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The Challenge Cup Final vs NRL


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#1 DeadShotKeen

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:50 PM

Yesterday was (or rather, should have been) a big day for British rugby league. It was the Challenge Cup Final, a day steeped in history and roughly the only day of the year when the sport traditionally takes relative centre stage in the British sporting calendar. For the first time ever - with regret - I declined to watch, still being equally bamboozled and enraged by the new incumbent RFL regime who in only a few months have undone all of the fine work of the previous 5 years (namely licensing) and engineered a massive rain cloud of uncertainty over the sport. That a Hull side were present in our showpiece game adds extra resonance to my desertion - whilst (only nominally now, sadly) I support Hull KR as opposed to the Hull FC side who took to the field at Wembley, I have historically always rooted for Hull in such games, ostensibly because they are always the underdogs, herein lying the essential problem within our game - hierarchy and a collective unwillingness to challenge it. But more of this later.

But anyway, instead I chose to watch St George-Illawarra Dragons versus West Tigers in an essentially meaningless NRL encounter (neither side can make the play-offs and are instead building for next season). But the irony of these participants and also the setting (the game was played at Sydney Cricket Ground to mark the 50th anniversary of the epic Grand Final encounter between the now defunct stand-alone sides St George and Western Suburbs) was certainly not lost on me. St George-Illawarra and Wests, you see, are the 2 NRL sides formed by enforced merger in the late 1990s when the NRL stuck to its guns of denying franchises to former giants who no longer had the financial resources or fanbases to grace their elite competition in the modern era and even had the bottle to defend lawsuits (and win) from a few such disgruntled teams. In swallowing up the expansion Illawarra Steelers, the famous St George club came out relatively unscathed but nonetheless necessarily bolstered. Illawarra, meanwhile, still maintain their NRL presence and get a bunch of home games per season. Western Suburbs and Balmain Tigers both had to compromise heavily in a rough 50-50 split, however, and the new club has homes both in West Sydney and slightly further afield in Balmain. But of course yesterday they took to the field in the old Western Suburbs colours (with just a very subtle orange flash to the shoulders and shorts - the Balmain touch) and the commentary team made numerous mentions of the famous old "Magpies" sides of yore. Right here is the perfect amalgamation of modernity and history in professional sport. We respect and honour what went before but we move on, if needed. This is the NRL way. The Super League way would be to allow the 4 historical sides to chug away from one financial crisis to the next, scratching our heads as to why they cannot develop and retain calibre youngsters and challenge for major honours, in front of ever dwindling crowds (most likely blaming "management failures", which implies that Featherstone could be Leeds if they just had the right man or woman at the helm and, you know, "really wanted it enough").

And despite both sides having 6-15 records, they served up a high-octane, high quality encounter showcasing the incredible depth of the league. Wests fielded their new half back prodigy Luke Brooks, who had a stormer on "day-boo" (that's debut to non Aussies) and won fairly comfortably. And here's an important point: part of the reason I'm told our rugby league and soccer leagues are better than the Aussie or US franchised leagues is because we have no meaningless games. With the relegation trapdoor hovering over the Dragons and the Tigers, you see, this game would apparently have more bite and intensity and further pack the crowds in. A hugely flawed argument. With the relegation trapdoor hovering, Wests would almost certainly not blood Brooks, instead opting for a more reliable veteran out of fear of the unknown and in the thrall of such high, debilitating stakes. Furthermore, their franchise player - the brilliant hooker Robbie Farah (absent through injury yesterday) - would almost certainly be gone, along with brilliant young outside flyers Nofoaluma and Simona, most likely to Brisbane or one of the bigger Sydney sides, gleefully feasting - as our elite soccer and rugby league sides do every off season - on the lower placed sides' carcasses. "Know your place. You have done well but these boys are ready for the big league now. Here's some scraps of cash to soften the subservient pointlessness of your situation". The same goes for St George-Illawarra's elite core of Morris, Dugan and Merrin (the latter 2 also missing through injury yesterday). And as for Gareth Widdop siging on for next season? Fuhgeddaboutit. Because that is the NRL way, and in this fictitious Australian scenario the NRL way does not exist.

So this was a great game on many levels. And by contrast, the supposedly elite Wigan and Hull final (OK OK I did drop in on occasion, I'm human you know) served up an absolute stinker. The line speed was ponderous and even accounting for the wet conditions, the handling by both sides (but especially Hull) truly atrocious. I used to be a keen advocate of Super League (a name we inherited from a failed Aussie venture, ironically, despite our often sneering superiority over them) but having watched just a couple of months of NRL I simply couldn't go back to it. The exciting Sam Tomkins scored a late try for Wigan and will almost certainly leave for NRL at the end of the season, where for my money he may even struggle. The NRL is awash with exceptional full backs and Tomkins - not especially fresh-faced in the young man's Aussie league - is still learning this position. But that isn't the point. What is the point is that the RFL have precisely no plan for the sport in this country beyond bringing historic smaller sides back into the fold and hoping that it can magically become 1950 again. So when the league's calibre players inevitably depart for NRL (with its TV deal and salary cap perpetually on the rise thanks to its increasingly widespread popularity) or the equally clueless but at least cash-rich rugby union - which they are already doing left, right and centre - their only get out will be to throw cash at them via yet another opaque salary cap exemption to keep them on the same tiny bunch of elite teams. You then figure out the rest but some clues: blowout scores, lower crowds, less commercial appeal, financial instability. Super League currently does not even have a main sponsor. I will admit that I wanted yesterday's game to be a tepid, lopsided affair (which gives me no pleasure me but I make no apologies for my disdain and disrespect of the RFL and in particular its new chief Brian Barwick) and I got my wish.

Later yesterday - being currently hooked on NRL to a degree that you could call commendable or worrying, depending on your position - I watched Gold Coast Titans versus New Zealand Warriors and saw the Warriors edge a classic 24-22, with several looks needed at Kevin Gordon's last gasp chalked off touch down via the big screen to deny the Titans a late miracle win - the kind of teeth-gnashing sporting drama that as far as I am concerned only rugby league can provide. This game mattered in every sense (as nearly all NRL games do) with both sides on the fringe of the play-off 8 with games running out. And again there is irony. These are 2 of 4 expansion sides in the NRL (Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys being the other 2) with 2 more (probably Perth and Brisbane Mk II but others are in the mix) rumoured to be not far down the line. The Warriors have a big fan base, the Titans slightly less so (they've only been around in their current guise since 2007 and I guess there is other stuff to do on Australia's beautiful East coast) but unlike with London in Super League, fan dissent and antipathy towards them is marginal. And more importantly, the NRL will give them every chance to succeed. They back them with the salary cap and a franchise (no relegation threat - are you getting this, Barwick?) and there was a good crowd at the magnificent Skilled Park yesterday. And as long as the likes of State of Origin studs Nate Myles and Greg Bird pull on their natty Adidas strip (not to mention the increasingly impressive Gordon and the Dally M Medal contender Jamal Idris), they are a serious, credible player that add value to this league. By contrast, this: a couple of weeks ago I was out with work and a Leeds Rhinos supporting colleague expressed surprise that I had bailed on Super League. He likes the return to P&R and furthermore has bigger ideas about how to improve the league: "Get rid of London and Catalan and make it a Northern game again". Seriously, where to start with this depressingly rife, backward-looking, downright soulless vision for our game? But at least his new RFL regime seem to agree with him. Good luck to them both, just count me out, thanks.

We reap what we sow, and so do the Aussies. Until we learn the lessons of history, make some brave decisions and make no apologies for smashing the insular British rugby league mindset and giving the sport the plaform it deserves, we will continue to witness the sub-standard, lopsided tripe of yesterday, whilst our soccer-mad media react with rightful indifference and the Aussies party in the winter sunshine. "Raps" to them, because gee they have a good footy league there. The Challenge Cup Final - even a glorious one, as opposed to the muck served up yesterday - cannot save us. Only NRL or some genuine brave, modern thinking borrowed from it can. Give me a shout when either sees fit to show up on our shores.

Edited by DeadShotKeen, 25 August 2013 - 12:57 PM.


#2 zorquif

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:57 PM

Tl - dr

#3 YCKonstantine

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:08 PM

I don't know why you felt the need to write such a long winded post which is really a waste of your time and everyone else's reading it. However, I can understand some of your points but some of them are not transferrable i.e. RL in Sydney (big involvement, big city) and RL in London (little involvement, big city) 


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#4 fieldofclothofgold

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:28 PM

Yesterday was (or rather, should have been) a big day for British rugby league. It was the Challenge Cup Final, a day steeped in history and roughly the only day of the year when the sport traditionally takes relative centre stage in the British sporting calendar. For the first time ever - with regret - I declined to watch, still being equally bamboozled and enraged by the new incumbent RFL regime who in only a few months have undone all of the fine work of the previous 5 years (namely licensing) and engineered a massive rain cloud of uncertainty over the sport. That a Hull side were present in our showpiece game adds extra resonance to my desertion - whilst (only nominally now, sadly) I support Hull KR as opposed to the Hull FC side who took to the field at Wembley, I have historically always rooted for Hull in such games, ostensibly because they are always the underdogs, herein lying the essential problem within our game - hierarchy and a collective unwillingness to challenge it. But more of this later.

But anyway, instead I chose to watch St George-Illawarra Dragons versus West Tigers in an essentially meaningless NRL encounter (neither side can make the play-offs and are instead building for next season). But the irony of these participants and also the setting (the game was played at Sydney Cricket Ground to mark the 50th anniversary of the epic Grand Final encounter between the now defunct stand-alone sides St George and Western Suburbs) was certainly not lost on me. St George-Illawarra and Wests, you see, are the 2 NRL sides formed by enforced merger in the late 1990s when the NRL stuck to its guns of denying franchises to former giants who no longer had the financial resources or fanbases to grace their elite competition in the modern era and even had the bottle to defend lawsuits (and win) from a few such disgruntled teams. In swallowing up the expansion Illawarra Steelers, the famous St George club came out relatively unscathed but nonetheless necessarily bolstered. Illawarra, meanwhile, still maintain their NRL presence and get a bunch of home games per season. Western Suburbs and Balmain Tigers both had to compromise heavily in a rough 50-50 split, however, and the new club has homes both in West Sydney and slightly further afield in Balmain. But of course yesterday they took to the field in the old Western Suburbs colours (with just a very subtle orange flash to the shoulders and shorts - the Balmain touch) and the commentary team made numerous mentions of the famous old "Magpies" sides of yore. Right here is the perfect amalgamation of modernity and history in professional sport. We respect and honour what went before but we move on, if needed. This is the NRL way. The Super League way would be to allow the 4 historical sides to chug away from one financial crisis to the next, scratching our heads as to why they cannot develop and retain calibre youngsters and challenge for major honours, in front of ever dwindling crowds (most likely blaming "management failures", which implies that Featherstone could be Leeds if they just had the right man or woman at the helm and, you know, "really wanted it enough").

And despite both sides having 6-15 records, they served up a high-octane, high quality encounter showcasing the incredible depth of the league. Wests fielded their new half back prodigy Luke Brooks, who had a stormer on "day-boo" (that's debut to non Aussies) and won fairly comfortably. And here's an important point: part of the reason I'm told our rugby league and soccer leagues are better than the Aussie or US franchised leagues is because we have no meaningless games. With the relegation trapdoor hovering over the Dragons and the Tigers, you see, this game would apparently have more bite and intensity and further pack the crowds in. A hugely flawed argument. With the relegation trapdoor hovering, Wests would almost certainly not blood Brooks, instead opting for a more reliable veteran out of fear of the unknown and in the thrall of such high, debilitating stakes. Furthermore, their franchise player - the brilliant hooker Robbie Farah (absent through injury yesterday) - would almost certainly be gone, along with brilliant young outside flyers Nofoaluma and Simona, most likely to Brisbane or one of the bigger Sydney sides, gleefully feasting - as our elite soccer and rugby league sides do every off season - on the lower placed sides' carcasses. "Know your place. You have done well but these boys are ready for the big league now. Here's some scraps of cash to soften the subservient pointlessness of your situation". The same goes for St George-Illawarra's elite core of Morris, Dugan and Merrin (the latter 2 also missing through injury yesterday). And as for Gareth Widdop siging on for next season? Fuhgeddaboutit. Because that is the NRL way, and in this fictitious Australian scenario the NRL way does not exist.

So this was a great game on many levels. And by contrast, the supposedly elite Wigan and Hull final (OK OK I did drop in on occasion, I'm human you know) served up an absolute stinker. The line speed was ponderous and even accounting for the wet conditions, the handling by both sides (but especially Hull) truly atrocious. I used to be a keen advocate of Super League (a name we inherited from a failed Aussie venture, ironically, despite our often sneering superiority over them) but having watched just a couple of months of NRL I simply couldn't go back to it. The exciting Sam Tomkins scored a late try for Wigan and will almost certainly leave for NRL at the end of the season, where for my money he may even struggle. The NRL is awash with exceptional full backs and Tomkins - not especially fresh-faced in the young man's Aussie league - is still learning this position. But that isn't the point. What is the point is that the RFL have precisely no plan for the sport in this country beyond bringing historic smaller sides back into the fold and hoping that it can magically become 1950 again. So when the league's calibre players inevitably depart for NRL (with its TV deal and salary cap perpetually on the rise thanks to its increasingly widespread popularity) or the equally clueless but at least cash-rich rugby union - which they are already doing left, right and centre - their only get out will be to throw cash at them via yet another opaque salary cap exemption to keep them on the same tiny bunch of elite teams. You then figure out the rest but some clues: blowout scores, lower crowds, less commercial appeal, financial instability. Super League currently does not even have a main sponsor. I will admit that I wanted yesterday's game to be a tepid, lopsided affair (which gives me no pleasure me but I make no apologies for my disdain and disrespect of the RFL and in particular its new chief Brian Barwick) and I got my wish.

Later yesterday - being currently hooked on NRL to a degree that you could call commendable or worrying, depending on your position - I watched Gold Coast Titans versus New Zealand Warriors and saw the Warriors edge a classic 24-22, with several looks needed at Kevin Gordon's last gasp chalked off touch down via the big screen to deny the Titans a late miracle win - the kind of teeth-gnashing sporting drama that as far as I am concerned only rugby league can provide. This game mattered in every sense (as nearly all NRL games do) with both sides on the fringe of the play-off 8 with games running out. And again there is irony. These are 2 of 4 expansion sides in the NRL (Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys being the other 2) with 2 more (probably Perth and Brisbane Mk II but others are in the mix) rumoured to be not far down the line. The Warriors have a big fan base, the Titans slightly less so (they've only been around in their current guise since 2007 and I guess there is other stuff to do on Australia's beautiful East coast) but unlike with London in Super League, fan dissent and antipathy towards them is marginal. And more importantly, the NRL will give them every chance to succeed. They back them with the salary cap and a franchise (no relegation threat - are you getting this, Barwick?) and there was a good crowd at the magnificent Skilled Park yesterday. And as long as the likes of State of Origin studs Nate Myles and Greg Bird pull on their natty Adidas strip (not to mention the increasingly impressive Gordon and the Dally M Medal contender Jamal Idris), they are a serious, credible player that add value to this league. By contrast, this: a couple of weeks ago I was out with work and a Leeds Rhinos supporting colleague expressed surprise that I had bailed on Super League. He likes the return to P&R and furthermore has bigger ideas about how to improve the league: "Get rid of London and Catalan and make it a Northern game again". Seriously, where to start with this depressingly rife, backward-looking, downright soulless vision for our game? But at least his new RFL regime seem to agree with him. Good luck to them both, just count me out, thanks.

We reap what we sow, and so do the Aussies. Until we learn the lessons of history, make some brave decisions and make no apologies for smashing the insular British rugby league mindset and giving the sport the plaform it deserves, we will continue to witness the sub-standard, lopsided tripe of yesterday, whilst our soccer-mad media react with rightful indifference and the Aussies party in the winter sunshine. "Raps" to them, because gee they have a good footy league there. The Challenge Cup Final - even a glorious one, as opposed to the muck served up yesterday - cannot save us. Only NRL or some genuine brave, modern thinking borrowed from it can. Give me a shout when either sees fit to show up on our shores.

Far too long is this love
but you and I weve been through that and this is not our fate.
So let us so let us not talk falsely now.
The hour is getting late
FROM 2004,TO DO WHAT THIS CLUB HAS DONE,IF THATS NOT GREATNESSTHEN i DONT KNOW WHAT IS.

JAMIE PEACOCK

#5 Scubby

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:40 PM

Yesterday was (or rather, should have been) a big day for British rugby league. It was the Challenge Cup Final, a day steeped in history and roughly the only day of the year when the sport traditionally takes relative centre stage in the British sporting calendar. For the first time ever - with regret - I declined to watch, still being equally bamboozled and enraged by the new incumbent RFL regime who in only a few months have undone all of the fine work of the previous 5 years (namely licensing) and engineered a massive rain cloud of uncertainty over the sport. That a Hull side were present in our showpiece game adds extra resonance to my desertion - whilst (only nominally now, sadly) I support Hull KR as opposed to the Hull FC side who took to the field at Wembley, I have historically always rooted for Hull in such games, ostensibly because they are always the underdogs, herein lying the essential problem within our game - hierarchy and a collective unwillingness to challenge it. But more of this later.

But anyway, instead I chose to watch St George-Illawarra Dragons versus West Tigers in an essentially meaningless NRL encounter (neither side can make the play-offs and are instead building for next season). But the irony of these participants and also the setting (the game was played at Sydney Cricket Ground to mark the 50th anniversary of the epic Grand Final encounter between the now defunct stand-alone sides St George and Western Suburbs) was certainly not lost on me. St George-Illawarra and Wests, you see, are the 2 NRL sides formed by enforced merger in the late 1990s when the NRL stuck to its guns of denying franchises to former giants who no longer had the financial resources or fanbases to grace their elite competition in the modern era and even had the bottle to defend lawsuits (and win) from a few such disgruntled teams. In swallowing up the expansion Illawarra Steelers, the famous St George club came out relatively unscathed but nonetheless necessarily bolstered. Illawarra, meanwhile, still maintain their NRL presence and get a bunch of home games per season. Western Suburbs and Balmain Tigers both had to compromise heavily in a rough 50-50 split, however, and the new club has homes both in West Sydney and slightly further afield in Balmain. But of course yesterday they took to the field in the old Western Suburbs colours (with just a very subtle orange flash to the shoulders and shorts - the Balmain touch) and the commentary team made numerous mentions of the famous old "Magpies" sides of yore. Right here is the perfect amalgamation of modernity and history in professional sport. We respect and honour what went before but we move on, if needed. This is the NRL way. The Super League way would be to allow the 4 historical sides to chug away from one financial crisis to the next, scratching our heads as to why they cannot develop and retain calibre youngsters and challenge for major honours, in front of ever dwindling crowds (most likely blaming "management failures", which implies that Featherstone could be Leeds if they just had the right man or woman at the helm and, you know, "really wanted it enough").

And despite both sides having 6-15 records, they served up a high-octane, high quality encounter showcasing the incredible depth of the league. Wests fielded their new half back prodigy Luke Brooks, who had a stormer on "day-boo" (that's debut to non Aussies) and won fairly comfortably. And here's an important point: part of the reason I'm told our rugby league and soccer leagues are better than the Aussie or US franchised leagues is because we have no meaningless games. With the relegation trapdoor hovering over the Dragons and the Tigers, you see, this game would apparently have more bite and intensity and further pack the crowds in. A hugely flawed argument. With the relegation trapdoor hovering, Wests would almost certainly not blood Brooks, instead opting for a more reliable veteran out of fear of the unknown and in the thrall of such high, debilitating stakes. Furthermore, their franchise player - the brilliant hooker Robbie Farah (absent through injury yesterday) - would almost certainly be gone, along with brilliant young outside flyers Nofoaluma and Simona, most likely to Brisbane or one of the bigger Sydney sides, gleefully feasting - as our elite soccer and rugby league sides do every off season - on the lower placed sides' carcasses. "Know your place. You have done well but these boys are ready for the big league now. Here's some scraps of cash to soften the subservient pointlessness of your situation". The same goes for St George-Illawarra's elite core of Morris, Dugan and Merrin (the latter 2 also missing through injury yesterday). And as for Gareth Widdop siging on for next season? Fuhgeddaboutit. Because that is the NRL way, and in this fictitious Australian scenario the NRL way does not exist.

So this was a great game on many levels. And by contrast, the supposedly elite Wigan and Hull final (OK OK I did drop in on occasion, I'm human you know) served up an absolute stinker. The line speed was ponderous and even accounting for the wet conditions, the handling by both sides (but especially Hull) truly atrocious. I used to be a keen advocate of Super League (a name we inherited from a failed Aussie venture, ironically, despite our often sneering superiority over them) but having watched just a couple of months of NRL I simply couldn't go back to it. The exciting Sam Tomkins scored a late try for Wigan and will almost certainly leave for NRL at the end of the season, where for my money he may even struggle. The NRL is awash with exceptional full backs and Tomkins - not especially fresh-faced in the young man's Aussie league - is still learning this position. But that isn't the point. What is the point is that the RFL have precisely no plan for the sport in this country beyond bringing historic smaller sides back into the fold and hoping that it can magically become 1950 again. So when the league's calibre players inevitably depart for NRL (with its TV deal and salary cap perpetually on the rise thanks to its increasingly widespread popularity) or the equally clueless but at least cash-rich rugby union - which they are already doing left, right and centre - their only get out will be to throw cash at them via yet another opaque salary cap exemption to keep them on the same tiny bunch of elite teams. You then figure out the rest but some clues: blowout scores, lower crowds, less commercial appeal, financial instability. Super League currently does not even have a main sponsor. I will admit that I wanted yesterday's game to be a tepid, lopsided affair (which gives me no pleasure me but I make no apologies for my disdain and disrespect of the RFL and in particular its new chief Brian Barwick) and I got my wish.

Later yesterday - being currently hooked on NRL to a degree that you could call commendable or worrying, depending on your position - I watched Gold Coast Titans versus New Zealand Warriors and saw the Warriors edge a classic 24-22, with several looks needed at Kevin Gordon's last gasp chalked off touch down via the big screen to deny the Titans a late miracle win - the kind of teeth-gnashing sporting drama that as far as I am concerned only rugby league can provide. This game mattered in every sense (as nearly all NRL games do) with both sides on the fringe of the play-off 8 with games running out. And again there is irony. These are 2 of 4 expansion sides in the NRL (Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys being the other 2) with 2 more (probably Perth and Brisbane Mk II but others are in the mix) rumoured to be not far down the line. The Warriors have a big fan base, the Titans slightly less so (they've only been around in their current guise since 2007 and I guess there is other stuff to do on Australia's beautiful East coast) but unlike with London in Super League, fan dissent and antipathy towards them is marginal. And more importantly, the NRL will give them every chance to succeed. They back them with the salary cap and a franchise (no relegation threat - are you getting this, Barwick?) and there was a good crowd at the magnificent Skilled Park yesterday. And as long as the likes of State of Origin studs Nate Myles and Greg Bird pull on their natty Adidas strip (not to mention the increasingly impressive Gordon and the Dally M Medal contender Jamal Idris), they are a serious, credible player that add value to this league. By contrast, this: a couple of weeks ago I was out with work and a Leeds Rhinos supporting colleague expressed surprise that I had bailed on Super League. He likes the return to P&R and furthermore has bigger ideas about how to improve the league: "Get rid of London and Catalan and make it a Northern game again". Seriously, where to start with this depressingly rife, backward-looking, downright soulless vision for our game? But at least his new RFL regime seem to agree with him. Good luck to them both, just count me out, thanks.

We reap what we sow, and so do the Aussies. Until we learn the lessons of history, make some brave decisions and make no apologies for smashing the insular British rugby league mindset and giving the sport the plaform it deserves, we will continue to witness the sub-standard, lopsided tripe of yesterday, whilst our soccer-mad media react with rightful indifference and the Aussies party in the winter sunshine. "Raps" to them, because gee they have a good footy league there. The Challenge Cup Final - even a glorious one, as opposed to the muck served up yesterday - cannot save us. Only NRL or some genuine brave, modern thinking borrowed from it can. Give me a shout when either sees fit to show up on our shores.

 

Have you not hot some gardening to do or jobs around the house? Had to scan read this it was so long. You can't compare Wembley with Aussie RL where all the big occasions are on fans' doorsteps. Wembley needs 40-50,000 neutrals to buy tickets every year to make it close to a sell out and a 'big' occasion. All the marketing and efforts should be put into doing just this.



#6 petero

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:48 PM

I don't know why you felt the need to write such a long winded post which is really a waste of your time and everyone else's reading it. However, I can understand some of your points but some of them are not transferrable i.e. RL in Sydney (big involvement, big city) and RL in London (little involvement, big city) 

 

Thats a damn sad reply to what I would consider one of the best put together letters I have seen on here. DSKs comments are both factual and resonant and his description of the backward steps the RFL are committed to making is first class. 

 

As many will note I too am an adherent of the NRL, very much so and I also have found after years of watching and stivking up for the S/L that I can no longer justifiably do so as like DSK states the standards have plummetted and as there is now the NRL alternative which is superior in every department currently to the S/L, I also will not be paying SKY for their services next season and will take only P/sports and their coverage of the game from down under and our own championship, which in most cases provides game of better intensity and with far more interest than yesterdays borathon.

 

His comments on this weekends NRL games is also spot on, I have so far watched all of them and will see them all before the weekend is up. The one yesterday, PenrithV Bronco's featured two sides lying in I believe 9th and 10th but with an outside chance still of making the top 8, I would contend that had either side been playing HULL then they would have got a cricket score and even Wigan would have been beaten by I would guess thirty or more points, that I propose clearly would describe the disparity between the two comps. 



#7 YCKonstantine

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:58 PM

Thats a damn sad reply to what I would consider one of the best put together letters I have seen on here. DSKs comments are both factual and resonant and his description of the backward steps the RFL are committed to making is first class. 

 

1) As many will note I too am an adherent of the NRL, very much so and I also have found after years of watching and stivking up for the S/L that I can no longer justifiably do so as like DSK states the standards have plummetted and as there is now the NRL alternative which is superior in every department currently to the S/L, I also will not be paying SKY for their services next season and will take only P/sports and their coverage of the game from down under 2) and our own championship, which in most cases provides game of better intensity and with far more interest than yesterdays borathon.

 

His comments on this weekends NRL games is also spot on, I have so far watched all of them and will see them all before the weekend is up. The one yesterday, PenrithV Bronco's featured two sides lying in I believe 9th and 10th but with an outside chance still of making the top 8, I would contend that had either side been playing HULL then they would have got a cricket score and even Wigan would have been beaten by I would guess thirty or more points, that I propose clearly would describe the disparity between the two comps. 

1) NEVER!

2) I support York (obviously) so agree there, but what I'm saying is that the NRL and SL aren't comparable, only that they play the same sport. I mean, they even have different rules for crying out loud!


It's time to park the camels.

 

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#8 ckn

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:11 PM

I always wonder what people expect the RFL to do. 

 

They don't make the players play as they do. 

 

They can't force teams to play expansive, spectator friendly rugby on a very wet day. 

 

They can't tell the weather to not throw down almost torrential rain on a pitch that's not exactly handling rugby friendly.  If this game had been played on Friday or today then it would have been a nice dry day with no excuses.  Anyone who has played will know that you sometimes get greasy weather conditions that make the ball like a bar of soap and you need to be far more cautious with your attacking game.

 

Also, they can't raise the salary cap as there's not enough money in the game to do so, if they raised it to a level where we could compete with the NRL, never mind union, then we'd either bankrupt half of SL or make it a money man's game.

 

For the resources that the RFL have compared to their other competitor sports in the UK and the NRL then they've done quite well indeed.  Some of their decisions reflect that lack of resources, such as the idiot ones around the grass-roots and development officers and the unwillingness to just make a credible decision and stick with it.

 

So... please, tell us and the RFL what they should do, taking into account the wider financial state of the game and what other resources they have available to them


Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#9 Kenilworth Tiger

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:23 PM

Yesterday was (or rather, should have been) a big day for British rugby league. It was the Challenge Cup Final, a day steeped in history and roughly the only day of the year when the sport traditionally takes relative centre stage in the British sporting calendar. For the first time ever - with regret - I declined to watch, still being equally bamboozled and enraged by the new incumbent RFL regime who in only a few months have undone all of the fine work of the previous 5 years (namely licensing) and engineered a massive rain cloud of uncertainty over the sport. That a Hull side were present in our showpiece game adds extra resonance to my desertion - whilst (only nominally now, sadly) I support Hull KR as opposed to the Hull FC side who took to the field at Wembley, I have historically always rooted for Hull in such games, ostensibly because they are always the underdogs, herein lying the essential problem within our game - hierarchy and a collective unwillingness to challenge it. But more of this later.

But anyway, instead I chose to watch St George-Illawarra Dragons versus West Tigers in an essentially meaningless NRL encounter (neither side can make the play-offs and are instead building for next season). But the irony of these participants and also the setting (the game was played at Sydney Cricket Ground to mark the 50th anniversary of the epic Grand Final encounter between the now defunct stand-alone sides St George and Western Suburbs) was certainly not lost on me. St George-Illawarra and Wests, you see, are the 2 NRL sides formed by enforced merger in the late 1990s when the NRL stuck to its guns of denying franchises to former giants who no longer had the financial resources or fanbases to grace their elite competition in the modern era and even had the bottle to defend lawsuits (and win) from a few such disgruntled teams. In swallowing up the expansion Illawarra Steelers, the famous St George club came out relatively unscathed but nonetheless necessarily bolstered. Illawarra, meanwhile, still maintain their NRL presence and get a bunch of home games per season. Western Suburbs and Balmain Tigers both had to compromise heavily in a rough 50-50 split, however, and the new club has homes both in West Sydney and slightly further afield in Balmain. But of course yesterday they took to the field in the old Western Suburbs colours (with just a very subtle orange flash to the shoulders and shorts - the Balmain touch) and the commentary team made numerous mentions of the famous old "Magpies" sides of yore. Right here is the perfect amalgamation of modernity and history in professional sport. We respect and honour what went before but we move on, if needed. This is the NRL way. The Super League way would be to allow the 4 historical sides to chug away from one financial crisis to the next, scratching our heads as to why they cannot develop and retain calibre youngsters and challenge for major honours, in front of ever dwindling crowds (most likely blaming "management failures", which implies that Featherstone could be Leeds if they just had the right man or woman at the helm and, you know, "really wanted it enough").

And despite both sides having 6-15 records, they served up a high-octane, high quality encounter showcasing the incredible depth of the league. Wests fielded their new half back prodigy Luke Brooks, who had a stormer on "day-boo" (that's debut to non Aussies) and won fairly comfortably. And here's an important point: part of the reason I'm told our rugby league and soccer leagues are better than the Aussie or US franchised leagues is because we have no meaningless games. With the relegation trapdoor hovering over the Dragons and the Tigers, you see, this game would apparently have more bite and intensity and further pack the crowds in. A hugely flawed argument. With the relegation trapdoor hovering, Wests would almost certainly not blood Brooks, instead opting for a more reliable veteran out of fear of the unknown and in the thrall of such high, debilitating stakes. Furthermore, their franchise player - the brilliant hooker Robbie Farah (absent through injury yesterday) - would almost certainly be gone, along with brilliant young outside flyers Nofoaluma and Simona, most likely to Brisbane or one of the bigger Sydney sides, gleefully feasting - as our elite soccer and rugby league sides do every off season - on the lower placed sides' carcasses. "Know your place. You have done well but these boys are ready for the big league now. Here's some scraps of cash to soften the subservient pointlessness of your situation". The same goes for St George-Illawarra's elite core of Morris, Dugan and Merrin (the latter 2 also missing through injury yesterday). And as for Gareth Widdop siging on for next season? Fuhgeddaboutit. Because that is the NRL way, and in this fictitious Australian scenario the NRL way does not exist.

So this was a great game on many levels. And by contrast, the supposedly elite Wigan and Hull final (OK OK I did drop in on occasion, I'm human you know) served up an absolute stinker. The line speed was ponderous and even accounting for the wet conditions, the handling by both sides (but especially Hull) truly atrocious. I used to be a keen advocate of Super League (a name we inherited from a failed Aussie venture, ironically, despite our often sneering superiority over them) but having watched just a couple of months of NRL I simply couldn't go back to it. The exciting Sam Tomkins scored a late try for Wigan and will almost certainly leave for NRL at the end of the season, where for my money he may even struggle. The NRL is awash with exceptional full backs and Tomkins - not especially fresh-faced in the young man's Aussie league - is still learning this position. But that isn't the point. What is the point is that the RFL have precisely no plan for the sport in this country beyond bringing historic smaller sides back into the fold and hoping that it can magically become 1950 again. So when the league's calibre players inevitably depart for NRL (with its TV deal and salary cap perpetually on the rise thanks to its increasingly widespread popularity) or the equally clueless but at least cash-rich rugby union - which they are already doing left, right and centre - their only get out will be to throw cash at them via yet another opaque salary cap exemption to keep them on the same tiny bunch of elite teams. You then figure out the rest but some clues: blowout scores, lower crowds, less commercial appeal, financial instability. Super League currently does not even have a main sponsor. I will admit that I wanted yesterday's game to be a tepid, lopsided affair (which gives me no pleasure me but I make no apologies for my disdain and disrespect of the RFL and in particular its new chief Brian Barwick) and I got my wish.

Later yesterday - being currently hooked on NRL to a degree that you could call commendable or worrying, depending on your position - I watched Gold Coast Titans versus New Zealand Warriors and saw the Warriors edge a classic 24-22, with several looks needed at Kevin Gordon's last gasp chalked off touch down via the big screen to deny the Titans a late miracle win - the kind of teeth-gnashing sporting drama that as far as I am concerned only rugby league can provide. This game mattered in every sense (as nearly all NRL games do) with both sides on the fringe of the play-off 8 with games running out. And again there is irony. These are 2 of 4 expansion sides in the NRL (Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys being the other 2) with 2 more (probably Perth and Brisbane Mk II but others are in the mix) rumoured to be not far down the line. The Warriors have a big fan base, the Titans slightly less so (they've only been around in their current guise since 2007 and I guess there is other stuff to do on Australia's beautiful East coast) but unlike with London in Super League, fan dissent and antipathy towards them is marginal. And more importantly, the NRL will give them every chance to succeed. They back them with the salary cap and a franchise (no relegation threat - are you getting this, Barwick?) and there was a good crowd at the magnificent Skilled Park yesterday. And as long as the likes of State of Origin studs Nate Myles and Greg Bird pull on their natty Adidas strip (not to mention the increasingly impressive Gordon and the Dally M Medal contender Jamal Idris), they are a serious, credible player that add value to this league. By contrast, this: a couple of weeks ago I was out with work and a Leeds Rhinos supporting colleague expressed surprise that I had bailed on Super League. He likes the return to P&R and furthermore has bigger ideas about how to improve the league: "Get rid of London and Catalan and make it a Northern game again". Seriously, where to start with this depressingly rife, backward-looking, downright soulless vision for our game? But at least his new RFL regime seem to agree with him. Good luck to them both, just count me out, thanks.

We reap what we sow, and so do the Aussies. Until we learn the lessons of history, make some brave decisions and make no apologies for smashing the insular British rugby league mindset and giving the sport the plaform it deserves, we will continue to witness the sub-standard, lopsided tripe of yesterday, whilst our soccer-mad media react with rightful indifference and the Aussies party in the winter sunshine. "Raps" to them, because gee they have a good footy league there. The Challenge Cup Final - even a glorious one, as opposed to the muck served up yesterday - cannot save us. Only NRL or some genuine brave, modern thinking borrowed from it can. Give me a shout when either sees fit to show up on our shores.


what a boring post
Now then, it's a race between Sandie....and Fairburn....and the little man is in........yeees he's in.

I, just like those Castleford supporters felt that the ball should have gone to David Plange but he put the bit betwen his teeth...and it was a try

Kevin Ward - best player I have ever seen

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The real Mick Gledhill is what you see on here, a Bradford fan ........, but deep down knows that Bradford are just not good enough to challenge the likes of Leeds & St Helens.


#10 RSN

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:27 PM

DSK why do you state in your post you declined to watch the game and then state later you did watch it. What you've done there is said you weren't watching it to prove some sort of point, and then said you did watch it just so you could have a dig at the quality of the match. Basically you'll do whatever you can just to get a dig in at English RL.

 

You also stated Sam Tomkins would struggle in the NRL. No he wouldn't. You've picked out English RL's best player and said he will struggle in the NRL just so you can help prove your point that the NRL is so much superior. Tomkins would walk into any side apart from Melbourne. Even if he went to Souths Maguire would find him a place in the starting line up. If he plays major parts in England tries against Aus why would he struggle in the NRL, that's just ridiculous.

 

You need to accept Australia RL have the most important thing that we don't. Money. Why on earth would the RFL copy the NRL when we just don't have the resources to follow that method.

 

If you don't like English RL just don't watch it. Or at least have the courtesy to not put boring posts on forums slating it and bigging something else up.



#11 redjonn

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:53 PM

Yes, we all know the NRL is stronger than Super-league... just as we know in other sports, you mention football, some leagues are stronger than other countries. I guess we could compare the English Premier League with the Aussie football league and do some crowing but why... apart from some smug rational for boasting.   

 

Didn't Melbourne win 60pts to 4 this weekend... or we should say thrash... and its not the only "blowout" this season so lets not suggest that all the games are always between x2 highly matched teams.  However no doubt overall the standards in NRL are higher. As to entertainment I guess Aussie Rules fans may have a different view to how watchable the game is.   I enjoy Rugby League over here and so what if their is a stronger league somewhere else, should I stop attending games.

 

The weather was awful in the final and clearly affected the way it was played.  Wigan used the best approach and deserved to win, Hull spilled the ball too much and didn't focus on enough on the simple skills that the weather dictated. Even the great Aussie national team would have played a conservative game in that weather. 

 

The Cas and Bradford game the other week was very entertaining with some good tries scored, two lower teams that really had nothing to play for in reality.  So yeah lower teams can serve up entertaining rugby... OK maybe not at the skill level of the NRL teams but I enjoy watching the game over here.

 

We know we have a fundamental problem in that we are not attracting the monies into game to enable a greater product.   But we are where we are and hopefully over time situation will improve to enable a fair competition with the NRL.   In the mean-time with opening posts like that I hope the Aussie Rules does succeed in transplanting NRL to be an even more narrow based sport in Aussie Land and take the sponsors with them.



#12 Wiltshire Rhino

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:55 PM

Yesterday was (or rather, should have been) a big day for British rugby league. It was the Challenge Cup Final, a day steeped in history and roughly the only day of the year when the sport traditionally takes relative centre stage in the British sporting calendar. For the first time ever - with regret - I declined to watch, still being equally bamboozled and enraged by the new incumbent RFL regime who in only a few months have undone all of the fine work of the previous 5 years (namely licensing) and engineered a massive rain cloud of uncertainty over the sport. That a Hull side were present in our showpiece game adds extra resonance to my desertion - whilst (only nominally now, sadly) I support Hull KR as opposed to the Hull FC side who took to the field at Wembley, I have historically always rooted for Hull in such games, ostensibly because they are always the underdogs, herein lying the essential problem within our game - hierarchy and a collective unwillingness to challenge it. But more of this later.

But anyway, instead I chose to watch St George-Illawarra Dragons versus West Tigers in an essentially meaningless NRL encounter (neither side can make the play-offs and are instead building for next season). But the irony of these participants and also the setting (the game was played at Sydney Cricket Ground to mark the 50th anniversary of the epic Grand Final encounter between the now defunct stand-alone sides St George and Western Suburbs) was certainly not lost on me. St George-Illawarra and Wests, you see, are the 2 NRL sides formed by enforced merger in the late 1990s when the NRL stuck to its guns of denying franchises to former giants who no longer had the financial resources or fanbases to grace their elite competition in the modern era and even had the bottle to defend lawsuits (and win) from a few such disgruntled teams. In swallowing up the expansion Illawarra Steelers, the famous St George club came out relatively unscathed but nonetheless necessarily bolstered. Illawarra, meanwhile, still maintain their NRL presence and get a bunch of home games per season. Western Suburbs and Balmain Tigers both had to compromise heavily in a rough 50-50 split, however, and the new club has homes both in West Sydney and slightly further afield in Balmain. But of course yesterday they took to the field in the old Western Suburbs colours (with just a very subtle orange flash to the shoulders and shorts - the Balmain touch) and the commentary team made numerous mentions of the famous old "Magpies" sides of yore. Right here is the perfect amalgamation of modernity and history in professional sport. We respect and honour what went before but we move on, if needed. This is the NRL way. The Super League way would be to allow the 4 historical sides to chug away from one financial crisis to the next, scratching our heads as to why they cannot develop and retain calibre youngsters and challenge for major honours, in front of ever dwindling crowds (most likely blaming "management failures", which implies that Featherstone could be Leeds if they just had the right man or woman at the helm and, you know, "really wanted it enough").

And despite both sides having 6-15 records, they served up a high-octane, high quality encounter showcasing the incredible depth of the league. Wests fielded their new half back prodigy Luke Brooks, who had a stormer on "day-boo" (that's debut to non Aussies) and won fairly comfortably. And here's an important point: part of the reason I'm told our rugby league and soccer leagues are better than the Aussie or US franchised leagues is because we have no meaningless games. With the relegation trapdoor hovering over the Dragons and the Tigers, you see, this game would apparently have more bite and intensity and further pack the crowds in. A hugely flawed argument. With the relegation trapdoor hovering, Wests would almost certainly not blood Brooks, instead opting for a more reliable veteran out of fear of the unknown and in the thrall of such high, debilitating stakes. Furthermore, their franchise player - the brilliant hooker Robbie Farah (absent through injury yesterday) - would almost certainly be gone, along with brilliant young outside flyers Nofoaluma and Simona, most likely to Brisbane or one of the bigger Sydney sides, gleefully feasting - as our elite soccer and rugby league sides do every off season - on the lower placed sides' carcasses. "Know your place. You have done well but these boys are ready for the big league now. Here's some scraps of cash to soften the subservient pointlessness of your situation". The same goes for St George-Illawarra's elite core of Morris, Dugan and Merrin (the latter 2 also missing through injury yesterday). And as for Gareth Widdop siging on for next season? Fuhgeddaboutit. Because that is the NRL way, and in this fictitious Australian scenario the NRL way does not exist.

So this was a great game on many levels. And by contrast, the supposedly elite Wigan and Hull final (OK OK I did drop in on occasion, I'm human you know) served up an absolute stinker. The line speed was ponderous and even accounting for the wet conditions, the handling by both sides (but especially Hull) truly atrocious. I used to be a keen advocate of Super League (a name we inherited from a failed Aussie venture, ironically, despite our often sneering superiority over them) but having watched just a couple of months of NRL I simply couldn't go back to it. The exciting Sam Tomkins scored a late try for Wigan and will almost certainly leave for NRL at the end of the season, where for my money he may even struggle. The NRL is awash with exceptional full backs and Tomkins - not especially fresh-faced in the young man's Aussie league - is still learning this position. But that isn't the point. What is the point is that the RFL have precisely no plan for the sport in this country beyond bringing historic smaller sides back into the fold and hoping that it can magically become 1950 again. So when the league's calibre players inevitably depart for NRL (with its TV deal and salary cap perpetually on the rise thanks to its increasingly widespread popularity) or the equally clueless but at least cash-rich rugby union - which they are already doing left, right and centre - their only get out will be to throw cash at them via yet another opaque salary cap exemption to keep them on the same tiny bunch of elite teams. You then figure out the rest but some clues: blowout scores, lower crowds, less commercial appeal, financial instability. Super League currently does not even have a main sponsor. I will admit that I wanted yesterday's game to be a tepid, lopsided affair (which gives me no pleasure me but I make no apologies for my disdain and disrespect of the RFL and in particular its new chief Brian Barwick) and I got my wish.

Later yesterday - being currently hooked on NRL to a degree that you could call commendable or worrying, depending on your position - I watched Gold Coast Titans versus New Zealand Warriors and saw the Warriors edge a classic 24-22, with several looks needed at Kevin Gordon's last gasp chalked off touch down via the big screen to deny the Titans a late miracle win - the kind of teeth-gnashing sporting drama that as far as I am concerned only rugby league can provide. This game mattered in every sense (as nearly all NRL games do) with both sides on the fringe of the play-off 8 with games running out. And again there is irony. These are 2 of 4 expansion sides in the NRL (Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys being the other 2) with 2 more (probably Perth and Brisbane Mk II but others are in the mix) rumoured to be not far down the line. The Warriors have a big fan base, the Titans slightly less so (they've only been around in their current guise since 2007 and I guess there is other stuff to do on Australia's beautiful East coast) but unlike with London in Super League, fan dissent and antipathy towards them is marginal. And more importantly, the NRL will give them every chance to succeed. They back them with the salary cap and a franchise (no relegation threat - are you getting this, Barwick?) and there was a good crowd at the magnificent Skilled Park yesterday. And as long as the likes of State of Origin studs Nate Myles and Greg Bird pull on their natty Adidas strip (not to mention the increasingly impressive Gordon and the Dally M Medal contender Jamal Idris), they are a serious, credible player that add value to this league. By contrast, this: a couple of weeks ago I was out with work and a Leeds Rhinos supporting colleague expressed surprise that I had bailed on Super League. He likes the return to P&R and furthermore has bigger ideas about how to improve the league: "Get rid of London and Catalan and make it a Northern game again". Seriously, where to start with this depressingly rife, backward-looking, downright soulless vision for our game? But at least his new RFL regime seem to agree with him. Good luck to them both, just count me out, thanks.

We reap what we sow, and so do the Aussies. Until we learn the lessons of history, make some brave decisions and make no apologies for smashing the insular British rugby league mindset and giving the sport the plaform it deserves, we will continue to witness the sub-standard, lopsided tripe of yesterday, whilst our soccer-mad media react with rightful indifference and the Aussies party in the winter sunshine. "Raps" to them, because gee they have a good footy league there. The Challenge Cup Final - even a glorious one, as opposed to the muck served up yesterday - cannot save us. Only NRL or some genuine brave, modern thinking borrowed from it can. Give me a shout when either sees fit to show up on our shores.

I enjoy the NRL, I enjoy Super League, I enjoy the Championships, I enjoy State of Origin, I enjoy amateur RL, I enjoy International RL and I will enjoy the World Cup.

I love watching (too old to play now) Rugby League! I don't feel the need to look down on different levels of The Greatest Game just because it's not as good.
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#13 guess who

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 04:50 PM

As many of you will know i am not a great big fan of SL or the RFL.

But one thing cannot be overlook from the game. Hull were rubbish.

 

If one teams turns up and the other doesnt. One team will win easy.



#14 ChrisGS

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:49 PM

I think it's a bit of a cop out to look at the NRL and say well oh they've got tons of money and popularity and we don't, so we just have to make do with the limited resources available. That completely misses the point. If the game was run properly then we might well have the money and popularity that they have down under. Rugby league in Australia wasn't handed relevance, finance and success on a plate, they've worked hard for it and run the game well enough for that to be the case. Despite the massive popularity of AFL which has at times threatened to encroach on RL territory and fandom.

 

If rugby league was managed properly in the UK by forward thinking people there's no reason why we couldn't be in a similar position to league down under. I think one of the problems is that people think too small and give football far too much respect.

 

Forget circumstance. British RL is where it is today because of the failure of British RL to grow the game, and no other reason. Just as Aussie RL is where it is because of their relative success in managing the sport.

 

I think the sooner we start setting ourselves higher standards as opposed to excuses, the sooner the game will really start making serious inroads in this country. Until we're willing to think big the game will go nowhere, in spite of the good work being done at the grassroots.



#15 Griff9of13

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:57 PM

I think it's a bit of a cop out to look at the NRL and say well oh they've got tons of money and popularity and we don't, so we just have to make do with the limited resources available. That completely misses the point. If the game was run properly then we might well have the money and popularity that they have down under. Rugby league in Australia wasn't handed relevance, finance and success on a plate, they've worked hard for it and run the game well enough for that to be the case. Despite the massive popularity of AFL which has at times threatened to encroach on RL territory and fandom.

 

If rugby league was managed properly in the UK by forward thinking people there's no reason why we couldn't be in a similar position to league down under. I think one of the problems is that people think too small and give football far too much respect.

 

Forget circumstance. British RL is where it is today because of the failure of British RL to grow the game, and no other reason. Just as Aussie RL is where it is because of their relative success in managing the sport.

 

I think the sooner we start setting ourselves higher standards as opposed to excuses, the sooner the game will really start making serious inroads in this country. Until we're willing to think big the game will go nowhere, in spite of the good work being done at the grassroots.

 

That is very simplistic and completely ignores the dominance in sport of soccer in this country. If the NRL were up against such an omnipresent monster in Australia do you honestly think it would be in the same position it finds itself in now?


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#16 John Drake

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 06:49 PM

That is very simplistic and completely ignores the dominance in sport of soccer in this country. If the NRL were up against such an omnipresent monster in Australia do you honestly think it would be in the same position it finds itself in now?

 

This.


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#17 The Parksider

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:08 PM

If rugby league was managed properly in the UK by forward thinking people there's no reason why we couldn't be in a similar position to league down under. I think one of the problems is that people think too small and give football far too much respect.

 

Forget circumstance. British RL is where it is today because of the failure of British RL to grow the game, and no other reason.

 

Not for me at all.

 

Rugby league is a tough tough game, it makes is a great spectacle but too many people don't want to play it. 

 

Soccer is a game all can play and that has created it's popularity and dominance.

 

This is just blaming RL management yet again as though somehow people can be made to see the error of their ways.

 

Set out how british RL could ever have grown given soccer is the eay game and RU subdued RL's growth by underhand methods?



#18 Bearman

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:13 PM

I always wonder what people expect the RFL to do. 
 
They don't make the players play as they do. 
 
They can't force teams to play expansive, spectator friendly rugby on a very wet day. 
 
They can't tell the weather to not throw down almost torrential rain on a pitch that's not exactly handling rugby friendly.  If this game had been played on Friday or today then it would have been a nice dry day with no excuses.  Anyone who has played will know that you sometimes get greasy weather conditions that make the ball like a bar of soap and you need to be far more cautious with your attacking game.
 
Also, they can't raise the salary cap as there's not enough money in the game to do so, if they raised it to a level where we could compete with the NRL, never mind union, then we'd either bankrupt half of SL or make it a money man's game.
 
For the resources that the RFL have compared to their other competitor sports in the UK and the NRL then they've done quite well indeed.  Some of their decisions reflect that lack of resources, such as the idiot ones around the grass-roots and development officers and the unwillingness to just make a credible decision and stick with it.
 
So... please, tell us and the RFL what they should do, taking into account the wider financial state of the game and what other resources they have available to them

The RFL could try leading.....
They suggested merging ( as the Aussies did) they soon backed down . They brought in Franchising and did away with P&R, now they have decided to bring it back so that some Yorkshire pit village can replace a team from the nations capital. I know the public haven't flocked to watch the Broncos but has the RFL done anything to really push the game forward?
Clearly not as we get little or no media coverage and do not have a major sponsor. How will concentrating on the heartlands increase the numbers through the gate?
When some potential investor is looking to put some money into the game will he be impressed that a small town in the north can attract as many as 5-10 thousand people?
If we were to ask the NRL to devise a model for us so that we could emulate them, you can guarantee they would insist that there should be mergers and no P&R.
We claim that that model is foreign to our culture, well it might be but if we are to grow the game something has to change.
There is that saying that it is madness to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.
Our game is not growing and we need a radical approach or we will wither away.
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#19 dkw

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:17 PM

That is very simplistic and completely ignores the dominance in sport of soccer in this country. If the NRL were up against such an omnipresent monster in Australia do you honestly think it would be in the same position it finds itself in now?

Exactly right, comparing RL in oz to RL in England is a nonsense.

Edited by dkw, 25 August 2013 - 07:17 PM.


#20 ChrisGS

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:47 PM

In defence of my point, I think some of you have missed it.

 

Football was not always an all-encompassing, monolithic sport in this country. It's become what it is, leaving other sports with little breathing room, precisely because of failures on behalf of other sports.

 

AFL could very well have the same presence throughout Australia as football does in this country but it doesn't, and the reason it doesn't is because the people running rugby league in Australia are competent, where as the people running rugby league in England have allowed the sport to be beaten black and blue.

 

That was my actual point, that rugby league fans in England use football as a cop out for the ongoing failures of the people in charge of our game.

 

I think sometimes British league fans severely underestimate just how big AFL is and just how much bigger it would be if not for the success of rugby league in the eastern states. The difference is that while rugby league in northern strongholds(in England) has become an abject failure and allowed football to walk all over it, rugby league in Australia has run itself properly and maintained its strength in the likes of NSW and Queensland.

 

There are other countries we could talk about with one dominant code, but with other sports thriving, but Australia is truly the best example because the parallels are obvious, despite what some here like to believe. If there is a difference it's that rugby league in Australia has been managed properly and didn't fold in the face of competition, where as rugby league in this country has.






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