The announcers for games here in the US, which are usually on NBC Sport, are in a word, terrible. The main announcer I doubt ever played the game, and the commentator, someone who played, his name is Hightower I believe, stinks too. US soccer matches sometimes has someone from the UK doing the announcing, who knows what he's talking about. »
Check the attendance figures. They are on the Internet on Wikipedia. Just google 2016 usa pro rugby season. If you think 27,000 people seeing all the games of the five teams so far, over the last two months, is good attendance, think again. 27,000 in the seats at AT&T Park in San Francisco for the baseball Giants would be considered a bad attendance day. They get 40,000 almost every game. The San Francisco Rush has played on at least two Sundays head to head against the Giants across town. Fans numbering 700 on one game, and 1300 the next isn't going to cut it, I'm afraid, at Boxer Stadium, with a capacity of 3,500. The attendance for the other clubs isn't all that great either. Sacramento had 3,400 for one of their matches. Not a good showing overall. San Francisco's Kezar Stadium could be used, but it has a capacity of 10,000 only anyway (it used to be 60,000 before the '89 Earthquake, and it was torn down and rebuilt). If only 1,000 show up for a match at that venue, only 1/10 of the stands would have people in the seats. It would not look good on TV!
I'm surprised the San Francisco team hasn't done better, because Northern California has been dominant in US rugby over the years going back decades and decades, and many of their players play for Life, the upstart club in the East Bay that has taken the Northern California Rugby Union by storm this season and last. As to whether this pro league prospers depends on if people come out to see the games. San Francisco has been averaging 1,033 per match, at little Boxer Stadium, and since they started play in April, they've had to compete with the San Francisco Giants on at least two occasions. Not easy against the Major League Baseball champs three out of the last six seasons. The other teams, Sacramento for one, have drawn more people, if you want to say a crowd of 3,000 is something to crow about. Tickets for the San Francisco "Rush," as in Gold Rush of 1849, as in the 49ers of the National Football League, have been upwards of $30/ticket. I'm sorry, but I'm going to go to see the Giants play. I see plenty of rugby just as a referee during the season from Nov.-Dec., through April. So, will pro rugby take off in the USA? Looking at the attendance figures for the first season, it doesn't look good. I understand someone is bankrolling the whole thing, and that person isn't going to take financial losses over and over for years to come.
There were some punches thrown by All Blacks in the 1978 match. That '72 match was just a month after the Llanelli match, and Murdoch and a few other All Blacks certainly seemed more interested in kicking and punching Llanelli players in that match than playing the game itself. I don't have to remind you that the '71 Lions were intent on getting their retaliation in first. »