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West Wales Raiders - laughing stock


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I thought this year was the year they would win there 1st game, after last season's efforts, not so sure now. But looking at Skolars, and recruitment of Southern Southern Conferance players, they might just have chance.

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

Familiar story for anyone who has even been involved, or tried to be involved, with London Broncos TBH. 

We'll see how long they are around for. Looking at the reaction from their fans it seems that most are expecting them to get spanked by Widnes. Hard to see where the club goes once Hughes is gone.

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Their social media and website is an absolute mess. I know every club should be proud of their history but I can’t for the life of me understand why they go to such efforts to create posts such as ‘remember our kit from 2017’ and ‘here’s a team sheet from a game we played on this day three years ago’. Literally no one cares. Get your mobile phone out, hit record and ask one of your players how the preparations are going for the new season. 
 

They’ve lost all their best players from last year. They will be considerably worse this season than last. 

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24 minutes ago, Moscow01 said:

Their social media and website is an absolute mess. I know every club should be proud of their history but I can’t for the life of me understand why they go to such efforts to create posts such as ‘remember our kit from 2017’ and ‘here’s a team sheet from a game we played on this day three years ago’. Literally no one cares. Get your mobile phone out, hit record and ask one of your players how the preparations are going for the new season. 
 

They’ve lost all their best players from last year. They will be considerably worse this season than last. 

Their posts on Twitter in the last week are

- Reminiscing about how far they’ve come since starting out seven years ago. 

- A story about why their away kit is to include the colour red. 

- The club announcing a new sponsor. 

- Their chief executive reviewing 2021 and previewing 2022. 

- A tweet about their kit manufacturers and a local boxer. 

- A new re-signing. 

- A tweet acknowledging their error in calling a player a fly half and thanking their 20,000 followers for engaging with their posts. 

I can’t see much wrong there. 

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In fairness - Heartlands club Hunslet are advertising the Challenge Cup game V Keighley Cougars and have Under 21's admission price as £5,when I think they may mean Under 12's.

I still think it may be played on the Sunday advertised,though.

     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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This subject was covered a little when the Cornwall RL thread" moved northwards to Llanelli" a short time ago. The club desperately needs an experienced coach (like Cornwall's Neil Kelly) and an experienced administrator to run it better than it is at present.

Firstly we must give the Raiders credit for rescuing Welsh semi pro Rugby league when the people from Merthyr washed their hands of the South Wales Scorpions part way through 2017. That credit has long since run out though. The first season was a shambles with huge defeats and often less than 17 players available on match day. Great improvements were made in year 2 when Kim Williams was the coach but the club has regressed again. For the last game of last season only 9 players were originally available and it was only through the efforts of 2 players in particular in getting new players in at short notice and the loan of 2 Barrow based amateurs that the game could go ahead. Its "deja vu all over again" this season as only 5 players have been announced,with a further one to come, no head coach is in sight and the 3 assistant coaches would seem to have little coaching experience. 

The players are certainly not to blame there have been some absolute stalwarts turning out over the last 4 seasons in the knowledge that a heavy defeat was probably coming their way. Most of these have had enough though and left the club.

I really hope the situation can be sorted out as there is plenty of potential for a successful South Welsh team but not I fear with the present set up.

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4 hours ago, Angelic Cynic said:

In fairness - Heartlands club Hunslet are advertising the Challenge Cup game V Keighley Cougars and have Under 21's admission price as £5,when I think they may mean Under 12's.

I still think it may be played on the Sunday advertised,though.

Nope that's just you getting it wrong. Under 21s £5 and kids (under 16) go free! 

 

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45 minutes ago, hunsletgreenandgold said:

Nope that's just you getting it wrong. Under 21s £5 and kids (under 16) go free! 

 

Well done for confirming - I thought it would be under 21s. 

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13 hours ago, newbe said:

I thought this year was the year they would win there 1st game, after last season's efforts, not so sure now. But looking at Skolars, and recruitment of Southern Southern Conferance players, they might just have chance.

Skolars recruitment from the Southern Conference would be fine if they were signing the best Hammersmith/Chargers/Warriors players who are usually Aussies/Kiwis but some of the players they have signed are from the lower London league or very old Oxford/Hemel etc players - definitely going to struggle in L1. Maybe there are not enough part time players to have 2 part time London teams. Skolars have re-signed a few  good and experienced players and a few from broncos academy but half a team are not going to be able to carry the rest.

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11 hours ago, hunsletgreenandgold said:

Nope that's just you getting it wrong. Under 21s £5 and kids (under 16) go free! 

 

I stand/sit corrected.Thanks for that.Adults start at 22 yrs of age.

It was a lazy Sunday and my brain hadn't got going.

Well done,Hunslet.

I think they'll go quite well in '22 with Mr Kilshaw.  

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     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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Ah, me. I'm old enough to remember Southend being thrown out before the start of the season for not preparing a team when their coach (Bill Goodwin) said later that at the last training session they had 21 players with 2 on prearranged holidays and another with a long term injury. How times change.

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17 hours ago, Dan Taye-Sinferno said:

Firstly we must give the Raiders credit for rescuing Welsh semi pro Rugby league when the people from Merthyr washed their hands of the South Wales Scorpions part way through 2017. That credit has long since run out though. Its "deja vu all over again" this season  I really hope the situation can be sorted out as there is plenty of potential for a successful South Welsh team but not I fear with the present set up.

The only way any "potential" can be realised in Wales is with a very rich owner who joins in with a Welsh RL club for the long term. That means another Semor Kurdi and a huge Newcastle type investment. Good luck with that happening!!

The reason that the third "professional tier" exists probably has nothing to do with real expansion or professionalism at all. That probably stopped being it's remit when such as Gloucester and Hemel? were chucked out and Bristol were refused entry.

If we look at the three divisions what we see is many traditional clubs with a long history. What the third tier does is give established northern clubs clubs who once were successful like Keighley, Doncaster, Hunslet, Swinton, Oldham and  Rochdale somewhere to play at a level they can compete at if there isn't the room in the Championship.

By all means introduce minimum standards to try to force West Wales Coventry and Skolars to up their game, but in reality that isn't going to happen as they are simply not capable of it. They would fold.

And then what would we do with the seven clubs left???

I would be sure that most Championship clubs would not want the struggling Northern clubs in with them let alone the likes of Coventry, Wests, Skolars (and Cornwall). If the latter four were thrown out I could see northern clubs being thrown out with them....and not up into the Championship........   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, steve oates said:

The only way any "potential" can be realised in Wales is with a very rich owner who joins in with a Welsh RL club for the long term. That means another Semor Kurdi and a huge Newcastle type investment. Good luck with that happening!!

The reason that the third "professional tier" exists probably has nothing to do with real expansion or professionalism at all. That probably stopped being it's remit when such as Gloucester and Hemel? were chucked out and Bristol were refused entry.

If we look at the three divisions what we see is many traditional clubs with a long history. What the third tier does is give established northern clubs clubs who once were successful like Keighley, Doncaster, Hunslet, Swinton, Oldham and  Rochdale somewhere to play at a level they can compete at if there isn't the room in the Championship.

By all means introduce minimum standards to try to force West Wales Coventry and Skolars to up their game, but in reality that isn't going to happen as they are simply not capable of it. They would fold.

And then what would we do with the seven clubs left???

I would be sure that most Championship clubs would not want the struggling Northern clubs in with them let alone the likes of Coventry, Wests, Skolars (and Cornwall). If the latter four were thrown out I could see northern clubs being thrown out with them....and not up into the Championship........   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry but a lot of this is nonsense. Firstly Gloucester and Hemel were not chucked out, nor was Bristol denied entry. Secondly, Coventry are now Midlands Hurricanes and will be based in Birmingham. And finally minimum standards apply for league 1, which teams need to meet. West Wales, 'Coventry' and Skolars all meet those standards 

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4 hours ago, OriginalMrC said:

Sorry but a lot of this is nonsense. Firstly Gloucester and Hemel were not chucked out, nor was Bristol denied entry. Secondly, Coventry are now Midlands Hurricanes and will be based in Birmingham. And finally minimum standards apply for league 1, which teams need to meet. West Wales, 'Coventry' and Skolars all meet those standards 

One way or another three of the clubs are no more, Coventry have had to move away, Skolars continue to struggle (haven't London Broncos just taken a number of their best players?) and West Wales are being berated  as not meeting standards on this very topic..........

So it isn't "nonsense" at all is it?.

Wishful thinking is all well and good but none of these clubs including Cornwall are really developing into or towards ever being true professional standard, or a decent semi pro standard either. You perhaps need to  analyse where clubs like West Wales really are in the scheme of things, maybe compare their status against some of the top amateur teams? They probably don't come anywhere near any of them either??

So what so you think it is all about??  Is it really "expansion"?? What progress do you see at London Skolars after 27 years?? ............. 

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5 hours ago, OriginalMrC said:

Sorry but a lot of this is nonsense. Firstly Gloucester and Hemel were not chucked out, nor was Bristol denied entry. Secondly, Coventry are now Midlands Hurricanes and will be based in Birmingham. And finally minimum standards apply for league 1, which teams need to meet. West Wales, 'Coventry' and Skolars all meet those standards 

It may be that those "minimum standards" need to be revisited.

It seems apparent that League 1 is going to be two divisions this year. There'll be quite a competitive Northern (if we include North Wales) league and a completely separate mini-league of four clubs of whom Midlands Hurricanes are probably going to be some way ahead of the other three.

It's not an easy "problem" to solve though 

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2 minutes ago, steve oates said:

One way or another three of the clubs are no more, Coventry have had to move away, Skolars continue to struggle (haven't London Broncos just taken a number of their best players?) and West Wales are being berated  as not meeting standards on this very topic..........

So it isn't "nonsense" at all is it?.

Wishful thinking is all well and good but none of these clubs including Cornwall are really developing into or towards ever being true professional standard, or a decent semi pro standard either. You perhaps need to  analyse where clubs like West Wales really are in the scheme of things, maybe compare their status against some of the top amateur teams? They probably don't come anywhere near any of them either??

So what so you think it is all about??  Is it really "expansion"?? What progress do you see at London Skolars after 27 years?? ............. 

In their defence, Skolars have made progress - they may have finished near the bottom in the last few years and only won a handful of their games, but the games were competitive and the results were often pretty close. The opposition knew the games were not walkovers and the games were entertaining.

Skolars run a number of junior teams of which players have progressed to Broncos academy & reserves & 1st team.

Skolars run coaching sessions in local primary schools & organise successful primary festivals.

I do however think they are really going to struggle this year on the pitch. They have re-signed some of last seasons squad who are definitely league 1 level and have a couple of young prospects that could potentially play at a higher level, but Broncos going part time has resulted in 6/7 players departing and it looks like they are struggling to recruit suitable replacements.

The board/volunteers/sponsors have put in a huge effort and done a great job over the years just to keep the team viable - whether they can maintain this with the 80% cut to central funding & no travel grant remains to be seen. I believe league 1 is better for having Skolars in it.

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16 hours ago, paulwalker71 said:

It may be that those "minimum standards" need to be revisited. It seems apparent that League 1 is going to be two divisions this year. There'll be quite a competitive Northern (if we include North Wales) league and a completely separate mini-league of four clubs of whom Midlands Hurricanes are probably going to be some way ahead of the other three. It's not an easy "problem" to solve though 

It isn't easy at all and it's not a debate to just call the points I make "Nonsense". This was Ralph Rimmers take on league one. 

"There is an expectation on all clubs in the professional game to offer a clear strategy that demonstrates their plans to help grow and strengthen the sport in future years. "Oxford and Gloucester have come to the conclusion that the best way for them to now move forward is by creating a new club in Bristol that is backed by significant support and investment. "The RFL board has accepted this and is looking forward to seeing further detailed plans for the new club in due course."

Due course didn't happen and I assume that there wasn't the "significant support and investment" for Bristol to be accepted. Is there significant support and investment at Cornwall?, is there significant support and investment at West Wales??? If there isn't then by Rimmers own words they aren't for him.......

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16 hours ago, dead man inc said:

In their defence, Skolars have made progress - they may have finished near the bottom in the last few years and only won a handful of their games, but the games were competitive and the results were often pretty close. The opposition knew the games were not walkovers and the games were entertaining. Skolars run a number of junior teams of which players have progressed to Broncos academy & reserves & 1st team. Skolars run coaching sessions in local primary schools & organise successful primary festivals. The board/volunteers/sponsors have put in a huge effort and done a great job over the years just to keep the team viable - whether they can maintain this with the 80% cut to central funding & no travel grant remains to be seen. I believe league 1 is better for having Skolars in it.

I don't think anyone is attacking Skolars here. Yes the club has been a great back up to the Broncos, yes the club have been great with junior player development, and I believe their chairman has provided the "significant support and investment"  But look here.....

25 years on – London Skolars founder Hector McNeil explains why he’s stepping away – TotalRL.com | Rugby League Express | Rugby League World

It also appears that all skolars best players have now been signed by the Broncos. Again there is nothing to "defend" at all but there is something major going on and it's fair enough to discuss it. 

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17 hours ago, paulwalker71 said:

It may be that those "minimum standards" need to be revisited.

It seems apparent that League 1 is going to be two divisions this year. There'll be quite a competitive Northern (if we include North Wales) league and a completely separate mini-league of four clubs of whom Midlands Hurricanes are probably going to be some way ahead of the other three.

It's not an easy "problem" to solve though 

Isn’t that the same every year? 

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I’ve always thought that each division that houses a select group of expansion clubs, to me Toulouse, maybe London Broncos but certainly Newcastle, London Skolars, Midlands and West Wales (less so Catalans who are now successful) should have a certain amount of the distribution money for that division ringfenced with it being distributed to those clubs but that’s another discussion for another day and I don’t want to derail this into that direction.  

As for Skolars, they’ve had it hard (not that anyone has had it easy) the last few years. There was a partnership between themselves and Toronto Wolfpack that was to include a financial package but like almost everything associated to Toronto, that money never materialised and they missed out on that windfall. The previous chairmen left Skolars too and they’ve also had some investment from fans and other parties according to the internet, I don’t know how much that’s helped and any investment is vital but they seem to have regressed, even prior to Coleman and a handful of players leaving to go to Broncos and with Broncos going part-time, too, I can’t imagine that helps much either. I hope for their sake that when it’s a week where the Broncos are playing an Academy game and not a reserve game that Skolars have access to players on dual registration. 

As for West Wales, it sounds crazy saying it when you look at their results but under Kim Williams, they looked to have instilled some professionalism and looked to be putting some building blocks in place, slowly. He then left and Woods come in but the expectations were bonkers. To expect to go from one win to a place in the play-offs was beyond unrealistic and their season ended farcically with too few players for the Barrow game. To not even announce a first team coach or the assistants working as a collective, especially this late does seems strange. 

Coventry appear to be the best of the bunch at the minute. They were proactive to impending changes, not reactive and have rebranded. Whether that works remains to be seen but the links with satellite clubs will help. 

Change is coming in the next few years. These clubs (as do plenty of clubs in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire) need(ed) to do something to survive. 

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3 hours ago, Eddie said:

Isn’t that the same every year? 

Maybe, although it seemed like the expansion clubs were getting closer to the heartland clubs. Games were often competitive, at least.

From what we are hearing there are going to lots of blowouts this year. Does anything think that a Cornwall team consisting of Anthony Mullally and a bunch of RU recruits with a few weeks RL training is going to to Keighley or Oldham and not get absolutely smashed?

It's all very well "building foundations" - and I agree that those foundations are important. But in meantime if we have to see teams turning up with 14 players and losing 140-0 then it does nobody any good.

West Wales are scheduled to play Swinton in the Cup two weeks on Sunday, for goodness sake! With barely any players signed and no coach, are they going to even field a team?

 

 

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I'm starting to think we shouldn't be using expansion clubs as a term, especially when all 'expansion' clubs all get lumped in together. In reality there is no expansion clubs, they don't receive any additional support or dispensation. 

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4 hours ago, Jughead said:

I’ve always thought that each division that houses a select group of expansion clubs, to me Toulouse, maybe London Broncos but certainly Newcastle, London Skolars, Midlands and West Wales (less so Catalans who are now successful) should have a certain amount of the distribution money for that division ringfenced with it being distributed to those clubs but that’s another discussion for another day and I don’t want to derail this into that direction.  

As for Skolars, they’ve had it hard (not that anyone has had it easy) the last few years. There was a partnership between themselves and Toronto Wolfpack that was to include a financial package but like almost everything associated to Toronto, that money never materialised and they missed out on that windfall. The previous chairmen left Skolars too and they’ve also had some investment from fans and other parties according to the internet, I don’t know how much that’s helped and any investment is vital but they seem to have regressed, even prior to Coleman and a handful of players leaving to go to Broncos and with Broncos going part-time, too, I can’t imagine that helps much either. I hope for their sake that when it’s a week where the Broncos are playing an Academy game and not a reserve game that Skolars have access to players on dual registration. 

As for West Wales, it sounds crazy saying it when you look at their results but under Kim Williams, they looked to have instilled some professionalism and looked to be putting some building blocks in place, slowly. He then left and Woods come in but the expectations were bonkers. To expect to go from one win to a place in the play-offs was beyond unrealistic and their season ended farcically with too few players for the Barrow game. To not even announce a first team coach or the assistants working as a collective, especially this late does seems strange. 

Coventry appear to be the best of the bunch at the minute. They were proactive to impending changes, not reactive and have rebranded. Whether that works remains to be seen but the links with satellite clubs will help. 

Change is coming in the next few years. These clubs (as do plenty of clubs in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire) need(ed) to do something to survive. 

That Coventry rebrand won't work out. The Midlands is a big place. They also seem to be playing at a small rugby union club pitch with a possible move to a larger system. I would say it is better for the likes of Nottingham or Sherwood to link up with one of the big Super League or Championship clubs instead of the Hurricanes.

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