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  1. I struggle to see any positive future for elite rugby league in the northern hemisphere. There is no plan. Even people like me who have loved the sport all their lives are disillusioned with the lack of vision and ever widening gap between us and the NRL and the other code. Watching the game here is depressing as it’s clearly second rate and is only going to get worse. Toronto were something exotic, and in the absence of anything else exciting represented hope that we could be something more than a sport in terminal decline. It may only have been hope and perhaps I was being delusion
  2. Four week delay? If it does turn out to be a NO then hopefully that will give Super League a chance to formulate a strategic plan that might show they’ve any vision at all other than managed decline. I need something to believe in to stay involved in this sport as increasing irrelevance doesn’t do it for me. If there’s no vision and a no decision eventually then despite being a former investor in a former super league club and a lifelong fan, I am not sure I’ll want to have anything to do with the sport any more. Not sure that’ll sway any decisions...
  3. Very well - there’s plenty in the press about it. Be a great venue for League.
  4. I worked with him on Everton’s new stadium development. Whilst he came across as a lovely bloke and a genuine league lover, I don’t think the club were disappointed to see him go.
  5. To be clear there is no strategy and no vision. Elstone is appointed by super league to look after the existing clubs and it’s hard to see him recommending anything game changing in that context. I feel his role is more task based - looking for as good a tv deal as we can get and maybe getting the clubs a one off injection of cash (that will of course disappear like all the rest). If there were a plan I imagine it would be all about survival, which in the long term probably means a managed decline as we lose further ground to rival sports. Maybe things like Toronto aren’t a
  6. He’s an outstanding attacking centre but has been fairly mixed defensively in Super League. I’d hope his defence would improve dramatically in the more intensive training environment of the NRL, and if it does I think he’ll be a success. The NRL prepares players so much better than Super League and Bateman’s bulking up is just the latest example of that. It could be the longer off season, more intense competition within clubs, better coaching, better supplements, or most likely all of the above.
  7. I really thought Hull would be right up there this year. I think it was clear Radford want going to turn it around. I wonder what active performance management or warnings had been in place prior to last night? We might never know. I also hope for everyone’s sake the appropriate contractual matters are being dealt with respectfully - no one deserves to have zero notice after 7 years and not be entitled to compensation. I hear Brian Smith might be available again ?
  8. Williams played 100% of his time under Wane as a dedicated left sided player whereas Lam had him popping up on the right occasionally. Given Stuart is playing his halves left and right with Williams on the right, it’ll take a while for him to settle in but the signs were promising. Don’t forget England’s main half and stand off options are almost all mainly left sided too (Widdop, Gale, Hastings, Truman etc) so an on form George on the right would be good for the national team. Whitehead always looks good, Hodgson runs the Raiders very well, and Watkins looks sharp. A good start
  9. Wheeler at times has been a fantastic competitor for Toronto, and a good utility to have on the books. With Stanley back and Miloudi and Leutele they’ve obviously decided that they could make better use of the money elsewhere, arguably on ad hoc loan signings or maybe Gigot. Hard to argue with that approach really as Wheeler wasn’t ever going to give them 20 games this year.
  10. If you consider Springer, Wilkin and Lussick probably aren’t playing then that’s an 18 person squad. Sidlow, Mullaley and Olbison plus young Wigan loanee against (arguably) the worlds strongest club front row. I suspect Saints might rest a few in their last 17 and I also suspect they will be really drained mentally and physically after a fabulous effort last week, but it doesn’t look good as a match up. I know they’ve been unlucky but what was Noble thinking when he assembled the Wolfpack’s squad? Miracles can still happen, and maybe all of Toronto’s excellent attacks come off and
  11. You’re right I did sound a bit bitter. I don’t particularly like the club and it’s owners, and I don’t like the incredible capitalist arms race in stadium development that this is part of when considered in the context of the climate emergency in particular. It’s completely unsustainable. But it is an incredible stadium nevertheless, with the best views of any football ground in the world, and an almost cathedral like quality to many of its spaces. And it’ll act as a catalyst for further investment into that area of London. I took clients to the NFL and at £450 per head it was terrible va
  12. Tottenham’s stadium is acclaimed as the worlds best football stadium, mainly because it’s a money making machine designed to extract huge sums out of hospitality punters. Having been there a few times and sampled the shambles of how the venue’s hospitality is run I’d recommend eating at a burger place in the high street and getting a seat in the general admission seats in the south stand rather than pay for anything more. The stadium is an incredible feat of engineering, although the programme mentioned above was carefully choreographed to show Tottenham employees in made up job roles ra
  13. They’ve been far from one dimensional in their games this year. I wish more coaches were as 1D (and successful) as McDermott. Still can’t see past a Wire win unless TWP improve on last week and Wire don’t.
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