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Rugby League World Issue 402

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League Express



Member Since 08 Mar 2009
Offline Last Active Today, 02:47 PM

#2996634 Gateshead Thunder announce Falcons double header (merged threads)

Posted by keighley on 16 September 2014 - 12:54 PM

The RU game had a gate of 4,300 for a top level fixture. We know from the Gateshead SL season that we can match that. I hope the link up with the Falcons works and the Thunder start the march back to top level status which is one of the objectives of the new ownership.

#2994899 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 13 September 2014 - 09:13 PM

After nigh on 20 years of free gangway and after taking the games out of the north whether World cup games around the country, Millenium magic around the country, internationals around the country, SL starting in London, North and south Wales, Gateshead, championship in many places and kids playing it in schools all over the "Northern game" thing is being eroded as well as the game can do that.
So I don't think it's a fact that people think it's an alien sport. I think it's a fact the vast majority of people who like "football" prefer the association code, and after 100 years of Union apartheid the majority of people who like the "Rugby" code are used to and prefer the Union version and have the facilities to play and watch nicely entrenched in their areas.
It may be a "fact" it's a very difficult job converting people who prefer Union to League to convert and very difficult getting new generations to do so. After all the game isn't exactly prospering in the north. After all we don't have much money or facilities to work effectively on spreading the word.
MM was at Cardiff a few times and I went there. It helped boost Celtic Crusaders who attracted fans as well as northern clubs do and got kids playing as well as most northern clubs do, but it needed a Superleague club to do that week on week. The Scorpions are hardly doing it?
The choice of MM between Coventry and Newcastle is the no brainer when you analyse which RL club has the most potential to become a Superleague club and become the vehicle for developing the sport because MM is just a one off. It seems to me the purchase of Gateshead Thunder by Newcastle Falcons gives - albeit mainly feint hope - that maybe they'll take up Superleague ambitions. 
I'm afraid even in the "North" small clubs like York and Oldham, are no more a vehicle for substantial growth of the game than Coventry or Gloucester, that's why they exist side by side. Millenium Magic may primarily be a day out for RL fans but as a secondary vehicle for expansion it has to go where Superleague may be best promoted by the local money men. I think that is a fact and what the RFL are working on, Maybe if Coventry can be taken over by a £Millionaire Millenium Magic will be down there next year.

Usual guff from the archangel of SL. York, Oldham and Coventry, Gateshead, Gloucester, Doncaster, Sheffield and London Skolars are all in big enough population areas to be big in the game. Expertise in marketing, playing skills and cash are the only things needed.

Will they make it.Nobody knows but they have as much chance as a Barcelona franchise.

Even smaller clubs like Leigh, Halifax, Featherstone and Workington have as much potential as some of the current smaller SL members like Salford, Castleford, Widnes, Wakefield and even Huddersfield.

Compared to when the Bulls withdrew from Div 2, as usual bankruopt, and Leeds were attracting 6,000 to Headingley, the game has made enormous strides.

#2994890 12-14/09/14 - The Kingstone Press Championship 1 Play-Offs Thread

Posted by keighley on 13 September 2014 - 08:52 PM

May just be enough to get them all a cup of tea on the way home. lol

They should reverse the turnstiles and count how many exit the ground at the end of the Thunder game and any Falcons supporters who stayed should have half their entrance fee given to Hemel as well as those who only came for the RL game itself.

#2993953 11/09/14 - Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves KO 8pm (TV)

Posted by keighley on 12 September 2014 - 12:49 PM

Great game that, all kinds going on for the whole match. That Charnley try was immense, Gellings effort was incredible too.
McIlorum is a thug, cheap shots, late hits, he`s a moron that should be dealt with.

The referee was very weak in enforcing discipline for foul play. To give a yellow to both players for the several head shots to Pettybourne was a cop out. The Warrington player should have had a straight red and hopefully that would have quietened the mayhem which was to follow because of a lack of enforcement from the official at this incident.

Following that McIllorum was involved in several other dodgy incidents and should have been on a warning and should have walked for that late hit which inured the player. Blind late hits on unprotected players are cowardly and dangerous and the RFL should take serious action against McIllorum to set an example and eradicate this kind of thuggery from the game.

#2987142 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 02 September 2014 - 02:54 PM

they have survived by selling their best players and one mans largess, and in wakefields case a succession of adminstrators and the losses of creditors. 
You are making the mistake of thinking the game can simply run on the best it has now, when what the game actually needs to do is create better. Its the same argument we hear from the likes of Fev and Leigh, in that they should be promoted because with a fair wind and wet sail they might be as good or slightly better than the worst clubs in SL, as if that is what we are needing. 
Being among the strongest club of the clubs not strong enough for SL is like being the worlds tallest dwarf, it may be true and it may sound good but its not all that useful. Being the among the strongest clubs of the clubs not strong enough for SL is not earning your place at the top table. Being a strong SL club is.

1. they can join the party and grow.

2. When and if other bigger, richer clubs arise, they will be supplanted by them.

3. Until that happens, the best of the rest should be given their chance and see if they can join the top echelon on merit. If they can't hack it they will slide back to whence they came. If they can improve and prosper, so much the better for them and the overall game.

#2987004 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 02 September 2014 - 11:25 AM

id say the opposite. If anything tickets are too cheap. It often makes us look cheap

Is that why attendances are falling, because the tickets are too cheap ? We should really bang up the prices then and fill the stadia immediately !!!

#2986826 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 01 September 2014 - 09:57 PM

We both know full well what he meant, which was what he wrote.  Where there is the potential for a viable and strong flagship club, but that potential is split between lots of clubs, we must focus on creating major clubs.  
Leeds are one, Saints are one.  Warrington are one.  Hull are one.  Wigan are one.  Cats are one.  Salford look like being one as long as they are bankrolled.  After that, it is rather thin.  To try and squeeze another such club out of Hull is very optimistic.  There is a possibility for one in Toulouse.  Bradford and Keighley together might produce one, but two would be unlikely. Wakefield, Featherstone and Castleford might well produce one between them,
I often disagree with him, but he has been consistent to the point that people have complained it is tedious.

You can't have it both ways. Either you want regional teams thereby thinning the ranks of teams who are geographically contiguous or you just want the best teams you can get irrespective of geographical location and proximity.

The second option is my preference but, as you say, he has consistently argued for mega teams representing regional areas. By trying to keep both Wigan and Saints or Leeds and Bradford because they are big teams is contrary to that philosophy. What he really means is lets get rid of the teams I don't like but keep the big boys intact and his regional team plan is neither one thing or the other but a smoke screen whereby if your face don't fit, out you go.

#2985743 Centurions celebrate Heritage Day win over Workington

Posted by keighley on 31 August 2014 - 02:41 AM

This bonus point thingy could yet doom the Cougars. We need to get two from Dewsbury away and Fev at home, a tall order.

Congratulations to Leigh on their season and the attendance for a championship match which was more than half of the Catalans SL attendance in balmy southern France with a playoff place at stake and within spitting distance of a similar fixture at Widnes against Wigan.

This bodes well for the club if they can beat the stacked odds and get to SL next season.

#2985275 Happy 119th birthday, Rugby League!

Posted by keighley on 30 August 2014 - 12:44 AM

Mention the year 1895 to any Rugby League fan, and they’ll immediately tell you the significance of it. However, did you know that today – 29th August 2014 – is the 119th birthday of the greatest game?
That’s right; it was exactly 119 years ago on this very date that Rugby League was born – and we think that’s something worth celebrating! Twenty-two clubs from across the North of England sat down at the legendary George Hotel in Huddersfield to form the Northern Union, and give birth to the game we all know and love so much.
Since then, thousands and thousands of clubs around the world have joined those twenty-two clubs in playing what we all regard as ‘the greatest game of all’. So here’s to 119 years of rich, fantastic history – let’s hope the next 119 are just as exciting!
The twenty-two clubs and their years of foundation (in alphabetical order) were: Batley FC 1880, Bradford FC 1863, Brighouse Rangers FC 1878, Broughton Rangers FC 1877, Halifax FC 1873, Huddersfield FC 1864, Hull F.C. 1865, Hunslet FC 1883, Leeds FC 1864, Leigh FC 1878, Liversedge FC 1877, Manningham F.C. 1876, Oldham FC 1876, Rochdale Hornets FC 1871, Runcorn RFC 1895, Stockport RFC 1895, St Helens FC 1873, Tyldesley FC 1879, Wakefield Trinity FC 1873, Warrington FC 1875, Widnes FC 1875, Wigan FC 1872.
The post Happy 119th birthday, Rugby League! appeared first on Rugby League news and Super League scores | Total Rugby League.

View the full article on TotalRL.com

Geoffry Moorhouse in his brilliant essay "At the George" concludes with the following sentences which sums up my love affair with RL. He wrote

" Rugby League has remained unusually true to itself, an expression of values as well as a challenge and an entertainment now embedded deeply in the lives of generations on both sides of the world...but this is only a game. It cannot be, it should not be mistaken for the be all and end all of anybody's existence. But a game can be much more complex than patterns of athletic energy on a playing field. It can reflect and embody various habits and attitudes that amount to nothing less than a way of life: and this game does"

#2980646 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 20 August 2014 - 07:39 PM

Under the same format as the NFL i do. 


I dont think the owners of Leeds, Saints, Wigan et al have any problem spending money, i think its pretty clear they have no problem investing in the game. I think they do have a problem with the 'free money' aspect that some people think investment is. 


The whole history of the top clubs is selfish, me me me and wanting more of the pie and denying it to others. Good luck with your NFL scenario. Acting for the greater good is not in their DNA. Just look at the spoiled brat reaction to the new redistribution of funds to the Championships when some of them almost took their toys home and refused to play with the other kids.

#2980491 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 20 August 2014 - 02:29 PM

you can't break even on 7k attendances, you can simply spend less and do what London did this year but that goes in the minus column. 


I honestly don't know but have none of the sub 10,000 club broken even.? If they haven't we are looking as a disaster in the making as we fall to the size of the 5x 10,000 clubs that are out there.


It's quite simple really if we want to survive. Try to improve gates at every club but, in the meantime, live within your means or face extinction.

#2980020 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 19 August 2014 - 02:06 PM

The demography of rugby league is far too narrow. This is counterproductive in many ways and has an debilitating effect on interest.
That demography is working class/ lower middle class.

These people people have the lowest disposable income of the population.this US inhibiting especially when the economy is in a bad way.

Because if this aspirational sections of the population don't want to be associated it.

Because of this high end sponsors are deterred

Because of this the media has a negative view because it makes rugby league an easy target for stereotyping and is of interest to a narrow regional and socio/economic profile.

To overcome this we have to get fairly rich to very rich background, people who are going somewhere with their lives or at least believe they are. And we need to get posh people interested.
We sat we are inclusive but we aren't really because we put people off passively.


Don't you think that the very rich owners we have in the game now are upper class ?


I can only speak from my own experiences but my family and myself all come from the working class but that was now a couple of generations ago and now all of us are middle class, if not upper middle class, but the love of the game we learned from out fathers and grandfathers has endured and many of us still follow the game.


I think there are many thousands of families like this who have moved on up. Maybe the demographic of the game is changing? It would be good news if it were. We need all demographic levels to be supporters of the game.

#2980007 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by keighley on 19 August 2014 - 01:43 PM

There are, in my opinions, three things we can do to increase attendances right now (ignoring any structural reforms or expansion)


1) improve the match day experience. Too many poor grounds with poor facilities getting poor attendances, too many clubs thinking that the experience outside of the game itself is superfluous, too many clubs thinking that a kids choir or some mini's on the pitch classes as entertainment. Super League is the biggest, toughest, sporting challenge for 10000miles, with huge collisions, deft skill, outstanding athletes, lets act like it, there should be fireworks, explosions, music, pomp and ceremony. Pre match at SL should feel like the ringwalk for a heavyweight title fight at caesers palace, not like saturday night when there is a turn on at the local working mens club.


2)Take control of the narrative. Thats not about telling us the games are important because of the convoluted structure, its not really about hyping up whats at stake. Its about telling us why this particular game between this set of players is particularly important. Its about making sure that people know Ryan Hall is one of the best wingers in world rugby, its about knowing the challenge of whoever faces him. Its about making sure people know that Leeds have a top top quality back line, possibly the best in a generation. Its about people knowing what a monster Justin Carney is, the constant danger that Daryl Clarke creates. Think pro-wrestling or boxing, where we see a story written as the background to the match, that the match itself becomes infused with this wider meaning, the power puncher v the artist, the unstoppable force v immovable object.


3) Events, Events build interest, they elevate the visibility. Doesnt always have to be a huge investment (though some will be). It doesnt cost us anything other than a little imagination to see we have a game set aside because of the WCC, Why isnt that the rematch between the GF teams on a standalone weekend to begin the season? We could go a bit further and put it on in a larger stadium and really build it up, but even if we didnt, there is a free bit of interest, visibility and narrative for us without us doing anything other than changing a fixture around. We see it a little with the traditional easter games, build them up more, perhaps a double header or two. Heritage round, not only for the jersey sales but remembering a certain game, even Leeds v London could have been hyped up a bit more as remembering the '99 Challenge Cup final, get a few of the old boys to walk around the pitch at half time, produce a short VT for the big screen. These dont cost us a lot of money. We can also look at putting games on in bigger stadiums, get imaginative and work with potential sponsors, see the NRL's Marvel Superheroes round. Leeds and Wigan did it last year with the Man of Steel game. Something like that would be brilliant for our game over here. 


The RFL seems intent on varying between trying to reinvent the wheel to sell another 1million tickets, or giving up and just lowering prices and ambitions. What we need to do is sell another 1k tickets for the next match, and when we have done that sell another 1k, when we have done that, sell another, and another and another, and then that match is gone, we do the same for the next match, and the next. 


I must say that I really liked the WC with the flag presentations, the trophy introduction, the choirs, and dancers. it really did make each game, even in Workington and Rochdale seem like an event and greatly added to my enjoyment and anticipation of the main event, i.e the match.

#2978774 Aus v NZ

Posted by keighley on 17 August 2014 - 02:47 PM

Exactly, on the other side of the world. There would have been 75,000 at the World Cup final whoever had got there as it was nearly sold out before anybody knew who the finalists were.


It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that the finalists would be Aus, NZ or England and a more than even bet that the finalists would be Aus and NZ.

#2978709 York - The Games Sleeping Giant?

Posted by keighley on 17 August 2014 - 12:13 PM

York will  never produce a sustainable SL side, there you go, I said it. History and demographics go against them.


Its hard enough for Davy to try and get Huddersfield up to speed let alone getting York up there.


This is why you need large population densities were the top clubs are, York have the right population for an SL club, all other things going in their favour, unfortunately all other things go against them.


You said it so it must be right. Really. History in this case is irrelevant, They probably do need a Davy but who knows what is out there ? Who ever heard of Khoukash before he surfaced and saved Salford ?


As you say they have the population. Isn't the big argument against Leigh and Fev that they don't have it, so York must have a step up on them and Widnes and Castleford for that matter, who seem to be doing OK in SL.


If all the necessary elements come together in York, i.e stadium, team, cash, there is absolutely no reason why they can't be a SL team. You can do your King Canute impersonation and forbid the tide to move but you do not and cannot know that there can never be a SL team in York or several other locations for that matter.


Every one and his dog are pushing for Toulouse. I don't see the difference between them and York. They are a in a small league where they have won  trophies on the back of small gates. York are very close to doing the same. Both are being promised new or upgraded stadia, neither appear to have adequate financing in place in spite of big promises emanating from France.


The game is looking to expand to who knows where, Birmingham, Leicester, you name it and they hope for SL teams to arise in some such locations. I fail to see why York are not higher on the list for potential SL teams than any of these fantasy places.


Now don't jump on your high horse and state they are not ready for SL because they certainly are not. I am talking about today or in the next couple of years but in the future.