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Rugby League World - Grand Finals Issue

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#1 lionsfanusa

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

There's an article on BBC Sport about 2013 being a make or break year for RL.
http://www.bbc.co.uk...league/20877714

It's hard to disagree with most of the author's conclusions. The need for a successful World Cup campaign is vital. Promotion and relegation are issues. Salford's troubles are highlighted.

However, if you take the time to read the comments posted by readers, confusion reigns.

The Bishop posted: "I think the problem is that the game is far less entertaining than it used to be. Progress in nutrition and in training have robbed the game of many of those unique individuals that we used to love to watch."
I agree completely. (Sorry Spelly!)

Then he wrote: "Rugby union has the same issue, but they already had the thriving international game, whereas RL didn't."

RL didn't?? So all those Test Matches and games that I saw against tourists never happened?


Some of us subscribe to Rugby League Journal, the theme of which is how much better the game was "then" compared with now, and how RL has given up its leadership, especially in the international arena, to RU.

While much of it could be seen as nostalgia put out for old farts like me and Blue Monkey, the real message it that we had a great game, played by great players, and could beat anyone else in the world. Not true any more.

One of the unintended consequence of the switch to Super League and summer rugby has been the demise of international RL as we used to know it, and with it, the loss of the biannual attraction of playing the Aussies or NZ tourists.

The most serious unintended consequence of the switch to has been the opening up of that door to RU, a door that I fear cannot now be closed.

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#2 iomlion

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:37 PM

Happy New Year all!

Not sure if this year is make or break but I do believe it will be a pivotal year.

I strongly believe that the expansionist policies should be put on the back burner and a concentration on the core areas be the focus. That said I believe a strong county championship is a priority, that breeds the competition and drive that becomes the advert for our truly great game....success and competition bring expansion as a want rather than an imposed.

I don't have all the answers but we need to sort our own game and structure out before we think we can take on the Aussies and Kiwis on a regular basis to their level....they succeed because of the strength of their domestic competition in the first instance, chicken and egg.

Promotion and relegation a must, impose restrictions by all means but be honest and let's get some integrity back.

And that's before a drink!

Come on the Lions, hoping for a lottery win and a great season!

#3 PhillH

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:30 AM

Fortunes in the international game reflect the talent available at the top end at any given point in time. While we have got 13 UK clubs playing with full time squads, there's a couple of key trends in the last 15-20 years that have undermined the chances of ever beating the Aussies.

Firstly, league has lost the ability to cherry-pick some of the best players out of union as the other code has embraced professionalism and has more financial muscle. Secondly, in the heartlands there's been a reduction in the overall numbers playing league from which to develop the elite (evidenced by Sport England's recent decision to cut its funding to the RFL). While we have seen some worthy efforts to expand the grass roots of the game into new areas, the harsh reality is that those new areas simply aren't producing significant numbers of players capable of making an impact at professional level.

The second trend is going to be compounded by the changes to the academy system being implimented for 2013, which have now gone down as far as a handful of the more ambitious Championship clubs being told they cannot run under 23s. The result being even less opportunities for young players. It follows that if you have less people playing, the number of quality players capable of competing at international level against the Aussies and Kiwis will also drop.

This second trend reflects an underlying problem coming to a head, which is fundamental to the way the game has been run since Super League was launched with income that's barely sufficient to cover the overheads. The perilous finances of a full-time top flight and the resulting vulnerabilities have driven an ethos of protectionism to certain elite clubs, in whose favour the powers-that-be have shifted the goal posts (often trying to do this covertly) with the effect of kicking ambition out of the vast majority of clubs that simply found themselves "below the line" at the wrong time.

One tangible result has been that players at non-SL clubs are no longer viewed as assets. So it has become the case that clubs doing serious development work are increasingly rare and concentrated at the top end of SL. Championship sides nowadays mainly exist with guys "handed down" from Super League clubs when the SL coaches believe the player won't make it. If a non-SL club gets lucky and unearths a late developer or someone that slipped through the net, the modern day expectation is that a SL side can breeze up at will and take that player away without so much as a penny changing hands (witness Alex Hurst recently). The new Dual Reg arrangements will only make this easier and lessen the risks for the SL clubs still further.

So for years there's been minimum incentive for non-SL clubs to show an interest in developing players of their own, and its become an ever decreasing circle. Its such a shame certain power brokers in RL have for too long run the ship as though they view the non-SL clubs as a threat to be kept down, rather than an asset to be built up.

Edited by PhillH, 01 January 2013 - 08:36 AM.

Rugby League - great game, shame about the administration.

#4 PhillH

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:32 AM

I meant to add - a big part of the justification for a French side in SL was to boost the quality of the French international side.

That's not exactly worked out, has it???
Rugby League - great game, shame about the administration.

#5 Blue Monkey

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

There's an article on BBC Sport about 2013 being a make or break year for RL.
http://www.bbc.co.uk...league/20877714

Some of us subscribe to Rugby League Journal, the theme of which is how much better the game was "then" compared with now, and how RL has given up its leadership, especially in the international arena, to RU.

While much of it could be seen as nostalgia put out for old farts like me and Blue Monkey, the real message it that we had a great game, played by great players, and could beat anyone else in the world. Not true any more.


And I thought I was the only one who subscribed to the RLJ in this neck of the RL woods.

#6 mark richardson

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

The rugby league clubs should just stop spending every penny they've got and then more importantly every penny they haven't got on players wages
If they manage that then rugby leagues eternal problem will be solved


#7 lionsfanusa

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:36 PM

And I thought I was the only one who subscribed to the RLJ in this neck of the RL woods.


Both our names are on the inside front cover!

And our woods are covered in snow, great start to the ski season!

Happy New Year to all!
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#8 Blue Monkey

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

And our woods are covered in snow, great start to the ski season!


No sign of the dreaded snow here yet Geoff

#9 wayne_r

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

I agree basically with all the comments - particulary about the switch to summer rugby - also we now see a move of players / coaches over to RU - which reflects the professional status of RU but also the financial rewards / prestige associated with RU. As a spectical RU is really boring, poor scrums which take an age, then rucks that are not contested - so teams simply put out a defensive line........as for internationals - I am still amazed how many RU fans turn out for these games - always packed and over subscribed.

Promotion / relegation to / from Super League is essential.

#10 eclecticsheep

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:05 PM

I am still baffled at how Ralph Rimmer got away with actually reducing the central funding to NL1 as this is now the new template for RL expansion and the only competition with promotion won on the field.

Nine home games to get by on???

which gives weight to the PhilH quote:-



" Its such a shame certain power brokers in RL have for too long run the ship as though they view the non-SL clubs as a threat to be kept down, rather than an asset to be built up."

#11 lionsfanusa

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:25 PM

I agree basically with all the comments - particulary about the switch to summer rugby - also we now see a move of players / coaches over to RU - which reflects the professional status of RU but also the financial rewards / prestige associated with RU. As a spectical RU is really boring, poor scrums which take an age, then rucks that are not contested - so teams simply put out a defensive line........as for internationals - I am still amazed how many RU fans turn out for these games - always packed and over subscribed.

Promotion / relegation to / from Super League is essential.


Don't underestimate the importance of RU in the Olympics. NBC, one of our major TV networks, has been carrying college RU games live in prime sports time, all leading up to a coverage in the 2016 Olympics of an at least competitive USA team. Before you all laugh, remember that our football team did as well as England in the last World Cup!
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