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Neil_Ormston

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  1. I'm pleased to announce the launch of the official website of the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club, which can now be found at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com There's information about the RKC and our work, together with the principles of RL record keeping, and a status update on our project to share a statistical history of rugby league in the UK. If you want to know more, or are keen to join and support our work, please PM me for further information.
  2. I'm pleased to announce the launch of the official website of the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club, which can now be found on-line at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com There's information about the RKC and our work, together with the principles of RL record keeping, and a status update on our project to share a statistical history of rugby league in the UK. If you want to know more, or are keen to join and support our work, please PM me for further information.
  3. I guess there's a distinction to be made between errors/new evidence, and changes in principles. If someone in the RKC, or anyone else for that matter, identifies that say Brian Bevan didn't score a particular try in a certain match, and the evidence is strong enough, then I'd like to think this would be accepted, and quoted records changed - though I think there would be inertia here due to laziness / lack of knowledge of the error being identified though, such that old, long established 'facts' would linger for a long time (the internet is rather unhelpful is this regard IMO). Changing principles is another matter, and I wouldn't want to suddenly decide that abandoned games aren't included, or the French club games in the 1930s are (to use two contentious examples), without engaging with a lot of stakeholders and getting them on-board. Crucially, I think if the RKC members accept it, if it were a majority decision for example, then I think it would have a good chance of sticking. We have the official or de facto stattos for virtually all clubs signed up (there's only 2 or 3 I can think of that haven't), which I think gives the RKC some clout. But we don't intend to throw our weight about, and our values state that we will work collaboratively with other stakeholders - we already have links with RL Cares and the RFL, so would work with these parties and others on such principle changes.
  4. Interesting discussion above, but it seems everyone is of a similar opinion which I also concur with - for stats purposes, any appearance in a competitive match count, whether as a trialist or a guest, or as a fully registered player. This means you get a Club Number & if you have more than one Club Number you can't be a one club man. Willie Horne is not, IMHO, a one-club man. I think there's a slightly out-dated view of the 'one-club man' definition that still abounds - trailists or guests would not be registered with the NU/RFL, and as an official source, there's a temptation to ignore these. It's only fairly recently that things like Heritage Numbers have tried to identify all players, and a desire to include the 'un-named' players has increased. Of course there will be resistance to any change that has a detrimental impact on any claims being made, but the reality is that these 'facts' always need to be caveated with a comment that they are based on the information available at the time: there is an expectation gap with the wider public here on the accuracy of the data though, not helped when they are emblazoned on stadiums & statues!
  5. I appreciate your input RL. It's important we're clear as to WHY things are included or not - these can become debating points, and some people might disagree, but it helps if the understanding is there. This hasn't always had much visibility, and leads to some of the confusion (war-time games are the classic example). In this instance, I can't provide the clarity, but I will get there, and share once I have it. Usually, the use of "XIII" at the end of a name suggests it's either not the full strength team (or is in some way selected slightly differently), it's only deemed a friendly game, or possibly both, which is why I mentioned it here. It's similar to the one BR refers to.
  6. Wire played England in 1975 as a WC warm-up, interesting a benefit match for Alex Murphy. There might be something in this. My suspicion is that it's to do with how the opponents were selected; it's certainly not a reflection of the quality of the teams on show. It could also be something to do with the rules played as I noted before - I can't remember when 4 substitutions were introduced in internationals, but Oldham made 3 in the 1985 game; this is also advertised as a GBXIII, rather than just GB. I've not got a definitive answer yet though, so this is speculative!
  7. I think you’ve highlighted the greyest of the grey areas here RL! It is true that when club sides play domestic rep teams (England, Wales, GB), these are classified as friendlies (excluded from player records), but when against an overseas rep team are classed as a tour match (included in player records), which seems anomalous. I wouldn’t say this has been accepted without thought though, as the RKC was active and closely linked to the RFL at the time of all the games you mentioned above. Let me do some digging and see if I can get a strong rationale for why this is so.
  8. What you describe is correct RL, apart from one subtle, but very important distinction, and that is around the use of the term 'friendly'. This is commonly used these days to mean a match outside a formal competition, and is used for all such matches. In fact, the Locker Cup you cite was never really described a friendly, but was called what it was - the Locker Cup match. It's excluded from first-class matches because the governing body was never involved in the organising of the fixture. So whilst they may have sanctioned it, they didn't stipulate when or where it would be played, or even the teams involved. If Wire had decided they wanted to play Widnes for the Locker Cup, they could have done (though Wigan might not have been too happy!). In contrast, when it comes to international matches that are not part of a competition, they are still organised, by definition, by the governing body, as their representative team. There are instances where these are deemed to be not first-class - again, friendly tends not to be officially used, as they are usually described as something like an 'exhibition match', or 'challenge match'. They might also be accompanied by more relaxed rules, such as unlimited subs. The GB-France games were classified as internationals, or tests, not friendlies.
  9. The Alan Jones thing sits extremely uncomfortably with me, as an objective viewer of this. It smacks of exactly what we're discussing here - cricket is 'fortunate' in having a strong global governing body that rule on things such as test status, which is rather helpful for the stattos. But for an international team to unilaterally ignore that, and do whatever they fancy, well, it sounds like rugby league doesn't it! It's just not cricket.
  10. I can see the point you're making here RL, but the further 'complication' for the USA-Wales games is that they played with 6 subs each! This was against both international & RFL rules of the time, so it's difficult to justify classifying this as even a first-class match (this has recently been used as one of key determining factors as to what can be included, and is why for example the recent Leeds-NZ match isn't included in records).
  11. In short yes. You can probably create 3 or 4 ‘tiers’ here, but really the important ones are Full Internationals (aka Tests), and other first-Class matches, which might include games between two national sides, as well as all the other stuff you mention. The problem is, there’s no definition I can find, and everyone does their own thing: sound familiar?! This is what I am currently working on rectifying!
  12. I think the important thing is defining standards. The 'emerging nations' are the interesting litmus test here. In 2000 a BARLA Select team competed alongside nations like Morocco, Japan & Italy - indeed, the beat all 3 to win the tournament. Should the game between Morocco & Japan really be counted as a 'first-class' match? And what do you do with the BARLA matches?? Likewise, in the 1995 ENWC, teams were restricted to playing 3 players who were registered with pro teams in any given match, to provide a more even competition (and stop the likes of Ireland using grandparents rules to stack their team, which others couldn't do). As a result, these matches were not deemed to be 'first-class', so aren't included in players records. Interestingly, the US played 3 and lost 3 in this, yet Wales count their two matches against them 3 months earlier as full internationals!
  13. RLP have a different approach than the RKC, and are happy to publish information earlier than we will. However, it's certainly not a shambles IMO. I have been clear all along that we will check and double check everything before we publish (and even then some info will still be wrong!). This clearly means things take longer, and the public won't see the efforts our labour for a good while - maybe years. But the more people helping, the faster it will move, and get to the point where we can share accurate records. It's easy to criticise, but there's an opportunity to play a part in constructing something for the benefit of the whole of RL here, so I'd encourage anyone to sign-up to help achieve our lofty ambitions. And as a bonus, you'll get access to this info earlier than Joe Public, to answer whatever queries you may have.
  14. Wasn't there a thing about Pele scoring 1,000 goals, but this included schoolboy matches?!
  15. It strikes me that just as it shouldn't be for clubs to determine the status of their games, so nations shouldn't determine the status of their matches. It should be based on some pre-defined criteria, ideally consistently applied over time (though maybe needing to reflect different categories that evolve over years). Nations unilaterally determining what is a 'test' for example leads to farcical situations where one recognises and the other doesn't. I can't see how a second team can ever be deemed to play a 'test' (if we take this to be the top level of international sport); both teams need to the their nation's first choice, but there also has a to be a hurdle applied to the standing of both teams; on the criteria is established, I don't see why this would need to be changed retrospectively, though of course things can change in terms of current / future status of teams. Statisticians should work on this basis consistently, internationally. That is far from what we have in RL, and is something that needs addressing.
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