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Posts posted by HarrogateKnights

  1. With the gap growing between the traditional nations and then the best of the rest. To give players a chance of international honours at a world cupcould we have more nations competing. In theory it might limit the likes of Scotland as someone as Scottish as Danny Brough maybe selected for England Knights but in turn that might convince them to be more creative in their plan. Just a thought . E.g.

    England and England Knights 

    Australia (Kangaroos) and Australia Aboriginal

    New Zealand (Kiwis) and New Zealand Maori 

    There maybe a crossover where you have a player of indigenous heritage that qualifies for the first team which you could have the player choosing who to play for. When you look at the current groups for 2021 World Cup you think England vs Samoa should be a comfortable win for England but if it was England Knights it could be an interesting story. 

  2. They are going to be relatively close to Copperheads (Lee County) and Tampa Mayhem

    It will be great if they can be sustainable in this area and Florida could be a hotbed of Rugby League as you have Lakeland Renegades too. Then you have Central Florida Warriors covering Orlando area and Jacksonville Axemen, further North. 

  3. To be fair on top of this the community club communication has been spot on. When Harrogate was in Tier 1 back in September/October they gave us all the information needed to play safely and what they were comfortable in us doing right up to the most recent lockdown. We stopped activity as we were increased to Tier 2 for Christmas but they were great with several clubs zoom calls to discuss any issues that you might have. 

    • Like 3
  4. 1 hour ago, moorside roughyed said:

    I love it when the bbc show the odd early round in the challenge Cup with the amateur teams in it. I used to watch freesport on TV with rugbyam when they covered the amateur game. It gave them a but more exposure but that seemed to die a death. Probably a financial reason behind it. Unfortunate. 

    That Rugby am coverage was good. It was almost like you were immersed within in the club for a Saturday Afternoon interviewing practically everyone in the club. There were some great games on there too the NCL is at a decent level for an amateur competition and should be admired. Unfortunately we won't get any coverage from the BBC this year but hopefully a club streams one of their games later in the year on YouTube or Facebook or similar would happily watch that. 

    • Like 1
  5. 1 hour ago, Jack Russell said:

    Nothing to do with bbc i player but if you're after watching some older games, there's plenty of full matches being uploaded on 'rugby league cares' on Facebook. Most of these are from the BBC archives and imo are brilliant.

    Thanks i will check it out, when the BBC have put so much effort into splashing across their live TV with the FA Cup I fancied some live proper sport so was digging to find some

  6. 28 minutes ago, Damien said:

    It just shows the wide ranging appeal that Toronto had to major broadcasters when they would rather show a 4 year old game against an amateur team than the hundreds of games they have to choose from involving heartland clubs.

    I watched it again yesterday, watched it first time round live but interesting listening back to all the positives and excitement there was back then for Toronto and the amount of UK residents actively tweeting the idea that they will be following them. 


  7. 12 hours ago, moorside roughyed said:

    Cracking game. 

    It's a decent game, have watched it a couple of times in the nearly 4 years it's been on there but like the Watersplash final that they had on there earlier this year. I am sure they could dig out some other cracking games. St Helens vs Halifax semi-Final from 2019 would be the 1st one I would have on there. They could have a vote online and put a new game on Iplayer every 2-4 weeks during the off season or something similar, there has been some cracking games on the BBC, 4 nation games too. 

  8. For some reason Siddal Vs Toronto from the Challenge Cup is still on there from Feb 2017. With the. BBC having the coverage rights it might be good if they could upload more Challenge Cup or international games in the off season which could easily be used to drive more interest. 

    • Like 3
  9. 3 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

    There are Tags in Wheelchair RL. The players look to have one on each arm and several replacements. How do they manage to afford these if they`re so expensive?

    The more I watch League Tag, the more I`m recognising the skill and positional sense involved in making the tags. The angles and footwork are similar to how a smaller player in Tackle RL avoids being front-on with a bigger opponent. Is there the same defensive technique involved in making the touch on the ball in X-League?

    Also, isn`t the touch on the ball in X-League difficult to reliably referee? In Tag it`s either on or off, very clear-cut.

    I have found from playing both X-league is more like full contact as you tend to tackle the ball in a sense when wrapping up your opponent and is a little more physical due to the tag positions on the side of the shorts but you do raise a valid point on the referee at the moment alot of it is a "gentleman/captains" agreement, rather than playing for competition you would admit if ball was touched and not seen by the referee. 

  10. 42 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

    G`day Harrogate, I`ve been back a few times now to have a look at the footage you posted of X-League being played on what looks like a tennis court, I also searched high and low for the post where you describe the rules of X-League but have been unable to find it, Pedant gives one clue away below about the touch being on the ball, and I think you mention kicking somewhere as well. Couple of things, firstly I assume the game could be scaled up so that more than three players per side could be accommodated, is that so, and perhaps if you could refer to me something to get a better handle on the rules.

    You explain very comprehensively above where you are coming from in trying to set a `Touch` competition that is not automatically associated with English Rugby union on the one hand and yet your desire to avoid the prohibitively expensive costs associated with a TTR franchise for your participants on the other, especially in what is a bit of fun on a weeknight. 

    I suppose the RLF are in a bind here because they can`t subsidise the costs of shorts and tags for Rugby League clubs like yourself because they are affiliated with the TTR franchise system and they TTR I gather are making money out of selling that kit. And having read the TTR franchise promotion you posted earlier it is depressingly `rugby this` and `rugby that`, honestly it sounded like one great big promotion for union to me.

    Do you ultimately consider X-League to be to be English Rugby Leagues` long term competitor with England Rugby`s domination of the Touch competitions, would that be your ultimate goal, you did mention that you are having a WC in November and have RFL backing., and what are their plans with X-League, is it being encouraged at other clubs. I read somewhere here the other day about Coventry`s popular Touch and Tag competitions, I wonder who they are aligned with.

    It would seem to me that the RFL, IRL even the ITFF all need to sit down and plan a comprehensive strategy of what needs to be played and where.



    Thanks for checking us out, we use that pitch as a training pitch. It's designed for 5 aside soccer but allows us to train better as players haven't got the space of 50-60 metres like you would on a grass pitch setup. Also it's cheaper, floodlit and all weather. Generally it's 7 a side for 13 minutes so we have been doing attack vs defence drills etc. I was on the AGM call today of X-League and there long term aim is for a X-league UK circuit going to different venues etc amongst other tournaments and bringing X-league into the RFL coaches framework as part of using X-league to develop skill sets. 

    We can offer X-league for 1 hour (4 x 13 minute games) for £2-3 per player turn up and play. That's without any kit sponsors or anything like that. X-League see it as a stepping stone up or down through to contact RL or you could play X-league in its own right. Since those videos have been taken we have had regular 5 a side games on that pitch which we might have to scale up to a bigger pitch at some point. 

    • Like 1
  11. 16 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

    I had been pondering this very observation the last couple of days following the article on the `International Rugby League` Thread about the success and positivity that surrounded the recent IRL backed event in India.

     I posted my thoughts on that thread just now and are an echo of and an expansion on the advantages that may accrue of presenting Rugby League in a `contact/non-contact package` in new markets.

    It does open another interesting angle of this debate though, especially given I know that you consider `Touch` Rugby League to be lost cause in your part of the world. I will touch on it briefly here in that the big advantage that touch does have over other forms of non-contact is its` potential to be played as a `casual` version of our game given the lack of equipment required. Thoughts.

    Totally agree with this point. Our club considered TTRL (Oztag) but even if we decided to run it ourselves from the club the tags are £45 for 2 sets and then each player would have to pay £17 each for a pair of approved shorts before you get going . We settled on X-League due to it being run by the RFL. Touch Rugby run by the England Touch association is a sport that is dominated by Union teams on O2 touch festivals seem to try and take that variant. When Covid allows we are having our own social X-league even every Friday 7-8pm then option to go to the bar after and the clubs social secretary is at the heart of this arranging after games meet ups for food etc every so often. We will be involved with the X-League world cup this year too. I played tag and it is something that we may consider socially if the interest gains and have a minimum contact evening with both options available. 

    • Like 1
  12. 15 hours ago, Damien said:

    I'm not sure why RU keeps being raised but RL is fundamentally different in nature and RL has evolved to get away from all the problems seen in RU. RL players can only get so big and strong before it has a detrimental affect of their game and performance. RU is a different kettle of fish completely and many of its issues simply don't apply in RL.

    Totally agreed I tried to watch a Union game that was on amazon prime recently but turned it off due to how slow the game play was. I appreciate they may have different skill sets with patience being their main one. When you watch the NRLs best tries/best long tries you realise how quick they really are when you watch it week in and out you get used to it but the Union build up play and rolling over each other is definitely something that's not for me. League, Footy, RL what ever you want to call it is definitely a different game. 

    • Like 1
  13. With the above has anyone ever nominated someone for an award? I am sure there are plenty of coaches that have been volunteering tirelessly for years that create positive impacts at community levels that if nominated by individuals they would receive BEM or possibly even a MBE if you think of some of the big amateur clubs without like Stanningley or Siddal to name 2 without the volunteers the gap left in society where 150+ kids wouldn't have a sports team. It wouldn't be surprising if the RFU don't have a committee just filling out forms for honours. If you looked in the honours list this year Exeter head Coach Rob Baxter awarded with OBE for winning the league and European Cup. Their captain Joe Simmonds awarded an MBE too. Their chairman awarded OBE in 2012 for services to sport for basically running Exeter Chiefs as a business.... 

    • Like 1
  14. On 31/12/2020 at 01:23, unapologetic pedant said:

    Just to avoid any misunderstanding, the number of players in a League Tag side from 13 years grade through to open age is 11.

    When you mentioned running a League Tag comp alongside next year`s WC, I wasn`t so sure. Mainly due to the costs, and that it could get lost amid the 3 concurrent WCs (men`s, women`s, wheelchair) already scheduled. Plus there`s the question would it be men`s or women`s. And there`s a well-established separate Oztag/TRL WC.

    On reflection, I think you`re right. There could have been a 4 team comp - England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand. Surely the cost of that wouldn`t be too high. The Aussies would be favourites, but all 4 nations should be competitive, given that they are in Oztag/TRL. 

    A major problem in our international Tackle game is its stratification and the unbridgeable gaps between the strata. Establishing systems in Serbia or Greece that can produce players able to compete with the French, let alone with Aus/Eng/NZ, is virtually impossible when the playing pool is so initially restricted by the physically demanding nature of the game.

    Seeing an Irish League Tag team, made up of actual Irish people, holding their own at a RLWC event would highlight the development potential. Without the deterrent effects of tackling, a nascent RL nation can grow their participation rates much faster. Thus in a few short years their standards improve and they can realistically attempt to compete against the best. All the while raising the general profile of the game of Rugby League. This would take decades or forever with just the Tackle game.

    There is already a X-League "World Cup" scheduled for 17-24th November in Sheffield. England is split between at Least Yorkshire and Lancashire as 2 separate teams with Japan apparently playing in that Tournament.

  15. The main problem with 9s is unless it's a separate circuit like the 7s in Union its going to be challenging. You firstly need an organiser, as a club we could easily organise it. However the teams involved are another problem as if they are 13s are they going to risk 1st players potentially getting injured or could it be that you have a separate 9s side that were your Reserves team that take part in 4/5 tournaments across the year but those players could play in the first team too for 13s. So rather than having a Super League reserves you have Super League 9s therefore cutting down on the numbers of players needed to 15 extra rather than 17-20?

  16. 5 hours ago, Dave T said:

    On topic post incoming. 

    Didn't many clubs start selling their season tickets much later than usual? I think that will affect numbers. As will the financial hardship that many will be feeling right now. As will the uncertainty about the season, plus whether fans will even be allowed in. 

    I'd be stunned if the numbers are not down. Hopefully that'll be made up by sales when grounds open, but it won't help cash flow right now, I'd expect the furlough scheme to be helpful right now. 

    York was definitely later than usual. Season ticket sales for 2020 went on sale in July 2019. This year was December. Depending on costs I think the earlier the better as you can sort out season tickets in the summer and get a new shirt for Christmas which is near on 1/4 of a season ticket these days 

  17. York haven't yet reported numbers but in the York Press just before Christmas Jon Flatman confirmed York have "record breaking" season ticket sales. Not sure if that includes the ones rolled over from last year if you didn't donate/get a refund of 2020s ticket however this year they have allowed a 3 instalments plan over Dec, Jan, Feb which I personally think is a fantastic idea. Although Under 16s are free again this season, with a youth concession of 17-25 & usual concession of Over 65. It is fantastic value for money at normal price of £186 extras for premium seats etc. 

    • Like 3
  18. 11 hours ago, DoubleD said:

    That must be an impressive gym. 

    What are the fees at the school out of interest? Is it just boarders or day pupils as well?

    It is to be fair. The fees vary depending on age group, international student pay more too by start from £3150 per term for day students to around £10,000 for international boarders in their final couple of years.


    Harrogate has Menwith Hill near by which is an American run listening station, a few students go to Ashville are kids of officers from that base others genuinely have money to burn and want kids in a private school. 

    • Thanks 1
  19. 7 minutes ago, tiffers said:

    The money that has come into Snooker from Asia is incredible. Really changed the dynamics of the sport and driven significant investment.

    Kudos to your efforts! I wish you all the success!

    Thanks alot really appreciate it Harrogate Fire Ants are the club @Fire_Ants_RL on twitter. 

  20. 2 minutes ago, tiffers said:

    That makes absolute sense given the types of students you describe above. Quite an international cohort and certainly far more geographically and socially mobile than the average student. Really refreshing to hear that you are introducing the game to these students who likely wont have heard of RL before.

    Some great evidence with Fran Goldthorp you described too.

    Sounds like the facilities are brilliant and quite the envy of many RL clubs/schools. If only we had the cash in the game to support this on a wider scale!

    Would be interesting to see how this develops with alumni in future years. Wouldnt it be wonderful to have  future with international students representing new nations at a student world cup!


    Yeah 100% we can't wait to get started. The facilities and the cash they have available is incredible they spent £3.2million on upgrading their gym recently. The school is set in a 60 acre location with really good facilities with sport at the heart of the college (2 cricket pitches too) in addition to all weather pitches and athletics tracks too. Would really like to get new students from new countries involved especially a big market from Asia that go to the college 

    • Like 1
  21. 3 hours ago, tiffers said:

    Out of interest - wondering why you have just looked at Russell Group uni's?

    In my experience, northern students have a much lower propensity to move out of the north of England and are far more likely to be attending universities that are not Russell Group. Particularly when compared to their southern English equivalents.

    I'd recommend you look at this geographically, rather than just at university rankings. They are a very poor judgement on university quality.

    To answer that question, we are based and playing out of an independent school (Ashville College) their aim is to get as many of their students into Russell Group Unis as a College especially Oxbridge. So as part of this I researched how many of them play RL so we can use it as a tool to offer after school coaching sessions and their Boarders and other students will be joining us too at a weekend. Most of the Ashville kids are either international students, from down South or won't end up back in Harrogate afterwards so our plan is to give them an awareness of League and skill set so when they get to Uni at Russell groups they may give it a try and boost numbers. Hopefully that leads to bigger numbers in the community game in other areas. If for example they played for their local RL amateur club in London on the back of us and Uni RL that to us would be deemed a success. There are over 50 countries represented at the school. 

    Some others do settle back in the area going to the likes of Loughborough, Leeds and York etc one example from the women's game is Fran Goldthorp she plays for Leeds Rhinos and went to Ashville College before attending Loughborough Uni. Although we aren't going to take over Union at a private school we can use League and the Australian and American Boarders as a tool to expand playing numbers in Harrogate and drive up standards as we have the best playing facilities, 7 pitches to choose from, 2 sports halls amongst options like a fully equipped gym and swimming pool. Plus their Director of Rugby Union is Gary Mercer ex Kiwi International. 

    • Like 2
  22. 25 minutes ago, Eddie said:

    I really like the front page of Sheffield Uni’s RL Club website, pretty much sums up what the game is about and how it’s culturally different to Union. https://www.sport-sheffield.com/clubs/rugbyleague

    Yeah they should be advertising for the RFL with some of their statements! But they are right in how the game should and genuinely is operated. We have a Union convert who ended up leaving Uni there as a Level 2 coach alongside his playing experience it's invaluable to have in the community game. 

    • Like 1
  23. 1 minute ago, iffleyox said:

    Exeter 20 years ago, I'm not sure we had an RL side. I played a bit of intra-mural RU for the drama department (on loan from history who tended to have more and better players to choose from to start with).

    They've got one now - I follow them on twitter. They're quite good. Funnily enough the strong links with Chiefs are attracting enough decent players who don't make the grade that the RL team is benefitting massively. That's not a sly comment on RL (I've been here long enough) it seems to be what is genuinely happening. As repeated BUSA (or whatever they're called this week) champions, rugby union players are going to Exeter and not all of them are making the grade. So they're looking around and some of them are choosing RL. 

    It's not a bad thing at all. With our club being based in Harrogate we are always going to be behind union in rankings but have actively reached out to union sides and are having an intro to League course at the Private school where we are based which has a big Union setup they don't play at all during March and August so have a pool of juniors there and have the "unpicked Union" players too. That's on top of the work we are doing with schools in Harrogate and players who genuinely want to play league. The basic skill set is developed in the Union environment with the Private school kids then we run an Introduction to League course with them 

    • Like 1
  24. It would be interesting to know how many make it into the semi/pro game. I know Jason Bass and Marcus Stock have to York and they definitely have potential to go full time, if they wanted it. I think if players have an awareness of league before they go to uni it can only be a bonus as you don't have to start from scratch but either way trying to keep players in the game is important especially when they settle outside of Uni life. 

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