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faithfulbyname

Seriously underwhelming...

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The references to Big 4 frustrate me somewhat.

The traditional Big 4 that people banged on about in SL were Saints, Wigan, Bradford and Leeds. These were the Big 4 no matter where they finished or how well they did. People always moaned that we need a new club to break into that group.

Well, haven't we had that in the last 4 years? Wire have won 3 Challenge Cups, 1 LLS and been runner up in 1 GF, whilst Bradford have plummeted spectacularly. Yet we still get people complaining about the Big 4, completely ignoring the fact that a new club absolutely has gatecrashed the party.

No doubt if Catalan do well over the next few years at the expense of Saints (who have won ###### all for a while now), people will discretely change Catalan into a Big 4 team with Wire, Leeds and Wigan - and still moan that the Big 4 are dominant and need to be broken!

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Only team I can see challenging Wigan Warrington ST Helen's and Leeds is Hull and you can forget the rest I'm not saying teams won't beat them but it will be those teams doing the business again

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The references to Big 4 frustrate me somewhat.

The traditional Big 4 that people banged on about in SL were Saints, Wigan, Bradford and Leeds. These were the Big 4 no matter where they finished or how well they did. People always moaned that we need a new club to break into that group.

Well, haven't we had that in the last 4 years? Wire have won 3 Challenge Cups, 1 LLS and been runner up in 1 GF, whilst Bradford have plummeted spectacularly. Yet we still get people complaining about the Big 4, completely ignoring the fact that a new club absolutely has gatecrashed the party.

No doubt if Catalan do well over the next few years at the expense of Saints (who have won ###### all for a while now), people will discretely change Catalan into a Big 4 team with Wire, Leeds and Wigan - and still moan that the Big 4 are dominant and need to be broken!

The big four is dead - Long live the big four.

Nothing has really changed apart from the names big Four = Wigan, Leeds, Wire and Saints. In any order you like.

The only bit of improvement is just below the big four, where previously there was a homogenous lump stretching down to the bottom three or four, we now have the likes of Huddersfiled and maybe Hull who are clearly better than the rump and keep threatening to join the party at the top - so far without any consistent success. Plus ça change.....?

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Andy Wilson isn't a fan if RL

having listened to his opinions and read his pieces on the game it's the only explanation I can think of

Mind, he joins a lot of people on this forum in that category too.

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Nothing has really changed apart from the names big Four = Wigan, Leeds, Wire and Saints. In any order you like.

But that's exactly the point, the big 4 has changed, it has a different team in it, so a club did come in and challenge the stronghold successfully (across the 2 cups).

Not enough for my liking, but hopefully that's where Hull, Hudds and Catalan can step in.

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"After the appalling decision to retain the top-eight play-offs, …"

he's spot on there

And doesn't he like to bang on about this as though it is a fact.

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But that's exactly the point, the big 4 has changed, it has a different team in it, so a club did come in and challenge the stronghold successfully (across the 2 cups).

It's still not quite the point though.

We had a big four for years and along came Warrington.

We still only then had a big four.

What we want is for more clubs to come up to the standard of the original four and add to that competitive group.

What we wanted surely was Warrington to make it a big five and then for someone like Hull to make it into a big six.

The aim of a quality Superleaue is 14 quality Superleague clubs, whatever that is.

I know what it's not, and it isn't clubs who can't find the wages, don't produce the players and, don't attract the fans.

That's the frustration

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Andy Wilson isn't a fan if RL

having listened to his opinions and read his pieces on the game it's the only explanation I can think of

Mind, he joins a lot of people on this forum in that category too.

His piece was spot on as far as I can see?

And I don't think I can do much more to be a bigger fan of RL than I am.

Do explain?

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So if a different team won SL every year, it would still be fair to refer to a big 4? The NRL tends to be won by different teams every year....is this the 'big 1'.

I hardly hear reference to the 'big 2' in the PL.

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It's still not quite the point though.

We had a big four for years and along came Warrington.

We still only then had a big four.

What we want is for more clubs to come up to the standard of the original four and add to that competitive group.

What we wanted surely was Warrington to make it a big five and then for someone like Hull to make it into a big six.

The aim of a quality Superleaue is 14 quality Superleague clubs, whatever that is.

I know what it's not, and it isn't clubs who can't find the wages, don't produce the players and, don't attract the fans.

That's the frustration

Anybody who thinks we will have 14 competitive teams 'in-season' is living in cloud cuckoo land - and tbh it just doesn't happen in many places across the world.

The Big 4 phrase was brought in to refer to Wigan, Saints, Leeds and Bradford as they were pretty much winning everything and dominating. This phrase is still used (I suggest to highlight a lack of variety) when in fact the Big 4 has changed in its make-up. That is ignored and the old Big 4 thing is still rolled out despite the fact that it was successfully gatecrashed.

Leeds won from 5th, so that suggests that we have another team entering the top 4 of the league - we have also seen Hudds under-perform due to internatl issues I'd suggest.

The success we can hope for is a team coming 10th one year and then progressing to top 4 the next and so on. I've never seen a league table yet that has a bunched listing, there are always strong teams and weak teams.

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So if a different team won SL every year, it would still be fair to refer to a big 4? The NRL tends to be won by different teams every year....is this the 'big 1'.

I hardly hear reference to the 'big 2' in the PL.

For many of the early years I watched RL there was a Big 1.

Maybe people were happier then because we had piddly pots like the County cups and Regal trophy for us smaller cups to pick up the odd time.

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Having a big 4 in the Premier League (with 6 more teams) never seems to be a cause for criticism. It's a statistically decent proportion. This year I coud see 6 teams winning a major trophy without that being a surprise. His big 4 plus Cats and FC.

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Andy Wilson is in India at the moment reporting on cricket and had been for a while. He must have cobbled this together from second hand information.

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The PL will be won by either Man U or City and possibly Chelsea. That's it. And we get slated for having the same old faces?

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It may not have been an overly positive article but if was accurate I thought.

What parts did he make up?

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The PL will be won by either Man U or City and possibly Chelsea. That's it. And we get slated for having the same old faces?

The Premier league has become more of a three horse race in the last decade to its detriment in my opinion, I used to follow it from a distance some years ago, cant be arsed now its as boring as batshit.

As an outsider I find it hard to understand the popularity of the game and the foregone conclusions in many of the match ups....... (gotta be careful here) hardly seems like a contest or entertainment at all.

Thank God for League.

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He's ok is Andy Wilson I reckon. He isn't all doom and gloom. But I'm not sure fitting a few articles inbetween cricket stories is good enough.

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Andy Wilson is in India at the moment reporting on cricket and had been for a while. He must have cobbled this together from second hand information.

Cricket has been designated as Andy Wilson's primary concern by the Guardian - the recurring motif of his occasional blogs since this arrangement was put in place was Wilson starting off each piece with an apology for being somewhat out of the loop. He himself grew so frustrated at the treatment of rugby league in his own newspaper that, on one occasion last season that I can remember, he demanded that his on-line bosses cut the blog stone-dead... My admiration for Wilson grew the more he railed against the treatment rugby league received from his own newspaper!

The piece itself is spare - as he has to cover a lot of bases in very few words. If he genuinely is "appalled" by the play-off system then he is duty bound to say so. The poster above who remarked that Wilson had to cobble this little piece together while reporting on the cricket from India is correct.

I hope it appeared in the newspaper and not just on-line - that, I'm afraid, is the current status of our game in the national press.

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I seem incapable of posting links at the moment but Dave Hadfield's season preview makes Andy Wilson's look like Anna Karenina - as for the Telegraph's, it appears to have been edited into oblivion.

As for the Sunday Times?

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I agree with Andy about the top eight. To retain it is an appalling decision. But there will be no change there while the Superleague clubs determine everything that goes on, rather than the RFL being a governing body with teeth. The only way that will change IMO is for the viewing figures to start dropping off alarmingly should we continue to have the low standard of rugby that we witnessed last season, which I think is a direct result of the top eight playoff system.

As for the rest of Andy's article, it seemed fine to me. It was balanced and articulate. We have to accept that in the Gruniad, like othr broadsheets, we have virtually no voice now and encourage what we get by commenting upon the articles that are written.

Incidentally, I read the paper version of the Sunday Times today. There was a half page article on Kevin Sinfield slap bang in the middle of the sports pages. Unfortunately they opted to put Chris Irvine's team by team review on their website, which means paying an extra quid to read it (something I have refused to do since the Times hid behind its paywall). But at least the article points to it. The article also finishes with a mention of the first game on Sky, with date and time, and the four main matches of the season: WCC, CC final, GF and World Cup final. When compared to the coverage of four full pages to rugby union our article was small fry but at least it was there, with accompanying picture, which is better than it not being there.

As a PS, I think The Times and The Sunday Times are the best broadsheets for rugby league coverage.

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Anybody who thinks we will have 14 competitive teams 'in-season' is living in cloud cuckoo land - and tbh it just doesn't happen in many places across the world.

The Big 4 phrase was brought in to refer to Wigan, Saints, Leeds and Bradford as they were pretty much winning everything and dominating. This phrase is still used (I suggest to highlight a lack of variety) when in fact the Big 4 has changed in its make-up. That is ignored and the old Big 4 thing is still rolled out despite the fact that it was successfully gatecrashed.

Leeds won from 5th, so that suggests that we have another team entering the top 4 of the league - we have also seen Hudds under-perform due to internatl issues I'd suggest.

The success we can hope for is a team coming 10th one year and then progressing to top 4 the next and so on. I've never seen a league table yet that has a bunched listing, there are always strong teams and weak teams.

All points taken.

Maybe we entered SL with a big one. Wigan

Then a big two Bradford, Then a big three Saints, Then a big four Leeds then a big five Warrington, let's hope for a big six with Hull this year.

A big seven with Catalans?

Getting there, doing OK I take the point.

Let's hope the Calder area one day throws up our big eighth sooner rather than later........

Points taken...

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