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NRL, AFL or Soccer – Canberra’s leading sport in the future.

By stirred408 - 26 August 2008 39

With the ACT government announcing funding for an A league soccer team, I am just wondering which of these three codes will be popular in years to come. 

Some of the old timers have said that AFL used to be Canberra’s leading sport.  Until the NRL boys from Sydney came and encouraged youngster to play rugby league.   

Will there be a resurgence of AFL in Canberra?  Will A league soccer be the sport of the future? I will let the rioters decide…

What’s Your opinion?


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39 Responses to
NRL, AFL or Soccer – Canberra’s leading sport in the future.
Spitfire3 11:01 am 26 Aug 08

Aurelius > Yeah, you were right. And then of course idiots like me post a knee-jerk response and it all goes downhill from there.

justbands > I know the Brumbies games get higher attendances, and that’s a powerful measure (especially as I believe the tickets are much more expensive than for Raiders games, correct me if I’m wrong). But if you were to read Wide Boy Jake’s reply you could be forgiven for thinking that NRL, AFL and soccer hardly even exist in this town. That annoys me.

Aurelius 10:52 am 26 Aug 08

The current push to get a team in the A League might be gaining some momentum for now. But the reality is the last time we had a team in the national competition, they could not raise the funds required to maintain their presence.
The latest hoohar is nothing but pi55ing in the wind if the support’s not there. And it wasn’t the last time Canberra had the chance to show its wares.

justbands 10:41 am 26 Aug 08

> That’s a crock. I hate to be rude about it. Provide some evidence that union dominates this town, because I can’t see ANY.

They get the biggest crowds of any sporting team in Canberra & have done so for many years running. They do have a shorter season though, so you could argue that Raiders support is spread over more games.

Like you don’t hate Rugby, I don’t hate league. In fact, I’ve watched quite a lot of it this season & last. I still find it too structured & predictable, but it is entertaining. I don’t mind AFL either, although I haven’t been to one of the Manuka games yet.

Aurelius 10:37 am 26 Aug 08

Spitfire – Jake’s comment is the sort of thing I meant – when the cheer squads for each code come in and throw unsubstantiated assertions that are based more on their prejudices than reality.

Spitfire3 10:32 am 26 Aug 08

Sorry, I should be more specific there. Your history is largely correct, but your assertion that the situation now is that rugby union has blown all others away is merely wishful thinking. As is your statement that AFL couldn’t become popular here.

In any case, I don’t hate rugby union. I enjoy watching the occasional game, but I just find the way that it’s played ends up frustrating me.

Spitfire3 10:14 am 26 Aug 08

“a rugby town well and truly”

That’s a crock. I hate to be rude about it. Provide some evidence that union dominates this town, because I can’t see ANY.

Wide Boy Jake 10:01 am 26 Aug 08

There is little doubt that the number one sport in the ACT is rugby (union), specifically the Brumbies. The Raiders never really recovered from Super League and that disastrous period when the club was run by News Ltd and coached by Mal Meninga. AFL (or Aussie Rules) was the number one code in the district until 1977 when Canberra gained a team in the National Soccer League. That team stopped winning and the crowds fell away. The Raiders began in 1982 and became the number one team until Super League when the Brumbies and rugby took over. The Canberra Cannons basketball team had bursts of popularity in the 1980s but our town is now a rugby town well and truly. Even if Canberra gains a team in the AFL (and the Melburnians have said that will *never* happen) AFL will not become popular because rugby is a far better game all round. The aerial ping-pong brigade have missed the bus totally and are now a fringe sport like curling and farnarkeling.

Spitfire3 9:53 am 26 Aug 08

I hope it doesn’t.

There are plenty of tactics in league. Allow me to point out a few of them, specifically around the percieved five-tackles-then-kick thing.

The first few tackles in a set are usually called hit-ups. That means that the point of them is not to avoid being tackled, but just to quickly gain 10 metres. This is only done early in the tackle count, as doing it later would be a waste. Usually, hitups are the job of the forwards. (One thing I love about watching the Raiders play is that ALL of the players get involved in this. It seems to make things harder for the opposition because they don’t know whether the back who’s running the ball is just doing a hitup or attempting to make a break.)

Later tackles are often spent spreading the ball out to the centres and wings. Often, those players start back further in order to get more of a run up before reaching the defense, because this gives a greater chance of outmaneuvering them.

In the last 10 years, the 40-20 kick has been added to the rules. (The rule is that if a player kicks from behind their own 40 metre line and the ball goes out on the bounce beyond the opposition’s 20 metre line, the kicking team retains possession.) The wingers have to drop back late in the tackle count to protect against this. The fullback can’t do it because they must stay back in the centre of the field to protect against an attempt to score a try by kicking ahead. This all means that late in the tackle count the defensive line is much weaker, especially on the wings. Therefore often teams will run the ball on the last tackle, even though they risk losing possession on the spot if they get tackled.

I could go on more, just ask. The six tackle limitation results in a lot of attacking tactics being developed all the time.

Aurelius 9:39 am 26 Aug 08

How long before this thread devolves into slagging the codes we don’t like?

justbands 9:20 am 26 Aug 08

> I find rugby union to be much less tactical than league. It’s main claim to fame (as far as I can see) is that there’s a lot more broken play, so it seems very free-flowing. But on the other hand, I find it frustrating to watch because you never really get into the meat of the tactical plays you find in league.

Wow. I actually find it the other way around. ie. Rugby is very tactical & League is crash & barge for 5 tackles & then kick (obviously it’s not as simple as that, just making my point).

Anyway…out of NRL, AFL & Soccer…I’d pick Rugby Union.

Spitfire3 9:07 am 26 Aug 08

I grew up watching league mostly. Even now, watching a game of soccer, union or aussie rules is a bit of a novelty to me. I’m sure they’re all good games, but rugby league is the only one that I genuinely truly find exciting to watch.

I find rugby union to be much less tactical than league. It’s main claim to fame (as far as I can see) is that there’s a lot more broken play, so it seems very free-flowing. But on the other hand, I find it frustrating to watch because you never really get into the meat of the tactical plays you find in league.

Aussie Rules seems like a very scrappy game, in that a lot of the time is spent fumbling the ball around on the ground. I’m interested in trying to follow aussie rules a bit more though (I played in Saints colours when I was little).

As for soccer – I just don’t understand where the excitement comes from in that game. I’ve tried watching it, but the only time it seems interesting is when the ball is right near the goals.

Thumper 9:03 am 26 Aug 08

Exactly caf, and the Tasmanians are bloody good as well!

caf 8:56 am 26 Aug 08

Yeah if the Tasmanians can’t get into the AFL, then we have Buckley’s.

Thumper 7:55 am 26 Aug 08

Back in the early 80s AFL was the major sport, but then alomg came the Raiders which, although not tipping the balance, at least evened it up a bit.

Union has always been strong but for some reason lagging behind the other two codes.

Soccer is incredibly strong at junior level but then loses a lot of players at 15-16 to the other codes.

Personally I think league will remain the strongest given we have a definite Canberra team, which we don’t in soccer (although we did until they went broke), and the Brumbies are now some sort of vaguely international team with players coming from Randwick and Manly etc, rather than local clubs.

AFL could become extyremely popular with a team based in Canberra, but that is never going to happen.

My two cents 😉

Devil_n_Disquiz 7:36 am 26 Aug 08

There can be only one…..

….. Union

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