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  1. NRL dot com hasn’t even mentioned the match. It had an article three weeks ago saying how Meninga was bringing them into the fold of the national team set up, a brief report on the first test loss...and then nothing. Curious. They must have too much to cover, what with features on the players holidays and favourite Christmas food and all.
  2. You’d clearly have to adopt a balanced scorecard approach to evaluate the bids. If there are issues we’d be concerned about then make them really explicit in the assessment criteria, such as credible local development and human rights issues. Just needs a good lawyer and maybe someone with experience of other major events around the world to assist. Some sports alternate rain makers with strategic growth areas, the RLIF could adopt this approach again and award the next two at the same time again.
  3. I was making the point that the NRL players union appear to be lobbying for fewer games and more money at the same time. So there’s no real motivation directly for the NRL to support more international fixtures because the players might either miss them or - heaven forbid - skip NRL games instead. And demand more money. A point I didn’t make was that a very strong international game might in some eyes also compromise the view that some have of the NRL and origin as the pinnacle of the game. Although a great international competition (not just fixtures, though, has to be genuinely competitive and high quality) could generate a lot more more for the game as a whole of course. Which in my view would raise the profile and brand of the whole sport - which is still a big problem, moreso in the northern hemisphere admittedly - which should lead to higher sponsorships etc all round. But the difficulties include delivering a truly credible top flight competitive calendar at the moment, and the lack of empowerment of the RLIF due to the influence of the top flight clubs who will never have enough money to enable them to see the big picture it seems.
  4. The crazy thing is that international league can generate a lot of money. In the UK the TV ratings alone justify a fairly big chunk of revenue if we could get a coherent and comprehensive programme that delivered consistent content. The rights to a well organised World Cup should generate a fair bit of dosh too. And the international game increases awareness way beyond what we attempt domestically. It ain’t that difficult to do if everyone pulled together. The RLIF have their arms tied behind their backs, the RFL is powerless because of SL, and the NRL is terrified because the players will want more money for fewer games however they grow the market, not that they have until they achieve the impossible of making all the clubs balance their books.
  5. Exactly. Nationality is a complex thing. I’ve no problem with a player being passionate about NSW and playing for Tonga. Lam was an example from another era of course.
  6. Mushy


    This thread has been through the annoying into the insulting and is now almost a faintly amusing series of rants. I think we should see how long we can keep this going round and round and try for a world record...
  7. Mushy


    I despair when some people try their hardest to find misery and not just enjoy what’s in front of them. I enjoy the Magic weekend (which is such a disaster the NRL are having a go). I enjoyed the Exiles whilst it lasted. I even enjoyed the Roses games and I also like a good derby fixture. I enjoy the Toronto adventure, which interestingly isn’t at the expense of any heartland clubs so maybe I can follow them and still enjoy my derbies? Might it all go sour? Yes, but it also might not and I prefer to enjoy the ride. If League ‘fans’ can’t be positive about exciting stuff in the game what hope do we have of converting others? I’m pretty sure there’s broken promises and terminological inexactitudes everywhere in the game (those owed money by heartland clubs most recently, reserve grade, black books of contacts, etc etc) if we really want to seek out and endlessly regurgitate negativity. I love my League and I am delighted that there are now people in Canada following our sport who wouldn’t otherwise be part of our community.
  8. Mushy


    I reckon you could write an app for many of these threads. Wouldn’t need much AI to cut and paste stock answers ad nauseam and it might save us some time to talk elsewhere about subtly or completely different things which is a lot more fun than trawling through the same guff each time.
  9. Mushy


    This seems to be getting a little off topic...
  10. Mushy


    Top post. I love rugby league! 👍👍
  11. Well I used to enjoy the Roses matches both times they were reintroduced in the last 30 years. It could come across as a bit parochial though. I also liked the Exiles game and felt we were on to something with a one off match. I would watch a SL-based England team play the best of the rest of SL (inc overseas and domestic players). A bit like a possibles vs probables but higher quality. Failing that I’d have 2-3 international games in the summer in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time as Origin if the NRL could be arsed. And always have home test matches in the UK in the autumn with a parallel Knights programme.
  12. I don’t think that’s such a poor preview to be honest. Our execution was scratchy at times, and the stats don’t lie with regards to the substantially larger metres made by the Kiwis. So for all the emotion of us having wrapped up a series, we are still struggling a bit in some areas of the forward battle and aren’t quite as sharp as we could be. This is a good England team and they have been performing well. The challenge is to be even better and address these issues in the next couple of years if we are to realistically challenge for the World Cup. With our absentees on Sunday - two players who have done a lot for the cause in the last two weeks - the game couod get away from England. Then again Myler and Greenwood could step up like plenty of the teammates and surprise us.
  13. A key reason the Oz players don’t get a chance to show their wares internationally is because the players union doesn’t want them to play too many games, and you can’t skip NRL for an international apparently. So they can blame themselves for any unfairness I suspect. That being said, a balance of club, state and internationals should be used to judge the best player in the world, albeit with an emphasis on the latter. Slimmer pickings this year than normal. A lot of good players, not sure any are really in the great class yet? I’ve gone for Whitehead myself.
  14. The brand of rugby league is unjustifiably low, with negative connotations where any even exist. And the clubs and the governing bodies have completely failed to grow revenue at all. The two are linked, but any strategy has to work out how to make a step change in both. Might a modest investment in opening up northern American and possibly French opportunities transform both image and income in the medium to long term future? Shuffling league structures, the same clubs playing each other over and over again and tinkering with rules won’t make any significant impact. And the issue of grounds being sub standard should largely just be an issue insofar as it affects club revenue - which it does for many clubs, although do Salford make more money now as a tenant than they did in the Willows? - and brand, which night actually be enhanced with full atmospheric historic grounds. There are a lot of challenges but there are also a lot of opportunities out there too with sporting globalisation and a change in how people watch sport. We need strong leadership rather than design by committee and I hope Elstone is the man to deliver this. His last days at Everton and his first days in SL haven’t inspired a lot of confidence, but it’s still early and there may yet be a grand plan being developed.
  15. I think the salary cap has evened teams out a little and also helped prevent some clubs from themselves, but evidence does suggest we are still a long way from ensuring financial health and producing an even competition. In a promotion and relegation environment I’d be tempted to go for a financial fair play arrangement as in football - and although I appreciate only a few clubs could compete at the top level I suspect it’d be a similar number as we have now anyway (albeit with an add/omit or two). If we had licensing there are other ways of assisting in evening out the competition that we haven’t tried. A draft isn’t likely to be too popular but you could ensure everyone does get exactly the same central funding, and you could have a variable overseas quota according to league position as top UK talent is likely to be more expensive than overseas equivalents (or at least it has been historically) etc etc