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The Great Dane

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Posts posted by The Great Dane

  1. 1 hour ago, fighting irish said:

    By my definition, a true fan of Rugby League is a person who wants the sport to prosper, has an interest in the whole game and enjoys a great spectacle no matter who's playing and whose curiosity and good will isn't confined to the archaic, village bounds and the neanderthal tribe they kowtow to.

    By that definition 95%+ of all sports fans aren't 'true fans' of their chosen sport.

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  2. 53 minutes ago, Scubby said:

    Basically the unpicking of the private school system in Australasia will be the undoing of Union in those countries. When NRL scouts come in and outbid union threefold for juniors - what can they do? 

    To be honest the AFL is doing more damage in this regard than RL ever could. Through no fault of RL's mind you.

    In the last twenty years they've wriggled their way into most of the private school systems in Australia in a way that RL is incapable of doing because of discrimination. As a result they've provided an alternate to kids in the private schools that didn't exist in most places until very recently. That has more or less halved RU's participation in said schools, which has totally thrown their junior system into chaos.

    Add in the NRL, and to a lesser extent French and Japanese rugby, coming in and poaching most of the best of the rest and the vast majority of juniors whom thirty years ago would have ended up playing RU are ending up in other sports or overseas.

    It's no coincidence that the AFL's growth in the eastern states this century has centred around traditionally strong RU regions (Northern and Eastern Sydney, the posh parts of Brisbane, Canberra, etc), as RU's decline has more or less mirrored the AFL's growth.

  3. 20 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

    If that does happen the NRL should go with a free to air broadcaster in New Zealand and take the revenue hit 

    Moving exclusively, or even mainly, to a FTA broadcaster in NZ would almost certainly mean taking a revenue hit of tens of millions of dollars, which simply isn't going to happen.

    Pushing for Sky to allow for more content on FTA would be a good move, but realistically it's unlikely to be successful considering that they begrudgingly allowed a larger FTA component in the current deal as a sweetener and if anything will probably try to reel that back in.

    That assumes that there's no serious rival bidder for the rights of course, which again, is most likely going to be the case.

  4. 1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

    With the massive number of Kiwis playing in the NRL and the new tv deal in New Zealand with only 1 Kiwi side, it would be madness not to include a 2nd New Zealand NRL team.

    the recent broadcasting deal with Sky NZ saw TV rights income increase 70 per cent to over $30m a year 

    (This is the New Zealand Warriors 27th season in the NRL, this is what we can achieve in France if we keep Catalans and Toulouse in Super League)

    The NZ broadcast rights only saw a large jump because Spark Sport (streaming service in NZ) put in a competitive bid for the rights, which caused a small bidding war for the rights which has basically never happened before in NZ.

    The problem is that Spark Sport has struggled since then and are unlikely to be able to put in such a bid again. In other words Sky NZ will probably be the sole serious bidder again meaning there'll be no competition for the rights again.

    In such circumstances it's unlikely that you'll see another significant jump in the rights value, Sky may even try to low ball the NRL. I imagine that they would be open to negotiations to pay for the extra local content that a second NZ club would bring, but you'd have to ask them that question to be sure, and even so realistically there's significant more opportunity for growth in WA, SA, Qld, and Vic, than in NZ.

    In saying all that broadcast rights value isn't/shouldn't be the only factor when considering expansion.

  5. 3 hours ago, The Rocket said:

    Adam Elliot, Corey Harawira-Naera Canberra, got them both for unders because of the strife they`d been in and they`ve been knocked back by a few of big names in recent times. They`re not dissimilar to Cowboys and Warriors really in their inability to attract big names.

    On average all the regional clubs struggle to sign upper echelon and star players unless they luck into them. The Titans are the possible exception, but even they only sweep up the Queenslanders that want to stay in SEQ but can't get a good deal at the Broncos because there's been no other competition.

    It's a by-product of having 9 clubs in Sydney and the poor structure of the salary cap and associated rules that highly advantage clubs in larger metropolitan markets, and has little to nothing to do with where the clubs are based outside of their market size and access to corporates and third parties.

    Besides, you're one to talk. I mean when was the last time the Dragons signed a genuine star player in his prime without extenuating circumstances contributing to it? It's got to have been at least 20 years.

  6. It shouldn't happen under any circumstances, but considering the current political climate there will almost certainly be a lot of political pressure for PNG to win a license. So there's a chance that they could get one, it's a slim chance, but a chance none the less.

    Considering the circumstances it's very hard to justify it though, especially when considering big markets like Perth and Adelaide still haven't got representation.

  7. On 21/04/2022 at 00:26, RoyBoy295 said:

    Great in principle, cant really encourage harmony here or on the other RL site if the trolls, and multiple accounts are still free to roam on these sites.

    The problem with this place isn't trolls, there're very few genuine trolls on this site.

    The problem with this place is that a lot of people on here seem to believe that anybody that presents an idea or piece of information that challenges their preconceived notions is a troll by default, and that gives them the right to try and bully them off the site.

    That leads to fights and a lack of civility, which leads to a bad atmosphere.

    In other words, if you want to fix the atmosphere problem you need to crackdown on the people who add absolutely nothing to a discussion except to insult or mock other people.

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  8. On 26/04/2022 at 03:41, Damien said:

    Some may say that the most interesting thing about your post, in fact all your posts, is the amount of spin in them.

    Where's the lie?

    If what I said was spin then it should be easy to address it.

  9. The strange thing about Super Rugby is that the split SR Australia and SR Aotearoa competitions were both reasonably successful in comparison to SR Pacific, Super 15, or 18. But despite that the ARU and NZRU both seem to be determined to persist with a Trans-Tasman comp that nobody cares about.

    It's obvious why the NZRU wants to continue with SR Pacific, they want access to the Australian market, but what makes absolutely no sense is why the ARU continues to persist with SR when 20 years of it in it's various forms has almost totally crippled the sport in this country.

    If they had any balls they could save RU in Australia by telling NZ and World Rugby to stick it, building a humble national league, and lightly modifying the rules to get rid of some of the nonsense and incentivise running rugby to compete with the product on the field in the NRL and AFL.

    Unfortunately for them they don't have any balls, and for whatever reasons seem to believe that they can't exist without NZ, when in reality NZ is what's killing them at this point.

  10. On 21/04/2022 at 20:44, UTK said:

    Using this as an argument against the Hunters is absolute nonsense, there are 15 Australian NRL clubs, 13 QLD Cup sides, 12 NSW Cup sides and even more junior rep sides at each age group below these levels. There are more than enough opportunities for Australian athletes to make it, it is definitely not arbitrary as to who gets in the system and who doesn't there are many different factors that influence this and failure to identify the correct talent is an issue that has much more to do with individual clubs rather than the NRL itself.

    The Hunters have 1 club in the QCup that represents nearly 9 million people - a population that is as much of a RL heartland as NSW/QLD. The Papuan talent that populates the QCup/NRL is infinitely more valuable to Australian RL systems than propping up another team of mediocre Australians in QCup, PNG talent raises the standards of QCup which in turn exposes Australian players coming through the grades to a higher level of competition. There's already the entire Hunters squad plus over a dozen other players signed to other QCup sides in the competition, without those player QCup would be undoubtedly weaker which is in no way in the interests of the QRL/NRL. 

    Only recently has PNG begun reforming their schoolboys system to provide a proper structure for junior talent to come through while the Digicel cup is also in the process of expansion. Once some of these structures become further refined PNG will be the largest source of untapped talent in RL bar none and the Hunters will provide the NRL an access point to that talent, it would be grossly negligent of the NRL not to continue fostering this pathway when further expansion is expected in the next few years.

    You are so unbelievably ignorant of the state of RL in Australia, it's position compared to it's competitors within Australia, the opportunities afforded to players depending on where they are from within Australia, and the amount of talent with the potential to be NRL players that it loses in each age group each year because of a lack of opportunities. You don't even seem to really comprehend the geographical constraints in play in Australia.

    In other words you haven't got the faintest clue what you are talking about, and what you've said is such nonsense that it's not worth responding to because it doesn't map onto reality in the slightest.

    Look, put simply growth in PNG cannot be allowed to come at the expense of growth in Australia because Australia is where the money is. It's really that simple, look after Australia or risk loosing everything, and considering the basic facts of the matter the NRL is doing a terrible job of looking after the vast majority of Australia.

  11. On 22/04/2022 at 00:02, Big Picture said:

    Ouch!  The NRL's product on the field was pretty dire back then, I remember watching some 2016 matches which I found online and finding the play dull, predictable and very unimaginative with the teams making 6-8 metres per play with ease.  What I saw then absolutely would not reel in North Americans who might have tuned in, accustomed as we all are to the play in gridiron where every single yard gained is earned and there are no easy yards made.

    Two major problems have harmed the NRL's on field product in the last 15-20 years.

    Somewhere in the mid 00s the referees adopted a philosophy to refereeing, commonly referred to as 'game management', where instead of simply enforcing the rules to the best of their ability they would try to subtly manipulate the game so it 'flowed' better and would in theory be more entertaining.

    In practise what ended up happening as a result was the refs were effectively given the discretion to decide whether or not they'd enforce the rules when they were broken, which lead to totally inconsistent rulings which not only totally stuffed the game, and allowed prior unforeseen amounts of bias to leak into the game, but lead to a whole bunch of other knock-on effects.

    Jumping ahead, instead of removing that refereeing philosophy and removing as much of the subjectivity that had leaked into the rulebook as a result, i.e. addressing the real issue, PVL and the current NRL's 'solution' to the problem was to introduce the six again rule, which not only failed to fix any of the problems it was specifically introduced to fix, in fact it exacerbated most of them, but has so completely screwed the game in a bunch of other ways that it's to the point that the game's so different from what it used to be that it may as well be considered a completely different sport, and not for the better.

    If you truly believe that the current confused trash is better than what was on the field even a few years ago, then I strongly suggest that you do yourself a massive favour and look up some older footy.

    If you're interested in some suggestions then a good place to start would be the 2015 GF and round 22 2019 Storm vs Raiders. Those games are great examples of modern footy at it's best, and what it could and should be with a few minor changes. If you're willing to look at older, golden age, stuff then the 89 and 97(ARL) GFs are a great place to start. 

    BTW, you're simply wrong if you think that field position was bought more cheaply in the NRL 5 years ago then now, when these days the refs regularly give cheap possession and field position to teams for reasons that even they can't explain after the fact because of the 6 again rule.

  12. The most interesting thing about that article is the amount of spin in it.

    Most of those costs are the same or similar for all teams, pretty much all of it is capped, and the bulk of those expenses are covered/subsidised by the NRL and/or other relevant governing bodies anyway.

    In other words with the exception of travel, which is significantly cheaper for Sydney teams than any of those outside of Sydney, their expenses are more or less the same as every other club. Which BTW is probably a bad thing because it's artificially enforced by the NRL to keep the weak teams competitive, but that's another discussion.

    The big question about Penrith, which this article inadvertently highlights, is how have they managed to stop any of their best junior talent from being poached when all the other big juniors clubs have found it totally impossible in the NRL era.

    The answer is almost certainly dumb luck or shenanigans, just like everything else that's gone Penrith's way in the last 5 or so years, but the fact that nobody at the NRL has gone to the effort to make sure everything is above board is one of the reasons why the RL is so screwed in this country.

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  13. 53 minutes ago, Waghi Tumbe said:

    Olam never played proper rugby league until he went to university. He was only exposed to the ARL system when he joined the hunters. The NRL has 0 grassroots footprint on the game in PNG. The Digicel cup and all the 30 or so affiliated local leagues are independently run by passionate locals and sponsored by local business man and companies. The Digicel cup is primarily sponsored by Digicel PNG and a few nationally owned businesses. Again no NRL input there.

    Your point being?

    Developing leagues in other regions, and thus developing talent locally with the least impact on development within Australia as possible is the best outcome for everybody.

    53 minutes ago, Waghi Tumbe said:

    My understanding is that the NRL is the premier rugby league competition in the world, Sivo, Kikau and Olam etc... are all elite athletes who have earned the right to be in this competition. Any athlete Australian or otherwise who wants to get picked over them, must earn the right to be picked over them to play in the NRL.

    Here's the issue; most Australian athletes are never afforded the opportunity to get picked over them because there's only limited space within the system.

    Starting in the late teens the system reaches a bottleneck where there're thousands of guys from all across the region of similar talent, but nationally there's only space for a few hundred of them to get an opportunity. At that point it's almost arbitrary as to whom gets to continue in the system and whom doesn't, and the vast majority of those that don't are forced to move on from RL by financial pressures.

    The whole system has become Americanised as a result of said bottleneck as well, with most players being selected because of their physical attributes rather than their capability as footballers, which is a huge issue. Plenty of legendary players of the past would never get a run in modern times simply because they're 'too small', 'too slow', 'can't lift enough', etc, etc, and it's leading to a dearth of footy brains in the competition.

    Every person from outside of Australia that is taking a position in said system is doing so at the expense of an Australian, and for the most part that's not in the NRL's or Australian RL's interest considering the state of RL within Australia and the opportunities available to us .

    53 minutes ago, Waghi Tumbe said:

    At the end of the day the NRL is a business and the product it puts out every round is what keeps viewers engaged and generates revenue which inturn stimulates growth.

    Uh-huh, and as a business it makes sense to pursue the best opportunities that will stimulate the most growth possible, and those best opportunities undoubtably exist in Australia and not the PI's... Any of Vic, WA, and SA alone would be more valuable financially and in grassroots and junior growth alone than most of the PI's put together.

    53 minutes ago, Waghi Tumbe said:

    Putting out inferior product in the name of national expansion is something that will never happen. Especially when it comes to an organisation like the NRL who are reluctant to expand beyond the Eastern Seaboard and Auckland, without a very strong support base and financial backing. I mean look at the reasons Vlandys stated for playing round zero in LA next year.

    You don't know that the product would be inferior.

    Frankly I'd argue that most top AFL, RU, [insert popular contact sport here] would easily make it in the NRL, and that their presence in the league would do more for the sport in Australia than most Islanders ever could, but the sport doesn't allow it's self the opportunity to poach them when they are young because it's priorities are totally backwards.

    BTW, most honest people would argue that the product on the field is significantly worse now than it was just 5 years ago. But that's a whole other discussion.

    53 minutes ago, Waghi Tumbe said:

    Didn't Sivo play bush footy before playing in the Ron Massey? Wasnt Kikau brought up playing rugby union in Fiji before being brought to Queensland? 

    Your point?

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  14. 15 hours ago, The Future is League said:

    One of the things that tipped it for the Dolphins was their junior development program

    Junior development is the antidote to stop the AFL spreading

    Junior development only targets the top 20-30 players in each age group in a particular region. As such increased junior development alone will have little to no impact on the AFL's growth.

    If you want to stop the AFL's growth then you need to do three things-

    • Increase grassroots funding across the board.
    • Target strategic markets on the Eastern Seaboard for targeted investment to halt the AFL's spread in those regions (Murray region, the Riverina, ACT/Capital region, GC, Ipswich, Blacktown, etc, etc).
    • Force the AFL to play defence by investing in growth south and west of the Barassi line, particularly in the Metro markets (Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide).

    Do those three things well and in the mid-long term it'll make all the difference.

    • Like 2
  15. On 19/04/2022 at 20:28, The Rocket said:

    The amount of money that the NRL actually spend in the Pacific Islands would be a pittance any way, and what they do spend would go a long, long way because of the difference in value of the relative currencies.

    The NRL has given the Hunters alone grants of AUD $5mil just to keep them solvent.

    That kind of money spent in the bush, on an affiliated state, or even split between all of them, would make a monumental difference to the sport's fortunes in Australia.

    Sure most of the rest of the movement in the Pacific at the professional level is simply the clubs poaching players on the cheap, however there's a large push for expensive Hunters/Silktails style programs to spread across the entire pacific, and that was what was being advocated for here if we are being honest.

    Those programs, should they come to be, will inevitably come at the expense of possible investment within Australia.

    On 19/04/2022 at 20:28, The Rocket said:

    The other thing to note was that a lot of it was funded by the Federal Gov`t any way as part of their push for closer ties to combat Chinese influence. Having a League friendly PM didn`t hurt as well.

    I've already addressed that.

    For the most part the government's sports diplomacy programs in the pacific have failed, but even if they were a success that money still can't be relied on.

    Sooner or later that money is going to dry up (it could dry up within a month or so if the Libs are voted out or are forced to form a minority government), and once that money dries up somebody is going to have to pick up the slack otherwise all those programs in the PI's fold.

    Pressure will be on the NRL to pick up the slack since they are the only organisation with the will and the means to fund such programs, and frankly they can't really afford to be investing that kind of money into the PI's while RL is more or less functionally extinct in half of Australia.

  16. 5 hours ago, Tony Angelino said:

    Didn’t the dolphins pay some sort of entrance fee to the NRL?

    There's no franchise fee to join the NRL.

    4 hours ago, Tony Angelino said:

    Whilst I agree with you that pacific nations like Fiji, png, Tonga and Samoa other nothing to the NRL financially they do offer potential superstars of the game like sivo, kikau and olam etc that light up the competition and get people coming through the turnstiles or watching on TV or talking about it on social media etc.

    Talk of NRL teams in PNG or Fiji etc is just pure pie in the sky stuff but investment in these countries at grassroots levels and creating pathways like that of the png hunters and Kaiviti silktails and hopefully other nations like New Caledonian, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands will see big returns for the NRL for all the reasons stated above.

    All that grassroots and junior development in the PI's comes at the expense of development locally. In other words every dollar spent on development in the PI's is a dollar that could be spent in Australia, and every Sivo, Kikau, and Olam takes a place that an Australian athlete could have had.

    I assure you that better investment into the Vic, WA, SA, etc, even just the bush, would produce better returns for the NRL in the long term than Fiji, Tonga, etc, and that guys like Buddy Franklin, Dustin Martin, and Christian Petracca would have been just as big of stars as Sivo, Kikau, et al., had RL realistically had a chance of converting them to RL in their youth.

    Furthermore, those Australian athletes that get dropped to make room for your Sivo's and Kikau's of the world don't just disappear. If they are good enough to make it in RL then they're good enough to make it in other sports, and that's exactly what they go on to do and it's increasingly biting the NRL in the ###### as a result. Alexander Volkanovski, Jordan Mailata, and many others all started in RL before moving to other sports once they ran out of opportunities in RL.

    BTW, I doubt you'll see much investment into the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu with the way things are going politically.

  17. 4 hours ago, Tony Angelino said:

    I visit that site regularly as well and many posters on there all talk about the AFL investing heavily on grassroots in south east Queensland.

    I think this weighed heavily on the NRL’s decision to pick another south east Queensland franchise as their “expansion” pick.

    That's just excuse making to justify taking the easy route of adding the Dolphins in Moreton Bay.

    If the NRL was serious about using expansion to counteract the AFL's growth in Brisbane then they would have invested in the west of Brisbane (namely Ipswich), because that's where the AFL is investing the most for growth in Brisbane.

    Truth be told the NRL picked the Dolphins because News offered them a bonus if they picked them, and the Dolphins are an easy nostalgia sale to old fans.

    • Like 1
  18. 9 hours ago, NW10LDN said:

    Rugby League is a national sport in PNG and has had big growth in Tonga and Fiji. They obviously have a different view considering that they convinced the Aus gov to spend millions on rugby league programmes in the Pacific. Giving up on NZ? Good thing you are not in charge of the NRL.

    The only hard evidence of 'big growth in Tonga and Fiji' that I've seen is a jump in attendance at their internationals in Australia and NZ, but for sake of argument lets assume there has been significant growth on the ground in Tonga and Fiji.

    • Tonga is a poor country with a population of 105k.
    • Fiji while nowhere near as bad off as Tonga, is still a politically unstable 3rd world country with a total pop of 896k spread across many islands, while Suva, it's largest city, has less than 100k.
    • PNG is much larger than both the others, but it's population is spread over a much larger, much more rugged and dangerous, area. They still have serious corruption and security issues, and nearly 40% (the exact number may have changed since I last looked) of their population lives in absolute poverty while most of the rest couldn't afford the costs of supporting an NRL side regularly.

    None of them have valuable broadcast markets, none of them have a large population of people whom could afford the cost of a ticket on a regular basis, they'd be extremely expensive to operate out of with massive travel and security costs, etc, etc. Basically as markets they are high costs low value, especially when compared to value of Australian markets without any representation in the NRL.

    To give you an analogy you might understand; imagine if it was realistically feasible for the Super League to expand to Glasgow, Birmingham, and other large cities in the UK without any significant RL presence, then another person came along and said "nah we shouldn't invest in them, we should focus our efforts on growing the sport in Tunisia and Libya instead", that's effectively what you and others like you are suggesting, and frankly it's batshit.

    BTW, the fact you think 'they' (whoever they are) convinced the Australian government to invest in sport in the PI's shows you've got no clue what is going on in the Asia-Pacific region. All the money the Australian government spends on sport and infrastructure in the PI's is football diplomacy attempting to counteract China's growing influence in the region. It's not working, and that government money could never be relied on in the first place.

    • Like 2
  19. 1 minute ago, Tony Angelino said:

    AFL are investing heavily at grassroots in Queensland. Right?

    soccer and basketball are growing threat to grassroots RL also?

    AFL invests heavily in the grassroots everywhere with the exception of places it thinks it has totally tied up and has a low return in pro-talent, i.e. Tasmania and some very small regional parts of SA, WA, and the NT. In the ACT and parts of NSW, and Qld they are seriously to trying to grow into they easily outspend the NRL in the grassroots, they're bringing guns to a knife fight in that regard.

    Basketball is growing exponentially in the urban centres of Australia, and unlike in the 90s it isn't a fad pushed by Michael Jordan's cult of personality. The NBL is competently run and basketball is eating up market share as a result, but to be honest it's probably effecting cricket more than the football codes currently.

    Soccer is a toothless tiger in Australia, always has been and probably always will be.

    Soccer has had the highest participation rates of any of the football codes for as long as the data has been collected, however it's utterly failed to convert that success in the grassroots into support for the local professional competition. Their professional tier is a shambles as well, and it's unlikely that will ever change. It's probably the only code that has historically been run worse than RL.

  20. Just now, Big Picture said:

    Seppos???

    It's short for septic tank.

    It's Australian rhyming slang. You should be able to figure it out if you think about it, if you haven't already figured it out.

    Just now, Big Picture said:

    I think it would be pretty obvious to anyone that South Sydney is a suburb of Sydney, and anyone googling Manly would soon find out that it is too.

    Most people in America won't be bother to google it anymore than most people in Australia are bothered to google Wigan or St. Helens...

    Not having a go, just being honest.

    5 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

    I agree that the NRL doesn't have the means, they likely have something modest like the 1987 SOO match in Long Beach in mind which I'm pretty sure didn't even make anyone other than expats take any notice.

    I doubt the NRL even have that in mind.

    The Penn's have been pushing this on and off for years and it's never been more than talk in the media on a slow news day.

  21. If the NRL was serious about trying something in the US (and I'm not saying that they are or should be), then their best bet would to try and conquer Hawaii first because of it's close connection to Pacific region culturally, it's proximity to Australia compared to the rest of the US, it's total lack of representation in the major leagues in the US, and the slight disconnect it has from the mainstream American culture.

    If the NRL was serious, and willing to put the time and resources in, then getting a team up and running in Hawaii and building a culture of RL around it would be an achievable goal. Very high risk, time consuming, very expensive, and difficult, but achievable.

    Any other talk about the US is daydreaming for the time being.

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