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  1. Chris22

    NZ Test Series - ticket sales

    I emailed the RFL this afternoon asking if or when tickets for the upper section of the kop would go on sale for the Anfield test. I received a very prompt response advising me that any further sections would be open subject to demand. I disagree with any criticism that we have over-stretched ourselves. Following the World Cup in 2013, I hoped we had moved on from 25,000 stadiums for New Zealand/Australia tests. We should have the confidence to fill the likes of Elland Road, Anfield, St James Park for these matches. Probably the most frustrating thing is, we have done it before, but are struggling to do it again. What we desperately need is northern hemisphere opposition. The southern hemisphere now has a number of competitive teams, and we've been left behind in that regard. With Australia's reluctance to tour, it only really leaves New Zealand as viable opposition in the UK and a 3 match series against them is becoming overly-familiar.
  2. Chris22

    Job is too big for Rimmer?

    Normally, I think it would be fair to cast judgement after one year in the job. However, as Rimmer has worked for the RFL for many years, he is rightly being afforded less time. So far, at RFL events under his stewardship, we attracted the lowest Challenge Cup Final crowd in 60 years, and appear to be on course for a decline in attendance for the New Zealand test series by comparison to 2015. Catalans being in the cup final does offer mitigation, and had St Helens reached the final, then the attendance would probably have been similar to 2017, which also wouldn't have been fantastic! We also attracted a disgraceful 5,000 crowd for a home international against France last week. We say that we want more coverage and more respect from the press, but to be frank, if a sport attracts 5,000 fans for a test match involving their own nation, and a 12,000 capacity stadium is less than half full, more coverage is not deserved. More to the point, there is an alarming lack of concern in the game about the above. I wonder if the RFL will take action to ensure that this doesn't happen again? I will keep an eye on the RL press tomorrow with interest to see if there is any comment on the worrying events of Wednesday night. Rimmer has inherited the above problems, along with the biggest problem of all, falling participation figures. I accept that these things would take an excellent chief executive time to turn around. If Rimmer can reverse the decline, then I would consider him to have done a decent job. Sadly, the signs so far aren't too positive.
  3. Chris22

    NZ Test Series - ticket sales

    Looking at the sales for Anfield, and it looks quite concerning. The RFL should be worried if they could sell 40,000 tickets for Australia vs New Zealand in 2016 and get a lower figure for an England match this time. Mind you, the Hull test is less than 1 week away and the upper tier isn't even on sale yet! One criticism often levelled at the RFL is that they aren't organised. This year tickets were on sale for almost a year in advance, but this doesn't appear to have led to an upturn in sales, if anything, we seem to have regressed since 2013, 2015 and 2016. Hopefully there will be a surge of sales to get some respectable crowds in, particularly as this is the first building step to 2021.
  4. Chris22

    Ideas thread

    Better organisation from the RFL. As an example, not arranging your community awards night on the same evening as the Grand Final.
  5. I think the most worrying thing is, when we get a crowd of around 5,000, I doubt there will be any kind of alarm at this at RFL HQ. My view is that England should not be playing any international match at a stadium with a capacity of 12,000. Get the match on a weekend, keep ticket prices as they are, be brave and try and build/attract a new audience in an RLWC 2021 applicant town/city. I'd rather see 5,000 at Coventry, Brighton, Middlesbrough, Brighton, Bristol etc than Leigh. I'd wager that you could probably get a better crowd at a non-heartland venue than Leigh anyway. If you played a reverse fixture the following week in France and knock the NZ test series back a week, that would be ideal. Unfortunately, we've taken a lazy, complacent approach. I can only hope we don't intend to take such an approach at RLWC 2021, where we have seen unprecedented interest in hosting matches.
  6. Chris22

    Superleague is becoming boring.

    With the exception of 2014, only two sides have been champions since 2007. Whichever way we want to look at it, that's pretty disappointing. The play-offs are contusive to a new name of the trophy. To win the title, you have to raise your game at least twice more after a hard season, and sides on the periphery over the last few years like Warrington, Huddersfield and Castleford have been unable to do so. All of the above have won League Leaders' Shields, but not the big one. An optimistic view would be that once one new side does it, the glass ceiling will be broken. Since the RU Premiership introduced play-offs in 2002, there have been 6 winners. There have been 6 winners of the football Premiership. These are probably the two biggest domestic leagues (by sport) in England and I don't think it's unreasonable to use them as comparators. And we are behind them both in terms of variety. Not by much, but still behind. The salary cap hasn't really evened the field in the way we would have expected. But I don't think the answer to this is to do what we have done before, and keep expanding the play offs, so undeserving sides still have a chance. I'm not sure what the answer is, but a different name of the trophy would definitely be a boost.
  7. This is what I said at half time last night, and I don't think much changed in the second half. Wigan made a lot of errors and had a completion rate of 53% at half time. A side with a cutting edge would have gone in leading at the break and put Wigan under greater pressure. In the second half, Wigan improved. Having that lead at half time allowed them to take a patient, methodical approach to pretty much choke Warrington out of the game. Wigan's defence over recent weeks has been outstanding and if you concede only 4 points throughout the semi-final and final, it's almost certain you will win. As for Warrington, they tried to "out-Wigan" their opponents. And the reality is that Wigan are the best in the league in those kind of matches, where it is defence-orientated and slow-paced. Unless your kicking game is perfect and you are exceptionally clinical, it's hard to beat Wigan that way. Warrington tried the flamboyant approach with Smith and it didn't work. They've tried "grinding" their way to victory, but couldn't get over the line. I said at half time, they needed to be braver. Personally, I would have thrown Patton on the field far sooner, maybe at around 50 minutes to offer a further attacking threat. Also, it's strange how differently games are refereed when it comes to finals though. Tomkins (x2) and Charnley would almost certainly have been sin binned in any other game this year, but I think the refs fear being falsely accused of "ruining the game" or "making it all about them". There has been 1 card brandished in 20 years of Grand Finals. Teams know that they can push the boundaries of legality, even be a bit reckless, and they can get away with it. I'm looking forward to next year to see if Elstone's promise to speed the game up follows through. With minimal video referee intervention last night, a game that kicked off at 6:03PM finished at 8.13PM. That's way too long. The sooner we bring in shot clocks and start penalising players for throwing the ball away to delay a restart, instead of calling time off, the better.
  8. Chris22

    Grand Final Crowd

    The crowd looked fine on TV and you would have to really be looking to spot the 11,000 empty seats. As a stadium, Old Trafford can hide empty seats better than Wembley, probably as it is now bigger than was ever anticipated. I don't know if it's correct, but general opinion seems to be that less neutrals are attending Grand finals/Cup finals. But now, for clubs who rarely get to finals, their fans can instead spend their money on trips to Catalans and Magic Weekends and see their own team play, so naturally would choose these matches over finals not involving their team. I suppose Elstone's first challenge is to make sure that our Grand Final crowd doesn't dip below 70,000 again, and ideally sells out every year. If we can't sell out our big night of the year, then this provides ammunition to Sky to pay less for us.
  9. A lot of errors from Wigan. They're here for the taking. Wire need to be braver. But Wigan are winning even though they're off their game. If they cut out the errors, they'll win.
  10. Chris22

    Grand Final media watch 2018

    There was a pull out in the Daily Star this morning, also referenced the final on the front page. Disclaimer: I do not read or buy the Daily Star!
  11. In a game of few chances, what an incredible tackle that was by Alex Walker. He had no right to stop the charge from Wallace, an incredibly brave effort. I had a feeling before the game that London may never get a better chance than this to come back up, as for Toronto, this will just be a delay. That's why I was slightly edging towards wanting a London win. I've always hoped they do well and hope they do so next year. With Toulouse, Toronto, Bradford, Widnes, York, Halifax, and hopefully a revived Featherstone and Leigh, it should be a great league.
  12. Chris22

    Paul Rowley Perrenial Choker

    As a Saints fan, it's probably not wise to comment on this thread...that being said, has Rowley actually guided a side to Super League? Toronto have the resource to get a more experienced coach, so it would shock me if they didn't.
  13. Chris22

    What now for Toronto?

    I imagine a coach with either Super League or NRL experience will join and the squad will get some serious investment and there may be less journeymen next year. It's bad news for Widnes who will now find an immediate return to Super League much harder. I hope their owner and fans stick by Toronto. They got as many home fans to their match this week as Wigan and St Helens, their potential is clear. Hopefully, it's just a setback, because I have little doubt they can add a lot to Super League when their time comes.