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  1. I didn't say it wasn't. What I said was that no sport dominates the sporting landscape in NZ as football does in UK. RU is the national sport. That's without doubt but the local RU comps have been hit by the existence of "international" Super 18 franchises. Just as local NZ comps in Football, RL, Basketball and Netball suffer with the top club(s) in their sport playing in Australian based competitions. Those codes though can't afford to not have the clubs in Australia...even though they realise the damage that they do inflict on the domestic top tier.
  2. They're all still going. There are local leagues all over the country so to say "non entity" is a bit harsh. The sports scene in NZ is incredibly diverse and it has to be remembered that a country of 4.5 million play A LOT of sports. No sport dominates the country in the way that football dominates in GB. In order to play at a high enough standard almost all sports play outside of NZ in Australian comps - and in every case this "super club" diminishes the local competition. Even RU isn't immune; the Super Rugby franchises have pushed the regional provincial sides firmly to the sidelines.
  3. NZ has only had fairly substantial PI communities since the 1980s. The same PI communities have only just begun to grow in Australia. The Aussie PI communities will continue to grow and I don't see any reason why the Australian/PI diaspora could outstrip the NZ equivalent in years to come. If that's the case (and I really can't see why it couldn't be) then the decisions made now could have huge repercussions for RL in the near future. While NZ are currently taking the biggest hit from the new rules in 10 years time I suspect there will be countless Australian based PI heritage players who could make Fiji/Samoa/Cook Islands/Tonga stronger at the expense of Aus. The question for me is how the PI heritage players in Aus view their own nationality growing up in Aus. In NZ third generation NZ PI immigrants view themselves as Tongan, Samoan, Nuien...etc They retain their own culture, language, identity. This is entirely accepted and expected by the wider NZ community (for example, high schools will often have a formal uniform that PI students can wear that reflects traditional dress. The school where I work has a Pasifika Head Boy)...Nobody resents the "non assimilation into NZ society". I contrast this with my own kids who do not associate themselves as English at all.....they view themselves as NZers. It will be interesting to see how resilient PI communities will be to the Aussie tendency towards a mono-culture.
  4. Why is DG called "FG" in RL?

    Field goals were outlawed in rugby well before 1895. A field goal was defined as kicking the ball over the posts as it was bouncing around. Drop goals were scored from the hand (as in the player had possession and deliberately lets the ball hit the ground to effect the kick). Soccer and AFL (and other codes) still allow field goals. The use of the term in australia/nz is a historical confusion that's now become accepted. Not sure of the evolution in NFL as this is an official term rather than slang.
  5. Pubs

    Ayingerbrau Pils....that brings back (hazy) memories of York Uni RL pub was always the final pint of AP at the Hansom Cab that ensured that not even Ziggy's would let you in....
  6. Correct - to see the whole Brexit fiasco unfold from overseas and to witness the (continual) deadly combination of lies, ignorance and wilful self interest in the face of catastrophic consequences is enough to make me weep. To the outside world even the possibility of Brexit (and the connected subterfuge and underhand dealing) is every bit as bewildering as the rise of Trump.
  7. The highlighted point makes no sense. The judges haven't dictated what the decision is - they have simply stated that parliament is the greatest power and that it cannot be circumvented. This is nothing more than RESTATING the sovereignty of of the British parliament. The biggest irony is that an argument frequently in favour of brexit was that the sovereignty of the government was being that the very same principle has been invoked in this legal decision the brexiteers are crying foul!
  8. Pubs

    I always thought the "pale" referred to the clarity of the beer rather than it's colour. Part of this was iirc happened with the switch to steam engines in the mass production of beer during the industrial revolution (as a side issue the brewing industry is often overlooked as a huge driver in the Ind. Revolution).
  9. This is a massive issue in NZ - the system here (NCEA) allows a ridiculous amount of choice by students (and teachers, departments, management, parents...etc). Theoretically this would be great if all involved were rational, long term decision makers. But they're not. The system is a creaking disaster that generates (and celebrates) mediocrity.
  10. I went through a similar quest for info in the late 1990s and became a bit obsessive about trawling through second hand book shops trying to find stuff. I now own a collection of well over 150 RL/sport history books. I'm probably repeating others but some of the RL books that I'd recommend.... XIII Worlds/XIII Winters -David Hadfield The Grounds of Rugby League -Trevor Delany At the George - Geoffrey Moorhouse From All Blacks to All Golds - John Haynes Rugby League -Robert Gate To Jerusalem and Back - Simon Kelner The Rugby League Game - Keith Macklin Canterbury XIII - John Coffey (a history of RL in Christchurch, NZ) ....there's also the book by the Labour MP.....which I currently have loaned out....I'm sure others will know the name....David Hinchcliffe? There are also many great recommend "born on the wrong side"(Cec Thompson), "Kiwis Wigan and the Wire" (Ces Mountford) What I found fascinating though was to read books about other sports. Once I had a handle on RL history I became intrigued by how RL was written about (or pointedly ignored) in other histories. I own many sports books from the 1890s through to the 1980s and how RL is positioned is very interesting....for example a book about French RU published in 1961 included a chapter on RL.....but above the chapter had a disclaimer that one of the editors had nothing to do with the writing and inclusion of the chapter!!! Other books I'd recommend are ones that deal with UK sport in the late 19th century (as you then understand how/why RL began). Books that cover athletics and rowing - two sports that also experienced Pro/Amateur schisms at the same time as rugby are well worth reading. Football (soccer) also needs looking at Its fairly clear that the rise of the FA is the overwhelming reason for RL/NU coming into existence. There's an excellent book "code war" that deals with the rise of football during this period. There are other books that I'm sure I'll remember and add to the list.....
  11. Football

    Chuffed for AFC Wimbledon :-) From bottom of the pyramid in 2002 to Division 1 .....I'll even put aside my usual dislike of playoffs to determine promotion in this case :-)
  12. I'm a teacher and a parent so I do appreciate the arguments on all sides. What I will say is that the situation in the UK system has lost all perspective. My nieces school refused permission for her to have five days off so she could travel to NZ with my sister (tacked onto the Easter holiday meant the journey would be feasible.....two weeks is not enough given jet-lag, etc). By going on the trip she would get to see me, my wife and her three cousins. FOR THE FIRST TIME. That in itself is a hugely important reason. She also got to roam in the countryside of NZ, collect eggs from our hens, feed lambs, see whales an dolphins in Kaikoura, run around in forests, collect firewood and sit around campfires toasting marshmallows with her cousins.....along with a host of other unique experiences so totally different from her day to day life in Walthamstow. We even organised for her to go to school with my youngest son for a few days (the holiday didn't coincide with NZ school holidays) so she could experience both education and other cultures. All this was made clear to the school yet still permission was refused. My niece is SIX....and had 100% attendance until the holiday.....I found it staggering that the benefits of the trip were not self evident and that permission was not granted. Needless to say they came anyway. So I'm pleased to hear about this case as it means they will be able to fight the fine (which went on top of an already expensive trip).
  13. The effect if these heritage teams on the PI community of NZ is huge. I appreciate that in other parts of the world the situation is different. The effect on RL in the PI nations is overwhelmingly positive.
  14. I don't think the rules are weak - they're the same as everywhere else in all other sports. What's wrong is the insistence that SOO depends on only playing for Aus......although the spirit of that rule (selecting Radradrah) is ignored if it benefits the NRL....
  15. Another Code Switch...

    I wouldn't go that far. Scratch beneath the surface and it's alive and kicking. It's a dying attitude but still very much in evidence. I doubt when GH was at Auckland Grammar he was ever an advocate of RL!!