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Yakstorm last won the day on February 3 2017

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About Yakstorm

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  1. Really happy to see West Wales sign someone like Henson as it shows some real ambition from the club and a proactive step to address some of the issues relating to the franchise, such as their ability to grow their profile, attract and retain talent and become a more professional outfit. Henson, regardless how he might perform on the field, has already generated more positive coverage for West Wales than anything else in their short history and will continue to do so at least until his first match. He is likely to help with West Wales in helping attract talent, simply because of his profile, and secondly he will bring a professional ethic to training and match day (you don't succeed like he has in any sport or stay fit post your career without being well disciplined). How he goes on the field is a little inconsequential in the scheme of things, however I do hope he goes well.
  2. I don't know if relocation would work in the UK, and honestly in the few scenarios where it has been tried (and there are examples in Rugby League like London Highfield) haven't really shown evidence. The situations in the two markets are so different, ie. both the AFL and NRL have a lot of 'centralisation' of clubs around either Sydney or Melbourne, so cutting a club there doesn't mean that suddenly you are taking the sport away from an audience, in-fact provided someone doesn't completely end their support of the club, they can still go watch them for multiple games a year in their home city. Secondly there is just how people identify where they are from. In Australia, someone from Hornsby will identify as being from the same city as someone from Campbelltown, even though they are 60+kms away. Look at the UK, people from St Helens don't identify themselves as being from Liverpool, even though they are less than 20kms away. Thirdly, promotion and relegation almost eliminates the need to do this. There is nothing stopping every town or city in the UK from having a professional Rugby League team if they wanted to and can afford to. As such, you'd possibly as well, if say you moved Wigan to somewhere else, suddenly get their old supporters go and form a new Wigan club in L1 than support their moved team, which would just remove the exact same foundations you're trying to take advantage of. Arguably if RL in the UK suddenly wanted to have a 'top tier' presence in a bunch of major cities in the UK, they'd be better off possibly trying to shorten Super League and trying to introduce some new competition, with brand new clubs, playing some abbreviated version of the code (not sure if Nines would be right fit) and then getting these teams to contract players from the exisiting SL & Championship playing pool. You'd at least then have the talent and reduce the drama (there still would be drama, but not as much as completely relocating a club or kicking a team out for another area).
  3. In fairness to Valencia, they did actually have other matches organised for 2020 including a game against the Manila Storm (July), Rochdale Hornets (June) and Keighley Cougars (May). COVID interrupted those plans, however I would imagine outside of Euro XIII and the Spanish Domestic competition (which they were set to also play in), they'll organise some friendlies as well.
  4. It will very much depend on the player and how impacted they are with the current dramas and how good their deals are. SBW and Luetele have both said in interviews that they'd honour their contracts with the Wolfpack, McCrone talks like he'd stick around whilst Lussick speaks like he'll never go near the club again. In terms of a 12th team, don't be surprised if Sky heavily influence any decision anyway (assuming Toronto can't secure their spot) as Elstone will be looking to appease them as much as possible. I'd imagine based upon what would work best for Sky, they'd possibly want to fast track Bradford. Bulls offer the most in subs, bring back the highly desired Leeds v Bradford derby and represent a bigger population than Fev or Leigh
  5. It's all good, your comments were definitely fair. Catalans are very much like the Warriors in the NRL, when they turn up, they can blow the opposition off the park, when they don't, they can be cringeworthy. In the Saints game they were bad, although as others have rightfully pointed out they were missing some players and St Helens are arguably the benchmark. Potentially as well, if Saints hadn't run riot in the first game back, Catalans may not have won the last two. The next 3 games will be big tests for the club (2x Wigan, 1x Leeds). The club could really cement its top 4 credentials, especially as you'd mark them as favourites to beat the likes of Hull KR, Wakefield and Hull FC at home based upon current form.
  6. The sad reality is that Rugby League needs L'equipe a lot more than L'equipe needs Rugby League. As such, IMO, we shouldn't be expecting them to pay, we should just be seeing whether they are prepared to cover costs or how much do they need to keep broadcasting again for the rest of the season. This is of course assuming that some of the numbers named earlier are legitimate, but of they are, arguably SL's weekly TV audience more than doubles. That is significant, and whilst might not mean much to Betfred or Sky, it definitely does to the likes of Dacia, Ronseal and any other multinationals involved in the game. It also makes it easier to get a paying TV partner in a few years, especially if other channels / providers see there is a solid, consistent and large regular audience to try and entice.
  7. But a 50,000 increase on the peak is significant (which is what they mean, it is just really badly worded) as is a 16% increase on the rolling average when the average for 2019 was just over 150K per game (and that was an increase on 2018). It shows a pretty significant turnaround to where we were at in the age of Super 8s. Doing the maths, we would be tracking around the 180K per game as the average on Sky so far and enjoying peaks up above the 400K mark. As for L'Equipe, if those figures are legitimate, if I was Rob Elstone, I'd be on the phone to them and be saying "what do we have to give you so you keep broadcasting SL for the rest of the year?" Sure they're not paying and they're reluctant to even cover broadcast costs, but if SL can guarantee a regular 200K-400K every week in France, even if they have to fork out a bit of cash from their pockets, they will get sponsors from that market, and they will eventually get someone who is prepared to pay for those rights.
  8. The devil is definitely in the detail when it comes to any form of PE or VC injection, and you are definitely right in that there re plenty of scenarios where type of investment results in a positive income for all involved. The difficulty when it comes to sport and especially for an established league is not only what assets / rights are you selling to get the injection, but is there a market out there to buy those assets if/when the PE firm wants out. If arguably the NRL used any PE to buy say Super League or venues, this could be what is used to define the asset relationship and make any separation nice and clean, but I doubt it will even get to that stage based upon comments from the QRL and NSWRL. As for your assumption that I work/ed for Diageo, I have never been employed by that organisation.
  9. The NRL has looked into purchasing a stake in the Super League competition previously, so it wouldn't surprise me if the idea is being floated around again. From the NRL perspective, there are a number of reasons why having control / interest in Super League has an appeal. Firstly there is of course broadcasts. I'm not sure if the view is still there, but there was definitely a view 5 or so years ago that Super League is undervalued and that the NRL could help extract more money for the Super League assets both in Europe, but as well in Australia and New Zealand, especially if some game kick off times were aligned to be slightly more favourable to southern broadcasters. There is then content, the NRL realises that content is highly valuable in this day and age, and that there is opportunity to both leveraging existing Super League content, but also create content from the games and players and teams which is currently not being used. You then have sponsorship. The NRL realises that the Australian and New Zealand market is only so big to sponsors, and really capturing the attention of major multinationals is difficult. If suddenly you can then bring UK and French markets into the mix, then suddenly it opens up big opportunities. I remember being involved in modelling just around Diageo, and it was estimated we could increase their investment in the game by 300% by such a proposal. You also have the opportunity to leverage virtual signage to 'double sell' into different markets. For example, in Australia the field might say 'Telstra 5G', but there is no reason that it wouldn't be technically possible to have Betfred in those same positions when shown in the UK. There are plenty more as well, including new competition options using the big names from both leagues, opportunities to play matches on the other side of the globe, introduction of a truer World Club Championship, better player sharing, etc. In my opinion, the fears that if the NRL was to go ahead with this, that they'd make SL a 'second tier' competition are unfounded. I will say though, and this will happen if PE invests directly in Super League anyway, there would be some shake up in the competitions. I can't see any external investor not wanting a proper presence in London, I also can't see them being pro P&R unless they also have a say of what teams are below the top grade. Anyway, will be interesting to see if this happens.
  10. There is no way Rugby League clubs, the RFL and SLE Ltd would adopt the MLS model unless someone came forward with a significant capital investment to sway them (which isn't completely impossible, as a VC group might put forward a model like that for governance). The more realistic approach is implementing a stronger governance model like an NBA or even an independent commission style model like the NRL / AFL. The big hurdle Super League has is its participants keep changing, unlike even the MLS, who have roughly the same participants year in year out. As such, maybe the approach Rugby League needs to take, is rather that always having this SL and the 'rest' approach, is to setup a new board which looks after all Professional competitions in the UK. SL, Championship, L1, Challenge Cup should all fall under this group's remit, and the board / commission / whoever makes decisions on all levels in what they feel is in the best interest of the code. Unfortunately I don't see a lot of the current SL clubs agreeing with this approach, but maybe with the SL and RFL likely to merge again as a result of COVID, there is an opportunity for the RFL to spin off such an entity. Board members / commissioners should be given terms, be independent, and clubs need to have some significant majority (ie. 75% or at least 60%) in order to overturn any decisions. At least with that type of approach, then this board / commission isn't just looking at the current 12 participants in SL, but at all 30+ clubs and trying to work out how best to extract the most value out of the current mix.
  11. First training session involving the Pacifique Treize Nouméa training squad. Focus is on introducing young athletes in the region to the rules and techniques of the code in coordinated weekly sessions before a High Performance Programme is rolled out in 2021.
  12. First training session involving the Pacifique Treize Nouméa training squad. Focus is on introducing young athletes in the region to the rules and techniques of the code in coordinated weekly sessions before a High Performance Programme is rolled out in 2021.
  13. I have no doubt there were discussions around short term interruptions of travel and what would happen, but again everything else beforehand has been resolved in a matter of weeks. Using 9/11, International travel in and out of the USA was only paused from September 11 until September 13, that is well documented. Yes they did add additional security and scrutiny to the whole international flying process, but it didn't stop people getting in and out of the country, same with the likes of bird flu, ebola, SARS, MERS, additional precautions were put up, but the basic premise of getting around the globe wasn't impacted for very long. You could argue if it was so obvious this could happen for this long, how come no airline in the world was prepared for it, if it is so foreseeable that travel could be hindered for such long periods? I mean why are they needing government handouts?
  14. Talk about comparing Apples with Concords.... September 11, one of the larger terrorist events in Western culture, saw flights stopped for less than 48 hours, the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, which was the most impactful in terms of its affects on international flights, grounded everyone in Europe for 6 days. Even more recent Pandemics or Coronaviruses, such as Ebola, SARS, MERS, H1N1, etc, have at worst prevented travel for maybe a couple of weeks. Nothing has gone on for a month, let alone months, and honestly if it was only 2-3 months worth of impact, Toronto wouldn't be pulling out, but instead, we don't even know if there will be travel between the UK & Canada or crowds this time next year.
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