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Auckland- a league town?


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11 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

@Bedfordshire Bronco I have less certainty in 2019 than I did in say 2015 when the Warriors were for a long time, the biggest supported domestic club team of any sport in NZ.

Its vaguely like asking is AFL the biggest sport in Sydney. Well, the Sydney Swans are far and away the biggest club team in NSW sport. Doesn’t necessarily make Sydney an AFL town (although it always has had a strong underbelly of support, even in the Swans darkest days).
 

Sydney does however have 9 RL teams though, compared to Auckland only having one Super Rugby franchise. Which does further lend weight that when there is only one club of each code in the city, and the club that operates with greater support than the other is the league team. It does lend weight that Auckland is a league city.

Thanks SP

I guess we all want league to be on the rise. Would you say that is the case generally or the opposite? 

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10 hours ago, bazzzz65 said:

I love 'proper' cricket but not T20 or the abomination that is 'The Hundred'!!

I'm an anomaly. I used to love test cricket as a kid and was ambivalent to ODIs

I am now the opposite... Much rather go and watch a 3 hour thrash at Lords than a day of test cricket.... And I'm in my 40s!

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19 hours ago, Damien said:

There have been many articles in the New Zealand press saying Auckland is now a league city.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12181688

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13 hours ago, Celt said:

Greymouth is a "city" with a population of 9800 people.  England has villages with bigger populations than that.  

Greymouth also has 2 functioning union clubs, so it is doubtful that Rugby League is "bigger" FWIW.

While the West Coast region has produced 50odd Kiwis over the course of history, it's RL has been in decline for many years now.  Union in the west coast still has a 6 team comp, although it is declining as a sport there too. An awful lot of posters on TotalRL really live in the past, and quote stuff that is decades out of date. 

(I am definitely not saying that you do, Themusician, but that is why I jumped in - please don't take it the wrong way, it is just that a lot of posts on here are utterly delusional).

I said Greymouth not the west coast places like Marsden and Lower bullet lean more towards union and they are places in the west coast.

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26 minutes ago, Blackpool rl said:

Anyone know if league is bigger in places like perpignan, Perth, Adelaide, Tonga and Melbourne? 

edit: In comparison to RU. 

Just to let you know, as you know a brand new poster, but comparing league to union will get this post sent to a subforum, which you have access to after a 100 posts. Happy to help ?

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37 minutes ago, jannerboyuk said:

Just to let you know, as you know a brand new poster, but comparing league to union will get this post sent to a subforum, which you have access to after a 100 posts. Happy to help ?

Thanks. I thought I was ok to talk about it as people had compared RU to RL earlier. 

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I live in Auckland. I'd agree with gnidir that league is on the decline here to some extent, but so is rugby. Playing numbers here at a senior level have dropped hugely in the past ten years, but so have rugby's... what you'd see in Auckland is almost the northern England effect where the sport is say big in Wigan, but not Bolton. So parts of south and west Auckland, it is undoubtedly the biggest sport, but on the shore and the city, not so. The Warriors give league huge visibility, and media coverage, so everyone is aware/has a passing interest,but whether that translates into it being their no1 sport... The Fox still has some quality players but as gnidir said, it is shamefully played on park fields: the facilities at clubs here rank way behind NCL clubs ijn the UK. 

One area of NZ where league is definitely no1 is the working-class northern Waikato towns: Huntly and Ngaruawahia. This is thanks to a particularly strong Maori, marae-based league support. 

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7 hours ago, Eddie said:

Sounds like it’s written by a biased league fan engaging in some wishful thinking, but nonetheless I hope he’s right. 

RU will always be king in NZ due to the national team being their pride and joy, but there’s no question the sport is in trouble at club level. Super Rugby looks doomed with South African teams pulling out and looking towards the riches of England and France. Two clubs have already joined that Pro 14 league thingy. South Africa puts in a substantial amount of tv money..with that gone that just leaves Aus and NZ, and RU in Aus being on its knees that spells bad news for NZ clubs. With the gulf in finances The best NZ players will then look towards England and France to ply their trade, and fielding weaker teams without the best NZ players interest in the NZ clubs will decline. 

One solution for NZ (and Aussie) clubs that I’ve seen mentioned is to look toward Asia (specifically Japan), but how strong is the interest in RU there? Yes the recent RUWC was a success, but I think it was fleeting. Prior to the event there was hardly a word about it, all the talk in Japan was about next year’s Olympics. The club RU games in Japan get paltry crowds. If you look at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, both countries came to a standstill during it, and today we are seeing the legacy of that tournament with Koreans and Japanese who were kids then now starting to play for top clubs (Son at Spurs being the most notable, and Minamino who will sign for Liverpool). I don’t see any such legacy or interest in rugby from Japan, so the club game in NZ is out on it’s own. This is where Rl club teams can capitalise. 

From the article though, this caught my eye;

Polynesians in particular loved the clean and open confrontations that league offered as opposed to rugby's messier, wrestling-style nature.

 

This is where I think RL is missing a trick. RL has introduced wrestling. It’s nowhere near as clean and open as it was, and is becoming attritional like RU (albeit not as far down the path). The RL games at Wembley that I watched on YouTube from the era of Schofield were far more attractive than today’s game, and I think if RL was able to get back to that open style of running, attacking rugby, not bogged down by wrestling and risk averse tactics (advocated by the ilk of Shaun Wane), the gulf between the two codes would be vast, and would see swathes of RU fans ditch that for RL.

 

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5 hours ago, DC77 said:

RU will always be king in NZ due to the national team being their pride and joy, but there’s no question the sport is in trouble at club level. Super Rugby looks doomed with South African teams pulling out and looking towards the riches of England and France. Two clubs have already joined that Pro 14 league thingy. South Africa puts in a substantial amount of tv money..with that gone that just leaves Aus and NZ, and RU in Aus being on its knees that spells bad news for NZ clubs. With the gulf in finances The best NZ players will then look towards England and France to ply their trade, and fielding weaker teams without the best NZ players interest in the NZ clubs will decline. 

One solution for NZ (and Aussie) clubs that I’ve seen mentioned is to look toward Asia (specifically Japan), but how strong is the interest in RU there? Yes the recent RUWC was a success, but I think it was fleeting. Prior to the event there was hardly a word about it, all the talk in Japan was about next year’s Olympics. The club RU games in Japan get paltry crowds. If you look at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, both countries came to a standstill during it, and today we are seeing the legacy of that tournament with Koreans and Japanese who were kids then now starting to play for top clubs (Son at Spurs being the most notable, and Minamino who will sign for Liverpool). I don’t see any such legacy or interest in rugby from Japan, so the club game in NZ is out on it’s own. This is where Rl club teams can capitalise. 

From the article though, this caught my eye;

Polynesians in particular loved the clean and open confrontations that league offered as opposed to rugby's messier, wrestling-style nature.

 

This is where I think RL is missing a trick. RL has introduced wrestling. It’s nowhere near as clean and open as it was, and is becoming attritional like RU (albeit not as far down the path). The RL games at Wembley that I watched on YouTube from the era of Schofield were far more attractive than today’s game, and I think if RL was able to get back to that open style of running, attacking rugby, not bogged down by wrestling and risk averse tactics (advocated by the ilk of Shaun Wane), the gulf between the two codes would be vast, and would see swathes of RU fans ditch that for RL.

 

yeh the future for super rugby is going to be interesting.  i agree that in the future new zealand will lose most of their players to european rugby or even rugby league.  the all blacks will then have less to pick from.  or the NZRU will admit defeat and pick all blacks from european union.

new zealand can sustain the teams it has but  i doubt australia can handle three teams (i think theyll end up with two).  they needed the large australian rugby market to watch games.  that happened in the past, not so much now.

 

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22 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Thanks SP

I guess we all want league to be on the rise. Would you say that is the case generally or the opposite? 

On the rise in Auckland? I would say it hasn’t progressed for at least a decade. With inflation, that’s a decline ?

Another new club that is a necessity is a second NZ team. This will promote growth in Auckland and the rest of NZ.

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14 hours ago, Blackpool rl said:

Anyone know if league is bigger in places like perpignan, Perth, Adelaide, Tonga and Melbourne? 

edit: In comparison to RU. 

Tonga would.be interesting now.  Certainly league is growing there with what the Tongan rugby league team.have achieved.

Melbourne has better grassroots for.union than league but the super rugby side is struggling 

Perth after losing their team in the force union is on the wane though the arlc aren't intetested in adding a team 

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6 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

On the rise in Auckland? I would say it hasn’t progressed for at least a decade. With inflation, that’s a decline ?

Another new club that is a necessity is a second NZ team. This will promote growth in Auckland and the rest of NZ.

Yes absolutely 

Also the warriors not being a perennial basket case would also help 

They've sunk in a hole.since 2002 

They didn't even want to keep shaun johnson for some reason 

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On 12/12/2019 at 05:50, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

A friend is convinced league is the bigger code in Auckland? 

Any truth in it? 

Where in NZ is League most popular? 

Auckland is NZ biggest city Rugby League has always had the highest % people of any NZ city who are involved in the sport and people with an awareness and interest in the sport. Auckland club competition The "Fox Memorial" is the last NZ based club comp were good players can play the game semi professionally. With Maori people in Auckland id say League is the most popular sport, Pacific Islanders id say its about 50/50 between union and league, Pakeha(Caucasian/European) lots of people have casual interest but there is a niche loyal following and Pakeha people participate in pockets in West Auckland, Central Auckland,North Shore and Howick in South Auckland. Other ethnic groups Indians/Asians/Africans/Arabs/immigrants from UK and Europe tend to prefer soccer but Auckland Rugby League has set up a program to attract new immigrant groups to play the sport.  Regardless of ethnicity overall with working class people in Auckland the Favorite game would be Rugby League, middle and upper class more into union. The problem is Working class Areas of Auckland are shrinking as it costs about a million dollars for house in most parts of Auckland these days.

Wellington Rugby League participation has shrunk dramatically over the last 20 years. in the 90's Rugby League was probly #1 sport with Maori and Pacific Island communites, thats not the case anymore, since the 80's only been a very small % of Pakeha/Europeans who participate in the sport in Wellington. There is a decent amount of causal fans of the Warriors in the region from all backgrounds.  In Wellington city itself these days there is only one local club Victoria University Hunters. Rugby League is mostly Played in the regions outer satellite towns and suburbs in the Hutt Valley, Wainuiomata, Porrirua, Otaki. Wainuiomata was famous for Rugby League in 1990's it had NZ champion grassroots club and the sport had a huge following in the Suburb but these days its probly 50/50 split with union in Wainuomata.

Christchurch/Canterbury Region has had better organisation for the sport than Wellington they are currently Top region in the country outside Auckland based on the strength of Rep teams. The local council has built a new facility Nga Puna Wai Sports complex as the home of Rugby League in the Region. Christchurch has a smaller % of Maori and Pacific Island population than Auckland and Wellington but league probly about 50/50 with union in Maori and Pacific Island communities. Canterbury has traditionally had higher percentage of Pakeha participate in Rugby league than Wellington but overall id estimate Pakeha in Christchurch overwhelming support union 90% to League 10%. Theres a reasonable size Asian community in Christchurch but very few are interested in Rugby League id say Golf is probly the favorite game for the Asian communities in that region. Overall in Canterbury out of those that like rugby codes id estimate it would be 80% Union 20% League split.

 I dont know much about Rugby League in Hamilton & Tauranga NZ 4th & 5th largest largest Cities rugby league is played in those cities and there is definitley fans of the sport in those cites but Union is the most popular sport. Whangarei in north of country and the Northland region has decent participation rate for Rugby League but again Union overall would be more popular.

In deep south Island NZ 6th largest City Dunedin in the Otago region has 3 local league clubs and together with neighboring Southland region run a combined Competition. League has a small niche following but Union would easily be the #1 game of most people who like any kind of sport.

There are some small provincial towns that Rugby League is the #1 game in town

Huntly is a former coal mining town between Auckland and Hamilton has a large Maori population and Leagues more popular than union but now the mines are closing down and new people moving in due to cost of living in Auckland who knows what the future holds? Lance Hohaia & Tawera Nikau both come from Huntly.

Ngaruawhahia 13kms down the road  from Huntly is a predominately Maori town and home of the Maori King and Rugby League is the most popular game in town and the local Maori tribe Tanui once owned the NZ Warriors.

Tokoroa is a Central North Island Forestry town unique in that it is the only small provincial town in NZ with a high percentage of Pacific Islanders, there is also a large Maori community. Rugby League is either #1 code or 50/50 with union. Zane Tetevano and Joey Manu come from there as well ex Australian Union player & potential Toronto signing Quade Cooper.

Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island is an old coal mining town and once famous in NZ for rugby league, West Coast Representative sides once used to beat Auckland rep sides and beat International touring sides! Greymouth and the West Coast is predominatley Pakeha/European town and Rugby League is more popular than Union but in other west coast towns Hokitika and Westport Union is more Popular than League.  Coal mines have all closed down now and there was a Mine explosion and NZ warriors and Newcastle Knights played a pre season benefit game in the town to raise funds for families of local miners. Melbourne and Newcastle player Slade Griffin is the most recent Kiwi Representative in a long tradition of Kiwis players coming from the West Coast.

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