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The Rocket

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  1. Quite incredible that every other nationwide sporting code has team`s that play out of Perth/Western Australia : soccer ; basketball ; netball ; union ; fumbleball. There is a very strong `us against the rest of Oz ` mentality in W.A. which almost makes it a certainty that Western Australians would get behind a team in the the toughest sporting code in Oz, by a country mile.
  2. Look if we can keep the wrestle out of the Women`s League and maintain the attractive open style that has made it so attractive over the last couple of years Rugby League could really be onto something with Women`s League. Our main competitor down here is throwing bucket loads at their competition : 18 teams; $ 61 000 minimum wage; marquee players earning six-figure salaries and heaps of publicity. The problem they have had though is that given the nature of their game, 36 players on the field at any one time combined with the women`s inability to kick the ball as far as the men ( this is no slight on the women just a fact given the difference in the strength between men and women ) has lead to horrible congestion on the field which in turn leads to an inability to get a good catch on the ball, which in turn leads to more congestion around the ball and hence a vicious cycle that has made the game considered to be very unattractive even to the most ardent of fumbleball fans. It`s ratings have been reflective of that. We`ve heard a lot of excuses from fumbleball apologists - early days, comp growing too fast, the time of year played ( they`ve shifted that - always a sign of desperation ) all problems the NRLW has faced, our comp is way younger, and it hasn`t detracted from the attractiveness of our women`s game. League has the advantage that power is not a key requirement of the most important part of the game - passing and catching - something which the women are excelling at. League too also has the wonderful advantage of the well established Touch and Tag Rugby League pathways - which is huge in Oz - and something none of our competitors can match. It`s a great way to introduce people to participating in the game. If the NRL can get the money part right in the NRLW then it can potentially be a game changer for women`s sport in this country and feed into greater growth for both our supporter base and our male game.
  3. Eddie mate we`re along way from being geniuses on the planning front as well otherwise we`d have a team in Perth for at least ten years by now ( 25 if the Reds had never been left to fold ) a second team in Brisbane years ago and we`d be looking at heading into a 20 team comp by the end of the decade. Instead we`ve let our main rival get the jump on us nationally and now we`re paying the price with the value our contrasting broadcast deals. Any way hopefully things are on the move now just like you blokes are pushing into France.
  4. I`m pretty sure it has been shifted to Suncorp. And btw @Scubby live on Channel 9 fta and Foxtel as well.
  5. They could easily be playing in front of ~ 30 000 people given that many people will probably get there early to experience the new stadium. NRLW Broncos hosting a stand alone game at Suncorp in the second week for their game against the Roosters which could also draw a big crowd. Very exciting.
  6. The Western Australian Government have spent $160m up-grading HBF park and are desperate to have more tenants for it. Another interesting reason that often gets put forward for the W.A. Gov`t`s enthusiasm for hosting League games and wanting a club is that W.A. has one of the lowest interstate immigration rates of all the states in Oz - i.e. W.A. has a hard time attracting permanent workers from the Eastern states for its` booming resource rich economy. Having their own Rugby League team in that state is seen as offering one aspect of something culturally similar to the eastern states, in particular to potential workers from N.S.W. and Queensland. Both of which like W.A. have large resource industry sectors and a corresponding large amount of potential employees trained in the resource sector. And are often very keen followers of Rugby League.
  7. A couple of weeks ago they were telling us that they still had 75 % of their advertising budget left for a big push towards the tournament beginning. It seems very odd that they couldn`t hold their nerve and see how that panned out. I`m refusing to even contemplate this tournament not being a success but it is certainly odd.
  8. He may just be saying that and will see where he ends up once he starts playing. He probably doesn`t want to over exert himself either when he gets there. and that`s o.k. as I`m assuming he will still be professional enough to perform an appropriate level and have a lot to offer young French up and comers. We may start to see this trickle turn into a flood after the French WC. The more League players Oz exports around the world the better as far as I`m concerned, I think it will not only be good for other countries competitions but is a major carrot for young people deciding which sport to go into in this country. I`d love to see more of it at a school-exchange level.
  9. Good to see it back, maybe now we can get on with conquering New Zealand. Vodafone Warriors @NZWarriors · 1h We're excited to announce that we'll be re-entering the NSW Cup and S.G. Ball Cup next year, with two former Kiwis and NRL premiership winners locked into coach. Right move to see that they`ve gone with Kiwis as coaches. It`s interesting to note that both times the Warriors made the NRL GF ( 2003 & 2011 ) they had a very high proportion of Kiwi born players in their squad.
  10. I think we`re going to see more and more of this sort of stuff. Broncos prop Ryan James is chasing a finals swan song as he prepares to retire from the NRL and take an alternative path. James will hang up his NRL hat at the end of the season and plans to embark on a gap year of sorts before returning to the game. At age 31, James feels like he has more footy in him and will head to Europe for one last league experience in France at the end of 2023 after he completes a masters of business administration at Bond University next year. READ NEXT James plans to play for a second division team in France in 2024 to experience life overseas with his young family. Rumours that Wade Graham has similar plans. Personally I think this can be nothing but a good thing for the game in France.
  11. “I think as soon as I could walk, Dad got me on the tackling bags, he was teaching me how to tackle, how to run, kick and pass,” Suaalii said. “So I was probably two or so. My dad is a tough bloke and he’d always make me cry out in the backyard. “We’d have a tackling bag and he’d be smashing me with it. Mum would come out and get into him - ‘Chris, what are you doing to him?’ “ My uncles would come around and rough me up and I’d be that kid crying the whole time when I was younger so I was always waiting until I could get them back." I`m surprised he doesn`t actually hate Samoa and wants absolutely nothing to do with them.
  12. I`ve read before that Woolf - apart from being an astute coach - it is his links with Tonga and potential to attract Tongan heritage players that makes him especially sought after. Could be a master stroke by Bennett if Tonga go deep or win the World Cup. Could be a conga-line of players looking to link up with Woolf at the Dolphins.
  13. Yes ironically it may all come down to politics about who gets that vacant wing spot and it`s easy to forget all the hype was ( and still is ) around Cobbo until Suualii started stealing the limelight and I don`t think they can pick both. But I wonder that since Oz may well be doing some sort of Aboriginal war dance at this year`s Cup that it would be an embarrassing state of affairs if there wasn`t any obviously looking Aboriginal players or only one in Addo-Carr ( who I agree is a certainty ) to lead said dance. Take him away and the Oz team really starts to look like white bread or certainly not very representative of the large Aboriginal presence in our game. Suualii with his very public attachment to Samoa, Cobbo being as obviously Aboriginal as Greg Inglis and in the mould of a striking looking proud Aboriginal warrior and remembering that Queensland did win the SOO I think there will a lot of pressure for the selectors to go with Cobbo, could even help Gagai as well.
  14. Great article by Brent Read in The Australian the other day dispelling a few myths the union would have us believe about Suaalii. Played League since he was 4 years old and has never not played League even through his time playing union for Kings. It says a lot about League`s inferiority complex in this country that most of our commentators are obsessed about his short time at that private school and his links to the ruggers. BTW my sister`s son is a teacher at Kings and when I asked about Suaali he hadn`t heard of him and didn`t know who I was referring to. Just goes to show he ain`t a legend everywhere.
  15. If Suaalii gets picked for Oz it will only be because of the hype surrounding him and all the headlines he attracts. For me why would you pick a kid in a 24 man squad who has only played wing - certainly very well admittedly - but has no experience in any other position at a high level. They`d be mad not to go for someone who has experience and can cover several backline positions. Suaalli for Samoa at fullback - bring it on.
  16. De Belin has said he won`t be available for P.N.G. because he would feel like a fraud. Fair call by him and I respect him for that. On P.N.G., underdogs against the Lions and won, underdogs against the Fijians and again got up, I worry about them being so far away from home and the conditions but when are we going to take them seriously. Any game they play against a non top-2 team you wouldn`t write them off. Going to be one of the teams I`ll be following closely, can`t wait.
  17. Yes Melbourne are a real flop you idiot. Anyone who has a basic understanding of sport in Oz would know that the Storm are not only a resounding success on the field but also off it. If it takes Melbourne 50 years to build its` junior pathways then so be it, but they will be deep and sustainable when they do. Unlike the fumbleball teams in Sydney who have seen slowly dwindling crowds and viewing audiences over the last 15 years, the swans having their first sold out game last weekend in five years - it used to happen regularly - the Storm have been on a steady upward metric in all growth areas over their life. Melbourne Storm are the most widely supported NRL (or AFL) club in 2021 ahead of the Brisbane Broncos and Parramatta Eels - Roy Morgan Research The Melbourne Storm have topped the ladder as the most widely supported NRL club in 2021 with 1,211,000 supporters, an increase of 28.7% on a year ago following the club’s fourth Premiership in 2020. Given the popularity of League as a TV sport, 70 000 viewers per average more per game than fumbleball this year so far, and the Storm being one of the NRL`s most popular television teams, the scope for one city teams like the Storm around Australasia is significant.
  18. Damn shame, we don`t have many Premiership winning coaches and I was looking forward to seeing the likes of him and Flanagan getting back into a head coaching role and to see if they could lift another club out of mediocrity. We need more top-line coaches. Condolences to any of his family and friends who may read this.
  19. I`ll tell you what, if you go to Campbelltown looking for a new stadium you`re in for a rude shock. Might be better off going to Parramatta. p.s. that`s if you can squeeze it in between any meetings at NRL HQ.
  20. NRL 2022: Titans, Great touch prior to kick-off for Sunday's NRL clash at Cbus | Titans Prior to the NRL game, teams from Palm Beach State High School and Keebra Park State High School will play in a touch football exhibition match to officially launch the 2022 Gold Coast Titans All Schools Touch Carnival. Held in October, The Gold Coast Titans All Schools Touch Carnival is is the world’s largest touch football tournament, with over 450 teams representing various schools both nationally and internationally. Across the 5-day tournament, over 6,000 students will take to the field playing over 1,700 games across 23 fields, attracting between 6,000 and 10,000 spectators. Lots and lots more of this wherever League is played please.
  21. My mistake I thought he was in the Aussie team. Still stand by what I said though about a possible shift in PI attitudes if they think that they might actually be able to win it.
  22. Rugby League World Cup boss Jon Dutton this week issued a passionate rallying-cry as he confidently predicted this autumn’s event can surpass all expectations and deliver England glory. Facing the media as the clock ticked down to 80 days before England’s opening game against Samoa, Dutton repeated assurances of anticipated record-breaking ticket sales across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments. So with the strength of player pool no longer a concern, focus turns to bolstering ticket sales and creating noise around a tournament that Dutton hopes can catch fire in the way that the women’s Euros has grabbed the public’s imagination this summer. “It’s just a tournament that feels special,” Dutton adds of the women’s football event that he has been attending as a supporter, and at which he has felt “palpable excitement”. “We wouldn’t have had this in 2021. We are delighted to be amongst other events in 2022, and we have seen the positivity, optimism, and a family audience. We could see the audience adopting a nation and I think that’s similar to what we will experience.” As for ticket sales, there is confidence of sell-outs for the England opener and the final, and it is fundamental to their strategy that they do. This is a big ‘hold your nerve’ exercise now for organisers hopeful of a late rush of ticket sales off the back of the women’s Euros success and the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. Between 35 to 40 games are expected to be shown on BBC1 and BBC2, and rather than that providing a reason for fans not to buy tickets, Dutton expects it to have the opposite effect. In short, UK viewers have watched the success of the Lionesses on terrestrial television and wanted a piece of it. The atmospheres have thus been electric. Last year’s postponement prompted a refund window which saw 19% of tickets returned, but organisers are holding out hope for a frantic final six-week period which they hope will trigger a huge surge in demand. As such, 75% of the entire advertising budget is being held back for the final six weeks before the tournament starts. Above anything, the Rugby League World Cup is being led by a fan who loves the game and would do anything to see it succeed. Last year’s postponement hit Dutton hard, and he admits he could have walked away then, citing financial losses incurred by the postponement as in the “multiple millions of pounds” and personally a real hit to his mental health. He points to an impressive array of commercial partnerships that have “massively overachieved” expectations as a big reason for optimism. As in any sport, the most effective way to sell out stadiums is to have a winning team. England have a brand new kit and a squad keen to prove the doubters wrong. So, soon it will be over to Shaun Wane and his players to get those stadiums full. “There is lots of positivity despite some of the challenges that people face in terms of disposable income” Dutton admits. “So my rallying cry to everyone who are passionate about the sport is to get behind this, it is the biggest moment in 127 years in terms of tournament rugby league.” Rugby League | Rugby League World Cup 2021 | RLWC | Jon Dutton | Rugby League World Cup Chiefs Confident Of “Complete Buy-In” (thesportsman.com)
  23. "I guess probably my last World Cup wasn't the best." he said. "I sort of treated it as a little vacation and probably drank a bit too often, and ate more than I should have," he said. Difference is is that Papalii was saying that about being in the Australian team camp during the last World Cup. Which makes me wonder a) exactly how hard the Aussies had to try and reveals more about their mindset, and b) your observation/criticism of past Samoan teams mindset may be more to do with previously them not really thinking they ever had a chance of winning, hence the possibly lax/holiday with my Samoan mates attitude. Makes me wonder if they`ll come with a completely different attitude this time now that they might think ` hey we can actually win this thing `.
  24. The latest tranche of figures from Channel 4. Channel 4's viewing figures revealed for all Super League games so far with the likes of Castleford Tigers, Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos broadcasted - Rugby League News (seriousaboutrl.com) For Castleford Tigers’ debut on Channel 4 against Wigan Warriors, the increase in viewers rose sharply despite the fact that it was a Bank Holiday weekend in celebration of the Queen’s 70th year on the throne. There was a peak of 390,000 with a match average of 302,000 which equated to 5.4% of the TV share at the time and a broadcast average of 268,000 or 4.8%. Seem pretty solid to me, makes you wonder what they might get if they could get on weekly.
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