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Trojan

General British perception of RL in Oz

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I know it's one of my hobby horses, but IMO there's a general effort to deny that RL is one of THE major sports in Oz.   I was watching Eggheads last night.  The topic was sport and the Egghead who was selected was Chris, who is notoriously ignorant where sport is concerned.  But one question was in which of these countries is Rugby League the bigger sport?  UK, Australia, or Samoa.  Immediately, without thinking Chris said "well it's obviously not Australia"    For me this is an example of the British public's ignorance of RL's status in Oz.  Had he been asked in which country was Ice Hockey the bigger sport, UK. Canada or France, I'm sure he'd have got it right.  Even people who are generally not interested in ice hockey (like me) know it's a major sport in Canada. Had the British media given a true picture of Aussie sport I.m sure he'd have got it right.  It's part of the general attitude to deny RL a fair hearing.  Like allowing Union to call their game just "Rugby"   We have a deal with Murdoch, but it's put us in a ghetto I think.

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“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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In the days of more regular BBC exposure do you think that the answer would have been any different?


Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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I think the success that Australian Union has had on the international scene, where it has punched way above its weight for the size and status of the sport there, warps people's perceptions. They also tour the UK every year.

Similarly the lack of Kangaroo games and tours on these shores in the last couple of decades probably makes people think the sport is smaller there than it is.

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

I think the success that Australian Union has had on the international scene, where it has punched way above its weight for the size and status of the sport there, warps people's perceptions. They also tour the UK every year.

Similarly the lack of Kangaroo games and tours on these shores in the last couple of decades probably makes people think the sport is smaller there than it is.

I think this is right.

When the Wallabies come over and play in front of packed crowds at Twickenham while we let the Kangaroo tours become a distant memory, is it any wonder that the wider public get the wrong impression of the relative size of the sports.

It is not up to people to research how great Australian Rugby league is.... it is up to us to show them. 

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The general ignorance of rugby league in this country is vast, let alone Australia. As a Southern RL tragic, I almost feel like I’m in on a big secret where there’s this other, wonderful world of sport hidden from view.

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29 minutes ago, Trojan said:

I know it's one of my hobby horses, but IMO there's a general effort to deny that RL is one of THE major sports in Oz.   I was watching Eggheads last night.  The topic was sport and the Egghead who was selected was Chris, who is notoriously ignorant where sport is concerned.  But one question was in which of these countries is Rugby League the bigger sport?  UK, Australia, or Samoa.  Immediately, without thinking Chris said "well it's obviously not Australia"    For me this is an example of the British public's ignorance of RL's status in Oz.  Had he been asked in which country was Ice Hockey the bigger sport, UK. Canada or France, I'm sure he'd have got it right.  Even people who are generally not interested in ice hockey (like me) know it's a major sport in Canada. Had the British media given a true picture of Aussie sport I.m sure he'd have got it right.  It's part of the general attitude to deny RL a fair hearing.  Like allowing Union to call their game just "Rugby"   We have a deal with Murdoch, but it's put us in a ghetto I think.

But do you know where else ice hockey is big? Do you know what the second biggest team sport in Germany is? Any idea which countries outside the USA have decent professional baseball leagues?

Broadly, you're right. It's annoying that the establishment here thinks rugby union is a big sport in Australia as opposed to a small sport with a few well-attended events and good connections. But people are wrong about a lot of things. I'd not read too much into it beyond that.

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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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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

But do you know where else ice hockey is big? Do you know what the second biggest team sport in Germany is? Any idea which countries outside the USA have decent professional baseball leagues?

Remind me not to ask you to set the questions in our weekly local quiz 

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1 minute ago, DavidM said:

Remind me not to ask you to set the questions in our weekly local quiz 

I did all 60 questions for our charity's quiz night earlier in the year.

As someone at the end said, "They were good questions, enjoyed the evening and I learnt a lot, but it'd have been nice to be able to answer one."

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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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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

I did all 60 questions for our charity's quiz night earlier in the year.

As someone at the end said, "They were good questions, enjoyed the evening and I learnt a lot, but it'd have been nice to be able to answer one."

Sounds like sending Sid Vicious out on stage at a Classical Recital, the phrase "know your audience" comes to mind.

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3 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Sounds like sending Sid Vicious out on stage at a Classical Recital, the phrase "know your audience" comes to mind.

Fair. One of the questions was about the Challenge Cup final and it was literally the easiest one I could think of beyond just asking them to name the sport that contests it. I’ll see if I can dig out the wording later.

Half the teams got it, half didn’t.

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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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I haven't watched eggheads in years, couldn't stand any of them, horrible people who just love themselves. It's an amazing moment whenever there's a question about RL on British TV at all, even on question of sport there's maybe only one RL question ever 5 episodes or so. I almost had an heartattack the other night when I was watching the chase and the question was something like, "In rugby league, the champions of the European Super League play the champions of which country in the world club challenge". The options were Australia, NZ and Fiji if I remember rightly. Contestant didn't have a clue of course and went for NZ.

I was thinking at the time that I'd have stopped the show and given a detailed explanation as to how the world club challenge could actually be between teams from Canada and NZ in which case it wouldn't be a European and an Australian team which is what they were looking for of course and then carried on explaining that teams from 6 different countries can theoretically (if the Welsh teams got up through the pyramid) get into the world club challenge and then offered a detailed analysis of current developments with expansion and how Serbian, Spanish and US teams may soon be in the system. People would have learned something about RL if I had been on that show! ?

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I can see why you wouldn’t think it was Australia if you weren’t really into sports. Rugby Union and Cricket both get decent coverage here where England v Australia is massive events, whereas Rugby League doesn’t, so you can see why you may think as such. 

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3 hours ago, gingerjon said:

But do you know where else ice hockey is big? Do you know what the second biggest team sport in Germany is? Any idea which countries outside the USA have decent professional baseball leagues?

Broadly, you're right. It's annoying that the establishment here thinks rugby union is a big sport in Australia as opposed to a small sport with a few well-attended events and good connections. But people are wrong about a lot of things. I'd not read too much into it beyond that.

But he's a general knowledge "egghead". It wasn't that he got it wrong, he didn't even think about it, obviously it couldnt be Australia.  BTW baseball is big in Cuba, Korea and Japan.  Ice Hockey is big in Russia.  No idea about Germany unless it's strudel eating.

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“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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1 minute ago, Trojan said:

But he's a general knowledge "egghead". It wasn't that he got it wrong, he didn't even think about it, obviously it couldnt be Australia.  BTW baseball is big in Cuba, Korea and Japan.  Ice Hockey is big in Russia.  No idea about Germany unless it's strudel eating.

OBVIOUSLY IT IS HANDBALL

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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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Attention levels in the public are shortening all the time. The Aussie Union side are in Europe regularly whereas the Aussie League side have disappeared from view.

 

Also Union here is much more high profile now since professionalism came along.

 

It's not just league. If you asked the average lad in the street 20 years ago to name the biggest soccer club outside England he would probably have said AC Milan. Now no one would. If you are not in the headlines you disappear.

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1 minute ago, gingerjon said:

OBVIOUSLY IT IS HANDBALL

That's not a game that gets much coverage in the UK. I know it's an Olympic sport, but I don't think the Beeb cover it when they show the Olympics.


“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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2 minutes ago, noobiefana said:

Attention levels in the public are shortening all the time. The Aussie Union side are in Europe regularly whereas the Aussie League side have disappeared from view.

 

Also Union here is much more high profile now since professionalism came along.

 

It's not just league. If you asked the average lad in the street 20 years ago to name the biggest soccer club outside England he would probably have said AC Milan. Now no one would. If you are not in the headlines you disappear.

in the late eighties and early nineties RL was much higher profile than it is now.  As has been said Kangaroo and Lions tours were regular events.  I remember getting up at the crack of dawn to watch the 1988 test series live on BBC.  But when was the last Kangaroo tour, and wasn't it exclusive to Sky?  The Beebs world cup coverage both here and in Oz was excellent.  Had we won who knows what the outcome would have been.

In the 80's/90's players like Schofield, Edwards, Hanely, Offiah were household names.  Who outside of the RL community could name one of the last England/GB RL squad.

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“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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In Australia we have 36% of people with English ancestry. As as a result I think our knowledge of aspects of English life is probably higher than an average English person’s knowledge of Australia.

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3 minutes ago, Copa said:

In Australia we have 36% of people with English ancestry. As as a result I think our knowledge of aspects of English life is probably higher than an average English person’s knowledge of Australia.

It's just casual things.  In the 80's my kids used to watch Neighbours. One of the characters use to wear a Manly shirt, but no one ever remarked upon it.


“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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5 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Ice hockey is huge in Germany as well, one of the highest attended leagues in the world, I went to a few games when I lived in Berlin. Go Der Eisbaren! 

Indeed. Germany has somewhat more of a mixed and popular sport economy below football than a lot of places. It is handball though. Even if that’s just me shouting ANYONE BUT KIEL at the Bundesliga feed.


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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34 minutes ago, Trojan said:

in the late eighties and early nineties RL was much higher profile than it is now.  As has been said Kangaroo and Lions tours were regular events.  I remember getting up at the crack of dawn to watch the 1988 test series live on BBC.  But when was the last Kangaroo tour, and wasn't it exclusive to Sky?  The Beebs world cup coverage both here and in Oz was excellent.  Had we won who knows what the outcome would have been.

In the 80's/90's players like Schofield, Edwards, Hanely, Offiah were household names.  Who outside of the RL community could name one of the last England/GB RL squad.

True. The dominance of that Wigan team was a double edged sword but what RL team has come close to breaking through into the general sporting consciousness like they did....Edwards, Gregory, Lydon,  Hanley,  Iro, etc etc....30 years later you don't have to be a Wigan fan to remember and the BBC covered the game every week in prime time sporting coverage. It was regular for RL to be on BBC1 on Saturday afternoon........just think about it. People need to get to know their sporting stars.....as you say what casual sports watcher is going to become familiar with current players whereas Edwards, Gregory etc were on terrestrial TV probably 10 times a year.

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49 minutes ago, Trojan said:

It's just casual things.  In the 80's my kids used to watch Neighbours. One of the characters use to wear a Manly shirt, but no one ever remarked upon it.

I bet Matron Dorothy Conniving-B!tch from the Aussie TV series 'Let The Blood Run Free' was a Manly fan too...

Edited by Futtocks

"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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57 minutes ago, Trojan said:

It's just casual things.  In the 80's my kids used to watch Neighbours. One of the characters use to wear a Manly shirt, but no one ever remarked upon it.

Who was that? I'm going to guess at someone like Joe Mangel or Henry Ramsey.

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1 hour ago, Copa said:

In Australia we have 36% of people with English ancestry. As as a result I think our knowledge of aspects of English life is probably higher than an average English person’s knowledge of Australia.

While that is true, it sounds more profound than it actually is.

Aside form recent immigrants pretty much everybody in Australia is of mixed ancestry (often very mixed), and next to nobody particularly identifies with their English ancestry over any other.

That's not to say that the cultural influence of Britain (and particularly England) isn't still strong in Australia though, we're part of the Anglosphere so of course it is, but that is less to do with the peoples ancestry than it is to do with the countries ancestry, if you know what I mean.

Edited by The Great Dane

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