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Martyn Sadler

Can the World Club Challenge survive and thrive?

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A crazy theory to suggest timing is the reason for so many Australian wins in the World Club Challenge. The disparity in salary caps will be a bigger influence rather than whether it’s played at the start of February or the end of it. 

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Martyn Sadler is obsessed with pitch marking and I agree with him. I know it’s not practice in football stadiums but all other grounds should have 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 marked on the pitch and the super league logo in the middle

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The most important points made by the always excellent Martín Sadler are that the WCC should be played two weeks after the Grand Finals, alternating the hemispheres where the game is held each year, and with both SL and the NRL taking joint responsibility for the game.

if Martyn’s suggestions were to be adopted, then we could expect that the event would have greater prestige, and would attract bigger crowds and more sponsors.

Edited by Manfred Mann
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38 minutes ago, Manfred Mann said:

The most important points made by the always excellent Martín Sadler is that the WCC should be played two weeks after the Grand Finals, alternating the hemispheres where the game is held each year, and with both SL and the NRL taking joint responsibility for the game.

if Martyn’s suggestions were to be adopted, then we could expect that the event would have greater prestige, and would attract bigger crowds and more sponsors.

But, don’t we want an International calendar too? After a long year, do we really want the World Club Challenge straight away? 

I’ve got no problem with when it is, maybe if I was being picky, I’d like the weather to be a bit nicer here when it’s played and maybe to see the teams a bit more fluid and advanced into their respective seasons as both were particularly rusty last weekend, though I don’t think either is that important. 

What I’d rather see is the game attracting sponsors both sides of the hemisphere and for it to be advertised far better than it is. 

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55 minutes ago, Manfred Mann said:

The most important points made by the always excellent Martín Sadler is that the WCC should be played two weeks after the Grand Finals, alternating the hemispheres where the game is held each year, and with both SL and the NRL taking joint responsibility for the game.

if Martyn’s suggestions were to be adopted, then we could expect that the event would have greater prestige, and would attract bigger crowds and more sponsors.

If we play that game two weeks after the end of the season - effectively around Halloween most years - then that's the international calendar gone for good.

I know which I'd be prioritising and it's not a club jolly.

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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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13 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

If we play that game two weeks after the end of the season - effectively around Halloween most years - then that's the international calendar gone for good.

I know which I'd be prioritising and it's not a club jolly.

Exactly this. The timing of the WCC is immaterial and not a problem, the lack of buy in, lack of profile and lack of its own sponsorship are the main issues for the WCC. 

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50 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

If we play that game two weeks after the end of the season - effectively around Halloween most years - then that's the international calendar gone for good.

I know which I'd be prioritising and it's not a club jolly.

Not necessarily. If both Grand Final were played on the same weekend, perhaps the last weekend in September, it would allow the WCC to be played on the second weekend in October, with the international programme scheduled to begin the following week.

But in the longer term I would like to persuade the NRL and the RFL to make July the international month in both hemispheres.

That may be a vain hope, but in my view internationals would have a much higher profile generally if they were scheduled half way through the season.

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6 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Not necessarily. If both Grand Final were played on the same weekend, perhaps the last weekend in September, it would allow the WCC to be played on the second weekend in October, with the international programme scheduled to begin the following week.

But in the longer term I would like to persuade the NRL and the RFL to make July the international month in both hemispheres.

That may be a vain hope, but in my view internationals would have a much higher profile generally if they were scheduled half way through the season.

If away fans are to be a consideration (obviously the jury is out on that but I think they should be) two weeks is nowhere near enough gap between the GFs and WCC.  I’m happy with it as a season opener, if the SL season is shorted by a few weeks it would be a great start to any season. Could also have the Championship Champions v Elite 1 Champions as a curtain raiser too. 

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One big problem with the WCC is that it really depends on who wins the NRL title. Some clubs commit, some are reluctant.

The Catch-22 is that you can't get all NRL clubs committed  to the WCC unless it becomes a major event and money-spinner, and it won't become that unless every NRL champion is committed every year.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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9 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Not necessarily. If both Grand Final were played on the same weekend, perhaps the last weekend in September, it would allow the WCC to be played on the second weekend in October, with the international programme scheduled to begin the following week.

But in the longer term I would like to persuade the NRL and the RFL to make July the international month in both hemispheres.

That may be a vain hope, but in my view internationals would have a much higher profile generally if they were scheduled half way through the season.

July would be awkward if we want to raise the profile. International soccer every other year, Wimbledon, Lord’s test match ... it’s not ideal.


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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Glad that the claim in the print edition that there was no sponsor has been corrected. I only saw bits of the game but knew Betfred were sponsors, not least because of the hoardings behind the Roosters celebrating.

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2 hours ago, Manfred Mann said:

The most important points made by the always excellent Martín Sadler are that the WCC should be played two weeks after the Grand Finals, alternating the hemispheres where the game is held each year, and with both SL and the NRL taking joint responsibility for the game.

if Martyn’s suggestions were to be adopted, then we could expect that the event would have greater prestige, and would attract bigger crowds and more sponsors.

The playing it two weeks after the GF's is literally the worst idea that anyone could come up with I don't know where to begin with the problems it would cause. Further more it is so pie in the sky (even for this forum) its not worth discussing. 

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1 hour ago, Mattrhino said:

The playing it two weeks after the GF's is literally the worst idea that anyone could come up with I don't know where to begin with the problems it would cause. Further more it is so pie in the sky (even for this forum) its not worth discussing. 

I am underwhelmed by your response.

If you don't know where to begin, and cannot present even a single argument to rebut the proposal for an end of season WCC, then you probably don't have a single powerful argument against it. 

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4 hours ago, Mr Plow said:

Martyn Sadler is obsessed with pitch marking and I agree with him. I know it’s not practice in football stadiums but all other grounds should have 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 marked on the pitch and the super league logo in the middle

All pro matches should be played on fields with one mandated consistent, standard set of field markings just like in major pro leagues around the world.

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3 hours ago, gingerjon said:

July would be awkward if we want to raise the profile. International soccer every other year, Wimbledon, Lord’s test match ... it’s not ideal.

We are always going to be up against other major events, no matter when we have the international season.

In November we are up against rugby union's autumn international series, for example, as well as being in the middle of the football season.

If we tried to avoid competing against any other sport we would never get started.

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3 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Not necessarily. If both Grand Final were played on the same weekend, perhaps the last weekend in September, it would allow the WCC to be played on the second weekend in October, with the international programme scheduled to begin the following week.

But in the longer term I would like to persuade the NRL and the RFL to make July the international month in both hemispheres.

That may be a vain hope, but in my view internationals would have a much higher profile generally if they were scheduled half way through the season.

A week between the WCC and Internationals? Brilliant. 

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47 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

A week between the WCC and Internationals? Brilliant. 

I assume you are speaking ironically.

So why don't you think the WCC would be a good lead-in to an international series?

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1 minute ago, Martyn Sadler said:

I assume you are speaking ironically.

So why don't you think the WCC would be a good lead-in to an international series?

The season is long enough as it is, even if we lose rounds, and is the current timing of the WCC an actual issue the game has? 

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22 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

The season is long enough as it is, even if we lose rounds, and is the current timing of the WCC an actual issue the game has? 

The vast majority of coaches I have spoken to would like to see the WCC played as soon as possible after the Grand Finals so they could use their squads from the relevant season.

Justin Holbrook in particular was frustrated by not being able to play the game as the culmination of the season.

If we had the respective Grand Finals on the same weekend it wouldn't be difficult to arrange the WCC to precede an international tournament, as long as we continue to play international Rugby League in late autumn, which is an issue in itself.

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How do you lift a team to play in a WCC when you have just come off winning your comps Grand Final?

You would not get many Clubs backing a game two weeks after their grand final, certainly not NRL Clubs.

Most have their "Mad Monday" benders then go away on a Club trip/holiday overseas.

The players that are off contract moving to other Clubs would probably not be allowed to play in the WCC game either.

It should be alternated between England and Australia and the home team can provide the financial security for the visiting team so the ball is is in their court to promote and sell the concept.

The date is always going to be an issue but ideally it would be the opening game of both competitions if they were in alignment.

Edited by Allora
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Talent is secondary to whether players are confident.

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After the NRL GF it’s season over and to back up again for the WCC would have all the excitement of a 3rd V 4th match that some World Cups have.

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