not asked of other franchises.
The word will be given on Friday, but I believe they are already on the chopping block. The Sunwolves will probably look at playing in another competition. That SA is leading the charge to have them cut is no secret, it was rumoured so last year also with many pundits, having insider knowledge, supporting the cut.

Ironically, the JRFU announced today that Japanese will have their own choice to be dedicated to the Top League or to Super Rugby which was the Sunwolves main problem at recruiting their best players.

All I see is, they are heading to Global Rapid Rugby, and I believe Japan will also be excluded from the new World Rugby competition. For some reason South Africa (SARU) just don't like them, maybe it is due to them voting against us for the Rugby World Cup.
 

Fulcrum29

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Sunwolves punted in revamped Super Rugby competition



Seems they will be the victim of finances. SA teams unhappy with the travel and all of the teams not impressed that they are still propping them up as Japanese companies have not come on board as hoped.

On a positive note, I do hope they revert back to a simplified round-robin format.
Unimpressed of what? This has nothing to do with the Japanese companies, most people are speaking out of their asses in this regard. This is also the first year that the Sunwolves are being paid by their own franchise, previously they relied on the Top League franchise for paying the salary of their own players playing in Super Rugby. The majority of Top League players are also full-time company employees, hence being amateur players and not available for a season of Super Rugby.

Panasonic is the first company to invest in full-time professional rugby players, also recently being the first for signing players straight out of university, players who are for the most part still full-time students.

This is the exact quote from the article:

“All of the participating nations in Super Rugby have been financially propping up the Sunwolves in the hopes of luring more revenue from the untapped Asian market,” the report said.

“It had been hoped that after two or three seasons, cashed up Japanese companies would back the Sunwolves and make them independently sustainable, but that has not materialised.”
The only failure of the Asian market is the hosting of games in Singapore, a decision made by SANZAAR themselves and then still insisting on keeping Singapore in the rotation when even the broadcasters said it is a failure. It may be that SANZAAR has a 5-year exclusive deal with Singapore which isn't easy to terminate without consequence. Tokyo in % attendance is more successful than most franchises.

As far as I know, the Top League maintained the Sunwolves, their own player salaries, and that the JRFU had a budget for recruiting what they called 'marquee players' (or foreigners). Since 2019, the Sunwolves have their own cash flow for maintaining their own roster, except for player insurance. The JRFU also announced earlier today that individual players now have their own choice as to where to play, the Top League or Super Rugby.

The participation fee is odd though, and I think this may be the issue. I don’t see why they alone have to pay that fee unless SANZAAR sees this as compensation for Japanese brand exposure in Super Rugby. Exposure which these companies don’t need in any case as they are already well-known all-over.

I knew this was coming, The Sunwolves are likely to group up with Global Rapid Rugby or just cancel it all together (which I believe will be the case). Reading parts of the report, it seems that SANZAAR was gambling on the industrial league for pumping more money into the competition, but they were never part of the competition and only follow the game rules of the JRFU, someone at SANZAAR set their expectations too high as Singapore just didn't work.
 

Fulcrum29

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The Sunwolves is out in my opinion, no need to wait until tomorrow unless a broadcasting deal sways them otherwise. I don’t believe the report will ever be publicly published, but a prominent rugby commentator in Japan have been told that the Participation Fee has been set at 1 billion Yen (approx. R 128,000,000). I can’t see the JRFU paying that amount as they don’t have any money, neither their government allowing that allowance or any industrial league entity committing to something that they aren’t remotely involved with or in. Also, the Participation Fee according to the source is not-negotiable. This is the Sunwolves end, 2020 will be their last year in the competition unless the broadcasting deal allows an early termination. I don’t see them sign any quality in 2020, the players will have no security.

I agree with a more compact Super Rugby competition, which is healthier, but it is odd to allow a ‘new’ union into your competition without them having any say in the matter. This was always about money and exploring new markets at the new market’s expense.

The SA in SANZAAR will have to play nice with their 3 partners as SARU is looking at investing in the European competitions. Dabbling money in between two rugby hemispheres when your own unions are barely holding on may spell more trouble. Exploring new markets in already established markets... we don't add a niche to PRO.

In my opinion, it is best we go back to Super 10/12 and reinvest into our unions and domestic competitions. Then we need to accept to play the political game.
 

Fulcrum29

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Hoping the Sunwolves use this as motivation this Saturday as I've picked them over the Lions :laugh:
They won't have much motivation when their termination is announced tomorrow. Besides they had a stronger team last week, on paper, and lost to a Reds team resting some players. Their heads weren’t in that game, they didn’t display the continuity they had in their previous rounds and I doubt that they will against the Lions unless the Lions are really poor, and poorer than them, on the day.

However, Tony Brown is back with more Brave Blossoms added to the squad. The extended Brave Blossoms training squad will be touring New Zealand and play Hurricanes B (March 29) and Highlanders B (April 5). The main Brave Blossoms squad is still somewhere, don't know how the JRFU and Jamie Joseph is going about with their RWC preparation, but two more ethnic Japanese players signed with the Sunwolves this week, Masataka Mikami and Harumichi Tatekawa in addition to the previous three I have mentioned in this thread. These are 5 players adding to the bunch which was on and still is on RWC preparation camp.

This is a okay Sunwolves team, they announced that three experienced players, Michael Little, Pauliasi Manu and Sam Prattley are out with concussion.

The Sunwolves team to play the Lions:

01. Masataka Mikami*
02. Atsushi Sakate
03. Koo Ji-won
04. Grant Hattingh
05. Tom Rowe
06. Ben Gunter
07. Dan Pryor (captain)
08. Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco
09. Jamie Booth
10. Hayden Parker
11. Semisi Masirewa
12. Harumichi Tatekawa*
13. Jason Emery
14. Gerhard van den Heever
15. Ryohei Yamanaka*
16. Nathan Vella
17. Alex Woonton
18. Hiroshi Yamashita
19. Uwe Helu
21. Amanaki Mafi
22. Takuya Yamasawa*
23. Hosea Saumaki

*These players wasn't included in the extended camps or Super Rugby training camps. 1 week Super Rugby preparation.

Who knows, maybe the Sunwolves have a runaway victory over the Lions to show SARU where they may stick the Participation Fee to rescue their unions ;)
 

bwana

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Friday 22 March 2019
SANZAAR decides on Super 14 format for 2021
NOTE TO EDITORS: SANZAAR issued the following media release this morning (Friday):


SANZAAR has announced that following a substantial review of Vodacom Super Rugby over the last 18 months via a strategic planning process the immediate future of Super Rugby rests with a 14-team, round robin, competition format.

The revised format will come into operation and kick-off in 2021. The Sunwolves from Japan will drop out of the existing 15-team Super Rugby competition at the end of the 2020 season.

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos stated, “The decision to further consolidate the competition format to a 14-team round robin was not taken lightly. It has involved some detailed analysis and a thorough review of the current and future rugby landscape, tournament costs, commercial and broadcast considerations and player welfare in line with our Strategic Plan.”

“Competition integrity, affordability and a competitive playing environment were further key drivers to ensure that an optimal player development pathway remains in place to feed into international rugby.”

“Factoring in the above analysis and review a 14 or 15-team round robin format were considered, as these models delivered best against the criteria we were seeking, including a format that would see each team playing every other team leading into a finals series, added Marinos.”

Vodacom Super Rugby will therefore comprise the existing five New Zealand teams, four South African teams, four Australian teams and the Jaguares from South America. The agreed format will be played within the next commercial broadcast window starting in 2021.

Marinos added, “SANZAAR was advised by the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) in early March that they would no longer be in a position to financially underwrite the Sunwolves future participation post 2020. The future of the Sunwolves will now be determined by the JRFU which has determined that Super Rugby no longer remains the best pathway for the development of players for the national team.”

“However, Japan and the Asia Pacific region remain strategically important to SANZAAR. We will continue to work with the JRFU, Japan Super Rugby Association (JSRA) and other stakeholders, as we have done throughout this review process, to establish a truly professional league structure in Japan in which current and potentially new teams could participate.”

“We have presented options to them around the establishment of a Super Rugby Asia-Pacific competition structure including Japan, the Pacific Islands, North and South America and Hong Kong. The concept includes linking high performance programmes of such nations into the potential competition structure. The aim is to deliver a competitive and sustainable international pathway that can align to both current and future considerations around the international calendar.”

“We would like to thank the JRFU for their continued support and look forward to working with them going forward and we will continue to be supportive of the Sunwolves through the 2019 and 2020 super rugby seasons,” added Marinos.

The 14-team round robin format will see the removal of the current three conference system and will see each team play every other team home or away each season. This means 13 matches for each team, with two byes, in the regular season with the number of home and away matches varying from six to seven based on a two-year alternate match schedule.

This will then lead into a new three-week, best versus best, super-charged, top six finals series. The top two ranked teams on the competition ladder will receive a bye in week one before hosting semi-final matches against the winners from a knockout round between teams ranked three to six.

The future format and structure of The Castle Lager Rugby Championship will be announced at a later date.

Issued by SA Rugby Communications on behalf of SANZAAR
 

Fulcrum29

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Is the JRFU and JSRA have responded:

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/...ficially-cut-from-super-rugby-after-2020.html

Rugby: Japan's Sunwolves officially cut from Super Rugby after 2020
The Sunwolves' Super Rugby exit was confirmed Friday, due apparently to a failure to agree on financial terms with the tournament organizers who made clear they view the immediate future of the competition as "a 14-team, round robin, competition format."

At the heart of the problem was a fee the Japan Rugby Football Union was unwilling to pay to remain in the competition.

"An agreement for a new contract after 2021 could not be reached due to the newly proposed financial conditions, which was difficult to agree on," the JRFU said in a press release.

A source has confirmed that tournament organizers SANZAAR demanded the Japanese team pay 1 billion yen (around $9 million) per year in participation and other fees, something no other franchises have been asked to pay.

"According to the proposed financial conditions, the Japan Super Rugby Association and the JRFU shall provide a substantial amount of additional funding, which has posed a concern about not only huge impacts that would be suffered by the future operation of both JSRA and JRFU, but also obstacles caused to the whole activity of Japanese rugby," the sport's governing body in Japan said.

The revised format will come into operation and kick off in 2021, meaning the Japanese side will play out this season and the next, when a clash with the Top League means there is no certainty who will even pull on a Sunwolves jersey.

"On behalf of the whole Sunwolves family we are obviously very disappointed by this decision," said Sunwolves CEO Yuji Watase. "The Sunwolves have been involved in Super Rugby since 2016 and remain a very important piece in the high-performance landscape for rugby in Japan."
Seeing this I don't even want to know why they want to begin a second-tier competition, because who is going to pay? The US, Japan and Hong Kong have no reason to invest in Super Rugby, the Participation Fee because that money will go to the premier teams, there are other alternatives available today and will the islanders accept anything else but premier Super Rugby…

I am, however, happy that we have reached this point, but I want a Super 12. 14 Teams are still pushing it and I hope that SANZAAR never again seeks to expand their product. I also believe that we don’t have the resources to throw at the PRO 12 (ahem, 14). There will be a time where SARU must pick between the North and South, and who at that time will accept us?

For Japan's concern, evolve the Top League.
 
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