Although I grew up in a League heartland we were forced to play Union at school, however come the weekend we all played League.
Exactly the same with me. I played Stand Off for the local RL team on a Sunday and Fly Half for school, it was frustrating as hell. On numerous occasions I was dropped from the school team for "not kicking the ball" when in possession in our own half (even though we were making more ground moving the ball about???).
In our last ever game for school we decided as a team to try and play as much rugby league as possible. We kept the ball in play at every opportunity, didn't commit forwards to rucks, had shortened lineouts, attacked from every part of the pitch etc etc. We won the game by about 70 points. We did however get the mother of all rollickings from the PE teacher and Headmaster for not playing the game "in the right spirit"
I was exposed to both codes in equal measure as a youngster. I was won over to League due to its physicality, speed and skill as well as an extremely good coach who emphasised fun and enjoyment. The latter point is the major factor that relates to all junior sport IMO and is often overlooked in pursuit of winning.
Well he must be bored now ! What a load of drivel that was 80 minutes of very little ! He is on for 18 minutes touches the ball twice and zero tackles, welcome to retirement Sam!
Sounds like his plan is working perfectly to me.
Cash in for a year or too playing Union, raise his profile (as hard as that is for us Leaguies to swallow), give his body a bit of a rest to extend his playing career then return to South's on an increased salary.
One "Union" man who agrees that Sam Burgess should have been nominated for SPOTY is Brian Moore.
I heard him on Talksport earlier this week singing his praises on what an outstanding year he had just had at the Rabbitohs.
I used to think Moore was really up himself, but recently he has gone up in my estimation. Apart from Jiffy, he is the only commentator of either code who appears to genuinely enjoy both games and does not envolved himself in sly digs or patronising sounding faux appreciation of their rival sport.
The country seems to be producing more top players than ever before. Why should the majority have to play in Australia to make a good living?
Sadly I fear that Perth and another Queensland team would be more favourably looked upon by the NRL. Maybe if they look at a 2 division structure or 2 geographical conferences whereby they need another 4 or more teams, they may get a shot.
That's not the issue. There are schoolboys in the Australian system who are not 100% Australian. The rep side is for boys who attend an Australian school. The likes of Benji Marshall played because that's what he was. His national allegiance didn't come into it because it's not a national rep side. What next? The Australians really are becoming paranoid.
Ahh, I didn't realise it wasn't a national rep side. I fully agree with your comments. The Aussies need reigning in.
Watching the game of NZ v Samoa when it looked like an unlikely win got me thinking about fairy tale results and how rare they seem to be in RL.
It seems to be the one element that is genuinely missing from our sport.
Does our sport need more of these kind of endings?
Do you have a favourite fairy tale result?
Are they as rare as I think?
Results where big underdogs topple the heavily fancied team are relatively rare in Rugby League in my opinion.
The physical nature of the game dictates that it is likely you will concede points if you are under a sustained barrage of pressure. In football say, a flukey goal scored in a teams only attack of the match could be the winner. I would say it is less physically demanding to defend for large periods in football than League.
Looking at Union, if it's a scrappy, penalty ridden affair in the middle of the pitch (most games ) then it can become a case of who has the best kicker. As there are so many technical infringements that can be called at set pieces, penalties and goal kicking opportunities can be readily won to upset the rhythm of the favourites.
The secret of good Rugby League is to have two evenly matched sides going head to head. for that reason Samoa's performances over the last 12 months are great for the international game.
So are England still a disgrace after this morning's Samoa v NZ game? Or was it a rusty performance which will get better tomorrow?
Samoa have to be considered a top tier nation. I just hope they are given plenty of meaningful fixtures next year so their players remain loyal to them. A game or two in Apia can only be a good thing for the development of RL there.
Ideally, because of the effect from whether. But in practice it is impossible to build many Rugby, Football, Hockey, Cricket stadiums with roof. (My hometown Football/Rugby stadium has movable roof) So in practice most games will be played outdoors in the foreseeable future.
Why not just play matches on a computer?
The playing area size, weather conditions, player size, slope of the ground, softness of the pitch, difference in goalpost height, proximity of the fans, loudness of the refs whistle etc etc all are part of the cocktail of ingredients that make all sport interesting and unpredictable.
One look at Mike Tindall's face should tell you something about the centres.
Or maybe that his one and only tactic was to run straight at people with no footwork and rarely looking to offload to his winger. He made it easy for opponents to line him up and get a good shot on him.