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Everything posted by BrisbaneRhino

  1. Not commenting on other players, but Luke Thompson is a real mixed bag. He's pretty good going forward but his defence is well below par. Every game I watched he was way too slow to get into position in the defensive line after making a tackle, and some of his 'efforts' at tackling were powderpuff to say the least - all arms and no shoulders, and some horribly mistimed efforts again partly because he's not getting into the right place in the line. Phil Gould going to Canterbury is probably a good thing for someone like Thompson as he will lay it out for him in very simple terms. Next year will be make or break.
  2. Toppy - you seriously don't believe losing Bradford as a major force has been a huge negative for the sport?? Unbelievable. Despite Odsal being a hole, they were one of the few SL clubs even theoretically capable of real scale. They were mismanaged and overspent, but holy cow what wouldn't you give for a 2000s-era Bradford, complete with Bullmania and everything else? While it wasn't 'disastrous' immediately, I'd say the decline of Bradford was a big part of the decline in the game as a whole over the last decade.
  3. There's nobody on that list to get too excited about. Given Leeds are looking at props Napa might be worth a punt but his form dropped off a cliff.
  4. Briscoe is in his last season and has just been granted a Benefit. With this signing I'd think he wouldn't be in the first 17 if everyone is fit. The big question mark with Fusitu'a is what kind of shape he's in physically. At his best he's a really good winger. Hopefully with the signings of Sezer and Austin it suggests Leeds want to move to a more expansive game.
  5. Also, please ignore all the journey times re Redcliffe-Brisbane. Redcliffe always exaggerates how close it is to Brisbane in journey time. I used to commute to the city and it was an utter pain. It would only be less than 45 minutes by car in the middle of the night. The train is well over an hour as it stops at all stations and the nearest station is 2.5 km away from the stadium so unless they put on express trains and buses to and from the station that's a long trek.
  6. Dropping Redcliffe from the name makes sense - this team is not aimed at Redcliffe people, its aimed at increasing the NRL's appeal in greater Brisbane, particularly the northside, and up to the Sunshine Coast. Given history in the Qld Cup, there'd be a lot of resistance from people attached to other clubs to follow a team called Redcliffe. They might get over it without the name, but there are a lot of hardcore league folk in and around Brisbane who would never support a Redcliffe team. I used to go quite regularly to watch Redcliffe when my son was younger. The ground was an utter hole, and if they've kept the clubhouse (which lest anyone forgets is the source of all that money through pokies) it will look pretty ordinary. The stands look a bit rubbish too, although I'll probably have a look at going if they play there. It can get pretty cold sitting in that ground on a winter's day with the wind blowing (I'm fully acclimatised to Brisbane so anything less than 25 degrees is officially 'freezing'). It makes absolute sense for the Dolphins to play big games at Suncorp, and smaller ones at their own stadium. I'm not sure how parking will work at Redcliffe - it used to be a nightmare when there were a couple of hundred at a game as they only had one small access road in and out. I assume they've got that sorted. Just on the other bids, the Jets one was always problematic. Its too far from Brisbane and Ipswich just isn't that big and has no national presence (I imagine zero interest from NSW fans) and the club is relatively poor. Going against Easts is despite their supposed appeal to south of the river, there's never been any evidence of being able to get big followings from that area (the Gold Coast is a money trap for expansion because nobody who looks at teams there seemingly has a clue about the place other than 'there are a lot of rich people there'). Ultimately I think that was always just about a second Brisbane team. The Dolphins will create a second Brisbane team as well as expanding out of the city. I assume that probably swung it for them. Personally I'd have gone for a second NZ club. There's more potential talent to be tapped there. Queensland is already drained routinely by the existing NRL clubs. There won't be many/any 'new' NRL-standard players as a result of this club. If anything the Dolphins will dilute the player pool further.
  7. Leeds didn't seem to have as much success with South Africans as some sides, although Wilf Rosenberg, the 'Flying Dentist is the standout. Louis Neumann (later at the Roosters) had a pretty good couple of seasons. After those two our record falls off drastically. We had Jack Pansegruow who played just a couple of games before going to Fax, and Ernie and Ossie Deysel who had trials on the wing but didn't make the cut. After those guys its a long wait before the aformentioned Eddie Rombo, who is from Kenya. I remember Ray Mordt and Rob Luow came to Wigan at about the same time as Du Toit. They also had a fullback from Namibia (?) whose name escapes me.
  8. Toulouse getting into SL is an (undeserved) chance for SL to reboot. We've now got two potentially serious French teams in the competition. Its time for the rest of SL to decide whether to go with that as a huge marketing positive, or complain that they won't bring enough fans to add to the few thousand home fans some teams get. I don't even think there's a choice really - try to grow internationally (and hopefully one day get a decent London team back), or just keep drawing in the wagons until we're a semi pro sport.
  9. St Helens are a pretty good team. Its a bit worrying that they're so far ahead of the rest at the moment (maybe Cats are close at their best). Leeds have struggled to score points all year. We've been missing one or more halfbacks for a lot of the time, but the team has never looked like having enough points in them against better teams and looked at its most comfortable playing an attritional style. That's never going to win a competition, especially if the team keeps making dumb mistakes, which has been a feature far too often this year. It will be really interesting to see how we go next year. I hope the gameplan is more expansive and Agar looks for combinations to win games through scoring and not just trying to grind out close wins. The signings so far seem likely to make us stronger, and some of the departures won't hurt. I think we're a prop and a quick winger short, and a bit overloaded with backrowers, but we'll see. As for Tom Briscoe, he's clearly past his best but two SL titles and two Challenge Cups (with 8 tries in finals) isn't a bad return. He maybe hasn't been the star he was at Hull but he's done a good job for mine.
  10. I want Wigan to be strong and I want all teams to be far more entertaining than that. Leeds' attack isn't great, but we're playing with one halfback who can barely run and a makeshift one. Wigan look like a team that can't wait for the season to end but they do put in a shift in defence, so its not just down to effort. They look absolutely shot in terms of confidence in attack. While their problems look bad, a good coach could make a heck of a difference.
  11. Not sure if it was on this thread or another but its worth repeating - treat charge-downs as though the defending team never touched the ball (copyright Rocket I think). That way if the kicking team gets it back, its likely the last tackle, not a restart. Using scrums not to contest possession but keep forwards out of the play is a must for me as well. I've been thinking about the wrestling and part of the problem is that most rule changes will require refs to make judgement calls. How about limiting to 2 tacklers except within 10m of your own line? The wrestle/holding players up would still be possible but harder (also agree with someone who said that we should bring back the 'held' once a fellow attacking player joins the ruck). Whatever rule changes are looked at, we need to ignore the whinging and whining of current coaches. When the NRL had the big crackdown on high tackles they quickly folded under pressure, leading to a swing back the other way - to the point that an outrageous tackle like Mitchell on Manu only ended in a sin binning. If we go down the route of trying to make the game more enjoyable as a spectacle, we need to accept that some people won't like it, and understand that from day 1 coaches will do everything they can to subvert the changes. A good example is some suggestions that speeding up the PTB will lead to endless scoots from acting half. Personally I prefer that to the current unedifying sight of a forward being slowly dragged to the ground as its hard for a ref to determine if he's held or not, followed by players lying on and getting 'tangled up' causing more delays. If scooting really is a problem then lets have a think about changes to help. As an aside, please don't hark back too far when talking about 'skills'. I've been watching RL for 40 years, and I'll happily admit that basic skills such as passing are far superior to anything historically, when defences were generally terrible, and players are bigger and stronger than ever before. I'm not arguing the game wasn't more entertaining in the past, but the Panthers or Storm of today would paste pretty any team you could put out from more than 10 years ago. They'd physically smash them in attack and more importantly their defence would smother them completely. Lets not mistake entertainment for quality - while linked they are not the same.
  12. I'm not sure long-term a reserve league would really drain players from the lower leagues. The old A Teams used to be made up of a few youngsters stepping up from Colts, first teamers recovering from injury/playing to keep fit if not picked in the first team and guys who stayed on past Colts who simply liked playing for their club and maybe got the odd first team game in emergency. A fair number of the latter are most likely completely lost to the game nowadays, as clubs bin them at 18/19 if they're not deemed good enough. For me at least the aim of reserves is junior development, primarily in getting kids used to playing against seasoned pros. A second benefit is extra reserves who can at least 'do a job' when injuries really bite. And frankly, for those of us who used to regularly watch the A Team, it was part of the fun of the sport as a whole. I used to love the old Friday nights at Headingley. Me and about 100 other regulars.
  13. MjM - I assume from the Leeds accounts a big chunk of the "loss" was depreciation on the stadium? Or was it interest payments?
  14. Just to add the EastLondonMike's post, I think some players stand out in the NRL more than SL because what they do adds more at a particular time. For Canberra Bateman provided an extra point of attack, and his willingness to try things made him a big point of difference for them in an otherwise very regimented system.
  15. Leeds' discipline has been awful this year. Some may think Tetevano is being unfairly targeted but he's pretty much deserved all he's got. Luke Gale has also been suspended twice. We're really not a good side unless everyone is fit and even then often struggle to be coherent in attack. Our top two tryscorers this year are both hookers - Dwyer (11) and Leeming (9). All our wingers between them have scored just 19 tries in 22 games. People will go on about injuries, and we've had a lot of bad luck there this year, but as with a number of other sides, we need to start playing entertaining rugby even if we're not winning. The 'highlights' reels from most of our games are awful.
  16. Rocket - I don't think anyone cares about 'Redcliffe' fans travelling to Suncorp. There are maybe 2-300 at Redcliffe games. Fans will come from Brisbane generally. Frankly nobody outside of Redcliffe will care that they are linked to the Dolphins. I'd say the biggest problems for the new franchise are creating some kind of identity that appeals to enough fans to get them to turn up each week, and developing a roster that is competitive. As an aside it will be interesting to understand the NRL's view on developing players. There's a big gap top to bottom in the NRL now, so where are we going to find 25-30 new NRL standard players?
  17. Rocket - definitely the charge-down. Should be treated as though not touched by the defender so if the kicking team gets the ball back it will still most likely be last tackle. Its utterly ridiculous that 9 times out of 10 a charge-down leads to 6 more (completely unearned) tackles for the kicking team.
  18. I think less obsession about every tiny knock on or slightly forward pass would be a definite help. Watching RU pretty much every game there are a number of slight 'bobbles' of the ball at the ruck which refs ignore. We should do the same. Another thing I'd consider from RU is a much bigger advantage law. Why not allow the attacking team a free tackle regardless of what they make of it? While not necessarily advocating for the return of scrums, we need more plays where forwards are out of it. Like how about instead of letting them break when the ball comes out, they have to stay in contact with the scrum until the PTB after the first tackle is completed. Forwards are so fit and quick that they can help push a full defensive line to either side of the pitch as fast as the attacking team can move it. On top of all that we need to enable more contests for possession. Why not let opposing players strike at the PTB? It was banned but nobody has ever said why. I don't remember it being widespread, there were a few who tried it often (Schoey was one) but most players never did. Ultimately we might even need to consider more radical solutions like reducing teams to 12 a side or something. Anyway, above all, involve only former players and coaches in developing rule changes, with the simple edict of entertainment. The absolute worst people to be involved are current coaches. they don't care about entertainment, they care about winning.
  19. I'm a bit sad Hurrell's leaving Leeds. I said when we signed him that he wasn't the best centre ever but at least he provides entertainment, and that's still true. I'd expect him to do better at Sts than he has at Leeds, who've ridiculously used him far too much in the 'pass it to the big lad' style hoping he'd smash through a wall of defenders, or as a battering ram coming out of defence. If used right he's still an asset as the one thing he does is draw in tacklers due to his presence. Second row is an interesting one. really depends on his fitness, unless in very short spells. His decision-making in defence will be less of an issue, the question will be around workrate.
  20. I thought for a minute when Gus Gould joined the Warriors that there was a chance that some focus could be moved away from the NRL and Sydney. He started talking about how he would help develop NZ, the Pacific islands and UK. However, with his move back to the Bulldogs he's lurched back into full-on club-first mentality. Its a shame because like him or not Gould has clout. A bunch of clubs are barely solvent and there just isn't the money to 'invest' in the UK. The only way I can see it happening if someone with very deep pockets external to the game (most likely private equity) decided to buy into the NRL and saw value in linking more closely with the game in England.
  21. SL needs a shakeup, and a major one. But this is not and never will be a competition of equals. There are some clubs that are simply bigger than others. If they die they cannot be replaced except by a smaller team. The Bulls were financially mismanaged etc etc etc but the loss to the game as a whole as a result of their complete collapse has been enormous. If any of the bigger clubs go (not necessarily completely but diminish forever) SL will contract as well, and the sport as a whole with it. Wigan are the biggest name in the sport. If Wigan diminish, so will the sport. I personally worry for the sport as a whole because I think the game seems to have lost all touch with the idea of it being an entertainment, and all the negativity makes a slow decline feel inevitable. Its not just a SL thing. A lot of NRL games are boring one-sided or repetitive low-risk games. Its not just due to COVID or new rules - its been getting worse for a number of years caused by increases in player size and fitness combined with the introduction of wrestling and the obsession with 'controlling the ruck'. You've got more chance of seeing a unicorn than a long range winger's try in RL. I know people immediately carped about Pearson's comments the other day, but as a club owner he's pointing out the obvious need for more money in the game and the simple, basic fact that where we're at now is unsustainable. So grow or die. We need stars, we need the game to be more appealing to the casual viewer and sponsors, and we need everyone to pull together to help the sport grow. There are only two questions that matter. Is there a way to turn the sport around? And if so, is the sport capable of implementing those changes?
  22. I know Tony Smith ran out of steam with Warrington but there's no doubt the guy is a superb coach. The word that springs to mind is professionalism - he seems to have the ability to change the culture at clubs in a profound way. He seems to be enjoying himself at KR as well.
  23. I really don't get the dissing of Leigh jumping at a SL position. I doubt any Championship club coming into SL at such short notice would do any better. Leigh's chairman's 'ego' has nothing to do with joining SL - they got given a chance and took it, and would have been insane not to. Clearly they would like to be doing better, but if there's no relegation and they get the chance to make a few signings and have a whole off-season in readiness for next year they'll be a much better side.
  24. Should point out that Leeds' 'min-revival' stalled some time ago. We've only won 2 out of the last 6 games. We could and perhaps should have won a couple of those, but we're a long way from even getting into the playoffs, never mind doing anything if we get there.
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