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Will Rugby League ever be popular in Wales/


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#21 Impartial Observer

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:15 PM

I would agree if the schools are playing regular games but most it is just a one off to play champion schools.

#22 The Parksider

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:49 PM

Perhaps in 3 years time put in another semi pro side,  Build from the bottom is the way forward for Rugby League in the UK.

 

The idea that building from the bottom is the way keeps cropping up in post after post.

 

I note that it crops up in this post then observers go on to comment that what Welsh clubs there are, are struggling for players, games are getting cancelled, and schools RL isn't played as regularly as people think.

 

When Crusaders were on the up building from investment monies things were more vibrant, as reported by several welsh posters on here.



#23 Saintslass

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:57 PM

I think the Scorps are trying very hard to spread the message locally.  They've had schools comps there and student internationals as well as the regular first grade team, almost all of whom are locals (with some Wiganers thrown in sometimes).  They have it tough in the south though, or that's the impression I get from the updates I read in the RL press, but they aren't without their achievements.  Only time will tell I guess whether RL catches on in the south of the principality.

 

The scene in Wrexham does look much healthier, with the Crusaders recently starting up a wheelchair RL team in addition to their other teams (and a wheelchair team that has won matches).  I think Wrexham took to rugby league and while they aren't turning up in droves (seems to be between around 800 and 1000) the fanbase appears to be a loyal and vocal one, and the club appears to have put down roots in the local community, something that is important to the success of a rugby league club I reckon.



#24 thirteenthman

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:59 PM

I agree that the future for North Wales is far more healthier, there is far greater enthausim for the game now in the North and Mid Wales

 

Of course the advantage the Crusaders have is their proximity to the heartlands in the North West, which means they can pick up many players who, to use the parlance, can do a good job at CC1 level. The Scorpions don't have that advantage. A winning team always creates more enthusiasm. Whether that means the future in terms of developing local players in more healthier is another matter altogether.



#25 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:59 PM

The idea that building from the bottom is the way keeps cropping up in post after post.
 
I note that it crops up in this post then observers go on to comment that what Welsh clubs there are, are struggling for players, games are getting cancelled, and schools RL isn't played as regularly as people think.
 
When Crusaders were on the up building from investment monies things were more vibrant, as reported by several welsh posters on here.


I think the two aren't mutually exclusive. There has to be some work at the bottom, but without the massive investment needed from the top, the outlook would be bleak.

Perhaps there may be something in it......

#26 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:04 PM

I think the Scorps are trying very hard to spread the message locally.  They've had schools comps there and student internationals as well as the regular first grade team, almost all of whom are locals (with some Wiganers thrown in sometimes).  They have it tough in the south though, or that's the impression I get from the updates I read in the RL press, but they aren't without their achievements.  Only time will tell I guess whether RL catches on in the south of the principality.
 
The scene in Wrexham does look much healthier, with the Crusaders recently starting up a wheelchair RL team in addition to their other teams (and a wheelchair team that has won matches).  I think Wrexham took to rugby league and while they aren't turning up in droves (seems to be between around 800 and 1000) the fanbase appears to be a loyal and vocal one, and the club appears to have put down roots in the local community, something that is important to the success of a rugby league club I reckon.


Scorpions are working v hard in conjunction with WRL. That's of massive importance.

#27 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:08 PM

The idea that building from the bottom is the way keeps cropping up in post after post.

 

I note that it crops up in this post then observers go on to comment that what Welsh clubs there are, are struggling for players, games are getting cancelled, and schools RL isn't played as regularly as people think.

 

When Crusaders were on the up building from investment monies things were more vibrant, as reported by several welsh posters on here.

And when the money ran out, it all went downhill....

 

Things were better before Crusaders came along.



#28 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:16 PM

And when the money ran out, it all went downhill....
 
Things were better before Crusaders came along.


Better before they began to unravel because Samuel did the staff and fans up like a kipper.

Crusaders gave the kids something to aspire to here in S Wales.

#29 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:20 PM

Better before they began to unravel because Samuel did the staff and fans up like a kipper.

Crusaders gave the kids something to aspire to here in S Wales.

I agree that a sustainable pro club would help but the idea that Crusaders helped Welsh development is daft. They set it back.



#30 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:23 PM

I see what you are saying in terms of how it played out, but a properly run and well funded SL club in the Bridgend area would still be in existence now and the development work that would have continued would have been considerable as greater revenue and grant funding would have been made available for this.

Edited by Pen-Y-Bont Crusader, 22 June 2013 - 06:24 PM.


#31 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:46 PM

I see what you are saying in terms of how it played out, but a properly run and well funded SL club in the Bridgend area would still be in existence now and the development work that would have continued would have been considerable as greater revenue and grant funding would have been made available for this.

I am not going to argue against that, I'm just arguing against the pins-in-a-map approach that has proven destructive.

 

Crusaders got S4C coverage while a NL1/2 side; something that neither North or South Wales get now. We've lost something that would have aided development through the desire to placate Samuel's ego.



#32 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 07:05 PM

At the time though it was a case of beggars can't be choosers. Not sure how culpable the licensing people were on this, but you would have hoped that if the same happens again, either check that the money is 110% there OR the SL take a stake in the club.

#33 welshmagpie

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 07:51 PM

I am sad to say that the open age game in South Wales is really struggling now with just a six team, not sure about the juniors, there are a lot of clubs who say they have junior teams but it is difficult to tell how many games take place.
Also there is some bad news just around the corners for both North & South Wales in the development side of the community and junior game. 


Who do you love in terms of RL youngen? Myself it's the Scorpions! Win, lose, draw. Success or fail it doesn't matter... A love for local RL is something that can never be matched and can only grow further.

At least 4 northern teams + 6 southern equals 10 aswell to bro. Your 6 is not accurate, come play footy where were at.

#34 jonnyg28

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 09:38 PM

I agree that the future for North Wales is far more healthier, there is far greater enthausim for the game now in the North and Mid Wales


North Wales has a 5 team open age league with most games getting called off every other week due to not being able to raise a team, North Wales u18s have folded because no players and Crusaders packed with players from North West England

#35 simonwref

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 10:41 PM

North Wales has a 5 team open age league with most games getting called off every other week due to not being able to raise a team,


As a north wales ref, I can confirm this is true. I think of 10 scheduled games, 4 have been played IIRC.

#36 The Parksider

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:08 AM

Of course the advantage the Crusaders have is their proximity to the heartlands in the North West, which means they can pick up many players who, to use the parlance, can do a good job at CC1 level. The Scorpions don't have that advantage. A winning team always creates more enthusiasm. Whether that means the future in terms of developing local players in more healthier is another matter altogether.

 

Indeed, if you look at the squad as listed for the start of the season they are mostly from Lancashire, I'm sure the club would love to develop Welsh players over the years but until then going for heartland players is their mode of survival, pretty much like Doncaster and Sheffield.



#37 Swansea Jack

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:36 AM

Bridgend is still the best place geographically and player pool wise as rugby is the main game, plus it retains enough of a grudge for losing a regional side and continues to be neglected by the Ospreys. Any rugby league in south wales needs the support of valleys people to be fully successful and neither the ospreys nor the blues nor the dragons have remembered this.

We tried it in Bridgend from 2006 to 2008. Sadly the people of Bridgend and District never supported it. I remember driving to the Brewery Field and being dismayed at the lack of enthusiasm.



#38 The Parksider

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:39 AM

I see what you are saying in terms of how it played out, but a properly run and well funded SL club in the Bridgend area would still be in existence now and the development work that would have continued would have been considerable as greater revenue and grant funding would have been made available for this.

 

Well it played out quite badly in Bradford, it played out badly in Wakefield and Halifax, Oldham, Workington etc.

 

The point I'm making is about "growing the game" a point people make in which they say investment in a "ready made" SL club is not the way - evidence being Paris Crusaders, London, Gateshead etc. They say "bottom up" is the way.

 

But there is no evidence at all for this, those who choose to point to North Wales Crusaders forget the the money invested in Crusaders and the Superleague season awoke a big interest in fans and Crusaders - largely a Lancashire team. Was it 10,000 at the first game? It's 900 now. But hands up that is a contrived point, as contrived as using 900 as evidence they are well supported. Sheffield used to get 900 when they were top of CC1, promotion and several years has not seen their crowds spiral even though they continue to win.

 

You state that top down/bottom up is not mutually exclusive. it certainly used to be when Doncaster started out growing the game bottom up over 60 years ago, today as you say clubs recognise the need to be community clubs and strive to grow some "roots". In fact Superleague licenses require top down/bottom up.

 

And for me if you look at the Celtic Crusaders on this point you have to compare how the growth rate of budding professional young/welsh players, and how the growth rate of paying fans in the days when the investment was going in, compares against how South Wales Scorpions are growing their professional welsh player base and their crowds.

 

There is no comparison. 6,000 attended a Celtic Crusaders.v.Saints Superleague match and at the time I was told by a Swansea junior ARL poster how things were buzzing, now I look at Scorpions 393 average crowd and am told of the dificulties finding players and getting games on in the amateur/junior game.

 

I'm all for as many amateur/semi pro clubs as possible in as many places as possible, but I'm not one for giving them the responsibility to take the game forward, for that sets them up to fail. Heavy investment saw a big interest in RL in Wales, Paris, Gateshead and London when the money went in, when it didn't the interest waned, only the same as places in the heartlands.

 

So yes to the OP question Welsh people are as interested in RL as anyone including heartland fans.

 

It just takes a few million a year throwing at a Superleague club for a few generations to harness the interest into deep enough roots.


Edited by The Parksider, 23 June 2013 - 08:42 AM.


#39 The Parksider

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:49 AM

We tried it in Bridgend from 2006 to 2008. Sadly the people of Bridgend and District never supported it. I

 

3,600 average crowds in their first Superleague season. They supported it but not in enough numbers to pay the bills of a professional club.

 

Sames as at Bradford, Wakefield, Oldham, Workington, Halifax, the latter three NOT getting 3,600 despite having "roots" going back over 100 years each.

 

Today fans in Castleford, East Hull, Widnes, Salford, Huddersfield etc don't support their clubs in enough numbers to pay the bills.

 

You can find the exact equivalent lack of enthusiasm up here in the heartlands.



#40 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:05 AM

Well it played out quite badly in Bradford, it played out badly in Wakefield and Halifax, Oldham, Workington etc.

 

The point I'm making is about "growing the game" a point people make in which they say investment in a "ready made" SL club is not the way - evidence being Paris Crusaders, London, Gateshead etc. They say "bottom up" is the way.

 

But there is no evidence at all for this, those who choose to point to North Wales Crusaders forget the the money invested in Crusaders and the Superleague season awoke a big interest in fans and Crusaders - largely a Lancashire team. Was it 10,000 at the first game? It's 900 now. But hands up that is a contrived point, as contrived as using 900 as evidence they are well supported. Sheffield used to get 900 when they were top of CC1, promotion and several years has not seen their crowds spiral even though they continue to win.

 

You state that top down/bottom up is not mutually exclusive. it certainly used to be when Doncaster started out growing the game bottom up over 60 years ago, today as you say clubs recognise the need to be community clubs and strive to grow some "roots". In fact Superleague licenses require top down/bottom up.

 

And for me if you look at the Celtic Crusaders on this point you have to compare how the growth rate of budding professional young/welsh players, and how the growth rate of paying fans in the days when the investment was going in, compares against how South Wales Scorpions are growing their professional welsh player base and their crowds.

 

There is no comparison. 6,000 attended a Celtic Crusaders.v.Saints Superleague match and at the time I was told by a Swansea junior ARL poster how things were buzzing, now I look at Scorpions 393 average crowd and am told of the dificulties finding players and getting games on in the amateur/junior game.

 

I'm all for as many amateur/semi pro clubs as possible in as many places as possible, but I'm not one for giving them the responsibility to take the game forward, for that sets them up to fail. Heavy investment saw a big interest in RL in Wales, Paris, Gateshead and London when the money went in, when it didn't the interest waned, only the same as places in the heartlands.

 

So yes to the OP question Welsh people are as interested in RL as anyone including heartland fans.

 

It just takes a few million a year throwing at a Superleague club for a few generations to harness the interest into deep enough roots.

So we do nothing at all until somebody comes along with a few million quid?

 

I'll just let North Wales, Hemel, Skolars etc know not to bother - it's all a waste of time.

 

In the meantime, how about letting the best amateur sides join the semi-pro ranks and just maybe somebody might invest in them so they can get to the top flight?

 

Nah, obviously a millionaire won't invest in a club that exists, has its own stadium, produces its own players and has a fan base. It makes more sense for them to invest in something that doesn't exist. 






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