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Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

Is this the future for RL in S Wales ?

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maestag ain't no St. Helens

Never been so I'll take your word for it!  But I would hope it's prettier!  Either way, St Helens has been enjoying a declining population for a decade or more and it's considered a small town so it fits your description of a place where rugby league couldn't take off.

 

I'm sure Wrexham could be added as well as that isn't exactly a metropolis is it?  Whether it has a declining population or not though I have no idea.  But there does seem to be some interest in rugby league there given the energy of the fans to set up a new Crusaders team.  Lots of fans and the usual pundit suspects all thought that moving to Wrexham would be a total failure as well. 

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That eliminates St Helens then!

just checked - st Helens has five times the population and in an area with a population nearly half of the population of the whole of Wales!

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just checked - st Helens has five times the population and in an area with a population nearly half of the population of the whole of Wales!

Aye, but it's still a small town and it still has a declining population!  (And don't forget, outlying areas are included in its population, such as Newton le Willows which is a market town in itself).

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This lot have a stadium they might share! Running track but it's opposite Cardiff city stadium and five minute walk from grange town station. http://www.cardiffaac.org/abouttheclub/howtofindus.htm

Drive past that place every day, bang opposite Cardiff City football ground and very near city centre which is great. I've Always thought it'd be ideal for semi-pro Rugby League bar one very minor detail; all kicks to touch may reach the motorway and cause mayhem haha.

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Maesteg and the Bridgend County Borough population is growing at a pretty decent rate..lots of new housing developments in the area and long the m4 corridor

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Never been so I'll take your word for it! But I would hope it's prettier! Either way, St Helens has been enjoying a declining population for a decade or more and it's considered a small town so it fits your description of a place where rugby league couldn't take off.

I'm sure Wrexham could be added as well as that isn't exactly a metropolis is it? Whether it has a declining population or not though I have no idea. But there does seem to be some interest in rugby league there given the energy of the fans to set up a new Crusaders team. Lots of fans and the usual pundit suspects all thought that moving to Wrexham would be a total failure as well.

check a map - maestag is tucked away in a place no one goes through and you wouldn't know it was there unless you're looking for it.

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Drive past that place every day, bang opposite Cardiff City football ground and very near city centre which is great. I've Always thought it'd be ideal for semi-pro Rugby League bar one very minor detail; all kicks to touch may reach the motorway and cause mayhem haha.

yeah good point that's a busy road, more people driving by in a hour that the entire population of maestag who might get upset. Mind you I've seen a pic of a football game being played there so you never know

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Maesteg and the Bridgend County Borough population is growing at a pretty decent rate..lots of new housing developments in the area and long the m4 corridor

hard to see any commuter towns where people go to Swansea and Cardiff for work, shopping and sport providing the basis of a successful rugby league team based in a town 15-20 miles in a direction they're never going to go. You don't buy a house five mins from the m4 and then turn round and go to maestag. You go onto the m4 and go to the places that attracted you to that development in the first place. No one will even think of maestag.

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check a map - maestag is tucked away in a place no one goes through and you wouldn't know it was there unless you're looking for it.

A diamond in the rough. :)

But a place that's always been known for Rugby (sic) and had produce 3 RL Lions and over 20 pro RL players despite never having had its own team (until now), although it has supplied plenty to Wales rep and club sides eg Blue Bulls and hosted many RL games.

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It's been too long of a day at work to really think about this too much. But WRL really need to consolidate in one area where they are well equipped, by what PBC says Maesteg could be the place. From what I know, Neath isn't.

Ideally a larger town or city I.e. Cardiff, swansea, Newport is the best place to grow but we aren't blessed with money or a large current supporter base. A return to Bridgend anyone? Such a soft spot for the Brewery Field and a very central area.

Is Bridgend were it all began?

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check a map - maestag is tucked away in a place no one goes through and you wouldn't know it was there unless you're looking for it.

The only reason anyone would know that St Helens exists is because there are signs on the M6 and M62 telling them so. 

 

You can't win this argument you know! :D

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yeah good point that's a busy road, more people driving by in a hour that the entire population of maestag who might get upset. Mind you I've seen a pic of a football game being played there so you never know

Ok then.  Being serious for a moment.  Is Maestag smaller than Workington (35,000)?  Whitehaven (25,500)?  Cleator Moor (12,059)?  Two of those have Championship RL clubs and one an amateur RL club.

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A diamond in the rough. :)

But a place that's always been known for Rugby (sic) and had produce 3 RL Lions and over 20 pro RL players despite never having had its own team (until now), although it has supplied plenty to Wales rep and club sides eg Blue Bulls and hosted many RL games.

absolutely and if the aim is a permanently champ 1 team scraping along on 300 spectators but providing a place for welsh leaguies to give semi-pro rugby league a go then no worries. But beyond that? I'm not convinced and if we want South Wales league fans to get behind a South Wales team then I'm not convinced. I've gone from a season ticket holder for the cru to a very occasional visitor to a depressing gnoll and that's not going to be changed by an even less accessible maestag. It's hard to see who beyond the real hard core from the wider South Wales community who will go. If it's not to be a South Wales team then go the whole hog and maestag ravens rlfc are go!

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Ok then. Being serious for a moment. Is Maestag smaller than Workington (35,000)? Whitehaven (25,500)? Cleator Moor (12,059)? Two of those have Championship RL clubs and one an amateur RL club.

and that would be great and have potential if we were talking Pontypridd rlfc and Caerphilly rlfc and Bridgend rlfc and neath rlfc and Merthyr and Barry and Llanelli rlfc. But we are not, we are talking one small club isolated in a small town in a sea of union, miles away from even one other rugby league club with an amateur scene on life support

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Is Bridgend were it all began?

aye. Tenner to get in the half decent grandstand, not too bad beer and food and a club shop actually selling cru gear and good people.

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aye. Tenner to get in the half decent grandstand, not too bad beer and food and a club shop actually selling cru gear and good people.

Will there be some bad feelings with all that went on?

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Will there be some bad feelings with all that went on?

i don't know enough about the behind the scenes stuff to know. Most animosity seems to be towards Samuels though so if he wasn't involved I don't think there would be bad feelings as such

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we are talking one small club isolated in a small town in a sea of union

I've been down here from the NW for about 10 years now, and that right there is the problem. It is a sea of Union, and it bores me to tears!  You could smack them in the face with the greatest RL game in the world and they still wouldn't have any of it.  Okay, some might, and have, but they are puddles compared to the sea of kick and clap.

 

What can prosper though is the development of the juniors.  The Unions sides still get rid of kids because they aren't tall enough etc etc.  There is a lot of potential down here to work with the youngsters, and bring them on.

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I get the feeling that the Scorpions could be suffering from a similar problem as the 4 rugby union regions do - they're trying to be representative of too wide an area to be effective. South Wales is full of local rivalries and strong regional identities, and trying to lump them together and get them behind one banner is very difficult. There are people who won't go and watch the Newport Gwent Dragons because they've got Newport in the name, and others who won't go because they've got Gwent in their name. How can you win in that situation?

 

There's evidently a lot of people who used to watch the Crusaders in Bridgend who don't go and watch the Scorpions, and I suspect a lot of that is to do with the fact they're based in Neath now, and they consider them a Neath team. Travel may be an issue, perhaps, but not as much as will be made out.

 

Things are a bit different in the North, because we've not had the big names to polarise the rivalries and have always been looked down on by the Southies, so we're more willing to get behind our regional sides regardless of where they're based.

 

If the money was there, I'd say 3 or 4 semi-pro teams in South Wales wouldn't be out of the question. I'd definitely have one in Cardiff, because I think the game needs teams in every capital city, but after that I'd look at towns where lots of people who feel disenfranchised by the actions of the Welsh Rugby Union live - Pontypridd, Ebbw Vale and Pontypool, for example.

 

In that situation, I'd suggest renaming the Scorpions to reflect a smaller catchment area which they could concentrate their efforts on with more focus and probably have more luck building a strong identity that resonates with people more closely.

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I'd love to see an u/18 Wales team tour Australia, not only would it be great for the development but also a chance for the players to see how popular RL is.

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Still think we need a team in Cardiff,

 

What you need is a Superleague side that doesn't run out of money. It put thousands of bums on seats and got people playing when it had the money. Beyond that it seems keeping a foothold is an achievement, but it still ends up with waiting for a messiah.....

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