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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/24/2018 in Posts

  1. 36 points
    The negative crew might want to look away now.... Some great stats to come out of the North East from 2018 More to come in 2019!! The game is alive and kicking
  2. 30 points
    The Catalans are absolutely right. Delighted they are forcing the issue.
  3. 21 points
    I've started writing this post a few times without success. I just don't know what to say. It is absolutely disgusting and idiotic that people that run a sport seem to care so little about the stability, organisation and public perception of its premier competitions. This is literally the only sport, ONLY SPORT, where the governing body would treat some of their most important clubs so badly. The 3 overseas teams are supposed to be the teams we are nurturing and giving as much help as possible to grow. By demanding money we might as well be threatening them with a knife and mugging them. It's almost like people in charge don't want the game to grow. Instead of demanding money if anything the RFL should be giving them money, subsidising their travel and fans away tickets or something along those lines or instead of moaning about low final attendances they could have done discounts for fans of other teams, put on free or discounted travel to get people to go instead of sitting round whinging. They should be giving them as much aid as possible to ensure they grow. Catalans and toulouse could be major teams in French sport in general but it isn't gonna happen with the idiots at the RFL in charge. Catalans are gonna parade the trophy at Barcelona. There is a reason football is as massive as it is. There is stability, there is a plan, the competitions do not get messed around every year and structures do not change constantly. People know what is going on. It is a joke that the RFL could potentially have created a situation where the defending champions of their most famous competition will not compete and any potential new fans in Barcelona, football fans, will just see us as a laughing stock, as will the general public (who already do) when the media catch hold of it. The challenge Cup is the one thing in our game that the governing bodies around the world haven't basically ripped apart but I guess it was only a matter of time. There is nothing wrong with the actual sport, nothing wrong with the actual game, it is the greatest sport in the world but the people that run it are, quite frankly, morons, and I hope to God they read this forum because I'm really reaching the end of my tether with them. They go on about attendances dropping but they don't realise that so many fans are walking away because they are fed up with this sort of thing. It is so frustrating how badly they treat our sport! The 3 overseas teams are absolutely right in not paying any money to those greedy ####s! I think that's everything I wanted to say.
  4. 20 points
    http://www.totalrl.com/newcastle-thunder-aiming-for-big-things-on-and-off-the-field-in-2019/ With big names such as Bradford and York securing promotion from League 1 last season, and the third-tier being reduced to just 11 teams, it may be easy for casual rugby league fans to pay less attention to the competition in 2019. However, do so at your peril – because you may well miss one of the most encouraging stories across the whole of the professional game. Newcastle Thunder are arguably the most ambitious club in League 1, underlined by the fact they are targeting promotion into the Championship this season – a feat many are tipping them to achieve given their impressive recruitment drive thus far. However, in a sport where participation numbers are falling across the board, it is what the Thunder are doing beneath first-team level which deserves a platform all of its own. Newcastle, rather than the RFL, take the leading responsibility for the running of rugby league in the North East at all levels, a strategic move which is already paying huge dividends. As general manager Jordan Robinson explains to TotalRL: “It’s very similar to the model you see in Australia. We’ve got 12 clubs up here now in the North East and some of them have got Open Age sides, while some haven’t – so it’s our job and our responsibility to grow that as well as grow ourselves. “But our participation numbers are rocketing; in three years, they’ve gone up 19%. We’ve got over 1,300 players registered to play at local clubs across the North East – and while we know it’s not massive just yet, if we look at the fact we’re growing that number year-on-year, it’s hard not to be excited about what we’re putting in place.” Underlined by their intent to administrate North East rugby league at all levels rather than allowing other bodies to do so, it is clear Newcastle are not afraid to do things differently. But it quickly becomes apparent from speaking with Robinson that the community is at the heart of every decision they make – including planning first-team fixtures. “When we get our League 1 fixtures every year, we arrange community fixtures around them so it all fits in and nobody feels like they’ve got to miss anything,” Robinson reveals. “Our local finals day will always be at our stadium to try and put on a show, and we’ll always try and make our kids feel like superstars when they play here, with a big screen up for parents to watch the games. “The biggest gripe from a lot of community clubs elsewhere across the country is that professional teams cherry-pick the best juniors, spit them out and eventually cast them aside. We’ve tried to move away from that and said we won’t just develop who we think are the best – we’ll develop everyone. Any junior player that wants to get involved with the Thunder can do so.” The Thunder’s remit for developing rugby league in the North East is not just limited to Newcastle itself, either. Robinson says: “Edinburgh Eagles are now in our structure, Glasgow are hopefully going to do the same and we’ve a club in Middlesbrough that went from nine kids playing there to 64 in just two years. We don’t have a lot of resources given to us so we’re putting our own money in and relying on volunteers, but we do what we can. “There used to be four or five full-time coaches across the region but what you’d get with that is a bit of complacency when it came to how we develop the sport. Participation wasn’t as high then as it is now with no full-time staff – and of course, it helps that the club are picking up a bit.” Robinson’s assertion that things have picked up ‘a bit’ with Newcastle is an understatement. Crowds have gone up five-fold in just two years, with the community again at the heart of their crowds, which regularly reach four figures – that should comfortably be the highest in League 1 in 2019. The Thunder’s owners, who also own rugby union side Newcastle Falcons, have invested in making the club a sustainable, profitable business – with junior development again their core philosophy. “People come down to see us and they can see a club on the rise now,” Robinson admits. “The owner sees the importance of solid foundations, and he’s paying community coaches to go into schools. We get half the funding Super League clubs do for our Academy; the owner makes up the rest. He invests each year because he wants this club to be built organically, from the ground up. Average attendances have gone from 200 to 1,000 in five years – it’s a phenomenal rise.” On the field, big names such as Liam Finn, Keal Carlile and Misi Taulapapa have arrived to bolster Jason Payne’s squad too – and Robinson is in no doubt about the goal for Newcastle’s first-team in 2019. “Everyone at the club is fully focused on gaining promotion,” he insists. “We’ve picked up some experienced signings that we’re really happy with – Liam is the big one, but there are others. We need to take the next step now and taking nothing away from the rest of the division, we expect to be really competitive. We’ve got a fantastic dual-registration agreement with Wakefield and we’re going to utilise it.” And if they handle their promotion push as well as they have the redevelopment of the community game in the North East, then League 1 had better be careful of the Thunder in 2019.
  5. 20 points
    Talk about knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. How much positive publicity did the Catalan victory bring to the game, despite the relatively low attendance?
  6. 19 points
    Catalans have the cup, don't they? They should ask for 500k to give it back 😂
  7. 16 points
    Speaking as someone experiencing the work that is being done by Newcastle Thunder I have nothing but praise for them. This time last year I had no experience of Rugby League apart from seeing the odd game on TV, now I'm signing up to comment on a site like this and that is all due to the work they've been doing. My eldest son started high school a year past September (year 7) and was introduced to Rugby League there with a Newcastle Thunder Community Coach coming in each week. By November the school had a team taking part in a tournament put on by the Thunder at Kingston Park and he was hooked. By January he was wanting to sign for a community club at which point my life as a Rugby Dad started, but he was not the only one from his school now hooked with another 4 of his school friends signing up to community clubs. Once signed up with a community club that is when we found out about the Thunders player development programme, run one Saturday morning every month and open to anyone in the relevant age group and that wasn't just lip service there are kids there of all abilities from complete novices to the areas best getting coaching from the Thunder coaches and players. Each month through to the end of the season there must of been 60 - 80 kids there benefiting from fantastic sessions. Come May the Magic Weekend was some experience, not just for our first live Super League games but also for all the work the Thunder did around it. I've got pictures of the bairn holding the Super League trophy after it was brought along to his Community teams midweek training and got to watch him play at St.James Park for his school team in a tournament arranged in the weeks build up to the weekend before another tournament with the school on the Friday night before the Thunder vs Bulls game followed by tickets to the match. Magic Weekend is going to be a big miss this year. By late spring I was a proper Rugby Dad with my youngest son pulled in to play Rugby League as well and loving it. By the end of the season my eldest was actually nominated for (didn't win 😥) the North East U12's player of the year and all this started from the Thunder Community programme, 2 new Junior players and 4 new fans with Grandad now also watching Rugby League. Hope this post puts some perspective to the original post.
  8. 13 points
    When Catalans got to the final, the RFL could have called a joint press conference with the FFRXIII (both here and in France) and pronounced this as the biggest day in the history of club RL in Europe. They did nothing, they said nothing. When caught on the hoof Rimmer talked about bringing in plan B for Wembley - WTF?? The GB tour, the RFL are doing nothing and saying nothing. How is the "commercial hardware" going in relation to that 2 months on? When is the next England game? The Cup has no sponsor. Guess what? In August your market suddenly opened itself up to European brands too didn't it?? Possibly even North American brands? Unless you have a brainfart and slam the door shut on that. This leadership is so far out of its depth it is destroying itself, without the need of anyone with a grudge against our game lifting a finger.
  9. 13 points
    Mr Rimmer,just do the decent thing and resign.
  10. 13 points
    My heartfelt condolences go out to Oldham and all their supporters
  11. 12 points
    What a Joke. Need for a big clean out at the top. The staff running the game in England for the last decade and moving forward will kill the game off to amateur status in the next 30 years
  12. 11 points
    At Brutus two weeks time. Catalans first pre-season game – they play Toulouse Olympique the following Friday too - also in Perpignan. This Elite 1 selection picked by the Tricolores coach Aurelien Cologni. Only three clubs not represented – TO/Palau and Albi. 6 of the nineteen are/have been involved with the Dragons at some stage. Carcassonne second row pair Canet-Escamilla well merited. The young lad at Villeneuve Goffin showing up presently there too. Three overseas players included Gregorius, Tanginoa and Godinet.The selection will have two training sessions in preparation.
  13. 11 points
    More importantly, London run an academy and that is largely how they have got into SL. Academies are not an overhead they should be your life blood.
  14. 11 points
    I just wanted to wish my fellow TRL debaters a very Merry Christmas. I hope yours is a peaceful one.
  15. 10 points
    This has been discussed quite a bit on the Brexit thread but so far our only conclusion is:
  16. 10 points
    appropriate attire for a Christmas dinner in Toronto with Wolfpack fans!
  17. 9 points
    Well we know Red Star Belgrade are entering the 2019 Challenge Cup and have aspirations for League 1, now they’re adding additional focus to their youth program. As a business owner myself, i think this is a fantastic initiative and will be throwing in a tenner. https://chuffed.org/project/redstar If you are serious about growing the game you should do the same. We complain that Toronto isn’t interested in youth, well let’s show our support for an expansion club doing the extraordinary! https://chuffed.org/project/redstar
  18. 9 points
    This further confirms my premise that the biggest threat to RL is itself. Not Rugby Union, not the media, not societal changes, but the managers of the sport. It would be great if the other big clubs would boycott the Challenge Cup in solidarity with Catalans, Toulouse, and Toronto.
  19. 9 points
    You know when you got invited to a party, didn't bring a bottle then ended the evening peeing all over the dinner table - did you ever wonder why you never got invited back?
  20. 9 points
    Newcastle is such a strategically important area for Rugby League so it's great to see that not only is the team improving both on and off the field, but that Rugby League's presence in the region is also growing. Here's hoping that the team can make its way into the Championship and continue to grow from there.
  21. 9 points
    I know that I shouldn't really bother with you, because you don't listen anyway- but it's raining here in New York, there's very little on TV, and I'm off today so I will indulge you. Firstly, 19,320 people in Denver is not a poor crowd. That's more than fit in the area's MLS stadium, larger than most NHL or NBA crowds, and almost 2,000 more people than came out to see the same teams in Hull a few months later. Nobody in the area had any idea about the rivalry, or had much knowledge of rugby league at all. If the NRL had not obstructed Jason Moore at every turn, meaning he had no time to do proper professional-level promotion in the region, the crowd could have easily topped 20-25k people. 19,000+ people coming out to see a game they had no idea about, with two teams they knew nothing about, is impressive. The largest USA Rugby crowd for a game not involving the All Blacks (the rugby team in either code anyone here knows) was US/Ireland at Red Bull Arena, 22k. Denver was in touching distance of that, and that game had 6 months of promotion- which Jason Moore did not get. As far as MLR setting up teams to "counter" rugby league- hold on while I stop laughing. Few more seconds. OK, OK. Lemme say this as clearly and slowly as I possibly can so you can understand this: There is no animosity here between rugby union and rugby league. None. Doesn't exist at all. Rugby union is a tiny, tiny little sport here. They get about 2,000 people out to MLR games. MLR is putting teams where there are clusters of rugby union clubs willing to pay for it. That's it. They're not "countering" RL or thinking about it at all. I was in contact with one of the people mentioned in the Mascord article for months prior to Denver, and while he did not share any names due to negotiations, they were talking to some serious names over here. They got the Denver Broncos- who have more social media followers than the champions of Super League and NRL combined (probably more than the entirety of both leagues combined)- to actively promote RL on social media once the game was confirmed. Also, from what Ricky Wilby has mentioned on the Full 80 Minutes one of the NY investors is a big property guy here. Sounds like he has some means, eh? Also we have no idea who the Boston proposal team is talking to. . You really have no idea about how sports work in the United States whatsoever. You have no idea what the US sports culture is like at all. I've followed soccer here since I was a teenager in the pre-MLS dark ages. Soccer was big in the 1880s, yes, so was bareknuckle boxing. Soccer effectively died here after the Soccer Wars and remained dormant, with only ethnic clubs scattered across the country playing, until the rise of Pele and the NY Cosmos in the 1970s. When the NASL died in 1984 the sport was again effectively dead, with only amateurs playing and zero national attention until USA '94 and the birth of MLS. Now, after 20 years of having a professional league, there are millions of players and clubs. See how that works Parky? You have a pro league and teams- THEN you have players. This is a top down, not bottom up, country as I've repeatedly said and pointed out to you. The National Hockey League survived in the United States for multiple decades with a majority of teams in the United States, yet as many as 90% of the players were Canadian. Now, after over half a century,, Canadians are for the first time outnumbered by Americans and Europeans. How did that happen? Magic? No, the NHL continued to expand outside it's Canadian and US heartlands of New England and the northern Midwest into new regions, and kids started to play the game. Holy hell, what a concept. I can assure you there were no serious local hockey youth set ups in Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Nashville, San Jose, or Dallas before the NHL came to town. As far as robbing players from England- you seem to forget there is a large country in the Southern Hemisphere that plays RL to a pretty good level. A country that has a unique visa fast track relationship with the United States. What would appeal to an Australian guy playing in the NSW Cup? Playing in Mount Pritchard or Penrith or playing in New York or Boston? I wonder. As I mentioned, Denver got a good crowd by any metric. Rugby union was nowhere on the sports landscape as a grass-roots amateur game for 100 years and now, even with a pro league, is only pulling 2K crowds and playing at places like a high school. Soccer was nowhere and ignored in the periods we did not have a top level professional league. The "grass roots" had zero impact on how the sport grew, they were powerless to attract players or interest as amateur organizations. I've been to thousands of soccer games here since the early 90s and a bunch of club rugby union games in the northeast over the last ten years. Have you? As far as "no room at all" - well, that's just another of your misreadings of the US sports landscapes from across the pond. This is a massive country with varied tastes. College football, life and death in the South and Midwest where it draws 100,000+ crowds, is utterly meaningless in the Northeast. MLS draws 70,000 in Atlanta and 50,000 in Seattle, yet struggles to pull in 16k in Dallas. Good luck getting Red Sox or Yankees tickets, but you can buy cheap tickets an hour before the game in Miami or Toronto. Ponder the reality that no matter how many times you repeat things about North America, you are utterly clueless about the entire situation.
  22. 9 points
    a big ask for low paid part time players who have full time jobs to not only give up traditional summer time family holidays but to also give up relaxing and drinking with family over Christmas too .
  23. 9 points
    "WE DESPERATELY NEED INVESTMENT IN THE LOWER LEAGUES" They cried.... We get investment into a lower League club... "NO THAT KIND OF INVESTMENT".....un-frickin-believable.....
  24. 9 points
    Good runout for the Knights. The result doesn’t matter, we all know that but you can’t buy fitness and conditioning like you can with a full contact game. We will be better for this 80 minutes. First half we looked off the pace and ring rusty, just never got going at all. Too much dropped ball and a lack of organisationship at times but, it’s what you expect this time of the pre season. The Bulls looked better organised that first 40 mins but the Knights were the side that finished the game looking the fitter side. Second half we did well and deservedly got a couple of scores and went close a few more times too. Some good efforts all round for the first game, Ash Robson been my pick of the lads. We do seem to be lacking a bit of experience without BC and GH plus Tim Spears, yes I know people will say there’s lots of championship experience in there but let’s not fool ourselves, this league will be way above the standard of last season. Looking at other sides dealings and you know that every game is going to be a big challenge that I’m sure Fordy and the lads will rise too and make us proud. There’s a hell of a lot of SL knowledge in this league when you see the squads and names amongst the squad lists. It’s pretty frightening. I’d rather have a lad that wants to improve, that’s young and wants to play for the club than a big name that’s on a final payday as a lot of SL players seem to be. Glad to say our ex SL lads ain’t in that category. Just the opposite. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried if injuries hit, we might lack a bit of strength in depth but I’m here to be proved wrong. This side has masses of potential and we have the best young coach out there, I’m sure we will be fine this season but must admit that I’d take 8th in this league now if offered it. More positives from this runout than negatives. We have good times ahead and we have the coach and chairman to see us progress not just this season but over the coming year so be a force at this level. Let the good times roll and let’s stay with the team if results don’t go with us. This season really will be an interesting one and one I can’t wait to witness.
  25. 9 points
    Dont see the problem with this investment. TWP being Canadian are familiar with the idea of farm/feeder clubs and if that what it turns out to be should benefit both sides. If there is not going to be a proper Reserves league I have no real issue with farm/feeder clubs and see this as a way forward for the game helping secure the future of some of the smaller/development clubs and stopping players drifting out of the game. Formalising something like this would be better than the ad-hoc dual reg system TWP set up seems like a good business model at the moment. A training base in Manchester close to air links and Northern players homes with a possible lower division outlet for fringe players, trialists etc etc. Skolars seem well run and another successful club down there would only help the game's profile. We can argue all day about the merits of TWP, the prospects for RL in Canada , the Canadian weather and whether they are a "proper" team. The fact is they they have brought a new impetus to the game and like it or not attract a lot of outside interest and press coverage which would increase further if they got to SL. Plenty of established clubs should perhaps be looking at their business models in a smilar way

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