Sports Prophet

Challenge Cup Invitation to NRL Clubs

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17 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

It seems odd that you are so fixated on this idea that lower league sides will be more competitive and get more victories against SL sides by playing fewer games against them.

They’ll have more chance of progressing further in the competition which is the whole point.

Thats the essence of one off, knock out competitions.

No one gets excited about the group stages - that’s just the process of eliminating the wheat from the chaff.

There’s absolutely nothing interesting about being cannon fodder for the Super League teams in a group format.

 

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11 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

They’ll have more chance of progressing further in the competition which is the whole point.

Thats the essence of one off, knock out competitions.

No one gets excited about the group stages - that’s just the process of eliminating the wheat from the chaff.

There’s absolutely nothing interesting about being cannon fodder for the Super League teams in a group format.

 

2

No one gets excited by the rounds of the challenge cup the lower league teams are playing in. You are saying that the knockout format is what people are watching it for, for the threat of a shock but the fact is, they arent watching it at all.

The essence of one-off knock out competition is proving hugely unattractive.

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

Im not sure thats a great idea. We play too many games so im not against seeing them reduced but replacing them with a less attractive competition doesnt seem like a great plan.

Id take out the 3 overseas clubs, im not sure what we are achieving at the moment with Toronto having to play every round away, Toulouse not bothering and Les Catalans not really bothering anymore.

8 groups of 4, so 32 clubs, the 21 Championship and SL clubs left, plus 11 qualifiers (largely would be league 1 clubs). Play each other once. Start on Boxing Day, top 2 go through. Play the whole thing pre-season with the final Mid-March and use the time saved to push back the start of the league campaign by a month so it starts Mid-March and not mid-February and build in rep and 9 weeks in to the season. Also stagger the fixtures to maximise exposure, not everybody needs to play on the same day or on consecutive weeks and people dont really know what day it is over the christmas period anyway. Also arrange the fixtures to show the game it the best light, no need to be left with uncompetitive fixtures there would be plenty to choose from. 

Well many want 22 games with no replacements! 

I want more games tbh.

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Well many want 22 games with no replacements! 

I want more games tbh.

That would be a bit short. I think around 25 plus play-offs is probably the optimum number.

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47 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

No one gets excited by the rounds of the challenge cup the lower league teams are playing in. You are saying that the knockout format is what people are watching it for, for the threat of a shock but the fact is, they arent watching it at all.

The essence of one-off knock out competition is proving hugely unattractive.

Only because since the inception of Super League there has been a massive gulf between those in it and those outside it.

Introducing a group stage to the Challenge Cup does absolutely nothing to address the problem.

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44 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Only because since the inception of Super League there has been a massive gulf between those in it and those outside it.

Introducing a group stage to the Challenge Cup does absolutely nothing to address the problem.

It isnt only because of that, SL v SL ties get inferior attendances in the CC than they do in SL. 

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2 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

It isnt only because of that, SL v SL ties get inferior attendances in the CC than they do in SL. 

The gulf that has been created since the inception of Super League is a massive part of what is hurting the Challenge Cup.

I don’t think playing SL vs SL games as part of a group phase will help the problem of low attendances.

I think the issue is that the Super League is seen as more important than the Challenge Cup.

Maybe the Super League clubs could look at what has happened in soccer in England, where even the FA Cup has struggled to remain attractive for some fans due to the advent of a very strong top flight league competition.

 

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1 hour ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

The gulf that has been created since the inception of Super League is a massive part of what is hurting the Challenge Cup.

I don’t think playing SL vs SL games as part of a group phase will help the problem of low attendances.

I think the issue is that the Super League is seen as more important than the Challenge Cup.

Maybe the Super League clubs could look at what has happened in soccer in England, where even the FA Cup has struggled to remain attractive for some fans due to the advent of a very strong top flight league competition.

 

I'm not sure this helps your argument. If the one off knockout concept is integral to success why are those kind of competitions struggling?

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4 hours ago, Dave T said:

I think there would be a need to be creative, starting pre-season is one option, but not playing all teams home and away is an option - it would also need to replace regular league rounds.

I agree Dave. I have long proposed the option of 4x4 groups including 12 SL and last four remaining clubs from KO stage prior. Three games, (2 clubs 2x home 2 clubs 1x home fixtures) top team qualifies for quarters.

As a terrestrial television event, there would be guaranteed four rounds of all SL standard CC ties before the quarters. That is far more appealing to broadcasters and gives the game far more terrestrial content which is what the sport so drastically needs.

As to the Aussies joining in. Logistically tough I know. Perhaps they have one local KO round and then combine the two last 8s. Maybe it is all a bit too hard, but I would love to see it. 

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12 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

I'm not sure this helps your argument. If the one off knockout concept is integral to success why are those kind of competitions struggling?

You can’t seriously be suggesting that the one off knockout elements of tournaments like the FIFA World Cup and European Champions League in soccer are struggling?

Are the NFL playoffs struggling too for attendances and tv viewers?

The Challenge Cup has problems with the strength of the Super League teams versus the non-Super League teams - that is beyond dispute.

Unfortunately group stages will do absolutely nothing to alleviate that situation and will probably exacerbate it.

You’ve identified a problem, but your solution will not lead to the results that you desire.

 

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28 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

You can’t seriously be suggesting that the one off knockout elements of tournaments like the FIFA World Cup and European Champions League in soccer are struggling?

Are the NFL playoffs struggling too for attendances and tv viewers?

The Challenge Cup has problems with the strength of the Super League teams versus the non-Super League teams - that is beyond dispute.

Unfortunately group stages will do absolutely nothing to alleviate that situation and will probably exacerbate it.

You’ve identified a problem, but your solution will not lead to the results that you desire.

 

Well im not suggesting that, the obvious reason im not suggesting that is I'm the one suggesting a similar format.

You have listed 3 competitions that have a group stage then play off format as successes in your argument against a group stage then play-off format?

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1 minute ago, scotchy1 said:

Well im not suggesting that, the obvious reason im not suggesting that is I'm the one suggesting a similar format.

You have listed 3 competitions that have a group stage then play off format as successes in your argument against a group stage then play-off format?

I give up.

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20 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

As the WCC debate rages on, would an invitation to the NRL and its clubs to compete in the Challenge Cup be a better cross hemisphere competition than the WCC has ever been?

No.

If it happened I’d hope the Raiders sent a junior team for developmental purposes.

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18 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

I doubt that the NRL would be ok with the potential that the GF rematch could be played outside of the NRL season and for another trophy...

What a ridiculous statement..it's this exact attitude that holds the game back!

The WCC should be a showcase to sell our sport worldwide!

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1 hour ago, roughyedspud said:

What a ridiculous statement..it's this exact attitude that holds the game back!

The WCC should be a showcase to sell our sport worldwide!

What's ridiculous about it?

You do realise that what you are suggesting could completely undermine the whole NRL and SL, it'd basically create the possibility that the grand final is only a qualifier for the real grand final at the WCC for a different trophy, and the NRL and RFL wouldn't have complete ownership of it which means that one another would be making money (or leaching) off each others GF rematches unnecessarily and without any right to do so, which means that they and their constituencies would lose part of the profit to the other organisation, it'd also potentially screw the clubs involved out of a large chunk of the pay day for their biggest matches of the next season (I can't speak for the pommy clubs but the NRL clubs would not like that at all), it'd also potentially mean that the GF rematch is played not only outside of the clubs involved home grounds but on the other side of the planet which would screw most of the fans of the clubs involved out of the privilege that their club has earned, etc, etc.

It'd be a huge can of worms, and know for a fact that the NRL and NRL clubs wouldn't go for it and I highly doubt that the RFL and SL clubs would go for it either.

Also you don't need to completely undermine the NRL and SL competitions to use the WCC as a showcase for the sport to the rest of the world.

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Not into the whole group stages thing myself, as most have said it will probably result in SL teams making it through

 

For me the easiest change in challenge cup would be to introduce reverse seeding, where if any teams get drawn together and there is a division of more 'gap' between the teams, the team from the lower division gets the home draw.

 

For example Wigan draw Barrow at DW, due to the divisional difference the game is reversed and is played in Barrow, which would (hopefully!) Drum up more interest, gate receipts and who knows....maybe even a shock or two! 

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5 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

it'd also potentially mean that the GF rematch is played not only outside of the clubs involved home grounds but on the other side of the planet which would screw most of the fans of the clubs involved out of the privilege that their club has earned, etc, etc.

It'd be a huge can of worms, and know for a fact that the NRL and NRL clubs wouldn't go for it and I highly doubt that the RFL and SL clubs would go for it either.

You mean like the challenge cup final rematch between hull FC & Wigan being played in a few weeks in Illawarra?

Yeah can't see any SL club or the RFL agreeing to that what a stupid idea!

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12 hours ago, roughyedspud said:

You mean like the challenge cup final rematch between hull FC & Wigan being played in a few weeks in Illawarra?

Yeah can't see any SL club or the RFL agreeing to that what a stupid idea!

Firstly it's Hull and Wigans prerogative where they play the game (with the RFL approval I imagine), if it was part of the WCC they wouldn't have had a choice where it was played, secondly they still own that game, they won't be sharing the revenue from it with the NRL, that wouldn't be the case either if they were playing it in an expanded WCC.

It's not a comparable situation at all, namely Wigan and Hull had a say in where and how the game will be played, and they aren't being forced to split the revenue for the game with completely unconnected entities.

I don't know why we're even arguing about it anyway as it'll never happen, and it's not necessary for it to happen to grow the stature of the WCC anyway.   

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17 hours ago, johnlancs said:

Not into the whole group stages thing myself, as most have said it will probably result in SL teams making it through

 

For me the easiest change in challenge cup would be to introduce reverse seeding, where if any teams get drawn together and there is a division of more 'gap' between the teams, the team from the lower division gets the home draw.

 

For example Wigan draw Barrow at DW, due to the divisional difference the game is reversed and is played in Barrow, which would (hopefully!) Drum up more interest, gate receipts and who knows....maybe even a shock or two! 

That was what I was going to post. Home advantage for the lower division team might be a bit more of a leveller and might increase the chance of upsets, even though it would be a small one.

The problem the Challenge Cup has is that simply the league is held with far more importance these days and bridging the gap between SL and the rest won't change that. Ties where a top flight team was away to a lower division side used to attract bumper crowds and there was a time when winning the Cup was more prized than winning the league but those days have long gone and that is reflected in Cup attendances in comparison to the league as now it is all about Super League or promotion to it or the Championship.

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18 hours ago, johnlancs said:

Not into the whole group stages thing myself, as most have said it will probably result in SL teams making it through

 

For me the easiest change in challenge cup would be to introduce reverse seeding, where if any teams get drawn together and there is a division of more 'gap' between the teams, the team from the lower division gets the home draw.

 

For example Wigan draw Barrow at DW, due to the divisional difference the game is reversed and is played in Barrow, which would (hopefully!) Drum up more interest, gate receipts and who knows....maybe even a shock or two! 

The groups will probably result in the SL team making it through. the knock out format will probably result in the SL team making it through. Any format will probably result in the SL team making it through.

What the group games do, because they can be planned in advance, is create more of an event. For example Leeds will get more in the festive challenge on Boxing day than they do in the early rounds of the challenge cup. That is friendly, with a largely reserve squad against another largely reserve squad, and it is getting 2 to 3 times more than the Early CC games. They can do that because the festive challenge is something of an event. A good stocking filler, a festive tradition, a chance to blow the cob-webs off with a few friends and family, a few beers and a bit of RL thrown in. Thats what we should be looking to do with the early rounds of the challenge cup because trying to sell them purely on the strength of the game is always going to be a struggle when many of the games will be uncompetitive. 

With regards to reversing the seeding, its only a relatively bumper crowd. Its still probably less than we get at the bigger clubs ground.

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