Conference League South clubs have been invited to enter the National Cup. We've entered before and played fixtures (even though it was out of our season). We stopped bothering to enter though when we were told that even if we were drawn at home we'd have to travel up North. We'd have accepted away fixtures in an open draw, but it seems a bit harsh inviting us in and then telling us we have to travel regardless.
The bit that really riled me in the report was the insistence that the Aussies are irritated by "how much wrestling at the PTB" other teams were allowed to get away with. Given how much rubbish they got away with at the PTB in the second half v England, this line of moaning particularly rankles. Can't say I'm surprised though. Dear Australia: LEARN HOW TO LOSE WITH A BIT OF DIGNITY!
Is it possible for a bomb to hit the roof? I've got vague memory of one coming close at a close Etihad Stadium in Melbourne once.
Is the Eitihad what was the Telstra Dome? I have painful memories of that stadium, after sitting shell-shocked in the stands watching the Kangaroos smash us by 50-odd in the 2008 World Cup. Not much sympathy from the locals after the game either, from what I can recall!
Super post. Balanced, thoughtful and considered and far better than the majority of bitter gracelessness that has been written on here over the last couple of days. Though your astute analysis highlights a number of factors, surely all games are a series of 'if onlys' and 'but alsos'. We weren't quite clinical enough when we had try scoring or saving opportunities. In a game between fairly evenly matched sides this was the difference.
Indeed. While we can debate the try/no try until we're blue in the face, there are many other factors. Some of these are interpretation/referee/calls related, but we could have put the game to bed if we were more clinical. As admirable as the performance was - and we were probably the better side for 60 of the 80 minutes - that's just not good enough against a side like Australia.
I'm still annoyed that there was an Aussie ref appointed, mind, and that the one in charge maybe gave us far less in the second period than he easily could have done. Even so, we can't say the reason we lost was 100% the officials. The 'no try' was hard to give. As a cynic I suspect it may have been given at the other end if the roles were reversed, but that might just be paranoia brought on by years of experience watching England/GB against Australia, with Aussie/NRL officials.
Having thought about this a lot, watched countless replays etc, I'd say I was mildly miffed rather than angry - and with the England team as much as the officials.
England were by far the better side in the first half and Australia looked ordinary, at best. If we'd have taken one of those chances that Clark fluffed, it may have been too big a mountain for the Kangaroos to climb. We didn't, and thus we needed to ensure that we had the best of it in the second half, and ideally score first. We didn't do that. The Inglis "no try" should have been a wake up call.
Looking at the second half again, we started OK - maybe a little bit conservatively, but we looked in control. There were a few factors that then swung the game in favour of Australia:
1. England being penalised for a number of relatively soft offences around the ruck/PTB, thus handing Australia a greater share of possession and cheap metres down field. 2. Australia being allowed to get away with a lot of messing around at the PTB. Given that England were penalised for this on a number of occasions and Australia were flopping all over the place, not standing square etc, you'd expect England to have been given at least two or three penalties. Whether they'd have made anything of them is open to debate, but certainly Australia would have been forced to work harder to score the points needed to win the game. They may have come up with something, they may not - we'll never know. Either way, this lack of penalties made a difference in my opinion. Certainly, I would say it was a bigger factor in the eventual result than the contentious "no try" decision. 3. Ben Hunt. His introduction sped up Australia's play no end, and they looked more likely once he'd come on. The try he scored from Camerson Smith's brilliantly weighted grubber was excellent, too (at least from an attacking perspective - England should have dealt with it better)
By the time we finally threw caution to the wind (because we had to as the game was also up)it was arguably too late, though we'd had little possession and Australia's kicking game - plus those soft penalties - made it hard for us to do anything than try and grind out "safety sets" and get a foothold in the game again. When we did finally swing the momentum back in the closing stages we looked decent - as we had in the first half - and may have found a score had we got the ball back from the no try decision. That's why Ryan Hall didn't make a song and dance - he knew that it was vital we got the ball back. He has stated this.
The "no try" decision has been debated to death here. Personally I can see why it wasn't given, though the "ball is rising" excuse seems like clutching at straws. At full speed it looked nowhere near a try - slowed down it's hard to tell, but it does look like Ryan Hall may have got a touch while the ball was on the ground. Therefore, there's a case for it being a try. Whether it was or not, my personal opinion is that it wasn't the reason for defeat - that I can put down mainly to a second half in which Australia were allowed to do whatever they like at the PTB/ruck and England were punished on just enough occasions to give the Kangaroos a leg up. Australia are good enough to take advantage. The penalty count was much more even in the first half and England had the better of it.
Also, you cannot blame two Australian referees who make their living in the NRL from not giving a contentious decision that would have been endlessly debated whatever the outcome. That doesn't make it right, but we have to be realistic about this. We need an international referee development program to guarantee a larger pool of overseas referees - whether European, Kiwis, from the Pacific Islands or wherever - from which to draw. If we have this - and they are given a chance to gain experience in both SL and the NRL - then even the NRL/ARLC will find it hard to argue against the appointment of neutral refs for every international.
Australian posters on here would do well to look into the history of this - then you may see why we make such a song and dance about this. Australian officials/coaches moaning about appointments and trying to get their own way has a long and illustrious history. For a country so confident that they're better than everyone else - which, as history shows, by and large they are/have been - it smacks of insecurity (at best) that they're so insistent that they get their own way on these matters.
Surprised we've gone with same team, assume O'Loughlin is still injured, but would still have brought in at the very least Whitehead.
If you read McNamara's quotes in the press release/accompanying news stories, he pretty much says there will be late changes. In one of Steve Mascord's pieces over the weekend he pointed out that England are irritated by having to name their team early (in the world cup it was just a squad, teams on the day) due to the lack of programme. Tim Sheens has also named 20 players, so there's a good chance both starting line-ups/17 man squads will be different.
Oh, and there will be more announcements to come over weeks and months with regards to some of the finer points. The key things are that the Eagles are in a very strong position and it's likely that when it comes to the stadium, they'll be in a position to call the shots. This is vital in the long run, to the club as much as anything else.
I've known about these developments for a little while, so it's great to see them finally announced. This version of the club statement/press release strips out the information about what else is going on the site, and that's key - the stadium is just a small part of the whole "Legacy Park", which also includes a through school (I.E 2 to 16 years), a University Technical College and various other bits that make the whole thing more viable. Richard Caborn said from the start that he wanted a stadium for the Eagles as part of the site, and alongside the club, he's delivered.
The stuff about funding is correct - the Eagles have secured around £6million in funding to build the main stand, which will have a hotel attached and will link in with the University Technical College. The "synthetic pitch" discussed is based on the ones used by Saracens and Newcastle Falcons (the Eagles have visited both, or at least the latter) and the idea is to get school use out of it, plus potentially other sports ground-sharing with the Eagles as primary tenants.
It also says in the original statement that the stadium will be built to "Super League and international standard". There have been times when I thought this wouldn't happen, but I'm convinced now that it will go ahead - which, of course, is brilliant news for a club who have never had someone where to call their own that fits the bill.
Where the Eagles will be playing next year is still a matter of debate, but this should be ready for the 2016 season, which of course is great news.
For those interested, the BBC have coverage of the UCI World Road Championships on the Red Button (and BBC2 at the weekend) this week:
Tuesday 23 September Women's elite time trial - live on BBC Red Button from 13:30-16:05 Wednesday 24 September Elite men's time trial- live on BBC Red Button from 12:30-16:20 Start time: 12:30pm (Alex Dowsett and Sir Bradley Wiggins) Saturday 27 September Women's elite road race - live on Red Button from 12:30-14:30 and BBC Two from 16:00-17:00 (17:00-18:00 in Northern Ireland) Start time 13:00 (Lizzie Armitstead, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Anna Christian, Lucy Garner, Annie Last) Sunday 28 September Men's elite road race - live on Red Button from 09:00-15:35 and BBC Two from 13:30-16:00 Start time: 09:00 (Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Pete Kennaugh, David Millar, Luke Rowe, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates, Simon Yates)
Interesting that Annie Last is appearing in the GB road team - she's a mountain biker by trade.
Excellent from Wiggo yesterday. Good to see him finally get a TT world title.
Headed to the top of the final climb into bristol (the king of the mountains point, just down the road from Bristol Zoo) on the Tour of Britain. Great atmosphere - not a patch on being on the Cote de Bradfield during the Tour in July, though. That was something else!