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JonM

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Everything posted by JonM

  1. There was fairly serious trouble at a Widnes/Warrington premiership semi-final in the late eighties, with a few hundred speccies from both teams on the pitch, which made the national newspapers.
  2. There was a team from Tiraspol which competed in the Russian league in the 1990s and in fact were Soviet champions one year, although they were from Transnistria, a part of Moldova which declared independence in the late 90s, albeit not recognised by most other countries. Neil Tunnicliffe & Tom O'Donovan had a trip there in the 1990s and wrote a chapter about it in Dave Hadfield's XIII Worlds book. Moldova played in the 1995 Emerging Nations World Cup - beat Morocco (at Northampton) and lost to Ireland.
  3. https://www.loverugbyleague.com/post/2019-championship-attendances-up-31-as-12-clubs-report-increases/ Avge attendance 2489 in 2019, 1899 in 2018. Toronto were in the championship both of those seasons.
  4. I vaguely recall that they took a couple of big games there, so that makes sense. There was a decent size group of young lads wearing Bolton & Swinton scarves following Swinton for a few years back then. Would've been the year after the Valley Parade fire, so I guess many clubs with wooden stands were having trouble with ground safety certificates.
  5. League champions that year with a largely Australian team, I think they were winless after four games and then didn't lose again in the league for 4 months.
  6. How about this one? https://www.rugbyleagueproject.org/seasons/championship-1985-86/summary.html Swinton (2621, playing at Bolton) better average attendance than Salford (2596) in the top flight. Didn't know that had happened. York (2964) were higher than both. Other average attendances in the top flight that year include Bradford 3881, Cas 3528, Warrington 3743. This is a golden age for RL attendances.
  7. I assume the draft in those locations won't need to involve local players being drafted, or any players physically present. It could just be a press conference with clubs and player names being announced, filmed for social media and maybe to get a bit of local media coverage in those places. Not sure why you're persisting with trying to have a sensible conversation with him.
  8. I think the concern is that there are already so many red flashing lights pointing to this being a failure and the worry is that this would have a serious knock-on effect on fairly small RL organisations in quite a few countries around Europe that have been painstakingly built up over the last few years. The RLEF was in the process of putting together its own European club competition, as mentioned here: https://rugbyleaguehub.com/2020/04/06/leagues/irl/red-star-belgrade-abandon-league-1-bid-aim-for-new-pan-european-comp/ Having an alternative competition that seems to lack much concrete planning and any obvious financial backing and which is run by someone who appears to have alienated many people who've been active in RL development for many years, doesn't seem like a great thing. I hope it's a great success and Mr. Buchan proves me utterly wrong.
  9. I think that's well wide of the mark. I think it's unlikely that this will actually happen without RLEF approval, even it's something of a fait accompli. The genuine RL clubs like Mad Squirrels, who've successfully completed several seasons, run youth sections etc. aren't going to give up everything they've built up just for a couple of games abroad and they'll need RLEF referees and insurance/legal cover. It will need Buchan to accept that the sport's governing body ultimately owns any cross-European competition, not a private individual and it needs him and Colin Kleyweg to work together.
  10. That would be something of an understatement, based on his LinkedIn profile, to say the least.
  11. Barrie-Jon Mather was a GB/England international while playing for the Western Reds IIRC.
  12. Andy Currier was the NSWRL top point scorer that year and played in Balmain's extra-time losing 1989 Grand Final against Canberra - one of the all-time great finals IMO. He got his revenge against Canberra playing for Widnes a few weeks later.
  13. Seems to me they do a whole stack of stuff. Where do people think the EU funding and courses for referees and coaches for all these new countries playing RL in Europe come from? Not just providing referees and coaches, but setting up systems so that member countries can run their own training. Even this week, there's been referee training happening for Turkey RL. The RLEF has something like 40 member countries now, including plenty in Africa and North America. Even just vetting administrators so that we don't get situations like in Greece or Italy where people disappear with the money must take some work.
  14. Reminded me of this twitter thread. Probably only amusing if you're into archaeology though.
  15. Nice to see a game being played some where in Europe
  16. Of course, St. George Illawarra is a combo that looks insane from a British viewpoint - a suburb in the inner south of Sydney with a district 50 miles away, particularly as there's other clubs from suburbs of Sydney that are further south. Appreciate there's some history behind it.
  17. The route takes you past a lot of the tourist sights (and is reasonably flat) and there's a lot of crowd support. I particularly remember the bands that were playing at various points. It's also relatively shaded, apart from a couple of miles along the coast. Also remember that my cheapo hotel had put on a special marathon runners breakfast at 5am Sunday morning, which they hadn't mentioned when booking - a nice touch. Definitely recommend it.
  18. I did Barcelona a few years ago and loved it. It was the same weekend as Manchester, and it was (much) cheaper to enter, the hotel was cheaper and the flight was cheaper than train or driving to Manchester. The more carbon emission aware me of today would probably avoid the flight. What I particularly liked was going to the Nou Camp the next day, and seeing hundreds of fit blokes hobbling up the multiple flights of stairs to the top of the stand.
  19. Plenty of time to train for one - can't see many mass events taking place this year. I was supposed to be doing Boston (Lincs) in April, which is postponed to October, with a possible plan of setting everybody off in small groups, at intervals. Largely rural/empty route though, so not much chance of encountering people.
  20. For many years, frying onions was banned in Cambridge city centre, allegedly because Norman St.John Stevas, who was master of Emmanuel college (where he was nicknamed Mein Camp) didn't approve of the smell. So the burger and hot dog vans couldn't do onions with the food.
  21. I've been banging on about this on here for years. The single biggest challenge facing RL as a sport is getting people to play. RU, Soccer & Cricket are all in the same boat , but starting from a much bigger base. Its universal across team sport and across Western countries - Australia, France, US & NZ all have the same issues. Individual sports like running & cycling are seeing big growth - look at the numbers doing parkrun every week before we had lockdown. RL is a very tough sport to take part in. You need to be strong, seriously fit and in a position where you can afford to get a broken bone every now and then. There needs to be versions of the game (like touch or tag) which don't need so many players, which don't need such a big commitment and which are open to a wider range of ages, body shapes & fitness levels. People playing casual 5-aside indoor football with mates from work doesn't diminish full the 11-aside outdoor Sunday league - we need an RL equivalent to that. Korfball is bigger than rugby (union) here in Cambridge because both sexes can play together and it has a good social scene.
  22. I reckon you'd probably want to follow the NHS advice and do the recommended stretches and exercises for a while before progressing to swinging weights about. I very much agree that they'd help once someone can move properly. (One of the best runners of my age that I know quit his job a few years ago to set up a kettlebell gym. Twice, he's taken two all-women groups of his kettlebell clients from never having rowed, to rowing across the channel. Quite impressive when you saw some of them go from pushing a buggy slowly round parkrun to being able to row for hours.) I just worry about people recommending a particular kind of exercise and dissing others without knowing about their age, health, current condition etc. I know someone who lost six stone after taking up running, but I guess weight is predominantly to do with what and when you eat, with exercise (& sleep) mainly in a supporting role. As Niels is about 70kg, weight probably isn't an issue.
  23. Like anything, it depends on where you're starting from. If you're in your twenties or thirties and in decent shape, sure, kettlebells are great. Probably not so much if you're an overweight middle aged man with back problems. I run about 1500 miles a year, plenty of people in my running club in their sixties and seventies who're in great health. Loads of studies showing that running is good for you long-term. I think if you have an existing problem with ankles, knees etc. from some other sport, then it might not be so good. If you look at the hundreds of thousands of people who run 5k at parkrun on Saturday mornings, only a small minority are "good at running". Burpees , on the other hand, would injure me very quickly I suspect. In Niels's case, I'd do the exercises saint1 suggests. Achilles tendinosis is one of those things that definitely responds to eccentric heel drops and so on and it only takes a few weeks. There's been several sports science studies showing they work, Hakan Alfredsen is the guy who originally showed this. I would be a bit wary about doing much running until any pre-existing condition definitely sorted out. Obviously you need to keep doing the exercises even when it feels better. If it was a sprained ankle rather than achilles, I'd be doing exercises for that as well. Once you've sprained your ankle once, you're at a higher risk of doing it again.
  24. I guess supply and demand is everything in the job market. I was talking to my kids about this last night. I know a 21-year old who's about to start work at Amazon on approx £70k with shares, bonus, retention/loyalty payments etc. that kick in over following years, having just finished a Computer Science degree. I know another 21-year old who delivers for Amazon, and he reckons he's on about £13 per hour, which seems OK to me (and which he seems pretty happy with). The wage part seems pretty easy to fix to me - you can bump up minimum wage. Suspect that hurts the care sector long before it affects Amazon though. The warehouse working conditions seems easy to regulate - there's only a few big central places to be policed. I imagine the likes of Sports Direct are worse than Amazon. The drivers speeding/ ignoring traffic rules/not taking breaks probably requires that everyone working for delivery companies has to have a black box installed and somebody independent is doing random checks. All it takes is the political will to do it. The US has anti-trust legislation specifically to stop the kind of under-cutting/ loss-leader stuff that tim2 talked about - and it has the power to impose massive fines and to break up overly dominant companies. I suspect they, or the EU, are way more likely to do something about Amazon's dominance than the UK government is. The US has been investigating Amazon under antitrust laws in several markets for about a year now (and Apple, Google & Facebook).
  25. I know half a dozen Amazon employees in Cambridge, all on six figure salaries, plus shares, retention bonuses etc. All software engineers - working on Alexa, Prime Video, delivery drones etc. The inside of their office is the nicest one in the city - better than Apple, Microsft, Google etc. We just need to make and enforce laws on warehouse work, delivery drivers etc. I think the UK government has done a decent job on changing the rules on taxing them in the last couple of years. They might not pay much corporation tax, but they do end up paying quite a lot in indirect taxes. It really needs the OECD to get together to properly fix the issues, which looks less likely these days. Suspect the endgame is Amazon eventually gets split up into different businesses. Amazon Web Services is an enormous cloud computing company - no reason why it has to be under the same umbrella as the part of Amazon that sells from warehouses to the public, or the part that sells audio books or the part that distributes tv shows etc etc.
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