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  1. Just be aware that constant talking can also be a cause if indecision in other players if you're giving them too little time to react. Try to talk about the next play rather than the one you're in. A word to a second rower or centre that they should be on your left shoulder for the next play will do wonders for their confidence and make them more likely to continue to listen to you. I'd also recommend you have nominated leaders of the defence. (I've always used to two centres controlling the left and right sides in conjunction with the fullback). Talking for an entire game will sap your energy and additionally these players will be in a better position to lead the defensive line. I'd also have an "overide" word (I used the word "boss"). If you shout that it just means all previous calls are null and void and that the half back should just pass the ball to you...and that you expect players to be in support. Don't overuse it, (as again it can lead to frustration in you team if they feel they're just being barked at with no time to organise and plan), but if the team understands and follows the instruction it can be useful as there will always be time when there's a opportunity to be capitalised on.
  2. Obviously all teams have experienced incorrect calls. They're the expected outcome of any officiated sport. The difference with the players I mentioned (and I actually got to speak to Kevin Campion in person about this) is that they are able to compare the reffing that they experienced as Warriors to playing (as seasoned professionals) for other clubs in the NRL. They have all stated that it's different. Again, as I mentioned, it's to be expected....it's a bias that exists in all human beings. I suppose the only real way to remove it would be to bring UK/French refs over to officiate all NRL games?
  3. As it happens Perenara is the ref most Warriors fans dislike the most.....it's as if he's so keen to be "neutral" he always decides against us....
  4. There are two parts to the argument. This season it is without doubt that the Warriors have suffered three losses that have been down to referee errors. In these three cases there have been official apologies from the NRL management and in many cases refs/touchies have been sanctioned for the errors. The six competition points however, remain lost and what could/should have been a good season is now looking like a failure (such is the competitive nature of the NRL. The second point is if this is a systematic failure of the NRL/officials going back decades....? The recent comments by Blake Green have been echoed by other Australian players such as Steve Price, Kevin Campion and Brent Tate. All experienced footballers who have been dismayed by the officiating while playing for the Warriors, and are convinced that there is a bias in the overall decision making. I agree that there is bias. What I don't think exists is an overt conspiracy but just the usual, unconcious, bias that all humans are susceptible to. It doesn't have to been massive, it's just that in such a close league these marginal decisions can have huge repercussions on a season.....still irritating though.....and I'm not sure how to combat it as it's a universal human failing. Perhaps a second NZ side would create a different perspective among refs?
  5. Wish I could just copy earlier similar posts I've written on the topic....would save me time. Grew up playing RU in the home counties, believing that I hated RL, as was pretty typical for everyone else in my peer group (it was the 1980s). My conversion to RL happened once I got to the University of York in 1991. The main reason was that the RU squad at the time were a bunch of private/public school tossers* and I didn't want anything to do with them.....so I took up rowing. Eventually friends of mine (bizarrely Americans) who were playing for the fledgling UYRLFC persuaded me to play. *(or at least that's how they behaved, a real bunch of tools) I loved playing the game from the very start and have been a fan ever since. Played for a few new clubs once I moved back south, including Reading and Kingston (now Elmbridge). Kept on playing and coaching when I emigrated to NZ in 2002. In recent years I've just been an armchair fan though. The main thing that always surprised me was how my easily anti-RL sentiments had been inculcated in me when growing up.....especially as history/politics were so closely aligned to my own views. This kick-started an interest in the social history of sport that I still have to this day.
  6. The Quran is a book. It doesn't "say" anything. It doesn't send out press releases or issue statements. It's a book. It doesn't think. It has no emotions or agenda. Humans have used it to interpret it their own situation, attitudes. morality or actions at any given time but the Quran itself? It's remained a book. Trump, as a single example, is human. He is capable of assessing the facts and making decisions. He is aware of consequences and uses his media opportunities to advance ideas. If people use his statements and actions as a justification for atrocities then he (and others) are responsible. The responsibility may be indirect....but, nevertheless, it's there. And to ignore or dismiss this responsibility is shameful.
  7. Shaun Johnson has been told he's not getting a deal after 2019........
  8. All team sports in NZ are struggling so RL isn't in an unusual position. For those who don't know I'm an expatriate Brit living in Nelson. I was playing/coaching RL in the early 2000s, I work at Nelson College (a very established RU school) and my two sons play soccer so I've been involved in that sport for the past five years including being chairman of our local club. Nelson/Tasman has the most active sporting population in NZ....but even in that doesn't stop team sports struggling to find players. Part of the issue is time - people won't commit to a game/club that will consume large chunks of their weekends. Team sports lose out to mountain biking, tramping, climbing, kayaking....etc A creeping threat to all organised sport is the death of volunteerism. The sheer number of hours required to keep sports clubs running continues to rise, fewer people are prepared to give their time. However....more and more people view clubs as part of the "service industry" and place demands on those running clubs above what was expected even a few years ago. This results in burnout of administrators and clubs collapse even when there are an excess of people willing/wanting to play. Another long term issue for NZ is the gradual adoption of a US model of school sport. Those outside of NZ may not appreciate that school teams dominate the U20 sporting landscape. In my region RU clubs are not allowed to run youth sides they HAVE to let schools monopolise the 13-19 year old talent. I've noticed that increasingly the elitist model has taken over. Either you're good enough to play in "The Team" or you stop playing. The idea of participation for its own sake has fallen away. When I began teaching in 2003 my school had a 1st XV, 2nd XV, 3rd XV and a social side. Now it has a 1st XV "training squad" that incorporates a 2nd XV. This is despite the school having 30% more students! Not only that the intense focus on the 1st XV means that for the majority of players they view their school rugby as the highlight of their playing career, (and much like the US and its high school gridiron culture), the majority of NZ school players are no longer playing in their 20s. The issues surrounding sports participation are huge and i doubt that the NZRL are in any position to do anything about it to be honest. My wife and a close friend both work in sports consultancy, I've see the figures and the projections....it all makes sobering reading.
  9. I'm not sure it was so unique. Both Athletics and Rowing went through similar schisms at the same time, for broadly similar reasons (and both sports were popular spectator sports at the time). Later on in the early 20th century there was a genuine attempt to create an Amateur FA. What was unique was that the national sporting body was unable to agree to a compromise that kept the codes together. The RFU chose to let rugby fall apart.
  10. Agree - both Lanc and York clubs believed for many years that they could form a local league competition and still remain in the RFU. I'll look up the other thread, I used to be a regular contributor to history discussions on this (and other) forums. for many reasons I've not posted for a while.
  11. I've always been uncomfortable with the simple narrative that RL split from RU so that it could pay its players*. I've always believed that this was the story put out by RU and it suited their agenda at the time. Given the bias in printed history RL fans have accepted it as established fact (and even taken pride in the "facts"....just like the "All-Golds" title which was, at the time, a deliberately insulting nickname for the 1907 NZ side). Read sporting books and articles from the 1890s and broken time payments to players do not really feature other than as a side note. This is probably because player payments were so commonplace that it wasn't considered newsworthy. It was the league structure that was the important change - in the industrial north rugby was under threat from the football league and the culture of spectatorism that the home and away fixtures had created. Without the formation of the NU it is arguable that rugby as a spectator sport would have collapsed. The two senior "football clubs" in England, Manchester FC and Liverpool FC (both rugby clubs) were shadows of their former selves and these two regions had already been effectively lost to the FA. South Yorkshire was firmly a football/soccer area as was most of the industrial midlands. The future of the Yorkshire rugby clubs and those in the smaller Lancashire towns was looking precarious. Given the preeminence that rugby had enjoyed over soccer this would have worried many at the time. For a formal league to exist there had to be a formal system of payments to support it. it was nothing more that a logistical consequence. Hence the broken-time payments. Paying players was never the reason for the creation of the NU or the source of discontent among those running the clubs. The payments DID however allow the RFU to create a smokescreen around the issue of professionalism. By focussing on the money in the NU (and selectively ignoring the same issue in the South West, Midlands and Wales) they were able to enforce the "No artisan, mechanic or labourer" clause in the amateurism code without having to explicitly write it in their rule book. *I also think that the narrative in England is muddied by the situation in Australia (but NOT NZ) where the creation of a professional rugby code was based on player welfare issues.
  12. I agree about the value of underdog results. Every round of the FA Cup seems to have results that go against the divisional position of the teams. The effect that this has on interest and attendance cannot be overlooked. I've always though that the rules need tweaking to allow teams that are defending to stay in the game. Currently the disparity in energy needed to defend rather than attack can create a lopsided attrition that nearly always sees a weaker team blown away later in the game. I think there are small things that can reward a team with strong defence and keep games even for longer. I'd also like to see it necessary for teams to gain an attacking advantage from having to pass/use multiple players rather than scoot/barrel up the middle. 1. If an attacking player is "held up" over the line its a handover. 2. At the PTB the attacker must be on his feet BEFORE the ball can touch the ground. If he use the ball to lever himself up or puts the ball down while his hand is on the ground its a handover. 3. At the PTB the second marker is allowed to stand deeper (perhaps as far back as 5m? from the ruck). From this position he'd have a much wider 'potential defensive arc' and could efficiently defend against scoots and quick 'one up' runs that often give easy metres. I think the three rules would even up the game, reduce the gulf between teams and keep scores close without reducing the need for skill.
  13. Would be in favour of reducing the number of interchanges as it would allow the half backs the opportunity to play in the extra space and time that fatigue creates. RL is a collision sport but there always has to be the place for skill and speed. The only issue would be the potential rise in additional scoots from dummy half that tired defenses would encourage. I'd be inclined to change the marker rule to allow the second marker to stand back up to 5m from the ptb. This way the defensive arc that the second marker could defend will be greatly increased and scoots would be easier to shut down. In NZ at the moment there's an increasing discussion around young players getting put off either code of rugby because of the physical damage that smaller players can encounter. It's easy to dismiss this as over-protective parents/soft modern living but the reality is that there are many other sporting options available and it would be a real shame if the variety of physical builds in RL (which has always IMO been the true rugby code "for all shapes and sizes*") were no longer catered for in the sport. *so long as you're fit enough.
  14. I didn't say it wasn't. What I said was that no sport dominates the sporting landscape in NZ as football does in UK. RU is the national sport. That's without doubt but the local RU comps have been hit by the existence of "international" Super 18 franchises. Just as local NZ comps in Football, RL, Basketball and Netball suffer with the top club(s) in their sport playing in Australian based competitions. Those codes though can't afford to not have the clubs in Australia...even though they realise the damage that they do inflict on the domestic top tier.
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