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The Challenge Cup Final vs NRL


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#21 redjonn

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:04 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.

 

To some extent I think I agree with some aspects of your comment.   I do agree that RL here should have focused much more on its core foundation and then from a stronger core it could look at expansion.   No doubts that the NRL whilst in quite a relative narrow local area in comparison to whole of Australia has ensured its core base is strong.

 

I have always believed that RL here have wasted time and effort in the past in the way it has chosen to focus it expansion plans, worthy that expansion is.   Their has and continues to be opportunity to grow the game in the core whilst looking to grow the game from grass roots else. Rather than its head strong focus on the super league expansion it chose.  Wasted time and effort.    Even along the M62 corridor the game is far from saturated amongst its home and that's not including Manchester.

 

But I do think your initial comments where a little too strong in its criticism.



#22 koli

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:59 AM

"Abject failure"? Overall attendances are their highest since the early 60s ,more people playing than ever before ,better facilities etc etc  and this despite fighting  on two fronts against the rise and rise of Premiership soccer and the growth of professional club RU.

In England and Aus (and America,Spain,Italy...) the decision around which was the primary winter code of football was decided roughly between 1885 and 1910.

Apart from France in the 1930s Is there any example of a mass switch of spectator allegiance to another code in a major sporting market? 



#23 Mr Wind Up

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:59 AM

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.

 

The Football League average in 1914 was 16,359. In 1949 it was 22,318. Last season it was 14,349. In other words, its always been bigger. Are you talking about mismanagement from RL administrators in the 19th century, or the 21st century? Football cemented its dominance a long time ago. Contrary to what you seem to think, it didn't happen with the advent of the Premier League. 

 

The reason why Australia is fairly split in its sporting interests is because Sydney/Brisbane started out as rugby league cities, while Melbourne/Adelaide/Perth started out as Aussie Rules cities. Because their major cities are separated by hundreds of miles, those sports were free to dominate their cities without encroachment for over a 100 years. They were able to dictate their own cultural traits without cross contamination, something that is basically impossible in an island the size of Britain. 

 

For you, Australia is a prime example of RL resilience against another competitor, while RL in UK is an example of letting football walk all over it. If the people of Australia had adopted football and not shunned it early, RL in Australia would in all likelihood find itself in an all too familiar position in Australia too. 


Edited by Mr Wind Up, 26 August 2013 - 04:01 AM.


#24 808tone

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:13 AM

A sell out would for the CC would of happenend if the final was moved to Old Trafford or better still Cardiff with a closed roof so no dropped as much.

Also the NRL is having a rough time at the moment with a big decline in crowd's and TV rating's alongside the AFL and Aussie Soccer doing very well.



#25 Kenilworth Tiger

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:44 AM

A sell out would for the CC would of happenend if the final was moved to Old Trafford or better still Cardiff with a closed roof so no dropped as much.


You honestly think that people didn't buy tickets in advance because they thought it would rain and there would be loads of knock ons?
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

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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.


#26 Ponterover

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:04 AM

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.

 

Well that's 6 minutes and 32 seconds of my life that I'll never get back, thanks for that.



#27 deluded pom?

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:57 AM

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.

Hull only had about one third of the total possession so you could argue that two thirds of their game was great. Unfortunately the third where they had the ball was abysmal. Hull didn't turn up with the ball in their hands but still didn't get beaten easily as you suggest. You could argue that whilst Hull were pitiful with the ball Wigan could only post sixteen points, with six coming late in the game, after having overwhelming possession. It takes two to make a great game and two to make a game like Saturday's. Wigan were a bit better than Hull but not by much when taking into account the possession each team had.

Edited by deluded pom?, 26 August 2013 - 07:58 AM.

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#28 redjonn

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:04 AM

A sell out would for the CC would of happenend if the final was moved to Old Trafford or better still Cardiff with a closed roof so no dropped as much.

Also the NRL is having a rough time at the moment with a big decline in crowd's and TV rating's alongside the AFL and Aussie Soccer doing very well.

 

Old Trafford maybe or even the Etihad for ease of travel of the core but I enjoy Wembley because you can make a weekend of it plus its historical traditions - nice to keep some although we should not be afraid of starting what will become new traditions.

For me Cardiff is too difficult travel wise for me and not a place I want to spend a weekend in comparison to London, and I still can't understand why it was chosen for what is an important opening of the World Cup - not surprised if they have most difficulty in selling tickets in comparison to the other RLWC show case events.

Yep, weather impacts but then its good to see the team that best copes with the demands of the weather, whether that be hot baked surface or the wet Wembley we had.  Has always been a key component of the game.


Edited by redjonn, 26 August 2013 - 11:05 AM.


#29 DeadShotKeen

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:39 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.


Excellent post.

Lots of frustrating "We can never topple soccer, it's not fair, they've got the game sown up etc. etc." defeatism on here, as ever. Frankly not good enough. We live in a mass media age with lots of competing entertainments (not just sport). If your product is good you can get it out there like never before. No-one has promised soccer the eternal rights to the British sporting psyche, it just hasn't been challenged yet and clearly not by our own great game, which has done precious little to help itself and shown a general collective unwillingness to expand beyond its heartlands, not least since the introduction of Barwick.

Has the NRL benefited from the fact that rugby league enjoys a strong history in Australia? Undoubtedly.
But has it rested on its laurels, left things as is and displayed a general indifferent, self-satisfying inertia to get where it is today? It has not. It has barely stood still since the 1990s, making brave decision after brave decision to deliver a league based on the successful North American franchise model.
Would it be where it is now if it hadn't done that? I think that is highly unlikely.
If the Sydney-centric league of the 1980s were still in evidence today with all of the historic clubs and perhaps a P&R system, how popular do we think NRL would be? My guess is it would be popular within Brisbane and Sydney to some degree but with some fan frustration even in these heartlands. And practically unable to get arrested elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand. Sound familiar?

Flip this the other way:

Has Super League been hindered by the long-standing popularity of soccer in the UK? Undoubtedly.
However, has it busted a gut to create the most exciting, sustainable product whilst growing into new areas? It has not. It has done next to nothing to modernise or grow in any way.
When soccer dominates our TV screens we can hardly leap to our feet and say "Why are you all watching this tosh? Get Super League on instead!" because all we can offer them are a bunch of good games between our few elite heartland sides (Leeds, Wigan, St Helens) and they already have those via Man Utd, Man City & Chelsea and furthermore in a sport enjoyed (for whatever reason) from John O' Groats to Lands End rather than just in a small concentrated area of the North. Why would our sporting media want a smaller, more parochial facsimile of their biggest seller? There is no Earthly reason.

More games like St Helens-Catalan of last season, however, and the job becomes much easier. You see games like that every week in NRL. And clearly these games come about by leveling the playing field, not by bailing on/scaring the bejeesus out of hard-working expansion sides like Catalan and stuffing St Helens' bellies ever fatter by bringing back P&R and the vile hierarchy it engenders.

Few people - I think - dislike rugby league, the majority of them have just not been exposed to it and - more crucially - explicitly included in its future. Not just the UK but the entire world is rugby league's for the taking. But like everything it must modernise, something only the Aussies have so far recognised.

#30 John Drake

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:08 PM

A sell out would for the CC would of happenend if the final was moved to Old Trafford or better still Cardiff with a closed roof so no dropped as much.

 

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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#31 John Drake

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:17 PM

Excellent post.

Lots of frustrating "We can never topple soccer, it's not fair, they've got the game sown up etc. etc." defeatism on here, as ever. Frankly not good enough. We live in a mass media age with lots of competing entertainments (not just sport). If your product is good you can get it out there like never before. No-one has promised soccer the eternal rights to the British sporting psyche, it just hasn't been challenged yet and clearly not by our own great game, which has done precious little to help itself and shown a general collective unwillingness to expand beyond its heartlands, not least since the introduction of Barwick.

Has the NRL benefited from the fact that rugby league enjoys a strong history in Australia? Undoubtedly.
But has it rested on its laurels, left things as is and displayed a general indifferent, self-satisfying inertia to get where it is today? It has not. It has barely stood still since the 1990s, making brave decision after brave decision to deliver a league based on the successful North American franchise model.
Would it be where it is now if it hadn't done that? I think that is highly unlikely.
If the Sydney-centric league of the 1980s were still in evidence today with all of the historic clubs and perhaps a P&R system, how popular do we think NRL would be? My guess is it would be popular within Brisbane and Sydney to some degree but with some fan frustration even in these heartlands. And practically unable to get arrested elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand. Sound familiar?

Flip this the other way:

Has Super League been hindered by the long-standing popularity of soccer in the UK? Undoubtedly.
However, has it busted a gut to create the most exciting, sustainable product whilst growing into new areas? It has not. It has done next to nothing to modernise or grow in any way.
When soccer dominates our TV screens we can hardly leap to our feet and say "Why are you all watching this tosh? Get Super League on instead!" because all we can offer them are a bunch of good games between our few elite heartland sides (Leeds, Wigan, St Helens) and they already have those via Man Utd, Man City & Chelsea and furthermore in a sport enjoyed (for whatever reason) from John O' Groats to Lands End rather than just in a small concentrated area of the North. Why would our sporting media want a smaller, more parochial facsimile of their biggest seller? There is no Earthly reason.

More games like St Helens-Catalan of last season, however, and the job becomes much easier. You see games like that every week in NRL. And clearly these games come about by leveling the playing field, not by bailing on/scaring the bejeesus out of hard-working expansion sides like Catalan and stuffing St Helens' bellies ever fatter by bringing back P&R and the vile hierarchy it engenders.

Few people - I think - dislike rugby league, the majority of them have just not been exposed to it and - more crucially - explicitly included in its future. Not just the UK but the entire world is rugby league's for the taking. But like everything it must modernise, something only the Aussies have so far recognised.

 

If people who profess to love the game spent a bit of time evangelising about it to potential new supporters instead of moaning about how unutterably useless every godforsaken aspect of it is, we might get half a yard down the road towards achieving some of what you want.

 

That said, and taking into account the reality of the situation the British game finds itself in and its chronic lack of finance - how would you go about achieving what you want, if you were the boss at the RFL, without waving a magic wand or spending money that doesn't exist?

 

Lets try turn this into a positive thread about workable, affordable  and achievable progress, rather than lots of no solution spleen venting. (He said, in hope more than expectation).


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#32 JohnM

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:39 PM

If people who profess to love the game spent a bit of time evangelising about it to potential new supporters instead of moaning about how unutterably useless every godforsaken aspect of it is, we might get half a yard down the road towards achieving some of what you want.

 

That said, and taking into account the reality of the situation the British game finds itself in and its chronic lack of finance - how would you go about achieving what you want, if you were the boss at the RFL, without waving a magic wand or spending money that doesn't exist?

 

Lets try turn this into a positive thread about workable, affordable  and achievable progress, rather than lots of no solution spleen venting. (He said, in hope more than expectation).

 

 

Good luck with that!!! 

 

For me it was a tense riveting game and the outcome uncertain till Tomkins piece of magic right at the very end.  A great defensive performance from Hull.  They were focussed, concentrated, held their lines, position and structure, and we fast off the mark. used the off-load more effectively than Wigan and at times their fast PTB and forward momentum had Wigan on the back foot.Just one or two more Wigan mistakes and just one or two fewer Hull errors and the result would have been different.

 

As for rain ruining the game..did it ruin it in 1968?



#33 deluded pom?

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:11 PM

Again DSK is simplistic in his argument. The great split of 1895 damaged both codes of rugby and opened the way for football to flourish. It's not simply a case of football doing tons of hard work and reaping the rewards years later. RU did all it could to stifle RL whilst clinging on to an unsustainable Corinthian spirit of amateurism that was doomed to implode sooner or later. Unfortunately for them it was later as they wasted time and energy undermining RL while football stole rugby's thunder and became the people's game whether we like that fact or not. It's not simply a case of get out there and create a competitive league from top to bottom using licensing and the British people will fall at our feet. Football now has a hugely favourable media fighting it's corner 24/7/52. The best we could currently hope for is media coverage on a par with RU IF we are lucky.

Edited by deluded pom?, 26 August 2013 - 03:20 PM.

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#34 giwildgo

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:35 PM

DSK having another dummy spit I see...if you don't like SL don't watch it, but don't sneer at those that still enjoy it. You moaned about the franchising set up favouring big clubs, now you are anti relegation. You didn't watch the cup final, then you did. You stopped watching SL, but still seem to watch it. Do us a favour and save your energy next time, instead of trooping out the same NRL good / SL bad lines that yourself and Petero seem to revel in. We get the point - but most of us enjoy watching RL in its different guises, rather than comparing all the time.

Edited by giwildgo, 26 August 2013 - 08:03 PM.


#35 Saintslass

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:27 PM

Again DSK is simplistic in his argument. The great split of 1895 damaged both codes of rugby and opened the way for football to flourish. It's not simply a case of football doing tons of hard work and reaping the rewards years later. RU did all it could to stifle RL whilst clinging on to an unsustainable Corinthian spirit of amateurism that was doomed to implode sooner or later. Unfortunately for them it was later as they wasted time and energy undermining RL while football stole rugby's thunder and became the people's game whether we like that fact or not. It's not simply a case of get out there and create a competitive league from top to bottom using licensing and the British people will fall at our feet. Football now has a hugely favourable media fighting it's corner 24/7/52. The best we could currently hope for is media coverage on a par with RU IF we are lucky.

I actually found all this out in a programme Clare Balding hosted on sport generally but one episode focused on rugby league.  I didn't realise how close rugby came to becoming the national sport; but for the split and ongoing feuding it could have been as it was more popular at the time than soccer.



#36 petero

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:24 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

 

What a load of codswallop that is!

Apart from acceptedly the well known, to all and sundry, cash discrepencies that do exist when making comparison with the NRL and if you want R/Union?

Yet to go on and blame the weather for the reason that a match has turned out as poor as Saturday's did, well thats at best stretching the excuse seeking a step farther than can be accepted.

 

I can recall the watersplash final, y'know the Don Fox missed kick? Er Leeds V Wakefield, eh?

The rain on that occasion made Saturdays showers seem like drizzle, but still the game itself was one of excitement and nail biting suspense throughout AND, with a lot less mishandling of the ball than in Saturday too.

 

I am quite unconcerned as to what the R/L can do for whatever that is, or amounts to, will certainly occur without any input from me anyway.

Yet the players from Hull last weekend cannot lay blame upon the conditions, nor I doubt would they themselves even attempt either, yet you attempt to do so on their behalf.

It does you no favours at all to come up with such a lameheaded and frankly contemptuous excuse for what was one of the poorest finals in memory, in fact few (if any) games at all would be stryving with some difficulty to match its mediocrity, never mind finals being compared to do so!! 



#37 RSN

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:51 PM

What a load of codswallop that is!
Apart from acceptedly the well known, to all and sundry, cash discrepencies that do exist when making comparison with the NRL and if you want R/Union?
Yet to go on and blame the weather for the reason that a match has turned out as poor as Saturday's did, well thats at best stretching the excuse seeking a step farther than can be accepted.

I can recall the watersplash final, y'know the Don Fox missed kick? Er Leeds V Wakefield, eh?
The rain on that occasion made Saturdays showers seem like drizzle, but still the game itself was one of excitement and nail biting suspense throughout AND, with a lot less mishandling of the ball than in Saturday too.

I am quite unconcerned as to what the R/L can do for whatever that is, or amounts to, will certainly occur without any input from me anyway.
Yet the players from Hull last weekend cannot lay blame upon the conditions, nor I doubt would they themselves even attempt either, yet you attempt to do so on their behalf.
It does you no favours at all to come up with such a lameheaded and frankly contemptuous excuse for what was one of the poorest finals in memory, in fact few (if any) games at all would be stryving with some difficulty to match its mediocrity, never mind finals being compared to do so!!


You still don't answer what the RFL should do. It's the same theme with everyone who slates the RFL, they get asked what they should do and they never reply.

I don't see how you can't blame the weather for the poor standard of game on Saturday. You can't blame the sides, seeing as the worse team on the day competed in a semi final which was a higher standard than the majority of NRL games.

Answer the question what should the RFL do, if draw 100 million from their backsides was an option I'm sure they would take it.

#38 petero

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:58 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.

 

B/Kid: I also have doubts on the merits of Sam Tomkins within the NRL, although I do agree that here in the S/L he is the most potent attacking player there is. But the quality of the F/Backs within the NRL is such that I would even question why NZ Warriors are wanting him in that role, or more importantly, if they do?

 

I would say that Tomkins does possibly have a slight superiority over Kevin Locke when taking all the facets of each others games into consideration but I would not be prepared to say that Tomkins is a better F/Back than Locke!

On the contrary I do not believe that he is and When (barring injury) Locke comes over with the Kiwis as expected, you may also change your opinions to when he plays and you watch him.

 

Matt Bowen, although at the wrong end of his career may also surprise you in that position too should he come as seems planned to play for Wigan, for as good as Sam is as a player I do not believe that he would, as you claim, walk into any NRL side at F/Back, as it seems you are implying that he would. 

 

Barba, Dugan, Bowen,Gorden, Hoffman, Locke, Hayne, Inglis, Minechello etc. All are safer under high balls, defend as well, if not better and, are able to run the ball out with as much aplomb, again maybe even better than Tompkins.

He possibly has an edge on some of them at evasiveness but not by any means in the F/Back position is Sam, overall a far superior player than any of them.

 

The quality of their F/Backs is of a standard we do not compare with generally throughout the S/L and far from automatically becoming the stand out F/Back he will have to go up a few classes even to prove to be that only, never mind being the best player or back over there, it is as so many say a different ballgame altogether, believe me.



#39 808tone

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:24 PM

Old Trafford maybe or even the Etihad for ease of travel of the core but I enjoy Wembley because you can make a weekend of it plus its historical traditions - nice to keep some although we should not be afraid of starting what will become new traditions.

For me Cardiff is too difficult travel wise for me and not a place I want to spend a weekend in comparison to London, and I still can't understand why it was chosen for what is an important opening of the World Cup - not surprised if they have most difficulty in selling tickets in comparison to the other RLWC show case events.

Yep, weather impacts but then its good to see the team that best copes with the demands of the weather, whether that be hot baked surface or the wet Wembley we had.  Has always been a key component of the game.

Old Wembley like the old Central Park and Knowsley Rd was great for the CC as be it 72000 or 90000 it would alway's looked full.



#40 RSN

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:14 PM

B/Kid: I also have doubts on the merits of Sam Tomkins within the NRL, although I do agree that here in the S/L he is the most potent attacking player there is. But the quality of the F/Backs within the NRL is such that I would even question why NZ Warriors are wanting him in that role, or more importantly, if they do?

I would say that Tomkins does possibly have a slight superiority over Kevin Locke when taking all the facets of each others games into consideration but I would not be prepared to say that Tomkins is a better F/Back than Locke!
On the contrary I do not believe that he is and When (barring injury) Locke comes over with the Kiwis as expected, you may also change your opinions to when he plays and you watch him.

Matt Bowen, although at the wrong end of his career may also surprise you in that position too should he come as seems planned to play for Wigan, for as good as Sam is as a player I do not believe that he would, as you claim, walk into any NRL side at F/Back, as it seems you are implying that he would.

Barba, Dugan, Bowen,Gorden, Hoffman, Locke, Hayne, Inglis, Minechello etc. All are safer under high balls, defend as well, if not better and, are able to run the ball out with as much aplomb, again maybe even better than Tompkins.
He possibly has an edge on some of them at evasiveness but not by any means in the F/Back position is Sam, overall a far superior player than any of them.

The quality of their F/Backs is of a standard we do not compare with generally throughout the S/L and far from automatically becoming the stand out F/Back he will have to go up a few classes even to prove to be that only, never mind being the best player or back over there, it is as so many say a different ballgame altogether, believe me.


Sam not being safe under the high ball is slowly becoming a myth. He did have his problems a couple of seasons ago but they are have nearly been rid of completely from his game, along with the little niggles and bad attitude. If you can find 3 instances of Sam dropping a high ball in the last year I'll be very surprised. I can't recall more than one if I'm honest, although I am restricted to only watching Wigan on SL full time and when they are on SKY/BBC so someone who watches them week in week out can probably how much he has dropped it.

The standard of full backs is high in the NRL, but if you think Sam will struggle you are being blinded by sheer bias towards the NRL. Obviously the comparison between players is hard to make as they rarely face eachother but when Sam faced Aus and NZ in the 4N in 2011 he excelled. If you watch the first game against Aus he was involved heavily in all the tries. Making 60m breaks against NZ between 6 players it was all there to see.

His stats in the SL are incomparable to any other player. You mention the only thing Sam is good at his being evasive, you obviously havent watched SL in the last couple of years as his overall game has developed immensely. He offers so much more to Wigan than his attacking threat, the same with Sean O Loughlin in the Wigan side they offer so much to the organisation to the side and helping their side when it comes to reading the game. I'm sure most Wigan fans will confirm how important to the Wigan side both these players are.

You'll think that Tomkins will struggle in the NRL which is up to you. Any stat from SL won't change your mind. Any video clip from SL or against international opposition won't change your mind. We'll just have to wait to see if he goes to the NRL to make a judgement.

But back on thread, can you answer CKN's question of what else can the RFL do?




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