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Death to the Rah Rah's

CHALLENGE CUP - TIME FOR A CHANGE

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Interesting article from Martyn Sadler in this morning's league Express about trying to breathe new life into the Challenge Cup to try and stop one-sided games and give the Championship 1 and 2 clubs something to aim for.

He suggests reformatting the competition along the lines of the Northern Rail Cup, and have a Bowl, Plate and Cup final all played on the same day at Wembley.

I personally think this idea is long overdue and the RFL need to totally revamp the competition to make it more interesting for spectators and also give the clubs outside of Superleague a weekend in the city.

I would even take his suggestions one step further and play the opening rounds on a home and away basis. A close first game should (in theory) guarantee a bumper crowd for the return leg. I know it could have the opposite effect as well if the first game was one-sided but something has to be done as the famous old cup has lost its mojo since the formation of Super League.

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controversial idea..........but id scrap it

But surely as an Oldham fan you can remember taking part in the old Divisional Play-off double headers at Old Trafford in the 90's. They were great days out and a chance for the lower league clubs to get some national recognition.

Are you seriously saying you wouldn't like to see Oldham at Wembley!!

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id love to see it.......but its not going to happen..

what is likely to happen though is super league clubs will come into the challenge cup a round later meaning they'll only be 2 lower league clubs left in the competiton...

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controversial idea..........but id scrap it

Yeah, who needs a final getting over 60,000 people to the national stadium in the capital and broadcast on BBC1? Get rid...

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Let's leave it as it is. Batley were just pipped by Huddersfield. Despite the score line Rochdale played well. What about the extra revenue for these clubs? I'm sure Gloustershire enjoyed playing SL opposition. My gripe is we tinker too much with our game. Like the idea of two tier SL. Our game needs the odd tweak here and there not revamps everywhere.

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Seems like the wrong year to run this pre-prepared article.

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Ok you saying that as a Bulls fan as you have had a few trips to the capital and also stand a chance of winning the cup at some point in the future. Batley put up a great fight yesterday, but ultimately they didn't win. If you have read the proposal in League Express the likes of Batley etc. would still get a chance to play a Super league team if they reached the last two of their respective competition as well as get the chance to play at Wembley, so those clubs are not being denied the

That would reduce the one-sided scores that have been common place in this competition since the game went full time

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The scores depend on weather, ground conditions and how its reffed. Bottom SL v Top Championship has potential with the right mix

Leigh did Salford, it was poor weather and a heavy pitch played early season for the SL club.

Fev did Cas, ref kept the teams close , Cas were struggling and Fevs pitch is worth a few points

 

Move the final back to May, give the top 6 SL clubs a bye and the bottom 8 all play away in the draw

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Yeah, who needs a final getting over 60,000 people to the national stadium in the capital and broadcast on BBC1? Get rid...

you raise a fair point sir lol...

my point was is we start faffing around with the format,having group games etc...then it will eventually wither away and die....

look at the rugby union cup comp.....when it was the "pilkington cup" is was the biggest union game every year...getting huge attendances at twickenham....there where 8,100 at this years final

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if it meant we have a longer off season...and squeeze in a extra mid season test or 2....then id seriously look at getting rid of the challenge cup........there i said it lol

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Must be April.

 

We always get the radical idea of scrapping the Challenge Cup in April.

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you raise a fair point sir lol...

my point was is we start faffing around with the format,having group games etc...then it will eventually wither away and die....

look at the rugby union cup comp.....when it was the "pilkington cup" is was the biggest union game every year...getting huge attendances at twickenham....there where 8,100 at this years final

This is an interesting point, I hadn't realised that the Union Cup Comp had moved in the direction it has.

 

Just having a look on wikipedia, even in 2009 they got 55k for the final at Twickenhm, before they changed the structure and moved to the final to a small ground where they got 12k for it.

 

I wonder what the thinking was behind this move - they have basically made a conscious decision to devalue a competition.

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I'm with Spud and have said the same for a few years. If they don't change the format, it needs to at least go back to early season. I haven't been to a cup game in 3 years and didn't even watch last years final (I'm a Leeds fan and haven't missed many league games in the last 19 years). To me, it just gets in the way. I never want Leeds to lose, but if we got knocked out of the cup, I wouldn't be bothered as it would give us a few weeks off leading up to the playoffs.

Last seasons SL game between Leeds and Cas had an attendance of 16,180.

Fridays cup game had just 8,130 there.

Where are the extra 8,000 plus fans?

I remember the late 90's where Leeds drew Wigan and Saints at home (when average league attendances were a lot lower than today) and 15/16k were there. The place was buzzing!

We have drawn Wigan twice in the last 3 years and both have had sub 10k crowds.

The quality of football on display is often a lot inferior to what you see on a regular SL game day/night too and that's the main reason I stopped going.

Until something is done to make the quality of the competition better, both on and off the field, I won't be attending another cup game.

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Interesting article from Martyn Sadler in this morning's league Express about trying to breathe new life into the Challenge Cup to try and stop one-sided games and give the Championship 1 and 2 clubs something to aim for.

He suggests reformatting the competition along the lines of the Northern Rail Cup, and have a Bowl, Plate and Cup final all played on the same day at Wembley.

I personally think this idea is long overdue and the RFL need to totally revamp the competition to make it more interesting for spectators and also give the clubs outside of Superleague a weekend in the city.

I would even take his suggestions one step further and play the opening rounds on a home and away basis. A close first game should (in theory) guarantee a bumper crowd for the return leg. I know it could have the opposite effect as well if the first game was one-sided but something has to be done as the famous old cup has lost its mojo since the formation of Super League.

Not read the article as I'm in the RL wasteland of Adelaide, but it sounds fairly sensible to me.

I recall that Hull KR stuffed Hunslet in the Plate final at Wembley in the late 90s, but the idea was then abandoned - which is pretty typical RL.

I remember the Divisional Premiership at Old Trafford. It was a good day out. I can't see why it wouldn't work again.

Not sure about the two leg rounds. The reality is that would make it much less likely that an SL team would get knocked out - an example would be Batley, who by all accounts played a blinder this weekend. If they'd played Huddersfield again in a fortnight at Huddersfield I'd put my house on a ###### off Huddersfield side putting 70 on them.

I think one change we could make that would be interesting would be to force the tie to be played at the lower league side's home ground. And

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I'm with Spud and have said the same for a few years. If they don't change the format, it needs to at least go back to early season. I haven't been to a cup game in 3 years and didn't even watch last years final (I'm a Leeds fan and haven't missed many league games in the last 19 years). To me, it just gets in the way. I never want Leeds to lose, but if we got knocked out of the cup, I wouldn't be bothered as it would give us a few weeks off leading up to the playoffs.

Last seasons SL game between Leeds and Cas had an attendance of 16,180.

Fridays cup game had just 8,130 there.

Where are the extra 8,000 plus fans?

I remember the late 90's where Leeds drew Wigan and Saints at home (when average league attendances were a lot lower than today) and 15/16k were there. The place was buzzing!

We have drawn Wigan twice in the last 3 years and both have had sub 10k crowds.

The quality of football on display is often a lot inferior to what you see on a regular SL game day/night too and that's the main reason I stopped going.

Until something is done to make the quality of the competition better, both on and off the field, I won't be attending another cup game.

Pricing for cup games is poor and out of sync with SL games.

 

It is exactly the same for playoffs, so it isn't people not wanting to go because of the RL (in the main), it is financial, nobody will convice me otherwise.

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Controversial yes but I agree, the competition except for the final itself isn't commercially viable and the attendances give you an indication of how popular it is. 

 

I also say scrap it and play the Super League Grand Final at Wembley.

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We can utilise the weekends which were used for cup games to play more representative fixtures, which long term if done correctly can be of more benefit financially to the sport in terms of sponsors.

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Since the dawn of SL and the playoffs the CC has sadly died a slow death. The gap is so huge now between SL and Championship that virtually every result is a foregone conclusion.Yes you might get the odd game like Batley and Hudds but that's it.

Its also competing with the Magic Weekend and World Cup, I know people who didn't bother going yesterday because they go as families and were saving there pennies for a meaningful game.

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-Lowest league team plays at home (i.e. amateur clubs if playing pro clubs, as well as NL1 when playing SL have guaranteed home draws)

-Only one overseas player allowed for SL clubs if playing a lower tier team

Thats fair

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Personally I love the challenge cup - a big tie in a knockout is brilliant.

 

I'll forever remember games like Wire v Wigan at Widnes when we beat them to get to Wembley for the first time in almost 20 years.

 

Semi finals are outstanding events.

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-Lowest league team plays at home (i.e. amateur clubs if playing pro clubs, as well as NL1 when playing SL have guaranteed home draws)

-Only one overseas player allowed for SL clubs if playing a lower tier team

Thats fair

Yes, I think there are some tweaks that we could come up with, I've always though the lower ranked team playing at home is better, but then I'm not sure whether 1400 at Keighley yesterday would be more lucrative than around 4k at the HJ Stadium.

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id leave the challenge cup as it is, but move the Northern Rail cup final to Wembley as a curtain raiser to the Challenge Cup - would give the smaller clubs a long overdue day in the big time and something to aim for.

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It would be a shame to lose the Cup. It does have a proud tradition.

 

Dont forget, the RFL have a vested interest the CC as they receive more revenue on the tournament than the money they receive from SL.

 

An idea might be to keep all SL teams out of the draw until there are two teams left, then have 4 groups of 4 or just straight to last 16. I reckon this would up the interest among the Championship clubs, especially as they get closer to being one of the two teams to join the SL clubs.

 

Or perhaps replace the rivalry round used for Magic Weekend and replace it with the Quarter Finals of the Challenge Cup. That should fill a stadium in one day no matter which 8 teams are left.

 

Not saying they are perfect ideas or that it does in fact need changing. The real issue is to make sure it is affordable and that the competition gets the promotion it deserves.

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