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Everything posted by JonM

  1. As a Widnes fan who has watched a lot of Skolars games over the last few years, this is the first time in a couple of decades I'm expecting us to go to the Broncos and win. That looks like a squad that is going to struggle in the Championship. Home advantage should get you a few wins I guess. Quick scroll through the ticketing site - there's currently 371 seats sold in the away stand, and I know a lot of Widnes fans bought seats before the away stand ticketing was made available. Looks to be getting on for 1500 seats sold in the West Stand too. That's pretty encouraging.
  2. Exactly. The National League Grand Final at Headingley between Castleford and Widnes got just short of 21K in attendance, and a big tv audience, because there was promotion at stake. There's absolutely no reason why a final featuring two of the clubs with similar support levels - Featherstone, Leigh, Halifax, Bradford for example, couldn't fill Headingley today.
  3. It's the classic 'towns which historically were in Lancashire, and still are according to old blokes who attach too much significance to such things, but are now in formerly adjacent counties which existed previously but with very different boundaries' derby. I can't wait.
  4. If Adriam Lam can keep him on the straight and narrow, he'll be the best player in the championship
  5. Waitrose - the supermarket for towns that are too downmarket to have a Booths?
  6. Yes, it's hard to blame the county championship for England's problems when most of the squad barely play in it.
  7. ECB to appoint Novak Djokovic as England batting coach. He has no previous cricket experience, but it still took the Aussies more than a week to get him out.
  8. Meh. I'm OK with the players drinking together at the end of a tough tour. Although drinking with Nathan Lyon might have been a step too far. This is just media muckraking.
  9. For the same reasons that cup games get poor crowds. The world has changed. A reasonable proportion of spectators can't attend games arranged at short notice because of work or family commitments. It's not like when all games were Sunday afternoon and few people worked on Sundays. You automatically knock 20%+ off the crowd by arranging a game with a week's notice, and that's before you start on things like whether it's included in the season ticket. The Grand Final has been a big success for RL. The play-offs leading up to it most definitely are not.
  10. The choice between Wigan and a small town IN Wigan was interesting. Toronto or Vancouver
  11. The year that Liverpool won the league and Widnes won the league in the late 70s, there was an "It's a knockout" type event with the players from both squads taking part, I think as part of a joint testimonial. Unimaginable that something like that would happen today, such is the gulf.
  12. The locals speak better English in Geneva too. Leigh or Toronto?
  13. Talkin tarn looks very nice. There's quite a big hole in the north pennines/ yorkshire dales/ south lakeland in terms of parkrun coverage.
  14. If you look at the England team today, the players mostly come from a small number of sources. 1 People who went to Private or Public schools (Zak Crawley, Jos Buttler, Ollie Robinson etc.) 2 Sons of immigrants from cricket playing countries (Haseeb Hamed, Ben Stokes etc.) 3 People who learned to play cricket abroad but who came to England to play professional cricket (Dawid Malan, Jofra Archer). 4 People who are the sons of professional cricketers (Stuart Broad, Jonny Bairstow). 5 People who came through club cricket, usually in the north (Joe Root, Jimmy Anderson, Mark Wood). There's people like Sam Cowan who fit more than one of those categories. Long term problem we have is that the numbers from categories 2,3 and 5 are falling and category 4 is a pretty small number of people.
  15. It's the same sort of magical thinking that makes out that the England RL team will be improved by a smaller SL, or a different play-off format, or adding/removing relegation.
  16. Leigh won the league in the 1980s. They've got several decades of waiting to catch up with Warrington I do think we've got to the point where the relentless negativity of fans on social media is putting off wealthy people from spending their money on RL clubs. You end up with the kind of people who don't care what others think as a result.
  17. No - the remaining teams are mostly competing in Federale Poule 4 - which contains teams which formerly played in the Rhones-Alpes and Ile-du-France leagues. There were teams like Roanne (former winners of both Lord Derby Cup and Elite 1) in the Rhones-Alpes area who've disappeared at senior level in the last few years.
  18. There was a whole league in the Rhone-Alpes, and 4-5 teams in Lyon, only a few years ago. Ile-du-France had its own league with a similar number of teams in Paris until recently, too.
  19. I doubt anyone will have a prediction for top 3 that doesn't include both Leigh and Fev. If a bookie was offering 7/4, I'd consider that a value bet.
  20. St Ives played some games in 2021, but didn't complete the season in the East Rugby League. Bedford Tigers ran two mens sides last year and a women's team, and hope to add a second womens team this year. Eastern Rhinos still going too. Ten teams in the East RL for 2022, with some clubs from the East playing in the southern conference too. Plenty of Essex teams - Brentwood, Southend, Canvey Island.
  21. Chatillon are operating a joint team with Paris Charenton in Federale Poule 4, which also includes Marseille, two teams from the Vaucluse area (around Avignon), another Paris team (Corbeil) and Vaulx-en-Velin from Lyon.
  22. The story of how it was written is interesting in itself. Very, very unusual to get a £1 million advance (and a huge print run and translation into 15+ languages before publication) for a debut novel that she'd written in her spare time over the course of more than a decade.
  23. One of the most memorable pieces of fiction I've read in years. Nothing like her previous one, and it's the kind of book that a lot of people will hate I think.
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