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  1. Seen the vid of his greatest XIII...my god he’s a big head.
  2. It’s the right attitude to take. The referee is usually the first port of call when it comes to blame as it’s the most convenient. This applies to fans, players, and coaches. Much more difficult looking at our own teams shortcomings (could also apply this to the person I responded to). When you accept the referee is honest, and is applying the rules to the best of their ability, you should then focus on the game as you do.
  3. Not according to the ‘holier than thou’ person I just replied to. Rugby league is squeaky clean, it must be, otherwise why bring up another sport? This must be some strange anomaly and such abuse is not common.... okay. To respond in such a way to the woman whose husband was abused during a rugby league game from minute one to 80 was utterly bizarre.
  4. I think you missed the part where she said rugby league. Using football as a deflection tactic is weak. Get your own house in order. Abuse ain’t acceptable in any sport. A known bigot in Israel Folau being allowed to play shouldn’t be acceptable either, but obviously it is.
  5. Sampras was dull as he played in a very structured (almost robotic) style. Serve and volley ad nauseam (when not serving aces, relentlessly). And he was brilliant at it. It’s comparable to the Aussies in RL. England (historically) play in a much less structured way. The prime reason England (GB) haven’t beaten the Aussies in 50 years is due to the vast gulf in playing numbers. England with a similar number of players to choose from (meaning a leap in quality of personnel), and playing the more open attacking British style, would win much more often than not against a rigid style of play. Regards viewership, what appeals here is not the same as Australia. They are all about the biff. Grinding down the opposition. Look at the two biggest sports. AFL and RL, two games where blokes often beat the ###### out of each other. In the international rules series between Australia and Ireland, the Irish players are much more skilled with the ball at their feet, the Aussies far more adept at the physical stuff. It’s a clash of two styles. In terms of RL, unfortunately the game here has followed suit with a more rigid, risk averse, physique based game.
  6. Think you’ve nailed it, especially the last paragraph. Better defences, more structured play, less risk averse (five drives), this makes it a much harder game to play, and less attractive to watch. Those comparing the Australian game with the game here with the argument the game here isn’t any more attractive are forgetting the game here has changed due to the influence of the Australian game. The game here is now an Australian version. The right comparison is the Australian game to how the game here used to be, ie. British. The 2017 RLWC final was Australia vs an Australia style team. It was watertight, and dull. Shaun Wane (and the Aussie he worked under) made Wigan successful, and dull. He will likely continue the drab work of the Aussie he’s taking over from with England. Leeds yesterday with their attacking, entertaining rugby was much more like the British game.
  7. I’ve the same reason. My vision is good so there’s no issue there, but following the puck I find impossible. I’m also convinced that when a goal is scored, unless it’s a really obvious shot where you can see that black thing hit the net then the only reason people cheer is because the frame of the goal lights up to inform people of the score. Theres a great joke about ice hockey from Rodney Dangerfield: "I went to the fights last night, and a hockey game broke out." He has some other crackers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodney_Dangerfield#Career_surge ”"Last week my house was on fire. My wife told the kids, 'Be quiet, you’ll wake up Daddy”
  8. Playing numbers surely? Plus NZ is a rugby nation, France is not (bar a segment of the southwest). NZ kids grow up with an oval ball, it’s part of the sporting fabric of the place, so with that upbringing they are bound to excel at both codes. They’d be number one at RL too if they had the same (or close to) playing numbers as Aus.
  9. NRL making a profit of $28 million (Aus) is not much to develop the sport elsewhere. It’s comparing apples with oranges, but Im slightly surprised at the NRL revenue figure of $555 million figure coming as it does in the same week Liverpool announced revenue for May 2018 to May 2019 of £533 million ($1.047 billion Aus), which is almost double an entire league. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2878235-liverpool-announce-record-turnover-of-533m-pre-tax-profit-of-42m Liverpool can’t do much to develop the sport elsewhere (bar football academies in Africa with some of the £42 million profit), that job is down to FIFA, just as it should be to the governing body of RL. The new Liverpool training ground will cost £50 million ($98 million Aus), that’s more than three times the profit of the NRL. So the NRL could afford a third of a training ground. If anything these figures should take away any accusations aimed at the NRL for “not growing the sport” as they are evidently not awash with cash. What little they do make will have to be reinvested into rugby league in Aus.
  10. Great listen as usual. One thing though, Sadler didn’t seem to realise the Salford try went viral as the player was the spit of Mo Salah. Getting to the point where the video goes viral due to the score itself is the goal.
  11. I’ve often complained about the two rugby codes becoming too attritional, too brutish, too forward based, with players bigger than ever, but you have been much more specific about it. To me it’s killing both as a spectacle. I watch more old games of both than current ones, and the contrast between the two eras (mid 90s to now) is stark. Free flowing, attacking skilful play has gone out the window. You mentioned France in RL. In RU, since this bulking up and attritional, forward dominated game really kicked in, France have collapsed. The flair they were associated with that brought them so much success, that’s been wiped out, as bigger, more physical teams bulldozed through them. The flair has been beat out of them, and now to compete they brought in Shaun Edwards, a man to bring them grit, and really put the final nail in the coffin as an attractive team to watch. Wales went down the same road over a decade ago when Edwards and Gatland came in, ditching exciting running RU Wales were known for (that now saw them frequently lose as they were overpowered) for the attritional game in order to be competitive. The result of all this attritional play in RU has meant no individuals stand out anymore, the backs get fed scraps, and when they do get the ball they get bulldozed over. Additionally, backs are now as big as what forwards used to be, with an emphasis on physicality over skill. Previously the benchmark, the French backs are now hopeless with the ball. They choose mammoth physical specimens regardless of whether they can throw the ball around. Bastereaud (spelling?), an 18 stone brute of a centre, and equally as limited with the ball. From Sella to that is some change, and indicative of the sport as a whole. With so much in common and movement of personnel (coaches/players) between the codes, RL has also gone through this transition. The 2017 RLWC final, an 80 minute arm wrestle, you watch that, and then you watch the ‘90s Challenge Cup finals, it’s two different sports.
  12. Because they are rugby league towns? When I stayed in Manchester I saw next to no visible presence of rugby league. Is the sport prominent in Salford? If it’s not prominently in the local culture, and given rugby league is not in mainstream nationwide culture (so not much ability to capture interest from joe public or casual fans from outside a RL area), it’s hard to attract bigger crowds. The cricket final last summer, how many watched that game who were bandwagon jumpers as they read about it in the papers, seen it on news stations, heard about it from people in work etc? I’d say plenty, many of whom have no real interest in cricket. But the status It had pushed up the viewership/demand for tickets.
  13. When I was at university in Liverpool I enquired about a season ticket for Anfield. Remember asking the girl behind the counter how long is the waiting list (even naively thinking about the possibility of getting one straight away), she nonchalantly said 12 years. To say I was gobsmacked was an understatement. The demand has only increased with the team doing a lot better since then. Lower league teams do very well turnover wise, the problem is overspending. There’s the carrot of the Premier League (even championship football) and incompetent owners spend more than they should.
  14. ? Thats the most iconic club stadium in the country you are describing! Curious to know, what stand were you in? I’m the same height (6 foot). The new main stand and the Kop are fine for leg room. The Anfield road end (next to get refurbished) will also have extra leg room, and it will need it. The centenary stand (now Kenny Dalglish stand) i found tight for leg room. I can’t recall the exact measurements (read it a while back) but there was a standard amount of inches between rows that’s since been expanded by two inches I think it is. The main issue with Anfield is its arguably the least appropriate stadium in the country for rugby league (besides maybe Twickenham). Almost feels like intruding in someone else’s home. I personally find it weird seeing another sport played there...a try at the Kop end. It’s too entrenched in football, that goes for the city too. There’s a thread on falling crowds at Wigan. Address that and the England tests will take care of themselves. I posit it’s due in part to the style of play. A more physical, wrestle dominated, risk averse game is a harder sell, clearly if attendances are anything to go by. Since 2011 attendances have been falling at Wigan, which coincides with the early stages of the Maguire/Wane era. The England vs Australia 2017 RLWC final was the most notable example of this style of play that dominates the game. Purists will have no issue with an 80 minute arm wrestle, but it doesn’t have much appeal outside that. This is the key area for me that needs addressing to get crowds back, and growing.
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