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  1. 26 points
  2. 16 points
    On the Simple Game thread (https://www.totalrl.com/forums/index.php?/topic/355320-simple-game/) it seemed like there was a fair bit of interest in some slightly more in-depth analysis than what is often available. I was thinking some people might find it interesting if I did a series of threads looking at particular stuff where I think typical RL punditry is falling short. I thought it would be a sensible one to start with defensive structure, given this underpins a lot of other concepts. Sometimes people will talk on Sky about teams getting their numbers wrong. Obviously this implies there is a 'right' way to number up. Generally, teams no longer defend man on man, because a 1 v 1 is actually a good result for the attack, especially if there is a lot of space. A good example of this is the first try here, where the Titans have a 4 and 2 split from the scrum, it's a 2 v 2 on the short side with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck getting the ball and scoring because the defender has too much space to cover. So how do teams number up if not man on man? It's generally to do with proportions of the pitch. Assuming 2 markers and a fullback, the defending team will have 10 players in the line. How these are divided between the sides of the play the ball is referred to as the 'split'. If the PTB is in the middle of the pitch (width-wise) i.e. the 50%, a team will have 50% of their defenders on either side, i.e. a 5 and 5 split. If the PTB is a metre or two outside the left post i.e. the 40%, a team will have 40% of their defenders on the short-side, i.e. a 4 and 6 split. At the left scrum line i.e. the 30%, a 3 and 7 split, and at the left tap line i.e. the 20%, a 2 and 8 split. If you get to say the 25%, there's a bit of a judgement call, but teams will normally go with the extra defender on the short-side rather than the long-side. This is because a 3 v 2 is easier to execute than a 9 v 8. These splits are rules of thumb rather than unbreakable rules, so for example if a team puts 8 attackers on one side from the 50%, you might put 6 defenders on that side, but you wouldn't put 8 defenders there because then you've a 3 on 3 in ~34 metres of space on the other side. This all generally holds when teams are defending in their own half - when a team is coming out of their own half, the defending team may stack in tighter to put numbers into the tackle. This defensive organisation will be dominated by the fullback, with him counting numbers on every tackle in order to tell the defenders retreating from the tackle where to go. If you watch the first try from yesterday's game, the first play Panthers get their numbers right with a 5 and 5 split. Cordner gets a quick PTB at 25%, Panthers end up with 2 on the short side and they have too much space to defend as a result: If we go to Tedesco's try in the same game, shown below, there is another example. There's a defender left on the floor and the PTB is at the 40%. Panthers have gone with a 4 and 5 split rather than give the Roosters the overlap on the short-side. The fullback is at A-defender on the long-side but because he gets there late, the wider defenders are a metre or two narrower than they need to be as a result, Kikau and Luai in particular. Kikau gets beaten on the outside as a result. So how can teams take advantage of this? First of all, teams have to be able to count numbers and use that to decide which side to attack - this is generally going to be the responsibility of your spine players. This is why commentary about how players can no longer play what they see is misguided - players have to do it more than ever. Another thing to consider is aiming to attack particular defenders on one play and then get them on the short-side the following play. A really good example of this is the first try below. If you pause it one second in, you'll see that Parramatta are stacked in pretty tight, have no defenders in the furthest 30% of the field, and only have 3 defenders in the furthest 50%. Due to this, the Knights 6 is able to get between the defending centre and halfback, and also gets a relatively quick PTB. One defender manages to work across despite this, the Eels second-rower, but there's a 3 v 2 on the short-side and the Knights are good enough to execute. Even if this was a 3 v 3, the Knights would have likely still gone short-side - the fact that the centre and halfback make the tackle mean you would have a middle player defending on the short-side, and generally this is more space and speed than they are comfortable with. The important thing to say here is a lot of stuff like this is not 'good' or 'bad', it just is. Stacking in tight cost Parramatta that first try, but it also may have enabled them to slow down more PTBs by putting more numbers into the tackle, especially if a team was less willing to move the ball in their own half. One way teams can try and salvage getting their numbers wrong is with the fullback joining the line as an extra defender (usually at long-side A defender i.e. the one stood closest to the ruck without being a marker). Teams will generally do this in their own 10, but usually the fullback doesn't lift with the rest of the line, he just covers a space that allows the other defenders to start wider. You'll see here an example of Wests' fullback getting it wrong - he stands at B defender so has to lift with the line and Mitch Moses is good enough to spot this and attack accordingly: Sometimes the fullback will (or perhaps should) depart from this - for example if he has to cover for an overlap on the short-side, if he gets caught in the tackle, or if there is a dominant halfback on the short-side. In this example below, you've got no halfback on the long-side, then a halfback and fullback on the short-side. RTS is on the long-side and Titans score as a result. Hopefully people find this interesting and informative! Happy to talk through anything in further detail or answer any questions.
  3. 16 points
    There is a great danger that we rely on our great history too much and become complacent/oblivious. History isn't a get out of jail free card, that we can throw out when anything gets uncomfortable.
  4. 16 points
    I hope this doesn’t affect the release of next years Stadium artist’s impressions.
  5. 15 points
    The review of whether or not Rugby League Nines will move from a Cat 3 to Cat 2 sport and be added to the games will be decided after Birmingham and if successful, we will be added to 2026. Naturally the two main criteria for us to qualify is to increase our presence in Asia, Africa and the Americas and to showcase our commitment by hosting three 'demonstration' events. In terms of us ticking boxes, we've already held two successful events and plans for Birmingham have started, in addition our presence in Africa has significantly grown, with strong development in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Sierra Leone. Americas, arguably if the Wolfpack stay in Super League, between Canada and Jamaica we should tick that box, making Asia the weakest part of our bid as we neither have numbers or profile. Now in terms of whether we should be putting time or effort into becoming a Category 2 CGF sport, for me the reasons I feel we should are: - The Commonwealth Games still draws significant audiences. In NZ the last games outdrew the Rio Olympics, in Australia, audiences of up to 6 million were watching over the day each day and in the UK, Glasgow drew over 60% of the total TV audience for the two weeks it ran. - It helps with us getting Government recognition in Commonwealth countries. Want RL recognised in Canada? Makes it a lot easier when the National Sporting body in those countries are needing to consider whether to add it to their high performance program or not. - It will help the sport grow. Whilst the impact in Australia or NZ might not be much, there will be countries who take up league simply because it is part of the Commonwealth Games or who have access to more money or more high performance options as a result. We are fortunate that the CGF seems to see value in us, as they've made our path to inclusion a lot easier than some other sports, especially as we've only been recognised since 2013. Hopefully we don't blow the opportunity.
  6. 15 points
    The SUPER LEAGUE/RFL get 10 out of 10 IMHO for getting as many games on as possible and 10 out of 10 to the clubs SKY/BBC too. WELL DONE I say what they have achieved has been nothing short of a miracle and overall the games have been enjoyable to watch:) Paul
  7. 15 points
    Ian Watson is an outstanding coach, he needs praising for what he has achieved.
  8. 14 points
    The renegotiated sky deal was reliant on the season being finished, do you think clubs can survive without this cash? I’m sick of the whinging surrounding this season, the clubs, players and RFL/SL are doing the best they can to get through it and it means we get to watch dome rugby, just enjoy it for what it is, this whole ‘lacks credibility’ is nonsense IMO, lacks credibility with who?
  9. 13 points
    convince friends and neighbours that you are a top nrl coach by simply sitting in your front bay window with an open laptop and 12 plastic bottles of water lined up in front of you- to make it even more convincing get a friend to sit next to you with a concerned serious expression on his face and getting them to look round at you with their arms folded every 20 minutes
  10. 13 points
  11. 13 points
    Completely agree. I'm not a Trin fan, but for me the problems seem to stem from the boardroom downwards. Carter has taken a combative stance with the players at seemingly every turn. Trinity were one of the last clubs to agree a COVID pay deal with the union. Having done so, Carter made that sinister remark about "remembering those who didn't agree pay cuts". Not long after, he went on a fan forum and belittled a player who felt the need to take a second job as a zero-hour courier by claiming that he "wished he was on what that player was on at 21" (despite that being >30 years ago). The club has been named and shamed for minimum wage breaches on his watch and most recently, he's stood by his coach as he has talked on record about sacking players. Today he is in the press telling the players to "grow a pair" and take their complaints to him, seemingly oblivious to the impact that his "we will remember your insubordination" remarks and talk of player clear-outs may have on the willingness of the players to raise grievances to him. It's not "balls" that RL players lack - it's job and financial security and, apparently in this case, respect from their employer. Carter can run the club how he likes and he can show as much or as little respect to the players as he likes, but he cannot expect his approach not to have consequences. Looking at Wakefield's recent results and performances as a non-Trin fan, you have to say that this is the consequence of his combative, zero-empathy approach.
  12. 13 points
    https://www.allgoldsrugby.co.uk/all-golds-and-golden-ferns-to-spearhead-fresh-rugby-league-development-in-bristol/
  13. 12 points
    It looks like that only semi-professional Elite 1 will start- up from this coming weekend along with Elite 1 U19s. Maybe U17s and U15’s too plus schools of rugby catering for 5yrs-14yrs. Elite 2, National,Federal and the Women’s game will have to wait till up to 6 weeks and maybe longer depending on the coronvirus situation - to re-start. The 3 local Aude Elite 1 sides look on paper ready for a major challenge in 2021 all being well. Lezignan with more than half a dozen former Dragons players on board (Maria, Margalet, Marginet, Stacul, Guasch and Cardace) if you include the coach Cologni in particular well-set. Alan Walsh’s promising teenagers to will complement no doubt the experience. With their new stand and all plus floodlights for the first time which will welcome Villeueuve-sur-Lot to a night match come December – FCL will be up there for sure. The Corbiere hills around Lezignan looking up presently. Former FCL player and now trainer at the Federal Val d’Orbieu club Stephane Selles is heading up a new expanding school of rugby encompassing other nearby villages at Ornaisons,Val De Dagne and St Laurent. Selles has more than ten toddlers already at the lovely Lagrasse location but the idea is to rotate the school around each village. Promising. Down the road in Carcassonne also floodlighting upgrading with four new higher pylons ready for this coming weekends visit of Albi. Quite impressed with their recrutement. Two Antipodean lads expected early November along with Mullally and Storey via Toronto and Castleford respectively. Add on the two formidable forwards in Tuilagi fresh from USC Pro2 and Simon from the Dragons. Certainly up-front with two French internationals also in skipper Escamilla and Canet, the latter with plenty of experience behind him in the championship with Toulouse Olympique - the Canaris pack looks formidable certainlyon paper. Sadaoui now retired will assist in the coaching for the Elite 1 and at nearby Villeneuve Minervois. Their Federal reserve link-up didn’t progress last year so expect hopefully some improvement in 2021. Similarly with the U19s back up at Elite1 after year or so in the National comp. Limoux felt they had it in the bag last year before the Championat was abandoned. Maxime Greseque still at helm will have the bulk of last years squad. Losing half-backs Australian Nona and the extremely talented teenager Rouge to the Dragons reseves will be felt. But the Grizzlises have in recent times been the Aude’s best. The six derby clashes should be interesting maybe the best in recent times and hopefully get the punters out in numbers. Narbonne rugby union now in the third tier after being a Top 14 club more than a decade back and USC struggles to dominate the department rugby wise, The best of the treize audois could have something to offer in 2021. Fingers crossed.
  14. 12 points
    The idea that Rugby League isn't viable in Wales is bunk. If we look at the three years that Crusaders had under licensing in SL (one in the south, then 2 in the north) They pulled in an average of about 3,500 - 4 ,000 in the south. The year after in Wrexham they got over 4600 and the final year, the one with admin and the owners pulling out (people for whom owning Wrexham AFC and Crusaders was all about stripping the land for sale) they still pulled in 3000 playing at a stadium way to big for them in the Racecourse Ground. Outside of SL, NWC had a few 1000 plus attendances at the racecourse (remember, it is more difficult to get people to watch sport at these oversized arena as atmosphere is impossible) and now sadly play at an athletics track (again, being a mile away from the action makes watching sport immensely more unattractive). The problem for Crusaders (I can't speak to South Wales) is not that the Welsh won't watch rugby league but is the same problem for so many RL teams (Swinton, Oldham, Rochdale etc). They lack a real home that can generate revenue and is built to watch the sport. Were Crusaders to get a 6,000 capacity ground with 3G pitch (i,e an asset they can sweat) I have every confidence they could be a viable Championship team with 2000 regularly (more for big games) and be a real home for Welsh Rugby League and Wales Internationals. In short, the problem for Rugby League in North Wales is the problem for rugby league in a dozen places... a lack of infrastructure.
  15. 12 points
    Is everything ok at home mate?
  16. 11 points
    Hello Everyone, I thought that with all the discussion around TW it was about time we had a France thread on this forum (Better here than the French section which is hardly visited) Having watched literally hundreds of French RL matches over the years (Audios too:) it never ceases to amaze me how against all the odds the French continue to produce some really great quality players however we have now reached a time where we have to make a brave decision I will explain. Anyone who realistically thinks there will be a large CASH deal for rugby league in France anytime soon is living in cloud cuckoo land unless there were at least 2/3 clubs in SL it will never happen however unless we admit Toulouse PDQ I am afraid to say that the game in France will drift further away. What is needed is * Toulouse in SL ASAP (With a minimum 3 year protection against relegation) * Annual test in France v England * Academies in UK set up * Elite 1 help given with sponsorship and marketing from outside * You Tube channel created for regular weekly Elite 1 match LIVE * Regular test matches and tours * Assistance in coaching at junior level I can keep going on this for ages. P
  17. 11 points
    See above for only one of many times this has been addressed. International viewers with a stake in the game means international visibility for larger sponsorship. Bigger TV rights from Canadian broadcasters than they currently pay (Sportsnet paid for SL rights before TWP existed. So there is a value there, and it is defintiely worth more now). It is potential. That money can't be guaranteed by any club, it requites all putting in the work to get there. Just because it isn't a cheque directly to their bank accounts doesn't mean it isn't real. Just because the short term cost is too much for the other clubs to stomach doesn't mean that it isn't there. Just because it wasn't in direct reply to you doesn't mean it hasn't been answered. You just need to read what's out there rather than demand it given to you. Just because you aren't personally satisfied with answers provided doesn't make them invalid. Note, I'm not promising anything, "hollow" or not, because I'm not the Toronto Wolfpack. I'm laying out where I see the potential for value. All business is about potential.
  18. 11 points
    Huntington is about 2 miles away from the town centre, right next to the cities busiest retail park and somewhere that they played for years. They have crowds of over 3k before even at NL2 level (2003/04) at the old stadium. They'll be more than good IMO and a lot of teams can look at them and learn.
  19. 11 points
    There are people being denied access to funerals or to terminally ill relatives in hospitals or care homes. Not being able to watch Leeds RL in a semi final or final really isn't a hardship.
  20. 11 points
    I disagree on the system being used to give a team an advantage. It does. I also think it devalues the competition and dilutes the identity of the team I follow. By nature, it is poor for reliability and I know registered players who really have been hacked off at making way for DR players so SL teams can use it for keeping their players fresh. I really would be happy if the system is permanently ended and SL clubs take responsibility for keeping their players in good nick.
  21. 10 points
    Probably because these people have been in bubbles for months, some of them away from home, others in a different country and they deserve a bit of a break.
  22. 10 points
    Hanley is a very good young prospect. Not to the same extent that Sam Tomkins was at the same age, but then 18 isn't exactly any age to be deciding who will or who won't become an outstanding player. Just look at some of the England academy sides from 10-20 years ago. Some quality names in among those that always looked destined for great things but there are also many who did little of note. Likewise, there are those who weren't highly thought of as teenagers but developed into very good players. You just have to support the young players and develop them into the best they can be. Currently he's one of the best prospects of his age group. He may continue to improve. He may not. Criticising him for his performance in the Saints game is stupid though. It was pretty obvious he'd be peppered with high balls and that he'd end up dropping a couple. There are established fullbacks who would drop a couple of kicks in that exact same situation. It's rare that you'd have to deal with so many straight up kicks, challenged catches and catches where you're pinned back on the goal line as there were in that game. Our kick pressure was poor because the pack struggled to contain Saints. Besides, he's not even guaranteed to stay at fullback. He played most of his junior rugby at centre and has played on the wing too. He's got enough talent that dropping a couple of kicks against the strongest side in the competition isn't something to worry about given the rest of his play was pretty good.
  23. 10 points
    Some more info on the Challenge Cup ratings: (https://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/rfl-delighted-challenge-cup-final-viewing-figures-3008921) Highest Final Viewing Figures since 2012 Aggregate audience was 6 million for all Challenge Cup fixtures Highest Aggregate for 5 years, despite 2 less matches being covered As for the comments on TV audiences for RL Internationals, just some random fun facts: TV Ratings on BBC for England v Scotland was higher than England v Australia in 2016 Four Nations TV Ratings on BBC for NZ v Scotland replay (shown 24 hours after the match) was the second highest watched match of the tournament TV Ratings on BBC for England v Fiji, England v Ireland and England v France in the 2013 World Cup were both over 2 million. So whilst Australia and New Zealand may be perceived as the 'top drawers' in the International game, the reality is, when a game is on BBC in a reasonable timeslot, we seem to be able to get 1m+ regardless of the opponent.
  24. 10 points
    Elite 2 start-up this weekend and Pia Baroudeurs may well fancy their chances. Moniker change from last time in the top division as the Donkeys – Baroudeurs (‘the fighters’) now. Talisman Franck Rovira manges them and with centre Thomas Ambert back on home ground after his exploites at St Esteve winning the Elite 1 title in 2019 leading them. Re-furbished ground Stade Daniel Ambert would add too Elite1. Last weekend the first team squad were up in the mountains at Arles sur Tech (see below) preparing the opening clash today with Lescure from the Tarn. In the period just before the formation of the Dragons - Pia were one of the quartet from the Roussillon region prominant in Elite 1 along with XIII Catalans, St Esteve and St Cyprien. Now going forward it would offer three local clubs along with St,Esteve XIII Catalans (merged) and Palau. The latter were 4th tier when Pia were at their peak two decades ago. Olivier Elima doing a good job there at their base south of Perpignan. Interestingly Pia back then marketed themselves as Pia-Barcares-Salanque-Mediterranée XIII. Lots of clubs here do that. Joining another town and/or district to raise their profile.
  25. 10 points
    I'm probably going to get slaughtered for this, but I don't care. There's many a RL fan who just can't understand the smallness of the game. Either they can't understand or simply refuse to understand. Fans of Ice Hockey or Basketball have a far greater case in complaining about BBC coverage because these sports are bigger globally than RL , and coverage of British Basketball or British Ice Hockey could be a real winner , particularly with the the young black viewers in the case of basketball. Now , I love our wonderful game, but I honestly believe the existence of the heartlands gives a distorted view of its importance to like minded fans. Some seem to think that the heartlands can be replicated elsewhere and the nation is just waiting to embrace the game. RL 's heartlands is a blessing in that whatever befalls the game, it will never die, but a curse in the sense that we are forever having angst attacks because it isn't spreading like we would like. Hopefully it will grow, but it will be long after we are all gone, if ever, that it'll be numero uno anywhere other than Oz.
  26. 10 points
    No it doesn't. It's not his job to come up with a plan. It's RL's job.
  27. 10 points
    I find watching Burrow now very, very tough. To the point where I almost want to switch off. It’s selfish, I know, but seeing such a person, let alone such a talented player, like this is very tough. I’m sure it’ll be an inspiring and uplifting documentary despite it being obviously tinged with sadness.
  28. 10 points
    Depends where you live I suppose but this country has a lot going for it, shame so many people choose to rubbish it so readily.
  29. 10 points
    Two finals inside twelve months. Not a bad time to be a Salford fan.
  30. 10 points
    Typical, get to a final with no fans present. My heart is pounding
  31. 10 points
    Fev have used this system to better effect than any other club over the last couple of years. I'd have shut of it tomorrow. However, that would require all clubs agreeing to ditch the system. If one club seeks to use it as an advantage, other clubs will. Get rid entirely for me
  32. 9 points
    This NA expansion was never strategic. It was opportunistic, and that is ok. It was being self-funded and you can't look a Gift-horse in the mouth. It's a relatively risk-free gamble. However, two key problems have emerged. Firstly, the whole self-funding benefit has now gone. It was the thing that made it easy to get behind, and it has now gone. And secondly, at some stage, you need a more formal plan, as there are many complications on the horizon, like how we potentially fit multiple NA teams into what is effectively the UK pyramid. If we are now going to effectively buy into this expansion aim, as we are now being asked to, then we need that plan. And its no good SLE sitting back and insisting the RFL do it, and it's no good the RFL blindly admitting teams for SLE to deal with down the line. But ultimately it is quite clear what the ultimate prize is, it is commercial income from sponsors and media companies, a broader footprint that helps with perceptions and a new player pathway. This is obvious, the disagree t really is whether you believe that TWP will genuinely deliver millions of pounds of new income and new players, and over what period you are prepared to wait. Harry clearly doesn't believe those benefits will come. I'm unsure, was 100% behind a self-funded club, slightly less behind one that routes funds away from the UK, when the aim should be to route more funds. I do also want to mention one other benefit, and this is a softer one. It is ambition. Sport should be about ambition and excitement, trying to fulfil potential, deliver new things, be daring, and TWP are that. It is exciting, and if it can work there, then that tells us it can work anywhere. We should all want it to succeed.
  33. 9 points
    So how much does Powell dislike him?
  34. 9 points
    When I lived in Cardiff, I went along to several Wales football matches that were attended by crowds of sub-5000. Cricket internationals are often played in front of largely empty grounds. It doesn't appear to affect anyone's enjoyment. What cheapens our internationals is when you have coaches and administrators describing them as 'friendlies' or 'warm-ups' and unlimited substitutions or whatever. Fine when you have dozens of games per year, not so good when it's England's only home game in 2 years.
  35. 9 points
    Yes, not being as high as the FA Cup Final is a real kick in the teeth. FFS.
  36. 9 points
    after all that effort- such a shame the game was swung by a padantic pathetic refereeing tic against pauli pauli - if i was a salford fan i would be fuming
  37. 9 points
    To be fair our only other 'phoenix moment' was under Steve Ferres & Roger Dixon from 2003-2006. This one under Jon Flatman started in 2017 and is still going... As Simon says our planets finally seem to have aligned with a new stadium, a brilliant owner and a highly rated coach at the helm. Exciting times!
  38. 9 points
    Williams was great tonight!
  39. 9 points
    I played union. We had oysters and cognac after a game!!
  40. 9 points
    Well, life is pretty rubbish at the moment. Can't see family and many friends, haven't seen a work colleague in person for over 6 months, all travel canned, frustrated 4 year old daughter can't do many of her favourite things - personally I'm really grateful that we have RL to watch, and I'm enjoying every second of it. I appreciate the efforts everyone is going to to stage these games and entertain us, making life more bearable. Try and lighten up and enjoy it folks.
  41. 9 points
    I saw who the OP was in this thread and thought to myself, "well this is likely to be an uplifting and realistic post taking into account the compressed schedule of games we have to play and the already acknowledged wider use of squad players that will entail". And how right I was.
  42. 8 points
    Nice story. Popped up on my linked in feed. Ironically as a result of a staunch unionite liking it. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/keith-mason-a1147766_inspiration-motivation-nevergiveup-ugcPost-6722417341763739648--Z6D
  43. 8 points
    Bad move, Leeds is the home of rugby league and it should stay that way. What will moving to the Etihad achieve?
  44. 8 points
    That was some programme. What a horrible, awful illness. What a man Rob Burrow is and what a wonderful family he has. I’m in pieces after that.
  45. 8 points
    Tbf, one was on the pitch in a televised super league game between 2 of the biggest clubs in a marquee fixture, the other was a loutish tweet of insinuations by a part time player not too dissimilar from things you can read anywhere online, including this very board might I add, who was followed by virtually no one. I don't think the two are really that comparable and as for a ban from playing I think thats a bit presumptuous for the next 18 months at least.
  46. 8 points
    It's not hiding anywhere. It's perfectly upfront: we need people to pay to read our content, so we can continue to exist as a business and create more original content in future.
  47. 8 points
    Chase and Henson what on earth could go wrong? What's Willie Mason up to these days? There could be a welcome for him in the hillsides?
  48. 8 points
    So Mr Sheen(s) simply vanish(ed) without giving fans any detol(s). So much for the pledge he made!


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