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Everything posted by Dunbar

  1. Well it's a sample of one but I'm going to more live games next year than I have in the last 5 years that's for sure. As soon as I am out of lockdown I am doing all the things I like best.
  2. It is an interesting proposal. As people have noticed and commented on here, I am a bit of a stato and use stats a lot in conversation regarding a players contribution or comparing one player to another. I think the stats for certain players are very valuable in particular when they are directly linked to their role... for example carries, metres made and metres per carry for a middle forward. I think that is a very explicit and clear view of their contribution. But I do believe that the stats have their limitations and they become very obvious in the spine of 6, 7 & 9. How a player manages their team around the park and manages the game cannot be evidenced in stats and needs to have a subjective view. I don't believe that any of the stats you mention (tackles made, tackles missed, marker tackles, dummy half runs) can accurately demonstrate a hookers contribution to a game as they could have had a great game managing the game plan and offering quality distribution and creating opportunities for attack without any of this appearing in the stats. I think quality of contribution over 80 minutes needs to be a subjective call made by qualified individuals.
  3. What would you use as the measurable stats to identify the best performing hooker for the year?
  4. Hanley sums it up perfectly. The Man of Steel goes to the player who has performed the best over the season in the eyes of the judges. This doesn't necessarily mean he is the best player in the game as these two are subtlety but importantly different. As an example; Hanley himself won three Man of Steel awards as the best performing player in the season. If the award was simply to be recognised as the best player in the UK game then Hanley would have won 10 awards.
  5. Yes, I agree. These days a break (even a double break) is often not as a bad as joint damage and so hopefully he will be back and firing early in the new season. After a period of drought, it does feel like we may have some competition in the centre spot with the likes of Harry Newman, Jake Wardle, Toby King, Oliver Gildart, Herbie Farnworth and Mark Percival. Plus the likes of Watkins who is still able to deliver.
  6. What this whole process shows once again is how critical the 2021 World Cup is for the game in the UK. We have seen across multiple sports a jump in awareness, participation and popularity following a big event... and ideally an event in which the home team had success. The deal may well be for broadcasting the sport but the whole commercial aspect will be hinged on the popularity of the sport and how that is changing over time. A sport that is demonstrably growing is worth far more than one which is static (or falling). And by growing here, I mean across many metrics... attendances, viewing figures, participation, social media profile and more. A successful World Cup can have a positive effect on all of these and we should try to make that happen and have a real plan to drive momentum in 2022 onwards off the back of it.
  7. Other awards from the night. Well done all. Spirit of Super League Award – Rob Burrow and Mose Masoe Young Player of the Year – Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos) Coach of the Year – Adrian Lam (Wigan Warriors)
  8. Well done to Paul McShane, a quality player.
  9. Superb news. Hopefully with success from a vaccine roll out we will be able to see a proper season in 2021... if not straight away at least by the summer. And this lockdown definitely taught is what we missed the most, I can't wait to be stood on the sidelines at Trailfinders with a fist full of beer and live Rugby League to watch.
  10. I was watching the Australia vs. Great Britain 1st test from the 1988 Great Britain tour on YouTube over the weekend and the pack weights flashed up on the screen. The Great Britain pack were listed at 550kg and an average of 91.6 and Australia 566kg and an average of 94.3. The Great Britain average of 91.6kg was 14st 6lbs in old money. The pack for Great Britain that day was: 8. Andy Platt 9. Kevin Beardmore 10. Kevin Ward 11. Paul Dixon 12. Mike Gregory 13. Ellery Hanley I thought I would take a look at the comparison to Great Britain game against New Zealand on the 2019 tour. The Great Britain pack that day was 634kg in total and an average of 105.7 which is 16st 9lbs. Players like Chris Hill (114kg) and Thomas Burgess (120kg) are massive compared o the props of 30 years ago (and this is official weight, I heard Thomas Burgess say in an interview this year he is 125kg). It is not just weight... Hill and Burgess are 6' 3" and 6' 5" respectively while Andy Platt and Kevin Ward are 5' 10" and 5' 11". It's interesting that John Bateman is considered lightweight for a League forward but at 96 kg he is still bigger than the average pack weight in 1988. The biggest international pack I came across last year was the Tongan pack at an average of 110.7kg or 17st 5lbs. (p.s. just an interesting comparison... none of this is a statement on quality as Andy Platt and Kevin Ward are two of the best British props I have ever seen play the game and Hanley the finest player full stop).
  11. I agree with this. The tiniest bobble of the ball or any ball going to ground is called a knock on even when the ball clearly travels backwards. In some areas of the game we seem obsessed with the idea of perfect execution. And, yet ironically, in the subsequent scrum we don't bother applying any of the laws of the game.
  12. I am yes. My dad was from Swindon and moved north when he met my mother. He took me to many Swindon games when they visited clubs in Lancashire and Yorkshire. When they won it made him so happy and despite the fact he is no longer with us I still check Swindon's results every week as it makes me happy when they win in his memory.
  13. Good man. The only sports results I care about outside of Rugby League are Swindon Town FC.
  14. I disagree completely. Even the concept of challenging a decision in the first place undermines the authority of the referee. It is the referees who are dammed if they do and dammed if they don't in our sport. They can't win.
  15. I was not a fan when it was introduced and I would probably get rid today if it were my choice... but I have to admit the best thing about it is referees being able to shut down the complaints from players when decisions are made. A simple "do you want to challenge" does wonders as a player/captain can't carry on moaning if they are not prepared to challenge.
  16. Trent is looking good and I like his racing driver cosplay outfit. And there is quite an audience attending the birth of his son!
  17. In the spirit of the thread, I couldn't disagree more. The World Cup games will be fantastic. Some will be close and full of passion and some will be big scores and people will marvel at the skills on show and the spectacular tries. Newcomers will love it. Only existing fans will find fault.
  18. I don't think anyone is suggesting a match between the top teams guarantees quality... but as you allude to in your last sentence, it does allow people to anticipate quality. My point is that we bemoan the same teams being in the final but from a casual sports viewer perspective, a St Helens Wigan final is one that will grab their attention more than the lesser known teams would. I watch Rugby League every week, probably between 5 and 10 games a week when the Super League and NRL are in full swing so I would welcome seeing some variety in the finals. But I watch the majors in golf and I am happy seeing McIlroy and Woods and I watch the big games in the Premier League when the top teams play each other... in tennis I watch Nadal vs. Federer or Djokovic. Saints and Wigan is our equivalent and I don't think it will put the casual sports fan off.
  19. I am a fan of Catalan and would love to see another French team in Super League but their recruitment policy is terrible. For a team that struggles with discipline and professionalism, adding Joel Tomkins and James Maloney was never a recipe for success. You have to look at more than talent to see if a player with enhance your team.
  20. I would argue that it is the other way around if anything. Rugby League fans watch many games throughout the year and so would find the variation of teams in a Grand Final to be a welcome change. But casual sports fans may only watch two or three Rugby League games a year (Challenge Cup Final and Grand Final plus an International if we ever get one) and having teams that they know of in the final probably adds interest. I am a casual football (soccer) fan and I would be far more interested in a Man City vs. Liverpool final than a Burnley vs. Sheffield United final as I would see that as a quality game worth watching... Wigan vs. Saints in the Grand Final has the same attraction I would imagine.
  21. A blood capsule was used to fake a mouth injury and enable a blood substitute. But more seriously (medically) the player who faked the injury was subsequently deliberately cut on the lip after the game by the club doctor in order to try and cover up the deception.
  22. It's a salary capped sport (at not a huge value). If the same teams compete in the Grand Final then it isn't the teams in it that need to be addressed but the teams who didn't qualify.
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