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General British perception of RL in Oz

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6 hours ago, Dunbar said:

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. 

It is not Australian Rugby League's job to sell Rugby League to the masses in England, and it's a sad indictment on English RL that it's reliant on internationals to remain relevant.

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2 minutes ago, The Great Dane said:

It is not Australian Rugby League's job to sell Rugby League to the masses in England, and it's a sad indictment on English RL that it's reliant on internationals to remain relevant.

I have to say it seems that you have pretty much missed the entire point of my post.

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2 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I have to say it seems that you have pretty much missed the entire point of my post.

Nope I haven't missed it at all.

I'm just pointing out that if RL was more relevant in the UK then they wouldn't need the Kangaroos constantly touring to know that RL is one of the biggest sports in Australia.

I'm also pointing out that RL in the UK is over reliant on internationals, but that's an aside. 

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8 minutes ago, The Great Dane said:

Nope I haven't missed it at all.

I'm just pointing out that if RL was more relevant in the UK then they wouldn't need the Kangaroos constantly touring to know that RL is one of the biggest sports in Australia.

I'm also pointing out that RL in the UK is over reliant on internationals, but that's an aside. 

You need to understand that in national terms RL's heartland in the UK is roughly equivalent to SA and WA.  If Australia had a regional sport concentrated in SA and WA but hardly known in the rest of the country it would be in more or less the same boat as RL in the UK.

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You get  the tours back with a Pommy team that can win their share of tournaments and the interest will rebuild. Interest in internationals  against England has waned because we know we will win. Thats why I don`t mind Poms in the NRL , its going to make you more competitive.

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3 hours ago, gingerjon said:

OBVIOUSLY IT IS HANDBALL

Err, Handball is third I believe, behind Steindowning and Football. 

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My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 

 

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1 hour ago, Big Picture said:

You need to understand that in national terms RL's heartland in the UK is roughly equivalent to SA and WA.  If Australia had a regional sport concentrated in SA and WA but hardly known in the rest of the country it would be in more or less the same boat as RL in the UK.

I understand all that, however RL's failure to have any significant growth outside of it's heartland in the UK is only the responsibility of the people in power of RL in the UK and not anybody else's. The same goes for RL in Australia, or anywhere else for that matter.

Australian RL has almost completely failed to grow the sport in any significant way outside of NSW, QLD, and the ACT. It's our responsibility to grow the sport in Vic, WA, SA, TAS, NT, etc, not anybody else's, and excuse making and subtly trying to shift that responsibility onto other people is a large part of the reason why attempts at growth have failed.

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The ignorance of RL in Australia is just another consequence of the unbreakable association of the game here with the North of England. Some of our prominent commentators don`t help. They give the impression that any RL outside the M-62 corridor is unusual, even unnatural or a bit quirky. (Is RL played in Jamaica? well I never... Serbia? haha, whatever next?).

It`s not just us. Most Aussie media cover RL as an exclusively Australian game. Some comments seem to regard England and New Zealand as having recently taken up the game.

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Interestingly we have a lot of Aussies who come to Western Canada to work in the tourism industry (although obviously not now). They are your typical middle class backpacker kids and I have had numerous come into my store as customers (they like their liquor). From time to time I have struck up conversations with them, I only ever encountered one RL fan (she followed the Roosters), and if you used these guys as a benchmark you would think that the ARU is substantially bigger and more powerful than the ARL, and the NRL is merely a feeder competition to RU, so it shows how, with nothing much else to provide counter evidence (remember that until COVID the NRL was hidden away on a subscription ghetto channel) people can get a distorted picture. It just says to me that it is 1. Really important to have regular international’s and 2. Get RL regularly on easy accessible TV channels, even if that may mean a lower TV deal.

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2 hours ago, Oldbear said:

It just says to me that it is 1. Really important to have regular international’s and 2. Get RL regularly on easy accessible TV channels, even if that may mean a lower TV deal.

Hopefully every game of next year’s World Cup being shown live by the BBC (roughly half and half terrestrial and streaming) will help.

I’d like to see the next Super League TV deal include some games on terrestrial - even if it’s just a handful a year to preserve the exclusivity value with the primary broadcaster - with a highlights programme shown nationally at a time useful people can watch.

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If you want a bit of whataboutery to cheer you up, RU here is dying on its ######.  Ten years ago they were signing the likes of Sailor and Tuqiri. Now just about every state is being kept afloat by internationals, the Wallabies are now punching about their weight (i.e. some way behind NZ) and the "Super Rugby" concept has been binned because frankly nobody cares about watching anything anything other than Aus and NZ sides.  A real problem for RU is that it has no club competition of note, so there are only the remaining 4 state teams to follow (hence needing an Aus-NZ comp to even make a viable competition).

The other big difference with the UK is the level of fair weather support entirely dependent on success. When they held the World Cup here, it seriously looked as though RU could supercede RL - everyone was suddenly a Wallaby supporter.  However, as the Wallabies have faded so has interest in RU. Players like John Eales were household names - I doubt many people could name a Wallaby now (maybe Kurtley Beale - Folau had the highest profile before he left). 

Here in Aus the main enemy is AFL. That sport is far bigger in terms of crowds and revenues than RL (they can regularly fill get 80k+ to the MCG), and has the cash to seed and support clubs in RL heartlands (now 2 in Sydney and 2 in south-east Queensland).  If you were to jump forward 30 years you wouldn't be surprised if AFL were the dominant sport.

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24 minutes ago, BrisbaneRhino said:

If you want a bit of whataboutery to cheer you up, RU here is dying on its ######.  Ten years ago they were signing the likes of Sailor and Tuqiri. Now just about every state is being kept afloat by internationals, the Wallabies are now punching about their weight (i.e. some way behind NZ) and the "Super Rugby" concept has been binned because frankly nobody cares about watching anything anything other than Aus and NZ sides.  A real problem for RU is that it has no club competition of note, so there are only the remaining 4 state teams to follow (hence needing an Aus-NZ comp to even make a viable competition).

The other big difference with the UK is the level of fair weather support entirely dependent on success. When they held the World Cup here, it seriously looked as though RU could supercede RL - everyone was suddenly a Wallaby supporter.  However, as the Wallabies have faded so has interest in RU. Players like John Eales were household names - I doubt many people could name a Wallaby now (maybe Kurtley Beale - Folau had the highest profile before he left). 

Here in Aus the main enemy is AFL. That sport is far bigger in terms of crowds and revenues than RL (they can regularly fill get 80k+ to the MCG), and has the cash to seed and support clubs in RL heartlands (now 2 in Sydney and 2 in south-east Queensland).  If you were to jump forward 30 years you wouldn't be surprised if AFL were the dominant sport.

Yeah RU is dead in Aus, they couldn’t even pick a TV deal last thing I heard. I doubt the Aussie Super Rugby clubs will last much longer, they’re broke and so is the ARU. Suli Vunivalu was meant to be going to SR next year but I don’t even think that’s happening now. AFL is the only major competition the NRL is competing against and although it is on top in most categories the NRL is keeping up with the AFL in TV ratings. I’ve noticed AFL is starting to get more of a presence in QLD as the lions are doing better than usual, but when the QLD teams aren’t doing well you barely hear anyone talking about it. If I was the NRL I’ll be expanding to WA as well as another Brisbane team in 2022. 

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9 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

I understand all that, however RL's failure to have any significant growth outside of it's heartland in the UK is only the responsibility of the people in power of RL in the UK and not anybody else's. The same goes for RL in Australia, or anywhere else for that matter.

Australian RL has almost completely failed to grow the sport in any significant way outside of NSW, QLD, and the ACT. It's our responsibility to grow the sport in Vic, WA, SA, TAS, NT, etc, not anybody else's, and excuse making and subtly trying to shift that responsibility onto other people is a large part of the reason why attempts at growth have failed.

It is remarkably difficult to spread a sport out of its heartlands...almost impossible.

 

Think about it. RL is where it always has been. Union is the same. Scottish Borders, Wales, S-W England. Unions outposts in the North are poorly supported.

 

Baseball has not taken one territory it was not active in decades ago. The US, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, some Latin states and that is it....just as it was decades ago.   Same for Cricket. American football has never really spread despite all the publicity and money.

 

The only sports that have managed to thrive are soccer and basketball.both remarkably cheap and easy to play and supported by the imperial might of the UK and then USA as they spread. so cool attractive and above all easy and cheap.

 

RL is not "easy" to play and needs to be coached etc. It is not going to spread significantly outside its heartland. The real key is to preserve that heartland.

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Your average Brit has no idea that RL is a big sport in Oz.  They do know/think cricket, aussie rules and union are.  RL in Oz has a tiny profile outside RL fans.  It's odd as Sydney has a big profile but for some reason RL isn't seen as a part of it. Not in the same way that Aussie Rules is with Melbourne.  I think the poor live crowds at regular home games don't help.

Edited by Tre Cool

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38 minutes ago, Tre Cool said:

Your average Brit has no idea that RL is a big sport in Oz.  They do know/think cricket, aussie rules and union are.  RL in Oz has a tiny profile outside RL fans.  It's odd as Sydney has a big profile but for some reason RL isn't seen as a part of it. Not in the same way that Aussie Rules is with Melbourne.  I think the poor live crowds at regular home games don't help.

How can poor (in your view) crowds at RL games in Australia impact the average Englishman’s view of the game there? At least NRL is on Sky every week, unlike Aussie Rules. 

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12 minutes ago, Eddie said:

How can poor (in your view) crowds at RL games in Australia impact the average Englishman’s view of the game there? At least NRL is on Sky every week, unlike Aussie Rules. 

I would suggest the huge crowds and colourful/tribal nature of Aussie Rules in Melbourne has promoted the sport as a significant and interesting part of the city and is on the radar of your average Brit who knows anything about Melbourne.  Even if they haven't been there.  RL in Sydney just doesn't have the same cultural impact on outsiders view of Sydney.  Small, suburban crowds I would think don't help that.  Anyone who goes to Sydney can't help but notice how big RL is as it's all over the media and TV locally.  But ask someone to name a few interesting, cultural things about Sydney and RL isn't going to pop up in many heads. I'm sure there's more reasons for this too.  

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24 minutes ago, Eddie said:

At least NRL is on Sky every week, unlike Aussie Rules. 

AFL is on BT and was on ESPN before that.


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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27 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

AFL is on BT and was on ESPN before that.

Fair enough, I didn’t know that! 

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2 hours ago, Tre Cool said:

I would suggest the huge crowds and colourful/tribal nature of Aussie Rules in Melbourne has promoted the sport as a significant and interesting part of the city and is on the radar of your average Brit who knows anything about Melbourne.  Even if they haven't been there.

I'm not sure about that to be honest. When I think of Melbourne it's (first three not necessarily in order): tennis (Aussie Open), F1 Grand Prix, cricket (MCG), and lastly Melbourne Storm (more from being on here, I suppose). Aussie Rules doesn't even come in to my thoughts at all. I reckon that would be the same for most Brits.

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We get a lot of Aussies coming to Canada, especially the West Coast, if you asked the average Canadian to rank sports in order of importance in Australia (giving them a list) they would so

1. Soccer ( because they saw them in the World Cup)

2. RU (again seen in the World Cup)

3 F1 (the Grand Prix is on TV)

4 Aussie Rules (because a bunch of backpackers from Melbourne worked in the local bars)

5 Cricket (those same backpackers talk about it)

6 RL ( didn’t even know this sport existed till Sportsnet started showing games due to COVID). I have actually had people tell me they have now seen that sport that I blabber on about and they think it’s great.

Once again that list is influenced by TV and personal experience, and by the way most west coast Canadians, if they visit Australia, tend to go to Melbourne.

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There was another question about RL on eggheads today (first episode I've watched in years), a female egghead, never seen her before, was asked, "The Canterbury Bulldogs are an Australian team that play which sport?" Rugby Union, Aussie rules or rugby league. Almost without hesitation she said rugby league. 

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Sports that have genuine regular International competitions create interest and therefore knowledge of those sports , those that don't , don't 

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On 02/07/2020 at 11:15, noobiefana said:

It is remarkably difficult to spread a sport out of its heartlands...almost impossible.

The only sports that have managed to thrive are soccer and basketball.both remarkably cheap and easy to play and supported by the imperial might of the UK and then USA as they spread. so cool attractive and above all easy and cheap.

 

RL is not "easy" to play and needs to be coached etc. It is not going to spread significantly outside its heartland. The real key is to preserve that heartland.

Correct , both football and basketball can be played ( practised ) on your own or any number up to the full compliment of a team , most other sports ( team ) require significant numbers to play or even practice them 

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On 02/07/2020 at 20:15, noobiefana said:

It is remarkably difficult to spread a sport out of its heartlands...almost impossible.

 

Think about it. RL is where it always has been. Union is the same. Scottish Borders, Wales, S-W England. Unions outposts in the North are poorly supported.

 

Baseball has not taken one territory it was not active in decades ago. The US, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, some Latin states and that is it....just as it was decades ago.   Same for Cricket. American football has never really spread despite all the publicity and money.

 

The only sports that have managed to thrive are soccer and basketball.both remarkably cheap and easy to play and supported by the imperial might of the UK and then USA as they spread. so cool attractive and above all easy and cheap.

 

RL is not "easy" to play and needs to be coached etc. It is not going to spread significantly outside its heartland. The real key is to preserve that heartland.

I’m not saying it’s easy, nothing worth doing is, but it’s obviously possible otherwise RL never would have expanded outside of England.

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On 02/07/2020 at 11:15, noobiefana said:

RL is not "easy" to play and needs to be coached etc. It is not going to spread significantly outside its heartland. The real key is to preserve that heartland.

What does that mean in reality though? Does it mean not spending a single penny on expansion? Or are you calling for sensible spending on expansion, so as not to put the heartlands at risk?

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