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3 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

My dad who's never really bothered with RL " it's a game for those not talented enough for football , or too thick " seriously ūüôĄ

When he now watches a game , he'll ring me up and ask when are they going to do more than one pass ? , And what's all this 2/3/4 players lying on after somebody is tackled ? , Why don't they play the ball with the foot ? , Why have they started cheating all the time ? 

 

It would be really useful for our sponsorship deals if everyone who's not bothered with Rugby League actually watches Rugby League.

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"The¬†history of the world is the history of the triumph¬†of the heartless¬†over¬†the mindless." ‚ÄĒ Sir¬†Humphrey Appleby.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

I know I keep comparing to other sports, but all sports could be described in similarly negative terms if we wanted to. 

Pretty much all sports could be described as repetitive. 

I don't disagree with the point you make, but it won't make a major difference. 

For years, RL fans laughed at RU and the endless kicking for goals, as they packed out grounds and attracted massive TV deals and sponsors at international level. 

The difference is that we could have (and have had several times) Football WC finals that are completely boring and tedious. Football fans will admit it was boring but they have the luxury of numbers and familiarity enough to not make it an issue. They accept that the next one might be great. 

If a bunch of casual viewers see a RL game and it's rubbish, there is less forgiveness and most will write the game and hence, the whole sport off as boring. It's not fair but that's the reality.

So RL should strive to make itself as attractive as possible, even if it means not obsessing about minutiae of the rules.

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

Yes, this is all fair and I was addressing a very specific topic.

One thing I think we have to accept is that Rugby League is not a well kept secret, enough people have seen it (on tv in particular) to make a determination on whether they want to watch it again.

What we need is a motivation for people to go to a game.  A World Cup say.

Most people who like sport seem to like rugby league.

What they often lack is the opportunity to form a connection that is valuable to rugby league itself.

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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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29 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

The difference is that we could have (and have had several times) Football WC finals that are completely boring and tedious. Football fans will admit it was boring but they have the luxury of numbers and familiarity enough to not make it an issue. They accept that the next one might be great. 

If a bunch of casual viewers see a RL game and it's rubbish, there is less forgiveness and most will write the game and hence, the whole sport off as boring. It's not fair but that's the reality.

So RL should strive to make itself as attractive as possible, even if it means not obsessing about minutiae of the rules.

The fans are not like that because of the sport though. So no matter how many tweaks you make they will still act like that. Because getting a perfect game isn't an option. 

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2 hours ago, DC77 said:

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/six-nations-2020-how-have-players-grown-size-past-25-years-and-who-heaviest-player-tournament-3020300

‚ÄúModern international rugby players have grown significantly since their counterparts played 25 years ago. In a study, published in the BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, it revealed that the mean body mass of international players increased from 84.8kg in 1995, to 105.4kg in 2015.‚ÄĚ

Thats an increase of almost a quarter. The onus now is on bulk. Welsh backs from 2015 were bigger than NZ forwards from 1987. Collisions are now mini car crashes. The result is you have brain damaged blokes in their 30s queuing up for compensation. This contrasts with the like of JPR Williams and Campese, older blokes who played when the players looked human, they are healthy. It’s now an attritional borefest with concussions aplenty, and line breaks and space a rarity

You've made this same point now about 7,000 times.  It really is time to give it a rest.

By the way, I am sure that other people on here make some points repetitively and indeed I am probably guilty of this myself but, and here is the key part I think, we usually make points about Rugby League.

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"The¬†history of the world is the history of the triumph¬†of the heartless¬†over¬†the mindless." ‚ÄĒ Sir¬†Humphrey Appleby.

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19 minutes ago, Dave T said:

The fans are not like that because of the sport though. So no matter how many tweaks you make they will still act like that. Because getting a perfect game isn't an option. 

No but it's a question of numbers. People accept boring football games because it's so familiar. Most other sports don't have that luxury, RU does to a degree but most other sports rely on what exposure they do get being exciting enough to draw in casual punters.

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Just now, Johnoco said:

No but it's a question of numbers. People accept boring football games because it's so familiar. Most other sports don't have that luxury, RU does to a degree but most other sports rely on what exposure they do get being exciting enough to draw in casual punters.

IMO the sport is generally excellent and delivers. Particularly in the major games on the BBC and finals. 

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31 minutes ago, Dave T said:

IMO the sport is generally excellent and delivers. Particularly in the major games on the BBC and finals. 

Yes. 

But as Dunbar has alluded to, RL, while not being massive is hardly unknown. It has had a fair bit of mainstream TV coverage over the years, with some cracking games.

So why isn't it bigger? 

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59 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

You've made this same point now about 7,000 times.  It really is time to give it a rest.

By the way, I am sure that other people on here make some points repetitively and indeed I am probably guilty of this myself but, and here is the key part I think, we usually make points about Rugby League.

Fair point. 

Dont think I ever gave the weight comparison before though. I had a look for the weight differential in RL, and a post you made a year ago came up;

From 14st 6lb to 16st 9lb. 

It’s a bigger jump for RL than I had envisaged. It’s certainly more noticeable in Union in the way it has transformed the game.

The response to your post kinda summed up an issue here though..‚ÄĚthe¬†2019 pack would beat the 1988 pack on physical attributes alone despite not being better players.‚Ä̬†Size/power beating ability. A sport should never be about that.

In the Tony Collins podcast on both rugby codes he and Mark Evans touched on both codes having to constantly monitor the rules in order to keep the fundamentals of the game essentially the same, something I think those who run both have neglected.

 

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9 hours ago, Dave T said:

Not really. All sorts of things get tweaked all the time, in all sports. 

They just haven't done the specific thing you want them to. That's fine for you to be annoyed by that, but that doesn't mean its an issue for the game. 

I accept that it`s my subjective view that knock-on madness is adversely affecting our product. But I would like someone to explain why it isn`t or why it doesn`t matter. 

At the moment, the standard response of a RL official to a loose ball is to blow the whistle and make a call. It`s surely a fair question to ask how does that benefit the game? Unless there`s a God of Knock-ons to whom sacrifices must be made, I cannot think whose interests are being served.

We do have a choice. The current interpretation of the knock-on rule is not a natural occurrence. It could be changed, if a change were deemed beneficial. But from what I see and hear, nobody in RL administration or media is thinking about this.

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3 hours ago, Johnoco said:

No but it's a question of numbers. People accept boring football games because it's so familiar. 

It wasn`t always thus. Or at least not to the same extent. In the 70s, when there was a perception of decline, Jimmy Hill was regularly on his soapbox advocating 3 points for a win following the latest boring game.

At Bolton Wanderers in the 70s, and even more so in the 80s, the crowds would plummet if the games were dull or we lost a few in succession.

3 hours ago, Johnoco said:

 Most other sports don't have that luxury, RU does to a degree but most other sports rely on what exposure they do get being exciting enough to draw in casual punters.

This is why we should resist the bunker-influenced style of NRL refereeing. The Aussies can afford all that obsessive  compulsive calling, and it`s effects on the product. But we in the UK, along with the Kiwis and the French, cannot.

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12 hours ago, redjonn said:

maybe but I'm not sure your observations tally with what happens in the main, of course their are isolated incidents that we all mention.

I've seen many short well forward passes being called by ref's - that would suggest it doesn't stop players doing it.

I don't see ref constantly penalising short passes only those that go clearly forward.

I agree there isn`t currently a glut of phantom forward pass calls. Knock-on madness is a far more pressing problem.

I would say RL officials just guess when they see a short flat pass. It`s more or less random. They might call it forward, they might not.

I think you underestimate the effect of this guesswork on how the game is played. Why would a player use a short pass to put a teammate into a gap if he knows the pass might be penalized irrespective of whether or not it travelled forward? And if the short pass option is ruled out, it blunts the potency of all his other options.

Hence, such creativity will only be risked in good field position or late in the tackle count.

14 hours ago, redjonn said:

The whole concept of the game is backward passing... how can we ignore forward passing beats me.  Why not completely redesign the whole game... a bit like the Americans did.

RU is better to illustrate why this is wrong, because their offside line is just behind the ruck.

When a Union team move the ball right along their backline, the first two passes have to be deep. By the time the ball is passed from the centre to the winger the play may be 20-30 metres back from the ruck. If that final pass goes a few centimetres forward, how on earth would that "completely redesign the whole game"?

It`s slightly different in League because of our 10m offside line, but the advantage of backward passing is still baked into the game since deeper passes create more space and in many instances flatter passes would be in the direction of advancing defenders and risk interception.

So, as with Union, if League refs miss marginal forward passes it does not remotely alter the fundamental nature of RL as a "backward passing game".

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4 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

It wasn`t always thus. Or at least not to the same extent. In the 70s, when there was a perception of decline, Jimmy Hill was regularly on his soapbox advocating 3 points for a win following the latest boring game.

At Bolton Wanderers in the 70s, and even more so in the 80s, the crowds would plummet if the games were dull or we lost a few in succession. 

True, I remember Jimmy Hill campaigning for 3 points for a win, he also was largely responsible for the end of the maximum wage in football. There again, I remember back passes to the goalie being allowed and shoulder charges on the goal line. 

But even if those changes never happened, or the Premier League, football would still have a big supporter base. Which allows it to ride out periods of rubbish play or rules that stifle enterprise. 

Rather like an established band who produce an album that is a bit rubbish (this happens). Most fans will stick with it and wait for the next one. A newer band doesn't have that luxury and chances are they will be written off.

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Have a think about this. My opinion, of course.

It's not the contents of the room (ptb, forward passes, offsides etc.). It's the decoration, the wallpaper, the carpet etc.  Today's generation may well not have heard of Eddie Waring but his legacy is to increase national awareness of the game but at the expense of tarring the game as an eh-bah-gum regional game. Yes, things have improved with the new breed of commentors and pundits on the BBC coverage of the Challenge Cup, but the lack of a full and frequent International programme, so essential for media coverage these days, leaves free-to-air viewers with an extensive menu of competing sports such as rugby union.

In my view, Sky coverage is a valuable contributor to the game's finances and attracts hard core fans. It does not, though, attract many new long-term fans.

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‚ÄúThe individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē¬†Friedrich Nietzsche

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9 hours ago, gingerjon said:

Most people who like sport seem to like rugby league.

What they often lack is the opportunity to form a connection that is valuable to rugby league itself.

This is a major problem.

The sport itself is generally fine, but it is so stunted that it rarely has any relevance. Why would anyone in Bristol, Birmingham, Oxford, Cardiff, etc have any interest in a match between Warrington and Castleford when the places have no relevance to them and the competition has no relevance to them or even a local team they could support either. Its hyper localised in many aspects - and most of our locations are culture followers not leaders (barring maybe our few university cities where we have a strong presence).

In the absence of a growing club game, the England side has to be front and centre in terms of awareness and growth. Sadly it is not - and even when it is, it is often used poorly.

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56 minutes ago, JohnM said:

In my view, Sky coverage is a valuable contributor to the game's finances and attracts hard core fans. It does not, though, attract many new long-term fans.

Its not really going to do that is it, considering the current makeup of the competition.

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14 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

You've missed out the lower tier highlight show put together mostly from disciplinary footage broadcast on YouTube ? ūüėČ

i'd forgotten that one... cant wait to see what you come up with next from your "utter fantasy.. will never work" pile.. maybe go to the RLIF board meeting and ask for "a well thought out and planned in advance calendar".. that should get some chuckles.. :kolobok_ph34r:

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9 hours ago, Johnoco said:

Yes. 

But as Dunbar has alluded to, RL, while not being massive is hardly unknown. It has had a fair bit of mainstream TV coverage over the years, with some cracking games.

So why isn't it bigger? 

The way we package the sport, market it, develop it, cover it and sell it. 

If you genuinely don't think RL is a good enough game to grow you are barking up the wrong tree. 

Sports being repetitive is not a negative. 

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6 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I accept that it`s my subjective view that knock-on madness is adversely affecting our product. But I would like someone to explain why it isn`t or why it doesn`t matter. 

At the moment, the standard response of a RL official to a loose ball is to blow the whistle and make a call. It`s surely a fair question to ask how does that benefit the game? Unless there`s a God of Knock-ons to whom sacrifices must be made, I cannot think whose interests are being served.

We do have a choice. The current interpretation of the knock-on rule is not a natural occurrence. It could be changed, if a change were deemed beneficial. But from what I see and hear, nobody in RL administration or media is thinking about this.

Again, that's fine and I address this in another postvthat we should be tweaking and improving things like this, but this isn't the reason the game isn't more popular, and changing this won't make it more popular. 

RL is widely accepted as a very entertaining sport - apart from a segment of RL fans. 

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1 hour ago, JohnM said:

Have a think about this. My opinion, of course.

It's not the contents of the room (ptb, forward passes, offsides etc.). It's the decoration, the wallpaper, the carpet etc.  Today's generation may well not have heard of Eddie Waring but his legacy is to increase national awareness of the game but at the expense of tarring the game as an eh-bah-gum regional game. Yes, things have improved with the new breed of commentors and pundits on the BBC coverage of the Challenge Cup, but the lack of a full and frequent International programme, so essential for media coverage these days, leaves free-to-air viewers with an extensive menu of competing sports such as rugby union.

In my view, Sky coverage is a valuable contributor to the game's finances and attracts hard core fans. It does not, though, attract many new long-term fans.

Yes. 

I don't fully agree with the BBC point though. We have decent coverage on the BBC. We have regular cup games and all England Test matches are shown on the BBC. We should try and stay away from the likes of Amazon (unless we create new content for big money). The Autumn internationals in RU are very easy to ignore nowadays and I think RU will regret their choice of Amazon for these. 

Post-covid if we can get cup games on BBC, then regular internationals every year, then 10 SL games on terrestrial TV, we will be doing very well. 

We maybe get around 80k people going to matches on a good week. On Sky we can get 400k to watch two games a week, and on BBC we get maybe 750k to 1m on Cup games and up to 2m for internationals. Chasing those high end figures is clearly the right thing to do. 

The way to do that isn't by focusing on knock on interpretations. 

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In terms of the Knock on debate and debate around the rules:

Knock-ons.... a few years back they had the "free play" after the knock on.. this was advantage +.. personally I quite liked it but it met with a very hostile reaction from the crowds and on this board. If the ball goes backwards from the hand it is fine, whether it hits the floor or not, we can see that when you listen to the Video Ref looking at tries "it hit his hand but it went backwards" is often said.. Honestly if they just applied the rules as they are written all would be ok. I would have a longer advantage but to compare to Union some of their advantage is ludicrous.

Players need to clear the Ruck quicker I agree. that would make a big difference. 

Playing the ball with the foot would be great but quite honestly it is utterly irrelevant to the game whether it touches the foot or not.. it is just another thing in a list of things that have been forgotten.

 

On another note we talk of our exposure we talk of good games etc.. above people have said about if you like it you watch it and exposure to good games... On BBC TV this year how many games were there.. free to air? probably less than 10 at a real guess... when is the highlights show and how good is it?? those are the keys.. The NFL has made great strides in the UK and that is dull to watch a full match (I enjoy it on a sunday night as I can read my book and watch it at the same time.. ffs that tells you everything you need to know).. the highlights package and pre weekend show on the BBC though are excellent.. even as an RL fan i find the RL highlights show a bit dull due, often, to the "experts" they have on. Highlights shows have to be good, and accessible. We need more international games that allow the none initiated to watch and have "skin in the game". A few Super League games on too would be great (sounds like that may be possible with the new deal).. if we can get all that then it will grow in the consciousness of the country. Look whats happened to womens football in the last 5-10 years (yes i know there is more to it than just coverage but its a major part of it). 

The game is exciting, it is a good, physical game. Apply the rules as they are written and all will be well. 

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33 minutes ago, Dave T said:

The way we package the sport, market it, develop it, cover it and sell it. 

If you genuinely don't think RL is a good enough game to grow you are barking up the wrong tree. 

Sports being repetitive is not a negative. 

Well I'll personally disagree with you on the last point because I think repetition in sport is extremely boring. 

But where did I say RL isn't good enough? I'm pointing out that it's not that obscure and many many people have been exposed to it without it really taking off in a big way. So something isn't connecting with enough people.

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5 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Well I'll personally disagree with you on the last point because I think repetition in sport is extremely boring. 

But where did I say RL isn't good enough? I'm pointing out that it's not that obscure and many many people have been exposed to it without it really taking off in a big way. So something isn't connecting with enough people.

On your last point.. i'm going to bring up my hobby horse.. 

INTERNATIONALS.. a nice big calendar that is planned in advance and with terrestrial tv on board etc etc.. 

Club games are great and you want them on but anyone who isnt from or doesnt have ties to those towns struggles to invest in the game, watching as a neutral means a dull game turns you off, if you side with a team that doesnt happen so much. If you are already into the game then you may start to decide to take a side on to support etc. However, this all starts IMHO with international matches grabbing the attention. For the most part everyone will have "skin in the game" on this.. they'll either support one team, or they hate that country and support the other..  Its an easy buy in and because of that a more tedious game is forgiven because you are invested in the result.. that is not the same for club matches.. 

yes the exposure is ok but honestly i dont think it is the right exposure.. and the game can fix this relatively easily, we have seen in the past that if you put internationals on then the BBC will show them, they may not pay what you want (england v samoa a few years back) but if it was regular fixtures I am pretty confident that would change.

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Just now, Johnoco said:

Well I'll personally disagree with you on the last point because I think repetition in sport is extremely boring. 

But where did I say RL isn't good enough? I'm pointing out that it's not that obscure and many many people have been exposed to it without it really taking off in a big way. So something isn't connecting with enough people.

And that brings us back to the whole point of the thread, and is possibly one of the perfect examples of why the sport is not more popular. 

This thread was about marketing the product, how we package it better, sell it better, engage with fans better. And it has turned into existing RL fans discussing their minor bugbears with the sport. And I think this is where the sport has gone wrong. We think the most important thing is the stuff that happens on the field, when it is pretty clearly established that it isn't the most important thing. 

The reason that in a town like Warrington 10k turn out on a Friday night to watch RL but in London it is 500 isn't due to knock ons, or blowing up for forward passes. 

On your first point, I don't disagree about repetion being boring, but it is a prominent feature of all sports. Football, Netball, boxing, basketball, cricket, RU, motor racing, it's all based around repetion - it is how that repetition is punctured with moments of skill, scores, controversy, and imho RL rates very highly versus most (all imo) other sports. 

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21 minutes ago, Dave T said:

And that brings us back to the whole point of the thread, and is possibly one of the perfect examples of why the sport is not more popular. 

This thread was about marketing the product, how we package it better, sell it better, engage with fans better. And it has turned into existing RL fans discussing their minor bugbears with the sport. And I think this is where the sport has gone wrong. We think the most important thing is the stuff that happens on the field, when it is pretty clearly established that it isn't the most important thing. 

The reason that in a town like Warrington 10k turn out on a Friday night to watch RL but in London it is 500 isn't due to knock ons, or blowing up for forward passes. 

On your first point, I don't disagree about repetion being boring, but it is a prominent feature of all sports. Football, Netball, boxing, basketball, cricket, RU, motor racing, it's all based around repetion - it is how that repetition is punctured with moments of skill, scores, controversy, and imho RL rates very highly versus most (all imo) other sports. 

Agree with you mostly but I don't think the point @unapologetic pedant made is a minor bugbear. It has the potential to ruin the game if the refs are blowing non stop for perceived errors that ultimately only serve to stifle creative attacking play. We will actually end up with the 'five drives and a kick' that others lampoon us for. 

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