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Ray Cashmere

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Posts posted by Ray Cashmere

  1. I've been critical in the past of McNamara's use of French players but their increased use this year has directly led to their success this year. Bousquet and Goudemand have had by far their best seasons, Dezaria has been a bit of a revelation, Garcia is probably the best 13 in the comp outside Knowles and then you've still got Baitieri and Jullien filling in as well plus the likes of Le Cam and Chan starting to become involved.

    Granted, there is more work to do in the backs but Yaha is consistently reliable, Mourgue has delivered several key moments (but needs to become a starter next year) whilst Rouge and Laguerre have looked like future stars when they have had minutes.

    There's a difference between wanting them to bring through French players (which this season they undoubtedly have) and expecting them to be the French XIII by proxy. My one big disappointment is that they haven't done everything possible to bring Fages home.


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  2. There are two different issues here following the new TV deal:

    i) Can we support 36 clubs within a structure

    ii) Can we support the existing structure 


    For me, the answer to i) is yes, absolutely. However the answer to ii) is evidently not.


    We have to make a decision as a sport about the role of the 36 clubs within our game. Some are fantastic, semi-professional community clubs which can continue to thrive in a competitive League 1 and Championship, investing most of their energy in supporting grassroots RL in their local communities rather than chasing a SL pipe-dream.

    Others are either established SL clubs or Championship clubs with the ambition, resources, potential and commercial value to benefit Super League as full-time clubs without the cliff edge of relegation threatening their progress. 


    This is not to say it is my ideal scenario but, unfortunately, it is reality. Failure to accept it will damage clubs of all sizes imo.

  3. I did think about Coventry as it would be great for the Bears and Midlands RL overall but unfortunately the ground is miles out of the centre and it's a terrible night out (which, like it or not, matters to people).


    Has to stay in Newcastle for the foreseeable (ideally until Thunder are an established SL club) and then I'd be looking at Sheffield, Cardiff or London (if the Broncos still exist by then).



  4. London finally have a Super League stadium for the medium to long term in an area they have the potential thrive in. Whether that happens time will tell but there is a community and partner football club waiting to be engaged with.

    Crowds at Trailfinders are a bit of a red herring as, even from South West London, I found it an absolute nightmare to get to. 

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  5. 4 hours ago, Eddie said:

    Agree completely, 12 teams is dull and small time, I’d like to see 14 and eventually 16 teams in SL. 

    I also agree with the first bit, other than it takes people with money to do it, ‘we’ can’t do anything about it. 

    From what I've read and how the clubs have conducted themselves York, Newcastle, London and Toulouse aren't short of money. Granted Coventry and North Wales are further behind on their journey but there is a lot of optimism around the Crusaders again which is good for the game.

    Personally, I hope Catalans go on and win the GF and France give England a competitive game in the Autumn so we can recognise what expansion can do for the game when it is done correctly. Their introduction to Super League should be used as a model.

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  6. 9 minutes ago, Eddie said:

    The Manchester area is expansion imho, as RL is such a minor sport in the area. A strong Salford would be a massive boost to the game. 

    I completely agree and that absolutely should be one of our main priorities. But so would a strong Newcastle, Toulouse, London, York, Coventry, Crusaders.

    It's this desire to cut teams and cut Super League by some that is unhelpful not the desire for more (sustainable) expansion. 

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  7. 4 minutes ago, Eddie said:

    Because people on this forum talk about Newcastle and York (and London and Toulouse) as if they’re the saviours of rugby league, just because they’re from places that people from outside the M62 corridor may have heard of. St Helens isn’t at all well known yet they are obviously an asset to the game, one of the biggest three clubs - the place is irrelevant, it’s about the club. 

    It isn't an either or though. Wanting Newcastle, London, York, Toulouse etc to grow and succeed should add more quality, diversity and competition to the established elite, not detract from them. Just look at Catalans...

    And (unsurprisingly) I agree with your point re Salford. Our crowds aren't remotely good enough  but we've had recent success, look to be doing some very good work with Wales RL regarding pathways and are based in a major city. I'm an expansionist myself but it should be about raising the floor and expanding its area than creating 'us' and 'them'.

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  8. 13 minutes ago, Eddie said:

    What they’ve done to justify their presence is get promoted / not get relegated. Do you want to kick Wigan and Saints out and replace them with London and Sheffield because they’re more attractive to sponsors? Maybe get rid of Wire too and get Bristol Sonics in? 

    Bizarre comment 

  9. 7 hours ago, The Daddy said:

    You can keep changing the structure as much as you want but unless RL addresses the following key issues it will always wind up in the same predicament: 

    - Take steps to have a national game with teams in major centres across the country 

    - Greater visibility and meaningful competition for the England national team 

    We will be back here in a year or two talking about the same issues if this two tens goes ahead. 

    Again this comes down to vested interests, club owners like Davy aren't going to propose anything that's going to inconvenience them so him being the chairman and proposing 'solutions' is a problem 

    This is exactly it. Structure and re-structure is all well and good but until we, as a sport, can have a vision and purpose behind it we will continue to be in a repetitive cycle.

    For me, the priorities of the sport's structure at a professional level have to be:

    - Expanding the sport geographically in a sustainable and focused manner

    - Supporting a consistent, competitive international calendar in the northern hemisphere that can act as a flagbearer for the sport

    - Striving to raise the floor of professional rugby league rather than holding down the ceiling


    What shape and form that comes in I am completely receptive to.


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  10. There were signs in the loss to Catalans that our attacking structures were starting to click so today wasn't a total surprise. Well, apart from the fact we didn't give away a penalty for a high tackle for the first time this season.

    Another positive is the continued improvement of Sam Luckley. He's fully earnt his chance to run out at St James' next weekend and I hope Sky/RFL socials give his story a bit of a focus. 

    Also, any news on where Ken Sio is off to next season? He walks into every side in SL bar St Helens and Catalans.

  11. 7 hours ago, fighting irish said:

    This is illuminating.

    With 250k in North London, why on earth aren't we taking the game to London?

    The Jamaican team is a completely new way of promoting RL, in the capital.

    The possibility/opportunity of capturing some of the West Indian residents is surely too good to miss.

    This is new people, in a new area, with the Bronco's providing the way to keep them in the game after the Jamaica match.

    The legacy could be really beneficial to the Bronco's and increase participation in RL in the capital. 

    Completely agree hence my earlier post regarding a double header with England v France @ Spurs. Really hope we don't let this opportunity pass.

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  12. 1 hour ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

    Surely Newcastle earn more money playing their game at home rather than missing out on all of their income by giving it away?

    I suppose anything to blame the RFL for something though, right? Maybe the club prefer it being at their home ground?

    Newcastle have ambitions to be a Super League club. As part of that, they'll need exposure to the widest audience within the city. 

    One gate a year is probably worth sacrificing to attract a couple of hundred new, interested fans from the city. The fact that they were due to open Magic Weekend pre-covid suggests they recognise this. 

    What is it with this desperation to defend The RFL? They are not a charity. If it's for COVID reasons, fair enough but it's at very least a shame. 

  13. 1 minute ago, Dave T said:

    You were given the RFL strategy doc. 

    Yes, I was given the RFL strategy doc commissioned by a previous CEO of The RFL, outlining the governing body's strategy for 2015-2021 (4 months left, you never know!) and, as outlined by other posters, a strategy doc that bears absolutely no relevance to where the sport happens to find itself *in* 2021.

    I am asking what The RFL's strategy is for the next 5/10/20 years as this thread is clearly focused around the future of rugby league. Whether that's by way of press release, news conference or strategy document I do not care. My worry is the current 'strategy' amounts to nothing more than "let's hope we can find another thing for Fred Done to sponsor". 


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  14. 42 minutes ago, EssexRL said:

    I do get what you are saying but playing this at their own ground (which I really like) hopefully will provide a bigger income boost for the club. 

    Not had chance to go to their home ground yet but Newcastle is in a unique position of having a world class stadium bang in the city centre. That, plus the commitment of Geordies to their football club gives Thunder a better chance of profiting by association than going it alone (I realise they do a lot of work with NUFC but opening Magic would take it to the next level). 

    Also, how many SL fans are realistically going to attend? With the first Saturday game now being 3pm the vast majority will be coming up Saturday morning.

    Granted, short term playing at their home ground would likely give them a higher matchday income but I'd expect them to take a percentage of any tickets sold by the club for Magic Weekend and, longer term, the potential is there to engage more people via opening Magic Weekend at St James' imo.


    None of this is a criticism of the club btw. My frustration is more aimed at the RFL for not maximising the potential of Magic Weekend to strategically expand the sport. 

  15. Really hope they get a big crowd on but I personally think its a joke they don't open up Magic Weekend at St James'. 

    Thunder as a club seem to do everything right and should be an absolute priority for the RFL in terms of strategic expansion. What better way to achieve that than by getting thousands of locals into magic Weekend to support their local club before getting the chance to watch some good SL action (and Salford)? 

  16. 8 hours ago, meast said:

    We were totally in control of the game 37 minutes in, despite losing Leutele early and therefore leaving us only 3 subs, we then made a silly error passing straight to a Salford player when we should have just settled it down.

    From that moment, we were never in the game, 2 more silly errors led to 2 more Salford tries and that was the game.

    Pryce needs to be taken out as soon as we can, he looked jaded tonight and probably tried to do too much, we just made too many errors to enable us to compete.

    The only surprising and relieving thing is Salford didn't post a bigger score.

    You can have all the field position you want but you rarely ever looked like scoring. 

    And if you think Will Pryce is your problem going off last night then deary me… Jack Cogger was utterly anonymous 


    We only needed a 5-10 minute spell because (for the first time all season) we looked threatening every time we had it in your 20. Problem is our shocking set completion and love of high tackles allowed you to stay in the game. 

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