A fresh look at a classic concept can yield a positive result.
This has definitely been the case for Cobra Kai and the Tri Nations. The on-field action has been quality viewing, while recreating the Tri Nations’ logo and trophy have added to the nostalgia.
This feels like an important competition with purpose and heritage rather than a last-minute redirection after plans for a four-team Rugby Championship fell through.
Trophies and logos are not enough on their own to keep the fans on board. The action and drama has to be present on the field.
On the field, the grit and skills have been about as good as it gets. Narratives run the full gauntlet of emotion and experience: triumph, defeat, history, redemption and there is still a week left to watch.
From the outside it seems as if the players and coaching staff are relishing the unique experience. Their joy and pride at being able to represent their nations shines through the TV screen.
This has been a difficult time for many but the Tri Nations have been a bright spot. All the people involved are to be applauded for their efforts to make this happen.
The show continues next week with what is sure to be a thrilling conclusion and a notable chapter in Tri Nations’ history. Both teams will be driven to play an outstanding match and will leave the field proud of what has been accomplished on the night and throughout the tournament.
On the same day as the Tri Nations comes to a close, Moana Pasifika begin their legacy against the Māori All Blacks. This is likely to be one of the two teams that could be added to the ten Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby teams in 2022.
The other is reported to be a Fijian-based team. Recreating the Super 12 and having a Pacific presence, which hasn’t been seen since the South Pacific Championship and Super 6, the competition that would become Super 12.
This competition could capture the same nostalgia as this year’s Tri Nations if the same lessons are observed. Slick rebranding based on nostalgia will only get the competition so far. The action on the field has to be captivating.
The best way to ensure this is to set up the new teams for success. Bring and retain quality players. The teams behind the Super Rugby AU, Super Rugby Aotearoa and the Tri Nations have shown that they can accomplish great things under recent pressure.
Their challenge now is to make good decisions consistently. Like many fans, I have my own ideas on how this could be accomplished and will release an article on potential ways future seasons could look, but this is not the article to do that.
I mostly wanted to reflect on this season, what has been accomplished and why I am looking forward to the future and seeing what is possible.
I can’t wait.