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Everything posted by JonM

  1. Am I right in thinking Dudson would have been serving his 3 match ban if selected anyway?
  2. I imagine there'll be a bit of adverse media when he lines up for Tonga against Wales on the opener.
  3. Pretty sure they played against Leigh on a Monday Night. However, that was in late May, and the sun was still up for most of the match. Bit different in February I imagine.
  4. Match reports are up on the ERL website: https://europeanrugbyleague.com/fixtures/1140/nigeria-36-2-cameroon https://europeanrugbyleague.com/fixtures/1141/ghana-26-6-kenya
  5. Yes, Two more wickets needed for Warwicks. Still 15 runs needed for Hants (and for Yorkshire to avoid relegation).
  6. We're already a good way ahead of the 2013 pre-tournament sales. I'm pretty sure that if we were anywhere close to 50k for either Emirates or Old Trafford at this point, we'd be hearing about it.
  7. You've not been to an airport recently then? Someone I know had their flight from Heathrow to the US delayed by a day this week due to no baggage handlers, and when they did arrive in the US, there was a problem on the runway because the baggage had all been loaded at the back of the plane, and the pilot was worried about "stability issues" if the passengers got off before the luggage...
  8. A lot of Couch to 5k beginners running groups end by having the group do a parkrun. The NHS couch to 5k programme is very good - build up slowly and avoid getting injured.
  9. Cricket isn't too far off, although obviously their top flight teams are regionally based anyway, but look at the university centres of excellence as an example - the ECB funds six regional centres of excellence to develop pro cricketers for all of the counties - Loughborough, Oxford (mostly Oxford Brookes players rather than Oxford University), Cambridge, Durham, Leeds/Bradford etc. Football actually has an interesting structure in that although it is individual club based, the FA assigns areas that don't have a pro team to other clubs. So for example, Leyton Orient are responsible for North Essex. My concern with having one over-arching structure per region is that players who don't make it on the say so of one academy coach get lost to the game without an obvious alternative. If you take the argument that Widnes academy was picking up the players that Saints, Wigan, Warrington didn't want at age 16 (not sure that's entirely true, but let's assume it was), the fact that we have ~40 current pro players who came out of Widnes Academy means that providing a second chance to those players worked out pretty well. I think I saw something that said 5 or 6 out of the 21-man squads for the GF were ex Widnes academy. A draft is obviously a complete non-starter in terms of UK employment law.
  10. Yes, you're basically buying in some little worms to come and eat the larvae, and of course there's no guarantees that they actually will. Key thing is to make sure that you use them as soon as you get them (or keep them cool until you can) - also that you keep the lawn pretty damp once you've applied them - not so good if you're in a drought area with a hosepipe ban. Now is definitely the time to do it though, once we start getting frost it's too late.
  11. Nematodes? They're relatively expensive, but they work, although you might need to hurry up with it, as I think they need to be applied before autumn. Other than that, just re-lay the affected bits of lawn in spring. There's no chemicals you can use.
  12. Realistically though, they're not going to just abandon it until the money has run out, and it seems better not to be half-arsedly running other competitions with half the players missing at the same time it is on. Giving prospective England players the opportunity to actually play some red-ball cricket in the run-up to tests seems like a good thing too. I think they can afford to muck about with the Ashes because they can sell every ticket anyway, at pretty high prices too. It's not clear to me that this proposal is for 2023 in any case - it's part of a much broader set of ideas: https://www.thecricketer.com/Topics/countycricket/what_is_in_ecb_high-performance_review_all_17_proposals_examined.html And whether we agree with it or not, can you imagine the RFL publishing this kind of actual plan to improve things?
  13. That doesn't necessarily mean it's not an improvement on 2022 though, right? Which part(s) don't you like.
  14. ECB's new suggested county format seems like an improvement. 1. The start of the County Championship would move from April to May and run continuously throughout the summer months - rather than being split between the start and end of the summer as it is currently - and finish in September, with teams playing a minimum of 10 games. There would be two second division conferences of six teams, with one promotion place decided by an end-of-season play-off. 2. The One-Day Cup would take place in a single block in April and could include minor counties in an FA Cup-style knockout format. 3. The T20 Blast would reduce from 14 matches to 10 and would also be in a single block from the end of May to end of July. 4. The Hundred would be the only white-ball competition to take place in August, with 'first-class cricket festivals' offering specialist red-ball players not competing in that competition the chance to play extra matches.
  15. It was very plain that the problem was the unpredictable bounce. It was a slow pitch, ball wasn't swinging, just the batters playing and missing because you couldn't work out what the ball was going to do off the wicket. Still, I expect Balderson is happy enough with the pitch - a first-class hat-trick at the age of 21, including Sir Alastair Cook and Dan Lawrence.
  16. I avoided tempting fate last night, but I was thinking that if Lancashire could get a lead of 80 or so, it would probably be enough to win the match, and so it proved, with Essex all out for 59. Essex should probably have taken the bad light last night rather than opting to bring the spinners on, as it gave Lancashire a vital five or six wicket-free overs and an extra 20 or so runs. Obviously Balderson will get a lot of praise for the hat-trick but I thought 19 year old George Bell was absolutely outstanding on his county championship debut, both as a wicket-keeper and as a batsman. Essex players and officials are going to try to make out that the pitch was ok, but Lancashire clearly had a different view with Glenn Chapple's comments such as "completely ridiculous" and "Is it an acceptable pitch for first-class cricket? Absolutely not, no way, shape or form." 370 runs across 4 innings tells its own story. I don't think you can blame the mid-September weather - I'd suggest the months of severe drought in the East of England probably more to blame. It's 25 points for "unsuitable for four day First-Class Cricket" or 10 or 15 points for a "poor" pitch. Probably more interesting is whether the deduction applies to this season or next season - there is some precedent for the latter.
  17. I watched most of it on the livestream. Dreadful pitch. Lancashire were 7-6 in the third innings of the day, but Essex were told to bring the spinners on for the last few overs as the light was fading, and Lancashire managed to pick up nearly 20 runs during that time. Impressive batting by Sir Alastair Cook, who got 40, and a great debut for Bell the Lancashire wicket-keeper, who scored 16. If the batsmen had no idea where the ball was going, it can't have been easy to keep wicket.
  18. Presumably all these people moaning are getting mixed up with the Leeds vs Saints Women's Challenge Cup Final back in May. Easy mistake to make.
  19. Online, here: https://indd.adobe.com/view/2848a2ca-05d3-44fb-94a6-bbee1d6a53ab It doesn't seem quite so bad on a re-read, but still, I'm not sure that slagging off your ex coach and the current playing squad is what I would expect a CEO to do in the match programme.
  20. I predicted us finishing 7th or 8th before the start of the season, based on the squad we had, and that's how it turned out. I'd expect us to be higher next season simply because we've now had a proper year of money coming into the club, and hopefully that will lead to a more competitive budget and squad for next season.
  21. I thought it had hit the post and not gone through, but, this being Odsal, I'm sure the referee had a better view.
  22. 3504 attendance for Bradford vs Widnes. Widnes won more comfortably than the 23-10 scoreline suggests. The frankly quite odd programme notes from the Bulls volunteer CEO suggest all is not well at Odsal. I couldn't work out why Widnes were desperately trying to get Matty Smith on the scoresheet, I assume this is perhaps his last game as a player. It nearly didn't work, as when he took a conversion in place of Joe Edge, he missed, and he then had a try disallowed. However, he got a drop goal with a couple of minutes to go, which apparently went in off the post, although it didn't look like it to me.
  23. The Premiership Rugby Union season kicks off this weekend. Tonight's match at Northampton was postponed, but no statement yet on tomorrow's games at Bristol and Salford. I would've thought that if there was some pre-agreed plan for all sport to be postponed for the next 10 days, the RFU would know about it.
  24. Football League didn't stop when King George VI died, some other sports did. I suspect next week's Champions League fixtures might be quite hard to postpone.
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