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  1. +1 I would add Hayward to the list too. He looks a very good addition to the squad. From what I've seen, Scott is no certainty to make the starting 17 and he has looked as rock solid as ever. He would have been one of the first names on the team sheet last season, but he'll have to be at the top of his game to keep Hayward out.
  2. Oops
  3. Had that been an isolated incident I'd take your point, but I can't honestly remember him ever having a good game, or even an okay game whilst watching games not involving Batley. Regarded as one of the best by whom? Last season, Dennis Betts described one of his performances as the worst he'd seen in all of his 30 years in the game. Paul Anderson and Tony Smith were also very vocal in the press about his dreadful performances last season during different games for their respective teams, as well as Kear. So there are 4 of the best coaches in the country stating he was appalling. I could also include Shaun Wayne to that list, but then again he blames the ref every time Wigan lose, so I'll discount him. Whichever way you cut it, he was a shocking ref. He is a product of the rfl, he started young and worked his way through the ranks and presumably received training and support by the governing body and was promoted to be full time. But based upon what criteria? Was he the only one who would do it? It certainly wasn't down to ability based upon what I, Anderson, Betts, Kear and Smith saw of him. The game is in a bad way and really needs a clear out if he was the best they could do.
  4. You obviously didn't see his performance during the bulls v dogs match last season. Fans can often see things from a biased perspective, i accept that, but after reviewing the DVD after the match and he made some appalling decisions that day, which cost us the game. When a seasoned old professional like Kear states he refereed the game on the lines of a desired outcome in a press conference, it also makes you think it was just me watching with rose tinted specs on. Kear wasn't punished for his comments either, which seems to suggest there was truth in it too, otherwise why not fine him for bringing the game in to disrepute? Good riddance, he could do with taking a couple more with him too IMO, along with Ganson, Rimmer and Wood for starters.
  5. I'm not sure whether there's any truth to the rumours, but i heard a while back, JC's operation wasn't a big success. Has anyone else heard anything?
  6. At the risk of being mercenary, this could be a very good opportunity to offer those fans with an alternative. I can't see that the RFL or anyone else offering compensation to the fans who have already bought tickets, maybe Batley could honour bulls 2017 tickets for our home games as a gesture of goodwill? It wouldn't cost us anything, but it would be an excellent olive branch and we may even pick up some new longer term fans from it. Even if the bulls reform and these fans watch a reformed bulls, they may be more likely to watch us when the bulls don't have a game etc. We need to do what we can to keep these fans watching the game, it would be a huge loss otherwise.
  7. I still remember the boxing day game at your place a few years back when Sawyer was on holiday, when the gate was given out as something like 1300 and most of the south stand was waved through the gate, so I don't know how anyone from the rams fan has the cheek to point the finger...
  8. I believe the final figure was 528. There were loads of kids who got in for free, which made it look much fuller, but that's how it goes, I guess. I think you might find a similar figure for your friendly with Leigh when you play them at their place
  9. I think the point is, Union is very much a social game at lower club level. The top levels are pretty competitive, but as you go down the rankings, the game is played with more of a fun element to it. I never really felt that playing league. All of the league sides I played for, or against played the game as hard as they could and to win. Its difficult to explain, but there were guys well in to there 50s still playing union when I finally retired at 36, and although you'd tackle these old timers, there was kind of an unwritten rule that you would not fly in at them like you would say a 20 year old, who you'd try to smash in every tackle like you would playing league. I couldnt image playing league in that spirit. It was played very much in the spirit of we want to win, but let's not go mad, we've all got work on Monday. I don't want to go to my meetings with a shiner etc. I never really found that at league, it was always much more of win at all costs mentality. Union is very much built around the social side imo, I think it is fair to say most union players outside of the top flight play for fun, commeradery you get from team games, a bit of exercise and a good excuse to have a drink with your mates on the weekend. I'm pretty sure the majority of union players and fans don't really understand all of the rules, I played for years and I'm still baffled by half of the decisions made, but that is not necessarily what people watch it for. It is a social event rather than just a game. As it is more inclusive, more people take part in it. Therefore it is more popular, the more popular, the better opportunity for sponsorship etc. That leads to more money in the game which then attracts the top talent. That is why it has overtaken league imo. I also don't think we have helped ourselves by slowing the PTB down. Lots of the skills required to exploit broken play have gone from RL because of this slowing down. That is predominantly why we don't have many good flair players like centre's or halfbacks in the country, there isn't the opportunity to develop the skills required whilst playing the game as it stands.
  10. Simple answer is union is/was played at most schools. League was never a consideration at mine or most schools, I'm not from down south either, I was brought up in the heartland of league country and there was no exposure at school, so unless you were introduced to it by someone who plays or is involved there is no exposure to RL at all. If there is so little exposure in the heartlands you can bet there is sod all in the none league areas. Therefore most peoples only exposure to rugby is union, they think of rugby, they automatically think union. More people then play it, therefore there is a bigger talent pool to pick from, more money, better standards, more demamd. We are also light-years behind RU at club level. No matter how good, bad or old you are, you could always find a union team to play for. Lots run 4+ open age teams as well as veterans and junior teams. They, on the whole, have much better facilities than most of there league counterparts. Most are community clubs with teams training most nights of the week, therefore the bar is open with sports on TV for parents to watch whilst there kids are at training and they are selling drinks, food etc. Which all helps to swell the coffers. As lots have 4 teams, that means every weekend there are at least 60-70 players (4 teams at the ground every weekend) plus a few spectators in the bar having a drink after the game, maybe watching an international on TV too and having more than one or two social pints. Then the home teams who were playing away, will come back home to finish the night off. They will often bring partners, friends and parents etc. Which means the bar is taking very good money every week, unlike league where you might only get people in once a fortnight, if they do have a bar. Because people are socialising there every week, there is a buzz created about the place and people from outside of the game are attracted to it, maybe just for the social side, but they are often turned in to fans over time. I played for 3 different league teams growing up from under 9s to 17s, none of them had a bar and only one had proper changing rooms with showers. I also played for 4 union clubs during the same timeframe, all had excellent facilities and several pitches with floodlights. They also put food on after every game, even for all the junior teams. At league you went home and met up with lads at a local pub to compare bruises after showering at home. All of the union clubs had clear pathways to open age teams, at league we all just moved on elsewhere, as the open age team was a closed shop. Twickenham always sold out because every club, no matter how small was allocated tickets that they had to sell, it wasn't optional, it was your duty as being part of the RU umbrella. They have sold out internationals for years on that premise, and now the tickets are in demand and they can charge what they want, because they have created a demand for them; a prestige factor because they are always sell outs, it makes you feel privileged to be there, like you are lucky to get a ticket. RL could not sell out, if we held cup finals in phone boxes. We can learn a lot from them. If only it was better to watch and less complicated... As the earlier post states our game has degenerated in to a 5 drives and a kick bore-a-thon for the most part, ever since this dominance and Wrestling came in to the game. I'd love to see us go back to refs shouting held as soon as momentum has stopped, like it used to be in the 90s.
  11. I'm with you on that BB I fancy Swinton to be the dark horses this season.
  12. I think the potential investors will have some sway on what the punishment is, believe it or not. They can simply state they are prepared to throw money in to sorting the Bulls out, but they will only do so on the proviso that there is just a points deduction. The RFL can tell them where to go, but in all honesty, whoever buys the Bulls, will be in a pretty strong position to negotiate, don't kid yourself that the RFL will just be able to take the judge dread approach to this, because they won't be able to.Can the game afford to lose such an iconic club? How would that look to potential sponsors and investors in the RFL? As BSJ points out, the majority of the 4000 fans lost would be gone forever. I know so many ex-Batley and Keighley fans who stopped watching the game entirely after we were refused entry, sorry, paid off not to enter SL. Can the game afford the bad publicity of one of it biggest clubs going to the wall? There is also the consideration of the very lucrative lease the RFL hold on Odsal. Which is the real kicker in all of this. They will be desperate to keep a club playing there to keep the money rolling in. I can't imagine the potential buyers won't know how much is at stake for the RFL. This situation is nowhere near as cut and dried as some seem to think it is. How many Bradford die hard fans do you think have a spare £2 or £3 million lying around, who also have the time and inclination to run the club, and face the abuse owners get once the team starts losing? Not many 6 have come forward so far with an interest, but once the full picture as to what they owe is revealed, you can bet 2 or 3 will be walking away and look at the owners that have been and gone before them over the last few years.
  13. They could, but it is quite difficult to do in this scenario I would have thought. There have been so many instances of it in the past with very similar punishments handed out. I would have thought the RFL would have needed to change the rules and communicate this to the clubs first. Otherwise, they would more than likely find themselves at the sports arbitrator, like what happened with Batley over the dr issue involving Fairbank. The RFL had set precedents of issuing no sanction to clubs who had committed the same offence previously, so they found it difficult to really punish us, when they had a history of letting it slide.
  14. Not that I'm aware of. But that is what the rules seem to suggest. Although I think you need a law degree to fully understand them.
  15. I think relegation depends on whether the creditors are paid in full or not.