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Eddie

RL in New Zealand

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Does anyone on this forum have any experience of RL in New Zealand? I was defending RL earlier and after being told it was only really a sport in the North of England and parts of Australia, I obviously quoted PNG but didn’t really know what to say about the domestic game in NZ. 
 

Other than the international side and the Warriors, is the much by way of a domestic league, clubs, kids and women’s game etc? I have googled it but there isn’t that much info about it? Wikipedia certainly doesn’t have much up to date info. 
 

Thanks

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21 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Does anyone on this forum have any experience of RL in New Zealand? I was defending RL earlier and after being told it was only really a sport in the North of England and parts of Australia, I obviously quoted PNG but didn’t really know what to say about the domestic game in NZ. 
 

Other than the international side and the Warriors, is the much by way of a domestic league, clubs, kids and women’s game etc? I have googled it but there isn’t that much info about it? Wikipedia certainly doesn’t have much up to date info. 
 

Thanks

Actually I found it

 

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Rugby League is a sport most people in NZ are aware of.

Rugby League in the Wellington Region where i live is currently the weakest it's ever been. This year there is a ten team competition, Reserve grade competition finished last year so there just one grade but  there is a masters over 35's competition with 6 teams, theres kids grade between under 5 to under 13. There is a High school competition that happens at the end of the year and there about 6 schools that play. Not sure about women's game in Wellington.

Edited by kiwis 13 6
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41 minutes ago, kiwis 13 6 said:

Rugby League is a sport most people in NZ are aware of.

Rugby League in the Wellington Region where i live is currently the weakest it's ever been. This year there is a ten team competition, Reserve grade competition finished last year so there just one grade but  there is a masters over 35's competition with 6 teams, theres kids grade between under 5 to under 13. There is a High school competition that happens at the end of the year and there about 6 schools that play. Not sure about women's game in Wellington.

Thanks. Any idea what sort of attendances domestic games get?

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3 hours ago, Eddie said:

Thanks. Any idea what sort of attendances domestic games get?

Havent been to watch a game this year but went to watch a game last year probly 50 people watching, Wellington Rugby League is not in good shape, the Wellington Rep side the Orca's are  not in NZRL top division anymore, every year less people playing the game in Wellington. Auckland is where its at for NZ Rugby League, In the South Island Canterbury competition & rep side the Canterbury Bulls are best outside of Auckland.

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RL is oppressed in NZ so it really is kept alive by the back of passionate volunteers and an NRL club which plays in an australian competition. Its the only professional team the country has. They tried to make a semi pro comp but it folded. As for grassroots RL is oppressed in schools so not a lot play it and of the schools that do the standard isn't high and it's very recreational(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_New_Zealand#Participation). Its heartlands lie in west coast, some parts of auckland, huntly in waikato and I believe among tongans its now the most popular game. It's behind sports like RU, cricket, netball and soccer in popularity. So its the 5th most popular sport in New Zealand. But number 1 or 2 among Maori and pacific Islanders in New zealand. The game still has a lot of work to do to grow among pakeha kiwis and migrant groups coming from asia, europe and africa.

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25 minutes ago, kiwis 13 6 said:

Havent been to watch a game this year but went to watch a game last year probly 50 people watching, Wellington Rugby League is not in good shape, the Wellington Rep side the Orca's are  not in NZRL top division anymore, every year less people playing the game in Wellington. Auckland is where its at for NZ Rugby League, In the South Island Canterbury competition probly next best comp after Auckland and rep side the Bulls are competitive against Auckland sides.

This should be a cause for concern that the game in the second biggest place in NZ is struggling. What chance do other areas of NZ stand if wellington is struggling.

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I live in Auckland and have been involved in league here for 15 years, principally as a referee, but also a journalist and coach. Happy to give you any details you like. My observation is the game is on the decline here in terms of participation, particularly at senior levels - but then all team sports seem to be everywhere in the western world. 

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2 hours ago, Themusician_2 said:

This should be a cause for concern that the game in the second biggest place in NZ is struggling. What chance do other areas of NZ stand if wellington is struggling.

Whenever the Warriors do well, their crowds go through the roof  (nearly 20000) New Zealand is crying out for a successful League team I have been saying for years that they should have been as successful as the Broncos . I believe they rate  quite well also nothing like the AllBlacks though, If the Warriors could get their act together League would boom in NZ.and we should be aiming for a second team,but they keep signing mistake ridden DUDS like Adam Blair. There is a real lack of grit in that club.

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3 hours ago, Eddie said:

Thanks. Any idea what sort of attendances domestic games get?

Did you bother with either of those videos?  The Grand Final of Auckland's Fox Memorial Premiership had almost no crowd at all, the cameras showed a ton of empty seats everywhere you look. ?

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12 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Did you bother with either of those videos?  The Grand Final of Auckland's Fox Memorial Premiership had almost no crowd at all, the cameras showed a ton of empty seats everywhere you look. ?

Don`t be put off by that sort of stuff, public engagement with League is high in NZ,even if they don`t attend the local GF,  the couple of times the Warriors made the GF you should have seen the reaction in NZ there was thousands at the airport you couldn`t turn around without someone doing the Haka . By social media metrics they have top four  fan engagement in the NRL. Hey just because I don`t go to my local rugby league GF doesn`t mean I don`t follow it. They just need a decent bloody team.

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3 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Don`t be put off by that sort of stuff, public engagement with League is high in NZ,even if they don`t attend the local GF,  the couple of times the Warriors made the GF you should have seen the reaction in NZ there was thousands at the airport you couldn`t turn around without someone doing the Haka . By social media metrics they have top four  fan engagement in the NRL. Hey just because I don`t go to my local rugby league GF doesn`t mean I don`t follow it.

Don't worry I'm not, I've loved this great game since 1994 and can understand that watching two local teams play doesn't have the same appeal for Aucklanders as watching the Warriors play those big clubs from across the Tasman.  I can also understand not being willing to pay $ to watch the dull, predictable play seen in the game today where teams can make 7 metres per play without even trying.  The game has plenty of issues which need to be addressed, in a number of ways it's just a shadow of what it was when I started following it.

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2 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Don't worry I'm not, I've loved this great game since 1994 and can understand that watching two local teams play doesn't have the same appeal for Aucklanders as watching the Warriors play those big clubs from across the Tasman.  I can also understand not being willing to pay $ to watch the dull, predictable play seen in the game today where teams can make 7 metres per play without even trying.  The game has plenty of issues which need to be addressed, in a number of ways it's just a shadow of what it was when I started following it.

Look mate, I got to get outside and do a bit of work it`s 9a.m. in the morning over here but I will gladly respond to your statement  this evening. P.S. watch the Roger Tuivasa-Sheck highlights real that will blow you away.

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1 minute ago, The Rocket said:

Look mate, I got to get outside and do a bit of work it`s 9a.m. in the morning over here but I will gladly respond to your statement  this evening. P.S. watch the Roger Tuivasa-Sheck highlights real that will blow you away.

No problem.  Lately I've been watching a lot of classic matches from the era just before the 10-metre rule came in and those have sold me on the view put forward by the real old timers here that the game was better to watch before that rule came in.  The contrast between the skillful play on show then and the boring play served up during the 2016 NRL season is quite something.

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35 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Whenever the Warriors do well, their crowds go through the roof  (nearly 20000) New Zealand is crying out for a successful League team I have been saying for years that they should have been as successful as the Broncos . I believe they rate  quite well also nothing like the AllBlacks though, If the Warriors could get their act together League would boom in NZ.and we should be aiming for a second team,but they keep signing mistake ridden DUDS like Adam Blair. There is a real lack of grit in that club.

That's the case for all RL teams really. We don't have a spectator culture like soccer does in the uk where people will go to watch 0-0 mid table game in the pouring rain. Broncos are in a RL loving city though the best athletes in nz dont play RL which is the issue the warriors have. A small player pool and they have to fight with union for elite players. I think the warriors have actually pushed above their weight if you look at the RL participation numbers in NZ. Compare that to the storm i swear they've had like what 3 victorian players the warriors is full of kiwis so there's some positives. So in terms of pathway for local players the warriors are more successful but in terms of winning the storm is more successful than the warriors. Winning is the only missing piece for the warriors but seeing how strong RL is in Australia its a tough ask for them. Its like catalan trying to win SL.

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5 hours ago, Themusician_2 said:

This should be a cause for concern that the game in the second biggest place in NZ is struggling. What chance do other areas of NZ stand if wellington is struggling.

Other areas of NZ were League is struggling or dead at adult level are West Coast & Tasman in the South Island. In the North Island I dont think there is currently any adult or even kids Rugby League played in the East Coast, Hawkes Bay and Wairarpa Regions.

NZ needs nations like Fiji, USA, Ireland, Lebanon etc to tour NZ and play local rep side like the Wellington Orca's etc, that would get some positive local media coverage. A Nation wide semi pro comp to give people in the Regions something to play for as outside Auckland everything is totally amateur. In my opinion the best chance A NZ semi pro comp happening is if Auckland Fox memorial comp was expanded to include rep sides from Canterbury, Waikato, Wellington. THe NZBL basketball league has just signed a deal with ESPN... pretty sure any NZ national comp could get some TV coverage in Australia or UK.... maybe other countries as well.

Edited by kiwis 13 6
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7 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Did you bother with either of those videos?  

Erm yes, though I didn’t watch the whole games, did they announce the attendances? Looked like there were about 5,000 at the final and 2,500 at the other game. 

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On a side note from full contact they also participate in a NRL Touch competition under the NZ Warriors which gets coverage on both Fox sports and Sky sports NZ and at several age grades and genders they compete in the "Trans-Tazman Test series " between Australia vs New Zealand in a 3 match test series. 

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11 hours ago, Big Picture said:

No problem.  Lately I've been watching a lot of classic matches from the era just before the 10-metre rule came in and those have sold me on the view put forward by the real old timers here that the game was better to watch before that rule came in.  The contrast between the skillful play on show then and the boring play served up during the 2016 NRL season is quite something.

G`day mate, I heard a bloke saying the other day that teams had to be more creative to break down defences under the old 5 metre rule. I agree totally that one out running is pretty tiresome to watch especially when done nearly every tackle ,teams are so scared of losing the ball in their own half they are coached not to pass. The most exciting play occurs in the oppositions half and especially in their quarter where one out running isn`t going to be enough. Thankfully one of the unintended consaquences of this new `six-again` rule (and I haven`t read anywhere that this was a stated aim of this rule change) is that teams are often entering the other teams half/quarter with 3 or 4 tackles left in the set and as a consaquence of this we are getting to see a bit adventurous play as teams try to score . This situation had been obvious to me for a while however  how to discourage one-out play from  your own end was a hard one to find a solution for, hopefully however this new six-again rule has inadvertently provided at least a part solution in that we are seeing teams getting the opportunity to have more tackles in the attacking end of the field.

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