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Rugby League World Issue 402

Try our Fantastic 5-Issue Bundle Offer! For just £18, a saving of 10% on the regular cover price, you’ll get:
The Play-offs Issue - pictured (out 12 Sept) – Covering the climax of the Super League & Championship seasons
The Grand Finals Issue (out 17 Oct) – Grand Final excitement from both sides of the world plus Four Nations preview
The Four Nations Issue (out 21 Nov) – Fantastic coverage of the Four Nations tournament down under
The Golden Boot Issue (out 19 Dec) – A look back at the 2014 season plus the big reveal of the winner of the Golden Boot
The 2015 Season Preview Issue (out 23 Jan) – How will your team perform in 2015? We preview every club.

League Express



Member Since 06 Dec 2005
Offline Last Active Sep 14 2014 07:58 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: 13/09/14 - London Broncos v Bradford Bulls KO 3pm

13 September 2014 - 07:04 PM

There are those who would say a 36-46 game was exciting but personaly it was a game which showcased two sides that cannot defend. There have been two corkers on TV in the last few days in Wire-Wiagn and Saints-Hudds both defensive contests. In contrast, today's game varied from bizzare refereeing decisions such as Bradfords second try being a forward pass and a brilliant individual effort on the half time break being pulled back for a supposed double knock on. To sides getting a roll on in a big way. Bradford scored the first three tries then London five unanswered. Bradfford the next three, London replying then Bradford killing the game off with two in the last two minutes. In between the game resembled a knockonathon and I always felt it would go to the side that could finally hold onto the ball.

Tony Rea was at the game with his two sons, getting on at Canons Park with enough time before changing at Wembley Park to send a comisseration text to Joe Grima even if his sons wer more interested in how Chelsea had got on.

So Bradford take the psychological edge for next season. I will make my predictions now firstly that Bradford will overcome the odds and regain super league status and in doing so attract Internet claims of RFL bias. I also predict London Broncos should get into the top four but will lose a few games away from the Hive. London will not get promoted back into Super League unless two current Super League sides go belly up and even then that will not be a given.London's failure to gain promotion next season will provoke the final terminal crisis with average gates doiwn to 700. Barnet FC will see no economic advantage in retaining the Broncos at the Hive. There will be no increased central funding and family pressure will force David Hugues to relinquish control over the club. There will be no new benefactors and what remains will merge with the London Skolars. London Broncos will prove no more able than Toulouse were to survive outside the top flight.

I am sorry but I will call it as I see it. The events of September 2013 and the season that followed this year have killed off any realistic chance of Rugby League becoming an established minority sport in the South. It's at times like these that fans last out at others over the clubs fate but there needs to be a recognition that the wounds were largely self inflicted and resulted from bad business decisions made by our benefactor.

The end of an era today - a pity only 1,402, about 50% of which were Bradford fans, could be bothered to see it.

In Topic: 12/09/14 - Huddersfield Giants v St Helens KO 8pm (TV)

12 September 2014 - 05:44 PM

Well heres one neutral hoping that the hubcap says west of the pennines.


I respect Eamonn McManus, the ex-saracens sevens player is an approachable chairman, but he has two black marks with me this year firstly siding with the Hetherington axis in the owners conflict and then the hysterical gurning on the TV screen. When St Helens played London at home the contest was like Manchester City v Macclesfield so to respond to the Broncos scoring a try when so many were being scored at the other end by pulling a face on camera - really Eamonn. I notice he has been doing it a lot recently and on SKY every time someone crosses the saints tryline. No other owner does it and do you really think it helps the side on the field to look up a view a greeting face on screen ?


Man up McManus, Saints are going to win tonight

In Topic: 13/09/14 - London Broncos v Bradford Bulls KO 3pm

12 September 2014 - 05:21 PM

The game that heralds the end of the Super League dream


Bradford Bullls the northern club that above all others was the benchmark for the new vibrant Super League. No more Bradford Northern in with the Buls, the entertainment - "Run with the Bulls were alright !", Robbie Paul the face of Super League, the club that adverised for membership in Open Rugby, that had a string of sucess forever being associated with Brian Noble who go to his grave as t"he Bulls coach". The club that had the sign at Bradford Interchange that forever in the mind of southerners like myself had Bradford down as a league heartland even thougth locals told me the Soccer club the "plucky Bantams" ruled the roost in the city. All this choreographed by Peter Deakin another prophet without honor in his own land who now has one of the trophies at the Aviva Premiership final named after him. Of course there were those at the time in West Yorkshire who really hated the new ways and rebranded themselves Halifax Blue Sox just to show how much they disliked it. Guess who ended up running the game the visionary or Mr Magoo.. :angry:


And of course London the expansion club, enough keyboard pounding as been wasted on that topic.


Still Bulls fans, fear not I see you back next year even with the handicap of the new system. For two reasons.


Jimmy Lowes, a Bradford man through and a man with a point to prove having been as he might put it  been "peeved" at not getting the job at Salford or Warrington having done his aprenticship then learning the art of man management in another sport at Leeds Carnegie.


Secondly EVERY game next year for Bradfords opponents will be their grand final. The fallen giants will be the team targeted by the petty and small minded and though the skill level will be absent the intensity on the field and venom off it will be there week in week out. So by the time the Bulls face off with the runt of Super Leagues litter in the million pound match. The side will be battle hardened and SKY viewers reaquainted with the club which will no doubt feature on the Thursday night middle 8 slot almost every week later in the eternity that is the 2015 season. .


The Bulls are the value bet to come up next season and the best odds can be got now.


I wish I could be optimistic about London Broncos but, as I pay my final £ 20 to Barnet FC. I see things just becoming Grima as the capital club fades away and we will all wonder what might have been.


Bulls by 20 I rate Cardinal Grimas coaching skills that highly....

In Topic: Sinfield Quits International Rugby (Merged threads)

01 September 2014 - 07:32 PM

There are times when you just have to say thank you for your service.It would appear some don't have the decency to do that.To be expected.


Agreed, Kevin Sinfield is a bit like Andy Farrell was in that he is an outstanding leader and player for his Club in Super League and another modern era player who due to the change in seasons was never able to test himself in the NRL during the northern hemisphere off season.


It could be argued that Kevin was found lacking at international level against NRL standard players but he is certainly not alone in that respect. He never gave less than 100% when wearing an England / Great Britain shirt and really that is all as a fan you can ask for. 


His retirement from the International stage is a dignified exit as befits a model professional on and off the field

In Topic: Empty Seats On The Telly.....

25 August 2014 - 11:59 AM

I agree with a lot of what you comment but have highlighted the NFL bit.   Again I agree they as a organization have a far better marketing & PR team but then they have the money too... However I think the NRL games at Wembley may not be a fair comparison.  That is that an awful lot of fans will be travelling from across Europe.  The NFL event is a true European wide event.   Not sure what the percentage of fans will be from outside the UK but it will be a relatively very high percentage.


Two points I would make in response as to why it's a closer comparison than you think.


Firstly, the TRL "post code test" for everyone living south and west of Birmingham and in South Wales this is the "local" BIG rugby league event that does not result in an overnight stay in much the same way that European NFL fans can see a game without going stateside. Normally events such as this and the world cup semi-final have a 33-50% southern audience claimed so given the drop in the number of neutrals this year it could be viewed as a disturbing but predictable loss of interest in the sport outside the environs of the M62.


Secondly, Having gone to the NFL games, Aviva Premiership Finals and a Heineken Cup Final along with International Cricket matches what you get as part of the event is a lot going on outside the ground as well as the game itself. it's a big part of being at the "event". The Minnisota Vikings v Pittsburgh Steelers game last year was the best day out at a sporting event, including a close game, that I have had in the last decade. Now I take your point about the NFL having greater funding but a lot of what they do in the car park could be replicated by the RFL for minimal cost. You could have had the cheerleaders on stage, interviews with past players, your Rugby Leagfue bouncy castle games, Food and Drink on sale at the fans village. Autograph signing sessions with Castleford, Leeds and Rugby League legends for the fans - cheap 30 minute slots with players signing a printed action card and posing for fan photos. or even have your photo taken with the Challenge Cup,/ Super League trophy. There is a very poor mans attempt at this made at the Grand Final but not at Wembley. The RFL can do this as at Trafalgar Square for the world cup. What I am posting is why the RFL does not try to enhance the fan experience at what should be a celebration of the game and much more than shuffling from Wembley Park tube to ther ground hanging around in the "wind-tunnel" effect for the doors to open then shuffling back post-game.


Being involved in other sports makes me want at times to smash the keyboard when it comes to hoiw Rugby League almost delights in selling itself short. The game should be looking at other sports to benchmark how they operate and to see waht they do that might work for you. Other sports do take note of what League does which is why the likes of Peter Deakin, Dave Swanton and Sally Bolton are now elsewhere as to quote from the bible Luke 4:24 "no prophet is accepted in his own country".


On TV rights, David Davies proposed that the RL Challenge Cup Final ceased to be a listed event in November 2009



The Coalition has kicked this issue into touch until after the May 2015 election. This does not preclude SKY TV and the RFL putting pressure on political parties to revive the Davies proposal post election. SKY wants exclusivity, the RFL wants the money and political parties want to stay on the right side of Uncle Rupert  so 2018 is not as fanciful as some on this thread feel.


One Final point on TV - the BBC and SKY pay for the product- that means making the armchair viwer feel part of a live sporting event with a packed house and atmosphere. Patently judging by the comments of those of you who watched on TV this year it was less atmospheric than usual with the empty seats and therefore less of a televisual experience for you. So going back to comments made by Keith Hogg at a Broncos fan forum many moons ago when fans were herded into the one stand at the stoop. this was partly at the request of SKY TV who made a similar request to some Soccer clubs (i.e. cluster the fans on the side facing the TV cameras). The way things are going how long before the Challenge Cup final gets similar treatment with the lower tier still full but the upper tier seats sold only on the side facing the TV cameras ?