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Everything posted by Chris22

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Chris22

    London in Superleague

    All the best to them. They may lack money and talent by comparison to their Super League rivals, but they showed tonight they won't lose due to a lack of heart. I hope London can survive next year and grow over the next few years. A good young coach and a team with a lot of local players, what's not to like?
  12. Chris22

    England ticket deals?

    You can see the stadium maps on And to answer your question, sales are looking slow. Saying that, many are probably waiting for late ticket offers from the RFL, I know I certainly am!
  13. I've seen a few say that London aren't ready for promotion. My question is, when will they be better prepared. Are their crowds really going to increase if they stay in the Championship? They already have a core of London-produced players, I think they now have a long-term ground. They won't suddenly get a financial injection so they can sign better players. With funding to Championship clubs going down, I can't see how more years in the Championship would make them more suited to Super League should they get promoted then. Happy for someone who knows more about London to correct my assumptions though.
  14. We have played Warrington, Castleford and Wigan 10 times over the course of the season and won 9 of those matches, so I don't fear this game or, in the event that we win, a Grand Final the following week. Saying that, this is a one-off game, the away side usually wins in Saints - Warrington matches, and Saints record in big matches over the last few years is poor. Admittedly, Warrington's isn't much better. We'll go in as favourites and I feel a lot more comfortable after two good performances over the last few weeks. Not to take anything away from Catalans excellent semi-final performance, but we gave them a leg up with 6 errors in the first 20 minutes. If we can handle the pressure, stay patient and cut out the errors, I'm confident that we'll win. But Warrington will throw everything they have at us, like they did in the match in July, and if it comes off, they are capable of top performances like they showed in the cup against Wigan. I'm in no doubt it will be close - my prediction, Saints by 7 (I certainly hope so!)
  15. Brilliant effort by Castleford to sell over 4,100 tickets for a match on a weeknight which involves going across the Pennines. Sadly, it would surprise me if they would see their team win. Wigan's home record this year was almost perfect, and losing Trueman and Moors makes things even harder. Castleford have the ability to win, but will need their best performance of the season in order to do so. Wigan by 10.
  16. With participation figures on the decline, this problem could become widespread in years to come. We desperately need a strong amateur game and expanded player pool, easier said that done obviously, but this should be Ralph Rimmer's top priority.
  17. Chris22

    Lions tour 2019

    If the Aussies aren't bothered then why should we be? If we can play matches against the likes of Tonga, then I'd be fine with that. The semi-final last year was an incredible match, a full crowd which was a sea of red and sounded a magnificent atmosphere. Two teams who actually want to play. Or, we could play Australia in front of a half-empty ANZ Stadium against a side that don't want to be there and an apathetic audience.
  18. Chris22


    A win-win situation. For those who want to see a full ground, this is good news. For those who want to complain that "it's only full because they gave away free tickets" can also do so. Happy days all round!
  19. Chris22

    2 Refs in SL for 2019.

    Couldn't the in-goal touch judge just move up with play behind the ruck to offer the extra pair of eyes needed in non-TV games? It would save them standing around doing next to nothing all game behind the posts, or running to the opposite corner from where a conversion is taken, for no reason at all!
  20. Fev going with 16 men today...
  21. If Toulouse would have kicked the drop goal instead of going for the try, I think the table would look like this: 1. Salford 8 2. Leeds 8 3. Hull KR 8 - - - - 4. Toronto 7 5. Toulouse 7 - - - - 6. London 6 7. Widnes 2 8. Halifax 0 The final week of the qualifiers could have been even more crazy that it already is!
  22. Very pleasing performance today, probably our best since May. Warrington probably had better territory in the first half, but our defence was great. Lomax handled Murdoch-Masila well, Grace's tackle of Charnley was magnificent and to almost hold out for 10 minutes with 11 men was pleasing. We had a clinical side to our attack which we haven't had for some time. Nice to see us scoring some great tries and playing with a smile on our face. I thought Lees was harshly done too. If that was a yellow card, then I can't see why Peyroux wasn't sin binned in the second. Lees is entitled to run in to make a tackle, as Roberts wasn't tackled. He was running quickly and couldn't feasibly stop. But there was contact with the head (although Roberts was falling), so I understand why a penalty was given, but a yellow was harsh. If Warrington don't run in, then I don't think further action would have been taken. This result doesn't mean anything come the semi-final, but I'd rather go in to it with a comfortable win in a warm-up for the semi final! Play like that and I'm confident we'll get to Old Trafford, but we need that big performance again!
  23. Chris22

    Golden Point ?

    Only in rugby league could we propose measures to shorten the game because they take too long and at the exact same time, propose another measure that would lengthen a game!