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England v Tonga series


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28 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

I can understand Leeds, for the Jamaican games but I would have thought having another nearer Birmingham would’ve seen a larger attendance at the time.

Amazingly, England v Greece brought 18760 at Bramall Lane.

Yeah, even London and Brenford would get a decent crowd if promoted right.

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37 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

My England player ratings for the series.  I think it would be harsh to find a poor player and so my lowest ratings are 6.  I think you could find a 9 out of 10 performance for an individual game but these are for the whole series.

The players that played across all 3 games

Welsby - 7.5 - I thought he was a little quiet across the series and his running game was down on where we know it can be but he came up with some very classy passing plays when it mattered to set up tries.  He can be better in contact in defence but a modern full back is all about attack and this is where he shines.

Newman - 7 - Has taken his unexpected chance at international level with both hands.  Kept his temperament in check and as well as a running threat he put his winger away with some very good hands, a part of his game we haven't seen enough of.

Johnstone - 8 - An excellent start to a much belated international career due to such bad luck with injury.  He returns the ball well and very rarely loses a collision and then has the pace to score when given space.  Just a bombed try from a McMeeken kick in the second test blotting what would have been a perfect series.

Smith - 8.5 - England's player of the series for me.  He is delivering the tactical kicking game that we have been missing for so long.  Yes, our kick chase was good but it needs to be off the back of a well executed kick and Smith just delivers in this area.  Add on a couple of try assists with hands and boot and he will be delighted with the start of his test career.

Burgess - 7.5 - You just don't get a bad game from Burgess as he will always dominate a ruck with the ball in his hands and always deliver metres.  He has taken the errors out of his game and also offered up a few very useful offloads.  As with his club side, England can find attacking plays from his fast play the balls.

Clark - 7 - Showed why he should have been in the World Cup squad, class is permanent.  Good distribution and a good engine in attack and defence.

Lees - 6 - I take on board the comments that he leads the line in defence but he really is too small to make an impact with the ball in hand and he got bullied carrying the ball away from his line.  To be a world class prop, you have to contribute with the ball better than this.  A silly yellow card in game 3.

Bateman - 7.5 - Simply the ultimate competitor.  You want the guy on your side as he will never take a backward step and unlike when he is in the middle (where he also suffers from a lack of size), his footwork on the edge makes him a tunning threat.

Whitehead - 7 - Will never let anyone down.  His 3rd test was the best i thought with the try and his strong carries.  Across the series not quite as good as Bateman.

Walker - 6 - Added a bit of energy when he came on in each game but didn't set the game alight.

Hill - - Very strong in the first two games and carried on where Burgess left off with the strong carries.

McMeeken - 7.5 - Alongside Burgess our best middle.  Has the size to trouble the top teams but also fit and mobile.  Can be a very good international middle forward for the next couple of years.

 

The players that played in 2 games:

King - 7 - Another who carried the ball strongly in the first two games.  Solid if not spectacular

Ashton - 6.5 - Didn't let the side down and his pace was on show a number of times.  Probably didn't carry the ball as strongly as Makinson  or Johnstone but found his front with goo footwork.

Lewis - 7.5 - The star of game 1 that got England off to a flier, a very dangerous ball runner and put his body in front of the big Tongan edge runners.  Would have played all three if the captain wasn't available again. 

Radley - 7 - probably not the impact we would have expected but has had a stop start year for his club.

 

The players that played in 1 game

Makinson - 6.5 - Another one where you know what you are going to get, heart of a lion carrying the ball with pace into the heart of the defence and can finish a try when given a chance.  Feels like his career is catching up with his body now but will never let anyone down in an England shirt.

Knowles - 7 - Added a bit of grunt when he came on in the first test and stood up well to the Tongan middle forwards.  Unlucky to then miss out with injury.

Currie - 7.5 - A very good contribution in the centre for the final game with a try and involvement in a couple of others.

Williams - 7 - Hard to come in for just one game after a decent time away from the field.  As a result not as sharp as he could have been.  Still international class. 

Mulhern - 6 - Solid effort in the 13 jumper but not spectacular

Dupree - 6 - As above with Mulhern, solid.

Farrell - N/A - Unfair to rate him on 3 minutes on the field I think.

I think that's a pretty fair assessment, I don't think I'd vary any of the scores by more than 0.5 point or so

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13 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

 

The first test is probably not a good comparative being on a Sunday but good to see the audience increase from test 2 to test 3.  Also puts a bit of dampener on the 'dead rubber' narrative that we use to try and persuade ourselves that games don't matter.

People like seeing the national team win in any sport - the sooner we recognise that, and stop thinking that audiences only want super competitive games, the better.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

"If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn't value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?" — Sam Harris

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10 minutes ago, Hopie said:

Would these be the biggest TV audiences of the year for Rugby League? 

Challenge Cup final average of 784,000 and a peak of 1.1 million.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

"If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn't value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?" — Sam Harris

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9 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Challenge Cup final average of 784,000 and a peak of 1.1 million.

Not too far behind then, given Challenge Cup is an annual event with multiple rounds to build the audience for the final. Would like to see us kicking off a couple of hours later on a Saturday afternoon which might get us more viewers and a better atmosphere in the ground, but I guess BBC want us to be done before Final Score rather than go on after it. 

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

 

 

Would these figures be seen as a success for the governing bodies? 

Yesterday someone posted that total ticket sales for the series were about 80% of the target. Hopefully these TV figures are better than planned for

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1 minute ago, Hopie said:

Not too far behind then, given Challenge Cup is an annual event with multiple rounds to build the audience for the final. Would like to see us kicking off a couple of hours later on a Saturday afternoon which might get us more viewers and a better atmosphere in the ground, but I guess BBC want us to be done before Final Score rather than go on after it. 

With Tonga not being a traditionally big draw in Rugby League, I think they are excellent figures.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

"If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn't value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?" — Sam Harris

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

With Tonga not being a traditionally big draw in Rugby League, I think they are excellent figures.

I think England are the draw for many in England regardless of opposition. Rugby League either forgets or ignores this.

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21 hours ago, Lowdesert said:

Eh?  It’s been some time since an international at Hull but the last had 17500 in 2018 and before that 24/25k.

Should we be ruling out Saints and Hudds before Hull?

imo the biggest cause of low crowds is lack of planning and RFL effort.  Not sure who is responsible but their roles can be commission/bonus related.

That 17k vs NZ in 2018 was hugely disappointing, I can remember the ire on here at the time. In that series, 26k attended Anfield (also considered somewhat disappointing) and 32k attended at Elland Road.

In 2016, 5k turned out in Hull for the 4 nations game of Australia vs Scotland

At last year's World Cup, Hull also got the lowest attendance of all quarter finals - just 7k for the NZ vs Fiji match which was closely contested. More people turned out at Huddersfield for Australia's stroll against Lebanon

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4 minutes ago, londonrlfan said:

I don't think Brentford want any rugby while they have PL TV money. When they drop back down the leagues, it will soon change. 

If you are talking Jamaica then that can easily be fitted in at the end of the Football season in May. Football clubs dont care about wear and tear on the pitch then. There would always be opportunities then at any Football ground.

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1 minute ago, DoubleD said:

That 17k vs NZ in 2018 was hugely disappointing, I can remember the ire on here at the time. In that series, 26k attended Anfield (also considered somewhat disappointing) and 32k attended at Elland Road.

In 2016, 5k turned out in Hull for the 4 nations game of Australia vs Scotland

At last year's World Cup, Hull also got the lowest attendance of all quarter finals - just 7k for the NZ vs Fiji match which was closely contested. More people turned out at Huddersfield for Australia's stroll against Lebanon

I think the questions that should be asked/should’ve been asked were around the 24k that attended in 2013 and 2014 that then dropped to 17.5k v NZ in 2018.  The same questions might have been relevant to the last WC here also where we got 18.5k at Sheffield against the 7k at Hull for the Jamaica game.

I don’t agree with cutting Hull out.  Two clubs bringing 18000 in regularly together shouldn’t be ignored but the reasons why, records/findings from wash up meetings considered, promotions successes etc etc should absolutely be.  How does 24k get to 7k?  How have we allowed that to happen?
 

There should be the expertise within the RFL and SL to nail these attendances.  Sales driven strategy, incentivised people, promotion packages for hosting clubs, working with local industries and nationals….imo.
As you know I’m not in sales or marketing but big drops in attendances seem to be taken quite lightly.

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55 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

I think the questions that should be asked/should’ve been asked were around the 24k that attended in 2013 and 2014 that then dropped to 17.5k v NZ in 2018.  The same questions might have been relevant to the last WC here also where we got 18.5k at Sheffield against the 7k at Hull for the Jamaica game.

I don’t agree with cutting Hull out.  Two clubs bringing 18000 in regularly together shouldn’t be ignored but the reasons why, records/findings from wash up meetings considered, promotions successes etc etc should absolutely be.  How does 24k get to 7k?  How have we allowed that to happen?
 

There should be the expertise within the RFL and SL to nail these attendances.  Sales driven strategy, incentivised people, promotion packages for hosting clubs, working with local industries and nationals….imo.
As you know I’m not in sales or marketing but big drops in attendances seem to be taken quite lightly.

If you are doing 3 M62 tests then Hull makes much more sense than a 2nd West Yorkshire venue and Huddersfield. Wigan, Leeds and Hull is a much better split that targets different audiences and doesn't cannibalise sales.

Still though for me it should always be 1 west of the Pennines, 1 east of the Pennines and then 1 in London (or elsewhere like Newcastle, Coventry etc).

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41 minutes ago, daz39 said:

Pardon me if i've missed it but i see a lot of people mentioning Brentford, have they actually shown an interest in hosting international RL or is is just folk on here suggesting it?

They used to have London Irish in union...now dead 

It's basically nice and easy to get to. A really great new stadium with a great feel.... about 17,000 capacity but feels bigger and 'full' even with say 12k

Would love us to start using it for league 

Suspect they don't give two tosses about offering it though 

Edited by Bedfordshire Bronco
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2 hours ago, DoubleD said:

That 17k vs NZ in 2018 was hugely disappointing, I can remember the ire on here at the time. In that series, 26k attended Anfield (also considered somewhat disappointing) and 32k attended at Elland Road.

In 2016, 5k turned out in Hull for the 4 nations game of Australia vs Scotland

At last year's World Cup, Hull also got the lowest attendance of all quarter finals - just 7k for the NZ vs Fiji match which was closely contested. More people turned out at Huddersfield for Australia's stroll against Lebanon

Think the 5k in 2016 was at Craven Park (not sure of capacity at the time).

Also 7k NZ v Fiji . England were playing in Wigan on the same day so always likely to make a difference.

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