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Rugby League World Issue 402

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League Express


Richard de la Riviere

Member Since 30 Apr 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 09:28 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Town v Barrow

17 August 2014 - 06:18 PM

I doubt Lupton will go to 13. Loose forward is like an extra prop now, not an extra stand-off. And we've already got plenty of options there.

In Topic: Town v Barrow

17 August 2014 - 04:06 PM


In Topic: 2015 General Election predictions

12 August 2014 - 12:13 AM

No. I got the info from Twitter. If you have an account, one of the best to follow for polling is @msmithsonpb

In Topic: Have you got yours yet?

09 August 2014 - 11:49 PM

I think the RFL can take some of the blame for the reduction in the crowds for the Challenge Cup Semi-Finals because of some of their choices for semi-final venues. Since 2004, they have made some bad choices I think that has damaged the prestige of this stage of the competition and has accelerated the decline. Even though we rarely sold out venues prior to this, the decision to choose a venue with a capacity of just 13k at the time for a game as big as Warrington-Wigan proved damaging. I personally think it didn't sellout at the time because the venue didn't make it seem like an event, IIRC it was the Wigan fans that didn't turn up in numbers. Sadly, the lack of a sellout justified the RFL's decision and we have seen far more venues like this chosen to the point where we now get Salford, Leigh, Warrington and Widnes regularly used and we see derbies involving Wigan and Saints not even close to selling out a 14k venue.


This round of semi-finals has showed how the RFL don't think sensibly when it comes to the choice of venues. 12k was a probably expected crowd today, yet we have a guaranteed 12k sellout tomorrow involving teams with average crowds not much more than half that of the teams today. I'm pretty sure the RFL expected that the Wire-Leeds game would get easily more than tomorrow. Yet if they'd have actually took some time they might have realised that this wasn't necessarily the case. Teams like Wire and Leeds regularly play in semi-finals and they mean very little to their fans. However, for both Widnes and Cas this semi-final represents the best opportunity to get to Wembley in 30 years and these two clubs have brought fans to a neutral venue recently with 15k/20k at Leeds in 2007. The venue whilst uninspiring also ensured long queues and difficulty in getting tickets which inevitably put people off.


Small venues put fans off and show a serious lack of ambition. The best example is when they downgraded GB to smaller stadia. In the 1990's we didn't play against the Aussies at home in front of less than 30k, almost all of these were closer to or above 40k. However, in 2001 we downgraded to smaller venues all under 30k to guarantee sellouts. The result? A whopping 21k in a 24k stadium for the opener. 


A similar thing is happening here but on a smaller scale. I can understand the thought that a half-empty Huddersfield didn't look great but the problem is that we are now choosing these venues for not just the smaller games but the bigger games too to try and guarantee a sellout. The end result will be all semi-finals being played at Salford or Leigh with neither of them even selling out.

Absolutely spot on

In Topic: 2015 General Election predictions

07 August 2014 - 09:42 PM

According to a Survation poll released last night, Labour have a 9pt lead across 13 Tory-held marginals. This is huge, and this is where it'll be decided.