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DC77

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Everything posted by DC77

  1. Completely take your point (tbh I had thought of that). The problem is the quick PTB rewards the attacking team (while incentivising dull/straight up hits as you say), but slow PTB rewards the defending team and incentivises spoiling. Either way it’s applied it banjaxes the game. Ultimately you want players to avoid the constant PTB, with more lateral play, more risk taking. So how do you make players become less risk averse?
  2. Of course it is. Ultimately what occurs on the field is what draws viewers, and makes kids want to emulate what they see. I don’t think RL is aesthetically pleasing enough, the way it is played today, to see much expansion. The big hits are an acquired taste. It’s the open, expansive running/passing sequences (aided by dummies) that are the most eye catching, but those aspects have become less and less with physicality and better defences taking over. RU I’d put that even further down the road as it’s unrecognisable from the much more flowing game I grew up with. I find it very hard to imagine that any regular RL viewer would not cotton on to the basic rules. This lack of knowledge (you suggest) certainly wouldn’t apply to football or basketball, the two biggest team sports on the planet, as any viewer of either would grasp the basics very quickly. RU on the otherhand not even the most devoted of followers understands the rules, with refs blowing up to the bewilderment of the masses. The rules dictate the spectacle, so although it might not be that important for viewers to know the rules (although I doubt that) they play a major role in making the on-field product appealing to watch.
  3. Concur with your 90% point. I find nothing worse than seeing a player have to wriggle constantly for the big hallion to get off him. This is flat out spoiling, and an awful spectacle. I could be wrong here, but I don’t see the same holding on to players in Aus that occurs in England. In Aus it just looks much a faster, slicker game. How much this is down to greater playing talent (with better passing/running sequences) I don’t know.
  4. A player held and prevented from making the next play quickly is dreadful for the game, so the ref must surely err on the side of making a quicker Held call. A big galoot lying on top of (or holding) another player is frustrating to watch. You can almost hear the frustration of the player too..“Get of me, get off me”. That frustration trumps any loss of a quick pass out of a tackle. The PTB tackle is always going to be contentious in RL, because the instinct of the player not in possession is to stop the opponent from progressing play (hence holding to them for dear life). The RL tackle rule prevents the player from contesting possession (unique for RL in all of sport?) which is unnatural as any player “wants the ball”. They can see the ball, but can’t touch it, so they have to adopt a very unnatural, disciplined approach of just tackling the player and letting him get up, which he often struggles with as he holds on longer. When a ball goes out of play in football, and it’s near the opposition bench (rolls next to manager or players), they are often reluctant to give the ball quickly to the player to make a quick throw in as they would be aiding the attack. Well this only happens maybe once in an entire game (usually not at all). But in RL, this happens at every tackle. It’s a constant battle to stop the opposition from progressing quickly, which often results in spoiling tactics. Really the ref cannot win, as if he shouts held quickly he’s aiding a quicker tackle, but preventing a quick off load. It’s an impossible situation due to a rule that invokes an unnatural player response.
  5. Agree that the issue is entire heritage teams (which RL is rife with) not heritage players. Heritage players are not the issue, heritage teams are. More crucially, the sport has a significant presence in Jamaica. Its biggest name Bolt messaging the other day about Ronaldo rejoining Man Utd. It’s most famous export Bob Marley spent more time playing the game than making music. Heritage players are not the issue, heritage teams are. There’s a great deal of naivety the way this issue is looked at on here. I’ve seen this naivety peddled out previously (“Jack Charlton’s Ireland full of non Irishmen” etc.) In our best XI we had six Irish players, and five non Irish born players. Yes having a native presence is important (which those six players represent), but the MAIN reason it’s important is it signifies the sport has a presence in the country, a grass roots, a following. And the following for football in Ireland is huge, more than any other sport. Having ZERO native born players signifies the sport has no presence in a country, no grass roots, thus no interest to work with. An Ireland RL team with XIII blokes from Yorkshire/Aus has never generated much/any interest in the media, nor among the populous. There’s no grass roots (which as I said, native players would represent), no following. Scotland are in a similar boat with a heritage team, and they play internationals in what looks like a community field. Eligibility rules (as I’ve touched on above) is a secondary issue, the prime issue is the lack of grass roots. No grass roots, no following, no interest. THIS is the main problem, and no native players is merely a product of this problem.
  6. Concur 100% with Shane Williams regarding subs in RU. “He has joined calls for a limit on replacements, because fresher players coming on to the pitch could cause more damage.” 21 stone brutes, “finishers” (as Williams called them) coming on fresh after 55 minutes are an enormous health risk to the others, as well as increasing the attritional nature of the sport and making it more unwatchable. Allow maximum 3 subs which will avoid this mass influx that occurs every game. As well as forcing the players to last longer (so they’d have to be trimmer) I’d also look at ways to speed up the game which would see players have to lose a lot more of that bulk they carry around the field. The collisions are like mini car crashes. South Africa have always had some great individuals (Joost Van Der Westhuizen in particular) but overall I’d class them a burden on the sport as their brutish style of play is not only awful to watch but they are a safety hazard. Not a surprise Williams picked out a clash with a South African as his most worrying moment on the field. The bigger issue is most teams now play like South Africa. It’s a huge concern. Papenhuyzen went down at the weekend due to whiplash after what looked like an accidental collision with an opponent. How do you stop the sudden head movements unless you ban collisions? Any kind of high speed impact is dangerous, which is the nature of the sport. Lowering the weight of the players (especially so in RU) would at least alleviate some of the effects of the impact. The good news is the thing that people like most about the rugby codes is quality passing sequences, dummies and long distance runs through the opposition defence, attractive aspects that have declined due to the increase in player bulk, tighter defences as well as wrestling, stifling play etc. Get back to more of the former and have less of the latter and the game will be fine.
  7. Participation figures vary (Sport England has the opposite of what you state). What are accurate are attendance figures. RL has seen a decline, football an increase. There just aren’t the star names in RL (nor RU) anymore, and that surely in part (for me the major part) is due to the way the game is played, with players not able to make the same kind of plays they once did. Both rugby codes have more media coverage than ever, yet not one household name has emerged in years. Both have gone too defensive, too physical, with too much emphasis on tight defences and player size. If joe public cannot name one player then what is going to attract them to the game? If you don’t support a team thus have no vested interest in the game then you need stars to drag you in, and the rugby codes are devoid of any. There are sporadic moments of course, Rangi Chase and his behind the back pass saw him featured in Sky Sports News (a rarity for the sport, but this is what can happen when the game exhibits much more of this type of eye catching play). I’d never heard of him prior to this. Such stand out play makes individuals known. Five years on he features at #1 in this:
  8. The first link backs up what I’m saying. The two best teams in the league (#1 and #2 during that time) were the smallest (Man City) and 4th smallest (Liverpool). The teams with the least ”size and power”, were the best. The yard dogs that are Burnley would probably win the “bigger and heavier” contest, but thankfully as a skill based sport football largely comes down to talent. Arguably the best team in history (Barcelona of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi) were a team of midgets. Xavi was 5’7”, wasn’t quick either, but possessed a skillset that saw him outclass opponents week in week out. The number one physical quality needed in football is endurance, hence carrying extra bulk/muscle is a hindrance. The problem with the Rugby codes is the onus on bulk. On spending time in the gym, downing protein shakes, as opposed to developing skills and having fun with the ball (which football training largely consists of). Such an onus on bulk is a turn off for most, especially young teens (a crucial age group that are the next generation of players). According to Sport England, 44k people regularly play RL in England, over 2 million regularly play football. To play RL you have to carry extra bulk otherwise you will get snapped in two. Training including military style assault courses in the freezing cold of winter. In a way It’s admirable they put their bodies through hell. RU meanwhile has really gone to extremes in regard to player size. The hits are now mini car crashes. Concussions galore. The first link also mentions Firmino (at 5’9”). His game is all about creativity, touch and technique, and illustrates the onus on skill in football which is appealing to both watch and emulate for most. Here he features in the first assist, a video with 52 million views. The rugby codes need more onus on skill, and far less on the gym, to garner more interest. And on the RL defences previously being worse (turnstile defences). Good. If it allows for the type of eye catching play that made stars of Offiah and Hanley that will only benefit the sport. The greatest RU try of all time (by all accounts) was Gareth Edwards. With such watertight defences he would never score that try today, and we’d have never heard of him.
  9. I was the same with the Premier League. Would rarely miss a game. Still never miss a Liverpool game of course, but other than big games involving the other top clubs (or a relegation decider) I rarely watch the others. I think there may be a bit of fatigue setting in and that apples to all sports. We are saturated with sport and have so many options now that we pick and choose far more than previous.
  10. It was, but barring the odd game here and there RU mostly is terrible. NZ are the major exception as they still produce excellent back play, albeit they are playing in a much more attritional sport than it was when I first started watching it. Aus still try to throw the ball around, and as a result they tend to get beat up by the more one dimensional, forward orientated sides. The profile of RU I don’t think has ever been lower. There’s not one bloke playing today, in the UK, who the man on the street could name.
  11. That’s in Australia. English RL is (was) known for its expansive play. That’s what elevated players here, and they became stars as a result. I mentioned RU being devoid of any stars (really since Lomu, unless you count Jonny becoming a star with a drop goal) as it’s extremely difficult for players to stand out anymore in such a physical, attritional, overly defensive game. I don’t know how far RL has gone down this same route, but there doesn’t seem to be the same onus on attacking play the English game once had. Aussie style wrestle, Shaun Wane types at the forefront of the game. The OP is hitting on something here.
  12. Love these suggestions. I think making possession more contestable would end straight up hits (the ultra safe five hits and a kick) and would encourage more lateral play. When you are pretty much guaranteed to keep the ball there’s no risk of running straight into the opposition. Changing that would force more creative play. Having lesser numbers on the field would definitely apply to RU. XV per side was fine when players were built like regular blokes, not gym monkeys. There is next to no space anymore, resulting in a bogged down, attritional, boring spectacle. Not sure if RL is anything like RU in terms of the enormous change in player physique, but one man less would free up more space. Coaches who prioritise winning over style: Wayne Bennett. He made England more competitive, doing so by making it an arm wrestling contest. The English version is Shaun Wane. It’s hard to blame individuals though because the game rewards this style of play. In RU Clive Woodward made England RWC winners by playing “10 man rugby”...strangling the opposition into submission and having Jonny’s boot to keep the points ticking over. Both France and Wales (two countries once known for flair/attacking play) had to change to be competitive as the like of England were beating them to a pulp. Both now play turgid rugby like all the others, but they were almost forced to do so as they’d get mauled otherwise. There’s been a series of RWC’s since the Woodward era and not had one stand out player, reason being it’s impossible for an attacking player to really excel as they spend 95% of the game in an attritional battle, the 5% of scraps they can make a couple of runs (and maybe a close run in try). There’s no platform for stars to be created, hence there ain’t any.
  13. Wouldn’t apply to football. The best player on the planet for the last decade is 5’7”. Last week Harvey Elliot, a wirey, 5’7” 18 year old ran the game for Liverpool. The game is quicker as players are faster due to advances in training/diet, but ultimately it’s a skill based sport where ability/technique is king. Ade Akinbiyi (former Leicester striker) was built like a brick sh+house, big, strong, powerful, quick as lightning, but couldn’t trap a bag of cement. Being bulkier is a hindrance as seen by Lukaku having to drag that big muscular frame around the field which left him sweating bucketloads, and unable to keep up with play. His time in Italy (with dieticians) helped him to alleviate some of these issues. Brian O’Driscoll. A player I loved watching (especially in his early days when he was wirey and elusive). RU did him a disservice as his immense talent was only seen in fits and starts as he spent the vast majority of games bogged down by the attritional nature of the sport. 18 stone meatheads with nowhere near his ability could largely shut him down. An equivalent limited type in football (not that any could exist at the top level) would get roasted by a skilful player. Fascinating reading the OP’s points as it’s a perception I have of RL, albeit I’m far less informed. It just looked like a more open game previously, with more space to roam (this certainly was the case with RU before it got bogged down by gym monkeys). I don’t see the eye catching plays that players could make in the past. The wrestle, the holding on to players who are desperate to get up, the general spoiling/stifling of play. It’s very hard for individuals to really stand out, and in turn become stars.
  14. Nine might be too small, and I’m sure those in the game have done their sums. However, having less games definitely elevates each one. When “every minute really does matter“ you are making it a much more sellable product. Right now there’s too many games, especially so given it’s such a tough, physical sport. Binning the loop fixture should be mission #1. Trim all the padding down to the point the number of games is still viable for clubs.
  15. Never seen a year like it. Bowie and Rickman inside 4 days. The walking, talking miracle that is Keef. Docs have long since given up trying to work him out. His obituary has been sitting on the shelves for a good half century. Didn’t he fall from a coconut tree a few years back?
  16. Good listen that. Concur completely by having less games (especially if it’s a 10 team league). Nine games home and away, that makes it much easier to build up games. It’s common sense but when you have so many games it waters down the competition, games mean less (opposite of “every minute matters” kidology) so there isn’t that same desire to attend or watch. Owners want more games as they are thinking about the number of gate receipts, a short-sighted attitude which dilutes the product. Less games also allows for players to get proper rest/recuperation, and room for an international window.
  17. Wales ain’t a “rugby country”. It’s about even with football and RU in regards to participation and viewership. The only difference is the national RU team garners a higher profile as it’s competitive being in a very small competitive field. Prior to 2016 the Wales football team hadn’t qualified for a major tournament since 1958 (John Charles era), and in that time they’ve had world class players like Ian Rush, Mark Hughes, Ryan Giggs, Neville Southall. The RU team meanwhile doesn’t have to do any qualifying, and in the tournament itself they are already in the quarters (unless they are the odd man out and get the group with 3 good teams). Win your first competitive game in the quarters and you find yourself in the semi. This can give the illusion of an imbalance between RU and football, the reality is different. It’s certainly a RU country, which is why I think RL will only ever be feeding on crumbs there, which is more than South Africa. RL is banjaxed in countries where RU is embedded into the national consciousness (and vice versa). NZ is the only country where there is some overlap, although it’s still very heavily weighted towards RU.
  18. 100% concur with this. Only the other day I was looking at the Wikipedia article on the best XIII from every SL season (think I was watching the Jason Robinson interview on Sky Arena which prompted it) and there is a drop off in names (and quality). World class for me is anyone that wouldn’t look out of place in a best XIII in RL (it’s a standard that’s been used in football, good enough for a world XI). Sean Long would have qualified imo. You missed “hatred of the NHS”.
  19. Th EU gave up in making the Brits become metric in 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6988521.stm The main reason is convenience (especially cost). Making people think in metric I think is a smaller issue. It would take a cultural shift but in time you could learn to give you height in metres and centimetres, distances in Km, weight in Kilos. I’ve noticed in the rugby codes there is a tendency to talk about height and weight in metric (for example scrum weight given in kilos). With RU I assume it’s to align itself with the other nations (France (home of metric), Aus, NZ and SA, while RL the Aussies are a huge player in the sport so I assume English RL has adopted its norms.
  20. Christ I’ve opened up a can of worms. I agree metric is more straight forward. I’m speaking about convenience in terms of facilities. The transition for RL in England would be easy as the vast majority of British kids use yards in sport due to the dominance of football: 98% vs RL’s 2% with kids accustomed to the six yard box, penalty from 12 yards, 10 yard wall, taking a shot from 20 yards and so on. If RL in England had the facilities of the Aussies then no problem. It doesn’t.
  21. I’m speaking more from a convenient/size perspective (having it in yards rather than metres). Many of these big RL games in England are played on smaller pitches that cater to yardage (Old Trafford, Anfield, Spurs stadium) so RL struggles to fit in its playing field. Australia having fully adopted metric their fields are much bigger so have no such issues with players sliding into advertising barriers. We are talking about RL games played in England. Pitches are too small. And will millennials who play RL know? It’s a tiny number. In England, 44k total play RL, over 2 million regularly play football. So 98% will be accustomed to using yards, 2% to metres.
  22. A RL pitch is bleedin enormous (as is RU). When did metres come in? And was it due to the Aussies? Making it 10 yards between the lines would allow for more space, especially given the try area has to be factored in. Always looks so dangerous at Old Trafford with players sliding down the side of the pitch into the barriers.
  23. The gladiators is a great image but this one has a much deeper meaning. I think the statue is a testament to his greatness as a player despite his size disadvantage as well as the esteem in which he is held by his colleagues (represented by Sinfield). An action shot would encapsulate his style of play, but this I think goes further than that. Having something written at the bottom about his playing style could cover it.
  24. God what a lovely family. His eldest is the absolute spit of him. Great gesture from Leeds on the statue of Rob and Sinfield. Barrie McDermott was so proud announcing it.
  25. Cricket isn’t geographically locked either, plus it’s the most quintessentially English sport (quite rightly featured more prominently than any other sport at the London Olympics opening ceremony). It is able to have a wide appeal among the public. It’s one of those rare team sports where a player is loved by pretty much everyone (Beefy, Flintoff, etc). You don’t get much tribalism.
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