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Kingstone Press Championship One - Week 2

Which game are you most looking forward to?   19 members have voted

  1. 1. Which game are you most looking forward to?

    • Oxford v South Wales Scorpions
      2
    • North Wales Crusaders v London Skolars
      8
    • Gloucestershire All Golds v Oldham
      2
    • Hemel Stags v Gateshead Thunder
      7

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75 posts in this topic

I didn't realise that Crusaders and Scorpions were set up for the purpose of getting Welsh lads involved in the game. I thought they were set up by businessmen, to give RL a presence in Wales and give the many RL fans in that Country teams of their own to watch. I thought the idea was to get schools playing the game (Done) and set up amateur teams (Done) that will provide players for the future, knowing that a team packed with inexperienced lads now would not survive, and knowing that a successful team, no matter where the players come from, would be more of an attractive proposition. I am born in bred in Salford of English parents but followed Celtic Crusaders from their very first ever league match and still follow Crusaders today, but maybe I should not be allowed to follow a Welsh team. Understand your concerns Audois and I'm not looking for an argument. I think we both support expansion, but I am sick to death of people up here being so negative about first Celtic Crusaders being in the RFL, and now from various sources complaniing North Wales Crusaders are not a "Welsh" team!

If it doesn't matter how many Welsh lads are in the side then why bother getting schools playing the game or setting up amateur sides?

 

Just bus a few NCL players in from Lancashire that's always worked well in the past.

 

Now I'm not saying that's what's happened but it very much matters where the players come from because it's the difference between flash-in-the-pan success (see Celtic Crusaders) and sustained success.

 

If this is to be built on then local players do matter.

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Player development will come at the Crusaders. At the end of the day it has taken the Scorpions three seasons to develop a squad of predominantly Welsh players and this was on the back of having a thriving grassroots game. The grassroots game has made major strides in North Wales over the past twelve months and Wales Rugby League are finally beginning to take notice of goings on here.

 

 

 

Clive Griffiths' main concern has been putting a competitive side together for the Crusaders. He's a big believer in young Welsh talent and that should be the next phase for the club. I agree this has been too long coming because the likes of Warrington are already sniffing around young North Walian talent.

I agree that the environment is different but it's inaccurate to say that only now have Scorpions become predominantly Welsh. In their first season they had one non-Welsh player.

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I didn't realise that Crusaders and Scorpions were set up for the purpose of getting Welsh lads involved in the game. I thought they were set up by businessmen, to give RL a presence in Wales and give the many RL fans in that Country teams of their own to watch. I thought the idea was to get schools playing the game (Done) and set up amateur teams (Done) that will provide players for the future, knowing that a team packed with inexperienced lads now would not survive, and knowing that a successful team, no matter where the players come from, would be more of an attractive proposition. I am born in bred in Salford of English parents but followed Celtic Crusaders from their very first ever league match and still follow Crusaders today, but maybe I should not be allowed to follow a Welsh team. Understand your concerns Audois and I'm not looking for an argument. I think we both support expansion, but I am sick to death of people up here being so negative about first Celtic Crusaders being in the RFL, and now from various sources complaniing North Wales Crusaders are not a "Welsh" team!

 

I think getting Welsh lads involved in the game was one of the reasons for setting up the Welsh clubs, just as the RFL's aim of having at least one CC1 club in each English region is partly driven by a similar motive of having locally based players. But it isn't the only reason. As you say, the clubs are important in themselves for giving the game a presence in both north and south Wales, and for inspiring the development of the game in those regions; but they are also there to provide playing opportunities for the developing talent in their regions, and to help supply players for the national side.

The old model of expansion, that of training players in Lancs and Yorks and bussing them in to play, wasn't really sustainable, and I do like the fact that the new CC1 is of a standard that new, far-flung clubs can, or will soon be able to, include local talent. We will never have semi-pro clubs that are entirely made up of local players, and that shouldn't really be necessary, but it should be an aim to include a fair number (just as it should for heartland clubs). Crusaders, being so near to Lancashire/Cheshire, need to resist the temptation to see the nearby established player pool as always being the answer. Good luck to them.

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Phil Davies started the Scorpions for no other reason than he knew there was a market for RL in South Wales when Celtic Crusaders moved North. I watched all of their home games except two in their first season as I had got used to travelling to South Wales every other week, and I prefer Rugby League to Super league. There would be no North Wales Crusaders if Celtic Crusaders had not moved North and Jamie Thomas had not realised that the people of North Wales wanted to watch Rugby League. Without "flash in the pan" Celtic Crusaders and all the hard work that was done there by a lot of good people Rugby League would not exist in Wales now. I have watched Bridgend Blue Bulls, Cynon Valley Cougars and Blackwood Bulldogs many times but where are they now that "flash in the pan" Celtic Crusaders are not there? Of course it matters that they produce Welsh born players, and I love to see Elliott Kear, Gil Dudson and Ben Flower doing so well, while Rob Massam, Lewys Weaver and Owain Brown will also go on to better things, but these clubs will not move forward without the initial input of players from outside the area. Scorpions don't have the same choice as Crusaders in who they sign because of logistical and financial restraints. 

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Bridgend Bulls existed before Celtic Crusaders. The Welsh league was vibrant before Crusaders. It collapsed after their demise.

 

No-one is saying that the full squad should be Welsh but everything being equal a good Welsh player is more valuable to the game than a good Lanky bussed in for the day. I hope and trust that the new Crusaders are taking local player development seriously. That's their future.

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Have you met any of the "bussed in" lads that play for Crusaders? All dedicated. Bridgend had an amateur side competing in the qualifying rounds of the Challenge cup in 1952 and Aberavon had a team in the London league in the mid 80's. There has always been interest in RL in Wales. It just wasn't well developed. There is not much you can tell me about amateur Rugby League. Celtic Crusaders did great work in South Wales which Scorpions are carrying on, and North Wales Crusaders are just as interested in developing Welsh talent as either of them. I just object the inference that North Wales Crusaders are not a Welsh team - Are Swansea City FC a Welsh team? Lets all hope this time it works out. 

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Looking at the Crusaders current playing squad it would seem that about a third are Welsh qualified and benefiting from being in a winning regime put together by Griffiths. I'd say for a team in their second year in a development area that's pretty good going and hopefully that third will grow.

I gather they have added under 16's and under 14's this year to last year 18's and just two weeks ago set up a wheelchair team. I don't think anyone can knock the effort of everyone involved to make the sport grow in Wales and what Cru and scorpions are doing should be commended...

What is fair to say is that Clive has brought some key players in from over the border but in the vast majority of cases he's taken boys from amateur clubs and given them a chance to step up at this level and they're repaying in spades. Plus the likes of Moulsdale and Durbin had been cast aside by the pro game and have now been resurrected.

On top of that they stayed away from DR offers on the basis of giving more opportunities to their squad including local players so its hard to criticise really....

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I didn't realise that Crusaders and Scorpions were set up for the purpose of getting Welsh lads involved in the game. I thought they were set up by businessmen, to give RL a presence in Wales and give the many RL fans in that Country teams of their own to watch. I thought the idea was to get schools playing the game (Done) and set up amateur teams (Done) that will provide players for the future, knowing that a team packed with inexperienced lads now would not survive, and knowing that a successful team, no matter where the players come from, would be more of an attractive proposition. I am born in bred in Salford of English parents but followed Celtic Crusaders from their very first ever league match and still follow Crusaders today, but maybe I should not be allowed to follow a Welsh team. Understand your concerns Audois and I'm not looking for an argument. I think we both support expansion, but I am sick to death of people up here being so negative about first Celtic Crusaders being in the RFL, and now from various sources complaniing North Wales Crusaders are not a "Welsh" team!

Maybe they weren't set up for the purpose of getting Welsh lads invoived, but at the start Scorpions did say 99% of the players would be Welsh. Reality has hit, which is no great surprise, though good to see they've still got a sizeable proportion of Welsh in the side.

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Have you met any of the "bussed in" lads that play for Crusaders? All dedicated. Bridgend had an amateur side competing in the qualifying rounds of the Challenge cup in 1952 and Aberavon had a team in the London league in the mid 80's. There has always been interest in RL in Wales. It just wasn't well developed. There is not much you can tell me about amateur Rugby League. Celtic Crusaders did great work in South Wales which Scorpions are carrying on, and North Wales Crusaders are just as interested in developing Welsh talent as either of them. I just object the inference that North Wales Crusaders are not a Welsh team - Are Swansea City FC a Welsh team? Lets all hope this time it works out. 

Dedicated or not, it is a weakness to be dependent on players from outside the area. 

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Have you met any of the "bussed in" lads that play for Crusaders? All dedicated. Bridgend had an amateur side competing in the qualifying rounds of the Challenge cup in 1952 and Aberavon had a team in the London league in the mid 80's. There has always been interest in RL in Wales. It just wasn't well developed. There is not much you can tell me about amateur Rugby League. Celtic Crusaders did great work in South Wales which Scorpions are carrying on, and North Wales Crusaders are just as interested in developing Welsh talent as either of them. I just object the inference that North Wales Crusaders are not a Welsh team - Are Swansea City FC a Welsh team? Lets all hope this time it works out.

The recent posters here are 100% I'm sure behind both Welsh clubs and what they're trying to achieve. We just don't want to see the Wrexham club follow much earlier expansion clubs such as Blackpool Borough who always seemed dependent on a couple of mini buses ferrying lads up from South Lancs. I think you have to try and make the rugby league culture relevant to where you are. Having a nucleus of players who live local and seen around the town and the area helps to make that happen. I recognise that it can't happen overnight but it must be a goal.

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I think anyone would have to agree that to build a sport in a new area it helps to have a figurehead club with a good proportion of local players in the squad. I think it made a statement when the first few players North Wales Crusaders signed when they got their licence were from Wrexham and in every single game the club has played to date there have been players who were brought up less than five miles from the ground.

I don't think many clubs could say the same and certainly not the Super League club that as there previously.

There's always going to be a balance between bringing in experienced players and bringing local through but fair play, for a region that didn't have Rugby League till 2010' you can't knock the development side...

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Nobody is knocking them. We just want to see successful expansion. I would not like them to make the same mistakes that other clubs have made in the past.

 

Long-term, they need Welsh players, otherwise they will always be trapped at a certain level paying over the odds for heartlands players that the likes of Swinton did not want. They'll never get first pick of the semi-pro players from Lancashire or Cheshire. They could get the first pick of the players in North Wales. One or two might go on to play SL and that's good for the Welsh game too.

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Looking at the Crusaders current playing squad it would seem that about a third are Welsh qualified and benefiting from being in a winning regime put together by Griffiths. I'd say for a team in their second year in a development area that's pretty good going and hopefully that third will grow.

I gather they have added under 16's and under 14's this year to last year 18's and just two weeks ago set up a wheelchair team. I don't think anyone can knock the effort of everyone involved to make the sport grow in Wales and what Cru and scorpions are doing should be commended...

What is fair to say is that Clive has brought some key players in from over the border but in the vast majority of cases he's taken boys from amateur clubs and given them a chance to step up at this level and they're repaying in spades. Plus the likes of Moulsdale and Durbin had been cast aside by the pro game and have now been resurrected.

On top of that they stayed away from DR offers on the basis of giving more opportunities to their squad including local players so its hard to criticise really....

 

That is excellent news, and the commitment to establishing rugby league in the area should be continued. I don't think anyone has suggested that the whole squad should be Welsh, but developing talent from the area and giving that talent the opportunity to test itself at a higher level is obviously a priority. That should be welcomed.

One of the great things about the new CC1 is that expansion clubs do not have to stretch themselves too much to be competitive. 

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Nobody is knocking them. We just want to see successful expansion. I would not like them to make the same mistakes that other clubs have made in the past.

 

Long-term, they need Welsh players, otherwise they will always be trapped at a certain level paying over the odds for heartlands players that the likes of Swinton did not want. They'll never get first pick of the semi-pro players from Lancashire or Cheshire. They could get the first pick of the players in North Wales. One or two might go on to play SL and that's good for the Welsh game too.

 

It is a long term goal. The groundwork is now in place in terms of grassroots but there isn't a definitive player pathway as of yet (in the North at leasr). Hopefully in 3-4 years we will see a predominately homegrown squad but in the meantime, the good Welsh players will be snapped up by Wigan.

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I wonder how many Hemel born players are in the Hemel squad. My good mate Mike Forgham played for my team - Eccles ARLFC for the last 2 seasons before being "bussed down" to Hemel, and he's Australian anyhow. I wonder how many Oxford lads are in the Oxford team. I'm not knocking these clubs - I'm defending mine - Celtic/North Wales Crusaders. As for Blackpool, they tried hard for many years to establish the game on the Fylde coast and I have Blackpool Borough programmes going back to the 1950's. They were doing well enough until they had to move out to Fylde RUFC. I went to support Blackpool, in its various forms as often as I could, as I do most development teams. The Town of Blackpool has too many other distractions as can be seen by the demise of Blackpool Stanley and Blackpool Scorpions, but they do still have the oldest continuous Rugby League supporters club in Lancashire. Its a shame the RFL didn't put as much effort into saving Blackpool as they did Bradford. I know all the posters on here want the same thing but I just can't accept the critisicm of what Crusaders are doing.

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And I used to watch Blackpool Panthers but it was painfully obvious that they were Chorley Panthers under a different name. The fans all seemed to be from Chorley. It is a shame that they are not still going as they would suit this league.

 

I do not care how many Hemel players are from Hemel itself so much; Hemel is a town not a country, as is Oxford. I don't insist on Crusaders players coming from Wrexham - anywhere in the North Wales region is fine (or Mid Wales either).

 

Hemel is very self-sufficient in terms of locally produced players, there are even Hemel produced players in SL. Oxford are a new club and need to work on local produced players. They have made a good start but long-term, they have to cut down on their Lancastrians.

 

And you are "defending your club" against nothing. Nobody said that Crusaders (this incarnation anyway) are a bad club just that one measure of success is results, another is attendances / finance and another is local player production. You seem to dismiss the latter as unimportant when it is critical to the long-term success of an expansion (and even heartland) club.

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Fair enough, but the semi-pro club were never known as Panthers. Chorley Panthers are an amateur side who are still playing now. Blackpool Borough moved to Wigan Athletic's old Springfield Park ground in 1987 and changed their name to Springfield Borough. After one season they moved to Chorley and became Chorley Borough, but after one season again they moved to Altrincham FC and became Trafford Borough. A new Chorley RLFC was formed for the start of the 1989-90 season and they played at Chorley until 1996 when they moved  to Preston North End FC and changed their name to Lancashire Lynx. They moved back to Chorley and became Chorley Lynx in 2000 until moving to Blackpool in 2004 where they did become Blackpool Panthers.

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In fact, from memory I think Chorley Lynx. and they may have dropped Lynx from the title, just folded and Blackpool Panthers were a completely new club. I watched the last game at Chorley, against York and it was one of the most exciting games of RL I have ever seen.

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I was at the first game as Blackpool Panthers. They may have claimed to be a new side but :-

 

a) almost all the players were "ex-Chorley"

B) the fans turned up in Chorley gear

c) the supporters club were based in Chorley

d) they never applied for a NL2 slot, they took Chorley's slot 

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Look, I think everyone on this thread is about an inch away from agreeing with each other so let's clarify.

1) we all agree that saving RL in North Wales was the right thing to do

2) everyone has worked very hard to do that

3) the game inNorth Wales is expanding due to everyone's hard work

4) having a competitive C1 team helps that effort

5) local players are essential

6) everyone should do all they can to increase numbers of local players

I don't think anyone would argue with th above?

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I could cause an argument in an empty house Mr AlwaysCru! Lol! Think I was at Blackpool Panthers first match as well. Was it against Swinton in a Northern Rail cup match. Night match at Bloomfield road if I remember rightly? If I hadn't just finished a nightshift I would dig out the last prgramme from Chorley and the first from Blackpool Panthers and check the team sheets. Ha ha! Not that it matters now anyway.

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enjoyed our trip to hemel gutted at losing by a point though one of those games either side could of won we missed our drop goal attempt hemel scored theres, long way to travel alot of money spent though love my club always will support them always, i agree with a post on here that when we get that first win i believe we'll win many more in this league its a confidence thing we have the lead and throw it away we need the winning mentality, we need a couple of big props to go with what we have and we will be alot better we no we need bigger props to make the yards, i believe anyone can beat anyone in this league on there day, first game for us deafeat by 1 point so have a bonus point from first game at least we not bottom at the moment haha crusaders away next very tough game though they'll win the league easy in my opinion, only first game for us in the league crusdares next be tough though see how we do after the crusaders game, we had 2 players from kr in our team v hemel not the 5 we could have so 15 of the players were thunder players, onwards and upwards, come on thunder! come on thunder!!.

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Always good to welcome the Thunder Army to Crusaders.  You'll be please to know we have been practicing our singing so we don't gt drowned out by two of you again!! I think Thunder may benefit from some player fatigue - North Wales Crusaders are playing 3 games in 8 days - Hull FC on Sunday 21st (Challenge Cup), Hemel Stags on Tuesday 23rd (Northern Rail Cup) and Gateshead Thunder on Sunday 28th (CH1). Thats a lot of battering for our boys to absorb!  However I do think we will retain our record of beating all (with the exception of Hull FC)

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Gateshead fans are few and far between but they are absolutely genuine quality. When my teams are not playing and Gateshead are anywhere "localish" I lend them my support. Always a great well in the Schooner as well. Big Kev and Jim must be two of the most recognised faces in RL! I hope their results pick up soon, after 28th April obviously!

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