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Rugby League World Issue 402

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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
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League Express

Podcast

Gerri Monside

Member Since 26 May 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 09:06 AM
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#2982227 Empty Seats On The Telly.....

Posted by Gerri Monside on 24 August 2014 - 03:53 PM

This year was the first time, as a neutral, I've left the ground with a very melancholy feeling about the final. I think melancholy  is the right word, not disappointment because the game itself wasn't bad & the spectacle is always great. Maybe worried might be a more fair reflection. The feeling actually started in our usual pre-match watering hole of the Allsop Arms which, though busy, was nowhere near as "rammed" as it has been in previous years. The same was true of the tube ride & to a certain extent the walk up Wembley way. There seemed far fewer food outlets etc. Then inside the stadium, there was the mass of empty seats and a more subdued atmosphere than usual. For me, despite the best efforts of Hull FC, the challenge cup final is THE event of the rugby league calendar and its such a shame to see it in the state it is now. Yesterday was perhaps the most dramatic illustration as many have stated on here: fewer neutrals, fewer "lower league" shirts, fewer amateur shirts & even fewer fancy dress.

 

I don't know what the answer is, but rescheduling would definitely help. A more practical gap between semis & final (4-5 weeks), more intensive promotion & less "bargain basement discounting" should also be considered.

 

Despite my melancholy/worries, I'll still be going again next year as it is, and always will be, the best date in the rugby league calendar. 




#2954734 04/07/14 - Hull FC v Warrington Wolves KO 8pm

Posted by Gerri Monside on 04 July 2014 - 07:21 PM

Worst traffic conditions I've faced in a long time. 2h took me as far as swinton - at which point I bailed out. Another hour & half to get home. And now I'll have to rely on humberside'a inciteful, thought provoking & well balanced commentary


#2937536 31/05/2014 - London Broncos v Hull FC KO 3pm

Posted by Gerri Monside on 01 June 2014 - 08:44 AM

Enjoyable day in the sun in London yesterday & I'll settle for the result.  Just about everybody missed the sending off (including me - I only found out about it in the bar at half time!) so no surprise that people were confused. Not a great display of officiating from George Stokes - or the touch judges to be honest. However, it's a difficult job so that's all I'll say on the matter.  Young Callum looks like he's got a bright future. Took his tries well & doesn't look out of his depth at all.  Just hope he isn't built up to be the next worldbeater only to be crucified when/if he has a run of "poor" games. Good turnout from the faithful yesterday & we'll have boosted the Bronco's finances in bar takings alone...

Can't see London avoiding the drop, but I sincerely hope they survive and stay at the Hive. It's a cracking little ground, with good sight lines and ridiculously easy access (by tube at least). There's masses of potential as its surrounded by playing fields - would be great to see juniors, touch rugby etc played there before a game.

Feel for London though, they're doing it tough at the moment. You know its bad when your regular mascot doesn't show up & you have to get one of the programme sellers to do it.




#2932894 The Magic Weekend Match Thread

Posted by Gerri Monside on 21 May 2014 - 12:18 PM

Here's what my eyes saw;
 
7 games of rugby league in which every player in every team gave all they had on the day.
2 days of superb skill and athletlicism delivered by players who don't cry if someone forgets their birthday and are not paid more than the Prime Minister
Fair bit of drama
A fantastic stadium bathed in colour
Lots of smiles and happy people
Brilliant "fancy dress"
Some good live music and a fair bit of partying
True friends wearing and supporting a variety of team colours all sat together.
Banter and laughs with stewards
Banter and laughs with Metro Tram staff.
A unique sporting event.. Quote from DJ Spoony - "All sport should be watched this way - a truly fantastic experience" - Yes it is!
Extreme consumption of alcohol even at £4.20 a pint - how do they fit all that liquid in?
Some ejections from the ground
A few unsavoury drink related incidents.
 
You might be able to tell - this event for me is the bees knees - just love it.
 
Sustaining and continuing the event will ensure the crowds will increase - word of mouth - its great, just get there and all that.


Pretty much my view of the whole thing. Been to all of the Manchester events and (results aside for me) they're nothing short of excellent. Always good weather, always meet a great bunch of people from all clubs. Fantastically easy access to the stadium. Beer & food prices are ok & in-line with what you'd expect from a major venue.

My one concern, and its very minor at the moment, is that this year there seemed to be more of an element of the "stag" about it. Not a problem per se, unless loads more see it this way. There were certainly some seriously trollied superheroes, minions, popes and nuns as I left. All very good natured, but I'll never look at Superman the same way after seeing him throwing up outside.....somebody must have slipped a Kryptonite into his ale.....

Seriously, though, it's a great event & I hope it continues for many more years.


#2922618 See the mice in their million hordes

Posted by Gerri Monside on 29 April 2014 - 12:37 PM

Red Dwarf reference.  I think that Oxford likes to use cultural references of varying levels of obscurity although none of them seem to help him get his point across.  I seem to remember one thread where he said that anyone on here should be ashamed at not knowing that Dennis Waterman once played Dally Messenger in a TV film.

*pedant mode* It was Harold Wagstaffe IIRC *pedant mode off*




#2921781 BBC coverage

Posted by Gerri Monside on 27 April 2014 - 11:37 AM

Not been mentioned on here yet, but I thought Ben Thaler's explanation of the VR decisions came across very well.  Gave a clear explanation of what he was looking for and how he arrived at the decision.  Far better than the Sky effort...... "and the decision is.....try"....




#2898473 Koukash confirms wife’s interest in purchasing Bulls

Posted by Gerri Monside on 13 March 2014 - 01:20 PM

And I know I'm firmly in the significant minority in this one, but I find it difficult to buy in to the hype surrounding Koukash and his money / aims / motives & dreams. I have an in built suspicion of the "saviours" that miraculously appear when a club is on its 'arris and put forward spectacular plans which generate media & supporter interest proclaiming a life-long love of the game. Then when the initial hubbub settles you usually find out that the interest isn't really that strong and the motives are somewhat less than philanthropic. I hope for everyone's sake that I'm wrong - and I'd be happy to be proved so, but I can't get over the feeling that something isn't quite what it seems.


#2898469 Koukash confirms wife’s interest in purchasing Bulls

Posted by Gerri Monside on 13 March 2014 - 01:09 PM

Be a Good Cup Final wouldnt it?  First time the 2 Chairmen walk out holding hands!
 
Great news if she pulls the deal off & thats from a Salford fan.

[Pedant mode]It wouldn't be the first though. Gary & Kath Hetherington walked out together as respective chairs of Leeds & Hull for the 2005 cup final/


#2888550 Bradford Bulls deducted 6 points & purchasers withdraw

Posted by Gerri Monside on 25 February 2014 - 09:38 PM

What a sorry, sorry mess. Claim & counter-claim. Statement and counter-statement. Insolvency, debt, HMRC. New buyers. Buyers pulling out. RFL bailouts. Proper process. Personally, I wonder where all this will end but I'm confident in only one thing : there will be  no winners in this, merely degrees of losing. Like all of us on here, I'm a rugby league supporter through & through and this sort of debacle hits right to the core.  We have a fantastic product which offers unparalleled levels of skill, bravery, athleticism, speed and strength. We have players who still respect (yes, really respect) the match officials, who do a thankless task and even admit occasionally they get it wrong. We are a sport that loves to innovate and isn't afraid to change or re-invent itself in the undying hope that one day it will receive the credit, exposure and participation levels that it so richly deserves. We have fans who support their clubs to the end, who are happy to mingle with their opponents and engage in banter, joshing and even heated debate in the same pub / club / bus / train / ground and yet rarely descend into the brutal, factionist hooliganism that is evident in some other sports.

Frankly, our sport and we ourselves deserve far, far better than we are being offered at the moment. We are being let down & sold short. This has to end.




#2882738 Reasons to be Cheerful

Posted by Gerri Monside on 17 February 2014 - 10:11 PM

There really are some very positive, forward looking, enthusiastic posters on here at times. For every doom monger and nay-sayer, there can be a passionate enthusiast with confidence & good stuff to say.  I think the world cup maybe gave some of the more positive, but less vocal, among us a chance to come forward with those views. Despite the Burgess news today, there is plenty to feel positive about. Good set of attendances on day 1, improved TV deal, "interesting" if not complicated league structure which might bring a bit more interest to all of the clubs.  Yes, there are grounds for optimism. And as for today's news - there was rugby league before Sam and there sure as hell will be rugby league after him!




#2879809 14/02/14 - Hull FC v Catalan Dragons KO 8pm (Sky Sports)

Posted by Gerri Monside on 13 February 2014 - 12:21 PM

 

What pre-season have you been watching?!
Draw to Donny, stuffing by Bradford and an absolute buggering by Featherstone. This is the worst pre season I've ever witnessed Hull have.

The irony / sarcasm doesn't come through then?!! In reality I expect another season of false hope, occaisional good perfromances leading to a feeling of "yes, its coming good", followed by settling down into the usual pattern of steady disappointment.....

Apologies for any confusion.


#2869963 wwI

Posted by Gerri Monside on 26 January 2014 - 12:51 PM

If we don't already have one, I'd like to see a Roll of Honour for all those who played RL professionally, served their country, but never came home.




#2865491 The never-ending League Restructure debate (Many merged threads)

Posted by Gerri Monside on 17 January 2014 - 06:42 PM

Trying hard to find some positive in this, but I'm struggling.  After all the positive feeling, optimism, hope and enjoyment after the world cup, I'm left with my head spinning and really not knowing which way to go.  I won't be drawn into the "farce, shambles disgrace" debate just yet as I need time to work out what it all means and how its going to work in practice. The biggest disappointment to me is that will make us look like a sport that is constantly looking for novelty value when the reality is the base product is of such good quality it should sell itself.  I've supported this game for over 30years and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.  I get the feeling most of us would share that feeling. So why do we need to endlessly tinker with structures / formats / rules etc.  What's needed is stability.  So, if this is the structure we're going to have, please just let's not do anything, at all with it for a considerable length of time. If ever.




#2863665 Koukash demands fans backing

Posted by Gerri Monside on 13 January 2014 - 11:17 PM

Just on the parking issue. Eccles juniors is the place to go as its right on the motorway exit & about 10min walk (admittedly through a rough part of town, but I've never had any trouble). They charge £3, are always friendly and, although I've not been in, the clubhouse serves cheap beer, cheap grub & shows DVDs of "classic matches".

On the "how to engage the public" bit, berating your potential customers, clients, supporters is never a good thing to do as it tends to backfire pretty spectacularly.  The doctor, and other clubs for that matter, might want to  take a leaf out of Everton's book.  This weekend they held a "junior day", which involved having kids as match-day announcers, officials and even one as a mini-Martinez (right down to an identical suit).  For me, that's the way to get engagement - make it special for the kids and they'll then pester the parents to go on a regular basis. Far better strategy than going down the "frankly I'm disappointed with the response of the public" line.




#2857850 New Year's Honours List - RL recipients (merged threads)

Posted by Gerri Monside on 31 December 2013 - 10:28 AM

Congrats to all who've received honours, but I'm particularly pleased for Mal Kielty. I first met him when he was a salesman, supplying cleaning materials to our company.  He had a great sales technique : talk about rugby league for about half an hour, during which time he'd fill in his order form. At the end of the chat, he'd hand the form over and ask "I take it you'll be wanting a repeat order then? Usual quantity? Yes. Just sign on the line". Turns out I wasn't alone - this was standard practise with all of his customers.  

He's worked tirelessly for disabled / wheelchair sport though - think he was involved with wheelchair basketball at first and then moved on RL. A very richly deserved honour for a great bloke.