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  1. Northern & Pariochal

    Rugby League's English problem in a nutshell.
  2. Northern & Pariochal

    I would modify that slightly to those who *have been* in charge of the clubs involved. Not sure it's fair to hold the current regime at either Cas or Trin responsible for the state they found them in when they took over*. Fev I don't know about but would expect the same. Without Mr Carter Trin would have gone ages ago - it's not his fault that he's a) steadied the ship and b ) isn't a billionaire who can do more than he's doing. *Wakefield must be like turning a sinking oil tanker but it is turning.
  3. Northern & Pariochal

    that's sort of my point, it absolutely isn't - but if you're not up there and going to matches regularly then you've got Eddie Wareing, Johnny Vegas, and all the professional northerner stuff setting your preconceptions of RL. Even before (and obviously most don't) you find your way on here.
  4. Northern & Pariochal

    Bluntly, I think it is appealing. I said to someone weeks ago on another thread that they might just be surprised how many southern ex public schoolboys they might bump into on the terraces and pubs around the ground (particularly Wakey and Cas) from time to time. I know, because I am one and so are my friends that I go with. But we're not dressed as upper class twits of the year any more than most of the people we meet and talk to are professional northerners. Actually, in both Wakey and Cas there was more general astonishment that we wanted to be there, followed by drink buying, and reciprocating. If anything I would suggest that more people don't go (and I'm not suggesting vast numbers) by the continual atmosphere that "it's not for you, you're southern and you've got RU" that is projected by some people. There's a great sport along the M62, that I'm bloody minded enough to go and watch. But I do know friends who won't go (but do watch on the TV down here in Oxfordshire), and think we're mad to go, because we're/they're not going to be "welcome." That sort of thing is real, damaging, and holding the game back. It's not the *reality*, I know that, most people on here know that, but the perception is *real*. And that not only can be changed but absolutely should be.
  5. 9s - the missing link?

    I think the obvious problem is how you market it - especially to new audiences. As someone who watches both codes I get the differences between the two. However, 7s is marketed as a faster version of union without the stoppages and the set pieces, leading to higher scores (ie, basically all the RL arguments against RU, but used by the RFU). Outside the heartlands, how do you market 9s - "it's 7s with 2 more people"? Genuine question - I can't see, as a southerner who will happily travel a couple of hundred miles to watch a league game on the M62 once or twice a season, where the gap in the market is for 9s. It doesn't fit in with the northern hemisphere season as stated above, it's not offering anything to the wider public (in the wider public's mind, obviously I know the differences), that they can't already get from 7s, and really I struggle to see it doing anything other than cannibalising the audience that RL has already got, rather than adding to it. If there's sufficient demand from the RL public for a 9s tournament in England then of course there should be a 9s tournament, I just struggle with how it's going to do a T20 and open up new audiences. I'm not trying to be negative, I just don't (as someone who's worked in marketing for years) see where the gap is or what needs it's addressing (other than attempting to deal with diminishing attention spans amongst the fans the code has already got in the bag). 9s comes across as a solution in search of a problem. 7s is a way of taking the ways RU can be criticised, and addressing them. Sort of akin to introducing 9s with a PTB but also proper scrums..... Other than the extra space, 9s is XIII with fewer people. 7s is increasingly a different sport (as, actually, is T20). I'm aware I'm nearly going round in circles with this, I just don't see what 9s is doing other than helping RL join the limited overs bandwagon for the sake of it.
  6. Indeed, looking over the fence at t'other code, they've just scrapped Championship playoffs for that very reason (lucky in the knowledge that Bristol were likely to win by a country mile anyway so could start planning for promotion early), and - so RU terrace gossip has it - are looking at whether or not to introduce, er, 8s for the reason I've bolded.... It's either winner takes all or 8s for me (and actually now they've bedded in I've got a preference for 8s). Promotion play-offs *within* tier 2, as seen in RU are IMO a recipe for: -short termism -teams that can get up but not stay up -pay days for over the hill hasbeen players who are all that's available at least notice to pull their boots on for one more season in tier 1.
  7. Mortality

    don't know how old you are but I'm (just) 37. My mum died in Feb 2014 aged 62. Not nice. However, in the last 2 years, I've had 2 friends murdered (both by burglars), another's been in a coma since the Friday before Christmas having fallen over on the ice(!), and one killed in a car crash on the 23rd December on his way home from work. All I can do is echo what everyone else has said, endorse the sentiment that life's far too short for arguments, and wish everyone a better 2018 than 2017 has been for me.
  8. Further to Bob8, there's also the point that some stages of the IRB7s (Hong Kong, Dubai) do very well indeed - these cross subsidise, to the extent that cross-subsidy is necessary, other bits. ETA - there is some serious money on the 7s circuit - and decent youngsters who could make money from XV a side teams turning it down for a couple of years of big pay days. Rather akin to T20 I suppose.
  9. sorry, I wasn't suggesting Oxford didn't have problems - I think my point would hold for any expansion club to be honest, although I would further suggest that the larger your sack of money is, the worse you can afford your plan to be! Without going too cross code on this, I've long thought that the the RFL and RFU are broadly as (in)competent as each other, (seriously, the union world below the Premiership is one long howl of rage at Twickenham from clubs, players and fans), it's just that the RFU can afford to waste money and the RFL can't.
  10. Speaking as someone who wouldn't be here but for an expansion club, which has helpfully now collapsed...... It's not being by the M62, if in the short term you've got a sack of cash which means you can paper over the cracks with the M62/Australia's players until you develop your own. Seriously, if Oxford had had a sack of cash they wouldn't be the laughing stock/sadness (depending on your point of view) that they are now. Toronto are only able to do what they're doing because someone's got a deep wallet. That's not a reason for them not to be allowed to do it, but it is a reason to say that they can do it pretty well only because they've got the funds. If Perez et al had pitched up in say Birmingham (UK or Alabama, it doesn't matter which) and done the same thing it would have had the same result.
  11. Big Lizzie

    Last time I was in the Southern Ocean we had a Lieutenant Commander starfished by an inadequately secured vending machine...... You weren't there man....
  12. Big Lizzie

    Well, that's more standard doctrine for anyone with an aircraft carrier, with the exception of the Russians. The Russians have a philosophy of sticking guns and missiles on everything that floats. This comes back to quantity having a quality all of its own. They've got some very scary missiles - at the same time their maintenance and fire control software is such that you never know whether it's going to go whoosh when you press the fire button.... If a carrier gets sunk it's basically game over, which is why you make it very hard to sink a carrier, by operating as part of task group, or you don't have a carrier. Not having a carrier may make winning the war harder, and cause more casualties elsewhere. Do I, as an ex-naval person, think that we need more ships in the navy? Absolutely. Would I rather have more ships and no carrier? No. We've just about (by the skin of our teeth) got a balanced force that overall should keep its sailors alive. Take out any one element (no carrier, etc) and it would be even more dangerous to go to sea.* *It's already quite dangerous to go to sea even in peacetime frankly. Not a place for the faint hearted really.
  13. Big Lizzie

    deck space wise, there's not a lot in it now. From contacts within the mob, the US are genuinely jealous of what we've built for the money, and Congress is now using them as a stick to beat the DoD with...
  14. Big Lizzie

    I'll also add that having served in HMS INVINCIBLE once upon a time, I found that too big. Glad I'm out really.
  15. Big Lizzie

    Not as much as I was amused by the fact that according to the Daily Mail caption HM was shown around him....