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Sir Kevin Sinfield

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Maybe we should just have England vs. Australia in a 31 game Ashes series... give the public what they want.

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

We can, but I think that to grab the wider public imagination we need big competitive games throughout the comp. I cant wait to see Tonga play. I'm not sure that's the case for casuals and none fans.

Casual and non fans are just happy to see England winning. If I had to bet, I would say that England comfortably beating a couple of teams in the group stages would do more for the momentum of the tournament than seeing that them lose a tight competitive game to Australia. The problem is that us rugby league fans will tell the casual and non fans that England beating France or Scotland is rubbish and a waste of time. We have to start selling our game better.

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37 minutes ago, Chris22 said:

I think we all significantly overestimate how much the general public or even sporting public know about our sport. I've spoken to people over the years who have a general interest in sport yet either don't know we exist or think we are rugby union, especially down south.

Completely agree with this. England racking up a big scoreline against someone like France and scoring some spectacular tries in the process would definitely capture the general public's imagination. And if it's a close and competitive game against France, then all the better!

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15 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I accept some of those concerns, but I think watching some of the lesser (arguably more interesting) teams battling for a spot in the knockouts to meet the big guns will be intriguing. 

England, if successful may play Samoa, France, PNG, Fiji, New Zealand and Oz. I think that schedule is pretty perfect for TV without shoe horning another game versus the Aussies in at the start.

I'm not sure we'd get quite that schedule. The first four you list are likely to be the second tier of seeds, so we'd only play at best two of them - one in the groups, one in the quarter final. It would be more like: Samoa, Jamaica, Russia in the group, followed by Fiji, NZ, Oz in the knockout.

And that's OK for England, as I said, I think we can promote any of those games to the wider TV audience successfully. However, Aussie vs Ireland or NZ vs Cooks aren't necessarily games we want to put in front of primetime terrestrial audiences, but I think that can probably be avoided. 

I'm now more upbeat than I was earlier in the thread! 

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6 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Casual and non fans are just happy to see England winning. If I had to bet, I would say that England comfortably beating a couple of teams in the group stages would do more for the momentum of the tournament than seeing that them lose a tight competitive game to Australia. The problem is that us rugby league fans will tell the casual and non fans that England beating France or Scotland is rubbish and a waste of time. We have to start selling our game better.

Exactly.  Who on earth knows the quality of the teams that England have played to get to the semi finals of the Women's Football World Cup... they just want to see them win and score some goals.

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

Exactly.  Who on earth knows the quality of the teams that England have played to get to the semi finals of the Women's Football World Cup... they just want to see them win and score some goals.

Thailand anyone? I know England never played them but you get the gist.

Edited by deluded pom?
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40 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I'm not sure we'd get quite that schedule. The first four you list are likely to be the second tier of seeds, so we'd only play at best two of them - one in the groups, one in the quarter final. It would be more like: Samoa, Jamaica, Russia in the group, followed by Fiji, NZ, Oz in the knockout.

And that's OK for England, as I said, I think we can promote any of those games to the wider TV audience successfully. However, Aussie vs Ireland or NZ vs Cooks aren't necessarily games we want to put in front of primetime terrestrial audiences, but I think that can probably be avoided. 

I'm now more upbeat than I was earlier in the thread! 

Aus, NZ, Eng, Tong

Fiji, Samoa, France, Scotland

Lebanon, PNG, Ireland, Wales

Italy, Jamaica, USA, Malta

Are the top 16 rankings. Although the RLIF appear to have missed off Cook Islands from their own rankings!

So you are right we may not get exactly what I suggested but one from the 4th pot instead of PNG maybe.

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45 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Exactly.  Who on earth knows the quality of the teams that England have played to get to the semi finals of the Women's Football World Cup... they just want to see them win and score some goals.

I genuinely, genuinely believe that the obsession with the on-field product to the detriment of almost everything else is ultimately what has held our game back.

Look at our domestic game. We have a brilliant sport, inho better than anything else in the UK market, yet we tell anyone that will listen how ###### it is and give 100% reasons why we shouldn't attend.

For years RL fans mocked the Twickers car park brigade (and whilst there may be a little fun in that), it is how they attracted people to spend good money despite not being fanatical about the on-field stuff.

2021 needs to see us drag our sport into modern times and catchup with the rest of modern sport in the UK.

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4 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I genuinely, genuinely believe that the obsession with the on-field product to the detriment of almost everything else is ultimately what has held our game back.

Look at our domestic game. We have a brilliant sport, inho better than anything else in the UK market, yet we tell anyone that will listen how ###### it is and give 100% reasons why we shouldn't attend.

For years RL fans mocked the Twickers car park brigade (and whilst there may be a little fun in that), it is how they attracted people to spend good money despite not being fanatical about the on-field stuff.

2021 needs to see us drag our sport into modern times and catchup with the rest of modern sport in the UK.

Exactly, sell the event not just the game.

The opening ceremony and first game at the World Cup should be an event.  In fact England playing Australia in that game is almost self defeating... I would rather the sports news items led with England battering a team and the highlights package showing some great tries and I don't give a stuff what the quality of the opposition was.

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9 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Exactly, sell the event not just the game.

The opening ceremony and first game at the World Cup should be an event.  In fact England playing Australia in that game is almost self defeating... I would rather the sports news items led with England battering a team and the highlights package showing some great tries and I don't give a stuff what the quality of the opposition was.

I've always felt a game like England v Fiji should open this event. A decent battle, with hopefully an England win, but the highlights would include things like the Fiji hymn and payers etc.

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

But those games invariably sell the most tickets

It's a nice theory and I'd love it to be the case but a world cup built around france v ireland and wales v PNG, or England v Italy is a lot harder to sell than one built around England v Australia, samoa v Tonga, NZ v Fiji

Are there no games in France? They do well crowd wise over there

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5 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

England v Australia or NZ will get thousands more attending than one of the other games

 That's a lot of missing fans to make up

For someone who is critical of the way the game is run and is often vocal about the need for more ambition in the game, I find it odd that you think the only way to sell the World Cup is to have these three teams play each other.

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4 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

 

We cant sell englands group games as compelling competitive games and also you might as well buy your tickets for the quarters and semi's now because we know where they will be playing. 

This is exactly the point though, other sports don't sell early rounds like this either.

We are in a position where we have a wide range in quality, the longer term solution is to build up events that don't wholly depend on a close game - achieving that will be far better for the game than just making the big teams play each other.

We need to sell tickets to the huge numbers of people who go to watch other one-sided sports events.

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15 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

England v Australia or NZ will get thousands more attending than one of the other games

 That's a lot of missing fans to make up

It is.

But right now I'm watching the Cricket World Cup on the TV. These days it's entirely designed to give India as many matches as possible without knocking them out too early in the tournament.

It's deathly as a result and only of interest to already existing cricket fans.

The logical end point of your attitude is that the big three play each other as often as possible. So the World Cup becomes nothing more than any other international year with a handful of other teams hoping to get their one game against the big guys.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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I think we get too hung up on there only being three teams who can realistically compete / win the world cup.  I have just checked the football world cup winners and for all its global dominance only 8 different teams have ever won their world cup in the last 90 years.  There must be an awful lot of also-rans included in every tournament simply there to make up numbers and nobody seems to care...

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Rugby League - a sport where shape and size does not limit your potential

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2 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Completely agree with this. England racking up a big scoreline against someone like France and scoring some spectacular tries in the process would definitely capture the general public's imagination. And if it's a close and competitive game against France, then all the better!

I said last year we would have been better of playing France at a strategic area for growth last year, such as Coventry, Newcastle, Middlesborough or London last October instead of Leigh, which attracted a 5,000 crowd on a Wednesday night.

We can no longer accept that any fixture involving the national team drawing this sort of crowd.

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21 minutes ago, David Wild said:

I think we get too hung up on there only being three teams who can realistically compete / win the world cup.  I have just checked the football world cup winners and for all its global dominance only 8 different teams have ever won their world cup in the last 90 years.  There must be an awful lot of also-rans included in every tournament simply there to make up numbers and nobody seems to care...

Exactly.  Some teams celebrate reaching the world cup finals while some celebrate getting out of their group and into the knock out stages.

The greatest achievement in the last world cup was not Australia winning it but Fiji knocking out the second favourites New Zealand in the quarter finals.

The World Cup will be full of stories, incidents and events, let's not get obsessed with three teams playing each other.

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42 minutes ago, David Wild said:

I think we get too hung up on there only being three teams who can realistically compete / win the world cup.  I have just checked the football world cup winners and for all its global dominance only 8 different teams have ever won their world cup in the last 90 years.  There must be an awful lot of also-rans included in every tournament simply there to make up numbers and nobody seems to care...

13 teams in total have contested a World Cup final. Five of that 13 last did so over 50 years ago.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

England v Australia or NZ will get thousands more attending than one of the other games

 That's a lot of missing fans to make up

If we had England v Fiji as the opening game, a game preceded by the opening ceremony, at St James Park then we should sell that out IMO. That's 50,000 plus in attendance. You would still get a sell out for Australia v England. Win win as opposed to England v Australia at SJP with 50,000 and England v Fiji at a much smaller venue. England lose the opening game and as someone else has said it puts a downer on the home team's campaign straight away. Instead we could be building the tournament up to an England v Australia showdown although other teams will obviously have a say in that.

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56 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

It is.

But right now I'm watching the Cricket World Cup on the TV. These days it's entirely designed to give India as many matches as possible without knocking them out too early in the tournament.

It's deathly as a result and only of interest to already existing cricket fans.

The logical end point of your attitude is that the big three play each other as often as possible. So the World Cup becomes nothing more than any other international year with a handful of other teams hoping to get their one game against the big guys.

If it wasn’t for talkSPORT updates I wouldn’t know it was happening. In complete contrast to the women’s World Cup which is covered just about everywhere that you can’t miss it. I seen the England cricket team line up vs India and there are a good half dozen names I’ve never heard of. The only thing that could save the cricket is England getting to the final and winning it...something that’s been assisted by India not bothering chasing the total in order to leave their beloved neighbours Pakistan facing an early exit.

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12 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

I agree with that, I wouldnt have had the Australia game first up.

But if we had say England v Fiji first up, plus then say England v France or PNG, then England Australia there are three decent games to sell

We could then also have Samoa, Tonga and NZ with another team in the other super group. 

The  we have 6 teams from those groups going through plus 2 from the other groups and you can big matches in the quarters and obviously semis as well. 

But as its we will probably only have 1 game per larger nation where the result is in any sort of doubt and that would still be a big shock 

The other side of that is, what I'd England beat Australia, the momentum that would create would be huge 

Would it?

Who with, the remaining Rugby League fans, the new potential fans?

This Boat sailed about 20-40 years ago when it was a competitive series with strong Leagues in both Hemispheres. 

Aussies would barely care its been that long and half of the English fans waiting for it have since died.

 

Edited by Allora

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14 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

It's far better for jamaica to have a close game v Wales than have 60 points put on them by England

A World Cup should have both.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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24 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

It's far better for jamaica to have a close game v Wales than have 60 points put on them by England

Better for who? Better for the Jamaica players to not suffer a 60 point defeat maybe but I can't think of too many players who haven't been on the wrong end of flogging at some point in their careers (I was!).  They will get over it.

As for Jamaican Rugby League, I would argue that playing the host country and one of the tournament favourites in the World Cup would be far more valuable than playing out a close game against Wales.

Jamaica are not in the World Cup to win it, they are in it for the occasion and playing the hosts will generate far more publicity for them back home.

Stop thinking about just the 80 minutes and think of the event.

Edited by Dunbar
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33 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

It's far better for jamaica to have a close game v Wales than have 60 points put on them by England

I strongly disagree. Jamaica playing host nation England could be built into a massive occasion. The scoreline is immaterial. The wider general public currently has zero interest in rugby league. The vast majority don't even know what it is. They would have no idea that England v Jamaica would likely be a landslide victory for England. And if England do thrash them, then the public would likely be happy to watch a successful national side. For Jamaica, it could potentially be a huge occasion that would hopefully engage lots of Jamaican ex-pats in the country and create a buzz.

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