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Non Cross Code
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Everything posted by DC77

  1. Sky has never seen RL as being a marquee sport. As has been documented on here to much disdain It never features on their montages of upcoming sports events (montages which consist of maybe six or seven sports). Voiceover: “A big summer (or Autumn, or Winter, or Spring) on Sky”...RL is never among the events in the clip. Even advertising a game, outside of the end of an actual RL broadcast does that ever happen? The other rugby code previously did get adverts prior to games (NZ vs Aus bledisloe Cup an example which was once seen as a big time event, but not anymore...by chance I flicked on the channel it was on a few weeks back when previously I’d have know about it days in advance). I think both codes are suffering from the stylistic changes in how they are played, more so RU. “Bigger, fitter, stronger” means a more attritional product, with less gaps for attacking players (ie.potential stars) to exploit than previous. Really standing out is nigh on impossible now. Neither code has had a star (ie.household name) in the UK in a decade and a half (that being J.Wilkinson, because of a kick). There’s no face for the media to use to promote a game/event. Big names, big games, big events, that’s what drives interest from both media and viewers. RL lacks this, a problem that RU now shares. There needs to be more substance than a “feeling of a game on the up”. It has to be backed up by tangibles. RL has to do the work in making the game more appealing to Sky.
  2. A press release from a sport can be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt. The NFL used to come out with “a billion people watching”...the actual recorded viewing figure was a tenth that, with over 95% based in North America. World Rugby did similar with the “Rugby World Cup”....”the third most watched sports event after the World Cup and the Olympics” they declared....figures debunked by the NZ Herald, with 33 million viewers for the final of which 97% were from the rugby union strongholds; https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/rugby-world-cup-logic-debunks-outrageous-numbers-game/3V6SE4D5N3BS232OBM6XO5OIJI/
  3. By overseas you mean here (UK) and NZ? Can’t imagine they’d get much/anything from outside those two. Given that Sky cuts off the host feed almost as soon as the game is over I’d say they ain’t paying much (you’d think they’d make an exception for the final and show the trophy lift, nope, straight off). It’s bare minimum coverage. Also the couple of games a week are shown on Sky Sports Arena (sometimes Sky Sports Mix) so even in the early morning time slot when nothing else is live it’s down the pecking order. Its for this reason I laugh when some Aussies big up folk who run the game in Aus and critique those who do so here. That Gus what’shisname, he wouldn’t have a scooby do here. The conditions couldn’t be more different.
  4. But Liverpool FC could fill a stadium in Australia that no NRL team could. A lot of it is down to the quality.
  5. Agree with preferring born (due to it being more authentic) as you could have half a dozen Aussies playing for different heritage teams (so 1 becomes 6). How many are from different countries? On a side note I wonder what the record is in RL. Having just looked there are 16 players from different countries in the 27 man Liverpool FC squad. My brother (big Gaelic football follower) wonders how I can follow a team with so many nationalities as he’s used to teams being all from one place (in this case Ireland). The concept of global he’s yet to grasp.
  6. Just had a quick search for the article in question but cannot find it. It’s Jonathan Liew. Off topic but here’s a podcast (with Liew) I just came across while searching for it for anyone that is interested. It’s about RL’s place in the UK sporting landscape: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=786569
  7. Fascinating some of the comments.... ”I have a dig at “rival” codes”...another “fights for the game“. Recall reading an article a few years back (might have been Lieuw (spelling?) in the Guardian) about how RL always feels threatened and was perennially fighting for its existence. Not knowing anything then about RL culture (as it’s largely hidden in the UK unless you are right in the RL heartlands) or its history the article was a real eye opener. The origin story involving the split with RU and how RL was subsequently treated over the next century (Vichy included) was truly shocking. It was then that you can understand why some (perhaps many) devotees of the game are defensive and feel the need to attack/lash out at other institutions/sports etc. I use two main football forums (general one and a club one) and you rarely see these type of comments on there, which I can only surmise its due to being such a dominant sport that’s never “felt threatened” or was constantly “fighting for its existence” (there’s no “RL is dying” equivalent). The comments in the football forums are largely on football (the refs are ######, offside needs clarifying, we need a salary cap etc.) with little/no regard for outside stuff but in RL forums there’s infinitely more focus on what’s happening outside the sport.
  8. Neighbours? What a huge deal that was....Angry Anderson on Top of the Pops. Frisky likes to make out the Aussies are irrelevant, deliberately overlooking how much stuff on TV he (and we) have consumed from them growing up...Henderson Kids, Home and Away, Round the Twist, Halfway across the galaxy and turn left, Heartbreak High...and Frisky’s personal favourite, Prisoner Cell Block H.
  9. SL viewing figures here would dwarf the NRL, which is a shame after what I’ve seen this season in my first time watching the game in Aus. The NRL has been a godsend in that I haven’t seen rugby (either code) this good in ages. Admittedly I really only watch the top NRL sides similar to what I’ve done with Barcelona over many years (extending from Ronaldo, to Rivaldo, to Ronaldinho, to Messi (as well as Xavi and co.) lining out for them...haven’t watched Barca in a while as they are currently skint and without a superstar). To watch Cleary run a game for Penrith is unlike anything on offer in SL. Melbourne are equally as good (really tiny margins between them that could go either way). These two play a different game. The standard among the next three or four teams below these two is still high quality. The speed and execution of plays is on another level to SL. The PTB happens quickly, attacks are swift, there is a slickness to the way the game is played there. If they transported their product here stars would be created in the UK.
  10. He has a strange hybrid. The absolute worst has to be Peter Lovenkrands (what is it about Danes?) who sounds more Scottish than many Scots. There’s not even a hint of Danish in his speech. Just googled his name and unsurprisingly accent appears as the fourth option. Came across this story where a Newcastle teammate thought he was Scottish until he spoke to another Dane. https://insidefutbol.com/2016/10/19/newcastle-team-mate-thought-i-was-scottish-until-i-spoke-to-nicklas-bendtner-peter-lovenkrands/309918/
  11. Fair shout. Just this Aussie telling us we should learn something, when no geographic location in a name is a new thing for them (of the current NrL teams anyway). One of the folks at the club defended the name saying “who doesn’t love a dolphin?”, true, but sport is tribal (I assume it’s no different in Aus), and not having something a bit more specific than just “the Dolphins” might not be as appealing as they hope.
  12. “English clubs could learn something here” Not having your location in your name is not an Aussie concept. I’d hazard a guess and say Arsenal, an English club, is the most famous sports club on the planet without a location in its name. This idea is brand new to the NRL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rugby_League#Current_clubs To go from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redcliffe_Dolphins to this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dolphins_(NRL) It looks bereft of an identity. The name Dolphins is too common. It’s also the nickname of a much more famous entity. It highlights another issue (to me anyway) which is the Americanisation of Aussie team names (and names in the rugby codes here), but at least if it was say North Brisbane Dolphins, it would at least have an Australian feel, and also say a lot more of who they are.
  13. “The Dolphins”. It’s a strange one. Not having their geographic location in their name is amorphous as Martyn says. Arsenal don’t have their location in their name either, but Arsenal is instantly identifiable as it’s a unique name for a club. Dolphins is not.
  14. Those grass areas for fans to lay on look fine. Much better that than the dull, carbon copy stadiums with no character. Bournemouth had a capacity of just over 11k when they were in the Premier League. They were miles smaller than everyone else (think Fulham was next smallest with 19k) but it was never an issue.
  15. Putting a figure on it to compare interest: The 2019 NRL final article on Wikipedia got 21.1k views over three days (day before, day of, and day after final) The 2020 WCC article on Wikipedia got 3.5k views over three days (day before, day of, and day after final) So just over 6 times the interest for the NRL final.
  16. But what if it’s only wafer thin?
  17. They do in every other sport. Your comment is insular in itself. It’s well documented Aussies see sport as their major chance to shine on the international stage. Ashes series is huge (MCG on Boxing Day), RU tests vs NZ (when RU was popular there), Aus vs Italy in the ‘06 FIFA World Cup (over 4 million viewership for a match in the early morning), every Olympics (beating GB in the medal table being a subject in the media, which they haven’t accomplished in ages now), Aussies in boxing (Tyszu vs Hatton in Manchester), Aussies in tennis (Wimbledon), golf (Greg Norman in the Open). The issue in RL is they are so far ahead that as the NRL is the best, to win it makes you the best. The WCC is a nice tick, but that’s it. Think of it as an After Eight after a three course meal. If the Premier League was a RL competition, with Anfield, Old Trafford, Emirates etc. as RL stadiums, with the money and playing pool to match, you can be sure as hell the Aussies would be looking up here more often. Realistically speaking, Penrith and Melbourne would give any team in SL a hiding. The NRL is not only the best RL competition by a distance but the best by a long way in both codes. The standard is exceptional.
  18. america is a self absorbed (“me me me”), look after number one, screw you society. One result of this narcissistic trait is access to basic healthcare is not based on clinical need, but ability to pay. There is no care for others (classic narcissism), it’s all about the self. This narcissism and focus on the self is seen in their “white saviour” films and literature, the best example of which is their ‘most beloved national book’, To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that sums up a self absorbed, I’m only interested in myself, national ethos. By not caring about others and focusing on oneself, this has resulted in Stan Brock (British philanthropist) who set up Remote Area Medical (initially for the third world) but ultimately focused much of their operations in america to save millions there (many of whom were non white, of course) who could not afford healthcare. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Brock_(philanthropist) Anything that comes out of there regarding views on sport should be dismissed like everything else. Their “franchises” (that move around at the drop of a hat) are vehicles for owners to make money; the owners also lift the bleedin trophy first. The concept of teams being for the community doesn’t exist there.
  19. Not being funny like, but the highest RL attendance in England is always going to be the highest in Europe. It looked fine, and yeah those two issues were genuine factors in the crowd.
  20. Contrasting an amateur game with a professional one is a non starter. Regardless of whether Evans and Collins have any credibility (I think they do) what they say correlates to what I’ve seen. I haven’t used a stop watch to compare how long each PTB takes in the NRL and SL but play looks much faster in the former. And on women’s RL, I was comparing it to women’s football. Comparatively speaking, a passing sequence lasts longer in RL. They are in a straight line, no more than a few yards apart, and use their hands to throw and catch the ball. Women’s footballers are spread throughout the field, and have to use to their foot to pass and control the ball.
  21. Why would you compare an amateur competition (which I assume the CRL is?) to the two pro leagues in the sport? The crazy gang (Wimbledon of Vinnie Jones and co.) who spent 90 minutes booting the ball in the air, I’m not going to compare them to a local Sunday league team in order to have a new found appreciation of their methods. Mark Evans mentioned the wrestle, saying it’s riskier to do it in the NRL (penalised more?) and the game has speeded up. You see loads of sniping type play, defences out of position as they don’t get time to reset, in complete contrast to SL.
  22. You aren’t interested in doing anything but sticking your head in the sand and pretending all is well. RL has the potential to be very successful. Its direct competitor RU has shot itself in the foot by its changes (a major one which Mark Evans touches on in the podcast with “11 stone players now at least 14 stone”). There is a gap for RL to exploit. As I said the Aussies are going mental at the Covid situation there. One person in a region gets a positive result and it makes the news. The situation here is completely different. In any case I think the biggest opportunity for change in RL is in the hands of those who run RL here, not Australia. 7k for Wigan vs Leeds in a play off game. And the match itself itself was fitting. In almost every NRL game I’ve seen this season an individual has stood out. The RL follower whose post I pasted above described RL in England as once being like this, with lots of open, broken play which attacking players could exploit. Now you have players holding on forever, allowing their defence to re-organise.
  23. You are cherry picking a quote. God knows what game I’d seen (I could have been basing it on the Wayne Bennett borefest with England, and assumed that as he was a God of Aussie RL that this was the standard there). As I said, that perception was wrong. The Aussie influenced stuff on show here (Eng, SL) has no bearing on the game there. You nicely side stepped (avoided) the actual crux of the post though. I want to see English RL thrive, not stick my head in the sand. The English game hasn’t had a star in decades, and a great big part of that is how the game is played (officiated) with spoiling, stifling play. If the NRL was transported here (same players/officials) and working with the same profile as English RL, it would still generate far more headlines and followers as the players there are allowed to execute more eye catching plays with the officiating clamping down on the stuff they get away with in SL.
  24. It was a combination of money not being lucrative enough for them to make the trip (the “successful” 2013 RLWC here made £4 million, which is chicken feed to the NRL) and COVID (unlike here, the situation in Australia is manic, with authorities only declaring a couple of days before the NRL final it looks ok to go ahead). If it was a FIFA World Cup (just like it was with the Olympics) the Aussies would have made the necessary sacrifices/arrangements and packed their bags.
  25. As I said above, I don’t think I’ve ever commented on Australian RL as I’d never seen it before. I had a perception of it (based on the stuff Wayne Bennett served up with England, and the wrestle imported to SL (Wigan) from Australia. I’ve only ever commented on RL (and RU) in the UK. This post from a RL follower on another forum I found very interesting as it detailed some things I had noticed, but didn’t have the knowledge of the game to describe it or be as precise: The British game is boring & predictable with defences too organised & set. Watch games from the first decade of Super League and you see multiple line breaks and exciting, fast play because the RFL cracked down on players being allowed to slow the play-the-ball. As a result, defences were frequently not set in a regimented line and players could exploit that (Cunningham and Roby at Saints were brilliant for spotting a disorganised defence, then scooting into that space from dummy half, creating more disorganisation, so on the next tackle Saints would very often break a ragged defensive line and frequently score) In 2008/2009, the authorities declared that more latitude would be given to defenders to clear the tackle. Some coaches began to take this to the extremes - Brown at Huddersfield, then Maguire at Wigan who introduced 'the wrestle' to extend the time the tackle seemed to be in progress and get the tackled player on their back to slow them getting to their feet even more - 'turtling' - followed by defenders timing their 'flop' onto a player being tackled to be just before the ref says 'held' then the 3/4 tackling players peel off one at a time. As that proved successful, more coaches followed and developed further techniques. The result is that with almost every play the ball, the defence is set. Then you have defending teams rotating the duty of rushing at the first receiver as soon as the ball is played, so they have no time to do anything but accept the tackle. Abolishing the scrums and bringing in the 6-again (both temporary measures due to Covid) have made it worse. Then you have Warrington who, whenever an opposition player does make a break and Warrington's defence near their own line is in disarray, one of their players - usually that whingeing lump Chris Hill - will lie on the floor holding their head so the ref stops the game whilst the physio/doc runs on. By the time play restarts, the Warrington defenders are recovered, got some air in their lungs, and fully organised. Threat averted... by cheating. The British game is going backwards. The response to this post (from another RL follower ) was: Interesting I grew up 80’s & 90’s enjoying Rugby League but recent years struggled to get into it I don’t know enough about the tactics & nuances of the game but just found it became to monotonous you didn’t see so much the great tries by Offiah or Lydon etc This also struck a chord as I felt this was the case. In the last 10 minutes of this podcast (#139) with Tony Collins and Mark Evans they talk about RL in Australia, and what the NRL has done to speed up the play the ball (essentially by having a deterrent on the wrestle). This is my observation also as although the Aussies invented the wrestle, it seems to have affected them far less, as I found the NRL to be a very slick, attacking game. Previously I thought this was maybe just down to having better players who are able to execute plays quicker/better, but now I think it’s more down to difference in the way the games are officiated, with more leeway for spoiling/slowing down play in SL than the NRL.
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