Number 16

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About Number 16

  • Birthday 01/12/1962

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  1. The union WC may be overblown with twenty nations participating, but offering places to the also rans has huge benefits for their code, as you mention above. And to think that many in RL would like to see our WC contract to just the handful of main players.
  2. Can England beat Tonga?

    I really don't see the Tongans defeating England. Yes, they'll be tough and we need to cut out the errors, and yes, Taumololo will be a real handful, but the English pack won't be taking a backward step, containing, as it does, plenty of top-performing NRLers. Last season NZ, including JT, squeaked a narrow one point win over an under-performing England team, with the Kiwis also fielding Kahu, Rapana, Johnson, Leuluai, Bromwich, Luke, Proctor, Harris and JWH, an altogether much stronger group of players than Tonga are fielding. FWIW, my combined team would be 10 / 5 to England with the halves being too close. 1 Will Hopoate 2 Daniel Tupou 3 Michael Jennings 4 Konrad Hurrell 5 David Fusitu'a 6 Tui Lolohea 7 Ata Hingano 8 Andrew Fifita 9 Sione Katoa 10 Sio Siua Taukeiaho 11 Manu Ma'u 12 Sika Manu (c) 13 Jason Taumalolo 14 Siliva Havili 15 Sam Moa 16 Tevita Pangai Jnr 17 Ben Murdoch-Masila 1 Gareth Widdop 2 Jermaine Mcgillvary 3 Kallum Watkins 4 John Bateman 5 Ryan Hall 6 Kevin Brown 7 Luke Gale 8 Chris Hill 9 Josh Hodgson 10 James Graham 11 Sam Burgess 12 Elliott Whitehead 13 Sean O'Loughlin (c) 14 Alex Walmsley 15 Thomas Burgess 16 Ben Currie 17 James Roby
  3. Can England beat Tonga?

    I wouldn't read too much into what some Aussie pundits say, like Daley, as mos think that if English players aren't playing NRL then they're only of Queensland Cup standard. Insular ar*eholes!
  4. Can England beat Tonga?

    So how come Tonga struggled to defeat Lebanon yet we pretty much strolled it, and minus SB?
  5. That seventeen would be a good test for an English team minus its NRL players. Room must be found for at least one test match (preferably two) every year. Also, to help develop the rest of the squad, maybe a France A against Wales A or a Championship XIII.
  6. Yeah, but they're getting VFM from the pair as they're also doing a podcast!
  7. The BBC has only Dave Woods and Brian Noble out there.
  8. It was somewhat harsh on the Irish team, but the rules were known before a ball was kicked. For a sixteen team competition in 2021, changes do need to be made. I'd go with a kind of two-tiered WC. Four pools of four, with pools A & B consisting of the eight strongest nations (Australia, NZ, England, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, PNG and one from Ireland/Lebanon/France), and pools C & D made up from the remainder/qualifiers. Quarter-Finalists would be the first and second placed teams in A & B, and the four winners of the repechages between the bottom two in each of A & B and the top two in C & D. You'd need to fit in an extra round of four matches between the Group stage and the Q-Fs, but it's perfectly possible to do. Had the repechages been in place this year, they may have looked something like; Samoa vs Italy Scotland vs Fiji Lebanon vs Ireland France vs PNG With one (probable) exception they'd have been close games.
  9. Yes! However, I think most of us expected the four of 'em to have hung up their boots by 2017. Whoever comes through will be World Class, without a doubt.
  10. I'd give France 6/10 for the tournament. Given their squad, the performances against England and Australia were creditable. The Lebanon result was as disappointing as it was decisive, that said, even a couple of more experienced bodies, like Gigot and Casty, could have swung the result the other way. At full strength I think they'd have qualified for the QFs and run the big two, and Tonga, more closely than they did/will. What the French need is H & A vs England every year, to help them progress.
  11. Agree with this. Add to his impending retirement (next year/2019?) the retirements of Cronk, Slater and Thurston in the same time frame, and we could see a seismic change in the international game. The Kangaroos have a host of superb players, and always will have, but the motor under the bonnet won't be the same. If, and it's a huge if, the Tongans and Fijians can hold onto their WC squads and get a decent number of games between WCs, then we could go into the next WC with five credible challengers. The 2021 WC could be a blockbuster.
  12. Australia and/or NZ play in London, with decent marketing. Given that the groups will probably again be 'arranged', put the two SH nations together.
  13. Geoff Fletcher RIP

    So sad. RIP.
  14. I agree with the comment above. For the 'Hipster' crowd the new Bristol club could have a look at what's going on down at Dulwich Hamlet FC, who have been labelled 'London's Hipster Club'. I've been to watch them play a couple of times this season and there's a great atmosphere with crowds averaging 1.8k, but hitting over the 2k mark regularly. Although it's anathema to me, the club is left-wing - it is sponsored by Unison, raises money for left causes, and attracts left of centre support. It's also a gay friendly club which adds to the support as I guess that football grounds are, by and large, a bit hostile to openly gay couples. Added to that the ground serves very decent craft beers and real ales for an incredibly reasonable price. Here's a couple of interesting articles about the club. The Guardian Independent From a RL perspective, the current Hamlet chairman Liam Hickey and Development Officer Mishi Morath were longtime fans of South London Storm, and back in the day attended most of our games, home and away, with a small group of Hamlet fans. There was even some talk about basing SLS at DH. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the new Bristol entity could do worse than pay a visit to DH, who, I'd guess, would be more than happy to help with ideas/suggestions etc.
  15. The RFL & Irish RL website

    Yeah, but in the RFL's defence have you seen the size of Nigel Wood's lunch expense bill.