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  1. Anybody got any idea as to whether Scotland and Wales intend to play any pre-World Cup Frendlies in the UK ? Ideally Wales v Scotland on the Friday before the Grand Final on 6th October - Has anyone thought of that ?
  2. From a neutral perspectiv,e perhaps the Challenge Cup Semi-Final in which Salford have a real opportunity to get to Wembley and win, has impacted on their season with a few dead games being played out before the Super 8s.
  3. Unless this is a media beat up there are some points here posters might want to mull over Firstly, is everyone happy that a bona fide regular season game is being used as a warm up for a pre-season trial game against two NRL clubs Secondly, have the season ticket holders at both clubs been given a discount as you cannot get a bus to Woolongong from either Hull Paragon ior Wigan bus stations and they would be giving up a home fixture. Thirdly, I thought the idea of the World Club Series was to pit the best against the best (i.e the winners of the Comp) English Clubs have been touting for pre-season trials down under for the last 18 months. Brisbane supposedly trying to set up a game against Wigan last year before playing Warrington in the WCS probably as a sop to Wayne Bennett as England Coach. Given NRL clubs see little value in travelling across the world for a trial game then English clubs will come to Australia where some are more of a draw card with Australian fans than others... That Engliish Rugby League benefits through doing this is a moot point though the players will have the opportunity to showcase their skills for NRL scouts. English Leagues cultural cringe continues...
  4. The ground is adequate for the attendances the club draws. In the last super league season only Wigan drew a crowd in excess of 2,000. The shenanigans that took place in the years 2009-2015 decimated the fanbase and there is a different dynamic in expansion areas to heartland clubs in that fans in expansion areas grew up with, watch and participate in other sports as a primary sport with league a secondary add on in most cases. Once the link with the club was broken then most former fans return to their primary sport(s).and depending on hiow those sports treat them do not return. So the problem for the Broncos is replacing one fan base with a new one based in Ealing without the oxygen of publicity that a super league place brings or much media coverage. This is going to be a slow burner so to speak. Still focusing on the positives, I have posted here in rthe past that for London to rival Leeds it must first become a Castleford and judging by results with the juniors the clubs on the way to producng players of sufficient standard to play in the championship or the Super League. All it now needs is a new financial backer and more coming therough the turnstiles...
  5. To answer the post title - That it is no longer seen as a driver for SKY subscriptions
  6. Therer is a certain masochistic pleasure people in this country get out of the failings of the national side. Todays latest abject surrender causing a collective breakdown amongst ex-England players and the fourth estate. The problem is, now the chickens ghave indeed come home to roost who do you replace some of England's turkeys with ?. Pre-defeat you had the ECB briefing through the Daily Mail's correspondent who is their official mouthpiece in the media. that Dawson was picked tob take the mental strain off Moeen. We can stop here and contemplate that someone who has played 39 tests as an spin bowling all rounder needs reassurance that he is not the number one spinner in the side. Jeez I cannot imagine an Aussie spinner pulling on the baggy green who does not think he is the best spinner in the whole planet let alone the team. Do England's men of straw need a sports psychologist ? Certainly gone are the nuggety defiance shown by Jack Russell against Curtley Ambrose in 90 and then in tandem with Mike Atherton against a seriousley good Saffer attack in 95 or James Anderson and Monty Panesar in Cardiff in 09 or Cook, Strauss and Trott in Brisbane 2010. At the moment its more a case of : Phone goes off in the England dressing room.. "Hello can I speak to Garry Ballance".... "he's juast gone out to bat" .... "I'll hold then".... Who to replace them with? - Mark Stoneman should have got the nod over Keaton Jennings for the first test but now with the T20 block - Not a game at which he excels - has probably got out of form. Dawid Malan I am a fan but all the hype for a test place has come from one T20 innings. Samit Patel - great player but England put a lot of store on fitness and passing the bleep test so a recall for the burger king looks unlikely. It's so desperate in the media that some even contemplate ringng the (Ian) Bell. As for the bowling, Mark Wood is Englands Ryan Harris someone who has to be nursed through a series and might give you 3 tests out of 5 and not back to back tests either. Really do not know what Adil Rashid has done not to be in the side if England play two spinners, I would agree Mason Crane is the future but the future is not now and possibnly not for another 18-24 months. Toby Roland-Jones should come in for Mark Wood for the Oval but the word on the street favours Jake Ball over Tobers England have five tests remaining -three against West Indes B team - to work outb their best XI to take on Starc, Hazewood, Pattinson, Lyon et al. At the risk of sounding like the Pidgeon at the time of writing, the Ashes looks like 5-0 to Australia Woe to those who shell out their hard earned to watch this series amongst an unforgiving and mocking populace PS - Dont miss Geoff Boycott in tomorrows Daily Telegraph for some Forthright views
  7. Hull KR have four winnable home fixtures in Featherstone, Leigh, London Broncos and Catalans. They should win all four and Halifax away so could possibly avoid the million pound game. That said, Leigh last year took their momentum into the Middle 8's.. By contrast, KR have lost at home toToulouse and seem to be in cruise mode at the top of the table. Form is not something you can switch on and off and early results are key in the middle 8's. They could regret not being at full tilt in the final league fixtures.
  8. Sounds like the burglar knew what he was looking for and where it was... You have to watch your bar takings like this fellow below
  9. It's debatable if Hull was a wise choice as the City of Culture but it is certainly the City of Rugby League. Just seeing the shoppers walking around town in their NRL shirts almost made me think I was back in Whitlam Square. Around 100 Broncos fans were at Craven Park, according to some KR fans more than the likes of Dewsbury, Rochdale, Swinton, Batley and Sheffield brought. Which considering it cost myself around £ 90 for the day Leaving at 06:30am and returning at 23;20pm might give those who claim "Scutterton Scorpions" might be a better fit for the numbers they bring to their nearby championship clubs food for thought. Oh the game, to be honest Rovers never got out of third gear yet had the match won inside the first 20 minutes. The KR kicking game was superior often kicking early in the tackle count forcing the Broncos to come from deep. The KR forwards smashed it exposng a lack of basic tackle technique from some in the London side with as many as three players needed to down a single attacker, by contrast London played a lot of one-out rugby. The sort of Rugby you might play if you had the happy feet of Billy Whizz,. Gallingly while Broncos players ran into Rovers defenders. The first Rovers score in the second half was a one man dance around three defenders under the sticks but the game was over by then as a contest with the Broncos first half defensive performance having al the solidity of melting ice I found the KR Viking 2 "try sting" tiresome.. Straw Clutching time Broncos came back in the second half didn't they The game was over after 25minutes, Often in Rugby League when a side is far behind there is an element of making the score respectable in "garbage time" and of the opposition taking their foot off the pedal,. Nobody who was their thought 40-24 a fair reflection of the scoreline. That said on a positive note I feared 54-4 at one stage, they did keep going up to the final hooter and -16 does not damage the points difference too much. Broncos only need to win their Home Games to et second place For sure the games are winnable but London will need to win all three matches as Featherstone will win all their remaining games. I take Fev to stroll to a win at Toulouse, nailed on in fact, Wheras London go away to a street fight at Rochdale and face a Sheffield side that has the wood on the club in recent years. Second Spot is wihin the Broncos own hands at present but they do not want to have to rely on Featherstone tripping up . The Broncos cannot be that bad again surely You wanna bet . Certainly a trouting like this blows away any illusions, Yes I would hope for a response next week but the side seems really limited without Barthau and Ioane. Still the changing room breathes a collective sigh of relief in knowing that The Red Rooster Albatross will not be at the next three crucial games..
  10. Some Points, Firstly, adding two new sides will dilute the shrinking talent pool of RL players further. If it was a main reason in contracting the league to 12 clubs back in 2014. How can anybody say the standard of play has got better ? Secondly, you are not going to get Big TV numbers for a game with a small geographical footprint.around the M62. Thirdly, You need a broadcast partner who is willing to have Free to Air (FTA) coverage to grow the sport builtn into the contract. Union has got that next year, Cricket will have that in 2020. BT Sport are more willing than SKY to work as a broadcast partner with a sporting body as the understand the need for a sport to grow thus enhancing their "property" and are not wedded to exclusivity as SKY are.. Fourth point, The SKY deal is to 2021, the Good Doctor was right. The RFL have obviously heard nothing about depreciation (I.e The value of a deal diminishing over time). Some big deals are coming up in Sports by the time Rugby League comes up for bidding there may not be much cash left in the broadcasters biscuit tins. Finaly, have I missed the announcement on a 13/14 club league ? Has IFL and his co-conspirators stormed Red Hall and was someone too keen in cutting communications to the outside world thus ending the chances of the of the coup communique reaching RLW. I think we should be told.. PS - Any deals in France and Canada would be for the rights in those Countries and would benefit the local club's in The only benefit I could see for the English Clubs is that 14 Club League with Toronto / Catalans with their own deal means no reduction in the slice of the SKY pie on offer to the 12 English Clubs - Being cost neutral would be a consideration whe it comes to expansion.
  11. The Club,s official statement on this Michael Channing interviewed in Rugby League World recently said that David Hughes had told the players that Trailfinders would be accepted in Super League by the RFL if the club won promotion.. Personally much like some politicians recently, you can make as many promises as you like if you never think you are going to have to actually keep them. The problems will start when the club actually does get promotion which would be the acid test.
  12. Unless someone suitablty cashed up comes along to replace David Hughes. Second in the Championship is the limit the club can attain. Even Andrew Henderson agreed last season that the club was not sustainable at the top level as things currently stand. The promise is there if you look at London's Junior grades who are now competitive with their northern counterparts which is some achievement for youths who have not grow up playing league since being "knee high to a grasshopper".. The problem is not Trailfinders which is a perfectly suitable ground for a club with an average gate of 830 in 2016. The problem is in my last sentence - Crowds, at a club which has shed 70.5 % of its average attendance in 5 years (2,808 in 2012). No good having a decent side if nobody's watching and its certainly not viable business wise, just ask London Welsh RFC. So if your in for the long term and have the money and the savvy to let the coaching team do their job whilst building another team off the field to drum up support for the game in West London be my guest.
  13. "Balance" - Lancashire v Yorkshire in the Final
  14. Very good result forn London Broncos, I estimated out of the next three matches prior to Saturday they need to win at least two. Looking forward to Featherstone.