Luxembourger

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  1. Honestly as far as the 2021 world cup is concerned, from a rugby league perspective it will be very much a case of forget what you thought was possible and think much much bigger. 2021 will be a massive sucess and exceed all expectations. Why? Because the RFL have played a blinder. They have tied 2021 into a political phenomenon - the northern powerhouse - which is much bigger, and has much more at stake than a mere sporting competition. The northern powerhouse is being driven by the "big cities" of the north, including Liverpool and Newcastle and is aimed at securing government backing for growth projects, particularly transport links, valued at £30bn plus. The north needs the powerhouse, and everything associated with it, to be a show of strength to demonstrate that the north is worth investing in. Can the region stage world class sporting events, for example? Delivering 1 million plus for the RLWC 2021 would surely demonstrate that. In short, the north needs a successful RLWC. Expect to see RLWC logos on the Tyne bridge and the Liver building etc etc. No one will question international RL after 2021.
  2. Agree with the posts above - a good afternoon of RL marred slightly by the Courgars fans whinging about the ref. First time I've seen Skolars this season and they look like a half decent side. If they can specifically tighten up on their tryline defence they should make the play-offs. One word of caution though - I think Jy-mel Coleman is a bit of a liability. Several of his "no look" passes led to errors, he kicked selfishly for himself a number of times and of course he is unfit and overweight. Is he only in the side because he is the coach's brother?
  3. This was a great game! Canada played really well in the first half - inventive in attack and solid in the middle. I honestly thought at half time that they were going to do it. However after the break it was a different story - whatever B Mac said to the US obviously worked as they looked much more of a threat in attack and scored several great tries. I really felt for Canada at the end - to come so close in the circumstances is a massive credit to them. The crowd was the biggest of the week, around 700 I'd say, and it felt like quite a big event - there were some local "celebrities" there apparently, including an ex-NFL kicker, and Nigel Wood was also there in his role as chairman of the RLIF (but where was the CEO??). It was definitely the type of game for neutrals and the crowd really got into it. Certainly something to build on. During the game they announced that Leeds would play "the USA Hawks" (presumably not including the likes of Howards or Offerdahl etc) on Jan 17th. No mention of which team B Mac would coach...
  4. This was a pretty good game - standard a notch higher than the US Jamaica game I thought. Great little stadium in DeLand too, although the crowd was probably only about 200. Canada looked the more organised throughout but had a habit of making errors at crucial moments. In fact, I reckon that there were three occasions when they put the ball to ground after a clean break. Once they finally scored though you sensed the comeback was on - and so it proved! I'd make Canada slight favourites for Saturday, although I expect the US will be better after a week with Brian Mc. Jamaica should be a little disappointed but in truth their ball handling in attack wasn't really good enough for a team with so many semi pros. Encouraging for the game as a whole that Canada with so many more home grown players were able to match them.
  5. Crowd was around 400 - I overheard some officals say they were a little diasppointed but those that were there certainly made enough noise.₩ USA played a very low risk game - it was pretty much all one-out stuff off Freed at dummy half. Jamaica started slowly and improved as the game went on - they tried to be more expansive but the quality of the passing just wasn't good enough. Both defences were pretty good though and the overall standard was reasonable (I thought it was higher than the Italy Serbia game I was at a few months ago). I think it's set for an interesting competition. You suspect Jamaica will have quite a bit of improvement in them and I'd fancy them to turn over Canada, which would mean all 3 teams would still be in it come next Saturday.
  6. Isn't Sydney only 9 hours ahead of the UK from April onwards? This would mean an 11.30am kick-off in the UK gives Oz the 8.30pm slot which SM asks for. Doesn't sound too bad to me if we can get a few more $$ for it?
  7. So the game was held in Gemona, which is a very small but picturesque town (population 10,000) about 20km north of Udine. The ground itself was the local athletics track, which had a very small stand (with no actual seats) with a marquee serving beer and food. I reckon the crowd was about 100. There were no local dignitaries or "special guests" from the RFL or RLIF, but there was definitely someone there from the RLEF who seemed to be acting as forth offical/match commissioner etc. I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of the crowd were very unfamiliar with RL. They got into it as the game went on, but I reckon it was the first RL game most of them had seen. The game itself wasn't bad. Serbia were clearly very fit (none of them seemed to be carrying any excess weight, unlike some league one players...) and they had good shape in attack, with a nice deep attacking line. I think they only thing they really lacked was a bit of size and impact down the middle. Italy were the complete opposite - lots of big forwards with limited movement in attack - in truth they did look like an RU team. Italy had three "English"/"French" guys I think, and Serbia had one (all from championship/league one if I remember correctly). Someone seemed to have a video camera so maybe some footage will appear soon...
  8. Win for Serbia, 21-14 final score. Serbia looked the more organised throughout and after going 20-6 up early in the second half it seemed they were on course for a big win, but credit to Italy for a stirring fight back that got the crowd going. Serbia's celebrations at the end including singing and a bit of dancing on the pitch - clearly delighted with the win!
  9. I was at Coventry too - some good rugby, but what disappointed me was how unfit Hemel were. Several of their players were severally overweight, with the standoff in particular (who seemed to have a decent pass and sidestep) carrying a couple of spares tyres. I pay money to watch professional sportsman, not fat blokes!
  10. I too was at Oxford for the first time. My impression was that there is a lot of potential there - nice ground in a city centre location with access to a large body of younger people from a variety of backgrounds. Sure the club is a long way from exploiting that fully at the moment but there at least seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm about. The game was a funny one really. Pretty low quality in the first half with some glaring Oxford errors that led to tries. 2nd half was much better but Oxford were too far behind by then. The Thunder PNG boys were decent enough and I expect they will be a top two side in League one.
  11. London superb in the first 30 minutes, very average after that. Cooke still a class act for Doncaster.
  12. Must admit, I'm feeling slightly disappointed this morning - the last two televised games, involving the top two SL teams from last year, have drawn a combined attendance of barely 17k. This is not a criticism of the structure - but I do think it hints at some weaknesses in the way the game is marketed: 1. We do seem to be poor at getting fans to travel relatively short distances to away games. Why can saints can 12k of virtually all their own fans at home one week but then only about 1k of them travel less than 20 miles next week? Not having a go at the saints fans, but surely some deals can be done between clubs (or even coordinated centrally) to get more away fans to games. 2. Wigan have just launched a business club and have spoke about developing their brand in London. Well I was sat in London last night and it didn't look great watching them play in front of a half full stadium on a pitch where they couldn't be bothered to remove the football markings properly. Brand Wigan needs full or nearly full stadiums if it wants to achieve those aims. 3. Super league needs more big "event" matches if it is to boost it's overall profile in the long run. Regular league matches are just not getting any national media profile. How about Wigan and Leeds play both their 2016 fixtures at neutral venues - one in London and one at the Eithad? Let both sets of season ticket holders into the Eithad one and give then a discount on the London one??
  13. RFL press release out now: http://www.therfl.co.uk/news/article/29400/super-league-agrees-game-changing It refers to regular live championship games from 2015.