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Everything posted by Mushy

  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.
  14. I thought Bennett being appointed was a master stroke after McNamara but it’s been anything but. Holding up WC17 as an achievement ignores the fact we were nearly dispatched by Tonga, and NZ imploded. We were far from brilliant in the final when you see it again. Our series win against NZ in 2018 was ok although the opposition didn’t really do themselves justice. Wane’s teams initially at Wigan were a level above McGuire with even better ball movement and great moves to balance the aggression. Later on his sides were almost unwatchably dull and at times you wondered how they’d ever win t
  15. Enjoyable game that. Both teams will improve and be up there at the end of the season. French is an entertainment machine but there were plenty others on show from both teams.
  16. Crikey this thread has gone off on a tangent. Who’d have thought there was a game on when you lot were busy posting stuff? Personally I prefer watching the game rather than writing about former newsreaders.
  17. This is actually the most constructive and well mannered TWP thread I’ve seen. Encourages me to visit these pages more often. Personally I think this does show poor cap management by TWP, although most of the cap would have been used up in getting promotion and signing players to multi year contracts so I’ve some sympathy. And I do think expansion teams ought to be able to spend a bit more provided they can pay for it. But this is tough to square with P&R which of course we have in play for at least this season. So I think this year it might have to be ‘those a
  18. In advance of SL 1999 there was a call for new franchises. The 3 main contenders (Gateshead, Swansea and Cardiff) submitted business plans that included (reasonably) a fair share of central funding. When the SL clubs decided to give almost nothing to any of these (and the money that they did give was oddly tied to shares in the new club making it hard to get other investors in) the two Welsh clubs effectively withdrew, and Richie and his family stumped up all the money themselves to get Gateshead to the starting line in 1999. They were modestly successful that year, building a good presence
  19. Although to be fair Toronto have paid for a lot of this exposure either directly or indirectly of course. SBW doesn’t come cheap!
  20. If you’d had to pay for the positive exposure of rugby league that Toronto have managed to get us, it would probably be of the order of the entire SLE marketing budget for a decade. The elevation of our brand value as a result is hard to quantify but it’s not insignificant. The proof will be in the value of future TV and sponsorship deals across the board of course.
  21. I’m liking the look of pretty much all the teams who weren’t in last year’s playoffs, they seems to have strengthened a lot across the board. Adding in the Wolfpack and you’ve got a lot of competition from 2 to 12.
  22. Think you might have made a mistake, I reckon you’ve accidentally included one player from outside the NRL in your top 50 or so players ? My Team: RTS Addo Carr Wighton Mitchell Makinson Munster Cronk JWH Smith Taukeiaho Bateman Cordner Taumalolo hmm not many SL players there either, but there would be more in the top 5 with the likes of Thompson, Hastings, Roby, Clarke, and maybe even Gildart and Williams being in the mix if they’d toured and played well.
  23. We can actually produce a fair few players with potential in their teens, but not a lot of those end up being the stars we hope they’ll be. Our player physical development is some way behind the NRL’s still, with our lot falling behind in terms of power and agility as they move into the first team in Super League. It shouldn’t be that surprising when you look into it though, ex players end up as conditioners so the same mistakes get repeated as do the same omissions in prep - there are almost no sprint coaches attached to super league clubs for instance, so don’t be surprised that our pla
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