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Hopping Mad

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Everything posted by Hopping Mad

  1. Brings to mind what Milton Huddart (an England international and, by any standards, a useful rugby league player) said about being Dick's son: "It doesn't bother me that I'm not as good as my dad because neither are 20,000 others."
  2. You're right. Shame. Went to watch Rotherham Giants when they played at Herringthorpe Bowl. Game against Crewe Wolves. Giants even did a programme.
  3. During the 1980s, when Carlisle RLFC were going, Carlisle (and district) had an entire league of its own! Lancaster (playing at Giant Axe, the Lancaster City FC ground) had an amateur club in the recent past. Heysham Atoms ARLFC played out of Lancaster (using the Vale of Lune RU ground) last season. Looks like the longstanding Rotherham Giants ARLFC are still about. If the North East Men's League website is accurate, the two amateur clubs in Hartlepool have packed up. Is that right?
  4. Lovely stuff. What a game. A new set of household names in this household!
  5. Despite fielding some decent sides over the years, Barrow have never been a big rugby league club. No particular reason or likelihood they ever will be. In Barrow, as in many towns (and cities) across Britain, there is the not insignificant matter of another professional club - or clubs - playing a different sport that a sizeable chunk of the population prefers watching. The cumulative effect is to drag each other down.
  6. The Kiwi Ferns need to sort out their goalkicking. Can't afford to miss straightforward kicks in a game likely to be as tight as this.
  7. In reality, the Barrow club's catchment doesn't extend much beyond Ulverston (to the east) and Askam or Millom (to the north). Great to see 'Barra' doing so well, though. Always enjoy a visit to Craven Park.
  8. This World Cup is taking rugby league to a new audience. Amongst the fellow spectators I spoke to at the LNER Stadium, York, last night were two women - must have been pushing 70 - who had come over from Staveley (near Kendal), having enjoyed watching the women's matches on the BBC. I told them Barrow had a team in the women's Super League (which was news to them), should they wish to see more live stuff nearer home. After the Australia-PNG game, I got chatting to a woman with two young sons who were wearing 'Owls' hats. As I'd suspected, they were Sheffield Wednesday FC supporters. She'd been given free tickets (as a result of a friend's involvement with PNG, I think she said). None had watched "rugby" before. The mum, who described Wednesday as a "lovely family club" (many of my wider family are Owls), was clearly taken aback by the speed and physicality of the game. "Is it always like this?" she asked. Interestingly, she was fascinated by the different sizes of the players - and how each found a role to play. "We'd like to go to rugby again," she said. I suggested Sheffield Eagles would welcome them along. On top of that... The twenty-something lad in the seat next to mine hailed from Northampton. He'd grown up watching Northampton RU (his Liverpool-born dad is a season ticket-holder of 20 years' standing) and Northampton Town FC. He'd discovered rugby league whilst studying at Leeds University then found his way, by accident, to the women's branch of the game after becoming mates with one of the Leeds Rhinos Women players. Never misses any of the women's games, he said. He recalled his disappointment over the failure to happen of the proposed semi-pro men's team based at Sixfields, the Northampton Town FC ground. The fact Northampton did, some years ago, have a decent amateur rugby league team was news to him. Before his time, I think!
  9. Watched this at the LNER. Complete no-contest, predictably enough. Felt sorry for the Orchids. Their one decent spell of pressure ended with Australia scoring a length-of-the-field try. By chance, I arrived at the stadium as the Jillaroos were getting off their team bus. They're bigger up close than they look on TV!
  10. Just in from the LNER. Good crowd - announced as 7,139 - but a very disappointing England performance. Second best in every aspect. The opening five minutes apart, never really a threat. No creativity, far too many errors, poor kicking and no Plan B. I felt 6-20 flattered England.
  11. Former Castleford, Canberra, Great Britain, England and Yorkshire hooker Kevin Beardmore. He was 62. The @RL_Lions Twitter account says Kevin had been in poor health recently. Very saddening news.
  12. After a tight opening quarter, I can see the Aussies rattling up 60+ points.
  13. I hope not. I've got lumbered with a row C seat (couldn't choose). Bit low for my liking. Looking forward to relocating to an empty seat higher up!
  14. My wife - a solicitor from Surrey - is pumping the air from the sofa every time the Kiwis score. What a game.
  15. Not much to choose between either of the side stands. The back rows of the main stand - the Azuma LNER - are slightly higher than their west stand counterparts.
  16. Worth saying there are several Scottish 'junior' and senior non-league clubs - e.g. Auchinleck Talbot, Clydebank, Pollok - that get much bigger crowds than some of those in the bottom two divisions of the Scottish Football League. Since the introduction of a promotion/relegation play-off, former 'junior' and senior non-league clubs - e.g. Bonnyrigg Red Rose, Kelty Hearts - are now gaining places in the SFL. For my sins, I've watched club games on about 40 Scottish rugby union grounds. The largest crowd - just 800 - was at Ayr (for a Premiership play-off semi-final). Truth is, hardly anybody takes an interest in club rugby union in Scotland. Even the better known clubs are very poorly supported. Barely 150 present when I went to Watsonians.
  17. That missed conversion by the posts. Aaagh. I bet the Kiwis are sick about that. They forced a lot of errors from the Jillaroos.
  18. Good stuff, this. At half-time, I booked my ticket for Monday's double-header semi-final at York. Looking forward to watching, in the flesh, the England, PNG, Oz and NZ players.
  19. Good shout. I bet that rivalry hotted up when, a few years ago, Rovers activated a contractual penalty clause to snatch the Memorial Ground from the RU club!
  20. 1,500 football clubs in Wales; only 320 rugby union clubs. Union is only really popular in South Wales.
  21. My wife is wondering how many "uncharacteristic" errors the Jillaroos have to make before they become characteristic!
  22. Can't think of an example. Usually, one of the clubs (the football, generally) is much bigger than the other. Different demographic, too, in the main.
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