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Martyn Sadler

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Everything posted by Martyn Sadler

  1. I think you're probably mistaken. Paul Gallen is a very astute business operator. I don't think he will have allowed anyone to have taken him for a ride.
  2. An excellent film that I would commend to anyone. Persistence is the key!
  3. Initially these two episodes and then periodic. I'm reluctant to put too many out.
  4. Richard de la Riviere and I join our host Ben Hughes to discuss the World Cup so far and look ahead to the three finals this weekend. https://www.totalrl.com/the-total-rugby-league-show/
  5. Apart from next Saturday, when will they play again? And who is responsible for developing and promoting them? The whole point of my piece wasn't that the Aussies can't take part in great games, such as the one we saw last night, nor that they don't have great players, but that when the game is over they do very little to enhance the value of their own brand. The England women's rugby union team, having just lost a World Cup Final, now probably have a higher brand value than the Kangaroos.
  6. I don't disagree with what you write here, but you are referring to long term trends that rugby union has pursued and which their governing bodies are able to draw on for international matches to their benefit. But on a more short term basis, for example, we have had the Samoan coach Matt Parish banning his players this week from speaking to the media in the run-up to the most important game Samoa have ever played. Can you imagine a rugby union international coach doing that, or even being allowed to do that by a national RU body in the week leading up to a big game. Some people say that marketing is a state of mind that characterises successful organisations. If it is, in Rugby League we generally lack it.
  7. You could say the same about rugby union, but in their case the exposure of their leading players on TV seems to have the opposite effect. They promote their games and their leading players and we, for the most part, don't.
  8. I completely disagree. After the Bears' departure, Manly are the only Sydney club north of the Harbour Bridge, where most of the wealthy people in Sydney live. If Manly moved, it would leave all the northern beaches to rugby union and AFL. It's important that Manly is a strong club with a modern stadium.
  9. There is a good case for the Bears to return and to play it's home games on the Central Coast with a couple each year at the North Sydney Oval. But Perth has to be a standalone club, not a joint venture. Perth's return to top-level competition is long overdue. After that, the candidates have to be Adelaide, Christchurch, Gosford (ie the Bears) and Port Moresby.
  10. Rugby League Ireland is going to issue a statement tomorrow to put their side of the story. In the meantime Charlie Willett has been in touch with me to put her side of the story, which I will refer to in my column in League Express, hopefully in a balanced way. She has been reading this thread on this forum, incidentally. The problem is that the injury occurred in a match played on 8th October and, as far as I'm concerned, when a player suffers a serious injury representing either club or country, the onus is on the officials to take immediate action to protect the health of its players, even if the organisation itself isn't a wealthy body. Player welfare is paramount. I'm not convinced that RLI did this, although we will have to wait for their statement tomorrow to see how they interpret these events.
  11. It's frustrating trying to get hold of someone from Ireland to comment, which we haven't managed to do yet, but another source has told me that there was insurance in place, but that when she got injured she checked herself in to a private hospital, had the operation and then presented the bill to Rugby League Ireland and the invoice figure exceeded the amount that could be claimed under the terms of the insurance. I have yet to confirm the truth of that and I have every sympathy for the player, who must have been devastated by the injury. In the meantime the reputation of Rugby League Ireland lies in the gutter.
  12. That's how it looks on the face of it. We have asked Rugby League Ireland for their side of the story.
  13. The comparison with the 2013 tournament is instructive. After the first round of seven matches in 2013 the total attendance was 91,247, with an average of 13,035. The seven matches in the second round generated a total of 88,754, with an average of 12,679, giving an overall total of 180,001 and an overall average of 12,857. Assuming that all the figures are reliable, the disappointing thing for me is that the 2013 tournament was run on a shoestring with a limited build-up period, while the 2022 tournament had massive government support (£25 million) with many years of planning. And although the average (mean) attendance is an important measure, the more significant measure when there are outliers in a data collection is the median figure, which in 2013 was around 8,800, while in 2022 it is around 6,200. No doubt there are many reasons for this decline, including ticket pricing and the wholesale coverage on the BBC, but someone needs to determine why this year's tournament is not attracting more people.
  14. And Leigh are laughing all the way to the bank, while, for some reason, you seem to be obsessing on jaguars' anuses.
  15. It's the best system when you have 16 teams that are of roughly equal quality, which clearly we don't have. And there's a difference between having a "fair few" one-sided games and the majority of games being very one sided.
  16. And when we have done that, I agree that it will be by far the best system. But until then, we need a format that will work as things are, not as we would like them to be.
  17. All tournaments are artificially constructed "Made up and safe" is a silly mis-characterisation, but I think you'll find that some of the crowds in 2013 for the two weaker pools were generally better than the equivalent games nine years later and that is with a very significantly smaller marketing budget. I've already pointed out that the C and D games from 2013 produced an average margin of 6.67 points - rather more memorable than one-sided points tests. Wouldn't you say that the South Pacific countries have developed into better sides? Anyway, the factors that might cause them to improve are many-sided. You can hardly hang all the responsibility onto the particular format of a World Cup. Avoiding hard work by whom? Which gimmicks? And at the moment I would rather welcome the impression of competitiveness. We are done with it and look where it has got us. Of the ten World Cup games so far, only two have had a final scoreline with a margin of less than 20 points. I'm delighted that you think that's great, but I suspect you're in a minority.
  18. Tonga lost to Scotland, who went through. It was a very exciting game in Workington, as I'm sure you will remember.
  19. You are missing the point entirely and I'm not sure what the middle eights have to do with this. And it also has nothing to do with making something "nice and comfortable" for the less competitive sides, whatever that means and I really don't know what your last paragraph is supposed to mean. It's about making a competition that recognises the disparities in the strength of the competing nations, gives them all a chance of competing against their peers, while, most importantly, creating a tournament that will produce exciting matches that will draw people in to the tournament. Of the eight Round 2 games, the only one that seems to have any chance of giving us a close game is the clash between Lebanon and Ireland. You may enjoy watching one-sided matches, but most people don't, which is why our ticket sales generally are disappointing. If England hadn't played so well against Samoa, I think the tournament would have been in big trouble. But if England can maintain that standard, and even win the World Cup, then the players will have rescued the game, as they very often do.
  20. And this is eccentricity on stilts! One of these days you'll come out with a decent argument instead of making silly comments, although I'm not holding my breath.
  21. PNG had every chance of qualifying. They didn't because they lost 8-9 to France. Ireland had a deficit of 110 points in three matches, while Scotland defeated Tonga and drew with Italy, suggesting they were stronger than Ireland. In any case, the nine games that were played in the weaker groups C and D had an average winning margin of 6.67 points. In other words, every game was potentially very close, which should be what we are aiming for if we are to encourage interest and development in some of the weaker nations.
  22. At the moment I would pay quite a lot to see a drawn game. Every game can't be close, but if we're talking about the competition's integrity and audience appeal, every game shouldn't be so one-sided.
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