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Think the Super 8s has been excellent. I went to 6 of Wakey's last 7 games. I'd normally have given up long before now. There seems to be huge interest in the £1m game on Saturday. Bradford have asked for more tickets on top of their initial allocation of 2,000 and there were people waiting for the ticket office at Wakey to open up this morning.
Expect that as clubs get used to the system, the intensity will increase.
I don't think there is a massive gulf between the NRL & SL. The margin is quite small, but crucial. We play different styles. The NRL is much more conservative to my mind and SL is more exciting and risky, and our players aren't good enough for long enough under pressure to execute the required skills to play that level. The Aussies defended well and seized on our errors to score.
Souths were a bit difference. They are the best side in the world by a margin, but that's just a one off. They beat most NRL sides quite easily.
In SL players for our better clubs can often get away with errors, in the WCS they got punished. When the Aussies made errors, they often didn't get punished.
Its entirely irrelevant to compare international club and international RL, playing this game at a bigger stadium would not in any way affect international RL
Attendances were not 'on the way down' we have suffered drops when we have lacked ambition, and even when we barely try we still get attendances comfortably better than normal.
Why the fixation with crowd numbers?
If we take the Rhinos matches, for example. They have played WCC matches at both Elland Road and Headingley. Was the size of the crowd the only important factor? Isn't profitability also a factor? How the players, fans, club feel about the event?
If Saints are competitive with South Sydney, I bet that those of us who are going will have a fantastic evening, and that Saints fans will be talking about the match for years to come.
As for the venue, I seem to recall that the reason why Saints & Bulls (for youngsters out there, the Bulls used to be quite good!), played their WCC matches at Bolton & Huddersfield was because of concerns that the match might get called off due to bad weather at Knowsley Road & Odsal, not because there was some desire to have a neutral venue.
Tell you what, reading this forum over the last week has made me think the lunatics have finally taken over the asylum.
Those of us who try to be positive about the game have certainly lost the battle against the miserablists.
Interesting to hear Blake Solly say that one of the aims of "The Time has Come" video was to make rugby league fans feel good about the game. I still find it strange that so many rugby league people seem to spend so much time criticising the sport they claim to be fans of.
Am I weird in that I am looking forward to these games? As in, the games on the field? And not too concerned *at this stage* that it isn't filling Wembley?
I'm with you there. Got tickets to all three matches and really looking forward to what will be three greats games. Not sure why so many rugby league fans are so obsessed with crowd numbers. I want to watch good, close matches, in a good stadium, in a good atmosphere.
The three SL sides were picked on merit. Two grand finalists and highest placed losing semi-finalist. So when Wakey win the Grand Final in 2015, I'll be straight down to get my ticket to watch us take on the NRL champs in 2016.
I was wondering what will happen at Leeds if they start the season in the same sort of form they finished last year with. Will the cheque book finally be opened, will McDermott be given time to turn it around. Of course they could come out flying making these questions irrelevant.
I suspect the top of the table will be sorted out on the western side of the pennines with Wigan, Wire & Saints looking strongest. You'd expect Leeds & Huddersfield to make the eight. Catalans will be somewhere in the mix but after that is anyone's guess. I'm hoping for a good year from the Red Devils but I wouldn't be too surprised wherever they finish between 4th & 12th.
Hard to judge most of the teams I've not mentioned as there's so many new signings, who knows how they'll gel. Widnes are about the only squad which haven't brought in wholesale changes. Not sure if that means they'll start well due to the consistency in the squad or if they've just not strengthened enough and gone backwards.
Think this mostly sums it up.
Three quality, consistent teams, who you would expect to continue much the same as last year. Leeds - have they judged the shift from old to new right? Hull - must be hard for their fans to have much faith. If they signed the Kangaroos best 13, you'd still fancy whoever was the Hull coach, could somehow mess it up.
These grounds are perfect for s event this year. First year, get three sells outs and then move on from there. Go too big, it'll flop, and be binned in true RL style.
The WCC has been a home match for our teams for many years. Saints & Bulls played away from Knowsley Road & Odsal as they couldn't guarantee the match to go ahead in case of frozen pitch. Leeds went to Elland Road, because they thought they could maximise income from that, which they did.
If we get three sells outs, and a couple of close matches, it will be fantastic, and something to go back to the Aussies with.
Great effort by Wakey after we'd given Cas a winning start. To come back after such a slow start against a good team like Cas was really encouraging. Cas winning keeps the dream alive of them topping the table and playing Brisbane in the World Club Series down the lane. What a night that would be!
Not sure who the halfbacks in the autumn could be then. Widdop and Sinfield is miles better than anything else open to us.
Trouble with Sinfield was that a lot of fans couldn't get over the fact that his squad number at Leeds was 13. Players evolve. Lockyer started out at 1. Sinfield has been playing in the halves at Leeds for ages, so it's nonsense to suggest that he's been playing out of position for England in recent years.
Because the CC been treated as second rate for past few years. Early rounds...then hide the semis...then play the final the day after. Stupid. Breath life into this fab comp....earlier in season and with focused rounds.
The Cup final was moved from May to August because it was seen as almost a pre-season comp after the move to summer.
Looks like London will have most of their squad in place to start pre-season training together in November, which will be a massive step forward for them. Be really interesting to see how they go as one of the "big boys" next year.
People seem to think the RFL can just do what they like. They can't.
The RFL have to operate within the rules of the game, which gives all members clubs a vote to some degree.
The RFL can't just grab a big chunk of TV money and go invest in Toulouse to bring them into Super League. I suspect the other SL clubs might have a view on whether that was the best use of the TV money, and I suspect that clubs outside SL might have a view on whether Toulouse should get the SL spot if one is up for grabs.
The RFL can only try and create the right environment that allows for expansion and for well run clubs to thrive.
Ultimately clubs are private entities, that are run by their owners and rise or fall by the decisions the owners make.