CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Winger Tom Wright and full-back Tom Banks are looking to give the ACT Brumbies a 21-9 win over the Western Force and a place in the Australian Super Rugby final.
The Brumbies take on the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday in the final of the five-team domestic competition. The Reds beat the Brumbies twice in regular season matches.
ACT took a 12-3 lead at half-time on Saturday and any chance of revival in the second half by Force ended when winger Toni Pulu was red-carded for a sleeveless tackle on Irae Simone which left the Brumbies center in a daze. The Force played briefly for the next 20 minutes.
The reigning champions Brumbies will have the momentum on their side while Queensland haven’t won a match since April 10. The Reds lost to the Force and spent the weekend on either side of that defeat.
“It feels good. You never get bored,” said Brumbies coach Dan McKellar of qualifying for the final. “Very excited for next Saturday night. This is a tough team to get through, against a team that has little momentum and sometimes stresses us out.”
Force coach Tim Sampson said it was a tougher match than the final score indicated.
“It was a real 80 minutes of real hand wrestling and unfortunately we didn’t get a good attacking position,” he said. “It will sting, no doubt.”
Queensland is looking to win its first Super title since 2011 when the competition includes teams from New Zealand and South Africa. The Brumbies won the final 28-23 last year over Queensland.
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Cheree Kinnear explains the key points of purchasing Silver Lake.
New Zealand Rugby Players Association boss Rob Nichol is confident they will find a deal with Rugby New Zealand on the Silver Lake deal soon, but some questions still need to be answered.
The disagreement between the two parties is the only thing preventing the sale of 12.5 percent of future commercial revenue to the US fund manager for $ 387 million after the provincial unions unanimously approved the sale.
Speaking to Martin Devlin of Newstalk ZB, Nichol said there were still some key points between the NZRPA and NZR that were preventing a deal from being agreed.
“There was a lot of narrative in the media this week and that’s great, but what we’re working on is something we’ve been doing for 25 years in rugby,” said Nichol. “This is a professional process of collective negotiation, we involve a mediator because we have found it very useful in the past.
“We will get there. We will get a deal, no doubt about that, and the settlement will be fair and reasonable, it will be appropriate. It will probably be one to consider an arrangement like Silver Lake, but also contemplate if it does not. happens. It will work for us to progress, it will only take a little while. “
Nichol said it “would be very good” if the parties could reach an agreement next week, because after several meetings they were in the process of reporting back to their shareholders.
While player payouts under the new agreement are reportedly one of the issues between the two, Nichol said that’s not the case and the players want the 36 percent they have now, but are more worried about the future of the game after the game. report from BDO suggests a scenario where NZR could become a loss-making venture by 2025 and live off its capital reserves if it takes out a deal with Silver Lake.
“We need each other, we need community, we need to be one, and I think one of the things we are looking for under the Silver Lake deal is we bring other people into the partnership,” said Nichol.
“This is the first time in 150 years we have thought about doing it. In 95-96, we decided against it. We fought against it. We didn’t keep up with the rest of rugby, and how well has it worked us out? This was a big decision, and we will not rush.
“We’re going to be methodical in asking the right questions, and when I look at the financial models associated with it and some of the risks we’re talking about, that’s where rubber really hits the ground.”
Joseph Parker joins us in the studio ahead of his fight against Derek Chisora this weekend. Video / Spark Sport
New Zealand-born Samoan rugby league player Andre Savelio has spoken of being the subject of racial insults during matches in the English Super League, prompting the suspension of his opponent from the league.
Savelio, in his third season playing for Hull FC, filed a complaint with match officials after saying he was verbally abused by Wigan prop Tony Clubb.
Initially, Savelio said he wanted to face Clubb on the pitch after the incident, but he was substituted outside of the game, forcing a determined Savelio to go public by saying he “will not sit still”.
Posting on his Twitter account, Savelio outlined exactly what happened: “Look, there was absolutely no reason for me to lie, I didn’t report it at first because I was going to handle it myself the next time we met, she got released afterwards and never. back again.
“For her to call me ‘stupid Polynesian whore’ in that game where 30 percent is inherited, I’m not going to sit idly by.
“I’ve seen these things happen enough to know most of the time there’s never enough evidence of this – but I swear to my mom … I just hope the camera or microphone records it and it’s taken care of.”
In response, both Hull FC and Wigan clubs issued statements revealing that they had conducted a joint internal investigation.
“There is no room for racism in sport of any kind and we take the allegations made by Andre Savelio of Hull very seriously,” said Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski.
“Our immediate goal is to work with Hull and regulatory agencies to gather all the facts and support the existing investigative process.
“In the short term, Tony Clubb will be suspended from all club activities.
“Tony’s evidence will be considered by all parties to move forward and his welfare will remain the responsibility of the Wigan Warriors throughout the investigation.”
In 2017, Savelio signed a two-year contract to play for the Brisbane Broncos but suffered an ACL tear in the pre-season trials, ending his NRL dreams.
Cheree Kinnear explains the key points of purchasing Silver Lake.
Outgoing New Zealand Rugby chairman, Brent Impey, believes it would be a grave mistake if the Players Association does not support the Silver Lake deal when mediation between the two parties resumes in the future. Sunday.
New Zealand’s 26 provincial unions mandated regulatory bodies to move forward after a unanimous vote at the Annual General Meeting in Wellington on Thursday in favor of the sale of a 12.5 percent stake in NZ Rugby commercial rights for $ 387.5 million to a US technology investment firm .
But the proposal, which would soon inject $ 39 million through provincial unions and other rugby entities, and see the creation of a $ 200 million inheritance fund designed for the future of the game, remained blocked after six days of mediation failed to reach a resolution between the Players. ‘NZ Rugby power broker association and.
After yesterday’s labeling of continued resistance from the Players’ Association for potentially “the greatest own goal in New Zealand sporting history”, Impey doubled down after the provincial union vote.
“It would be a big mistake if the players didn’t end up supporting this deal; a very bad mistake,” said Impey, who will complete his term as chairman next month. “We talk about community play but the kids are running around. Go to the Weymouth rugby club where there are kids without boots or jerseys; they have trouble getting coaches and that is being replicated in many parts of New Zealand.
“We are trying to solve it as a problem and here’s a plan to do it.
“This is a lot of money, $ 388 million – this is simply not dreamed up in New Zealand sports. I am proud of our provincial union which voted unanimously. It really sends a message about the importance of community play.
“I have expressed disappointment that the Players’ Association has not joined and given their approval. I hope the message sent today will be understood. The players are part of our team, we want them to be part of our team, and this is important. an agreement that must be continued. “
While the Players’ Association has other reservations attached to selling 12.5 percent of future funding to private offshore investors, and the potential costs associated with it, one thing that is sticking out is NZ Rugby seeking to reduce the player’s share by 36.5 percent. of overall revenue – a deal that has been made since 2013.
Asked if New Zealand’s professional players were greedy in renegotiating their collective deal, which made them king of the Silver Lake deal, Impey explained that the players would benefit if minority sales continued.
“I will not use those words. It depends on how the money is spent. In my view, the need in this game is for clubs and youth. From this process the professional players will get a raise so there is no problem around the money we will be going to. offer to the Player Association in terms of upgrades.
“There are issues around percentages like those that have been issued in recent days, but for us the increase in legacy funds is a critical area because we want to make sure we get a return on that investment.
“There is still a way to go as part of the process.”
The AGMS revealed NZ Rugby suffered a loss of $ 34.6 million in the last financial year, in large part due to the Covid-19 impact – a figure compounded by a $ 16 million loss from five percent of Sky Television’s stock.
NZR chief financial officer Nicki Nicol said while cash reserves were fairly stable at $ 68 million, without Silver Lake’s investments in underfunded areas such as women’s games, Maori, participation and grassroots would continue to feel the burden.
“From a professional point of view we can go on for a period of time but don’t look at community investment,” said Nicol. “I don’t want people to leave today thinking we have a burning platform. We did well during Covid, but with how we want to change the sport, we can’t do it with the reserves we have at the moment. We’ve looked at other options. , but we believe this is the most interesting. “
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson indicated no time frame has been set for resolving the stalemate with the Players Association.
“No deadlines. Silver Lake has advised us that they will be patient as we go through the process,” said Robinson. “We look forward to reaching a resolution with the Players Association and we have time to work on it. We will be in touch at several stages in the next few weeks to determine what the next phase will look like.
“We think we are aligned on many levels. There are things when we sit and talk, we realize there is a common interest but, obviously, there are some things we are a bit separated from. They’re things we need to get back together whenever the time is right. in the next few weeks.
“We believe there is an opportunity for everyone in the game to benefit and this is an opportunity to reset for real. Nobody needs to step back here.”
Robinson rejects claims that Silver Lake will increasingly push the All Blacks to play more tests each year to meet projected revenue targets. He argued that the push instead kept creating more meaning in the established July and November test windows, and formulated a competition like a world club challenge that could see the best teams north and south face off.
“It would be a mistake to say that is their focus. We have never supported that thesis either in terms of what it means for the player’s well-being which is our No. 1 concern.
“To suggest it will become more and more rugby and a traveling circus is ridiculous. They have a thesis in line with us about how we create more premium rugby content, a stronger narrative around our competition that drives more revenue for the same or maybe less rugby. That’s our main goal. “
Rugby Australia (RA) has recorded a net deficit of $ 27.1 million for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the governing body losing so much money it has even considered a return to amateur status.
Australian Rugby saw a $ 45.7 million drop in revenue in 2020
New Zealand Rugby has agreed a historic private equity deal, with Australian Rugby looking to follow suit
Rugby Australia says it is “openly talking about a potentially amateurish game” amid its financial woes
The $ 45.7 million drop in revenue was a key factor behind the huge loss, which was somewhat offset by the $ 31.2 million in drastic cost-cutting measures.
Staff costs were reduced by $ 9.9 million (down 46 percent), $ 7.7 million reduction in player fees (down 45 percent), $ 8.1 million reduction in Member Union funding (down 28 percent), and other expenses reduced by $ 5.5 million.
Australian Rugby chairman Hamish McLennan said the organization was “shaken to its core” by the impact of the global pandemic.
And the magnitude of the financial loss caused serious talk of code football to once again become an amateur in Australia.
“We are very nervous,” McLennan said on Thursday afternoon after the RA’s annual general meeting (AGM).
“When I joined in June, July, had we not been able to get out of business and get certainty about some of our revenue figures, we were openly talking about the game that has the potential to be amateurs.
“We knew it would be brutal, so it was not too surprising. I am proud of the fact that the team here is keeping the game alive and professional.”
Rugby New Zealand (NZR) approved a historic private equity deal at AGM on Thursday, with a 12.5 percent stake to be sold to US equity firm Silver Lake for $ 361 million.
McLennan indicated RA would follow suit.
“We have absolute harmony,” he said.
“I can’t see us giving more than 15 percent. That would be anywhere from 10 to 15 percent. Maybe 12.5 percent.
“In a perfect world you don’t have to. There are additional stakeholders we have to work with.
“But I’m not afraid. The more diverse skill sets we get around the table is a good thing.
“Rugby deserves a lot of money which we can reinvest into community play.”
McLennan said he felt the RA had weathered the worst part of the financial storm, with an international series set to inject much-needed cash into the game.
RA believes the proposed series of three Tests against France during the middle of the year will continue.
‘The game must change’
In New Zealand, 26 provincial unions voted unanimously in favor of a proposed private equity deal to sell shares to Silver Lake.
The only remaining obstacle to the private equity deal is the New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA).
Unions representing professional players have expressed concern about several aspects of the sale, including the possible commercialization of traditional and cultural symbols such as the silver fern and the All Blacks haka.
The talks between NZRPA and NZR, which were conducted with mediators, have so far not eliminated those concerns.
The Silver Lake deal will represent a more important change for the All Blacks than rugby’s move to professionalism in 1995.
It is the first time that the New Zealand national team – known as the All Blacks since 1905 and the most successful team in world rugby – will not belong entirely to New Zealanders.
NZR chairman Brent Impey said the Silver Lake deal represented a major turning point for rugby in New Zealand, although fans won’t see any change once the deal is reached.
He told the provinces, “what you just did was very significant”.
“The game has to change and Silver Lake’s infusion of capital will allow us to re-imagine rugby and invest in the areas of community gaming where it is most needed, especially youth and women’s rugby and to create a better and more engaging experience for our fans,” Impey said.
“We hope the NZRPA will recognize the importance of the opportunities ahead of us and will continue to work towards an agreement in the coming weeks.”
NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said his organization believed the proposal would “benefit everyone in the game”.
Robinson denied any notion that the deal would see the history and traditions of the All Blacks being sold to “faceless billionaires”.