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Blind side johnny

NZ Test Series - ticket sales

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Just to pick up on my last point, one (among several) of the problems I have with the Great Britain tour, is that it's a bit aimless. Yes, it's nice to play some different teams, but there isn't any real purpose to it. It's not a tournament or anything structured - it's just Great Britain playing against a few different teams. There's no trophy to be won, there's no title to be awarded - it's just playing matches.

Even football - with all its popularity - realised that their international matches needed a revamp. It wasn't enough just to play random friendly matches (and I know that the GB matches aren't friendlies as such, but what are they for exactly?) and people were losing interest. I rarely would bother watching an England friendly, but since the Nations League thing came along - and we're playing better teams (Spain, Croatia) in a 'meaningful' competition, I'm much more interested. Times have changed and people have maybe become more expectant and demanding.

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

But they do turn up depending on how a game is presented though. Its not just because it is at Elland Road but because it is presented as an important match.

If we held it at Headingley people wouldnt turn up and would be proof that even headingley was too much. We are constantly starting from a point of how many tickets we didnt sell and not how many we did.

I have no doubt we would sell more tickets to the game at Elland Road than we would at Headingley, just as we would sell more at headingley than we would at Cas or Leigh.

The evidence is there in black and white. London delivers some of the best crowds. New/rarer grounds deliver better crowds. 

There isn't an argument for not making games events,  apart from it being cheap.

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1 hour ago, sweaty craiq said:

I like these games. England v france at headingley 2005 guess the crowd - ps clue is its less than 3000, substantially less

Go on then, I'll bite. Date & result of this match in 2005 please.

I watched GB v NZ at Loftus Road that year with about 15k there. 

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1 hour ago, sweaty craiq said:

I like these games. England v france at headingley 2005 guess the crowd - ps clue is its less than 3000, substantially less

Wasn't this played the day after the full GB game in the 4N. Effectively England Knights? Bit misleading I think 

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40 minutes ago, JonM said:

Go on then, I'll bite. Date & result of this match in 2005 please.

I watched GB v NZ at Loftus Road that year with about 15k there. 

I can find no trace of this 2005 game at Headingley in 2005, from the usually reliable rugbyleagueproject.org.

They did have a game in 2006 which had 5.5k there. Higher than the recent crowd in Leigh for a stronger team.

It was not a Test match, not a full England team, was coached by Paul Cullen, led by Rob Purdham with Jamie Rooney as his halfback partner.

The full RFL team (GB) was in Christchurch the week later playing the Kiwis.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Versus France we have seen our crowds range from 5k to 20k. And those fluctuations had nothing to do with the standard of game. It has been to do with the status and organisation of the games.

Other sports fans are not stupid and they go to support their national team in expected on sided games. 

We seem embarrassed and tuck games away on a weds in Leigh.

When did we get 20k for an England/GB-France warm up game? The only huge crowd for this fixture I can remember is the one at Wigan in the world cup.

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54 minutes ago, JonM said:

Go on then, I'll bite. Date & result of this match in 2005 please.

I watched GB v NZ at Loftus Road that year with about 15k there. 

it was a friendly for the 2nd team, because as you say, GB were playing

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22 minutes ago, M j M said:

When did we get 20k for an England/GB-France warm up game? The only huge crowd for this fixture I can remember is the one at Wigan in the world cup.

I didn't suggest we got 20k for a warm up game.

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29 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I didn't suggest we got 20k for a warm up game.

OK understood, but the key thing with France is the standard of the games.

What we can't and shouldn't do is promote France as a top level test match when it's just the warm up game. That's why I think some (certainly not all) of the criticism of the France game at Leigh was unjustified. The game was for players who hadn't played for a while to get back into it ahead of the Kiwis series and for Bennett to try out a few things. It wasn't supposed to be full strength vs full strength with serious things at stake. Fans knew that and the positioning of the game reflected it.

You can justifiably argue that we should make more of the French games which would require both sides to be full strength and maybe some sort of trophy. Home and away each year would be good. But that isn't something the sport has committed to logistically at the moment so what we are left with is something which is much more difficult to promote and almost by design of a lower standard.

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44 minutes ago, M j M said:

OK understood, but the key thing with France is the standard of the games.

What we can't and shouldn't do is promote France as a top level test match when it's just the warm up game. That's why I think some (certainly not all) of the criticism of the France game at Leigh was unjustified. The game was for players who hadn't played for a while to get back into it ahead of the Kiwis series and for Bennett to try out a few things. It wasn't supposed to be full strength vs full strength with serious things at stake. Fans knew that and the positioning of the game reflected it.

You can justifiably argue that we should make more of the French games which would require both sides to be full strength and maybe some sort of trophy. Home and away each year would be good. But that isn't something the sport has committed to logistically at the moment so what we are left with is something which is much more difficult to promote and almost by design of a lower standard.

I think the criticism of the France game is justified in that it was low even by warm up standards. I quoted the stat about it a few weeks back, maybe even the lowest ever in the UK for this full game. It was a Test match and caps were awarded. In other sports, a similar game wouldn't be tucked away like this without any attempt to make the event something special.

I accept that there is a challenge around France's ability to compete in these games, however we can attract a half decent crowd in France already, and the real challenge is to make England RL attractive, rather than the team we are playing.

Living in Edinburgh it is very interesting to see how Scotland RU have improved and grown their Autumn Internationals. They sold out versus Fiji the other day! People want to go and watch Scotland RU, it is an event, it is their team.

England RL don't feel like my team, games are so sporadic, there is no presence anywhere, we put the minimum effort in, we get out what we deserve. TBH it surprises me the crowds are as decent as they are.

Watching England RL should be a draw. People should be excited about seeing Sam Burgess, James Graham, Makinson, Widdopp etc. Sponsors should be all over these stars. That won't happen without on going effort, every single time, no half assed measures, no gap years, no treating fans with contempt.

This is the pinnacle of RL, it should be treated with the respect it deserves. 

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