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7 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Because it was obvious nonsense?

Next time the challenge cup crowds come up lets wait and see till we get the usual excuses for why its poor. People go to Catalans, Magic and the Grand Final etc, all perfect examples of how we're selling to the same people (in general terms) rather than a broader spectrum.

Doesn't matter, a few days at Ally Pally or good tickets at the boxing cost as much as a full super league season ticket - and are aimed at the same market. 

No, you claimed we have had the same 50 to 70k people each week. That is just wrong, and you claim my post was nonsense? Come on mate. 

I don't disagree with the principle in the 2nd para, and we need to widen our scope, but it is what everyone does in the main and our numbers are far bigger than people will realise. Aren't the OurLeague member numbers almost at 200k for example, and that won't be all fans? Plus the viewers on BBC of c1m. Our footprint is nowhere near as small as people suggest, we just aren't particularly good at converting them into attending paying customers. We have eyeballs, we need to get them off their sofas. 

When we are talking crowd sizes it is fair to highlight that we dwarf darts. Let's see darts try and put 30 weekly rounds on across 18 venues a week and see what they get. But if we want to turn it to income, let's also compare sponsorship and tv deals, we also dwarf them there too. Its an odd thing to aspire to be as successful as a far smaller sport. I'm being a bit facetious there as I acknowledge that darts has done a great job but we can't compare their crowds and media deal to ours favourably. 

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10 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I agree a lot with that mate, its deeply problematic attitude.

That said a lot of purist fans do like this stuff and value players based on this stuff. "He works hard" is a common phrase on the terraces!

I think there is a place for both, as I say I enjoy that stuff and the stats that go with it, but the way it has consumed all areas of the game has led to a more Conservative game in SL and I'd rather we don't celebrate that too much. 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I think there is a place for both, as I say I enjoy that stuff and the stats that go with it, but the way it has consumed all areas of the game has led to a more Conservative game in SL and I'd rather we don't celebrate that too much. 

I much prefer the line break , offload stats , really couldn't care less how many yards anybody runs 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

No, you claimed we have had the same 50 to 70k people each week. That is just wrong, and you claim my post was nonsense? Come on mate. 

I don't disagree with the principle in the 2nd para, and we need to widen our scope, but it is what everyone does in the main and our numbers are far bigger than people will realise. Aren't the OurLeague member numbers almost at 200k for example, and that won't be all fans? Plus the viewers on BBC of c1m. Our footprint is nowhere near as small as people suggest, we just aren't particularly good at converting them into attending paying customers. We have eyeballs, we need to get them off their sofas. 

When we are talking crowd sizes it is fair to highlight that we dwarf darts. Let's see darts try and put 30 weekly rounds on across 18 venues a week and see what they get. But if we want to turn it to income, let's also compare sponsorship and tv deals, we also dwarf them there too. Its an odd thing to aspire to be as successful as a far smaller sport. I'm being a bit facetious there as I acknowledge that darts has done a great job but we can't compare their crowds and media deal to ours favourably. 

Fair enough.

I don't think our problem is eyeballs, its perception and to some extent perception of those eyeballs. Its why our commercial deals are small.

I think that is missing the point about say darts. What they have done is take something and made it entertainment. They've built events for that purpose alone, not to appease any secondary concerns or vested interests.

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38 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

In an interview he is essentially saying that soring tries is him on the end of good team play and his metres is his contribution to the team effort.  I think that is fair enough.

Of course, I think my point is more about the fact these are the articles we get, rather than players talking about the euphoria of scoring a try in front of packed crowds and following in the footsteps of legendary wingers from history. There's nowt wrong in the article, it's more the culture of us focusing on graft above skill. Maybe it's why we got nil in the WC final. I'm not entirely serious on that last point. 

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18 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Fair enough.

I don't think our problem is eyeballs, its perception and to some extent perception of those eyeballs. Its why our commercial deals are small.

I think that is missing the point about say darts. What they have done is take something and made it entertainment. They've built events for that purpose alone, not to appease any secondary concerns or vested interests.

I'm out walking so can only lightly touch on the darts point, but it is important to remember the different starting points. If we take the formation of SL and the Sky/PDC birth as the comparison, Darts wasn't a spectator sport as such other than the World's. They went from 1 to maybe 5 on the scale of spectator sports.

We were already above that level, with tens of thousands of fans watching for most of the year. But we did make necessary changes. I think people forget the changes we made at the start of SL. We rebrabded, moved to summer, we moved clubs down, moved clubs up and even created new clubs, focused on kids being free or cheap, made it a match day experience, video refs, fireworks, improved facilities out of sight, music, cheerleaders, improved catering, more games on telly, introduced playoffs and Grand Final, banished archaic County cups, Reduced games to focus on quality, introduced Magic, delivered expanded world cups etc. Now you know my views that much of this has been implemented average at best and with a lack of patience, but that is generally down to cold hard cash. I think there is a lot more we should be doing, but I think a fals narrative has been created that other sports have modernised and RL has not changed. It has made many many changes, some worked, some didn't, we need to do more and constantly evolve, but we don't need to be quite so hard on ourselves. RL has modernised out of sight from 1994.

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3 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

But RL does rely on the same 50-60K people going to games and events like Magic. 

You need to provide evidence mate, because we are told that we get up to 10k locals wherever it has been based (and it has been to various cities), and I've been with various people who don't go to regular games, and I won't be the only one. 

Also, I'm not sure why it is a surprise that a major RL event attracts RL fans. 

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47 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Indeed.  But Offiah scored 37 tries in the league in the 1988-89 season.   A season in which Widnes played 26 games.  And Makinson scored 23 tries in the league in a season in which Saints played 29 games.

And Saints in 2019 scored more points per game in 2019 than Widnes did in 1988-89.

But in the same season that Makinson did that Grace scored 20 tries in 20 games too. That's a pretty perfect spread between the 2 wingers. That was certainly not the case in the Widnes team that Offiah played in.

Also lets not forget that Denny Solomona scored 40 tries in 27 games in 2016.

For me there are statistical anomalies that can be pointed too but I see little that has changed. Often it just depends on a teams style of play.

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51 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

I much prefer the line break , offload stats , really couldn't care less how many yards anybody runs 

One of my favourite players to watch has been Lee Briers. His passing ability was genuinely world class and can't be quantified on a spreadsheet. 

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11 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Of course, I think my point is more about the fact these are the articles we get, rather than players talking about the euphoria of scoring a try in front of packed crowds and following in the footsteps of legendary wingers from history. There's nowt wrong in the article, it's more the culture of us focusing on graft above skill. Maybe it's why we got nil in the WC final. I'm not entirely serious on that last point. 

We have to dig deep into the article to find the comment on metres made though... the headline literally reads "Leeds Rhinos try machine Ash Handley sets sights on England World Cup call-up".

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

But in the same season that Makinson did that Grace scored 20 tries in 20 games too. That's a pretty perfect spread between the 2 wingers. That was certainly not the case in the Widnes team that Offiah played in.

Also lets not forget that Denny Solomona scored 40 tries in 27 games in 2016.

For me there are statistical anomalies that can be pointed too but I see little that has changed. Often it just depends on a teams style of play.

We should also remember that Offiah was a better player than all these mentioned. He was a freak. When a half break was made, he was there, there is no reason to think he wouldn't do that nowadays if he was young enough. 

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

We have to dig deep into the article to find the comment on metres made though... the headline literally reads "Leeds Rhinos try machine Ash Handley sets sights on England World Cup call-up".

To be fair, I was going off the twitter headline from the YEP.

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2 minutes ago, Damien said:

But in the same season that Makinson did that Grace scored 20 tries in 20 games too. That's a pretty perfect spread between the 2 wingers. That was certainly not the case in the Widnes team that Offiah played in.

Also lets not forget that Denny Solomona scored 40 tries in 27 games in 2016.

For me there are statistical anomalies that can be pointed too but I see little that has changed. Often it just depends on a teams style of play.

Yes, this is the point I am making if you read back through the thread.  I pointed out in response to a comment that try scoring is harder now as defences are better and more organised that modern teams score more points per game than teams in 1988-89.  But then you have the likes of Offiah scoring many more than an individual player scores today.  Is that evidence that Offiah is better than any modern player or that attacking structures have changed (probably a bit of both). 

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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39 minutes ago, Dave T said:

We should also remember that Offiah was a better player than all these mentioned. He was a freak. When a half break was made, he was there, there is no reason to think he wouldn't do that nowadays if he was young enough. 

This could actually be a complete thread of its own. I have actually watched a lot of clips of Offiah lately and its pretty incredible how often he followed the ball and wasn't on the wing. He literally was all over the pitch just poaching for a chance. His speed and change of direction was something else. He was also a damn site braver than I remember at the time and if he had a sniff of a try he would completely put his body on the line.

I actually don't think in the modern game that he would be as effective. In terms of sheer athleticism he looked streets ahead of some of those he was up against, that certainly wouldn't be the case today and the gap would be closed somewhat. There are plenty of players from yesteryear that I don't think would make it in todays game and sometimes footage looks very dated. Offiah isn't one of them and he would be just as much a superstar today as he was then. 

He really did have that superstar quality, even just listening to him he sounds like a big star that transcends the sport. RL is missing that these days. This is a pretty good watch if you have a hour to kill:

The Martin Offiah Story - YouTube

As an aside I have a whole new found appreciation of that Widnes side, they were an incredible team. One of the best ever. As a young Wigan fan at that time I don't think I quite appreciated how good they actually were at the time.

Edited by Damien
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45 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

But RL does rely on the same 50-60K people going to games and events like Magic. 

As I put earlier , Mr former neighbour , 2 matches in 2017 , Leigh at Catalan and magic ? 

So no , we do have fans who pick out the event , plenty who spend their money on a ST will watch those on TV 

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37 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Yes, this is the point I am making if you read back through the thread.  I pointed out in response to a comment that try scoring is harder now as defences are better and more organised that modern teams score more points per game than teams in 1988-89.  But then you have the likes of Offiah scoring many more than an individual player scores today.  Is that evidence that Offiah is better than any modern player or that attacking structures have changed (probably a bit of both). 

Yes I was agreeing with you really.

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2 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Not sure that's what I was arguing. The people who go to RL games, be that the SLGF, internationals or whatever are largely the same people.

You stated it's the same going week in week out that attend the events , as I've just pointed out , it isn't 

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35 minutes ago, Damien said:

This could actually be a complete thread of its own. I have actually watched a lot of clips of Offiah lately and its pretty incredible how often he followed the ball and wasn't on the wing. He literally was all over the pitch just poaching for a chance. His speed and change of direction was something else. He was also a damn site braver than I remember at the time and if he had a sniff of a try he would completely put his body on the line.

I actually don't think in the modern game that he would be as effective. In terms of sheer athleticism he looked streets ahead of some of those he was up against, that certainly wouldn't be the case today and the gap would be closed somewhat. There are plenty of players from yesteryear that I don't think would make it in todays game and sometimes footage looks very dated. Offiah isn't one of them and he would be just as much a superstar today as he was then. 

He really did have that superstar quality, even just listening to him he sounds like a big star that transcends the sport. RL is missing that these days. This is a pretty good watch if you have a hour to kill:

The Martin Offiah Story - YouTube

As an aside I have a whole new found appreciation of that Widnes side, they were an incredible team. One of the best ever. As a young Wigan fan at that time I don't think I quite appreciated how good they actually were at the time.

Funnily enough, I think this thread could be about 8 different threads, and despite a fair bit of discussion about other sports it's nice to see its remained unlocked and pretty interesting. 

I think with Offiah he would be good for those 20 to 30 tries that top SL wingers get, but they don't do the extras that he did like the popping up on the shoulder, so I do think he'd be good for 40 a year. Maybe modern coaching would limit him, but even back then other wingers did stick to the wing when he was all over the pitch. 

There is definitely a point about the broken defences when you look back, but I think he'd be a roaring success today. 

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Funnily enough, I think this thread could be about 8 different threads, and despite a fair bit of discussion about other sports it's nice to see its remained unlocked and pretty interesting. 

I think with Offiah he would be good for those 20 to 30 tries that top SL wingers get, but they don't do the extras that he did like the popping up on the shoulder, so I do think he'd be good for 40 a year. Maybe modern coaching would limit him, but even back then other wingers did stick to the wing when he was all over the pitch. 

There is definitely a point about the broken defences when you look back, but I think he'd be a roaring success today. 

It is interesting to speculate about how much Offiah would have to change or adapt his game if he were playing in the modern era.  I agree that his try scoring, support play and elusive running would be a stand out today.  But picking up on an earlier part of the discussion, would he have the high work rate and carries expected of modern wingers - or would a good coach find a way to use him regardless... would his broken field running suit full back in the modern game maybe.

Funnily enough, a winger who would actually suit the modern game and may even be better now than he was in his prime is Jason Robinson.  He was one of the first to really work hard coming away from his line... Offiah himself references it in this article "He had enormous skill and was one of the first of the modern wingers who got to dummy-half and did a lot of work."

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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23 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

 would his broken field running suit full back in the modern game maybe.

Funnily enough, a winger who would actually suit the modern game and may even be better now than he was in his prime is Jason Robinson.  

The late 80s/early 90s was the period when teams started kicking on last tackle more often for distance and less often for the touchline. Players like Offiah and Robinson were able to exploit any weaknesses in the chase. Nowadays the kick-chase is so well-organised it suffocates kick returns.

Getting rid of the back-to-one after a charge down rule would enable defenders to mount more effective kick pressure. In response the kicker would either have to stand deeper, or risk a rushed ill-directed kick. Either way the result should be more time and space for the back three to work with on kick returns.

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I'm a touch confused as to why people think it is a negative that the sports' fan-base are those who to matches each week. Of course they are. It's the same as the other club sports. 

But the number is far bigger than the critics of this make out. Some of the bigger clubs probably have around 50 to 60k people around their towns that have been to a game. 

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A lot has been added on this thread since my last contribution and I haven’t read all of it, but, taking on board a comment earlier that there have been about 8 threads within this thread, I’m heading back to the spectacle of our game.

 @Dave T you also mentioned that within a major town club there will 50-60k fans that would have attended, I similarly suggested that Cronulla Sharks have over 100k supporters after it was proposed by another poster, that moving the club would result in little lost.

The key to your comment and relating back to the original post, is that people are consuming live events very differently than was the case 20, 30, 40+ years ago. I would hazard a guess that there is a far higher percentage of supporters that attend <50% of their chosen club’s home fixtures than there were historically. 

I put this down to the competition for the favoured form of entertainment never being higher, an undisputed topic long discussed on this forum. Again, I will draw back to the original post... relying on the match alone to be the big drawcard or “drama” is not enough. RL needs to further dramatise the events that are taking part on the pitch. 

The NRL doesn’t get it 100% correct. I think every club in Sydney should be averaging 20k minimum for home games. That they are not, tells me that the sport and the clubs are not suitably dramatising their product to their large supporter bases. So much so, in my opinion, any home game can only draw consistently about 15-25% of its supporter base. 

I dismissed the WC from my opening post in order to focus on SL, but, that was a mistake. There is no reasonable reason why the 2021 RLWC cannot be utilised to promote the 2021 SL season.

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3 hours ago, Dave T said:

We should also remember that Offiah was a better player than all these mentioned. He was a freak. When a half break was made, he was there, there is no reason to think he wouldn't do that nowadays if he was young enough. 

I tend to agree but nowadays wingers are used as battering rams coming out from their 10 yards lines.  Suspect that impacts their focus in training (as in weights and physicality) and capabilities as the game wears on.

For me its one of the unfortunate changes to the game in that even the backs have to be capable of being battering rams - maybe a slight exaggeration....

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10 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

It’s not the same at all though. You’re trying to argue that it’s obvious that RL fans go to RL matches, which is true. But for its bigger events, like Magic and the CC Final and Internationals it needs to appeal to a wider fan base. But the crowds at Magic, Internationals and CCF show that this just isn’t happening.

The same people who go to regular games are relied upon to fill big stadiums, whereas other sports can get more casual punters who might not normally bother. Try getting a ticket for England RU at Twickenham for example or the Wimbledon finals (who definitely don’t rely on regular tennis fans) 

Look at the RLWC semi in 2013, that was an occasion where allegedly a fair percentage of the crowd was ‘local’ to Wembley. But what happened by way of follow up? Nothing. Hence those people drift away and RL relies on the same old people cos it’s an easier option. 

I think we have a real weakness with our international game, and that is around scheduling and consistency of scheduling. When we stage games we often tap into this event market (not always I will add, but I put that down to alck of continuity and some unambitious scheduling). You mention the semi final and it is a good example, as are the Tri and Four Nations games in London - when we stage them we do tap into these populations, it's why I think the growth is most likely to come from the internationals, a point I made in one of my first posts on this thread. 

I think we have a regular audience I. E. Those who go to regular SL rounds at Wigan, Leeds, St Helens etc. and many of these will go to events, but then we do also have an event population who would maybe never go to a regular game, but enjoy the finals and internationals. I think that's the same as other sports, but their international schedule actually allows for momentum to be built up. We are always starting from scratch. 

It is clear when you do attend a test match in London that we are able to tap into the event crowds, but you're right in that we haven't capitalised on 2013. It's a shame as the Test at Spurs scheduled for 2020 could have been awesome leading into a World Cup year with a game at Arsenal. 

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20 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

It’s not the same at all though. You’re trying to argue that it’s obvious that RL fans go to RL matches, which is true. But for its bigger events, like Magic and the CC Final and Internationals it needs to appeal to a wider fan base. But the crowds at Magic, Internationals and CCF show that this just isn’t happening.

The same people who go to regular games are relied upon to fill big stadiums, whereas other sports can get more casual punters who might not normally bother. Try getting a ticket for England RU at Twickenham for example or the Wimbledon finals (who definitely don’t rely on regular tennis fans) 

Look at the RLWC semi in 2013, that was an occasion where allegedly a fair percentage of the crowd was ‘local’ to Wembley. But what happened by way of follow up? Nothing. Hence those people drift away and RL relies on the same old people cos it’s an easier option. 

It’s criminal, in the 7 years since that semi final England have played 1 fixture in London, the attendance for that game was 35,569. Why don’t we play more Internationals in the Capital?

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