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World Club Championship - Your Thoughts


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Issue will be covid. The numbers in the uk will not be better in Feb than they are in october. So if the WC was cancelled on those grounds, cant see the nrl thinking Feb will be agreeable to them so they will bin off I'm sure. 

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1 hour ago, thebrewxi said:

Issue will be covid. The numbers in the uk will not be better in Feb than they are in october. So if the WC was cancelled on those grounds, cant see the nrl thinking Feb will be agreeable to them so they will bin off I'm sure. 

I’m not just talking about next year, I mean as part of a consistent schedule

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The NRL clubs don’t appear to be enthusiastic about this competition as they used to be… surprise surprise. You feel they need their arms twisting to bother at all about it.

If it does happen again it should surely be preseason and should alternate between Aus (NZ) and the UK (France)

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If the selfish, parochial and cowardly NRL can't get interested in a world cup for nations I can't see them retaining any interest in the world club championship until such times as it guarantees the participants a significant income and that probably means a minimum of Aus$1m. Or enough to pay the Storm players' cocaine bill for the season (allegedly).

If they were interested I would suggest that the Super League club that qualifies should cancel the game with 4 minutes notice, whenever it is organised for. That's 4 minutes before the plane with the Australian team on it takes off.

Bitter and twisted after this year's events? Me? Surely not. 

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16 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Interested to hear where the Aus RL forum participants see the WCC best fitting in the calendar?

Pre season, post season, June 31st?

 

15 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Definitely pre-season.

Date must be convenient for the NRL - February 29th would be best.

Unfortunately postponed until the twelfth of never...and that`s a long, long time.

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3 hours ago, Graham said:

The NRL clubs don’t appear to be enthusiastic about this competition as they used to be… surprise surprise. You feel they need their arms twisting to bother at all about it.

If it does happen again it should surely be preseason and should alternate between Aus (NZ) and the UK (France)

Because it's almost always been played in England the WCC has been totally devalued as a product in Australia. It's ratings and broadcast value aren't very good, it barely makes the news, and broadly speaking nobody outside of the team playing's fans care about it, and even a lot of them only see it as a novelty exhibition match.

So of course the clubs aren't enthusiastic about it because it's a non-event in Australia that make's them barely any money and distracts from their preparation for the NRL season, which does make them lots of money. In other words it's basically just a big risk to them ATM.

If it was handled properly it could be a big product in Australia again, and thus the NRL clubs would become enthusiastic about it again, but at this stage it would require the RFL and English clubs to take the initiative to make those changes and that is almost certainly never going to happen.

Similarly to the NRL and NRL clubs, The RFL and SL clubs are too self-interested and myopic to sacrifice the big gate and ratings that the WCC brings in the short term for the chance to build it into a much bigger product in the long term.

Edited by The Great Dane
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2 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

If it was handled properly it could be a big product in Australia again, and thus the NRL clubs would become enthusiastic about it again, but at this stage it would require the RFL and English clubs to take the initiative to make those changes 

What sort of changes?

The WCC is generally played in England because the NRL aren`t as keen.

The Melbourne/Leeds game was generally regarded as successful, but it didn`t lift the level of enthusiasm for international RL in Australia. As was vividly demonstrated back in August.

2 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

Similarly to the NRL and NRL clubs

Here is where changes are needed.

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7 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

What sort of changes?

At the very least you'd need these three changes-

1. It needs to be played in Australia/NZ at least every second year. If it was me I'd have a few years in a row of it being played in Aus/NZ just to get it back into public conscience down here, then alternate after that.  

2. It needs to be planned in advanced and heavily promoted throughout the season, not haphazardly thrown together by the clubs after the GFs. If it's successful you'd eventually sell hosting rights to the highest bidder in each nation.

3. It must be broadcast on FTA and replayed in primetime when it's played in England, at least in Australia.

Trying to move it out of the pointy end of the preseason would help a lot as well, but IDK if there's a better option that is realistically feasible.

7 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

The WCC is generally played in England because the NRL aren`t as keen.

Sure, but at this point why they aren't keen on it is more important than the actual fact that they aren't keen on it. If you don't understand the why then it's impossible to do anything to change it.

Also the SL clubs and RFL have to take a lot of responsibility for at least the clubs not being keen as well. They highly insisted that it be played almost exclusively in England in the early days, have also totally failed to sell the concept to the NRL clubs through low returns (by NRL standards) and making it genuinely inconvenient for them in a lot of cases (most cases frankly), and have done little to nothing to promote it in Australia/NZ despite it being both within their power and interests to do so.

7 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

The Melbourne/Leeds game was generally regarded as successful, but it didn`t lift the level of enthusiasm for international RL in Australia. As was vividly demonstrated back in August.

Maybe in England, but not really in Australia. It was seen as a novelty exhibition game, that didn't even draw a particularly good crowd or ratings, and was quickly forgotten after the fact.

Roosters vs Wigan at the SFS was more successful, but again the rating weren't spectacular from memory and it was treated as a glorified exhibition game.

But that was probably inevitable because it's going to take more than the odd one off game to get people to buy into it en masse again down here. It needs a sustained presence, not to be a thing that's done seemly at random roughly once a decade only to disappear off the radar again afterwards.

7 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Here is where changes are needed.

And responses like that are why change will never happen.

You cannot expect people to just capitulate to your ideals when there's little to nothing in it for them, and as it stands in both the International scene and the WCC the NRL and/or clubs either don't gain enough to make it worth their while or make loses because of it, and as long as that is the case they're never going to willing play ball.

So the question has to become how do you make it worth their while, and you don't do that by trying to shame them into it, that's just a waste of everybody's time that makes you look like a spoilt children throwing a tantrum because you didn't get your way. It's also a great way to illicit a negative reaction from Australian culture, especially when coming from Poms...

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Posted (edited)

Well I like the concept of a World Club Champion as it seems you do @The Great Dane

What is it about the match that has you so turned off it @The Rocket?

I think the fixture annually has all the potential to capture the interest of the sports enthusiasts that don’t necessarily have their finger on the pulse for the club game on the other side of the world.

As it’s played now, pre-season, it’s nothing more than an exhibition game similar to the Charity Shield in NRL or Community Shield with the FA.

As it is a club event, the WCC has far more going for it to get buy in from NRL clubs than the international game ever could. 

A large international fixture should also be very much in the interest of players that don’t get picked for international duties.

As I see it, that to be a pinnacle of the club game, it must be played within a fortnight of the GF @Graham continuing the momentum of a GF victory for the actual players that competed in the GF, rather than newcomers that joined the club in the pre-season.

Furthermore, it must be played in a venue befitting the occasion, not at suburban club venues.

Edited by Sports Prophet
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Posted (edited)

One sad reality I need to come to terms with is that from what I can see watching the replay now, St Helens didn’t even come close to selling out a Preliminary Final at their small sub 20k stadium.

Can’t fault the atmosphere at big games in England. Puts Aussies to shame, but for heavens sake, what the hell is going on when two of the three biggest RL clubs in England can’t fill a sub 20k stadium where a GF awaits the victor? That’s pathetic.

Edited by Sports Prophet
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2 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

Maybe in England, but not really in Australia. It was seen as a novelty exhibition game, that didn't even draw a particularly good crowd or ratings, and was quickly forgotten after the fact.

The crowd for Melbourne/Leeds was 19k, which compares favourably with a typical NRL game at AAMI park.

How the WCC is "seen" , just as how the World Cup is "seen", by NRL administrators and media is not in the gift of the RFL to change.

When it`s been played pre-season NRL clubs, coaches and players have approached it with the right attitude.

2 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

So the question has to become how do you make it worth their while, and you don't do that by trying to shame them into it, that's just a waste of everybody's time that makes you look like a spoilt children throwing a tantrum because you didn't get your way. It's also a great way to illicit a negative reaction from Australian culture, especially when coming from Poms...

Don`t tempt me.

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44 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

As it’s played now, pre-season, it’s nothing more than an exhibition game similar to the Charity Shield in NRL or Community Shield with the FA.

Doesn`t have to be that way. I broadly agree with the prospectus of @The Great Dane in the first chunk of his response.

49 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

As I see it, that to be a pinnacle of the club game, it must be played within a fortnight of the GF @Graham continuing the momentum of a GF victory for the actual players that competed in the GF, rather than newcomers that joined the club in the pre-season.

Not a good idea. Everything immediately winds down (among other shenanigans) on the club front following the NRL GF.

I recall the Wigan/Penrith game at Anfield in 1991. Neil Fairbrother (Lancashire and England cricketer) was interviewed in the crowd and asked for a prediction - "I`m going for Wigan, the Aussies have been on the beer". 

Worth also remembering that qualification for UEFA club tournaments is on the basis of the previous season`s domestic success. In the old European Cup there were times when the English representative were not the same team as the one who had won the first division championship the season before. Never affected the prestige of the fixtures.

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7 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Doesn`t have to be that way. I broadly agree with the prospectus of @The Great Dane in the first chunk of his response.

Not a good idea. Everything immediately winds down (among other shenanigans) on the club front following the NRL GF.

I recall the Wigan/Penrith game at Anfield in 1991. Neil Fairbrother (Lancashire and England cricketer) was interviewed in the crowd and asked for a prediction - "I`m going for Wigan, the Aussies have been on the beer". 

Worth also remembering that qualification for UEFA club tournaments is on the basis of the previous season`s domestic success. In the old European Cup there were times when the English representative were not the same team as the one who had won the first division championship the season before. Never affected the prestige of the fixtures.

I understand the almighty UEFA Champions League is a multi jurisdiction championship qualified for on the previous season’s league results. There are multiple reasons why this works. What can be said is that  finals come at the end, not the beginning.

In any case, I think the event as it has been delivered in the past two decades has been very low key with minimal exposure, hype and promotion. Standard practice really for the governors of other game.

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9 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

What is it about the match that has you so turned off it @The Rocket?

Nothing against it SP, just adding another potential fixture date to both yours and the Pedants left field suggestions.

 

8 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Can’t fault the atmosphere at big games in England. Puts Aussies to shame, but for heavens sake, what the hell is going on when two of the three biggest RL clubs in England can’t fill a sub 20k stadium where a GF awaits the victor? That’s pathetic.

Probably instructive bringing up the small crowd at the Super League preliminary final, especially compared to the sell-out across the channel and the strong crowds I`ve only ever seen at WCC matches over there. Indicative of the need for new blood mayhap ?

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18 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

Because it's almost always been played in England the WCC has been totally devalued as a product in Australia. It's ratings and broadcast value aren't very good, it barely makes the news, and broadly speaking nobody outside of the team playing's fans care about it, and even a lot of them only see it as a novelty exhibition match.

So of course the clubs aren't enthusiastic about it because it's a non-event in Australia that make's them barely any money and distracts from their preparation for the NRL season, which does make them lots of money. In other words it's basically just a big risk to them ATM.

If it was handled properly it could be a big product in Australia again, and thus the NRL clubs would become enthusiastic about it again, but at this stage it would require the RFL and English clubs to take the initiative to make those changes and that is almost certainly never going to happen.

Similarly to the NRL and NRL clubs, The RFL and SL clubs are too self-interested and myopic to sacrifice the big gate and ratings that the WCC brings in the short term for the chance to build it into a much bigger product in the long term.

I'm fairly sure it has always been played in England because the NRL would not guarantee to cover the costs of the participating teams, partly due to the lack of interest of the TV companies in Aus, whereas the RFL would. If I am wrong, please correct me.

I will take some persuading to change my view that the selfish and parochial NRL is only really interested in what happens on the eastern seaboard of a backward country at the ###### end of the world. When that changes (and I accept that it may require significant changes to the way we promote and manage the game in the northern hemisphere before it happens) we can start to promote international rugby league on both a club and nation basis again. 

Rant over.

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I understand you are hurting, but I’m not sure I can grasp your “backward country” perspective @Spotty Herbert when you can count the countries on one hand that have more in common with UK than Aus does.

@The Rocket I have been to a few Catalans fixtures and they have a reasonably different style, yet equally partisan and vocal supporter base. More carnival I would say. The addition of Toulouse is so important for the SL. I’m still grieving the loss of the Toronto. Talk about not seeing the forest from the trees.

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5 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

I understand you are hurting, but I’m not sure I can grasp your “backward country” perspective @Spotty Herbert when you can count the countries on one hand that have more in common with UK than Aus does.

@The Rocket I have been to a few Catalans fixtures and they have a reasonably different style, yet equally partisan and vocal supporter base. More carnival I would say. The addition of Toulouse is so important for the SL. I’m still grieving the loss of the Toronto. Talk about not seeing the forest from the trees.

Without wanting to politicise a topic that deserves proper discussion, the UK is far more backward and insular than it was ten years ago, consequently making it much more like Australia. However, I strongly believe that the insularity and parochialism of the NRL reflects the wider population it serves and this is a barrier to developing the world club championship concept.

To be fair, the Super League clubs are similarly parochial and self interested. We will not develop internationally until we find and support leaders who can drag all the Super League and NRL clubs along behind them with an agenda that convinces them they will all benefit from a stronger world game.

 

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Lets start with the hard news, before we throw in an item about the Royals doing something and we (at least the newsreader) can leave us with comforting smiles.

The WCS is not the shakes it should be, as being global champ is not seen as the peak of club RL.

Thus the game has the feel something between a friendly and a "challenge" match of old whilst on tour for some long preserved trophy pioneered in the days of Empire.

The truth is that until this changes then it will continue to be so. In one sense this is fine. We were speculating optimistically if SRD had won the GF two years ago, what a day a WCS for us would have been. But I am sure had the Miracle happened, in the future it would be that would have been remembered not a victory over whoever the NRL nominated.

Whoa suddenly her Majesty emerges planting a tree. Smiles around and cue the happy story to end.

The reason why the WCS happens now and did not occur in 1921 is we can get from Sydney to St Helens within a day.

If travel between the hemispheres was quickend, then the WCS might not be seen as burdensome for some.

Second if RL ever did take off in North America, then that might develop as a neutral point to host the game, that might not inflate the competition,but would boost the game in the New World.

Thirdly and lastly if the European game became more competitive itself, then that would create the dynamics for the WCS to be more credible.

The answers are well spoken here. Playing it on a loop outside of England, place it to suit the NRL and SL and yeah marketing and prize money.

Here is the weather.

Edited by idrewthehaggis
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On 01/10/2021 at 12:53, Sports Prophet said:

I’m not just talking about next year, I mean as part of a consistent schedule

Unfortunately my comment re "binning off" might be not just about next year too. I hope not!

Edited by thebrewxi
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8 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I understand the almighty UEFA Champions League is a multi jurisdiction championship qualified for on the previous season’s league results. There are multiple reasons why this works. What can be said is that  finals come at the end, not the beginning.

Before the Champions League the premier UEFA club competition was the European Cup, a knockout format with each round played over two legs. A club would win their domestic league around April/May, then play their European Cup first round tie in September/October a few weeks after the start of the next domestic season. If they lost (which of course half the teams did), that was the end of their involvement.

As I said before, none of the above detracted from the tournament because it held gilt-edged prestige.

BTW, when would you like to see the AFL premiers play the PNG premiers in the Aussie Rules World Club Challenge? Didn`t you mention June 31st?

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Would definitely be better just after the grand finals then if England are down under playing Aussies hold it down there if there’s an international tournament here then it should be held here. That way any players picked for there country are at least in the right hemisphere. I’d also set it up that if it’s held in Aus then our GF should be a week earlier than theirs and That way the SL team could be in the crowd at the NRL GF giving the WCC some much needed publicity. 

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On 02/10/2021 at 08:46, Sports Prophet said:

Well I like the concept of a World Club Champion as it seems you do @The Great Dane

What is it about the match that has you so turned off it @The Rocket?

I think the fixture annually has all the potential to capture the interest of the sports enthusiasts that don’t necessarily have their finger on the pulse for the club game on the other side of the world.

As it’s played now, pre-season, it’s nothing more than an exhibition game similar to the Charity Shield in NRL or Community Shield with the FA.

As it is a club event, the WCC has far more going for it to get buy in from NRL clubs than the international game ever could. 

A large international fixture should also be very much in the interest of players that don’t get picked for international duties.

As I see it, that to be a pinnacle of the club game, it must be played within a fortnight of the GF @Graham continuing the momentum of a GF victory for the actual players that competed in the GF, rather than newcomers that joined the club in the pre-season.

Furthermore, it must be played in a venue befitting the occasion, not at suburban club venues.

If you try to sell it as the pinnacle of the club game, or as more important than the NRL GF, you are only going to get a lot of people down here's noses out of joint.

They would rightly point out that winning the Telstra Premiership is a much tougher achievement, and that if you really had a competition to decide the best club team in the world that NRL teams would dominant and SL teams would rarely make the GF let alone win the competition.

In other words, what I'm trying to say is that the 'it's the pinnacle of the club game' stuff is bad rhetoric if you want to engender NRL involvement.

Playing the WCC at the end of the season would be better than during the preseason, but I'm not sure if it'll be feasible most seasons. The players are allowed x-amount of time off after the GF and 8 weeks time off total during the offseason, and with internationals to be played as well, fitting the WCC in a couple of weeks after the GF would be a very tight squeeze.

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On 02/10/2021 at 09:29, unapologetic pedant said:

The crowd for Melbourne/Leeds was 19k, which compares favourably with a typical NRL game at AAMI park.

19k is not particularly impressive for the Storm. 

Their average attendance around the time-

2017- 20,211

2018- 18,461

2019- 17,297

2017 and 18s numbers are slightly skewed by playing home games at Suncorp (hence why I included 2019), but in all three of those seasons they had regular season home games at AAMI with a higher attendance than the WCC, and multiple others with an attendance that was near to it.

So yeah, 19k in Melbourne is not really a great turnout for what is meant to be a big a event. Especially not when it's in the preseason before the AFL's season has kicked off...

On 02/10/2021 at 09:29, unapologetic pedant said:

How the WCC is "seen" , just as how the World Cup is "seen", by NRL administrators and media is not in the gift of the RFL to change.

The RFL and SL clubs are definitely in the position with the most power to change the NRL's attitude towards the WCC, and pretending otherwise is kind of silly frankly.

In fact it'd be pretty simple if they could pull it off; if they simply took the initiative and held a handful of successful, profitable, WCC's down here, the NRL/club's attitude towards the WCC would quickly shift. Consider it a proof of concept.

Assuming that they do in fact have faith in the product, there's absolutely nothing stopping the RFL/SL clubs from taking that strategy with the WCC.

On 02/10/2021 at 09:29, unapologetic pedant said:

When it`s been played pre-season NRL clubs, coaches and players have approached it with the right attitude.

Don`t tempt me.

Their talk in the media has had the right attitude, but actions speak louder than words...

The last time I paid any real attention to the WCC was 2017. The Sharks preparation for the WCC in the weeks leading up to it was to take tours of London, Paris, Barcelona, and probably other places I'm forgetting, to go on regular day trips/shopping sprees, and to go out most nights. I'm sure I don't have to tell you, but that is not how an NRL team prepares for a game they are taking seriously!

That sort of attitude towards the WCC is not unique to the Sharks either, if anything it's the norm and attitudes like East's (under Trent Robinson), whom take it very seriously, are the outlier.

Edited by The Great Dane
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