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  1. 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.
  2. 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!!
  3. 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/
  4. 29 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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/
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 24 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
  10. 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?
  11. 23 points
    Rugby League is growing in popularity in the North East as Newcastle Thunder report they are welcoming more fans to Kingston Park stadium than ever before, with a 29% rise in attendances compared to the same period last year. Over 9,000 fans have poured through the turnstiles at the seven home games held so far this season, resulting in an average of 1,289 as the club continues to grow. Specific highlights have included a bumper attendance of 4,137 at the Magic Night Out fixture against Bradford Bulls and two attendances of over 900 fans against York and Coventry, that have surpassed the 917 average achieved last season. The scale of the growth that Thunder are enjoying is further highlighted when compared to the final season at Gateshead International Stadium in 2014 when an average of 249 fans attended during the season. That figure means that since moving to Kingston Parks Stadium in 2015, the club’s attendances have grown by more than 400% And with half season tickets now on sale to cover the final six home games of the year, offering supporters the chance to save the equivalent cost of two match-day admission tickets, Thunder are hopeful this season’s average figure will rise yet further. General Manager Jordan Robinson said: “To be averaging over 1,000 fans at our home games is a big marker for the club that shows real progression that comes from a combination of hard work from all the staff and our ever improving involvement with local clubs. “We’re welcoming more and more new fans to our match-days who are enjoying what they are experiencing and are coming back for more and with some big games to come, in terms of our pushing for the promotion play-offs, we’re hoping that growth will continue through the rest of the season.” http://www.thunderrugby.co.uk/general/crowds-on-the-rise-at-newcastle-thunder/
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 22 points
    There's something about this that doesn't sit right with me. For decades, players choosing to play Rugby League were banned from Union and often ostracized by their previous clubs and communities, I would rather our sport didn't take that attitude. Irrelevant of whether Eastmond is good enough to come back, the pathway should be there.
  15. 21 points
    Ontario Rugby League have a plan to run a four team league this summer with a mid term goal of having Six clubs by 2020.
  16. 21 points
    Copa, please be careful with your posts. This might be too much of a let down for Lenegan's ultimate sycophant follower, Parky. I'm not sure he can face such stark reality.
  17. 20 points
    Went to an amazing crowd-counting event yesterday and a rugby league game broke out.
  18. 20 points
    With maths like that, you can see why they might have trouble with the accounts.
  19. 20 points
  20. 20 points
    Slowly recovering from yesterdays hectic, inaugural match atLenton Lane. I was a bit worried with the poor weather forecast for the day (it never stopped raining) but in the end it turned out to be a great occasion! Around 300 people in attendance despite the poor weather, great to see both stands packed and the pitch and surrounds looked fantastic, it really is a superb playing surface (probably helped by all the rain!) The match itself was a hard fought battle against a well drilled East Hull outfit, their defence was just too good and despite having periods of dominance and great field position we couldn't get across the whitewash for that elusive first try in our home ground as we ended up on the wrong end of a 26-0 scoreline. Most of the committee didn't care too much about the result, we lost out to a great team but in the bigger picture the the day was a resounding success! Afterwards the club house was packed until closing, we drank the bar dry and took more money in one game than we did in the whole of last season combined!
  21. 20 points
    Could York make an SL team, probably yes. Should York be an SL team, for me no. I think SL teams should be big profitable money making clubs with crowds upwards of 10,000 with good commercial arms and a recognisable brand, although that vision is a long way off and probably never likely to come into fruition. The game is held back by the clubs pinioning themselves and those who have the potential to grow. Regarding York, I would love the Knights to be an SL side, there is no better place in the country (proven) and for me, the world to live in or visit, but as I have written above I just don’t think a York club would have the potential the be a viable ‘super’ club. I think they could and should be one of the top championship clubs. Realistically I think we could attract crowds of 3000-4000 in the top echelons of the 2nd division and be in and around the top of the table each year, truthfully I think we should be bigger than Batley, Dewsbury and probably even Fev but we have a long way to go before we reach those levels. I would love to be proven wrong and in a decades time we are threatening to outgrow the new stadium and happily competing in SL. For now though we need to get out of League 1 in the next couple of years and continue to grow our crowd and bring back our reserves / academy which has produced some cracking players overs the past few years. Team wise, I think we have the potential to go up this year and in James Ford we have an excellent coach who has a keen eye for good young (and even the right ‘experienced’) players and the nous to bring them on and help them fulfil their potential. Club wise, we are in a very good place in fact we are in Nirvana to where we were 2 years ago. I believe in John Flatman we have a very astute owner who knows where he wants to take the club and the potential of it. We have of course this boards own Gav Wilson, pushing our brand and doing an incredible job of it too. There is also the foundation run by Neil Gulliver and Adam Prentis who are doing some fantastic work in and around the schools of York and into North Yorkshire. I am also sure everyone else involved with the club are working extremely hard and most importantly all seem to have the same remit and goals for the club. As I have mentioned above I really do feel we need to reintroduce the academy / reserves (the game as a whole need to), we have had some great success here in previous years with the likes of Greg Minikin, Kriss Brining, Ed Smith, Harry Carter et al coming through recently Fordy has dipped into the amateur game unearthing star forward Joe Porter and this year half back Liam Jackson who has bags of potential, he also has given trails to other quality York lads such as Matt Chilton but rather than keep them hanging on and not playing the game he has released them back to their clubs where they are monitored and I believe still in touch about their progress. There is lots of prospective pro’s in York in fact you could probably make competitive League 1 side out of the talent running around with the amateur clubs in the York & District. Over the years there have been a lot of York juniors go to SL academies in Hull, Leeds, Cas, Bradford etc. although some return to the game after been ‘let go’ a lot do not return to playing and are lost to the game, these are the players York need to be picking up and been local I believe they will be treated better and encouraged a lot more to stay with the game rather than just be dumped. There are 4 amateur clubs in the city, Acorn, Heworth, Lokos and New Earswick as well as other clubs in the area in which the Knights should be looking to, Catterick, Scarborough, Sherburn, Selby, Wetherby and also they should be trying to poach the best RU talent from the area too where there are many good clubs in York, Malton, Pocklington, Harrogate, Wharfedale etc. Crowd wise, I think we are at about 1000-1200 average and I think we can mobilise 1500-2000 for bigger games and surpass 2500-3000 for the biggest games, this I believe is no way near our potential. There are many rugby fans and the city who do not attend every game or even every other, I myself are one of these people. I probably go to maybe 5-6 games a season then there are players at my amateur club that go maybe once or twice or even never at all, and mine is by far the smallest amateur club in the city so this will be replicated tenfold at the other clubs. Then you have the fans of SL clubs in the city, I know of many that go to Leeds, Hull, Cas and even Bradford religiously, the club need to somehow capture these people before they get tied into clubs out of the city. As for potential fans York has a population of just under 200,000 the nearby Selby District 80,000, Ryedale 50,000, Scarborough around 60,000, Harrogate and District 80,000. North Yorkshire as a whole is around 600,000 added to York’s population that gives us a county wide 800,000 (I do realise a lot of these places are nearer to other clubs than York) to go at so there is the potential to grow. So to recap York easily has the potential to be an SL club in their current guise, I just think that we don’t have the potential to be what an SL club should be, that is definitely not to say we shouldn’t try to be.
  22. 20 points
    Absolutely, the game is growing at a fast rate in the area, we have three new local clubs starting this year. Yarm Wolves from the Teesside area entered last year with u14’s, they loved the sport so much they now have u9,12,14 and 16’s, we have a new club all the way up in Alnwick and the West Newcastle Magpies who are also Launching this year We have teams like Cramlington Rockets who have won their first two rounds of the National Cup and now face Thatto Heath in the next round And at Open Age we have clubs like Whitley Bay Barbarians who will be returning, and an invite has been sent up to Scotland for the two Scottish clubs to come down and play merit format friendly games and play in the cup it looks like player registrations in the north east will be up over 5% this year and the target is to average over 1,000 at thunder games It’s hard not to be positive about the North East at the moment
  23. 19 points
    After his hypocritical public slating of Sam Burgess after SB left Bath I hope he never comes back to RL personally.
  24. 19 points
    There needs to be alot more respect shown to the refs in Rugby League...THEY DO A DIFFICULT JOB! . One of the things that stands out for me as a relatively new fan to League is the constant bemoaning and criticism of the ref and touch judges.....this is poorly done and a sad reflection on the current game....it needs to be cleaned up and quick for the good of the game. Some clubs seem to have a default position that, if they lose, its always the refs fault. This is troubling since it has become ingrained in some clubs; it is childish behaviour especially when espoused by management. The current standard of referring in League is very high, mistakes will be made sometimes, but match refs are never biased or crooked. They are to be beyond reproach in this regard and they have their own internal means of quality control; leave them to it, they are professionals. I wish to thank all the refs and touch judges for their participation in the game, your efforts are appreciated greatly by the silent majority. The outstanding games you officiate could not go forward without you. THANK YOU!
  25. 19 points
    117 people not paid minimum wage. Completely undefendable in the case of 116 of them. In the case of Jon Wilkin, it's understable.

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