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Rugby League World Issue 402

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League Express



Member Since 06 Jun 2006
Offline Last Active Today, 07:02 AM

#2994603 Ian Paisley dies

Posted by Bob8 on 13 September 2014 - 11:24 AM

He was an absolutely horrendous bigot, who created a climate in which men killed innocent people merely for being Catholic. He may not have sent them off to do the killing but he was certainly in the background, whispering hatred in their ears. And he did absolutely everything in his power to stop any form of political or social equality, from the 1960s onwards - leading to a continued cycle of violence for decades to come. Even when the winds had changed and the UUP and SDLP were doing everything possible to bring a resolution, even bringing SF/IRA into the tent, Paisley still stood outside p**sing in. 


He did nothing to help bring about peace, merely undermine it at every turn. When it was finally in place, and he faced a fait accompli after the agreement had passed the referendum, he took advantage of the wounds inflicted on David Trimble by years of negotiations to manouvre his own party, the DUP, into a position of power. Even then it took another decade for him to accept a deal.


The fact that he could then sit in government with SF does not wipe out all that he did in the decades before.

Whilst everything you say is correct, there are things in his favour.  That his principles could be bought off meant that he would keep peace hostage, but would release it when he got his ransom.  Giving him a house and his family titles was a small price to pay.


He and McGuinness should be friends, they have much in common.  They are/were driven by murder, with personal prestige and power.  This meant they were easier to deal with.  A genuine idelogue, rather than hate filled egotists, would have been even worse.


They are hypocrites, but as they claimed that their 'principles' would prevent any compromise, we are fortunate they were lying.

#2993629 UK has most breweries per head of population

Posted by Bob8 on 12 September 2014 - 05:45 AM

Great news!

I am currently in the Red Lion, Ealing enjoying a pint of ESB (notes of marmalade etc).

(This is the pub directly opposite the old Ealing Film Studios.)

That is my local when I am in Ealing, which is not rarely.  Very fond of the place.

#2991623 Scottish Independence Referendum

Posted by Bob8 on 09 September 2014 - 03:10 PM

Oh yes

Believe it or not the only person I could remotely stand was the Tory

I've always had a lot of time for her

And as for Eddie 'set my people free' Reeder...

As an ordinary english person from a working class background I'm getting more resentful with everything I hear and read


Independence can't soon enough I'm sick of even hearing a Scots accent even especially a certain kind of Scots accent. OK so your Scottish and?

I have experienced that some Scots when referring to the English are using it as short hand for the evil, posh, London hoorah Henries and find it odd if you refer to yourself as English when not fitting that mould.

#2988436 RLEF has revoked Germany’s Affiliate Membership and Catalonia’s Observer status.

Posted by Bob8 on 04 September 2014 - 04:28 PM


Well, I partly disagree. Just to give an example:

RU in Germany is a minor sport as well. But they have at least a decent competition and the national team attracts a few thousands. The last game I attended Germany v NZ ambassadors attracted 3.000 something people despite bad weather and less marketing. Now compare this to the RL in Germany. The matches I attended at the Euro Shield - Germany v Italy (at 40 degrees) and Germany v Serbia - attracted approx. 50 people each. It is not about TV coverage as neither RU nor RL is being broadcast on German TV. And it shows that there is room to gain interest in RL in Germany.


I really don't know how anyone expects Rugby League to grow on the continent, never mind flourish. How do you expect people to gain interest in a sport they can't watch?


Instead of being broadcast on Sky Sports, the Super League should be on Eurosport, a programme that can be watched for free in Europe!


I've been living in Germany for more years than I care to count, and the only way I can watch Super League, or Rugby League at all for that matter, is via Internet streams...


In Denmark, the dominant club, that are like Rangers and Celtic all wrapped into one, attract about 15,000.  The second sport is hardball and top flight matches attract a few hundred.  Rugby union matches do not get crowds.  


The way rugby league has had hundreds along is by making it an event, getting relatively well known pop-stars along to perform, getting very good beer, food and music.  It is a struggle, but it is possible.  Roller derby are getting four figure crowds, we can learn from them.

#2984029 Ukip gets its first MP

Posted by Bob8 on 28 August 2014 - 03:03 PM

How much does it cost to stage a by-election, just to re-endorse someone who decides to switch horses mid-term?

It would be much cheaper if they scrapped this voting business.  I entirely agree, John, but I never thought you would come round ;)

#2982362 Rugby Codes Collide at Bath and Wigan Training Camp

Posted by Bob8 on 25 August 2014 - 07:47 AM

He was a contemporary of Victor Obogu, Jeremy Guscott, Andy Harriman, Adedayo Adebbayo and Steve Ojomoh. They've got 112 caps between them. Can you guess what else they have in common?

True, though at the time that Offiah went to league, they were yet to play.  The only black English rugby players that were playing for England in his lifetime up to that point were playing league.  He might well have percieved it as an issue.  That said, he was certainly hoping to make the squad and one of the conversations in which Loughton persuaded him to come to Widnes was detailing his weak kicking game as a reason he would not play for England RU.

#2979665 Expansion

Posted by Bob8 on 18 August 2014 - 06:14 PM

Had we "bit the bullet" and adopted Uncle Mo's big conurbation model would we have been better or worse off by now?
Unfortunately our strength .... Small town parochialism is also our biggest weakness.

His model was not really a big conurbation one.  St Helens and Halifax hardly fit that description.  It was intended as a big, viable club model and I suspect we would have had some traumas and be better off now.

#2979518 Your Fashion Faux Pas'

Posted by Bob8 on 18 August 2014 - 01:36 PM

Self praise is no praise at all.
YouTube the song "lovely like me" by Fred Wedlock.Sums it all up ;)

You could sit at the feet and learn from l'angelo mysterioso, who is my style guru.  Instead you choose to dwell in naff ignorance.


#2978925 York - The Games Sleeping Giant?

Posted by Bob8 on 17 August 2014 - 05:10 PM

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.

How about a system where if a Davy came along, he could build the infastructure and apply for a licence in Super League?

#2978607 The Daily Mash on RL

Posted by Bob8 on 17 August 2014 - 08:59 AM

Except the Onion is funny.

Personally, I have found very few articles in The Onion funny over the last few years, whereas The Daily Mash gives me an almost daily chuckle.

#2978578 Expansion

Posted by Bob8 on 17 August 2014 - 07:00 AM

The NFL went from a minor insignificant pro football league to the Colossus it is today.


The RL want to do something similar. Are you suggesting there is nothing we can learn from that or no part of their operations that we can replicate to add value to out competition.? We would be foolish not to study their methods and operations.

It did.


It went for a limited franchise model, very limited admittion to a private members club with no promotion and relegation.


You say we can learn from this by discarding franchising and throwing in as many teams as possible.


That is silly.

#2978016 Expansion

Posted by Bob8 on 15 August 2014 - 07:49 PM

In RL terms, I think we could include Leigh but Keighley and Dewsbury would probably not meet the financial standards required. At present just on a guess, I would think a 20 team league in two conferences would include the present 14 SL clubs plus Leigh, Fev, Fax and a new Toulouse team. That would put us on 18 teams. This is ok two conferences of 9. As other teams stepped up their games and qualified, they could be added as necessary.


For instance, if Newcastle's takeover of Gateshead gave us decent team or the Crusaders improved or York, Sheffield or Doncaster. All these are possibilities but they are not ready as of now.

Have SL teams in poor towns with minimal corporate or Government support on crowds of 3-4,000 generally propered in Super League?


By team 18, we are looking at villages with up to 2,500.

#2977948 Expansion

Posted by Bob8 on 15 August 2014 - 06:22 PM

I must admit, I didn't know that Green Bay play any home games outside of Lambeau - when was the last time they played in Milwaukee?



I don't know about that. It's more likely that for whatever reason, if there was interest there, they didn't offer the bells and whistles of somewhere else. In any case, The Chicago bears are about twice as close to central milwaukee as green bay is.


Also - what about all the east coast teams on top of each other?

When there are two teams in Dallas, one in Fort Worth and a couple in Austin, then this argument will be sensible. 


Frankly, people have seen the NFL is successful and want Keighley in Super League.  The brain has then been placed in a blender and the decision made that any successful team would want Keighley in Super League and ###### the good of the game.

#2977562 Amnrl officially dead

Posted by Bob8 on 15 August 2014 - 09:37 AM

David Niu deserves recognition for getting the game off the ground in the USA. The way he went about running what he founded may have, in the end, been counterproductive and divisive, but he got a domestic competition started and we should never forget that.

David Niu deserves recognition as one of the founders of the game in the USA.  He has received recognition as the founder and still is concerned with getting more.


The AmNRL announced their all time top XIII straight after the split.  One of the players in that had retired from playing and was a ref.  He mainly did AmNRL, but as soon as he did a USARL game, he was replaced from the All-TIme XIII.  Now the man who rubbed a player out of the all time XIII is complaing he is not being given recognition.


What we have to accept is that many RL organisations in new countries are founded because of a huge ego.  In the short term, it is the most effective way as it becomes hugely personal to the founder.  It is only when it is a success that it can become a problem.

#2977509 Expansion

Posted by Bob8 on 15 August 2014 - 07:22 AM

Why would the league be reduced. It should be expanded.
Each team who wanted a spot would have to submit an application and be vetted. The required standards could be a contentious issue.
If for some reason it contracted the league to 8, well that's what some people want anyway.

You used the NFL as an example.  You implied the NFL would expand the league.  There are a large number of excluded cities that could host another NFL team, San Jose, Memphis, Austin etc.... 


Fort Worth would bulid a great stadium and have huge crowds.  However, they are close to Dallas, so they have no chance.  What hope would Leigh and Keighley have under such a system.


They do not get one as the standards are set very high and the case has to be overwhelming.  If high standards were applied, we would be looking at teams who were A and B in the licencing round.  That would be a much smaller league.  It would be ring fenced and teams would have to put up a very strong case for inclusion, that they would bring in a large market and could be self-sustaining.  Leigh and Keighley would not have a hope, only Toulouse would be considered.


They also have a franchise system, so the franchise would be taken from e.g. Castleford and give to Toulouse.  They would not fall over themselves to set up a franchise in Castleford.