Big Picture

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  1. Good point. A group of guys who'd never played together before came back to beat a team of experienced players who've been together for months, so kudos to them.
  2. North America is one part of the world where League has a huge advantage over Union, so the investors/owners would have to be nuts to choose Union over League. That advantage is the strong parallels between RL and gridiron, the world's two ball-control sports. As another sport where the objective is to keep possession and march down the field to score touchdowns, sports fans who grew up with gridiron (which is just about of all them in the US and Canada) will understand the game in short order. A few years back I showed a match to a lady friend whose son played Union at the time, I forget which one now but it was from Australia where the lines are always numbered gridiron-style. Her reaction was "That's just like football". Canadians in particular will see the parallels between RL and the distinctive Canadian rules which have survived in CFL and CIS gridiron just as I did the first time I watched a match. When they come to understand that those rules fit rugby football much better than they fit gridiron, they could well convert to being RL fans in droves. Transitioning to RL would be much easier than to RU for gridiron players (defenders especially IMO) too, because they wouldn't have to learn that dumb rucking and mauling.
  3. Glad to oblige. Sheffield vs. Swinton, 1989.
  4. Having watched some matches from the early 1990s recently (e.g. it occurred to me that the game was better to watch under the rules as they were then and that perhaps all the changes since then should be reversed. Other than re-legalizing one-on-one ball steals I can't think of a change which has improved the sport. What does everyone else think?
  5. And it was a Mickey Mouse tournament as a consequence rather than a legit World Cup.
  6. As the Grey Cup was donated for the Rugby Football Championship of Canada, during my teens I'd looked for information on rugby but in those pre-internet days could only find information on RU which didn't sound like much of a game from what I read about it. As a young man I'd occasionally see Open Rugby on a newsstand over here. In the mid-90s I was living in the Ottawa area and stumbled on a copy in a local store next to a homebrew supplier I dealt with there, with a report on Dave Silcock's efforts to get the Canadian Rugby Football League up and running which included a phone number for contacting him. It turned out he and his partners were all based in Ottawa too, so I called him up and soon got involved helping out. Early on Dave loaned me a video of a State of Origin match from Australia. Having grown up watching gridiron I understood the game in short order and was very impressed by the skills exhibited in that match. I also noticed strong parallels to the distinctive Canadian rules which have somehow survived in Canadian gridiron, so in many ways it's the sport I was looking for back in my teens.
  7. He probably meant Quebec City. From the time the Nordiques joined the NHL until they relocated to Denver they had a huge rivalry with the Canadiens. Replicating that in pro RL would be fabulous.
  8. I completely agree. Every major sport which I can think of has uniform markings for their fields/courts/rinks, and from what I've seen so does RL in Australia, New Zealand and France. British RL has to get away from this willingness to just make do with venues which cannot accommodate a full-length field of play or close enough to it (95 metres mininum) so that standard field markings of equidistant, solid, numbered lines can be employed to give the sport a uniform look around the world.
  9. Correct. There was no such team as Great Britain until the 1948 tour of Australia, before then England played Australia for the Ashes. There's no point in having a Great Britain team until there are Welsh, Scottish and Irish players good enough to be included as they were in past teams.
  10. Some could be in World Cup years too, e.g. potentially England and Wales could play a warm-up match in Toronto next October at either BMO Field or the Rogers Centre if they started planning it now.
  11. Exactly, and when Usonians and Canadians see the superior form of rugby with its' defined period of offense and defense and gridiron-style numbered lines they'll become fans.
  12. Though that would an improvement, though it's still appalling to see senior international RL played at such a substandard venue. The RLIF should mandate a minimum length of 95 metres with solid, equidistant, numbered lines along the field for all senior matches so that the this mickey-mouse business of having different field markings in different countries comes to an end and everyone's fields look the same even if they can't always be regulation length.
  13. I think you'll find that competition for places is a function of the player pool: the bigger the player pool, the more competition there will be for places. Australia's player pool is sufficiently big that for every player in the NRL there are probably a dozen more nipping at their heels every year.
  14. In addition to those shortcomings, the field of play there is far too short for senior RL which should always be played on full-length fields. The stadium shouldn't even be used for pro league matches let alone Internationals.
  15. Absolutely correct, I've suggested that same thing myself a few years ago. The northern heartland stopped being sufficiently populous and rich to compete with Australian RL's NSW and Queensland base many years ago.