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  1. Trying not to pick the obvious players: Bruce Burton (Castleford) - late 70s. Green Vigo (Wigan) - circa 1977. Keith Fielding (Salford).
  2. Just had a look at the scores of Wigans matches at the time of the split from RU. What's remarkable is just how low scoring the games in the early days of the Northern Union were. As an example, Wigans first dozen games in the 1895/96 season: Broughton R. (a) 9-0 Liversage (a) 3-0 Wakefield T. (a) 9-13 Tyldesley (h) 0-0 Widnes (h) 3-0 Bradford (h) 0-0 Brighouse R. (a) 3-3 Manningham (a) 0-5 Rochdale H. (a) 0-0 Warrington (h) 9-0 Runcorn (h) 0-0 St Helens (a) 0-0 Five scoreless draws in the first 3 months of the season. An average of just under 5 points a game - & that's including the Wakefield 'points fest' of 9-13.
  3. I have unleashed my inner nerd & had a flick through a book I have entitled 'Wigan RLFC 1895/1986' by Ian Morrison. Post First World War up to 1986 I found 5 matches, including an almost unheard of scoreless draw & bizarrely a Yorkshire Cup tie. (The book states that the Lancashire Cup had been suspended during WW2 - hence Wigans entry into the Yorkshire Cup). 1925/26 v Leeds 0-5 1942/43 v Dewsbury 0-6 (Yorkshire Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg) 1951/52 v Barrow 0-9 1973/74 v Castleford 0-0 1978/79 v Castleford 0-18
  4. Re: Wigan. Wigan Athletics shirt colours from their 1932 foundation year until 1939 were red & white halves (the same as the Wigan Borough FC shirt worn in the early 1920s - Wigan Borough were members of the Football League & the previous occupants of Springfield Park until they went bust in 1931). The shirts were then red & white quarters until 1947 when they changed to blue & white. I vaguely remember being told that the reason they changed to blue & white was due to the club not being able to get hold of a new red & white kit due to supply difficulties after the war, & the only full kit that the could get hold of was a blue & white one. Exactly how true this is I don't know, but that's the story I remember being told years ago. Ironically, Wigan RLs original colours were blue & white hoops up to 1886 when they changed to cherry & white - the blue & white becoming the clubs secondary colours.
  5. Good news. Another step in the right direction for the international game. One point I've noticed though is that although the world governing body changed it's name to 'International Rugby League' some time ago, the websites address is still 'rlif.com'. Unless it's me being a bit dim about this & the website address isn't an easy thing to change, if you're going to change the name of the organisation surely it makes sense to change the website address as well.
  6. Totally agree that they need more support. Most of the games administrators want the game to spread & thrive in 'non-heartland' areas - until it comes down to putting sustained long term resources, finance & planning into it. You only have to look at the long list of failed 'non-heartland' clubs to realise this. I'm not sure how much support they are given by the RFL but the impression you get is that (as usual) WWR are left to just get on with it with very little help/support from the RFL or other pro clubs. It's like a gardener chucking a few seeds on a bit of poor quality wasteland & hoping to come back in 18 months time expecting Kew Gardens to have sprung up. Didn't the RFL have development officers operating in the South Wales area a few years ago, but the RFL scrapped the role? What about Wigans link up with WWR? That seems to have gone west. It's again just some examples of the complete lack of long term planning & support for any new 'non-heartland' club. What little support is offered seems to be amateurish off the cuff scraps here & there for 12 months or so.
  7. Not everyone is against you. There's a bloke in Eastbourne who likes you. (Only joking - apologies but I couldn't resist copying a line by the Major in Fawlty Towers). It's true that there's an element of RL fans that seem to dislike everything that TW do no matter what. But there are also a huge number of RL fans wholeheartedly willing you on & wishing you success. I've been following RL since I was 7 years old & I'm now in my 50s. For me the expansion of the game internationally at both club & country level is the most exiting thing to happen to the sport that I've seen. We cannot keep plodding on dying a slow death & becoming less & less relevant by just keeping to a handful of ex mining & cotton towns along the M62. Keep up the great work.
  8. A fair point. Anything that attracts more players/finance/clubs/coverage & spreads the game is fine by me. We just need to make sure we have thought about & addressed as many possible problems & pitfalls in advance so that they don't become an issue further down the line. As a slight aside, I've just noticed these two RL headlines fro the last couple of days: A headline in The Guardian - Red Star Belgrade plan to join New York and Ottawa in League 1. A headline from the Love Rugby League website - Salford Trio Loaned to Valencia. I wouldn't have dared to dream of ever seeing RL headlines like this. Fantastic.
  9. It's great news for the game that Red Star are planning to apply to join League 1. However, with the possibility Ottawa, Valencia, New York & Red Star all in League 1 at the same time surely it's a fair point that needs to be looked at? I presume that virtually all the existing League 1 club players are part time - many with regular full time jobs. Getting the required time off work to make 4 possible overseas trips a season may not be possible for many players. I'm certainly not saying that Red Star shouldn't be allowed to join - far from it. But real world logistical issues such as this need to be sorted out before we end up with a scenario where (for example) a New York home game is called off due to the away side not being able to raise enough players to travel.
  10. I 100% totally agree!! But it's the process of how we examine & possibly change the rules that is the issue. If another nation has an idea to make the rules better for everyone then absolutely great - lets have a look at it. Just lets have a means/platform whereby this can be examined by the game as a whole. I really don't see what the problem with this is. It just seems (to me) to be the logical thing to do - but I accept you have a different opinion. Anyway, I'm sure we both have the games best interests at heart. I'm going to sign off from this thread now before I get anymore hysterical & disingenuous?.
  11. If your argument is correct, this annual rule tinkering method should be encouraged throughout all the other RL nations. Every RL nation should be encouraged once a year to alter the rules solely to make the sport attractive to their own nation. The more sets of rules the better - what could possibly go wrong for a growing international sport? We could even have regional variations in the same country (introduce lineouts under Queensland rules, have 16 a side under Yorkshire rules). Why only do this once a year - bring in Easter rule tinkering as well. Consultation & communication should be avoided. The annual NRL rule changes are so successful that they feel compelled to change them again every 12 months. There may be a few other sports which have rule variations, but I suspect the vast majority don't. Even the ones that do surely don't feel the need to change them so frequently. Regardless of what other sports do, we need to consider what is best for our game. Each year our sport is being played in nations new to RL. So surely it is common sense to have a sensible unified global policy to play under one set of rules, and to retain some semblance of control on reviewing and implementing any rule changes for the benefit of the whole game & not just the NRL.
  12. I accept that the NRL is so powerful within the game that it can do what it wants & there is very little any other organisation can do about it. I also accept that the intentions of the NRL are to improve the game. Whether all the rule changes do so remains to be seen as there doesn't appear to have been any trial of these changes. However, as the game continues to grow internationally, I still think that individual RL nations having free reign to change the rules at will could cause problems further down the line of the sports development. To ignore the issue is possibly just storing up problems in the future. I know this is hypothetical, but what concerns me is that with the current set up, we could in theory in 10/15 years time have English RL rules, French RL rules, NZ RL rules, Serbian RL rules, Canadian RL rules etc...It then becomes take your pick as to which set of rules would any new RL playing nation adopt - or why not make your own up? In my opinion, it has the potential to make the sport look ridiculous. I just feel that a system needs to be in place whereby the sport is flexible enough to allow rule changes to be tried out & that all the IRL full members have an input. This input need not be equal (i.e. one vote per nation) but could be weighted so that the NRL has the largest number of votes - down to (for example) the newest/smallest nation having one vote - then at least there is some sort of democratic system in place that acknowledges the NRLs undoubted dominance, but at least gives everyone an input & hopefully avoids the 'pick your own rules' situation that we have at the moment. I also wonder if this may have any bearing on our application for GAISF. Maybe it's not something that the GAISF are that bothered about. However, if I were an organisation that wanted to find any way possible of trying to scupper RLs application of becoming a permanent GAISF member then I would certainly make sure that the GAISF were aware of the potential for a free for all concerning the sports rules - which demonstrates that the so called world governing body making the GAISF application is in fact no such thing.
  13. The problem is that virtually every area of the game is crying out for more finance. However, I would love to set up a property branch of the RFL whereby they start to invest & purchase pitches/clubhouses & so on throughout the country so that amateur clubs in non-traditional areas aren't having to rent RU/football grounds & have a more secure tenure, so that every penny generated by these clubs stays in the game.
  14. It looks like the NRL has again made a unilateral decision to alter some rules of the sport without consulting the rest of the RL playing nations or even the IRL. I accept that it's good practice to periodically review the laws of the game, but with the game continuing to grow internationally - & no longer restricted to just England, France, Australia, NZ, & PNG, surely this should now be undertaken by the IRL. The NRL should obviously have an input, but so should all other IRL full members. The problem with individual nations introducing their own rule changes is that it brings confusion to the rest of the RL nations as to which set of rules they now follow. It also sets a precedent for any of the 40 odd RL nations to do the same if they so wish - which (at least in theory) could lead to one change too many for some nations possibly resulting in a third code of rugby. I feel that the time has come whereby one of the rules of IRL membership should be to agree not to unilaterally make rule changes, and also agree that the IRL (with input from all full members) is the sole body responsible for making any rule changes.
  15. Yet it does seem odd that the "billion dollar business" that is the NRL struggles to spread it's wings beyond NSW & Queensland - but by comparison, in it's 14 years of existence from virtually nothing, the A League (the Aussie soccer league) has managed to establish clubs in 4 states & 2 countries - including clubs in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, & Wellington - with plans for further expansion. Even to 'non experts' like myself it does suggest that there just isn't the will to try no matter what the size of any TV/sponsorship deals.
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