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20 hours ago, Dunbar said:

This is a remarkable revisionist version of Rugby League's history.

Rugby League did not spread because of the Empire. The mechanics for spreading union and cricket (armed forced, 'colonial classes') banned the sport of Rugby League and so the institutions that would have spread the game were its most vehement opponents.

Rugby League arrived in Australia and subsequently New Zealand in spite of the Empire, not because of it.

RL didn’t “arrive” in Aus, it is a by product of RU being played in Aus. Without the Empire, there is no “rugby” in Aus. 

https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/rugby-league-splits-from-rugby-union

Rugby football quickly spread to other such schools across the country. Ex-public schoolboys continued to play in adulthood, travelling to matches on the rapidly expanding train network. As they took up roles as administrators in the British Empire, rugby spread around the world.

A meeting in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire on 29 August that year between 21 clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union, or Northern Union. 

At the same time in New South Wales, rugby was growing in popularity and many players shared the frustrations of their English counterparts.”

 

 

The footprint of RL (Eng, Aus, NZ, Pacific islands) is a junior version of the footprint of RU. Is it an establishment footprint like RU? No, as you gave alluded to with the armed forces/colonial administrators comment. It’s a rebellious footprint, but one that wouldn’t exist without the British game of “rugby” being spread to British expats throughout the Empire. 

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Constant tinkering with the rules and a never ending quest to speed up the game and eliminate stoppages can't possibly help.

Are you serious?  Do you really think everyone is that fickle? People need to realise, that not every match is a grand final.  And even grand finals can end up being lopsided.  2008 for example,

Despite yesterday's flogging, I am not writing off the Rabbitohs either, who were missing half their team for this match:  Latrell Mitchell, Adam Reynolds, Cam Murray, Josh Mansour, Campbell Graham, J

20 hours ago, Barley Mow said:

You are correct that league certainly wasn't spread through the institutions of the empire in the same way as union and cricket. However, if it wasn't for the less formal, familial type bonds of Australians, New Zealanders and Brits, would the game have spread?

The All Golds tour would not have come to the UK in 1907 if it were not for the informal 'bond of empire' links that many people had as individuals and communities (and indeed still do have). If that tour (or a similar one) hadn't happened, would the game have spread to the southern hemisphere?

Nobody from Brazil, for example, decided to tour the UK to play against the Northern Union teams in the early 20th century. Such a tour from New Zealand or Australia was always much more likely because of the links of empire.

So although it was private initiative rather than an organised empire-wide spread, the fact that the UK, Australia and New Zealand are all Commonwealth countries did have an impact.

Precisely.

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20 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Whilst RL is definitely a game moulded by antiestablishmentarianism, that doesn’t dismiss the fact that RL is a product of and dominated by nations of the British Empire.

100%.

Perhaps I used the wrong term by referring to RL as a “British Empire” game in a manner that both RU are cricket are, a distinction which Dunbar made. RL is a by product of Empire. Take out the Empire, that British activity where one bloke throws the ball backwards to another bloke doesn’t get the enormous leg up in being spread to British expats in far flung places around the globe. 

Ultimately this refutes The Future is League bragging about Aussie Rules not being international. The Aussies just never had an Empire to spread it.

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13 minutes ago, DC77 said:

RL didn’t “arrive” in Aus, it is a by product of RU being played in Aus. Without the Empire, there is no “rugby” in Aus. 

https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/rugby-league-splits-from-rugby-union

Rugby football quickly spread to other such schools across the country. Ex-public schoolboys continued to play in adulthood, travelling to matches on the rapidly expanding train network. As they took up roles as administrators in the British Empire, rugby spread around the world.

A meeting in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire on 29 August that year between 21 clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union, or Northern Union. 

At the same time in New South Wales, rugby was growing in popularity and many players shared the frustrations of their English counterparts.”

 

 

The footprint of RL (Eng, Aus, NZ, Pacific islands) is a junior version of the footprint of RU. Is it an establishment footprint like RU? No, as you gave alluded to with the armed forces/colonial administrators comment. It’s a rebellious footprint, but one that wouldn’t exist without the British game of “rugby” being spread to British expats throughout the Empire. 

A couple of points to make.

Firstly, while I have already agreed that the cultural alignment between the UK and Australia would have been very beneficial for the spread of 'rugby' it was by no means mandatory.  If so, how do we explain the popularity of both codes of rugby in France?

Secondly.  Rugby League (or its Northern Union predecessor) was formed in the UK in 1895 and yet the Australian counterpart did not form until 1908, some 13 years later.  Part of the drive for this formation was the 'All Golds' tour of the UK from Australasia.

Do you think it is conceivable that both the UK and Australia saw a split from the amateur game of rugby and created the professional version entirely independent of each other?  Of course not, it was the changes in the UK that provided the catalyst for the changes in Australia and so it is entirely correct to say that Rugby League 'arrived' in Australia.

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3 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

If so, how do we explain the popularity of both codes of rugby in France?

Because a lot of Brits were resident in France and brought the game with them?

Something I'm only vaguely aware of and would be sort of interested in knowing more about is that rugby union was played to a reasonable standard and with a decent(ish) spread across a fair chunk of Europe before the second world war but then retrenched significantly afterwards leaving, really, France (obvs), Italy and Romania, and to a much lesser extent Spain.

What happened to the rest?

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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The average game winning margin increased over the weekend with an average of 19.75.

Three games won by six points or less, two of which were in my opinion the most entertaining matches of the round. Thrilling defence in Cows v Broncs and great end to end with SE v Warriors.

Didn’t watch all of Sharks and didn’t bother with even watching highlights of the rest.

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6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Didn’t watch all of Sharks and didn’t bother with even watching highlights of the rest.

Which means you missed a lot of terrific RL.

Maybe your base of knowledge precludes a full enjoyment of the game. You can only get caught up in the superficially exciting aspects of tight finishes.

If so, your proposed digital tryst with The Rocket could be reciprocally didactic. - You strengthen his chances of a master`s degree in Papuan Aussie Rules; he deepens and widens your RL acumen.

I believe in tolerance. Your sins are venial. A mind scrambled by the pandemonium of AFL will naturally struggle to appreciate the higher sophistication of Rugby League Football.

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3 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Which means you missed a lot of terrific RL.

Maybe your base of knowledge precludes a full enjoyment of the game. You can only get caught up in the superficially exciting aspects of tight finishes.

If so, your proposed digital tryst with The Rocket could be reciprocally didactic. - You strengthen his chances of a master`s degree in Papuan Aussie Rules; he deepens and widens your RL acumen.

I believe in tolerance. Your sins are venial. A mind scrambled by the pandemonium of AFL will naturally struggle to appreciate the higher sophistication of Rugby League Football.

Didactic? who's being didactic? Lol.

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The Broncos were diabolical.

I have always advocated for expansion in the NRL and dismissed the argument that “there is not enough talent”.

My days, my evidence is getting very thin.

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8 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

The Broncos were diabolical.

I have always advocated for expansion in the NRL and dismissed the argument that “there is not enough talent”.

My days, my evidence is getting very thin.

Think Kevin Waters think terrible coach and there is the answer as to why the Broncos are in free fall.

Now read this

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/the-brisbane-nrl-expansion-bid-drawing-inspiration-from-the-la-lakers-20210513-p57rn4.html

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For me the biggest test V’Landys and the NRL faces is who’s going to be the 18th franchise.

For years I’ve been a big supporter and huge advocate for Perth to be the next taxi off the rank when it comes to expansion but due to recent developments in RU and more specifically the super rugby competitions in both NZ and Australia I’m now massively favouring NZ2.

With the massive drop-off in competitiveness from the Australian teams and the exiting of the South African sides all together from the competition I can only see a waning of interest from supporters in the super rugby Aotearoa competition with only 5 franchises in this league and that’s why I now support a NZ2 franchise preferably Christchurch over Perth for that 18th spot.

Strike whilst the iron is hot!!!

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On 12/05/2021 at 14:39, unapologetic pedant said:

Which means you missed a lot of terrific RL.

It`s very brave of you to defend the blow-outs but I have to admit that the only time I can really enjoy a lop-sided contest is if my team is the one handing out the shellacking and even that is tempered by the fact that it can only be against a team that I don`t really like, and that can vary from year to year.

If they were to put 50 on the Panthers I could quite enjoy that, a few years ago I may have felt sorry for them, likewise Manly, Broncos amongst others, it really depends where your opponent is on the ladder and how much you dislike them. 

I think most people are like myself, if they are a a neutral they will pick a team and hope for a close game, and only enjoy a flogging if they particularly dislike the other team, but at the end of the day one-sided contests are a turn-off and they are definitely not good for tv ratings.

 

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On 15/05/2021 at 21:42, Cumbrian Mackem said:

For me the biggest test V’Landys and the NRL faces is who’s going to be the 18th franchise.

For years I’ve been a big supporter and huge advocate for Perth to be the next taxi off the rank when it comes to expansion but due to recent developments in RU and more specifically the super rugby competitions in both NZ and Australia I’m now massively favouring NZ2.

With the massive drop-off in competitiveness from the Australian teams and the exiting of the South African sides all together from the competition I can only see a waning of interest from supporters in the super rugby Aotearoa competition with only 5 franchises in this league and that’s why I now support a NZ2 franchise preferably Christchurch over Perth for that 18th spot.

Strike whilst the iron is hot!!!

 

Really agree with this.
I never thought NZ2 would be a good choice but with both the ARU and NZRU facing financial issues and the growth of the game in NZ/the South Pacific I really think that it will be perfect timing.

Not to mention that Christchurch's new rugby stadium is supposed to be completed in 2025 and NZ2 are supposed to be entering in 2026...

Seems the NRL is actually planning ahead strategically, which I'm not used to after there last few decades.

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17 minutes ago, GreenAndGold said:

 

Really agree with this.
I never thought NZ2 would be a good choice but with both the ARU and NZRU facing financial issues and the growth of the game in NZ/the South Pacific I really think that it will be perfect timing.

Not to mention that Christchurch's new rugby stadium is supposed to be completed in 2025 and NZ2 are supposed to be entering in 2026...

Seems the NRL is actually planning ahead strategically, which I'm not used to after there last few decades.

The NZRU could be slightly tilting towards being more Allblacks centric what with the 17.5% selling off to a US private equity firm to the detriment of the domestic game which leaves a gap in the market for RL with a NZ2 NRL franchise.

Christchurch for me would be the perfect fit and like you say the new stadium will be complete in 2025 and at 25k is the perfect sized stadium.

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3 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I think most people are like myself, if they are a a neutral they will pick a team and hope for a close game, and only enjoy a flogging if they particularly dislike the other team, but at the end of the day one-sided contests are a turn-off and they are definitely not good for tv ratings.

For me, variety in and between games is what counts. 8 close contests every week would be no less homogeneous than 8 blow-outs. Plus variety within the two types. Low-scoring close contests differ from high-scoring close contests. And not every blow-out on the scoreboard is straightforwardly one-sided on the field, it depends how the game unfolds.

The recent Broncos/Titans game was one-sided in favour of the Titans for 15 minutes, then one-sided in favour of the Broncos for most of the rest of the game. Consequently, there was one score in it for only about 25 minutes of the 80. The game that`s currently being played was Cowboys 16 Knights 0 after 17 minutes, Cowboys 16 Knights 20 after 46 minutes.

The NRL is the shop window for RL globally. This should be considered too. Last weekend`s Storm/Dragons and Panthers/Titans games yielded fantastic highlights packages for the NRL on YouTube and social media. The lop-sided scorelines are irrelevant in this context. Spectacular, skilful play is far more likely to pique the interest of people around the world than tight wars of attrition. 

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All good points UP, and I had considered last week, perhaps I should have reviewed the number of fixtures a round where the winning margin was 16 points or more (what is a blowout winning margin?).

That in itself can cause its own issues where the blower, or the blown, may have scored a converted try in the last minute to reduce/increase the winning margin to beyond/under the “defined” 16 point marker.

Avg winning margin this round was 16.125.

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On 15/05/2021 at 12:42, Cumbrian Mackem said:

For me the biggest test V’Landys and the NRL faces is who’s going to be the 18th franchise.

For years I’ve been a big supporter and huge advocate for Perth to be the next taxi off the rank when it comes to expansion but due to recent developments in RU and more specifically the super rugby competitions in both NZ and Australia I’m now massively favouring NZ2.

With the massive drop-off in competitiveness from the Australian teams and the exiting of the South African sides all together from the competition I can only see a waning of interest from supporters in the super rugby Aotearoa competition with only 5 franchises in this league and that’s why I now support a NZ2 franchise preferably Christchurch over Perth for that 18th spot.

Strike whilst the iron is hot!!!

100% Agree

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5 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Avg winning margin this round was 16.125.

A couple of blowouts can blowout the average winning margin of a round.

For instance, I`m been agonizing about the effect Bulldogs 144 Saints 33 and Bombers 141 Kangaroos 69 could have on perceptions of AFL. Crowds and TV ratings were already tumbling. Big test for Gillon McLachan.

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Some of the scores are a bit embarrassing, it comes down to the simple fact that rubbish teams are no longer able to keep scores close by laying on in the tackle and doing everything they can to slow the game down.  Its highlighting a gap that already existed between top and bottom.  Some of the closer games are quite entertaining but between obviously poor teams. 

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2 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

How are the NRL viewing figures holding up compared to previous seasons? 

That would be interesting to know,personally in finding myself switching games off early and after last weeks latest clampdown/overreaction to high tackling I’m not even watching some games I’ve recorded.

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