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Posts posted by Damien

  1. 4 hours ago, gogledd said:

    Seems the takeover has been approved by the RFL




    Message from the new boss:

    “We now enter an exciting time for the club as a whole with plenty 9 positive stories to follow, and I look forward to meeting you all very soon.

    “This club means so much to all of us, I’m excited to embark on a journey together and bring success back to North Wales Crusaders as just reward for the hard work and dedication which you’ve all shown.”

    Hopefully NW Crusaders can build onwards and upwards from this. 

  2. 5 minutes ago, Click said:

    I have no idea why you seek to belittle the support from London or the South, but that is exactly what you are doing. You are saying that there "isn't much information from more recent times" and a "70% reference from Damien" 

    That 70% reference was from a Guardian article, a lot more recent then the beloved Ray French's comment from 1990, yet you seem to dismiss it completely in this post, and seem to rely on your opinion that for some reason you think London and the South don't provide enough fans, based on zero evidence whatsoever, and just your opinion on why the RFL haven't played more games in the South. 

    It's amazing that for 90% of the year, people call the RFL incompetent and idiots, but when it involves RL in the South they are usually relying on great data. The same great data that made them play a RL test in Huddersfield last year ffs. 

    It's funny, people who have actually been to these games are well aware of the makeup of the crowd, it's that obvious.

    Those that don't moan about chips on shoulders, while ignoring its actually them that has the chip on their shoulder.

    • Haha 1
  3. 2 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

    I gave it as an example from the past. We don't seem to have very much other evidence from more recent times, other than what accents people have heard. A 70% reference from Damien, but that's about it.

    Anyway, here's another accurate stat for you. Since 2011 I've attended 40% of England games in London. But that's not difficult, given that there have only been 5.

    I don't seek to belittle support from London or the south - why would I given that I'm from Southampton and my dad is a Londoner - but at the same time I look at facts and ask myself why have England only played 5 times in London since 2011, with two of those being World Cup SFs?

    I'm happy to accept that rugby league administrators aren't perfect, but don't think they can all have been idiots for decades. So why aren't they playing more matches in London? They didn't with Tonga last year, and they're not with Samoa this year. At the very least, that makes me wonder about the strength of support from London and the south. World Cup semi finals are a rare breed - they don't come along very often. So they're potentially a bit of an outlier when you're trying to assess the levels of support for more run of the mill seasons.

    No offence but you are absolutely clueless and I find it hard to believe anything you claim. I went to both the Australia and New Zealand games at the Olympic Stadium and the 70% figure absolutely corresponds. If you went you'd know that. It is obvious you didn't or you wouldn't be posting as you are.

    London has traditionally the highest attendances. Not playing in London has nothing to do with crowds. Anyone with a brain cell can see that.

    • Like 1
  4. 36 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

    Deary me. You really need to lose this chip on your shoulder about rugby league being against people not from the heartlands.

    Your accusation that I'm trying to belittle anything is ridiculous. I was simply adding some information to the discussion by providing some more reliable evidence (I'm assuming Ray French didn't just make it up) than a few people remembering the percentage of accents they heard.

    Accusing people of a chip on your shoulder is rich after your posts and you were belittling people, thats obvious. Quite foolishly in fact when it's clear you haven't actually gone to any of the said games in London.

    Again you have a clear post that shows you were wrong, and that 70% of fans were from the South 11 years ago, but yet instead try and belittle by rambling about accents people may have heard. It was also you that belittled people's experiences of attending games in London as absurd.

    • Like 1
  5. 17 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    There have been a few special moments, where you think "maybe", and then here we are having the same discussions. 

    Exactly, it's soul destroying. The 2013 semi final as you say was epic in every way and was one of those rare times that Rugby League genuinely gained a national prominence. Then there was 2017 and the rise of Tonga, that has been largely wasted. As was Tonga beating Australia. As has been the rise of the PI nations generally. Then obviously the cancelled Ashes tour and the whole RLWC2021 postponement. Even the Denver test had a great deal of promise in enabling England and NZ to forge ahead and take control of their own destiny.

    I had real hope that all these things were going to lead to a real break and sustained growth. However they were all wasted through one thing or another. Obviously for some this was a result of plain bad luck but they were mostly the result of plain incompetence and even worse, sabotage.

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  6. 3 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    I must say, that semi final was an absolute standout moment in the recent history of our sport. I think most agreed it was a unique RL event, the makeup of the crowd was very different to any I've ever been to in the UK, either before or since. 

    It's a disaster that e never capitalised on that. 

    Indeed, one of a number of moments we just never capitalised on in the decade or so since then.

    • Like 2
  7. 27 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

    I've been to a few, but I wouldn't be in a position to even begin to estimate the percentage of northern and southern accents that I heard.

    I'm not saying they all had only 25% from London. I'm saying that there is evidence for it being 25% in that 1st Test in 1990, so that gives us an example to start from.

    Only the RFL will (hopefully) have proper data on the breakdown. Without seeing that, we're all just speculating. Although, perhaps the fact that they didn't play a Test there last year, and haven't done so this year either, is maybe an indicator that the support from London and the south isn't quite as significant as you'd like to hope.

    I'd certainly be interested if anyone does have more data on this issue.

    It really doesn't sound like you've been to one with your condescending digs about what people heard. You wouldnt say it if you had.

    Anyway you can either believe Ray French from 34 years ago or look at something much more recent from 2013 which states that 70% of sales were from London and the South. This figure also seems closer to what I saw and heard at the subsequent Australia and NZ matches at the Olympic Stadium. Maybe not so absurd after all and maybe people arent imagining Southern accents:

    The RFL can be pleased with the ticket sales and how the game has been received across the country – 70% of fans who attended the semi-finals at Wembley live in London and the south. However, the hard work arguably begins now as the RFL attempts to capitalise on the World Cup legacy and bring more people the game.


  8. 12 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

    Spot on. Ray French said on commentary during the 1990 1st Test that "over 25% of tickets had been sold in London."

    I very much doubt that huge numbers were sold to people from other parts of the country, so I would suggest that leaves around 75% sold to existing fans from the heartlands. Certainly a quick glance at all the RL club shirts in the crowd would suggest this to be the case.

    None of which surprises me at all. It's exactly what I would expect to happen. The idea that Londoners (Southerners) are going to dominate crowds of a sport that they're barely interested in for the rest of the year, is absurd.

    Not that it matters, because even if you're getting 25%, that's going to be a lot higher than the percentage of Londoners/Southerners you'll get for games up North. It's still perhaps 15000 people who are watching RL that don't normally.

    (1 minute 59 seconds in, if you want evidence other than memories of what accents people have heard.)


    Since when has the South been London? Its also awfully weird to go back to the first test played in London in the modern era and ignore all of the others since. If you think that all of the ones that I went to in the 2010s had only 25% from London you are are dreaming.

    Have you actually been to a test in London? Obviously not because if you had you would realise what nonsense you are spouting.

  9. 5 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

    My experience mirrors Damien's. I've never been to an international in London and heard northern voices outnumber southern ones.

    I know that's unscientific but, frankly, doing things one way (playing small time games in the same venues that get rugby league all year round) will only contract the game.

    It is not the best anyone can do and there are alternatives.

    Yep, I have to say I havent heard many Northerners at them at all.

    What always surprises me is just how many Union fans and players attend, and I mean full on 5-20 sized groups from Southern RU clubs. The RFL did seem to do a decent job at selling to these clubs. There does seem to be a lot of latent RL interest in the South and TV viewers, we just don't really sell what they are after or engage with them much.

    • Like 1
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  10. 4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

    Yeah, this is not really true, or at least not remotely to the extent of the Challenge Cup final.

    My experience as one of those travelling fans is that I was very much part of a small minority. At every international I have attended in London I have always been pleasantly surprised by just how many Southerners attend. Without doubt they are the overwhelming majority of the crowd.

    • Like 1
  11. 1 minute ago, Dave T said:

    I'm talking France, not Oz or NZ. France could stage a couple of matches, we could stage a couple, plus the final. 

    You talk about demand, I really can't see the demand for us playing France 3 times in a year or such a setup wetting it's head. It would be basically the RFL backing everything and that's not going to happen. Cutting that back and playing each other just once is a bit meh.

    Not particularly sure if Samoa have any appetite for playing France either. Maybe they have, and maybe they will anyway, but again unless someone foots the bill I can't see it.

    That said I'm not particularly against such a concept, just don't think the demand or finance for it is there.

    • Thanks 1
  12. 7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    On your last para though I could just as easy say it's 2 tests or zero to kill your preference. 

    We've got 2. You want 3, I want a Tri-Nations. We both want different versions of the same thing. 

    It is my preference based on the cards dealt. I don't think it was 2 or zero at all, if you do thats fine, no point labouring it. I am certainly not hung up on 3 test series so you are mistaken if you think that is the case. I have always said there is a place for tournaments and test series and see the benefits of both.

    We definitely was not getting Australia or NZ here, that is beyond doubt and so discussions about that as a substitute seem pointless. In an ideal world international RL would be very different. 

    If you are actually advocating a Tri or 4 Nations with France and Wales then that is a different story. I can't say I'd be bothered about that and I could certainly see it losing money.

    • Thanks 1
  13. 4 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    I don't disagree with any of that, but we also shouldn't ignore that part of the large crowds for internationals in London are travelling fans too. 

    I think we could maybe have got 20k for Tonga last year in London to replace the 11k in Hudds and it would have looked much better I agree, and I think Leeds may have had an uplift too because of it, but I do expect that if we say got an average of 17.5k or so it would still be frowned upon. 

    I'd like us to get to the point where the England team doesn't play in front of less than 20k for a Test match, imo that should be our aim, I think 2 tests across the North and South would have done that. It'll be harder with the venues they've picked (does Leeds even hold 20k).

    I think my issue with the 3 tests is that I'm not sure why that is our default position. Nobody really does it any more apart from maybe GB RU and RL against the very top nations. 

    I want 3 tests because it is another game of international Rugby League. We are constantly eroding the amount of games we play and settling for less, this is just another example. I don't find 1 mid season international and 2 end of season internationals particularly satisfactory and think as a sport we should be doing much, much better.

    I find arguments around 4 Nations etc pretty pointless because the option this year is Samoa or no one. Therefore it really is as simple for me as 3 top international games being more preferable than 2 with the hand that we've been dealt. Sure we can say we'd prefer a 4 Nations of old but that's not what the options are for this year.

    • Like 4
  14. 27 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    We managed to build up to a relatively decent level vs the Kiwis over the last decade, with much of that being on the back of growth through 4N and WC's imo, but the crowds are still relatively modest. 

    Average vs Kiwis 

    2018 - 25k

    2015 - 30.5k

    2007 - 19k

    2002 - 20.5k

    1998 - 16.5k

    1993 - 22.5k

    We should probably accept that Samoa would be less attractive than the Kiwis, the England brand hasn't set the world alight in recent years. 

    Tonga delivered 13k - Kiwis 25k say, I think a 3 test series including London could move us to 17/18k maybe, but I think there is risk that it could also be lower. 

    I suppose it depends what we class as sufficient demand. 


    We play every blue moon, with no marketing and often at stadiums that aren't fitting to sell the image of international Rugby League. I refuse to believe that we can't do these things better. I mean the Tonga example pretty much shows that we can do things pretty terribly in every aspect, and off the back of an equally terrible World Cup, and still average 13k for 3 tests. That's not to be sniffed at in itself all things considered as I actually don't think that series could have been done any worse.

    If we can sell a third game even to at least the same level as the other two that does not mean that demand isn't there. I would expect more selling that third game elsewhere, which is traditionally the case in London. I would also expect that just 2 games along the M62 should result in higher attendances for those 2 games than when we have 3 which cannibalises the same fans. A third match should then look to sell to a completely different audience.

    I strongly suspect we have got what we have got because the RFL haven't the cahones to hire a stadium elsewhere and sell it. They can't afford the risk and need to bank as much money as possible. They have also listened to fan criticism of the last couple of years and finally twigged that there is only so much you can fleece the same fans and that a third game along the M62 is folly. I imagine they've done the sums and worked out that it is likely that they can make as much, if not more once you minus expenses, from 2 games selling well to largely different fans as doing what they did last year with 3 games along the M62. All with no risk.

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  15. 1 hour ago, Dave T said:

    I think we can do that with 2 tests, one North, one South. 

    I'm not sure we have a market for 3 games against the same team in consecutive weeks. Hence my preference is a multi-team tournament. 

    I think we do, just not all along the M62 with an audience that has top flight Rugby League for 8 months of the year.

    Internationals should be seen as an opportunity but all too often they feel like they are treated as a chore in Rugby League.

    • Like 1
  16. 41 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    I think there is another sensible reason for only 2 tests - there isn't demand for 3 and we shouldn't just have 3 tests because that's what the Ashes are. 

    That doesn't address the non-London point, and I think it would have been great had Samoa played in France either before or after England. 

    Well surely that's why you have a 3rd test in London, Coventry or Newcastle and sell to a different audience.

    • Like 2
  17. Thought this deserved a thread. Ryan Hall becomes the all time Super League top try scorer.

    He has been a great winger at both club and international level and a great servant to the game. I certainly think for a few years, when he first started playing for England, that he was the best winger in the world:

    • Like 7
  18. 3 hours ago, Farmduck said:

    Should they have a choice? International RL won't grow if it continues as series involving only AUS, ENG and NZ. That's status quo, not growth. Now that Samoa and Tonga can field competitive teams shouldn't they also share the responsibility to grow the international product? It's win-win for them. If it's a complete flop, crowd-wise and game-wise, the players already have their NRL pay packets to cover them and the other costs will be covered by the IRL. If it's 2 nail-biting last-minute drop goal finishes then Samoa wins because it shows them as viable crowd-pulling competition for the future.

    Too often I see posters on here whining about the lack of international RL but when it comes to the details, all they can come up with is regular 3-Test series against the Kanharoos. That doesn't grow international RL, it just panders to nostalgists.

    Obviously you only read what you wish to read then because there have been plenty of people advocating far more than you suggest here

    • Like 2
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