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.
If someone wants to throw a few million quid at starting a top down RL club then more power to them although they will create problems in deciding which current SL clubs to ditch to make way for them.
However, as of now, bottom up club Hemel have been around for over 30 years. Skolars, another bottom up club have been around for at least 15 years. Sheffield, another bottom up club climbed to the top of the mountain top, as in SL, Challenge Cup winners. Like Bradford, Wakefield etc got into trouble, but the grassroots and love of their club that survived, resurrected them and now they are still here, dominating their league.
Now we also have Oxford, Gloucester, Crusaders, SWales and soon Coventry in existence and competing as bottom up clubs. Gateshead mark 2 are also still around amazingly but having lasted a lot longer than the one season wonder top down mark 1 version. Paris were another top down success story.
Now, let me concede that a SL club averaging 10,000 and making a profit in any of these or other areas would be great, there is absolutely no sign of this happening. Catalans and the soon to be anointed Toulouse are not from virgin RL areas so are outside the scope of this argument.
So, as Northern Sol postulates, why would we stop still and do nothing waiting for the multi million pound investor. Beggars can't be choosers
We now have 8 RL clubs, including 2 in Wales, playing, recruiting players, attracting fans to the outer reaches of the RL kingdom. The numbers might not be great and some may ultimately fail but this is 1000% more Rl expansion and development than has come from the assembled multitudes of venture capitalists waiting in the wings to start up SL clubs. The ones we have managed to find, namely at Crusaders, Paris and Gateshead crashed and burned and the remaining good Samaritan at London looks to have has enough.
So, hang in there Wales, you have two clubs, two survivors. Let's see where the future takes you.