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ghost crayfish

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Everything posted by ghost crayfish

  1. He's a great signing for Leeds. His last two years haven't been great, but he's a class act.
  2. Betfred seems to have been a good sponsor for superleague, with increasing value over time. Given the good tv ratings this year and likely free TV exposure next year, surely there is cause for optimism about sponsorship value for the future.
  3. It is an interesting read that highlights the legitimate challenges, but there's also a few "we could have handled that better" type situations too. The fact they didn't legally push George Williams to come back isn't a great look, particularly given they go on to explain all the salary cap benefits they'd get with him! Time and again, they're showing people can walk all over them as they don't enforce contracts. Similar theme came through in how he talked about situations with the soccer club. Just a bit of resignation, weakness, and 'it's all a bit hard'.
  4. I think it's a bit of both. Vlandys very clearly has the news corp press in his pocket. They're like his own PR firm, and they are in control of much of the agenda setting in the coverage. Then we also have club-affiliated media figures at channel 9, like Phil Gould and Darren Lockyer. They all have vested interests in burying it. Beyond that though, the media treatment of the issue also probably is an extension of the unfortunate general apathy for test football here.
  5. As long as players are willing to do it, the tournament needs to go ahead without Australia and NZ. This is a big moment for international RL. The players have the chance to expose the administration for what they are by playing, sacrificing two weeks of leave to turn up to training earlier and making the tournament a success. Tonga beat Australia last start and beat NZ at the last world cup. Fiji knocked NZ out of the last world cup. Samoa has a potentially world class side. The tournament can still be a good one and it can show arrogant Sydney administrators that the game is bigger than them.
  6. A generally overlooked part of Australian apathy towards international rugby league is its timing: a lot of people simply stop watching rugby league after the grand final. Even last year's state of origin TV ratings dipped considerably. That is added to other factors like poor organisation, lack of consistent competitiveness over what is now generations and the fact clubs are so hostile to it (because unlike origin, it doesn't make them money). Here's hoping the world cup is a massive success and beyond that, a proper well organised international schedule is set in stone. Personally, I think a single standalone international weekend after the origin series is essential. Suddenly the origin series becomes a high profile, six week ad for test football, as players compete for test selection. Then that test weekend becomes a high profile ad for the post season tests to follow.
  7. I think there's been a mishap... Story published through the regionals probably too early. They're syndicated and all run the same stuff, aside from local news. I'd say a media management foul up and there's still room for the story to change.
  8. The clubs pressure players into having their off season surgery or rest instead of playing tests every year. I'd expect that will intensify this year, as will legitimate reasons players don't want to travel. But if it was going to be on a mass scale, surely that would've come out and the tournament would be cancelled. So safe to expect withdrawals, but if we want a world cup, that's just the way it will have to be.
  9. Withdrawals are inevitable, as they are for most end of year internationals. I wouldn't call it a catastrophe.
  10. It is hidden behind a pay wall, but this very promising article just went up online in a News Corp regional paper I can't see the full article, but the text that appears with it in the google search has excellent news, saying: Rugby League World Cup will go ahead despite severe reservations from NRL clubs. Michael Carayannis, News Corp Australia Sports ... 33 mins ago EDIT: And their sports home page now has this: World Cup call made as NRL clubs lobby against decision A decision has been made on this year’s Rugby League World Cup in England — and NRL clubs are far from pleased with the verdict. If NRL clubs are unhappy, it MUST be good news!!
  11. Luke Thompson's first stint last night was really high quality. Strong defence, quick play the balls and good work rate.
  12. I don't think a team ever rises to the top of the ladder without it being a combination of them improving and others slipping. They've built a good squad and have had a good run with injuries. If they keep it up, some people around here might even need to concede McNamara can actually coach a little bit!
  13. Exactly. Now there's a policy announced, there's a bit more clarity and hopefully they can find a solution. I think the easy and tempting option would be to cancel - maybe I'm naive, but they fact they haven't yet suggests there is good will! Along with the practicalities of getting there/back, I think the players will have to be willing to cut their contracted 8 week leave entitlement back to 6. If they truly want to play, I would've thought that'd be an easy decision...
  14. I think a delay in the decision right now is actually good news. In Australia right now, state governments are saying hotel quarantine facilities are at capacity, the PM is threatening even stricter border restrictions than we currently have and a lot of the country is in lockdown. Right now, it's probably either no announcement or bad announcement. While the club's obviously have self-interest in this, the decision is much bigger and more complex than their concerns. For example, how do players from Fiji or PNG get there and back home? At the moment, they're looking at a month in hotel quarantine on the return leg - and what if borders become even more restrictive? Australia's IPL cricketers weren't even allowed to come straight home, for instance. I know this is frustrating and disappointing, but it is also a global health crisis and complicated political issue. And as much as may want it to be, the RLWC is not the Olympics... So fingers crossed we can still go ahead, because news of a delay in decision is much better than the headline I feared!
  15. The comparison with the NBA above is spot on. I think that's exactly how a lot of Australians see the NRL and international rugby league. It is disappointing, but true. There are a lot of different factors behind this and it didn't happen overnight, but it is where we are at as an international game now.
  16. Agree, that is a huge risk, particularly with the RLPA getting involved too...
  17. Agree. Ultimately, if the RLWC is able to fund the extra travel/biosecurity measures needed and the players want to play, that should be the end of it.
  18. Thanks. That wasn't a quote from the NRL though, it's a sentence from the writer of the article contextualising and summarising the impact. Of course some clubs are raising things like that - most clubs are self-interested like this. That doesn't make it the NRL's position though. I really hope the tournament goes ahead, but I understand that some players might have concerns (particularly from the NZ Warriors, who have barely been home since early last year) and clubs are always going to be clubs about stuff like this. The NRL is in the tricky spot of representing those concerns and trying to find solutions, when their players are going to be filling the bulk of the teams - meaning the NRL also has to work with governing bodies from each of those countries, as well as the annoying RLPA (time and time again, they seem to be nothing more than a painful road block) and the self-interested 16 clubs. Meanwhile Sydney and Brisbane have just been put back in lockdown, our vaccination rollout is a shambles and our border restrictions are tight. With all of this in mind, much as I hate to say it, I actually could understand if the NRL decided it'd be easier to just not send half its players and coaches over to the UK right now. Hopefully the whole game implications (and opportunities) keep them focused on solutions, but it's gonna be hard managing the usual suspects from club land and the RLPA.
  19. I'd love for it to go ahead of course, but I really doubt it will. I feel sorry for the organisers who have done such a great job.
  20. I'm Australian and have literally never heard 'mong' used as short for mongrel, or in any way other than the offensive way. That said, I can't believe an experienced professional coach would say that to the media knowingly, so maybe it is, and it is an innocent mistake!
  21. I think Young looks very promising. Still pretty raw, but there's plenty of size, speed, athleticism and skill there.
  22. As always, Australia are favourites, but NZ are looking pretty strong to me and both Tonga and England will again be a threat. An interesting factor for this world cup could be the draw - the usual training run semi final Australia has will instead most likely be against NZ. Even if they win, the tougher game might make them a little more vulnerable in the final than usual.
  23. If the NRL was smart they'd revert to mid-week origins and then have a single free international weekend after it. Aus v NZ and Samoa v Tonga double header in NZ. This would give dual eligible players the chance to do both, and actually enhance both the kangaroos brand and state of origin. All of a sudden, origin is back to being a kangaroo selection trial, with test football positioned at the top of the pyramid. Six weeks of origin fever would actually promote test football by giving the media debates like 'can Harry Grant take Cook's Australian test jersey?' 'Will To'o and Luai choose Samoa?' State of Origin is one of the highest profile sporting events in Australia, and it goes for weeks! Let's use it to help promote test footy, like it did in the early 90s when so much of the state v state banter was about who would get test jerseys (eg. Walters v Elias, Langer v Stuart)
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