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  1. 56 points
    Sincere apologies for the recent lengthy period of downtime on the TotalRL.com Fans Forums. Suffice to say, it's been a bit of a nightmare trying to rebuild the thing almost from scratch, but everything should be back online now. It's inevitable after a major database rebuild that there will be a few glitches. If you spot anything a bit strange going on, please either post the details here or send me a PM. I've been working round the clock on this for the past five days, and it is now midnight on Wednesday, so I'm off to bed, hoping when I wake up tomorrow it will all still be up and running!! Fingers crossed...
  2. 53 points
    Tbf that game was against Bradford so even though their may have not been a 4k+ crowd in attendance had it not been played on the Friday before MW it would have still attracted a healthy crowd. As a born and bred Geordie who had no previous interest in Rugby League until I was hooked by Magic Weekend being hosted here I started following Widnes Vikings 3 years ago after the first MW (thanks to them supporting the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation) and have travelled down to Widnes several times to watch them play. However just last month with us being at a bit of a loose end and with the weather being nice and hot we decided to go and watch Newcastle Thunder v Whitehaven to fill in a Sunday afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very good, entertaining game, friendly atmosphere and my 5 year old son got a high five off all the Thunder players at full time which he was absolutely buzzing about! He begged us to take him to the next game, which we did, and I'm pleased to say he seems hooked on it. He even managed to persuade us to buy him a replica top which he never has off his back and we've also bought half season tickets for the rest of this season. There's a huge catchment area up here and it's great to see the club growing from what it was just a few years ago. Hopefully it continues.
  3. 52 points
    I'm currently writing this from our teams base in Toronto. i know the Wolfpack have got some stick from one league one club, but I can honestly say what a fantastic experience The Wolfpack put us up in a fantastic city centre location, it's the same place where the refs and home team stay, they put on breakfast and a couple of lunches for all the players and staff they paid for busses to take us up to the stadium and train, provided water and gatorade, after the game they provided food and enough drinks tokens to last a lifetime. The whole match day was incredible!!! It's something Rugby League fans will struggle to understand because It's so positive and the crowd was huge!!!!! Our game clashed at the same time as a Canadian Football League game but there was still over 7,000 fans all loving the sport! We have had a fantastic trip and the Toronto Wolfpacks hospitality has been outstanding! Teams should go over and embrace it rather then moan about it
  4. 51 points
    I didn’t want to post this in a thread where it would get bogged down in all the ... I’m struggling for words right now to describe today. i have never experienced anything like that atmosphere. I can’t even put into words what an absolute privilege it was to be there. I was so happy for them when they scored what I thought was a consolation try ?. And then that last five minutes!! ????? but even afterwards, bloody hell do the Tongans celebrate! I’ll never forget leaving the stadium with that beautiful sound of the Tongans singing. it was a special, special day. And bloody hell, I love this game!!
  5. 43 points
    Hello, I'm a first time poster. I was at the game today. Had a great time. I brought my three kids and they all wanted to get season tickets. Canadians don't take the fighting too seriously as it is such a part of Ice Hockey. They have done a great job of marketing it in the local neighbourhood, which is called Liberty Village. With continued success it will expand outward. The only problem was that they couldn't serve the beer fast enough. Everyone was there to party.
  6. 38 points
    It's great to see the game growing in the North East The Alnwick Bears will be launched in 2018 creating the most northern RL club in England In 2017 we seen the creation of Yarm Wolves who started with an u14's side, they loved the sport that much that next year they are already putting plans in place to run U12's, u14's and u16's 2017 seen the least amount of games cancelled and the highest participation rates ever recorded with other 600 juniors playing the game The North East now runs Primary RL u7,8,9,10's, friendlies plus a cup at u12's and full league and cups at u14 and u16 This years men's competition has seen a league of 8 compete and it's all going down to the last game of the weekend between Jarrow Vikings and Wallsend Eagles to decide who will take on Cramlington Rockets in the Final, next year sees plans in place for form a second team league. After the regular season we will again have the third annual North East Origin which will be a 3 game series between the best players North and South of the Tyne! With crowds at Thunder games on the up and the school game booming things are looking bright for the game in the North East Apologies for the positive story
  7. 38 points
    Happy to report that traffic on the website has never been higher than it is now. TRL is independently ranked in the Top 1500 websites in the UK and inside the top 40k worldwide. Considering how many sites there are out there, we're fairly pleased with that. https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/totalrl.com Not everyone who visits the forum will choose to post on it, so judging popularity by number of threads/posts isn't always an accurate guide, and as has already been mentioned there are a growing number of places on t'internet where people can spout off and not be constrained by the kind of terms & conditions we have in place here. We're proud of the environment we have created on TRL, and we work hard to maintain it, with the support of our forum members. It is a place where foul and abusive language, trolling and the sort of general nastiness that prevails on the internet is not tolerated. If that means we get a bit less traffic, it's a price worth paying.
  8. 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
  9. 35 points
    What's more embarrassing is the standard of spelling and punctuation.
  10. 35 points
    Thought I'd start a new thread rather than comment on some of the posts in the super 8s thread I was a referee for 23 years in both the amateur and pro games. I can honestly state that in that time neither myself or any of the officials I worked alongside ever cheated any individual or team. Yeah I had bad games, yeah I missed stuff, just like the players do eh? I get more than a bit ticked off when I read on here that"(name of ref) has never liked us" or that "SL don't want us to win anything" There were and are clubs I didn't like but I was professional enough to leave that in the dressing room, just as all my colleagues did. There's one or two on here really need to take a look at what they are saying and at how daft it makes them look.
  11. 32 points
    You know...... looking through Twitter and reading this site I wonder why some so called RL fans even watch the sport. I'm actually disgusted by some of the things I read. We complain that the UK media and broadsheets misrepresent the sport and have an agenda to kill off RL but the most dismissive statements I see are from people that claim to be supporters. Back in the days it used to be London that were solely on the receiving end of the paranoia. Now I'm pleased to see that the negativity has shifted onto other clubs. As a London supporter I always used to hear: 1. London don't deserve to be in the top flight, Keighley were robbed 2. People in London only watch football 3. Yr moving the game away from the communities that care about it 4. We're just a bunch of Aussies and we have no kids Attention was then shifted onto the French clubs TO and Catalan 1. French RL is dead 2. Make them start from the bottom 3. The crowds won't come RU has taken over 4. Don't bring away fans Then the Wolfpack became the target 1. It's pie in the sky 2. I'll believe it when I see it 3. No one cares about RL in NA 4. Eric Perez has a hidden agenda 5. They don't bring away fans 6. We should concentrate on Cumbria Toronto fans will be pleased to know that before a ball has even been kicked, Liverpool RLFC are the new whipping boys. Some of the negativity I've read on them has already reached astronomical proportions. It's unbelievable, what the F is wrong with people? So far I've heard. 1. Better not have red or blue as the kit or club colours they'll alienate half the city. 2. Scousers only care about football. 3. I hate Koukash and that Backhouse fella I hope they fail. 4. All the other Liverpool rl clubs were unsuccessful so this one will be. 5. If Scousers don't watch Saints, Wire or Widnes games why would they go and watch these lot? 6. I asked my mates at work and they said they wouldn't go. 7. If the ground is based in (insert name of Liverpool suburb) no one will go, it's not really in Liverpool 8. What has Koukash done at Salford? 9. Their Twitter account is rubbish 10. Scousers don't watch rugby 11. If Koukash wants to throw his money down the drain it's up to him I mean, seriously come on people. Do you want this great sport to flourish? Do you want more sponsorship? Stop being negative, stop putting the sport down. Or here's a suggestion just watch another sport. Alot of RL fans just want to keep the sport in small towns and villages and will be the first to talk down anything that helps the sport be competitive on a national basis. We need to do better.
  12. 32 points
    Thank you everybody and thanks to Robert who wrote the article. My main hope is that is raises awareness about Myeloma Cancer. The other thing is that people with an incurable Cancer, are able to live a relatively normal life. Yes how you do things changes as does your thinking etc. But also you can adapt and still do things to a certain extent. Life is not over when you are diagnosed. Whether you have a couple of months or a few years to live its important to live it to the full. Matt Callender the Rugby League personality who sdadly died recently from Brain Cancer was an inspiration. He did his best to promote the disease and gave his family a positive time during the last few months. At the moment the Chemo and Stem Cell has worked and I am in Remission and things looking good. But how long that will stay for nobody knows. None of us knows what will happen tomorrow or next week etc. I try and remain hopefuly that I have a few years yet. Many on here have various problems with health and I am not anything special. But I think its important for me to help others to be aware of a Cancer many know little about and I thank Robert for coming to me and asking if he could do an article. He is also respeonsible to a large degree for the games development in South America.
  13. 31 points
    Newcastle thunders squad against Hemel Stags will feature 10 local based players with 3 players from the U19s academy making first team debuts A tremendously positive stat that shows the good work that’s going on within the academy and the local clubs in the area. https://www.thunderrugby.co.uk/on-field/thunder-announce-squad-for-hemel-stags-clash/
  14. 31 points
    This thread isn't about you. Please don't try and turn it into a thread about you by goading such responses. Thank you.
  15. 30 points
    I don't know about that but what I do know is that the title of this thread is an embarrassment to our education system.
  16. 30 points
    Please, add your own contributions. It will help new fans feel at home if they can quickly master the patois. WE are robust, physical and direct. THEY are a bunch of dirty thugs. WE have a defensive line that moves up fast. THEY are permanently offside. TRY FOR US WITH NO VR: About time the referee trusted his own judgement, just like the good old days. TRY FOR THEM WITH NO VR: For God's sake, the technology's there for a reason. This isn't the 1950s, you know! WE put players through with crisp, flat passes. THEY chuck it a mile forward. Every time! OUR 'experimental' kit is a bold and brave design choice. THEIR 'experimental' kit makes my eyes want to vomit. WE boo the opposition kicker because we are passionate and want our team to win. THEY boo the opposition kicker because they have no class or sportsmanship. OUR home-town referee is overcompensating in an attempt to appear impartial. THEIR home-town referee is their team's 14th man. WE SIGN A VETERAN AUSSIE: bags of experience, and a proven leader. THEY SIGN A VETERAN AUSSIE: never was any good, and now only fit for the knacker's yard. WE TACKLE round the chest or shoulders. THEY TACKLE like a bunch of Borneo head-hunters. PENALTY AGAINST US: Just have a word, ref. Common sense and all that. PENALTY AGAINST THEM: You will be taken from here to the place from whence you came and there be kept in close confinement until the day, and upon that day that you be taken to the place of execution and there hanged by the neck until you are dead. And may God have mercy upon your soul.
  17. 30 points
    The Catalans are absolutely right. Delighted they are forcing the issue.
  18. 30 points
    The North East Rugby League are pleased to welcome both the Edinburgh Eagles and the Stathmore Silverbacks into the NERL family!! They will both be entered into the NE cup, take par in the Dacia 9’s tournament and play a series of friendly/merit games against North East opposition In another positive more to help strengthen ties between the region and Scotland we will also be welcoming a Scotland u16’s side into the u16’s cup All Fixtures will be released next week
  19. 30 points
    Dear Parksider, After reading your posts for a year or more, it's obvious you have RL knowledge and passion. It's also pretty obvious you don't want Toronto in RL. We get it. You also seem to have a lot of time on your hands, as most posts you make against TWP tend to be 1000 - 2000 word essays. But maybe it's time to take a rest on the topic. We TWP fans, are just that, fans. We also come to TotalRL to enjoy ourselves. In my case, also to further educate myself. We enjoy being in the UK Rugby league. We're paying our money, enjoying the matches, drinking a pint or two at the games, and generally having a great time. And our team has done a pretty darned good job in only 2 years. Yes, the Wolfpack haven't turned rugby league into a national sport in Canada. Other sports have about 150 year head start. But we are promoting the game, and done some promotion at a participation and grass roots level. I'd be surprised if any other club has had as much of an impact as the Wolfpack in terms of winning, attendance, worldwide TV promotion, creation of a highly professional back office and marketing organization, gameday experience, and general spreading the word, in the first 2 years of their existence in a brand new market, let alone a brand new country to the sport. In fact.. I'm 100% certain of that. In fact UK teams are asking the Wolfpack for advice. So maybe it's time to just let things go a bit. Every thread with the word Toronto in the title doesn't have to turn into a personal mission for you, We're doing our best. Do I expect this post to make a difference with you? No, not really. But one can hope.
  20. 29 points
    Just how good is this ?
  21. 29 points
    Another day, another club chairman wants to be in the limelight and talk down the sport and a successful club. Here's what Derek Beaumont had to say about Toronto Wolfpacks record crowd on the weekend. "There's no way [Toronto] had 9500 people in there..... You can say what you want [about attendance figures], who's there monitoring it? They need to be a lot smarter when they're plucking out figures!" Perhaps he should focus on making sure his players get paid on time? Here's a suggestion, how bout club chairman including Chalmers, Beaumont keep quiet and let the players take the spotlight. How about that?
  22. 29 points
    Speaking as a Swinton official/fan who was at the game , I’d say 9,562 was an accurate crowd. The Canadian supporters seemed to drift into the ground throughout the game, as well as hang around the beer tents and food kiosks etc. Locals told us they had never seen the place so packed. They also didn’t seem to care who they were playing, although our group of fans constantly tried to remind them! They had simply turned up for the event and were clearly enjoying themselves. We made a point of speaking to as many TW fans as possible, some being fairly knowledgeable, but the vast majority not so. But they all shared the same enthusiasm and were very welcoming & friendly. David Argyll was actually manning the gate when we arrived, so clearly willing to get out there and do his bit and be visible. During the game he personally delivered two crates of beer to the Swinton fans to thank them for coming! Very nice touch that he didn’t have to do. These were just my personal experiences, but which have only served to strengthen my club’s view that there is a wider picture, and we simply have to embrace it. Post 2021/Sky the implications are serious for Championship/League 1, and clubs have to be positioning themselves as of now for that potential cliff edge. Supporting the expansion clubs is in our view a no risk strategy compared with the alternative.
  23. 29 points
    I was always a strong cheerleader of Manchester Rangers bid to join the league structure and I've been frustrated that they've been kept waiting for so long and not been given the green light. My overriding thoughts were always that, if the rfl cannot see the benefits of having a well run big city club on the doorstep of its heartlands there's a problem. My second thoughts were, well what if the bid just isn't strong enough, perhaps they don't have a good business case or the bid ownership team do not meet the fit and proper persons criteria. I've been really disappointed to hear over the past few weeks and days along the grapevine how strong the bid actually was and this is a huge opportunity missed. - The bid was endorsed by Andy Burnham the mayor of Manchester - Recommended by the RFLs own consultant Ken Jones following a due diligence exercise - A board full of successful businessmen with proven financial acumen - Five star facilities at the Etihad Regional arena http://www.totalrl.com/rfl-consultant-slams-opportunity-missed-in-manchester-decision/ The decision to decline their bid was not even voted on by clubs. This is living proof that Ralph Rimmer has no vision for this sport, there is no opportunity for a well to do and ambitious organisation that adds value to the sport to enter and get bums on seats. The people that run this sport are still stuck in the old world and unfortunately the sport has been overtaken by boxing, union and many other sports because of this. The sport just isn't adapting to a global world which communicates via social media. The only way the situation improves is if the leadership is replaced. The next tv deal is due soon and I don't think the future is too bright for the sport as a brand or tv sport. Let's not kid ourselves, a lot of change needs to take place if the sport is to capitalise on the opportunities it has now.
  24. 28 points
    This is possibly one of the most negative articles written on the Welsh game. Was the writer determined to write something negative about a non traditional Rugby League area? Yes many of the facts are correct, at least we believe they are correct, especially about the early years but this article is so imbalanced, is without a satisfactory conclusion and has a number of inaccuracies. For a start, yes there are many negatives but there are plenty of positives right now in Wales like the continuation of junior development, the 20 plus lads in Super League acadamies, the success at schools level with Cardiff's Glantaf school only ever losing one game in three years (same lads from year 7-9 now in year 10) and never being outscored on tries and the production of our own players for the full Wales side, lots more than Scotland and Ireland for example. The Crusaders "disaster" produced tons of Welsh players and it was because of their work that we actually have a Wales side full of Welsh born players who won the European Championship two years ago. Wales' current failings as a nation is we don't have enough Super League players, something addressed in a statement by WRL recently which the writer has ignored. Talking about the South Wales 1996 side, he said "the first home game played at Aberavon on 31 March 1996 attracted just 1,876 spectators" - In that 1996 Division Two season, it was one of the highest crowds - more than any crowd at Barrow, Bramley, Carlisle, Chorley, Doncaster, Prescot and York. In fact it was the league's seventh highest attendance of the season. It's League 1 level, not Super League and again the writer was looking for a negative where there wasn't one. Plus this club held a successful double header at Cardiff Arms Park with South Wales v Carlisle being played before St Helens v Sheffield and attracting 6,708 fans. This was the 1996 season too, not 1995-96 and the club were given a Super League franchise for 1997 pending acceptance from the then current SL clubs. The clubs decided not to admit South Wales despite a solid business plan so there was a set-back. The South Wales club legacy became Cardiff Demons which created the strong community set up in the south which has produced a number of Welsh international players, again ignored by the writer. He states the Scorpions' attendances "did not improve" after getting over 500 to their first ever game, a win over Workington Town. Well research again shows that they got 625 for the next game which was against London Skolars, 798 v Hunslet, 625 v Oldham, 623 v Blackpool and 890 v Swinton. Average attendance for 2010 was 631 as the Scorpions reached the play-offs and their coach Anthony Seibold, now head coach at South Sydney Rabbitohs, won Coach of the Year. Well promoted on the road games in Cardiff in future seasons produced crowds of 1025 and 925. There's even the headings - Crusaders were obviously not "The Last Stand" as clubs are still going. He finalises with "Will Wales Ever Succeed?" without even an attempt to answer it properly. Plus there are no mentions of North Wales Crusaders' promotion years and their League 1 Cup and Northern Rail Bowl wins as well as their successful attempts to produce high attendances, amongst the best in League 1 as well as their outstanding travelling support. Yes we all know there are and always have been issues in Wales and people always look to address them, just like in many areas of the north of England which I won't name now. But we've developed players like Regan Grace who started in the acadamies in South Wales aged 13, and those like Ben Flower, Gil Dudson, Lloyd White, Elliot Kear etc who also came through local youth sides. The article is imbalanced, looking for negatives and inaccurate in places which is my issue. It needed positives and paragraphs about the many successes happening in the country right now. The fact that it didn't, makes it a very poor piece of work.
  25. 28 points
    Perez seems to think it's possible for the new team to be up and running in League one by 2019. That should just about give Barrow enough time to get their visas sorted out !
  26. 27 points
    Sorry to interrupt the petty squabble, but, anyone investing in RL at any level is welcome. I don't really care what Argyle's motives are, if this helps Skolars to move on then great. If it helps TWP get over the early season problem great. If it means more money coming into the game at the lower levels, fantastic. If it puts a few noses out of joint, who cares.
  27. 27 points
    Sometimes you've just got to hold your hand up and say you were wrong. Steve McNamara has received a huge amount of stick - I've been front and centre with some of that since he joined the Dragons. However, what looked a lost cause has seen Catalans become one of the form teams over the last dozen games. Sitting in 6th with a game to go is a brilliant recovery. Not only a culture change in Perpignan but the team seems to be throwing it about too. I was wrong. Well done Steve, and Bernard G for holding his nerve when everyone said pull the trigger. The Dragons are back!
  28. 27 points
    Hello Everyone, Seems to be a bit of anti-Coventry feeling. I am the guy who writes articles for Coventry Bears, and am a passionate fan of the game. What I thought may be a reasonable discussion amongst like minded friends turned earlier into a personal attack against me and the job I do (completely unpaid) for Coventry Bears. Some thirty years ago I was a founder member of Redditch Halcyon, and played against Pittville Pirates and other MASWARLA teams, such as Plymouth, West Midlands Police etc. Now as a volunteer I give my time to the Bears. I am not a journalist, and if a missing space between words is bringing the game into disrepute, then so be it!! When writing a preview, I look for the backstory and insight into what is going on. For the Bears v All Golds home game this season, I wrote an article linking the events in Cheltenham in 1908 with Coventry first RL team in 1910-13, stressing the heritage and previous amateur rivalry. This was picked up by Love Rugby League as a story as well as the local free paper and radio. For the recent game, I picked up on some of the issues facing the All Golds to give purpose and meaning to the game, and to generate interest among fans of the Bears who might travel. Should I have just said it was a meaningless fixture at the end of the season? Great. And then when it comes to reporting, I mention things like the weather, the crowd reaction etc., again to give context and flesh to a report. It would have been a lie to talk of a stadium packed to the rafters and creating a cauldron of atmosphere!!! Also, Moscow should note that the reports are not aimed at people who frequent this website or even support other clubs. The Bears have been totally ignored by the city's daily paper and this has brought about a complete rethink of social media and broadcast media strategy. The main outlet for our news is a weekly freesheet circulated in an area dominated by football, and the tone of writing and it's sometimes partizan nature reflects this, and it's target audience to whom we are still introducing the game. We now regularly get half page prime slots, all good for the game. We are building something here which is on solid foundations on and off the pitch. I feel it would be good if volunteers at clubs could get together, learn from each other and move forward. Incestuous, internecine bickering amongst keyboard warriors saps energy and achieves little, which is why I rarely post.
  29. 26 points
    Nicked off Twitter, possibly from one of you lot. Makinson and Thompson ran a combined 326m today. Yesterday the entire England Union team ran 319m. They can keep their kicks #EngvNz
  30. 26 points
    I have never heard you make these points before. Thanks for starting a new thread to rehash them.
  31. 26 points
    Well done to BBC (I know we don't say this very often!) but the pre-game feature on French RL and the Nazi/Vichy connections to RU and the injustices suffered by RL have for far too long been hidden away. Hope this gets a lot more publicity!
  32. 26 points
    After more than 30 years of nomadic existence, Nottingham Outlaws have finally secured a permanent home for rugby league in Nottingham. Nottingham Outlaws are delighted to announce that they have acquired the former Greenwood Meadows football ground on Lenton Lane and have moved in with immediate effect. Lenton Lane is in close proximity to both universities, meaning even closer links to the university teams. It also provides us with long-term security, and further opportunity to expand our successful youth and juniors sections. For anyone interested, our 1st game at our new home is Saturday 7th April, kicking off the Yorkshire Premier season against Upton. For more details, see here - http://www.nottinghamrl.co.uk/2018/03/29/outlaws-secure-permanent-home/ If anyone wants to donate and help us turn Lenton Lane into a venue that both Nottingham Outlaws and rugby league can be proud of, you can do so here - http://www.nottinghamrl.co.uk/project-30/
  33. 26 points
    It is just starting to hit home to me how much I loved the 2013 RLWC. This upcoming tournament has the potential to be even better. Of course I am pumped about England (even without a bloody mug) but stuff to warm the hearts of all RL fans must be live games from PNG (so excited for the Wales game), double header in Perth and the NZ, Tonga, Samoa group will be awesome. I simply cannot wait for it all to start. Kid in a sweet shop kinda stuff! I hope that is okay with everybody? Bloke excited about RL tournament thread.
  34. 26 points
    As released on Facebook: THE FINAL MESSAGE FROM THE OWNER Well here it is. The final game as the South Wales Ironmen is almost upon us, and I won’t lie, it has been a tough 2 months. When we took over, the club was in a poor state, with debt, no way of generating revenue, players abandoning the club for one reason or another and, to top it all off, only 6 days to transfer deadline. All that said and done it has been an exciting challenge and I would like to thank all the players, staff and supporters who have continued to make sure the club continues in South Wales. It’s not all doom and gloom though, we have managed to pick up a win and a draw and given some of the young lads the exposure they need to move up a level. These are the positives, however with the positives come the negatives and, with the world of social media, the negatives seem to be more prominent. From the outside, people will have their own opinions about how the club has been run before and after the takeover and what we should do going forward. As with all clubs wishing to improve, the constructive comments will always be taken on board and, where possible, be introduced into the club. For myself and my fellow directors, the staff and players have done really well, doing exactly what was needed to see this year through with zero budget, and that was to give it everything they had and to look ahead to next year, because let’s be honest, they could have all deserted a sinking ship. So now to the positives. Due to the hard work on and off the pitch we can safely say that the club is out of debt and, has even made some profit on our recent home games at Stebonheath. We now have a home ground we can call our own, and at the last game against North Wales Crusader, our hospitality package was fully booked. We have had an average gate of 200 – 250 in our last three games and, while people think that is poor, just remember that we only moved there two months ago, and to top it all off we have already secured some sponsorship for next season. Considering we took the club over with less than 2 months of the season remaining I would say that is a successful end to a season that almost saw rugby league in South Wales disappear. So what next?? Well, we know we have a steep hill to climb to get things back on track. The club has obviously moved to West Wales, almost back to where the journey started, and we have to engage with the old, the existing and the new fans, as well as continuing our work with all the schools that we started 4 years ago. People have different thoughts on this but, for us, it is the juniors and younger players that need the opportunities, and we have to find the balance of young and old . Unfortunately, the club will be rebranded once again, and will pick up the name West Wales Raiders, although this is part of a long term plan that we have put in place. There has been some considerable debate over this but, as the raiders are already established in the West, it is the most logical choice. The Director of Rugby will be working hard to establish the coaching pathways from Juniors all the way to the 1st Team and this will consist of the schools, the colleges, universities and community clubs, and the club will also offer any assistance possible to the aforementioned. The commercial team will be working hard trying to raise the profile of the sport, and gain some investment in the club and the sport as a whole in South Wales . Personally, I think they have the hardest job in the shortest space of time. For the board, and the club, the biggest thing of all is to build bridges with everyone from community clubs to suppliers and, hopefully, try and bring the sport together, oh and of course win a few games along the way. As soon as everything is sorted you will all be the first to know. We hope we can count on your support to help build this fantastic sport of rugby league and put Wales on the map, because I know we have the talent, as the juniors have shown this year. We now just have to make ourselves stand up and be noticed.
  35. 25 points
    Great stories. I was attracted to the game because of boredom and a sense of the absurdity, I witnessed on the rugby union field. I had played ten years of rugby union and during my first year of rugby league, I scored more points, kicked more goals, made more tackles and carried the ball more yards than in the previous ten years of Ra ra. In order to carry on playing after university, I had to start a team in my home town. With our nearest opposition, two hundred miles away, we created a fixture list of ''friendlies'' with visiting clubs from ''up north''. I remember, I'd booked a permit to play on the local authority park field and they telephoned me to say I couldn't have the field because a local RU club took priority! I asked ''on what basis''. The head of department was involved with the local first class union club. He told me that I shouldn't be doing it. I asked why and he said, ''its against the rules''. ''Whose rules?'' ''The WRU'' says he. I said, ''I know its against the rules, but why is it against the rules?'''. He didn't have an answer. I told him, I had the permit, it was a legal contract and that as a local authority employee, he worked for me and didn't ''own'' the field. We played on. They decried our ''professional'' players for being paid, but my father, had played for Aberavon RU club before the war and told me of a large crowd at one game, which prompted the ''amateur'' players to refuse to come out of the changing rooms until they were promised a bigger share of the gate-take, than normal! I organised a seven a side tournament (which was well attended) and we received a letter from the then secretary of the WRU, Denis Evans saying that if we went ahead, every player in the tournament would be ''professionalised'' and banned from Rugby Union! ''Why?'' Because we called the trophy the Jonathan Davies Cup. Ha ha ha. We created as much publicity as we could from that arrogant schoolboy error. BARLA advised us not to upset them. I said ''listen Maurice, (Oldroyd) their against us, no matter what they say to our faces, stop wasting time currying favour with them.'' They had succeeded in creating such a cultural bias, such an underlying fear of fraternising with us that I was once asked by a parent of a 10 year old boy if he would be banned by the RU if he played ''Little league'' with our school team. I replied, ''you'd have to take it up with them, but tell me, would you want to support an organisation that would do that to your child?'' His little lad played on. I loved playing rugby league, more than anything I've ever done, but I was also drawn into the moral and ethical fight against these sickening hypocritical tyrants, spreading their poison about our honest professional sportsmen and our great game. When I was a child, my father said ''Son, if you see a GOOD fight, be sure and get in it''. I'm still in it.
  36. 25 points
    Well, that was... extraordinary! Unexpected and thrilling. I hoped we'd get about 6k inside Odsal and not embarrass ourselves on national telly, and was wary of how carried away everyone seemed to be getting in advance of the game in case it didn't live up to the billing. But wow, as a Bulls fan, let me tell you, after a few godawful years it felt pretty special being inside Odsal Stadium today. Huge backslaps to all the players and thank you John Kear, you absolute wizard! I think I had something in my eye at the end...
  37. 25 points
    Constantly hearing that we are in a weak position and heading for a big drop in TV income at the next contract negotiation - it is always interesting to see how we are doing viewers-wise at the moment. There is probably little point in comparing versus previous years as there are so many variables, so just focusing on top 10's and competition across the Sports channels. A few interesting snippets: - w/e 6th May: Thursday Premier League Darts (remember how Hearn was telling us how much more popular darts is?) - 89k (across Action and Main Event - ie a premium slot). Thursday Super League (RL - the sport that nobody watches and nobody knows the names of players) - 138k (across Arena and Mix - also a premium slot) NRL vs Super Rugby - identical slots sees the NRL trump SR - 21k vs 13k (this is a regular occurance). - w/e 27th May: Rugby League takes 7 of the 10 slots on Arena. More people watched the regular Super League games than watched the England v Barbarians RU game on the Sunday afternoon. Summer Bash attracted around 200k cumulative viewers. Peaking with c50k for the headline games each day. Freesports are now on BARB: Rugby AM at number 1 with 49k Backchat at number 3 with 25k NCL at 6th with 14k There are many other examples of us doing some good stuff and having good numbers out there. We should be pushing this narrative much more, instead of letting Hearn tell us how ###### we are.
  38. 25 points
    Right, This is different to how we do it in England. Last night we went to watch the baseball. 42000 people spending big bucks ( (not on tickets, prices started at 6 dollars. But a bottle of water at the game cost that with beer st 14 dollars a 440ml can). People were not even watching the game they were there in their thousands for the event. They dont gjve a flying fcuk if the players are from Toronto or Timbukto. They just enjoy a sports night out. The Wolfpack are buying into the sports culture of a sports mad city. It is not Batley, Barrow or Bradford. Its a " a whole new ball game". They do not carry baggage. The atmosphere in the ground before during and after the game is DIFFERENT. The party carried on to the Brazen Head, and the to the Love Belfast night club with fans and players buying into the game and the accessibility of the players, match officials and opponents. The only problem they have and I cannot see how it fits in is that they are positive about rugby league and want to accentuate the positives. Before today I thought that the Americas could take the game to a diffrent level. I don't think that now.....I know it!!!
  39. 24 points
    I've counted those people and there's at best 1500. Had this bar been in the heartlands there would have been at least 10000 punters. Let's focus on the local bars that are actual drinkers rather than these here today gone tomorrow shandy merchants. You know it makes sense.
  40. 24 points
    Please indulge a rant. You often get folk on here moaning that rugby games are up against this union international, or that football final. Quite rightly, the answer comes back that there are very few weekends when there is little other competing sport. Well, this was it. No Premier League or Championship, no showpiece events (the Boat Race is no longer that, if it ever was). But instead of using the free Saturday to put our game in the spotlight, we put all of our games up against the England international on a Friday night, including four matches at the same time as the game we were trying to big up, namely Leeds v Cas (which was a good event). Meanwhile, I switch on to Channel 5 to see Saracens v somebody in front of a full London stadium. As much as I enjoyed York Acorn v Dudley Hill on FreeSports, I couldn't get past a slight sense of inferiority. My point is this. We really seem to have lost a collective sense of self-confidence as a game, and a sense of leadership in the game. Consequently, any innovation comes from individual clubs or people, and all too infrequently. Well led, our game would have seen a massive opportunity to give our leagues a profile boost this weekend with a big match on Friday, and Saturday late afternoon, around a full set of fixtures. Instead, all of our matches were tucked away on Friday night to ensure an extra day's rest ahead of Easter.
  41. 24 points
    I must admit I am becoming exasperated at the tone often used on here and on many social media platforms with regards to anything that is considered club "expansion". I can't imagine how it must appear to non-RL folk seeing the dismissive and sometimes disdainful comments to anything that appears to be outside a core set of clubs (mostly on the M62) that have largely made up the top couple of divisions in the last 30 years or so. It is becoming increasingly common to see Toronto, Toulouse, Catalans, London and even the likes of Coventry and Skolars uttered in the same style of insular rants. As if anything further away than Sheffield isn't worthy of the RFL's time and money - even if it is not costing the RFL a penny. Some of these clubs are over 20 years old yet they get dismissed as a fad or failures or too high maintenance. At the same time, some of the "proper" clubs are on V2, V3 or even V4 after continually going #### up. What do these posters actually want? Anyone who browses other platforms can see RL people with this train of thought are not small in number. I do understand it is largely through fear and self preservation but it seems to go beyond that. I've heard coaches of "traditional RL clubs" give disrespectful interviews following trips to so called "non-traditional" areas. I see the constant bleating about away fans - as if Wakefield fans going to Cas, Cas fans going to Leeds and Leeds fans going to Huddersfield et al makes our sport bigger, wealthier and higher profile. I started a thread about the BBC's pathetic coverage yesterday. There is a case that we get what we deserve isn't there? If we think we can have things how they used to be in the 1980s and 1990s, still have the TV cash, coverage and wider appeal then we are naive to say the least. It is tiresome and the sporting world is evolving around RL - rapidly! Have I missed something? Is club RL an exclusive members club for founders and acceptable others?
  42. 24 points
    I shall try to respond to as many of the comments as possible: - Let me try and clarify the Manchester thing - The RFL DO see the benefit in having a 'Manchester' club, however, there's no room for Manchester Rangers as it stands or indeed any time soon. They've made it very clear to all, that they see the benefit to the wider game of having the Manchester brand as well as other big city brands as part of the make up of the game, but we don't know how or when this will happen or indeed who this will be. As we see it, unless an existing club re-brands and moves to the city, which in truth looks really unlikely, then their only genuine option would be and should be Rangers. Its currently a stalemate between what they want and what they are willing to do to make it happen and it looks like the sport will lose another huge opportunity. Lets put the Swinton and Salford argument to bed. I've spoken to various members of the Swinton board over the years and they are committed to taking Swinton back to Swinton and the plan is still to build a stadium at Agecroft. The board and the fans are 100% behind Swinton Lions. If anything, they seem to embrace the idea of a Manchester team to play against. As for Salford and Marwan, he's made it clear that he wants Manchester to get behind his club. However, I'm not sure if he's that bothered about a little club like ours parked in the blue side of the city! Anybody with an ounce of sense, will see that the reds of Salford (my childhood team btw) versus the blues of Manchester, could be huge for the game and in time create a rivalry similar to that of the 2 football teams (maybe not to the same scale though!). Lets turn our attention to what we've tried in terms of getting a spot in League 1 or Championship and I can tell you categorically, that we've suggested everything to the RFL, including the option of taking zero central funding during the early days, but we were told that this wasn't an option. Our plan has always been to get a spot purely on our own merit, but as it became clear that this more than likely wouldn't happen, we started to look at other options, one of which I don't mind stating on here as its fairly common knowledge, was the option to merge with swinton and become something like Manchester Lions or a name that would suit the fans and safeguard the heritage of the club, but as already stated, they are firmly and always have been committed to moving back to Swinton and we applaud that. So what do we do that other local teams don't and how do we differ to previous attempts to bring professional RL back to Manchester? Firstly we made a series of pledges to the City of Manchester that we've 100% followed through with and unlike many other clubs, we haven't asked them at any point in time for money to support our club or our ambitions. Everything we do in Manchester is paid for by our directors and sponsors. We've built relationship with our partners on trust and delivering on our promises. We don't treat this as a hobby either, we have a board of professional people with a wealth of experience and huge skill set, these include business people, educational professionals, chartered accountants, sports development professionals and marketing specialists that are involved in the Rangers because we believe that we can add value to the wider game and bring new opportunities to the table to help the sport grow. Even as a lowly amateur club, our partners include Manchester City Council, Manchester Metropolitan university, the University of Manchester, the Manchester College, Eastlands Sports trust and many more. We also have the opportunity to further grow our relationship with Manchester City FC, but this is being held back due to the RFL not having a firm plan on who or what the Manchester team should look like. We have a secure base in the 6,500 capacity Manchester Regional Arena and our landlord wants us there. We also have options in the future to play at other local venues if the club was to ever outgrow the Regional arena. We've started to develop sustainable junior rugby in the city and to say that there are some gems coming through would be an understatement! I could go on for hours..... We also have the one thing that pretty much every sports fan wants, we are actually positioned in a major city and this means that visiting fans can make a day of it or even a weekend away when they come to visit us and also not have to worry about how they get to the ground, as we have a dedicated metrolink station 100 yards away, we are easily accessible by public transport, there's plenty of parking and for those who like a walk, we are only a 10-15 minutes to the heart of Manchester City centre. As for money, that really isn't an issue. We spend as much as or possibly more on our club and community programme than some League 1 clubs and still make a small profit each year. Contrary to popular belief, we receive zero funding from the RFL to run the club, so just imagine what we would do if we were given a pro license!
  43. 24 points
    Man, this must be the most acrimonious message board around. I mean people can disagree but every TWP thread seems to devolve into the same futile argument. RL will work over here or it won't. We're seeing some growing pains but this is only the second game in Canada. Sure, it's not perfect but the potential upside of this venture far outweighs the logistical problems we're seeing. I know it's not a level playing field financially right now but I can't see how RL in the UK would be better off without Toronto. People on the other side of the world are falling in love with your sport, I don't get how that can be a cause for discontent. I live about 4 hours by plane from Toronto and it's Thursday morning and all I can think about is a match in a league I'd never heard of three months ago against a team I didn't know existed in a sport I'd never watched before based on the other side of the world. I do think the league and teams didn't due their due diligence with respect to visas. I'd include Toronto in that since Fuifui had to miss their first home fixture due to visa issues. No excuse for that. This game is a really tough ask of Barrow. Flying across the Atlantic scarcely 48 hours before a RL game is ridiculous. When you're in a league where your players work Monday to Friday, there isn't a way around it though, is there? With injuries, scheduling, visa issues, and travel, I don't think the teams can truly be measured by this game. Toronto missing a couple players (esp Liam Kay) due to suspension takes away from things a bit too (for some reason punching opponents is frowned upon ). It's too bad since I think this is the biggest fixture in league 1 so far this year and everyone would like to see best against best. I for one have really enjoyed following league one. It's a level of sport where the teams are connected closely to their community and the players are playing for the love of the game. I don't mean to come across as crass but if this TWP thing bothers you, you can relax. They will be in the Championship next year and this fun league can go back to its lack of coverage and attendance figures more befitting a wedding than a sporting event. As for the game (about which I believe this thread was started), I think both teams will be highly motivated and it should be a lot of fun to watch. I think a better rested and healthier TWP team will prevail though, especially in the final 20 min. Still, if I've learned one thing from watching league one, it's that professional or not, these guys give it their all for the full 80 minutes regardless of the score. Hoping for a real "ding dong" encounter as they say on the league 1 show. I'm not sure what that expression means but I kinda like it.
  44. 23 points
    If that is the reason then the RFL are a complete joke. Either have these teams in the structure and treat them properly or don't bother. Certainly do not try to make them pay for your own incompetence.
  45. 23 points
    With Rugby League in the UK experiencing the Issue of current stars of game being unknown by the wider public. When in the past leading players were more widely known. It is time to ditch Sky Super League Robot Intro... to show actual footage of the stars of the game performing with amazing skill . No wonder the general UK public have difficulty naming Rugby League stars when Sky Sports Super League intro is faceless animated robots playing the sport to ###### music.
  46. 23 points
    So, anyway, to respond to what's here. I don't have much of an opinion about the darts walk-on girls (or, as an equivalent) the girls at Speedway Grand Prix who stand there marking the lane choices. I wouldn't miss them if they went because, oddly, I'm watching the darts and the speedway for the darts and the speedway. If you're watching them for women in tight clothes then that's a few seconds of pleasure separated by a lot of sport. It seems an odd thing to do. Cheerleading seems to me to be different in that it's normally led and coached by women. There can be a genuine issue (see stories in America) about how the girls are controlled and what say they have in what they do. But, if everyone's having fun, again, I don't have a problem. No one is talking about shutting down cheerleading but they may wonder if it's middle aged men drooling over barely legal girls whether it can be done better. Rugby league is a tough sport. We called it a Man's Game for All the Family forty years ago. Times change. Women and disabled people do not become some default 'strong straight male' for playing rugby league. They become members of the rugby league family who play the game. On their own terms. The stuff about people covered up in Dewsbury and Batley is just divisive nonsense. If we want people from all communities to embrace our game, and I'll guess that this straight talking no nonsense bloke with a publishing history like his and a charge sheet of racist activities doesn't, then we should be finding ways of working with them not putting out angst about the stuff that makes us different. One of the great things I've found in my (oh god) 31 years of following rugby league is that, by and large, if you like TGG the people around you will accept you whatever. I'm a latte drinking metrosexual (not really) who has never lived in a heartland community and have had a lot of fun with people on here both in real life and online. But I'm also white and male so if I keep my mouth shut I'll not be noticed by the tiny minority of fans who confuse being no-nonsense and proud of their roots with being a grade one cock.
  47. 23 points
    I was at the game yesterday and in my 33 years of watching the game I have never experienced anything remotely like it. We parked about a mile away and for blocks around the stadium there were houses decked out in Tongan colours, parties going on everywhere, cars driving up and down covered in flags with music booming out and people of all ages from babes in arms to old folk in wheelchairs dressed in Tongan colours. I have also never experienced so many people come up to me before a game and say may the best team win, or indeed so many people come up to me after a game to say great game and wish England all the best for the final. Even after the match there were flags waving and car horns blaring long into the evening. Lost count of how many people shook my hand walking back to the car, it was a completely unique experience. Tongans are some of the friendliest and loudest people I have ever met, it was the highlight of the trip without a doubt.
  48. 23 points
    Longhorns RL, from Meath, have been awarded a place in the 2018 Challenge Cup, reward for winning the all-ireland title this year. Well done to them. Been a long time since an Irish team has taken part in the cup.
  49. 23 points
    First post on the forum. I'm a long time RL fan from Cambridge, Ontario.. about 60 miles from Toronto. I was transferred to Aus, and I lived in North Sydney, NSW about 20 years ago and got addicted, and really missed it on our return to Canada. My wife and I went to 5-6 Wolfpack matches this year, and are excited about the move up, as well as the new signings.
  50. 23 points
    I attended Saturdays game Wolfpack vs Oxford. Atmosphere beforehand at the Brazen Head pub was electric, chock full of fans in their new gear (me included) brought 11 with me all loved it. Met the guys from both teams after the beer tent and all said the experience totally rocked. Long live RL in Canada!

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