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Exiled Wiganer

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Posts posted by Exiled Wiganer

  1. 7 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

    The NRL aren't killing international RL, in fact it's undeniable that the PI teams that you are talking about (including NZ) would be shells of what they are now if it wasn't for the NRL and NRL clubs.

    Your (international RL sycophants) real problem is that the NRL, and the clubs in particular, are ever increasingly less willing to eat the disproportionate hidden costs most international RL events have on them, and considering the game's position in Australia who can blame them.

    Find a way to make international RL worth their while and they'll be their with bells on. How you go about that is debateable, but trying to shame them into it isn't the way to go about it, nor will it make any difference, you're just wasting everybody's time.

    Deary deary me, quite a lot to unpack there… it’s always difficult for a leaguie to get inside the head of someone whose idea of “fun” is to spend hours trying to put us in our place, but, rather than head over to Victoria Footie . Com and repeatedly ask them how their World Cup is getting on, here we go… 

    1. The PI players are great players and athletes because they play our game, the game of rugby league. All Tongans have been fantastically inspired by Taumalolo (he’s one of their top players, GD) playing for Tonga. In front of huge crowds. Likewise the love of PNG for its players knows no bounds. The NRL is the current incarnation of the rugby league club game in Australia, which is successful  because they play our game. They can try their hand at another sport and see how they get on, and the next day we’d have another NRL to answer the demand to play our game. 

    2. Nice of you to outline my problem, but unsurprisingly your take is nonsense. The challenge we face as a game is to make sure that our players can play as many internationals as we can stage for them. That requires a number of things, including the will of the players, some coaches and a professional approach to the competitions themselves. The goal will always be there for internationalists because the game - across the world and in all its forms - deserves it. We will shortly be holding 3 world cups over here, with a large number of developing nations playing our game. The Aussies can’t be expected to invest in, say, Brazil’s women’s team or Wales’ wheelchair team, but those teams deserve a stage to show what they can do, and with the money generated by top level competition they can do so. And we will continue to fight for that, because ultimately an approach of “the NRL is all that matters anywhere” deserves to be challenged.

    3. I am really struggling to answer the final point. This is a UK based rugby league forum for people who care about the greatest game, and not an AGM for the NRL. It would be good if V’Landys came on here and felt shame, but I doubt it: my money is on this continuing to be a site for mostly UK leaguies. Many of us, happily, being internationalists. 

  2. 22 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

    It's done.

    Our Australian correspondents have nailed their colours to the "being almost as big in Australia as AFL" mast and that is now the limit of their ambition for the game.

    It’s the PNG’s a tiny country nervous tick that always makes me laugh. 

  3. 20 minutes ago, Damien said:

    No matter how much you keep repeating this doesn't make it true. Any competitive side that can beat Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain adds to international RL

    But he doesn’t care if it’s true or not. He couldn’t name 3 Tonga players without googling it - it’s just the same old “know your place peasants” stuck record. 

    Tonga’s diaspora makes them a worthy foe for any rugby team in the world. They bleed red blood for the cause. 

  4. 1 hour ago, rlno1 said:

    Yes but what about the Tongan and Samoan international teams or do they play in Campbelltown, Penrith and Parramatta.

    Tonga have had massive crowds in and around Auckland. 

    The cultural links between the diaspora and their home islands are very strong indeed. Many have moved for economic reasons, but kept very close cultural and religious ties. If the NRL stops these teams playing - a possible endpoint in their ever decreasing circles world vision - then a great deal will be lost in terms of diversity and flavour in our game. As it happens, I believe there are enough people who care about the international game to fight for it and for it to be saved in some form from the NRL. It shouldn’t need to be written, but Tonga v NZ and PNG v Samoa matters more than an extra week of off season golf for many of the players, their communities and the game of rugby league (those games also raise money for the IRL which gets passed down to developing RL nations, so there is a clear beneficial trickle down). 

    A number of the posters most keen to paint a picture of inevitable isolation on here have, of course, no interest in seeing the game be the best it can be, but the fight will go on. Our game is robust enough and loved enough to find a way to thrive long after V’Landys has finished gold plating his Rolls Royce (brought to you by Foxbet).

    • Like 2
  5. My take on this remains that the best thing for the game is to grow the international game across the globe, and that the NRL should not hinder that. As it happens, for the vast majority of the time the goals of the game and the NRL’s goals will overlap - player development, increased profile of league players, and entertainment. The reason we have a complete stranglehold over the whole region is 90% because of the NRL. Plus, spin offs like the Silktails and the Hunters grow the game domestically. Clearly, we are now in the position where any serious athlete looking to play the best game in the region is going to want to play our game. 

    However, the NRL is not the world game. It values SoO above all else - and for obvious reasons - but there is room for the international game - men’s, women’s and wheelchair - across the world. And they have playing in their competition a majority of the best players in the world who would happily play for nations for which they are qualified. We know this to be true, because we have seen it with our own eyes. This isn’t the NH coming begging, this is true. 

    The NRL can look on internationals as being good for the game, across the world, and not stand in the way of their players being available to play meaningful internationals. There are a few reasons for this - first, the players want to play, second, it is the right thing to do for the game, and third, it potentially opens up new markets to watch and play the game, for very little outlay from the NRL. They can view the sport as stopping at the border of 2 states, but they, their players and the world game would be much the poorer for their doing so. 

    • Like 1
  6. 1 hour ago, theswanmcr said:

    Your first point is fair enough - but if there was a proper mid season window then England etc could offer them money to come here.

    However, these tiny countries do plenty to boost the game’s profile. Nobody knows or cares really what the size of Samoa is but they do know they are good at ‘rugby’ and offer a legitimate big game for the start of our World Cup.

    And without them then we are back to just the old three nations playing rugby league. We are/were beginning to move away from that but the current NRL/Aus insular stance on reducing the number of internationals really doesn’t help this.

    I have been told off for suggesting that some of our posters perhaps are motivated more by any chance to talk down our game rather than concern for it. Far be it for me to note that PNG is the second most populous country in the region, and could fill any stadium they care to build, such is their love of TGG. They have already shown that they will turn out in massive numbers for their stars, and as they slowly develop as a nation will be an ever greater presence in our game. In addition, Tonga’s love for its international side, and our game was aptly shown by their declaring a national holiday when Tonga beat the Aussies.

    The “vision” set out by 2 of the posters on here could not be more divorced from the reality - it is telling that they never mention or comment on any actual players or teams, as they have no interest in what happens on the pitch. Nevertheless, in the Hannah Montana sweetness and light TRL land we now live in, it is always great to read any insights, even into how 9 million PNGers constitute a tiny group.

     

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  7. 2 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

     

    @Damien, on numerous occasions I have expressed my growing disinterest in SOO, so I agree on your less than glowing sentiments for that contest.

    Outside Aus, NZ and the remaining Pacific Island nations, those remaining dozens of nations you speak of are in no way impacted by any NRL decision to stop playing mid season international fixtures. 

    Why on earth is a mid season international window going to improve the standing of the sport in any country? Where do we stop? Maybe there should be pre, mid and post season international windows. Maybe that isn’t enough. Heck, let’s just do away with club competition altogether. 

    Soccer is huge because of varying domestic competition. The biggest cricket competitions are domestic club leagues. Basketball’s profile is huge, thanks to the NBA. Baseball is an Olympic sport that gains most of its exposure via the MLB. Gridiron’s exposure is exclusively because of NFL. Hockey mostly because of the chase for the Stanley Cup.

     

    The dozens of nations benefit from the money generated by the international game. Plus, its profile, of course. We will have in 2025 3 World Cups, each with 16 teams, covering dozens of nations. The headline acts from a financial perspective will draw heavily on rugby league men playing in the SH. Those dozens of nations can increase their media revenues, raise their profiles, be more widely recognised locally and attract Government support. We owe it to those nations to press for the best international footprint we can have. If it means going directly to the players, or finding coaches like Bennett prepared to release them, we need to do whatever it takes. 

    Your 3rd point isn’t a point at all. 

    Your 4th point is irrelevant.

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  8. Rocket - You are mixing up the NRL and rugby league. World wide, there are dozens of nations playing our game, and every year there are more people playing the women’s and wheelchair games. We owe it to these pioneers to fight to the end for the best possible international exposure. From what I have seen, a lot of very good players feel strong ties to countries like Tonga, Samoa, PNG and Fiji, and it is the game’s duty to attempt to put on competitions allowing them to play for their countries. Anybody that loves our game should back that. 

    The NRL is now cashed up, and I hope it uses some of that cash in ways which benefit the game, such as encouraging development in those countries. Unless human nature has completely changed overnight, there will always be people who feel connections to their nations and pride in pulling on their national jerseys. And so the fight will always be worth fighting. You may look at Gould and see a great man and a true visionary, but I think humanity can aim higher. 

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  9. The fight for the international game must go on. The Aussies are deluded if they think that the NRL is the be all and end all of TGG. What game do the NRLers think they would be “celebrating” by turning up every 4 years and err that’s it. 

    Happily, there are plenty of players and supporters who believe in the sport to keep fighting the good fight. We will have another triumphant World Cup later this year, and we can build on it and go again. 

  10. 10 minutes ago, Jughead said:

    We did but we did it as meaningless friendlies and they were treated as such.  Ideally, we needed to get onboard with the idea of a Champions League/RU European Cup style format twenty years ago and that boat has probably sailed now but that format we used for the Series was pretty rubbish and it’s little wonder it failed. 

    I went to the WIgan game, and it didn’t feel in any way meaningless. Though you could argue that all sport is relatively meaningless (particularly when Saints win...). Given that they were just friendlies but were so successful, it feels to me that someone could really get a grip of it, treat it as a professional tournament and make a go of it. We need someone whose day job would be to make it happen, rather than having it as an informal afterthought. 

  11. 22 minutes ago, Jughead said:

    And what do we do when the Super League clubs moan about not having a week or two off prior to this game, given their season finishes earlier than ours?

    I’d rather scrap it altogether and get those that want to be involved (I’m thinking Roosters and Storm) annually coming over for a proper tournament rather than a couple of meaningless friendlies like that World Club Series we attempted for a couple of years. 

    Didn’t we have something like that a few years ago? I remember Wigan having a fantastic match against Brisbane, and Wire (?) also having a thrilling game, before (IIRC) Saints were completely crushed by Souths. I am sure Wigan could shift 10s of thousands of tickets every year for a game against a glamour Aussie club. There was also at least one time when the Aussie champions played the Broncos, which attracted a very good crowd indeed. 

    We need a couple of things to take advantage of the desire of some of the NRL clubs to look beyond their own backyard, and come over here. First, we need someone to take on the organisation of the event as an event - someone I would suggest, outside of the 2 clubs - who could look to get sponsors and even a slice of the TV deals. Second, we would need the relevant bodies, the RFL and the NRL, to back it. If the first body does a good enough job, then the second should be easier... I was always perplexed that Elstone didn’t attempt to get a grip on this idea, as it was one of the few things where we have proof of a successful concept even though it had been put together on the back of a fag packet. 

    Truthfully this time, I did spend time talking to the Roosters players on their way back to Oz, and they had all really enjoyed it. For the players at least, it was a positive experience to play a match in front of vocal crowds. Obviously, Trent Robinson set the tone, and he is an Aussie who actually cares for our game, but the idea is a good one. 

    It is a tragedy that a myopic knuckle dragger like this Penrith coach even has a say in the matter... 

  12. I think a problem here is that Saints aren’t perceived as a big deal. While I am not casting particular doubt about whether or not they were worthy champions, they aren’t a Wigan and a Leeds when it comes to box office. The Roosters were indeed very classy in talking up their game in 2020, but having bizarrely found myself sharing a flight with them on their return, there was a sense that it was good, but it wasn’t like playing Wigan. 

    • Haha 4
  13. 12 minutes ago, Damien said:

    That's fine if you don't give a damn about PNG, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand. Its awfully strange to make this about just the northern hemisphere when that isn't just what people's concerns are. I agree with what Fighting Irish says, and have said the same on various occasions, but the game is bigger than just that.

    Its awfully weird that you seem to think that no internationals for 11 months of the year can possibly be a good thing or wont be worse off than having a proper balanced schedule throughout the year. This act single-handedly restricts what the international game will ever be able to achieve, the amount of games that can possibly be played and means it disappears off the radar for much of the year with any momentum being lost from one year to the next. That is before we get the Australia years off and the normal shenanigans we face every year.

    He’s not a leaguie, so it’s not weird at all. 

    I think that the NRL thriving is good news for the local nations, as any good and ambitious sportsman in any of those countries will be attracted to play league. As we have seen with the Hunters and the SIlktails, creating pathways for more and more talent is a win win. 

    It could also be good for NH league, but only indirectly. This announcement, and the NRL’s 4 minute warning, have shown us exactly what we need to do. We have the greatest game, and may well have a wonderful World Cup to build from next year. The best way to start a journey is to work out exactly where you are starting from.

  14. 1 hour ago, fighting irish said:

     

    So what are we waiting for?

    Who is the “we”? If you mean that we need to get our act together in the NH because we effectively have a competitor who at best couldn’t care less what happens to us, then I entirely agree. France France France is the answer. 

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  15. It is even worse than that for the international game of course. There is also the north to south player drain, so that any mid season tests are likely to be played without NRL players being released. Plus, we can expect the off season surgery/protect the pre season at all costs clubs to dilute the post season international teams. 

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  16. 19 minutes ago, The storm said:

    Some bloke in batley will see some negatives in this 

    That is an absurd, and offensive, comment. But for places like Batley you’d have no game to watch. The reasons why this good news for the NRL is not good news for the world game are patently obvious. 

    On balance, reinforcing our game’s destination as the first port of call for all good athletes in the region outweighs the risks of zero internationals. Who knows, they may even come to see internationals as not causing them harm. If the NH gets its act together and taps into our huge under developed potential, then we could find ourselves competing again in the medium term. Thankfully, we have the greatest game. 

    • Like 2
  17. 3 hours ago, Ray Cashmere said:

    Whilst this may not be good news for international rugby league as a whole, I see it as a positive for our international calendar.

    The chance of England playing a southern hemisphere side mid-season is nil anyway. The obvious move is to invest long term in mid-season England internationals against France and Wales (and dare I say the combined nations if necessary) whilst negotiating annual southern hemisphere series (home or away) with nations who will be more incentivised to seize the one window of opportunity they get each year. 

    The NRL shunning mid-season internationals should only provide more clarity and structure to our international schedule, not less.

    I am really really struggling to follow that line of reasoning. There is precisely no evidence that the NRL will allow any end of season games beyond the barest minimum token matches. 

    The NRL’s success, and I suspect this TV deal has reinforced that, will be at the expense of the international game. 

    That said, we are clearly already the biggest football in the region, by a distance, and the potential to cherry pick all the best athletes from Oz, PNG, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and a lot of the best from NZ is clearly going to increase. Let’s face it, if you could back yourself to play the best code on the planet and be well paid for the privilege, anybody backing themselves would take it. And for those more limited/less ambitious, there will always be union and AFL. 

    • Like 3
  18. 4 hours ago, Davo5 said:

    If those halfbacks played behind last season’s Wigan pack they’d have struggled too,let’s face it Lomax had a reputation for disappearing in big games when the Saints pack weren’t able to dominate as usual.

    I don’t think you’ll get much mileage from attempting to persuade them.

    In Toppy’s eyes they were massively robbed by Ellery and co in the 27 0 final... 

    Which is sweet in a way. MY TEAM IS ACE AND I LOVE THEM MORE THAN ANYONE EVER AND YOU ARE ALL RUBBISH! Is probably a healthy way to view the world. 

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