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  1. Seeing a game in Cumbria - any of Whitehaven, Barrow or Workington. I have been to all the NRL grounds and all bar Catalans in the Super League, loads of Championship grounds and seen League in the UK on a variety of soccer and union grounds for internationals and "event" games and a lot of grounds here and down under on which league is no longer played and but I have never been to Cumbria so It's definately on the bucket list along with getting to an amateur game at either Wigan St Pats or Thatto Heath.
  2. Well I certainly did not see that one coming, for 70 minutes, London gave a passable impersonation of a Super League team in the Jordan Abdull show - Watch the tries whwen the club puts them on the webite its' worth it - All the things you just had not seen in weeks, off loads , line breaks, Solid defence it was there. I have been Ill all week so by the time the score reacheed 42-6, I was half-thinking - This medications strong stuff... As for the London Phantom well you saw good and bad Keiran on display today, Good going forward bad in defence in the last 10 minutes when it was his flank under attack. and lucky when we were only 10-0 up that his inability to deal with the high ball did not result in Wakefield dragging it back to 10-6. Wakefield fans were sanguine about the result one or two saying London was a bogey ground for Trinity even when the Broncos were a poor side. However the final scoreline flatters Trinity, Injuries or no Injuries, if you have Grand Final pretensions whatever XIII you put on the paddock should not be 42-6 down to the bottom club. Being 42-6 up posed a bit of a problem for the Broncos who were in the unusual position, for them, of having builit up a winning lead but seemingly perplexed as to how to approach the last 20 minutes. Fifita barged over for a try for Wakefield then.. From 42-12, London mad 10 minutes started with Wakley getting repeat tries, se after set. I think there was a case of "thanks I have seen enough" on and off the field with London showing an inability to kill the game n the manner other sides have when building up a lead at Trailfinders. We we all guilty of playing out time, for not only was I glancing at the watch every 30 seconds but the bloke next to me was doing the same staring at his right arm where his watch should have been... Ultimately London had a big enough cushion to win. Did the late flurry of Wakefield tries take the gloss off the win for me. Well put it this way, I did not think we would win so I will take a win by an 8 point margin and would have taken a one point win secured by a wobbly duck of a drop goal bouncing in off the cross bar. What it does do is it means Super Leagues Ultimate Underdogs have not only won more games than Widnes did all last season but have given themselves a punchers chance of staying up. I don't think it will be enough at the end of the day, but this team of try hards is not going away quietly and, as a fan, that's all you can ask for.
  3. What is already in the Public Domain on the Butlin Bothers https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/boxing-trainer-cleared-firearms-conspiracy-15512106 https://youtu.be/0nXn2hmVJvM https://youtu.be/fB5iQKoZu-w
  4. Sums up the London season , a team of try-hards lacking in quality. Down the Wigan half of the field, Wigan crowd out of the game, Lovell Penalty, Wigan gain territory, Lovell Penalty, Wigan drive towards the sticks, O'Loughlin knocks on and from the scrum Kear knocks on Wigan score and never look like losing after that. I would be as angry as Jamie Langley when Kear early in the tackle count and in good field position opts to throw the ball behind Rhys Williams on the short side and into touch but it's like this every game. London beat themselves as much as they get beat. They do not respect possession, lack guile and make too many unforced errors. And in truth if we had burgled a win it would have been on the basis of few line breaks and little creativity just cussed defence As for Wigan a very ordinary side and fans perhaps pining for the return of Shaun Wane as that was a halcyon era compared to this season. You do not get competition points for "moral" victories, a loss is a loss. London need 2 props and a playmaker in the 16 day break before the Wakefield game otherwise we are at the point of no return and arguably are there already.
  5. This is going to be painful viewing, There were signs that the Broncos team spirit is evaporating on Saturday. Cunningham yelling at the bench after kicking the ball dead, Glum looking Eddie Battye prowling the touchlines and some negative body language on display. Form would suggest Wigan racing to a 24-0 lead in the first 30 minutes, London pulling one back either side of half-time then Wigan banging in another 4 tries by the 65th minute and playing out the last 15 with London trying a "wide to west move" as the hooter goes. Wigan 48- London 12 I could be even more pessimistic as pretty soon London could collpase in an embarassing heap and be on the end of a 60 pointer which may be coming with confidence at shoelace level.
  6. Sadly more of the same, You cannot fault the commitment of the London players but they do not respect posession and it took until the club was 0-24 down before they started to get back into the game. The penalty count went heavily agaisnt London but surprisingly the merry whilstleblower failed to to penalise Salford when their Female Water Carrier ran straight across Kieran Dixon when he was about to attempt to convert Rhys Wiliams try - The first for London. It's strange to post this, but London defensively held up well overally desite some soft tries which kind of indicates how much posession Salford had. The side as it stands has too many players who are simply not good enough at this level.. There is no blame attached to the Coaching staff because they are being asked to turn water into wine each week. They do not control the purse strings Some points here about London the championship side, That Championship side beat Super League Salford away and home in two of the middle eight seasons. So what is the difference now. Salford upgraded the side with the addition of Jackson Hastings, London did not upgrade for Super League. For sure the loss of Jarrod Sammut due to domestic difficulties was unfortunate but the decision not to get a replacement and to ignore the fact that London are Forward Lite has damned the club on its return to the big stage. The London Poundland approach is not working , It did not work when franchising was in operation and it not working now. Either of two things will happen : London will go down , the better players will understandably leave for Super League clubs, and with less income and even fewer fans, the club will cease to be full time and possibly cease to exist. or London will have a preservation order slapped on it with a contrived 14 club Super League, and we will have more of the same with an underfunded club sustaining loss after loss, fewer fans and in another downward spiral. It's time for a change of ownership at the club if Gavin Willacy's "other suitors" claim for the club has any truth in it. - Only with a change of ownership and an injection of cash will the club be able to bounce back from relegation to try again at the top level. Grumbles from other Super League club chairman that have occasionaly surfaced that the game needs a strong capital club but not perhaps this club should be viewed in that context. As for those whose post their only ambition is to see a London championship club acting as a farm team - well if the club has no ambition to compete at Super League level. I think I already have something else to watch in the summer and also think many of the missing London fans have already made that conclusion. Rant over
  7. So assuming the Championship Final is played out between Featherstone and Leigh instead of Toulouse v the Mancunian Mounties. I take it all bets on a 14 club league are off.. That's the problem with fantasy Rugby League, what happens when the reality of sporting life intrudes.
  8. Easter Monday as Jamie Soward would have put it was a case of "close enough not being good enough" for London. You win or lose a game of Rugby League over 80 minutes and for sure, while there are poor refereeing calls, to be griping post game throws shade over what should have been self reflection on the errors that cost the win. Salford by contrast arrive pumped up having burst Warrington's premier pretensions and have the best player of the 26 on the paddock in Jackson Hastings. Only one result likely - Salford by 16 - a result gloomier than the weather forecast
  9. You will get commitment from this bunch of London try-hards, but the sad fact is too many in first grade are simply not super league standard. In addition not putting out the first grade at Halifax is rebounding, forget the cup run, it was about stemming the flow of defeats, four on the bounce now, if winning is a habit so is losing and London are losing by bigger margins each time. Now matter how great a bunch of lads that dents confidence. I hope I am wrong but I do not see another win this season Huddersfield by 24
  10. Was there yesterday and took the opportunity to sit in the new stand behind the sticks which from a distance looks like a subbuteo soccer stand from the 1970's. At the preseason event we were promised this would hold toilets and a club shop so if there is a penalty clause, I would like to think its being invoked. Decent crowd actually more than I thought we would get, including Jermaine Coleman, his son and the Skolars First grade also sitting in the stand. I took the opportunity because a bit like the big stand at Motherwell it seems to be for away fans.every other game and I thought it might change their luck. Onto the game, I think the first 35 mins of the game could be summed up as Catalans making errors and London not capitalising and London making errors and Catalans taking adavantage. It was tight until Jordan Abdul was injured. I could not see it clearly from the new stand all I know is that he left in a neck brace in the ambulance. Then a specualative high bomb from Catalans was allwed to bounce back into Catalan hands for the killer try leaving them 14-0 up at the half. It's basic Rugby in both codes to never let a Rugby ball bounce.... Second half without Abdul's kicking game London disintegrated giving away posession and conceding repeat tries, 4 in a 20 minute spell to go 36-0 down. When London go behind in the game they become more frantic. For example, concede a try, short kick, off regain possession, out on the flanks , second tackle, back of the hand pass into touch on the short side. Fans were leaving 20 minutes into the second half and to be honest Catalans had gone into "lets get this game over with mode" for the last 20 minutes as well. You cannot fault a Danny Ward side for a lack of effort or commitment but you can fault them for a lack of guile and speed without Kieran Dixon. London go from side to side but do not have the pace to flank a sliding defence. Noone appears to be trying to go straight and break the line. Defensively it may seem strange to post this, but they did cope with Catalans forward pack in a way they had not against Huddersfield. The Catalans tries coming from open play after London conceded possession Superleague needs a London club, but not an underfunded club existing under a preservation order. The basic problem in London is a lack of money because a competitive London side would eventully crack the attendance problem and would not be a relegation certainty. It needs new ownership, and if Gavin Willacy is right and there are others in the wings then its time for them to step forward.
  11. Eddie article from yesterday's The Daily Telegraph eddie-hemmings-prepares-call-time
  12. It would be remiss of this board not to mark Eddie's retirement from the SKY box with a thread of its own. For like or not, Eddie Hemmings as much as Mike Stevenson has been the voice of Rugby League on Pay TV from 1988 to Good Friday 2019 when he bows out alongside Neville Smith the producer of Rugby League on SKY, keeping to a gentleman's agreement to stay on after Mike Stevenson's retirement to provide a couple of years of continuity as a man of his word, something others connected to Rugby League seem unable to keep these days.... If you express an opinion as a commentator or a journalist a large part of your audience is not going to like it and Eddie has been the butt of many a comment, some quite bizzare memorably being accused from being "a Ronald Reagan lookalike" to wearing a wig (actually he does have a bit of a bald patch on top if you ever lookdown on him from the stands as he scurries to the commentary scaffording -but no wig. those make up girls doing a sterling job on his coiffure). it seems to me as a southerner that like Eddie Waring and Ray French before him a lot of the criticism he has got is like a form of self-hatred from those who normally espouse the virtues of being a parochial sport but cringe when one of their own is presenting the game to a national audience And if in his commentary dotage he has not been as incisive as in the past, well that comes to all of us eventually, but to my mind his professional standards have never dropped certainly not to the extent that Henry Blofeld became a parody of himself on Test Match Special in his declining years. What the game should do is acknowledge the part he has played in popularising the game on pay TV and being the steady hand on the tiller of SKY coverage over the years. So good luck Eddie and enjoy your retirement.
  13. You know there is two ways this game can go either : Losing to a Halifax side minus 8 first grade players (credit to them BTW) basically blew away any feel good factor from the Broncos three wins. Hopefully this means that the side has been given a coating by Danny Ward and quite a few players told they need to aim up or ship out which causes a reaction and London upset the odds by inflicting a defeat on Catalans. Particularily so if our benefactor has taken a leaf out of M Guasch' s textbook and left the assembled XIII at Halifax know exactly what he feels about subsidising a side out enthused by a part-time side and producing an unacceptable performance Or London just carry on as before, playing 60 mins out of 80 with a few garbage time tries making the final scoreline respectable. As Robert De Niro put it in the film,Raging Bull "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” Truly the Jake LaMotta school of Rugby League in which case it is hard even at my most optimistic seeing them win again this season. Catalans tactics will be obvious just let Remy Casty, Julien Bousquet and Sam Kasiano rumble up and down the middle of the park all evening with a few close quarter unionesque barge over tries. As per the template Huddersfield set and Catalans copied against Hull. Of course Catalans have a disciplne problem and mayas in the Hull game gift the game to the Broncos even with the last kick in regulation time.... We can but dream. London have to battle and scrap like injury hit Hull did and there's no Jake Connor equivalent at London. For sure the club is screaming for two props and a playmaker, but I do have it from a source I trust, that Danny Ward has been told there will be no new signings. So it could be a long night for the faithful few at Trailfinders. So its looking like a record low crowd, a first grade squad without The london phantom and while we are on musuical references, London's fans left like the cast of Les Miserables Catalans by 20 .
  14. Your Negative spin is as bad as mine - your 12-6 up at the half
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