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The Future is League

Dave Woods is on the money.

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27 minutes ago, Human Punk said:

Yes we would. The worst thing about this tour was, apart from a bit of the Tonga game, it was just a dross version of England we were supposed to be interested in watching. It wasn't GB at all, and whatever you say about Lachlan Coote, at least he played for Scotland, and when he got emptied early doors I pretty much couldn't be bothered with it.

I won't accept that the likes of Gil Dudson, Matty Russell, Regan Grace or any number of representatives of the Scotland, Wales or Ireland teams wouldn't have been good enough to put in a decent show against a PNG side full of championship players.

I'd be happy to see GB back, but properly as GB, not a guffing England 'B' team.

Who would Bennett have picked if it was England rather than GB?

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34 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Unfortunately Dave Woods article is too late. It is pretty poor from him to be honest, the more I think about it. It is disappointing that we lost four games, and that leaves us all negative at the end of it, but the issues are not with us losing, it is sport, some you win, some you lose, and our record touring the SH is not good so should not be a huge surprise.

The bigger issue here is that this was something brought back to play into the nostalgia and bring back a supposed 'golden era'. That is fine, but what they then scheduled looked nothing like what we were meant to be bringing back.

1996 was the last 'proper' GB tour I think it is fair to say, and we played 10 games. After winning our opening four games in PNG and Fiji, we then failed to win another game, drawing 1 and losing 5 in NZ. We attracted crowds similar to this year.

1990 saw us tour without going to Oz. We played 15 games, winning 11 and losing 4. We lost to PNG, but then won the series versus the Kiwis 2 v 1 with an average of 6.5k in the Tests.

All of the other tours saw us visit Oz too - 1992 saw us play 17 games, winning 13 of them.

 

And the above is ultimately the issue. We failed to address the fact that the world has moved on, times have changed.

When we previously had GB tours, they were proper tours, they had games staged that GB were guaranteed to win, build some momentum, take a wider squad, play midweek games, it was a test of attrition. Then we aligned the seasons and unfortunately those tours became a thing of the past. We moved to a Tri/Four Nations concept, and whilst some people may have missed the 3 test series', this had grown to become an important and valuable competition, particularly when played around the new larger and stronger World Cups.

So what did we manage to pull together for this tour? Neither of the above. We put together a proposition that took out the good parts of a tour - reducing the number of games from between 10-17 down to just 4. No mid-week games or wider touring squad for fringe players. Nor did we put something together as valuable as the Four Nations it replaced. Was the Kiwi series even for the Baskerville shield or has that just disappeared? There was no context to the tour or value on the actual comp. It was just a quick in-out. 

Now Dave Woods may be hailed as saying it as it is, but all of the above was known months ago. The only thing that has really changed was that we lost, and tbh, that just makes him look like a bad loser.

Brilliantly put.

This tour did nothing and never looked like it would achieve anything, even if we had won. We were treated as an add-on to their Oceanic Cup competition. The pitches were logoed up that way.

The organisers of this tour really need holding to account for it because it was disgustingly executed and an embarrassment to British rugby league.

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2 minutes ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

Therein lays the problem.

Schedule some meaningful international games, and we won't need a GB side.

But it has to involved the home nations playing as many high profile games as England. During WC years this isn't a problem. It's what you do with those other non-WC years that's the issue, as many of the better home nations players don't make themselves available for those. An annual mid-season Euro Championships would partly address the problem, but I think there needs to be some high profile Autumn fixtures for players to aspire to play in. Given the cash-strapped nature of our game, we need to go for easy wins in terms of fixtures that are going to be income generators.For this reason I can't see Australia being overly keen to play any of Scotland, Ireland or Wales in their respective countries any time soon. Next year for example, the Aussies will be playing England in a 3 test series. I presume for the other home nations it's going to be a case of 'play amongst yourselves'... A GB series and/or Confederations Cup type competition could potentially be a way around this problem.

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35 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Now Dave Woods may be hailed as saying it as it is, but all of the above was known months ago. The only thing that has really changed was that we lost, and tbh, that just makes him look like a bad loser.

I think thats a bit of a harsh assessment. You have to remember Dave is in the media where he is involved with mostly people who were very supportive of GB throughout - and that can become a bit of a bubble. It was distinctly noticeable when podcasts etc were coming out talking about GB, particularly the BBC ones, there were few if any concerned or less than supportive voices. I'm thinking Brian Noble, Rimmer, Jon Wilkin etc. It would have been very interesting to get Brian Carney on because as far as I can tell, he was the only high profile media person to raise some of the key issues.

I think what also must be taken into account is that some people have to see to believe - particularly over something people cherish like GB memories. Whilst plenty on boards like here were not convinced by GBs return, plenty others were of a different opinion. I get the feeling that has changed now.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I think thats a bit of a harsh assessment. You have to remember Dave is in the media where he is involved with mostly people who were very supportive of GB throughout - and that can become a bit of a bubble. It was distinctly noticeable when podcasts etc were coming out talking about GB, particularly the BBC ones, there were few if any concerned or less than supportive voices. I'm thinking Brian Noble, Rimmer, Jon Wilkin etc. It would have been very interesting to get Brian Carney on because as far as I can tell, he was the only high profile media person to raise some of the key issues.

I think what also must be taken into account is that some people have to see to believe - particularly over something people cherish like GB memories. Whilst plenty on boards like here were not convinced by GBs return, plenty others were of a different opinion. I get the feeling that has changed now.

 

 

I'm not sure it is harsh. Many of the things he is critical of were known in advance. The only new info is the results really.

I do accept that he works for the main broadcasting partner though. But I wont give credit for now raising stuff that he knew about. If he wants to toe the party line, then do it, he is now just playing to the crowd imho.

Carney has been on the money in the main.

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3 hours ago, Dunbar said:

This is typical of the attitude of the UK fans when it come to new talent.

Harry Newman is one of the stand out outside backs of his generation and starred in the series against the Australian Schoolboys (among others).  When Nick Cotric and Latrell Mitchell starred at junior level they went on to be selected for State and National teams because of their talents and yet we say a player like Newman won't even be ready in another 12 months.

Harry Newman still looks like a kid playing Super League, comparing him to Latrell Mitchell is ridiculous. It’s similar with Paayne Haas, he’s 19 but he is an absolute monster dominating anyone physically, not an underdeveloped kid. 

Newman stood out at schoolboy level, but hasn’t yet stood out at Super League level, he has potential but to say he’ll be playing against Australia next year is cloud cuckoo land stuff. 

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24 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Harry Newman still looks like a kid playing Super League, comparing him to Latrell Mitchell is ridiculous. It’s similar with Paayne Haas, he’s 19 but he is an absolute monster dominating anyone physically, not an underdeveloped kid. 

Newman stood out at schoolboy level, but hasn’t yet stood out at Super League level, he has potential but to say he’ll be playing against Australia next year is cloud cuckoo land stuff. 

What I think is cloud cuckoo land stuff is saying that a centre who is an exceptional talent and who will be 20 years old next year is nowhere near test standard a year before the series even starts.  A full season is a huge amount of time in the development of a player.  Who on here had heard of Payne Haas or Morgan Smithies a year ago and now look at how they are developing as players.

This is the type of thinking that leads us to playing a 27 year old second row in the centre in a team with an average age of 29 and getting beat 28-10 by PNG.

Give these kids a go.

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2 hours ago, Jim Prendle said:

Who would Bennett have picked if it was England rather than GB?

Exactly the same horrible mish-mash. I think we're all agreed that the squad and team selections have been comewhat lacking - all that says is that he's not fit to be coach of GB or England.

I'd still rather have seen an awful team with some Welsh or Scottish players in it than the one we got.

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

What I think is cloud cuckoo land stuff is saying that a centre who is an exceptional talent and who will be 20 years old next year is nowhere near test standard a year before the series even starts.  A full season is a huge amount of time in the development of a player.  Who on here had heard of Payne Haas or Morgan Smithies a year ago and now look at how they are developing as players.

This is the type of thinking that leads us to playing a 27 year old second row in the centre in a team with an average age of 29 and getting beat 28-10 by PNG.

Give these kids a go.

You are saying he should be playing purely because of his young age, he has not stood out at Super League level, why should he be selected for England?

Payne Haas and Morgan Smithies are not like for like. One is a wrecking ball, the did a phenomenal number of tackles, but then so does Danny Houghton and he’s not good enough either.

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4 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

You are saying he should be playing purely because of his young age, he has not stood out at Super League level, why should he be selected for England?

Payne Haas and Morgan Smithies are not like for like. One is a wrecking ball, the did a phenomenal number of tackles, but then so does Danny Houghton and he’s not good enough either.

Newman is already a better centre than Hardaker or Jack Hughes and he will be miles better than them this time next year.

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28 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

You are saying he should be playing purely because of his young age, he has not stood out at Super League level, why should he be selected for England?

Payne Haas and Morgan Smithies are not like for like. One is a wrecking ball, the did a phenomenal number of tackles, but then so does Danny Houghton and he’s not good enough either.

And he doesn’t play for Leeds, let’s not forget that.

Here we are again with our NRL mutual appreciation society. One young player comes into SL and performs consistently over almost a full season yet isn’t good enough. Another young player comes into the NRL, is not as consistent, yet is labelled a “wrecking ball”.

Give your head a wobble.

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3 hours ago, Dave T said:

I'm not sure it is harsh. Many of the things he is critical of were known in advance. The only new info is the results really.

I do accept that he works for the main broadcasting partner though. But I wont give credit for now raising stuff that he knew about. If he wants to toe the party line, then do it, he is now just playing to the crowd imho.

Carney has been on the money in the main.

I think there's certainly an element of him working for the main broadcaster and trying to build up some hype for the tour. I also think there has been some sort of party line on the Lions, I really think Bennetts coaching and squad selection policy have seriously dented the support behind the lions - and that has only been apparent in the last month. For those who were supportive of the Lions coming back, Woods admitting he was one of them, the other issues could be brushed aside somewhat as not ideal but not totally destructive either. Now in conjunction with how the tour has played out those supporters have had their rose tinted spectacles thoroughly smashed and they naturally want answers. 

Carney's contribution to the debate has been sorely undervalued. IMO people like him should have been invited on backchat/5 Live Podcasts etc. to seriously challenge the views presented by the likes of Wilkin, Noble and other similar pundits in the moment. Indeed even just having a non-English voice talking about the lions with some ownership would have helped the concept immensely with some authenticity.

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39 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I think there's certainly an element of him working for the main broadcaster and trying to build up some hype for the tour. I also think there has been some sort of party line on the Lions, I really think Bennetts coaching and squad selection policy have seriously dented the support behind the lions - and that has only been apparent in the last month. For those who were supportive of the Lions coming back, Woods admitting he was one of them, the other issues could be brushed aside somewhat as not ideal but not totally destructive either. Now in conjunction with how the tour has played out those supporters have had their rose tinted spectacles thoroughly smashed and they naturally want answers. 

Carney's contribution to the debate has been sorely undervalued. IMO people like him should have been invited on backchat/5 Live Podcasts etc. to seriously challenge the views presented by the likes of Wilkin, Noble and other similar pundits in the moment. Indeed even just having a non-English voice talking about the lions with some ownership would have helped the concept immensely with some authenticity.

I don't disagree with that mate, although I do come to a slightly different conclusion.

I suppose it is because my biggest sole issue with the 'tour' is that it really wasn't any kind of 'tour'. It was the most uninspiring and uninteresting schedule I have ever seen for a GB side, but some people were still celebrating it when it had been announced. 

To then top it off, Bennett mugged us off, no matter what he claims.

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2 hours ago, Jim Prendle said:

And he doesn’t play for Leeds, let’s not forget that.

Here we are again with our NRL mutual appreciation society. One young player comes into SL and performs consistently over almost a full season yet isn’t good enough. Another young player comes into the NRL, is not as consistent, yet is labelled a “wrecking ball”.

Give your head a wobble.

Payne Haas won NRL rookie of the year and NRL Prop of the year. Mitchell was Centre of the year in a competition vastly superior to SL. To say Newman is at the same level is a fantasy. I think Newman has fantastic potential but as things stand today he isn't anywhere near the level of Haas or Mitchell.

Newman has had a solid start to his SL career and hopefully he can kick on but he would need to improve a lot in the next year to make the England team, which he may well do. Same with Smithies. We can't just pick players because they are young.

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3 hours ago, Tex Evans Thigh said:

Payne Haas won NRL rookie of the year and NRL Prop of the year. Mitchell was Centre of the year in a competition vastly superior to SL. To say Newman is at the same level is a fantasy. I think Newman has fantastic potential but as things stand today he isn't anywhere near the level of Haas or Mitchell.

Newman has had a solid start to his SL career and hopefully he can kick on but he would need to improve a lot in the next year to make the England team, which he may well do. Same with Smithies. We can't just pick players because they are young.

Really? We seem very keen to pick them because they are old. Does old make them better players? No, it doesn't.

You can't tell me that Smithies would have done any worse than any of the forwards who have played on this tour.

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On 17/11/2019 at 14:19, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I still maintain that GB can potentially fulfill a really useful role in providing a selection carrot for any prospective home nations players. Unfortunately, the logic and planning behind this tour couldn't have been worse, and has been a copybook example of exactly how not to do it.

On a separate note, how in the name of **** did we let RU trademark the Lions name??!! That's up there with the Rugby World Cup situation. The people making decisions in our sport at the time should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

Could not have put it better myself...

And to top it off, I now have the latest google trend data at the end of the tour (thinking back to our previous conversation on another thread) .

It's a stark gap compared to the amount of google "noise" that England RL has made in recent years. Utter failure that detracts from the progress that we have been making in terms of branding.

RFL + Marketing = Flop. Meanwhile, Woman's soccer "Super League" generates audiences into the tens of thousands and RL falls further down the pecking order in the conscience of your average sports fan.

 

GB vs Eng.jpg

Edited by tiffers
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10 hours ago, Dunbar said:

What I think is cloud cuckoo land stuff is saying that a centre who is an exceptional talent and who will be 20 years old next year is nowhere near test standard a year before the series even starts.  A full season is a huge amount of time in the development of a player.  Who on here had heard of Payne Haas or Morgan Smithies a year ago and now look at how they are developing as players.

This is the type of thinking that leads us to playing a 27 year old second row in the centre in a team with an average age of 29 and getting beat 28-10 by PNG.

Give these kids a go.

Im not opposed to throwing a couple of young kids in the squad but it can't all be at the one time or we will get destroyed.

Latrell Mitchell debuted for the Kangaroos as a 21 year old with 3 full NRL seasons behind him. Give Newman and Smithies another season or two before throwing them in against the Aussies.

 

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59 minutes ago, tiffers said:

It's a stark gap compared to the amount of google "noise" that England RL has made in recent years. Utter failure that detracts from the progress that we have been making in terms of branding.

But then as you've highlighted previously, are both so low that they barely register compared to other sports?

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On 18/11/2019 at 03:49, Man of Kent said:

Same old story with the RFL. Execution. They couldn’t execute a stunned donkey with a firing squad 

Not easy to execute a stunned donkey when you're riding it. 


My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 

 

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On 17/11/2019 at 17:34, M j M said:

What happens if England get thrashed 3-0 next autumn? Do we ditch that "concept" as a failure?

Judging whether something important is worth doing based solely on the results on the pitch is the most Rugby League thing ever.

in Rugby League one of our greatest talents is throwing the towel in when we don't get great results immediately.

The rationale for whether we do or don't have Great Britain playing matches against other countries has nothing to do with the results of this tour, as you rightly suggest.

I believe that Great Britain should play Test series at home and away, including for the Ashes next year.

England and the other Home Nations should play in World Cups and in other tournaments, such as Four Nations, which we also abandoned, incidentally.

Dave Woods tells us to look to the future, but in Rugby League that usually means planning just a few months ahead.

We don't even know yet which other nation we will be playing next June.

How can any we succeed on that basis?

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19 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

I believe that Great Britain should play Test series at home and away, including for the Ashes next year.

England and the other Home Nations should play in World Cups and in other tournaments, such as Four Nations, which we also abandoned, incidentally.

I would play as GB in the Four Nations too. The only tournament I'd consider splitting for is the World Cup - mainly because that's what we've done regularly since 1995, so there is a precedent for it.

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1 hour ago, Martyn Sadler said:

in Rugby League one of our greatest talents is throwing the towel in when we don't get great results immediately.

The rationale for whether we do or don't have Great Britain playing matches against other countries has nothing to do with the results of this tour, as you rightly suggest.

I believe that Great Britain should play Test series at home and away, including for the Ashes next year.

England and the other Home Nations should play in World Cups and in other tournaments, such as Four Nations, which we also abandoned, incidentally.

Dave Woods tells us to look to the future, but in Rugby League that usually means planning just a few months ahead.

We don't even know yet which other nation we will be playing next June.

How can any we succeed on that basis?

Not sure how we can now. Possibly Super League have the answer.

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To make this about-face even funnier, Steve Mascord - who almost single-handedly acted as Nigel Wood's media outrider for the return of GB over the past 5 years - has tweeted that he agrees with Dave Woods' column. Just admit you were wrong all along fella's and then we won't have to pretend to listen to your stupid ideas in future.


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