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Castleford propose 8-a-side reserve league


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Someone raised this on the massive restructure thread but it soon got buried. I think it's worth a discussion, hence a separate thread

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/58088243

I hope people will give this some serious thought

1. It's something fresh and different, that gets a tick in the box from me when all we seem to get is stale old backwards-looking ideas

2. It enables fringe players to be able to play in potentially meaningful games rather than kicking their heels

3. At the same time it doesn't pointlessly drain a load of players out of the community clubs just so teams can have a 'reserve squad' when most of those players are simply making up the numbers

4. Hopefully would mean the end of 'dual reg'

Why not give it a try in 2022? 8-a-side games played as curtain raisers to SL games, 10 minutes each way. I'd turn up half an hour earlier to watch! And synchronise it so that the same two teams are playing as in the 'main match'

An alternative would be to extend half-time to 20 minutes and play 9 minutes each way during the break. There's no reason why clubs below SL couldn't do the same.

Don't get hung up on the 8-a-side... it could just as easily be 9-a-side

It's got to be worth trying

 

Edited by paulwalker71
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Also this just seems a sneaky way of getting out of having a proper, bona fide reserve competition to increase standards in Super League. I'm open to the general idea but for the right reasons. It certainly shouldn't be just to cut costs and not have reserves as SL clubs committed to.

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It sounds like an idea that was dreamt up whilst sat in a pub having a few drinks.

If you run it as a reserve comp then presumably it’s got to be on the basis of a series of matches at the same time at the same venue otherwise 10 mins each way & home we go.

Playing at the same time as the SL game will mean that clubs have to find more players for game day and it will be a 20 minute gimmick that will get postponed at the drop of a hat to protect the pitch. I remember when they tried to run the Academy games as pre main match and those were moved/ cancelled yet they have much more credibility

Before you ask I don’t know what the answer is and radical thinking is required which 8 aside definitely is

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12 minutes ago, LeeF said:

It sounds like an idea that was dreamt up whilst sat in a pub having a few drinks.

If you run it as a reserve comp then presumably it’s got to be on the basis of a series of matches at the same time at the same venue otherwise 10 mins each way & home we go.

Playing at the same time as the SL game will mean that clubs have to find more players for game day and it will be a 20 minute gimmick that will get postponed at the drop of a hat to protect the pitch. I remember when they tried to run the Academy games as pre main match and those were moved/ cancelled yet they have much more credibility

Before you ask I don’t know what the answer is and radical thinking is required which 8 aside definitely is

Midweek like the reserves were supposed to be? 4 teams at 1 ground means an hour of action for each side?

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23 minutes ago, Damien said:

I simply don't see why we would do 8 when 9 a side has been chosen as the short form of the game. It makes no sense to create another form of the game for little reason.

I agree. But this sums Rugby League up perfectly. Why go with 9's which is an established format and one which could have strategic value to the sport when you can go with 8's instead and start a different and brand new initiative which will last a season.

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The point of reserve grade is to prepare players on the fringe of the first team for playing first grade when the chance comes. Although not as distinct as 7s is from 15s, 8s/9s aren't the same as 13s, so I struggle to see how it does its primary job. It just smacks of cost-cutting to me. 

And as for the sparkly new format angle, I'm all for coming up with our version of the Hundred, but to discover it, and then get the reserves to play it as a warm up would be the most rugby league thing ever. 

Edited by Toby Chopra
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Make it 5-a-side then Cas and Salford might be able to fulfill their fixture commitments. 

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22 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

The point of reserve grade is to prepare players on the fringe of the first team for playing first grade when the chance comes. Although not as distinct as 7s is from 15s, 8s/9s aren't the same as 13s, so I struggle to see how it does its primary job. It just smacks of cost-cutting to me. 

And as for the sparkly new format angle, I'm all for coming up with our version of the Hundred, but to discover it, and then get the reserves to play it as a warm up would be the most rugby league thing ever. 

It is just cost cutting proposal from the Tigers.

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The idea is poorly thought out. 

Back on 9s, the only positive I can think of moving to a 10 team SL, is it potentially opens up more opportunities to have a full blown 9s circuit within the season. It would take some bold thinking to reduce the number of SL fixtures and fill it with 9s but we need to sell something to a broadcaster. Playing more fixtures for the sake of it just leads to a deteriorating product, as we've seen. And players getting flogged

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53 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Midweek like the reserves were supposed to be? 4 teams at 1 ground means an hour of action for each side?

How does this new comp drive increased revenues or more accurately value which is the whole point of a new comp?

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1 minute ago, LeeF said:

How does this new comp drive increased revenues or more accurately value which is the whole point of a new comp?

Oh I don't think this would do that. My point was purely focused on its viability as a reserve competition.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

Oh I don't think this would do that. My point was purely focused on its viability as a reserve competition.

That prepares nobody for the first team. It’s an evening in the pub idea 

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I don’t really know how playing a small sided game prepares players for the rigours of Super League or even Championship rugby, so I wouldn’t be behind this as the premier reserve grade competition. However, if they decided a small sided tournament was something the sport wanted to trial to see if it was something we could perhaps package and sell as an event then I wouldn’t be upset about them trialling this (and any other things they may want to bring in) at this level. 

 

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Just now, LeeF said:

That prepares nobody for the first team. It’s an evening in the pub idea 

Its better than no reserves, and in a cash limited sport like we clearly are right now, 30 odd man senior squads aren't really viable.

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Not sure about the mechanics of 8s. The attacking side would have 3 v 3 on each side of the ruck (with a central-ish ruck).

With 10-metre offside and oceans of space, I’d have thought it would be too easy to create overlaps and score. 

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3 hours ago, Damien said:

I simply don't see why we would do 8 when 9 a side has been chosen as the short form of the game. It makes no sense to create another form of the game for little reason.

8 a-side suits Castleford's tiny pitch.

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2 hours ago, LeeF said:

How does this new comp drive increased revenues...?

It doesn't...unless every club hosts a round and all revenues are shared.

Won't pay the bills at cuckoo stadiums such as Huddersfield, Wigan, Hull...

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Or millstone "stadiums" like Cas or Wakefield

What constitutes a "cuckoo" stadium btw?

 

Anyway, back to the point...how does 8 aside prepare fringe players for the full game? This is a cheap ploy to avoid costs of running a full reserve grade, again.

Edited by Ant
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