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Everything posted by Damien

  1. It's complete nonsense to dismiss a competition with a 65k crowd as dead as a dodo. I completely fail to see how doing away with that and having just one final with a crowd around 65k is an improvement.
  2. The game is kicking off at 3:07.
  3. I don't think it's a gimmick, clubs look to sign talented athletes all the time. This is just an extension of that.
  4. Not wishing away anything, I think the two would have been brought along in conjunction, as we have seen in other sports like Football and RU. Looking at it from the paradigm of where we are now v then changes things. If Football and RU were in the same place as RL now and not far off destroyed their international game would the Premier League, Premiership RU or French RU clubs allow an international game to grow in those sports to what we see now? Not a chance. However they still have that game because it grew in tandem, we ripped ours apart. I'm not convinced we couldn't have done likewise and the switch to summer was a factor, along with other things as I stated originally.
  5. But England/GB not beating Australia never seemed to matter that much before the switch because the matches were very close and competitive. It was very similar to SOO and the way no one was saying scrap it because Queensland win it year after year. I can't recall anyone saying in 1994 or 1995 that international Rugby League was dead. Quite the opposite because the 1996 Tour to Australia had been highly anticipated on the back of the other match in the 1990s and thousands had booked to go, my grandparents being two along with many others that I knew from Wigan St Pats. Things were very different, yet within 5 years things had become pretty dire. Again I am more intrigued as to what may have happened if we had simply continued and I am not convinced that some of the things you cite would have happened the way we have seen. International RL being the pinnacle and SOO being a trial for the Kangaroos would have seen to that. Also there was literally no sign from either the RFL or ARL that things had to change, and again the ARL spoke out about the switch, because of the decline in the international game that we've seen. I know Im playing devils advocate a little and sure everything may have panned out exactly the same but I doubt it.
  6. I think this will be a cracking match that could go either way. It has all the makings of a classic.
  7. You keep ignoring that the international game was in a very different place 30 years ago, before the switch, to where it is now, relative to everything else. There was never any debate as to international RL's place in the game before that and the major tours in particular was set in stone. The discussion really is what changed that to the situation we have now. I'm not sure if any of that would have changed if it wasn't for the switch to summer Rugby. In a similar vein I distinctly remember the ARL warning that the game in this country switching to summer would be bad for international Rugby League, for the reasons we have seen, and they weren't particularly wrong.
  8. I don't understand your first paragraph. Up to 1996 Australia played NZ 3 times mid season at least every couple of years. Now they dont at all. I think you are talking about a completely different time frame. To me it is quite clear that we do not play mid season international matches as we did prior to 1996. To keep talking about long tours is a distraction from that point. If the seasons weren't the same we could still be doing what RU are doing now, they needn't have been long tours. We play less internationals now than we were playing prior to that switch and having one small international window is part of that. We had PNG touring in the 1980s and I watched them at Central Park, I don't find it that unfathomable really to think that we'd have more nations like that touring if they had been strong enough. The main difference is we now have more teams of a higher standard due to immigration from PI nations to Australia and the fact that Rugby League is dominant there so there are kids growing up playing RL who are eligible for those nations. It's hardly the result of any grand plan. I think we are in danger of going round in circles here for no particular reason. I don't dispute there are high points in the summer era and have been good moments. What I do wonder is that if things had turned out a little differently if it could have been better and if we could have had it all. We will never know.
  9. I disagree that change was already ongoing, there was nothing in 1994 or 1995 to indicate that and international RL was booming in this country relative to any time before or since.
  10. I didn't particularly mind them either but this was the start of the international game essentially being shoehorned into a few weeks at the end of the season (and even at that the Aussies immediately changed the Tri-Nations format to shave off a game). It made 4 games at the end of the season the norm. Let's not forget that we saw in the 2000s was largely on the back of Wayne Bennett trying to resurrect the international game had declined so dramatically since 1996. Australia still never played mid season internationals as they had prior to 1996, a lot changed then. Again stuff like not playing NZ mid season 3 times is obviously not down to GB switching seasons but it is a symptom of how the international game had declined. Would that have still happened if internationals had continued as before? We don't know and there are a lot of variables at play with the obvious one being the whole SL war. Tour matches were compelling and interesting in their own right, often more so. I can see the arguments for both and for me both have a place as part of a proper 4 year cycle.
  11. But that's where we were before the switch in the 1990's, we had built to that by going bold in the 1980s and moving to bigger stadiums. Let's not forget that started in 1986 when we got a 50k crowd at Old Trafford. In 1995 many didn't go to the opener because they held off knowing the final was going to be England v Australia at Wembley. Either way we would kill for 2 London crowds of 41k and 66k now. The 1995 RLWC was fantastic, as was the 1990 and 1994 Ashes Tours, and internationally we were in a good place. In the context of crowds in other sports at that time, coverage and hype we were far closer to them than we are now, I remember England Football getting pitiful crowds at this time too. Going back to the point of the thread the switch meant that disappeared practically overnight and lost what was traditionally one of the two times to play internationals across hemispheres. RU still follow that same type of formula and it works well. Obviously there is a lot more what happened with the SL wars, some shambolic GB performances, continued rise of SOO etc that has led to the attitude of the Aussies that we now see and without a major change in attitude we are sliding towards 3 matches a year shoehorned into a 3 week period being a good thing, which if you love international RL is pretty unacceptable. Now for me the debate is like the alternative history thread, if we hadn't have switched seasons, if the RLWC cycle had continued after 1995 with all the normal tour activity what would have happened (SL war excluded). SOO may well not have become what we see now, the international game may have exploded etc. We don't know and never will and I think pretty compelling arguments to argue either.
  12. GB/England played 59 times in the 1990s (even though its a stupid measure when we switched in 1996 but if that's what you want to use) They played 43 times in the 2000s (and I think I'm being generous with some of theses I'm fairly certain some of the ones I included were England A type friendlies)
  13. You'll bow out because you are completely wrong, that is why you haven't posted anything to back it up. How can you use the 1990s when the switch to summer happened in 1996, it's' a little daft. If you wish to use the 1980s or 1990's then go ahead, the result is the same.
  14. Internationals did make a lot of money though, that is why sides would tour for months with big squads and were happy to do so. That all changed with the switch to summer. I agree things have now changed and there's no going back but you are looking at this as things stand now, not as they were before the switch and how it affected things. Where we are now though certainly isn't where we were 30 years ago in terms of status, profile, sponsors or the money involved.
  15. That's not true though. In decade prior to the the 1995 RLWC and the summer switch GB/England played the following: 1994 - 4 1993 - 5 1992 - 9 + 1 as England 1991 - 3 1990 - 11 1989 - 5 1988 - 8 1987 - 3 1986 - 5 1985 - 5 1984 - 10 + 1 as England They played Australia 19 times in this period, NZ 18 times.
  16. I don't know about packed, we commonly played 4 and once 5. Its less than most of the years in the decade prior to the switch to summer.
  17. I think it has to a fairly large extent and we are now essentially left with one small international window that a team grudgingly plays 3 matches in if we are lucky. There has been a noticeable decline in matches played between what was previously England (GB), Australia, NZ and France compared to the 1980's and 1990's before the change to summer. There may have been 10 test matches in a year, plus the club v country games because the seasons not being aligned facilitated this, in much the same way as we still see in RU. Obviously internationals were still very much the pinnacle then as well which certainly helped. While summer Rugby has its own advantages and has been positive in many respects It would sure be interesting to see what would have happened after the 1995 World Cup if the game had continued as was with that World Cup cycle and tours without the whole SL war (and hopefully the SL money that we got in this country too). However we are now where we are and there is no gaining back and even if we did what we had before won't magically return. SOO has grown to such an extent that it is paramount in the Aussies mind and even stuff like the 3 test Trans Tasman series between the Aussies and kiwis has gone (and we can't even manage the one game now). Our switch to summer didn't cause that. For similar reasons they wouldn't be interested in hosting an England tour mid season either. The real travesty is that we have never had as many strong RL nations but have been utterly incapable of building and capitalising on it.
  18. Nope, but unsure if he had a choice and plenty more were happy to snap up the money. Similar to what has happened to the Challenge Cup there have been some unforeseen consequences (or that was foreseen depending on your viewpoint). That said summer Rugby has been great in other areas. All for a different thread so won't digress any more.
  19. It's pretty ironic that one of the major selling points of aligning the seasons was the alleged benefit to international Rugby League. It has turned out the complete opposite.
  20. Course you was . Typical. You either care about international Rugby League or you don't.If you don't care about NZ and the PI nations that is up to you. If you don't care about countries not being able to select their best players then that is up to you. If you don't care that mid season matches like England v NZ was sabotaged and England v Samoa (and any other PI nation) was prevented then that is up to you. If you wish to ignore that is down to SOO then that is also up to you. England are playing France by the way, as they do most years.
  21. It's like you are now desperately throwing darts now hoping one sticks. England and the RFL failing in their duties has nothing to do with the IRL. SOO has though prevented England picking NRL players, as well as other nations doing likewise, and caused the Denver test to fail. It also caused England to lose the chance to play Southern hemisphere opponents, as they did with Samoa, and has also completely screwed over NZ and the PI nations. You ignore that though.
  22. It's not an oversimplification and you have just massively moved the goalposts. This was about SOO harming the international game. It does, that is beyond question. It has swallowed up and affected everything and we have now even scrapped mid season internationals because of it. Again it is more than possible to think they are useless and to think they are an organisation with no money or power and that SOO harms the international game. The sums you refer to are chicken feed and fixing every fault the IRL has isnt making much difference as things stand in RL. I am not coming from a point of good faith at all and I am not just going to defend the IRL. Anyone that has read my posts on them knows that. However let's face it every post you make on this is really about you and your personal grudges with the IRL, as this again shows. Also I really wish you'd stop presuming that you are the only person that has ever tried to develop the game or dealt with the IRL because you certainly aren't.
  23. One of my favourite Challenge Cup Final tries from the only previous time we have had a Wigan v Warrington Challlenge Cup Final:
  24. That sounds really positive. Great stuff.
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