Jump to content


League Express

Podcast

Photo
- - - - -

London Rugby League - Any Answers?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Jasper

Jasper
  • Coach
  • 336 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:11 AM

I think I can see why it is so hard to get teams into the London Premier League, and wondered what others think.   I am not having a go at any clubs, just the system.  Last Saturday I went to watch London Skolars A team play Hemel Stags A team in the London premiership.  What I saw was a Skolars team with a lot of their Championship players in, playing against a Hemel team with not quite as many Champioship players in.  I got talking to someone from Skolars and asked where the rest of their A team were, and was told that they had been playing in their 'B' team in the London Merit League against a St Albans development squad.  That got me wondering as to why any club from the first division or merit league would want to step up into a league where, out of five teams, there are two Championship teams who seem to regularly field A teams with Championship level players, and another team, SWLondon Chargers, who's team is full of very good Aussies, South Sea Islanders and ex-pat Northerners. (Couple of weeks ago at one of the Chargers games, I asked a player  how many Londoners they had in their first team, and he said 'This game, one'.)  The other two teams, Rhinos and Cents (probably because of their locations) seem to be teams made up in the main of local lads with a couple of northerners.

 

So I was wondering if a 'quota' system would work to even out the league and make other clubs consider joining.  Maybe have a rule that limits a club to the number of Championship players it has in its A team to three, and/or when a team plays, half its named game day squad should be UK nationals or born in the UK.  Would this type of thing even things out and make this league more attractive to other teams with a more limited pool of players, or would it stifle the teams.  Any thoughts.



#2 Number 16

Number 16
  • Coach
  • 6,322 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:57 AM

I think you can also add West Warriors and HHH to the mix; they're both predominantly Antipodean, and although they're in the Merit League both could step up to the Premier with ease if on-field strength was the sole criteria.

 

I don't think that setting a quota is the answer - or even legally permissable. The idea that by having by a quota overseas players excluded from that number would look around for another club is fanciful. I think we'd end up with fewer players and fewer clubs.


SOUTH LONDON STORM - 1997-2014


#3 London Drifter

London Drifter
  • Coach
  • 107 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:53 PM

Jasper - your facts are wrong.

From the team lists on their website Chargers have fielded the following English players in their first team games.

1 - 9
2 - 8
3 - 9
4 - 10
5 - 9
6 - 6
7 - 9
8 - 11

Average of just under 9 per game.

Edited by London Drifter, 25 June 2014 - 12:58 PM.


#4 bowes

bowes
  • Coach
  • 10,974 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 02:13 PM

I think we should be aspiring to match the London premier to CLS standards and not drag it down. But if that's not possible I guess you'd have to put the C1 reserve sides in CLS and put Rhinos and St Albans in an improved East premier but I can't work out where Chargers would fit into such a model

#5 Roy Haggerty

Roy Haggerty
  • Coach
  • 122 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 03:25 PM

With respect, I don't think this is the issue at all in the London League this season.

 

The issue is call-offs. In my opinion we have too many different comps going, and with the exception of the London Prem, they're all suffering from the old problem of unreliable clubs. I don't think anything kills amateur clubs faster than an inability to provide a weekly game to create a routine for players to plan around.

 

For example, having reffed quite a few clubs this year, I'd say that Beckenham, Medway and Wests could all benefit enormously from stepping up. They wouldn't necessarily beat the likes of Chargers or Skolars (although the difference in standard isn't as great as one might think), but I reckon all those clubs would rather have a competition where they knew they were guaranteed to play each weekend, with some losses, than a comp where they might go (in the case of Medway) 9 weeks without a home game because of failure to travel.

 

Personally, I think there's a strong case for an enlarged top division of reliable clubs, with a longer season; and a London&SE merit league, again with a larger number of clubs in, which would allow those clubs having good seasons to find an opponent more weeks than not.



#6 Jasper

Jasper
  • Coach
  • 336 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:05 PM

Jasper - your facts are wrong.

From the team lists on their website Chargers have fielded the following English players in their first team games.
 

I didn't say there are no English players in the team, in the original post I said ' the team is full of very good Aussies, South Sea Islanders and ex-pat Northerners'.  I then said 'I asked a player how many Londoners they had in their first team' not English players.  In other words, how many' locals', meaning how well was  local development going. 

I was just wondering if there was a way to make the league a more level playing field so future teams might think about joining.



#7 London Drifter

London Drifter
  • Coach
  • 107 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:25 PM

I didn't say there are no English players in the team, in the original post, I said ' the team is full of very good Aussies, South Sea Islanders and ex-pat Northerners'. I then said 'I asked a player how many Londoners they had in their first team' not English players. In other words, how many' locals', meaning how well was local development going.
I was just wondering if there was a way to make the league a more level playing field so future teams might think about joining.


Define "Londoner" - it's probably the most diverse City in the world, how long do you have to live in a City before it's your home?

Such a pointless topic - stop half the team from playing ... that will get more games played 😳

#8 Jasper

Jasper
  • Coach
  • 336 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:02 PM

Sorry LD, didn't think I would have to explain what I meant.  It was just a suggestion to try and get a discussion going to see if anyone had any suggestions to make the game in London a bit  'bigger and better' for species and players.  I thought a bit of pleasant banter would ensue, suggestions, counter suggestions, that sort of thing, between people who care for the greatest game, and maybe a good idea might pop up.   Ah well ...... 


Edited by Jasper, 25 June 2014 - 08:14 PM.


#9 bowes

bowes
  • Coach
  • 10,974 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:29 PM

Maybe if 5 teams stepped up together to make a 10 team division you'd get diverse standards and so new clubs would only get a few thrashings, whereas they'd get too many stepping up as team 6? The risk is that 10 drops down to 8 then 6 again as teams drop out.

#10 Roy Haggerty

Roy Haggerty
  • Coach
  • 122 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:58 PM

Maybe if 5 teams stepped up together to make a 10 team division you'd get diverse standards and so new clubs would only get a few thrashings, whereas they'd get too many stepping up as team 6? The risk is that 10 drops down to 8 then 6 again as teams drop out.

 

That is always a risk. However, at present we have good, or potentially good, clubs being killed off by a lack of fixtures. As you say, it's about size. If you bring up just one club, and they get beat by the top 5 prem clubs every week, then they're not going to do well by the experience. However, bring up four or five, and you have half your games of a decent competitive standard, and the other half are targets to try and raise your game to compete with. Nobody likes losing every week, but nobody needs to win every week either. What everybody does want, however, is to play every week, win or lose.

 

Having done the rounds at the midpoint of the season, I'd say a top SE division of :

 

Chargers

Skolars

Rhinos

Hemel

St Albans

Wests

Beckenham

Medway

Newham

Elmbridge

 

All those clubs are within reasonable travel of each other (Rhinos are the stalwart long-distance guys). Within that group, you have effectively two halves (well, 6-4) of roughly equal ability. Medway, Beckenham, Elmbridge and Newham will give each other good contests, while they'll have to play to their best to match the other 6 (Wests are a very strong side). Although having said that, I think the standard of those four is pretty good by comparison to some other regions.

 

I suspect all those four clubs would rather be playing a guaranteed game every week knowing that they'll probably finish bottom half, than carry on as they are missing every other game due to a cry off. To keep them in with a chance of winning some silverware, there's always the possibility of splitting the league towards the end and playing separate cup/shield competitions based on league placings.

 

There's no perfect solution here, but based on what I've seen, and talking to people around the league, I don't think the status quo is a runner if we want to keep clubs for next year.



#11 London Drifter

London Drifter
  • Coach
  • 107 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:19 PM

Spot on Roy

#12 bowes

bowes
  • Coach
  • 10,974 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:02 PM

I'd have North Herts in ahead of Elmbridge (who aren't the side they were) but think the rough format is probably a goer. Doubt clubs are ready for 18 games so you could probably have sides play each other once as a division then once in a 6-4 split? Giving 14 games at the top at 12 at the bottom.

#13 Roy Haggerty

Roy Haggerty
  • Coach
  • 122 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:46 PM

I think Elmbridge will come good. They're a strong club who currently have one of their weaker teams, historically. I don't think there's any danger of them turning their toes up, and if they can do a bit of recruitment in the close season they should be ok for next year. North Herts I can't comment on - never seen them. My only yardstick for comparison this year is I did a couple of games at Bedford involving Brentwood and Southend. I'd say that any of the ten sides I named above from the London&SE regions would normally beat any of those three Eastern region sides fairly comfortably. Unless North Herts are significantly better than Bedford, I think they'd be better off staying in the Eastern competition.

 

Just thinking out loud really. Purely selfish too - I've had a lot of my matches cried off this year, and if that's frustrating for me as a ref, it must be gutting for the players of the team which has been let down.



#14 bowes

bowes
  • Coach
  • 10,974 posts

Posted 26 June 2014 - 08:54 AM

In short North Herts are significantly better than Bedford, who are one of the weaker sides in east premier. They'd be one of the first sides you'd ask to step up and they have reserves and juniors. St Ives are decent on the field though they're a one team club so unsure if they'd manage travelling

Edited by bowes, 26 June 2014 - 08:55 AM.


#15 bbfaz

bbfaz
  • Coach
  • 218 posts

Posted 26 June 2014 - 09:05 AM

When we played Chargers A, their side was full of local lads or London RL stalwarts.   The latter aren't working visa guys or in London for work, these players are long-term residents.  Can't speak for the first grade, we don't really know those guys quite as well.   However, in saying that, it is a point of pride at our club that all bar about four players in our squad are local lads, some of whom never played league before.

 

The aim for us is to be a solid Premier club but we have to take baby steps.  I've spoken to RH before about how we've improved as a team.  We went to golden point against St Albans in the cup in a game people thought we should have won.  However, would a longer season work for us when we're reliant on a lot of dual-code players?  Not sure.  Right now, the focus is on fulfilling our fixtures, winning the Div 1 minor premiership and then trying to win the Grand Final.  Next season, it's about trying to add a development team.  In my view, when we get two grades, we will have the stability required for the Premier.


Edited by bbfaz, 26 June 2014 - 09:54 AM.

Beckenham Bears RL - Rugby League in South East London

 


#16 bowes

bowes
  • Coach
  • 10,974 posts

Posted 26 June 2014 - 12:20 PM

Esher have pulled out of London 1. Would there be merit in combining the reliable sides from London 1 and South East or would travel be too big a problem?

South East worked well last year but can't be good for Medway to go 2 months without a home game. Medway aren't the top side in the division by any stretch though

#17 tim2

tim2
  • Coach
  • 8,330 posts

Posted 26 June 2014 - 11:25 PM

The Midlands went for the bigger league option and it's probably better although it has seen off the Chargers and NEW Ravens are adrift in terms of standard.

In my opinion dual reg at this tier with Championship players shouldn't be allowed but if Skolars and Hemel dont want to go in CLS then that would give them, and the league, a problem.
North Derbyshire Chargers - join the stampede

Marathon in 2015 - the hard work starts now

#18 bbfaz

bbfaz
  • Coach
  • 218 posts

Posted 27 June 2014 - 10:33 AM

Esher have pulled out of London 1. Would there be merit in combining the reliable sides from London 1 and South East or would travel be too big a problem?

South East worked well last year but can't be good for Medway to go 2 months without a home game. Medway aren't the top side in the division by any stretch though

 

We'd be getting into a similar sort of structure to Union there, who act as if London doesn't exist and has the teams play in their traditional counties of Essex, Kent, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Middlesex.  However, if you act as though London doesn't exist and tried to group teams based on geography, it wouldn't affect us very much.  Gillingham and Tunbridge Wells are further away but it takes the same amount of time to get there as it would to West Ham, Hinchley Wood and Motspur Park.  My concern would be that it would isolate Newham.


Beckenham Bears RL - Rugby League in South East London

 


#19 Bedford Roughyed

Bedford Roughyed
  • Moderator
  • 5,290 posts

Posted 11 August 2014 - 09:29 AM

In short North Herts are significantly better than Bedford, who are one of the weaker sides in east premier. They'd be one of the first sides you'd ask to step up and they have reserves and juniors. St Ives are decent on the field though they're a one team club so unsure if they'd manage travelling

 

Ahem.... :P


With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users