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#3135069 I discovered Rugby League at the age of 48

Posted by Somerset Casual on 04 June 2015 - 06:21 PM

First Post (deep breath) after several months lurking on the forum.


After 20+ years in the midlands and a further 20+ in the south west, I discovered Rugby League.

Actually, I knew it existed, but it never got my attention - football came first, followed by a bit of motor sport, tennis and even cricket.


However, my work mate kept going on and on about how great it was.  He is Somerset born and bred, but had northern relations so attended gamed from a young age. He has avidly followed the game since then, taking in a few games a season.


His persistence resulted in me agreeing to go to the 2009 Challenge Cup Final – but I thought I was safe - surely he will never get tickets ?   But he did – and what a bargain price they were.

So I resigned myself to watching a sport I knew nothing about; but at least it’s a day out in London, and a trip to Wembley.


So to the game itself  - and I was pleasantly surprised.  This is quite good, I thought.   Can we come back next year ?  Well we did, and each year since. And now I push him to get the tickets nice and early to make sure we get them. And we’ve introduced a third person – turns out he has relatives in some place called Cas.


Now I’ve got to be honest – Football remains my number one sport  (that’s lost a few readers, no doubt), but RL has leapt over my other sporting interests and I’ve gradually extended my viewing experience beyond that one game a season.  Now call me a glory hunter or RL tourist, but I do enjoy ‘an event’.  We went to some RLWC games in 2013, while in 2014 took in the CCF, GF and Magic.  In addition we do go to Broncos on a semi regular basis.  (London is easier for us than the north).


Last weekend I watched local side Somerset Vikings play Cheltenham in the West of England league. Thoroughly enjoyed it – what was lacking in quality was more than made up for in effort and enthusiasm.  And It’s good to have something to watch in sleep Somerset.


So that’s it. I apologise for not being a die hard, go every week, live in the heartlands supporter.

But I’m delighted to have eventually discovered the game, even in my casual mode.

#3027577 Australia to never play outside Australia again?

Posted by jacksy on 05 November 2014 - 12:44 PM

Australia Rugby League have today suggested that they will never play outside of Australia again. The Australian side which could possibly miss out on this years Four Nations Final, which is currently scheduled to be played in Wellington on 15th November, made the startling announcement early this morning.

National Rugby League CEO Dave Smith explained further "We feel that rugby league at this level should be played using the best referees in the best stadia. Upon reviewing every single stadium used for rugby league throughout the world it was quickly apparent that the Australian ones are head and shoulders above the ones overseas. From the greenness of the grass to the quality of the hot dogs sold in the stands, our grounds are far superior. International rugby league should be about quality and fairness and we would be letting our players down if we made them play on the insufficient turfs they have abroad... (read more)

When asked about the announcement, New Zealand Director of Operations Scott Carter told us the following, "I haven't seen the statement yet but I wholeheartedly agree with it, completely."

At this stage it is unclear how this will affect this years Four Nations Final, which could still feature Australia, but early reports suggest that if the World Champions qualify it will relocate to Sydney.

In further rugby league news, Australia will wear a commemorative shirt for their decisive Four Nations clash with underdogs Samoa. The black and white hooped shirt which remembers the historic victory over England in the 2014 Four Nations tournament, will come with a brown "swag" bag and a black eye mask.

#3184140 Lizzie

Posted by Padge on 29 August 2015 - 09:42 PM

They say you have to be brave to go out on a rugby field, this is one of the bravest performances on a rugby field I have ever seen.


Brave, superb, well done.







#3233175 Burgess leaves Bath

Posted by Martyn Sadler on 13 November 2015 - 01:00 PM

It was very interesting to be able to talk to Shaun Edwards at the Hall of Fame dinner last night.


Shaun, as a member of the Welsh coaching team, admitted that the substitution of Sam was the turning point in the game, mainly because Sam had bottled up the Welsh centre Jamie Roberts and completely neutralised him.


When Sam went off and George Ford came on it played into the Welsh hands, whose game plan had been to target Ford defensively if he came onto the field.


That is exactly how it worked out.


The decision to substitute Sam was probably the worst decision made in British sport in 2015.


The second worst was the decision not to play him from the start against Australia.

#2982120 Empty Seats On The Telly.....

Posted by John Drake on 24 August 2014 - 10:59 AM

There are lots of things that could be done differently, but essentially, the only people who can make a real difference to the empty seats problem at Wembley are those sat at home complaining about them every year.

If you don't normally go, start planning your trip to next year's final right now, and make the difference in reducing the numbers of empty seats yourself. There's loads of time to save up, loads of time to persuade others to join you, you'll get to pick where you want to sit and how much you want to pay (you'll get some good early bird deals as well) and you'll have a great day out at one of our sport's biggest and best showpiece events. Even getting there and back doesn't have to prove that big a deal if you plan it early enough.

I'm not lecturing people from the position of having a media freebie here either. I bought and paid for my own tickets (got £32 tix for £22 on one of the RFL offers several months ago), drove myself and friends down there early yesterday morning, sharing the £40 worth of petrol it cost between 3 of us, took sandwiches to save on food costs, parked up at Hillingdon tube station which cost £2 all day, 23 minute direct tube ride to Wembley Park and there you are. Gentle stroll down Wembley Way enjoying the sights and sounds of Cup Final day and bumping into a few old friends along the way, then into the stadium to watch the curtain raiser with a bucket of tea that cost £2.

There's even now a decent shopping mall right next door to the stadium, with lots of food outlets, even a cinema, for something to do after the game without trekking into Central London.

The Cup Final is what we as Rugby League fans make it. The game itself is almost incidental to that. Some years it will be great, others it might be a bit average, but you can have a great day out at the Cup Final regardless. The players provide the main event, but the fans can lift them to greater heights as well.

So basically what I'm saying is: don't waste energy complaining about empty seats at showpiece events like Wembley, or finding reasons not to go (there will always be reasons not to go if you look hard enough to find them regardless of anything the RFL may or may not do to market it) and don't wait to see which teams get there before deciding to go. Commit yourself to the project now, make sure at the very least your own bum is filling a seat next year, then we'll all have less to complain or fret about when the official attendance is announced.

And the more non-Club Wembley seats we fill between us, the more exciting and unmissable an event our Cup Final will start to appear to those who have, but currently choose not to use, their Club Wembley seats on RL Cup Final day.

#3141398 I discovered Rugby League at the age of 48

Posted by Jimbo78 on 16 June 2015 - 04:30 AM

I discovered it 2 weeks ago at the age of 37 at the Magic weekend here in Newcastle! Me and 3 mates decided to buy tickets for the Saturday to support Widnes purely because they were playing in black and white stripes and for their marvellous gesture in raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson foundation (as did quite a few other locals). Rugby League really isn't very big up here and it's really either football or you don't like sport so we didn't really know what to expect. Let's just say we were totally blown away by how good it was and enjoyed it so much we ended up going back for the Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed that.

Next month we're going to travel down to the Widnes v Catalans match and hopefully this will become a regular thing. I'd already cancelled my NUFC season ticket of 24 years due to being totally disillusioned with the club and top level football in general to be honest and had a pretty big void there to try and fill. Looks like I might have just found it!

#3076333 21 Feb: WCS: Wigan Warriors v Brisbane Broncos KO 7.45pm (TV)

Posted by Exiled Wiganer on 22 February 2015 - 08:37 AM

To be honest my night was spoilt before kick off. I sat down and asked the man beside me what he'd paid for his ticket. Full price like me, so began to relax. Then I discovered that his A P R on his credit card was 4 % better than mine. I felt hollow inside.

#2845277 I knew it would happen

Posted by Gerri Monside on 30 November 2013 - 10:31 PM

It's been a dream. A long, deep, pleasant, wonderful dream. It started weeks ago - or to be fair it started on Christmas Day 2012. Santa dropped a gift to me. Two tickets to the World Cup opening ceremony in Cardiff. With accommodation thrown in. And in this dream I thought - "it wont work", "it'll be rubbish"", "the media will laugh at us", "the fans wont show", "Bristol? Bristol? Seriously?". And then I returned to my dream. And then it was October and we were on the train to Cardiff. And we bumped into Stevo & Nobby. And we had a laugh. And the opening ceremony wasn't rubbish. People came. The dancing was great. And we met some great people. And for 20 minutes we had Australia on the rack. But it wasn't to be. So we stayed back and did a Mexican wave. And watched Italy beat Wales. Then it was the long journey home. And we rushed to watch New Zealand v Samoa as Warrington rocked. And then we discovered the delights of Premier Sports and Andrew Voss. Then it was Monday and for a brief moment the dream relented as work took over. Then it was 8pm and Ireland faced Fiji in Rochdale. And the ground was full. And the people were happy. And we thought, "It might be good". Then Scotland went toe to toe. Then USA took out the Cooks. In Bristol. In front of a packed crowd. And we all thought that we were dreaming. And it got better. Huddersfield sold out. Workington sold out again. Leigh sold out. Matches were full of drama. People who had never been to a game wanted to go. And we thought "this is good". And then we had some bell-ringers of matches. And grounds packed out. And we came together. And we went to Wembley. And they needed more tickets. And for 79:38 we thought it was ours for the taking. But it wasn't. We came up so tantalisingly close it hurt. It hurt down to the core of our soul. And we cried. We cried "why. why isn't it us". But we went back into ourselves. We regrouped. And we went to the Theatre of Dreams. And we were treated to a masterclass in how to play a final. And we experienced a record crowd - at the end of a record tournament. And we look back on it all and celebrate the fact that we were there. And four five brief, magical weeks we all agreed on what we all knew already.  This is the greatest game. We are the greatest fans. 


And tomorrow, I'm going to wake from this dream.

And I don't want to.

It's been too good. 


I don't want this to end. 



#2840990 23/11/13 - World Cup Semi Final 1: England v New Zealand (Wembley)

Posted by Kenilworth Tiger on 23 November 2013 - 07:21 PM

I refuse to read this thread as I know it will be fill of the same old ###### that gets spouted every time......Sinfield is to blame, the Kiwis didn't care, Mcbana (lol) is useless etc etc etc

So all i will say is this....

Today I witnessed one of the best sporting spectacles I have ever seen in any sport, met some first time RL fans from all over the country and been involved with a team of volunteers who have given up time and money to support our game.

My overriding emotion, soon after complete and utter heartache, was sheer pride in our great game and squad of players who went toe to toe with the world champions.

No one player lost that game - as a team we never closed it out, simple as that.

I am proud England Rugby League supporter tonight

#3184240 Lizzie

Posted by Bearman on 30 August 2015 - 08:44 AM

Aside from the obvious unbelievable bravery, what a wonderful singer. Is there any reason she couldn't become RL's resident for GF, Tests and Challenge Cups? I'm sure the lads would be inspired by her rendition of God Save the Queen in November.

If she were to be OUR resident singer then the fees she would receive would also help her and the twins in the years to come. Why should we pay some transient millionaire when we have a star of our own?

#3178135 First Professional RL Player Comes Out

Posted by CiderWire on 17 August 2015 - 03:12 PM

Here goes....
I can totally relate to this story. I have 3 wonderful sons all in their twenties and all doing well in life. My middle son joined the Army at 17 1/2 and ended up in Germany where he enjoyed everything the country had to offer, good beer, splendiferous sights and of course beautiful girls, with whom he had acquainted himself with on several occasions. Just before he deployed to Afghanistan as a 19 year old he dropped the 'G Bomb' on us. He was shaking like a sh1tt1ng whippet when he told me. Naturally I gave him the biggest hug and reassured him that we loved him unconditionally but, being in the military myself and my son being brought up in a testosterone heavy environment my concerns were for the reaction of his workmates and would they make his life hell. Thankfully the armed forces attitude towards equality is exemplary, his mates, being of the modern generation, stood by him and all turned out well, thank heavens.
Like Keegan my son tried to live up to expectations, dating girls, joining the army....all macho stuff but in the end he had to be true to himself. Im sure Keegan loves his wife and without question his children, he isn't the first to go through this and won't be the last. The support will be there for the whole family, believe me.

#3175920 Abide with me

Posted by guess who on 14 August 2015 - 07:23 AM

Stop picking holes the whys and wherefores.

This is a fantastic gesture by the rfl to ask Lizzie.

Lizzie is doing this as a chance to thank the rugby league family. That family that has helped her through this dreadful time.

I will be on holiday when it's on. I will find somewhere to watch and try to sing along with her.

#3164697 When you need a spead sheet to explain its time to rethink

Posted by Just Browny on 26 July 2015 - 06:45 AM

You should have just taken 24 pies from the buffet, split them in two, then split them into three eights.

No need for a spreadsheet, just put it in Wigan speak.

#2967249 Catalans Rumour

Posted by Auntie Linzi Morris on 28 July 2014 - 08:12 PM

I have maintained all along that the RFL wanted the Broncos and the Catalans out of Super League. That in my opinion was why they brought in the 2 team relegation in the hope the Broncos and the Catalans finished in the bottom 2. They got half their wish. The RFL would love Super League to become a M62 corridor competition.

Is it little wonder that we get less print inches in the national papers than we did 15 years with such insular thinking.


There's an awful lot of nonsense written on rugby league internet forums and I've lost count of how many times I've shaken my head in disbelief when reading comments over the last few years.


But this, by some considerable margin, is in my opinion the daftest piece of ignorant and ill-informed nonsense without any foundation or basis whatsoever that I've had the misfortune to chance upon.

#2856295 London Broncos and future expansion

Posted by willy on 24 December 2013 - 06:16 PM

What holds RL back is its outdated view of itself and its backwards view of the sort of person that would enjoy it


The RLWC showed there is an appetite for it outside the flat cap northern enclaves of working classishness!


But as ever no one wants to support a losing team, or one that struggles, or one that comes in for so much stick from others within it


Geographically we have a large spread across the UK at semi pro level. That needs feeding


Its no accident that there are Romanian/polish/Nigerian etc kids killing it in the London academy - absolutely no baggage, don't care about where they play, nothing to do with the good ol british preoccupation with the class system, they just want to play a fast exciting sport


So please stop eulogising/patronising etc the London area like it is even remotely the same as anywhere in the north, it isn't.


We want success in London? Let London drive it. The problem with that of course is a Londoners priorities making a successful team in a London environment will be a lot different to that in the hinterlands of the Midlands and the North and sadly requires a lot of money and media presence, which don't actually go hand in hand but to a Northern audience seem to


The Money because its twice as expensive, the media because large sports concerns across London (soccer etc) blanket the media every single hour of every single day.


In my experience Londoners LIKE RUGBY LEAGUE


They respond to it, they appreciate it, they even admire it but it has no social or environmental context in their day to day lives


Media and Money all else follows


Grass roots development? Community ownership?


Outdated and outmoded in a city like London where the big sports clubs have overdrafts that dwarf the whole income of RL in one team alone. There is no such thing as 'local' development there.Name one London team of any sport in the spotlight that has 90% London born players?


RL should play to its strengths, it is egalitarian in nature, always has been, a mongrel with a rebel spirit. On the frontline of expansion even more so than PNG or Samoa or the USA or Canada, London should be a flagship outpost and should always have had dispensation to sign above the salary cap with extra income from the RFL


Same as half the teams in the USA football leagues when the franchises move geographical locations and the top Aussie RL side in the NRL outside of the East coast or the Super 14 RU teams etc etc


A level playing field is level only if the context is the same for each club, it isn't ever that simple, never was, and you reap what you sew.


London was not allowed to invest properly when it could, now it cant it never will unless the cap can be altered to assist and hopefully another money bags hits the scene to allow this to happen. Otherwise we are lucky to have a London team with no ground of its own, no money and no way to access a level playing field in the first place.

#3043942 Raiders sign 4 on loans

Posted by The Vet on 12 December 2014 - 12:11 AM

In Bullock and Bate are now 2 proven front rowers who if weren't Leigh players would walk into most part time championship team,we all saw what Joe can do and now he's a full timer with a full season of championship rugby behind him he should be great for us,while Bate has played a fair share of 1st grade games in the last couple of years,we eventually get a rough house prop and people are complaining! The other 2 players are obviously good kids as they have been rewarded F/T contracts and are obviously seen as too good for age group rugby,it's ok saying the club aren't learning from mistakes but what mistakes are being made? Every club is looking for quality experienced players but these cost money which we ain't got, it's easy to say its a risk signing inexperience but that's rubbish,every signing any club makes is a risk whether the player is 19 or 29,I would sign 3 hungry young players instead of 1 experienced 'journeyman' everyday,Paul Rowls has a lot of respect for Cresta so he won't be loaning poor players,the way Cresta is doing it is 100% right for me,obviously fans want a winning team but for me the team & club needs to develope over a few years before we are ready to go into the championship

#3018943 "Rugby league's international failure is spectacular"

Posted by Dunbar on 24 October 2014 - 08:13 AM

The problem with Rugby League is that on the day before the major international tournament of the year begins the journalists and fans all start a chorus of international league is dead or dying.  I cannot think of another sport with so much inherent negativity or pessimism


People cite the lack of GB and England competitiveness as a reason why League is failing internationally.  While I admit that the single biggest boost to the international game would be a win for England in a major tournament the lack of success should not limit the spectacle of the international fixtures


Let me provide an example.  Ireland have never beaten the New Zealand All Blacks at Rugby Union.  That’s right, never beaten them.  And yet when this fixture is scheduled, do we hear great cries of Union journalists and fans saying the game is a waste of time or the Union world cup a meaningless tournament.  Of course we don’t, we hear that International Union is the pinnacle of the sport and a gladiatorial contest etc etc


Tomorrow sees the start of a month of great international Rugby League and I can’t wait for 7.00am tomorrow morning


There are clearly things to improve and I agree with many of the points in the article but I really do wish RL fans would say something positive about the sport every now and again

#3013679 Red card - Good publicity ?

Posted by Griff9of13 on 14 October 2014 - 10:09 AM

In answer to the question in the OP, it may be more in how the incident is dealt with as much as the incident itself.


For me these are the positives we can take from it so far:

The referee acted swiftly and decisively on the spot to dismiss Flower. There was no histrionics from players of either side to try and influence his decision making.
The remaining players from both sides immediately and without question accepted his decision.

Flower walked without even glancing at ref.

The game resumed and was played in reasonably good spirits with no further recriminations from players or spectators.

At the end of the game the Wigan and Saints players mixed and congratulated one another in the usual good spirits. Saints, deservedly, celebrated their win and Wigan quietly left them to get on with it. (this, and those above are nothing less than I'd expect from our game in any circumstances, but maybe should be contrasted with other sports)

Wigan and Flower issue a comprehensive apology as soon as is practically possible. This apology contains no excuses or attempt to mitigate any disciplinary action that will follow.

The RFL announce the charges to be brought and when the disciplinary hearing will be held. Demonstrating that the game of rugby league has a transparent disciplinary process.

Lance Hohaia makes a statement to say there are no hard feelings. Saints say publicly they have no desire to press criminal charges.

The whole fuss being made about this clearly shows that this sort of thing is far from common in the sport of rugby league.

#2944323 Kevin Sinfield awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List (Merged threads)

Posted by RSN on 14 June 2014 - 12:39 AM

Let's take ability out of the equation for a second.

He is the example of how every sportsman should live their life. He's had so much success but showed so little arrogance. He tries his hardest every week, sets an example for the younger kids and has a massive professionalism about how he acts. .

I don't rate him as a international standard player, but for professionalism as a top level English sportsman and how to set an example would I give an MBE? Most definitely.

#2844717 Dare to dream

Posted by grimesy on 29 November 2013 - 11:23 PM

“...BUT will enthusiasm for the game last beyond the tournament?”

So asked Katherine Downes in a BBC sports feature on the eve of the Rugby League World Cup Final. Of course my selected quote was preceded by a positive introduction on the fact that the final was a sell out. It went on to interview players from both New Zealand and Australia as well as an amateur player from Goucester All Golds. Katherine was introduced by Katie Gornall who asked had the World Cup caught the imagination of the wider public.

Following this clip I routinely did my daily scan of my preferred RL forum site. There was one comment that expressed a favourable view in the media coverage section. Fair enough. But I began to reflect on this tournament. Not about the games, players, tries, crowds etc etc – you will find them elsewhere (though you may have to dig a little). On the opening day of the tournament I went down to the Sports Club in my local village to watch England frustratingly, though not without promise, lose to the greatest rugby team in the world. They are not a brand name – rugby league doesn’t do that. Maybe it should. Well it sort of does. My comment about the greatest rugby side in the world comes naturally and without any hesitation. At the time of writing they are not even the reigning world cup holders. My current favourite band in the word is The Bitter Springs yet no has heard of them. They don’t sell records (they’ve been around a long time). They are not a brand. Yet they have considerable talent. And passion and integrity and honesty. Yes – honesty. Rugby league is an honest game. I grew up watching Wigan beat everyone and anyone – except Australia. I was at Central Park in 1994, 1990, 1986 – we couldn’t quite beat the ‘Unbeatables’ or even, I recall, in 1982, my dad coming back from the match whilst I was at my Auntie Mary’s on a cold dark Tuesday night saying the referee Fred Lindop had robbed us by denying a try by Wigan’s Glynn Shaw and then going on perversely to award Wigan a penalty. My dad said that was a pivotal moment in the future as the Kangaroos went on to literally be “invincible”. Still to this day I fear the green and gold jersey (I sense no fear when I see a black one, with or without any white). Funny as there is a family photo in my dining room on the wall and my wife is wearing it. She is from Sydney. We are all going to the final tomorrow. She says she’s wearing it. I’m wearing my All Golds top. It just seems right. Even after the semi final.


There was only one regret after that first game. Not the dropped balls or the decision about Charnley’s foot in touch or not. I hadn’t gone to watch it with my dad. He has Lewy Body dementia now and is in a nursing home. The last three live matches we saw were Wigan winning the Grand Final for the first time in 12 years, losing to St George in the World Club challenge and beating Leeds at Wembley. He was very poorly by then. A day or so later I did some work on the laptop and put 5 live extra on and listened to NZ v Samoa. Something did happen then. I don’t know what. Dave Woods doesn’t usually get me too excited. Maybe it was the Wire crowd. But something happened. And then I discovered I could actually watch the World Cup on Premier Sports online. So I subscribed. And was transfixed. It was breathtaking. It was exciting. It was brutal. It was honest. I wasn’t surprised. It was rugby league. And we all welcomed the Australian commentator Andre Voss into our hearts as he articulated the spectacle before him in a way we have been aching for – for, well, ever. He bellowed that Danny Brough is a “SUPERSTAR”. I cried laughing at "He's left 3 of his ribs on the pitch......somebody cook them up for me with some BBQ sauce....". But he cared. He did. He joked about the pub grub but he went in those pubs and talked to folk.


It was just great. The game was alive. I watched the first half of the England v Fiji game with my dad. I should have stayed for the second half. I formed my own opinions about the half back pairings and the rest of it. I read all the comments on the forum. I didn’t join in though. I took my two little kids to England v France. They loved it. Their mother has the temerity to suggest they are half Australian – thus it is my job to brainwash them. At one point I turned to the bloke sitting to the right of my little girl and had a rant about the half backs and the omission of a certain player. He nodded and agreed. I had another rant about something or other. He leaned over and said “I’ve never been to a rugby league game before”. It was brilliant. I said I hoped he enjoyed it and that he would come again.


I watched the semi final with my dad. All of it. I got him a beer and had to stir some thickener into it as per orders from the nurse. He didn’t know what was going on. I made the usual mistake of course. I got too excited. I should know better. We were at Elland Road three or four times. The one that stands out was 2004. I was convinced it was our time. Lockyer destroyed us.  I still haven’t got over it. To be honest I haven’t got over Devereux’s missed tackle from ’92 at Wembley. But I still love it. Every month I have to change my password at work. November has been ‘daretodream’. I still will. After the semi final I just kissed my dad and told him I loved him. I couldn’t speak for two days after that. A week later at least I can say I watched it with my dad. That feels good. Better than good. Just like this game.


“Will enthusiasm for the game last beyond the tournament? Has it caught the imagination of the wider public?” I’m not going to try and answer these questions. I think they are irrelevant. To be frank they are hypocritical questions from the BBC. It is about more than ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘imagination’ and ‘the wider public’ – whatever that means. To me it’s about heart and courage and belief and spirit and honesty. And that’s just the rest of us, not even the players. Oh and a real sense of community. In the attic is a bottle of whiskey my dad and I bought in Western Australia in 2001 – only to be opened the day GB wins the ashes (well ok I’d go for the WC or a 4 nations). I do believe my day will come. The World Cup has confirmed to me what the game is – gold. All gold. 24 carat. Dare to dream.