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When are the fans going to take responsibility?


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196 replies to this topic

#101 terrywebbisgod

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:12 PM

We also used to get away fans to these games - I remember watching an old 80's test on Youtube recently, and there looked to be a large Aussie contingent, I suspect many based in London - but I do wonder whether Hull, Wigan and Huddersfield is as attractive for these fans.

What you have to remember is that the International games were part of a tour,so they saw games against club sides,rather than 2 or 3 test matches.
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#102 Dave T

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

What you have to remember is that the International games were part of a tour,so they saw games against club sides,rather than 2 or 3 test matches.

Yep, that's a good point, hopefully the WC next year will show that there is interest in following the Kangaroos on tour - their itinerary is quite exciting:

Game 1 - Cardiff (v England)
Game 2 - St Helens (v Fiji) - a chance to stay in Liverpool or Manchester!
Game 3 - Limerick (v Ireland)
Game 4 - Wrexham (v Wales qf)
Game 5 - London (semi)
Game 6 - Manchester (Final)

That's not a bad tour at all for a month break.

#103 Steve May

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

Well down the RFL destroying the GB brand.


I think a fair proportion of the blame also lies with the Australians for instigating the SL war and decimating international RL as a side effect.

Also the players have to carry responsibility for not winning an important match against Australia in 40 years.

That's me.  I'm done.


#104 Johnoco

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

What about the crowds of 13k or 10k at Wembley for GREAT BRITAIN? Was this the fault of today's RFL?

Perhaps it did have a boost in the late eighties/early 90's but that was the exception rather than the norm. LOOK AT THE GB ATTENDANCE FIGURES OVER THE YEARS, THEY ARE GENERALLY TERRIBLE!!!!!



#105 Johnoco

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:24 PM

@Trojan: you constantly deride Sky as being 'in a ghetto', despite most people having it today, yet use an example from a fairly obscure Rugby mag as evidence that Schofield and co were very famous? OK.....

#106 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:29 PM

I'm sorry but I still can't agree. The RFL may have made mistakes over the years but they seem to have tried everything and none of it seems to get RL punters out in force. Big stadiums, medium stadiums, small stadiums...none sell out. Games planned well in advance with cheap ticket offers to last minute affairs...none did particularly well.

Selling out isn't always the barometer of success.

The fact that the RFL kept chopping and changing in the past won't have helped either. Consistency is also important.

In response to "planned well in advance", when was the last international game to be "planned well in advance"?

Re: Wellsy, I actually agree with lots of what you say but it doesn't seem to make any odds, the fans just don't turn out for big RL games that are non season ticket. It isn't just internationals either. Remember that CC semi final between Wigan and Warrington that was decided to be played at Widnes? (2004?) People were up in arms about it not being big enough,,,blah blah blah....did it sell out? No. England v Australia 4N 2009 at Wigan? Not sold out!!!!

The size if the ground isn't always the issue. The location. The event. The build up. Then there's the issue that the size of the ground may have dissuaded large groups from attending fearing they may not be able to get tickets, or simply that they felt a game in a tiny ground can't be that big an event to go to.

England vs Aus at Wigan? Again, hardly makes it seem special. Barely any build up to it either.

The RFL think they have "played safe", when really they have been gradually shrinking people's interest in the international scene with unimaginative afterthoughts. They haven't been building on what they've been building. The COMS game wasn't repeated, despite being a huge success. The 4N actually reduced fixtures. And the Autumn Internationals were just awfully thought of. Hopefully they'll build on the World Cup venues but I aren't confident.

As for predictability, no Bradford City fan I know of seriously expected to beat Arsenal. They were just glad to be involved in such a game and went along because their team were involved. There's a lot of skint people in Bradford, so most of them could have used that as a valid reason too. Instead it was the biggest gate at VP since 1949 or something. They provided zilch game entertainment for this on a freezing cold night, yet it didn't deter people. Why? Because they wanted to be there, they weren't asking for justification, the thought of NOT going was insane.

Completely different kettle of fish. It's like the equivalent of Hunslet drawing Wigan. Hunslet would (comparatively) be rammed for what would be their biggest game game in decades. It's a one off chance game. It's not a friendly. It's not an arranged game. That's what makes an event to a lot of people: the plucky underdog vs the giant franchise.

Let's imagine the RFU announce England RU are playing a game at Elland Rd in 4 weeks time (never mind why). Do you imagine the RU fans would complain about lack of notice or promotion? Once they knew about it, they'd be falling over themselves to get tickets. Note, I said RU fans, not general sports fans, who may make up a percentage of the crowd. The mentality in RL, is very different and most RL fans would be saying 'oh, why didn't they announce this months ago..etc etc'

Because England RU are a huge brand that have been pushed and marketed for decades with regular fixtures, huge amounts of exposure and a more established fan base.

England RL have a tiny fan base in comparison with a barely established fan base, playing very few fixtures a year against only two credible and established opponents. They aren't a must see... yet. That has to be built. The job of that is the RFL's. the RFL have to get the fans on board, not the other way around. The fans aren't the final decision makers.

And until most RL fans want to go to the games simply because the thought of not going is crazy, we'll never get past the half full, poor atmosphere we generally get to our big games. And I aren't saying every RL fan has to go to every game or get 'I love RL' tattooed but we should be doing better at big games.

It's up to the RFL to make the decisions that influence the fans. If the fans aren't turning up, the RFL need to find out why and rectify it. That's what marketing does.

People expect a lot more from sporting events now, not just a game.
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#107 Keith T

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

I wonder if the Aussies will have as many fans over here for the WC as the 8,000 - 10,000 we took over to Australia for the 2008 WC, somehow I doubt it!!

Tours certainly were good value for the RL fans and it's a pity that the 1992 tour was the last after that great night in Melbourne when we stuffed the Aussies. If tours had continued then I think the international game would have become a lot stronger than it is today.

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.


#108 Dave T

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:03 PM

What about the crowds of 13k or 10k at Wembley for GREAT BRITAIN? Was this the fault of today's RFL?

Perhaps it did have a boost in the late eighties/early 90's but that was the exception rather than the norm. LOOK AT THE GB ATTENDANCE FIGURES OVER THE YEARS, THEY ARE GENERALLY TERRIBLE!!!!!

Yes - but that doesn't mean they should always be terrible and we should accept that. When were the crowds of 10k at Wembley?

Back in 1993 - we played a three test series against the Kiwis.

1st Test @ Wembley 36k
2nd test @ Wigan 16k
3rd Test @ Leeds 15k

We have never got near a crowd of 36k since for a Kiwis clash - we should have the ambition to be playing these games at Decent size grounds.

They have made some solid growth in some areas, but don't seem to have any real strategy in terms of where these games will be played and how they will grow the crowds. That is until last year's Four Nations when Wembley was brought back, and the big event games for the WC.
The organisation for this year's Autumn Series did leave me slighty worried again though.

#109 Johnoco

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

@Wellsy. Fev had a big game against Wigan this year in the cup. Was it rammed? About 4k IIRC and this was their biggest game in some time.

I'm pretty well aware that England RU are a big brand but that didn't happen by accident, it was because of the big following they have garnered over the years. Because people wanted to go.

England v Australia in Wigan needs building up? Seriously?

You can make as many events as you like but until the mentality changes in RL, crowds won't.

See if I'm wrong.

Edited by Johnoco, 18 December 2012 - 07:59 PM.


#110 shrek

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

@Wellsy. Fev had a big game against Wigan this year in the cup. Was it rammed? About 4k IIRC and this was their biggest game in some time.

And on the back of the "feel good factor"of beating Cas in the previous round.

To be fair to the Fev fans who turned out it was a cracking atmosphere.

#111 Dave T

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

@Wellsy. Fev had a big game against Wigan this year in the cup. Was it rammed? About 4k IIRC and this was their biggest game in some time.

I'm pretty well aware that England RU are a big brand but that didn't happen by accident, it was because of the big following they have garnered over the years. Because people wanted to go.

England v Australia in Wigan needs building up? Seriously?

You can make as many events as you like but until the mentality changes in RL, crowds won't.

See if I'm wrong.

And this is sort of the point John - we need to focus our attentions on attracting the solid hardcore of 20-25k RL fans who go to games against the Aussies who will come anyway, and then offer something to attract new fans.
We can keep playing at Hull, Hudds and Wigan, and we will get the 20-25k crowds. As soon as we do something new (CoM, Wembley double header etc.) then we attract larger crowds - that is an undisputable fact.
RL fans now won't change, if we want larger crowds to build the game, IMHO we should be focusing on playing in London, Manchester etc. to attract the 'event' crowds that some other sports do very well with.

Edited by Dave T, 18 December 2012 - 08:19 PM.


#112 Johnoco

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:20 PM

And on the back of the "feel good factor"of beating Cas in the previous round.

To be fair to the Fev fans who turned out it was a cracking atmosphere.

It wasn't a pop at Fev though because it could be almost any RL club.

#113 Johnoco

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:24 PM

And this is sort of the point John - we need to focus our attentions on attracting the solid hardcore of 20-25k RL fans who go to games against the Aussies who will come anyway, and then offer something to attract new fans.
We can keep playing at Hull, Hudds and Wigan, and we will get the 20-25k crowds. As soon as we do something new (CoM, Wembley double header etc.) then we attract larger crowds - that is an undisputable fact.
RL fans now won't change, if we want larger crowds to build the game, IMHO we should be focusing on playing in London, Manchester etc. to attract the 'event' crowds that some other sports do very well with.

I couldn't agree more Dave. But will the converted actually attend in decent numbers? Hopefully so in next years WC.

#114 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:39 PM

I think it's fair to say that the crowds were building for international RL and there was certainly an 'event' feel. The SL war is what killed it dead. How many years before a proper tour/series? World Cup was left dangling with no proper schedule. The crowds left before GB was dropped.

I like the 3/4 nations concept and the Aussies and NZ not coming this year show how vital it is.
With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

#115 Dave T

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:52 PM

I couldn't agree more Dave. But will the converted actually attend in decent numbers? Hopefully so in next years WC.

They have to! They do for Union for example. England could play at the same time as a full round of league fixtures and they would sell out with little impact on their regular games.
We rely almost exclusively on targeting fans who already go to RL games.
The atmosphere and feel of the event at Wembley last year for the double header was much more of an event feel, it was really apparent that there were plenty of non-RL regulars at the game.

#116 Dave T

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:03 PM

I think it's fair to say that the crowds were building for international RL and there was certainly an 'event' feel. The SL war is what killed it dead. How many years before a proper tour/series? World Cup was left dangling with no proper schedule. The crowds left before GB was dropped.

I like the 3/4 nations concept and the Aussies and NZ not coming this year show how vital it is.

I'm not convinced tbh.

In 1994 the series did well with 140k attending the Ashes series.
In 1995 there was the World Cup which got some good crowds, but if we are honest, it was due to the novelty and England's opening match win in front of a low Wembley crowd 41k (relatively speaking).
In 1996 we had a tour to NZ and lost 3 nil.
In 1997 we had the Aussies over - another poor crowd at Wembley (the same as the WC opener) to start it, but decent crowds at OT and Elland Rd for the rest of the series.
In 1998 we had the Kiwis over and lost 2 nil (drawing the 3rd test)
In 1999 we had the first Tri-Nations in Aus/NZ (GB lost both games).

We then had the 2000 WC, we know the rest. This series of poor results had a large impact on the crowds and the test scene IMHO, but it is wrong to say that there was no continuity, GB played plenty of games (for RL) but blew almost them all.

Leading into the 2000 WC, we were in a real poor run of form, the level of expectation by fans was low. This time it feels a hell of a lot better!

#117 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:14 PM

They have to! They do for Union for example. England could play at the same time as a full round of league fixtures and they would sell out with little impact on their regular games.
We rely almost exclusively on targeting fans who already go to RL games.
The atmosphere and feel of the event at Wembley last year for the double header was much more of an event feel, it was really apparent that there were plenty of non-RL regulars at the game.

The Wembley game was a great example of what RL internationals should feel like. I don't think it was necessary to have Wales vs NZ there personally. That game itself should have been played in Cardiff and similarly built up. It might not have gotten a huge crowd, but it still would have been an event feel for Wales. Wales vs NZ at MS got nearly 9k last time round (2002) and 17k during the World Cup. How can Wales expect to build their brand if they don't try and build events there and instead just have them as tag alongside to England games?

EVERY England game needs building. Even the games against France and Wales. I personally think England vs France could easily get 20k+ at the KC with a little bit of a push, but the way it's packaged people are expecting just a game of RL. Do 80k go to Twickenhan to see Harlequins play because they like RU or because it's an event?
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#118 Dave T

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:23 PM

The Wembley game was a great example of what RL internationals should feel like. I don't think it was necessary to have Wales vs NZ there personally. That game itself should have been played in Cardiff and similarly built up. It might not have gotten a huge crowd, but it still would have been an event feel for Wales. Wales vs NZ at MS got nearly 9k last time round (2002) and 17k during the World Cup. How can Wales expect to build their brand if they don't try and build events there and instead just have them as tag alongside to England games?

EVERY England game needs building. Even the games against France and Wales. I personally think England vs France could easily get 20k+ at the KC with a little bit of a push, but the way it's packaged people are expecting just a game of RL. Do 80k go to Twickenhan to see Harlequins play because they like RU or because it's an event?

Yep - the abandonment of Cardiff and Swansea as a stage for the Wlaes National Team to play is ludicrous, as this is where their biggest crowds have been.
The Twickenham games are a good example to use. Saracens get a few thousand at home for regular games, but then can attract up to 10 times more than this for an individual game through marketing. People will sneer and say they gave tickets away and sold them for dirt cheap, yet we did the same in the Autumn Internationals to attract 8k.

#119 shrek

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:24 PM

It wasn't a pop at Fev though because it could be almost any RL club.

I know, sorry didn't read it that way, didn't mean to give the impression I had in my reply. Was just pointing out that even going into the Wigan game with momentum from the Cas game, it didn't seem to bump the crowd up, but those that went, really made the most of it.

#120 Trojan

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:40 PM

@Trojan: you constantly deride Sky as being 'in a ghetto', despite most people having it today, yet use an example from a fairly obscure Rugby mag as evidence that Schofield and co were very famous? OK.....

Rugby Post isn't obscure, it's the RFU publication. Another example is Martin Offiah. He was on celebrity "Pointless" on Friday, not Kevin Sinfield, not Sam Tomkins, Martin Offiah who hasn't played since the late nineties. He remains a media star from those days.
We did get poor crowds for RL in the late sixties and seventies but after the 1982 tour they picked up. Between 1985 and the start of SL it genuinely looked as though we were on the same planet as the Aussies. Since then we've fallen away again.
"Your a one trick pony Trojan" - Parksider 10th March 2013