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B rad

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Posts posted by B rad

  1. On 08/07/2020 at 07:36, DeadShotKeen said:

    Great stuff but part of the problem with these things - as even evidenced by 1 of the comments by a US observer - is that the sport is inevitably referred to as "rugby" by those watching. I think that's problematic as any of these enthusiastic bystanders could be forgiven for following up their initial excitement/amazement with taking in a rugby union game, being naturally disappointed and then dismissing these amazing RL clips as a fluke or whatever. It isn't reasonable for us to expect them to know that they are different sports. Why would they? They just see "rugby" and fair play to them.

    I've long said that I think RL could really do with a new name to wholeheartedly distinguish it from union. The other lot don't have need to change theirs and in fact probably benefit from the overlap but as the smaller sport worldwide RL undoubtedly suffers from the duplication. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to explain to work colleagues even here in the North of England (Manchester) that "no, you're talking about rugby union, that's a different sport". I know a renaming would upset many traditionalists but in terms of kicking on worldwide it could be hugely beneficial. At the very least the sport's administrators should consider a dual name that could run concurrently and be used in areas such as North America.

    The one flaw to my suggestion is that despite racking my brains for several years I can't think what this new name should be. But that isn't a conclusive rejection of my theory. Get some sharper and more creative brains than me onto it.

    Truer words never spoken

  2. On 02/06/2020 at 06:02, Futtocks said:

    I can't recall the number of times I've heard the Kangaroos pack, or halves, or three-quarters described as the weakest in living memory... and nearly every time*, who do we see with the trophy and bottles of bubbly on the last day? 

    *The other times, it was a team with a silver fern on their shirts, not a red cross or a lion.

    Yep that is true but still my statement stands who in the Australian team is at that level? 

    Consider since the last RLWC Aus has only won 50% of its games.

  3. On 27/05/2020 at 06:16, arcticchris said:

    Definitely agree it’s a shallow pool currently.

    When Daly Cherry-Evans is the incumbent 7 for the Kangaroos and not even really fighting anyone off you know it’s a far cry from the days when they Alfie Langer and Ricky Stuart contesting the jersey. Definitely the weakest first choice halfback the Aussies have had in my lifetime.

    Weakest team in my life time. Go back5 years with Slater, Thurston, Cronk, Smith, Inglis, even Hayne. Who is at that level now? RLWC might be fairly exciting next year if it goes ahead. 

    • Like 2

  4. Mate, full respect for someone who has worked 20 years developing RL in Europe and obviously you would know more than me. Still I have a few questions if you dont mind. 


    27 minutes ago, yanto said:

    IF your going to attract investers  (and media) you need a product that is going to appeal and believe me this idea would be a hard  hard sell..

    Wouldnt a club competition that is semi-professioanl also be a hard sell? Its not as if you are attracting world class players to the compeition. It would be no names to a sport most have never heard of. At least with National teams you have are using national pride to attract fans, players and media. With a club competition you dont even have that. 


    33 minutes ago, yanto said:

    The open poster is talking ten clubs of 20 players ....200 semi pro players who then have to also take time of work to travel.

    Then add the support staff .

    The  logistic,the costs with travel, accomodation, wages, staging of games  etc etc would be huge .Belgrade to Valencia,Oslo to Venice,Athens to Prauge..all a minimum of an overnight stay if flying .Bit different and a lot more expensive  than going from Keighley to Workington.


    All these things are already part of the expense of the proposed Euro 13 club competition, except you would have to relocate players as well. They are talking about a draft. So what kind of players are going to move away from friends and family, probably jobs to move to another country for a semi-pro contract (Part time work). Obviously very comitted players but most, I doubt will have that type of commitment so you are already creating a smaller player pool of just those willing to move. 

    Then there is the language issue. There are 24  official languages in Europe and more than 200 spoken (Thanks google) That again slims down your player pool to players who can communicate with each other. So in the end you are not really going to have that much of a larger playing pool of better players by using clubs.  

    Its so much easyer and has so much more benfit if all the players came from at least one nation. Yes there is lots of work to do, yes its a long term stratagy but again its the national body that benifits not a club and the national body is the one who is going do be developing the game and player pathways, instead of obessing over winning a premerships.


    That kind of ended up more statements then questions. Appologies. But still Id like to hear your thoughts. 

    • Like 1

  5. 21 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

    What a shame it would be for a talented and passionate RL German missing out because he lives in Prague for example.

    Whats stopping that guy from getting a contract with Red Star or any of the French/English clubs? There are plenty of clubs available for good players. 


    22 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

    The beauty of clubs is that they could all enter the Challenge Cup as well, which I have long been a flag bearer for.

     They could, but the beauty of them being national teams is that they can add to the professional ranks of international nations which is what we really need for Rugby League at the moment, to add credibility to our international game. Euro qualifiers, tours, RLWCs. 


    What we dont need is more competition for players for NRL and Superleague clubs. 


    24 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

    Your examples are passionate and not without merit, but the talent gaps between 10 European national squads is simply too vast for a continental national team league to have any longevity. There needs to be an opportunity to even the playing standards.

    There is always going to be a Gold Coast Titans to a Melbourne Storm in every competition be it club or international. I see your point though mate and it is a concern. I guess they could set it up by playing trial test matches between Euro nations to find teams that are of a similar level. Remember they are all in such an early stage of development it wouldn't take much for a nation to improve to a competitive level considering hardly any of them would be past local park football at this point. Focusing on the best players of what you have and making them as good as can be would be a start.

    • Like 1

  6. 11 hours ago, fighting irish said:

    I think there is real merit in this plan.

    You should send it off to the governing body and the maverick group.

    For once, a short, medium and long term plan, that ticks all the boxes.

    A compass at least, if not a detailed roadmap for where we want to get to.


    I did send it of to the ERL and Euro 13s and a few others via twitter. No response though.  

  7.   First of all, just let me just state that I am super keen to hear there is talk of a possible Euro 13 club competition and I really do hope its successful. But I feel they are digging for copper when they could be digging for gold.

    Picture this. 

       The Polish (insert European nation) National team run out into their first RLWC. Their team is not full of Australians, Kiwis, or English men but locals from Polish towns and cities. They are not strangers from scattered clubs but teammates who have played close to 80 games together since the last world cup cycle began and they know each other's game inside out. Other nations may be more professional, may have more history in the game, or may have more money invested into their stars but no other teams are as well prepared as the Euro 13 nations because no other teams play their season as a national side, together. 

       They are professionals. They are fit, they are strong and they are at their physical peak because it's their job to be. Players won't be sitting out games for end of season surgery due to niggling injuries and their clubs won't be standing them down from games. The Polish National Rugby League pays their contract, not a club, and their season isn't over until the last international game is played. 

       They have one goal. It's not winning club premierships or a state series. Their job is to win international matches and the pinnacle of international Rugby League is the world cup. And the best thing about them? there are nine more nations just like them.


    These are some more  reasons the Euro 13s should be a national competition, not a club competition.   

    1: A National team has a broader appeal.
       Why hamstring yourself by confining your team to the supporter base of one city or town? It is hard enough to get people interested in a game they have never heard of as it is. At least with a national team playing an entire season, you have national pride as a motivation to get people interested. 

      You have no language barrier issues with teammates and coaching staff, you have no expenses or hassles of players relocating their family to a different country.  How many players would do that for a semi-professional contract anyway? 

       You representing an entire nation, so your home games can be anywhere in the country. Over a season you can figure out where the fish are biting and play in areas that will maximize your crowds with out reloacation a franchise. You can attract more fans and sponsors if your brand is national playing in an international competition and it is far more likely a government will release sporting funds to a national sporting body than a privately owned club.

    2: The Fist 13 format
       Now imagine if the Euro 13s started with a First 13 but as the years went on if the competition gained momentum, they could add a Second 13 or even a Third 13. Reserve grades in other words. 

      Now let us say your top 20 players are contracted. Semi-professional at first, but as time goes on if the brand grows bigger and sponsorship is found they may become full-time professionals. 

       On game day the form top 17 players play for the First 13, the rest go into the 2nds/3rds with the amateurs playing for match payments who have forced their way into the national squads by playing good rugby league in the club competition. 

       Using this method teams are not restricted to a set amount of players during the season. Any player who has rolled up to his local amateur club and shown some talent can push their way into the national First 13 and end up with a professional contract. In other words, a Euro 13 national side will always be able to put out its best side available excluding injuries,  blood new talent, or bring young players through. Unlike a club, they are not restricted to a set amount of players. A National team therefore represent and encourages a larger player base. 

    3: The Power needs to be with the National body, not the clubs. 
       Are the clubs going to establish a woman's competition, schoolboy competitions, a national academy, or an under 20s  competition to create player pathways? Are they going to support International and representative football and expansion clubs? History would suggest not. 

       Without throwing stones I will use the Toronto Wolfpack as an example. They are not in the business of creating international squads or schoolboy competitions because that is not their job as a professional Rugby League club. Their job is to win premierships and to do so means they need to sign the best players. They have done a fantastic job of exposing the Canadian public to the sport of Rugby League. They have an important place in our game, but how much has the national team improved since their arrival? One could argue not at all. 

       How many times have we seen it in the past where a club has made a player unavailable for representative duties and strangled the international game. Just look back to Lebanon in the mid-season test last year when a group of players who made themselves available suddenly withdrew. They were not injured they played for their club the week before and the week after. It was just that the clubs who paid their wage did not want to risk them on an international. We saw it again with New Zealand during the Denver Test and a thousand more times over the years with any nation that wasn't  Australia or England. 

       The clubs don't have the best interest of the game in mind. The cutthroat nature of club competition means they are only interested in themselves. Do you think if the NRL was not a rich powerful organization that provides funding that the clubs would be happy to release players midseason to play State of Origin? It wouldn't matter that State of Origin is the highest rating TV program every season and is a massive benefit to the game  If clubs had the option to not risk injury or fatigue to their best players than they would take that option because it would give them have a better chance of winning the premiership.  

       To have the Clubs as the major power in an emerging nation is to slow the development process of that nation down to a level the clubs are comfortable with. What will happen will always be best for the clubs, not the game.

       If the number one Rugby League brand is the national side then all the sponsorship, support, and any profit go toward the national sporting body. There they can grow the game because that is their job.  

    4: Rugby League needs a greater International presence
       At the moment you around 10 nations that can field teams full of professionals. We will call them the club affiliated nations who can produce an entire national squad of NRL, SuperLeague, or lower-level professional players.  Australia, New Zealand, England, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji on a good day produce squads of fulltime professionals whereas PNG, France, Lebanon, and to a higher extent Wales fill gaps with semi-professionals or amateurs.

       If a Euro 13s competition was national teams you could double the number of international teams full of professional or semi-professional players.  In maybe 10 or 20 years they would develop to become very competitive if not dominant nations. Suddenly nations like Australia would be forced to take internationals very seriously. 

       The fact they are not heritage teams (which do work well with some nations but not all) adds a massive amount of esteem and credibility to rugby league international competition. 

       Only tradition and geography dictates that a club competition be the long term annual contest for Rugby League. The NRL and Superleague have clubs that have existed for a hundred years. Australia is geographically isolated from any nation with a club competition of similar power. So the NRL and Superleague are logical for those particular nations involved.

        This isn't the case though in a place like Europe where they have 44 nations huddled together many sharing a border with multiple nations. With the exception of Great Britain and France, all have next to no history in the game and are on a similar development level. 

    5: A loose plan as to how it could be done? 
       A:  Talk to the owners of the clubs involved in the proposed Euro 13s. Present them with the proposal of merging with the national rugby league sporting body of that particular nation and having their brand be the First 13 rather than a club brand. Choose 10 nations to make the Euro 13s. Possibly start with both a men's and women's competitions.

       B: Find the best 20 players and offer them a semi-professional contract. 

       C :The first season, semi-professional national teams play each other once while amateur club teams also play a minor local competition. Play a semi-final and grand final.  If/when injuries occur form players from the club competition go into the national team on match payments. 

      D : Season two. Euro 13 teams play each other twice home and away for 18 rounds with a semi-final and grand final. 

      E: Season three. A Second 13s team is added as a reserve grade to the Euro 13s. Form players from the amateur club competition are promoted to National 2nds and are a ready-made reserve grade for the First 13. 

      F: If funds are available, full professional contracts are offered. 

      G: If player numbers are available, expand to a Third 13s grade. Club teams remain amateur while Firsts and Seconds 13s teams become professional and the Third 13 become Semi-Professional. 

       You get the idea. As time goes on you could have a very successful 3 tier competition and at the end of the season you would end up with 10 fully professional national sides to play tournaments, tours, and RLWCs against the club affiliated nations. I think that would give more to the game of Rugby League than another club competition which would be competition for the NRL and Superleague.


    • Like 3

  8. 8 hours ago, Allora said:

    Let him go to Toronto.

    There will be plenty of potential Wingers like him will be coming through from Fiji every year.

    You dont turn back superstars.

    "You only had to see the excitement from the locals every time Semi Radradra touched the ball for Fiji during the Rugby World Cup game against Wales on Wednesday night to understand the challenges rugby league faces on the Pacific island."

    "Every kid wants to be Radradra."

    He is to Fiji what SBW is to NZ




    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1

  9. Not sure why David Mead isnt in the PNG team. He is in the squad but not the 17. 


    Other players missing Kurt Baptiste, Xavier Coates, Lauchlan Lam. So potentially PNG could have a back line that looks like this. Nene Macdonald had a great season for St George last year but this year with the Cowboys got in trouble for drink driving and kicked him out of the club.

    1 Johnston

    2 Mead

    3 Olam

    4 Coates

    5 Macdonald

    6 Lam 

    7 Boas 

    Thats actually a very handy backline full of potential. Olam was sensational for the Storm this year, Coates looks to be a star of the future as with Lam. Mead or Johnston at fullback or wing, either way both are proven quality players. Macdonald obviously needs to get signed by another NRL club after been a naughty boy, but can be really good. Could be a nice slick backline come next RLWC.

    They still need to develop some more forwards though. 

    • Like 1

  10. 7 minutes ago, Eddie said:

    Fair enough but do you know if there’s been a shift from playing Union to League on the actual island though? If not then Tonga’s success isn’t actually doing anything to grow the game. If it has though then superb. 

    There was a Tongan kids rugby league clinique in 2018 where they had to turn away 2 thirds of the kids that showed up because they did not have the rescoures to deal with such a large number on the day. I think as of 2019 its safe to say Tonga is more a Rugby League nation then a Rugby Union one. Not so for Samoa or Fiji. Although a few stars have committed (Marty Taupau) no where near as many and thus they have had no where near the support. 


    If you look at these teams there is a huge amount of eligible players who are injured, their clubs say they are injured or more likely have just not made themselves available. Unlike Tonga the players for some reason have chose not to make a similar commitment and as a result the national teams have not had anywhere near the public support or media interest. Each Fiji and Samoa could put a team out of Tonga's strength. 

    • Thanks 2

  11. 7 hours ago, Eddie said:

    Can you expand, how do they view them and what point have I missed?

    There are about 3 Tongan born players maybe even 2 in the Tongan national team, since 2017 when the star's made themselves availble for selection. Most Tongan games have sold out, players have been greeted at airports by thousands of fans, there has been street parades to the games and the crowds at the stadiums are visibly a sea of red. Its safe to say that pacific islanders not only accept people of heritage as Tongans/Samoans/Fijians but are excited to support them. 


    Been born on the actual islands doesnt seem to make much if any difference to the communities. 

    • Thanks 2

  12. Its a hard one. I was all for the shoulder charge, but then a guy was killed in the QLD cup from one. In saying that not to long a go an Australian batsman was killed by bouncer in cricket and there was no knee jerk reaction to ban bouncers or pace bowlers. Its annoying to see a great hit that gets penalised because a guy bounces off the defender's shoulder before his arm gets to make contact. Most times you do lead with your shoulder in defence after all. Other tackles suffer as well that are not "traditional" shoulder chargers. When a guy is diving for the line for example an a defender comes across and hits him into touch. The rule was never really created to ban those kind of tackles but technically they are shoulder charges. Billy Slater's was a perfect example (though I do think his arm made contact). 

  13. On ‎01‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 17:42, Damien said:

    Its hard to know where the blame for this all lies and how much of it is the fault of the heritage players based in Australia and how much is the LRLF. The LRLF concentrating on developing the game domestically and playing internationals with these domestic players wouldn't be the worst outcome.

    Well it will put the standard of their national team back many many decades. Not a great outcome. 

  14. 5 hours ago, Abicus said:

    Huge development. If RTS were to follow would be similar to when JT/Fifita decided to play for Tonga.

    A weakened NZRL is poor result for the game. They have enough problems as it is to now be the de facto player factory for the Pacific nations.

    I think the hype Tonga has created has proven so far that high profile players switching to these pacific nations is actually a great result for the game. Tonga are selling out stadiums consistently, creating great media hype and adding to the international depth. If Samoa can achieve something similar then surely that is a good thing. I do feel for NZ but players are knocking back Australia as well. We could get 6 nations with the talent available (Aus, NZ, Eng, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji) up to a similar level of competitiveness. People forget Fiji beat NZ last time they played and since have produced two new exciting wingers (though wingers they are not short on) just this year for St George and Parra. 

    The Big problem for Tonga, and Fiji (not so much Samoa) is quality halves. If these oceanic games can successfully create a good enough profile I'm hoping some guys from Super Rugby might consider making the switch to league considering there is a hole there ready to be filled for someone with a bit of a kicking game, but that is hopeful thinking. 

    • Like 1

  15. 7 hours ago, MattSantos said:

    He's made the right decision.

    Point of debate: 

    In his era, Slater was a better 1, Lyon a better 3 and Lockyer, Thurston etc betters 6s.



    Lyon made himself unavailable for origin because he was sick of been run over by Inglis. 


    Well that's a theory anyway. No way on earth Lyon was better then Inglis. 

    In his prime there was probably no better running attacking player. 

    Opinions though right, everyone's got one. 

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