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  1. Chris22

    Briscoe off to Leeds...why?

    Hopefully this is the kind of nonsense that Elstone will clamp down on in the future!
  2. I don't believe this has been posted yet...but here is the press conference in full:
  3. So today, the Super League has announced that the Super 8's will be scrapped and we are going back to one-up, one down. But no further information. Nothing about the play-offs, fixtures, Magic Weekend, nothing about the method of promotion. So this makes it difficult to comment fully on. But if we think that another cosmetic-facelift of the structure will transform the game then we are mistaken. We have come out again cheerleading a new system with the usual platitudes about maximising potential etc. There has also been an acknowledgement that the previous system has "failed", of course not mentioning that the same people agreed to the implementation of this system. We're told it hasn't been a financial success, which then brings in to question the decision-making of Super League clubs. But there's no accountability as to why this system "failed". We introduce another new system. We've now gone full circle, as we have had every possible structure we can have. So we've just started again, and hope that no-one has noticed. Before you know it, we'll have fans, chairmen etc calling for a new system by the end of 2019 at the latest. The calls will get louder, and by the end of 2023 at the latest, we'll announce another "new era", proclaim this one wasn't a success, and start again. Again, with no accountability for the alleged "failings". We'll continue looking for easy answers, and continue to change structures. We need a game-wide independent review, but those running the Super League and sport don't want to face difficult truths and have their name publicly attributed to failings. If we want to grow then we need to identify the key problems, which in my opinion are: 1) Falling participation numbers 2) Lack of international game 3) Poor domestic crowds 4) Poor commercial performance 5) Lack of media coverage. Then we need to look at solutions, the main one is obviously investment, and set targets on how to improve the game. My suggestions would be (easier said than done I know!): 1) Invest in grassroots facilities, coaches, the school game and regional development officers 2) Force Super League clubs to link with a non-heartland club (i.e. in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France or the USA) 3) Give salary cap exemptions/financial incentives to clubs for bringing non-heartland players through their system. 4) Make a concerted effort for non-televised games not to clash with televised games. Or, for example, not hosting lower-league fixtures on Cup Semi-Final Day or the Magic Weekend (or Super League games at the same time as the Summer Bash). 5) Impose a game-wide marketing strategy, 6) Prioritise the international game over the domestic sport, by furthering central contracts, agreeing with all clubs that their players can be released more regularly for international matches and training camps. 7) Committing to at least 2 home England matches per year, one of which is in London, and an annual fixture against France away. 8 ) Commit to an international programme where games are planned several years in advance. 9) A controversial one...the RFL to take ownership of a London team and unashamedly push for the inclusion of a London-based side in Super League, in a similar way that was done with Melbourne Storm in Australia. As for the politics, I assume the idea was to present a united front. The fact that 3 clubs were seen to represent the Super League meant that this immediately failed. Now, we are engaged in public disputes and fall-outs over a structure that it appears is not agreed and from the lack of public information, not finalised. No-one has come out of this looking good, and as for our next new era, it's not been a great start.
  4. The Batley statement has now been deleted!
  5. Chris22

    England Squad Announced

    If they do that, Wayne Bennett will probably have to put a baby monitor in the room for when Connor makes Hill cry again!
  6. Chris22

    James Lowes to Widnes?

    James Lowes to Catalans as McNamara's assistant maybe?
  7. For Hull FC to come that close with so many players out injured, further mid-game injuries and moments of madness says a lot about what a coach Lee Radford is. I didn't think we played at our best today. Wilkin went away from what he has done well all season in particular and our execution was a bit off. As for Hull's discipline, you can't give the referee an excuse to brandish a card. I recall that Amor got sin binned in the first game of the season for a less-forceful knee that Washbrook's, Luke Douglas got a yellow card for similar tackle on Rhys Hanbury earlier this season. Fans often call for consistency, and that is it in action. I've haven't criticised any those 4 decisions personally. People can play it down as "soft", but I find it hard to criticise when referees take positive action to protect players from head and neck injuries. If I was a Hull fan, I'd be fuming at Washbrook even running the risk of a further sanction when you are already a man down. We took advantage with 2 tries in that period of time. Those two tries, the drop goal, and then another second half penalty arising from Hull's indiscipline saw us home. The positives for Saints were that we showed an ability to hang on in a tough game, against a desperate side that threw everything they had at us. And although it was far from our best this year, we won, and in a knockout game, that's all that matters. After the tough draws we've had in the cup since 2012 (aside from York in 2015), it was pleasing to get Catalans, to get us in a good position to get back to Wembley. If we play as we can, we'll get there, but we need to guard against complacency. And a lot can happen in 2 months in rugby league!
  8. The stadium holds 29,000 (approx.), which would mean each side would have to sell 7,250 tickets for a sell out, all things being equal. I would be very disappointed if St Helens, Wigan or Warrington couldn't shift this number of tickets as a minimum. It's a bit further for Leeds and Hull, which will probably make a difference, but I would hope they could sell around 5,000. If Catalans make it, then we probably won't see a sell out, but Huddersfield should even be able to take a couple of thousand fans. And in the interests of not presuming a Leeds win, Leigh would be represented well should they pull off a surprise. On the basis that the favourites win, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect these followings: Huddersfield: 2,500 Leeds: 5,000 Wigan: 7,500 St Helens: 7,500 This would be a crowd of 22,500, leaving around 6,000 tickets to shift to neutrals who may be tempted or fans of the above clubs. I would be disappointed if we don't at least challenge a sell-out. Generally, I'm not that keen on double headers, but there's a huge prize for the winners and it's not in the middle of winter, which should encourage fans to stick around. I think the first game will be well attended, and many fans from the second game will turn up early, but for the second match, there may be a bit of an emptying, particularly from the side who is defeated in the first game, which could lead to large areas of empty seats. That's my only concern really, but it's good to see that the RFL are attempting to do something about poor cup crowds, and building our games around "events", which has worked well in other sports.
  9. That Rochdale assistant coach is young!
  10. Chris22

    Young Player of the Year

    Agreed, Richardson needs to take a course at the Jake Connor School of Good Sportsmanship, that would set him straight! 😜
  11. This is the result of analysing a potential try through a microscope. There's probably an obstruction in every set, yet it's only penalised when a team crosses the line.
  12. Less than 7,000 at Castleford on Thursday, around 8,500 at Warrington for a clash between 3rd and 4th last night, another sub-3,000 crowd at Salford, and Widnes posting a record Super League low of 3,681 last night. St Helens, Wigan, Huddersfield and Hull FC all regularly play in front of stadiums that are either less than, or marginally over half-full. Over the last few years, my hunch is that the majority of clubs have seen a reduction in crowds, I think there needs to be a concerted effort to address this slide. For example, Widnes sometimes posted better crowds in the Championship than they have this year in Super League. Whilst I think there's a problem, I'm not sure what the answer is! Could one Friday match on tv, one Saturday match on TV and all remaining games on Sunday (bar Catalans) help? Is it a problem with the structure? Is it because games take over 2 hours with video ref calls? Maybe it's because clubs don't put enough effort in to their marketing?
  13. Chris22

    Streamlined Video Referee

    Positive to see something done about video ref overusage, negative to see that Sky seemed to have a large influence on how the sport is played. I'm not against keeping the video ref, as for some calls such as being in touch, it's almost impossible to tell with the naked eye. A lot of people don't like it, but I don't mind the on field call being made. I think it would work better in this system, two looks at a play and if it's inconclusive, back to the ref's call. Whether it will work or not only time will tell. If it doesn't work, it will probably be due to fans/players/coaches blowing up over an offside try being allowed and demanding the video ref is used, which is why we are in this mess in the first place. I think it's logical to trial this at the Summer Bash.
  14. Chris22

    The Mirror and the Peacock

    I'd be all for 4 games per day next year. 6 Super League matches + a Newcastle Thunder game to open the Saturday + a Championship fixture to open the Sunday (maybe Bradford vs Leigh if both sides are in that division in 2019). Could hopefully attract more locals and a decent following from two of the best-supported non-SL clubs. Or alternatively, how about trying to get an NRL game over here?