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West Country Eagle

Member Since 19 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Jan 29 2016 08:58 AM

#3232721 Refereeing Controversy

Posted by West Country Eagle on 12 November 2015 - 05:45 PM

English ref = english win

 NRL ref = NZ win.


Don't get me wrong, I prefer neutral refs and this looks bad. That said, I thought Sutton allowed the Kiwis too much leeway to slow the ruck down the other day, so the game was blighted by NRL style wrestling. England suffered last week because they couldn't get quick play the balls (though NZ's improvement had more to do with them winning)

#3223663 NZ series ticket sales latest news

Posted by West Country Eagle on 30 October 2015 - 05:35 PM


The highlights packages that we have had on the BBC for the last few years have been decent, and based on the minimal number of internationals we play anyway, I'm not sure how much benefit we get from a million or two viewers for two or three weeks then nothing for ages. 



Well, the fact that it's on the BBC certainly works for the "casual viewer", who maybe isn't dedicated enough to spend on pay TV sports channels but would watch if it's on terrestrial. My next door neighbour, a born-and-bred Bristol in his '70s, surprised me earlier today by saying how much he was looking forward to watching England against New Zealand on Sunday. He has a vague interest in union, but has shown little interest in League previously - though he does ask after the Sonics, and knows I'm involved.


Speaking of the Sonics, about 30 heading up from the club to the Wigan test in a couple of weeks (plus my dad from Sheffield and his cousin from Norfolk!)

#3103649 Conference League South

Posted by West Country Eagle on 10 April 2015 - 08:03 AM

Good luck guys. That must have been a tough decision.


It was - the most difficult we've had to make so far, I think. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that we exist to give people in the city a chance to play Rugby League. We can still do that at a lower level (for the time being - we'd still like to return to CLS at some point when we're stronger again), and will continue to develop our junior programme. That's the shining light in all of this - strengthen this further and we'll have more "home grown" players. Sadly other clubs in the region don't prioritise this side of things, but hopefully they will in future.

#3102755 Conference League South

Posted by West Country Eagle on 08 April 2015 - 12:25 PM


All the new clubs seem to be managing well, the only sad news is Bristol have had to call off their first two games and appear to be struggling (I believe Gloucestershire Warriors stepping up is a factor)


Certainly the decision by the RFL to allow the Warriors in - despite our warnings that it would have damaging effects on ourselves and potentially other clubs lower down the pyramid - has not helped. There are some other issues, too, such as losing access to junior players we've developed (once they're into the SGS RL Academy/All Golds pathway, they tend not to return, with a few exceptions, and many are being lost to the game completely). We told the RFL of the issues in the region and how we would be effected, and they ignored us… now it's all coming true. The important thing is to get through the season and rebuild.


On the plus side, our game with Oxford that wasn't played a couple of weeks back looks like being rescheduled (phew) and we'll make our bow this weekend against Valley Cougars at home. 

#3045543 Conference League South

Posted by West Country Eagle on 15 December 2014 - 02:15 PM

Oxford Cavaliers = Oxford RLFC 'A'

Gloucestershire Warrirors = All Golds 'A'

#3042529 National Cup, Good News?

Posted by West Country Eagle on 08 December 2014 - 04:01 PM

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.

#3039670 Black Friday...Seriously, is it worth it?

Posted by West Country Eagle on 01 December 2014 - 10:36 AM

I think Cider Monday is a great idea, I shall be cracking open a couple of bottles of Somersets finest to mark the occasion!

With regard queueing for deals like those on offer on Black Friday, how come people never factor in a value for their time into the equation of money saved? 


Not to mention the broken limbs, jostling with feral loonies and fist fights over stuff you don't need.


Bah humbug.

#3033664 Unbelievable moaning by the Aussies

Posted by West Country Eagle on 16 November 2014 - 02:51 PM

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!

#3033656 Unbelievable moaning by the Aussies

Posted by West Country Eagle on 16 November 2014 - 02:46 PM


Toys being hurled out of the pram at a furious pace. So very predictable.

#3028405 08/11/14 - New Zealand v England KO 7am GMT (Dunedin)

Posted by West Country Eagle on 07 November 2014 - 09:49 AM

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!

#3026510 02/11/14 - Australia v England KO 5am (GMT)

Posted by West Country Eagle on 03 November 2014 - 05:09 PM

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.

#3026404 02/11/14 - Australia v England KO 5am (GMT)

Posted by West Country Eagle on 03 November 2014 - 03:00 PM

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.

#3021930 02/11/14 - Australia v England KO 5am (GMT)

Posted by West Country Eagle on 28 October 2014 - 02:59 PM

How International RL referee appointments work:

Australia v New Zealand - Neutral ref - AUSTRALIA LOSE
Australia throw toys out of pram
Aussie ref gets appointed to officiate in must-win game v England.

Doesn't stink at all. Oh no.

#3021786 02/11/14 - Australia v England KO 5am (GMT)

Posted by West Country Eagle on 28 October 2014 - 10:27 AM

Was it ever announced that it would be neutral refs? Or did we just (naturally) assume?

Given history, we should never assume there will be neutral refs.

We may as well just let Tim Sheens and Cameron Smith ref the game.

#3021729 02/11/14 - Australia v England KO 5am (GMT)

Posted by West Country Eagle on 28 October 2014 - 08:55 AM

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.

Mind games.