Hammerless Nail

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  1. Hammerless Nail

    What now for Toronto?

    I find it interesting that the signings Salford made are invariably referred to as 'Koukash signings'. I don't recall any other club's signings being similarly credited to the owner/chairman. You never hear of 'McManus signings' or 'Hudgell signings'. I suspect it's because that squad was a spectacular flop, and looked more like a social worker's caseload than a professional rugby squad. The fact that people tend not to like Marwan - and I noticed very recently on here someone who hasn't achieved a sufficient level of maturity that would allow them to use his actual name rather than some infantile variation on it (I kind of wonder what they'd do if they met him. Go full on hardcore on his sorry ass, and stick their tongue out at him, perhaps?) - means I suspect they're more inclined to stick his name on the debacle. Had that squad been successful, I think they'd be more inclined to call those signings what I believe they were: Brian Noble signings. And there's the rub. I wonder if the ad hoc panel of experts the forum has convened to tell Toronto what they should do next might wish to cast their net a little wider than just Paul Rowley.
  2. Hammerless Nail

    Hastings signs for?

    It’s not only Salford that’s a football city; I think the same could be said of pretty much every town and city in the country, such is football's dominance. The problem is perhaps more acute for Salford because they have one of the biggest football clubs in Europe – in fact, one of the biggest in the world – right on their doorstep, with a second, lower midtable club even closer, just at the other end of the Trafford Road swing bridge, in fact. However, the city and its surrounding areas should be big enough to accommodate rugby too. The problem, I think, is that the rugby club has given its fans very little to cheer about. They’ve won nothing of note for 42 years, and next year marks the 50th anniversary of their last Challenge Cup final appearance. Mediocrity like this takes its toll on fans, and as the older ones move on, there’s little to attract new ones to replace them. Salford isn’t unique in this: I doubt that any club experiencing such a drought would be doing any better. It’s doubly unfortunate that Salford’s slow decline coincided with the Atkinson/Ferguson eras at Manchester United, and the ethos of ‘buy a trophy and call it success’, which just served to make the rugby club look weaker still. In addition, they now have the new stadium, which isn’t the easiest place in the world to get to and which makes it just that little bit less attractive for people who might want to give the club a try. It all just adds to the sense that there are more reasons for people to not go than to go at the moment. The fact that, in spite of all this, Salford are still capable of attracting as many spectators as they do – many of whom turn up week in, week out, despite having never seen their team win anything – should be something to commend them for, but this ‘Rugby League Family’ we hear about is a pretty dysfunctional one, and it inevitably just gets used as a stick to beat the club with. Looking at the examples you give, Salford City has gone from being an amateur club to being on the verge of entering the Football League in the space of what? 20 years? and their attendances have improved accordingly. Five years ago, you were more likely to see someone walking round in a 'Jim’ll Fix It' t-shirt than anything Manchester City related. Now there are City fans everywhere. I think it’s this aura of success that surrounds the local football clubs that brings the punters in. In a similar way, the rugby club sold around 5000 tickets for their Challenge Cup semi-final appearance last year. A tiny oasis of hope in the drought, but it shows that people are interested enough provided you give them something to be interested in. So, will Jackson Hastings increase Salford’s attendances? Not as much as a Wembley final or a sustained run of success, but I think he probably will as part of a larger package of measures. The club is working hard to reconnect with the community, and the Hastings and Lussick signings will help give the fans and potential fans something to be optimistic about. The club has already said they’ve sold more season tickets in the first week of sale than they did at the end of the first week last year (and now I’ll break off, because I’m sure some gumptard will attempt an attendance related 'joke' here by just repeating some slight variation on something we’ve all heard literally dozens of times before and thinking it makes them the reincarnation of Bill Hicks, so I’ll pre-empt them and say, yes, that probably does mean they’ve sold three rather than two). In percentage terms, I think (or hope) their attendances will increase considerably from last year, but it’s from a low base and so, in absolute terms, won’t be by much, and I doubt it will be enough to stop the bellyaching.
  3. Hammerless Nail

    Salford selling off their pack

    As you say, they might promote from within. I'm sure a keen Salford watcher like yourself will be fully aware that the club aren't letting the current lack of a senior academy become too big a problem, and have been bringing some players through from the education academy to train with the first team, and also appear to have been sending one or two out to guest with Wigan's reserves.
  4. Are you also able to tell us what everyone knows about next week's lottery numbers? I want to know which ones to avoid, like.
  5. Hammerless Nail

    Hastings signs for?

    Nope. Can't be true. Experts on here expertly told us that he wouldn't, and I find it hard to believe that people who are so definite in their predictions could be wrong. This is just fake news.
  6. Hammerless Nail

    Disciplinary - Jackson Hastings

    The situation isn't quite as black and white as you're making it out to be. The scrum half that brung them, Jack Littlejohn, sustained a ruptured bicep a few games before the end of the regular season, and the initial estimate was that it was a season ending injury. The player that would normally have been his replacement, Josh Wood, was already filling in as hooker in place of long-term injury absentee Kriss Brining. The search for a new scrum half began shortly after the Littlejohn injury, and was resolved when Jackson Hastings became available. Around that time, the other hooker in the squad - Logan Tomkins - finally succumbed to a stress fracture in his leg, and, I believe, Joey Lussick was then signed on Jackson Hastings' recommendation. It wasn't quite as simple as Salford signing better players to replace the ones that had served all season. They signed a scrum half and a hooker because, at that time, injuries meant they had only one player to cover both roles. I would suggest a system that could see a team relegated because they are forced to field an injury weakened team in a mini tournament where promotion and relegation are determined is one that is deeply flawed, and the problem lies there, not with the actions of the clubs involved.
  7. "Hello... is that Alanis?.... Alanis Morissette?.... I'm phoning from England...Yes, that's right: London; the queen; casual xenophobia... No, i'm afraid I'm not a fan... I'm just phoning about a rugby match... No, League... That's right, the one where everyone is always moaning... Well, today, Salford played Toronto... Yes, that's right, they are known as the Thugpack. That's what I'm phoning about. You see, Salford had two players sent off and one sinbinned, all for high tackles... No, they're not a particularly dirty team... Well, I just wanted to let you know that that is ironic... No, don't mention it... Thanks for taking my call... Bye... Bye."
  8. I know what you mean, particularly now that the Nostradamus of Chiswick has predicted a comfortable win for Salford. The only certainty in this game is that the post-match discussion - if such it can be called - on here will be about the attendance rather than the action.
  9. Hammerless Nail

    The ideal Super League roster for 2022

    Now this is the thing that irritates me about our sport: people who can't take expansion seriously. These expansion threads are an ideal opportunity for people to share their #### fantasy lists made up of random cities (but not Salford or Wakefield because we hate them), along with the smaller towns of St Helens, Wigan and Warrington for a bit of added glamour. Off-worlding and establishing a club on the Moon is definitely a case of running before you can walk. We shouldn't be even thinking of introducing alien species into the sport until we've conquered all the Earth's species. With a bit of determination, there's no reason why we couldn't have a Super League like this by 2022: New York London Paris Munich The so-called ‘Kleenex-Klubs’ because names like this tend to get people all tumescent. They bring the added advantage of allowing the sport to replace ‘Abide With Me’ as its anthem with ‘Pop Musik’ by 1970s one-hit wonders M. Manchester City Red Devils The former Salford club, rebranded. The Manchester club runs two teams, each with its own squad of players and its own purpose built 400,000 capacity stadium, with the club’s final position in the league being determined by averaging out the points obtained by each of the two teams. This ‘two teams, two stadia’ set up is necessary in order that all Manchester fans can get to see their team in action, because, as anyone from outside the area will tell you, everyone – but everyone – in the whole western side of the UK (and large parts of London too) identifies with Manchester. Oh yes indeed they do. Wasps A link up with the Rugby Union team, but with the Rugby League comprised of actual wasps. Fast and elusive, but with limited ball handling skills and almost non-existent defence. Think: Kieran Dixon. Squidnes Vikings A team of squid. Naturally, because of their need to play underwater, their home pitch has an artificial surface. Traditionalists complain that this gives them an unfair advantage, but fail to note that they are hugely disadvantaged when playing away games, as their players tend to just lie around on the pitch gasping for air and occasionally lifting a limb in a half-hearted attempt at a tackle. Not entirely different to a similarly named team from the ‘all-human’ era. Mayfly Wolves A team of mayflies who adopted the Wolves nickname because of their similarities to a team from the ‘all-human’ era for whom, just like the mayfly, it was ‘always their year’ and for whom, just like the mayfly, that year ended all too soon. Bulls Bradford A team of bulls. Big, direct, skill-less. Brian Noble is persuaded to stop mangling the English language on TV and is brought back as coach because of his experience with this type of team. Bull KR A second team of bulls. They don’t really add anything to the competition, but their fans insisted they should be included’ so you can have derby matches’. Only once we have a league that looks like that should we even consider going to the Moon.
  10. Hammerless Nail

    Widnes sign Charlie Gubb

    Have Widnes got a policy of signing players who sound like they should be characters in Last Of The Summer Wine? First Wellington Albert, now Charlie Gubb.
  11. I think a few people would be pretty disappointed if that were true, but, after last night's performance, at least Salford fans can be cautiously optimistic; much more so than Leeds fans. I spoke to a few on the way out, and they were very down about their team's prospects. I wouldn't be as certain as you seem to be about Salford though. One result does not a season make. That said, some of the injured players are set to return and, perhaps more importantly, Jackson Hastings was almost unplayable, and provided the direction and spark that Salford have been missing since Michael Dobson retired; an absolute whirlwind debut that ended all too soon, as he left the field with a hamstring twinge after 20 minutes, by which time Salford had already run in four tries. (We know, courtesy of a piece of expert analysis conducted by one of the forum's experts, that Jackson Hastings would only set the A.J. Bell on fire if he was drunk. Well, last night, he must have been absolutely bladdered.) However, as always with Salford, it's best to wait and see.
  12. Hammerless Nail

    Chinese investment in Salford?

    Well, well. It looks like the forum is manstruating again: that process it goes through every month where someone comes along to tell us that Salford should rebrand as Manchester. This idea invariably comes from people who live outside the area and who would not, themselves, support a Manchester team, but nevertheless appear to know exactly what us locals' motivations and sentiments are towards our club and city; or at least what they think they should be. The fact that two of the people pushing this idea of big cities being a better branding opportunity seem to have London connections suggests that self-awareness doesn't feature prominently in their personal skillsets. Equally invariably, the evidence supporting this change of name is based on that most rigourous of research tools: 'it stands to reason'. In the other corner, we have real, empirical evidence that the remaining Salford fans would just walk away if the club changed its name (courtesy of a survey the club belated undertook following the adverse reaction to the proposed change last year). Instead of 'where does the next generation of fans come from?', the question would then become 'where does the current generation of fans come from?' 'Ah', they say, 'but look! look! Manchester United! They're not in Manchester and they get huge crowds'. Do you know why Manchester United get huge crowds? It's not because the word 'Manchester' is sprinkled with stardust - I suspect half their fans couldn't find Manchester on a map if someone put a big ring around it for them; it's because they're successful. We're now seeing the same thing with Manchester City. After years of bobbling around the lower reaches, they're now winning trophies and bringing in the punters. They're watching City because City are now watchable. Meanwhile, back in the city of Salford, the local football team - Salford City FC - have risen from being an amateur club to now be on the verge of a place in the football league, and their attendances have risen accordingly. Do you know how they achieved this miracle? Not by rebranding as 'Manchester', but by being able to offer their fans and potential fans something to cheer about: a little bit of success. Do you know what will bring the punters in at Salford RL? A successful team, something to cheer about, together with a bit of marketing. Salford have won cock all for 42 years, and haven't reached a Challenge Cup final in 49. In spite of that near half century of utter mediocrity, they're still capable of pulling in around 2000 punters. Some of those people are too young to have seen their team win anything, but they still turn up, week in, week out. Perhaps, instead of indulging in some 'Manchester in Super League' #### fantasy with the Salford club as the spankerchief, we should ask whether any other club, faced with such a barren spell, would be able to pull in bigger numbers. I would suggest not. Meanwhile, 5000 Salford fans turned up to watch them play in the Challenge Cup semi-final last year. Salford people are no different to anyone else: they'll watch a successful, entertaining team, playing in the big games. So, instead of criticising and coming up with cod-marketing ideas, maybe we should congratulate the club on still being able to pull in 2000 loyal fans, despite offering them little in return, and ask ourselves how many punters a successful Salford team could be capable of pulling in.
  13. Hammerless Nail

    Jackson Hastings.

    Hastings...Battle...c'mon, work with me here...Battle of..... In a similar vein, the people who have decided he will be the worst player ever to play in Super League will be absolutely jonesing for Salford to lose his debut game 10-66.
  14. Hammerless Nail

    Fantastic Maketing Plan

    As this is clearly and specifically a Salford problem, I assume the tenants who will occupy this new office space will be forced to temporarily relocate every time Sale play so the bar can be reinstated. What a palaver.
  15. I can see your point, but I don't think the picture is quite so straightforward. Whilst it's true that, on the one hand, the only players who don't dream of one day playing for Warrington are the ones that are already there, living that dream, it's also true that - at least to the best of my knowledge - Rob has not expressed an intention to become homesick at some point during 2019, so I'm not sure the Australian half-back transit lounge that Warrington are carefully cultivating will be particularly appealing to him.