Six Nations or Tri Nations?

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Post by Shifty on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:37 pm

One of the most hotly debated topics in International rugby is the strengths and weaknesses of the six and Tri Nations, but which do you feel is the better competition?
Clearly the Tri Nations always seem to get the better of their northern hemisphere counter parts, and have been dominant overall. Personally I think the best rugby is played in the Tri Nations but I find the 6 Nations much more exciting. For me the beauty of it is you only have ONE oppertunity to beat your rivals each season. This gives your fans the bragging rights for the entire year, with the losing fans having to wait an entire year for a chance of revenge.
New Zealand and Australia have actually played each other FOUR times a year for the last 3 years.
Surely if England and Scotland played each other so often it would start to lose it's appeal. At times when I watch the Tri-Nations there is no appeal because I feel as though i'm watching the same matches all the time. There is far more variety in the 6 Nations. king
New Zealand always complain their players leave New Zealand to play abroad but I wonder if money is the sole reason, could it be they need a new challenge and are bored stiff of the same repetitive teams in the same competitions.
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Post by MR. scotland27 on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:56 pm

For passion it has to be the six nations because of what are literally ancient rivalries between nations. But this could never really happen ion the tri nations because of the distances involved it means you just home fans and neutrals at games which definitely does,nt make for as good a atmosphere in the six nations. However you could argue that the lack of passion and proper rivalries can make for a higher quality of rugby.
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Post by ospreylian on Mon May 02, 2011 1:57 am

Tri-nations appear to be a higher standard of rugby, but that may well be down to a better organisation of the way rugby in the SH operates, it is geared towards an ever increasing tempo and standard.
But, the 6N's is the TOURNAMENT! Rival fans will make the journey to get to the away games and it's that which makes for a better atmosphere.
Basically, as i was told by a Kiwi years ago, "We really envy what you guys up there have with the 5N's ( as it then was)", he went on to say that " If we had that tourney down here it would be an even better thing than it is now"

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Post by Biltong on Tue May 03, 2011 9:40 pm

I would think that both tournaments have their merit. The Six Nations have more teams and there for does provide more of a variety in styles and performances, whereas the Tri Nations do seem to be repetitive at times.

The problem with the Tri Nations is rightly the travel aspect. In my opinion SA has the biggest disadvantage in the sense that every alternative year they trally whavel early to play their three away matches.

If they start the tournament poorly, their chances are done before they return home.


Personally I don't like the fact that there are three matches against each opponent per year, it is stupid to not have one home and 1 away match against each opponent.

With Argentina joining as the fourth nation, it will be one home game and one away per opponent. That will also create more excitement as there will be an extra team with different strengths.

I would be of the opinion that the tournament should be hosted in one country and rotated on that basis, six weeks two matches against every team and by doing it on this basis you would have the home advantage every four years. This should create a lot of excitement and not have that overkill feeling.
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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Thu May 12, 2011 4:41 am

The better competition is the 6N. Monogamy is monotony and variety is the spice of life. Add the fact that you only play one team once per year and that the travel distances allow fans relatively easy and affordable travel between games (for only one match) and you've got the perfect recipe.

However, looking back at this year's 6N, tell me the stand out games? Ireland vs England for its first half intensity but the second half was like seeing someone try to pick up a slippery soap in the shower. England vs Italy for the try action and for birdwatching enthusiasts it was entertaining stuff. Wales vs Ireland for the close scoreline and then we really start scraping the barrel. Name me a match that had the intensity and pace of Australia vs South Africa in SA, SA vs NZ in Soccer City, Oz vs NZ in Sydney (Hong Kong doesn't count technically but throw it in for a laugh) or name me your favourite tries this 6N and compare them with the 3N. Not that this is always the case or the 6N is not capable of great rugby spectacles (and I don't mean turnstile defence and tryfests).

I agree with Biltong. The 3 match series seemed tired and too much like overkill and Argentina's introduction in 2012 will see some much needed variety not to mention a slimmed down version. Like the rotational aspect but it'd have to be even splitting of the gate revenue to be fair but think that wouldn't be popular.

The beauty is that the comps don't coincide so I enjoy watching both. Obviously you get more involved when your own country is playing but from a neutral's perspective, this year's 6N promised so much and fell way short of that. Wales and Scotland need to pick up their game and France and Ireland were inconsistent. Italy probably were the feel good story with their win against France but their season overall was pretty shabby. England won deservedly for their consistency but I felt they were never pushed much by their first four opponents.

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Post by Loki on Thu May 12, 2011 5:23 am

Biltongbek - I have always wondered about the logic of three matches when seemingly one home and one away would be fairest. Do you know of plans to reduce the number with the inclusion if Argentina? It would be a serious amount of matches for players otherwise!

Kia' - as much as I enjoyed all of the Welsh matches, from an objective perspective lots of the rugby was of low quality. There were glimpses from all teams of potential, but these were transitory.

I couldn't help wishing for harder pitches and faster play a la the tri-nations.

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Post by greybeard on Thu May 12, 2011 5:39 am

To be honest, regardless of the relative merits or qualities of any competition you wish to name, the answer will always be "The one my team competes in"

There's no substitute for being on the edge of your seat, no matter how good a game is.

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Post by Loki on Thu May 12, 2011 6:02 am

The history of the six nations is also mired in emotional associations for me.

Memories since childhood of my entire family in the same room (rare!) all transfixed by the epic drama unfolding before us.

The shouts of excitement counterpointed by the groans of despair.

More recently it means the tangible atmosphere of match day Cardiff, too much Brains SA and subsequent hangovers.

Hard to beat really...

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Post by Biltong on Thu May 12, 2011 7:56 pm

Loki, when Argentina joins it will be one home match and one away match per opponent.
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Post by Adam D on Thu May 12, 2011 8:01 pm

Loki wrote:

More recently it means the tangible atmosphere of match day Cardiff, too much Brains SA and subsequent hangovers.

Hard to beat really...

Your statement is wrong - you can never have TOO MUCH Brains SA!

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Post by Loki on Thu May 12, 2011 8:08 pm

Biltongbek - cheers, i think that sounds like a better system. I expect Argentina to be in line for a couple of beatings mind...

Hobo - Ha! Well after rigorous testing it appears that 13 pints is one pint too many for me!

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Post by nganboy on Thu May 12, 2011 10:12 pm

Kiwi here.
Trinations much better rugby but too much.

Here is my plan.
In June - 1 test against 1 of 2nd tier country (1 test) warm up in NZ
4 nations home and away every 2nd year (6 tests)
Every other year a 3 test series in NZ with NH 1st tier country

In Oct - 1 test against a 2nd tier country in NZ
5 week mini tour in NH against one of the countries (not from July test obviously)3 tests and 4/5 non test games

Year 1 - 4 nations comp = 5 tests in NZ 6 OS
Year 2 - Internal tour = 5 tests in NZ 3 OS ( may be add a Baa Baas game?)
Year 3 - 4 nations
Year 4 - World Cup

Responses?
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Post by emack2 on Thu May 19, 2011 7:55 am

The Three Nations has been in existence only a relatively short time,replacing the traditional tours.The Three sides involved are usually the IRB top 3 sides in the World.Of the 15 Tournaments contested Nz have won 10,[4 to nil,including a 6-0],Sa 3[including one to nil]and Aus 2.Because of the travel involved the tournament is usually decided by home victories plus the odd win versus the weakest away side[usually]Aus.The Home and away format was fair,the 3 match format was slanted in favour of whoever had the most home matches Nz or SA.Only Nz winning a 3 match tourney against the draw.Indeed SA 3 and Aus 2 have only won those away ,NZ alone winning home or away.The coming of Argentina will mean a return to a balanced format.It is usually conceded that the 3Ns is the hardest tournament of all to win including RWC`s.Biltong beks idea of a single country hosting makes sense logistically,but given
the paucity of away victories.Is tountament to conceding the tourney to the home side,especially if you consider in the days of traditional tours until 1981-2.Only one series was won by the Worlds two leading sides[Nz/Sa]away.
The Six Nations is far more even,and much less predictable England,France,Ireland,Wales are always formidable especially a t Home.Scotland now have less resources than most but can on there day beat anyone.Italy are often the surprise packet,latecomers catching up but a banana skin for the unwary.
In my opinion the quality of the 3Ns,due to the supporting infrastructure is better quality Rugby,But 6Ns is more exciting due to more unpredictability.

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Post by Biltong on Thu May 19, 2011 4:42 pm

Emack, in a certain sense I agree with you that having the 4 nations hosted in one country may give a huge advantage to the home team.

However, when you look at the RWC tournament, only one country has won it at home. I think the difference will be if held in one country the length is similar to a RWC where you will play six matches in the same country.

If the same kind of effort goes into one host, the marketing, ticket sales etc. can be planned well in advance and there create a min world cup scenario.
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Post by emack2 on Thu May 19, 2011 7:04 pm

With respect Biltong TWO sides have won a rWC at home,even if SA fans don`t count 1987,1991.The assertation they would have won these had they been there is pure arrogance.Especially as they played the All Blacks 4 times before 1995 ,with a 3 losses and a draw before there victory.Then two seasons where they met seven times,and SA won one .BUT that is history if the infrastructure included a relatively long period in situ plus acclimtisation as usually occurs inRWC`s.Then I concede there is merit in the suggestion,and of course with a 40 % win record in SA.The All Blacks would have a better than average chance of continuing to win as they have since 1996.

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Post by Biltong on Thu May 19, 2011 8:04 pm

emack, we do count the amateur era RWC's, I forgot about the fact that NZ hosted 1987.
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Post by Glas a du on Tue May 24, 2011 3:56 pm

You southern hemisphere lads still don't get it do you?

1 the quality of rugby is down to the IRB and their silly laws

2 apart from Italy possibly, the ancient rivalries are all with England. France and England were at war for 800 years. Wales, Ireland and Scotland were also at war with England to varying degrees over the last 1000 years. England invented the game, have most players and the biggest population and it is our annual chance to put one over on them since the actual fighting stopped. Frankly we don't care if you find it dull!
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue May 24, 2011 6:01 pm

Glas a du wrote:You southern hemisphere lads still don't get it do you?

1 the quality of rugby is down to the IRB and their silly laws

Will disagree there Glas, NZ generally manages to play quality rugby regardless of the latest IRB silliness. Mindsets and conditions play just as big a part.
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Post by Glas a du on Tue May 24, 2011 6:15 pm

Fair point Red, but as to mindset, it's rarely a good idea to start with too open a game in February up here. Which is probably what you were alluding to when you mentioned conditions.
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Post by red_stag on Tue May 24, 2011 7:04 pm

3 Trinations is vastly better. By a country mile. 6 Nations for me is a very tired, very stale tournament. 3 Nations, Heineken Cup, Lions, World Cup are all definitely better. To be honest sometimes I even prefer the Autumn Internationals to the 6 Nations.

I really tried to embrace it this year I did. But I was left underwhelmed by most of it.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue May 24, 2011 8:26 pm

Glas a du wrote:Fair point Red, but as to mindset, it's rarely a good idea to start with too open a game in February up here. Which is probably what you were alluding to when you mentioned conditions.

Correct Glas, that should have read "climactic conditions"

But July in Christchurch* or Dunedin isn't too different to Febuary in London or Edinburgh. I've been in Canberra when it's snowed too. It's not so long ago that the ABs put 40 points on Australia in rain and mud in Wellington. Possibly it's more to do with players learning the game in dry conditions and having the confidence to apply them in the wet

*Back in the days of the amateur Super 10 in the early 90s a number of Queensland players were treated for hypothermia following a game vs Canterbury in Christchurch.


Last edited by Kiwireddevil on Tue May 24, 2011 8:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixed typo and added clarification sentence)
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Post by Cari on Tue May 24, 2011 8:39 pm

I can really compare the two very well because I haven't seen much of the Tri-Nations. I think both of them are equally exciting to the fans in the countries taking part, although like any competition there's the dull bits and the most exiciting.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue May 24, 2011 9:19 pm

Cari wrote:I can really compare the two very well because I haven't seen much of the Tri-Nations. I think both of them are equally exciting to the fans in the countries taking part, although like any competition there's the dull bits and the most exiciting.

I've attended 3 TN matches live, and 1 6N, and have watched large amounts of both on TV (unfortunately for the 6N, my one match attended was the Wales vs Ireland match this year). I have to say that in my experience, Cardiff is the best city I've come across in which to watch a match - the central location of the stadium and the passion of the local fans adds a lot. However the atmosphere in Christchurch or Dunedin (I haven't been to internationals anywhere else in NZ) is as good as Twickenham or Murrayfield.

Overall you're obviously going to be somewhat biased towards seeing your team play. But as a proxy, I've gotten up at 5am on a weekend morning in the past to watch South Africa vs Australia live. I haven't done that for a 6N match.
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