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Everything posted by Balmain1969

  1. Just a question that may have already been answered, if toronto make the GF do they get hosting rights, and if so would they potentially play it at BMO Stadium across the road from Lamport. With the support they already have and marketed properly they'd probably get a decent crowd and create a bit of mainstream news buzz in Toronto.
  2. Not in England but RL related, pics of the new Parramatta Stadium to be opened Easter Monday with Eels v Tigers
  3. Gareth Widdop quits St George Illawarra Dragons in Super League move JANUARY 14, 2019 St George Illawarra skipper Gareth Widdop will quit the Dragons after agreeing to a move to return to England. The English international will walk away from the final two years of his contract to join Warrington Wolves in 2020. St George Illawarra are expected to announce the move as early as Wednesday with Widdop to take a pay cut to return to England. Dragons officials were stunned when Widdop requested an early move from his contract, which is worth about $1.8 million. The two parties have been in contact since before Christmas. While Widdop, who has played 24 Tests for England, has reaffirmed his commitment to the club for this year, he made it clear he wanted out having harbouring a long-term desire to play in the English Super League while still at the height of his career. The Daily Telegraph has learnt St George Illawarra will retain first rights on Widdop’s services should the 29-year-old opt to return to Australia. “There’s no secret I have aspirations of going over to the UK and playing,” Widdop said in November. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I have a good relationship with the club and so when the time is right we’ll work together.” Wigan, Leeds, Huddersfield and St Helens all tried to sign Widdop but it was former coach Steve Price who secured Widdop’s signature for a second time. Price signed Widdop from Melbourne to the Dragons in 2014 but the partnership was short-lived after Price was axed midway through Widdop’s first season. Price since took over from Warrington and led them to a grand final in his first season last year. Widdop will form a halves combination with Blake Austin after the former Raider joined Warrington this year. Widdop emigrated to Australia from Halifax as a teen. The Dragons have already planned for life post-Widdop having signed Corey Norman. Norman’s arrival is expected to shift Widdop to play fullback for the first time on a regular basis in the NRL. Widdop’s departure will also keep the door ajar for local product Matt Dufty to remain at the club. Despite being just one of five players to feature in all Dragons 26 games last year, the arrival of Norman and Widdop’s switch to fullback is set to see the off-contract Dufty have a reduced role this year. Widdop has played 185 NRL games since making his debut for Melbourne in 2010.
  4. So the geniuses still can't seem to figure out how to sell tickets, bay 38 is down to single seats but 36 & 37 have barely sold. You would of thought even the biggest idiot could work out people want seats in the middle, why wouldn't they have started with bays 40 & 41 when they opened the upper level.
  5. I’m no marketing genius but I would have thought people would prefer to sit near the half way line, why would you only release tickets at one end, surely bays 40 and 41 would of been a better starting point.
  6. So now to add to the excitement they have organised a treasure hunt where there are tickets available but its up to the supporters to find out where they are!!! Flawless plan, this will bring in the peripheral fans.
  7. Link below to the Rush Hour with MG Podcast, Schofield will be on it this arvo Sydney time and the podcast is usually available about an hour later. https://omny.fm/shows/the-rush-hour-with-mg/playlists/podcast
  8. Schofield will be on Mark Geyer's radio show tomorrow arvo in Sydney, its the highest rating show in Sydney in its time slot 6-7pm. If he keeps this up we'll get 80k to ANZ for a test next year.
  9. The Upper Eastern was opened earlier with tickets beings sold, Bay L38 was available until yesterday. It was shown as grey on the map but when you selected you could get in, it had a sprinkling of available seats. Not sure whats going on now, will look weird if there is only a few people sitting up there.
  10. I wonder if the people running the game understand the bigger picture in regards to the damage a small crowd does to the sport. We live in an age of instant access to any sport you want, not like when I was young. When I was growing up my Dad told me this was the greatest sport on the planet, I watched it and loved it, but I also didn't have access to anything else at the time. Nowadays kids have access to whatever they want, my son loves League as I've pretty much forced it down his throat from the minute he was born. But he is a sports lover in general and watches anything from NBA, EPL, AFL and NFL. How do you think I went last week when I told him we will sit up and watch the Kiwis v England, 2 of the best teams in the world. We turn it on and the first thing he said was 'not many people there, cant be that great' and he went to bed. (it was 9pm our time). This is the next generation we are talking about, and if kids like mine who have parents that are rusted on fans are a bit meh about the games how are we going to attract new fans. The stadium and crowd is our shopfront window and should always be the top priority at any event in the sport.
  11. I really feel for you lot over there, as I've said previously I can't believe how archaic the ticketing system is over there. In Australia for almost everything you can get tickets electronically via email or direct to your phone, you have them the minute you purchase them. Onto the game this week, is there any reason the upper level is closed. It appears most of the available area is almost sold, wouldn't opening a whole area of prime seats add a spike in sales. I'm not overly familiar with the stadium layout, is the upper level normally put aside for VIP/Corporates, I know the entire upper level on one side of Allianz in Sydney is for members only.
  12. Well played ? I hope they get a late rush, this game can set up the rest of the series with a great atmosphere and game.
  13. Catalan v Warriors in NZ would be good, Tomkins now with the Dragons so something to base the promotion of the game on. Great way to help expansion, a NZ team v a French team.
  14. Looking forward to this series, and the games are on at a good time in Perth (9pm)
  15. I would of thought this series was set up for big crowds. England had a strong performance in the WC and came within an ankle tap of leveling the game late, they have already beaten the Kiwi's this year as well. Add to this the fact the Kiwi's are coming off a victory over Australia as well as some new faces in both squads I would of thought this would be a series people would want to see.
  16. How does ticketing work over there, in Aus you can get your tickets via email or even straight to your phone. Every time I've got tickets to sport or concerts I've had the tickets within a minute on my email and simply print them on the day, otherwise they are saved onto my mobile and they scan the bar code at the gate. Is this option not available in the UK?
  17. The fact that this game is being played at ground with 10k capacity and only having half the stadium opened, now offering 1/2 priced tickets is a bit embarrassing. Its also a bit damaging to the England RL brand and it comes down to the organizers, last year we had over 2k watched England play a warm up game in Perth (non rugby league area) mid week against a local amateur team with zero publicity, but the organizers of this game cant get 5k against another test playing country with tickets at 10 pound each in whats meant to be RL heartland. The mind boggles ?
  18. Castleford look like they have better facilities than Manly
  19. From an interview in the Daily Telegraph with Manly owner Scott Penn In fact, Penn said he wanted to increase his role at the club, which could seek to launch a New York club to play England’s Super League, a proposal revealed last year in The Daily Telegraph. “We are looking at potential expansion. We absolutely wouldn’t rule out a New York team. “We haven’t put a lot of effort into it as yet but it’s certainly of interest. I am spending an increasing amount of time over there,” Penn said.
  20. The one positive I can see here is that we have actually made it to the point where this is a conversation, not long ago Eng v France was nothing more than Professionals v Part Timers. Toulouse in Super League plus more French players into other Super League squads will hopefully give France the depth they need to start competing on the big stage, if France can be competitive against England then they should look at building a regular mid year fixture, even if it doesn't include NRL based players.
  21. To add to the above post, the Swans game in Sydney rated 54k viewers in Sydney and 19k viewers in Brisbane on FTA television prime time Saturday night for their biggest game of the year. All NRL games in Sydney rate around 400k on FTA in Sydney and between 200-300k on Subsciption TV. Also just a little thing I noticed the other day, here is a recent photo from the new Parramatta Stadium. Now all the dooms dayers keep saying how the AFL are taking over Sydney, spending $250m with AFL fields appearing everywhere. Note below the little ground with AFL posts in the background, in the foreground is the $600m stadium that the NSW Govt is building, the first of 3 in a $2b deal. The AFL does an amazing job with club memberships and getting people to the games, something the NRL need to learn from. But the media are always trying to talk down the NRL when in reality its not going to bad. Crowds are not great but plenty of things to be positive about.
  22. This article is a couple of months old but gives a bit of perspective, NRL is not dead yet. NRL on course for TV ratings victory over AFL At the halfway mark of the season, the NRL is set to eclipse the AFL as the most watched football code on TV in 2018. If current trends continue, the NRL will have a higher premiership season audience than the AFL for the first time since 2011. The Oztam ratings relate only to club games in both codes and, with State of Origin matches always represented in the top five most watched programs on TV, rugby league is headed for a historic season. The quality of play in both codes has its critics, with NRL games too stop-start via a referee blitz and AFL games marred by congestion at the ball, resulting in scoring being the lowest in 50 years. However, most NRL games are decided in the final minutes, while the result of many AFL games is determined by the beginning of the final quarter. Rugby league’s dominance occurs at a time cumulative TV ratings in the Australian market have experienced a disturbing 8.9 percent decline for the first half of 2018. Add to shor Compared to 2017, AFL TV ratings are falling even faster ... down 13.9 percent to the end of round 9, while the NRL season, which began two weeks earlier, has recorded a drop of only 0.6 percent to the end of round 11. Significantly, comparing TV time slots where NRL games are shown, with programs on other networks, the overall national TV market is down 4.7 percent, meaning NRL is holding its ground. The cumulative live audience for NRL games in Australia has been 43.0 million for the first 11 Rounds, compared to 43.3m last year. The AFL’s cumulative live audience is 36.9m for its first 9 rounds, compared to 42.9m last year. The average free-to-air Audience for the NRL is 612,689 in 2018, compared to 317,003 for the AFL. The AFL will say that it has cross-over timeslots and doesn’t go free to air with the same games nationally, but the raw numbers show that NRL is dominant. The average subscription TV audience (Foxtel) for the NRL is 244,853 in 2018, compared to 180,387 for the AFL. The TV data confirms what State of Origin has demonstrated this past decade – Queensland is a rugby league state. The Broncos are the highest-watched team across the NRL and AFL nationally (744,103 average free-to-air and 274,619 average subscription), while the North Queensland Cowboys rate third for free-to-air (722,922 average) and fourth for subscription TV (258,826 average). This is despite the Broncos' erratic form and the Cowboys' lowly position on the premiership ladder. The two lowest-watched teams nationally (across both AFL and NRL) are the AFL’s two Queensland teams, the Gold Coast Suns (93,510 FTA average and 97,765 subscription average) and Brisbane Lions (95,510 FTA average and 97,765 subscription average). They are the least popular of 34 teams across both codes. The average Queensland-wide audience of the Broncos (325,494 per game) and Cowboys (311,321 per game) is nearly 10 times the size of the Queensland-wide audience of the Brisbane Lions (40,778 per game) or the Gold Coast Suns (34,365 per game) Regional NSW rugby league fans remain loyal to the code, with overall viewership up 2 percent in northern NSW and up 6 percent in southern NSW, helping to offset some of the slight declines in metro market. Sydney is down 1 percent overall but Sydney is up 3.3 percent on free-to-air. The early-season resurgence of the New Zealand Warriors is reflected in the viewership- up 13.4 percent on last year in Australia and up 9 percent in New Zealnd on Sky. Total viewership of NRL on Sky in New Zealand is up by 18 percent. Given the disenchantment with Super Rugby, the once impregnable fortress of the NZRU may be concerned. The AFL’s Melbourne market has been particularly hard hit by the trend towards streaming services like Netflix, as well as strong Commonwealth Games viewership. AFL is down by 17.5 percent overall in its heartland market. By comparison, the NRL is up by 2 percent overall in Melbourne and the NRL’s free to air viewership in Melbourne is up by 11.2 percent. The Storm’s viewership ranks second out of all NRL or AFL Clubs nationally on free to air, with an average audience of 734,597. By comparison, the most viewed AFL Club is the Hawthorn Hawks with an average free to air audience of 558,234. Rugby Australia’s closure of the Western Force, together with the NRL’s decision to open the 2018 season with a double header at Perth’s new stadium, has seen a 17 percent increase in overall viewership in Perth over the first half of 2018 to 860,245 cumulative viewers. Free-to-air is up 37.5 percent in Perth. By comparison, the AFL is down by 8 percent overall in the Perth market. Insofar as both NRL and AFL receive approximately the same revenue from broadcasters on a per game basis, Rugby League Central would be wishing 2018 was the last year of its current deal, rather than the first.
  23. Ticket sales seem to be moving, and they are also nicely spread out all around the ground. We could end up with a crowd something like this which will be very respectable, i'd assume the crowd in the picture is somewhere between 20-30k. Also saw some photos today of the field for Saturday and thankfully it will have the proper RL markings which will look brilliant, and the main thing that stands out is the similarity between league field markings and American Football markings so hopefully helps the locals a bit with some familiarity.
  24. Do not underestimate that team, a bit skinny in the halves but outside that they are all players in good form. DWZ has been averaging over 200m at FB for Penrith so will be a more than capable replacement for RTS.
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