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  1. 29 points
    Fantastic stories ! Mine is long story but rewarding. I’m born and raised South East London, went to a brilliant rugby playing grammar school in New Cross and played county from U18s to U23s back in the day. Fast forward to getting married, moving to a small holding in Kent , having 3 kids. We are sports mad. My kids all had swim lessons, competed in karate (up and down the country), signed up to athletics club , pony club and the local rugby club. We were also Harlequins season ticket holders and had wonderful laughs , beers with my old rugby playing school and club chums, we all stayed in touch. My son and eldest daughter wanted to concentrate on rugby , my daughter captained Kent girls U16s my son played for Cranbrook u10s-u15s. He then moved to another club , huge rivals who seemed to have the best coaches and a fantastic team. Very brave on his part as there were already 2 county fly halves in that side. After his first season at U16 one of the lads he was playing union with mentioned that my son should be playing rugby league through the summer, he’d be fitter , stronger and his tackling would improve. I had no idea there was RL in the area. That lad was playing RL for Harlequins and Medway Dragons. I’d just bought my son a new cricket bat that cost over £140 and really enjoyed the afternoons at the local cricket club, but we all agreed that rugby was taking priority and he wanted to go as far as possible. We went up to a training night at Medway Dragons. We met Martin Coyd and he asked my son “can you play football ?” and was really friendly, made us feel welcome and explained his vision for the club. My son came away from that night , jumped in the car and said “ I really enjoyed that, it’s so friendly, a really good vibe “ I’d noticed the change on demographic, the parents were very much working class compared to the very different set of parents at the union gatherings. He played his first game within a fortnight and fed the ball into the scrum straight on his first feed!!! He was one of the youngest and scrawniest in his age group side. The physicality was immense. He got selected for the Origin series ( North vs South of M25) and was really hopeful of getting into the Quins RL set up. He went on to play union again after the league season. Was incredibly fit, fast, skilful and played his way into being invited to county training. He was flopped on at a ruck , doing a jackal , by the biggest lump of a kid, right at the end of training. Fractured his leg... county dream over at first session. I cried for him. He was on crutches , fed up. He couldn’t wait for the Medway Dragons pre season to start. I took him up there to watch the indoor S&C in the January. Martin Coyd pulled me over and said “ I’m glad Liam is here, I’ve got an announcement that involves him” At the end of training , Coydy called the whole club round and put my son in the middle and announced that Liam had been called into the newly renamed London Broncos U16 scholarship. He was totally made up. I was so happy for him. He started travelling from his school south of Maidstone to Feltham West London by trains and buses to get to training that he couldn’t even take part in two to three times a week. We used to make him a hot food flask of pasta, drinks , a protein shake etc. Sometimes he would get a lift back and dropped off near the M20 and we’d pick him up circa 10pm. School the next day. He started training, got game time... played at the Aldershot ground, Wilderspool and toured Catalan Dragons with Richard Harris , Alex Walker , Joe Keyes , Kain Dimech and others. He had already decided that he was going to Hartpury College in Gloucestershire to study his A levels and continue to play both codes throughout the seasons, but truly his favourite sport was RL. He played in the 2nd team at Hartpury, no mean feat when there are England players keeping you out the 1st xv. He went for a trial at the All Golds and was selected for SW England and Wales trials ( wife’s side). I recall a Wales trial where he and Regan Grace stood out but were not selected to go through. Other parents on the circuit were bemused. My involvement became that of the biggest dad cab. He eventually was selected for Wales Students, training in South and North Wales. When his uni mates didn’t get through to the squad he didn’t have a lift so I used to drive from Kent to Gloucester or Cheltenham, over night on the floor/setter and drive him to training camps then reverse the journey. He played in the Student Home Nations in Edinburgh, my wife and I spent our 25th wedding anniversary there for a week. Fantastic. The following year he made the Wales Student squad for the World Cup in Sydney. My family went over to support and had a fantastic time , what an eye opener seeing the Leagues clubs ! He also played in the Wales U23 sude in the Pre Commonwealth 9s on the Gold Coast. He hassince gone semi pro , played his first season last year at Coventry Bears. That was brilliant. At the end of that season he was called up to Wales senior squad for the Home Nations and World Cup qualifiers. He didn’t get game time but trained and traveled with the squad, what a privilege ! He left uni and didn’t have anywhere to live, Coventry couldn’t house him and at that stage he wasn’t driving. West Wales Raiders provided a player house and that’s where he is now, learning some life lessons. I reflect on the point of taking up summer RL to improve his union game. From that point footy has not been off our TV. The sky coverage enabled an apprenticeship to watch and learn, Premier Spirts for the NRL, the Footy Show and Matty Johns show, Origin matches , City Vs Country .... my wife and girls live RL, the speed, the skills... the pies ! We are experts in the Northern game even if we are shandy drinking southern based Welsh supporters... what a journey and it continues.
  2. 23 points
    Sky would probably offer enough to win the contract and then ignore us by putting it on the red button. We might not get as much money but free to air would get more eyeballs and other commercial opportunities. Let us hope the powers that be take the long view and not go for the quick fix.
  3. 21 points
    Is it double sided for those leaving early?
  4. 19 points
    Good to see. Four matches in New Zealand from 27 September. 24 players to travel from below group.of thirty-five. Great opportunity for lads like Brochon, Cozza, Carré and Salabio who have played regularly for Baby Dracs in Elite 1 this past season. Also Lima from TO who has played in the Championship as well Lacans and Gouzy from FCL. Add on back rower Goffin from Villeneuve/Lot who has also stood out in Elite 1.
  5. 18 points
    16 primary schools from the Perpignan area took part recently in a tournament. This was the culmination of earlier weekly introduction sessions held at Brutus attracting 1,200 youngsters.
  6. 18 points
    On the bit in red, we've tolerated your increasing arrogance, bitterness and abuse over anything outside of your narrow interpretation of what's good for rugby league. No more. Post civilly or go to another forum that'll put up with it.
  7. 18 points
    London or Salford attendance? Nope. Cas women this afternoon. And playing some great stuff.
  8. 18 points
    Long term readers will know that Little Ginger has not had the easiest life. Born far too early, he's had development issues all his life and was diagnosed autistic with multiple associated issues a few years ago. He now goes to a special school. Five years ago, he was so worried about sports day that his anxiety caused his muscles to contract to such an extreme that he had to spend the day in A&E. Today, after years of progress, he not only participated in sports day but voluntarily put himself forward for the biggest challenge they have: the 800m. This is open to anyone in the school. Little Ginger is 13 and has physical problems with running; some of the others are 18 and don't. He ran it. He didn't stop. It didn't matter what position he finished in. He was cheered over the line and then, because of his commitment and determination, he was given the house award for resilience. I'm not sure I've ever been prouder.
  9. 16 points
    If I can add a bit of clarity to this topic. The broadcasts were not cancelled by Sky. Sky had slots including red button when required for publication. Toronto Wolfpack, who fund the coverage under agreement with the rights holders Sky Sports took the pragmatic decision to cancel, after exhausting all their options to avoid the clash. Later kick offs were not an option due to the flights back to UK for the away teams. Neville Smith, Executive Producer, In Touch Productions
  10. 16 points
    Well if they both did reach Wembley I would be delighted to see my team come out at the National Stadium, and wouldn't give a toss about what others thought.
  11. 15 points
    The Bears were out enthused by a better team on the day. Well done on WWR on a great win on the day. A lot of people deserve a day in the sun and hopefully a great night out for them tonight. No complaints from the Coventry camp.
  12. 15 points
    League is everything in Hull despite what the football fans will try to tell you. When you're walking through the centre league shirts dominate football 10-1 and not necessarily just fc or kr shirts. Amazing the amount of NRL shirts you will see as well. To be fair, with the crisis the football team are in at the mo you see more Liverpool and Man U tops than you do a Hull City ones. Rugby fans always seem to have a smile on their faces, the football fans always look like they've seen their own ######. There has always been a lot of animosity from the football fans towards us. The amount of times I have had Hull City fans try to rip apart league to me through what is clearly jealousy is hilarious. They always say the same ignorant, misinformed arguments which they treat as if they are the first person to present this revelation to you while you just stand there yawning and checking your watch occasionally. Add in a few half-hearted nods and "mm-hmm"s and you've got a conversation about rugby league with a Hull City fan! Of course the whole time you're sarcastically thinking,"yep, not heard that one before, oh wait yes I have", "you've made a point there, an ignorant, retarded one but a point nonetheless", and so on and so on. I had a football fan not long ago having a go at league for having a grand final and basically shouting in my face, "the team that tops the table are the best team and should win the league!" of course I tried pointing out that football is pretty much the only sport in the world that doesn't have a playoff system but because said individual was a football fan it was like talking to a brick wall. Anyway point is that in Hull rugby league is dominant and football fans really don't like that. One thing I really do notice is how as soon as two randomers get talking almost always the first topic is league. More often than not the people will have some sort of affiliation and then that's it, off they go on an hour long convo in the street about the latest happenings in rugby league land. These people are now best friends despite having only met minutes before. Of course their friendship is over an hour later when they part ways. This happens to me quite often. I will randomly get stopped by someone who will proclaim something like, "how do you think Houghton did at weekend?" I will look at this person whom I don't know for a moment while a think, "oh, they must have seen me at the game", and with that I initiate the in depth discussion that I have had laid out in front of me. There is no need to question how this random individual knows me, it is just assumed. Names are never exchanged because all you need to know is this is a fellow league fan. You'd never get two football fans just coming together like that and that is one of the things I love about league in general. All fans of any club stick together and are the best of friends when our mutual interest is raised because we are in a minority. Rugby league has such a fantastic community. I always bring up an example of when we beat Wigan at Wembley. After, I was stood outside the coach waiting for everyone to return and there was a Wigan coach next to ours. I got talking with a couple of Wigan fans who congratulated me and we had a laugh and a natter about the upcoming weekends games and what have you and we parted ways. If that was football I'd have been getting back on that coach with a few teeth missing, a massive gash down my face and the loss of sight in one eye. League brings people together like nothing else does.
  13. 15 points
    How would the United Kingdom leaving the European Union affect immigration laws on Australian and New Zealand players?
  14. 15 points
    Why? If teams want to go for two instead of four/six it’s up to them. Lower risk but lower reward.
  15. 14 points
    Gonna get a lot of hate off this post but I only say this as RL fan living in London where the sport has very little visibility. The whole concept of promotion and relegation, jeopardy etc does nothing to benefit the sport. The SL competition needs to have the most commercially viable clubs in the competition and ones which open the comp up to new markets. Your casual sports fan or multinational sponsor is not interested in clubs like Wakefield, Huddersfield, Salford and despite 100 years in the UK league structure these clubs still struggle to have any sort of presence even in their own towns/cities. We also need to give clubs time to grow their organisations and develop players without the constant threat of relegation. Look at London, it's a market RL needs to be in. We get promoted but because of the uncertainty of relegation some of our best young players get picked off by other clubs that don't produce players. Bradford, Toulouse and Newcastle all bring something different to the table, larger markets, new markets, they develop players and have good youth systems. They bring much greater added value and would increase the average attendances of the comp. RL has lost so much ground in recent years in terms of coverage to sports like Boxing, Union, MMA it needs to make up this ground but it can only do so by taking a strategic approach and bringing clubs into SL that correspond to those strategies. Promotion and Relegation is too much of a lottery and organised chaos to allow the sport to grow. Richard Lewis was spot on with this approach and since he departed rl the profile and value of the SL competition has hit a low.
  16. 14 points
  17. 13 points
    28 of us ex Punch Bowl lads set off from York about 11am. Age range 42 to 75. Got to Hanging Heaton WMC for a couple of hours drinking before going onto the match. Enjoyed the beer garden with Bulldog Bitter getting some hammer. Good setup at Batley. Tight game with Jack Teanby the standout player for me. A draw was a fair result. Had to laugh when their long-haired forward came off the pitch and walked by us. Our Nik sez "Ey mate, you wanna get yer hair cut" he replies "im gonna, straight after the game for charity" Nik says "so will i then! Sure enough he stuck to his word and we all had quick whipround and got about £200 to add to the fund. Great laugh watching the batley lad shaving Nikkis head. Set off back to York just after 6 and of course finished up in the tavern. What a great day had by all .
  18. 13 points
    This was the hottest it ever was at Watersheddings ....
  19. 13 points
    From Boston, Massachusetts Somewhere in the mid-00s I became aware of the NRL from the then-Spike Network airing the NRL playoffs. Being a big soccer fan since USA '94, that meant until very recently spending a lot of time in Irish or British bars to watch games. I caught wind of rugby union in the late 90s, but I don't think I saw the NRL coverage I knew I there were 2 forms. Then I caught some local games (Boston 13s, Oneida FC) basically randomly. My friend lived in a house with 2 Aussies who told us about the local teams. My big "OK now I'm in" moment was the USA Tomahawks run in the 2013 RLWC, which got some coverage on SportsCenter in the highlights roundups. Having the Wolfpack around, and potentially more expansion here (SOMEONE COME TO BOSTON, FFS) solidified my interest and now I read about or watch RL as much as I possibly can from this end.
  20. 13 points
    Apologies if this has been shared before, don't think I have seen it here, but the RFL have shared its updated and refreshed strategy doc. http://secure.rugby-league.com/ign_docs/RFL STRATEGY EXTERNAL.pdf Section 7 has some interesting aims for 2019: 1 - Sale of Red Hall and Odsal 2 - Growing customer email base to 200k (from 127k) 3 - 75k+ at Wembley Section 8 also shows that they have removed most of the Super League KPI's and added a few new ones. Seems pretty sensible. I like it when they publish specific aims, it is easier to judge the success or failure this way.
  21. 13 points
    Strange to think that one day she’s observing Zak Hardaker on the training field, and the next day she’s following him with a night vision camera...
  22. 13 points
    Your constant negativity is quite outstanding. Why you bother to come on here is beyond me.
  23. 13 points
    I quite like the concept. 3 game series, so each side gets a home game and then 1 at a neutral venue.
  24. 12 points
    Brazil will take part in the next women’s WC and their team will include many Olympic union 7s players. https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/07/18/brazil-tipped-to-cause-shock-at-womens-world-cup/ Brazil will join France and the six countries which contested the 2017 World Cup at the expanded eight-team tournament in England, which also features Australia, Canada, Cook Islands, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The South American nation was a surprise choice but earned their place after thrashing a more established Argentina team 48-0 in San Paulo last November with a side that featured six members of Brazil's Rugby 7s team from the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
  25. 12 points
    This is very cool...not just as a touch judge but actually in the middle. Good on her! https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/07/15/belinda-sharpe-breaks-new-ground-as-first-female-nrl-referee/?utm_source=NRLFBContent&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=NetworkContent&fbclid=IwAR3F0_xotrfoR147UpzEE-fXOEOw51mEAh6tSvvPPQUDN0afCwQ3dePUhw4
  26. 12 points
    So here goes me. Grew up in SW London/Surrey from a (very) Welsh family, my Great Granddad having played Union for Wales. Naturally I was given a rugby ball around the time I could walk and played union from minis to U16s. Fell out of playing when I went to a 6th form college where to play for the college you had to join their ‘Academy’ and give up an A Level. I didn’t want to do this so fell into playing Hockey for fun instead. Went to Uni in Hull and a friend who was a Rovers fan took me along one Sunday. Added to being in St John Ambulance which meant I’d regularly be On Duty at either Hull club, often being on the stretcher team at the KC. It was great for my education in the game to be at such close quarters. Moved back south, kept following KR from afar (including a few trips to Magic Weekend including a freezing Murryfield) and got involved at the Sussex Merlins when I lived in Brighton. A friend who was an RFL development officer at the time knew I’d done a bit of radio presenting and asked if I could do some games for them. A couple of years later I saw the news about Oxford RL being formed and became their PA announcer for all of their existence, including going to Toronto's first ever home game. I’ve also played a bit (badly) and ran the London and South East rep squad for 2 seasons. I also had a London Broncos season ticket while they were at the Stoop however it became too hard once they moved up to Barnet and it would have taken around 2.5hrs door to door from where I was at the time. Now I’m happily at the Coventry Bears as the announcer there, so if you’ve ever seen us you’ll know me as Mr ‘Come on Bears’. I’m also a regular co-host on fans podcast the super league pod which is great fun and has put me in touch with all manner of fans from pretty much every club. I live in Swindon for work so an average matchday sees me travel a 120 mile round trip. With rail replacement works a journey of 3hrs+ each way isn't uncommon. It’s often frustrating following RL in the South, I’ve introduced a few friends to internationals in particular over the years and they’ve often asked ‘When’s the next game’ as soon as we’ve walked out. 9/10 I’ve not been able to tell them. The games administrators definitely need to think more of the wider picture and get out of Leeds more if they ever truly want a national game. A lot of the time I'm not really convinced they do.
  27. 12 points
    Hmmm funny how there’s only you and your fellow Toronto hater from South Leeds who call them the games saviours.
  28. 12 points
    Sean Long has no role in Rugby League. He has left the sport and is employed in a direct competitor. It is a bad look to have someone who thinks the grass is greener elsewhere in the Sky presentation.
  29. 12 points
    The players union and RFL really need to look in to this. At the end of last season Leigh or Derek Beaumont was pleading poverty and refusing to fulfil their player contracts. Most of the squad was dispanded on this basis. Now they reformed the team and are back on the player market trying to sign players. I understand they were trying to sign Junior Vaivai from KR and other players. In my view it's simple, if you are unable to fulfil player contracts then it should be treated in the same way as a club going into administration and points should be deducted. This is just not fair on players like Larroyer, Rhys Evans and other players who have mortgages and bills to pay. Are we seriously going to allow our players to be treated like this? Our players are our biggest asset and we must not allow them to be mistreated. Do the RFL have grounds to investigate?
  30. 11 points
    I run the Knights social media mate. It's my job to big up our home games. It is a big game. You're absolutely right that it's just another 2 points, but IF the Knights win then they're 8 points clear of 6th place with 10 points to play for. York City Knights have never finished this high in the league so yeah, I think it should be talked up.
  31. 11 points
    Imagine how David Lammy felt being on the receiving end of it. If any forum member posted such comments, they'd be gone from here without any warning, but this material has been published online by an MP, to serve as clear and unequivocal evidence of the existence of a poisonous form of racism, not as an endorsement of it. It has clearly been shared on here for exactly the same reason. People should get offended by this stuff. And get angry at the morons who write it. Not at the people who receive it or share it to highlight the repulsive behaviour of such morons. Shoving heads in the sand and pretending it doesn't exist isn't an option.
  32. 11 points
    Kim Darroch - council estate and grammar school = pompous establishment figure. Donald Trump - privately educated inheritor of $400million = hard working man of the people
  33. 11 points
    The reason they can go to new Zealand is that the debt the French fédération was in has been paid off and for the first time in a long long time the fédération actually has a little money,
  34. 11 points
    Here we go again - the Championship / RFL making decisions part-way through a season.....AGAIN And making themselves look small-time and amateurish..... AGAIN Literally, the minute that TW failed to beat London, it must have been blindingly obvious to everyone that there was a very high probability that Toronto would be in pole position again this season? So, why are we even discussing this in JULY??? Oh yes, because the Championship / L1 / RFL are acting like a bunch of incompetents.... AGAIN
  35. 11 points
    Half of SL aren't ready for it either, so no problems.
  36. 11 points
    American here. I did not know anything about rugby. In 2016, I was looking for a rugby game on Steam because 6 Nations just started. I bought Rugby League Live 3. I had no idea that union and league were different. I thought rugby was just union & there were just different leagues. I was confused why South Africa was so bad in the game. I looked up Rugby on Wikipedia & found out the difference. I have been following the NRL & Super League ever since. I like League a lot better, but I do still follow Super Rugby & International games for Union.
  37. 11 points
    But a World Cup is the opportunity to attract new spectators to the sport, and the armchair viewer doesn't mind watching England spanking somebody in the group stages. Take England's 2018 soccer World Cup game against Panama for example. Nobody moaned that Panama were rubbish and that it was a waste of time - instead everyone revelled in England thumping 6 goals past them, and started getting carried away that we were going to win the tournament. The problem in rugby league is that we do the Gerald Ratner shoot ourselves in the foot thing by telling people that our product is rubbish unless it's England v Aus/NZ/Tonga (delete as appropriate). Disagree. I live in a non-RL area, and I had mates from work who went to Coventry to watch the 4 Nations double header a few years back. They thoroughly enjoyed England v Scotland, and got cold and gave up watching Aus v NZ. They were blissfully unaware that Scotland were supposed to be rubbish and made up of 'plastic' Scots - instead they just thoroughly enjoyed the occasion for what it was. They would never have gone to watch a game if it wasn't England playing. As a kid growing up I distinctly remember eagerly awaiting Great Britain against Papua New Guinea on Grandstand in the early 90s. It didn't matter a toss that PNG got stuffed - I was just excited to be watching the national team playing on TV. It's the international game that is going to grow the sport, and also stop it withering on the vine and becoming a regional oddity. The national team is the most likely thing to get armchair viewers engaged with the sport - that was what got me hooked. More internationals is the way to go, and England stuffing some weaker teams every so often is no bad thing!
  38. 10 points
    As a Wakey fan, I was gutted to see the Saints lineup today but if we are relegated, it’ll be down to the two London losses, the close Hull KR loss, the shoddy recent performances and, of course, the injuries that the squad isn’t developed enough to cover. It wouldn’t be down to Saints fielding a weakened team in one game.
  39. 10 points
    Do people think that the previous council would honestly pursue a bigger stadium without the knowledge of the full backing of sellafield and the nhs? These are negotiations going back over 2 years. Cast iron agreements are arranged once final planning is agreed. The stadium passed planning but clowncillor jenkinsons personal hatred of mark fryer has cost the entire area and it’s future generations facilities fit for purpose. Sad times.
  40. 10 points
    There is a danger of underselling the EU here Yesterday I led a meeting in Denmark. There were at least five different nationalities in the room and absolutely no one thought this was remarkable. But history tells us that it was remarkable. There has never been a better time to be a European than now. The EU is not merely a bureaucratic convenience. A necessary but dull piece of institutional architecture. It is the ongoing and beautiful process of Europeans learning to live together in friendship and choosing to turn away from the pain and horror of our shared past I don’t think we should be afraid to say what the EU actually is because it might offend our opponents. In fact, not saying it plays into their hands by trivialising the incredible and historically unprecedented situation that Europe is now in.
  41. 10 points
    Ridiculous, the annual changes to the league structure are one of the few things RLfans enjoy
  42. 10 points
    This nonsense you speak of has resulted in a very real, tangible stable club that has successfully built a strong supporter base, increased rl media coverage more so than any northern hemisphere club has in living memory all in a new continent within 3 years. You tell me why rugby league fans wouldn't think this is great and great for the game. I believe this view would be quite common. You keep saying uk fans have to stand aside and close clubs down yet the evidence says otherwise. Leigh for example, the club many feel are negatively effected by Toronto, are pretty much still in the same on and off field position as they were in twp's inception. Fighting for a finals position and none of their fans have disappeared because of twp. Look at their attendances historically for proof. As for Widnes' drop, it has nothing to do with twp's existence at all. That is solely on their poor form on and off the field and completely independent from twp's existence yet your arguments would insenuate it's because of twp. Over to you
  43. 10 points
    the music wasnt played to calm people down it was played because its still no 1 in the charts in fev
  44. 10 points
    A word of advice from the Site Admin... This is a Rugby League forum. Everyone who enjoys Rugby League is welcome here, no matter where they are from of who they support. Please try and avoid going off on a tangent about how great other sports are in comparison to Rugby League, or, as I'm sure would be the case if Rugby League fans started rubbishing Ice Hockey on a forum dedicated to that sport, you are going to end up annoying a lot of otherwise friendly people and will not be made very welcome. Nor will people listen to any of the points you're making if they think you're just here to slag off their favorite sport, which, if I am being honest with you, is how it looks right now. Most if not all the members on here are aware of the problems Rugby League has in many aspects of its existence, and if you look at many of the other threads on here, are happy to debate those issues in great detail with people who they believe also have the best interests of the sport at heart. Please adjust your posting style accordingly, and I'm sure we can all learn a lot from each other. Thanks.
  45. 10 points
    It wouldn't even have to be a 'he' at all. Yvette Cooper or Jess Phillips could transform Labour's electoral fortunes quite swiftly, IMO. If it has to be another bloke, Hilary Benn or Keir Starmer would be in pole position if I was choosing. Being a socialist is irrelevant to me, yes. It's just a stupid outdated label that a few people on the left of politics get unduly hung up about these days, but most ordinary folk don't give two hoots about (unless to dredge up scary memories of the Soviet Union or Venezuela). There aren't enough socialists in this country to elect a socialist party into government, so as someone who would desperately like to see the Tories consigned to the electoral dustbin as soon as possible, along with the Brexit they are determined to foist upon us, I'd settle for someone leading the Labour Party that a majority of voters would trust to lead the country and run it along social democratic lines with a reasonable degree of competence, and who would be brave enough to tell the truth on Brexit. That person will never be Jeremy Corbyn or any of his acolytes.
  46. 10 points
    I was born in East London and moved out to Essex in the late 70s. The sporting curriculum at my comp was basically rugby union and football. My experience of that was that most kids in my school would do a PE lesson but we struggled to raise a team to play at weekends, we could barely field a team. I remember coming home from playing Saturday morning football matches and flicking on grandstand and the earliest memory I have is of Lee Crooks trucking it up for Hull. I found it a novelty to see a forward kicking as well because all i’d seen in union was backs kicking. It piqued my interest because the game was tough and attritional. I loved the collisions and watching games with low scores played in sometimes terrible conditions. There seemed to be an honest integrity about the players and the way they committed their bodies to the collision. It was an honest, authentic sport. I have an early memory of my grandad at some point in the 80s referencing football and it must have been around the time of the infamous Luton Millwall game in 1985 and the massive problem of football hooliganism in the mid 80s. My granddad simply said something along the lines of ‘you’d never get that in Rugby League, the players wouldn’t put up with it.’ Quite a comment and a long time ago but it stuck with me and reinforced my positive view of the game and the players. I went to university in the early 90s and got in with some RL fans. I remember going up to watch Leigh v London at Barnet Copthall in around 93-94 in a challenge cup game. I remember playing a game of RL for University of London, might have been vs Middlesex Uni. I was pretty fit at the time. Within about 10 minutes I was gassed. At that point at a basic low level I got an insight into what you need to have to be an RL player. I left the game thinking just how unbelievably fit and tough athletes RL players are, to run, support, get back and make the collisions seemed to me pretty Herculean. I’ve missed perhaps 1-2 home games a season since 1996 in the great early days for Broncos then but spend a lot of watching Broncos, the rest of SuperLeague and the NRL.
  47. 10 points
    One of the games' all-time greats has died aged 97 yrs in Roanne. 'The Sydney Tiger' second-rower put the Kangaroos to the sword four times between 1945 and 1953. Selected 30 times by France. Must be the last of that great group of Puig Aubert et al.
  48. 10 points
    I've known of the existence of rugby league since some time in the early 80s. Back then I was at school in Wales (a five year stint, I was mostly brought up in Sussex, and have lived all my adult years in London), so of course rugby union was the thing. But a few times when we were missing some kids our PE teacher would make us play league instead. Dunno why, he could have just said "no flankers" and have us carry on under union rules. But anyway, I'm not sure that he fully understood the laws of league, as my abiding impression from back then is that after a tackle the ref blew his whistle, everything stopped for a bit, everyone gets up, then you play the ball. Very stop-start, no continuity. I continued to be vaguely aware that this other rugby code existed but never saw much of it. I think I might have flicked past it on the telly a few times but never stopped to watch, because why would you watch a game that stops all the time like that. And then in 2013 I was flicking through the channels and saw a world cup match. Don't remember which one it was, but someone was breaking away and scoring an absolutely brilliant try, the sort of play which you could get in either code and which brings the whole stadium to its feet. I thought "ooh, this looks good", and got a bit confused when the score only went up by 4 instead of 5 like it should have done. It wasn't long from the subsequent restart that it was clear this wasn't the rugby I was used to, but I stayed with it for a few seconds more and seeing it played properly was a revelation. I've been hooked ever since. I now consider anyone who has seen both codes played properly and doesn't love them both to be in a state of sin. During my union playing days I was a prop, a position that basically doesn't exist in league teams which might as well consist entirely of backs, so I know with absolute certainty that if I were to play again I'd prefer to *play* union over league - not that it's ever gonna happen with my bad back, dodgy ankles and so on. But I'm happy *watching* both. Most weekends, when I'm not umpiring a cricket match, you'll find me at The Stoop watching Quins, or at Trailfinders for the Broncos, or at the New River for the Skolars, or watching the Brixton Bulls or Streatham-Croydon RFC. If the kick-off times let me see Quins, Broncos and Skolars on the same day then I will.
  49. 10 points
    Settle down lads. The golden age of Rugby League in Wales is now. The players who represent Wales today are Rugby League players. The recent signings to the pro. game, of young players (I think the report said 24 in all) have all come from the WRL, in Wales. That is an amazing achievement. The fact that we can't match England at international level, or produce a Super League club (yet) doesn't matter a hoot! We are growing. At a time when a lot of heartland areas report declining numbers of participants. The fact that you ignore these achievements, about Wales, London and Newcastle (Coventry perhaps) is at the heart of Rugby League's problems. You seem to place no value whatsoever on participation and the lifelong efforts of volunteer organisers and officials. Grass roots development is what feeds everything else. You bu ggers think its possible to create a Super League club in an area where there are no participants, no fans, no history, no culture. In the recent 5 live podcast, the studio guests made it quite plain, you can't sell something in an area where there is no market (demand). The demand (and the feeder systems required) for pro-football comes from hundreds of thousands of participants, their families and friends. We should celebrate Welsh Rugby League, as it is. Like they do in Belgrade.
  50. 10 points

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