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League Express



Member Since 18 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Jul 24 2014 07:34 PM


Posted by audois on 18 July 2014 - 11:12 AM

Being more of a long time TV watcher of the game and only recently becoming a regular at attending, I could be very wrong here but I've never noticed an ice cream stand at any of the grounds I've been to.
Now we're a summer sport and we actually seem to be having a summer for the second year in a row, I'd have expected to see a van or one of those mobile stalls doing a roaring trade particularly on a blazing hot Saturday or Sunday afternoon game.
It's not like you'd have to do anything other than have someone on standby once you know what the weather's likely to do. Surely some grounds have this??

Broncos at the Stoop circa 1997 had Haagen Dazs on tap. As a kid could buy ice cream at Naughton Park Widnes circa 1958. A fella from St Helens by the name of Mitchell had the franchise. He was there for years. A 99er with cadbury flake in February just a treat!

#2959853 Mickael Simon to Trinity

Posted by audois on 16 July 2014 - 10:05 AM

For me further sign of Catalans foot print. Larroyer first at Hull KR now Simon to Trinity. At the top well sure Casty at the Roosters. Pelissier and even more so Escare courted strongly across the Channel. Now for the Academy to come on stream in 2015 to accelerate the process. Onwards and upwards.

#2958878 Back to the old future.

Posted by audois on 14 July 2014 - 12:33 PM

Tony Smith on London.

Warrington coach Tony Smith had little sympathy with London's plight after watching his side run in 13 tries against the Broncos.

Smith said: "For the London club and for Super League it's a lesson to be learned. It shows you how not to get ready for a rugby league season.

"London are paying the price for having a handful of players at the start of the season while the rest of us when were honing our skills and doing the hard work in November and December for a long and arduous contest.

"When you start the season with just a few players do you expect anything else? It didn't matter who was the coach it was a year for relegation and being so under prepared of course they were going to get their backsides kicked.

"And if they didn't you would have to look at the rest of us in the competition because of the advantage that we had.

"It's how not to do things and how not to improve the standards of Super League by letting clubs in when they were so ill-prepared like London were."

#2957537 Pizza Boy!

Posted by audois on 11 July 2014 - 01:14 PM

Eloi Pelissier cuts such an efferescent figure in Catalan country whether on home territory up the Agly Valley at St Paul, the family Pizza shop at Canet Plage or on the field at Brutus. This week he has been followed on his jaunts by a Bein Sports Television crew doing a profile on one of the Dragons treasured jewels; the 22 year old hooker is on the verge of becoming the youngest ever Dragons player to reach 100 appreances for the club. They'll show the piece prior to their live coverage of the Wigan game tomorrow night. The French game depends entirely on Bein Sports to give the game visibility nationwide. These player profiles - they've done the same with Escare,Whitehead,Williams, Bosc & Duport too - valuable to raise the Dragons & the games profile this side of the Channel.

#2956325 Carcassone in Super League

Posted by audois on 08 July 2014 - 11:22 AM

Not sure why SKY are televising all the Catalans home games. If they think these are good TV I bet Catalans and Toulouse derbies may go down well with the broadcaster?

I am under the impression that SKY have paid more this year because more games are being shown. And every other week that extra game come from Perpignan courtesy of French televisions Bein Sports feed.The Sky commentry crew sit I think if I'm not mistaken in a studio somewhere in the UK. The trade off is Bein Sport take other SL games from across the Channel produced by Sky with the French commentary this time done from Paris. Additionally Catalan have outlayed money to install a permanent giant screen which saves SKy the expense of having to re-locate and negates the RFL having to send over additional officials.

A poster a while back said that Catalans are quids in on this one because a supplement is paid to all clubs shown on television. I hope this is so because there has been a fall off in French fans travelling distances to Perpignan since Bein Sport came on stream (for just €11 a month).

#2955941 Catalan Academy U19s

Posted by audois on 07 July 2014 - 12:14 PM

Catalan have announced the names of their 35 player Academy squad for 2015. 24 are from the Catalan area including five from rugby union including a quartet from USAP and one each from Albi, Avignon,Carpentras,St Gaudens and Villeneuve-sur-Lot. It seems that the Dragons have abided by the Federations decision to restrict their recruitment to one per elite club although there are half a dozen from the three Aude clubs Carcassonne, Lezignan & Limoux. There are only 5 players who played for French U18s recently against the England Academy side. The group reassemble this week for initial training session before being presented to the crowd at the Wigan match Saturday night. There will be some fine tuning before the final 25 man group is established before pre-season starts in September.

#2955082 New deals at Catalans.

Posted by audois on 05 July 2014 - 12:55 PM

And as for Vaccari, good effort Fred!  Didn't ever really recover from his bad injury a couple of years ago, but never let the side down and was very entertaining for his wholehearted approach.

His greatest moment & try. Bevanesque at the HJ stadium v Wire from 80 metres out with Bridge in pursuit. Trent Robinson's career never took a step back after that.

#2954420 Carcassone in Super League

Posted by audois on 04 July 2014 - 10:21 AM

Elsewhere Avignon are making some changes. They seem a bit out of the equation presently especially after that 17,000 crowd at Parc des Sports last November against the Kiwis. After winning the Cup year before last fell back a bit even if they supplied 11 players to the senior, juniors & cadets at national level last term. They may well lose some of their top juniors to the Catalan Academy in 2015 too. A change of Presidents has been announced with an emphasis on that word 'professionnalisation'again as at the ASC. One big change could be interesting in the arrival at SOA of Mohamed Chaabi from the Federation & who was responsible for getting some of those big international crowds into Avignon in recent years.

#2953839 New deals at Catalans.

Posted by audois on 03 July 2014 - 12:14 PM

Really pleased for Laurent Frayssinous. Having a French coach going forward with new Academy set up next year ticks the box. He had six years under Potter, Walters and Robinson as the No2. Hopefully seeing this new contract out will see him become the longest serving coach at the Dragons. The trouble with the Aussies so far is they've only stayed a couple of years at most. The club year by year grows as a French entity. This passed year with a French trainer Fred Marcerou for the first time. In Australia the two big expansion clubs Brisbane & Melbourne both benefited hugely long term under the involvement of Bellamy and Bennett. Catalan need this stability as they re-structure and become more & more professional.

Elsewhere the Catalan Dragons Business Club met recently to discuss future plans.

#2952396 Carcassone in Super League

Posted by audois on 30 June 2014 - 02:07 PM

The multiplier effect at the Dragons must be impressive surely. The Sky money something like less than 20% of their turn over? How many other clubs match that. Their successes off the field enabling them at last to field an Academy set up in 2015. Whatever largess in the millions from Sky Catalan has been well used to grow their operation attracting considerable public & private investment. What better example of priming the pump.

On the recent Sky contract wasn't there an immediate increase for all SL clubs across the board because they where showing more games in 2014 - but weren't half of these of Catalan games played in Perpignan with Sky taking the Bein feed?

#2951526 Carcassone in Super League

Posted by audois on 29 June 2014 - 12:30 PM

So as per the original question do any treizistes such as Audois and Cliff Spracklen have the inside scoop on Carcassone's bid?

In two articles appearing in local papers in the last week or so reference has been made to a SL1/2 bid down the line. The first one by the Sports bod employed by the Town Council and then by the new ASC coach Laurent Garnier freshly arrived from Brisbane. He wants the club to be fully professionalised; going to three weekly training sessions from next season. The Fed President Zalduendo is pushing hard for Toulouse and their bid but is now being challenged it seems by the Carcassonne President Dr Guilhem for the Federation position within two years. You get the feeling here that the movers and shakers are seeing cross Channel connection imperative to the games future. An axis Toulouse-Carcassonne- Perpignan-Avignon could be the key.

#2951493 Catalan Dragons Update

Posted by audois on 29 June 2014 - 11:43 AM

Catalans continue to press the right buttons as these images here portray. Past linking with the future.Hundreds attend the inauguration of the new west stand behind the posts at Brutus last weekend. Not only the stand re-named the Puig Aubert Tribune but other parts of the complex too. The mayor of Perpignan present and the leader of the County Council (Department) also. Bernard Guasch in his element both at Brutus and later at the 80th birthday celebration of the XIII Catalan club - one of the founders which became the Dragons. This event took place at a local chateau and was attended by more than 1300 old and new plus a special guest in Keith Senoir preparing for his special bike ride back to Headingley. Looking at these events unfolding to me indicate how the club has grown and becoming a major sporting player in this part of France.

#2947305 Carcassone in Super League

Posted by audois on 20 June 2014 - 01:06 PM

Sorry, can you explain what that means exactly, Audois? Merci!


Well they can't get enough Elite 1 sides together to make it viable so Zaldunedo has trawled lower to bring 12 Elite 2 clubs into the mix hoping that somehow it will drag the level of Elite 2 upwards. Lyon who have played in Elite 1 in the last decade where dreadful last year taking 70 points in each game against Carcassonne in the second phase of the comp. Baho from Perpignan area and Realmont from near Albi did a bit better against Elite 1.


Its not ideal but they've no other choice & they will run with the same again next season. The standard across those clubs is going down but to its real level. Less overseas lads in those twenty clubs; lots more French faces and lots playing at 6,7 & 9. I think its something they just got to do and accept the role of junior clubs well structured.


Ireland in union made their sudden break to professionalism over night creating Leinster, Munster & Ulster; where are Cork Constitution & Dublin Wanderers playing these days? My template for France is here; 3 or 4 major hubs driving the game forward. Its been a huge success in Ireland and their national side the best its ever been.

#2943129 Catalan Academy U19s

Posted by audois on 11 June 2014 - 07:35 PM

Today in Perpignan 85 prospective candidates turned up including twenty or so from rugby union backgrounds. Fifty from the Catalan region & others from further a field. Sounds encouraging.

#2941911 Gloucester & Hemel reach for the Stars!

Posted by audois on 09 June 2014 - 12:43 PM

I was involved a bit at the Warriors in the early days of SRLC at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham. It was just great yesterday afternoon for me to be able to listen in to a BBC commentary courtesy of Radio York for the KC1 match from that very same stadium and whats more got an exciting win (24-22) against one of the comps leaders. Lionel Hurst, Ruth Sigley , Stephen Rigby et al take a bow.


While further along the M4 the rugby league strong hold of Hemel Hempstead where putting another heartland side Oldham to the sword at Pennine Way. What a fascinating story is unfolding down south. Coventry next up.