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Posts posted by JonM

  1. 17 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

    Just as an aside, another novel I just cannot get on with is Neuromancer by William Gibson. 

    I read it not long after it came out (in my early teens) and loved it. I've got a lot out of his books since then too. He's been hugely influential. Haven't re-read it in ~30 years though, I wonder how well it has survived the passage of time. You've reminded me that I need to get his latest one, Agency. 

  2. 5 hours ago, Eddie said:

    Why do Euro XIIIs need to pander the RLEF though? The latter are three blokes in a garage somewhere, who for whatever reason (lack of finance probably) have offered little to no help to clubs and federations trying to start up across Europe, 

    Eddie, you normally post sensible stuff, but every aspect of this is utterly, utterly 100% wrong and I'm really surprised at you posting it.

    It would take you a couple of minutes on google to find out who the RLEF are, the EU funding they've tapped into, the number of governing bodies they've helped to set up, attain government recognition, insurance etc. plus all the coaching and refereeing courses etc. that they arrange. One of the "blokes in a garage" - Colin Klyweg has been funding Red Star Belgrade and has been a prime mover in the Serbian & Balkan leagues, another, Romeo Monteith has been a driving force getting Jamaica RL up and running.

    • Like 4
  3. 33 minutes ago, Bob8 said:

    Tom, old chap, I can only assume you do not follow the news from Malmø. The place is abuzz with talk of Rhondda.

    I guess your average Swede will struggle a bit with the pronunciation of the 'dd' sound in Rhondda?

  4. 1 minute ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

    Transnistria is a blast ? go there with 100 $ and you can live like a king for a week:)

    We should 100% be looking at Belarus for future development

    That's two of the three countries in Europe that I've never been to (if Transnistria counts as a proper country). I've been to the Belarus border, but you had to bribe the border guards at the time to let you in - and I wasn't sure how much they'd want to let me out again afterwards ?

    There was a 9's tournament in Belarus last year, with teams of Belarus, Ukraine & Russia IIRC.

  5. 52 minutes ago, flyingking said:

    12th team is Chisinau Scorpions, so the first rugby league team in Moldova. This could present a problem if they are drawn away to either of the British clubs as people from Moldova require a visa to come to the UK

    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.

    • Like 1
  6. 13 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

    Again, you see no problem at all with draft system that includes perhaps the biggest RL hotbed in the world in Brisbane, and 3 places where there has never been even a semi-professional team and where amateur club presence has been intermittent or at best pretty embryonic to say the least? You see no issue there whatsoever? No contradiction at all?

    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.

  7. 15 hours ago, Eddie said:

    Agreed entirely. I just don’t understand why so many people are getting vexed about it, it’s not like anyone is getting forced to participate and if you don’t like it then don’t watch, it’s as simple as that?

    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:


    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.

  8. 5 minutes ago, langpark said:

    I am convinced this is all a divide & conquer attempt like that world rugby league mob a few years ago. Has anyone ever background-checked this Buchan guy? A union provocateur perhaps? I realise that might sound extreme, but everything about this project so far is extreme.

    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.

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  9. 1 hour ago, Eddie said:

    What development have they done in Europe though? Say in the last 5 years? That’s not a loaded question, I genuinely don’t know. 
    I might be wrong but I get the impression that any development (such as in Serbia) has been led by individuals rather than the RLEF. 

    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.

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  10. 22 hours ago, Shadow said:

    Ikea is a Swedish acronym 

    roughly translated it means “Viking raids are frowned on so let’s #### with them some other way”

    don’t tell anyone I told you or I’ll end up as meatballs 

    Reminded me of this twitter thread. Probably only amusing if you're into archaeology though.


    • Like 1
  11. 51 minutes ago, Shadow said:

    I've always fancied the Barcelona marathon, it's a fantastic city and Mrs Shadow's never been so it may be my farewell marathon tour.

    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.

  12. 7 minutes ago, Shadow said:

    I've been checking online today (not that busy here in the office) at European city marathons, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Munich are all looking possible for next year. No entry limits, sort of reasonable prices (compared to New York and Chicago) and easily accessible for a weekend trip. 

    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.

  13. 2 hours ago, Shadow said:

    I'm tempted to try for another final marathon, I did London last year 20 years after my first and 18 months after my Heart treatment but my time was so poor (over 6 hours) that I want to get another one done to finish in the sub 4.30 region. Then I may knock it on the head. 


    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. 

  14. On 30/05/2020 at 06:07, The Hallucinating Goose said:

    Very annoyed this morning! Woken up to the news that my favourite burger van has been banned from the city centre because "it has an adverse effect on the overall character of the city centre".

    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.

  15. 4 hours ago, MattSantos said:

    A middle age man with back problems, should 100% work out with kettlebells. Done properly, they'll help strengthen the posterior chain and ultimately fix the back. 

    Running is very healthy, agreed. If you're a runner, you're likely genetically predisposed to run; not too heavy etc. For those who are over weight and wanting to lose the timber, thats where it becomes a problem and should therefore be avoided.

    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. 

  16. 8 hours ago, MattSantos said:

    Personally, i think running is one of the worst things we can do to keep fit if you're not good at running. Bad mechanics and or support are a recipe for further injury / in-balance.

    Better options - If you can, swim. Buy a kettlebell. Shadow box. Burpees. Body weight circuits. Lunge. Buy a bike. 

    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.

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