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England vs Samoa Series


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6 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

It certainly does. The RFL are beneficiaries of their own pitiful performances in delivering international RL. I have absolutely no sympathy for the RFL. They only have themselves to blame.

The fixtures are set, nothing can be changed now. The thing the RFL need to do is deliver two sell outs in Wigan and Leeds which will come with a reasonable financial reward and give the RFL some credibility for other nations to tour, because last year’s fiasco has seen them lose near on all credibility.

Completely agree, if both games are sell outs and hyped up in the media then it makes international RL good and helps when choosing venues and selling tickets next time 

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22 minutes ago, Dave T said:

This isn't quite true, and I make no apologies for going in to bat for the RFL somewhat here. 

The RFL put their chips on building international governing bodies that would govern the game in Europe and the World. The actuals were to deliver strong world cups plus regular Euro Nations cups, plus a regular 4N at the top level which included an emerging nation each time. 

We can't ignore that for 20 years the European nations all played more games, including games at home than their Pacific counterparts. 

As the RFL has lost influence on the world stage through the IRL most of these things have gone by the wayside. 

Of course they aren't blameless here, but comparing Euro nations to the likes of Tonga, Samoa and Fiji is a nonsense. They are different on pretty much every level. 

What has happened in Europe on meagre resources has generally been okay. The likes of Serbia, Greece etc have done well in building and progressing the game. I think we can have a thriving European scene in its own right, and do to some extent  The trouble for RL is that that level is a world away from even France, which is a world away from England. I honestly don't see how these gaps are breached without major amounts of money over many years.

The likes of Ireland and Scotland are a sham, proven by their recent demotion by the IRL. Frankly they don't deserve to even be in discussions about England until they actually try and grow and develop the game on those countries. I have far more time for those other European nations.

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28 minutes ago, Damien said:

And wrong.

In terms of selling their Rugby pedigree I don't think people see the PI nations like that at all. Most are accutely aware of their Rugby pedigree going back decades whether that is in RL or RU. Samoa beat England in a RLWC semi final in London in front of 40k+ on FTA. Last year England RU only just beat Samoa by 1 point in their World Cup.

I think the PI nations offer a crucial point of difference for RL when it comes to internationals. They offer a whole different selling point and this is particularly so when we only have a limited number of top level nations.

If I asked a Londoner to name 20 Rugby playing nations there’s more than a fair chance Samoa and Tonga are in there. Ask the same people to name 20 basketball playing nations and I highly doubt South Sudan are one of them.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

What has happened in Europe on meagre resources has generally been okay. The likes of Serbia, Greece etc have done well in building and progressing the game. I think we can have a thriving European scene in its own right, and do to some extent  The trouble for RL is that that level is a world away from even France, which is a world away from England. I honestly don't see how these gaps are breached without major amounts of money over many years.

The likes of Ireland and Scotland are a sham, proven by their recent demotion by the IRL. Frankly they don't deserve to even be in discussions about England until they actually try and grow and develop the game on those countries. I have far more time for those other European nations.

Ireland and Scotland are/were no more of a sham than Samoa or Tonga were until recently. We comprehensively failed to take advantage of them (even if only for England's benefit rather than theirs).

We go on about the rise of Tonga and Samoa, but it was Scotland who first took points from a tier 1 nation in the 2016 4 Nations. 

England have had these teams on our doorstep. We can be frustrated how slow the ARLC have been at taking advantage in the Pacific, but the RFL have been woefully flat footed in Europe too.

As I said in another post, we're France consulted about a tri/4/5/6 nations this Autumn? Were Wales? Was any other nation? Lebanon? No. Because the RFL do not have any money, nor the imagination or confidence to make any money.

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11 minutes ago, Damien said:

What has happened in Europe on meagre resources has generally been okay. The likes of Serbia, Greece etc have done well in building and progressing the game. I think we can have a thriving European scene in its own right, and do to some extent  The trouble for RL is that that level is a world away from even France, which is a world away from England. I honestly don't see how these gaps are breached without major amounts of money over many years.

The likes of Ireland and Scotland are a sham, proven by their recent demotion by the IRL. Frankly they don't deserve to even be in discussions about England until they actually try and grow and develop the game on those countries. I have far more time for those other European nations.

There is some good work going on in these nations with domestic development. I think the best way to build on this is regular internationals based mainly on domestic players. An annual Euro Nations League plus mid season competitions like a Med Cup, Balkan Cup, Scandanavian Cup and other regional tournaments as well as maybe a 9s circuit for European Nations 

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7 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

There is some good work going on in these nations with domestic development. I think the best way to build on this is regular internationals based mainly on domestic players. An annual Euro Nations League plus mid season competitions like a Med Cup, Balkan Cup, Scandanavian Cup and other regional tournaments as well as maybe a 9s circuit for European Nations 

Four regional tournaments with the four winners meeting in a playoff? The winner plays France? 

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5 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

There is some good work going on in these nations with domestic development. I think the best way to build on this is regular internationals based mainly on domestic players. An annual Euro Nations League plus mid season competitions like a Med Cup, Balkan Cup, Scandanavian Cup and other regional tournaments as well as maybe a 9s circuit for European Nations 

Yes as I said a lot of this is great and the European nations put their bigger counterparts to shame. They are all at similar levels, which is a real plus when it comes to competition, and there is so much potential, shown by stuff like the Balkan Super League and the internationals against each other.

The trouble for England none of this is a solution to the problems they face and without a billionaire throwing his hat into the ring this isn't likely to change in the next couple of decades.

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31 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

if both games are sell outs and hyped up in the media

If either of these things happen I will be surprised and delighted in equal measure, because all recent evidence unfortunately suggests neither will.

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9 minutes ago, Gomersall said:

Four regional tournaments with the four winners meeting in a playoff? The winner plays France? 

Yeah that sounds like a good idea. Just getting regular games for the European nations 

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7 minutes ago, Damien said:

Yes as I said a lot of this is great and the European nations put their bigger counterparts to shame. They are all at similar levels, which is a real plus when it comes to competition, and there is so much potential, shown by stuff like the Balkan Super League and the internationals against each other.

The trouble for England none of this is a solution to the problems they face and without a billionaire throwing his hat into the ring this isn't likely to change in the next couple of decades.

Yes unfortunately there is lots of options for most of the European nations but that doesn’t help England. France and Wales are the best options for England but even they aren’t competitive enough for them to be used as an alternative to the SH nations. 
The best way for now is to organise regular games and tournaments for the rest of the European nations with a mid season and end of season test against England for France and England to play test series against SH nations in the Autumn each year

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48 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

Completely agree, if both games are sell outs and hyped up in the media then it makes international RL good and helps when choosing venues and selling tickets next time 

Can they buy at least having some nice food vending options? 

The Tonga game at Huddy was so badly planned ......the usual food trucks for SL games wasn't even there 

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59 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Ireland and Scotland are/were no more of a sham than Samoa or Tonga were until recently. We comprehensively failed to take advantage of them (even if only for England's benefit rather than theirs).

We go on about the rise of Tonga and Samoa, but it was Scotland who first took points from a tier 1 nation in the 2016 4 Nations. 

England have had these teams on our doorstep. We can be frustrated how slow the ARLC have been at taking advantage in the Pacific, but the RFL have been woefully flat footed in Europe too.

As I said in another post, we're France consulted about a tri/4/5/6 nations this Autumn? Were Wales? Was any other nation? Lebanon? No. Because the RFL do not have any money, nor the imagination or confidence to make any money.

Sorry that's not true. They have been a sham for coming up to 3 decades now. Nothing has progressed or changed and all warnings on this have been ignored and continue to be ignored. Next to no one cares about made up heritage teams in sports that aren't really played in the country, no matter how much you may wish it to be different. Irish person after Irish person has said this on this forum and Irish RL Facebook and message boards always say the same. This is why what little there was has declined and why people have walked away completely. 

There is more Rugby League played in the PI nations than has ever been played in Ireland or Scotland. In the 80s and 90s Rugby League was actually bigger in some of the PI anyway. Tonga only lost by 1 point to New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup and drew with PNG, all with much stricter eligibility rules in place than today.

The situation also couldn't be more different with Rugby League having a dominant place in Australia and to a lesser extent New Zealand. There is a large diaspora in both who love Rugby League, are very good at it and are still very much connected with their heritage and the people on those islands welcoming that. None of that applies in the UK and Ireland.

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8 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

Yes unfortunately there is lots of options for most of the European nations but that doesn’t help England. France and Wales are the best options for England but even they aren’t competitive enough for them to be used as an alternative to the SH nations. 
The best way for now is to organise regular games and tournaments for the rest of the European nations with a mid season and end of season test against England for France and England to play test series against SH nations in the Autumn each year

Absolutely we should be doing everything to develop Wales and France. They are the only nations that are anywhere near close to England, with genuine domestic activity, players and professional teams, and with the potential to close that gap somewhat.

To do that though takes much more than playing them in the odd internationals. It takes expanding the full time player pool and that starts at club level and means having more clubs from those nations playing at a higher level. It needs a more holistic and big picture approach.

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55 minutes ago, Gomersall said:

If I asked a Londoner to name 20 Rugby playing nations there’s more than a fair chance Samoa and Tonga are in there. Ask the same people to name 20 basketball playing nations and I highly doubt South Sudan are one of them.

Indeed. I think most would be fairly oblivious to how big or small some of these places are anyway and would know next to nothing about them, bar maybe thinking they are good at Rugby. Kind of the way people may associate the Netherlands with being good at Football but maybe not quite a Brazil or Spain.

Sure us RL tragics know the ins and outs of places like PNG and the Pacific Islands but I really don't think that is the case with the wider population. 

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14 hours ago, Dunbar said:

Again, I am not sure if I am not articulating myself properly so I will try and be as clear as possible. 

All I am saying is that we do not have sufficient evidence to show what kind of a draw the games against non Kangaroo or Kiwi opposition will be in London as we simply haven't played the games to provide the evidence.

In that case we will never have the evidence and no one would ever try anything new. We have evidence that the crowds are strong normally against opposition in the same series vs the north. At some point we need to test to get evidence.. 

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26 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Can they buy at least having some nice food vending options? 

The Tonga game at Huddy was so badly planned ......the usual food trucks for SL games wasn't even there 

Me and my son went to that... is this an international? Was one question asked.. he is 100% not fussed by samoa due to the fact both are in the north.. chuck a game in London and I'd have bought tickets already..

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19 minutes ago, RP London said:

In that case we will never have the evidence and no one would ever try anything new. We have evidence that the crowds are strong normally against opposition in the same series vs the north. At some point we need to test to get evidence.. 

As I stated earlier in the thread, I would be happy to see us try.

"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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41 minutes ago, Damien said:

Sorry that's not true. They have been a sham for coming up to 3 decades now. Nothing has progressed or changed and all warnings on this have been ignored and continue to be ignored. Next to no one cares about made up heritage teams in sports that aren't really played in the country, no matter how much you may wish it to be different. Irish person after Irish person has said this on this forum and Irish RL Facebook and message boards always say the same. This is why what little there was has declined and why people have walked away completely. 

There is more Rugby League played in the PI nations than has ever been played in Ireland or Scotland. In the 80s and 90s Rugby League was actually bigger in some of the PI anyway. Tonga only lost by 1 point to New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup and drew with PNG, all with much stricter eligibility rules in place than today.

The situation also couldn't be more different with Rugby League having a dominant place in Australia and to a lesser extent New Zealand. There is a large diaspora in both who love Rugby League, are very good at it and are still very much connected with their heritage and the people on those islands welcoming that. None of that applies in the UK and Ireland.

I know this is your pet peeve mate, your Sean McGuire said this about unfashionable towns point, but for the vast majority of the Public (RL or Not) it doesn't make a noticeable difference and they could have been taken advantage of.

They haven't been and we're all worse off.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

I know this is your pet peeve mate, your Sean McGuire said this about unfashionable towns point, but for the vast majority of the Public (RL or Not) it doesn't make a noticeable difference and they could have been taken advantage of.

They haven't been and we're all worse off.

Ah so a pathetic dig just because you choose to ignore the actual facts of the situation and the fact they are completely different. I could similarly make digs like that with some of what you post on here but won't go there. Thought you were better than that too.

The vast majority of the public do see a difference too, they aren't stupid. That is why social media is awash with digs whenever these teams play. I also think talking about taking advantage of teams, that should be developing domestically and foraging their own path, is completely wrong.

Anyhow let's leave it at. Im not interested in going round in circles and your reply didn't counter anything, just a dig really.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

Ah so a pathetic dig just because you choose to ignore the actual facts of the situation and the fact they are completely different. I could similarly make digs like that with some of what you post on here but won't go there. Thought you were better than that too.

The vast majority of the public do see a difference too, they aren't stupid. That is why social media is awash with digs whenever these teams play. I also think talking about taking advantage of teams, that should be developing domestically and foraging their own path, is completely wrong.

Anyhow let's leave it at. Im not interested in going round in circles and your reply didn't counter anything, just a dig really.

It's not a pathetic dig mate, it's just recognising that I appreciate this is really important to you, but that this can make you tunnel visioned on this issue too.

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

Sure us RL tragics know the ins and outs of places like PNG and the Pacific Islands but I really don't think that is the case with the wider population. 

More often than not I can get a Pointless world geographical question right with Port Moresby 😉

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17 minutes ago, Gomersall said:

More often than not I can get a Pointless world geographical question right with Port Moresby 😉

It's not really rational the expertise us RL fans have on PNG.

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15 hours ago, Dave T said:

There are three key pieces of evidence that leads me to believe that a Samoa test could do better in London than heartlands:

1. All previous like for like comparisons show that London out performs heartlands. 

2. The 2021 WC showed that non-heartland fans are not deterred by Samoa as a team, with crowds of 44k and 40k, despite awful organisation, pricing etc. 

3. Existing RL grounds often Under-perform crowd-wise, particularly for 2nd tier teams (Tonga), although Wigan and Leeds are the best of the bunch I'd add. 

So, whilst it may be presented we don't have a perfect like for like comparison, that's different to having no evidence that suggests success. 

I'm not sure I can fully agree with this.  I don't disagree completely but I think some of it is overstated.

On the first point.  As I have pointed out before, we really do tend to take our most prestigious games to London - the start of a tournament, a semi final or the first or second game of series; and almost almost always against one of the big two.  The only game I can remember that was 'run of the mill' was the 2005 tri-nations game against New Zealand at Loftus Road which attracted 15,600 or so.  A couple of weeks later the same two teams played in Huddersfield and there was 19,200 in attendance.  If nothing else, it shows that the 'all' previous comparison showing London outperforms the heartlands isn't true.

For point 2.  It is almost impossible to disaggregate the fact that it was the opening game of the World Cup (and England's first game) and England in the semi final of the World Cup.  I do actually agree that of all the names outside of the Kiwis and Kangaroos that we should have taken to a larger, more ambitious venue, it is Samoa as those two games put Samoa on the map in Rugby League terms in this country.  But I would argue these specific games would have done well regardless of the named opposition.

"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, Dunbar said:

I'm not sure I can fully agree with this.  I don't disagree completely but I think some of it is overstated.

On the first point.  As I have pointed out before, we really do tend to take our most prestigious games to London - the start of a tournament, a semi final or the first or second game of series; and almost almost always against one of the big two.  The only game I can remember that was 'run of the mill' was the 2005 tri-nations game against New Zealand at Loftus Road which attracted 15,600 or so.  A couple of weeks later the same two teams played in Huddersfield and there was 19,200 in attendance.  If nothing else, it shows that the 'all' previous comparison showing London outperforms the heartlands isn't true.

For point 2.  It is almost impossible to disaggregate the fact that it was the opening game of the World Cup (and England's first game) and England in the semi final of the World Cup.  I do actually agree that of all the names outside of the Kiwis and Kangaroos that we should have taken to a larger, more ambitious venue, it is Samoa as those two games put Samoa on the map in Rugby League terms in this country.  But I would argue these specific games would have done well regardless of the named opposition.

It's fine to look at the same evidence and come to different conclusions but my view is that you are adding an awful lot of caveats to portray the evidence negatively. To only recognise the QPR one is baffling to me. I also find it baffling that you would look to discount matches because they were the first or second test. 

But I'll say it again, when making it like for like, London has done better (literally except the one game at QPR). Strip out world cups and look at 3 test series, and London has been the best of the three. 

But, I expect we will have to agree to disagree, which is cool. 

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5 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

It certainly does. The RFL are beneficiaries of their own pitiful performances in delivering international RL. I have absolutely no sympathy for the RFL. They only have themselves to blame.

The fixtures are set, nothing can be changed now. The thing the RFL need to do is deliver two sell outs in Wigan and Leeds which will come with a reasonable financial reward and give the RFL some credibility for other nations to tour, because last year’s fiasco has seen them lose near on all credibility.

I partly agree, however as pointed out many times, the best crowds for international RL are generally to be found in the UK and have been delivered by the RFL. So nobody is in a strong position to judge the RFL on that front. 

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