In 2010 Swindon St George traveled to Elmbridge Eagles with 11 guys most of who were either between 16 - 18 most of whom had never played Rugby League before and a few of the older heads had very little experience too and where beaten around 100 - 0, as Elmbridge were a very well drilled squad played their full 13 players (20 inc. rolling subs?) against us in late-20' heat with no/very little breeze, as they were in the looking to make the play-offs a couple of weeks after so needed to try out their set moves. However it shows character when teams don't give up.
How would the RFL get Scottish players up to SL/Championships standard? Could a SL team team up with an area of Scotland like Leeds have done with the West of England?
It's difficult, isn't it? You're taking kids, many of whom have not had any exposure to rugby of any sort, and coaching them with limited resources and expertise, and you're trying to get them to a comparable standard to those who have grown up in areas steeped in the game. I suppose the idea is, to put it simply, to introduce as many kids as possible to the game, identify those who have the raw talent, and give them intense coaching (and hope they stick with it!). But, and there is no escaping this fact, you have got to provide the appropriate playing opportunities for the standard you are aiming at. And that is always the problem in new areas.
To give the them credit, the RFL have started to address this problem with the new expansion clubs at Championship One level, but Scotland has the isolation problem. I can't think of any other sport where someone at that standard would have to travel hundreds of miles every other week to play part time sport. And young kids leaving home to go to a strange town to play at that standard brings its own problems.
Super League 'twinning' probably has its uses but I fear that there is no real alternative, at this stage, to doing the necessary hard work of building up the game's infrastructure in Scotland: introducing and strengthening clubs, schools, representative sides and coaching structures. There's over 100 years of neglect to catch up on.