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Rugby League Yearbook 2014-15

John Drake

Member Since 10 Nov 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 12:38 PM

#3078753 New Forum Colour Scheme

Posted by John Drake on 25 February 2015 - 10:21 PM

Blimey, we changed it at lunchtime at it took over 8 hours for anyone to complain about it. Thought we'd gotten clean away with it this time!! ;)

The 'new' look is actually a return to the original (should we call it 'classic'?) out of the box forum template that we used on TRL for years prior to that dramatic and not universally popular switch to red 18 months ago (not to mention some of the clunkier alternatives we've also tried out since! ).

This time all we've changed on the basic template is a very minor colour tweak to match the new Total Rugby League homepage and logo.

Despite these new calming pastel shades, I bet JohnM will still claim it is full of reds! ;)

#3078344 26 Feb: Leeds Rhinos v Huddersfield Giants KO 8pm (TV)

Posted by John Drake on 25 February 2015 - 11:17 AM

Discuss Leeds Rhinos v Huddersfield Giants here.

#3074012 Can you believe what you read in the papers?

Posted by John Drake on 17 February 2015 - 11:21 PM

Why I have resigned from the Telegraph
Peter Oborne 17 February 2015

The coverage of HSBC in Britain's Daily Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.



'You needed a microscope to find the Telegraph coverage: nothing on Monday, six slim paragraphs at the bottom left of page two on Tuesday, seven paragraphs deep in the business pages on Wednesday. The Telegraph’s reporting only looked up when the story turned into claims that there might be questions about the tax affairs of people connected to the Labour party.'

#3073623 General Election 2015

Posted by John Drake on 17 February 2015 - 12:39 PM

You might not like certain organs, but having Miliband in no 10 as an act of spite is surely too high a price to pay even for you.


I think Miliband would make a good PM, given the opportunity.


I think those who spend so much of their time attacking him personally, rather than debating policy, probably think that too - which is why they spend so much of their time attacking him personally. If he was as useless as they claim, they wouldn't need to bother. He is seen as a threat to the comfy consensus of the powerful.


That he is labelled 'Red' Ed shows just how inherently right wing this country has become. If you judge a man by his enemies, then yes, I'm with 'Red' Ed all the way to election day.


In my view, regardless of the way he eats a bacon sandwich (I couldn't give a toss how any politician eats a bacon sandwich), he is certainly the least worst option we are being presented with on 7th May. The prospect of five more years of the current coalition, or worse, an actual Tory majority, fills me with utter dread.

#3071319 Crowd watch - 1st week

Posted by John Drake on 13 February 2015 - 03:19 PM

This is a thread for crowd watch.


Stick to that please, never mind hijacking it and creating continental thread drift.


The TRL Irony-o-meter just exploded, but yes, a number of off topic posts have now been removed from this thread.


Back to crowds...

#3070586 General Election 2015

Posted by John Drake on 12 February 2015 - 10:04 AM

They've become the Lib Dems in all but name hence why the Lib Dems have lost their raison d'etre


I think spending five years in government with the Tories is why the Lib Dems have lost their appeal.

#3070080 The Kingstone Press Championship - Round 1 Match Thread

Posted by John Drake on 11 February 2015 - 12:21 AM

Monday Featherstone v Hunslet

Oops, missed that one! I do these match threads based on the League Express fixture list which only covers up to Sunday as we're out again on Monday. Fixed the OP now. Cheers.

#3068820 An Evening with Bradford Bulls - lots of positive news

Posted by John Drake on 08 February 2015 - 07:24 PM

No disrespect , but I recall plenty of confidence when Mr Khan walked through the door

I do genuinely hope the Bulls have turned the corner , however I'd suggest their future , like every other clubs isn't ' cut and dried'


I'm not sure it was confidence that greeted Omar Khan's takeover of the club. More a case of relief that someone, anyone, had stepped in to buy it. At that moment in time, the alternative was no club at all.


Given that the club has gone belly up financially twice in recent memory, I'd be surprised if anyone is taking anything for granted this time either, particularly now being outside Super League with no guarantee of getting back in it.


As a Bulls fan, I consider myself fortunate to have a club to support at all these days, and appreciate the work that those in charge of it now are putting in to try and give it a viable long term future. I also appreciate the efforts they are making to communicate with the fans. I thought they put on a well presented event last Thursday (when they could've just done nothing at all) and was genuinely excited by some of the new developments they announced. That's in stark contrast to how I've felt about the club for the past few years.

#3068768 An Evening with Bradford Bulls - lots of positive news

Posted by John Drake on 08 February 2015 - 06:40 PM

Well maybe you should have reported it better John, it came across as the same old dreary nonsense.


Maybe the messenger is the problem, though I wouldn't shoot him.


I asked you what clubs should be doing instead, given that you dismiss what they are currently doing as dreary nonsense, and all you come back with is a cheap dig at me.


It's easy to criticise. Anyone can do that. It's much harder to offer positive alternatives.

  • dkw likes this

#3068756 General Election 2015

Posted by John Drake on 08 February 2015 - 06:23 PM

It already is!  Well actually we already have well in excess of 75 channels offering very little in the form of quality!


This is a total non-issue for me considering the changing ways we consume TV and the technology at our disposal.


You don't realise what you've got until it's gone.

#3068235 An Evening with Bradford Bulls - lots of positive news

Posted by John Drake on 07 February 2015 - 05:49 PM

All clubs go through these annual pronouncements, in fact they may as well put out the same one, in fact it seems like they do. Does the RFL have a pro-forma for the clubs to use. My dig was really at the way these things are done, un-original (all clubs) and dull (all clubs).


Although I will give points for stating they haven't yet made their season ticket target.


We are in danger of death by formulaic press release.


You're dismissing an event you didn't attend.


Instead of criticising what you assume the Bulls did at their season launch event, why not stick your neck out and say what they, and all the other clubs, should be doing instead, if you think it's all too formulaic and predictable?


I can assure you, having been there myself, the Bulls event was far less formulaic and predictable than your dreary response to it posted on here the same night.

#3068229 An Evening with Bradford Bulls - lots of positive news

Posted by John Drake on 07 February 2015 - 05:37 PM

Don't take this the wrong way but clearly perspective is everything.  Huge game?  No, not in the slightest.  You are not our rivals.  A pretty much meaningless game in a lower division against a traditional lower division club.  GFs, Cup Finals and WCCs are big games.  Friday night at Odsal under the flood lights against the Rhinos/Saints/Warriors/FC in front of c20k are big games.


Mouth-watering?  Well I guess it will probably have a bearing on league positions as we battle it out through the season, but as you know there are no prizes for finishing top.  Our one any only on-field aim this season is to reclaim our position in SL, and our season doesn't start in earnest until the 'Super 8s'.  Our first home game is against Whitehaven and, at the last reading a few days ago, they were a semi -pro club with about 10 players.  Such is the joy of the new structure.  I don't know if I speak for other Bulls, but the one and only thing I'm looking forward to this season in this division is playing Halifax again.


I'm sure there'll be a decent home crowd at the LSV for our visit, and no doubt we'll have a good following.  But for a number of reasons my money is on a Centurion win.  For us I hope we play well and get some combinations and co-ordination in defence going for the battles that lie ahead. 


So, all the best for your huge game and the rest of the season.


Well I think the Leigh game is a huge game and I'm looking forward to it immensely.


It's the first game of the season against the reigning Champions of the division the Bulls are now a part of. In that regard, it is one of the biggest games of the season and it ought to be viewed in that light. Looking back on past glories will get us exactly nowhere this year.


I hope everyone associated with the club shows Leigh the respect they deserve, not only as reigning Champions but as one of our biggest rivals for a promotion spot to which no club has an automatic right. It'll have to be earned the really hard way, and the work starts next Sunday.


As Bulls fans and as Rugby League fans we ought to be talking the fixture up as much as possible and encouraging a huge turnout at the LSV, not just because it will lift the players on their first run out in a competitive fixture together, but because it will be a more exciting and atmospheric event for us, too. In turn, I'd expect Leigh to bring one of the biggest away followings we'll see at Odsal this year.


For me, some of the best memories of the original burst of Bullmania were the away trips, and this year we have the opportunity to visit many new grounds, including LSV and the Keepmoat in Doncaster, as well as a few old ones we haven't been to for quite some time. I'm particularly looking forward to the Cumbria trips which I used to love in the 'olden days' of the First Division and Bradford Northern. 


We don't know if our tenure in the Championship is going to be short or long. I'm obviously hoping the club can earn promotion at the first attempt, but also in the process, treat the competition and all the other clubs within it with respect and help rebuild our club's somewhat tattered reputation within the sport too.

#3067343 General Election 2015

Posted by John Drake on 06 February 2015 - 11:06 AM



Giving them a reason to vote is a better thing.


It's difficult to overcome the 'plague on all their houses' cynicism that prevails at present.


How can any of the major parties begin to engage with people who don't want to listen to anything they have to say?


I'm not saying the parties aren't in a hole they've dug for themselves, but getting out of it now is easier said than done.


With limited resources (not necessarily monetary, but in terms of willing volunteers on the ground who go out canvassing and delivering leaflets), the parties will inevitably focus their efforts on those who say they will vote, rather than flog a dead horse.


That, essentially, is why voting is so important. No one listens to those who don't. It's harsh, but it's true.


The reality the major parties are faced with, unlike their challengers on the fringe who can promise whatever they want safe in the knowledge they won't be called upon to deliver on any of it, is one of them will end up leading the next government, probably in some wobbly coalition. As Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems have found out the hard way, if you say one thing during a campaign to enthuse the voters - particularly the young - and then fail to deliver on it when you gain power, then you only end up fueling cynicism and distrust in politics even further.

#3067216 An Evening with Bradford Bulls - lots of positive news

Posted by John Drake on 06 February 2015 - 12:12 AM

Hardly likely to hold a pre-season get together and announce.

We're in the mire again.
It's really crapola in this second division (or 1.5 division)
On the good side we're not in the 2, or is it third, division.
The begging bowl will be passed around now. what's the point in waiting until August.
Things are looking up but our necks are straining as its a long way from down here.
We have loads of investors waiting in the wings, waiting for the RFL to give up and flog the ground.

Jeez, who rained on your parade that you have to be so dreary about someone else's feel good moment?

#3067121 An Evening with Bradford Bulls - lots of positive news

Posted by John Drake on 05 February 2015 - 10:02 PM

Went to Odsal tonight for 'An Evening with Bradford Bulls' event for season ticket holders.


Great to see the place packed out, and some really interesting developments announced, along with the squad number presentation.


The club confirmed it now has 3,004 season ticket holders, 12% of which are new signups, not renewals. Their target remains 4,000, but Chairman Marc Green stated this was not a 'break even' figure for the club as has previously been widely reported, it represents the number of season ticket holders from last season which they want to match.


They are relaunching their website on Monday, and are also launching their own free BULLSTV internet TV channel with behind the scenes material as well as matchday highlights.


The Matchday Programme will be replaced with a newspaper format publication called The Bulletin to be given away free on matchdays.


The club will be employing its own matchday stewards, instead of using contractors, to improve the overall experience of visiting Odsal for supporters, as well as making a number of improvements to the stadium itself.


Bristol Street Motors were announced as a new shirt sponsor and the club now has a commercial relationship with over 250 businesses, up from 90 when Marc Green took over. Commercial revenue via the club shop is up 500% in the same period.


All in all, a very uplifting evening for Bulls fans.


The 2015 squad numbers are:-


31 Epalahame Lauaki

30 Sam Bates

29 Adam Brook

28 Samir Tahraoui

27 Ryan Shaw

26 Vila Halafihi

25 Nathan Conroy

24 Lucas Walshaw

23 Alex Mellor

22 Chev Walker

21 Dave Petersen

20 Adam Henry

19 Chris Ulugia


17 Jean Philippe Baile

16 Karl Davies

15 Dan Fleming

14 Jay Pitts

13 Danny Addy

12 Dale Ferguson

11 Tom Olbison

10 Adam Sidlow

9 Adam O'Brien

8 Paul Clough

7 Harry Seijka

6 Lee Gaskell

5 Danny Williams

4 Matty Blythe

3 Adrian Purtell

2 Etu Uaisale

1 Jake Mullaney