General Toyota Cup

2big2strong_old

Guest
I'm not sure if most of you are aware, because it hasn't been discussed here, but 2011 will be the final year of the Toyota Cup in it's current format.

There are 3 options up in the air as to which direction the new Independent Commission will take but it definitely won't be an U20's competition after next season.

The 3 options are:

1. The age limit increased to U22's or U23's.
2. The age limit being abolished and the Toyota cup becoming the true and only reserve grade for the NRL.
3. The Toyota cup idea being abandoned all together.

The majority of the NRL diplomats and club officials want the 2nd option, a reserve grade. This will save money as at the moment teams are having to fund at least 3 teams airfares and accomodation every weekend where the new system will reduce that to just 2. The other major incentive is that the quality of the Toyota cup will go through the roof i.e. Defensive qualties will be higher, the younger kids like Fisiiahi for example would be able to learn and prepare for 1st grade a lot better because the guys they're playing with and against will be the best of the rest (every player in Australasia that is on the cusp of 1st grade playing in the same competition as opposed to the current set up where some teams scatter their players through the NSW cup, QLD cup and Toyota Cup and even Jim Beam Cup.)

The downside is that the Queensland Rugby League (and to a lesser degree the NSW League) are threatening legal action if the reserve grade idea goes ahead as all of the best players will no longer drop down to those competions which will more or less make both state comps sub-standard competions or 'park footy, and kill country Rugby League'.

To be honest I hope to God that it does become a reserve grade comp, ala the Superleague days, and the gulf between the NRL and the Toyota cup narrows. We'd get a much better Idea of who was ready for 1st grade and who wasn't.

What is everyone elses thoughts on this?
 
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Spence_old

Guest
I wasn't aware of this, thanks for bringing it up. I like the idea of the Toyota Cup as it benefits the Warriors a heck of a lot. To me it seems to allow us to get a better scope, and a chance to sign, the best of the young kids in NZ. Perhaps not immediately, but if the NYC continued for a longer period of time I think we would be the best club off, as our catchment area is the biggest. Hmm, actually, would it be? Would a big junior club like Parra, Panthers, etc, have more players than there are league player in NZ?
 

Northern_Union

Guest
I think there should room for 3 or 4 players over the age of 20. That way you'll older hardened NRL players teaching what is and isn't acceptable in first grade. Lets face it, defence is terrable at times in the U20's but i think players over the age putting pressure on the younger players to defend to an acceptable standard would be good.
 

2big2strong_old

Guest
I wasn't aware of this, thanks for bringing it up. I like the idea of the Toyota Cup as it benefits the Warriors a heck of a lot. To me it seems to allow us to get a better scope, and a chance to sign, the best of the young kids in NZ. Perhaps not immediately, but if the NYC continued for a longer period of time I think we would be the best club off, as our catchment area is the biggest. Hmm, actually, would it be? Would a big junior club like Parra, Panthers, etc, have more players than there are league player in NZ?


That's a very good point and one that I agree with but if a player had longer to prove themselves, say at least up to 23, then wouldn't that help our chances more when it comes to retaining? Take Nafe for instance, he's outta here because he can't play in 20's anymore and needs to secure an NRL contract otherwise he risks ending up on the Vulcans scrapheap (and if the Vulcans continue to be as terrible as they have since they started and the ARL goes broke then that scrapheap will become the FOX memorial scrapheap) and the Warriors supposedly don't want to sign him because they want to see what he's got during the off season. It's all hypothetical now but if he had an indefinite amount of time to prove himself then would he want to uproot and leave home so he can secure his future? Heck, maybe he just wants to go to Sydney.
 
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BringBackRovelli_old

Guest
Reserve grade would be great spectacle, much better than the U20's.

But my worry would be what would happen to most of the young blokes? The U20's attracts little audience and eats up a lot of money, but provides a great development pathway for juniors, and an incentive for young kids to pursue the game.

What are the alternative options of young guys to play age-group rugby league?
 

2big2strong_old

Guest
I'm not completely sure but you would have to assume that the best younger players with more potential would get more of a look in than your 30 year old battlers that bang it out for the Vulcans. As a reserve grade Toyota cup team would only be for contracted Warriors players there are a lot of current Vulcans that wouldn't make it and a lot of current Junior Warriors that would so you'd probably still get the best of the young crew but you would lose the strugglers. Guys like Laban wouldn't even get a look in but Ikahihifo would so it comes down to performance I guess, the best of the best. The really young guys would just have to make their way up through the FOX memorial for Mt Albert, Otahuhu etc.
 
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Fazz_old

Guest
Any of those first two options will suit the warriors just fine. Hope it sticks around in some form. Imo a full reserve comp would attract bigger crowds, since there'll be more NRL players in the teams
 

Ryan_old

Guest
I'd love option 2. I think it would be an especially good idea, as coverage interest and match patronage would increase drastically as an immediate result. I've never asked or done any research on this matter, but U20's never really looked attractive to me (until this season, when I started paying a lot more attention to league) because of the "cricket scores" of most matches. My mental reasoning at the time was that it (U20) must be rubbish quality, and therefore not worth watching. I believe option 2 would change the landscape completely.
 
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2big2strong_old

Guest
Here's some of the coaches take on it.

NSW Origin coach Bellamy has been underwhelmed by the performances of the Melbourne under-20 players - all drawn from the Storm's 2009 Toyota Cup premiership-winning team - who he has promoted to his top squad.
"With the way the salary cap works, you have to rely on the under-20s more," Bellamy said. "This year we've brought seven or eight under-20 guys into our top squad, thinking they might play NRL - but they haven't. It's because of defensive issues.
"I like a defensive game and I get really frustrated when I see scorelines like 48-34 and 38-36.
"It's a bit of a worry when you've got guys playing in a comp like that and then coming straight in to first grade."
Elliott said it was inevitable that there would a drop in quality as more over-20s walked away.
"I am a big supporter of getting an all age competition back," the Panthers coach said.
"It's something we really need. Most are just not ready at that age and we are losing a lot of over-age players because we can't keep them in the system. With all the guys we are losing, of course the quality of our main product is going to be affected.
"We are having to make decisions based on age, not on who is the best player."
While none of the coaches want the Toyota Cup scrapped, they feel the all-age competition should be treated as the NRL's premier feeder system. Either that or for the NYC age limit to be increased.
Hasler and Bellamy said the most effective cure would be to return to the traditional three-grade format on match day. But it is understood clubs want to save money by hiring stadiums and staff for less time.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/s...-over-toyota-cup/story-e6frexnr-1225854325289
 

BringBackRovelli_old

Guest
Oh right, I forgot that the Vulcans are not only Warriors players. In that case I'd definitely go with option 2. How many players would there need to be in an NRL squad to be able to have a full reserve grade comp? Around 40 I guess. Seems a lot, but some could be on junio contracts or something?
 

2big2strong_old

Guest
Oh right, I forgot that the Vulcans are not only Warriors players. In that case I'd definitely go with option 2. How many players would there need to be in an NRL squad to be able to have a full reserve grade comp? Around 40 I guess. Seems a lot, but some could be on junio contracts or something?

Yeah, the Vulcans are their own entity and actually do us a favour by letting the Warriors use them as an avenue for contracted players to play in.

This is the Vulcans Team from the last round of this year and I've marked all the contracted warriors players...

1 Johnny Aranga
2 Fetongi Tuinauvai
3 Sione Lousi
4 Niuvao Taka
5 Howie Matthews
6 Kelvin Wright
7 Pita Godinet
8 James Gavet
9 Kurt Tehira
10 Mataupu Poching
11 Mike Afioga
12 Ralph Ah Van
13 Jeremy Latimore

14 Malo Solomona
15 Tulson Caird
16 Nathaniel Neale
22 Soape Kalaviku

There are another 12 non Warriors players in that side and of that 12 there are 4 former Warriors Juniors that ran out of time to prove themselves.

As it stands the NRL side has to have 25 contracted players with $50,000 being the minimum yearly income for any NRL contracted player. Then there is 2nd tier which goes to players who aren't in the top 25 but may be used throughout the season then there is Toyota Cup Which has a $250k a year salary cap.

If they kept the NRL roster the way it is but then just amalgamated the 2nd Tier and Toyota cup salary caps together then you'd have probably 50 contracted Warriors players. The best 17 play NRL, then the next best 17 play Toyota Cup then the rest play local League.
 

BringBackRovelli_old

Guest
I think that without an U20's comp, the club would not keep so many young guys on its books, and fair enough too. 18, 19, 20 seems a bit early to expose guys to the real game. You don't want them to get injuries or play too much tough football before they're ready. That's one issue now, that guys that come into the NRL straight from the Toyota Cup may burn out early or suffer injuries that can hinder their future careers.
 

Viking_old

Guest
The reserve grade option would be preferable to every club except the Warriors purely because we don't have SG Ball to sharpen up the young talent before they hit reserve or 1st grade.

From the Vulcans lineup above, most of those guys are under 23 themselves and are just older, better versions of their NYC counterparts. Taka is a better centre than Feki and Likiliki IMO, Godinet is better than Inu and Tuimavave and Neale is better than Gubb and Necrom and so on. Guys like Tuimavave aren't going to wait around for a shot at reserve grade in 2 years time, they'll leave to play SG Ball at the Bulldogs which is where he was heading before the Warriors offered him a NYC spot.

This year Ackland made it a requirement that all the contracted Warriors juniors had to play Fox Memorial. They relaxed that rule as clubs that took on a number of NYC players into their top side that didn't make Fox ie Marist. and the ARL weren't going to allow club jumping mid season to please the Warriors. IMO very few 17 and 18 years olds are physically ready to step up to Fox Memorial footy, I saw a lot of young guys get long term injuries this year and from what I saw of Fridays NYC game, the top Fox teams are obviously not as talented but are far tighter in their defensive structures and game plans. There'll be a lot of weekend warriors looking to put the lights out on a young superstar.

I was really suprised at how poor the crowd was for Friday's NYC game although neither were a home team. Has the introduction of the NYC games before the 1st grade fixtures improved gate takings at all?

2B2S, I would've thought you'd be dead against the QRL being weakened? The ARL won't go broke, they have millions tucked away and get 1 million a year rent for half the Carlaw Park site that's being used for a retirement village. I don't know which Auckland zone claims that money now that the NZRL has split them into 3 zones though. A full Warriors reserve grade side takes away the ARLs premier development pathway too which is currently the Vulcans. Same story for clubs like Newtown and Norths as well I guess.
 
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2big2strong_old

Guest
The reserve grade option would be preferable to every club except the Warriors purely because we don't have SG Ball to sharpen up the young talent before they hit reserve or 1st grade.

From the Vulcans lineup above, most of those guys are under 23 themselves and are just older, better versions of their NYC counterparts. Taka is a better centre than Feki and Likiliki IMO, Godinet is better than Inu and Tuimavave and Neale is better than Gubb and Necrom and so on. Guys like Tuimavave aren't going to wait around for a shot at reserve grade in 2 years time, they'll leave to play SG Ball at the Bulldogs which is where he was heading before the Warriors offered him a NYC spot.

This year Ackland made it a requirement that all the contracted Warriors juniors had to play Fox Memorial. They relaxed that rule as clubs that took on a number of NYC players into their top side that didn't make Fox ie Marist. and the ARL weren't going to allow club jumping mid season to please the Warriors. IMO very few 17 and 18 years olds are physically ready to step up to Fox Memorial footy, I saw a lot of young guys get long term injuries this year and from what I saw of Fridays NYC game, the top Fox teams are obviously not as talented but are far tighter in their defensive structures and game plans. There'll be a lot of weekend warriors looking to put the lights out on a young superstar.

I was really suprised at how poor the crowd was for Friday's NYC game although neither were a home team. Has the introduction of the NYC games before the 1st grade fixtures improved gate takings at all?

2B2S, I would've thought you'd be dead against the QRL being weakened? The ARL won't go broke, they have millions tucked away and get 1 million a year rent for half the Carlaw Park site that's being used for a retirement village. I don't know which Auckland zone claims that money now that the NZRL has split them into 3 zones though. A full Warriors reserve grade side takes away the ARLs premier development pathway too which is currently the Vulcans. Same story for clubs like Newtown and Norths as well I guess.


Wow, some very good points there Viking. Thanks for the inside knowledge.

No, I wouldn't really care if the QRL was weakened if it was to strengthen the game nationally/internationally. At the Moment the QRL have way too much pull and still like to consider themselves as competion to the N(SW)RL.

At the end of the day I'd like to see the best of the rest competing on some level. The NSW cup is an absolute joke, the QRL is very strong and very good quality which is why Canberra and Manly send their non-required players north every weekend.

Toyota Cup in it's current form is going to be coming to an end, I'm not really fussed if it becomes reserve grade, U23's or have allowances for x amount of over-age players ala the UK but I definitely don't want it abolished altogether.
 

Viking_old

Guest
Viking, is there no U20's or similar youth competition in NZ?

Not at a national level. This year only U15s and U17s are playing in a national zonal comp which runs about 2 months. Auckland are currently having a northern clubs vs southern clubs 3 game series for U18s and U20s but I don't think there's ever been a national U20s comp.
 

Iafeta_old

Guest
I would make it an U20s grade, with 2-3 player exceptions up till the age of 22 or 23. I say this in relation to halves and front rowers. Halves take a bit longer to develop the organisation facet of their game. Front rowers can find the jump tough from the NYC, and then basically having to toughen up over night or not make it in first grade.

Personally, I like the NYC. It's a good, fun comp to watch. If they do go down the path of a genuine reserve grade competition, the Warriors need to do something to ensure they have that third tier, junior team in place in a NSWRL system. I would say a great number of junior talent who will play first grade have really benefitted from NYC at the Warriors, probably moreso than other clubs given what we did and didn't have before.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
My preference is just to move the age limit to U 23's. I think its in the Warriors long term interest to continue in, some shape or form, a youth comp.
 

BringBackRovelli_old

Guest
If they do go down the path of a genuine reserve grade competition, the Warriors need to do something to ensure they have that third tier, junior team in place in a NSWRL system.

The Perth-based WA Reds now have a team in the S. G. Ball Cup which is U18's. Maybe the Warriors could also be afforded one.
As for the gap between 18 and first grade, not quite sure. Maybe if they do scrap the Toyota Cup for a full reserve grade, the S.G. Ball could raise the age limit?

I'm a big fan of a proper reserve grade, and I think the appoach should be to do whatever it takes to accommodate it, and then try and adapt youth competitions to keep up the flow of talent.
 

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