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  1. The Westpac Stadium in Wellington hosts the Wellington Hurricanes (Super Rugby), Wellington Phoenix (A League Soccer) and select Rugby League Events - all are played on a rectangular pitch in the middle of the Oval. Westpac also holds T20 and ODI cricket - Test matches being held at the Basin Reserve. Eden Park is only used for Day / Night Cricket - Including a first test under lights against England in March - Domestic Cricket is played on the adjacent Cricket ground. In addition it is the home of the Auckland Blues (Super Rugby) and All Black tests. The NZ Warriors used to play a big match there to open the season but have decided to stick to Mount Smart for all home games. For a viewing perspective, Eden Park is better to watch Rugby at regardless of the code. And that was a poor crowd today in Wellington - Full stop
  2. What if England win the World Cup

    Spot on - I doubt there will be a ripple in the UK sporting fabric . Outside the M62 bubble Rugby League has dissappeared from the general sporting public's consciousness and this is not the fault of the media.
  3. 2018 Series v NZ

    You will probably be correct "balance" being maintained between Yorkshire and Lancashire and stadium small enough to draw a crowd that looks good on TV £ 5 Discounts have started early...
  4. Nigel Woods vacations timing ?

    I would agree with most of that but I think you will find the majority of the general population outside the "heartland bubble" are indifferent to Rugby League these days or cannot come to terms with the fact that there is more than one code of "Rugby" which like it or not means the XV code to the majority. A 30 minute "history lesson" will, I am afraid, only increase the view of many that that this is a minority sport with a chip on both shoulders. No way to win a new audience without projecting a more positive view of the sport.
  5. WCC to go ahead

    FYI - The Melbourne Storm will be paying a trial game in Rotrua against the New Zealand Warriors the following day Saturday 17th February (press release 7th November) I wonder which squad members the Storm will put on the field for the Leeds trial game WCC
  6. By popular demand....... BRITISH billionaire Marwan Koukash has ruled out buying the Titans, claiming the club has no future on the Gold Coast after amassing a $12 million debt in the past four seasons. As the NRL prepares to sell the club, The Sunday Mail has uncovered the true financial health of the Titans, which continues to haemorraghe millions almost three years after the governing body took control of the licence. Official NRL accounting data, leaked exclusively to The Sunday Mail, paints a grim picture of the Gold Coast’s revenue streams and the battle ahead for prospective owners to turn the Titans into a viable operation. Since the start of 2014, the Titans have lost a staggering $12,627,461. According to NRL bean counters, the Titans racked up a $3.17 million debt this season, another half-a-million dollar blowout on the club’s $2.63 million deficit in 2016. The Titans are by no means a financial anomaly in a code drowning in red ink. The NRL’s 16 clubs lost a collective $53.4 million last year, with the Brisbane Broncos the only outfit to record a profit despite the $1 billion in media money that has flowed into the game’s coffers over the past five seasons. But Gold Coast’s chequered history with sporting franchises — rugby league alone has seen four failed attempts in the region — has raised fears as to whether the Titans can truly flourish as an NRL force. Koukash is sceptical. The flamboyant tycoon, who last month sold English club Salford after four years of ownership, has dreams to buy an NRL licence and has been linked with a Titans sell-off. But after reviewing Gold Coast’s finances, the 59-year-old declared he has no interest in being part of the bid process, fearing the Titans cannot be salvaged. I want to clear this up. I am not in the running for the Titans licence. I won’t be making an offer,” Koukash told The Sunday Mail from England. “I would be interested in buying an NRL club in the future, but I won’t buy the Titans. Unfortunately, I can’t see the Titans ever being successful unless there are drastic changes. “I’ve learnt from my lessons getting involved in Super League with Salford. I need to make sure, if I get involved in the NRL, that it’s the right relationship and the right club for me. “The Titans are losing a lot of money and they will continue to lose money. “I would like to see the Titans be sustainable and see it grow, but I’m not totally convinced any NRL team can survive on the Gold Coast.” As Koukash can attest, running rugby league teams, be it in England or Australia, is an expensive exercise. The Titans’ next owners, most likely the Rebecca Frizelle-Darryl Kelly consortium, face some daunting fiscal challenges. This season, it cost the NRL $18.3 million to run the Titans. Of that figure, $12.5 million was spent on the football department, including wages and superannuation for the Titans’ NRL full-time squad, head coach Neil Henry and his support staff. The new owners will hope the NRL’s next five years of grants will future-proof the club. In 2018, the Titans, like every NRL club, will receive a $12.4 million grant from the NRL. After $9.4 million is spent on player payments under the salary cap, the Titans will be left with a $3 million surplus. The challenge for the new owners, then, is to find additional revenue streams to cover other operational costs such as the stadium hiring fee for Cbus Super Stadium, which was $1.3 million last season. Titans chief executive Graham Annesley has worked overtime to streamline the club’s budgets. He scoffed at suggestions the Gold Coast region cannot sustain an NRL team. “Over the last three years of NRL ownership, the Titans have become one of the most prudent, cost effective operations in the NRL,” he said. “The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth-largest city with an outstanding national and international profile. It is right in the middle of rugby league heartland with around 6000 junior players in the local region. “This club is only just over a decade old and it is potentially one of the powerhouses of the NRL competition. “We have well-connected independent governance, experienced management, incredibly committed staff, first-class facilities, and a quality playing roster. “All the building blocks are in place, we just have to deliver consistently credible on-field performances, and I’m very confident we are on the cusp of doing just that.” Koukash believes the NRL are better off relocating the Titans licence to create a second team in Brisbane. “If the licence was moved to Brisbane I would definitely look to buy the club,” he said. “I know you would get a lot of resistance in wanting to move the Titans, but Brisbane is a bigger market. The Titans will not work were they are now. “I don’t want an NRL club just for the ego, I need a club that I think can be successful.
  7. The reason for going for Danny Ward is this, when you draw up the squad for 2018 the planning is done in June / July 2017. Danny Ward would have had input into Andrew Henderson's decisions on which positions to strengthen, who to keep, and who to dispense with. This makes him the continuity choice. Bring in a coach from outside, and like Hendo in 2015, you find yourself with someone else's side without the personnel to play the footy you want to play. that said, an L plate coach though needs a mentor - Tony Rea perhaps. Gloom part of posting - I will make the call now, I do not London will be top four and I forsee David Hughes pulling out at the seasons end. The probable end of professional league south of Wakefield by 2019. Goodnight....
  8. Link - Interesting reading between the lines...
  9. Truly this board is becomuing the sporting equivalent of opus dei as a bit of stealth marketing with the TMO for the Australian audience turns into a bout of self flagellation. Would you have all complained about Harvey Norman or Bunnings Warehouse ?
  10. NFL 2017/18 season

    The cheerless Cleveland Browns were in town yesterday, some pix 1 Chris Doleman and Friends... 2 With the Cleveland mascot facing being impounded (much like the Offence) here's Otto fresh from intimdating Chappers on the NFL show.. 3 "Ya want me to have my picture taken with a crummy Vikings fan Bud" Otto appears to be saying 4 Not a Cleveland Quarterback option.. yet. 5 Isiah Crowell breaks free and Cleveland score first.. only to miss the PAT. Story of Cleveland's day actually they were not that bad just kept shooting themselves in the foot after doing something good. 6 DeShown Kizer hands off to Crowell. One thing is certain in the NFL if your a rookie Quarterback and a starter you on a bad team. On a better side he would be leaning his trade but a lot of young QB's end up one and done as the Front Office moves on trying to find a magic bullet to restore an ailing franchise 7 Journeman QB case Keenum has plentry of time in the Browns Red Zone. 8 Kyle Rudoph ices the game with this TD. The best known Cleveland player in recent times and certainly the one remembered by those of us whose NFL involvement goes back to the 1980's was QB Bernie Kozar whose daughter achieved fame as a porn star known by her stage name Lexxi Silver - Not a lot of people know that... The teams for next years London Games will not be knolwn until early January much later than normal. There are a number of reasons for this. Stadium availability in the UK being one with Commissioner Goodell vistiting White Hart Lane for a construction update. The plan is 2 Wembley and 2 White Hart lane but Twickers ciomes back into the picture if WHL is falling behind. Capacity at both venues differs so will affect the season ticket package. As for the teams coming over Jacksonville v New York Jets is a hot tip. Next year the plan is for a team to play back to back games in London. Its been assumed the Jags would be that team but the Oakland Raiders have stadium difficulties in Oakland where the rent has upped to $3.5 million per year 3 times the previous deal prior to the move tio Las Vegas. With Los AngesRams moving to be the "home" team for the Mexico game in 2018. The Raiders would be London bound and could play a home game then as the "away" team at also London bound Los Angeles Chargers. Playing in London for the Chargers would give them more support than Stub Hub Centre in Carson against the Raiders. Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a likely "home" team next year. There's a bit of confusion as to whether there is an obligation (post super bowl award) on Minnisota and Atlanta both of whom came to London before hosting a game overseas became a condition of getting the Super Bowl. The most intriguing "home" team would be San Franciso 49ers who are struggling to pul a crowd in Santa Clara. San Francisco v Seattle ?. Could be Seattle are keen to come but from the Pacific northwest it requires a game on the East Cioast then London then a bye week for the Seahawks and their large UK fan base. Just to depress you all Cincinatti's new lease at Paul Brown Stadium included provision for two overseas games so the Bengals could be back if not in 2018 then 2019. Enough speculation but multiple fixtures causes multiple scheduling difficulties and they are spinning the plates in New York about this so I do not think anything is being announced soon.
  11. NFL 2017/18 season

    Time for some more pics from NFL live at the Mermaid Theatre and Twickers 1. The gangs all here, Neil Reynolds, Shaun Gayle - looking like he just got out of bed, Coach Rheinbold - who speaks german btw and Dallas Clark, who like Brian Carney is a natural for TV. 2. Cardinals Cheerleaders and Big Red 3. The Rams cheerleaders make their entrance and judging by where that Eagle fans eyes are looking his favourite position must be Tight End. 4. The Lovely LA Rams Cheerleaders, But no Rampage - Not on the flight .I blame Roger Goodell... 5. Spot the Legend, the number of people who did not know Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson showcases the divide between 1980's NFL fans like me and newbies. He is wearing the white pullover if your asking. 6 Spot the head coach , standing next to Neil you have Coach McVey, but if you were a newbie would you not think the older guy on his right is Rams head coach. 7. A rare Cardinals attack and almost another interception. 8. Legatron Greg Zuerlein kicks the extras 9. Adrian Peterson may be known as all day but Arizona were under pressure all night.
  12. NFL 2017/18 season

    Get Ready to RAMPAGE this Sunday when this Guy and the LA Rams hit town. If you want to know why the Rams left LA in the first place perhaps this 80's classic "let's ram it" might be one answer... Eric Dickerson will be at the Tailgate and NFL live on Saturday . I wonder if anyone will mention this...
  13. Salford. Trouble at mill.

    I hate to derail the thread but according to the Good Doctor rumours of Salford's demise are exaggerated^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author
  14. Andrew Henderson to Warrington

    I doubt having come this far, that David Hughes is thinking of ditching the club just because Andrew Henderson left suddenly. He is an emotional type though and the club was almost would up when he left at half-time during the Broncos passionless trouting at the hands of Wigan in the Cup Semi-Final back in 2013 and understandably so given the amount he has spent and the lack of effort on display that day.. I Imagine he is talking this over with Tony Rea as counsel and it's a good job for the club sniffers still in London. They might be going through a few names as I type. There are a few ex-Broncos out there in the Assistant ranks in the NRL and Terry Matterson would be a good call given he has knowledge of the British game and may be available. Certainly if the club is being serious about a return to Super League an experienced coach rather than an "L" plate coach is required.
  15. Andrew Henderson to Warrington

    Not as glum about this as you might think. There is a case to say that Andrew has taken the club as far as he can. Certainly he has changed the mood on and off the field where last season was, for some, a disappointment. On the other hand the club has continued to make the same mistakes with the "mad twenty" which leaves the team chasing the game against top flight opposition. My concern is that David Hughes does not have a great record in talent spotting and whilst I would want a Broncos old boy like Terry Matterson as coach. I feel a cut price option looms and that could be terminal.