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Rugby League World Issue 402

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Seriously underwhelming...


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#21 trakl

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

Andy Wilson is in India at the moment reporting on cricket and had been for a while. He must have cobbled this together from second hand information.


Cricket has been designated as Andy Wilson's primary concern by the Guardian - the recurring motif of his occasional blogs since this arrangement was put in place was Wilson starting off each piece with an apology for being somewhat out of the loop. He himself grew so frustrated at the treatment of rugby league in his own newspaper that, on one occasion last season that I can remember, he demanded that his on-line bosses cut the blog stone-dead... My admiration for Wilson grew the more he railed against the treatment rugby league received from his own newspaper!

The piece itself is spare - as he has to cover a lot of bases in very few words. If he genuinely is "appalled" by the play-off system then he is duty bound to say so. The poster above who remarked that Wilson had to cobble this little piece together while reporting on the cricket from India is correct.

I hope it appeared in the newspaper and not just on-line - that, I'm afraid, is the current status of our game in the national press.

#22 trakl

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

I seem incapable of posting links at the moment but Dave Hadfield's season preview makes Andy Wilson's look like Anna Karenina - as for the Telegraph's, it appears to have been edited into oblivion.

As for the Sunday Times?

#23 Saintslass

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

I agree with Andy about the top eight. To retain it is an appalling decision. But there will be no change there while the Superleague clubs determine everything that goes on, rather than the RFL being a governing body with teeth. The only way that will change IMO is for the viewing figures to start dropping off alarmingly should we continue to have the low standard of rugby that we witnessed last season, which I think is a direct result of the top eight playoff system.

As for the rest of Andy's article, it seemed fine to me. It was balanced and articulate. We have to accept that in the Gruniad, like othr broadsheets, we have virtually no voice now and encourage what we get by commenting upon the articles that are written.

Incidentally, I read the paper version of the Sunday Times today. There was a half page article on Kevin Sinfield slap bang in the middle of the sports pages. Unfortunately they opted to put Chris Irvine's team by team review on their website, which means paying an extra quid to read it (something I have refused to do since the Times hid behind its paywall). But at least the article points to it. The article also finishes with a mention of the first game on Sky, with date and time, and the four main matches of the season: WCC, CC final, GF and World Cup final. When compared to the coverage of four full pages to rugby union our article was small fry but at least it was there, with accompanying picture, which is better than it not being there.

As a PS, I think The Times and The Sunday Times are the best broadsheets for rugby league coverage.

Edited by Saintslass, 27 January 2013 - 12:22 PM.


#24 The Parksider

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

Anybody who thinks we will have 14 competitive teams 'in-season' is living in cloud cuckoo land - and tbh it just doesn't happen in many places across the world.

The Big 4 phrase was brought in to refer to Wigan, Saints, Leeds and Bradford as they were pretty much winning everything and dominating. This phrase is still used (I suggest to highlight a lack of variety) when in fact the Big 4 has changed in its make-up. That is ignored and the old Big 4 thing is still rolled out despite the fact that it was successfully gatecrashed.

Leeds won from 5th, so that suggests that we have another team entering the top 4 of the league - we have also seen Hudds under-perform due to internatl issues I'd suggest.

The success we can hope for is a team coming 10th one year and then progressing to top 4 the next and so on. I've never seen a league table yet that has a bunched listing, there are always strong teams and weak teams.


All points taken.

Maybe we entered SL with a big one. Wigan

Then a big two Bradford, Then a big three Saints, Then a big four Leeds then a big five Warrington, let's hope for a big six with Hull this year.

A big seven with Catalans?

Getting there, doing OK I take the point.

Let's hope the Calder area one day throws up our big eighth sooner rather than later........

Points taken...

#25 ArmchairRhino

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

I seem incapable of posting links at the moment but Dave Hadfield's season preview makes Andy Wilson's look like Anna Karenina - as for the Telegraph's, it appears to have been edited into oblivion.


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#26 John Rhino

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:07 PM

Reading Hadfield's piece I scrolled down the page looking for the rest of it..........

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#27 Pottsy

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

Andy is an ex-SRL player and a huge fan of the game.

He's paid to call it as he sees it, not to act as a cheerleader.

Personally, I think he's about spot on and I agree 100% about the silly top eight play-offs which, in my opinion, take the shine off the whole campaign.

The original top five was perfect and even the top six was better. The top eight leaves me cold.

#28 Johnoco

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

Andy is an ex-SRL player and a huge fan of the game.

He's paid to call it as he sees it, not to act as a cheerleader.

Personally, I think he's about spot on and I agree 100% about the silly top eight play-offs which, in my opinion, take the shine off the whole campaign.

The original top five was perfect and even the top six was better. The top eight leaves me cold.

Agree with you, top 5 for me.

As stated before, I have no problem with Andy, he is a big fan of the game. The issue I have is that all we seem to have in RL (at least national media wise) is people 'telling it like it is'. A little cheerleading would make a change I reckon.

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#29 1976PMJwires

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

All points taken.

Maybe we entered SL with a big one. Wigan

Then a big two Bradford, Then a big three Saints, Then a big four Leeds then a big five Warrington, let's hope for a big six with Hull this year.

A big seven with Catalans?

Getting there, doing OK I take the point.

Let's hope the Calder area one day throws up our big eighth sooner rather than later........

Points taken...



Huddersfield are bigger than Catalans tbf

So Catalans big 8

#30 Pie tries

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

Not a bad article, though tad too negative. Could have pointed out how RL on the pitch remains the leading code, how attendances have held up well. We need to pick off the points one by one. 7 team play off would be better and more credible than the eight. Renewed respect for the challenge cup, title sponsor for SL a priority, as is bringing back the Lions tours, mid season home nation comp linked to a euro ladder - winner plays england, fresh from playing the Exiles on ANZAC day, four year rolling internationl programme etc etc etc.

Still we've made a good start in the most of challenging economic climates. Adapt and survive, it what we do !

#31 keighley

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:38 PM

The Premier league has become more of a three horse race in the last decade to its detriment in my opinion, I used to follow it from a distance some years ago, cant be arsed now its as boring as batshit.
As an outsider I find it hard to understand the popularity of the game and the foregone conclusions in many of the match ups....... (gotta be careful here) hardly seems like a contest or entertainment at all.
Thank God for League.


Wait until the mighty Bantams from Bradford City, the first RL champions, win the league cup and gate crash the European competition party :D

#32 Johnoco

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

Wait until the mighty Bantams from Bradford City, the first RL champions, win the league cup and gate crash the European competition party :D

Manningham were NU champions that's true but they still played RU, not RL. They joined Association Football in 1903 whilst NU still had 15 a side.

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#33 steef

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

Virtually every football league in the world is dominated by just a couple of teams yet these competitions are well funded and well supported. Why can't this be the case in Rugby league? I'd love to see different teams challenge for honours but it won't be a disaster if they don't. Getting all teams onto an equal level is a dream that can never be fully realised imho. Having four or five clubs out of fourteen who can potentially win the comp is pretty decent going i reckon, certainly compared to the premiership football where it will be won by one of three out of twenty until another billionaire takes a club over.
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#34 ArmchairRhino

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

Not a bad article, though tad too negative. Could have pointed out how RL on the pitch remains the leading code, how attendances have held up well. We need to pick off the points one by one. 7 team play off would be better and more credible than the eight. Renewed respect for the challenge cup, title sponsor for SL a priority, as is bringing back the Lions tours, mid season home nation comp linked to a euro ladder - winner plays england, fresh from playing the Exiles on ANZAC day, four year rolling internationl programme etc etc etc.

Still we've made a good start in the most of challenging economic climates. Adapt and survive, it what we do !


A lot of points in there but I can't agree with Lions tours being of strategic importance. "It's the World Cup, stupid".
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#35 faithfulbyname

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

Agree with you, top 5 for me.

As stated before, I have no problem with Andy, he is a big fan of the game. The issue I have is that all we seem to have in RL (at least national media wise) is people 'telling it like it is'. A little cheerleading would make a change I reckon.



And that's really what I wish we had more of.....once we have established RL as a must-see event , then we can go and "tell it like it is" - but until then, we need to be more positive about the good things if we are ever to engage more than a tiny section of the population

#36 Just Browny

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

Huddersfield are bigger than Catalans tbf

So Catalans big 8


Huddersfield, while a growing club who have taken significant steps in the last 7/8 years, aren't bigger than Catalans on any measure that doesn't involve the pre-war era.

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.


#37 chuffer

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

"After the appalling decision to retain the top-eight play-offs, …"

he's spot on there


Didnt realise it was under review?

#38 1976PMJwires

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

Huddersfield, while a growing club who have taken significant steps in the last 7/8 years, aren't bigger than Catalans on any measure that doesn't involve the pre-war era.



Ok.

#39 Pie tries

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:50 PM

A lot of points in there but I can't agree with Lions tours being of strategic importance. "It's the World Cup, stupid".


World cup this year, but what's planned for 2014 let alone 2015

#40 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:09 PM

Thought it was a good article really. Pretty balanced. Plenty of positive at the moment in the game, but a few negatives too.

Andy Wilson like most RL journalists though, often can't help but fall into the trap of focusing on the negatives.

I expect George Riley's piece on RL finances will fall into the same trap on the BBC tomorrow. I'll be surprised if he puts the shocking state of some club finances into context, eg how well some clubs do; how we compare to the scale of debt compared to other sports; or even how the financial success of rugby league clubs compares to household names such as Comet & Jessops.




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