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Posts posted by Damien

  1. A nice read but there seems to be lot of guesswork and some of it seems a wish list. Things like a 2nd NZ side in 2024 isn't going to happen.

    I would love it if the central premise came true though. It is about time the NRL aggressively targeted NZ to expand both the NRL and international game. They should really start by stop placing the All Blacks on a pedestal in their own articles and eulogising over them whilst talking down their very own Kangaroos.

    • Like 3
  2. I actually don't think people outside heartland areas realise what a grip RU had at times, and still has, in schools even in places where RL was king. PE teachers really did use their positions to brainwash and force kids into playing RU. At other schools headmasters point blank refused to let RL be played.

    When people criticise RL for its limited geography and even lack of infrastructure in its heartlands its impossible to ignore the fact that there are very good reasons that contributed to that which were beyond the games control. Even many RU clubs in the heartlands were formed off the back of ex grammer school pupils where RL lads had been forced to play RU. RL has never had that kind of network to fall back on and has had to fight for everything it has got.

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  3. 24 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    Every match is an event. It takes a few hours of people's precious time and their money. 

    That doesn't mean every event needs a band, singer etc. but they do all need to be staged well, have good catering, facilities and be presented well. 

    Gubrats has a point in that the match is the core entertainment, but that match needs to be staged well. 

    Good post and I absolutely agree. I know that creating an event has become the go to post in recent times but it now seems to have become an awfully vague term and is now fairly meaningless.

    I absolutely agree that our premium events such as finals and internationals should be huge events with all the money and razzmatazz that we can throw on them. 

    As you rightly say the week to week club games are different. The club needs to focus on doing all of the small things right and giving the customer, i.e the fan and sponsor, a great experience. Community work and fan engagement is key too. Some student tribute band does not create an event and comes across lazy and cheap.

    I don't think we can get away from the fact that the most important elements are the standard of games and competition, star players and perception. In terms of perception I'd throw in staleness, repetition but I know others see that differently. Games need to be meaningful and crowds and atmosphere matter more than anything. They are what create that vibe. We need the big clubs getting big crowds and the games between them need to become must see events. The game needs to get that vibrancy back. There are a lot of small improvements across the board that snowball as you put them together. That's what gets people through the doors on a weekly basis.

    In short I see this problem as a competition wide issue and needs addressed as such. I think its clear the powers that be and clubs realise that too. At the moment a lot of the create an event talk seems like trying to polish a ###### and misses why people have become less interested in SL and going to games

  4. 1 hour ago, dealwithit said:

    I went to school with Miller. He played league and union for both the school and club footy on weekends. Not much of a transition required. 

    That doesn't mean no transition is needed. As we have seen time and again even RL players that have gone to Union and come back have been largely terrible and pale imitations of the player they once were. This is a guy who wasn't good enough to get a gig in the NRL the first time around who is again trying to make it.

  5. 2 hours ago, The Rocket said:


    The reason that both Catalans and Salford both achieved extraordinary ratings was that both clubs were able to capture the imagination of the wider public. Salford have been unable to capitalise on that -  Catalans have.

    The difference being that Salford were unable to build upon that one good year whereas the Catalans figures are an accumulation of a number of good years: CC victors; the Nou Camp game; and of course consistent top 5 finishes and the GF.

    The key difference is that Salford had no chance to build and capitalise on their success due to Covid. Their Grand Final season was followed by a season decimated by Covid with months of no fans and even their Challenge Cup final appearance at Wembley was in front of no fans. Yes Catalans have done great building over a number of years but the argument you are applying to Salford is a little disingenuous.

    • Like 2
  6. 42 minutes ago, Scubby said:

    I have never understood why the RFL would book a modest sized stadium in the heartlands for an England v France international and be satisfied that 5k or so turned up.

    International RL should be seen as an opportunity to expand - fans outside the heartlands will get it. It feels as if sometimes they simply don't know how to do it. The concern is that they do know how to do it but can't be arsed and don't see the value in the investment. Other sports use it to expand the corporate sponsorship base as much as new audiences.

    Indeed. England v France is just made for playing at a venue in London like Brentfords new ground or QPR. Decent sized stadiums in London and sell the game to people that just want to see England play.

    As we even see on here England v France is a hard sell to even some RL fans in the North, due to competitiveness as much as anything. Rather than being content with 5k sell it to different people instead. Play it where people want to watch internationals and where people will appreciate some great tries and skills and an England win even if it's by 40 points.

    • Like 3
  7. 2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    This is a good point. Considering we no longer have Union stars and short-term Aussies and Kiwis, we have certainly done well to plug the gaps. 

    There were an awful lot duffs from Union, but it's those absolute gems that we now miss out on I think, we have some players who could be classed as legends from Union. 

    I agree and that is what I was alluding to. I think with a good 80%-90% of converts we have plugged the gap or produced better ourselves. The real gems from RU would still enhance our game though. 

    • Like 1
  8. 25 minutes ago, Mumby Magic said:

    Most of Bradford's from my time didn't do much. Terry Holmes retired, Gerald Cordle was nicknamed teflon and Brett Iti had the potential but couldn't match it.

    Darrell Shelford was a good player and we got Hugh Gumbs into the game who could have been great if he'd had joined at a younger age.

    Neil Summers signed from Headingley and I believe David Cooper was signed from Union 

    This is it really. Some of the greats of the game came from RU but there were also many complete flops and many who just turned out to be average RL players.

    Clubs not being able to sign RU players as simply as before has certainly made them focus more on youth development, which is no bad thing.

    • Like 2
  9. 2 hours ago, hunsletgreenandgold said:

    Not sure I still fully understand what happened with ISC. I kind of understood there reasons for pulling out of supplying in the UK, but the way they seemingly just upped sticks and left the NRL clubs was really odd looking back on it. At the time I think they blamed COVID and licensing agreements for pulling out, but just doesn't seem quite right - they were dominating the market, I think they had 9 NRL clubs at one point. Just seems a huge scale back to move away from professional NRL and AFL to now just being a kit supplier for amateur/grassroots teams. 

    I think it just shows that whatever they were doing and how they were doing it wasn't working financially. It's a pity because of all the suppliers in recent years I do think that ISC were the best overall for design and quality.

    • Like 2
  10. 19 hours ago, Eddie said:

    Wakefield is considerably bigger than York, and a city, yet he’d boot Trinity out in favour of YCK to get more big cities involved. 

    I do think Wakefield have a lot of potential and are going the right way. They have shown in the past that they can get good crowds for one off big games and with 2 new stands and all the increased income streams they will be a club transformed. As you say if we were looking at reasonable size places for SL Wakefield would certainly be up there.

    • Like 4
  11. 9 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

    I don't think this is a fair reflection of this thread. I get what you're saying about the likes of Toronto etc, but I haven't seen any hostility on this thread. I've seen a lot of scepticism (none moreso than from myself) because I think a lot of people are genuinely intrigued as to how this is all going to play out and are keen for more information. At the end of the day, this is an online discussion forum, and people are just discussing what is an intriguing project. Surely you wouldn't want to the forum to be an echo chamber where everybody is just cheerleading with the exact same opinion?

    Of course I wouldn't. However when that becomes personal abuse as was directed at Christian B on the last page for having the temerity to try and answer questions, and which has since been deleted, then that crosses the line. I would certainly classify that as hostility. The mods do a damn fine job of keeping on top of things so perhaps that's why you don't see it.

    Anyhow I do agree with your general point but there is a great deal of difference between scepticism and constructive criticism and some of what we see.

    • Like 1
  12. 1 hour ago, steve oates said:

    There's no "downright hostility" Damien, people may become sceptical if there is nothing tangible to back up claims of a new RL force in Cornwall. A couple of Cornwall fans didn't seem able to answer the key question about players, add to that Mr Perez and his record, and no wonder we are where we are in the discussion  BUT It didn't take long to find this on the Internet.....

    "Cornwall RLFC have committed to offer at least ten paid contracts to Cornish or Cornwall-based athletes for the 2022 Betfred League 1 season as they prepare to assemble their first official squad. They are set to hold trials in December and have invited interested athletes to send a playing CV and match footage to info@cornwallrlfc.co.uk. "As part of our club's Cornwall-first policy, we want to ensure that the bulk of our squad is made up of Cornish athletes. Rugby League is one of the toughest, most exciting sports on the planet. It requires strength, skill, bravery, and athleticism. Cornwall RLFC believe these are qualities Cornish athletes have in abundance." 

    And so the fact is potential players are applying for the trials, and these will be sometime this month. I then assume after the Xmas break the players that make the cut will start training and there will be the addition of seasoned RL players  and whatever overseas players the rules allow. Why lurch towards a big argument when the information is out there??

    We've seen it all before Steve, every new club takes the same path especially the ones perceived as a threat in some way. You cant have been on this forum for very long if you haven't witnessed this. That is why we end up with one combined Cornwall thread, one Toronto thread, one Toulouse thread etc while we can have several different ones created in a day for Leigh or Wakefield. It's embarrassing at times and I've seen countless good contributors to this forum disappear as a result.

    Its not up to Cornwall fans on here to justify what the club is doing or having to justify what their role and occupation is just because they try to answer questions to the best of their ability. As you say the information you quote has been there for quite some time and was posted on here ages ago. That hasn't satisfied those who only wish to criticise though. So like you say maybe you should be asking those that are criticising why the big argument.

    • Like 3
  13. 2 hours ago, WN83 said:

    I think that’s 13 none French players likely to be in Catalans first 17 now. 

    I love the fact we have a strong Catalans but if that’s achieved by filling it with overseas players, I’m not sure what the game as a whole gets from it. 

    More French players than if there were no Catalans that's for sure.

    Also it is another team spending big money, up to the cap and probably beyond with marquee players, with good crowds. SL certainly needs big, strong clubs like that.

    • Like 3
  14. 1 hour ago, Curly perm said:

    Predictable, hilarious and slightly tragic that the first response to this thread is to question whether Wakefield were actually the best academy team! 

    The Wakefield College initiative has been a massive success; getting the game embedded into further education settings is a great thing. 

    This is a forum. When the basic premise of how great Wakefield is doing is being backed up by a ludicrous and false claim you cant expect that to be unchallenged.

    Yes Wakefield seem to be doing a fine job but there is no need for the hyperbole.

    • Like 1
  15. 1 hour ago, dkw said:

    Gotta start somewhere, why not as early as possible and build into it. RL fans seem to always aim for the now, these clubs should be getting as much encouragement as possible from everyone with a long term view and some patience. Seeing people whining about them not having everything in place minutes after they came into existence is pathetic, but unfortunately entirely expected.

    It must be pretty disconcerting when newcomers and new fans to the RL 'family' are met with having to justify themselves and are met with downright hostility. We saw it on here with Toronto fans, many of which just stopped posting here as a result, and now we see the same kind of replies to Cornwall fans who are trying to be as open and honest as possible when answering questions.

    Cornwall may work out, it may not but if it doesn't it certainly isn't the end of the world to anyone on this forum. You wouldn't think it though reading some people's posts.

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