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Rugby League World Issue 400 - Out Now!

RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 401 - OUT NOW!
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Read Jamie Jones-Buchanan's Top 5 RLW Interviews including Marwan Koukash, Lee Briers, Gareth Thomas, Steve Ganson & Matt King OBE


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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. 

 

 




#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


#2967249 Catalans Rumour

Posted by Auntie Linzi Morris on 28 July 2014 - 08:12 PM

I have maintained all along that the RFL wanted the Broncos and the Catalans out of Super League. That in my opinion was why they brought in the 2 team relegation in the hope the Broncos and the Catalans finished in the bottom 2. They got half their wish. The RFL would love Super League to become a M62 corridor competition.

Is it little wonder that we get less print inches in the national papers than we did 15 years with such insular thinking.

 

There's an awful lot of nonsense written on rugby league internet forums and I've lost count of how many times I've shaken my head in disbelief when reading comments over the last few years.

 

But this, by some considerable margin, is in my opinion the daftest piece of ignorant and ill-informed nonsense without any foundation or basis whatsoever that I've had the misfortune to chance upon.




#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.




#2944323 Kevin Sinfield awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List (Merged threads)

Posted by RSN on 14 June 2014 - 12:39 AM

Let's take ability out of the equation for a second.

He is the example of how every sportsman should live their life. He's had so much success but showed so little arrogance. He tries his hardest every week, sets an example for the younger kids and has a massive professionalism about how he acts. .

I don't rate him as a international standard player, but for professionalism as a top level English sportsman and how to set an example would I give an MBE? Most definitely.


#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.




#2969394 Catalans Rumour

Posted by Ivarr the Boneless on 01 August 2014 - 04:23 PM

Oxford season ticket holder here. I live in Hampshire and previously have had a season ticket at both Broncos and Skolars.

Oxford have openly stated they have no interest in Superleague. They don't think it is financially viable. At the moment the struggle is to be stable at the current level. (We aren't the only KC1 team in that boat.)

Oxford is not a rugby area. London Welsh all but gave away tickets to the home play off leg and still pulled in a disappointing crowd.

The aim at Oxford is to develop good players and hopefully pass the best on to bigger clubs. JJ Baird trained with Wakefield, Sean Morris trialled with Broncos. The number of northern based lads in the squad is down a lot on last season. The likes of Jack Briggs, an RU convert who was sent to learn the game at Oxford Cavaliers, have emerged as proven KC1 players.

There is actually a RL millionaire living near Iffley Road but Ian Lenagan has other priorities.

The key bit is that the likes of Oxford bring new players into the sport, as have Skolars who have seen several juniors turn pro at Broncos. That is how the sport can win.

Realistically, if Oxford have a future, it is as a development club. That doesn't bother me. I went to one game last season and fell in love with the place. Nice place, nice ground and 17 blokes who tried. As opposed to 5 or 6 who just tried my patience at recent seasons down Broncos. I have watched Broncos this season, both home and away, but enjoy watching Oxford more. Southern RL desperately needs a decent London club and academy system to draw juniors in though.

What Oxford are not is a future SL club, I'm not sure that's a bad thing.


#2944833 10 years from now

Posted by Futtocks on 15 June 2014 - 12:54 PM

In 10 years' time, forum members will be saying things like "I fear for the future of the game" and "the RFL are useless and corrupt", regardless of what actually happens.


#2918980 Syphoning liar

Posted by Kevin Nicholas on 20 April 2014 - 09:31 AM

I have read what StevieB thinks Nicholson & Winner are whilst on a family holiday thanks to my own earned money away from the Club.We put in a poor performance on Friday and out comes very offensive abuse. If the person in question bought a programme he would b wiser on some issues.If he askes me to my face i would answer but that is not an option for him now although still an pption for others. We lose money most games we play so Saints. Cas etc help cover losses. To get to finals you have to win games hence good winning pay which players deserve but gates dont cover. We got no money from GF gate just £30000 which paid shortfall on playoff wins and some debt. We may have shortfalls but we are honest people and we & our wives& partners& family work for nothing. Family members on carpark bars& kitchen working for NOTHING which other club? Thanks we do not want but attacks on pur integrity are unacceptable. John Kear & coaching staff & directors & Iro & indeed the players will work hard to rectify the wrongs of Friday. I can say no more. I do not know StevieB but my wife does so i will leave it to her to make her feelings known!!!


#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 !!!




#2970498 Today's unsung hero

Posted by Tom Coates on 03 August 2014 - 05:28 PM

Aside from the lads who earned a bonus point today, there's somebody else who deserves a lot of credit.

 

James, who posts on here as Netherton Ram, spent hours of his own time this week sourcing photographs and liaising with clubs, and then, despite being a Rams fan of 20 years, volunteered to miss today's game at Fax to run a full scoreboard service for the Women's Cup Finals.

 

Since near the start of the season James has run the scoreboard on match days single-handedly, including starting and stopping the clock to make it a great service for supporters.

 

He also liaised with the manufacturers when it wasn't working for the Crusaders match and came down to the ground in his own time during the week to make sure it was repaired and working correctly.

 

And while I, and others in the control room, have buggered about at weddings and holidays on some Sunday afternoons, James has run the scoreboard at every home match this season.

 

Today he went the extra mile for the four competing women's teams and hopefully this won't have gone unnoticed by the RFL. I believe it's the little bits of extra effort like this that really showcase the stadium as a venue for these kinds of matches.

 

A state of the art scoreboard is no good if there's nobody there to give up their time to run it, so well done James.

 

Just another example of volunteers giving up their time to help the club be better.




#2957331 Dr K rips into Mcmanus

Posted by Segovia Carpet on 10 July 2014 - 10:39 PM

Dr K could buy every club and have change.  His point is very simple.  To attract more fans to every club we need STARS - no - not journeymen - STARS.   Billy Slater at Leeds.   SBW @ Huddersfield.  Jonny Wilkinson even @ Widnes.   Greg Inglis @ Saints etc etc .  We need to show the world that RL is THE game.  Somehow we need to pull out of this lethargic situation which employs 100+ Jobsworths  at Red Hall and put the money into attracting NEW fans to this great game.  A revolution is required & Marwan is the man to lead it.




#2954421 Coventry Bears to Kingstone Press Championship 1 in 2015

Posted by Honor James on 04 July 2014 - 10:22 AM

The RFL is delighted to announce that Coventry Bears will enter Rugby League’s semi-professional Kingstone Press Championship One competition in 2015.  Formed in 1998, Coventry have grown to become one of the sport’s most successful community clubs and will play their home games at the 4,000-capacity Butts Park Arena.

 

They were invited to play in the competition at a meeting of the Kingstone Press Championships clubs in Leigh this week.  RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Coventry Bears to the Kingstone Press Championships.  It adds another refreshing dimension to the Championships at a time when the sport is approaching an exciting new era with the introduction of a new league structure in 2015.  Following on from the success of Oxford, Hemel Stags and the University and Gloucestershire All Golds in introducing Rugby League to a new audience of players and spectators, Coventry Bears will enhance the competition and the sport.

 

“Their entry is the latest result of our long-term commitment to introduce new clubs into Championship One from new geographical areas and I am sure Coventry Bears will receive a warm welcome from everyone in the game.”

 

Coventry Bears Managing Director Alan Robinson said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to join the Kingstone Press Championships and are looking forward to playing our full part in the competition.  The club has worked really hard to establish good working relationships in Coventry and across the Midlands and we now have the partners in place who can help us realise our ambitions.

 

“Making the transition from being a community club to the professional ranks has been, and remains an exciting and fulfilling journey.

“Our geographical location allows us to ‘bridge the gap’ between clubs in the South and North and creates rich potential for us to succeed.”

 

Coventry Bears will officially launch their entry into Kingstone Press Championship One in 2015 with a media event at the Butts Park Arena, Coventry, on Friday July 18 (12.00pm) when Alan Robinson and other clubs officials will be available for interview.




#2928145 Six Game GB Tour planned for 2015

Posted by nec on 11 May 2014 - 07:35 PM

The era we are pandering to won't attend if any aspect of the game or tournament or pricing or rules or squad is not to their liking. The concept belongs in the past. It is appalling that England are not playing France, Wales, a pacific nation before they leave these shores to build on the momentum. To muddy the future potential with the outdated GB tour is so retrograde as to be laughable. We have a huge new constituency that bought into England rl, we are abandoning them to pander to traditionalists who thrive on finding reasons to downplay the modern game. Astonishing and reprehensible!


#2972771 Expanded World Club Championship

Posted by GeordieSaint on 07 August 2014 - 07:58 AM

Clubs no doubt trying to line their pockets again... when are we ever going to learn that internationals are the way forward to develop the game rather than convulted rubbish like this? Clearly we haven't learned anything from 2013...




#2968310 NZ Sevens dilemma - Olympics

Posted by Railway End on 30 July 2014 - 09:14 PM

It could take these players a fair while to learn the "nuances" of the 7's game though.

Things like running, passing and tackling come to mind ;-)


#2958038 Nahaboo

Posted by Terry Mullaney on 12 July 2014 - 04:34 PM

All due respect Terry, but IMO that is rather an ambiguous statement. You state that we were brought back from oblivion to the verge of SL, but surely a perceptive person with nous should have approached the whole deal with caution, sought outside advice and not envisaged ideas above their station. I dare hazard a guess that many, many fans thought that attaining SL was not only one step too far logistically but also financially.
I am afraid that we were lulled by the glamour and promises of SL accompanied by terrible judgement.
Attendances of over 2000, a winning team, a set of lads playing not only attractive rugby but also playing for the club. all to be wiped out in the space of a few months. This lot will take some sorting out.

I take on board the valid points you make Saddleworth but it was Mark who appointed DP in the first place and transformed the whole club operation into the most professional it's ever been in my opinion. Initially when Feisal came along the club continued to grow steadily under Mark's leadership and added investment from Nahaboo despite what the doubters may say.

It all started to go wrong when DP decided to move on, JB appointed and the divisive plot to oust the chairman put into operation which meant he had day to day control taken away from him. He was left between a rock and a hard place. Does he deprive the club of future potential huge investment or try to wrest control of the club back to maybe avoid future financial disaster? An unenvious position to be placed I'd suggest.

MC has already held held his hands up to the mistakes he's made recently but we're all human. I've every confidence he's the man to get us back on track however long it may take. It's difficult to watch Cas going so well when I think it so easily could and should have been us from 2016 with or without Feisal. £500k plus the £1.8m for reaching SL would be more than adequate to provide us with a good SL side under the right coach. Untold damage was done to the team after DP left, we already had a great side as you say which didn't need the crazy wholesale changes which were brought about. I don't think the DSL dream was ever unrealistic until the bull entered the china shop.


#2950987 Carcassone in Super League

Posted by scotchy on 28 June 2014 - 09:47 AM

To Paraphrase Dr Koukash, it suits certain interests in the game to keep it a small-time regional one. 

 

There are people in the game who see a success like Les Catalans being repeated in Carcassone and Toulouse not as an opportunity for the game, but as a threat to their interests.  There are people in the game who are happy to see it contracting. 




#2931966 Toulouse Olympique

Posted by audois on 19 May 2014 - 11:17 AM

I admit I have often wondered what place rugby league has in Toulouse. They're more often than not in the very long shadows of Stade Toulousain and Toulouse FC and may be even the cities Handball team. But this past week feted by the civic authorities and as seen here welcomed on Place du Capitole in the very heart of France's 4th biggest city in celebration of the clubs unique cup-league double after 77 years of trying. Its an image taking some believing.

 

I can remember them some years back when their U21s arrived at Carcassonne with only nine players when this year they won the comp; to be fair Justin Morgan got them on the front foot in 2005 but their Championship stay across the Channel later unproductive. Last year when they hosted the Catalan-Hull KR game before 14,000 something else changed too.

La-superbe-bacircche-deacuterouleacutee-




#2927467 Albert Kelly tosses George Burgess off

Posted by Doghead on 10 May 2014 - 05:01 PM