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Methven Hornet

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Posts posted by Methven Hornet

  1. On 05/08/2021 at 09:45, EssexRL said:

    As any one who reads my posts know I love RL and always try to be positive about it; however the state of the sport, the poor way it’s run, the uncertainty around restructuring, and of course the cancellation of the WC (I really don’t think it’ll happen next year) is depressing and collectively is ebbing away my enthusiasm for the game. I have other things I could do with my time and money. For the first time in years I’ve missed Skolars home games this season. This is no reflection on the club who do a fantastic job under difficult circumstances but more my general feelings about the sport. 

    How do other people feel? 

    How do I feel? I wish I could feel shocked and surprised at what has happened in the game in recent times but I can't. I grew up watching the game on BBC Grandstand - the second half shown as a filler before the full time footy results (probably because ITV's World of Sport had bagged the rights to professional wrestling) - but my first live game was Hornets against Trinity in a top 16 playoff game in 1973. Even to a kid it was obvious that the Athletic Grounds, and even the game itself, had seen better days. The action on the pitch was just as good as I'd seen on the telly, though.

    What I could never understand, when I looked at the league table, was that all the clubs were in the north of England. Was it that northern clubs were just better, and that the southern clubs were in lower divisions? No, what you saw was what you got. Of course, come the 1980s with Fulham and the other expansion clubs, then the promise of Super League and the "global game" in the mid-nineties, I discovered why the game was so stunted in its geographical spread.

    Any opportunities the game has had have been squandered by a lack of leadership. And that is down to the fact that the game has never had governing bodies, either at domestic or international level. The RFL has always essentially been a club-based competition, a group of professional clubs that takes decisions based upon their immediate interests and not those of the game as a whole.

    For me there have been highlights during the half century I've followed the game. 1995 was the high point: a professional game with the opportunity for meaningful expansion, a real world cup with a real England side like other grown up sports and, at last, a Scotland team playing internationals. I travelled all over Scotland and the north of England following Scotland teams, would turn up at places like Galashiels and Meadowbank to watch exhibition games, and I even watched the Scottish Schools Cup semi-finals on the North Inch, Perth one year.

    Gradually that interest waned as I realised that those responsible for overseeing the game didn't believe in it. Or, some did, like those who wanted to affiliate to the GAISF, wanted to develop the game in new countries and, via the 2021 World Cup, establish a bona fide international governing body, but not the people who held the power.

    I lost interest in "British" rugby league after the debacle over North America (yes, Toronto's replacement choice showed real ambition for the game) but I kept in touch with the Australian game via the NRL and, in particular, NRL WA - a part of the country I'm familiar with. I'm afraid even that has gone now after the NRL's behaviour.

    Having returned to this board just to find out what was going on regarding the now seemingly lost world cup, I find that the stock of the game here is so low that it is having to reduce its flagship competition to just ten clubs, ideas are circulating about an all-in competition embracing the likes of Wigan, St Helens, Leeds, West Wales, and Coventry - hello late 60s/early 70s! - and there are even proposals for an 8-a-side reserve league. It's come to something when even managed decline descends into farce.

    A French world cup in 2025 would be something to see but, realistically, it has as much chance of happening as rugby league being included in the Olympics, ie none.

    As for me? I'm done with the game.

    • Sad 1
  2. 2 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

    So Mr Grealish signs a 100 million pound contract 

    Nice work if you can get it 

    My son is a St Johnstone fan but his English team is Man City. As he has just said, signing a £100 million player is nothing in comparison to a battling draw away to Galatasaray

  3. On 03/08/2021 at 11:39, meast said:

    Despite the media and lots of "mainstream" football fans thinking otherwise, the FA Cup starts this weekend, 348 teams contesting the extra preliminary round.

    Why not get to your local club and support them?

    I'll be watching Emley hopefully beating Congleton Town and earning a trip to City of Liverpool.

    I saw a preliminary round match many years ago between Rossendale United and Chorley, notable for the first sending off of a goalkeeper for deliberately handling the ball outside of the penalty area to prevent a goalscoring chance (the rule having just been introduced). The decision led to a pitch invasion, well, one of two guys walked onto the pitch to remonstrate with the ref.

    It's a few months until the first round of the Scottish Cup but I hope to watch local Perth side, Jeanfield Swifts, commence their cup journey.

    • Like 1
  4. 2 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

    Galatasaray vs St Johnstone live on BBC Scotland from 7pm in the Europa League qualifiers.

    Gala got really hammered off PSV Eindhoven in the previous round of the Champions League qualifying to drop into this.

    Be a huge scalp for the Saints who won both cups in Scotland last year and are 6/1 underdogs tonight.


    Honestly, I'm convinced I fell into a deep slumber around about January and that I'm dreaming all this. Winning the League Cup, the Scottish Cup and now holding a side like Galatasaray to a draw away from home. It's certainly a great time to be a Saints fan!

    Someone just joked on social media that you can measure the relative stature of the two clubs by their sponsors: Turkish Airlines v Binn Skips, a local waste disposal company.



    • Like 2
  5. 8 hours ago, fighting irish said:

    I'd suggest:-

    European Championship

    France v England and perhaps England v France (first year)

    This gives England one/two games focused on the development of NH International Football, they can seek SH opposition to give them an additional game (or not).

    France can play in a promotion/relegation match with the winners of the Celtic Cup.

    Celtic Cup

    Wales v Scotland, Wales v Ireland, Scotland v Ireland.

    The winners challenge France (losers of the European championship) for the right to play England next year. 

    Losers, play the winners of the America's cup for an additional match.

    (This will gauge the relative strength of the Celtic/America's cup).

    Each team gets two games in the Celtic Cup, winners and losers play up and down for an additional game.

    America's Cup

    Canada v USA, USA v Jamaica, Canada v Jamaica.

    Each team gets two games in the America's cup.

    Winners to play losers in Celtic cup to gauge relative strength of the two areas. 

    And there's your basic problem before we start: a European Championship but you're assuming that France will be in the losers play off. And you would be proved 100% correct.

  6. As for all the various suggestions being put forward for alternative international games and tournaments, presumably restricted to players from just the Northern Hemisphere, you'd be as well holding them behind closed doors for all the attention they'll receive.

    Building an international game relying on heritage teams, and populated largely by Australasian players, was supposed to be a temporary measure, a stopgap solution which would allow real development in those nations to take place.

    The NRL providing the bulk of international players not only gave them a power they were always likely to use to their advantage, it allowed the game to ignore the need to build the underlying strength of the game internationally. If any internationals are hastily arranged for this autumn we will be confronted with the results of that neglect. 

    It will be brutal.

    • Like 4
  7. 2 hours ago, Hopping Mad said:

    It is disappointing. I was up in Forfar three Septembers ago, and went to watch a Strathmore RU game. The clubhouse had a separate display of Scotland RL shirts their players had worn. It suggested they took RL fairly seriously.

    Strangely enough, I was in Kirkcaldy RU clubhouse a couple of years back for the prize giving for a road race series held by Fife Athletics Club. Again the club had a separate display of RL shirts (both Scotland and Ireland) worn by Kirkcaldy players, and showed a certain respect for the game.

    Kirkcaldy would have been the venue for the grand final.

    • Like 1
  8. 1 hour ago, Dave T said:

    This simply is not true no matter how many times you say it. 

    People support teams in all sports for all sorts of reasons. 

    I'm from Warrington in Cheshire, but I support Man City and Lancashire Cricket, despite caring little for the city and county. 

    My wife is from Glasgow and supports Warrington. My mate is from Nottingham and supports Arsenal. I know lads from Wales who support Warrington, Widnes, St Helens and Salford. I know Southerners who support Wigan. I have convinced loads of my Scottish mates to follow Wire. 

    People support teams for all sorts of reasons - parents, favourite players, friends, kits, one-off games, colours etc. 


    When I was a postie in deepest, darkest and very rural Perthshire, I delivered a parcel to a remote cottage. The woman who answered the door was wearing a piece of Warrington Wolves merchandise (a jacket if memory serves...)

    I asked about her connection, if any, with the club and town. None, she'd picked it up in a charity shop. 

    • Like 1
    • Haha 1
  9. Invest from where? Where are clubs getting the extra money from? That issue is not being addressed, other than in vague desires to develop new competitions/international programmes that sponsors and broadcasters may want to put money into.

    And would culling the two weakest clubs really concentrate the talent amongst the remaining clubs to any discernable degree? How many of the players of the two weakest clubs would have the remaining clubs scrambling to appoint?

    And clubs going bust in a desperate attempt to escape the drop does not increase quality. It just promotes those smaller, weaker clubs who run a tight ship.

    • Like 1
  10. 2 minutes ago, David Shepherd said:

    Not necessarily.  How many kids are we losing to Kick & Clap because the earning potential just isn't there in RL?

    I know of 3 from my lad's age group that turned down RL academies for this very reason and are now lost to the game, playing a game they didn't have much interest in, but are making a living from.

    More spent on salaries in order to survive in the top flight means even less spent on academies and development. Unless British rugby League clubs, against all recent evidence, begin to generate other sources of income.

    And, when top clubs start to go bust, the top talent will start leaving anyway.

  11. 11 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

    I think it will, actually. With ten teams there’s no deadwood clubs content to cut their cloth to the Sky ‘dole money’ because it’ll require spending full salary cap - or as near as dammit - to stay in it. 

    Won’t happen instantly, but the cream will rise to the top.


    10 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

    As I say, they’ll have to spend more money to stay in it so better players will play in it. 


    10 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

    Well, some SL clubs could spend full cap and sign two marquees if they aren’t already. 

    But yes, the cap may have to rise in time and that wouldn’t be a necessarily undesirable outcome given the low starting point. 

    The glaring problem with what you suggest is that clubs will be spending money they haven't got, or can't generate, in a desperate attempt just to stay in the top flight. As we have seen in Scottish football, and in British rugby league, this doesn't lead to an increase in quality in the medium to long term.

    And where are the better players coming from if no action is taken on improving development? More spent on players' wages means less available for nurturing talent.

  12. That is disappointing as Strathmore have been a mainstay of Scottish rl in recent years. Yes, they are a primarily a rugby union club but they used to claim they were dual-code. I'm sure they used to have programmes for their youngsters that introduced the skills of both codes.

    • Like 1
  13. 6 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

    What standard would you say Edinburgh are at these days? They're clearly a step above the rest of the Scottish clubs.

    How do you think they would go in the NCL for example?

    They were in the North East league in 2019, and won it. I assume they haven't entered this season because of the uncertainties surrounding covid.

    • Like 2
  14. 6 hours ago, Maximus Decimus said:

    I'm pretty sure he represented the UK previously? I remember it being somewhat controversial as a Catholic Northern Irishman. 

    I think he considered representing the UK before settling for Ireland. He also said that he would represent Northern Ireland if such an option were available. Simply put, he has three national identities and embraces all of them.

  15. On 25/07/2021 at 18:49, The Future is League said:

    My interest in the game is hanging by a thread with whats happened over the last 2 or 3 years or so. If the World cup doesn't go ahead and the NRL take over the running of the IRL I'm 90% certain that's me finished with it and i don't think i will be the only one

    That's just about my position as well. I had just about given up on the British game after the decision of Super League to expand to, er, Leigh (isn't that going well?) but if the RLWC doesn't go ahead that's me done.

    A French world cup would be superb. We went to the FIFA Women's World Cup in France in 2019, and it was great travelling from city to city, staying in various b&bs. You just couldn't plan that with RL because you'd have no idea whether the tournament would go ahead.

    • Like 5
  16. On 15/07/2021 at 09:28, Bleep1673 said:

    Arbroath F.C. is the closest ground to the sea in the world according to wiki. One road between the ground & the North Sea, it must be bitter during the storms in Winter.

    Dundee, and Dundee United are the closest teams that don't groundshare. 

    Looking at the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps, I'd say Caledonian Stadium in Inverness gives it a run for its money. That is if you class the Moray Firth as the sea.

    As for the closest teams/stadiums, certainly in Scottish senior football (albeit just south of the border), Lowland League Berwick Rangers play at Shielfield Park. Tweedbank Rangers, of the East of Scotland League, play next door at Old Shielfield. The two grounds share a boundary wall.

  17. On 22/07/2021 at 14:24, MattSantos said:

    Has ever been any League in Helensburgh? Theres a union club here and plenty of Navy folk so could be ripe for a team!

    Yes, well in Rhu anyway. It's a few years ago but they started as Lomond Valley Raiders before changing their name to Rhu Raiders. I seem to remember they were around for a few seasons.

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