Yes, one of the slightly frustrating things about the way the season is organised is that if you lose your L1 Cup game and then lose your Challenge Cup game (as seems probable for Skolars, Oxford, South Wales & Coventry?) then your next game is not until Good Friday - 3 weeks off. Mind you, Coventry probably won't have had any home games until the league kicks off in April.
I reckoned about 120 at Skolars, although I see the official crowd is given as 156.
Depending on what happens in the CC this weekend perhaps some local friendlies could be organised - keeping match fit is going to be key this season.
I got bored watching the endless parade of York tries in the second half yesterday (four in one ten min spell) and counted the crowd. Reckon 150 is right with around 20 from York. Some regulars were in Leigh and look at gates more generally I don't think the L1 Cup is a going to be a big crowd puller.
1/ good signings and returning experienced players
2/ £4 million revamp of New River
3/ 800 at Capital Challenge and 700 at friendly against Broncod
4/ 400 people playing in all the various teams (it self a sign of community outreach)
5/ 20th year of competitive RL
This has sort of morphed into a discussion about watching teams other than the ones you support, which is cool.
I suspect that there isn't actually much difference between fans in the heartland areas and those who aren't. While I do not have to explain what RL is down here on the whole, I suspect I have to explain how the leagues work more than areas where it gets more coverage. My (Kent born) son is a RL fan as is his partner who comes from north Yorks and whose family are life long Leeds fans.
I wonder whether there is a bit more of a frontier mentality down here amongst fans.
I certainly think RL fans are very friendly and welcoming. Skolars Friday Night Lights shows that. Cru fans are great and am looking forward to their return to New River...
On Saturday in Perpignan there where four or five Broncos fans stod on the rail infront of the main stand. One guy with a ringing voice shouted repeatedly, 'Loondon, Looondon!' So impressively the local crowd behind him stood up and
He is pretty well known by all London RL fans - actually you can pretty much hear him where ever you live in London.
An idle thought this ..... but I was wondering - as a Berkshire born and London living RL fan - whether there is a difference between heartland and non heartland fans? So, for example although I am a Skolars fan and season ticket holder I think I associate as much with RL as a whole as any one team... meaning that I am happy to watch other teams including 'rivals' like Hemal and London Broncos. This is not the case with football. I care about Reading FC and am frankly happy if local rivals like Swindon do badly.
Does RL look/feel different in the heartlands? If I was born and lived in Bradford would my interest be focused primarily on the Bulls? Would the idea of watching Keighley or Leeds be beyond the pale?
As I say just an idle thought but I do wonder sometimes what it must feel like to live in a part of the country where RL is on par with other sports....
I agree about the above about RFL. One thing we really need in London is to join things up more. Both Broncos and Skolars have supporters groups and Hemel are owed by the fans - we need to come together as London RL Fans and see what we can do. Skolars do great community work. Broncos will hopefully build what they are beginning (hard if you keep moving though). Perhaps more cooperation. More links with the amateur clubs too.
Just home from a weekend down in London and nursing a very sore head. Friday Night Lights was fantastic fun and its great to meet the various clubs that turn up and old friends from London. Thanks to everyone who looked after us, put on the games, cooked and served beer to the North Wales Crusaders formation drinking team. We had a blast. Oh! and the Challenge cup wasn't bad either!