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Toby Chopra

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Everything posted by Toby Chopra

  1. http://www.rlwc2013.com/rugby-league-world-news/article/1487/review-reveals-extent-of-rugby The peak viewing figure of the 2013 world cup was 2.8 million for the climax of the England - NZ semi final. This game was the fifth Saturday afternoon in a row that England were shown live on BBC 1. I'm not sure we could have asked for much more build up. Without getting into the merits of women's football, I think we've got to knock on the head the idea that the BBC go out of their way to underplay rugby league. Politically, it's the complete opposite. They'd love to be able to get good audiences of viewers in the North because it helps them defend accusations of London bias etc. They show all the football they can afford, have dozens of full time staff in the north, hell they run BBC Sport out of Salford. The sad truth is we just don't deliver the audiences to justify huge investment and its not their job to build us from scratch. We have to put together a product that slowly draws more people in from beyond the existing RL viewers, then broadcasters will give us a second look. I have to say, although there's obviously a big financial risk to it, we need to find a way to get Superleague games like tonight onto terrestrial TV, it came across brilliantly and thats the best we can offer.
  2. We really wouldn't. We'd do a bit better if they pumped us up more, sure, but we'd still come nowhere near because what they're promoting with the women's world cup is a concept that many people are primed to buy into: England winning games at a football World Cup. That becomes a national event, men or women. At best we're offering 'England winning games at a rugby World Cup', which as the other lot's comp showed in 2015 doesn't cross over into true national event territory, whatever they might like to claim. Rugby (of either code) just isn't anywhere as popular as football, so we shouldn't bother comparing. We have a niche sport, but it's still one that could attract better TV audiences from a wider geography, and its obvious that a coherent, high quality international program is the only way to achieve that.
  3. Pretty much exactly my experience too, word for word. I don't really bother asking people if they want to watch the Broncos any more as they're just not interested (and I only go 2 or 3 times a year myself). But I'm currently up to 9 people who've said they definitely want a ticket for "England's World Cup semi final at the Emirates" (That's how I'm selling it!) in 2021. Promoting rugby league, it's not rocket science.
  4. People at the top of an organisation set the culture and standards for all below them. It's a fundamental part of their job. If they can't do it, they shouldn't be in the job
  5. So who are these mysterious figures that forced his resignation?
  6. You specifically said that no one was hurt, whereas Jose himself said that he was. Yet somehow me placing his view over yours (based on what) is one step from fascism? Utter nonsense.
  7. We can and certainly should loudly condemn them as unacceptable. Why wouldn't we? But that's deflection. David Argyle is not some anonymous keyboard warrior on here, he's one of the most important and influential figures in the game. Of course he's held to higher standards and sanctions. This connection that some people are making that if we make a stand on this, the next minute the thought police will be knocking on your nan's door is ludicrous, and frankly is just an excuse to brush things under the carpet.
  8. I actually think RL does gain by Argyle stepping down. It sets a standard that as a sport, we will no longer tolerate the casual racism that pervades it (and is evidenced by so many wanting to downplay this) And yes, of course, other sports and society at large have this problem massively too, but rugby league can only be responsible for its own conduct, and should make its own judgement on what it thinks is right. I might also speculate, that Argyle's decision had very little to do with pressure coming from UK rugby league power brokers - the RFL and the club chairman are bankrupt when it comes to moral authority - but more with how it would reflect in its home market. In a city like Toronto, in a country like Canada, with the sort of fans they are targeting, this sort or casual racism will not be tolerated at all. The damage to the Wolfpack's brand is potentially immense. The promise of the Wolfpack is that it takes British rugby league into markets that dwarf anything our domestic game can offer, but that means you're subject to much greater scrutiny and attention. In that context, it's a proportionate response.
  9. It clearly did hurt somebody, as the target of the "joke" had made clear in his statements. People telling Jose how he should feel about the incident (and the subtext from many seems to be 'stop making such a fuss') just makes it worse. Its for him to tell us, not for you to decide whether it's serious or not.
  10. Literally the whole point of this competition is to get clubs like Bradford and Fax back to Wembley. If those clubs themselves effectively opt out becasue of the fixture congestion it causes then it really does seem to be without purpose.
  11. On the main point, I don't think we should be too worried if the NRL expands - that would be a sign of success for rugby league. And if it meant more UK players headed down under on big money contracts, that should be promoted as a good thing that can help drive up junior participation here. I've been involved in the UK American Football scene for many years, and I can tell you that one of the best recruiting and retention tools we've got for teens, is that new pathways are opening up for UK players to go to college in the states, and, maybe if things really went well, the possibility of a pro contract. We shouldn't think of NRL as a rival or a threat, it's the most powerful part of the global RL system and the better it does, the better we all will do in the long run.
  12. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just genuinely intrigued by why some Brisbaners hate the Broncos, when they're the only NRL team in the city, and a relatively new one at that? Are they from other states? Or fans of former QRL clubs who think Broncos ruined the local league? The Manchester analogy doesn't quite work for me - lots of people round the country hate United, but they all support *someone* else, whether a big club or a small one. If you lived in Manchester, but didn't support any club, so not really that into football, why would you hate United?
  13. Agreed. Someone explain to me what's in it for Salford? Is it a taster before a possible full transfer?
  14. The problem is, as long as P&R is in place, it's inevitable that SL will be focus because that's what teams are playing for. And if teams aren't strongly thinking about how they might cope in SL, they'll find themselves in for a rude shock when they get there which might wreck all the good work they've done. It's a paradox, but promotion would be the worst thing that could happen to half of the teams in the Championship. For the smaller clubs, a ring fenced heartland-based 'RFL Championship' that focuses on all the old rivalries, with a lower salary cap, would be the best thing for them. But for the 5 or 6 clubs that can aim a bit higher, any talk of closing the door is hugely damaging of what they've got going. It's really 2 leagues in one, and I have sympathy with both groups.
  15. I know some of you look for any opportunity to criticise Superleague, but I think facts help us when looking at questions like this. So I decided to have a look back at the 4 years of the Qualifiers results to see if there was any pattern we could observe that shows us that the format of the qualifiers SPECIFICALLY, rather than just the RETURN OF P&R, had any effect. Here's what I discovered: * From 2015-2018 Championship teams won 13 of 65 matchups vs SL teams (20%) * That's skewed by last year. From 2015-17, Ch won just 7 of 49 matchups (14%) * 2018 was (relatively) wild. Ch won 6 of 16 matchups (38%) * Looking more closely at those 13 championship wins: - 3 were defeats of a Widnes team that had basically collapsed - 2 were wins by full-time Toronto and Toulouse at home - 2 were wins by HKR in 2017 who stayed full time to bounce straight back up - 2 were wins by Leigh in 2016 who were promoted with a full-time side - London beat Salford twice (in 2016 and 2018) and Bradford beat Salford in 2015 having stayed full time after relegation. * The only genuine shock over the 4 years I can find is part-time Sheffield beating Wakefield in 2015 Looking at all of this, I can't see any evidence that the Qualifiers format IN ITSELF, did anything to raise standards. Indeed, Bradford went down, almost bounced back up, then collapsed. Leigh went up, then straight back down, London look like going the same way. What did happen, however, is that by reopening P&R, ambitious clubs with access to money were were incentivised mount a challenge and that of course HAS boosted standards in the championship. So although I myself enjoyed watching many of the qualifier games on TV as something novel, there seems to be no evidence that the format itself did anything for overall standards that won't still be in place with the current 1up/1 down system. Indeed, with a Championship playoff series now in place and no need to beat a SL team to go up, it's actually EASIER for a Champ team to be promoted, so hardly a pulling up of the drawbridge. Whether teams can stay up or just end up going straight back down will be determined by the same factors as it ever was - can they afford a squad that will be competitive at the highest level.
  16. Came across great on TV too. BBC do a good job and Dave Woods is quality in my view. Given its unlikely we're going to get a real expansion of the international game any time soon, we need to find a way to get the big derbies back on terrestrial more regularly, they're the best products we've got.
  17. Last time I looked we got £40 mln a year from Sky, which is based in London. Indeed just down the road from where you Chronicle from. If you're talking newspapers, they give their readers what they want to read, that's how they make their money. They don't - and never have - poured resources into things their readers have little interest in. Why would they? All the "London" papers have sizeable full-time groups of reporters based in the north covering football, because that's what their readers want. They also cover snooker, boxing and darts. Hardly southern middle class staples. If RL was more popular they'd cover it more. We've got to get away from this conspiracy theory that the "establishment media" is trying to purposely block coverage of RL. Whatever happened in the past, it doesn't do it now. I work for a London-based media company and I can tell you there's no conspiracy. There's just no incentive to boost what coverage there is beyond the small - but existing - amount there is now because there's no apparent prospect of a return. We, rugby league, have to make ourselves relevant, so the papers and whoever else think there's an audience for coverage. A better product, marketed and promoted in a modern and accessible way. If interest rises, so will media attention and, eventually, income. But it's down to us and us alone.
  18. My guess is that Sinfield - frustrated by how things are going - has tried to exert more influence over the day to day coaching. Furner has said no, which is his right if it changes the terms of his hire, but if they can't work together, then the director of rugby will always win. Expect Sinfield to have a lot of day to day influence now, like he did after they sacked BM. My question is, how much influence did Sinfield have over Furner's hiring in the first place? If he was a major part of it, then he's only got one shot left to hire the right guy.
  19. I'm genuinely puzzled by this, what do you propose teams do on the last tackle if they can't kick, especially when the set ends around midfield? When you watch NRL teams kick on the last and really turn the field, you realise what a skill it is and how much better, on average, their halves are at kicking.
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