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Posts posted by Dunbar

  1. 8 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

    If we reached a position in NZ where Warriors games consistently rated roughly the same as All Blacks games on FTA and Pay TV, this could be a huge advantage to League in terms of TV money and sponsorships given that however hard the NZRU milk the All Blacks, the Warriors will still play more games.

    That`s not to say we don`t want a vibrant international RL scene as well.

    It certainly would.  Any League team rating the same as the All Blacks would be a huge success.

    And we definitely do want a vibrant international scene.  While I argue that a strong NRL presence in New Zealand is a good thing, this doesn't have to be (and shouldn't) be at the sake of the international game, the two are not mutually exclusive.

  2. 12 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

    I don`t dissent from this point. I just wish everybody had a better appreciation of the historical importance of RL in NZ. Other sports don`t so readily conflate expansion of an individual competition with expansion of the game itself.

    In any joint enterprise between NZRU and ARU, the New Zealanders are by far the dominant partner. But the creation of Super Rugby was never promoted as an expansion of the game of RU into Australia.

    One reason why the Kiwis don`t get the respect they deserve is because they are seen as small fry compared to the All Blacks. Not just by the general sports media but also by RL media and fans in UK and Oz. Whereas the Wallabies are not belittled by UK RU media and fans. Part of the explanation for this must be that there`s popularly more knowledge of the history of Union in Oz than of League in NZ.

    If we want International RL to be the pinnacle of the game, we cannot afford this perception of NZ. It`s truly bizarre that a nation where RL has been played to a high level for around 110 years should be categorized in development terms.

    NZ RL is also instrumental in the success of Pacific Islands RL. In the 60s and 70s, Islander migrants to NZ came from places where RU was the only game. But once in NZ, particularly Auckland, they disproportionately gravitated towards RL clubs. A majority of those 45% of NRL stars with Polynesian heritage (including those born in Oz) have a family connection with a NZ League club.

    There is nothing I disagree with in there but I do think you are being a little defensive on this.

    New Zealand have been heavy hitters in Rugby League throughout its history and I have loved watching the Kiwis play and the more we get a chance to see NZ and the Pacific Islands play test rugby the better.

    But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the NRL becoming more popular in New Zealand and indeed another NRL club based in New Zealand which will allow elite players to play for clubs in their own country.  These are good things

    • Like 1
  3. 4 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

    The NRL is planning to widen it`s operations in NZ. NRL and RL are not one and the same.

    Rugby League has been a significant sport in NZ for over a century. The outbreak of World War 1 was the first time "a threat to over-run the RaRa" was averted by the NZRU.

    In the Auckland inner city alone, it would come as a surprise to Ponsonby Ponies (founded 1908) and Richmond Rovers (founded 1913) to learn in 2021 that the game of Rugby League was about to "expand into New Zealand."

    While I agree that Rugby League and the NRL are not synonymous with one another, and the phrase should indeed be 'expand in New Zealand' rather than 'expand into New Zealand' I do think that the NRL represents the best chance that our sport has of increasing its clout in the country.

    More NRL games played in New Zealand, more NRL players eligible for New Zealand and another NZ based NRL team will all be good things.  Particularly if they can also be used to drive the international game as well.

    I find it strange that the article headline pits a 24 round 16 team club competition against a national side but essentially the text describes a battle for the hearts and minds of New Zealand between League and Union.  If the NRL can tip that balance to League I am OK with that.

  4. When I went to High School and then Sixth Form College just outside Wigan from '81 to '88 there was only Rugby League played... both at the school and by all the Rugby playing kids outside of school.   And every day in the playground. 

    Even the RU playing PE teacher had Rugby League played in the school. Maybe he knew the level of demand but I didn't give it a thought at the time.

    Ironically this was in Orrell which had a leading top end Union club at the time.

  5. 16 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

    Before this we get into players I’ve never seen play and although legends of the game I would be putting them in on name only. 

    Same here.  Maybe John Bentley would be an option on the wing in front of Devereux. So..

    1. Davies

    2. Bentley

    3. Bateman

    4. Gibbs

    5. Offiah

    Not a bad backline.

    I would take Offiah as a wing (although both Robinson and Drummond were superb) and Davies as full back over the RL developed players you mentioned.

    • Like 1
  6. 35 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

    Only players I’ve seen play

    RL only

    1/ Connolly 

    2/ Robinson

    3/ Newlove

    4/ Hanley

    5/ Drummond

    RU only

    1/ Tait

    2/ Devereux

    3/ Bateman

    4/ Davies

    5/ Offiah


    I’d go with the RL only back line I started watching in the late 70s and it was more difficult than I thought to put together a RU only backline. Personally I’d drop Tait put Davies to fullback and pick Gibbs at centre but I don’t think he ever played for GB. 

    Good call.  I would absolutely say Gibbs is valid as I meant GB eligible not necessarily if they played for GB.

    With Gibbs at centre and Davies at full back the ex RU backline looks better but the RL developed team edges it for me.

    Interesting to see if people feel differently if we go back a little earlier.

  7. It is a serious question and deserves a serious reply.

    Two leagues of ten has its merits but I certainly don't think we should discount four leagues of five, or in fact five leagues of four, both of which work mathematically and that really is the important thing here.  Then there is the tantalising prospect of one league of twenty which works really well if we want to list a lot of teams alphabetically at the start of the season.

    On the other hand, ten leagues of two creates some really intense rivalries with the same two teams playing each other every weekend for the whole season.   But surely the winner has to be twenty leagues of one.  Everyone, literally, is a winner.

    • Haha 3
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  8. Well done to Trinity and Wakefield College.  Great to see young Rugby League talent being developed while also giving them opportunities to continue their education.

    I don't care who does what better than anyone else, this stands alone as a good thing as far as I am concerned. 

    • Like 9
  9. I was particularly interested in this section.

    "Napa averaged 50 minutes and 121 metres per match with the Roosters in 2015, before increasing his output to 56 minutes and 123 metres in 2016.

    The platform he provided as a prop, combined with his streak of aggression, earned him a Maroons jumper for the opening game of the 2017 series.

    And while his numbers in Roosters colours dropped in 2017 and 2018 – he recorded 47 minutes and 98 metres per game in 2017, before registering 41 minutes and 78 metres per match in 2018 – he continued to represent Queensland."

    He has been poor for several years while still being selected for Queensland in 2017 and 2018.  All that tells me is that the standard of prop in State of Origin is miles below what it was in the 80's, 90's and 2010's.

  10. Just watched the full game.

    The problem with the Harragon shot on Lucas is that the game was littered with similar high shots from both sides. Some were penalised (Harrogan was) and some not and only one player (Andy Gregory) was binned for what was by no means the worst shot of the night.

    The incident had a terrible impact on Lucas and I am not in any way making light of that but the problem with saying that the Harrogan shot was worse than maybe a dozen others was the result rather than the action and its really difficult to referee like that.

    But looking back on this game from 2021, the referee shouting to a clearly distressed Lucas to get up is horrible.  Worth remembering that when we get frustrated with games stopping today for on field head checks.

  11. I wish Lewis all of the best in his retirement from professional Rugby League and good luck in all his future endeavors.

    And it got me to thinking that I have hit another milestone in my watching Rugby League...

    The first time you see a professional player on TV who is younger than you.

    The first time a professional player who is younger than you retires.

    The first time you see a professional player on TV whose former Rugby League playing dad is younger than you.

    Now.  The first time a professional player retires whose former Rugby League playing dad is younger than you!

    • Like 2
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  12. 11 minutes ago, Archie Gordon said:

    Only point I'm trying to make is that this is not 2019. You'd have to be completely incurious to not think about what's gone wrong for this guy who played 2021 for Wests Magpies and isn't wanted by an NRL club. The reaction I've seen is akin to, say, Adam Doueihi signing.

    I think this is fair.  The guy is very talented and a huge threat and so there must be a reason why he has not attracted a new NRL contract.  And that reason is a lack of discipline... both in foul play and his discipline in ball retention and defence.

    Put simply. The negatives outweigh the positives.

  13. 19 minutes ago, Archie Gordon said:

    You've shown that he *wasn't always* an NRL reserve grader but I don't think I argued that.

    If that wasn't what you were arguing then perhaps you should have been a little more precise in your language.  Maybe you could have said 'current NRL reserve grader' so we know what you meant.

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