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  1. Agree. Thats my usual route into France, with Ryanair from Manchester (- which is good for direct rail from Hull). Usually affordable, with good afternoon arrival & departure times at Carcassone. For deluded poms' info: From Carcassonne the train takes around 1hr10 to 1hr40 to Perpignan, changing once at Narbonne. French rail travel is usually easy, frequent, reilable - but pricey even compared to UK. (There has been major engineering works on this line this year, which was disruptive, but is expected to complete by new year). The towns/cities in this corner of France are small and quiet but very pleasant. Perpignan is probably the best place to stay - although the organised trips choose the coast. Accommodation is plentiful and good value. Hope deluded pom gets there and enjoys it. Its a great trip.
  2. The report was in the Telegraph & Argus: https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/sport/17216981.yorkshire-cup-excites-kear-but-bulls-focused-on-championship/ Some more on the opening round for 5 & 6 January here: https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/sport/17213516.andrew-chalmers-column-clubs-behind-yorkshire-cup-revival-as-bulls-host-halifax/ .."tickets available at club shops from next week"! No more info around that that - but I think a good idea, with this competition giving meaning to pre-season friendlies - and I like the double headers. Interesting to see what the next rounds/locations are.
  3. I attended yesterday's game (- day trip from Yorkshire): A thoroughly enjoyable game & trip. Its great there's a European Championship being played and there are 3 reasonably competitive teams. France seemingly cop criticism for what they are not (i.e. a Tier 1 nation) but I see plenty of skill and some improvement. They do lack forward "grunt", but this looks to me their best team for 5 years. France weren't as consistent and expansive as in beating Wales ladt weekend (- which i also attended) but they were well drilled and are getting better at game management. France set up to win this game and ensured they did. Well done to them. France could be given a little more credit for producing some great players and a good, improving team from the limited resources of what is really a very small sport in France. But also well done to Ireland for a good 2nd half and the performance of their domestic and "lesser" players. The crowd was small (- I guess 400) but knowledgeable and noisy and maintained their interest throughout. Particular credit to (I think) to the family & friends of Ronan Michaels, who gave him a lot of loud encouragement. Santry was a better than expected venue and the athletics club bar a treat. The stars of Ireland are the people and the pubs - but I came away with a changed perspective on Rugby league in Ireland. A good day out.
  4. I didn't know the size of attendance yesterday. I do now: 4,056 spectators reported in today's L'Independant newspaper. Crowd looked bigger ...was certainly busy around the bar!
  5. Yes - that's true - the place and the marketing is potentially more important than the opposition I recall being in a 17,000 crowd in Avignon and 9,000 in Toulouse - although these were v England - and a big crown v Wales in Albi
  6. I don't know what the attendance was today - the ground wasn't full - but there was a good atmosphere. I understand the French Federation had been trying to find other, more prominent locations for the European Championship - but this proved difficult, as it often does for Rugby XIII - hence the delay for announcements. Its good they tried, its sad they failed. But Rugby League in France is small-time with limited influence. Carcassonne was a fall back. It has great RL heritage but the town is small (- less than 50k) & quiet (the town effectively shuts mid afternoon on a Saturday) - on top of this there's been terrible flooding in the region and a decimated rail service due to engineering works - so the size of crowd is understandable. I don't know what the answer is - but I think England, NZ and Australia can help by playing games in France and giving the Federation a product to sell, to build interest and awareness beyond the hard-core of treziste support. UK supporters should visit too. I take every opportunity to watch games in France - its one of life's great pleasures!
  7. I went to the game - and enjoyed it despite the one sided score and cold - my hands have just stopped shaking! Autumn internationals eh?! (..love 'em!). France were great for 35mins of the 1st half, and patches of the 2nd - managing the game, and when the opportunity came they moved the ball quickly though good hands to the wings. 2nd half was scrappier -and France reverted to type, inconsistent and easily distracted - but there are good players to admire and enjoy in this side, and they are getting better at using their skills at the right time - but I agree with others that the warm ups helped them. Wales looked a bit under-prepared and under-resourced.
  8. HT 26-0 to England. FT 54-4 A bit scrappy in parts, with a fair few errors on what was a cold, blustery afternoon - but very watchable, entertaining stuff with some big hits, strong running and good skills - Good rugby league! particularly from England, with the crowd appreciative and fair. Great that France got a late consolation score for their efforts. England's full-back looks a very talented athlete and RL player.
  9. I'm at the game - and its "frozen" here too, in the sense that it is quite cold. An encouragingly decent sized crowd in already - looks bigger than when i was here last for the magic weekend Agree with jannerboyuk's last post - the teams are fairly well matched up the middle - with some great, big hits from both sides - but England are much better in the centres and wings. 22-0 up after 22mins - and could have been more but for at least 3 forward passes
  10. Completely agree. Wonderful win for London. London away has been one of my favourite away days with Dewsbury over the past few years - but I would happily give that up to see a successful London side. Probably too much to hope/expect to see my other favourite away team Toulouse go up as well - but either would be a benefit to SL. The Middle 8's have been great for giving these teams a decent chance - and great entertainment too.
  11. Thanks for selling it to me! I'm coming over to the Ireland v France game on a day trip from Yorkshire .....was looking forward to it (.....actually still am ... love international RL!) ... let me know if there's an even half decent pub in the vicinty of the stadium
  12. Coolie - sorry to be late - but happy to donate the final £25. I won't be able to get to the ground for the last home game v Leigh (- holiday) but could drop off an envelope with contribution at the reception this Friday. Alternatively I'll be at the Rochdale away game. and a "well done" for a good initiative for the 2nd year running
  13. The absence of info is frustrating. I've been trying to find out details of the France Euro Championship games for the last month, to book flights and accommodation. The RFL said they had no details and pointed me to the RLIF, who said they had no details and pointed me to the RLEF, who's Head of Media said he was "led to believe" that details would be confirmed by end of month (August) - so, not quite to timetable (- Quite why a head of media would have no idea is a different but equally frustrating question, but I gather RLEF was waiting on one nation). The good news is that the France XIII website now confirms dates of the Wales and Scotland games with the promise of venues to be confirmed in the "next days". The bad news is the France v NZ game on the 17th looks to be gone - which was the game i really wanted to see and the promised venue of Toulon was such a good idea.
  14. Wakey did play well - although Giants were decent and on top in the 1st half. For this neutral an enjoyable, entertaining game with contrasting styles between Giants more 'Australian' structured play hardly passing in their own half but creative in the final third and Wakey's expansive, skilful game from their own try-line. What impressed was Wakey sticking to their approach when behind, and reaping the benefits when Giants lost players and tired. Wakey's 6 & 9 particularly had good games. Not so impressed with Giants supporters leaving in numbers with 11 mins to go as Wakey scored. Giants have become a good side in recent weeks, but Wakey were a pleasure to watch last night.
  15. I'll do upbeat - I enjoyed the game. As expected, and as is their right, Swinton were niggly and aggressive - but the 1st half was compelling viewing and Rams did well to live with Swinton's approach. In the 2nd half we benefitted from Barlow's sin-bining - but we won by (I agree) strong defence but also by playing some good, clever and entertaining rugby league. I think we are safe. I think the team can get better. I'm looking forward to the last 6 games and a decent finishing position - as much for what it looks like as the cash it brings.
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