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Exiled Wiganer

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Posts posted by Exiled Wiganer

  1. 39 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

    I think part of it is that we don’t always have the same ability to immerse ourselves in a game. I loved and breathe league obsessively in the 80s/90s, then became a dedicated fan. Then kids and life etc, so am still a big fan but there’s more to life. I feel more affection for Nicky Kiss as a player than, say, McIllorum but I couldn’t hand on heart say that Kiss was remotely in the same class… 

    I would pay good money to watch a Kiss - McIllorum fight…

  2. 12 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

    Even nostalgia isn't as good as it was 

    I remember in the 1990s thinking about how great a bowler Fred Trueman was compared to the rubbish seamers of the 90s like Darren Gough.....I idolised him.

    These days people try to look back at the 1990s bowlers in the same way we did to the 1960s bowlers but they lack the passion and misty eyes reverence we had....if only people could reminisce about past greats like we used to......

    I think part of it is that we don’t always have the same ability to immerse ourselves in a game. I loved and breathe league obsessively in the 80s/90s, then became a dedicated fan. Then kids and life etc, so am still a big fan but there’s more to life. I feel more affection for Nicky Kiss as a player than, say, McIllorum but I couldn’t hand on heart say that Kiss was remotely in the same class… 

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  3. League is by far the biggest game in the Pacific. The whole raison d’etre of Big P and SP is to denigrate the greatest game either by obvious trolling, made up figures or repeated patronisation. AFL gets terrific attendances and amazing membership figures in the southern state of Victoria, but ours is so much better game and so much more widely loved across the South Pacific region it’s not even in the rear view mirror. 

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  4. 34 minutes ago, Eddie said:

    I’ve never been but I know PNG is the most rural country on earth and also one of the poorest. Is rugby really popular in inaccessible villages hundreds of miles from the nearest town etc? And would the people there follow the Hunters or even know about them if they don’t have access to TV or newspapers? 

    Why don’t you do some actual research of your own? 

  5. I am surprised at the certainty with which some are discounting this. The Prime Minister of PNG has himself made the point that whether the population is 10,000,000, 13,000,000 or 17,000,000 they need more support. Now, that suggests to me that the figure may be far higher than the 9,000,000 usually quoted. I make this point to draw out the huge market for our game. PNG so often seems to be an afterthought, or faintly patronised, but this is a country with many millions of current and future players. 

    I would go further and suggest that league could play its part in what we hope will be the development of this country over the years and decades to come. 

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  6. I was reading an article today about PNG. They have realised that it has about double the number of people in it than previous figures had suggested. About 17,000,000.

    From a league perspective, I have long argued that our sport is the biggest game in the South Pacific in terms of population reach, and this brought it home to me just how big the league loving world is over there. They are making slow but sure progress as a nation, but every year is better than the last. I have no doubt that they will, within a decade be a league superpower in teh men’s game, and, in time, the women’s game. While we are already seeing the former, the positive influence of the Orchids on PNG society cannot be over stated.

    They have a wonderful style of play, and a deep passion for the greatest game. 

    The Big Game just got Bigger!

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  7. 1 hour ago, iangidds said:

    There has to be a solution where lesser nations can compete with themselves maybe with a strategic plan where growth is tangible. 

    Serbia for example needs millions really to get a meaningful competition going to create a couple of good pro clubs and a reasonable international pathway ; money like that is not in the game especially if we only broke even on a 40 million pound turnover from this world cup

    I don’t want to labour the point, but game benefited and will benefit hugely from this World Cup financially. The break even comment is essentially about a super profit. 

  8. 6 minutes ago, Iceberg Slim said:

    This is a really good point. If you look at the countries that have access to professional structures and pathways to nrl or super league you would have 

    Tiering system could look quite different 

    Tier 1 - countries that run a professional league - Aus England 

    Tier 2 - countries that participate in a professional comp or 2nd division pro leagues eg nsw cup rfl championship qrl 

    - France, NZ, Wales, Fiji, PNG 

    Tier 3 - countries that are domestically operated at either amateur level or semi pro  with no links to professional pathways 

    - Samoa Tonga Cook Islands Scotland Ireland Greece Jamaica Italy etc. 

    That is probably the honest outlook on the game currently 

    NZ as much as it’s a tier one nation it really isn’t. We have a professional team but we don’t run a professional league. 

    It’s hugely improved from where we were, and improving all the time. 

    I would draw out a couple of things: France has its own league, and some recognition of the huge playing numbers in PNG should be made whenever looking at the state of the game. 

  9. The author doesn’t understand the finances around these World Cups. They mistake a failure to make a super profit as a loss. Moreover, they ignore the massive grass roots investment across the game over here that came with the tournaments. It will be the most financially rewarding World Cup for the game we have ever had by a massive distance. Assuming they are not a troll, but are a journalist (though maybe they’re just an amateur blogging) their failure to understand what Dutton means by “break even” is hopeless and completely undermines everything else. 

    As for crowds, that has been touched upon in these parts, so I won’t revisit that. 

    As for the format, I have an open mind. I don’t decide these things, but I would not object to a 8/10/12 team men’s tournament with emerging nations playing in parallel. But I am conscious that it’s not necessarily a decision for the fans, as opposed to the IRL who have oversight over its dozens and dozens of members. On this, again showing what a dreadful article this is, lumping Wales with Ireland and Scotland is mind numbingly dim. 

    Finally, no mention of there being 3 tournaments. You can’t consider the project properly without understanding it was 3 tournaments in one. Which increased the massive grass roots investment. Or should I say you would be stupid to do so, but as noted above we are dealing with an author unable to understand what they’re writing about. 

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  10. 8 hours ago, Madrileño said:

    TBF, there is a big difference between "looking at his union career" and people going on about "10 and 12 for the all blacks....Jeremy Guscott and Tuilagi" 

    It has degenerated into a load of nonsense about union, instead of some technical detail around Owen Farrell. 

    (He's not moving, BTW).

    God - you’re still infesting the site? We need vichies on here like Leigh needs a train station. 

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  11. 11 hours ago, Leonard said:

    Apologies if this is cross code forum.

    Like I say - my knowledge is limited. But the Aussies can never muster a pack but can at the drop of the hat muster a back like that will finish chances no problem.

    We need 3 chances to score one and will look for contact. Usually athletes shoe horned into being backs, rather than natural "rugby" players.

    That seems to have not changed in 40 years.

    On the flip side - the Aussies can't make forwards.

    Of course NZ manage both.

    I agree that from afar Jones seems to be a relic. The sort of coach who will always make games that should not be close, close -  due to tactics. Like Southgate, always concerned about the opposition.

    What on earth? Australia have a wonderful pack of forwards. They never stop. 

    I thought England looked better close to the line in this WC, though we did bomb too many chances in the semi. 

    Who this Jones? 

  12. I was talking to a West Country contact today, and he was enthusing about the wheelchair tournament… it’s reach has been extraordinary. 

    How about having France - England games in all 3 disciplines? That would be something someone should be able to sell. Who wouldn’t want to see those 2 in a wheelchair rematch? 

  13. On 20/11/2022 at 09:23, Tosh said:

    Regarding Jamaica I’ve been saying this for years .

    You only have to look at the long list of sporting stars that have come from Jamaica be it track&field athlete's, boxers, footballers and cricketers etc.

    Not hyperbole but Jamaica could be the Fiji of the Caribbean. Both league and union.

    Why would athletes want to play u—-? That makes no sense. Aside from that, I agree. 

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  14. Taking each nation in turn, we face 4 challenges that I see, aside from a structural one which is, especially using the NRL rules, our game is too unforgiving when there is a mismatch in quality (especially compared with football):

    - the SH nations can play among themselves, building on the improvements across the board with Tonga, Samoa, PNG and Fiji (and the player pathways). This requires the NRL to allow players to play internationals. Surely they won’t stop them??? The challenge here is a simple one: how can we persuade one of the 4 top teams to play in England??/

    - the emerging European nations have an established amateur structure, supported by the IRL and ERL. The main outliers here are Wales, whose performances were a highlight of the World Cup. How can they grow? It would help if they could call on all of their heritage players: eg Knowles was an asset for England, but we could have lived without him, and Wales would really have benefited from his playing for them. If we could find a way to help push them forward, that would be great. It seems very hard to see, but the upsides are so great, and the downside risk (see above) of the SH pulling up the drawbridge makes a competitive Wales all the more important. Maybe we could give salary cap exemptions for Wales union players? 

    - we need France to be better. They are around 8th/9th, but that level does not allow for competitive matches against the big 5. We would all be so so much better if there was a strong French team. Maybe, we look again at protecting Toulouse, the residency eligibility rules, and apply a union cap exemption; and 

    - we need any of the big 4 teams to play England in England in the next 2 years. Surely that can be achieved???

    If I were based in the SH, I would be thrilled at the state of the world game, with potentially some version of the Oceania Cup giving fantastic games week after week in the post season international window. Separate from the triumph that is SoO. 

    Honestly, I fear for the NH game, while at the same time I believe that, if the SH nations carry us these next few years, we can kick on and strengthen the game up here. 

    Triumph or disaster - which will it be? 

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  15. England could have a great home series against any of the other top 5 teams. It was suggested to Samoa’s coach after the final that they might come back again, That might have had no basis in fact, but I would be happy to watch them again over here. It’s potentially horrific for NH league. It’s no so much that the NRL doesn’t need us, it’s that we need them, but no one seems interested. 

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  16. 6 minutes ago, Dave T said:

     I'm happy to count the official announced attendance for any comparisons (but not to add them together to double count). 

    Using that methodology, 67k was the crowd for the women's final. But if you won't count the Aussie men's 2013 semi final (and I agree with your approach) then we can't count 67k for the women yesterday. 

    And this is ultimately why we have to go with the announced crowd in reality, because otherwise the women's attendance is just a guess. 


    And hence one answer to the question “how many attended the women’s final” could be 67k, and the aggregate women’s World Cup figure could include that, eg in an overall made up figure of 130k.

    But it would be wrong to argue that 550k attended the men’s and women’s world cups. 

    Figures can be slippery!

    how about this as a made up fact: far more people watched Samoa play than any non big 3 team in any tournament… 

  17. It may already have been mentioned but Jon Dutton acknowledged that the men’s tournament failed to reach its targets in his BBC interview. He did highlight that we had doubled the TV figures compared with 2013 (I appreciate that an increase would be inevitable given the number of games shown but nevertheless some of the figures have been none too shabby). He was also enthusiastic by the way the women’s and wheelchair games had gone. 

    I would give him some credit for acknowledging the shortfall. 

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