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  1. In terms of picture quality, stability and camera work, I found the stream for the semis to be absolutely fine so if anyone is thinking of watching the final, please don't be put off by that. The commentary was pretty uninsightful and unpolished and used a lot of American Football rather than RL terminology, but the bloke is probably doing it out of the kindness of his heart and is probably more used to union than league, so fair play to him for giving up his time and effort and making the best fist of it one could reasonably expect in the circumstances, which is more than the RLIF could manage and that truly is a scandal!
  2. For those who would like to watch but weren't aware that there is a way, I just thought I'd draw attention to the fact that Toronto Wolfpack are live streaming all the games via Facebook, with both semi finals taking place tomorrow (Tuesday 13 Nov). Hopefully they can still be viewed after the event for those sleeping or otherwise engaged at the time. Good to see the Wolfpack giving the Canadian national team some exposure. I hope as many Wolfpack fans as possible will tune in and grow to love the international game as much as i do. https://www.torontowolfpack.com/2018/11/09/toronto-wolfpack-stream-rugby-league-world-cup-americas-qualifying-live-facebook/
  3. In RL our (England's) sporting rivalry with Australia is probably a bit more intense than that with NZ at present, purely because they've been our strongest opponent for most of the history of the international game and it's a natural inclination in sport to want to take on the top dog and try to dethrone them so to speak. Wheras in Union it's probably NZ more so than Aus for the same reason. Those type of rivalries are a bit more fluid than local rivalries though and the dynamic can shift slightly if another nation achieves a prolonged period of dominance, so if NZ ever achieve that i don't think there's anything precluding them from usurping Aus in the pecking order of whom the English public are more excited to see us play. But for the time being, as well as their historical stature, and despite the Kiwis excellent recent win, Australia remain the team to beat in the eyes of most Englishmen and so they remain the bigger attraction. None of that is to say that we are apathetic about playing NZ though and i certainly don't think the English public would rather we play Australia every time and never NZ, not by any stretch. NZ are still held in high regard by the English public, opinion is probably split on who has the better current side (marginally NZ for me) and with the 2 teams being so closely matched these days, there's probably an even greater chance of the thrill of a game in the balance right to the end than would be the case with Australia. So i still think NZ is a clash we look forward to with plenty of enthusiasm by enlarge. I do know what you mean though about a few people seeming to feel a little bit flat about this particular series, i've encountered one or two myself. Personally i felt flatter about the 2015 series than this one because NZ were so far under strength that it felt like we were on a hiding to nothing with everything to lose and nothing to gain. And so much of the unavailability on both sides was down to things you fancy wouldn't have kept them out of a World Cup, and whilst i don't blame them for getting these minor ops etc out of the way at that time, it did leave a bit of an air of unimportance hanging over the series. Wheras with this series i think it's just a combination of (A) frustration that once again it's not Australia, and (B) a little bit of repetition fatigue as it does feel like we've played them an awful lot more than anyone else in the last few years. But I don't think it's down to any long term diminishing attraction of the Kiwis, it's nothing that a better international calendar wouldn't sort out and I don't see it as a long term problem. Or at least it doesn't need to be.
  4. Depends how you judge what's a better option, it's subjective. Unless transport links are absolutely horrendous, and temporary closures permitting that wouldn't apply to any major stadium in England, then personally i would prioritise atmosphere over transport every time. You probably would take the opposite view. For me it then just comes down to what capacity you need. But if you need a stadium as big as West Ham's then i'd rank every stadium in England of equal or bigger capacity ahead of that one.
  5. You're so far from the pitch in that Olympic stadium and combined with the very shallow gradient of the stands and the circular rather than oval shape it just felt totally underwheming and devoid of atmosphere to me. I absolutely hated it and feel genuinely sorry for West Ham fans trying to make a fist of that place. The only thing it has going for it is the large capacity but there are comparable alternatives in London and elsewhere. I really hope international RL never goes back there myself but each to their own. If you like it, fair enough
  6. Doubt it'll be pay at the turnstile but i reckon you'll be able to buy from the stadium ticket office right up until kick off, or at worst book in the morning and collect at the stadium ticket office. They're probably not saying so just yet so as not to put people off buying in advance, but if you check social media in the morning there will probably be something put out to that effect. I hope you can make it, would be nice to see it as full as possible.
  7. England for me. I've never really regarded the UK as a country and have always identified as English rather than British, so a Lions team just feels out of place to me in regular international competition, all the more so when you factor in the Republic of Ireland. Also, even with heritage players, we already have too few competitive national teams, and merging 4 of them in to one just exasperates the problem. That said, I do enjoy the Lions tours in Union. There's something I find quite alluring about 4 rival neighbouring nations coming together as a one off to try and defeat one of the sport's great powers that has been getting the upper hand against them individually in recent times. I think they've been lucky in that regard with the timing of the tours in that they often seem in recent times to have fallen when the host nation was at the top end of the natural cycle they all go through. I don't think it would appeal half as much if they were taking on a side they were recently beating regularly as individual nations. Had the last tour been South Africa for example it may have felt a bit hollow, but as luck would have it they seem to be improving at just the right time ahead of the next Lions tour. So infrequent league Lions tours to Australia at a time when they are World Champions and a cut above everyone else (almost always) do have a certain theoretical appeal. But at the moment it is only theoretical because even allowing for heritage Scotland, Wales and Ireland players, i just don't see any of them making the team. Even the likes of McIlorum, Grace, Knowles, LMS, Tierney etc, good players though they are, I don't see them getting in ahead of the competition at the moment. And when your Lions team is the same as the England team it just defeats the purpose. If a day ever comes when significant numbers of Scots, Welsh and Irish would make the squad then the concept of infrequent Lions tours might be worth revisiting. But it should never be the regular international team and for the time being it doesn't really have a purpose at all for me.
  8. Have it in Toronto and make the Wolfpack play 13 times across 2 days. It gets all the travelling out of the way in one go and makes sure they have some fans there
  9. Really impressed with NZ. Whilst one swallow doesn't make a summer I think it's great for the international game to see them looking so resurgent on the day and sets up the England series beautifully. If NZ can reproduce that level of performance then i make them favourites. My one big worry from their perspective was how vulnerable they looked to runs from dummy half (or one quick pass) whenever the Aussies managed to get a quick PTB. Don't get me wrong, those are always hard to avoid conceding significant ground from, but they were getting absolutely carved wide open. But the Kiwis undoubtedly emerged from the game with a lot more be positive about that not. On the face of it the failure to turn such extreme dominance in to tries in the first half may seem an obvious weakness but i didn't feel like there was a troubling lack of creativity, I put it more down to excellent Australian defence. Thoroughly enjoyed the game and hopefully the result raises the level of intrigue surrounding the England series and it gets the size of audience i think it deserves. If NZ can maintain the standards they played to today and England can hit something close to our best form then we're in for an absolute treat. Before that we have a French side looking to build on the Catalan good vibes and push England hard followed by the prospect of Australia seeking redemption against a fired up Tonga side. Throw in the European Championships to follow and there's lots to look forward to. I absolutely love international RL!
  10. It's a shame that St Judes v Saddleworth directly clashes with the other two, i'd like to have gone to both. If you're playing the other 2 as a double header then why not make it all 3? Having been forced to make a choice i'll be at St Judes because i know people involved at Saddleworth so it carries a bit more meaning for me, but good luck to all teams and i hope they do the amateur game proud.
  11. Lets not forget they get to go to Whitehaven and Workington too. There's an independent service station on that section of the M6 that is frequently voted the nation's best. I feel we don't highlight this enough when attempting to entice youngsters to play the game.
  12. Belgrade? Never heard of it, and i've been the length of breadth of the M62 hundreds of times. What junction number is it? It better not be in bloody Cumberland. I'm not going there again. That Lake District is just a poor man's Pennines
  13. Where's everyone heading for a pint pre-match?
  14. I know players can switch between tier 1 nations and the rest but what's the rule on switching between nations who are both outside of tier 1. Can Pelissier switch back to France if recalled at a later date?
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