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Rugby League the fastest growing sport in Wales


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#41 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:30 PM

QUOTE (John Rhino @ Sep 10 2010, 03:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If he hadn't taken the risk, luck, good or bad would not even have had a chance to take part.

Good managers take risks and he is to be congratulated for getting a side going in Wales against all the odds.


Personally I do not understand people singling Lewis or anybody else out either negatively / favourably. I presume the RFL collectively deserve criticism / praise.


#42 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:37 PM

QUOTE (The Parksider @ Sep 10 2010, 03:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fair shout, but doubt you'll get the facts.

I'm just pleased it's going shall we say "very well".


The figures must be to hand though Parksider. The RFL could put the figures together quite easily a put a few case studies together too and put them on their own website and on suitable Welsh sites to encourage more development.

#43 Dave T

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:39 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 01:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of course it is true Dave but my point still stands and I like to see such headlines accompanies by quality data that Jo Public can look at and analyse at the very least on the RFL website and RL media. National media, fair enough. However, I want more substance because 300% means nothing without it. It is a poor lazy effort IMO and if that is decreed as complaining by you so be it but I like to be objective and want to know as much as I can. The mushroom treatment is the realm of politicians.

You can request more info and raise the point without the negativity that was attached to your post. Jeez, we all know that the 300% stat was for the purpose of grabbing positive headlines in the media, not as a full statistical report of the game in Wales.

There may be other reports knocking around, or you may be able to get more details from the Welsh RL, who knows, but simply knocking it for the sake of it doesn't really do anything for the game.

Okay, there may have been 1 club and now there is 4, even if that was the case, isn't that still positive?

#44 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:48 PM

QUOTE (Dave T @ Sep 10 2010, 03:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You can request more info and raise the point without the negativity that was attached to your post. Jeez, we all know that the 300% stat was for the purpose of grabbing positive headlines in the media, not as a full statistical report of the game in Wales.

There may be other reports knocking around, or you may be able to get more details from the Welsh RL, who knows, but simply knocking it for the sake of it doesn't really do anything for the game.

Okay, there may have been 1 club and now there is 4, even if that was the case, isn't that still positive?


I would not be singing from the roofs if that was the case. A 300% increase in clubs might actually equate to less players than a 10% increase elsewhere. The devil is in the detail. We certainly should not be using statistics like politicians. Realism and honesty are vital.



#45 dallymessenger

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well I do not meet any of your criteria. However, I can offer you an alternative;

People who attack others in using the guise of negativity when they are asking more searching questions. These very same people sit back and prwetend everything is wonderful and let things happen to them, their sport, their country.


look most of the people that know about RL are aware RL isnt a major sport in wales

when someone says its grown 300% we are aware its off a low base.

it didnt need a statistician to point it out, more so common sense about what is happening with RL in wales

#46 Dave T

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:57 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would not be singing from the roofs if that was the case. A 300% increase in clubs might actually equate to less players than a 10% increase elsewhere. The devil is in the detail. We certainly should not be using statistics like politicians. Realism and honesty are vital.

I don't necessarily disagree with you on that point, but in such a competitive market, we need to use positive media wherever possible. We can only assume that the 300% increase stat is true, and if it is a stat that has been used in a context that makes it a real positive then fine. I have still seen no evidence, or anything that would make me question the honesty of this statement.

I agree that it would be great to see actual detail behind this stat, but just because we can't isn't a reason to doubt the honesty surely?

#47 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 03:19 PM

QUOTE (Dave T @ Sep 10 2010, 03:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't necessarily disagree with you on that point, but in such a competitive market, we need to use positive media wherever possible. We can only assume that the 300% increase stat is true, and if it is a stat that has been used in a context that makes it a real positive then fine. I have still seen no evidence, or anything that would make me question the honesty of this statement.

I agree that it would be great to see actual detail behind this stat, but just because we can't isn't a reason to doubt the honesty surely?


Not doubting the honesty of the figures Dave. I would just love to see some 'meat' to them. Raw figures and some geography applied. Is the game growing participation wise in the South or in the North, where is it growing most whatever the region etc.

Not sure if they still play Rl but a few years ago Brynteg (Spelling ?) I think Kevin Ellis worked there were reaching Champion Schools final. Not seen them mentioned for a year or two. How many school are playing RL in Wales. It is not a difficult transfer of skill for the students, maybe more for their teachers.

The RFL should be telling us more about their development plan for Wales, what their development officer(s) is doing etc. I don't know and I don't think anybody else here does whether or not development officers are creating the growth or 2 Pro clubs?

#48 WelshpoolMarauder

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:07 PM

Well, I know in Mid Wales, we've gone from no clubs to one club. Which can only be a good thing, in my books.
We're looking at how to develop the game in the schools, and the like, and we're aware it won't happen overnight, but I think we could end up with quite a lot of enthusiasm for the game in a few years, despite the fact that a lot of rugby players here are also farmers, and therefore work more in the summer..

#49 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:46 PM

As regards Schools RL Mark Jones (Development Manager) is doing a good job. New schools are joining the Champion Schools, although unfortunately others - such as Brynteg - have stopped.

I've posted before about the congestion caused by Welsh School RU Cup games and the amount of Regional Youth games that prohibit games at school level (RU or RL), without even mentioning the increase in schools soccer games over the last few years that were never as frequent nor as 'big' as they are now to the kids.

Kevin Ellis' work with Brynteg stopped due to commitments with the Crusaders and although he still does some rugby union stuff there now his strained relationship with the Crusaders and his coaching at Maesteg RU leaves me to think that he hasnt the time nor inclination to assist Brynteg.

IF schools such as Brynteg (and my own - we stuffed Brynteg last year at U16 RU cool.gif - Porthcawl and Pencoed (traditionally the strongest Bridgend RU Schools) had our own Bridgend DO it would make a difference. At the moment AFAIAA we don't have one. Having worked in England the Welsh Schools top sides - Brynteg/Preselli/Whitchurch/Basseleg etc - would make some of the finals year on year with some half decent RL coaching input. Honestly.

I think Swansea and NPT do have a DO and thats why there has been some excellent work done in conjunction with the Scorpions and more schools playing there. Street Rugby here in Bridgend Borough has been a success and the Blue Bulls Junior side has attracted lots of kids from across the Borough, but Champion Schools does need more investment here

#50 sgorpioncaerdyddrob

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 05:36 PM

The person you would want to speak to about that I think would be 'Cardiff Cymru' he is the Press Officer for Wales RL/ Cymru CR and produces much of the promotional material about the developments of Welsh Rugby League.

From what I know theres more than 300 schools in South Wales alone that play Rugby League, from wence there were less than 20 pre 2006 and we had a successful schools competition sponsored by the Scorpions this year which saw 500 kids play RL from Pembroke to Monmouth . We have 10 open age sides in the Welsh Conferences, which this year is now in two divisions instead of just one (my team Cardiff Demons) back in 2002 . There was even a cross city RL derby this year when the U17s of the Demons took on the South Coast Spartans which made the local paper. They along with Merthyr Tydfil Wildcats ,Penallta Storm and Glynneath & Abercrave Giants were established this year and played their first games of RL at u17 level or less. (G& A G especially looking very promising for the future from what Ive seen).

I remember reading something a while back which was marked out as a significant milestone..... We have about as many amateur RL clubs in Wales playing as does the City of Hull. Make of that what you will.

Haven't heard much about Brynteg School recently, I remember when they reached the Year 8 Final in 2006 ,surprising considering it has quite a reputation for producing Rugby talent , primarily in the other code such as JPR Williams, Gavin Henson ,Gareth Williams (if those names mean anything to you). I know the Welsh Schools Cup is one of the major subsideries of the Carnegie Champion Schools Cup and sends sides into the main competition each year. Dan Clements was the mian Development Officer for Wales RL when the Crusaders were based in Bridgend , and I think they are slowly starting to get things going up North, theres a North Wales merit league which started this year, tghe development up North is naturally far more elementary than it is in the South, which has always been the dominant force for rugby of either code here, North Wales was always football like Ian Rush and Neville Southall. I think North Wales is a few years off producing semi professional standard RL players but it will be interesting to see.

There is going to be a good fight on now as for which Rugby code will take off in North Wales with the Crusaders established in Wrexham and the first semi pro Rugby Union Region Club being set up in Colwyn Bay.

Cardiff Demons ARLFC www.pitchero.com/clubs/cardiffdemonsrlfc
Cardiff Spartans ARLFC www.pitchero.com/clubs/southcoastspartans

Rygbi Gynghrair Cymru am byth! BLUE BLUE BLUE DRAGONS......!

#51 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 05:49 PM

I am convinced that the secret in Wales is getting juniors playing both codes. Rugby in Wales has exactly the same standing that it has in Wigan. I have no doubt Welsh youngsters play with a rugby ball at breaks / dinners just as Wigan youngsters do. Elsewhere you see a football 99 times out of a 100. It is obvious the talent to play RL exists in Wales because the two youngsters at Wire, Evans? are 2 such examples. Some Welsh youngsters will be better suited to Union some to League and the extremely gifted can play either but somehow we need to organise the Academic sporting year so conflict is minimised.

The two Welsh posters IMO emphasise the importance of development officers and the work they and volunteers do. Somebody previously mentioned Oldham. Oldham continues to produce talented RL players irrespective of the pro clubs fortunes. Cumbria is exactly the same. I don't think development needs a professional club. It helps but it is the people you never know exist or hear about that are vital. When RL was at its lowest ebb in Wigan in the late 70's and very early 80's it was still strong in some schools and amateur clubs like St Patricks and St Judes were the cornerstone then as they are today albeit the resurgence of Wigan at a pro level led to growth and clubs like St James, Shevington, Chorley, Leyland etc etc.

The pro clubs in Wales. I have high hopes for Iestyn Harris developing the Wrexham club. Yes I know where he was brought up but Wales matters to him. For others, talk is cheap. Brian Noble went to Wrexham with no intention of staying hence he never signed a contract. He told a Wigan player at the announcement that he was going to Australia in 12 months time as a head coach (wrong) and he told that player weeks ago he would be leaving to become assistant coach at Penrith Panthers when the 2010 season ended. Try to marry reality with what he says in the press. Not the same are they. Yet, the RL old boys network will praise Noble as coach of the year, a modern day RL evangelist when the reality is Taffy Bloggs et al are the real heroes. They develop RL be it in Wales, Wigan, Leeds, London wherever.

I would love to see a map of Wales with all the amateur clubs / schools playing RL and the numbers shown. I think you will find investment / the presence of a DO / a teacher / an individual correlate with growth. RL is it's own worst enemy. We introduced a salary cap system before addressing the player supply issue and cry now there are not enough players. We took the SKY money but what % were the clubs prepared to set aside for player development across the U.K. No vision and squabbling like vultures over every crumb of the SKY cake.




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