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Sun 1 Mar: The Betfred Championship Match Thread

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7 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Fev were my favourites for promotion before a ball was kicked as I stated on these pages, I see no reason to change my mind, but hopefully Leigh do have something to say about that, really looking forward to coming over as I always do to POR later this month on the 29th,  as clubs we have developed a good rivalry over the last few years tgere have been some terrific games. 

Incidentally when do you play Toulouse we have got them at home on the 26th April.

The home fixture is the last game of the season, away fixture is on a Wednesday night over the Easter period.

Wednesday night, away to Toulouse, WTF?????

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11 hours ago, doc said:

Personally, I thought we'd struggle on the heavy pitch. 

Yep,  Widnes's game is not well suited to a mudbath and what seems like a short, narrow pitch. Dewsbury's training pitch is 3g and full-size, they've done a good job investing in their facilities over the years on a limited budget. Dewsbury were clearly the better team, only try for Widnes was a lucky deflection off a kick, somewhat against the run of play. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Private Baldrick said:

The home fixture is the last game of the season, away fixture is on a Wednesday night over the Easter period.

Wednesday night, away to Toulouse, WTF?????

Wednesday night trip to France? Which buffoon thought that one up, perhaps someone else recognised that Fev would be a major force in the league this term and didn't want it upsetting the French applecart!

Just checked we have got them away on Saturday 4th July, but Leigh were under the radar on their team building, must say as a fan of Leigh I am more that pleasantly surprised how they are going, a mix of some good acquisitions and a step up of those who stayed, I don't want to put an hex on the lad in bulling him up but considering he is a local from Ponte, I must say you would hardly recognise Ben Reynolds, he has lost some weight and is playing with such a purpose, his form is excellent.

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

Wednesday night trip to France? Which buffoon thought that one up, perhaps someone else recognised that Fev would be a major force in the league this term and didn't want it upsetting the French applecart!

Just checked we have got them away on Saturday 4th July, but Leigh were under the radar on their team building, must say as a fan of Leigh I am more that pleasantly surprised how they are going, a mix of some good acquisitions and a step up of those who stayed, I don't want to put an hex on the lad in bulling him up but considering he is a local from Ponte, I must say you would hardly recognise Ben Reynolds, he has lost some weight and is playing with such a purpose, his form is excellent.

I think it is the RFL's 'player welfare' protocol.

Rather than have us play Good Friday, Easter Monday and then the following Sunday, they decided to go for Good Friday, Wednesday and then the following Sunday, and throw in a trip to France and back, and expect part time players to cope with it. Plus, in all likelihood, the players will probably have to use time off from work to go rather than spending time with their families over the Easter period. 

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

Fev were my favourites for promotion before a ball was kicked as I stated on these pages, I see no reason to change my mind, but hopefully Leigh do have something to say about that, really looking forward to coming over as I always do to POR later this month on the 29th,  as clubs we have developed a good rivalry over the last few years tgere have been some terrific games. 

.

The game at the end of last season at Leigh, is one of the best games of RL I have seen for years, and I include in SL.  Both sides were excellent, it was a shame there had to be a loser, one of the best evening games I've ever been to, well worth the trip on a Sunday night. Pity they couldn't hang on to Kevin Brown, I've always thought he was a class act and he had a great game that night.  IMO it was Brearley where the weakness lay, I'd have played Rydyard.   Referees can make such a difference and Hewer had a good game.  Ben Thaler at York was also excellent.  God knows what he's done, but I hope he's back soon

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2 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

I have seen the Bulls now twice on consecutive weekends, there is nothing at all that convinces me they are going to be challenging for a play off place.

That is not having a go at the club, it is just an observation of seeing them perform.

Fair enough.  Just think it is going to be about beating the teams around them so could have a weaker team than last year but sneak in with neither York or Broncos pulling up trees.  

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1 hour ago, Private Baldrick said:

I think it is the RFL's 'player welfare' protocol.

Rather than have us play Good Friday, Easter Monday and then the following Sunday, they decided to go for Good Friday, Wednesday and then the following Sunday, and throw in a trip to France and back, and expect part time players to cope with it. Plus, in all likelihood, the players will probably have to use time off from work to go rather than spending time with their families over the Easter period. 

I said at the time instead of good Friday, Easter Monday (when most players will have the day off) followed by Sunday, they now expect part time Fev players to be able to take at least the Wednesday and Thursday off following bank holiday Monday.

Don't know about others but most jobs I’ve done, you’re playing catch up after bank holiday Monday, can’t see many employers being open to the working players doing a 2 day week (Tues+Fri).

Dreadful planning, surely with Toulouse being (I think) full time they could’ve reversed the fixtures and play this one at Fev?

Edited by AB Knight
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4 hours ago, Hopping Mad said:

I didn’t buy an advance ticket because, given the dreadful weather and the vulnerability of the pitch at The Shay, there was no guarantee this game would go ahead. Charging £22 on the day does nothing to encourage walk-up punters, neutrals or casual fans. As Halifax’s dire gates indicate. Division Five football attracts bigger crowds to The Shay!

As for sitting, I don’t like watching rugby league from behind the posts. At The Shay (since the now disused Skircoat Stand was made all-seater), a side-on view makes paying for a seat obligatory.

 

 

Fully agree with that. Ive moaned about this before but I never think we make it easy for fans. Not just price but making it much more straightforward for floating fans and the ‘might go to the game’ section. Season ticket holders are usually diehard fans who will turn up regardless.

I wish clubs would be forward thinking, have ‘contactless’ turnstiles, make it so every club offers the ability to buy a ticket and download it to your phone. While I don’t like Bradford Bulls all that much (recent rivalry!), at the Bulls vs York friendly it took me just 2 minutes that morning to sign up on their easy to navigate website and have tickets downloaded to my phone.

It’s a ball ache when you’re trying to find the hidden ticket page on a clubs website, then have to queue up to collect it, then queue to get in. 

Buses, cinemas, theatres, pubs, you can now pay for all these on your card, book in advance, pick your seat, have food brought to your table without even having to go to the bar. We need to catchup and quickly.

Edited by AB Knight
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21 minutes ago, AB Knight said:

I said at the time instead of good Friday, Easter Monday (when most players will have the day off) followed by Sunday, they now expect part time Fev players to be able to take at least the Wednesday and Thursday off following bank holiday Monday.

Don't know about others but most jobs I’ve done, you’re playing catch up after bank holiday Monday, can’t see many employers being open to the working players doing a 2 day week (Tues+Fri).

Dreadful planning, surely with Toulouse being (I think) full time they could’ve reversed the fixtures and play this one at Fev?

I think it was suggested but nothing came of it.

Also, our fixture against them on the last day of the regular fixtures is on a Saturday with a 1pm kick off instead of our usual Sunday 3pm kick off. I wonder if this is to accommodate their travelling arrangements?

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3 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

I have seen the Bulls now twice on consecutive weekends, there is nothing at all that convinces me they are going to be challenging for a play off place.

That is not having a go at the club, it is just an observation of seeing them perform.

From what I’ve seen of Bradford this season, I’d agree with you. Can’t see them being contenders. 

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3 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

I have seen the Bulls now twice on consecutive weekends, there is nothing at all that convinces me they are going to be challenging for a play off place.

That is not having a go at the club, it is just an observation of seeing them perform.

Defence, grind, and effort are both decent.  Attack is woeful.  But we are a very young and mainly homegrown team - I think the average age at the last game was announced as 22 ish.  We had the same issue last year.  As soon as Joe Keyes returned from injury our score average per game almost doubled.  Jordan is 23 and Rowan is 20.

If we do get into the play-offs then I suspect it'll be a similar season to York's one last year.  Winning low scoring games by small margins.

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32 minutes ago, AB Knight said:

Fully agree with that. Ive moaned about this before but I never think we make it easy for fans. Not just price but making it much more straightforward for floating fans and the ‘might go to the game’ section. Season ticket holders are usually diehard fans who will turn up regardless.

I was a little surprised how low Sunday's Shay attendance was. I expected something like 1,800 not 1,500.

That said, I can see how a number of potential attendees could have looked at the weather forecast in midweek and thought 'it'll never be on, I won't risk buying an advance ticket'. Game day dawns, windy but sunny and dry, and those same potential customers might then think 'I wouldn't mind watching the game but I'm not going to be fleeced because I chose to not buy a cheaper advance ticket'.

My Birmingham-based brother, an occasional rugby league spectator, was up visiting the folks. I asked if he fancied joining me at The Shay. 'How much will it be?' 'At least twenty quid'. 'Nah, I'll go for a walk on Norland Moor instead'.

Edited by Hopping Mad
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3 hours ago, JonM said:

Yep,  Widnes's game is not well suited to a mudbath and what seems like a short, narrow pitch. Dewsbury's training pitch is 3g and full-size, they've done a good job investing in their facilities over the years on a limited budget. Dewsbury were clearly the better team, only try for Widnes was a lucky deflection off a kick, somewhat against the run of play. 

 

The narrow pitch didn't seem to stop teams beating us last year, nor from Leigh putting 36 past us a few weeks ago. Boggy conditions are a leveller, look forward to opposing coaches blaming climate change for losing at Dewsbury.

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25 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

The narrow pitch didn't seem to stop teams beating us last year, nor from Leigh putting 36 past us a few weeks ago. Boggy conditions are a leveller, look forward to opposing coaches blaming climate change for losing at Dewsbury.

Wasn't a criticism - just a reflection of the fact that Widnes don't have a big set of forwards and do have some speed in the backs. Maybe without the conditions as a leveller, Dewsbury would've won by more. It certainly wasn't the conditions that gave away a couple of easy tries off barges over from dummy half or first receiver.

Hopefully the weather will improve, because it might get tricky if you & Bradford both end up with games getting postponed, particularly if you both advance in the cups games.

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4 hours ago, The Blues Ox said:

No I think York were dire although if we had played like that against Dewsbury we would probably have won that one so in that sense it were an improvement. I doubt we will compete with Leigh next week but its not a game anyone had us down to win anyway but I thought by the time we got to the bash we would have only lost 2 or 3 games which was Fev and Leigh away and allowing for another and then our tougher fixtures after where we would likely drop away from the top 3 so the loss against Dewsbury could really hurt come the end of the season.

Fair enough, sir. Good result nonetheless. Might be a good confidence booster for the team.


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3 hours ago, Johnoco said:

From what I’ve seen of Bradford this season, I’d agree with you. Can’t see them being contenders. 

No chance of us being Top 5, mid table at best

The squad is paper-thin. Once we get a few injuries (and we already got one bad one yesterday) then we are down to kids or hoping that Hull will give us someone on DR. 

Frankly, the only priority for the Bulls this season is to stay on an even keel financially and not get relegated.

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4 hours ago, AB Knight said:

I said at the time instead of good Friday, Easter Monday (when most players will have the day off) followed by Sunday, they now expect part time Fev players to be able to take at least the Wednesday and Thursday off following bank holiday Monday.

Don't know about others but most jobs I’ve done, you’re playing catch up after bank holiday Monday, can’t see many employers being open to the working players doing a 2 day week (Tues+Fri).

Dreadful planning, surely with Toulouse being (I think) full time they could’ve reversed the fixtures and play this one at Fev?

Of course they could have reversed it, but we can't have Full Time players having to travel over mid week from France! Seriously, you couldn't make it up what Featherstone are having to do for this fixture, it beggars belief.

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20 hours ago, Manfred Mann said:

London's loss of several good players to other clubs after it was demoted from Super League, and the owner's failure to recruit quality replacements, is beginning to look like a fatal blow to London's prospects of returning to Super League at the end this year.

London were very poor today, but Fev are are very good team and will be in the mix at the end - they did not win just because London had a nightmare. The Leeds players McLelland, Sutcliffe, Holroyd & Albert are also very good and would raise the performance of any team in the championship who were lucky enough to have them. (e.g. I’m sure 4 SL players on loan/DR to London would improve their squad.)

Most of the London players who left at the end of last year had signed contracts with other teams before London had been relegated. 

It looks like London’s owner has reduced funding this year (maybe he’s deciding to fund at a lower level for good, maybe he wants to bring more London based players through even if this means a few years in the championship - no idea of his reasons. He has kept the club going for a long time putting his own cash in so deserves credit for that! I’m pretty certain he’s not making any money.

Edited by dead man inc

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31 minutes ago, Gooleboy said:

Of course they could have reversed it, but we can't have Full Time players having to travel over mid week from France! Seriously, you couldn't make it up what Featherstone are having to do for this fixture, it beggars belief.

the'are  over in london on the friday  so it's a hop skip and jump to FEV 

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10 minutes ago, dead man inc said:

London were very poor today, but Fev are are very good team and will be in the mix at the end - they did not win just because London had a nightmare. The Leeds players McLelland, Sutcliffe, Holroyd & Albert are also very good and would raise the performance of any team in the championship who were lucky enough to have them.

Most of the London players who left at the end of last year had signed contracts with other teams before London had been relegated. 

It looks like London’s owner has reduced funding this year (maybe he’s deciding to fund at a lower level for good, maybe he wants to bring more London based players through even if this means a few years in the championship - no idea of his reasons. He has kept the club going for a long time putting his own cash in so deserves credit for that! I’m pretty certain he’s not making any money.

true but none of them  scored  all 36 points from FEV players 

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14 minutes ago, POR said:

true but none of them  scored  all 36 points from FEV players 

It's not all about who put's the ball down over the line !

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18 hours ago, AB Knight said:

Testing times for York. Worst performance I’ve seen since 2016 and I’ve been to about 80-90% of games.

Our halfbacks (Connor Robinson and Ben Johnston) for me are too similar in how they play, at the moment it’s not working in that department.

Wallis on the wing, very poor body language, standing away from teammates when they had a team talk after each conceded try and in the 2nd half arguing with his own team mates. I make it he’s been out of position for 7 tries in 3 games. I hate to bag players, I could never play week in week out like them and I get that he’s a developing winger but this is not a development league. 

Not putting the white flag up yet but if we go to Oldham in 3 weeks time with P 5 W 0 I won’t be confident of picking up our first win.

Something doesn’t seem right, I just hope it’s the off field stadium talk and amount of new players needing to gel.

Well played Halifax btw, easy to focus on your own side and say we made the opposition look good. In parts that might be true but Fax were a cut above, Murrel as usual bossed it and they had an answer to everything. 

I was surprised at the signing of Johnson to be honest, I don't think he's the answer for York. I like Jonno and he is a good runner of the ball but lacks a bit creatively and can be a liability in defence. I know Fordy knows him quite well and has done for a long time so I'm sure he thinks he can get the best out of him. I also thought Washbrook was an interesting signing which probably looked better on paper than it will on the pitch. 

There's the obvious second season syndrome that could be at play and York certainly won't be flying under the radar this year. I think you'll come good but the play-offs might be a long shot. I think there might be a pile up for that last spot though. 

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40 minutes ago, POR said:

true but none of them  scored  all 36 points from FEV players 

My post was trying to give Fev credit & said it was not just London playing awful! I said Fev are a very good team. I did not say they only won because of the DR/loan guys!

 

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2 hours ago, Tex Evans Thigh said:

I was surprised at the signing of Johnson to be honest, I don't think he's the answer for York. I like Jonno and he is a good runner of the ball but lacks a bit creatively and can be a liability in defence. I know Fordy knows him quite well and has done for a long time so I'm sure he thinks he can get the best out of him. I also thought Washbrook was an interesting signing which probably looked better on paper than it will on the pitch. 

There's the obvious second season syndrome that could be at play and York certainly won't be flying under the radar this year. I think you'll come good but the play-offs might be a long shot. I think there might be a pile up for that last spot though. 

Johnston is certainly not a liability in defence. Ive watched him a few seasons now at Fax and for his size you could argue he was pound for pound Fax's best defender. Its very rare he misses tackles and I would say his defense is possibly his best quality, personally for me though I don't want my half backs best quality to be his defense.

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8 hours ago, Hopping Mad said:

I was a little surprised how low Sunday's Shay attendance was. I expected something like 1,800 not 1,500.

That said, I can see how a number of potential attendees could have looked at the weather forecast in midweek and thought 'it'll never be on, I won't risk buying an advance ticket'. Game day dawns, windy but sunny and dry, and those same potential customers might then think 'I wouldn't mind watching the game but I'm not going to be fleeced because I chose to not buy a cheaper advance ticket'.

My Birmingham-based brother, an occasional rugby league spectator, was up visiting the folks. I asked if he fancied joining me at The Shay. 'How much will it be?' 'At least twenty quid'. 'Nah, I'll go for a walk on Norland Moor instead'.

20 quid, for nigh on 2 hours of live sport at a decent level, is not a lot................no wonder clubs are struggling to stay afloat at this level when people have this attitude

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