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RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD MAGAZINE (ISSUE 397 - MAY 2014): Available to download now. Get the app from Apple Newsstand or GooglePlay, or click here to read it online now at Pocketmags.com - Print edition in shops from Friday, or click here to get it delivered by post in the UK or worldwide.

Rugby League World - April 2014
League Express


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#2845277 I knew it would happen

Posted by Gerri Monside on 30 November 2013 - 10:31 PM

It's been a dream. A long, deep, pleasant, wonderful dream. It started weeks ago - or to be fair it started on Christmas Day 2012. Santa dropped a gift to me. Two tickets to the World Cup opening ceremony in Cardiff. With accommodation thrown in. And in this dream I thought - "it wont work", "it'll be rubbish"", "the media will laugh at us", "the fans wont show", "Bristol? Bristol? Seriously?". And then I returned to my dream. And then it was October and we were on the train to Cardiff. And we bumped into Stevo & Nobby. And we had a laugh. And the opening ceremony wasn't rubbish. People came. The dancing was great. And we met some great people. And for 20 minutes we had Australia on the rack. But it wasn't to be. So we stayed back and did a Mexican wave. And watched Italy beat Wales. Then it was the long journey home. And we rushed to watch New Zealand v Samoa as Warrington rocked. And then we discovered the delights of Premier Sports and Andrew Voss. Then it was Monday and for a brief moment the dream relented as work took over. Then it was 8pm and Ireland faced Fiji in Rochdale. And the ground was full. And the people were happy. And we thought, "It might be good". Then Scotland went toe to toe. Then USA took out the Cooks. In Bristol. In front of a packed crowd. And we all thought that we were dreaming. And it got better. Huddersfield sold out. Workington sold out again. Leigh sold out. Matches were full of drama. People who had never been to a game wanted to go. And we thought "this is good". And then we had some bell-ringers of matches. And grounds packed out. And we came together. And we went to Wembley. And they needed more tickets. And for 79:38 we thought it was ours for the taking. But it wasn't. We came up so tantalisingly close it hurt. It hurt down to the core of our soul. And we cried. We cried "why. why isn't it us". But we went back into ourselves. We regrouped. And we went to the Theatre of Dreams. And we were treated to a masterclass in how to play a final. And we experienced a record crowd - at the end of a record tournament. And we look back on it all and celebrate the fact that we were there. And four five brief, magical weeks we all agreed on what we all knew already.  This is the greatest game. We are the greatest fans. 


And tomorrow, I'm going to wake from this dream.

And I don't want to.

It's been too good. 


I don't want this to end. 



  • redditchbulldog, Phil, l'angelo mysterioso and 11 others like this

#2840990 23/11/13 - World Cup Semi Final 1: England v New Zealand (Wembley)

Posted by Kenilworth Tiger on 23 November 2013 - 07:21 PM

I refuse to read this thread as I know it will be fill of the same old ###### that gets spouted every time......Sinfield is to blame, the Kiwis didn't care, Mcbana (lol) is useless etc etc etc

So all i will say is this....

Today I witnessed one of the best sporting spectacles I have ever seen in any sport, met some first time RL fans from all over the country and been involved with a team of volunteers who have given up time and money to support our game.

My overriding emotion, soon after complete and utter heartache, was sheer pride in our great game and squad of players who went toe to toe with the world champions.

No one player lost that game - as a team we never closed it out, simple as that.

I am proud England Rugby League supporter tonight
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#2856295 London Broncos and future expansion

Posted by willy on 24 December 2013 - 06:16 PM

What holds RL back is its outdated view of itself and its backwards view of the sort of person that would enjoy it


The RLWC showed there is an appetite for it outside the flat cap northern enclaves of working classishness!


But as ever no one wants to support a losing team, or one that struggles, or one that comes in for so much stick from others within it


Geographically we have a large spread across the UK at semi pro level. That needs feeding


Its no accident that there are Romanian/polish/Nigerian etc kids killing it in the London academy - absolutely no baggage, don't care about where they play, nothing to do with the good ol british preoccupation with the class system, they just want to play a fast exciting sport


So please stop eulogising/patronising etc the London area like it is even remotely the same as anywhere in the north, it isn't.


We want success in London? Let London drive it. The problem with that of course is a Londoners priorities making a successful team in a London environment will be a lot different to that in the hinterlands of the Midlands and the North and sadly requires a lot of money and media presence, which don't actually go hand in hand but to a Northern audience seem to


The Money because its twice as expensive, the media because large sports concerns across London (soccer etc) blanket the media every single hour of every single day.


In my experience Londoners LIKE RUGBY LEAGUE


They respond to it, they appreciate it, they even admire it but it has no social or environmental context in their day to day lives


Media and Money all else follows


Grass roots development? Community ownership?


Outdated and outmoded in a city like London where the big sports clubs have overdrafts that dwarf the whole income of RL in one team alone. There is no such thing as 'local' development there.Name one London team of any sport in the spotlight that has 90% London born players?


RL should play to its strengths, it is egalitarian in nature, always has been, a mongrel with a rebel spirit. On the frontline of expansion even more so than PNG or Samoa or the USA or Canada, London should be a flagship outpost and should always have had dispensation to sign above the salary cap with extra income from the RFL


Same as half the teams in the USA football leagues when the franchises move geographical locations and the top Aussie RL side in the NRL outside of the East coast or the Super 14 RU teams etc etc


A level playing field is level only if the context is the same for each club, it isn't ever that simple, never was, and you reap what you sew.


London was not allowed to invest properly when it could, now it cant it never will unless the cap can be altered to assist and hopefully another money bags hits the scene to allow this to happen. Otherwise we are lucky to have a London team with no ground of its own, no money and no way to access a level playing field in the first place.

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#2844717 Dare to dream

Posted by grimesy on 29 November 2013 - 11:23 PM

“...BUT will enthusiasm for the game last beyond the tournament?”

So asked Katherine Downes in a BBC sports feature on the eve of the Rugby League World Cup Final. Of course my selected quote was preceded by a positive introduction on the fact that the final was a sell out. It went on to interview players from both New Zealand and Australia as well as an amateur player from Goucester All Golds. Katherine was introduced by Katie Gornall who asked had the World Cup caught the imagination of the wider public.

Following this clip I routinely did my daily scan of my preferred RL forum site. There was one comment that expressed a favourable view in the media coverage section. Fair enough. But I began to reflect on this tournament. Not about the games, players, tries, crowds etc etc – you will find them elsewhere (though you may have to dig a little). On the opening day of the tournament I went down to the Sports Club in my local village to watch England frustratingly, though not without promise, lose to the greatest rugby team in the world. They are not a brand name – rugby league doesn’t do that. Maybe it should. Well it sort of does. My comment about the greatest rugby side in the world comes naturally and without any hesitation. At the time of writing they are not even the reigning world cup holders. My current favourite band in the word is The Bitter Springs yet no has heard of them. They don’t sell records (they’ve been around a long time). They are not a brand. Yet they have considerable talent. And passion and integrity and honesty. Yes – honesty. Rugby league is an honest game. I grew up watching Wigan beat everyone and anyone – except Australia. I was at Central Park in 1994, 1990, 1986 – we couldn’t quite beat the ‘Unbeatables’ or even, I recall, in 1982, my dad coming back from the match whilst I was at my Auntie Mary’s on a cold dark Tuesday night saying the referee Fred Lindop had robbed us by denying a try by Wigan’s Glynn Shaw and then going on perversely to award Wigan a penalty. My dad said that was a pivotal moment in the future as the Kangaroos went on to literally be “invincible”. Still to this day I fear the green and gold jersey (I sense no fear when I see a black one, with or without any white). Funny as there is a family photo in my dining room on the wall and my wife is wearing it. She is from Sydney. We are all going to the final tomorrow. She says she’s wearing it. I’m wearing my All Golds top. It just seems right. Even after the semi final.


There was only one regret after that first game. Not the dropped balls or the decision about Charnley’s foot in touch or not. I hadn’t gone to watch it with my dad. He has Lewy Body dementia now and is in a nursing home. The last three live matches we saw were Wigan winning the Grand Final for the first time in 12 years, losing to St George in the World Club challenge and beating Leeds at Wembley. He was very poorly by then. A day or so later I did some work on the laptop and put 5 live extra on and listened to NZ v Samoa. Something did happen then. I don’t know what. Dave Woods doesn’t usually get me too excited. Maybe it was the Wire crowd. But something happened. And then I discovered I could actually watch the World Cup on Premier Sports online. So I subscribed. And was transfixed. It was breathtaking. It was exciting. It was brutal. It was honest. I wasn’t surprised. It was rugby league. And we all welcomed the Australian commentator Andre Voss into our hearts as he articulated the spectacle before him in a way we have been aching for – for, well, ever. He bellowed that Danny Brough is a “SUPERSTAR”. I cried laughing at "He's left 3 of his ribs on the pitch......somebody cook them up for me with some BBQ sauce....". But he cared. He did. He joked about the pub grub but he went in those pubs and talked to folk.


It was just great. The game was alive. I watched the first half of the England v Fiji game with my dad. I should have stayed for the second half. I formed my own opinions about the half back pairings and the rest of it. I read all the comments on the forum. I didn’t join in though. I took my two little kids to England v France. They loved it. Their mother has the temerity to suggest they are half Australian – thus it is my job to brainwash them. At one point I turned to the bloke sitting to the right of my little girl and had a rant about the half backs and the omission of a certain player. He nodded and agreed. I had another rant about something or other. He leaned over and said “I’ve never been to a rugby league game before”. It was brilliant. I said I hoped he enjoyed it and that he would come again.


I watched the semi final with my dad. All of it. I got him a beer and had to stir some thickener into it as per orders from the nurse. He didn’t know what was going on. I made the usual mistake of course. I got too excited. I should know better. We were at Elland Road three or four times. The one that stands out was 2004. I was convinced it was our time. Lockyer destroyed us.  I still haven’t got over it. To be honest I haven’t got over Devereux’s missed tackle from ’92 at Wembley. But I still love it. Every month I have to change my password at work. November has been ‘daretodream’. I still will. After the semi final I just kissed my dad and told him I loved him. I couldn’t speak for two days after that. A week later at least I can say I watched it with my dad. That feels good. Better than good. Just like this game.


“Will enthusiasm for the game last beyond the tournament? Has it caught the imagination of the wider public?” I’m not going to try and answer these questions. I think they are irrelevant. To be frank they are hypocritical questions from the BBC. It is about more than ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘imagination’ and ‘the wider public’ – whatever that means. To me it’s about heart and courage and belief and spirit and honesty. And that’s just the rest of us, not even the players. Oh and a real sense of community. In the attic is a bottle of whiskey my dad and I bought in Western Australia in 2001 – only to be opened the day GB wins the ashes (well ok I’d go for the WC or a 4 nations). I do believe my day will come. The World Cup has confirmed to me what the game is – gold. All gold. 24 carat. Dare to dream.

  • Chairman M, timtum, EastLondonMike and 9 others like this

#2839244 RLWC ticket sales (merged, including selling tix for final)

Posted by Jean de Bordeaux on 21 November 2013 - 03:16 PM

I come ! and more than 100 RL fans come from France !

This RLWC is a super one !!!

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#2910185 Hillsborough

Posted by Bostik Bailey on 03 April 2014 - 11:39 AM

I'm going to break ranks a bit here. I thought all this was just down to scousers just not accepting responsibility for their actions, and always wanting to blame someone else. I believed the 'official' line and thought why don’t they just let it drop.


However, since the last disclosure, I could not have been more wrong. The people affected by Hillsborough deserve recognition, in that they took on the establishment, they persisted for many years, they did not 'just let it drop' they knew that the people who were supposedly responsible for the safety on that day failed, they knew that these failings were covered up. To take on the power and influence of the establishment and win is quite some achievement, even in today’s free and open society.

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#2885121 Should NSW and QLD be standalone international sides in RL?

Posted by gingerjon on 21 February 2014 - 09:44 AM

I'm sure this idea comes up at least once a year.  


It's possibly the only thing we could do to make our international set-up even more ridiculous.

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#2856321 London Broncos and future expansion

Posted by THE RED ROOSTER on 24 December 2013 - 07:30 PM

Spot on Willy,


It was mentioned in the Broncos to Barnet thread but it remains one of the many missed opportunities in trying to get greater spectator involvement from the BME community. Other sports are beginning to have more BME spectators. London only ever had three regular BME attenders, one was an ex-Wigan fan, and one is part of the Loyal and Loud.. Other transplanted sports such as American Football get a BME audience in attendance in this country. London had more BME academy players on the field than spectators. Perhaps league has too much northern "baggage" attached ?  


The other misconception was that you needed to cater to soccer fans, who unsurprisngly - as has been demonstrated on this board inadvertantly by Sussex RL fan after Wembley and during the failed Free ticket imbrolongo - once the soccer season starts watch er. soccer. There was no understanding that League attracted the non-traditional sports fan who in watching sports like London Knights Ice Hockey already marched to a different drum beat so to speak. Next season Barnet Broncos marketing will be done (for a fee) by Barnet FC - No prizes for guessing their target audience.


Two markets the BME community and the non-traditional sports fans looking for a "new" sport without baggage that was exciting, relatively inexpensive and Family Friendly. Two Markets totally ignored during the Broncos existence. Yet key in establishing a niche sport in the Capital.


The "problem" of London Rugby League is northerners pursuing a northern solution to a southern problem.locked in the mental prison of the northern world view

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#2898375 Medway Dragons - 5 year plan to go semi pro

Posted by Rascal Bongo Stork on 13 March 2014 - 10:22 AM

The Dragons have appointed ex-Broncos  Rob Powell as head coach and have announced they plan on developing to the point where they're ready for the semi pro ranks in 5 years time. Bring it on, the more the merrier!

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#2888171 Bradford Bulls deducted 6 points & purchasers withdraw

Posted by hindle xiii on 25 February 2014 - 04:11 PM



Please remove the swear filter.

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#2886315 The team with the highest tv ratings...

Posted by Copa on 22 February 2014 - 09:49 PM

PNG Hunters.

Predicting atleast 2 million viewers per game in the Queensland Cup. Amazing. This is a great article about the introduction of this new team and how huge this is in PNG.

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#2877333 Video ref forward passes

Posted by Old Frightful on 09 February 2014 - 12:13 AM


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#2875281 Hock slams 'coward' McNamara

Posted by gingerjon on 05 February 2014 - 11:03 AM

What's that?  A player who wanted a drink so badly he was prepared to ruin his chances of playing for England now says he won't play for England?


Ah well.  Shall we pour you another?

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#2872140 Premier Sports pulls out of the Championship

Posted by redjonn on 30 January 2014 - 06:00 PM

Given the service premier did for RL in world cup and enabling us to watch more than the England games and the abysmal treatment by Sky on the world cup.... I would say its a real kick in the face to premier...

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#2866219 The never-ending League Restructure debate (Many merged threads)

Posted by BBR on 18 January 2014 - 09:52 PM

All those who slate expansion are basing it on a short term view. Many would say all golds have failed with their crowds under 100. If they can hang around long enough and their schools programme works then they may eventually be a serious team. 15 years or so. I have seen the attitude towards rugby league in Gloucester change in schools already. Yet the flat cap brigade will deem it a failure unless Gloucester ru have changed codes within 2 years. Stop meddling with the structure. Support expansion. Enjoy the sport. Stop bloody moaning
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#2864549 London's Signings for 2014 (Merged threads)

Posted by l'angelo mysterioso on 15 January 2014 - 08:43 PM

I'd love it just love it if they shoved it up the people who have sneered at them, and used them as a vehicle for their small minded , self serving agendas and had a good season this year.

C'mon you broncos

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#2849694 We need our own stadium

Posted by Bob8 on 09 December 2013 - 02:17 PM

This is a thread that is worth preserving.  It demonstrates that no matter what the doubts are about the RFL, there are many on here who would do many, many times worse.

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#2836444 Filling Wembley - Brainstorm

Posted by Wiltshire Rhino on 17 November 2013 - 02:06 AM

Here's a great idea to fill Wembley - the moaning Rugby League fans need to quit their moaning and buy a ticket and realise what a great product our game is!

Oh and take a mate with you!
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#2812770 Never thought I'd see the day.......

Posted by ckn on 21 October 2013 - 12:48 PM

The RFL have today announced a scheme to import positive speakers from other sports following the mass failure of RL fans and media to actually say something positive about the forthcoming world cup.


In other news:  A rugby league fan was taken to hospital today after biting off his own tongue following an incident when he accidentally said to his friend that he was looking forward to the world cup.

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#2915544 Dual Reg with Salford

Posted by Paul Ballantyne on 12 April 2014 - 05:24 PM

The bickering on this thread is getting boring now.. lets just be men and take it on the chin. What fans from other clubs are saying is only what many said about them over the years.
Whats done is done, let's get behind the boys (no matter who they are) and cheer them on.
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